New Year Resolutions already 2 and a bit weeks late

Apparently, if you write down your goals you are more likely to achieve them.

Well apart from Dryanuary (no booze for January) which I already failed at ….

Fine. I’m gonna put that to the test. Here are my new years resolutions, reinforced with a lovely Talisker 10 year old malt (or Scotchliscious and those west of the water would say) and captured with screen grabs and a leap of faith.

Invest in that touring bike and plan some trips to make it really count.

Increase or improve my Strava KOM and PR status (but not if i have to finish a segment inside my own home) 

Not shy away from the Sufferfest turbo sessions

Complete the eTape Caledonian and Pennines with proper training under my belt

Have a bikeFit – to make sure that I improve position, power delivery and comfort

Do at least one mountain bike marathon race this year with close buddies and do the longer distance option (normally 85km and 2000m+ of climbing)

Remember not to be a bad name for cycling (red lights etc)

Campaign and lobby for our two wheeled lot and complete the free Bike film I promised

Sail up the inner hebrides over summer.

Don’t leave the organisation of that sail until the last minute.

Kitesurfing – don’t always jump on port tack only – embrace the learning curve of jumping to starboard (and the occasional smack down)

Ride more. Kitesurf more. Sail more. Run more

Ride more…..Ride more…..



Here are my Strava breakdowns for last year . now I need to beat them –  update will go HERE

Make friends with me on Strava here and I promise to support you …


10km race this morning with no training – what’s to fear

Lets see how this goes.

The Jack Crawford 10K Springburn Cup Race is organised by Springburn Harriers running club and will take place at 11am on Saturday 9th March 2013.


One name more than any is synonymous with Springburn Harriers, Jack Crawford. Jack was a member of the club for 65 years joining in 1922 and remaining in membership until his death in 1987. Jack Crawford lived for Springburn Harriers and Springburn Harriers was his life, in fact it would appear to some that he had been born for the purpose. A tireless, concientious worker and champion of the cause, he held almost every principle office in the club, received nor looked for, any other reward than the success of the athletes he himself had nurtured. Jack will always be remembered by way of the Jack Crawford Memorial Cup, formerly the Jack Crawford Cup. The trophy was originally competed for as a closed club handicap event, the first race having taken place in St Andrews on Saturday, 14th April 1985.


In the 1960s through to 1980s, the race attracted Scotland’s top athletes many of whom went onto complete in Olympic, Commonwealth or World championships. Notable names and winners included Ian McCafferty, Frank Clement, Lachie Stewart (and also his son Glen), Eddie Knox, and in 1988 Springburn’s own Adrian Callan who, 15 years later, was the first vet (over 40) in the race under its current format.


The race starts and finishes within 150m of The Leisuredrome. Start at Darnley Cresent and finish on the canal towpath. Race numbers should be collected on the day of the race from declarations, inside the Leisuredrome.


Thanks to British Waterways, the canal provides a flat and accurately measured, Scottish Athletics certified 10k. Distance markers are provided every 1k. The initial 1k is on quiet roads followed by a ‘traffic free’ 9k scenic circuit along the Forth & Clyde Canal Towpaths. Route heads east to Cadder along southside path, then west to Lambhill along the northside path prior to returning east along southside path to finish at the Leisuredrome. A map of the course can be viewed on the Springburn Harriers website at

Software for your Heart Rate Monitor and GPS

To some of us geeky MAMILS (middle aged men in Lycra), one of the biggest pleasures, next to the ride or run itself, is quantifying the vast amount of data available to us about our performance.  The prevalence of GPS based and downloadable cycling computers, combined with various websites and programs have made it possible to catalog, view and analyze mountains of data; metrics from average pace to peak wattage vs. peak heart rate are now at your fingertips.  Here’s a quick overview of a couple of the more common sites and programs out there.



my new favourite after a while playing with Endo … (see next) is the relative new kid on the block in terms of ride analysis.  Offering both free and frankly too expensive subscription services ($6 per month or $59 per year) will allow riders to directly upload rides from their GPS devices and track their performance.  Displaying a GPS track of the route you rode, along with an elevation profile and metrics such as distance, elevation gain, moving time, speed (max and average), average speed, average cadence and average power, you get a mass of information to sift through and analyse.

The coolest thing about Strava and it is something that Endomondo also does is social connection ….  You can link Strava to your Facebook page and twitter account and you can even challenge friends (or strangers for that matter) to competitions.  Strava has a unique feature that allows you to designate segments of your ride and run (climbs, TTs, crazy descents) that you can measure against every other person on Strava that has covered that route (or just a section) before and uploaded their ride.  It’s an excellent idea that promotes competition and growth amongst different riders all riding in the same area.

Here is a section of the Arran ride that someone has made into sections … woo hoo I did well without even knowing it.

For example, imagine your club has a friendly “climbing competition” up a particularly long, steep, or otherwise nasty climb.  Anyone who is a member of Strava who uploads a ride containing that climb will be ranked based upon speed, power, time and VAM (Vertical Ascent Meters) along with everyone else who has ridden that climb.  The best part of the whole thing is that once the climb is designated on Strava, the site software automatically finds that segment of your ride and analyzes it, compares it to everyone else, and posts it in ranking of fastest to slowest.  It’s an excellent tool to use to compare both your form compared to others around you, and to chart your own progress by comparing to your previous attempts.

PROS: Great community based concepts.  ”Segments” option for competing with your friends.  Excellent data presentation and layout. Standalone free iPhone app if you don’t have a dedicated gps hrm

CONS: Pay site is yet another expense (free site only 5 rides/month allowance)


My old favourite social exercise site – allowed you to see your friends workouts and comment on them. Again it allows analysis of the ride or run and also keep a note of your PB’s.

The social interaction may be slightly better on Endo although I prefer the slightly better analysis on Strava …. Again there is a dedicated app for iPhone so you can use that on commutes when your gps or hem is at home. Both these sites are better with Garmin products and that is more to do with the disinterest on the part of Polar and suunto more than the development of either of these two platforms. At the moment I import the gpx track from file although this loses the hrm info from the exercise. At the moment you can import the average and max readings into the endo workout but it is not a true graph.

Alternatives for Me

Movescount for Suunto users

Good analysis but lacking social connections as there is no app and your friends can’t compare to you.

Polar Personal Trainer for Polar HRM users

Better analysis but even less social connections.

Had the Strangest run – or when the sausage roll bites back

Met up with Jolene’s cousin across on the east coast yesterday. Was a chance for our kids to spend some quality play together as well as for Benji and myself to get out and do a run.

I wasn’t feeling on greatest form as my stomach was sore from what I can only blame on a sausage roll engulfed whilst on ferrying duties the previous day for lunch. My recovery from torn muscle fibres has been slow and although my leg feels fine and isn’t pulling when i run – the 2 months without running has taken a toll on my pace.

We set off from his house after a big fried breakfast / brunch and bam straight into a strong headwind and the hill.

I was struggling a bit – Benji was in fine fettle despite drinking a bottle of red wine and 4 cans of beer the night before (I won’t go into his devil constitution) and we huffed (or at least i did) up the long hills.

My heart rate was high and I was struggling a bit although still able to chat as we went …

HR high / laps slow

We were about 3km’s from the end when bam I had to suddenly stop and nearly double over. Huge stomach cramp … then 10sec later felt better and carried on and bamm … ouch. i needed to go NOW … my very own Paula Radcliffe moment as I stumbled behind a holly bush next to the wall ….

I came out 10sec later feeling great and ready to head on when the cousin said ‘Glad you are alright – just wish I hadn’t been downwind of that’

Embarrassed but empty we finished the run at the best pace so far …

What is the worst thing you have done on a run or ride?

The 300 challenge

Last week tried out the fitness test for the army – now passing wasn’t the target as that is pretty easy to allow all those obese playstation boys to get in – but I was trying to max out the test and get the fabled 100% in each discipline. At my ripe old age (41) this is 77 sit ups in 2 min 70 press ups and a 2 mile run within 13m45s.

Here are the pages that show requirements per age group.

According to Jules who serves in the US army you can not only max the test but get more than 100% and that can help in other parts of the test where you don’t fare so well. But alas Jamie our instructor said no so having never done any upper body weight exercises in my life I struggled with the press ups …. 55 in 2 min, almost maxed the sit ups with 70 and then easily did the run. I only had to do 9.3mph but pretty soon this was boring and my HR was in 145 region so upped it gradually doing the last stretch at 10.4mph giving me a run time of 12:17 beating the 100% mark by 1m30s (which would have given me 115% on the us scoring)

But failed to max have 280% so will practice press ups and max it next month.

Have a go at the test and let me know how you get on…

M74 Bike and Hike – Glasgow, Scotland – SUNDAY 22nd MAY

The M74 Project Partners and the Contractor are making the M74 Completion route available on Sunday 22nd May 2011 to allow a one off opportunity to see the route prior to opening by cycling, walking and running along the route.

Prior to the June opening of the motorway a charity event is being held on Sunday 22 May involving walkers, runners and cyclists.

The event will start at the west end of the new motorway, at the Shields Road Car Park, Scotland Street, Glasgow and take participants onto the motorway to do an “out and back” walk, run or cycle to Polmadie Road (4 km round trip) or over the full length to Fullarton Roundabout (14km round trip).

The event is limited to 20,000 participants and will offer an ideal opportunity to raise funds for charities.

You can enter here

 Now finished – see the day from own view HERE

WordPress 5km run Done and Dusted – around Glasgow Green

wordpress 5k

Tomorrow is my brother in laws wedding and with the amount of relatives coming to stay and general business I wasn’t sure if I could do the WP 5km in time for Sunday. I was going to do a longer run today but thought it made more sense to do this 5km now. The weather is glasgow has been dreich – well actually pissing down the last 2 days. Still a bit of wind about (but I am working instead of at the coast kitesurfing like i would prefer ….

So off for the run – down to Glasgow Green (with an annoying pause at busy road junction see HR drop) and for a wee run around heading back hopefully to make the 5km mark. Running with a Suunto t6c and attached GPS pod so finding distance is pretty good. Well almost good as I overshot the mark and stopped the clock at 5km mark and just cooled down the last 500m.

5km 22min 10sec PACE (slow 4:25/km)

Might do a double on the Sunday – a 10km run to celebrate all those attempting the run.


WordPress 5km Run – I’m in

If you have a wordpress blog and fancy a run then now is the time to do it ….


We had a great idea: Get all 80 Automatticians from 62 cities to run/walk a 5k on the same day! This way we can get some exercise together as a company even though we’re apart (though we won’t rule out a softball or Texas scramble at our next meetup).

We want to invite you to join us, users (and self-hosted WP users, too!), in the Worldwide WP 5k – the 5k blogged around the world! The date is approaching, so read on to find out how to participate.

WHAT IT IS: A 5k run/walk (approximately 3.1 miles). You can run, walk, or skip. It’s up to you. There’s no time limit and there’s just one requirement: that you participate! [Updated: You can do it inside or outside, on a treadmill or on a track, or even do a swim or a bike ride instead of running/walking – just get moving!]

It’s roughly equal to:

  • 3.1 miles
  • 12 laps around a track
  • approximately 6000-7500 steps
  • approximately 50-60 minutes of brisk walking

WHEN: We’re all busy, but we want you to participate, so we’re giving you some flexibility, too. The WWWP5k is set forSunday, April 10th, but you can do your walk anytime from April 4th -10th (you’ve got a week to fit it in). Just post about it and use the tag “wwwp5k” so we can find you (and for a chance to be Freshly Pressed). :)

WHO: Anyone who’s ever used or loved WordPress (and your families and friends, too).

HOW: You’re welcome to blog your entire route and your preparation (videoblog, perhaps?) but above all we’d love to see where you are and how you’re completing your 5k. Give us a picture of you and what you see when you cross the finish line and tell us your location as you complete your 5k with the rest of the world.

Some tools & suggestions:

  • Get a pedometer
  • Use to chart your course
  • Set your car’s odometer to 0, leave your house and drive along a safe course with sidewalks for walking/running, until you reach 1.55 miles (you can loop back the same way), or chart out a 3.1 mile course

If you’re not up to running this year, never fear, you can get started with the Couch to 5k method which several Automatticians like – 9 weeks from couch potato to running a 5k, and be ready to run for next year. But make sure to walk this year – no excuses!


Stuck in Kuwait

Snow in the UK and transport grinds to a halt. Currently in Kuwait waiting for the decision to be made on whether it’s better to go east (to Dubai) before heading west (to Glasgow direct flight) or whether I have to wait here for morning flight to heathrow and then Scotland.

7am view from hotel

Staying in cheapy Ibis in Kuwait – but one block from the sea so this morning got up and went down to esplanade for a run.
It’s in the Salmiya area of Kuwait – 12 kilometers southeast of Kuwait City and is one of the largest areas in Kuwait consisting of both commercial and residential areas. The blocks located beside the Persian Gulf coastline have a great deal of commercial and up-scale residential real estate. The interior residential areas apparently hosts a huge population of foreigners who seem to do all the work here…..

This area was flattened during the Gulf War Salmiya by the invading Iraqi occupation, but was gradually rebuilt and re-populated. This area used to have old rugged 3-storied buildings and open fields and the beach front, once a hub and harbor for the fishing and pearl diving community, has been transformed into another middle east faceless area of tall towers and roads.


But when they redesigned it they did get some things right – although there seems to have been no thought given at all to cycling or alternative transport.
The esplanade has been nicely laid out and makes a great running route – paved with a nice seabreeze coming in should make it doable even when it hits 50C in the summer.

Had a great 8km run but noticed that Kuwaitis don’t run – they all were walking for exercise – only saw 4 other runners and they all looked like expats or visitors to me.

HR from run - Suunto T6C

Bike and Running App for iPhone update May 2010


* Recap November 2010 HERE

or click on the app / application tag on the right.

For GPS tracking I would go with the free version of RunKeeper think about MotionX (although a more rounded gps all sport app) or use some money and get  CycleMeter.


CycleMeter app


Cyclemeter continually records your time, location, distance, elevation, and speed – years of rides only take up the space of a few songs. Stop and start recording on-screen or with your earphone remote.


See your results on maps, graphs, and a calendar, and organized by routes and activities. Know how much distance you’ve rideed by day, week, month, year, and overall.


Monitor your progress with up to 20 configurable announcements including distance, time, speed, elevation, climb, and more. Announcements may be heard automatically at time or distance intervals, or on-demand with your earphone remote.


Use Facebook, Twitter, and email to share Google Maps of your rides, automatically updated every 5 minutes. Hear replies from family, coaches, and friends spoken using text-to-speech technology. Have emails automatically sent as you ride to keep family and friends notified of your progress and location.

Cyclemeter screen grabs

Another option if you have a garmin or Polar Heart Rate Monitor is the Cychosis App for the iPhone. £1.29 on iTunes


  • Charting
    • See colorful high resolution charts of your training and riding progress for Weekly, Monthly, Yearly, and All time.
    • Chart your distance, average speed, and time.
good graphs
  • Twitter
    • Optional automatic tweet (twitter) of each ride after you enter it lets your friends and family follow you on your bike!
    • Export ride data to CSV — private access to last 5 exports via Cychosis exports server.
  • Bikes:
    • Keeps track of the mileage and number of rides on any number of bikes.
  • Goals:
    • Set any number of distance goals and track progress against them.
  • Routes:
    • Keeps track of common routes, distance, elevation, notes, etc.
    • Automatically keeps stats for each route.

  • Rides:
    • Quickly record rides as soon as you’re finished.
    • Filter rides to current week, month, or year
    • Optional summary totals for current filtered period
    • Shows stats for each ride.
    • Pre-fill a new ride with one of your pre-defined routes, or enter a new name quickly.