Episode 172 – JOHN KELLY – ‘The Grand Round’

Episode 172 of Talk Ultra is here… We bring you a full and in-depth interview with John Kelly about his amazing journey to attempt The Grand Round  in the UK and the Godfather of Trail, Kurt Decker is co-hosting.
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Speedgoat is currently on ‘The Longtrail” with Belz (his crewman from the AT)
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ZEGAMA
Eli Anne Dvergsdal won in 4:36 and finished just 1:39 off Maite Maiora‘s2017 course record. Elisa Desco was a second in 4:47 and Amandine Ferrato was third, only eight seconds behind Desco. King Kilian Jornet won the race for a record ninth time, his time 3:52. Revelation (mark this name) Bartłomiej Przedwojewski was second in 3:55 and Thibaut Baronian was third in 3:56.
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USM – Ultra Skymarathon Madeira
Pere Aurell beat Beñat Marmissolle by 2mins, 6:06 to 6:08. Daniel Jung was a close third in 6:12. Maria Koller won in 7:20. Ekaterina Mityaeva was second in 7:22 and Ester Casajuana was third in 7:34
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THRESHOLD TRAINING by Marc Laithwaite

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Is ‘Threshold’ the most misunderstood sports physiology term? It certainly does cause confusion and in many cases, a runner’s perception of threshold is different. Marc Laithwaite takes a look and strips it back-to-basics.

What is threshold?

To start this conversation, we need to first point out that there are many different types of threshold and this is where the confusion begins. To give a few examples:

1. Lactate threshold

2. Aerobic / Anaerobic threshold

3. Ventilatory threshold

4. Functional threshold

There’s lots of magazine articles which outline the benefits of calculating your threshold and how you can use it for training purposes, but many of them are poorly written and incorrect, so here’s our low down.

Lactate Threshold

You can complete a lactate threshold test by cycling or running, gradually increasing your pace and taking finger prick blood samples at regular intervals to measure lactate in the blood. As the exercise gets harder, the lactate levels will increase.

There are technically 2 lactate threshold points. The first one is very early in the test, when your lactate levels start to rise above their resting levels. In practical terms, if you can hold a full conversation whilst riding your bike, then suddenly you feel that your breathing rate rises slightly, this is your true ‘lactate threshold’. This occurs very early and generally the heart rate at your lactate threshold will be the border of zone 1 and zone 2, so relatively comfortable.

As the test continues your breathing will get harder and harder and then you’ll reach a second lactate threshold. Up until this time your lactate has been steadily rising, but this is followed by a sudden and sharp kick upwards. As the test continues, your lactate will continue to rise sharply and you’re on borrowed time… you will be stopping soon as the lactate accumulates in your muscles. This second and sharp ‘kick up’ or ‘deflection point’ is what we tend to incorrectly refer to as ‘lactate threshold’. This is the figure that most people have completed the test for, technically, this is the ‘lactate turn-point’ or ‘Onset of Blood Lactate Accumulation’ (OBLA).

So why should I measure my lactate threshold / lactate turn-point?

Well, your lactate threshold is a very good marker for many endurance events. Optimal Ironman bike pace tends to be very close to lactate threshold for many people (for training zones we use, it’s the border of zone 1 / 2, but this is not the case for other calculated zones).

The lactate turn-point is the measurement that most people really want to find out. When does my lactate start to rapidly accumulate, what’s the running speed / heart rate / power output at that point? Many magazine articles generally state that your hard / sustained exercise pace coincides with lactate turn-point, but in practical terms, that’s incorrect.

Let’s give an example of a runner who completes a lactate turn-point test and we calculate the heart rate at lactate turn-point to be 165bpm. If we ask this runner what their heart rate generally is during a 5-10k race, they will generally give is a figure 5-8 beats higher than the lactate turn-point. Initially this is confusing, as most people think that the heart rates will match. In terms of calculating heart rate training zones, we will therefore have to guess by adding 5-8 beats to the lactate turn-point, to calculate a ‘threshold heart rate’.

So why do a lactate threshold / lactate turn-point test?

Lactate testing does provide some information, but it can also be relatively limited in it’s use. One of the key things it does provide is a bench mark. If you repeat the test and the turn-point occurs at a later speed or power output, then your fitness has improved. From a coaching perspective, if we want to use the test results to provide coaching advice and training zones, then it’s not the best option for us to choose.

So what’s the other options?

Aerobic/Anaerobic and Ventilatory thresholds can be calculated by measuring expired gases and breathing rates during testing. These tend to fall much more accurately as predictors or training intensities. Functional threshold, is a completely different concept.

We don’t need to take blood (as we do for lactate) to measure these thresholds. They can be calculated by measuring the air going in and out of your lungs. Primarily, there are 3 things we measure, how quickly you’re breathing, how much air moves in and out and what the air is made up of e.g. oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The role of carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is a waste product produced by muscles and other tissues. It’s pretty toxic so when we produce it, we need to get rid of it. Your body has sensors which detects when carbon dioxide level increase, it triggers your breathing rate to speed up so you can exhale it.

When you run harder, you need more oxygen so you breathe harder; yes?

Technically yes, although the main trigger is carbon dioxide. When you start to run, you produce CO2, this triggers breathing and heart rate to go up. The harder you work, the more CO2 you produce, this triggers breathing and heart rate to increase further.

How do we use this to calculate thresholds?

This is very simple. We can measure the increase in breathing rate when you exercise and we can measure how much oxygen your body absorbs. When you breathe faster, you do it for 2 reasons: to get more oxygen in and to remove waste carbon dioxide. If your breathing rate goes up but your body doesn’t absorb any more oxygen as a result, then you must be breathing faster for the other reason… to get rid of carbon dioxide.

Calculating thresholds

During a cycle or run testing session, there are 2 key thresholds. The aerobic threshold occurs quite early, this is the point when your breathing rate increases above rest. The best example of this is being able to exercise and hold a full conversation, then as the pace increases, you notice a change in your breathing and can’t hold a full conversation. This threshold occurs quite early during an exercise test.

As the exercise test gets harder, your breathing rate increases steadily to match. Eventually you hit a second ‘anaerobic threshold’ point where your breathing starts to rapidly increase. During a 10k / 5k running race at your fastest pace, your breathing will be fast and hard, but it will remain ‘stable’. If you push the pace just a little too much, it becomes ‘unstable’ and you start to hyperventilate. The only way to change this is to slow down and regain control of breathing.

These 2 thresholds can be measured during a Vo2 max testing session, by using a mask and gas analysis machine. Their description sounds similar to lactate thresholds but we find that the heart rate calculations are generally higher than during a lactate threshold test. Measuring thresholds as above tends to be more accurate for most athletes, when lactate threshold tends to calculate lower than expected and is therefore less practical.

Ventilatory threshold

The test we’ve outlined above involves the measurement of breathing rate to identify changes, for this reason, they are often referred to as ventilatory thresholds (VT). Next time you are riding with a friend and approaching a hill, listen to their breathing (and your own) and you can identify the 2 thresholds. Start at an easy conversation pace and climb steadily, the conversation will soon stop at VT1. Continue to climb and increase the pace and your breathing will become more laboured but still under control. For the last few minutes, ride at a pace which is harder than you can sustain, you’ll sense and hear your breathing rapidly increasing beyond control, this is VT2. On a long, hard climb, most people know where their VT2 is, and instinctively ride/run a few beats below it, to ensure that they don’t ‘blow!!’.

Now we’re talking ‘functional threshold’ which is a term more commonly used amongst cyclists in particular.

What is functional threshold?

The clue is in the name ‘functional’. The lactate / anaerobic / ventilatory thresholds are all valuable physiological markers but what’s their practical use? A cyclist riding a time trial really only needs to know one thing, how much power can they sustain for the full ride. The more power they can sustain, the faster they will complete the course.

There is often a misunderstanding with regards to lactate / anaerobic threshold. If you visit a lab and have your lactate threshold measured, that doesn’t tell you the power or speed you are able to sustain for a long period of time. To find the answer to that question, there is a more simple / practical / functional approach. Simply get on your bike and ride as hard as you can for an hour, then you’ll know the answer.

Functional Threshold Power

The FTP is a real ‘buzz term’ in cycle coaching and I’m sure most cyclists and triathletes will have heard it mentioned by someone at some point! FTP is quite simply the highest amount of power you can average for an hour. To complete this test, you need a power meter on your bike or turbo trainer.

Riding for an hour on the turbo is a killer!! So to get round that, most people complete a 20 minute test and take the average power reading. If you then calculate 95% of that figure, that’s your predicted FTP (average power for hour). For example:

1. Bob completes a 20 minute maximal test and averages 250 watts.

2. 95% of 250 = 237.5, this is Bob’s FTP and what he should be capable of holding for an hour.

Is this just for cycling or can it be used for running and swimming?

The issue with running and swimming is that you don’t have access to power data, so you can’t calculate the figures as you can with cycling. Having said that, the functional threshold is really just a ‘practical test’ to calculate what you can hold for a period of time.

Swimmers will often complete a ‘critical swim test’ which is basically the same thing. The test is simply swimming as far as you can in 20 minutes. For running, the same applies, you could complete a 15-20 minute test and measure distance on the running track.

So why are functional tests popular?

They’re popular because they are very practical. If you want to find out how fast you can complete a 25 miles time trial, the figure which is most likely to give you the answer is how much power can you average for an hour. Doing a lab test to calculate your lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold is valuable and useful for many reasons, but it will not give you the answer to the above question. Ultimately, functional tests tell you how fast you can swim/cycle/run for a set period of time and that’s the best indicator of race performances.

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

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Training is like baking – Marc Laithwaite

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In recent posts, we’ve been talking about enhancing fat burning to boost endurance. This week’s post was due to focus upon pacing strategy for training and competing and specifically how pacing interacts with the types of fuel you use when exercising. However, as we’ve been discussing Maffetone in recent weeks, I’ve had a few messages stating that I’ve contradicted myself. The reason for this is that I am a believer in the importance of short and high intensity workouts for endurance performance. In the past I have outlined the danger of too much low intensity riding and running, specifically how it makes you slower. I understand why this may be seen as contradictory, so let me explain…

If you are competing in Ironman, one of the things you need to consider is your estimated time and pacing strategy on the bike section. To calculate your ‘race pace’ a simple and popular test is the cp20. During this test, the rider is required to sustain the highest power output for a 20 minute period and from the results, you can calculate your ‘functional threshold’. Some of you may have heard these strange terms before but in simple terms your ‘functional threshold’ is the output you should feasibly be able to manage for an hour. The calculation is simple, look at the average power for the 20 minute test and 95% of that figure is your functional threshold

Using functional threshold you can guess the amount of power that in theory you can sustain for all distances up to the Ironman 112. For example, 70% of your functional threshold is a reasonable target for Ironman. The critical thing here is that the power you can hold for only 20 minutes (a very short period of time) predicts Ironman pace. So, if you cannot ride quickly for 20 minutes, you will undoubtedly be riding slowly in Ironman over a distance of 112 miles, as 70% of ‘slowly’ is ‘even slower’. A common mistake people make when training for long distances is that they focus on endurance only and ride lots of slow miles. They ‘get it in their heads’ that Ironman is all about ‘the distance’ so ride long and slow. As a result of doing so much slow riding, their 20 minute power output is reduced to a score potentially even lower than when they started! Subsequently, their Ironman pace (70% FTP) is therefore also reduced.

So the solution is simple, just train to produce the highest power output for 20 minutes by doing short and high intensity riding and you’ll PB in Ironman? Unfortunately not… The test dictates your Ironman pace from the amount of power you can produce within the 20 minutes. However, the critical part is that the test also presumes that you have done the mileage, so therefore have the endurance to support your performance.

The same applies to running and training for a marathon. Let’s say as a ‘guess’ that if you double your 10k time and add 4-5 minutes, you’ll be close to your half marathon time. Now double your half marathon time and add 10 and you’ll get your predicted marathon time. You’ve probably heard that formula before, it’s been around for many years. The key thing to point out is that when using that formula, your 10k time is therefore dictating your marathon time. As with our cycling example, if you can’t run quickly for 10k, you can’t run a fast marathon.

However, the formula of double 10k and add 4-5 minutes or double half marathon and add 10 presumes that you have ‘done the mileage’. You can’t just train for 10k racing and expect to run a great marathon. Your 10k time will ‘predict’ your running speed in the marathon, but without the mileage in your legs, you won’t be able to hold that pace for the entirety of the race.

So let’s look at it this way:

  1. The 20 minute test in cycling or the 10k time in running tells you how quickly you are capable of riding or running Ironman or marathon.
  2. Whether you have done the long distances in training will determine whether you are actually capable of maintaining that speed and reaching the finish line in your target time.
  3. As a quick summary, ‘how fast can you go and can you keep it going?’

The simple lesson to learn here is that both long-term endurance and maximal output over shorter distances are equally important for performance. If you choose one but not the other, you’ll either manage the distance ‘comfortably but slowly’ or you’ll go quickly at the start and die a painful death at the end. Don’t dismiss either of these key factors if you want to hit your target time.

To finish, I’ll go back to something, which I mentioned 3 weeks ago, when writing about the Maffetone formula. Each training intensity, level or zone has it’s own benefits and purpose. Too frequently athletes do their easy stuff too hard and their hard stuff too easy, as a consequence the sessions merge into one grey area of moderate intensity. When riding or running in zone 1, there are specific benefits, which are lost when you push too hard. When attempting a high intensity interval workout you will not gain the specific benefits of that session if you do not push hard enough.

Training is like baking, you need to put lots of different, but high quality ingredients together or you’ll find that on race day the whole thing will just taste a bit bland.

Go forwards endurance students, train well and practice burning the fat

– Marc Laithwaite

About Marc:

Sports Science lecturer for 10 years at St Helens HE College.

2004 established The Endurance Coach LTD sports science and coaching business. Worked with British Cycling as physiology support 2008-2008. Previous Triathlon England Regional Academy Head Coach, North West.

In 2006 established Epic Events Management LTD. Now one of the largest event companies in the NW, organising a range of triathlon, swimming and cycling events. EPIC EVENTS also encompasses Montane Trail 26 and Petzl Night Runner events.

In 2010 established Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 LTD. This has now become the UKs leading ultra distance trail running event.

In 2010 established The Endurance Store triathlon, trail running and open water swimming store. Based in Appley Bridge, Wigan, we are the North West’s community store, organising and supporting local athletes and local events.

Check out the endurance store HERE

Endurance Store Logo

CYCLING for RUNNERS – Girl What Cycles – 1

Niandi PHOTO

Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah!
Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah!

©Queen

Check out ALL the CYCLING for RUNNER articles HERE

So where do I start? Not quite sure but I am sure that cycling will firm up those weak “runner glutes” and make me a stronger ultra-runner!

But first let me put my story into perspective. I am NOT an ex-elite cyclist like a certain Mr. Talk Ultra. More like a false beginner – I’ve certainly dabbled in road biking and have recently decided to take it a little further and invest myself more seriously in cycling as a cross-training alternative.

What motivated this decision? Cycling is a weight-bearing form of cardio-vascular exercise which is perfect for:

  • Training during certain running-related injuries and maintaining cardiovascular fitness. I feel directly impacted by this as I have for the past 3 years had to cut down on my mileage and participation in long-distance events due to a foot injury. I heel strike on the right foot and after 2 decades of road and trail running my arch has collapsed and the spring ligament which is distended. The human foot has an arch much like the ones in some bridges and other architectural structures. And much like these man-made structures it is a useful engineering phenomenon with the tendons and spring ligament working together to provide “lift off”. A collapsing arch can be caused by injury or ageing. I don’t want to go down the road of orthotics and strengthening my foot muscles requires a reduction in mileage and as I hate aqua jogging cycling seemed like a good option!
  • Cross-training to prevent over-training and a sudden increase in mileage. If you are not already injured as I am cycling is an effective means of preventing running-related injuries or at least reducing the risk. I wish I had taken up cycling before to prevent all those running-related injuries the damage of which is irreversible.

This will not be the first time I use cycling to maintain fitness. A few years ago I was training for a 100-miler and felt excruciating pain when I went out for a run. My suspicions were confirmed by the radiologist. I had multiple stress fractures of the metatarsals caused by a sudden increase in mileage combined with calcium deficiency. This is not uncommon for female ultra-runners. I was told ‘RICE’ (rest, ice, compress, elevate) was what was required. Only problem – I had invested financially and time-wise my 100-miler in South Africa was just 5 weeks away. So I laid off running for 5 weeks and cycled intensely (psychologically I didn’t want to feel undertrained and it was far too early to taper). The 5-week rest from running did me the world of good and by the time I got to the start line the bones in my foot had healed and very little fitness had been lost due to my cycling. In addition to this although I didn’t get my “runner’s high”, I did get a fix from cycling and I didn’t gain any weight.

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You only have to look at female athletes like Nathalie Mauclair, Emilie Forsberg and Emilie Lecomte to realize that cross-training can be beneficial and help you stay injury-free, add variety and spice to your running by stimulating other group muscles and ultimately increase the longevity of your run career whether you are a professional or not.

Well now that I’ve sold the benefits of cycling for runners let me tell you about my dabbling with the sport:

I grew up in the Netherlands where kids are born on bikes so I started cycling relatively long distances when I was 5 – at weekends it wasn’t uncommon for us kids to cycle 20km to the pancake restaurant, eat up a massive Dutch pancake and cycle 20km back home. Then as I grew up into a lazy teenager I put away my bike and only took up cycling again when I was injured as a runner.

Niandi PHOTO

The revelation really came when I attended a triathlon camp in Lanzarote run by my partner Ian Corless who was an ex elite cyclist very keen on triathlon and IM training. Lanzarote is a cyclists’ paradise and here I learnt to use clipless pedals and more importantly experience the thrill of cycling through endless stretches of volcanic landscapes, against strong head-on winds and down scary descents…! I loved it but I didn’t have my own bike and so cycling was limited.

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I am now more than motivated to progress, mix things up and not only provide some spice to my training but also I know, cycling will make me a better runner. I hope that my input as a “novice” or “false beginner” who can provide a female perspective will help all of you, especially female ultra-runners out there who want to improve as runners.

So let the fun begin…

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Life is like a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving – Albert Einstein

 

Ladies, I would love to hear from you… tell me your stories, tell me how you are using cycling for running and importantly, have you got any cycling gossip?

Follow me on Twitter @girlwhatcycles

#CyclingforRunners

 

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CYCLING for RUNNERS – Article 2 Recovery, Cadence, Long Sessions and Strength

Cycling for Runners HEADER2

In article 1 of CYCLING for RUNNERS we discussed finding the correct sized bike and then how to fit the bike. Niandi and myself ride the same size bike (52cm) however, our experience on a bike are different. I have been riding and racing bikes for years whereas Niandi is new and very much on a learning curve in using cycling to improve her running. Also, our morphology is different. Niandi has a slightly longer leg whereas my torso is longer.

My bike is a SCOTT Addict 10. It’s a stiff bike, made of carbon and it’s all about speed. The geometry is classic race geometry with a 74deg seat angle. It’s fast, sometimes a little twitchy but really grips the road.

Scott Addict 10

Niandi’s bike by comparison is a SCOTT Solace 20. It’s a new breed of bike from SCOTT that provides comfort and performance with relaxed geometry. It’s still a super light bike but for long days in the saddle or for the novice cyclist, this bike will certainly help ease the transition. Also, importantly the ‘reach’ of the Solace is less than the Addict. As we mentioned in bike fit, we can tweak saddle, height, handlebars and stem to ensure that our bikes work for us.

Solace 20

So, how is your bike? Do you have it set up properly and do you feel comfortable? Before progressing with some specific cycling sessions on how to improve, we wanted to provide you with several key bullet points why cycling can benefit you as a runner.

You may well have turned to cycling in the past because YOU HAD TO! Yes, we all get injured and as an injured runner we are usually desperate to get an endorphin kick, maintain fitness and reduce impact. Step in cycling…

Although cycling is great as that ‘alternative’ to running, why not think ahead and plan cycling into your weekly schedule to avoid that injury that is almost certainly waiting to happen. 

RECOVERY

Injured or recovering from hard run training, cycling provides great ‘active’ exercise with no impact. We have often heard the phrase, recovery run! But does a recovery run really exist? 20/30 or 40mins of easy running is still creating impact through all your joints and muscles, even if you do not elevate your heart rate. So, why not replace some of these sessions with cycling? Cycling provides all of us with an opportunity to move our legs, increase blood flow, ease joint stiffness, ease tired muscles and we will flush out lactate acid from tired or stiff legs. This is nothing new. Runners have been using cycling as a means of active recovery or injury rehabilitation for years. The addition of a Turbo Trainer (indoor device that attaches to your bike) will also allow you to spin away indoors while keeping warm, dry and you can even watch some TV or listen to music if that is your thing.

Tips: Keep your gearing very light and ‘spin’ your legs. You do not want to be pushing big and heavy gears. Remember, this is about recovery and injury maintenance.

CADENCE

Cadence is something we will have all heard of. Cadence in cycling refers to how many revolutions our legs make per minute. If has often been stated that 90 rpm (revs per minute) is an optimum cadence. We agree! Spinning your legs for 90 rpm (180 for both legs) provides ‘souplesse.’ This souplesse (flexibility) is key to becoming an efficient cyclist. Look at this objectively and the next time you go out for a run, count your foot strike. Maintaining 90 rpm or 90 foot (180 both legs) strikes per minute will make you not only efficient but will also help with technique. Bike and run cadence are two transferable skills. When coaching cyclists, we often use 90 rpm as a benchmark; this also provides a great indicator as to when to change up and down gears. In time, as you become a stronger cyclist you will find that you are able to push a harder gear for the same cadence. In simple terms, you are getting stronger and this means you will go faster.

Tips: You can use a cycle computer and magnet to provide information ‘live’ while cycling. This can be extremely useful when looking to maintain optimum cadence. When running, you can use a foot pod or similar device to relay cadence back to a wrist unit. Both are great tools for improve bike to run cadence.

LONG SESSIONS

Long run sessions and back-to-back run sessions are an essential part of a good runners training plan. However, these sessions can damage the body and in time, potentially injure the body. A long bike ride in isolation or a ‘brick’ session is a fantastic way to gain added fitness time without impacting on your body. Long bikes allow you maximal aerobic time with minimal impact; the only downside will be that you need to be out longer for a similar gain to running. However, this is not the point… a long bike session is about adding variety, providing a new stimulus and increasing or maintaining fitness without impact. A brick session is when bike and run sessions are combined to make one session. Anyone coming from a duathlon or triathlon background will be well aware of this. Running on bike legs is quite a unique experience, the term ‘jelly legs’ is often used. This is because the legs and muscles are used in two very different ways. However, this transition process provides great stimulus and if done gradually, is a great addition to a training plan.

Tips: If you want to translate long runs to bike time, we often use 15min per mile, so, if you did a 20-mile run we would recommend a 5-hour bike ride as starting point. Of course many variables come in to play so be careful. Brick sessions are challenging, start by adding just 10-15 minutes of running to a bike session. In time you can build this but be gradual.

STRENGTH

Running builds a certain set of muscles, fine tunes them and makes them extremely efficient for the job that you ask them to do; run! However, we have many other muscles that feel a little bit neglected with our run habit. Cycling provides a stimulus to these neglected areas. Running and just running makes us all plateau, adding cycling will not only compliment our run muscles but also so many other areas of our body will become stronger (such as our core, arms, shoulders, hips and so on). Add all this together and what we have is a faster and stronger runner.

Tips: Like anything, if you haven’t cycled before, start easy and progress slowly. No need to rush. After a bike ride, make sure you stretch, particularly hamstrings! Cycling turns your legs over in a smaller circle than running.

We caught up with Salomon International athlete, Philipp Reiter on his thoughts on why CYCLING is good for RUNNERS.

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp Reiter, Salomon ©iancorless.com

Philipp on RECOVERY

Spinning out the legs” on a bike is definitely one of the things I personally look forward too after a hard and/or long run. Spinning makes the blood go through my body faster and takes all the acids and by-products away. Shaking the legs out on a bike makes my muscles ache less and speeds up recovery.

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Philipp on STRENGTH

Even if you just hike or walk around (instead of running on a rest day) your leg muscles always have to push to move the body. Have you ever recognized that you never pull and use the complementary muscles? Using cycling and specific bike shoes/pedals allow you to pull the pedals as well as to push them more intense than you would do without. But what is the advantage to build up the “other” muscles? After many years of running, muscle can become imbalanced and this increases the risk of injuries or other problems with tendons. Cycling will work these unused areas.

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Philipp on IMPACT

Running impacts on bones, hips, tendons… no doubt! Cycling is relatively impact resistant, especially road cycling! However, you must ensure you have correct bike set up and fit. Don’t try to save time or money by cutting corners here. A bike that is too small or too large or one that does not have the correct fit will just impact on your power output and after a while you may get problems in your back or knees!

Philipp on LONG SESSIONS

Philipp Reiter Cycling

Philipp Reiter Cycling

A long bike ride is a great way to have a long endurance session. I usually double my run time, so, if I wanted to do a 2-hour run I would replace with a 4-hour bike. You still get tired, you still get just as hungry and you definitely get the fitness benefits. What you don’t get is the damage and impact. However, you still need to run long… cycling is great is a great alternative to mix things up and provide stimulus but would never replace long runs. You just need to work them into your schedule.

In our next article we will talk about the right kit for cycling and provide you with some guidelines on how to include cycling in your current training plan.

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Garmin Forerunner 920XT

Garmin 920XT

Garmin, the global leader in satellite navigation, is excited to unveil its most advanced multisport GPS watch to date – the Forerunner 920XT. Your expert personal trainer on your wrist, the Forerunner 920XT records detailed metrics for swimming, cycling and running – perfect to take elite and keen athletes’ training to the next level. Whether it’s a triathlon, Ironman or marathon you wish to conquer, the Forerunner 920XT has the know-how and the drive to take you there.

With a super slim profile, the Forerunner 920XT is 15 per cent lighter and 18 per cent thinner than its predecessor, and offers an extremely comfortable fit with its flexible, hinged watch band. ‘Watch-mode’ and daily activity tracking features are ideal for all day wear to monitor steps and calories. Receiving GLONASS signals as well as GPS signals, the watch ensures users are totally connected with smart notifications, including incoming texts, emails, calls, and calendar reminders – all on the high-resolution colour display – when in range of a paired Bluetooth®-smart device.

Dan Bartel, Garmin’s Vice President of Worldwide Sales, says, “As a pioneer and leader in GPS multisport watches, we’re excited to introduce our most advanced, all-in-one solution for triathletes and multisport athletes. Recording in-depth metrics for swimming, cycling and running, tracking daily activity, while keeping users connected, the Forerunner 920XT is ideal for training, racing, and everything in between.”

The new Forerunner has a water rating of 5 ATM4 (water proof for 50 meters/165 feet) and offers advanced swim metrics for training in a pool or open water, including drill logging, recording swim distance, pace, stroke type, stroke count and SWOLF score, as well as distance and time alerts to let users know a set is over, or time alerts The Forerunner 920XT also includes two types of rest timers to keep time pushing off the wall.

On your bike, the watch has a built-in altimeter for precise ascent, descent and gradient data during training. When paired with compatible ANT+™ power meters, including Vector™ S and the dual-sensing Vector system, the Forerunner 920XT displays power data including average watts, left/right balance5, power zone, and when paired with a heart rate monitor, it can derive users’ VO2 max estimates for cycling to help monitor changes in fitness.

Using Garmin’s advanced running dynamics, athletes can measure and track their running form with the Forerunner 920XT. Reporting cadence (total steps per minute), vertical oscillation (amount of “bounce” in a runner’s step), and ground contact time, the Forerunner 920XT even shows a colour gauge to enable comparison between running peers. It also features a metronome, with vibration and audible alerts, to guide cadence training, a race predictor based on VO2 max for running, and a recovery advisor indicating how long a runner should rest before attempting another hard effort1.

For ultra-runners, the Forerunner 920XT offers an UltraTrac mode that turns GPS off at certain intervals, extending its GPS mode battery life from 24 hours to up to 40 hours.

Athletes can track their workouts using the Forerunner 920XT as a remote for their VIRB®or VIRB Elite action camera3, by starting and stopping recording, and taking stills right from their wrist. Synched with Garmin Connect, users can seamlessly upload workouts and start a LiveTrack session from their smartphone2.

Garmin 920XT Red

The Forerunner 920XT is available in black/blue or red/white, RRP £389.99 and £419.99 for the premium heart rate monitor bundle. With a software update available in early 2015, the Forerunner 920XT will become Connect IQ compatible, making even more applications available to users for their active lifestyles.

Press release by adpr.co.uk

Content ©garmin

CYCLING for RUNNERS – Article 1 Bike Fit and Bike Size

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Cycling is a great addition to your run training plan and if done correctly, you will see your fitness, strength, speed and recovery improve. Before you do anything, you need a bike and importantly a bike that s the right size and one that fits you…

Get this wrong and any benefits from cycling will be eroded away with potential injury and discomfort.

Bike fitting and bike size are two different things. Don’t confuse them. Before you can do one, you must do the other, so, getting the correct size bike is imperative. This is not complicated. For the purposes of all our articles we are referring to road cycling and as such all our reference points will relate to a road bike.

When purchasing a bike, geometry is important, this relates to the angles that are used when constructing the frame. In simple terms you have comfort geometry and race geometry. The picture below shows the difference.

96942_soalce_disc_endurance_geometry_original_1

Comfort geometry will be a little easier on your lower back and as the name suggests, you may well be more comfortable on longer rides. Race geometry is longer and more aggressive. You don’t need to be a racer for race geometry. The choice is yours.

Niandi’s note: Male and female specific bikes are available, however, many ladies purchase a male bike. So, what is the difference? Many ladies have longer legs and a shorter torso; so, a female specific bike can be a good consideration. In real terms, this will mean the bike will have a shorter top tube (this affects the reach to the bars) and the seat tube angle will be steeper. This all combines to more comfort. In addition, many brands also make female bikes in smaller sizes (smaller then male sizes) but with classic male geometry. Ladies, I am pretty sure you know your morphology and what you want, so choose what is right for you. 

96802_solace_disc_womens_img_original_1

Scott Sports say: SCOTT aims high when it comes to the comfort and ergonomics of a product such as the Solace. Therefore a women’s specific geometry for the Solace Contessa lineup has been developed. A 10mm shorter toptube combined with a 10mm longer headtube take into account the different proportions of women and offer a perfect fit for female road cyclists.

As a cyclist, you connect to the bike via five key and integral points:

  • Saddle
  • Left pedal
  • Right Pedal
  • Left side of the handlebar
  • Right side of the handlebar

A good bike retailer is integral to ensuring that you purchase the correct size bike. For example, we have two friends, A & B. Friend A is the same height as friend B… lets say, 5ft 9”. Friend A rides a 52cm bike therefore friend B assumes that he/she will ride a 52cm bike. Is that correct?

NO!

Why you may ask? Bike sizing is determined by your inside leg (and many other aspects) but ultimately; inside leg is a great starting point. At 5ft 9”, friend A has an inside leg of 32” and he/ she rides a 52cm bike whereas friend B has a 31” inside leg and therefore rides a 50cm bike.

If in doubt, it is always better to have a bicycle that is a little too small than too large as later when you come to bike fitting you can make the necessary adjustments.

Your aim is to have a connection with the bike so that you almost don’t feel the bike. I like to call this, being ‘at one’ with the bike. When you have the size and the fit tweaked to your needs, cycling is a wonderful thing.

Remember, a bike shop is interested in selling bikes. They want YOU to purchase a bike, so, although you will rely on the knowledge of professionals in the store, we can’t emphasize enough to find a retailer with a good reputation. SALE bikes are always a great way to get a quality bike at a good price but be careful… don’t let a great deal make you make the wrong decision.

Use this diagram below to gauge some key measurements in regard to what will be the correct size bike for you.

Bike Fit

Completing the above sheet will provide some measurements that you can then apply in regard to narrowing down what will be the correct bike size for you.

Here are two spec sheets provided by SCOTT, firstly male:

Scott Male Geometry

and female:

Scott Female Geometry

Having knowledge and information prior to attending a bike store will not also make your search more focused but it will also ensure that the bike store staff realise they are dealing with someone who knows what he or she wants.

Lets assume you have your bike; it’s the correct size, now it needs to fit you!

Scott CR1

Bike Fitting

Bike fitting is a precise art and can often be tweaked and tweaked before one finds the perfect decision. Companies exist who perform ‘bike fitting’ and this may be something you’d like to consider? It does depend though on your budget.

If you are going to fit yourself to your bike here is a simple guide.

A bike has three key points:

  • Saddle
  • Handlebars
  • Pedals

SADDLE:

Just because your bike came with a saddle, it does not mean it’s the correct saddle. Ladies in particular will agree here. Try and try and find the perfect saddle for you. It’s a time investment but well worth it and your bum will thank you for it too.

Niandi’s note: Please consider that a male saddle may well suit a woman and woman’s saddle may well suit a man.

Once you have the perfect saddle for you, you need to position the saddle with three key factors considered:

  • Saddle height
  • Saddle tilt
  • Saddle fore and aft position

Saddle height is straightforward really but we see so many cyclists with a saddle too high or too low. Get this wrong and you not only loose power but you risk injury.

Sit on your saddle and we recommend you take the weight of one leg by placing your foot on a stool or something similar. You need your pelvis to be level. This is important! Lower your free leg and place your heel on the pedal. Drop the pedal with your heel on it to the 6 ‘o’ clock position. Now slide your foot back with the ball of your foot over the pedal. What are you looking for? Well, you should ideally have a slight bend in your knee. If not adjust the saddle height up or down as appropriate. Make sure you have your cycling shoes on with the cleat attached (more on that later). You don’t want your hips to rock from left to right when cycling, so, fix the saddle in what you consider to be ideal position, go for a spin and then check. Spend time on this to get it right.

Saddle tilt may be adjusted on all saddles. Many consider a ‘level’ saddle to be optimum but why? For sure it will work for some, however, we are all unique. Personally, both Niandi and myself tilt our saddles up just ever so slightly but there is no exact science on this, you must go with what works for you. If your saddle points down too much, you tend to feel like your sliding off and this adds pressure to your arms and hands.

Niandi’s note: Ladies you may find that tilting your saddle will reduce or increase pressure on sensitive areas.

Fore & aft allows the saddle to move on its rails towards the handlebars or towards the back of the bike. This position is often rarely considered in new or novice cyclists. Height is the main consideration and then tilt and fore/aft are only usually looked at if persistent discomfort continues.

Place your feet on the pedals place your legs/ pedals at 9 and 3 on the clock. If someone photographs you from the side or if you can look in a mirror, you should look for the crank arm (this holds the pedal) being parallel to the ground and your kneecap should be over the pedal.

Again, adjusting fore and aft is a very personal thing; however look out for too much weight being placed on the handlebars. If you are getting sore hands, sore arms and tightness in the neck you are probably too far forward. However, if you are too far back, you may well feel you are reaching too far for the handlebars. Tweak position for comfort.

Niandi’s note: Ladies, if you don’t have a specific ladies bike with a shorter top tube, you may find moving your saddle forward will make things more comfortable for you?

HANDLEBARS:

Handlebars come in all shapes and sizes. If you are new to cycling the complexities of the simple handlebar may well just be completely over your head, however, a few key points should be looked out for. The handlebar is held secure in a stem. A stem comes in various lengths/angles and this controls how near or how far the handlebars are to you and so therefore, the correct stem is crucial in getting the correct position.

When riding, you will move around the handlebars, for example placing your hands in the flat middle section is popular when climbing. When you are cruising in and around other traffic, hands on the brake hoods are popular. If you are going flat out and looking for speed, you will probably be on the drops (the bendy section) and looking to become more aerodynamic.

As with saddles, many purchase a bike and will just ride with the handlebars and stem provided. This may well be okay, but for example, if you are on the drops can you still reach the brake leavers and brake without becoming a contortionist?

Niandi’s note: Ladies our hands are smaller typically than a man, therefore we will need a handlebar with less reach.

Handlebars come in different widths, height and depth. So, ladies will usually need a smaller handlebar and gents, you will need something wider. If in doubt with handlebar width, use the width of your armpits/shoulders as a guide.

Getting the correct handlebar/stem combination can make a difference! As a general rule of thumb, place your hands on the bars and look for a slight bend in the elbows. As you move positions, your body position will also change and aerodynamics come into play.

You are looking for comfort. Not only in your favourite position but also when climbing, when sprinting, when standing out of the saddle or when powering into a headwind.

You will want to rotate the bars up and down to get the best position. Handlebars rotated up are easier on your back whereas handlebars rotated down allow for a more aerodynamic position.

Stems are available in different heights, lengths and angles. It is a minefield and ultimately you may have to see how the stem on your bike works for you and see if it is comfortable. You can tweak this up and down. Road cyclist usually prefer the stem below saddle height, however, if you are inexperienced or suffer with lower back pain, you may prefer the stem above seat height. Length and angle can only be altered either by purchasing different stems (not practical), or purchasing an adjustable stem that will allow all these movements to be made or you seek the advice of a professional.

Niandi’s note: Ladies you can potentially use a shorter stem if you have a small torso or shorter arm reach.

PEDALS:

The pedal holds the foot in place and pretty much everyone these days uses specific cycling shoes that will have a cleat on the bottom that fits into the pedal. This system actually was invented as on off spin from ski binding and improved cycle efficiency and power.

You can purchase pretty much any cycle shoe, of course we recommend Scott. On the bottom of the shoe will be a series of holes that allows you to attach your chosen cleat.

Pedals and cleats work together, so; if you use LOOK pedals you need LOOK cleats and so on.

THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Positioning your cleat on your shoe and getting the ideal position is arguably the most important aspect of fitting in relation to cycling and running.

Get this wrong and your knee will be out of line and a potential injury is waiting to happen. To put this in perspective, look at this from a running perspective… are you neutral, a pronator or supinator?

Cleats, like saddles are positioned on the shoe: fore/aft and side to side.

Other than getting a professional fit, fitting cleats are very much trial and error. In principal, the cleat should generally be behind the ball of the foot or on the ball of the foot. It’s personal and down to biomechanics.

Ultimately you don’t want any strain on your muscles. Achilles and calf tenderness are sure signs that you have the position wrong and you will need to move the cleat towards your heel. Tweak and tweak the position until it feels neutral.

Once you have this position worked out, you will need to ensure that the side-to-side position is correct as this controls alignment of the knee. I don’t need to explain here how important this is.

As a general rule, you want our knee over your toes when pedalling. If your knee is to the left or the right of the foot when pedalling then move the cleat appropriately.

Again, we are all individual and tweaking this position for you and your own comfort is crucial to successful cycling.

The rotation of the cleat is important. Do you stand with your feet pointing forward (north to south) or do you stand with your left toes at 10 (north west) and your right toes at 2 (north east)? Positioning your cleats with this rotation compensated for is another key aspect. Many modern day cleat/pedal combinations allow for ‘float’, which for many has been a lifesaver. This ‘float’ allows the foot; knee and leg to move in a natural way when pedalling and this can avoid injury. We recommend if you are new to cycling purchasing a pedal and cleat combination that allows for float.

Finally, the crank, which holds the pedal, will typically be 170mm long. For very specific adjustments you can get shorter or longer cranks (165, 170, 172.5 and 175), If a crank is too long it will feel hard to push a gear, if it is too short it will feel odd and you will lack power. Generally 170 cranks are ideal unless you are short or tall. Keep in mind that if you purchase a complete bike, the crank should be appropriate for the frame size.

Niandi’s note: Ladies, if you don’t have a specific ladies bike and you have a short inseam, shorter cranks may be beneficial.

SUMMARY:

Solace Ladies BikeGetting the correct bike in the correct size and then spending time on how it fits you is just as important as purchasing the correct run shoes. The plus side of a bike is that you can tweak, adjust and customize the position for you and your needs. So, the most important first decision is purchasing the correct sized bike.

Once you have the correct bike, you can spend time on fitting.

Fitting is crucial to long-term cycling pleasure. Remember, we are looking at cycling as an addition to your running and therefore, we don’t want cycling to injure your running…

The above points may sound complicated and problematic, however, a little time and patience is all you need. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

First and foremost, ask around; find a really good bike shop with a great reputation. Get this first step right and many other aspects will fall into place.

Enjoy the journey.

Still Question if CYCLING is good for RUNNERS? Look at this tweet by 2014 UTMF and UTMB champion, Francois D’Haene:

Francois Tweet

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CYCLING for RUNNERS – The Introduction

 

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Welcome to CYCLING for RUNNERS in conjunction with Scott Sports

Over the coming months and year, Ian Corless and Niandi Carmont in conjunction with SCOTT SPORTS will bring you CYCLING FOR RUNNERS.

Ian, Niandi and a series of special guests will provide you with a series of articles from a male and female perspective on how cycling can benefit you as a runner.

Providing simple and clear information, we will write about our experiences, we will tell you about equipment, provide hints and tips and most importantly, we will provide you with a series of training plans that you can incorporate week by week, month by month to make you a better runner through cycling.

We know 3-types of runner:

  1. The runner who is injured
  2. The runner who is recovering from injury
  3. And thirdly, the runner who is about to be injured

Of course, we joke, but many of you will agree there is some real truth in the joke. Running is not bad for you, however, taken to extremes or if rushed, the impact of repetition can damage and break us. Sometimes a couple of easy days are all we need and then we are able to resume full training. But as often happens, a couple of easy days may not be enough and our eagerness to push and get back to full training causes us to take risks and then the inevitable happens, we break!

Don’t get us wrong. If you want to be a good runner, you need to run. However, we don’t always thing big miles, double day runs or running everyday is necessary. It’s all about balance and ultimately what level we are running at and what our objectives are. As we see it, runners fall into four distinct groups:

  • Group 1: Weight loss/ recreational runner
  • Group 2: Budding enthusiast
  • Group 3: Good age group runner
  • Group 4: Elite/ pro or top-level runner

We could break the groups down again but ultimately, for the purposes of explanation, these four groups will suffice.

Group 1 runner’s will run typically three times a week (maybe four) and they will run twice in the week and once at weekend. During the week they will train from 20-60min and at the weekend they will extend their running beyond an hour. Mileage will be 30-50 miles per week.

Group 2 are pretty dedicated and savvy accumulating three to four runs during the week and running once or twice at the weekend. Sunday will typically be a long run of 90+ min and on Tuesday and maybe Thursday they will add some speed or strength running. Mileage will be 50-75 miles per week.

Group 3 runner’s are very similar to group 2, however, they are running six days a week, they double up runs on a couple of days and at weekend they may do back-to-back longer runs. Mileage will hover around 80-miles per week.

Group 4 are pushing the envelope, they run twice a day, four to five days a week and run long, fast and high during the weekend. They typically hover around 100-miles per week.

We generalise above and of course we will be able to find extremes in all the scenarios. However, the four groups provide a picture. We think the risk of injury is high for all the groups and relatively equal. Why?

Well, group 1 for example will be less experienced (typically) and will have less run history and therefore although the time on feet is less, the percentage risk is high based on experience.

Group 4 by contrast will have loads of experience, they have been involved in sports for years and they are knowledgeable. Risk comes for them from volume and because they are often on the edge looking for small performance gains.

For us, this is where cycling for runners can come in!

Cycling provides a great low impact exercise that can be done in or outdoors, it can be very controlled and importantly it can be as easy or as hard as you like.

Yes, if you want to be a great runner, you need to run. BUT cycling can add to your running and not take away from it…

Just think, how many of you have said, ‘I am just popping out for an easy run!’

Is there such a thing as an ‘easy run?’

In terms of effort, yes! For sure, you can run slow, easy and controlled keeping your heart rate down, keeping your cadence light and just tick-over. But, you are still in contact with the ground. You are still ‘impacting’ with the surface beneath you and you are still passing your body weight through all your muscles, tendons and joints. Recovery runs are not about fitness, they are about loosening off and in many cases, we use recovery runs just to make us feel better. So, why not incorporate some cycling as active recovery?

Long runs can really impact on your body. Hours of running adapt you to the demands that will be placed on you when you race but sometimes we will run the risk of pushing too far and risking injury. Long bike rides on hilly terrain for example can be used to provide multiple hours of low impact exercise. Hours where you can push harder than running without the risk of damaging knees, muscles and ligaments. If incorporated with long runs, you have a great way to do back-to-back sessions while reducing impact injury risk.

Speed can damage our fragile bodies, particularly our muscles and tendons. However, run speed work incorporated with cycling speed work can stress the aerobic system and it will stretch us physically and mentally in new ways.

Hill reps provide great aerobic stress pushing us to our threshold limits, however, what goes up, must come down. Often, it is the running downhill that causes damage. Of course, we need to train for this in running, it’s important. However, cycling hill reps incorporated into a structured training plan can provide a great stimulus that will progress your fitness level and once again, the impact implications are low.

Finally, cycling can just be a blast. It’s a great way to head out and see a new place; arguably, we can cover more distance in less time on a bike. If nothing else, cycling may well just provide you with a well-earned break from running. Cycling will freshen your mind, it will freshen your body and I guarantee, your running will improve.

Part one of cycling for runners will be released on Wednesday October 1st and we will look at the basics to get you started:

  • The bike.
  • How to ensure you have a good fit.
  • Dos and Don’ts of cycling.
  • And we will list 5-points why cycling can make YOU a better runner.
Philipp Reiter Cycling

Philipp Reiter Cycling

To kick things off, Salomon International athlete, Philipp Reiter will also give us his thoughts on why cycling works for him as a trail, mountain and ultra runner.

Stay tuned.

Join us on STRAVA

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Thanks to SCOTT SPORTS for the support and backing

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CYCLING for RUNNERS PAGE HERE

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TomTom launch new GPS products

TomTom today announces availability and pricing for its new range of GPS watches that deliver at-a-glance performance information for runners, cyclists and swimmers. The TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport are available to pre-order from today at http://www.tomtom.com, and to buy from leading running speciality retailers later this month. They will be priced from £149.99 and £179.99 respectively.

Both the TomTom Runner and the TomTom Multi-Sport feature an extra-large display, full-screen graphical training tools and the industry’s first one-button control to make it easier for users to access the information needed to stay motivated and achieve their goals.

TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport also include a broad range of advanced features that are designed to address the needs of runners and multi-sport enthusiasts alike:

· Ultra-Slim Design: At just 11.5mm, the slim design of the watch module, comfortably fits men and women, and all wrist sizes
· Indoor Tracker: Accurately track indoor runs using built-in sensors to count strides, so that users can monitor pace and distance even while running on a treadmill.
· QuickGPSFix: Get started faster by using the latest in GPS and GLONASS satellite technology to quickly find their precise location.
· Desktop Multi-Platform compatibility: Sync, analyse and share stats on popular running sites and community platforms, including the TomTom MySports website, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper and TrainingPeaks.
· Super-Tough Display: Scratch- and impact-resistant glass stays easy-to-read, workout after workout.
· Weather- and Waterproof: Waterproof up to 50 metres/5ATM
· Long-lasting battery: Up to 10-hour battery life (GPS Mode)
· Heart Rate monitor*: Use the Bluetooth® Smart Heart Rate Monitor to track training zone for weight control, performance or speed.

TomTom Multi-Sport includes all the features included in TomTom Runner, and also allows multi-sport athletes to track their distance, time, speed and other key metrics when they cycle or swim. The TomTom Multi-Sport is also enhanced with the following features and options:

· Dedicated Bike Mount: Easily see key stats at a glance with the specially-designed bike mount
· Cadence Sensor**: Track cadence, speed and distance, indoors and out.
· Built-in Altimeter***: Accurately track elevation, ascent, descent and grade with the built-in barometric altimeter
· Swimming Motion Sensor: Check detailed swim metrics such as laps, strokes, time and speed, and calculate a SWOLF score to show swim efficiency

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Suunto Ambit2 S

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29th April 2013

Suunto launches Ambit 2 S – a multisport GPS watch for athletes

Suunto App Zone and Movescount.com are also upgraded

The new Ambit2 S is a light and sleek GPS watch for multisport athletes that packs all the features needed for cycling, running, swimming and multisport training. The GPS provides accurate pace, route navigation and tracking, while the heart rate monitor lets you train within your ideal zone.

  • Cycling: The new Suunto Ambit2 S will support power meters (ANT+) and offers various power measurement values and numerous options for in-depth analysis.
  • Swimming: The Ambit2 S also offers comprehensive swimming functionality, including pace and distance, automatic intervals, stroke rate and swimming time related to different pool lengths. The Ambit2 S will also learn to recognize your swimming style, which makes performance analysis easier.
  • Running: Runners benefit from highly accurate pace and distance thanks to FusedSpeed™, the Ambit’s accelerometer integrated GPS, as well as interval timer and autolaps for training.
  • Multisport Training: Users can switch between sports, making the Suunto Ambit2 S ideal for recording your multisport training or race.

Available from May 2013.  Ambit2 S £275/Ambit2 S with HR £325.

App Zone and Movescount.com are also upgraded

Suunto is also upgrading the Suunto App Zone, the community forum where users can find and create free Apps for the Ambit GPS watches. Since it launched in November 2012, the App Zone  has proved popular with users, who have created over 5,000 Apps so far. The upgrade gives Ambit owners the chance to create and share more advanced Apps. Suunto’s online sports community Movescount.com which hosts the App Zone, will also be updated to provide new  tools for in-depth analysis, enhanced navigation and improved opportunities for sharing.

For more product details and full specs, visit www.suunto.com