Friday, 5 February 2016

Catch up

Wow can’t believe its been two months since I last blogged.

Between the frivolities of the festive period and training as much as I can, I have no idea where the time has gone. Nearly 10% of 2016 has already passed.

What’s been happening? Sleep, work, eat, train repeat pretty much sums things up.

I had two weeks off work for Christmas and had a blast. It involved a lot of alcohol and time spent enjoying myself with friends and family. Happy times.

Unfortunately the weight loss stagnated (well to be honest it went backwards). That is one of the downsides of me consuming alcohol but as Vinnie Tortorich says “It doesn’t matter what happens between Christmas and New Year, it’s what happens between New Year and Christmas that counts” Amen to that. So now we are out of January (which included a divorce party, a wedding and more nights out with friends) it’s time to go back to basics with my diet.

I have 16 weeks to go until the qualification races and the most important part of my season. If I manage to shift 1 lb of weight every 2 weeks, I will be a minimum of 4kg lighter come my important races. I’d have to spend £8k on a bike to get one that is 4kg lighter than my race bikes. I may as well save that money and instead invest in myself and my future health. Plus weighing less will have benefits across all three disiplines and not just a lighter bike.

The other week I got struck down with my yearly bout of lurgy. I thought I’d avoided it but the germs finally tracked me down. As usual I immediately stopped training until I was better. I really don’t understand people who train and don’t let their bodies recover. Your body needs to use its energy to get better in my eyes.

Have the 10 days hurt off my training. Probably not but it was only 10 days as opposed to the 3 weeks I know some people have been ill for. I know I am swimming as quick as I was pre illness going from last nights threshold set.

I also had a niggle in my knee over Christmas which I finally managed to ascertain was caused by my cleat on my new bike shoes being slightly off. After correcting this, my niggle disappeared.
I have also found a new love in my training. Kettlebells. I came across the Strength Matters podcast in early December and after binge-listening to all 66 episodes on my commute to work, I decided to see what benefits they could have for my training.

I have dabbled with kettlebells as part of my Functional Movement Training with Blizard Physiotherapy.

Now having never been interested in the gym in all my life, the fact I am enjoying lifting (increasingly) heavy things is a nice change for me.

I have started working with Susie (a PT friend who coaches us at Doncaster Triathlon Club) on a one to one basis to ensure that I am using correct technique as I don’t want to end up injured but I love the fact I can swing my kettlebell round while watching telly with the wife and have started to notice the benefits.

My glutes are starting to fire from all the kettlebell swings I have been doing; I also believe they are having a benefit with my swimming. Before my bout of lurgy, I found holding my threshold pace easy which is a first. The only thing that has changed is the introduction of kettlebell work on top of my existing training schedule. Another benefit of swinging iron is that it helps me deal with work stress and I can fit this in no matter how time crunched I am.

Since Christmas my commute with work has increased so my sense of being time crunched has also increased.

The next 16 weeks will all be about quality of training, I will be limiting my junk training and concentrating on getting the most from each session.

Last week I was also mentioned on the Strength Matters podcast which is a really bizzare thing to happen when you are just driving around listening to it. It was completely unexpected but I was really thankful for the mention. One of the things they mentioned was starting a blog. Woohoo I am ahead of the curve with that one.

This past week also saw my #blogbirthday, I can’t believe my blog is now 4 years old. I don’t even want to know the total word count of it. I bet there are smaller books.

On the subject of books, one of my friends (initially from social media but now in real life) has just released her book. Hollie Cradduck first contacted me in October 2013 to promote her blog detailing her awful likfe changing trip to Tenby to complete Ironman Wales. Her book charts her journey from their to Kona and she very kindly mentiones me in her book with some very kind words. If you want to read her book it can be found here.

I was pleased to be mentioned in her book including a hyperlink to my Twitter profile in the ebook. Thanks Hollie. Hope I’ll see you on a start line soon.

The next 9 days will consist of me taking part in the #TourOfSufferlandria. The tour is a stage race taking place in the fictional land of Sufferlandria. Sufferlandria is the place where the Sufferfest videos are set.

Sufferfest videos are cycling training videos which use real race footage and link them to intervals and you have to suffer at differing intensities according to what the suffer level is meant to be.
I have been selected to be part of #TeamWattbike for the tour.

The tours main aim is to raise money for an American Charity called the Davis Phinney Foundation which is for people with Parkinson’ disease. Davis was a professional cyclist who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Each entrant to the tour pays $10 to compete in the tour and for each entry they are put in a raffle for some AWESOME prizes.

As part of #TeamWattbike I have to complete the tour on my Wattbike.

I am using the 9 days riding totalling 12 hours in the saddle as a way to build my endurance ahead of my training camp in Mallorca in April.

Having only completed one Sufferfest video I am slightly worried by some of the stages. There is one which incorporates 32 one minute all-out efforts into a 90 minute workout which I am dreading. This takes place this Sunday and joy of joys I will probably be hungover after a night out with friends.

Here is the profile for the suffering I will have to endure.
The redder the profile, the harder it is.
The 9 days should really pay dividends in Mallorca.

Since my last blogpost I've also been officially announced as a brand ambassador with Generation UCAN in the UK.

This will be my fuel of choice (along with cheese) for the training camp in Mallorca.

With retrospect, I know I said at the start of this post that I haven't been up to much but reading through all this, it appears I have.

Thanks for reading,

I'll try not to leave it so long next time.


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