Sunday, 30 October 2011

Elite Performers


This week was a loooong week.  Got some really good exercise sessions in including a couple of intense spinning sessions (see previous post).  The practice session I did with James Moffatt was great and then the main event with the Swim Trafford Elite Performance Squad ( ) went down a treat on Friday morning.  The kids really put a lot of effort in and that made the session fulfilling.  They also got a lot out of it I think and provided great variety to their training sessions.  We even got the coach doing some press ups for going to the loo mid session what a mistaka to maka.  I did the session voluntarily and had not done a lot of volunteer work in the past.  I can now see a little bit more clearly why people do it it was very rewarding mentally and it was nice that they all appreciated the session.  I intend to do a session when asked but am going to put a regular session on at Stretford Leisure Centre every week if I can just for anyone to come along to.  I have set up a group on Facebook called Impromptu Spinning at Stretford LC if you poke me I will invite you to it!  I really enjoyed planning the session out and putting the music to the set it was very nice and a break from the norm!  The kids where also given a presentation I prepared on basic nutrition on Monday to try and help their preperation for the major events this year.  I will try and post that mid week as soon as I have worked out how to put a powerpoint presentation on here!

I did three high quality gym sessions working hard this week.  The routine was as follows;

Ø      1000 metre row to warm up
Ø      Full body stretching session 15minutes
Ø      23minutes Crosstrainer – Random setting level 11 keeping rpm into the 80’s.
Ø      3 sets of 12 reps  - Freeweights – Lateral Raises, Push Presses, bicep curls (Toning)
Ø      3 x 12 – Chest press, lat pull downs, inside and outside thighs (Toning weight)
Ø      15min hill walk (Knee is still a little dodgy for running)
Ø      Full body stretch down

The gym sessions I am mostly working on upper body toning to make sure that I have underlying muscle that is burning fat whilst at rest.  I don’t want to put to much muscle on as I want to lose the weight to make the cycling easier especially the hill climbing.  I have commuted on the bike again this week and accumulated approximately 50km done over the week.   No swimming this week unfortunately.  I will have to start habit forming with that it seems to be the one item that is getting dropped all the time.

I have recently purchased two books with the purpose of having a plan for next year cycling wise.  I know that my good friend Rich at is planning some things for next year so will be looking forward to what he has planned to.  The books I have bought are; - 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs: A Road Cyclist's Guide to Britain's Hills - Mountain High: Europe's 50 Greatest Cycle Climbs

They are both really nice books.  The European climbs is a nice work its got pictures (important for me!) and has good descriptive on the climb including a contour of the climb itself.  The plan is for me to pull together a list of rides and just start crossing them off next year!!

So food hasn’t been a problem this week apart from a Subway on Friday.  It was a long day so please let me off!

Have a good week and thanks for reading.  Please feel free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Spinning Session

Hi all

Midweek blog to share the spinning session i am putting on for Swim Trafford Elite Swimming Squad on Friday.

Good People – Jack Johnson
Bit of welcome music whilst people set up bikes and get sorted
I Need Dollar – Aloe Blacc
Bit of welcome music whilst people set up bikes and get sorted
Buck Rodgers - Feeder
Warm Up – Low Res
Lasso - Phoenix
Warm up – Med res quick legs
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
First climb. 2 x 1.5min splits high res to beat
Let You Go – Chase n Status
2 x 45sec sprints – rest high tempo flat pace
Give Me Everything – Ne Yo
1min spin legs, water break then med res spin to end
Burning Heart – Rocky Soundtrack
Second climb. 3min High res to beat. 1 min spin out.
Sweat – David Guetta
2 x 1min sprints at med res
Gold Dust – DJ Fresh
Flat high tempo med res 65% - 75% effort
Need to Feel Loved – Pacha
Last Climb. High res 2 x 2.5min climbs to beat 30 secs rest in between
If We Ever – High Contrast
Flat sprint 3 x 30 secs burst sprints 15secs rest in between then low res into cool down
She Said – Plan B
Cool Down – Spinning low res arm stretches
Human – The Killers
Off bike leg and back stretches

I am going to try and put on some impromptu spinning sessions over the winter at Stretford Leisure Centre so keep your eyes peeled and if you want to come give me a email!



Sunday, 23 October 2011


I was a little stumped as to what to talk about this week.  I have had an average week in the gym and on the Wattbikes so not much new there.  I’m still working hard and enjoying it but the outdoor cycling has taken a backseat now.  I am settling in to a winter training regime.

I was having a mental wobble on the Wattbike midweek I was onto my 3rd set of 5 threshold workout and was about to call it a day as I was tired.  Then I thought about some inspirational people that I have either known or know and it spurred me on to finish the workout and give me a mental boost.  This led me on to thinking about why people are overweight/obese.  Having known both ends of that particular scale it got me to thinking.  My theory is that the weight is easily gained but to gain a large amount it does take a significant amount of time.  The realisation that you have gained weight unless you monitor closely probably doesn’t dawn on you until you realise your clothes are to small etc.  In much the same way losing weight is very difficult to achieve as it relies on an individuals motivation to take a long term approach to losing the weight.  It’s not a quick battle as I am coming to realise.  I have been losing an average of about 2 pounds every two weeks.  This is healthy for me and much more sustainable then a rapid dropping of weight.  It has taken me a few months to shift a stone and a half.  The point I’m trying to make is that the battle is mostly that of attrition and whether the person has the mental strength and desire to lose weight over a long period of time.  What satisfied me whilst I sat on the Wattbike cooling down was the fact that the exercise routine is now habitual and I no longer consider it a chore.  What was also pleasing was that I found the part of me that likes to compete I’d lost it over the last ten years and it showed itself again to me.  I am looking forward to next seasons cycling!

I have given up on the food recording.  It’s a great way to ‘diet’ and I would recommend it to anyone but it’s not for me.  I am mostly eating healthily and have cut out a lot of the fast food eating etc.  I am also not eating a load of crap at work because I don’t take my wallet simple effective way of not raiding the vending machines!

Lastly my swimming session this week was very productive again doing intervals.  Four lengths flat out two front crawl and two breastroke with a 30sec interval.  40 lengths completed very pleased.  Need to get in more but my eczema does not like the pool so I will have to try something to get around it!

Leave you with a quote I like…

“People don’t always remember the words you have said to them, but they will always remember the way you made them feel” Unknown

Sunday, 16 October 2011

You’ve dropped something…

Hey y’all, had some positive stuff going on this week with a sprinkling of negativity and a hint of technical issues.

Still feeling a little blue over events at work.  We have a ‘team’ meeting on Thursday so I am hoping to resolve some things there.  Not sure which tact to take to be honest.  Just throw it out there or just generally chat about the issue without naming names.  I’ll have to have a think about the best way to handle things this week and see what happens.

It’s been a proper mixed bag on my favourite topic, the weather, this week.  Monday through to Thursday it was pissing it down non-stop.  It at least seemed that way.  My new mudguards are working fantastically well I am so chuffed with them.  Not having a wet arse crack when getting to work after its being pissing it down is such a good feeling.  I am deeply deeply in love with two bits of plastic.  My bike and I have had a falling out this week.  After a few shandies on Thursday night I left the bike at work as I would have been unable to cycle I don’t think.  I went to pick it up on Friday thought it’s a nice day I will walk, got all of my gear on and went to clip in and the pedals and chain are moving but not the wheel…so I had to walk the bike all the way to Evans in town to get it fixed.  On the way back something rather funny happened.  In my youth I would, with friends, drive passed people and shout out of the window “you dropped something” much to everyone’s amusement.  Someone actually did this to me on Friday and I fell for it hook line and sinker I was off back down the road looking for the wallet I had dropped before realising it was in my zip pocket in the bag what a dufus.

On to the exercise and ‘diet’ had a very good experience this week.  Managed to swim half a mile (33 lengths of a 25m pool) on Thursday.  It’s a first for me and I was more then a little chuffed.  If I am going to do a sprint triathlon next year it’s a good start.  Admittedly I need to work on keeping my stroke consistent as it was all about the breathing for the last 15 lengths or so but hey that will come.  Had a couple of very productive gym session also this week and a good Wattbike session so I am very happy with the way things have gone this week.  Dietary wise it’s also been a good week I scored 49 points (even going over a few units of alcohol on Thursday) so I am pleased with that.  I may even see if I can ‘spend’ the points somewhere.

In other news I have bought two books this week to do with cycling of course!  50 Biggest Climbs in Europe and 100 British Climbs.  I’ll be honest I didn’t know the UK had a 100 climbs to climb so should be an interesting read.  I think it may be fun to come up with some sort of chart and start to knock them off as I’m going.  Obviously the European ones will be difficult as they tend to involve mountains rather then hills.

I finally finished the physio sessions this week. Marek ( has given me some exercises to do and signed me off.  The shoulder is really good and I am well pleased with his efforts.  It did hurt for a few sessions but no pain no gain don’t they say.  I would recommend him to anyone with an injury of any type.

So take care have a good week and stay focused on your goals.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Hey folks,

Had a very strange week this week.  Had a raging sore throat for a couple of days.  So not done much in the way of exercise.  Managed to get a good gym session in the usual commuting on the Langster Steel machine and a good swimming staff training session on Tuesday, even though there were only two of us!  Not managed to get out on the bike due to the weather here in Manchester.  It’s gone from Bahamas to devil weather in a matter of days.  A brief description of the weather on Friday from my perspective;
It will be sunny and warm today but at the same time will be absolutely pissing it down.  The wind can’t decide what it wants to do so it’s going to make a headwind of epic proportions which ever way I am cycling.  The wind will also feel like you have just opened your freezer and got you head stuck in one of the draws for 5minutes.  There I think that is reasonably accurate.  It has not been joyful to cycle this week but I will have to get used to that again.  Need to sort out some winter gear warm and waterproofs!

The food monitoring (loathe to call it a diet) is going ok I missed out on total by 1 point with 47 this week so a little gutted but not overly concerned.  Lost a lot of points from lack of exercise due to the raging sore throat and not being able to get out on the bike.  It’s going to be Wattbike training I reckon from here on in I think.

Had a good physio session with master healer Marek ( including some interesting head stretching manoeuvres.  I definitely believe Marek could be an out of hour’s hit man!  Great chat about many many topics.  The pain is now gone in the shoulder and the rest of the session is a lot easier.  The man has a real talent for fixing ya couldn’t recommend him highly enough!

The title you are probably thinking is a little cryptic.  Well I am unsure if it is wise for me to start on this but I am because it will be a little bit of an outlet for me so apologies for the vitriol I am about to spout.  I like, on the most part, going to work.  I like 95% of the people I work with and the job is different everyday.  It can throw up some weird and wonderful scenarios.  This week however the 5% of people I don’t like have done their utmost to try and land me in hot water with the gaffer.  I have tried to get on with these people I have.  I have stuck up for them when no one else has, I have tried to build bridges and I have given more then one chance to these people.  However this time the bridge has firmly been set on fire, collapsed fallen to pieces and sailed off down the river out to sea and sunk to the bottom of the deepest ravine there is out there.  No way back none at all.  Something I need to speak to some people about but trying to keep my cool is not easy especially when I get to hear what they are saying when I am not there.  This week may cause me problems as I am seething and it isn’t going to take much to set me off I don’t think.  Anyways sorry to spout this but I feel better now.  Some of you will know what this is about and I appreciate the fact that some of you have taken time to speak to me about it!

Ok so positive news.  Finished the first presentation for Swim Trafford this week and both James and Emma where happy with it I believe.  I think the information will have a massively positive effect on the kids and I’m hoping we can get another 10% performance wise out of them.  I am considering posting the PowerPoint presentations on here once I have delivered them to the kids.  They are mostly going to be informative stuff about Nutrition.  I am not going into to much depth at the moment it will be basic but a good overview for what they need.  There are plans to go into more depth with a handful of the swimmers who are top end and need an edge, which I am sure I can provide.

Exercise Totals;

Cycling Commuting;   25.5km
‘Leisure’ Cycling;       0
2 x Gym Session;         30 minutes cardio (Crosstraining and rowing)
                                    Various weights
                                    15minutes stretching

Thanks for reading.  Take each moment as it comes and don’t let the b******s grind you down!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Big orange mass of warmth…seen it before once I think.

What a glorious week we have had.  I will have to plan my Winter training sessions every week so that the sun can come out and keep me on the roads!  I think that if we had a bit more sun the UK would be a happier place to live I mean if you take  Australia for example it’s sunny and everyone is friendly and happy!

So this week saw the first full week of the new eating plan Ted did for me.  Let me explain the fundamentals of it.  It works on a point system.

  • +1 point for every 10 minutes of exercise (Max 5 points per day)
  • Daily start with 5 points for every meal that goes over 10g of fat -1 point.  Then -1 for every 10g of fat thereafter.
  • For every meal missed -1 point
  • 3 fruit snacks one in the morning, 1 in the afternoon, 1 in the evening if needed.  If missed -1 point.

So it’s very simple to follow and easy to record.  My aim each week is to get to 48points over 7 days.  My first week I achieved 50 points.  This is mostly down to my exercise plan and also eating a little better being more aware.  I am trying to be as honest as possible and have eaten two takeaways this week.  The good thing is I can see the point’s damage and the other thing is I am eating a lot more fruit which is healthy.

The exercise plan I am working to is 5 days a week doing various items;

  • Threshold Workout (Wattbike)
  • VO2 Workout (Wattbikes)
  • Swimming
  • Gym Session – 30minutes cardio, resistance and stretching
  • Road Cycling (Weather permitting)
  • General hill interval training on the wattbikes

This plan allows me to vary what I am doing each week so that I don’t get used to the exercise and my body cannot adapt to a regular routine.  It also keeps me interested as I suspect if I was doing the same thing over and over again it would mean me stopping exercising at some point.

Exercise totals

Cycling Commuting;  48.75km 
‘Leisure’ Cycling;       114.05 km (Including 1 x 21min VO2 max workout)
1 x Gym Session;         30 minutes cardio (Crosstraining and rowing)
                                    Various weights
                                    15minutes stretching

This week has also seen my good mate Rich heading down to the cycling show in Birmingham.  His company Pedal Precision do great work on bike fitting and the picture of his unit there looked very professional.  You can take a look at his website here

The next few weeks will see me coming together with James Stannard, Head Coach of Swim Trafford Elite Performance Squad, who are based at Stretford to start work on a nutrition programme and some psychological interventions to increase the performance of the squad.  It will be nice to start using my degree knowledge again and some of the other qualifications I have learnt.  I am currently putting together some power point presentations and some leaflets.  This has really enthused me again and I am looking forward to working with both the squad and James.

Have a good week and remember when you’re out exercising or in the gym
“Pain is fleeting, glory is forever”