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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.
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