IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22

After The Grizzly on the previous Sunday this week was always going to be a bit of a slow builder while I gave my body some time to recover. I was honestly expecting to feel a little worse after all those miles and hills but I’m generally ok. A little tired but thats about it. My foot feels no different to how it did a week ago so it’s still all systems go!

Mon – Rest Day
6pm – Restorative Yoga (via Down Dog App)
*Just a 45 min easy restorative yoga session this evening, rather than Yin as this is very gentle, after a nice long dog walk in the morning.

Tues – Rest Day
8:45 – Yin Yoga via Down Dog App
*Another day of dog walking and Yoga… feeling good and ready to get back to it.

Weds
6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
*Week 12 of 12; The Vortex. A max interval session. 4 min blocks of 105% FTP+ holding 85/90RPM with increasing amounts of full recovery down in the white zone.

7:40am – 2 mile Brick Run
*Easy 2 miles of the bike with George, one of my Forza Performance clients who also attends my Indoor Cycle classes.

12:30pm – CrossFit Class
50-40-30-20-10 Kettlebell Swing, Sit Up +30 Double Under each rd
*If there was a workout made for me, this would be it. I can’t swim this week as I had my hair done on Monday and I cant get it wet for a week so the stars aligned and gifted me this joy of a wod. I’d gone to the box with the thought of RX’ing this one as DU’s are the one RX skill I have. However, I’d expected the RX KB weight to be 20kg and it was 24! Luckily Pam (good friend and owner of Big Croc) was in the class and convinced me to go for it still… she RX’d it with me saying “we can fuck ourselves up together” and sometimes you need someone like this around you to give you that push. I am very much a coward when it comes to a lot of CrossFit and one of the things I’m working on is to try and be braver.

Thur
12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
40 Min EMOM- Min 1-3 30 sec on (you can do 40 but this is active recovery for me), Min 4- 60s
1; Plate Ground to Overhead,  2; Burpee to Plate, 3; Goblet Squat, 4; Alt Run. Row, Bike Ski 5; Rest
*No, I didn’t swim today either. The sessions available didn’t fit my day so easy indoor conditioning it is.

6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
*Same as Weds am.

Fri
12:30pm – CrossFit Open 22.3
This wod is too long to write in full so you can go find it elsewhere online if you really care.
*I completed the first set of thrusters and single unders and spent about 10 minutes fighting to get 10 Pull Ups out.
The video of my struggle to get these pull ups out is on my socials if you want to giggle -they are not pretty but they were effort!

2:00pm – Just Move EMOM with Head Coach Toby (and James & the hubby)
30 Min EMOM
1:16 DB Snatch 2: 20 Air Squat 3: 14 Hang Power Clean 4: 16 Down Up 5: “Recovery” Assault Bike

Sat
8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with Si
25 Min AMRAP; 400m run together then 20 Weighted Box Step Up, 30 DB Snatch, 40 Cal Row, 30 KBS, 20 Devil Press (split reps)
* I’d planned for this to be an easy, light recovery session but as often happens with Si and I, we went all in and pushed each other to the max. I didn’t go super heavy but I didn’t go as light as I’d planned.

9am -7k Row with Si
I’d planned to run after class but Si said he was doing a row instead so I jumped in on that instead 🙂

5:45pm – 45 Min C2 Bike (easy recovery)
As I haven’t finished the 75hard yet I still needed an outdoor workout to meet the rules for the day so I dragged the C2 bike into the garden, set up the 2018 CF Games film on my iPad and just peddled. No stress, just moving.

Sun – Extra Rest Day
5:45pm – Restorative Yoga via Down Dog App
* I was feeling VERY beaten up today so I gave myself permission to take life easy. I got up with the dog at 6am and we went for a gorgeous 2 hour walk around Staunton Park and The Thicket before the rest of Havant woke up and then a yoga session in the evening.
Even though these yoga sessions are low intensity I am feeling the benefits greatly as my mobility has improved no end since discovering Down Dog. My squat form continues to get better and better and I am definitely more flexible. It really is time well spent.

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  • Understanding Fats – the basics
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  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22

    This week saw the start of the CrossFit Open. I wasn’t going to join in the fun this year, apart from as a Judge, as it detracts from my primary goal but when my box said they were going to run an In House Comp and all proceeds would be reinvested back in the gym, well, how could I not sign up! I now have three weeks of competition where I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not taking it seriously and I AM NOT bothered about how it goes… honest! Fun times 🙂

    I had an Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation treatment with Muscle Therapies 640 on Monday and we focussed solely on the foot and connecting areas. Paul managed to trace some of the issue to my achilles so hopefully this issue will get sorted once and for all within the next couple of months.

    Other than that, nothing much has happened this week beyond the norm so here’s what my week looked like.

    Mon
    6:30am CrossFit Class
    Every 3 mins x 5; 30 x Double Under, 20 x Pistols Squat (Foot behind ankle), 10 x Handstand Push Up from a box

    Tues
    11:45am – 2000m Pool Swim
    *Boom! Longest swim to date, after only a few weeks of swimming and the only reason I stopped was because the pool session is capped to one hour!

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Week 10 of the 12 week Program = The Force, or as my husband calls it, The Kitchen Sink as I’ve thrown everything at this one. It’s a full on interval session that flies by.
    No brick run today as, following my treatment Monday I’m not allowed to run until Saturday.

    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    Deadlift;  3 Reps every 3 mins x 5 
    Then
    Every 90 seconds; 5 Deadlift + 10 Burpee over the Bar

    Thur
    12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec)
    1 – Down Ups,  2 – KB Swings, 3 – Top Of Plank Hold, 4 – Weighted Box Step Ups, 5 – Alt Row/Ski, 6 – Rest 

    6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Same as Weds am.

    Fri
    12:30pm – CrossFit Open 22.1
    18 Min AMRAP; 3 Scaled Wall Walk, 12 Alt DB Snatch, 15 Box Step Over
    *A fun start to The Open. Very happy with Snatches and Box Step Overs… not practiced Wall Walks a lot lately but the scaled version was simple enough.

    2:00pm – Just Move EMOM with Head Coach Toby (and James & Jack)
    30 Min EMOM
    1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions, 2: 16 Wall Ball, 3: 100ft Dbl KB Front Rack Carry, 4: 12 Hanging Leg Raise, 5: Rest

    Sat
    8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with Si
    25 Min AMRAP (U go, I go but run together); 1000m Row, 200m Run, 75 Thurster, 200m Run, 50 Bar Facing Burpee, 200m Run, 25 Hang Power Clean, 200m Run.

    Sun
    Rest Day
    * Myself and a couple of the Forza Performance crew went to Southsea to support one of our own, George, participating in the Portsmouth Duathlon. That was ahard fought race in brutal wind whipped conditions. I was very glad I hadn’t signed up!

    8pm – Yin Yoga (via DownDog App)
    * A chilled way to end the week 🙂

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  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22

    This biggest thing this week I re-engaged with my Nutrition Coach, Demi @ Deep Health Nutrition, as I’m still dropping weight quite quick due to the 75Hard and the increased training levels that come from IM training. I’m hitting protein goals (30% of daily intake every day) and I am still losing fat and building muscle but I just need to ensure I’m eating enough, at the right times etc to maximise my performance and not let all this hard work go to waste.

    I definitely had fat and weight to lose so I’m not at all concerned about dropping weight, but 5kg in 6 weeks is quite fast and if I had done it any other way I would know its not sustainable. It just shows that my calorie deficit was a little too aggressive, although occasionally in the very short term, this can be ok. I PB’d a couple of lifts in this time and both my running speed and bike power has improved so all signs show this was all perfectly ok. But, I know it wont last… soon, if I’m not careful I will lose performance due to being inadequately fuelled and that cannot happen.

    Now, I could absolutely sort my nutrition myself but a) I don’t want to have to think about that as well as program my own training etc b) I want to be accountable to someone and c) I am smart enough to know what I don’t know and would rather lean on another expert to help me get this right. You should all know that one of my biggest beliefs is that the best coaches are ultimately coachable and have coaches. I stand by my beliefs.

    And with that out of the way… on to the weeks activities.

    Mon
    6am – CrossFit Class
    2k Row for Time – A classic cardio test
    * I equally love and hate the 2k row test. I love it because rowing is something I am strong at but man the 2k hurts. If it doesn’t, you didn’t do it right. No PB today but I was too conservative in the first 1000m. Still 5s off isn’t too bad.

    Tues – Rest Day
    6:30am – Active Recovery Session at CFID
    *Once again my coach Kerry let me crash the early morning class, hide up the back and just do my own recovery session. 5 minute rounds of 3min easy (Z1) row or ski and 2 min mobility. I have had a few people ask me what sort of mobility I do here and it standard stuff; couch stretch, pigeon stretch off the box, lizard stretch, back extensions using the GHD, deep squat holds etc. Nothing fancy, just basic shit that works.

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Week 8 of the 12 week Program = Get Stronger, which basically means climbing week. One of my favourites as I much prefer to climb than race.

    7:30am – 2 Mile Brick Run

    10am – Pool Swim
    1 mile for time
    *Still got good swim karma. One mile, no stopping and it was both easy and enjoyable. Surely this enjoyment of swimming can’t last. I don’t ever remember liking it like this, or finding it so easy. I am also aware that I have not even hit half distance of what I require on race day but leave me alone, let me enjoy this while it lasts 🙂

    12:30pm CrossFit Class
    Back Squat Day
    Lift every two minutes: 5 reps, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2
    *My squats have never felt so good, or looked so good according to Toby, who was coaching the class. I think the Yin Yoga is paying off. Who know… oh right, almost anyone who’s done any amount of decent yoga.

    1:30pm Post CF 4 Mile Run
    * This run sucked. I felt so tired, which is completely justified after everything else I had done today. I would normally only Cycle, Run and Swim on a Weds but I had no clients after 10am so I took full advantage and snuck in a couple of extra sessions. Let’s face it, being able to run tired, on fatigued legs is a skill all Ironman and potential Ironmen should develop so as much as it sucked, it was also great.

    Thur
    12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec)
    1: Plank DB Taps, 2: SA DB Thruster L, 3: DB Box Step Up, 4: SA DB Thruster R, 5: Assault Bike, 6: Rest
    *As per last week, I used this class as active recovery so easy intensity all the way through, a med weight DB, not too heavy but also not crazy light.

    6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Same as Weds am.

    Fri
    11am – Conditioning with Head Coach Toby
    60 Min AMRAP
    5 can Row, 5 Cal Bike, 5 Cal Ski, 2m Burpee Broad Jump *add 5 class every round.
    * The goal here was to keep Heart Rate in Zone 3. This meant having to pull back on the bike but push a little harder on the Ski. 60 minutes passed fairly easily.

    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    4 Rounds for Time
    400m Run, 50ft SA DB Overhead Walking Lunge, 25 DB Push Press
    *Not a lot to say about this one. It wasn’t as horrific as I thought it would be so happy days… move on.

    2:00pm – Work on your Weaknesses EMOM with Head Coach Toby
    30 Min EMOM
    1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions, 2:2 x 16kg KB 50ft Farmer Carry , 3: Alt 8 Pull Up / 30s Active Hang, 4: 8 Toes to Rings 5: Rest

    Sat
    Boxercise Refresher Course

    Sun

    10am – 6 Mile Run

    5:30pm – Yin Yoga Practice

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
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  • IM Training Blog w/c 24.01.22

    Week 2 – Completed

    Last week in my first IM training blog of 2022 I outlined my approach for this 6 month block of training, which will take me from 0 to 140.6.

    There isn’t really much to say about this week so on to the specifics:

    Mon
    9:30am Outdoor Upper Body Strength & Core EMOM
    1: 10 Min 3xPull Up, 2: 10 Min 3xPush Up 3: 10 Min 30s Hollow Hold, 4: 10 Min 30s Arch Hold
    All with 2 min rest between

    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    Mono-structural Cardio day today
    30 Min AMRAP – 400m Row, 400m Run, 50 Double Unders
    *My goal was to keep every round consistent and hope my foot holds out with the combo of running and double unders – I did, and it did 🙂

    Tues – Rest Day
    6:30am – “Just Moving” Recovery Session at CrossFit
    *Same as last week – without 75Hard I would likely just do the dog walk and that would be but as I need that second workout I went to hang out with the early morning crew again and did an easy (zone 1 max) session. I threw in the Ski Erg as well as the Assault Bike for of 9 x 3 min cardio + 2 Minutes mobility – and I threw in the GHD to work on some deep back extensions.

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Week 6 of the 12 week Program = Get Faster aka Speed Week. I’m a better climber than racer so this is a good week for me to work on my weaknesses.
    No brick run post class this week as I had no one to run with (meaning I had no one to store my bag with as I cycle to the gym). I know I could have done it once I got home but I got through the door and Cracker dog was so happy to see me I couldn’t turn round and leave hime again straight away… weak sauce I know but dog owners, you will understand.

    12:45pm – Pool Swim
    14 x 100m repeats with 1 min rest.
    *Building on the positives of my first session last week I simply aimed to add two more 100m repeats. I ended up doing 4 more, with the intention of completing 16 to get the mile but I ran out of time as the session ended. Note to self – find out how long the session is so I can plan accordingly.

    Thur
    12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    40 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 3 40sec, Min 4 60sec)
    1: Burpee Box Step Up, 2: Alt Ring Row/Push Up, 3: KB Swing, 4: Alt Row/Ski, 5: Rest

    6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Thurs night is the same as Weds morning so a second crack at speed week. It’s always interesting to compare the two efforts and weirdly there isn’t a clear pattern of best performance. One week my morning session will be stronger, another the evening.

    Fri
    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    Heavy Strength Day today
    Every 3 min x 10 = 1 Deadlift + 10 Hanging L Raises (add one deadlift every set)
    *The deadlift was advised to be 50/60% of your 1RM and completed in unbroken sets. My current 1rm is 95kg so I went for 55kg. It felt solid, I could maintain good form and consistent pacing on each set and more importantly my grip lasted the workout. I split the hanging leg raises from the start into 2 sets of 5 and held this throughout.

    2:00pm – Conditioning AMRAP session with Head Coach Toby
    100 Wallball for time + 4 min rest.
    *The goal here was to complete as big a set as possible for the first set, same again for second set getting it done as quickly as possible with as few breaks as possible. I hit a set of 50, 20, 20, 10. Toby, because he’s a rock star hit 70, 30!
    1 min on, 1 min off: 5 cal row + 2 Burpee over Rower. Add 2 Burpee until you cannot finish.
    *A twisted take on Death by Burpee -I got the round of 14 but could only get 12 reps. Toby, again because he’s a rock star got to the round of 20 but got timed out at 19 reps;
    EMO2M 5/5 Single Arm Dumbbell Squat Snatch x 6
    * I cannot squat snatch a dumbbell I found out. I had never tried before and it did not go well. I cannot even really single arm squat with a dumbbell so I went back to basics, removed the weight and just worked on bodyweight single arm squats. I def found something I suck at which I will need to work on.

    Sat
    8:00am – CrossFit Class (Partner wod with Simon)
    25 Min AMRAP (Run together, split the reps)
    400m row, 50 Wallball, 50 Burpee Box Step Over
    400m row, 50 Alt Devil Press, 50 Weighted Box Step Up
    400m row, 50 Hang Power Clean, 50 Push Jerk
    *It was meant to be a run but I cant run in my CF shoes so Simon ran while I rowed. We both decided we wanted to push ourselves so we both went heavier with the dumbbell and barbell. During the warm up I genuinely felt done and was properly worried about how this was going to play out. I shouldn’t have worried. I loved every second of it. I worked harder than I honestly thought I could and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    9:00am – 4 Mile Run w/ weight vest
    *No Simon to run with this week so I decided if I didn’t have him to push my pace, I would throw on my weight vest and mix it up that way. I ran 2 miles out, 2 miles back, so I couldn’t be tempted to dial it in early. It was practically spring like outside so no layering up required. Shorts, vest top, weight vest – Go.

    7:00pm – Yoga Practice via DownDog App
    *So I discovered Yin Yoga on the app and let me tell you, I am a fan. I bought a new yoga matt in the week, one with the alignment lines on it (which actually helps a lot) as new kit always helps right 🙂 These two things combined mean that I think I can say, I enjoyed yoga.

    Sun
    9:00am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class
    *Again, not coaching the session I upped my FTP and just let Chris tell me what to do. It must have been a good session as at least twice when he gave an instruction I told him to fuck off (in my head of course). It’s like I tell my athletes, if every so often you aren’t cursing me during a session, I’m probably not doing my job right. No, it shouldn’t be high intensity, max effort all the time but occasionally you need to go to war with yourself and I did that in the class today.

    10:00am – 400m Hill Reps
    *Post Cycle Brick Run session but this week focussed on building leg strength, cardio endurance and quick recovery. Once again Lorraine was the only one willingly to jump in with me and we spent around 40 minutes running 200m up 200m down the same incline for 3.5 miles. The goal is not to sprint up and jog down, the goal for this run was consistency. Same pace up, same pace down.

    7:00pm – Yoga Practice
    *The exercise rule of 75Hard, is as you may remember, 2 45 minute workouts (can be longer), 1 must be outdoors, they cannot be consecutive. I’d hit the first two parts of the rule but same as yesterday, they were consecutive so I had to hit a third workout to meet the rules. Let’s face it, Yoga is never going to be a bad thing to do and I am determined to get to a place where I like yoga – yes I enjoyed the practice yesterday but that doesn’t yet make it something I relish and look forward to.
    I tried a second Yin Yoga session and I think because it feels more like the mobility sessions I’m used to it’s more comfortable (mentally, not necessarily physically). Again, I enjoyed it and could def feel the pain points in my body releasing a little.

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
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  • IM Training Blog w/c 17.01.22

    First week of proper, focussed training.

    As we know, I am not going to quit CrossFit, as I love it and its been proven again and again that it works to build a brilliant training base encompassing strength, speed, power and overall conditioning.

    My aim for this 6 month training block is to continue pretty much as normal at CrossFit (with a few tweaks here and there which I will discuss as they happen) and hit 8 to 10 hours of specific Ironman Training alongside. This duration will increase as we get closer to the event but not by a huge amount, I expect.

    It’s worth mentioning that I am also currently doing Andy Frisella’s 75Hard challenge, which I started on Jan 1st. I will be posting a separate post about this challenge on my Fitness Blog so head there if you want to ready anymore about this. What this does mean is that I have to do two workouts a day, min 45 minutes, 1 must be outdoors and they must not be consecutive, and at least 3 hours apart. I walk my dog every day for around an hour and as this often constitutes the outdoor workout I have turned it into a ruck, taking the weight plates out of my weight vest and putting them in my rucksack.

    So, on to my week and the training specifics:

    Mon
    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    3 x 3 Min AMRAP of 20 Box Step Over, 12 Cal Row, 5 Hanging Leg Raises

    3:30pm – Concept 2 Bike Erg Session
    Zone 2 HR for 50k – took just over 1hr 45.
    *Why use a C2 bike and not a turbo – Simply the C2 bike is there in my studio and to use the turbo I have to get the turbo out, put the bike on the turbo, load up a program blah blah blah. No it means I’m not putting the time in on my bike but right now, building bike endurance is all that matters and that can happen anywhere. There will be time to build bike craft and work on technique later.

    Tues – Rest Day
    6:30am – “Just Moving” Recovery Session at CrossFit
    *Without 75Hard I would likely just do the dog walk and that would be but as I need that second workout I went to hang out with the early morning crew and did an easy (zone 1 max) session of 9 x 3 min Assault Bike, 2 Minutes mobility – holding static stretches for 1 minute or 1 min per side.

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    Coaching Indoor Cycle is a blast. It’s where I started my FitPro life. Coach by Colour is power based training using your FTP and power zones. Its now the only type of Indoor Cycle I will do as its meaningful and measurable. I run my classes on a 12 periodised program (which I created) with FTP testing every 13th week. Luckily, as its expected for the coach to be in with the participants I can actually use this session as a training session. Good coaches are not “paid to train”. That is the mantra of lazy, crap trainers. Coaches are paid to Coach and I believe one of the very few expectations to this rule is on the bike.

    7:30am – 2 mile Brick Run
    As soon as the class is over me and one of my clients and friends, Gary, hit the road for a 2 mile blast. Nothing special, nothing fast, just a bit of a brick session to build endurance and ability. Plus, it gives us a chance to catch up, which is always nice!

    Thur
    6:30am – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    2 x 20 Min EMOM
    1: Down Ups, Air Squats, Row, Rest and 2: Ski, Alt Sit Ups/Plank, 600m Assault Bike, Rest

    12:45pm – Pool Swim
    10 x 100m repeats with 1 min rest.
    *This was my first session back in the pool since March 2020 and I was dreading it. I had to really force myself to go to the pool. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. I have never been, nor will I ever be, a good swimmer but I get by and this session was a huge confidence builder.

    6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    Back in the Cycle Studio for Class 2. Same session as Weds as I keep both classes on the same schedule. This week was Wk5 in the 12 wk program and that meant Power Pyramid. 3 Repeats of Hill Climb, Tabata Sprint, Rest. A brutal but effective session and a firm favourite amongst my squad.

    Fri
    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    Benchmark WOD Nancy – 5 Rds of 400m Run, 15 Overhead Squat.
    I had to row this one as I have been dealing with a crazy foot injury that is finally healing. However, it not healed enough to allow me to run in my CF shoes, and I cannot OHS in my Running Shoes so rowing was the solution.

    2:00pm – Conditioning AMRAP session with Head Coach Toby
    9 Min AMRAP: 15 Burpee Box Step, 30 Lunge, 15 Power Clean and Push Jerk, 4 Min Rest
    9 Min AMRAP: Ring Muscle Ups and Double Unders (no need to write the specific rep scheme!)
    *Every Friday I jump in with our Head Coach Toby on whatever he has programmed, purely so he has someone to train alongside. I call myself his “Anti Sandbagger” His coach Matt has a bit of an evil streak and some of these sessions are the worst I have ever encountered (but in that really good way). This one was waaayyyy spicer than I thought it would be. Fun though.

    Sat
    8:00am – CrossFit Class
    3 Min Max Effort Row for Meters, 2 Min Rest
    6 Min Build to Heavy 3 Thruster, 2 Min Rest
    3 Min Max Effort for Meters, 2 Min Rest
    10 Min AMRAP (partner WOD) 2, 4, 6, 8, etc Cal Row, Thruster, Burpee Over Bar
    *Saturdays are Partner WOD at our box and I am lucky to have landed on my feet with my regular training partner, Simon, another triathlete, who is this year again attempting the DECCA (thats 10 full 140.6 Triathlons in 10 days)

    9:00am – 5 Mile Run
    Layer up, change shoes and Simon and I were out the door straight after class. My plan was to run 4 miles, he needed 5 so 5 it was. It was one of those beautiful runs where you felt you could run forever. Again, it wasn’t fast, the HR was a bit too high (thanks to that beast of a CF class – that isn’t a complaint, I bloody loved it) but it felt comfortable and we had a really good chat all the way round.

    4:15pm – Yoga Practice via DownDog App
    I am not a yoga fan but I am trying to find some love for it. I had to add something else in today to meet the 75Hard requirements and a bit of yoga seemed like the sensible choice. This was my 2nd session and I liked it a bit more than my first – I guess thats something right. We are going in the right direction at least.

    Sun
    9:00am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class
    This time I was on the other side of the class and not coaching. In this weather I am not risking outdoor rides os decided to head to the gym and see my favourite Indoor Cycle Instructor – who also instructs Coach By Colour. Not being the one on the stage I didn’t have to think. I didn’t have to talk. I just had to ride so I whacked my FTP up by 10 watts to see how I’d get on and I held it ok. Will be keeping this up the next few weeks while the weather is questionable.

    10:00am – 5 Mile Run
    Again, layer up, change shoes and straight out the door after class for a run. This time Lorraine met me. Its so nice having so many people around me, willing to jump in and train with me. Lorraine is another friend and client and she’s training for her first attempt at competitive OCR so was more than happy to work on her running.

    5:00pm – Yoga Practice
    Again, as the first two sessions were back to back I needed a second session for 75Hard. Yoga practice was about all I was up for and again, I “enjoyed” it a little bit more BUT I cannot breathe that slowly. I guess all that comes with time… I find it ok for the first few minutes but then the voice on the app is saying “and breathe out” and I’ve taken 3 breaths! Is this normal? Do others struggle with this?


  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • HIIT – Are you doing it right?

    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is everywhere. Gyms run HIIT classes, people can download a HIIT timer on to their phone… it’s a really popular way of training due to its efficiency and effectiveness but unfortunately the more popular it’s gotten, the less it actually looks like an actual HIIT workout.

    There seems to be a common thought process which is ” wow, 5 minutes of that was great… so 10 must be even better… and if I can do 10 then lets go for 20!” This is usually followed with “I don’t need 30 secs rest, I can cut that to 20, actually who needs rest, I’ll cut it to 10 seconds”
    To get a true and effective HIIT session, this is the opposite of what you want to do.
    Constantly adding more work doesn’t make the workout better… in truth it is probably destroying your chance of achieving the desired outcome and effect of the session.

    What I want to do in this blog is give you a little more detail and understanding so that if and when you do a HIIT session, it really counts.

    Lets start with the fundamental, the Why;
    Why is HIIT so effective?

    As I said up top, the name of the game is efficiency. You can see great results in less time using High Intensity… if it’s done right.

    Good HIIT programming does everything it can to maintain the intensity. If you lose the intensity then all you have is a shorter workout and that just wont get you where you want to be. The point of HIIT is to gain all the fat burning, muscle building, cardiovascular benefits that come from longer workouts in a shorter space of time. Essentially you need to go hard, rest and repeat.

    The amount of work versus rest depends on your goal.
    If your goal is purely cardio/aerobic then longer bursts of effort with shorter amounts of rest are fine.
    However, if you want to throw some strength gains in their too then you will have to change it up as when you work out for too long, with not enough rest the intensity drops quickly.

    So, now you get why it works, lets look at the How;
    How should you design a HIIT session?

    As you can see long HIIT sessions with short rest periods will likely lead to a drop in intensity. The other issue is burnout. Trying to work at that pace and level consistently will just leave you feeling drained.

    So, a good starting point for designing a HIIT is to look at the rest time. If you insist on having shorter rest times, you need to also have shorter workouts. Remember, the goal is to maximise intensity (so that you can maximise your results)

    A common and effective HIIT timing is 20 secs work, 40 secs rest. Now to a lot of people reading this, this is going to seem backwards as they would have been expecting 40 secs work, 20 secs rest but I wrote it the right way round, trust me.

    If you stick to a static work/rest timing for your workout then understand that in the latter rounds you will likely experience some drop off in intensity as you become fatigued.

    A great way to program HIIT is to increase the rest as the rounds progress so that you can maintain the same level of output for the whole workout i.e. 20 secs work, 40 secs rest.
    30 secs work, 60 secs rest.
    40 secs work, 120 secs rest.
    The idea is that you rest just enough to recover, while being able to maintain maximum output each set and/or round.

    As for how long the total session should be, well, that will vary from person to person. You should stop your HIIT session at the point where you notice your intensity dropping. Ideally you should start with a shorter session, to try and avoid the drop off, and as you improve you can increase the length of your session.

    Ok, so now we have a how, we need the What:
    What exercises should be used in a HIIT session?

    As has been said many times, the output is High Intensity so the exercises you chose must be ones that can be performed in that way.

    The cardio choices are quite straightforward. You could use a stationary bike or elliptical for example and just go hard during the work periods.

    Other good cardio choices are Sprinting, Rowing, Skipping, Ski Erg and the dreaded Assault Bike (other bikes are also good but I do love to hate the Assault Bike).

    Strength is a little more complex as the weight needs to either be that you can lift it quickly and be explosive or that you can only do maybe 6 to 8 reps (depending on the movement and your timeframe). People often don’t think of strength work as intense but anyone that has done heavy Deadlifts or fast Power Cleans will understand.

    Some of my favourite HIIT choices are Kettlebell Swing, Deadlift, Dumbbell Snatch, Slamball, Battleropes and Power Bag Burpees.

    And now as we have got our What, we need the final piece of the puzzle, the When;
    When should I do a HIIT session.

    Given the demands on the body you shouldn’t do a HIIT session more than 3 times a week and just as you should build up the length of the session you should also build up the amount of sessions you do.

    Start with one session. Do it well and do it right. After a couple of weeks, add in a second session if you feel like you want to. After another couple of weeks add in a third and stop there!

    Just as intensity can drop during a long session, trying to do too much too often will have the same negative effect on your sessions, and therefore your results.

    Stay focussed on the goal.

    Unleash your Inner Bad Ass.

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • Improve your cycling – Know your FTP. Yes, it does matter!

    As many of you will know, I am an Indoor Cycling Instructor and over the last 3 years I have developed my skills and knowledge to become a Power Trainer.

    I am lucky to have done courses with two of the best Power Training Providers in UK Indoor Cycling; ICG and Stages. What they have taught me has been invaluable and allowed me to completely overhaul my classes and really help my students see true and robust improvement.

    Their success is measured by the result of their quarterly FTP test and any decent cyclist that’s been around for a while and truly cares about their performance knows their number.

    So, what is it?
    FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power. It is a number. That number is representative of Watts, a measure of power.

    What does it mean?
    Your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) is the highest average watt output that you can sustain for an hour.

    Why should I care?
    FTP is the gold standard in the cycling world. Once you know your FTP you have a bullet proof, quantitive way to measure your improvement. It will also allow your set your training zones accurately, meaning you make your training more targeted and meaningful.

    “But I know I’m getting better” I hear you say. “I beat my friend up box hill last week and I never do that” or maybe “I beat my strava time on that time trail segment” These are all good indicators that yes, you may be getting better but other factors may have been involved and they are not scientific. FTP is. Number goes up, you have improved… Fact!

    Ok, sounds good, I want to start caring… how do I do it?
    Welcome to the grim world of FTP Testing. We love it but we really, really hate it (for the 20 minutes we’re in it!).
    You can do the test inside or out, depending on the equipment you have. Purists will tell you outdoor testing is best as you can generate more power when you are outside, than you can indoors.
    You will need a bike (obviously) and either power meter or a smart trainer. Some indoor bikes in the gym also have testing capability.

    The Test
    You need a good warm up protocol as the test demands a lot from you so you have to fully prep both the body and the mind to be ready.
    A full test warm up can be anything as long as (brace yourselves, this is how I do it) a 20 min easy ride, 6 to 10 mins of 1 min max effort intervals followed by 1 min recovery riding, another 5 min easy ride, 5 min max effort and finally a 10 minute easy ride. This may seem extreme but it works. Some people do less… I’m not sure if anyone does more!?

    Once warmed up, it is straight into the test and it couldn’t be any simpler… ride as hard as you can for 20 minutes. Make sure you record the 20 minute test as a separate lap/segment on your device as we don’y want the data from your warm up confusing the results. You must stay seated for the 20 minute effort. Yes, you can push more power standing but it isn’t a sustainable position for very long periods so we need to know what you can do in the saddle. There’s no hard and fast rule for preferred cadence. The slower you go the more your legs muscle fatigue will play a part in the result. The faster you go the more stress there will be on the efficiency of your pedal stroke and cardiovascular system. The advice I was given when I attempted my first test was to ride between 80 – 95 RPM and I generally stick to this. Make sure you stay on the bike once it is over (even though everything in your being will be screaming for you to get off, make it stop – thats how you know you did it right) and cool down properly. Ideally you want to ride easy for about 15 minutes, longer if you want.

    Getting your result
    Once you have completed your test we need to do some maths. Look up the data on your ride and find your average power for the 20 minute test. Subtract 5% from that number and jackpot you now know your FTP.
    * we have to subtract 5% to find your average power for the hour and this sum is always pretty accurate. If you want to do a one hour test you can but I personally don’t advise it. I have done it once and I meant it when I said never again!

    Final thought… power to weight ratio.
    As you can see, FTP doesn’t take into consideration anything about you other than what you can do on the bike. It doesn’t know how old you are, your gender or how much you weigh.
    This is why I also tell my students to monitor another number which is their watts per kilogram or power to weight ratio. To find this simply divide your weight (in kilograms) by your FTP.
    For some this wont be important but for for anyone that really cares about their cycling performance, and I work with a lot of people that really do, it’s important because how much you weigh relative to how much power you can generate will determine how well you perform.
    In a nut shell, if you are shedding a bit of fat and therefore getting lighter and that FTP still keeps going up, you are definitely doing something right.

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • Is your fitness suffering thanks to overtraining ?

    One of the things we have likely all seen a lot of during this lockdown period is unqualified Fitness Influencers (seriously, someone still needs to explain what this even is!) and even in some cases PT’s and fitness brands setting up crazy bodyweight challenges as a way to “help” people maintain their fitness during lockdown. 

    Think being challenged to do 100 squats, then add 100 push ups, oh and 100 lunges and hey, why not, do 100 burpees while you’re there… and lets do that every day for 7/14/30 days! 

    So, maybe you are thinking that sounds banging, its hardcore, Yeah! push the limits!… and you’d be right, IF you did that workout maybe twice a month, although that could still be deemed excessive, depending on your current fitness level. 

    Indeed, one of my favourite workouts is one of the CrossFit Girls – Angie; ‘For Time 100 Pull Ups, 100 Push Ups, 100 Sit Ups and 100 Air Squats’
    However, as much as I love it, it’s a workout I will likely do 3 times a year, at the most! In fact I think I’ve done it twice in the last two years. There is a value to doing high rep work but doing so often is just counter productive and probably a waste of your time. 

    Personally, I am huge fan of the minimal dose response, which basically means achieving the desired result with the minimum amount of work required. Do you really need to do 100 squats for 7 days? I’m going to guess that the answer is no! Its a pretty safe bet you can get where you want to go with a smarter approach.

    You have to ask the question “why I am doing this?” “what is it achieving?” and if you don’t know and the person setting the challenge cannot give you a good explanation beyond “Do it! “Go Hard or Go Home’ then do you know what… don’t do it! 

    These are the main issues to consider: 

    Form
    Can the average gym goer actually maintain proper alignment and form for 100 reps?
    Take the squat as one example…
    Let’s be frank, there are a fair few videos circulating showing people doing these types of challenges and squatting with poor form. Now, I know not everyone has the hip or ankle mobility to be able to squat to or below parallel but a good majority of people don’t even know that this is the standard to aim for.
    We see shallow depth, knees pushed in front of toes, chests falling forward and hunched shoulders to name but a few issues. Whats the point of doing 100 reps when the first rep isn’t good?
    Quality over quantity at all times and if you know you cannot squat to parallel with good form then put the work in on your mobility to fix the issue. This would be a much better use of your time! Same goes for every other movement.

    Injury Risk
    Let’s just take a second to consider the injury risks for the volume of repetitive work, especially when repeated over multiple days. The possible shoulder, knee or hip problems that might arise are plentiful so why would you take the risk. So many people are willing to push through workouts suffering from aches and pains and I never understand why. I constantly have to talk to class members about long term success over short term gain. 

    Overtraining – Volume and Intensity
    Simply put overtraining occurs when you the work you put in exceeds the bodies ability to recover. So, doing the same movement pattern over and over again, and then again, and then again will not allow the muscle groups involved to recover. When the muscles aren’t allowed to recover, they can’t perform properly so the end result is a drop in output.
    There is a huge difference between overloading and overtraining. When done right and applied properly, the overload principle will yield brilliant results. Maybe some of these people plan these excessive workouts thinking that they will achieve overload but unfortunately not! They have tipped over into over training.

    Overtraining – Duration
    Some say over training, some say under recovery. Both amount to the same thing and both are correct. As well as programming excessive amounts of reps and high volume work, the other way to over train the body is by skipping rest days. Often these challenges are set with “Hey, lets do this every day for a month!” Yeah, great, let me know how that works out for you in the end!
    Why is it seen as hardcore to say screw it to the rest day? Anyone with this attitude clearly doesn’t understand how to programme fitness effectively.. if this is your coach, please… walk away now!
    The body needs recovery time. It’s as simple as that. Without recovery not much will happen in terms of progress. It often feels like rest is a dirty word. How often have I heard “it’s ok, I’ll rest when I’m dead”! OK then. But why not send your time alive actually making positive adaptations and seeing progress rather than just wearing your body and mind into the ground. Yes, to see change you need to force an adaptation. You need to stress the body and trigger it to adjust to the new stimulus. Just not all the time!

    There are so many negative effects related to overtraining aside from the injury risk and drop in performance and ability. Maybe you aren’t actually injured but it is likely you will suffer from increased inflammation. It can also affect your amount and quality of sleep.

    Ask yourself.. is it worth it?

    Train smart, rest well and achieve something truly bad ass!

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • Is your ego holding you back?

    No! I hear you cry indignantly… and maybe thats the truth but something I see all the time is people sabotaging their chances of success and the reason boils down to ego.

    Ok, what do I mean…

    You know that person in your fitness class or on the gym floor that always puts a bit too much weight on the bar and then lifts with poor form meaning they are doing more harm than good? Ego.

    How about that one person that always goes out way too fast on a run and gets overtaken by those that took it slow and steady? Ego

    What about that person who is always saying “oh I would’ve/could’ve done x/y/z but unfortunately I got injured/felt a niggle/ had a stomach issue/it was too hot/too cold? One time, ok, it’s probably genuine but that person who always seems to come armed with excuses? Ego.

    If you cannot recognise yourself if these examples I’m betting you can recognise someone you know. And, maybe if you are honest with yourself, you can probably think of at least one time when you have let your ego get the better of you and your training session or event has been crap because of it.

    Hell, we’ve all done it. Maybe you loaded the bar a bit too heavy and then skipped a couple of reps every round as your workout is taking way longer than everyone else’s. Maybe you stepped outside to do your run, realised it was really hot but didn’t adjust your pace and burned yourself out.

    If we all do a little bit of critical (and honest) analysis, we can probably all identify one time when we let our ego get the better of us and it came back to bite us in the ass.

    This week, the worldwide CrossFit community took on one of the most famous Hero Workouts in the world, Murph. It’s a gruelling suckfest of a 1 mile run, 100 Pull Ups, 200 Push Ups and 300 Squats, plus another 1 mile run… oh, and you do it in a weight vest.

    I saw so many posts and had so many people comment on my social things like” oh I wish I could but I can’t even do one pull up so I’m out” or “oh it would be amazing to be able to do this but I can’t :0(”

    I would point out that there are many, many scaling options (especially this year as more versions of Murph were released to accommodate those without equipment and those that hadn’t been near their gym in 10 weeks). The responses were upsetting! Along the lines of ‘oh scaling is cheating, either do it or don’t do it!’

    Now, at this point I would like to make sure you know, I scaled Murph. I always scale Murph. I don’t have a choice as guess what, I can’t do 100 pull ups! I split that fucker down into 20 rounds of 5 Ring Rows (for the pull ups) 10 Push Ups (to a 12″ box as I prefer to do a full push up on an incline, than do them on my knees and I can’t do 200 good push ups on my toes) and 15 Squats.

    The point of Murph, and any workout, is not to be exclusive. The point is to challenge yourself to do something tough, something unpleasant and prove to yourself that you are a true bad ass because you finished it.

    It shouldn’t be easy and if you’ve adapted it to the point where it’s easy and you’re posting ‘Hey, Murph smashed sub 30 mins, Boom!” (yep, I saw many of these) You missed the point and do you know why? Yep, you guessed it… Ego!

    But this is the other way ego can hold you back… you make excuses to not do stuff, or you only do the stuff you know you can do, because really, you are too afraid to try.

    It’s pretty obvious that doing something is better than doing nothing and honestly, what is the worst that can happen? You’re a little slower than others you know? You lose your shit mid workout and throw something across the gym (this one is based on personal experience!)? You cry? You scream? You even quit maybe? So what! I truly believe we learn way more in the bad times and in the mistakes than we do when everything is good.

    I am the first one to celebrate the wins with my clients whether they are achieving a new pb, learning to take rest days, dropping fat and inches, or fitting into old clothes but I will spend more time talking about the bad times as thats where the big lessons are.

    I have this one mantra when it comes to my own training: No one cares. Work harder. Now I know that of course Kerry, my coach, and Toby, Head Coach at my gym, absolutely care about my progress but this mantra just sums up the required absence of ego.

    Focus on the lessons.
    Stop holding yourself back.
    Unleash your inner bad ass.

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?

    OK, so this post might upset a few people but I really think it needs to be said and I’m going to be the one to say it.

    Let’s talk about chasing that feeling… the burn, the agonising soreness. Has anyone ever said to you, or maybe you’ve said it yourself, “that must have been a great workout, I hurt so much!”

    Any workout can be curated to make you feel burnt out, sore and sweaty but not every workout will actually be curated to make you better.

    Here’s a hard truth people. You don’t need to destroy yourself in the gym. You don’t need to feel dead inside and out every workout. You don’t need to torture and punish yourself to get results. Brutal/long/crazy doesn’t mean better. Only better means better.

    Walking away from your session tired, beaten up, sore and sweaty doesn’t automatically mean your workout was better or more effective. It does mean you are tired, beaten up sore and sweaty… but maybe thats it.

    You might be working your butt off and not getting results. If this sounds like you then its time to rework the problem and sort out a new plan.

    Because here’s the thing. It doesn’t take a great coach to program a class or workout that will burn you out. It sometimes feels like some coaches on the gym floor are constantly trying to outdo each other with how “hard” they can make a class or a workout. But, it’s easy to make a class hard and have participants leave feeling like they left their soul behind… but what did it actually achieve? I’d bet that if I asked for someone to put together a class that will make everyone exhausted and sore, most of you reading this could do that.

    So here is the second thing. It does take a great coach to produce meaningful outcomes with their classes and programmes. A great coach knows what is required to get those real, visible, tangible results.

    Let’s not get it twisted though. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard work and that it isn’t going to completely suck at times. It is and it will.

    Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. You will have to find a way of turning off that limiter in your brain – that little switch that holds you back and convinces you are done, when actually you are just 40% done.

    Real results take real work but you have to be smart about it. You need to understand what you are actually trying to achieve and figure out what you actually need to do to get where you want to go. Figure out the goal.

    So right now you might be like “but Liza, I’m not training to achieve something specific. I don’t want to run a marathon/half marathon/obstacle race/triathlon/whatever.

    Maybe you just want to be able to run around the garden and keep up with the kids and be able to pick up the youngest without worrying about your back.. OK, so actually in fitness terms what you want is to improve you cardiovascular fitness, your overall strength and have a strong posterior chain. Guess what, thats a fitness goal. Now you know what you need figure out how to get there but remember…

    Stop chasing a feeling and start chasing results!

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • IM Training Log w/c 20.01.20

    Body Comp Stats 
    Weight: 75.6kg (-0.4kg)
    Body Fat %: 29 (+/- 0)
    Muscle %: 33.4 (+/- 0)

    Mon: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning

    10 Rounds of 40 seconds on 20 seconds off; Row, Bike Ski, Rest.
    That rest minute meant that each 40 seconds of work should be a hard effort. I tried but it got tough!!

    Mon: 1pm 10 min Pull Up EMOM + 10 min Push Up EMOM

    Same as last week but we (meaning me and my friend Amy, who is doing this extra work with me) have added in some negative phase work before the banded work to try and fast track our Pull Up progress.

    Tue: 12pm Pool Swim

    Today was a CrossFit day according to my training plan but I decided to go back to the pool and put a bit of extra work in on my swimming. Just a short session focussing on trying to improve my breathing, working specifically on breathing on every 3rd stroke. I’m fine on 2 but if I do 3 stroke alternating sides, after 50 meters my lungs feel like they want to explode. It got a little easier but it needs a lot of work.

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class

    I do love coaching indoor cycle and no matter how tired or sluggish I feel when I wake up by the time I start this session I am buzzing. Tracking my performance this year I can already see that I definitely don’t perform as well at 6:45am as I do later in the day.

    Wed: 7:30am 2 Mile Run

    Straight out of the spin studio on to the road for a little run. Training is usually better with someone else and this was no exception. My friend, PT client and fellow Ironman in training (he has already done one though) Gary did my Indoor Cycle class and then kept me company on the run. I do love my friends :0)

    Wed: 1pm PT with my Coach, Kerry

    Does your Coach make you cry with laughter during your sessions? Mine does! We did some strength work, specifically Strict and Push Press, and between lifts she was telling me a story that had me howling with laughter. Thank goodness, as the lifting was enough to make me cry with frustration… but so far I’ve only cried over a deadlift and I don’t want to add to that list! I know I lost a lot of strength due to “ribgate” but it’s still a little frustrating to realise how much. At least knowing where I am means I can figure out what I want to do about it. Before I signed up for the IronMan I had planned on focussing on the Barbell and improving all of my lifts. I think this will be the first thing I do after… once we get back from our trip to the CrossFit Games.

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class

    Ohhhh the hamstrings were feeling the workload today. I got asked recently if, as the instructor, I ever turn it down and coast through the class. The honest answer is no I don’t. I ask my class participants to give me 100% so it only seems fair I give them the same. I know that I find it difficult to engage with an indoor cycle class if the coach isn’t in it with me. If I have a reason to take it a bit easy I tell the class beforehand. I coached a 1hr class the day before the London Marathon. I said to the group I was heading straight to London after the class so I would be just having an gentle ride (what I call a “Do as I say, not as I do” class) but I got wrapped up in the class and ended up leaving a sweaty mess as usual.

    Thu: 11:45am Pool Swim

    It was time to increase the distance with 3 x 400m metre intervals with a 3 minute rest in between. I alternated between 2 and 3 stroke breathing so that I could focus a little more on distance and pace. It still isn’t what I would call smooth or easy but it did feel a little better.

    Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class

    Oh my god, I struggled towards the end of this one. It’s week 4 of my programme, which means ‘The Scorpion’, an intense, progressive interval session which improves active recovery. Twice in one day was tough. Enough said really!

    Thu: 7:30pm 2 mile Zone 2 Run

    Rather than doing a double in the spin studio I swapped the second class for another little brick session of cycle and run. This time the Boy (meaning the Husband) kept me company and to be honest, to have 20 minutes of side by side running, just the two of us, was pretty lovely. We train at CrossFit together quite a lot, participate in OCR together quite a lot but hardly ever is it just the two of us. Hopefully there will be a bit more of this.

    Fri: Unplanned Rest Day

    Today was supposed to be a TBC and CrossFit day but after coaching my three classes at Nuffield Chichester I decided to take the rest of the day off. I tweaked my glute during Insanity at 6:45am and if a client had done that I would be telling them to go home, stretch and look after themselves. So, I listened to my own advice and did just that.

    Sat: Pool Swim

    My friend and client Anna wanted a bit of company in the pool so she picked me up at 7:15am (!) (Saturday is normally my rest day which means I lie in until about 7:30/8am) for the lane swimming session. Just an easy recovery session for me consisting of 800m all done in breaststroke.

    Sun: 8am Bike Ride

    The boy was happy to stay in bed with the dog so I was on my own today. God, it is a bit dull on your own! I’m also not overly familiar with cycle routes, roads etc so headed out to see if I could do 30 miles without getting lost. I chose a fairly straightforward (and straight) out and back but after 9 miles my hamstring started to really pull so I turned round earlier than planned and headed home. Slightly annoying but with a 6 hour hell session tomorrow and a 50k ultra run on Sunday it is all about the long game.

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • IM Training Log w/c 02/12/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log (apart from my indoor cycle classes) but for reference I also coach 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT, 1 Core Strength and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    This week saw the return of the 6 hour Hell Session. I knew that doing this only 8 days after my marathon plus meant that the rest of the week might be a little bit light, and probably wasn’t the best planning but as my favourite, David Goggins, says you have to get after it, don’t procrastinate. Do the hard stuff and learn shit along the way. So, no excuses made.. let’s do this!

    Mon: 12:30pm 6 Hour Hell Session

    I have written about this in detail so if you want to know about it, check it out here: https://forzafitness.online/fitness-blog/return-of-the-6-hour-hell-session-chose-your-own-adventure/

    Tue: Rest Day

    I had actually planned to train today but the admin was stacking up so I decided to put that first and give my body a rest at the same time.

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle

    Week 8 this week and that brings us Jacob’s Ladder. A mirror pyramid session that includes speed endurance, intervals, sprints, climbing and a mountain in the middle. A beautifully crafted beast of a session if I say so myself 🙂

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle (with MyZone)

    Another crack at Jacob’s Ladder, using the MyZone heart rate monitoring to ensure my output is where it should be. I prefer to use power but HR is a good replacment when it’s not available.

    Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle

    Being a week behind my other classes, due to the FTP test week, this was Speed Week. Managed a better overall output than last week, although last week Speed Week was done in the two morning classes. One of the things I really want to track next year is the difference in my performance at the different times of day and thanks to Coach by Colour and MyZone I will be able to do this quite accurately.

    Fri: 12:30pm Week 3 Row Prep

    As you probably know by now, on 18th January 2020 CrossFit Iron Duke are hosting their second charity row event. This time it’s The 2 Million Meter Row… teams of 4 people per rower, each team has to row 100,000 split into 25k per person. This weeks prep was 5 x 1000m, still with 3 minutes rest. I’d arranged to meet India so that we weren’t alone. There wasn’t a huge amount of chat happening during the intervals, even though the effort level was at a level where you can hold a conversation, but it did help having someone next to me, keeping me honest.

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: Rest Day

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • IM Training Log w/c 25/11/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log (apart from my indoor cycle classes) but for reference I also coach 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT, 1 Core Strength and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    This week was a planned light week post marathon on Sunday and pre 6 Hour Hell Session next Monday. After the big run I was pleased to find I felt pretty ok. My glutes felt tight, my calves felt tight but nothing terrible and nothing that would stop me training this week. I have booked a physio appt for Monday 9th Dec so that anything still lingering from the two big days can be sorted before becoming an issue.

    Mon: 12:15 Total Body Conditioning

    You know the drill as well as I do by now. Monday = Row, Bike, Ski and today is was just that 30 sec on, 30 sec off for 36 minutes. Nothing fast, nothing frantic. A classic “just moving” day to flush the legs after the 28.2 miles yesterday. I spent about 30 minutes after the session stretching, rolling and running a few mobility drills and walked away feeling great.

    Tue: Rest Day

    I would never normally rest on a Tuesday but I coached Insanity and decided that that was enough for today. Its called a light week for a reason after all 🙂

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class

    Week 7 in my programme brings my least favourite week… Speed Week. Give me hill climbs any day. But, I know that a lot (read most) of my participants feel this way too which is why I designed a specialist week devoted to improving our speed work.

    Wed: 1pm PT with my Coach

    After missing two weeks due to the back spasm it was good to get back to some one on one time with Kerry. We started with Deadlifts and there were nerly tears and tantrums, until Kerry reminded me we were using the Hex Bar, which weighs 30kg on it’s own so I was lifting more than I thought! After deadlifts I got to play with some sled drags and the GHD Sit Up machine. My fear of falling still kicks in on the GHD but hopefully with more practice and regular use this will disappear. It makes no sense to me that I can drop backwards out of an elevated tunnel at Tough Mudder and this is one of my favourite obstacles and yet I cannot let myself drop backwards of the GHD, when I know I can’t fall off. This fear of falling is ridiculous and if I could have one superpower I would just wish to rid of it as it holds me back in so many ways!

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class (with MyZone)

    Another crack at speed week but it’s much harder to gauge in this class as the bikes don’t have RPM meters or levels, just the turning dial. Luckily the MyZone shows your HR and effort on the big screen so there is some accountability but it’s not the same as being able to see your pace etc.

    Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class

    From my least favourite week to my most as, being a week behind my other 2 classes, it’s climbing week. There’s nowhere to hide when the colour is on and I love how committed and motivated the guys in this class are.

    Thu: 7:30pm RPM Cycle Class (as a participant, not a coach)

    I’d made a deal with my friend, PT Client and fellow IronMan hopeful Rich to do the double tonight so as soon as I was done with coaching my class as I was off the instructor bike and set myself up on the floor next to Rich. It was good fun being back on the floor and in a class, especially being next to someone hat constantly pushes me that little bit more. 3 cycle classes in one day.. done 🙂

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Three 10 minute workouts, separated by 2 minutes of rest.
    1: 10 min Assault Bike; every 2 minutes complete 20 Jump Lunges…. hello quads!
    2: 10 min EMOM 40 secs on, 20 secs off; Med Ball Box Step Up and Down Ups (chest to floor burpees without a jump!)
    3: 10 min EOMOM; Max Effort Ski Erg for Calories.

    Fri: 1pm Week 2 Row Programme

    As mentioned last week on 18th January 2020 CrossFit Iron Duke are hosting their second charity row event. This time it’s The 2 Million Meter Row… teams of 4 people per rower, each team has to row 100,000 split into 25k per person. This weeks prep programming was 4 x 1000m, with 3 minutes rest. Luckily I wasn’t on my own this week as India and Raquel who were with me in the Conditioning class also needed to do it so we set up together for a bit of camaraderie. I was a bit faster than last week (although I couldn’t have been much slower to be fair) and still very consistent. Good times!

    Sat and Sun: Rest Day

    Yes, it’s a lot of rest this week but again, a light week is meant to be light. I was going to train with the girls on Sunday but decided to be smart and give myself a little more of a break before the return of the 6 hour Hell Session tomorrow!

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • IM Training Log w/c 18/11/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log (apart from my indoor cycle classes) but for reference I also coach 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT, 1 Core Strength and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    After the back spasm last Wednesday this week was all about protecting myself ready for my run race on Sunday. It was already planned as a de-load week so with the back issue as well things were pretty quiet.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    As always. Mon is Row, Bike, Ski. The twist this week was that it was to be sprint efforts. 36 minutes of work, 4 minutes spent on each machine at a time varying the sprint time. This is a session I will revisit as it was a little bit wasted on me this week given that I couldn’t give it my all.

    Mon: 6:30pm Physio with Louise

    First session with the wonderful Louise. Bless her for being available at short notice. I’d gotten into the habit of having semi regular appointments with my sports therapist but for one reason or another I got out of the habit. This last week has taught me that this is something I cannot overlook. One hour of pretty intense therapy on my back, glutes and hamstrings and my mind is finally at ease knowing that there is nothing serious wrong. The diagnosis; extremely tight hamstrings and glutes so even more stretching required. I’m not sure how much more I can do but OK!

    Tue: Rest Day

    I wouldn’t normally rest on the Tuesday of a race week but given I only had physio last night and coached Insanity in the morning rest was the only sensible option.

    Wed: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    After a chat with Kerry, forever looking out for me and putting out the sensible suggestions it was agreed I would forego PT this week, so as not to risk anything post physio and pre race, and just come in for some modified conditioning. I started with a 10 min consistent Row and then moved between intervals on the Assault Bike and various mobility stretches.

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class

    Week 7 of the programme and it’s Climbing week. Exactly as it sounds, 40 minutes of a variety of hills, presented in different ways. One of my favourite weeks as I am all about the climbing and not as strong with the speed stuff.

    Wed: 1:15pm Week 1 Row Programme

    On 18th January 2020 CrossFit Iron Duke are hosting their second charity row event. This time it’s The 2 Million Meter Row… teams of 4 people per rower, each team has to row 100,000 split into 25k per person. How we split the meters is up to us as long as each person does their bit. To support us in the build up to the event the coaches are releasing a weekly programme. Week 1 is 3 x 1000m, with 3 minutes rest. The goal is to be consistent with both pace and stroke rate. I took this really easy but my consistency was on point 🙂

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class (with MyZone)

    Second time for Climbing Week. Having the MyZone screen in the studio definitely helps with the effort levels. A lot of the guys in my class embraced it and bought the MyZone heart rate monitor. The screen shows everyones Heart Rate, Calories and Effort levels… I have some quite competitive people in my class, it makes it interesting for sure. What didn’t help was dropping a 20kg plate on my left foot during a session with my first PT client of the day. It landed directly on my big toe and the pain was pretty intense. I didn’t really want to know how bad it was so just got on with my day without removing my socks or shoes.

    Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class

    Week 5 for my evening lot which means the Power Pyramid. I talked about this in last weeks log so will not repeat myself. I did finally take my sock off for the first time after the class and it wasn’t tooooo bad. The nail was split and the right half was pretty black. I cut the nail down as low as possible but I got next to no sleep due to the pain!

    Fri: Rest Day

    I had planned to hit a Conditioning Class today but my morning ran away with me and food became a priority so I skipped class in favour of lunch. Given I had plans to run a Marathon, or possibly an Ultra on Sunday I wasn’t at all concerned about taking an extra rest day. Especially as my Friday morning is spent at Nuffield Chichester coaching Insanity, LBT and Tabata pretty much back to back!

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: Festive Frolic Run, by On The Whistle

    I won’t go into massive detail about the race here as I will write a separate race report blog but I will say I achieved my goal of a marathon plus, (6 laps equalled roughly 28 miles).

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • IM Training Log w/c 11/11/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log (apart from my indoor cycle classes) but for reference I also coach 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I had to do two things in 2019 since signing up for this bloody IronMan. 1; Shift the body fat…on track and going well. 2; do not get injured… Fuck! My lower back has felt tight and ‘niggly’ for a few weeks now but as soon as I start moving it feels fine, at least it did, up until Wednesday when I had a massive back spasm during a Total Body Conditioning Class. It was all a bit emotional… trying to stretch my hip flexors and glutes with tears in my eyes trying not to cry while Kerry, my coach for those new to my blog, tries to keep everything sane and talk me down from an inner monologue of crisis. She did a very good job btw! The good news is it is not serious, as Kerry said would likely be the case, but it has had a minor effect on my training.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    As today was Remembrance Day all classes today were themed. Monday, as usual, was Row, Bike, Ski and the programme was simply 11 minutes on each, with 1 minute rest/transition.

    Mon: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Remembrance Day = Remembrance Day WOD. An 18 minute AMRAP of 11 Hang Power Snatch, 11 Burpee, 11 Thruster and 11 Pull Up. At minute 11 everything stops for a 2 minute silence. It was hard, it sucked and it was a good way to remember. Respects paid, the CrossFit way.

    Tue: 12.15pm Blind 5k Run

    No Zone 2 training today. I decided to just start the watch, cover it up, run my usual route and see what happens. My aim was to try and maintain an easy pace and keep my Heart Rate low. It took just under 30 minutes and I spent 19 minutes in zone 2 without trying so I claimed it a success.

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Class started with some Back Squat work. I didn’t go stupidly heavy, spent a lot of time discussing form with Coach Harry and we ended up agreeing I am just not made for Squatting. I’m 5ft 11, with long legs so no… not really! The main workout with a 12 min dumbbell AMRAP consisting of Goblet Squats, Hang Clean and Jerk and Hang Squat Clean. Very Sweaty Work!

    Tue: 2:15pm 10 Min Pull Up / Push Up EMOM

    This week I was joined by two of my favourite training partners, Claire and Amy. Same as usual. One 10 minute Push Up EMOM and one 10 minute Pull Up EMOM.

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class

    Week 5 in the 10 week periodised programme = Power Pyramid. 3 intervals comprising an increasingly heavy climb, seated tabata sprint and recovery. This is the first session I ever designed and am still using it as it is brutal and effective with many benefits.

    Wed: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    My PT was scheduled for 2pm so I figured I would get an extra conditioning session in. It started off so well. 10 min AMRAP of 200m Row and 10 Over Row Burpee followed by another 10 min AMRAP of 10 calorie Assault Bike and 10 Burpee Box Jumps. Next up was a 10 min EMOM of Ski Erg and Burpee to a Plate. My first Burpee was the movement that did my back. I put my hands to the floor, screamed, jumped back up and it was game over. Back Spasm 1, Liza 0. The small victory in all this is that this is the first time I have hurt my back doing something actually sporty. Last two times have been sneezing and putting on my run trainers! It wasn’t completely awful, I could still move but it felt very weak. PT session cancelled and an afternoon/evening of nothing more than lying on a hot water bottle and hourly stretching.

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class (with MyZone)

    Managed to sleep ok and woke up with ok mobility, although it took a while to force myself into an upright position and I could still feel a real weakness in my lower back. I figured that sitting on a bike would be ok and I usually find cycling eases back pain. So, second go this week at The Power Pyramid. A brilliant VO2 max improver, it also builds power, strength and speed and improves both fast and slow twitch muscle fibre recruitment. Boom!

    Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class

    As my Coach by Colour schedule also involves an FTP test, adding an extra week to the programme, it falls out of line with my other classes. Phew! That means I don’t have to take on the Power Pyramid for a third time… but instead it’s The Scorpion; a pure threshold interval session that also aims to improve recovery and, obviously, has a nasty sting in it’s tail.

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    As I was still moving ok I decided to return to the scene of the crime and attempt another class. The coaches at CFID are brilliant and will always adapt a workout to work around injuries etc. I knew I’d be in safe hands and if it was too much, I could just stop. The good news is I lasted the whole class :0) It was a combination of Rowing, Ski Erg, Squats and Assault Bike efforts.

    Fri: 7pm Solo Conditioning Session

    The hubby, Carl, wanted to do the CrossFit class as well as the conditioning class so it was back to the box for a second visit. The class however was heavily focussed on Toes to Bar and that just didn’t seem like a good idea with my back. I knew I was bound for more cardio but wasn’t sure what to do. I voiced this to Carl at which point Head Coach Toby piped up “I have a workout for you”. He set the class on their warm up and then gave me my orders; a 45 minute Row, Bike, Ski with no rest. 5 minutes on each, then 4, then 3 etc etc all the way down to one. Perfect. Cheers Toby.

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: 5pm Partner Session with Lucy

    No Sunday Funday with the squad today as I had work but Lucy was still up for doing something so we did an hour in the evening instead. This worked well as I’d had to cancel her PT session on Weds due to my back so it helped make up for that a little. We worked through a Pull Up EMOM, 5 x 5 Bench Press and lots of Boxing. Carl delivered a cup of tea half way through which was a nice, yet weird change. I have never done a Boxing session while drinking tea before!

    Next week is a Deload week as I have a long run on Sunday. Its a 6 hour lapped event and the goal was to run a marathon, maybe an ultra but we will see how the back is. The goal may have to be adjusted. I have a physio appointment Monday night so fingers crossed that helps.

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • IM Training Log w/c 07/10/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log but for reference I coach 3 indoor cycle, 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    The plans I had this week didn’t quite work out. I didn’t get in the three runs I’d wanted but I still trained 6 days out of 7 so I’m not going to stress about it. Running was programmed in a couple of the workouts so it’s not like I didn’t do any.

    Life will sometimes get in the way and thats ok, it has to be otherwise I’d be a gibbering wreck rocking back and forth in a corner thanks to the amount of set backs I’ve had over the last two years! Things are what they are, you control the controllable (thanks Toby for drilling this in to me) and do what you can with what you have.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    More simple but effective cardio conditioning. 3 minutes on, 1 minute off rotating between the Assault Bike, Rower and Ski Erg for about 35 minutes.

    Mon: 1pm Crossfit Class

    4 Rounds for time; 800 meter run (so theres 2 miles straight off the bat), 20 Push Ups and 20 Box Jumps. Trying to run efficiently straight after quite a high volume of box jumps was not easy and this is something I’m definitely going to incorporate more into my training.

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Two 6 minute AMRAP’s with a 3 minute rest in between. First one involved a 750m row and then 50 15kg Thrusters. If you finished within the 6 minute time cap you got a longer rest. I got an extra 12 seconds 🙂 Second AMRAP was 200 Double Unders, 20 15kg Thrusters and then as many Over Bar Burpees as you could do. Safe to say this whole thing was a sucky sweat fest but the major positive for me was that I was able to do Thrusters without pain for the first time since cracking the rib. I left the gym on a real high as I finally felt like maybe, just maybe, it was healed and I could put the injury behind me.

    Tue: 2:15pm Zone 2 5km Run

    I’d finally managed to adjust my heart rate zones on my Garmin to work off the % of my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate, rather than Max HR and this run felt more effective than those of last week. It also means that my 30 minute Max Effort Assault Bike workout was not for nothing so you know, winning.

    Wed: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    Three 10 minute workouts with 2 mins rest in between. More running in the first one, this time 200m sprints teamed with 10kg DB Deadlifts. Second one was Ski Erg Max Effort intervals and finally an EMOM alternating between the Assault Bike and a 12kg Slamball.

    Wed: 1pm CrossFit Class

    This class was all about being calm and controlled and working though the technique of a Ring Muscle Up (RMU). It involved breaking the movement down, practising the different components and adding some accessory work in the form of DB Strict Press and Hollow Holds. Although I am miles away from being able to do a RMU I was again able to do things without feeling pain and discomfort that even a couple of weeks ago were causing me issues so more elation ensued.

    Wed: 2pm Meeting with my Coach

    No PT session today as we had a planning session. The upshot of this was that for the rest of 2019 (all 12/13 weeks of it!) I am going to focus on the fundamentals… staying injury and illness free, getting my weight down, making sure my rib is 100% healed, building my upper body and core strength and increasing my base fitness in relation to endurance and power.

    Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Snatch tekkers and then more running today. I have lost a lot of the confidence I had built when it comes to throwing a barbell above my head. Hopefully, with the rib issue becoming a thing of the past, I can get over this pretty quickly. For the second week in a row I put 25kg on the bar and then failed to get it off the ground. My snatch 1RM is only 35kg anyway as it’s a complex lift and not one that I have spent a huge amount of time on. As the workout was a 15 min AMRAP of a 200m run and 3 Snatch I decided to keep it light and focus on drilling my technique every lift. With only a 15kg bar, Coach Harry made it very clear I was not to miss one lift. Roger that!

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    Another three 10 minute workouts separated by first 2 and then 1 minute rest. First up, one of my favourite combinations; Assault Bike sprints and DB Snatch. Second; max effort Row intervals and lastly Wall Balls and Burpees. I gave this everything I had, to the extent that I had nothing left in the tank so signed myself out of the 1pm class. The biggest takeaway today was that I felt stronger on the rower than I have done in months so once again, proof that my injuries were fading fast.

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: 9am Gym Session

    Brunch plans were the most important thing today (priorities and balance right) so after coaching a Bootcamp Class at Nuffield Chichester I made use of their facilities and the half hour I had available and decided to just do all the things I enjoy. I repeated the Assault Bike and DB Snatch workout from Friday. I did Annie, my favourite CrossFit Girl workout (50,40,30,20,10 Double Unders and Sit Ups) and some Ski Erg Intervals. I did look at the treadmill but I have no interest in running inside. There was a guy in the gym, who I know is an IronMan and in training for another one next year. He did a serious amount of time of the Watt Bike (I know this because he was on it when my class started at 8:15 and still on it while I was skipping) and then hit the treadmill. I guess that’s the traditional, and in most peoples eyes, more sensible use of time (especially in the winter) when training for an IM but no thanks. It just isn’t me!

    **The other thing I’ve added in to my routine this week is more mobility and stretching work. I am finally making use of my ROMWOD account ( I should after it auto-renewed and over £100 left my bank account!) Hopefully this will help with the ‘staying injury free’ goal 🙂

  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry
  • My Coach and I

    The two most asked questions I have had since blogging about my IM journey (apart from when/where is it? and why on earth would you want to do that?) are 1; Why do you, a coach/pt/trainer yourself have a coach, can’t you do it yourself? 2; Why haven’t you switched to an IM coach?

    So, let me explain…

    1; Yes, it’s true I am a Coach myself and I have now worked in the fitness industry for more than 4 years. For that reason alone, of course I have my own coach. Why would I not buy in to the very thing I put so much value in, it is now my life’s work! Yes, I could write my own programming and do it effectively but, if I do that, my world becomes very insular. In that scenario I am accountable to no one, I am not learning from anyone else and I am not being held to any kind of standard.

    Kerry, my coach, has a Coach – Head Coach of CrossFit Iron Duke (and also her husband), Toby. Toby has a Coach, his coach has a coach and so on and trust me, the chain is long. We are all progressing together, albeit at different levels, and my clients benefit from this as I continue to develop and grow, both as an athlete and a coach. Personally, I wouldn’t work with a PT or Coach that wasn’t involved in the process themselves from the other side.

    2; There are so many reasons why I haven’t switched to an IM coach. First and foremost I love Kerry. We have been working together for nearly two years, since January 2018. I had stopped working with my previous PT about 6 months previously and started CrossFit in August 2017. Given the amount of coaching you get via the regular CrossFit classes I decided to take my time picking my next Coach. At the time we had 4 coaches at CrossFit Iron Duke, 3 of which offered PT and I decided pretty quickly that I wanted my next coach to be one of them. I asked Kerry for a chat to find out how it works and she explained that I simply had to decide which one I wanted to work with and go from there. That was a tough decision as each Coach offered something slightly different in both skill set and manner. At the time I was starting to plan for a 36 hour SAS Hell Week style event and I decided to go with Kerry as, gods honest truth, she scared the crap out of me and I thought that might be a good experience, bearing in mind what I wanted to take on! It took all of our first session for me to realise that actually she is a complete sweetheart and not in the slightest bit scary.

    She may not be scary but she is thorough, committed and very inventive. When I gave her carte blanche to create what has lovingly become known as my “6 hour hell sessions” she certainly seemed to relish the task. These basically involved me turning up to the gym, knowing I would be training for 6 hours but never knowing what exactly I would be doing. My brief to her was make it as tough and varied as she felt appropriate/necessary. I will post a couple of the full sessions in a separate blog for those that are intrigued.

    As soon as I booked the IM I contacted Kerry, we scheduled a meeting for the very next day and my statement to her was ” I want to do this and yes, I know that the next year has to now be all about this IronMan but I don’t want to leave CrossFit and I don’t want to leave you… unless I have to, what do you think” She had clearly given the matter some thought and laid out just a few ideas of how we could make it work and I knew instantly that I would be staying.

    Another key reason is simply because I don’t want this to take over my life and I don’t want to forsake everything else for it. Yes, I want to do an Iron Man and I want to do it as well as I can (although do not ask me my time as I don’t ever participate for time) and most importantly I want to enjoy it but, when this is all over I don’t want to only be good for endurance/ triathlon events.

    The CrossFit open will take place 3 months after my IronMan and I want to be able to compete, and finally, give it my best shot. The Open in Feb 2019 was meant to be a chance for me to see how all of my hard work in 2018 would pay off but I was ill in January, to the point that the doctor ordered bed rest, and so The Open became only about setting new benchmark’s as I had lost a lot of fitness and was still being warned to protect against post viral fatigue. The Open that starts tomorrow was going to be my next shot but I cracked my rib in May and only this week does it actually feel like it’s healing so I am not even signed up for this one. With all this behind me I can assure you that I have other goals next year besides my IM.

    The Open, October 2020, I am coming for you! SAS Who Dares Wins.. I want another shot…My Coach can help prepare for all of this whereas an IM coach can only help me prepare for the IM so for me, that is not the right choice. If I wanted a specific time or had a goal beyond, finish it with a smile one my face, I would likely make a different choice but this is what will work for me.

    Kerry and I at the end of the CrossFit Iron Duke 24 Hour WODaTHON
  • Chris
  • Why am I not losing weight?
  • Understanding Fats – the basics
  • How to work out to beat Menopause
  • Charlotte
  • Anna
  • Auz
  • Matt
  • Abbie
  • Kerry