Bike for Ironman UK 2014

Planet X N2A

April 17, 2014 | Posted in Equipment | By

I am really excited to report that I have recieved my new bike that I will be using to undertake the Ironman UK 2014. I have gone for the Planet X N2A Road Bike. Full description from the website below:

Planet X N2A

Planet X N2A

The same full carbon aero frame as our other N2A, but this time finished off with our 50mm carbon wheelset; helping you look and go just that bit faster than before.

The N2A was designed in collaboration with renowned Italian bike guru Roberto Billato, a carbon fibre specialist with over 30 years of experience in the industry. Billato’s advanced knowledge of carbon design means that you can rely on the N2A to be of the highest calibre possible.

Times have changed out on the road; more and more people look to frame design as a way of shaving off the seconds. That’s where the N2A comes in. Based on profiles from the US National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the N2A has a truly optimised aerodynamic design. The oversized headtube and integrated fork/downtube get the air flowing nicely; slicing through the air more efficiently than no-aero frames.

Times are constantly changing in the cycling industry, and we have seen 5 / 6 / 7 etc. speed, and now we evolve to 11. Here at Planet X we strive to use the latest and greatest mechanical groupset, that’s why we’ve built this up using the latest in groupset development, 11 Speed Shimano Ultegra 6800. Those serious about in-ride performance, build quality and durability will feel at home riding Ultegra. With technological innovation trickled down from Dura-Ace, Ultegra never misses a beat. Every shift gives you the desired feedback, meaning you don’t have to think too much about the operation and can concentrate on the road ahead, or how much your legs are hurting.

A huge number of bike builds look impressive on paper, until you check the supplied wheels. On the other hand this is where we excel, full carbon aero frame with deep section carbon wheels for under £2000. We’ve won a lot of plaudits for our wheelsets, and quite rightly so, they’re faster, lighter and a whole lot more economical than our competitors offer, and with a frame like the N2A they just look the part too.

The bottom line with the N2A is that we want to combine several performance aspects into one package: true high performance race ready technology at a price and availability level that has never been done before.

Modifications

A couple of modifications that I will make to the bike before the start of the Ironman will be to add the stryke tri-bars that I have used previously and to find a water bottle to fit inbetween them which should leave my bike looking like this.

Planet X N2A Tri'ed

Planet X N2A Tri’ed

 

Any thoughts and / or advice would be much appreciated.

 

All the best

Andrew

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Minimum Ironman Training Hours

FAQ featured

February 11, 2014 | Posted in Equipment, General, Training Plans | By

In case you don’t get to the bottom the page I am doing the Ironman UK 2014 for Scope. You can sponsor me at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ironman

Work is really getting in the way of my training this week and I have been reminded of a post that a read a couple of years back from a guy call Coady. I cannot find the site anymore but have a word version on my PC. Anyway here is the post below which I think is a very useful method of maintaining the ‘minimum‘ training volume that we need to do. If you read some books and websites you hear quite frequently that you need to be hitting the 12+ hours per week as a minimum ironman training hours. However, I know first hand that I have completed previous Ironman events on around 8 hours per week training. You can read more about my previous training in my Ironman UK FAQ.

I will be completing the below session tonight. I do not have swim cords so will have to innovate probably using some press-ups and dips. I will be ordering the Powerstroke Bungee Cord from amazon as shown below and will be incorporating this exercise into my training.

“When All Hell Breaks Loose” Workout Plan

It’s all well and good to have a training program that tells you to do a 3 hour ride on Wednesday, to drive 20 minutes to the pool on Thursday, swim for an hour and drive 20 minutes home (and shower and dress), UNTIL all hell breaks loose! Your boss wants you to arrive at work early and leave late to finish a project, your spouse’s car is broken down and you have to drop him or her off to the mechanic and pick her up and you need to take on the chauffeur duties for the children, and your in laws are visiting and you need to mow the lawn, take care of the yard, and clean the house in order to avoid making your mother in law cry because her child is living in filth (i.e. a house that has some dust and a yard with 3 weeds).

What do you do when all hell breaks loose?  Some would suggest “trying your best” to stick to your schedule.  I suggest throwing your schedule out and becoming determined to do the following:

Put your bike on your bike trainer and leave it there until life settles down.  Leave your bike shoes on there as well.

Commit to doing a minimum workout schedule NO MATTER WHAT.

Do the “When Hell Breaks Loose Workout” at least 3 times during the week. If you can find the time, also aim for one good swim at the pool and one brisk 1 hour run.

The “When HELL Breaks Loose Workout”

1.  SWIM. Do swim cords exercises.  (5-10 minutes) Instead of doing the swim cords exercises as a warm up before swimming, you’ll be doing them as your swim workout.  Do 2 sets of “full pulls” (simulating a full swim stroke) until failure (you can’t do any more reps).  If you are really pressed for time just do 1 set.

2. BIKE. Then jump on your bike, which is already on the trainer.  Ride easy for a few minutes- only as long as it takes to warm up.  Then for an hour (or 45 minutes, or 30 minutes if you are really time crunched), do either an intervals or a brisk aerobic maintenance ride.

Maintenance Ride. Steady intensity, nonstop.  Mix 3-4 * 5 minute tempo reps  and a handful of 1 minute threshold reps.  No easy recovery after your reps- immediately resume your steady riding.

Bike Intervals. Early to middle base focus on tempo intervals with a smattering of threshold.  In the late base focus on threshold reps while maintaining tempo.  During the specific prep focus on tempo work while maintaining your threshold power.   (To maintain you only need to do some short reps.)

3. RUN. Quickly strap on your running shoes and go out for a 15-30 minute brisk run, start at steady and gradually raise your intensity to tempo.  If you can stretch one of these runs to an hour or so, you might be able to skip the hour run workout that you will try to do during the week.

Note that this workout can be as short as 5 minutes of swim cords exercises, 30 minutes of biking, and 15 minutes of running (50 minute). Commit to doing this at least 3 times per week, no matter how stressed out, helpless, or exhausted you might feel.   Also note that this program can be done when you travel.  Just bring your own stretch cords and find a gym with a bike and a treadmill.

We all need to draw a line in the sand– a minimum of training that we MUST do, no matter what happens in life (not counting injury or illness, of course).  And I suggest that this program should be that line.  If you’ve been training well and consistently, you can stay on this program for a week or two without losing fitness and you should be able to jump right back into your training plan as soon as your in-laws leave town.  And you can feel confident that even if all hell breaks loose, you will still have heavenly race results.

Thanks for reading

Andrew

I am doing the Ironman UK 2014 for Scope. You can sponsor me at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ironman

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TT / Tri or Road Bike?

November 29, 2013 | Posted in Equipment | By

As mentioned before. My road bike is not working at the moment which I think is down to the freewheel. I will get that fixed in the next couple of weeks but this has probably forced the issue that I need a new bike (don’t think my wife will agree with the need part). The problem is that the options are endless and I am by no means an expert in this field. However, before deciding on budget, frame material, frame size, chain sets, gearing etc etc etc, I will start with the key question; Tri or Road Bike?

Now it is time for my usual tactic of relying on a Google search to answer any of my questions;

After a quick search I quickly find a debate on a 220 Triathlon Forum which is specifically around the IMUK and its bike course (The course is changing for 2014 so I need to consider this when making my ultimate decision). The consensus seems to be strongly towards the TT / Tri Bike due to its added speed and the claim that it is “easier and better to run off a TT bike than a road bike” (I need to look more into this claim!) One of the key caveats, however, is that you need to be comfortable on the bike and be able to hold the aero position for long periods of time. I have put aero bars on my bike for the last two year so I have some experience of using them. Whether this is the same as using a TT bike itself I doubt very much.

It appears clear that the TT / Tri bike option is the one to go with if I want to improve my times next year. However, the one thing that I am still considering is how ‘social’ Tri bikes are and whether if I buy one will I still need a road bike for those sunny Sunday afternoon rides with my friends?

I will continue my search for the perfect bike and update as I progress.

Have a great weekend

Andrew

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