Tips from the Mount Line

We’ve had the pleasure of watching 2 triathlons in the past 10 days, at the first (BustinSkin’s “Race to the Bill”) we were marshalling the Mount line and at the second in Cardiff we stood at that point for a while. I can recommend it for entertainment value…It’s an eye opener for sure!

Here are some random observations:

  1. Make sure your bike is working properly after its journey, we had a chap at the RTTB who had fitted 25mm tyres and had failed to adjust the rear wheel to give enough clearance from the frame, he did complete the course but not without three false starts and lots of fiddling about. I’ve failed to do so myself. Many years ago I had to complete the (hilly) Fareham Triathlon on the big front ring as it wouldn’t change down after being bashed around on the way!
  2. Take the time to learn which way you will be going, and then even if you didn’t, listen to what the Marshal tells you
  3. Make sure your bike is left in the correct gear for the conditions you will face in the first 20m or so! We have seen people spinning way too fast and going nowhere and those who can barely turn the gear at all. The consequent weaving across the road gets in other people’s way and potentially causes accidents.
  4. Look up and not at your feet as this may save you riding into the curb and going over the handlebars.
  5. If you are going to leave shoes clipped on your bike then there is time to be saved if you can mount and get your feet in or on your shoes seamlessly but a whole new set of issues arises:
    a. PRACTICE! We saw more people waste time than gain it at Cardiff, Including one athlete who stopped and then decided to try to rip his shoes off the pedals by hand to get them on.
    b. Don’t forget to undo your shoes to give you half a chance to get your feet in!
    c. It may be an obvious thing but some cycle shoes are designed as Tri shoes and to be easy to get on in a hurry…some really aren’t.
    d. If using elastic bands make sure they are short or thin enough to actually break and not leave you permanently attached to some other part of your bike for the whole race.
    e. You don’t have to get your feet in and the straps done up in the first 10m. Get going first with your feet on top of your shoes (if you can’t slip them straight in) and wait for a suitable moment, if you watch the Brownlees and co. they will often ride some distance before attempting to put their feet in the shoes or doing the straps up.
    f. If trying a “flying mount” really don’t do it unless you have practised and are competent, I guess the bruises of the guy that tried it and went sprawling at the RTTB might have healed by now but I doubt his ego has….
    g. There probably isn’t much point in doing it if you’re going to insist on putting socks on in transition and then faffing about when you get to the mount line.
    Think about carrying your shoes and putting them on once you reach the start line if you don’t want to run in them.

Have a great race at the weekend wherever you are.

Slow down, take up gardening or bird watching…

Take the weight off your feet. Protect your fragile bones. Stop strenuous exercising. Don’t get your heart rate too high. Slow down. Take up gardening or bird watching. Act your Age.

Advice regularly heard  but it seems that nothing could be further from the truth and for longer life and fitness you must continue to push your physical and mental limits.

The good news for an endurance athlete getting older is that endurance can be maintained for much longer than strength and power. The bad news is that starting in your mid 30’s there is a decline in certain aspects of your fitness.

An important measure of fitness and performance is “VO2 max” (the maximum amount of oxygen that can be used by a person in athletic activity to produce energy) which can be improved through training, however, it declines sometimes by as much as 1% per year. Muscle mass declines taking Power and Strength with it as does elasticity in muscles and flexibility in joints.

Sadly this decline is a fact of life…..however you can do things that will slow it down and even halt it. Most important of these is to keep training! the biggest figures for the decline are in untrained individuals or worse still those who have been fit and then stop exercise.

What can I do about it?

If you don’t already have a strength and conditioning programme add strength training into your routine, in particular resistance (bodyweight or free weight) training at a high intensity using multiple joints can help towards maintaining and even increasing muscle mass.

Continue high impact training (including running) to stave off the potential onset of osteoporosis and to build strength but… as you get older you can be at greater risk of injury so it is very important to allow for more recovery time including sleep as well as rest. Sitting down is bad for you (I will do a later blog on this) generally but sometimes on balance recovery wins!

Add extra protein (around 35gm within an hour after training) to your diet and particularly in the make sure you get adequate calcium and vitamin D amongst other things.

Stretch and add Yoga or Pilates to your routine.

High Intensity. That’s is High intensity for YOU depending on your current fitness and how used you are to that type of training. Several times a week a high intensity workout should be scheduled in. We recommend at least one high intensity workout for each discipline per week for all athletes such as a speed intervals session in the pool, hill reps on the bike, or track or road intervals running. It is important given the risk of injury involved that you don’t do this type of work if you are just starting out.

If you’ve got any queries contact Lindsay or David via the website, Facebook, Twitter or email.

Competition phase training continues

14  1/4 hours for us this week including a 5 hour cycle and 2 1/4 hour run at the weekend. Its the tough end of the year but it’s also the part that pays dividends on race day! The full Outlaw is now less than 7 weeks away although there is the distraction of the BustinSkin “Race to the Bill” standard distance race for David on the 19th June.

Outlaw Half 2016

After travelling up to Nottingham on the Friday we went to Holme Pierrepoint on Saturday to register. Although we had been before when David competed in the full race last year the sheer length of the rowing lake still causes a catch of breath. Once registered we stayed to watch the Sprint races there on a lovely sunny afternoon and then attended the race briefing.

Next morning meant an early start to get some breakfast down and a final sort out of Kit and it was MUCH colder, time for a quick rethink on clothing on the bike, something warm that could be taken off with the promised improvement in the temperature later on.


David managed a somewhat disappointing 41 mins for the 1900m Lindsay a very rapid 36minutes. Respective times of 3:09 and 3:18 (with an unplanned diversion) and averages of 18mph were pleasing on the bike and then onto the run. As an early season race that was a stepping stone for the full race in July our times were pretty much where we expected. We eventually finished in 5:52 (David) and 6:25 (Linz) and 11th and 12th in our age groups. Things to work on before the full and now the training gets serious!!