Monthly Archives: February 2016

Winter base+week 17

With a month to go till Stirling I had decided that a race was in order so packed my gear and drove to 90 or so miles to Aboyne to take part in the Large edition of the Aboyne duathlon.  Based at Aboyne academy and organised by the local council it was a good event and comprised of a 2.7 mile run an 18.5 mile bike and a final run of 2.7 miles.  Well marked and flat course on a sunny day it really was a joy.  It showed me what work I need to do to try and better my Stirling time from last year.

Stats: Bike 49.3 miles in 3h 17 with 1371 ft of climb.

Run 14.2 miles in 2h 8 with 472 ft of climbing.

Race review:Aboyne Duathlon

Organised by Aberdeenshire council the Aboyne duathlon has 2 races, the little one with a 2.7 mile run a 9 mile bike and another 2.7 mile run, the large duathlon adds an extra lap of the bike course making it just over 18 miles.

I had decided to travel up to this to get an event in before Stirling.  Well run and laid out with showers and changing available at Aboyne academy the run and bike routes are flat and well marked.  The bike route sticks to the classic left turn only and it is when you are coming into T2 that you have to cross the road.

I had aimed for 1:45-1:50 and my time was 1:49:10 within my target but I wasn’t very happy.  I was particularly unhappy with my run to bike and my bike av speed.  Something to work on which was the whole idea of going up there anyway.  From that angle the day was a success.

The Aberdeenshire council run a series of races and if it wasn’t for the distance it would be worth going to them all.

Winter base+ week 16

The first week of the last training cycle before the Scottish duathlon champs at Stirling.  It turned out to be an eventful and very busy week and that would be without the training!

Training has gone up a gear intensity wise and I can feel the difference.  More attention to protein foods and shakes and better compression protocols are helping keep everything together and hopefully I will be lining up at Stirling in  top condition.

The stats:Bike 85.4 miles in 6h 46 with 4800 ft of climb.

Run 30 miles in 4h 41 with 1303 ft of climb.


I got the Ridley out this week and to be out on the open road after a winter of turbo felt absolutely amazing!  I have increased my training paces on the run and feel a lightness coming in again.

Winter base+ week 15

Final test week before the start of the final training cycle for Stirling.  With a break booked in York I did the bike test on Monday and finally took my Ridley off the turbo.  Next test will be race day!!


Bike 27.8 miles in 2h with 0 feet of climbing

Run 11.5 miles in 1h58 with 348 ft of climbing.

Results of the final tests were very good with my second best time on the Kirkcaldy park run and an average of 27.7 mph on my bike test.  Four weeks of training to go before the big day with a duathlon in a week to test race fitness.

Book review:Flesh wounds

Written by Chris Brookmyre.  It had been a while since I had picked up a Brookmyre and I had forgotten how  intricate the plots can be and how interwoven the characters and their interactions are.

A story of the Glasgow underworld involving a years old crime an ex marine and a private eye this is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat even when you begin to guess at the connections. One to read.

York…….a velocopedic adventure

Carol and I are planning on cycling the Garonne and Midi canals in France over 2 weeks in July.  Catching some sun and some days of Le Tour.  We travelled to York part holiday and part travel experiment at hauling bikes on and off trains and in and out hotels all useful stuff for the summer.

We left Kirkcaldy on a Tuesday on a local train, no booking required, to Edinburgh then changed onto a Cross country train which required booking. The transfer went without a hitch with the bike reservation tickets safely attached to the bikes and our seats not far from them.  A swift trip to York and we were wheeling our bikes through darkened streets in no time.  Carol had booked us into the Best Western right outside the Minster and with that edifice looming over the city it was not a problem finding our hotel.  The staff could not have been more helpful storing our bikes for us and helping with our panniers

We did not have a lot planned apart from walking the city walls, completing the treasure hunt similar to what we had done in Edinburgh, a visit to the Minster and some cycling.  Happily we got all this done and more.

On Wednesday we walked around the City wall something that has been on our bucket list for a wee while.  The wall is not complete so you come down off it a few times but a bonus is that it is well signed with plenty of information boards almost all of which I have forgotten of course!

We came off the wall and walked down by the river.  Although the worst of the flooding was over. There had been flooding at the weekend which had left some of the riverbank under a few feet of water.

We visited the Minster on Shrove Wednesday and were informed that it was free that day, unfortunately the undercroft was closed.  We elected to pay the fee and climb the 200+ steps to the top of the Central tower which afforded amazing views for miles on a startlingly clear day.

Inside the Minster was pretty amazing as well, they have a crew working full time on restoration with an apprentice scheme for stonemasons.

 On Thursday we went out for a cycle. Following cycle paths, signage and our noses.  On the way we found an amazing cycle emporium called Cycle Heaven and it was.  This shop had indoor bike parking and an amazing cafe as well as being chock full of shiny attractive bikes, books, clothing and accessories everything you could want.  Strangely it was Carol who came out the shop with a purchase and not I!

The break was drawing to a close and with our last day we completed a York treasure map from hunt This was similar to the hunt we had done in Edinburgh and was devised by the same company.  These treasure hunts tend to concentrate on areas and attractions that are slightly off the beaten track or off the wall.  Well worth a wee investment if you are heading for a city break and would like a small distraction.

Unfortunately the journey back with Virgin was not as uneventful as our trip down.  The train was almost an hour late and never made up any time.  Thankfully we were travelling first class so some free nutrition was very welcome.

During our time in York we ate at a number of establishments one I would highly recommend for it’s ale and food is House of the Trembling Madness.  Café wise there is afe 68 in Cycle Heaven and Crumbs Cupcakery both amazing.  A bit of a disappointment was the Reading café in Rowntree park.


Winter base+ Week 14

Another hard week training.  Spent time doing admin and focusing on the last 5 week block before Stirling.  I have decided that, if possible I will enter a race before Stirling just to test and adjust my kit.

Three pounds lost this week without much trying on my part!



Run- 22.5 miles, the weather made it almost a waste of time trying to do efforts but try I did, in 3h 52m with 550 ft of climb.

Bike-64.5 miles in 5h 39m 2150 ft.