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Breeze Group Rides – A night out with the girls, with a difference

Breeze Group RideLearning how to fix a puncture and give my chain a bath weren’t the only useful things I learned on my bike maintenance course. Chatting to one of the other ladies there, she told me she was about to become a Breeze Champion.

I’d not come across Breeze before but she gave me the low down and it sounded great. As soon as I was out of my overalls and back in the comfort of my own home, I checked it out.

The Breeze initiative was set up in 2011 by British Cycling.

Spice trisuit reviewKay reviews Trigirl’s latest one-piece trisuit

With my race only a few weeks away, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on my new Trigirl trisuit. I wanted to start to put the individual events together and understand what it feels like to do the cycle leg straight from the water.

So, I opted for the Spice trisuit in Paradise Bay. It’s a lovely electric blue with a contrasting turquoise on the front zip and back neckline. It’s lightweight and breathable, with mesh panels on the back and lower legs to keep you cool and speed up drying.

I was itching to test it out and wasn’t disappointed. The chamois was comfortable, low profile and super quick to dry. The legs didn’t ride up, and I have had no chafing. The rear pockets held gels safely in place.

It’s a flattering fit – you can tell these girls know what they’re doing! The legs are a good length and I was relieved to see it wasn’t see-through when wet. It’s very comfy, too, with no digging in around the armholes or straps and the whole thing dried very quickly.

In conclusion, this is a lovely piece of kit. I’m confident it will perform technically and comfort is one less thing I’ll have to worry about on race day. I think I feel the part now too. I’m less like the novice and more like a woman who means business – bring it on!

Clipping in to clipless pedals – what’s that all about?

In for a penny, in for a pound. As the proud owner of a fancy new road bike there was now no avoiding the mysterious world of cleats and clipping in.

Clipless pedalsSome useful basics for the novice

• Clipless pedals are a two-part system. The pedal has a metal locking mechanism on it and there is also a metal or plastic cleat that attaches to the bottom of your shoe. This means that with a little practice you can connect rider and bike via the pedal which increases efficiency.

• The “clipless” term is potentially misleading. Though they don’t have “toe clips” as such, the action by which you connect shoe to pedal is still called “clipping in and out”.

• There are essentially 2 types of system – road or 3-hole (SPD-SL, sometimes called Look-style) and SPD or 2-hole (also called MTB, as they are typically used for mountain biking). The road shoes are

Do I really need a new bike for my first triathlon?

Easing gently into triathlon training deep in the winter months, I’d been taking the softy’s option of starting my preparation for the bike leg in the gym. Training warm and dry with TV or tunes, the chance of a chat with friends and a coffee shop on the way out – what’s not to like?

new bike for a first triathlonA few weeks in, however, with the first signs of spring on the way and the clock now counting down towards the race, it was time to dust off my bike and head outside.

In the back of my mind I think I knew that my old MTB might not be up to the job. My first exhausting training ride confirmed this. The bike had served me well for many miles of recreational cycling, through several countries and for well over a decade. However, this bike just wasn’t built for speed!

My expectations for the race had shifted somewhere along the way from wanting to “just get round” to starting to think about getting some speed up.

Sports Bra for Triathlon TrainingTalking of getting the right support to get me through the triathlon ….. the lovely folk at Trigirl have asked me to test some of their gear over the coming weeks and I’ve started with one of their sports bras. They recommended the Anita Active Dynamix as the perfect sports bra for triathlon training and racing.

I have to say I’ve worn the same brand of sports bra in multiple colours and different incarnations over many years and have been very happy with it. The Dynamix bra that I tried, however, definitely gives it a run for its money.

It has a neat design which makes it easy to get on and off; especially handy when you’re hot and sweaty. The fabric is light and breathable and did a good job wicking the sweat away.

It’s quick and easy to adjust at the front and the padded straps fit snuggly. As you’d hope, it keeps everything in place even during a tough, high-impact training session but doesn’t sacrifice comfort at the expense of support.

I have to admit the Dynamix was way more comfortable than my regular sports bra. I’m converted.

Looking for a women’s-only triathlon training camp with a bit of luxury?

Buzz Women in Triathlon HolidayCheck out the Buzz Women in Triathlon Holiday, a fun-filled and confidence-boosting week. Hosted by Buzz Performance, this camp in located in the beautiful area of Morzine and it’s surroundings. The training takes place in 25 and 50m swimming pools, Lac Montriond, on quiet roads and on river trails.

This women’s only holiday brings together women of all ages with a buzzing interest in triathlon for a fun filled and confidence boosting week. It helps ladies of all abilities gain new skills, improve current technique and experience training in a relaxed and supportive environment.

There is even

As far as bike maintenance goes, I’m afraid I’ve let the side down a bit over the years. I am much more likely to reach for my phone than my multi tool in the event of a breakdown. And while, on a good day, I might have taken a pump and an inner tube out with me, if push came to shove, I’m embarrassed to say, I’d have been struggling to know what to do with them.

bike maintenance course for triathlon newbiesWith many hours training on the bike ahead of me, not to mention race day itself, I thought a bike maintenance class made sense. Skilling myself up would, I hope, put an end to my “fingers crossed” days of cycling not to mention improve my performance and ultimately keep me safer.

I chose a beginner’s course at a local BikeRight Centre. I arrived on the day along with a small group who came with a range of different bikes and motivations.

We started with the basics and the first exercise of the day was actually to label the various parts of the bike. Beyond the fundamentals

Swim Technique for TriathlonThe internet has been a great source of information during the early stages of my triathlon journey. I was beginning to think, however, that my swim technique would plateau if YouTube continued to be my only source of advice.

Ultimately, I thought, there was probably no substitute for a real-life coach standing on the poolside correcting my bad habits and fine tuning my stroke.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to take the plunge (sorry) and get a professional on the job. I’d seen several teachers at my local pool but they were, in the main, young enough to be my children. I really wanted someone let’s say, more my age profile. I’d seen Hilary* teaching another adult and noticed how engaged and enthusiastic she was with them. What’s more there was actual laughter going on. It looked like the lesson might even turn out to be fun!

3 lessons of swim technique in

Zone3’s ingenious neoprene vest for open water swimmers is now available at Trigirl.com

Neoprene Vest for Openwater SwimmersDo you ever feel like your wetsuit isn’t keeping you warm enough? That you’d love to start open water swimming earlier in the season or keep swimming later into the year, but just can’t bear the cold water?

Trigirl is now carrying Zone3’s Neoprene Warmth Vest, an excellent solution to help cold open water swimmers.

Most women we know tend to ‘feel the cold’ a bit more than our male triathlete counterparts, which is why Trigirl loves the Zone3 neoprene vest. Form-fitting* with a high neck, the 2mm thick layer fits comfortably under a wetsuit, but makes chilly swimming far more enjoyable. A titanium coating applied to the internal material takes it a step further, additionally helping to maintain your core temperature. We’ve been wearing them ourselves and it’s amazing how much more we’re enjoying our open water swims!

The warmth vest can also be used when the weather/ water is warmer, but not quite warm enough to go without a wetsuit.

Click here to buy the Zone3 warmth vest or check out the rest of our webshop at trigirl.com.
* Please be sure to read sizing information to ensure a great fit.

January blues? Not for me! My first month of training has left me energized and immune to the chill and gloom of the first few weeks of 2017.

Sprint Triathlon Training has StartedThe sprint tri I’ve entered is in May so I’ve 4 months to train and prepare for the big day. I found plenty of great information on the Trigirl website to get me started, much of which is geared towards the novice triathlete.

Although the tri is obviously a game of 3 halves, it’s the swim leg that loomed largest for me personally and I really wanted to gain some confidence in the water as quickly as possible.

I’ve been a regular at the gym for many years but have rarely ventured into the pool. I think it’s fair to say I did feel a bit self-conscious on my first visit but I kept my objectives realistic; don’t do anything daft and try to retain some self-respect!

I can only say I wish I’d got into swimming sooner. Though I wouldn’t have won any medals for style on that first day, even with my ungainly stroke and unpractised breathing, I soon got into a rhythm. After a couple of swims I was relaxing more and finding it a surprisingly peaceful experience.

Lessons learnt in those initial few weeks

I loved swimming as a child. Even now, one whiff of a pool takes me back to my childhood, sparking a pavlovian craving for a bag of Monster Munch and a Vimto which was the post-swim ritual.

Triathlon Challenges for KayI’m not sure when/ why I fell out of love with it. It’s true to say that swimming is the last form of exercise I’d choose now. In moments of madness when I have tried it again as an adult, I’ve found myself exhausted and embarrassed in equal measure.

With no style or technique to speak of and coughing and spluttering within the first couple of lengths, it’s fair to say I’m not one of life’s naturals. I should stick to sport on dry land I reminded myself; this swimming malarkey was not for me.

Except….

We sat down with Trigirl designer and triathlon coach, Kristin Duffy, to ask her a little about herself, how she started designing triathlon clothing, and the exciting new Trigirl 2017 collection. Here’s a sneak peek into the collection and her triathlon world.

Kristin, how did you get into designing triathlon clothing for women, of all things?

new Trigirl 2017 collectionI’m originally from the States and was a children’s designer for Gap in New York. For a time, I was designing boy’s activewear. As a triathlete, I thought that it would be great to design triathlon clothing someday.

When I moved to London, I met Trigirl founder, Pat Victor, during a weekend away with my running club. She mentioned Trigirl and I “casually” mentioned that I was a writer and a designer. I’ve worked with Pat as both!

You mentioned that you’re a triathlete yourself. As an athlete, what is the most important thing you yourself would want from a trisuit?

Performance-wise, I’d want comfort – it has to dry quickly (I hate being cold and wet!) and it has to have a comfortable pad for the cycling leg. That same pad has to feel like it has magically disappeared when I’m running. I don’t want to run a race feeling like I’m wearing a nappie! Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of work to make sure Trigirl offers quick-drying fabric, an amazingly comfortable triathlon pad and a lot more.

Perfect RunningTrigirl Triathlon coach Kristin Duffy helps you to perfect your running form with her latest article. Working her way from the top – your head, that is – all the way down to your feet, you can achieve an effortless running style that will make you faster and prevent injury.

Kristin explains: “The key to good running form is to stay relaxed, which isn’t always easy, especially as you tire. Try to check in as you are running, doing a quick head-to-feet scan. It will stop you from thinking negative thoughts (about wanting to stop, maybe?) and will keep you running with your perfect form!”

To read her full article, click here: Your Perfect Running Form

Spring Highlights

New TrigirlComing soon… new Trigirl styles and size replenishments on Trigirl favourites! Highlights include the Zest, a long-legged trisuit with fabulous style, Strength long-legged tri shorts, inspired by our best-selling Speed shorts, and the all-new Spirit tri top with C/D cup size.

Our new colours are Ferrari Red and Barbados Blue. Let the season begin!

We are also awaiting new stock on some of your old favourites, so don’t miss out! We’re expecting from late March and we don’t expect it to last long!

Check out our webshop at trigirl.com

Trigirl Review Two-Piece TrisuitIt’s always nice to get positive feedback, but we’re especially excited when the favourable Trigirl review comes from Seonaid Thompson. Seonaid is a Scottish triathlete, rising star in the triathlon world, and Commonwealth Games hopeful. Since competing in her first triathlon just four years ago (using her husband’s bike and wetsuit!), Seonaid has been building on her triathlon success with 2014 already being her strongest to date. Thanks to Seonaid for the lovely review- we’ve got our fingers crossed for the Commonwealth Games selection!

Seonaid’s Trigirl Review

I’ve been a fan of Trigirl since I first tried some of their lovely kit last year, so I  was very excited to have the chance to try out one of their fantastic new designs, the Dazzle and Dash tri top and shorts set. I had high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed:

My first impression was, ‘It’s very pretty’. The coral pink colour is lovely and even more vibrant than it appears on the Trigirl website. I also love the unique crossover design on the back of the top. I’ve enjoyed running and cycling in the new kit for the past few weeks now, at home in Yorkshire and also when away for races in Portugal, Turkey and Slovakia.