Monthly Archives: April 2016

Review-Compression socks

I am a great believer in compression and have tights, shorts, calf guards and socks.  When I saw that Aldi were going to do socks for a measly £4 I thought that is too good to be true.  However I have several items bought there and have not been disappointed so far so I thought I would give them a try.

The first thing to note is that if you run in Brooks Raveanna 5’s they will co-ordinate lovely.  Unfortunately the good news ends there.  The socks are almost knee length which is fine, the foot part of the sock (6-8.5) is too big and I found that it wrinkled easily.  I could not feel any compression in the foot ankle or Achilles area whatsoever and only very light compression in the calf.

Wrap up: £4 is cheap for sports socks and that’s fine but as a compression garment these socks are sadly lacking.

IMHO don’t buy!

Apollo Duathlon week

An easy week for me this week with an off road duathlon at the end of it.

Total training for the week was 3 yoga classes, 2 weights sessions I ran 12.7 miles in 1h 50 with 881 ft of climbing and biked 46.5 miles in  5h25m with 2065ft of climbing.

The review of the race is on this site as is a blog on a trip to Edinburgh with Carol.

Apollo Duathlon-Race review

The Apollo duathlon is set in the Cairngorms in the Balmoral estate a more scenic race you could not ask for.  It is an off road duathlon with the first run billed as 6K the Bike as 16K and the second run as 4K.  Not what my garmin told me but hey ho that’s not unusual.

The race starts at 09:30 so an early rise if you elect to drive up from Fife on the day.  The first run takes you along past the castle and by the riverside you continus along estate roads till you start climbing and from then on its a mix of forest trails and landrover tracks quite good surface to run on with the occasional root and boulder to watch out for.  Distance 3.92miles, Climb 315 ft and Time 31:09

The bike started out on the estate roads again and went past the castle and the turn off point for the run and headed out towards Lochnagar looking splendid in a cloak of sparkling snow.  The ascent was over a mix of terrain sand, granite boulders and more estate roads but the descent was a lot better mainly on forest tracks.  Distance 9.75miles, climb 651ft and Time 54:47.

The second run was over the same route as the first with some cut off.  Dist 3.03 mile, Climb 321ft and time 25:46.


A wee Visit to Edinburgh

Sometimes the best rides are those that are a bit more off the cuff than planned turn by turn that was Wednesday’s ride with Carol.  With good weather forecast and an unfinished trundle around cycle paths in the capital still on our agenda we headed over to Auld Reekie by train with a couple of objectives but no fixed plan.

Carol wanted to visit Evans and Edinburgh Bike Co-op to take a look at panniers for our trip to France so with some sort of loose plan we headed for the train station and the 10:33 to South Gyle.  We headed along the path that you can see from the train when you come in from Fife to Edinburgh and cut off along the Water of Leith and the Union Canal to the Canal Basin at Fountainbridge. Once at the basin Evans is literally up the road about 200m.  We spent about 45 mins in the shop and Carol tried a set of panniers on her Pug whilst I queried the guy about a Tour de Fer 20.  We both left the shop empty handed and retraced our steps back to the canal basin for lunch in the sun.  A sharing platter of smorgasbord. 

Once we had eaten we mounted our trusty steeds again and pedalled off to the Meadows and Edinburgh Bike Co-op.  Once again Carol tried a set of panniers on her Pug, the shop’s own brand whereas the others had been Altura.   The Bike Co-op had a Tour de Fer 10 in but not a 20 so once again we left a bike shop empty handed!  After a bit of to and froing on the path and a 180 degree turn we headed in the direction of the Forth.

Our next stop was Go Outdoors which was the other side of the town and meant cycling thru the city centre with not only traffic to contend with but TRAM LINES!!! 

 It must be said we negotiated both obstacles safely and were soon whizzing down Scotland Street on our way to Leith and Go Outdoors.  It has been a while since I have been in the shop and it looks a great deal better than it used to with good prices on well known brands.  The Leith shop has a large selection of bikes from Orbea, Viking and some other brands it also does servicing.  After a quick look round we left and headed for a cafe.   It was approaching 5 by this time and although we had not done many miles it was great in the sun and good practice for pedalling down the canals in France although it might be slightly warmer there.  We stopped at a cafe just down from the Botanics and consumed a waffle each and a pot of Earl Grey.  The waffles were amazing and so light. 

Fed and watered we headed to Waverley station and the train home.  The station now has a bike lane going down into it this was news to us and whilst I managed to get onto it Carol couldn’t and proceeded to cycle down the pedestrian way.  At the bottom of the path she was approached by a man in blue and told to use the bike lane next time.  Fine officer but your van is parked right in the middle of it!  With 45 mins till the next train we decided to head outside and try and catch what was left of the sun in Princess Street Gardens.  Unfortunately they were being locked up so after a quick circuit of the gardens we headed back to the station and our train home.

So with 21 miles pedalled 800ft climbed 3 bike shops visited and more of the capital’s bike paths explored it was rather a good day!!

Brooks Ravenna 5-Shoe review

I have been running in Adidas boost for over 3 years now and found them to be very good, however I was never really happy with my latest purchase from the range and decided that I needed a change leading up to the Jungfrau.

I took myself up to St Andrews for a shoe fitting at Podofit.  I had not visited Podofit before and had always recommended stores in Dundee or Edinburgh that I was familiar with so this was new territory for me.

The shop is bright and well laid out it is rather small and does not stock much in the way of clothing but I was here for shoes.  The shop stocks Brooks, Saucony and New Balance all shoes I had worn before but I had not worn Brooks since they first developed the Kinetic Wedge which I think was sometime in the early 90’s!

We went through the usual routine, discussing shoes worn, looking at what I was currently wearing  and walking up and down the shop with various pairs on.  I had been wearing normal shoes for over 8 years now but was told that I was pronating slightly and might be better with a bit of support.

After almost an hour I eventually settled for a pair of Brooks Ravenna 5’s last years model and on sale for £80.

My first run in the red and white Ravennas was the Fife Ac Beveridge Park 5K.  They felt strange at first with the slight rise in the instep but I soon got used to them and by the end of the run was feeling really comfortable in them.  Time 22:48 which I was well pleased with.

Verdict on the Brooks Ravenna good shoe well worth looking at if you fancy a change.

France here we come.

Finally got the last trains booked in France for our trip down the Garrone and Midi canals in July.  Carol and I will be cycling down from Bordeaux to Sete and of course there will be a blog.  Meanwhile we are getting things organised and have got a few trial rides planned to test our equipment and packing skills.  Carol has spent time in the region and even has a friend living near Carcasonne.  We are both looking forward to the trip and of course here is the added bonus of seeing 3 of the Tour’s stages!


Post Stirling week

What a week that was full of ups and downs!

The launch and first tour of Scottish Bike touring, my first full week at my new gym including classes with a new yoga teacher, fourth in GTC easter fun run, the funeral of my cousin, meeting another cousin whom I hadn’t seen in years, more time that originally planned with Carol and a good weeks training just solid miles ticking over till next week and the introduction of speed work for my next race.

Training this week:  Bike 60 miles in 6h 26m with 3200 ft climb.

Run 11 miles in 1h 42m with 748 ft.