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Sunday, 11 December 2011

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10 days since the last post, no idea where the time has gone.
So, been taking it a bit easier. Forest Fit has been going very well, great turnouts to the sessions and good quality training from everybody taking part, including both trainers!!
Really helping to maintain my general fitness levels. Still struggling a little with tight neck and right shoulder wihc is hampering any upper body work, and I've lost a little motivation for biking and running. Not done a right lot recently. Couple of turbo sessions, out for a couple of rides, and running, only a few shorter 30 minute runs.
I want to get back to swimming to help loosen me up a bit, as there is no doubt this helps keep me flexible with no impact.
I did put in a good turbo session for an hour today followed by a 25 minute tempo run. Felt pretty good, legs a bit heavy, but strong. Bit more biking to be done over the next few weeks, time to start building it up it in the New Year, and hopefully rediscover a bit of Mojo!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Tiredness creeping in

Ok, so training been going well, adding in some strength work and a bit more biking, and I've just hit a patch where my body is telling me to rest.
Sunday was a 2 hour bike.
Monday was a 25 minute run, legs felt like lead.
tuesday's strength workout:
Warm up with a few lifts and kettlbell swings
3 x 15 reps:
Deadlift 90kg
Bench Press 45kg
And that was it! All I had time for. Worked at a faster tempo and it got me really working up a sweat.
I did a 45 minute turbo later in the day which was a solid session.

Wednesday was Forest Fit, and I had nothing in the legs for jumping. We did some sprinting and my legs can really feel that today.
Rest day today, and have entered Antwerp 70.3 for next July. Going to really prepare well for it. Unfinished business from 2009!!! This time I won't be falling off my bike!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Weekend report

Friday night, Boscombe 5k. Did not feel at all in any great shape.
I biked for 90 minutes in the afternoon and had heavy legs then.
I ran steady, hard but not all out and posted the same time as last time out. 18' 55". Not done any short training so quite pleased with it really.
Then I did Forest Fit on Saturday, led a really good session and got stuck in myself. Rested Saturday afternoon and was going to run the Downton Half marathon but when I woke up this morning, I had zero motivation and went to watch Henry play his football match which his team Wareham Rangers won 3-1!
I then rode for 2 hours later in the day, bagging a steady 40 miles in the sunshine and wind. Was good to get my legs moving and feeling alright. Ready for the week ahead, more strength work, bike miles and will be back in the pool for a swim I think.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wednesday in the Forest and on the bike

Another lovely morning for Forest Fit, crisp and bright sunshine made for a most enjoyable session as me and Charlie put a dozen of the Forest Fit team through their paces.
At lunchtime I swapped run shoes for bike shoes and got out for 43 miles of hills and sunshine over the Purbecks, a steady ride of 2 hours and 20 minutes. Nothing crazy, and it was good to feel some life returning to the legs. Yesterdays strength workout did leave me a bit stiff and heavy-legged this morning. I did get a 20 minute loosener of a jog in before the Forest Fit session, which helped to wake me up!
Aching from yesterday's deadlifting and back focus workout, which is a good sign. Will see how I am tomorrow. Run for 40 minutes steady and probably a shorter workout on the turbo. Then ease off before Sunday's half marathon, although some doubt as to whether I'll run. Can't get over there, no transport, and not really wanting to ride for 25 miles before running it!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tuesday workout

Strength workout again today:

3 x 12-15 reps, 90 secs rest.

Deadlift 90kg
Single Arm Row 20kg kettlebell
Squats 90kg
Inverted row pull ups on rings

Monday, 21 November 2011

Weekend come and gone

Monday night already and just returned from an excellent Forest Fit training session, but 21 guys and gals through their paces, great fun.
I rode there and back, got very wet in some nasty rain but on the whole a nice warm evening, ideal training weather. As for this weekend, I managed a Forest Fit session on Saturday, a 30 mile bike on Sunday done at tempo, felt good to get the legs moving, and today as well as Forest Fit, I got in an 11k run this morning, running the last 5k as a tempo run, near half marathon race pace. Felt pretty good, legs reasonably fresh. Will do another gym workout tomorrow, and fit in a session on the rollers later in the day. Might even try a swim on Wednesday evening, as it's weeks since I have been in a pool. Ringwood triathlon was the last time I swam, back in September. I have Boscombe 5k again on Friday evening, which I may just do as an out and back training run, with half an eye on posting a good time on Sunday at the Downton half. Downton is just about putting down a good marker as a guide for how I'm running and to find out what I need to work on.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Run

Not much time for anything else today, no bike ride.
However, very good interval run. 2k warm up then 3 x 1k as fast as possible with 3 x 1k easy run inbetween. 1k jog cool down.
Felt good, and if time had allowed I would have banged out 5 x 1k. But that'll do for today. Tomorrow is Forest Fit and and I will definitely get out in the afternoon for a bike and then Sunday for a long 2 hour run.

Thursday Turbo

All I could fit in today was 40 minutes on the turbo of steady tempo riding. Surprisingly my legs woke up pretty quickly and I felt good.
However, the rest of the day I was tired out and aching a bit from Wednesday's gym workout! Still a bit of DOMS( Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness) today, but fading as I stretch off a bit more.
Will get out for a 2 hour bike ride today( Friday) and follow it up by an easy run later on in the day.
Another strength workout at some point over the weekend, and long run. Downton Half marathon a week on Sunday, and though it's an undulating course, I feel a PB coming on!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wednesday Run

So, later on in the afternoon, 8k run, warm up and then tempo. Ooooh, tired legs and upper body from earlier morning workout. Tired is an understatement.
And proper autumn weather now, cold damp and dark!

Wednesday weights

Endurance type workout.
5-10 minute warm up including bunny hops, burpees and lunges and some light lifts.

3 x 12-15 reps of the following with 60 secs rest between sets:
Deadlift 70kg
Press ups on gymnastic rings
Squats 70kg
Bench press 40kg

5 minutes plank, side plank combis.

Stretch off.

Good workout. Love Deadlifting!!! No surprises it's called the 'King of exercises'. Brilliant for all over body strength and conditioning, providing done with solid form, technique and good core stability. Works nearly every muscle group in the body!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday bike

90 minutes of easy outdoor riding in cold and windy sunshine. Lovely!
Then found this footage of one of my saxophone playing idols.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Monday Run

Long run this morning, 1 hour 58 mins for 15.8 miles. nice and steady, cool morning, gentle breeze, good conditions and felt in good shape.
Had a rest day on Sunday, watching the athletes at the Sika Trail duathlon. Great fun event and worth having a go at next year if you like a good off-road bike challenge.

Forest Fit tonight at Wareham rugby club, should be another great session!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Low Fat Diets a waste of time

A recent journal study found people eat 28% more calories when they eat low-fat snacks compared to normal ones.

Low fat means high sugar, more calories and not at all good at satisfying the appetite or providing any good quality nutritional value.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Day in the life of a professional musician

So, as I get back into my clarinet playing thoughts have turned to how unfit I was whilst on tour and having back niggles and eating unhealthily, drinking too much, being tired and lethargic, no focus, just going through the motions, eating all the wrong food. Loads of time sat in traffic to and from gigs, home and slump on sofa, late night, poor sleep, up late. Practice, phone calls, rehearsals, more car time, teaching lessons, coffee to keep awake, gig to get to, another rehearsal, never-ending phone calls. Day in day out. This takes it's toll. When do any musicians get some exercise and eat healthy? When do they ever take half an hour a day to work on posture, improved strength and conditioning? How many drummers do I know that suffer with chronic back pain and do nothing about it? Core strength is unheard of. How many woodwind players would benefit from improved diaphragm strength and stronger backs? Loads!! More core control would equal more strength to perform better, sound better and feel better! More energy, more time to put in quality performance and fitter to lift gear around the place.
I know all this because I was in a former life a professional musician! Sax, flute and clarinet. Now as a Personal Trainer returning to playing I am much stronger, can create a bigger sound, have more control over the instrument and have more staying power to put in the practice needed to get back to where I was and to start actually improving. Without a doubt as I get back into my playing I am rapidly making progress through some of the classical clarinet repertoire and it feels much easier than when I played all these pieces 15 or so years ago. For example, the last time I played Rossini's Theme and Variations for Clarinet was at an LRSM exam, 1995 I think it was. 16 years on and I reckon that had I not been so fit and healthy I would be struggling to get any sound out of the instrument. 2 weeks into my playing, it's almost back to performance standard!
If any musicians reading this would like to get in touch and discuss health and fitness training for musicians, then feel free to get hold of me through this blog.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thursday run

Tempo run, 5 mins warm up, 6k at 4 min/km pace. 5 mins cool down. Tired!!!
Not much else to report on.
Using this to keep tabs on my training now. Will drag myself out tomorrow afternoon for a longish bike or run, not sure which yet!
Could do with some bike miles in my legs, but with a half marathon at the end of the month I am thinking I should be running a bit more. Motivation has waned somewhat this week, but not the end of the world as it's November and not the middle of racing. Thinking about events for next year and whether I will do a few more triathlons. Jury still out on that one.

Sika Duathlon

Only a few places left in the Sika Duathlon this Sunday. Race details are available at and you can enter online.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Today is Forest Fit day! Well, an hour Wednesday morning. Very good session today, nice and tough strength workout and plenty o' hills!
Managed to squeeze in an hour and 15 mins on the old turbo as well, legs a bit tired, but not too bad. Good workout.
Mid length run tomorrow for an hour, most at tempo, then bike on Friday, 2 x Forest Fit on Saturday and bike and run Sunday. Nothing mad at the minute. Signed up for Downton Half marathon at the end of the month and 2 weeks til the next Boscombe 5k. Run focus week next week. Steady as she goes!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Kettlebell Workout

Been a while since I have done this.
But I couldn't quite face the bike turbo this evening so thought I'd spend 30 minutes swinging a kettlebell.
Great Fun!
Here's the routine, all with 16kg bell
All 20-30 secs rest between sets
3 sets of 2-handed 30 KB swings
3 sets of 10 pull ups
1 set tricep dips
2 sets 20 clean and press/jerk
1 set tricep dips
2 sets of 20 single handed swings
1 set tricep dips
2 sets of 20 snatch

Monday, 7 November 2011


16km morning run, easy, cold wind, tired legs from yesterday's bike. But not in bad shape.
Monday night Forest Fit, going to have a rest for an hour before I go there early to make up sandbags! Should be a good fun session.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

BJW 50 Reliability Ride

Well, nice day for it, bit chilly and windy but sun was out.
I went with the faster group, and quickly found I had nothing in the legs and heartrate well above what it normally would be, was a real effort. Spent 40 miles trying to get back on the group after being held up by a group of cars who couldn't make their mind up through a village of who had right of way! Could see the group 200yds up the road, but in a cold headwind and feeling below par it was all I could do to keep them at that distance. And at 10 miles to go I gave up and rode back to HQ the slightly shorter way back. Half a mile shorter.
Rode from home to HQ and back and in total did 70 miles. Nice to get that in my legs and longest I have ridden for over 12 months! Good training session, and will sleep soundly this evening.

Poole Wheelers Cyclocross Event

For more information go to this blog by cyclist Eamonn Deane

18th December is a date for your diary to see some of the UKs best bike riders in action racing around the Sika Trail in Wareham Forest where we happen to do Forest Fit!
I will be there helping out and marshalling. Always fancied a go at cyclocross but missing two vital things. 1. a bike and 2. a race license! Maybe next year!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Poole Wheelers AGM

Last night I attended my first PW AGM. And it was nice to get out and meet some of the guys not in lycra and silly hats!
I volunteered to be on the committee next season and was proposed and seconded, so I am really looking forward to getting involved more with the club. It does a fantastic job hosting club and open events, organising track sessions, club rides, road racing and being an active and popular club in Dorset. The standard of riding is excellent and yet there is room for all abilities and everyone is made to feel very welcome.
For more information about the club please contact me or have a look on the Poole Wheelers' website

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

In the gym

First proper workout in my new gym and great fun! I had forgotten how much I enjoy working out with weights and even though pretty tough, it really fires up your metabolism and gets those endorphins whizzing round the body! I try and keep my workout time down to a minimum and don't waste anything, keeping rest between sets as low as possible, making it more of an interval training session.
I am now getting back into some strength training for over the winter to supplement the bike and run training. So I started off fairly easy with a short workout, which works all muscle groups through only 5 main exercises.
Here it is:
Warm up for 5-10 minutes with various exercises, step ups and burpees, kettlebell swings, very light dumbells going through various moves to get the heartrate up and blood flowing. Then I set my interval timer to 40 seconds of effort with 20 seconds of rest. And I do 20 sets of those. ie. 20 minute session. 5 minutes cool down and stretch after.
5 exercises = 4 sets of each (40 on 20 off) Each rep, 2 secs up and 2 down lifting
1. Deadlift with 50kg olympic bar
2. Bench press 25kg bar
3. Squats with same 25kg bar, done at faster tempo
4. Single Arm row, 16kg kettlebell, work each side for 40 secs. ie. 40 left, rest 20, 40 right, rest 20 etc.
5. Seated shoulder press and seated lateral shoulder raise. 1 set press, 1 set raise and repeat. Press with 8kg kettlebells and raises with 5kg dumbells

5 minute cool down.
And that's it. I've not pushed the weight as I am starting back and I am only just better after a bit of a stiff neck/shoulder/chest injury. But it felt good. I hope to do two of these a week and keep adapting and mixing up the workouts to keep it fresh!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Steve - The year of the Ironman: Forest Fit Circuit Training

Steve - The year of the Ironman: Forest Fit Circuit Training: Contact me via email or the blogsite for more information. FOREST FIT Circuit Training with Charlie and Steve 1 hour of exerci...

Forest Fit


I woke up on Monday morning feeling pretty good and then tried to walk downstairs. Ouch, my calves were screaming! Very sore and still sore as I write this Tuesday morning. I will have a gentle jog out later today and I have to ride my bike into Poole so by the end of the day I hopefully will be moving a lot easier.

Now then, to the title of the post. Without boring you with the minutiae of history of my former musical career, I will endeavour to explain.
Health and fitness and sport are all number ones in my life, but you have to get a break from it at some point, otherwise it all becomes a bit too much. Stress is without a doubt a prominent force in modern day life and cannot be over-estimated the impact it has on anyone's health. So to balance that out I have recently started getting back into my music. I fiddle around with the piano, guitar and saxophone, but I have just been through some of the classic performance repertoire of the clarinet, and barring very weak jaw and lip muscles, it felt pretty good and the fingers can still move around the keys with some purpose. it must be 15 years since I performed some of those pieces.

I then started reminiscing about concerts done and exams and then thoughts turned to my LRSM exam at the Royal College of Music in London in '97. I think it was 97, might have been 96. I will have to dig out some stuff in the loft to find out. That said, I think I threw out the report. Here's briefly what happened. I was in great shape( clarinet-wise! - I loved my Guinness back then, and Marlboro!). Went down to London feeling confident. 3 pieces were Poulenc Sonata, Schumann Fantasy Pieces, and Rossini's Them and Variations. I thought a varied programme. How wrong was I? Groans from one of the three adjudicators when I announced my programme did not set the mood in a positive light.( And he was a bloody oboist!) . I stuck it to them and really pulled off a great performance, even the accompanist who I had met just an hour before was impressed. Just like it to be me, I had damaged my top lip 2 days before at a local music competition, which I had won and was to perform at the evening recital. Now, they had one of these old rusty music stands and it was jammed and just as I was up on stage to perform I tried to adjust it, it wouldn't budge. I pulled up extra hard, it came loose and whoosh! straight up into my mouth. Bloody everywhere, and needless to say I couldn't perform. I rushed off with air purple, and trying to get sorted for the upcoming exam. It had not properly healed and as a result air was escaping a little from my embouchure. I did try to explain this to the adjudicators beforehand but they weren't interested.
2 weeks later and my results came through the post. Fail!
I read the comments, had they listened to a different clarinettist? I was completely gobsmacked. I do think I ripped it up and binned it( the report, not the clarinet). My classical playing career was pretty much over there and then and I know that I just lost interest in it. I don't think I performed another recital after that. I carried on doing loads of gigs and then my music career continued for the next 10 years or so. But me and the clarinet parted company even though I was stilled required to play it on a lot of gigs.

Now to the point of the post title! I want to get back into playing the clarinet, and to prove to myself that I can still perform at a high level. I need another challenge alongside my triathlon and cycling. This will do nicely. So watch out for the Lycra-clad, wetsuit wearing bloke on a bike with run shoes on, noodling away with clarinet in hand! You never know it might just be the marketing angle that I have been looking for!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Sandy Balls Duathlon

Good morning!
And a good morning it was yesterday. I have to say this was one of the best races I have had, and I really enjoyed it.
Rocked up at 6:30am with James Gilfillan, who was marshalling and having a rest from triathlon and duathlon this season. He was kind enough to give me a lift over there to the campsite. Registration was nice and relaxed and there was a good atmosphere around. Weather was dull and grey, a little windy and very light drizzle in the air. Bike racked and a gentle warm up and I felt pretty good.
So to the race. The start is in the middle of Sandy Balls caravan park and from there after a few hundred yards it drops down very steeply and with a sharp left onto a wide stony trail. I took the first mile fairly easy as I am still so very cautious of my ankle, even though it was 10 months since my injury. The we hit an uphill that slows you down considerably. Well, slowed me down a lot anyway! I was probably around 15th place as we came back up to the campsite and out on the road, where I felt a lot more comfortable and managed to pick up the pace a little. The turnaround loop was another steep off-road section, only short but very steep! Then back onto road and down to the site for a smart change onto bike and out onto a fast course.
The first run was hilly enough for me to really feel it ion the calves as I haven't done any concerted hill running all year. So the bike leg really felt like hard work most the way round. The wind was not a lot of help and a bit in your face on the way back. However, not much of a problem. What was worse was the driving drizzle into my eyes which stung like crazy. I do not like riding without glasses but really had no choice. I made up a lot of ground on the bike and hit T2 up in about 4th place, 2 athletes that I had just passed on the bike came in shortly behind. I was out quick onto run and bang, the cramp kicked in my calves, but I just gritted teeth and after 500 yards or so they eased off, having been passed by one runner. By the 2nd km I was passed on an uphill by Chris Roxburgh from Total Fitness Bath. Hit the road and I managed to hang on about 20 yards back but couldn't quite push it enough to get back on level terms. I held that position until the end and finished it off well. Felt really strong at the end, and was delighted with how it all went. Especially pleased with my running, it's improving lots at the moment. Also, all the strength work is paying off.
I finished 6th overall and won the Vets race! Great morning's work. Lee Piercy won the overall race, by a country mile or 2, 7 minutes ahead of 2nd place. He's back to form and is going into the Ballbuster duathlon in 2 weeks' time in good shape.
Thanks to Richard and Jo Iles for hosting another great event. And well done to Sarah Smith, from Team Forest Fit who completed her first duathlon. Many more to come from her! Results are out on the Race New Forest website.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Training update

Well, I now have my gym almost fully finished! I installed two large mirrors yesterday and gave the floor a once over, good clean and tidy up and I must say that I am delighted with how it is working out. Boxing bag in there, squat rack, bench and deck and loads of free weights, kettlebells and gymnastic rings! Loads of other bits and pieces of kit.
Turbo is set up permanent in there and I have loads of room to work in, providing 1-2-1 personal training.

As for my own training, I have been getting back into a bit of a routine. Good solid bike and run o n Friday, then 2 Forest Fit sessions on Saturday, and a very hard run bike run bike run yesterday!
Just got back in from an 11k out and back run, finishing well. Recovery good. And I feel in pretty good shape for the Sandy Balls duathlon this Sunday. Another bike this evening, and a couple of easy runs and another bike later in the week, should see me hit the start line ready for a solid race. Looking forward to it, should be good fun. Especially as Mr. Gilfillan is marshalling and will no doubt be dishing out some stick! I mean encouragement!

Circuit Training

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Boscombe 5k results

A reasonable start to the winter series for me on the back of no specific run training. Been getting out when I can for a few easy miles but no structured interval training or tempo running.
Conditions were not ideal for a fast night, windy and a lot of sand built up on the sea front made it tricky trying to find the concrete floor. But on the whole I ran as strong as I could, finished with a bit of pace with the usual guts and lungs screaming to let them out! Oh, it's horrible doing the short stuff!
But hopefully over the course of the series I can improve and will be interesting to see how I get on. I was running these last year and did an 18:43 in December and then just when getting into my running I went and got injured with a nasty ankle sprain that has taken me the best part of this year to really get out of my system.
For anybody wanting to test themselves over 5k then this is a great way to do it. £2 a race, results up the next day and lots of people there, 250 runners on a Friday evening is a sign of just how popular the Boscombe race series is. Next one on 25th November.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

New gym

I am now the proud owner of my own gym and training facility, so I can now provide top quality 1-2-1 personal training without the hassle for fighting for space and worrying about what's going on around. I can focus on exactly the right type of training to accommodate everyone who trains with me.
Kit includes boxing bag, kettlebells, step deck, bench, med balls, dumbells and barbells, squat and multi press rack, pull up bar and knee raise station, turbo trainers for bike workouts, swiss balls, resistance bands, skipping ropes and alsorts of other little bits and pieces, including sandbags and jerry cans!
Over 20metre square of floor space so lots of room for hopping about and lots of dynamic moves, stretching and a great gym floor to work on, which is used by gymnastic venues for training and tae kwon do dojos.
Few more things to sort out, some mirrors to go in, pull up bar and knee raise station to add. But it is up and running and am training my clients in there and proving to be very successful.
I also have my own bike on the turbo trainer and can incorporate a strength training session with efforts on the bike, keeping the training varied throughout the winter. Happy Days!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Injury again!

Not that it's stopping me from biking and running, but no upper body exercises or swimming.
Difficult given my line of work. Having some physio which is helping but I have a very stiff neck which has tightened me up in the chest and bit of a muscle strain there.
Also very run down with a bit of a cold this morning, and feeling below par. Improved during the day but still a little tired. Will rest up for a day and then hit the training hard at the weekend.
Signed up for Sandy Balls duathlon, had a good race there back in 2009, so hopefully with some improved run and bike speed and better fitness I should go well.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ringwood Triathlon Race Report

So, first tri outing for me of 2011, and I was going into this race feeling fit and strong but unsure of how I'd perform as I have done little in the way of specific training this year. The last 4 weeks I have done a few shorter run sessions and a couple of short swim sets, but the biking has been limited to turbo and roller efforts as I haven't had the time to get any outdoor miles in.
Mr B senior was along to support so I had to go and give it some welly!
Venue for the swim was Ringwood leisure. Registration a simple affair at 6am and then off on turbo for half hour to get the legs moving. And the rain came! It had been raining heavy in the night so a lot of surface water as well, I wasn't looking forward to a lot of rubbish washing down onto New Forest country lanes. But everyone has to do it so I just focussed on what I would be doing. Umbrellas are very useful things, and I was sat up holding on to one whilst spinning my legs on bike!
Racked at 7:30am and then got myself over to poolside for a 600m swim. I was in 1 of 5 lanes with the fastest wave. My predicted time of 9 minutes was a little hopeful but it was an attempt to get myself into the faster wave so I would have something to chase on the bike. Off we set, and I was almost immediately passed by Michael Phelps, who I later found out swam a 7' 50". I swam solid and exited with no idea what time was. But looking across at the other lanes, I noticed I was still up with most of the competition so I was very happy with that. Running out into the car park the rain was pounding down, so a shrug of the shoulders and helmet and shoes on, bike in hand I legged it off pretty sharpish and got into my riding quickly. Couple of tight turns in a residential area of Ringwood and out onto the main course proper. 1 mile gone and I hit the front, passing 3 of the front runners and set my targets on chasing down Mr Phelps!
I passed the eventual race winner after about 7 miles and then a couple of miles up the road Phelps was overtaken. So I had some clear road and I got the bit between my teeth and pushed on. I was feeling great and all the time trialling this season has really made me strong. Through Burley and had to negotiate a Subaru car rallye meeting! Then stuck behind a New Forest Land Rover who was waiting behind one of the slower riders from an earlier wave. But got round ok. Negotiating cattle grids in the wet slowed me up a little, but I was pushing on well, now that the rain had cleared and the sun was threatening to come out. With 22 miles to go I looked at bike computer and I was on for a 1hour 10 ride which was about what I wanted to ride. If I could hit that then I was certain of hanging on in the run and maybe sneaking a win. And then.......PUNCTURE!
Well, air turend a lovely shade of blue, purple and any other dirty colour! I didn't bother with a spare tub as it was only a 28 miles bike and if I did puncture then race over. So I slowed right down to a halt, hopped off and walked along with bike thinking I had at least got in a good training ride and swim. The I thought well, it's about 5 miles to the finish so I'll jog in with my bike and then at least finish the run if I felt ok! Well half a mile later and I stopped running and walked. By this time all the front riders had passed me and I was just enjoying the New Forest and the sunshine! Then I happened across an athlete who had had a nasty crash on a tight wet bend. I made sure he was alright and I was prepared to sit there and wait with him for the van that was coming to pick him up. As we were talking he asked me if I wanted to borrow his rear wheel as his race was over. After a brief discussion I thought well, at least I can finish even though I was out of the running. So a swap over and I got going again, and by god were my legs tight! What should have been a lightning quick last 5 miles, mostly downhill, was a bit slow and I eventually ended up in transition with my dad looking puzzled as to why I was so far back. Into my running and I felt surprisingly good. In fact I have never run better in a triathlon. I was picking off runners and eventually caught up again with Michael Phelps who had passed me again earlier on the bike when I had punctured. I pushed on and made the most of the very fast and flat course, clocking 37' 14" for 10k. Now it was actually a bit short, so more like 9.5 I think. But that said I was delighted to finish so strong after what had happened.
So I met up with my dad, had a bit of a chat with a few other people. Found the athlete who lent me his wheel and made sure he was alright. Swapped wheels again and then got myself home.

Overall, very very pleased with how I went. And I really enjoyed getting back to racing. I am so glad I had a break from it all year. Last year was tough and I struggled with feeling ill and not getting enough rest and recovery, and a bit of a stressful time all-round, with getting ill at Roth and a very disappointing result at Outlaw Triathlon. It was good to get out and out a performance in despite the puncture. I'm very philosophical about it all and these things happen. Next time on a wet New Forest surface I shall go for some different tyres!
So results were out and I was pleasantly surprised. I was 9th overall, had a 9' 38" swim, run with transition was down as 38' 30", which was 4th quickest run only a minute down on the first place run. I was 10 minutes down on first place overall and had I biked a 1 hr 10 it would have bagged me the win by a couple of minutes. But that's the beauty of racing, you never know what's gonna happen! Big thank you to Michelle Noble and the Results triathlon team for putting on this great event. Race results
This bodes very well for next season. I'm off to find some duathlons to race over the next couple of months and I'll be planning a race schedule for next year. I'm back!!!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Personal Training services. I am available for training anyone wanting to improve their health and fitness.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

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So, I have not managed to last the year before signing up for a race! Ringwood triathlon on the 18th September, my first of 2011. Feels a bit strange, having not trained all year for anything specific other than time trialing. Running shoes have been on a couple of times over the last few weeks and I have swum a little. Out on the bike a bit more over the last few days, and I have to say I am feeling in pretty good shape, I think a rest has done me the world of good.
So I'm going into this one with no idea how I will do, no expectations and no pressure, just going to go out there and have some fun and remind myself why I love the sport! Although, I think it might hurt a bit!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Nothing to report

Having a break from the blogging at the moment. Nothing of any note to report, steady progress on the time trialling front, with a 10 mile PB on a windy night, bit of running and training. May do a triathlon in a few weeks' time, just to keep my hand in. Bu that's about it, sometimes you just have to switch off!
Back soon.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Poole Wheelers Club 25

Wet, windy, only 9 turned out! Me and James Gilfillan rode out to sign on and watching the group huddled round the sign on car, we feared the worst, a cancellation!
However, not to be and the ride went ahead. James was off number 8 and followed by me at number 9. For those not experienced in time trialing then we go off at minute intervals. So I had my incentive to try and keep up with Mr Gilfillan. And for the first half of the race I was not losing that much ground, 3 loops of the dual carriageway and I was able to keep an eye on progress. Mile 15 to 20 I found tough, as the hard headwind on the fastest section of the course, slowed me right down to a snail like 22 mph in places, whereas normal speeds would be up around 34mph.
I tired over the last 2 miles, but finished in a respectable 57' 26". Second behind James who rode a very solid 54' 20ish". I was riding well and felt stronger in the legs today, heart was tired from hill runing at Forest Fit yesterday.
After the race, me and James rode out for an hour, a quick loop of Wednesday's club 14 mile TT. Hopefully I am back to some kind of form, and nice to feel some strength returning to my legs.
James is off to Alpe d'Huez triathlon in less than 2 weeks, and I quite fancy his chances of coming away with a podium finish, such is the strength of his riding.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Not that quick

Disappointed. 10 mile TT last night and I was feeling ok. I went as hard as I could but it just felt a bit slow. Couldn't push my legs any harder and that was that. 21' 31" on the night, 4th behind James Gilfillan, Terry Icke and Gary Dighton. But I was 30 seconds back on Gary( 20' 58") and a 40 seconds back on Terry. This left me a bit confused as to how I rode, as there have been a couple of seconds between the three of us over the last few rides. Whether I was tired from more training and having done circuits and run at lunchtime, maybe my legs were a bit fatigued. Dunno, just disappointed. I was held up at a roundablut and lost momentum but that's only a 10 second loss, so no excuses. I went as hard as I could, just not good enough on the night. Back to the drawing board!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Latest News

The pursruit for more bike speed continues and I have been back on it a few times over the last 10 days, a few turbos and an Open 25 event at the weekend. BJW 25
Had a decent ride, but took me 14 miles for my body to loosedn up, I was stiff in the shoulders, neck and back and legs, and felt pretty rubbish all over. In the end I finished pretty strong and was 7th on the day, picked up the team prize with gary D and Terry again, so not a bad morning's work.
Forest Fit is going very well, more great Saturday and Monday evening sessions.
I am wanting to race again, and keep seeing all these performances at Ironman races and really want to get stuck in. Challenge Roth was at the weekend, and I was a bit envious of people racing as I went there last year and got ill the day before the race. I did enter for this year, but withdrew back in January after I sprained my ankle and decided that there was not enough hours in the day for me to commit to such a race. i don't want to go there and not give 100%.
I was looking at my performance at the Outlaw triathlon last year, and considering I was still poorly and not recovered for me to do 10hrs 33mins, is not bad. At the time I was bitterly disappointed with the whole Ironman thing and not having got to do one when I'm at my peak makes me determined to get one done! Maybe IM UK next year and see what I can do. Although I think for next season I might have a good go at 70.3 races and see if I can crack 4hrs 50 at Wimbleball.
When September ends( and this is a favourite song of mine by Green Day) I will get into some serious run training and get my legs moving, shifting from a bike focussed summer. Bike legs are definitely much stronger and this will set me up for a good season next year. I better start saving up for race fees!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

2 seconds for second

I went to Wednesday's 10 with the bit between my teeth and just wanted to ride hard and see what I had in the tank. I rode a good 50 minutes to warm up and was fully prepared to go hard. Got into my riding early on and was feeling pretty strong. In fact, I was up on Terry Icke just before halfway( he went off 2 minutes before me) and I was confident of really doing a good time. Then the driving gods got the better of me. Slower rider ahead and 3 cars pulled infront of me and behind said rider and would not pass him. With nowhere to go I was forced to slow down and wait for them to go passed which didn't happen, so being aware of losing time I sneaked inside of the first one and then managed to get passed the front 2, but it was slow and I then had to work very hard to get back up to speed. 300m later and the same 3 cars passed me again and then came up on another slower rider and did exactly the same thing! This time I could not pass and waited for what seemd an age for them to finally overtake and I could get through. So valuable time lost, and energy wasted getting up out of the saddle to sprint back up to speed.
I came back pretty strong and put in a long sprint to the line, but I knew I was well down on time.
Very pleased with how I rode, and without any hold ups I would have been substantially quicker, but thems the breaks and could have happened to anyone, so onto the next one. 23' 04" on what was not a particularly quick night. 25 next Wednesday evening as a preparation for the Open 25 on 10th July. Time to start putting in some proper training.

Frame for sale

My old Scott Plasma framset is up for sale. More info will follow and a pic as well. Anyone interested then get me through this website.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Latest News

So, at this point of the year I would be in full flow with the tri training and looking at racing in July a couple of times. This year, nothing of the sort. However, I have been a bit more motivated to train, as I keep seeing the results of races and I know I'm not far off the pace, and my fitness is good.
Been out on the bike a fair bit over the last week, managed to ride everyday for the last 5 days, and it feels great to get back out there. I rode and ran on Sunday, 4.5 mile run off a 90 minute steady bike and apart from the legs tiring a bit, I felt very good.
Bike is getting fixed with new bar end shifters so I collect today and will be going out to tomorrow's Poole Wheelers club 10 feeling positive that I can find those few seconds to propel me to the front.
Lacking quality sleep at the moment, last 2 days I've been feeling a little tired, but body is in decent shape. I will swim and run a bit more this week, but I have decided not to enter a triathlon next month and will probably wait until August or September before I do a tri suit. Time trialing still the focus and BJW 25 on the 10th July will be my shot at improving on my 55' 12" that I rode at an evening club race earlier in the season.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

the best and worst of rides

So Wendesday's TT time came around and I was a little tired from 3 days of hard work and a bit more training. However, I went and gae it my all after a long warm up and up to mile 4 I was riding very well and feeling strong. Then I shifted up a gear and my chain slipped off the small cog and jammed inbetween cog and dropout. What felt like an eternity trying to free it, thoughts crossed my mind of just packing in. It was a 10 mile TT and as a few seconds have been separating the top 3 in the last few races I was aware that any time lost here would not be made up over the next 4 and a bit miles. Just before I cruised to a stop I did manage to free the chain and get going again, but lost all momentum and it felt hard work getting the legs moving.
Finished in a disappointing 23' 08", 3rd on the night, but 30 seconds off the pace and the way I was riding had I not had a mishap I would have been right up there. But such is racing and as the bike is still new I am still ironing out a few kinks and getting it just right. New saddle now as well, so slightly different feel, much more comfortable, but needs a minor adjustment to get in the right place.
No races this weekend, but I am getting back into training and will be riding both Saturday and Sunday with Sunday's bike finishing with a run off, and maybe a sea swim later in the day.
2 Forest Fit circuit sessions this morning have cleared the head and got me back in the mood for a bit of hard work!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Another good day on the bike

Sunday, Open 10, and I was fearful of a washout as the weather leading up to the race was rubbish!
However, the sun came out, but the wind stayed. 66 riders up for this one, a few stayed away due to the predicted weather forecast. They missed a good morning.
It was slow out on course, the head/crosswind not letting anyone take advantage of the first mile, which is affectionately known locally as the 'ski slope'!
Riding this one was tough, and I never really got into my riding, wasn't smooth, I was fighting all the way and a bit wobbly in places! Hit the turnaround and had a little look a the clock which I normally never bother with and thought to myself, 'god I'm slow'! Then on the way back a little bit quicker with a following wind. 500m to go and a charge for the line ended up with my chain sticking and me backing off a bit to fiddle with it, cost me a few seconds. And in the end every second counts! Yet again I finished one second down on Gary Dighton, and missed out getting in the prizes for the first 5.
21' 33" on the day, not much separating the top 10, well, apart from Chris Ball who won in 20' 14" and was 45 seconds up on 2nd place.
Feeling very positive about my riding, we picked up the team prize with Gary and Terry Icke, and I was second Veteran, so picked up a nice little cash bonus! A good day had by all!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A win at last

Well, it's been on the cards, I was wanting to go out and ride hard and that I did, albeit on tired legs. Things are definitely improving and I've been getting some quality bike sessions in. Last night it paid off.
Poole Wheelers Club 14. Not a great turnout as the weather all day had been lousy but a 3 hour break around 5 - 8, saw things dry up and riding conditions were not too bad, just a bit windy.
14 miles over a testing course and I posted a course best for me, 32' 59". Just wanted to go hard and see what was in the legs. They were hurting but my heartrate was up and I felt reasonably fresh, which is a positive sign. So Sunday's open 10 should see me post a hopefully decent time, if the weather plays ball!

Friday, 10 June 2011

New machine, old legs!

So here it is, the new lady in my life! And what a machine. Took her out for maiden ride on Wednesday, feeling absolutely shattered, no legs and the first time I have driven to a time trial in this area! So that tells you something of how I was feeling. In fact if it wasn;t for wanting to try out the new frame I would not have ridden.
3rd on the night with a time of 23' 17", 30 seconds down on first and second, I am very happy with. And for the first 5 miles I was up with the pace into a headwind, so more aero already. And then no power in the legs for the return, felt tired. A few tweaks needed with set up and position, and change of saddle. I was moving around all over the bike trying to get comfy, and eventually with a mile to go I settled!
All positive. I've run a fair bit this week, and managed a couple of swims, so back into a bit of tri training. Open 10 next week on a fast course, so I will be hitting the bike hard this next few days and try and get some strength back in the bike legs. Hopefully by then the bike will be set up just to my liking and I can get out on it a couple of times to 'dial in' to the new position.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Back on my bike, and in the pool and on with the run shoes

So, I've picked a tri for July.
Now comes the next 6 weeks of hard work. Got to get some feel for the water and get some speed in my run legs. The bike will take care of itself, I'm very happy with how I am going at the moment.
Another Poole Wheelers' club 25 last Wednesday, and I rode a 58' 08" on a tough course, faded in the last 5 miles, but was well up with the pace for the first 20 and felt very strong. All work in progress, 5th on the night behind James Gilfillan(55' 30ish"), Gary Dighton(57' and a bit), Paul Jones(57' and a bit more) and Terry Icke( 57' 20something"). Nobody else under the hour.
I swam last Friday, 2k in 10 x 200m efforts. Felt ok but a little slow. 1 hour on the rollers on Friday with a 20 minute run off. Again, felt good, run a little slow. 2 Forest Fit circuit sessions yesterday, trained very hard whilst leading both sessions. Today I ran for an hour and 15 minutes, the longest run I have done in 2011. And it felt pretty good. So wil start now to prepare for race in July, still bike focussed, but will get some more short run sessions in where I can.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rob Jefferies

Where do I start?
You walk into a room and you don't know anyone. You are nervous, insecure, a little bit on edge.
You see a familiar face, instant calm, relax and feeling a lot better. This was the impact that Rob had with me.
I came to time trialing via triathlon, always keen but never taking it particularly seriously, and thought that it would be a great way to improve my skills. As a non-member of Poole Wheelers at the time I was always a little nervous turning up to these club events, signing in with sweaty palms and not saying a right lot, not wanting to embarrass myself infront of some serious bits of bike kit and riders! And along comes Rob, one of the first people to speak to me and I instantly felt at ease. Easy going, relaxed and genuiney interested in what I had to say.
It brought me into the club, I decided to join up formally, buy myself a skinsuit; and the last two seasons as a Poole Wheeler have seen me go from strength to strength.

When Rob asked me to ride a 2-up with him last year I jumped at the chance. Here was a very experienced guy who was happy to put his faith in someone who hadn't ridden one before and I was honoured that he thought I was up to the task. And I can assure you I was damn nervous when we turned up to ride on the day. We had a trial ride a few days before and I was trashed from a heavy run and swim session the day before and a massive turbo session the day before that. I had no idea of how to ride as part of a 2 man team but Rob stuck by me, gave me some sound advice and we cobbled together a reasonable ride. On race day we had a couple of close incidents involving a bit of wheel touching, but we rode strong and I had the bit between my teeth, pushing as hard as I could to the end of a hard 25 miles. Race was the VTTA Wessex 25 2-Up TTT.
Rob and I were both knackered after that one but we both really enjoyed the experience and in the post-race endorphin rush we talked about some more in 2011 and getting me on the track with him and Bryce Dyer and another and having a go at team pursuiting. It was brilliant and I wanted to have another go.
So this year it has been great to see Rob again at the club and open TTs, see how he was getting some good results, and he would always ask after me and say well done having seen my results. We'd exchange the customary Facebook banter and emails. We had a chat on Wednesday at the Gallows Hill 10 and he looked so fresh afterwards I actually asked if he had been riding! And I wasn't joking!

And then the awful news on Friday morning. 10 minutes later it hit me and I am not ashamed to say that I sobbed. I am still upset now, and having read the massive amount of lovely tributes on the Poole Wheelers website and others I still struggle to hold back the tears. Rob was just one of those truly lovely human beings that have the knack of touching the lives of all those they know.
Rob made you want to do better, and for that he has my complete respect and admiration. Never forgotten.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Wessex 50

First effort at a 50 mile TT ended in a slightly disappointing 2 hrs and 3 secs. It was a very tough morning, out into a strong headwind, and even with a big tailwind, never seemed to make up for the time lost. I will have to remember that I don't have to run off the bike at the moment! Rode well within myself and finished with legs! That said, on the day I was 9th, picked up another team prize for Poole Wheelers with Terry Icke and Gary Dighton. Julian Jenkinson is absolute quality on a bike and took the win with a very impressive 1hr 49mins.
Results here

I have been looking at triathlons and keep seeing results posted and I quite fancy picking a race for July, that will give me 6 weeks to put in some quality hard training. The bike is there, swimming would come back after half a dozen sessions and that leaves me with running off the bike. A bit more speed work and I should be ok. Purbeck triathlon on 10th July looks a good bet, and it's only 30 quid to enter! 600m swim, 20 mile bike, 4.5 mile run. If I can swim 9 minutes for 600m and then nail the bike I might have a decent chance of coming away with a good result. I will give t some thought this week and see if I can plan in some training.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


So, another week goes by, and another PB on the bike! 25 mile TT on Wednesday evening, same course as Sunday, and much better riding conditions. 55' 12". Absolutely delighted with that ride, as not feeling 100%, a bit snotty and tired, and still not comfortable on the bike. I now have a sore lower back as a result of that ride. I was second on the night behind Gary Dighton who rode a solid 54' 17".

I have missed running this week and I haven't been in a pool for 10 days. I will concentrate solely on the bike for he next month but then I am going to find a triathlon for August and get some run miles in my legs and some pool time. Biking is remarkably good seeing as I haven't really done much in the way of specific training. Riding the TTs, the occasional easy ride and that's about it. Leading the Forest Fit sessions gets me plenty of exercise and keeps me in reasonable shape, so at least I am not far off the pace. Should take me about 4-6 weeks of solid tri training to get me ready for a race. So no rush! Just enjoying what I'm doing at the moment, all good fun!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

25 mile TT

Sunday, BDWCA 25 mile open time trial. I am going there with the intention of riding as hard as I possibly can and giving it my all, and see if I can come away with a prize. Feeling strong on the bike, had two very good rides last week which have been great confidence boosters. Hopefully if I ride well I can be part of a winning team. Gary Dighton and Terry Icke are both riding, so we stand a good chance of picking up a team award.
I rode out for an hour on Sunday and 90 minutes yesterday, just steady miles in my legs. I will ride again today, and go out for a run later, just 30-40 minutes to keep the legs in some sort of run shape.
What I'm struggling with at the moment, is finding time to get in a swimming pool! Busy with work and fitting in what I can, swimming has taken a back seat at the moment. Not so much of a problem as traithlon is not high on my prioirity list this year. But, I actually really enjoy swimming and am missing having a dip! Only chance is late in the evenig, but it's quite tiring after a long day.
Yestersay was the first evening of Forest Fit, 6:30pm at the Sika Trail, Wareham Forest. Brilliant! 21 people turned up to train. Great fun!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

2nd by a second

10 mile TT last night on a very windy evening. Wareham to Wool and back. ANd boy it was a tough ride. Had to dig deep and I was glad I did. Maybe I should have dug just a touch deeper!!!
But I gave it all I could and finished 1 second behind Gary Dighton, Terry Icke in 3rd, 6 seconds back with Leighton Girling in 4th, anothe r6 seconds behind Terry. It's great fun to be in the mix in these events and I seem to have a found a little extra from somewhere. Let's hope I can hold onto it!!
Results on the Poole Wheelers's website.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New Laces

Out for a run yesterday and moving lots better, only 30 minutes and felt tired but my legs are moving a lot freer and ankle is shaping up well. Still a bit of stiffness in my calf as a result, but loads better.
So time to think about some races. Biking-wise I am doing a 25 mile TT on the 15th and 50 mile TT on the 22nd May. I think a triathlon in June might have to be done if I can get in some swimming over the next 4 weeks.
New laces now needed, and going for Lock elastic ones. I have got on with those great over the last few years and I have found them cheap on Amazon. If anyone wants some then just click on the ad on the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Race Across America

Good friend and elite triathlete James Gilfillan is embarking on a new challeng this year and taking part in the Race Across America( RAAM). He is competing as part of a four man team. Each rider takes 2 hour turns and rests inbetween, as they attempt to cover over 3000 miles in as fast a time as possible!
Here is the team's website. Please have a look and support the team if you can.

27km TT

So I rode out to this one feeling alittle tired after a long weekend, and rubbish sleep thanks to a moaning 2 year old!
I did manage a two hour ride on the Sunday, bagged 42 miles in that time, nice comfortable ride out in windy weather. So I was not feeling in best form on the start line and the warm up felt laboured and my breathing was hard.
The Gallows Hill course round Bovington, Moredon and Wool is a testing ride, a bit of everything thrown in, technical turns and a very fast downhill section, poor road surface and a very tough last 4 miles drag up a ridiculously tiny uphill gradient, the kind of one you would never ever notice in a car, but on a bike it hurts!
So off I set with a very strong crosswind blowing slightly from behind and after 500 yards straight into a very fast downhill section. I was all over the place, wind catching the disc and doing it's best to try and unseat me! hit 40 mph with me feathering the brakes, sat up and hanging on for life as a lorry sped past in the opposite direction making things even more interesting. Then things settled a bit and I got into something of a rhythmn, but it wasn't really until into a headwind that I felt safe! And that was with 10 miles gone! Another bit of a drag up the Wareham Road and then a very sharp left into Puddletown Road and so began the last drag. Thankfully it was a bit sheltered down here and not as bad as I thought it might be and I dug in to finish in a very respectable 38'20 something time. 2nd on the day behind Paul Jones in 37' 20something and the in-form Leighton Girling was a minute back in 3rd.
Well, I managed to find some legs from somewhere. We all agreed it was a tough morning, very difficult riding conditions. And I'll settle for that result. On the 22nd May I am having a bash at the Wessex RC 50 mile TT. Under 2 hours and I'll be happy with that. The way I am riding at the moment, and now finding some form, I should go well.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Long weekends

Been a funny old week, very short! However, great for training and getting out and about.
Back into a bit more running now the ankle is slowly mending. Still some soreness and I am working on improving flexibility, but inspite of this I was running better yesterday, a bit more freely. 1 hour to cover 8.5 miles, not at all speedy, but the focus was just to get out and run for an hour and it felt good. Started to tire in the last 5 minutes but that's just down to a lack of run fitness which I am sure will improve over the next few weeks.
I'm looking at a possible venture out to Antwerp for the 70.3 in August as there are some places still available. And Weymouth middle distance tri might be one to have a go at. My biking is pretty solid and I just need to get some more run miles in off the bike and it might be a chance to pull out some decent performances. 50 mile TT in 3 weeks on 22nd May and I will wee how I feel after that. Might even squeeze in a short 30 minute run afterwards to see what happens to the legs!
As for today, 2 Forest Fit sessions and a gentle bike to and from. I will bike for 2 hours tomorrow before Monday's 27km time trial. Sea swim on Monday afternoon might be in order as well!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Forest Fit

The training sessions in Wareham Forest are going from strength to strength and they are great fun and offer everybody who comes a great workout. And that includes the trainers, myself and Charlie Tipper.
We are adding another session to the 3 that we already do. Monday evenings at 6:30pm, Sika Trail car park, Wareham Forest.
For more information please get in touch via this blog or my website.
Look forward to seeing you all soon!

Monday, 25 April 2011

30 mile TT

1 hour 8 minutes and 16 seconds.
Tough ride, some quick riders out on course, 7th overall, 3rd Poole Wheeler. Very pleased with how my biking is going seeing as I am doing pretty much nothing in the way of any serious training and just spinning a bit on the bike every couple of days or so. Signing up for a 50 miler on 22nd May so I will now start to do some more serious work, I'll need to!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Latest News

Back into some sort ot training pattern, although very unstructured. But feeling in decent shape.
I rode Poole Wheelers's evening 10 on Wednesday, a lovely warm evening and I went reasonably well. I had a bikefit earlier int he day which didn't go so well as I found out the bike is too small for me and I am not able to generate enough power in the position I am in, too low and not engaging the glute muscles enough. The unfortnate problem is that on the Plasma I can't get the seat any higher as the seat post is one of those cut off jobs and there is no more room for the bracket to push up. So I'm stuck. New bike is going to have to happen soon.
Back to the Club 10 and I rode a 22' 05", course best for me, but I was left just feeling a little jaded as I could feel I wasn't riding comfotable and was moving around loads on the saddle trying to get into the right position. There's more speed in my legs, now need to get the right machine to help get it out of me! I ended up 4th behind Gary Dighton, Leighton Girling and Terry Icke, 6 seconds separating those 3 and I was a further 30 seconds back. Hopefully when I get my position and bike sorted out I can make inroads into that 30 seconds.
Forest Fit this mornign in Wareham Forest, then some gardening, long bike tomorrrow and then 30 mile time trial on Monday morning, I should be able to go well and hold form over the longer distance, regardless of bike. And what about this weather!!! Loverleeeeeeeee!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

At last, it is now up and running, my very own website, which is there to advertise my services as a personal trainer.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


They are slowly returning to some sort of shape.
50 minute run yesterday, a little slower than the effort felt it should be but still not flexible enough in the ankle department and hips and lower back stiff after a long day at the London Marathon, with a 6 year old on my shoulders for large chunks of it, and driving up and down in a day.
50 minute to and from work today on the bike and then a late afternoon solid tempo ride for 43k in 70 minutes on the old training bike. Felt in good shape. Was going to swim this evening but gardening took over!
Time trial evening tomorrow and if the weather holds I feel it should be a quick night. Hopefully I can start finding some form. I will fit in a swim at lunch and will run back from the Sika Trail after Forest Fit, nice and easy off-road jog home.

Monday, 18 April 2011


Well done to my fantastic wife Tracey. Awesome performance in her first marathon. 4 hours and 34 minutes. She had a great race from start to finish. I managed to get through the crowds to see her just after Tower Bridge and at 12.5 miles she looked in really good shape, going through in about 2:10. The next viewpoint wasn't until 23 miles as it was mad busy and just unable to get anywhere quickly. And at that point she was still running very well with a bit of a spring in her step. In fact, her splits showed that her last 5k was quicker than her first 5k! She was right on schedule all the way round and I think if she hadn't had so many people to weave in and out of she would have gone quicker. What is great news is the fact she wants to keep up with the running and thoroughlyt enjoyed the whole experience, despite very sore legs this morning!!! New York later this year perhaps?????
Still chance to sponsor her at

Friday, 15 April 2011

London Marathon

2 days to the 4th biggest day in the life of Mrs B. I'm counting giving birth to our two boys and our wedding day as the other three. I think she is probably more nervous about this race!

Here is her sponsorship page, raising money for Ovarian Cancer Action.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

bike miles at last

And about time. I rode to work this morning, 25 minutes, rode home, got changed and went out again for a 60km ride. It felt good to ride up some hills and feel some air, and not just the hot and swaety inside of a garage! How I have missed riding. So 3 hours in the legs today and I have to say they felt in good shape. Will do another hour tomorrow and then the Poole Wheelers evening time trials begin tomorrow evening. It's a 10 tomorrow, so will ride out and give it a bash and see what's in the tank.
Swim this evening, just to try and maintain some feel for the water. I am going to plan some sort of structure to my own training now, and see if I can find a triathlon to have a bash at in July or August. Nothing heavy, possibly Weymouth middle distance, although I have a feeling that's in June. Be interesting to see how I get on with that one. Did it last year and had a reasonable race, with a bit more biking and running from now til then, you never know, I might do alright!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Tri Purbeck Duathlon

Beautiful day in the Forest for this race. I was in some doubt as whether to do it as I am not in any sort of shape at the moment. But I rode over and felt alright so I decided to sign up for a go, and treat it as a good training session. I really wanted to see how my run legs were shaping up and how my ankle would respond to 6 miles of off-road running, with 2 of them being after an off-road bike.
Start came and I toddled off and got into a small second group of 5 behind a front group of the same number. After 1 mile I felt reasonable and stretched out a bit and started making ground on the lead group, pulling away a little from the group I was in. At mile 2 my hips and calves decided they weren't playing and I felt very stiff. Just not able to run at pace. So I settled into a gentler pace and got into transition feeling ok, a little tired but looking forward to a nice easy bike. How wrong I was.
Now I don't really do off-road and I only have a hybrid bike, and with road tyres, so I was not really prepared for what lay ahead. For a 12 mile off-road bike I had a guess at about 45 minutes, as I thought it was mostly trail riding. Well, yes, it was trails but my bike was not equipped for the terrain and I had a nightmare! On the sandy sections I was all over the place, had to get off and walk on a few occasions, very slow on the turns, and the downhills I went down like someone learning to ride a bike for the first time. There was one steep climb which would not normally be a problem, however, I just couldn't get any grip on the gravel and as I neared the top for each of the 4 laps I had to get off and walk up the last little section! How embarrassing, as people looked on and must have thought, he's not very good!!! Actually the last time I went up I did manage to get up all the way, miracle! My right cleat broke as well on my shoe and I spent the second half of the bike with only one shoe clipped in. But I still went round with a smile on my face and chatting away to fellow racers en route and reminded myself that I was only here to see how my legs were.
I felt alright biking round, but to be honest off-road riding is not for me, and I can quite happily say that I will save myself lots of money as I do not want a proper off-road bike! Not the most enjoyable experience, and I bobbled into transition feeling that I had done an extra lap I was that far down the field, and wanted to throw my bike over a hedge!
I set off on the second run feeling relaxed and in good shape apart from ridiculously tight calves which were on the verge of cramping but never did. I finished well and felt good riding home. As I write this the following morning, I'm now pleased that my ankle is holding up to an off-road run, and I had a quick nosy at the results. My times are well down on what I would have normally done in a race, but that's ok. My bike looks dreadful! Not the normal position for me. Fully fit and strong and with the right bike, I would have been there and thereabouts but that's not where I'm at and I am very happy that I can resume some quality training now, and once back into my running I should improve quickly. I've got good base fitness and strength as my second run time shows.
Results are here

Huge well done and thank you to Fran and Ade Bungay and their team at Tri Purbeck, they put on a great event and hopefully this will become a regular fixture in the event calendar in the area. I won't be participating in another off-raod event, not for me. However, I highly recommend it for anyone, the run is good underfoot for off-road and the bike is technical and challenging( even more so if you do it onthe wrong bike!). The other good thing for me is that I managed to stay upright and didn't fall off!!! My bike handling must have improved!
And well done to all Forest Fitters who were there racing, Barry, Rik, Kat, Gail. See you guys next week when we are back to lifting heavy logs!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Return to Ironman

This is more of a note to self. Next year is Ironman year for me.
Last year I was in for Challenge Roth and trained hard to try and get a 9 hour finish. But I got ill the day before and had to pull out. Was laryngitis. 4 weeks later I raced the Outlaw triathlon in Nottingham; I was coughing up green stuff on the start line and was not feeling at all well. But I did it in 10 hours 33 mins after suffering on the run. This year is about building myself up stronger and then going long distance next year. For nothing more than the personal challenge, I want to get the best out of myself, and put in a performance which I know I am capable of. I will do what I do and as well as I can do it. No excuses!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Forest Fit

Great session in Wareham Forest this morning, the weather was fantastic, sunny and warm with a cool breeze and everyone was in great shape. I must say these sessions, even though I am running them with Charlie, they are certainly helping to maintain and even increase my fitness levels> my core strength has improved massively and this should transfer well to swimming, biking and running. I rode out there this morning and rode back, all off-road, lovely through the Forest. And then once back I did a shorter harder run session with 1km of 5k race pace in the middle. Running is definitely coming back to somewhere near where I was back before the ankle injury. Another month of regular shorter running and I will be able to up the effort and distance with confidence. I am swimming again tonight, after a good swim session yesterday, and once again, my feel for the water is returning and my swim fitness is improving, back to somewhere near the times I was doing last year. Generally getting leaner and stronger and feeling very good about where I am, in terms of my own fitness and performance. Happy Days!

Monday, 4 April 2011

New website

Well, almost there with my new website for my personal training. SOme news and a few pics to add and it's done. Here's a sneak preview.

As for training, I am getting back to some form now. I reckon another 3 weeks and I'll be ready to put together some quality sessions. Ran for 30 minutes today at a comfortable 6' 40 min/mile pace. It felt pretty good, running freer and only a mild ache in the ankle area. I then did a solid 1 hour turbo session this evening, able to push a big gear and generating some power. Not enough miles in the legs though and still feels a bit sluggish and legs not turning fluidly. But all improving, and no time trial til next Wednesday evening, so a few more bike rides this week will hopefully get my legs moving a bit easier.
But very positive to be able to get out and run. I may even eye up a triathlon to have a go at over the summer, just to keep my hand in!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Off Road Duathlon in Wareham Forest

Check Purbeck Tri Club's website for more info. I will be there, having a little run out and a social. Nowhere near race fit but it is a lovely venue to race and should be good fun!

Latest News

70 minutes of running today!!! Woo-hoo!!! Ankle is much much better and I am moving almost 100% freely now. Still a little cautious on rough terrain, but I ran a good mix of on and ooff-road today at a very sedentary 8 min mile pace, and altough it felt like hard work, it;' a very positive step on the road back to full training. So since my last update I rode a 28 mile time trial last Sunday, and finished a solid 3rd, with a course PB. Very pleased, I felt ok, not great, but then again, not rubbish either. A lot of strength in my legs, but noticing 2 things. 1. I have not got enough miles in my legs and 2. my ankle is still not allowing me to pull-through at the top of the pedal stroke. So, when I can get these two things right, then I expect some quick times this year, and a big improvement. Will set me up nicely for a return to triathlon racing next season. I am looking ahead to 2012, and a shot at a really good Ironman finish and then beyond that. Maybe another trip to a 70.3 world champs in Las Vegas, or maybe even Hawaii in 2 years' time. Who knows? I know I am in very good shape at the moment. I continue to do some very good workouts involving boxing and kettlebells and throwing heavy logs around! I am back in the pool twice a week and am getting back some feel for the water. I am leaner and am getting in some regular daily riding on the bike now. All in all if I can just keep some consistency, remain injury free and enjoy what I'm doing then I think the future of racing for Mr. B looks very positive. More news to follow.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Peanut butter and raisin cookies

Lovin these little beauties I have just made from scratch.
Flour, egg, butter, sugar, raisins, peanut butter, baking powder, salt. Mix it all in, then stick in oven in little balls and 15 minutes later out they come. Let em cool, happy eating!
Healthy snack. For energy bars I will just add some oats. Tasty!!!!

Saturday, 19 March 2011


Great day of training today. 2 Forest Fit circuit sessions, putting the guys and gals through their paces and getting involved with the log fest! Still not running freely and taking it easy, but conscious of my ankle and not doing any more damage. Very much on the mend, so still massage and stretch and trying to wokr the scar tissue out.
This afternoon I rode out hard for 12 miles to Weymouth CC 10 mile time trial, on a tricky day, very bright and sunny but windy and cold. I couldn't get my shoes in my pedals for the first 500m, and was faffing around. There was noone to hold up the riders at the start, so start with a foot down. So not the best of starts and cost me 20 seconds or so. But had a solid ride, again not feeling great but not feeling bad either. A 23' 42" in the end, so not so bad. 4th place behind 3 strong riders,
Looking good for when I start to up the training and my ankle gets stronger so I can drive through properly at the top of the pedal stroke. I then rode home on very tired legs and am now very very tired, but well fed and watered, and ready for lots of sleep!

Friday, 18 March 2011


Loving these things at the moment. Using them with some clients and training with them myself as a bit of practice.
Wikipedia has great info on them if you want to find out what they are.

For all over strength and conditioning and a damn tough workout they are superb.

I did this the other day for 5 minutes with only a 16kg bell. Aching all over for 2 days after!!
Do this set twice.
1. 20 single arm kettlebell swings (10 each arm)
Rest for 20 seconds
2. 20 single arm kettlebell pull ups ( 10 each arm)
Rest for 20 seconds
3. 20 single arm kettlebell snatches ( 10 each arm)
Rest for 20 seconds

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A week gone by

It's about a week since last post and I've not really had much time or the inclination to sit down and write anything constructive.
So here goes. Last Sunday's time trial went ok, 25 mile, and I rode a 59' 03", which on the day was 3rd quickest. I felt ok, not brilliant, but not bad, and never really got into it. It was very much like a training ride, which is pleasing in itself as I know there is much more to come once I start putting some work in. Next one is in 10 days, 28 mile sporting course, which I won last year, and rode well. So I'm hoping to do the same again. As we a lot of these things, it's as much in the head as in the legs, and if I can get myself focussed then I should ride it well.
My ankle contnues to mend, but I'm still not doing any running of any note. I have done a couple of workouts in the gym, kettlebells and some boxing and I have worked muscles in different ways which has left me aching! But in a good way. I also managed to drag myself to the pool last night for a swim workout. My god, how slow am I??!!! I have lost my feel for the water, so I am going to make a concerted effort to swim more and claw back some speed in the water, before I lose it forever!
More PT today with some of my clients and a bike workout later this evening. Forgot to mention I managed to lose my Garmin Edge 305 bike computer somwehere in Wareham Forest at the weekend, so I am having to make do with a cheap alternative, which is ok, but I miss it on the turbo for doing structured workouts with heartrate monitor. Oh well, I'll have to start saving again!
And one more thing, I shovelled 2 x 1 tonne bags of gravel yesterday into our garden. Great strength workout, my back and arms are really achy this morning!
Onwards and upwards!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Body Fat

Just thought I would share a couple of interesting facts I have discovered about fat burning and weight management.

1. A good balanced diet with reduced sugars and good quality fats.
2. Short intense workouts.
3. A high metabolic rate.
4. Fuel is in abundance in our bodies as fat stores.
5. Reduction in bodyfat and slimmer shape.

1 + 2 = 3
3 + 4 = 5

This works. I am walking proof of this. I have had to change the way I train over the last few weeks because of ankle injury and lack of time, so my workouts have become shorter but more intense. I have cut lots of sugar from my diet and have only low GI and low GL carbs. Loads of dairy, milk, butter, eggs, red meat and nuts, seeds, dried fruit. Things like oatcakes and peanut butter. I eat little and often and don't go long periods without food. Last year I was training 17-20 hours a week and my bodyfat % was about 12%, and I was consuming a vast amount of food. At the moment, I train between 5 and 7 hours a week. My bodyfat 8 weeks ago was 16%, it is now at 13%. And is dropping, and will continue to drop when I eventually add some endurance training in there. My weight has gone up, but this is due to muscle gain of about 5 kilos over the last 3 months. Core strength and arms and shoulders, and also legs. I am leaner than I have been before and have more strength. It will be very interesting to see how I get on next season when I return to long distance racing. This year, it's shorter stuff, mainly time trialing on the bike.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Mrs B runs London!

37 days to go til Tracey takes on 26.2 miles round the City of London.

She is doing fantastic, and her husband is chief coach, trainer, masseur and motivational coach!
Tracey's first attempt at this distance, she is on schedule to do a great rae.

Please give what you can towards and really worthy cause.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Panic Over

Great Physio session last night and the result is that the ankle sprain is not as bad as first thought. So recovery is well under way and I'll keep working it and massage, ice, heat, stretch and massage and exercise, and I'll back off the running. Can get straight back to cycling, albeit a week of less intense efforts. And I should be well on the road to full fitness in a few weeks' time. Again, I've said it before, 24 hours is a long time!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Ankle Sprain info

Great website on ankle sprains for runners.

Groundhog day

So, fighting fit, raring to go. Forest Fit session to do, followed by bike and swim tonight. Feeling good.
Out of the car, jog through car park, ankle, turn, snap. On the floor again! And so it happens. Nothing I could do, another piece of bad luck and another few weeks of recovery. It was all going so well. Trying desperately to remain positive but incredibly difficult. Basically, 2011 triathlon season is over before it started. Thankfully I am fairly upbeat about my cycling and at least I can focus on that. Just means that my running will have to be put on hold for a while. 2 weeks before I can realistically pedal with any force and then another couple of weeks before I can tumble turn in the pool. A bit of a setback but onwards and upwards, least I know what to do and I'm getting early treatment on it tomorrow from physio.
Leg up, 48 hours RICE and then mobilise it slowly. Deja Vu.

Return to training

Well, I decided to don the running shoes for a proper run out for the first time in 7 weeks. 45 minutes later and I returned home very pleased, but a bit tired! Slow and still tight in the calf over the ankle, but at least I am now confident of going out and running without the risk of further injury. Will keep it easy for the next 2 weeks and hopefully by the end of the month I should be getting back some run fitness and speed.
I also got back in the pool for a decent swimset last night. Feel for the water not as bad as I thought, just a bit slow, to be expected. But I'll settle for that. This year is just about keeping myself there or thereabouts and focussing on bike riding. Must find a race of some sort to do soon, otherwise I won't do anything all season as races get booked up so fast thesed days.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Nice surprise

Yesterday was the first time trial of the season and a chance to find out how much I really need to start putting in. It was chilly morning out of the sun and a stiff Northwesterly breeze, which didn't give much advantage for 75% of the course. The Gallows Hill - Wool 27km circuit is always a challenge with a couple of tight bends,some early season gravel around and nasty pot holes to avoid.
But I surprised myself with a solid ride. Didn't feel brilliant but at the same time didn't feel that bad. They always hurt but it was bearable, and I was able to push hard all the way to the finish.
So considering I have very few winter miles in my legs it was a good ride, pretty pleased with the result, and a good marker to put down from which to work on.
Results on Poole Wheelers website

Personal Training

A small self-promotional post!
If anyone would like to get some 1-2-1 training with me then please leave a comment for me on the site and I will get back to you. Loads of information on what I do and how I train.
More posts of goings on to follow. Training back on track with a very good time trial yesterday! Happy Days!

Friday, 25 February 2011

TT time again

It comes around quick, this Sunday is the first of the time trial season. I am going to ride to find out just how much work I need to do to get me up to speed. I hit the rollers for an hour last night and managed to ride out to work and back on Wednesday, but that has been the extent of my riding for the last week. Just not enough. I've not swum for 10 days and I've only been jogging along at a very easy pace for 20 minutes at most. I have been doing the Forest Fit sessions which are really helping to keep me in some sort of shape. But compared to the last 5 years I am nowhere near the kind of training I am used to doing and it's starting to show. Time to rediscover my mojo and hopefully Sunday's ride will give me the kicking I need!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Birthday weekend

S0 this weekend I hit another milestone. The big 40. Doesn't feel like it. Even though I'm a bit tired at the moment, been a rather stressful week on many fronts, I am in better shape now than when I was 18.
Training has taken a back seat for the moment whilst I focus on developing my work. And had a minor mishap on Tuesday night when I slipped on some steps and my ankle didn't like it! No harm done, but it's still a little sore. It's strong but healed really well which funnily enough is hampering my progress as flexibility is even worse than before, and I have never had good ankle flexibility. My feet act as anchors in the pool when swimming.
More Forest Fit tomorrow and a short bike ride Sunday. I'm managing to bike every other day at the moment, which hopefully soon will turn into every day. First TT of the season at the end of Feb, and I'll use that as I guide to where I'm at and get an idea of how much work I need to do. As for proper run training, I really don't know when I can get back to it. I am managing light jogs at the moment and feels fine, but lost a little motivation to get out and run long. Another week and I will try and run for an hour and see how the body responds!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Back in Business

Smashed the turbo. No idea where that came from.
Felt tired and lethargic after tea and 7:30 climbed on bike, clipped in, and spun for 2 minutes feeling lousy, then all of a sudden I woke up and spent the next 80 minutes punishing myself and the air around me!
I'm back. Strength returning, bike legs are there, I can now ease myself back into running and I swam easy 30 minutes today, albeit a bit slow. But the next 4 weeks will see me return to fitness and I am going to find a race in April to go and hit hard, get some idea where I'm at.
Forest Fit circuits tomorrow and am going to be pushing the gang hard for 2 sessions! Bring on the fitness, bring on the fun!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


Get back on the bike, wanting to start back into training now the ankle is almost mended and what happens, full on cold. Argghhhh!! I was feeling ropey last week as well, but the Birtwistle household has been snotty for a couple of weeks now and I suppose it was just a matter of time before it caught up with me. But I don't do man flu! So I will be getting along with things quite happily. Forest Fit outdoor traiing this morning, then personal training sessions for the rest of the day! Great fun!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Back on my bike

Today is the day. I have decided. Back to it.
I have had long enough off training and not riding, and it's starting to show. Bike everyday, be it indoros or out. Have to get myself focussed now, otherwise I can write off any decent performances this year. My ankle continues to mend well and another week and I should be back to running. More strength work needed there but so far so good.
I'll be writing out my training schedule for February and as well as that I am continuing to coach my wife Tracey through her London marathon training, which is going well, just held up with a bad cold and sinusitis. But 2 months to go for her and we are on course!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Swim technique

Great video on stroke technique


Sometimes you need some stimulus for motivation and keep positive. I look mostly at external things for that, but sometimes it is good to go back and look at what we have achieved to remind us of what we are capable and then ove forward.
Here's a page that I posted in 2009, and in retrospect I had a good season. At the time, I didn't think I had performed, but I can now see that I was in great shape and triumphed inspite of adversity, Antwerp 70.3 being one of those such days.

Weigh and measure

Something I do with my athletes/clients is regularly weigh and measure to see what progress we are making. I haven't done it myself for ages. So last night out came the tape measure and scales. The figures I will keep to myself! But needless to say, 4 weeks now of no running and little training have had an effect. That said, it's only a 1% change in body fat and an increase of a few centimetres around the middle which is partly due to having done a lot more core exercises over the winter. Chest and arms have also gone up a couple of centimetres, me having done more strength work over the winter as well.
What this means in terms of my own performance, I am confident that a return to regular training will lead to a reduction in body fat percentage and I will definitely get more defined. I will also cut the protein intake and up the level of carbs once I am back to training 15 hours a week. My ankle is almost ready to start running, so i will get out this weekend for a 15 minute very easy jog, just to test the water. A return to regular bike riding will help fire up my metabolism and keep the fires burning! Once I have shaken off this nasty cold I managed to pick up from my youngest Elliot. Thank you son! :)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Forest Fit

Forest Fit now has a blog site which you can follow. Click on the link below and I will be updating it with alsorts of info.


I'm full of cold now!!! Ankle loads better and have ridden bike two days in a row. And low and behold I have caught a chill and am right snotty!
That said, on a completely different note I picked up my saxophone yesterday for the second time in about 4 years( that's twice now in the last 3 days) and it felt good to play it. A little rusty and my 'chops' are far from at their peak, but I am contemplating a return to 'gigging' and getting out and playing a bit more. Can I really do it? I'm still a little unsure. I'll pick it up and play a bit more later today and see how it feels again.

Monday, 31 January 2011


2 excellent physiotherapists that I highly recommend. Both offer something very different but great sport focus and both know how important it is to get athletes back up and running as soon as possible.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Back on the bike

Ahh, good to be back. Well, not very exciting as I was on the rollers for an hour. Felt crap and no legs! But just happy to get working a little harder and working up a sweat even if it was in a freezing cold garage full of junk! Riding is now back on the agenda. A daily dose of life on two wheels resumes, and January is nearly over!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Arms falling off

For the first time since I can remember I took myself off down the gym last night and thought I would try one of the workouts I give to some of my clients for upper body strength endurance training.
Ouch!! I forgot how tough these workouts are if you do them to the right intensity and how much of a buzz you get after doing them. Really good fun. 25 minutes of intense hard effort. Awesome! Today I have no arms.
Here's the set.

3 x 12 reps with 60 secs rest.
Superset Bench Press and Single Arm Row
120 secs rest
Superset Chest Flyes and Bent Over Row
120 secs rest
Superset Tricep Dips and Barbell curls

Rest for 3 minutes.
Drop weight and then repeat as circuit for 1 set, 10 reps for each exercise, no rest between exercises. Basically 60 reps without rest.

This hits just about everything. Next time I would add in 4th superset with a back exercise and overhead press, to work back and shoulders.

It is quite obvious for me that my back is stronger than front, which I am pleased with as it shows I am using the right muscles for swimming freestyle. More arm strength needed, but I am aware that I don't want to bulk up too much as this will add unecessary weight for racing. However, some extra upper body and arm strength would help all round fitness and probably make swiming a little more efficient.
As the foot is still out of action I shall be doing a few more of these type of wokouts as there is nothing better to get your metabolism firing. And really good fun!!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Injury advice

SO the healing is going very well. I would like to share a couple of things that I think are vital to good recovery.
1. mental attitude. Hugely underestimated in its role in recovery. After 7 days and still in a lot of pain I spoke to a physio, and even after that 5 minute conversation I immediately felt 100% better as I knew I had been managing the injury in the correct way. Since then I remain very positive and upbeat, despite the fact I am not back to training. But I just tell myself, every day is one step nearer getting back out there and putting in the hard work. I am really looking forward to racing this year. That keeps me focussed, keeps me upbeat and will obviously help with the recovery.
2. The first 3 days. This is absolutely paramount that anyone with an injury treats it with RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. I was very strict in how I did it, and fortunately I was able to postpone some PT sessions and I stayed off it for those 3 days, iced as much as possible, raised the leg and strapped it as much as I could. After 48 hours I started ever so slightly to move the ankle, but I am talking millimetres! Just to get hings moving in the right direction, literally! I truly believe that if you get it right in the firt 48-72 hours then if you are fit and healthy(and sensible) recovery time will be reduced significantly. 2 weeks on and I am about a week away from light jogging. Normally, according to textbook cases, 4-6 weeks is the recovery period before any exercise can be resumed. I am fortunate that I do heal well, and recover quickly, but I am convinced that is mostly down to treating the injury well, and, above all staying positive.
I hope this advice is found to be useful for anyone who ever finds themselves in that position.
It's not always easy for us mere mortal amateur athletes to get the time to rest as much as we really need to, with full time jobs and families to run around after. But look after your bodies with as much time as can be spared and we will all come back stronger.
Roll on the 2011 season, I'm already feeling stronger and faster, gonna be a good year!
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