Monthly Archives: January 2016

Beginning to Tri, episode 1

“I’m going to do a Triathlon in 2016!” right I have said it, it’s out there, I cannot take it back! So I’m in my 41st year, since my 38th Birthday I have taken up running competed in 5, 10kms half and a full marathon both on trail and road and in the day and at night apart from training harder and trying to get faster I want a new challenge!  I have been doing several stints hosting @UKTriChat of late and the seed has been well and truly sowed.  It can’t be that hard to switch from just running to Tri? I can ride a bike and swim; it shouldn’t be that hard should it?

So I have said it, now I have to concur it!  After a failed attempted at a Duathlon in November due to high winds I think I just need to go for it but it does fill me with some dread.  Triathlon is a whole new world, I feel fairly happy and comfortable talking running now and with the experiences I have gained I a short time I feel happy to support others and now call on the same from seasoned Triathletes.

I started my journey to Tri by looking at my options, like running there seems to be lots! Pool, lake and sea swims, Trail, road, track even indoor bike and runs not to mention the many choices of distance!  So where do I start? At this stage I’m not truly sure (advice please readers) I have seen lots of statements on races ‘Ideal for novices’ but am I a novice? Should I push myself both in challenge and distance?

Also there seems to be so much kit involved! Running is fairly easy: Trainers, gym kit.. GO.  But it’s completely different in Triathlon – Bike, Helmet, shoes, tri suit – one piece or shorts and top, Wetsuit, goggles.  I’m hoping the team at wiggle will be able to help me to get the kit that is right for me, not the cheapest, shiniest or trendiest but kit that is right for my level of experience and need.

Then I need to start to look at fitting in 3 types of training.  I can no longer fit in runs around the family and work but need to get laps in the pool and miles on the bike alongside the distance in my trainers.  It’s not going to be easy but I’ve said it, I cannot go back on it now.

Stage 1 is to get back in the pool!!


Vitality Life Insurance Through Fitness Rewards

As part of our new partnership with Fitness Rewards I was given 150, 000 of life cover with Vitality to test if the benefits and cost made it worthwhile to switch. To put this in context I’m 40 years old, A Home owner & Non-smoker this policy would cost me £24.50 per month if I had paid for it. (The younger you are the cheaper the cover will be)
As Benjamin Franklin stated there are 2 sure things in Life Death and Taxes so having children and owning a home I have had life cover for the past 16 years. As with most of us, a sum of cash has gone from my bank account each month but as I’m currently fit and healthy I don’t see anything from it but that has now changed!

The concept of the Fitness Rewards Life policy is to reward you for being active and as a runner and PE teacher this seemed great sense. Once you go through the regular questions to set up your policy the guys from Fitness Rewards give you a call to help you make the most of the policy. This entails linking it to your fitness tracker, Parkrun ID as well as suggesting other ways to gain ‘points’.

The policy works on building points to gain rewards and cashback. By doing 7000 – 9,999 steps in a day you can get 3 points, 5 for 10,000 – 12,499 and 12,500+ gets 10 points. You can also get a full 10 points for 30 minutes of running, 1hr of cycling, doing parkrun or going to the gym, you can also get 5 points for volunteering at parkrun! The max points you can get in a week is 40 for activity but this then unlocks 2 ‘gifts’ a Starbucks drink of your choice and a Vue or Cineworld Cinema Ticket. Steps can be counted via your phone or also a Garmin device.

You begin your policy on 0 points on a bronze, silver, gold and platinum number line; however it is very simple and quick to build your points via activity levels and health checks. You are rewarded for taking online health questionnaires as well as real life ones and fitness tests. They also reward you points for your mundane health check visits like going to the dentist. With this in mind, I started my policy in October and I am 100 points of gold at present (December) I did this just by being active and by doing the suggested health checks.
The team at Fitness Rewards are great they are very helpful and not pushy when you call. They are not set targets on sign ups which means there is no hard sell, I was given time to digest the suggestions they had made and I was left to call them when I was ready.

As well as these weekly ‘gifts’ you get discounts at sweatshop, Garmin, British airways as well as lots of others. The rewards system also gives opportunities for cash back at the end of your policy and also monthly via purchases.
So what is my verdict? This is a no brainer, it may be £2 – £3 dearer than my old policy but this covers itself within the first few months and if I get my £100 cash back I will be paying very little for my life insurance: Policy £24.50 – £22.30 (Starbucks £16 (4 x £4), Cinema £40 (4 x £40), £8.30 (£100 /12 months)) so my policy is costing – £39.80 a month for my Life cover (If I use all my rewards)

So since beginning the trial I have now spoken to the team and had all my life cover reviewed. I now have all my cover with them (paying for the cover personally) and have also added my children to the policy. By doing this when I hit my target I get 3 lots of Cinema Tickets and well as 3 discounts for trainers. With this in mind I have been getting £120 worth of cinema tickets each month.


So if you have or need life insurance, you really need to give the team at Fitness Rewards a call, they will give you advice and support and then leave you to think about it. However once you see the benefits i think you will be keen to sign up!

Also watch this space for new perks and rewards!