Month: August 2018


After all my big talk about managing the pain of running with no socks and the getting bad blisters, it turns out recovering from them is vastly worse.

They went from scratched-looking to red raw open wounds.

It’s been 6 days and they are still raw. I’ve been washing them in salt water, pouring raw salt on them, and dabbing them with rubbing alcohol. The pain is enough to make me sweat. At least the rubbing alcohol only lasts a few minutes, pouring salt on is intense for twice as long.  And they still won’t heal. Stubborn.

I was feeling a bit better this morning, I thought with the padding of the plasters and socks I could probably manage a run. I put my trainers on upstairs and made it as far as the bottom of the stairs before I changed my mind. No chance.


I’ve been training on my bike on the turbo instead. I’ve managed 4 out of 5 days. My training plan (1 minute in each gear going up the gears, -starting in 3rd- , 5 minutes in top gear, 2 minutes in each gear going down) works out as two complete repetitions in an hour. Which is handy. 

I’ve managed to set up the data logging app on my ‘phone from the turbo, so now I can quantify my workouts.

I’ve managed two session with it working. On the first one it said I did 28 miles in the hour. I don’t believe that’s the case.  On the road I usually do about 18 mph maximum. But that’s always pacing myself for a long ride, and there’s the stopping and starting, hills, wind, traffic, etc. I will have to go out for an hour’s sprint. See what I’m really good for.

That’s besides the point. The point is, that is the reading I got for an hour’s workout. Using the same settings, doing the same workout, I can see if I’m doing better than X (which happens to be 28 miles in this instance).

The other readings were the power I was putting out, on the first run it was 185 watts average and 262 maximum.

Apparently decent riders run at 350 watts, I heard on a video the other day. The guy who was testing some kit patronisingly said he was doing it again at 250 watts to give a reading at the level of club riders. I’ve got a long, long, way to go.

Once I’d laid down a benchmark figure I had to beat it, obviously.

Today’s workout I did 28.9 miles (it clicked over to 30 miles a few seconds over the hour. Damn.) with 194 watts average, 330 watts max.

Tomorrow I’ll do 30 miles.

I can’t run or swim because of my feet. Showers hurt enough. I don’t expect they’d want me in the baths with open wounds even if I could take the pain.


The other training news is on my aero bike.

Obviously I want this:

It’s the decent ‘entry level’ triathlon dedicated bike from Canyon. It’s freaking awesome. Aero, great spec, fully integrated, black, and cooler than a penguins chilly bits. But £2,600. For a pushbike.

I decided to make do. I ordered some cheap carbon fibre wheels from China. The brand name ones that look like those in the picture start at about £600 to thousands of pounds.  One wheel I ordered was via a UK stockist so that has already arrived, but it’s a bolt on wheel, not the quick release that is the standard nowadays. I was fussing over how to convert it, but it looks like I’ll have to take it to a bike shop and see if they can do it, and if it would be worth it. My idea was buy the cheap wheels, then I just need to get a frameset and I’m away. I want a set up that’s dedicated. My (very good) road bike is a road bike. The geometry is all wrong. And the frame is fat. It’s stiff and perfect for road riding, but a bad compromise for holding an aero position.

Last night I was busy obsessing on eBay and such when I came across some “new, old stock” Boardman bikes.

Apparently it’s a good frame, quite light, aero, and cheap. £900. The wheels would need replacing, it doesn’t look cool and it’s red. A reddy/ orange in fact. Ewww. Also all the mechanicals are cheapo, not even base level, really. So really I would be just buying a frame. swap all the mechanicals off my road bike, stick on the cheapo Chinese wheels and don’t look at the paint job.

I was all set for settling. It’s not what I want, but It’s possibly all I need.

Wendy came to see what I was doing and said “Stop trying to do it on the cheap, it never works out, and you won’t be satisfied with it. Buy the good one.”

And that’s why I married her.

I was that excited I didn’t get to bed until 01.30, window shopping. And Canyon have launched an end of season sale, £450 off!

As today has gone on I’ve talked myself into getting it RIGHT NOW! But the bank want stupid interest for a loan and want me to ring up and argue why I’m worth it. I’ll keep my eye on the Canyon website, as they prices are for 2017 stock they are selling off, (the XL has already sold out). I can fit an S or, ideally, an XS. If one size sells out I’ll panic buy the other. I won’t be using it until spring probably, so if the stock lasts I’ll just carry on doing 6th shifts to bump up my money and save up and buy it.

Now I’ve really got to improve. I’ve got to be worthy of the Canyon. At the minute I’ve got grannies on 3 speed shoppers clipping me with their basket as they ride past me.

It’s a weird thing, perspective. To me the Canyon CF 8, (above) is an awesome super pushbike and ridiculously expensive. To the cycling journalists it’s an entry level, good, cheap option. They talk of the budget business model of good kit, sold mail order straight to the consumer, keeping prices down.

To the pros it’s a comfy, cheap commuter they wouldn’t be seen dead on. 

Here is the top of the range Canyon.

Brand name wheels, electronic gear shifters built into the handlebars, super aggressive riding position with the low handlebars, way beyond anything I’ll ever need. Only £8,150 in the sale.


Next year I am taking an hour off my Outlaw time. At least. I won’t have any bad tools to blame. If I get my bike, batter the turbo in that thrice damned sweatbox of a shed, run through my transitions, carry over my speed from my sub 3 marathon attempt, and can make any progress on my swim, it’s in the bag.

So, good as got then.




They say that 60% of your tri training should be on the bike as that’s where you are going to be spending the majority of your race. I’ve been putting it off as it’s horrible and boring.

I finally bit the bullet, cleaned out the shed and set up the bike on the torture device/ turbo trainer.

I did one session after my epic run the other day. It was good training but I was sweating and panting, kept pausing to take drinks and generally make excuses to rest for a second. I had it in a low, mostly manageable gear, apart from the 5 minutes in top gear. I kept trying to shift up, to build muscles and stamina, but quickly dropped down again.

On that session I ended up opening the shed door to try and let some cool air in as I was dying. I’ve had time to think about it though, and now I’m keeping the door closed. It should keep the gnats out, which is a bonus, but my main goal is heat conditioning. I’m thinking if I start now, plan in regular training sessions, and work through autumn and winter, as it starts getting warmer I should adapt. In theory. If I’m looking to an end goal of the Barcelona or Hamburg Ironman (even two out of three of my Outlaws have been in blistering heat) I need to heat condition. More for the run, to be honest, but surely that will carry over?

Anyway, I did another session today, with the door shut. I’ve got a big fan there, but as part of my new masterplan I’m not using it. And I’ve stumbled across a successful training plan. I remembered at the gym on on their kit you can do stepped training plans, say for 2½ minutes at one level, then up a level, down a level, etc.

Instead of just pedalling in a do-able gear and keep stopping I timed myself. I settled on 1 minute per gear up, 5 minutes in top gear, then 2 minutes down the gears. The only difference is mental, but struggling in, say, 5th gear, knowing you’ve got another 6 to go, all harder, is too much at the minute. So, 1 minute up, 5 in top, 2 minutes down. Again it’s just mental, but because I wasn’t just churning away for an hour, I kept going. Instead of thinking “45 minutes to go, I can’t do it”, I was thinking “only 2 minutes, then it gets easier” Once I’d stumbled on the stepped plan (a few minutes in) I didn’t stop.

The sweat was running down the back of my legs. Everywhere else as well, but literally running down my legs.That’s not normal for me. Pure gross. By the end of the hour the condensation on the shed windows was running. I’ve just ordered a cheap thermometer, I want to know just how hot it’s getting in there.

I’m a mite concerned about rusting my tool in the shed. I’m hoping an hour sauna, 23 hours to air, will suffice.


I have encountered a  few set backs in my training. I didn’t reckon on it being a bank holiday today, so no swim lesson, and next week week we are on holiday, so I’ll miss that one as well. It’s going to be a fortnight before I get to see who is right about this swim coach, and what he thinks about my chances.


The other delay is my feet are too badly damaged to run. Which is a total bummer because I am really excited to see how fast I can get over 10 miles. If I could do 10 miles at 7 m/m (not inconceivable) I expect I could maintain pace for the extra 3.1 miles for an actual half marathon race. Those little blister-ey scrapes on the pictures I posted have turned into red raw ½” x 2” open wounds. They are still weeping. I’m hoping by tomorrow I’ll have a proper layer of skin so, with plasters, surgical tape (to secure the plasters) and socks (big, fat, lovely socks!) I can run. 

A good test would be the Warrington half marathon on Sunday the 16th of September, but my holiday request got knocked back because it’s full. I have discovered a plan B though. I can request a shift swap. With myself. So I have the Sunday off, then work one of my rest days.

I’ve got to talk to the planner tomorrow, but I’m hoping I’ll get it.

Then the Manchester half in October. I’ve already got that booked off. I am going to batter that one. 1 hour 30 or die trying.

Well, the thing to take from all of this is I’m training hard and I want to train hard.

I can build the muscles and speed for the bike, a fast marathon is the “easy” discipline. It all hinges on whether I can learn to swim.

What’s life without a challenge?



Winning! Sort of.

I am really getting focused on my training.

I’ve cleaned out my shed and set my bike up on the turbo trainer. I did a session yesterday and today.

I did this week’s task of 2½ miles at race pace the day before those.

So today, before the hour on the bike, I decided to go for a fast test run. I thought that the professional triathletes didn’t use socks, thus saving a minute in transition. Transition is the easiest place to save time, you don’t have to use any muscles to not put a pair of socks on, so I gave it a go.

The good news is I battered my times. I did a 10K (seems that’s a popular reference, I still work in imperial) in 45:13 and 10 miles in 1.12:20, knocking 2 minutes 11 seconds off my previous PB from June ‘15.

Well pleased with that. I was aiming for a 7.15 m/m pace, didn’t go above 7.21, mostly below 7.15, with a 6.59.

To be fair to myself, that wasn’t the course on which I set my previous PB, I think it’s a bit harder. I’ll try again on that course for a like for like comparison. Hopefully shave a bit more off.

The downside:

The pain was OK for 10 miles, but I think it would have at least slowed me down over a full marathon. I asked on twitter, what I was doing wrong. The tri guy who’s done a 9 hours 50 Ironman, said “Wear socks, the pros all do.”


So I destroyed my feet for nothing.


Live and learn. That little faux pas aside, I’m buzzing off today. That was a good run, I maintained a fast pace for the full ten miles, then did an hour on the bike. Which seems to have set itself harder. I have done an hour grinding it out in top gear before on the turbo before now. Today I did a 5 minute section in top gear and I was standing on the pedals having to use my lardarse to move the damn thing. Which is good. Not that I was struggling, but that it offers such resistance. Great training.

This could happen, people. I could go sub 3. Maybe, just maybe, sub 10. *excited face*

Right, to bed to reset.