Heads-up: Huge Sports Tech Sale Underway – 20% Off All Smart Trainers!
There’s a massive sales on smart cycling trainers right now, plus plenty other sports tech. There’s 20% off the Wahoo KICKR, KICKR CORE, CLIMB, Headwind, 20% off the Tacx NEO 2T, Flux 2, and Flux S, 20% off Saris Hammer 3 trainer and Saris MP1 Motion Platform. Plus also 20% off the Elite Direto X and Suito too, even the new Sterzo. Plus even steeper deals including with the Kinetic trainers at 30% off.
Yesterday evening, with yet another impending snowstorm I had a decision to make – try and drive to an open treadmill, or tough it out on the snow covered hills for my weekly hill repeats. On one hand I have the chance to get outdoors, and on the other I have the chance to drive across super-sketchy roads and bake inside sweltering in Z5. Ok…let’s be honest – that’s not a terribly hard decision – outdoors I go! Well…outdoors we go. For the first time, the Girl would join me on the weekly hill workout – she normally does the same variant indoors, but Coach gave her the ‘OK’ to join the snowy fun.
So we both snapped on the Yak Traxs – which are by far the best $20 investment I’ve EVER made. Out of all the junk one ends up purchasing (cheap or expensive) between the three sports we train for, I have a hard time thinking of any one item $20 or under that allows me to train all winter long.
Out onto the roads we went.
Just as we finished our initial 10 minute warm-up we ran into a minor SNAFU trying to cross through a bike trail cutout. The snow was knee deep for about 50 yards. Doh!
But soon we were on our way back at speed cooking along. The streets were mostly a mix of compact snow and ice, with occasional bare spots where salt had worked it’s way down to the pavement.
After 28 minutes (10 minutes warm-up, 5@Z3, 5@4A, 5@Z4B, 3 easy) we embarked on our first hill section, below – looking upwards:
The hill is almost a mile long depending on where you start. The slope is pretty gradual at first, but for the last 90 seconds or so it shoots up pretty steep. Here’s my blurry-cam picture below, but what can you say? I was trying to run hard up the hill.
If you check out the sideways profile of the hill, it looks like below (starting from left to right):
(The above is a cool little plug-in that shows any parameter (elevation in this case), for Sport Tracks, and uses a gradient of colors to help visualize it with Google Earth. I mention it in more detail here.)
The only issue we really found was the slushier snow created by some vehicles made it tough to get good footing for brief sections. But I found I could wander my way around those and still make good time. My paces weren’t that far off of previous weeks, so I was pretty happy with that.
I usually reach the top of the hill before my five minutes is up (which is actually what controls the workout), so in order to ensure I keep my HR up I have to really push rather hard over the crest of the hill onto the flats. To me this has been the biggest eye opener over the past month with respect to this workout – understanding just how hard you have to push to maintain that HR once cresting and then back on the flats. To put it into perspective – in order to maintain a 185ish HR while cresting the hill, I take a speed that’s 7:12 at 6% incline, and have to drop it to a 4:54 at a 0% incline (flat land).
(Above, note my HR remains roughly constant (red), but as the hill crests (green), I have to step up the pace from the hill-climb pace of 7:12/mile to a 5:18/mile and then finally a 4:54/mile – before my interval ends. Via Training Peaks.)
I’m going to be really good at cresting hills by time the seasons first tri race comes along in April – by then I’ll have done 53 repeats on this hill.
Anyway, by the 3rd or 4th set it started to snow again, though it wasn’t too bad thankfully. I wrapped up after five sets on the the hill – my planned allotment – and started my journey back. Along the way I have 4x200m sprints to do – which is unsurprisingly challenging in the snow. Sometimes you luck out and get a nice clean stretch to do them:
And sometimes the snowplow gods have simply crapped all over the road mid-set:
After wrapping up the sets I met up with The Girl down the road a bit and continued our cool down home…all in – 12.51 miles snow-running of goodness.
Good times out on the hill – and we got back just before the blizzard set in…
Either way, more snowy fun ensued today…deets to follow once I dig out. Again.
(Brief side note, I added the ability to Tweet any post you so desire with a simple click at the bottom of all posts on the page. It does it all automagically for you…so for those that Tweet, Tweet away!)
I swim, bike and run. Then, I come here and write about my adventures. It’s as simple as that. Most of the time. If you’re new around these parts, here’s the long version of my story.
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You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2019 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s 2018 Gear Guide too.