Friday, May 27, 2011

Au Revoir!

Bullet list thoughts about nearly two weeks spent in Canada:

Picture 002On the whole Canadians live up to the reputation for being friendly, I got asked quite a few times if I was enjoying my stay and were people nice to me.

Tim Horton’s this is a Canadian institution…sorry but I am totally not getting it? Coffee is meh at best and there is no atmosphere etc, I love me my Peets!

The weather, yep it pretty much sucked, lots of rain; 9 days out of 13 I think, but hey I am from England, we invented rain, well actually  the Welsh did but then we invaded Wales! Definitely miss my SoCal sunshine…but after a summer of heat I am sick of that too!

Picture 059 I actually had two pretty solid weeks of training which will round out the month of May with with 200m+ on the bike and 120m+ on foot, I’ll take this as a solid base month. I can feel my base coming back up and my heart rate dropping…these are good things


Ottawa itself is like most Capital Cities a mish mash of old and new, there are some really pretty areas; Gatineau, Rideau Canal and Ottawa River are really nice, downtown is a bit crappy, the Byward restaurant district is a tourist trap but if you look you can find some pretty good hole in the walls

Beaver Tails…a crepe, with all sorts of stuff put on it, heart attack in wrap someone called it; best avoided!

People stay out late, I was keeping West Coast time, which meant I was going to bed around 1am and waking around 9am local, people were out partying; nearly everynight till the early hours!

So that’s about it I think…homeward bound today!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review; Amp Pro2 Compression: Training Tights & Training Short Sleeve Shirt

So a while ago Saucony contacted me and asked would I be willing to review their new Amp Pro2 Compression clothing and of course who was I to say no. So in time honored fashion here’s the info from their website:

Compression fit reduces muscle vibration and AMP PRO2 responsive fibers improve overall circulation to keep you going for as long as you need to.

  • AMP PRO2 41% Celliant Polyester, 43% Nylon, 16% Lycra
  • Features Microban antimicrobial
  • Contrast panels with tonal geometric print
  • Back storage pocket with lockdown zipper pull
  • Zippered entry at leg opening with grippers
  • Reflective elements and AMP PRO2 heat transfer logo
  • 29" inseam

So having worn them for several months over multiple runs and distances I now feel pretty qualified to write the review.

image Let’s talk about the tights first. First of all I am tall, at 6’1” I am not super tall, but above average and that usually means that to get the right length I end up have to up size and then things don’t fit widthwise, I am the not so classic 31/32 waist 34 leg rather than the 32/34 waist 32 leg which is more commonly seen. However these come with a 29’ inseam, what does that mean…it means they fit!!! Yes they reach all the way down to my boney ankles! Hooray!

The compression is very…well compressed, they fit tightly and it’s a wriggle to get them on…but that is the point! One nice touch is that there are zips at the bottom of the legs and this helps with the wriggling, they also have rubber grippers, think cycling shorts, round the ankles to stop them from riding up! As best I can tell the red panels are thinner and this helps cool you down, like most tights these are warm and so I would not recommend them on a summer day, but for an early morning run when it’s a bit cold they are perfect. I can’t vouch for them in the thick of winter though…we don’t really have those in Southern California. Another nice touch is the built in pocket at the back, it’s nestled in just below the waistband so none of that digging you in the hip as you run. Talking of waistbands this one sits true, that is round your waist, which overcomes the issue I had with my Sugoi tights which wear more like hipsters and so now I am not constantly having to hitch them up. In terms of the compression as it relates to the actual running, from a scientific perspective the jury is out, check out what Joe Friel has to say here, that being said do my legs feel better for wearing them, the answer is yes, it may not be empirical or quantifiable but it is qualitative based on my experience. My only real criticism is that when stretched there is a distinct waffle or fishnet pattern…it’s a little off putting but you have to get pretty close to see it and I assume that it serves some ventilation purpose.

image Now for the shirt, which has some different features from the tights;  the big difference is the fabric content with there being more Celliant; the mix is 54% Celliant Polyester, 27% Nylon, 19% Lycra;  from Celliant’s website:

Celliant is a technology that modifies visible and infrared light, recycling them into energy that the body can use more effectively. When Celliant is worn as clothing, or placed near the body (like in a bed liner or a blanket), it redirects this recycled energy back to the body increasing blood flow and blood oxygen levels in the tissue.

Sounds like voodoo? Well there is some science behind it backed by some clinical studies too. Anyway this was the first compression shirt I have tried, again like the tights it’s plenty long enough. It’s very very figure hugging, and it was a sharp reminder that I am not as skinny as I used to be and not as toned as I should be…in other words if you have a little excess it’s gonna roll right over it and make look like it’s there! That being said it’s easy to wear under something else after all we’re not all built like Usain Bolt or Shalane Flanagan…hence the stock photos! That being said it is very comfortable and very, very wicking, having anything that close to your skin needs to be especially if like me your a sweater (sorry TMI?) my only complaint is that the sleeves are a little long but I assume that if your biceps resemble anything more than bits of string with knots in at the elbow then you should be fine…seriously that what my arms look like.  The direct effect of compression is a bit harder the note with a shirt, it’s not like my arms ache from running right?!? But I do feel that there is some benefit and it’s much more noticeable now when I run with a regular shirt…I am thinking that when I start into the speed work that next month will bring this shirt will come into it’s own…well see.

So in summary I have written many reviews on compression clothing (see right tool bar), tights, sleeves, socks and shorts but these could quite possibly be the best compression clothing items that I have tried, most certainly the tights.  The one big difference is that they really fit well, not just in terms of compression but the actual cut fits out of  the package. The compression, which let’s face it is why you would get them,  is very effective not only in the fit but in it’s efficacy during and post run, but remember this is only anecdotal. Finally the look is attractive, subdued in color but pretty stylish. Available through Saucony direct you can also pick these up through multiple outlets on the web. Through Saucony the tights retail for $110 and the shirt is $90, yeah they’re not cheap but what’s how do you put a price on performance

These tights were provided free of charge by Saucony See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Getting it done…

Three solid weeks of base training and one to go before the month is out and I start training proper!


Run week and bike weekend


Bike week and run weekend


Run week and Sunday and a bike on Saturday

Still lacking a little in consistency apart from the last week.

Right now I am enjoy the hospitality of Ottawa, Canada, but working on Pacific time which means I stay up late and then get up early-ish and can run for an hour and be back in time to start work at 8:00am, it kind of works!

Yesterday’s ride was unorthodox as I rented a hybrid and toured around the city and out into the Gatineau region which is a large park:

image My steed for the day!

I ended up a little lost and was helped out by two local ladies who demonstrated that famous Canadian friendliness and who got me back on track and took me up a nice climb where I was treated to the view below, the lake is named after a family who settled nearby rather than its color!

imagePink Lake

As we rode out of the park I realized there was a bike race so I decided to loiter and watch a couple of the laps, it was 11 x 9km loops so I watched a couple of loops, aware that I needed to get my bike back in time.

image image

Up close and personal….and then aerial from the freeway bridge

Today’s run was a little test of my pace as I put down a 8 miler with 4 miles at tempo pace:

2m warm up; 8:18, 7:52
4m tempo; 7:47, 7:34, 7:36, 7:47
2m cool down; 8:16, 7:45...oops!

Not the fastest 8 miler I have run and I will need to drive those 7’s down to hi 6s to get to my target 1:30 Half Marathon

So as the month wraps up I will transition onto a 3 month training plan using the FIRST method which I have used successfully for training for a 10k last year where I shaved off nearly 4 minutes…this year I need to shave nearly 8 minutes over double the distance! Doable…let’s see!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bike Week

My wife was out-of-town this week, it’s a regular thing she goes to New York, once a week most months and it’s no real biggie, we adjust, adapt and absorb. Part of the adaption is bringing my training in house and that was fine as this week was a kinda down week for me, I have been cranking in the running miles for the last 3 weeks and with work as busy as ever working through lunch is a necessary evil especially if I want to get out on time. So I got the bike trainer and took full advantage of plonking it down front and center in the lounge in front of the flat screen TV where I can whir away when the kids are asleep, it’s not great as it seems I end up having dinner around 10pm but I’ll take that in lieu of missing the training.

So four days and 84 miles later bike week ends, I got caught up on a couple of Sufferfest rides, watched a couple of “while the wife’s away” movies; Easy A…bad, Kick Ass…good and Grown Ups…and ugly! C’mon Netflix let’s get some A list streaming please!


Fight Club; time trials and climbs

Oh and I got a new trainer! It’s an early Father’s Day gift!image

Trail running tomorrow with Becca, who BTW I seem to have talked her into running a 50k in the Fall (it took all of 90 seconds) and a little something something on Sunday and I might just make 100 miles! Down week…yeah right!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sony Walkman W Series MP3 Player – winners!

Sorry I have been hiding under a rock for the last week or so and nearly a week late here are the two winners of the Sony Walkmans:


Kristy and Timbeuax!

Drop me an email to quadrathon @ with your mailing address and I will get them out to you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Inside Fellsman’s head!

When overheard by my wife she commented “well they’ve got your number haven’t they”!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review; Sony Walkman W Series MP3 Player

If you have ever seen a photo of me chances are I have earbuds stuck in my ears, I would like to think I am an audiophile but the truth is that I like to have a solid bass and no hiss! Yeah it’s not the safest thing to do but…well 2-3 hours doing anything needs some musical accompaniment. Up until a couple of years ago I was happy with the out-of-the-box Apple earbuds, then I discovered Sony Mdr-Ed12Lp, not the catchiest of names but these babies pack a punch and you can pick them up online for around $10, but there downside is that are susceptible to water, sweat, Cytomax; yeah I dropped an ear bud into an open handheld once! So when Sony hit me up to review there latest reincarnation of the Walkman I was in!

Now the truth is I am a bit late to the party on reviewing these; there are some actually pretty thorough reviews posted by other blogging buddies of mine including,

Frayed Laces; “Perhaps I just have abnormal ears

ChicRunner; “I love this little guy

Gretchen; “an excellent player for the gym or other low-impact sports

Aron; “I would definitely recommend this

P1010788 image

So I am going to spare you the basics about the features, suffice to say it goes forwards and backwards. There are some nice touches that have not been mentioned in other reviews:

  • It is iTunes compatible just drop and drag your music easy peasy, you can create playlists through new folders and then scroll through from the earset
  • It comes with three sizes of earbuds so you can get a good fit; they’re really easy to change and you can mix and match to get the best fit possible
  • The sound quality is really good, way better than the Apple buds and as good as my beloved Mdrs, deep rich bass and clear top notes
  • The magnetic touch turns them off so as long as you close them you can save the battery, they also charge up really quickly approx 80% in 5 minutes from flat
  • No cords, needless to say this is a total bonus
  • Water…well sweat proof, yeah it’s getting pretty toasty on my lunchtime runs, today hit 98f

Of course there are a couple of downsides:

  • Changing tracks on the fly is a bit tricky, you get used to it but it is a bit tricky!
  • The fit, this is one size fits all, kinda, the loop that wraps round you head is one size and ergo if you’re an XL or XS cranium you could have issues…I am erring on the XL side
  • One thing missing for those that run with a cell phone, these would be great if they were blue tooth compatible
  • The earbuds, well here’s the kicker they rubbed the inside of my ear and for me that’s the deal breaker

Now just because they do not work for me does not mean they won’t work for you and thanks to Sony I have two pairs to give away to two lucky readers…and listeners I suppose!

So by now you know the form right:

Show some Facebook love will get you an entry.

Post about it on your blog will get you another.

Tweet “I just entered the @quadrathon win a @SonyElectronics W Series Walkman competition you can too” and you can have three.

Finally let me know how many you entries you need by leaving a comment on this post for your fourth and I will draw a winner on Friday! Otherwise you can have a rummage in the garage for your old cassette player!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hot ‘n’ Hilly!

Twelve hilly miles, the midday heat and nearly not enough water, that about sums it up! The planned run was changed due to a friend almost deciding to have a baby so to the local trail head we headed, yes we, if you follow me on Daily Mile you may have detected a bit of “we” not “I”, thanks to the Interwebs I have a running partner; Becca, and so for the last two weeks we have been running twice a week early in the morning and this weekend we ventured onto the trails again. Somewhat of a change of elevation and weather from last weekend, not a cloud in the sky and not a lot of level ground. So we set off up the Los Robles Trail.

Los Robles

Yeah there is a bit of climbing!

This is one of those runs where you are always in touch with civilization, for the first 3 miles you have a good view of the 101 Freeway and even when you drop down the backside there are houses scattered about, although you do get a good view of the next range which is a wee bit bigger


Boney Mountain


And on a clear day you can see the Ocean too

Of course as you can tell from the profile this is an out and back and what goes down has to come up! Ouch is really all could say, well actually it was a little stronger but you know what I mean!


Ouch is really all I could say, well actually it was a little stronger!

And so with nearly two and half hours on the clock we were back at the car with cold water and coconut juice waiting for us! Needless to say it’s a joy to be back on the trails and having someone to share them with and show them to makes it even more fun…and so slowly but surely my base and weekly mileage is slowly coming back and I can now refocus on my efforts on racing goals and longer distances…but another month of base building comes first and that’s just gonna be a month of fun early mornings and trail weekends!

PS the winner from last weeks giveaway a CamelBak Groove is Jason, email me your mailing address Jason and it’ll be on it’s way. Stay tuned for this weeks giveaway…not one but two Sony W Series Walkmans!