The National Triathlon Show – A quick write up.

So today I visited the National Triathlon Show at the Olympic Velopark in East London. It is local to me and when I saw complimentary tickets available in my 220 tri mag back in October, I signed up for them.

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So was it any good?

Well there were some good things that came of it for me, but in general I would have to say overall it was pretty disappointing. I went to the other triathlon exhibition held at the Excel in February and this in my opinion does not compete. It is far smaller. I did attend the event last year where it was held at Sandown Race Course. There were fewer vendors this year, no endless pools and far less bargains to be had. It was also noted that I didn’t see any guest speakers or demonstrations happening.

So what was good I hear you say?

Well I bought a wetsuit! A new Zone 3 Aspire 2016. At the show it was £299 but I managed to get it for £250 with a free trip kit chucked in which included googles, race belt and elastic laces. I also managed to speak to someone in regards to a Ceepo tri bike. What comes of this I will let you know.

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If I had paid for this ticket and had to travel to the show then it would have been incredibly disappointing. Because I didn’t have to do either of these and I was out of there in two hours, I felt I didn’t waste too much of my day.

I think in future I may stick to the show at the excel in February. Far more choice and a lot more going on!

Happy Tri-ing!

 

Nerja – Spain

Two weeks holiday! God I love Easter break. It gives me a real chance to unwind and relax. It also provides me with the opportunity to concentrate on training and have a little more flexibility about when I do things.

Since the half marathon, I have a had a little break from running for the last three weeks and have completed just two runs in that time. One on holiday in Spain. If you have never heard or been to Nerja (southern Spain, around 40 miles east of Malaga), then I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful place and the weather was great. I also thought it would be a great chance for me to get some miles under my belt on the bike.

Nerja is based on the coast. The surrounding area is incredibly hilly but very scenic. The only flat route I found was on the coastal road heading back towards Malaga. Any other way is up and down. It is tough riding, but if you love climbing, then there is plenty available.

I didn’t get quite the number of miles under my belt as I wanted, which ended up just over 80, but I certainly got a lot of climbing in. I hired a nice Trek bike from cycling country.com who I had found on the web. They are certainly not the cheapest and I also paid for them to deliver it on our day of arrival. This was the reason I went with this rental company as the local bike shop was closed when we arrived and the following day (Sunday) meaning I lost out on a few days cycling. We are planning to return to the area next year but I think I will go with the local shop as I only cycled for 4 days we were there and the drop off was a two hour round trip.

What I couldn’t believe also was that I had got another cold when there – my 4th this year!!! How’s your luck? I have linked few of the routes I did below:

First trip to get a feel for the bike: 17.9 miles 2028ft climbing

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1101324024

Ride 2 – 33.4 miles 961ft

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1102731443

Ride 3 – 22.94 miles 2405ft

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1104080248

Ride 4 – 14.41 miles 1230ft

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/1107759392

The last ride was really beautiful and I wish I had taken the route sooner in the week. The road was more or less empty as the motorway runs almost parallel to the coastal road, meaning this is quite clear and the road surfaces were excellent. It would have been nice to get out a little earlier but it wasn’t light enough until around 7:30/7:45am.

I also completed one tough run of just under 5 miles on the last day. Since returning from Nerja, I have continued to ride and should have a good mileage count for March and April. My focus is now to go back to my swimming, which I have done vey little of since being off.  I’ve also had my first sports massage of the year to try and work on my lower back. When this tightens up along with my glutes, it causes hamstring and knee issues. So I thought it be wise to act now.

Anyway, tomorrow I head to the 220 National triathlon show at the Olympic Velopark where I will check out a few of the show highlights. Check back as I will write a quick review of the show and the bits I see!

Thanks for reading.

 

The real cost of triathlon…

Triathlon is great. I love taking part and training for it. When speaking to friends or other people about what I do in my spare time, they often say you must need a lot of equipment and it must cost a fortune. This got me thinking. Is this a question that can simply be answered yes or no? Can triathlon be completed on a budget? What is the minimum equipment you would need? How much does it really cost?

My view is that is not a cheap sport, although it can be done on a budget. Yes we can all pick up a cheap bike, or possibly possess one. We probably own a pair of trainers and swim kit, which in theory means we have the means to take part. So you want to enter a triathlon?

First up – Pick a race. If it is close to home, great! No need to travel too far or possibly add the cost of a hotel to stay somewhere the night before. Entry fees from around £40-£100 and that is anything up to standard distance. You want Ironman? Well stump up a couple of hundred quid! Not that cheap is it?

Training – The fun bit for me! Training is great but you need to make sure you have the necessary equipment to do it. If not…go purchase it. This is where counting the pennies comes in. Really, we all want to save money! If your race is in open water, you may need to purchase a wet suit. You can pick one up for around £90. Don’t forget the cost to use the pool each week or the upkeep of training gear.

Race day approaches – Do I have everything I need is often the question that I ask myself? Well after some time in the sport, I have managed to build up my resources which if I were to buy in one fell swoop, may leave me light in my pocket. Essentials are the things to think about here. What are you going to race in? Have you got simple things like a helmet, water bidon or bag to carry things in? Oh and don’t forget the the lube!

Triathlon is as expensive as YOU make it. Yes there is an initial cost and if you really want to improve, take part in a number of races each season, get better gear, then the amount of money you spend on it will start to rack up. When compared to a single discipline sport like running or football, triathlon is hugely more expensive. Entry fees to races are ridiculous and as for the price of gear…well.

The thing is I am lucky enough to be able to afford what I do. I like to make a weekend of it and make my family part of it. This usually means two nights in a hotel somewhere close. Add on the cost of meals and other bits and bobs plus what it has cost to enter, then you are looking at a very expensive weekend. Some people do not have this luxury and do not wish to do it like this. We are all different. So when people now say it must cost a fortune…what do I say?  The short answer is ‘yes’. But I’m sure there are people out there who would answer differently, but I also believe that they are a very small minority.

The sport is definitely growing. How come? Media and the Olympics have opened us up to triathlon. The market is ultra competitive and the range of gear and savvy buyers out there are taking advantage of great deals. It is slowly becoming more accessible but still has a long way to go.

Until next time…happy tri-ing!