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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!

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