matthew spooner

Latest posts by matthew spooner

09/09/2017 at 20:55

For most people it is true that their run HR is 10bpm higher than cycling, however, it is not always true; my background is similar to yours as a good cyclist, and initially my run was poor and had a much higher heart rate, however, as I have developed my muscles better for running, I find that my run and cycle HR is pretty much identical, in fact, I can probably sustain a higher HR while cycling.

It sounds like you have pretty good base fitness, put some time into running and you will find that you get much faster and your HR will come down

Just a word of caution, because you are pretty fit, your run will get faster before your body can adapt to the stress of running, as a result you could suffer knee, ankle, foot,thigh injuries, to avoid this, make sure you ramp your runs gradually 

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11/08/2017 at 08:36

It really depends on the fracture.

I fractured my collarbone in April, however, it was the least common type 3 - proximal 3rd. I was able to cycle on turbo immediately and was back on the road in just over 2 weeks

The most common type 1 fractures in the middle third will be much longer before you are riding outside again

.... I got away very lightly with my broken collarbone, however, injured my knee 8 weeks later and didn't run for 8 weeks, only running gently today

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06/08/2017 at 20:56

.... However, this research shows that running with an increase stride length puts a lot more pressure on your joints, especially legs

Before deciding whether to alter your running style and stride length, please don't focus solely on one piece of research, which is looking at a single aspect of running.

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14/07/2017 at 14:57

Di2 is much more of an advantage on a TT bike than a road bike. Ultimately you will end up with Di2 and a set of decent wheels, if not now then later.

Have a look at Walker Brothers wheels - less than £1000 a set, they are as fast as Zipps apparently (I just got a set of second hand ones - done less than 100 miles)

A Di2 upgrade can be done for £500-£600 if you buy bits on ebay (I did this over the winter)

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07/07/2017 at 11:34

I switched my 10 & 8 speed bikes to 11 speed because I had 3 bike and a tandem, 2 were 11 speed and one was 10 speed and the tandem was 8 speed. I was upgrading the tandem to drop down bars, so had to buy shifters, so made sense to go to 11 speed, I also decided to go to 11 speed for my 10 speed road bike - however, as that used Di2, I only needed front and rear derailleurs.

The main benefits of 11 speed - shifting is very smooth compared with 8 and 10 speed, on the Tandem it makes a massive difference.

Also on 10 speed you can't buy a Dura Ace Chain - an 11 speed DA chain is around £30 on CRC, and I am so impressed with this chain, and it really shifts so smoothly

The gaps in the ratios are also a bit tighter than on a 10 speed, I am a pretty good cyclist and do notice it, however, it is really marginal. For example if I am cycling on the 10 speed at a cadence of 95 rpm on the 20 tooth sprocket and I shift down a gear to an 18 tooth, my cadence drops to 85 rpm, however, if I have an 11 speed setup, I drop to a 19 tooth sprocket and my cadence is 90 rpm, however, it only impacts two gear change in this way. Alternatively you can use an 11-28 cassette on 11 speed with similar spacing to an 11-25 on a 10 speed.

In summary, 11 speed is a bit better than 10 speed, but only marginal gains. If your gears are getting sloppy, you need to change shifters, chain, cassette or derailleurs, then go for 11 speed. A 10 speed chainset works fine on 11 speed so no need to change that.

On the tandem, I went from a triple 8 speed setup to a compact 11 speed setup: Wow, it transforms the bike, my feeling is that a tandem works so much better with tight ratios

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04/07/2017 at 09:06

I really recommend that you join a Tri club. In our Tri Club in Salisbury, there are quite a few people who are just like you; we have coached swimming sessions, aimed at helping people to improve their technique. Not everyone in a tri club is a super fit elite athlete, the majority of people are just ordinary, average people, even the really good athletes will spend time to encourage the others.

If you don't want to join a tri club look on line at Swim Smooth or Speedo teaching videos. Rather than going back to old, poor technique, try to focus on developing a good technique. focus on one aspect, swim 2 lengths and have a 30 second rest, and repeat 10 time, don't worry about speed focus on technique. Try to get in the pool for 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week, and you will make very rapid progress

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04/07/2017 at 08:57

I went from 16 stone to 12 Stone over 12 months, this is what I did: Train without gels and just add water to your bottles. Reduce the number of beers just one or 2 at the weekend, dramatically reduce the amount of carbs in your diet - meat, cheese, milk, butter are all fine, reduce bread, rice, pasta - I was amazed how fast I lost weight doing this

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21/06/2017 at 13:43

If your ambition is to do one super sprint triathlon, and nothing else, then I don't think that any specific training is required, 4 * 30 minutes per week of exercise at 70% of you max Heart Rate is good enough to be fit and healthy

I recommend that you buy a good sports watch, Garmin 920XT is being heavily discounted at the moment as it has been replaced by the Forerunner 935 - the new watch is amazing, however, the 920XT is a great triathlon watch. Garmin connect website will help you track your fitness and activities

If you want to train so that you can do triathlons and build up to longer events. Trainer Road is a good place to start, you need to sign up, but they will provide a training program for you to follow and monitor your fitness/improvement.  

When I started, I didn't follow a structured program, I watched swim smooth and speedo videos on you tube, and went swimming once or twice per week, typically swimming between 1000 - 2000m trying to put into practice what I was watching, however, coached sessions are much better. 

For running, I did 5k parkrun and 1 other 5k run per week, I gradually built this up to a 10k run and a 5k run and 5k parkrun

For cycling, I started following a 10 mile route from my home, this initially took 40 minutes and I did it once or twice per week if the weather was good, in the winter I did 2 30 minute rides on the turbo trainer. There is almost certainly a cycling club locally, well worth joining as social cycling in a group is much nicer

I started 2 years ago, when I weighed 16 stone, I am now 11 stone and training for an Ironman (which involves many more hours)


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21/06/2017 at 12:40

With a super sprint tri you don't need to be strong in running or swimming. if you can do a 10k run you will be fine with a super sprint - there are lots of triathlons in most regions, so shouldn't be hard to find one locally

With running, build up slowly so that you don't injure yourself; when I started, I found taking part in Parkrun every Saturday to be the thing that got me motivated - There will be a Parkrun close to you, and it is an excellent fun event, but you will also challenge yourself to improve your PB.

Join a Tri club - Where I live, we have all abilities, different levels of fitness, different ages and a healthy balance between men and women. Tri clubs are not elitist, and provide excellent coaching for swimming and running, coaches are volunteers but properly qualified.

There is a fun/super sprint in York on 2 July, which looks ideal

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16/06/2017 at 14:44

What is your power? Do you have a power meter?

Not sure if local clubs provide coaching, however, there are normally good cyclists who will be happy to give you advice. most clubs have a fast group who will ride at 21mph+ for 30-50 miles

I am not an expert, but it looks like you would benefit from a longer stem - a good bike fit will help you setup your bike so that you adopt a more aero position

TT bars will give you some benefit, however, on a road bike, the biggest drawback is that you will be constantly shifting back to the bars to change gear, unless you have DI2, then you can shift from TT bars and from the drops

If you have a local gym with a Watt Bike, that can be really helpful for improving your pedaling technique, a friend of mine who races criteriums, does a couple of sessions every week on the Watt bike to improve technique

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