75Hard… This is what discipline looks like

Back in December last year, after seeing my friend Hannah’s results, I decided to take on the 75Hard challenge. I’d looked at it earlier in the year but dismissed it as I didn’t understand it properly. 75 days of training without a rest day? No thanks! I don’t even do 14 day challenges that don’t factor in rest and recovery as that’s just a straight road to overtraining, loss of performance and possible injury.

Hannah posted her results and I immediately messaged her to ask some questions. She gave me all the info I needed to finally understand this challenge and decide that yes, this could actually be one for me.

I shared it with the 3 other Team NBR members (my accountability group)that I would be starting this on 1st Jan and in sharing it for accountability reasons I actually inspired (although he’ll say peer pressured) Chris James to do it with me.
We had several discussions about our individual ‘Why’ as we both had similar thoughts… “it doesn’t actually sound that hard”, “thats pretty much what we do anyway” “I don’t really know what I’d get out of it”… and I think we both came to the same conclusion; This is the Why… because we think it’ll be easy/simple and it must be called 75Hard for a reason. I was also still massively motivated by Hannah’s results but also aware that she is an absolute beast when it comes to fitness so it was unlikely I could achieve what she had.

What is 75 Hard?

It a mindset challenge, not a fitness challenge, designed by Andy Frisella, also known as the MF CEO. It’s 75 days of discipline abiding by the following 6 rules:
1) Two 45 Minute workouts. 1 MUST be outside. They cannot be consecutive and 3 to 4 hours apart at least.
2) Follow a diet. You choose the diet to match your goals but it must be strict. If you decide on calorie deficit and macro counting you cannot just have a takeaway pizza one day and make the rest of the day fit. It must be clean.
3) No alcohol or cheat meals.
4) Take a progress photo every day.
5) 1 gallon of water a day. This is a US gallon which is basically 4 litres.
6) Read 10 pages of a non fiction book every day. Not a e-book, not an audio book. An actual book.

I completed day 75 yesterday and can honestly say this is one of the most surprising challenges I have ever done. I didn’t expect it to be so worthwhile or interesting. I got so much more out of doing this than I ever imagined. It was also a better experience for doing it alongside Chris as we had a lot of the same revelations and thoughts.

Ok, so what did I get out of it?

Well for starters I look better. I start there because it’s the most obvious change. I’m the lightest I’ve been for about 20 years maybe, but the body composition shift is all the right way. Fat% down and muscle % up.

I’m stronger than I was. During the 75 days I PB’d my 1RM Deadlift and Strict Press and have been challenging myself to use heavier options during CrossFit classes.

I read more, I read better. I have loved carving out a little bit of time everyday to sit down with a book and this is definitely something I will be continuing. I’m always listening to audiobooks and reading my kindle but very rarely read an actual book and this is staying. I found it makes such a difference putting the book in my hands. Its a different focus as there are no devices, no electronics and I really liked that a lot. I finished 6 books and am a third of a way through the 7th.

I have proved again to myself that all the stuff I say about myself is true. I am disciplined. I have strong mental grit. I have a strong work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something I do it. There were days when it got to 8pm and I still hadn’t hit the workout criteria so had to get shit done before I could think about going to bed. I’m Ironman training so many days I would hit 2, some days even 3 workouts but because they were either brick sessions, or all indoors or outdoors, I hadn’t followed the rules. In this situation a few people said to me “what does it really matter” “you’ve done 2 workouts” and thats true, but thats not the rules and you can say the rules are stupid/not fair/whatever but I knew the rules going in so bitching about them would have been pointless. I could have quit, saying the rules don’t suit my lifestyle… but thats the point. It’s meant to be difficult, it’s meant to be inconvenient so head down, mouth shut, do the work!

I discovered how much of a difference refined sugar makes to how I feel day to day. Both Chris and I cut refined sugar as part of the diet rule. Neither of us are mass consumers and we were both surprised as how a small change made such a big difference. I followed a strict high protein, calorie deficit diet with no refined sugar. I’ve been doing the high protein, calorie deficit thing for a while, although not as strictly, so the major difference was the sugar piece. After the cravings on day 5 and 6, it was actually really easy to stick to. I thought this would be the hardest bit but not at all. I feel a bit in love with no sugar me. I had more energy, I didn’t feel the need to power nap every afternoon (although I still love a nap – I just didn’t need one), I was just, well, better. Thats not to say I’m never eating refined sugar ever again but it was a learning experience and will for sure shape my diet moving forward.

I finally found a type of yoga I can get on board with. As mentioned at the start, the bit I struggled with when I first heard about 75Hard was the 75 days of 2 workouts a day. After speaking to Hannah, and listening to Andy’s podcast ( a must for anyone thinking of doing this), I understood that you can still have rest and recovery days. An outdoor workout can be a walk and an indoor workout can be yoga. I’ve never been a fan of Yoga but Hannah was using the downdog app and suggested I look at the Yin Yoga. Ok, game changer! I LOVE Yin Yoga. I’m a huge fan of mobility work so this was perfect for me and although I only did maybe 1 or 2 sessions a week, my mobility improved, my squat technique improved and I genuinely enjoyed every session. Like the reading an actual book, weekly yoga is staying as part of my new routine.

The Results:
*for the before and after photos you’ll need to check my social media.

Body Compostion:

Weight – Day 1; 82.4kg – Day 75; 74.6kg (Total loss: 7.8kg)

Body Fat % – Day 1; 32.8 – Day 75; 27.5 (Total loss: 5.3%)

Muscle% – Day 1 29.8 -Day 75; 33.2 (Total gain: 3.4%)

Bust/Back – Day 1; 38.5 / 31.5 – Day 75; 36 / 28 (Total loss: 2.5″ / 3.5″)

Waist – Day 1; 34 – Day 75; 29 (Total loss: 5″)

Hips – Day 1; 39 – Day 75; 36 (Total loss: 3″)

Other Stats:
Resting Heart Rate – Day 1; 52bpm – Day 75; 45bpm

Bike FTP – Day 1; 195 – Day 75; 235

Bike Watts per kg (avg) – Day 1; 2.1 – Day 75; 2.5

Vo2 Max – Day 1; 42 – Day 75; 45

Cycling Vo2 Max – Day 1; 44 – Day 75; 51

Workout Totals:
Open Water Swimming – 1

Pool Swimming – 10

Outdoor Cycle  – 2

Indoor Cycle – 24

Run – 23 (92 miles) 

CrossFit Class – 45

Training with Toby – 12

Indoor Strength – 1

Outdoor Strength – 2 

Indoor Row – 1 

Yoga / Mobility – 19

Recovery Cardio/Mobility – 5

Total sessions – 145 + 62 (45 min+) walk

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22

    This week was a tense one. Sunday saw the arrival of my first big race of the season, The Grizzly, and the first big test for my foot. Since my initial sit down with my CrossFit coach, Kerry, back in January, when we agreed I’d take a small step back to focus on my IM training, we’d put this race as a marker. If my foot didn’t make it my IM/Tri season was probably dead in the water. If it survived it was 100% game on!

    It was also week 2 of The Open and I was feeling pretty good about my performance in week 1… would that com crashing down come Friday. It doesn’t matter, right – I’m not focussing on the Open. This was what I had to keep telling myself many, many times.

    Things were a little quieter this week leading up to The Grizzly, although not a lot… here’s how it went:

    Mon
    6am – CrossFit Class
    For Time: 50 Air Squat, 40 Box Step Over, 30 Jumping Pull Up, 20 Hanging Basket, 10 Jumping Bar Muscle Up
    * This was fast, and fun. Still not jumping on boxes due to my foot but if it survives the weekend I will try and few box jumps next week.

    1:15pm – 45min Zone 2 Run
    *Threw all the layers on to try and make myself more uncomfortable and still control the HR to zone 2.

    Tues – Rest Day
    3pm – Yin Yoga via Down Dog App
    *45 min mobilty session with a lower body boost in prep for the weekend.

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Week 11 of 12; Faster, Better, Stronger. A repeated pyramid session of tabata sprints, heavy climbs and rest.

    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
    18 Min AMRAP; 21 Wall Ball, 12 Cal Row, 9 Over Rower Burpee
    *I was supposed to swim today but I really, really liked the look of the workout so decided to switch my days around and Crossfit today and swim tomorrow. I love, love, LOVED this workout.

    Thur
    12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    42 Min EMOM- 30 sec on, 30 sec rest (you can do 40/20 but this is meant to be active recovery
    1; Weighted Box Step Up,  2; Row, 3; Goblet Squat, 4; Ski, 5; Down Up, 6; Ski 
    *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 22.2
    For Time: 1 to 10 to 1 – Deadlift @ 43kg + Bar Facing Burpee (Time Cap – 10 minutes)
    *Not a bad workout overall. I’m not the biggest fan of fast deadlifts for time but I don’t mind a Bar Facing Burpee. It got gassy real quick but it was only 10 minutes so you could push.

    2:00pm – Just Move EMOM with Head Coach Toby (and James & the hubby)
    30 Min EMOM
    1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions + 15 Air Squat, 2: 30s Handstand Hold, 3: 50 Double Under, 4: 20 Sit Up, 5: Rest

    Sat
    8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with Si
    9 Min AMRAP; 3,6,9,12,15,18.. Hang Power Clean, Push Press, Hanging Leg Raise (split reps between you)
    6 Min – to establish a heavy 3 Thruster
    9 Min AMRAP; 8 Front Squat, 20 Double Under (1 rd each, U Go, I Go)
    * After the day before and all the deadlifts my hamstrings were feeling a little tight so no heavy weights todaybut still moving fast.

    Sun
    Race Day – The Grizzly
    20 Miles, All Terrain with a total of 1065m of elevation.
    *This race is nuts. Carl and I always run this one together as it’s so challenging. It’s down in Seaton in Devon and it is the hardest 20 miles I’ve ever run in one go. This was our third time doing it so we knew what to expect as the route rarely changes from year to year.
    I was bricking it that my foot would blow up and that would be it but I did what I tell my clients to do – control the controllable and find the positives. My foot has been “ok” since January. No, it isn’t 100% right but it hasn’t stopped me doing anything (except box jumps) all year. After some reassurance from my close friends, who also form Team NBR (No Bling required) – my accountability group, and lots of good luck messages from my coaches and friends I felt ready.
    The headline of the day is: “Liza’s Foot is OK and happily survived the full 20 miles with no repercussions”
    I was ELATED on the drive home (and pretty much all the way round to be honest) and it now really feels like this season is here and happening. It really is time to get to work!

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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 🙂

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22

    This week I had my first dark day. My foot has been playing up more than usual and I was still a week away from treatment. I knew I had to cut back the running and thats not great for someone less than 5 months away from a 140.6, with no more than 8 continuous miles under their belt.

    Still, the first things I try to instil in my athletes is “Control the controllable” and “Find the positive”. I am usually pretty good at this and up until Wednesday I was doing ok. However, for whatever reason, I woke up feeling less than chipper. I then had a disaster session in the pool and my mindset went black. I’d been feeling a little guilty for all the training hours taking me away from my husband, my dog and my home but I know my husband understands (and has never complained so this is ALL in my head) and while things are going great it’s ok as it all feels worthwhile.

    Normally one bad session wouldn’t be enough to derail me but this week, for whatever reason, it was. I am only human after all and sometimes things get the better of you. Realising that I’d forgotten to check in with a close friend, who is really going through something shit, pushed me over the edge. It all seemed pointless. Thoughts of “whats the point in doing all this, if you’re going to fail anyway” plagued me, along with “this just isn’t worth it, you’re a shit triathlete and all this is going to count for nothing” and more along the same theme. Dramatic right! I know! But when you get beat down, you get beat down and it happens to the best of us.

    What really matters though is what you do next.. how you deal with the black thoughts and whether you pull yourself out of the quagmire. Obviously I did. I quit the swim as it clearly wasn’t working. I went home, ran a bath and took 15 minutes of relaxed silence to reprogram my thoughts. I told myself it’s inevitable to have bad days. I always tell my team its the bad days that define us. Its easy when everything goes right. It’s how we deal with the tough times that show us who we really are. So, who am I? Oh right, I’m a muthafucking badass bear and badass bears don’t wallow in self pity. They take charge, they fix shit and they keep moving forward. Once out of the bath I first messaged my friend, then rescheduled my week to attack the swim again at the end of the week and got back on with my day.

    Why am I sharing this? Because everyone will have self doubt at some point, especially anyone training for an Ironman (or crazy ass endurance event) as it takes such a commitment and so many other things have to take a back seat. Its a dark side of endurance training that we need to normalise and learn how to deal with. We all know the mantra; It’s ok not to be ok and it’s true. We just have to be kind to ourselves, take a few deep breaths and rationally look at the big picture, not just that one bad day!

    Overall, my training week was pretty good so here it is:

    Mon
    12:30pm CrossFit Class
    15 Min AMRAP
    100m Farmer Carry 2x DB then 2 Rounds of DB DT (12 x Deadlift, 9 x Hang Power Clean, 6 x STOH)
    *This was, as you can imagine, a grip burner. I survived better than I thought I would and my forearm only really went on my lefthand side. More unilateral grip strength work needs to be done clearly!

    Tues – Rest Day
    6:30am – Active Recovery Session at CFID
    *Usual mobility and HR Z1 cardio to just move and focus on some deep mobility.

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Week 9 of the 12 week Program = My favourite week of the program. It’s called Le Tour and is basically an homage to my favourite stage of the 2019 Tour De France. It was an Alpine stage so lots of heavy, heavy climbs and a bit of fast racing in between.

    No brick run today as my foot has been a more tender than usual so had to cut it. Already by this stage of the week I was getting a little concerned that my training activity had dropped from it’s usual level, which as contributing to the dark mood I described in the opening of this blog.

    In reality I’d missed a session on Monday (which is an added bonus if I do it anyway) and a 20 min run but today was the day my PMS kicked in and my mood dropped as a result of a hormone change but I wasn’t being rationale at this stage and mentally berating myself pretty damn hard.

    12:45pm – Pool Swim
    1 mile for time – was the plan but the world had other ideas (or, I let my mindset slip and get the better of me so I quit!)
    *I have been saying in every other IM blog so far this year that my swim karma was seemingly a bit too good. Well, today it all changed. I was already being down on myself. When I arrived at the pool the changing room was loud, busy, chaotic and everything about it just rattled me. Then I went to put on my swim hat and it snapped. I was stood, in front of the mirror with my swimsuit on, watch set, googles in hand staring at my now useless swim hat thinking “well that’s that then. I cant swim today” Ridiculous maybe, but I have long, thick dreadlocks which do nothing to aid buoyancy or aerodynamics and weigh a ton when wet. I did tell myself I was being ridiculous though, pulled my hair into something i thought might work in the water and hit the lane. It was a DISASTER. My hair fell out of the ponytail/bun thing I had tried to secure it as, it pulled my head and neck down in the water. I retied it and tried to keep going but it kept slipping and threw my whole swim off. My feet were hitting the bottom of the pool, I was over-rotating, everything was just wrong. I persevered for 400m and then gave up. Another contributing factor to my dark mood and building sense that this week was going to shit.

    I teach my athletes three key things when it comes to mindset;
    1 – Control the controllable
    2 – Find the positive
    3 – Learn the lessons
    I tried to apply these to this situation, both in the moment and after. Doing this is one of the main reasons I pulled myself out of my funk.
    Instead of not swimming I thought “what if this happens on race day, what if you end up having to swim without hat” – actually, this is not only unlikely but would probably secure you a disqualification as generally, all swimmers must be wearing the issued swim cap so they can be easily identified, and I would have spare hats so that if one split or snapped when putting it on, I would just grab another.
    The positive was that at least I tried. I managed 400m. Ok, it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things but it was something.
    Lessons learned – buy a couple more swim hats (I need a special size swim hat because of my hair so couldn’t even just go to reception and buy one) and keep spares in your bag.

    Thur
    11:30am – Mono-structural Cardio Conditioning Session
    45 Min; 5 Min Row, Assault Bike, Ski – Each 5 min starts with 400m run
    *I pulled my head out my ass and decided that if my main concern was my lack of activity this week, find some space and add a session in. I had 60 minutes spare before the CF class so went in early and got some shit done. I could have stayed at home and done this session in my own gym but I like going to the box. Its separate to my work and my home and if I’m going there, it’s for the purpose of training (or to drink coffee, but thats usually only ever after training!)

    12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec)
    1: Alt Devil Press, 2: Goblet Squat, 3: Sit Up, 4: Box Step Up, 5: Row, 6: Rest

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

    Fri
    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    Part A: For Time 
    10-9 -8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1  2xDB Front Squat + Bar Facing Burpees  At minute 10: 
    6 mins to establish a heavy complex for the day; 1 x Clean, 1 x Front Squat, 1 x STOH
    *This was a variation of an Open workout from 2018. Part A was an exact copy so we got to test ourselves against our previous best. I was really pleased as I beat my score by over a minute. Happy Liza! The complex was new as in The Open it was only a 1RM Clean. I was strong with the Clean and Front squat but as usual my confidence in/fear of pushing a heavy bar over my head let me down. Once this Ironman is done and dusted I am going to spend a few months focussing mainly on overcoming some of the major weaknesses in my CrossFt repertoire.

    2:00pm – Work on your Weaknesses EMOM with Head Coach Toby
    30 Min EMOM
    1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions, 2: 16 Box Step Over, 3: 6/6 DB Hang Clean & Jerk, 4: 2 x 16kg KB 100ft Farmer Carry, 5: Rest

    Sat
    7:15am – 4 Mile Run

    8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with my husband
    25 min AMRAP; Run 400m – Together (row for me)  30 x Power Cleans, 20 x Box Jumps (Steps for me, Stoopid foot!), 30 x STOH 
    20 x Pull Ups 
    TeamSmith got to train together today as my usual CF Partner was out with a bad back. Carl and I don’t often train together so it’s really fun when it happens. We both agreed to push ourselves with a heavier barbell weight and go hard on the run/row. We both tried, and we both succeeded. Go Us 🙂

    Sun

    9am – Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
    * as a participant rather than coach.

    10am – 1650m Swim
    * yep, thats right I redid my swim session and it was fine. It was better than fine. It was good.
    It also helps that I’m on restricted running right now as normally I’d run on Sundays but rather than sulk about not being able to run, find the positive. No running means time available. What sucked this week, what can I put right? What can I try and fix?

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 31.01.22

    Start of the week brings me to 31 Days complete of the 75Hard challenge. This means I still need to hit the 2 x 45 minute workouts, one must be outdoors and they must not be consecutive rule so most days, due to bricking a lot of my sessions, my activity level continues to rise 🙂

    Mon
    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    Barbell Day
    WOD For Time:
    18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 Hang Power Snatch and Clean & Jerk
    *Loved this workout. Grip strength held out and my plan for the WOD worked well. I finished just within the time cap, as in, with literally seconds to spare.

    6:30pm
    45 min Zone 2 Run
    *Lots of layers, hat and gloves as it was pretty bitter outside. Still took over 5 minutes to get my HR out of zone 1 and in to zone 2 but once it was there, it was a steady run. It felt a little harder than a usual zone 2 due to me being completely ready for my rest day tomorrow.

    Tues – Rest Day
    8:20pm – 45 min Yoga Practice via DownDog App
    *Another Yin Yoga session. Definitely more my style of yoga and definitely what I needed today to help me recover from the last few days of effort.

    Weds
    6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach)
    *Week 7 of the 12 week Program = Unbreakable. A no rest, pyramid session using a mix of racing and climbing peaking in the middle with a brutal mountain climb.

    7:30am – 2 Mile Brick Run
    Two of my clients who also come to Indoor Cycle Class kept me company on the run this week. Its what I called a “Naked” run – I set the watch but don’t look at it while moving. This is a great way to test if your perceived effort matches your actual effort. The goal of this run was to keep it comfortable and the data showed a mix of Zone2/3 so not far off.

    12:45pm – Pool Swim
    1000m for time
    *Aiming to continue my positive experience with swimming I decided to just swim this week. No repeats, no stopping, just swim 1000m and see what happens. I’m not going to break any speed records thats for sure but that isnt my goal. My only goal is to get through the swim relatively unscathed and without exerting too much effort. Today’s 1000m was fairly effortless, i enjoyed it and when I uploaded it to garmin, it turns out it was 3 minutes quicker than back in 2020… Result!

    Thur
    6:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class
    42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec)
    1: Ski Erg, 2: No Push Up Burpee, 3: Double Under, 4: Alt DB Hang Clean & Jerk, 5: Row, 6: Rest
    *Used this class as active recovery so easy intensity all the way through. First time having skipping in a conditioning class so I took the opportunity to play with all my different ropes and alternated my speed rope, heavy rope and drag rope. I’m easily pleased and found this fun 🙂

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

    Fri
    12:30pm – CrossFit Class
    15 Min AMRAP
    800m Run + AMRAP 12 Alt DB Snatch, 6&6 Devil Thruster, 12 Weighted DB Step Up
    *This was brutal! And yes, you read that right… Devil Thrusters! Do A S/A Devil Press, add a S/A Thruster and boom – one Devil Thruster. Another genius move from our Head Coach Toby.

    2:00pm – Conditioning EMOM with Head Coach Toby
    60 Min EMOM1: 30s Active Hang, 2: 20 Air Squat, 3: 30s Handstand Hold, 4: 60 Alt Single/Double Under 5: 20 Kettlebell Swing, 6: Rest
    *It was Toby’s deload week so a it was a bit different this week…no crazy programming today. It was good but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal next week.

    Sat
    7:15am – Pre CrossFit 3 Mile Run
    *With my CF training partner Simon, and my husband Carl 🙂

    8:00am – CrossFit Class (Partner wod with Simon)
    30 Min AMRAP
    Part A – P1 400m Farmer Carry, P2 Max Effort Row
    Part B – Combined Row Cals x 2 = Wallball total to be completed (split reps)
    Part C – Establish max weight for BB complex: Deadlift, Clean, Hang Clean, Jerk
    *This looked horrific and while it was tough, both Simon and I really enjoyed it.

    9:00am – Post CF 4 Mile Run
    *Carl stayed to drink coffee and be sociable while Simon and I went back out for a few more miles. We hit the trails not far from the box and I discovered there are nicer places to run in Waterlooville than I realised.

    6:00pm – Yoga Practice via DownDog App

    Sun

    6:00pm – Yoga Practice
    *Originally I was going to do my usual Indoor Cycle Class and run, then I was going to go for a swim instead as that would be a little less, but I went to bed exhausted Saturday night so decided to just give myself permission to wake up without an alarm and have a lie in. Carl and I went for a long dog walk in the morning which was just perfect. Took an extra rest/active recovery day and didn’t stress about it at all as I knew I needed it.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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?


  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • Improve your running, get in the Zone… Zone 2 that is!

    Let me preface this by saying if you are already a Zone 2 convert then this post is not for you as you have already learned the secret and it would be a pretty safe bet to assume you are reaping the benefits. 

    However, it seems lockdown has pushed a lot more people to get outside and get running. I’m guessing a good percentage of these will not continue to run when they can get back to their old routines but some will. Some will have started to find that place where running starts to suck a little less and actually becomes something (almost) enjoyable. 

    Maybe thats you, or maybe you’ve been a runner for a long while now but you’ve never heard of Zone 2 or you’ve heard of it but not bothered to look into what it actually means. Well lucky for you, I’m going to break it down and make it real simple for you. 

    Zone 2 training is probably the best tool available to improve your running, especially if you want to get faster over longer distances. This is also the perfect solution for those of you that struggle to breathe properly whilst running. 

    Zone 2 refers to heart rate zone 2 so in order to unlock this magic you will need a heart rate monitor, preferably of the chest strap variety (as these are way more accurate than the monitor in the watch on your wrist). 

    Your Heart Rate Zones

    Zone 1 – 65% to 79%
    Zone 2 – 80% to 89%
    Zone 3 – 90% to 94%
    Zone 4 – 95% to 99%
    Zone 5 – 100% + 

    % of what ????

    I know, I know.. the next question is % of what exactly and the answer is your Lactate Threshold. 

    It is better to work off your Lactate threshold rather than Max Heart as this gives better results for running performance and it is easier to work out your Lactate Threshold than Max Heart Rate; no Max Heart Rate is not 220 minus your age. It’s a calculation used as it’s better than nothing but wildly inaccurate for a lot of people and doesn’t take into account he myriad of factors that affect your heart rate. 

    What is my Lactate Threshold?

    Put as simply as possible the lactate threshold is defined as the fastest pace you can run without generating more lactic acid than your body can utilise and reconvert back into energy. I’m sure you’ve all experienced that uncomfortable burning in the muscles when working at high exertion. That burn is lactic acid! 

    How do I calculate my Lactate Threshold 

    With an uncomfortable 20 minute max effort run.
    This must be completed while feeling rested and refreshed – Do not do this under fatigue!
    Here are the steps to follow…

    1) Ensure you can record your run on a device that will record your heart rate for your 20 minute effort. 

    2) Put your heart rate monitor on (if you have a chest strap)

    3) 10 minute warm up run. Gentle pace but with 2 or 3 sprint intervals that spike your heart rate as high as you can. Ensure the last spike allows for 2 minutes easy recovery.
    Do not record this warm up on your watch or if you do make sure it can be separated from your 20 minute effort.
    You do not want heart rate data from your warm up mixed in with the data from your 20 minute effort. 

    4) 20 minute max effort run. Basically ensure your watch starts when you start and run as hard as you can for 20 minutes.
    Distance is not important, only time and your effort.
    Stop the watch after 20 minutes.
    If you do not go as hard as you can the data will not be accurate, which means your work following this test will not yield the best performance improvement possible. Make sure you give this your all. It will hurt, it will not be any kind of fun but it is important and necessary.

    5) Recover! Make sure you take some time to walk off the effort.
    Please do not finish the 20 minutes and then just collapse on the ground. Take a few minutes, walk around the park/block. whatever. 

    6) Workout your Lactate Threshold – yay… at last I hear you say, and it’s really simple;
    Your Lactate Threshold =  your average Max heart rate for the 20 minute effort. 

    Now what? 

    Now, you add Zone 2 runs into your programme. Some of the best runners and endurance athletes do nearly all their training in Zone 2. All you do is go for your planned run and keep your heart rate in Zone 2.

    Sounds easy huh? ell, it is easy but it is also hella frustrating when you first start out. It’ll be frustrating as I can can pretty much guarantee you will end up walking a lot because as soon as you run your heart rate shoots into zone 3 and above.
    I usually advise people to start with 5k. If you haven’t got to that distance yet then you do whatever you can.

    The key to Zone 2 training is patience and perseverance. Because you end up walking a lot in the beginning many, many runners give up, claiming it can’t be doing any good. Oh how wrong they are.
    For maybe the first month it might feel like a pointless exercise but just hold on, good things come to those who wait. 

    Once you manage that first 5k where you can run the whole way and that heart rate stays in the right place you are well and truly on your way.
    You will soon find you can run that 5k at your old pace but in Zone 2, where it feels soooo much easier than it used to. Then you start increasing distance and soon you are running long distance, at a great pace, all in Zone 2 where you feel comfortable and in complete control. 

    Don’t Get to Comfortable   

    Just remember to retest your Lactate Threshold every 3 months or so. The heart is a muscle and like every muscle, the more you train it the fitter it gets.

    To continue getting great results you must ensure you are working with accurate information. 

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 03.02.20

    Body Comp Stats 
    Weight: 75.5kg (-0.1kg)
    Body Fat %: 28.9 (-0.1)
    Muscle %: 33.4 (+/- 0)

    This week is my first de-load week of the year and after a hell session on Monday and 33 mile Ultra on Sunday man, did I need it!

    Mon: Rest Day

    Normally the day after a marathon/ultra I would go to the box and do a very light recovery total body conditioning session but I was told by many sources (Kerry – my coach and Tim @ We Dominate Nutrition, my nutrition coach to name just two) to just take the day off. I quite like to move the day after as I think it helps my recovery so I took Cracker dog for a long walk instead.

    Tue: 10:30am Insanity Class

    Coaching this class wouldn’t normally even be considered as part of my training but on de-load week it counts.

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class and 2 Mile Run

    I asked my class this morning “have you ever seen a Spin Instructor die on a bike before?” Even during the warm up my legs felt heavy and my breathing was very laboured. I struggled through the entire class but made it through and weirdly, the run was absolutely fine. Well, I say fine. It is supposed to be a zone 2 run and on checking my watch at the end it was pretty much all in Zone 3. I had Gary for company again (thanks Gary) so maybe the fact that we just chat had something to do with that.

    Wed: 1pm Pull Up and Push Up work

    Amy and I, same thing every week, working on a couple of our weaknesses for half an hour. I recently found Eliud Kipchoghe’s 10 minute core routine from his training camp on YouTube and did this before we started the Upper Body Work.

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class

    The first go at Speed Week this year, renamed ‘Get Faster’ for 2020. I was a little nervous after how hard yesterday’s class was, especially as speed work is not my favourite. It was still tough, but I felt a little better than yesterday.

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

    Get Faster take 2… Having the power meter and colour zones keeping me honest and controlling my output meant nowhere to hide and I honestly don’t think I have worked as hard on that bike as I did in this class to keep up. I hated myself a little bit for creating the damn session!

    Fri: 10:30am 400m Swim

    After coaching Insanity, LBT and Tabata classes I took advantage of the Nuffield Chichester facilities and hit their pool for an easy 400m. They only had one lane open as there was an aqua aerobic class going on which made the swim a little busy and choppy. I guess thats good IM training in itself.

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: 9:30am Sunday Funday Boxing Session

    I was due to do a 15 mile cycle today but thanks to Storm Ciara I decided to bin this idea and Saturday night I put a call out to some of the Forza Fitness squad to see if anyone fancied a boxing session. Lorraine and Anna answered the call and we spent about an hour boxing, combining it with Squats, Jump Lunges, Slamballs, Push Ups and Sit Ups. All done by 10:45 meaning The Boy and I had the rest of the day to binge watch The Stranger (in between taking Cracker Dog to his training school) and yes, we finished the entire series by 10:30pm!

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 13.01.20

    Body Comp Stats 
    Weight: 76kg (-2.2kg)
    Body Fat %: 29 (-+2.6)
    Muscle %: 33.4 (+0.3)

    Mon: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning

    You know the drill as well as I do now… Monday = Row, Bike, Ski. This week we had a little twist, meaning we also did a little bit of running. We worked in 5 minute intervals on each piece of equipment with each interval starting with a 400m run. No rest, so a full on and intense 35 minutes of pure engine work. Safe to say, I loved it!

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

    Getting back to working on a couple of basic upper body strength/gymnastic moves. 3 reps every minute on the minute. Pull Ups are banded and strict. Push Ups are full, which means chest and thighs to the floor.

    Mon: 5.30pm CrossFit Class

    Two technical movements in focus today; the Handstand Push Up and the Pistol Squat. Both things I suck at so it was good to have a bit of time to strip them back and work on some accessory movements that will help me progress. The workout was a 21-15-9 of Handstand Push Up, Box Jump Over and Pistol Squat. My progressions were DB Push Press and supported Pistol Squats.

    Tue: 12.30pm Pool Swim

    I decided to go back to basics in the pool. I had 400 meters to do so I did 50m every 2 minutes and used each interval to focus on a different thing; breathing, stroke pull, kick etc.

    Wed: 6.45am Indoor Cycle Class

    Week 2 of my 2020 programme so one last shot at ‘The Threshold’. Found it a little harder early in the morning but still got it done. I put the Coach By Colour on just to keep me honest!

    Wed: 7.45pm 1 mile Run

    This was meant to be a 5k zone 2 run but by the time I got out of the spin studio I only had 10 minutes left before the car park charges kicked in so I decided to just do a mile as something is better than nothing.

    Wed: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning

    I was late to class which meant I had to just jump in as the workout had started. It was a partner workout but I had to throw down solo which meant I lost the rest part of a You Go – I Go. It was also the amazing Pamlaaa’s 40th birthday so she got to write the workout but she shared this honour with those that were there on time. It became an AMRAP; 40 reps of Burpee, Cal Row, Box Step Over, Cal Bike, Plate Cluster, Cal Ski Erg, Slamball and Devil Press.

    Wed: 1pm CrossFit Class

    A little bit of everything today with a 15 minute AMRAP of 40 Double Under, 30 Sit Up, 20 12.5kg DB Hang Clean & Jerk, 10 Jumping Pull Up. As usual the Pull Ups were the hardest bit so hopefully with some more focus and work these will start to get easier.

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class

    Because this was the first of my classes to start back in the new year it is always the first to experience the next week in my programme. This week was week 3, Feel the Burn. A conditioning class aimed at building endurance.

    Thu: 1pm Pool Swim

    800m to get done today. Still lots of rest as my breathing is still very laboured but I actually did a little bit extra and ended up with 850m. I’m really hoping it starts to get easier soon and I can start to put together more distance without needing to stop.

    Thu: 6.30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class

    Second shot at ‘Feel The Burn’. Using the Coach By Colour system I managed to control the session better and get exactly the results I wanted from the session. Boom!

    Thu: 7.30pm RPM Indoor Cycle Class

    Swapped my instructor bike for a participant bike and once again did a double session to get a bit more time in the saddle.

    Fri: 1pm CrossFit Class

    I had planned to do the TBC class but swapped to the CrossFit Class as the workout was burpees and skipping, yum! As a class we also got to choose the gymnastic skill we wanted to focus on for the skill part of the session and between us we asked for Pull Ups and Handstands. Head Coach Toby took us through some really useful accessory drills we can do in our own time to help us improve both of these things.
    The workout was a short and sharp 7 min AMRAP of 2 Burpee, 30 Single Under, 4 Burpee, 30 Single Under, 6 Burpee etc etc etc. It was as spicy as expected but I really liked it.

    Sat: 8am CrossFit Iron Duke Charity Row for Rowans

    Once again our amazing CrossFit community, led by Team Cooley, came together to try and do a little bit of good and give something back. This was our third charity event and this time it was the ‘Row for Rowans’, the 2 million meter challenge. 20 teams of 4 rowing 100k each. Our team comprised of me, the Boy (my husband Carl for those that aren’t familiar with my blog yet) and two more of the lunchtime crew Claire and Olly. We split the 100k into 1k intervals and smashed the 25k each in just under 7 hours. We started at 8am and the last team to hit the finish line did so roughly 8 hours later. It was a long but brilliant day and currently, at the time of writing this post, our fundraising efforts are just shy of £8k for the amazing Rowans Hospice. I am so proud to be a part of this crazy, caring crew!

    Sun: Rest Day (obvs!)

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 06.01.20

    Body Comp Stats 
    Weight: 78.2 kg (+0.9kg)
    Body Fat %: 26.4 (- 4.1)
    Muscle %: 33.1 (+2.5)
    * Take a moment to digest these figures. I am constantly talking to my clients about the fact that the scales won’t always accurately represent your journey, especially if you are training hard and fuelling efficiently. If I just went by the number on the scale I would probably be feeling a little deflated. Luckily, I learnt along time ago that number only tells me about gravity’s effect on my body and nothing more. I always do my measurement and take progress photos and alongside losing fat and gaining muscle I also dropped a total of 2.5 inches.
    Other things to consider are the fact that I am sleeping well (apart from one rubbish night) and have more than enough energy to complete all my planned training sessions and can give my clients and class members 100% of my energy, just as they deserve.

    Mon: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning (Recovery Style)

    Recovery TBC means I do a round (it was Monday so Row, Bike, Ski, obvs!) and then skip a round and use the time to hold various stretches and poses. Toby, our head coach, used this during The Open, and I have adopted it as a good recovery session after a hard effort like, say, a marathon.

    Tue: Unplanned Rest Day

    On the way home from coaching Insanity in the morning I blew a tyre so by the time I had got that sorted out (huge thanks to the Boy for coming to my rescue and helping me put the spare on… I did learn how to do it but not having had to do it ever I had no idea what to do).

    Wed: 6.45am Indoor Cycle Class

    First early morning class of the New Year so that meant treating my class members to Week 1 of my new 2020 programme. To keep myself honest I use the Coach by Colour system even though this isn’t officially a Power Training class. It’s useful as then I can compare my performance on the same equipment and same programme at different times of the day as my Thur 6:30pm class is in the same studio.

    Wed: 7.40am 2 mile Zone 2 run

    This was meant to be a 5k but I went out straight after coaching my indoor cycle class and the car park started charging at 8am so I had to get out and back in 20 minutes. The point of the run was a Zone 2 and it went surprisingly well. I held a 10 min pace and honestly, I was pleased as I thought I would struggle to hold any kind of run pace given that I’d just done the cycle class. Legs felt fine, lungs felt fine. All good 🙂

    Wed: 1pm PT with Kerry (my Coach)

    Today was all about the Paused Front Squat. Lots of glute firing work first. This means putting a band around first my quads and then my ankles and walking/waddling up and down the gym. Bless Kerry for walking with me so we could continue our conversation. I say walking, at one point we were more dancing than walking as the music seemed to demand it. Cue finger snapping and everything!
    The Paused Front Squat is exactly what it sounds like, do a front squat and pause in the bottom position for 2-3 seconds before standing up. Things went well, I got to ring the PB bell. I don’t like ringing the PB bell but Kerry was pretty insistent and the gym was practically empty. I also got to practise bailing out of front and back squats which isn’t something I’ve ever had practice with. I think this likely helped with the PB!

    Thu: 9.30am Indoor Cycle Class

    This is the class that uses MyZone but since acquiring a Garmin chest strap to pair to my watch, I’m no longer using MyZone as I want all of my data and stats to be in the same place. Regardless having MyZone definitely increases the motivation and effort from the class members and it showed today for sure.

    Thu: 12.30pm Pool Swim

    Yay me! I finally, finally, actually got in the pool and do a swimming thing. I haven’t really swum since 2014 and for some reason I thought I would just jump back in and it would be as easy as it was then. Now, really, I know that isn’t how it works but hey. My training plan said 2 x 400m with a 3 minute rest. It was originally 1 x 400m but when doing the double check before finalising it, I decided that would likely be too easy so I doubled it! More fool me, I did the first 250m and then decided that I would be better doing it in 100m intervals and using each block to focus on a different aspect; breathing, stroke pull, kick etc) I got very out of breath and my heart rate was quite high but it still felt like a victory as I had done my first swim session.

    Thu: 6.30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class

    Week 2 of my 2020 programme and I unleashed ‘The Threshold’. Naming my sessions is one of my things. I don’t really know why, I’ve done it ever since becoming a power trainer and writing periodised programmes. I think it helps give the sessions meaning and fit the programme together. Plus, people remember it and it sets me apart from other trainers. The Threshold is, obviously, a threshold session, working in the saddle at 100% FTP for varying lengths of time and cadences. The slower the RPM the longer the interval and rest breaks between intervals got shorter and shorter. It was unilaterally described as tough… job done!

    Thu: 7.30pm RPM Indoor Cycle Class

    This one was as a participant, not a Coach. To help build my overall stamina and endurance I will be staying after my class to take part in the next one on any week that isn’t a recovery week. It just happens to be an RPM class. I am not particularly a fan of Les Mills RPM as I find doing the same programme week after week a little dull but at the end of the day it is another 45 minutes in the saddle and I stick the Coach By Colour on to help keep my efforts honest and consistent.

    Fri: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning

    3 ten minute workouts as is becoming the norm for the Friday Class, separated by 2 minutes rest.
    1; 10 min amrap of 200m Run, 10 Walking Lunges, 10 24″ Box Step Ups.
    2; 10 min EMOM. Odd = 50 sec Assault Bike. Even = recovery paced Down Ups (chest to floor burpees without a jump)
    3; 1 min on, 1 min off Max Effort Ski Erg

    Fri: 1pm CrossFit Class

    It’s been Back to Basics week at our CrossFit box which means stripping back the fundamental and basic movements and just having a week to refocus, relearn and tidy up technique. Today was the turn of the Overhead Squat, Pull Up and Push Up. All the work I have been putting in on my mobility showed during the Overhead Squat portion of the class so that was nice.

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: 10am 20 mile Bike Ride

    Yay me.. again. I actually got on my actual bike and cycled outside. I think the last time I used my beautiful Bianchi bike was probably 2017. I aways enjoy being on my bike but I lack confidence. The boy came and kept me company and some might say we have issues as we decided to test ways to cycle to CrossFit, and yes, it is closed on Sundays! This is because I want to cycle to CF occasionally but the roads are quite busy and in some places not where I would feel safe on a bike so we tested different routes. I have lost some basic skills, like being able to look over my shoulder without pulling the bike to the centre of the road but all that will come back with practise. Two big wins this week… I got in the pool and I got on my bike. Whoop Whoop.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 04/11/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log (apart from my indoor cycle classes) but for reference I also coach2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    This week things got back on track. The smallest hints of my cold were still lingering but overall I was feeling pretty damn good. I didn’t have any specific goals for this week, apart from 6 days on, one day off and that wasn’t ever really in doubt.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Usual Monday of Row, Bike, Ski. This week, for 39 minutes. 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off. Actually not as bad as it first sounded.

    Mon: 1pm Brick Session

    I sacked off the CrossFit class today as I really felt I ought to do some running. I decided to haul an Assault Bike to the entrance of the gym for a brick session and set the clock for 30 minutes. Another simple workout; 20 cals on the bike, 100m run, 20 cals, 200m run, 20 cals, 400m run and repeat. I got 2 rounds plus a bit extra in my self inflicted time cap.

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    November is the month of remembrance and at CrossFit Iron Duke we pay our respects by completing one Hero WoD a week, every week. We started this week with ‘The Chief’; 5 x 3 min AMRAPS, with one min rest in between, of 3 Power Clean, 6 Push Up, 9 Air Squat. I’m pretty good at pacing the longer workouts but I was definitely grateful for the push from Coach Harry before the start of the last round to get the extra reps and not just coast home. I’m leaving the coasting to my Coach, who does it so well, right Kerry? ;0)

    Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class

    Quite a few people have asked why I don’t include the classes I coach in my Training Log as surely they are adding to my training. As a Class Instructor I am a Coach and not ‘Paid to Train’ which is how some instructors view it. If I am training I am not coaching. I can’t be. There is no way I could do a class such as Insanity as well as watch everyone else, consistently check form, cue movement patterns, correct common errors, motivate effectively etc and if I’m not doing all of that then I am not there for the full benefit of my participants. The only class where I am actually capable of being an effective coach while still engaging 100% with the content is in the cycle studio. I will occasionally get of my bike if I feel it is needed but overall most members want to see you up there, sweating, struggling and suffering with them. I know this because I get told this a lot! So I am now including the Cycle classes as I do on the training log.

    Wed: 1pm PT Session with my Coach

    Today was about overcoming a bit of a fear, although I didn’t know this was the plan. I’m not too bad at box jumps and can jump on to a 30 inch soft box. However, turn a wooden box from 20″ to 24″ and I just can’t do it… or rather I couldn’t do it. Kerry had me move from wooden to soft box at increasing heights and lo and behold I can now add 24 inch box jumps to the ‘can do” list 🙂 Kicking up into a handstand though remained firmly on the ‘nope’ list with no real improvement made. Oh well, luckily I don’t need the skill of kicking up into a handstand to complete my Iron Man whereas explosive box jumps have some actual carry over.

    Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle (with Myzone HR Training)

    As I coach Indoor Cycle more as a Power Trainer, and put my Thursday pm lot through regular FTP testing, I run my Cycle classes on a 12 week periodised training plan. All of my classes follow the same programme whether we are using HR monitoring, Coach by Colour Power Training or just a regular indoor bike. The idea is that after every 12 week cycle your levels or FTP should go up so that every time you restart the programme the easier beginning weeks should still feel challenging and we can still push for the desired adaptations.

    Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Partner Workout with the Hubby today. We don’t actually train together often at all so this was quite fun. If we are in the box together during a busy class we try and work with other people. Head Coach Toby used to split us up when we first joined to ensure we got to know other people and the habit has stuck. The workout was a 40 min AMRAP where one person rests while the other works. The work consisted of 100 single under skips, a 200m run and a 300m row and as Carl is faster than me (on the running and the rowing… not the skipping, I kick his ass at skipping!) I got a little less rest than him but we both gave everything we had and did a pretty good job.

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

    My weekly upper body strength piece to get back the lost strength thanks to “the rib” and to hopefully surpass my previous best. 10 minutes of Pull Ups, followed by 10 minutes of Push Ups, done as a 3 rep EMOM (every minute on the minute).

    Thu: 6:30pm Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle

    Coach By Colour is specific Power Training technology, created and run on ICG bikes and by far my favourite way to run a cycle class. It is robust, there is no time lag like there is with Heart rate Training and you cannot hide, either from yourself or me as your power zone is literally beaming out of the front of your bike. If you are serious about improving your bike, or overall, fitness then Power Training is definitely the way to go.

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Three 10 minute workouts; Firstly 10 mins (1 on, 1 off) on the Assault Bike. Second, a 10 min EMOM (40 secs on, 20 off) of Dumbbell Thrusters and Dumbbell Swings and finally a 10 min AMRAP of 10 Calories on the Ski Erg, 8 Burpees to a Plate and 6 Plate Ground to Overhead. Nothing complicated and I actually felt better after the workout than before.

    Fri: 2:30pm Zone 2 10k Run

    I pushed the distance on my Zone 2 Training from 5k to 10k and it was nearly doubly frustrating. As usual, the first couple of miles were straightforward. Running at a comfortable and easy pace, HR where I want it to be and everything going all good. The next 4 miles though…same old song and dance. Try and hold a decent ( and by that I do not mean fast, just decent) run pace and the HR shoots into Zone 3, and then sometimes Zone 4. Walk to bring it down, push into a run and it shoots straight back up. I perservered though. I did the whole long (!) thing in Zone 2 as much as possible without intentionally pushing up. A couple of the guys in my Accountability group are joining me on the Zone 2 training thing and I think we are all finding the same thing, which is that it is a slow but worthwhile process.

    Sat: Rest Day

    Sun: 9:30am, Sunday Funday with the Forza Fitness Squad

    6 of us turned up to play and so we all contributed to the plan. I chose to revisit the 5 min bike test, Suzanne wanted more Core work (she always wants more Core work!), Angela wanted to incorporate the Kettlebell and then we put some boxing around all of that and away we went. One hour later we are all very happy, sweaty and ready for cups of tea!

    Another week done 🙂

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 21/10/19

    * 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.

    A pretty smooth week this week. I achieved my goal of 6 days on, 1 day off so that worked! The thing that I have let slide already is the mobility work. I nailed that for the total of 1 week, oops!

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Usual Monday programming of Row, Bike, Ski. 3 minutes on 1 minute off for 3 rounds. Given my extra rest day at the weekend I was determined to put the effort in today, whilst being mindful of the fact that I was staying for the CrossFit class. It’s a fine balance and not one I always get right.

    Mon: 1pm CrossFit Class

    5 Minute rounds of DB Snatch, Squats and 200m Run Sprints. The quicker you got the work done, the more rest you got and I as aiming for consistency but started to slow in the final 2 rounds. It was a workout that I really liked the look of, was really looking forward to doing but man, did it hurt. It hurt way more than I thought it would but I did love it.

    Tue: 12:15pm Zone 2 5k Run

    Once again the first 2 miles went according to plan but mile 3 was hard work, trying to keep the heart rate where I want it. It was marginally quicker than last weeks efforts so something must be working.

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    I was not looking forward to this workout and it wasn’t much fun. It was simple; 10 – 20 – 30 – 40 Box Jumps, Push Ups, Jumping Pull Ups. Anytime the rep scheme increases I mentally find it a little tougher. I don’t think I am alone in that. There was an 18 minute time cap and I didn’t finish the final set of 40 Pull Ups. It was close but I was literally working in single reps as my upper body had nothing left.

    Wed: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    3 10 minute workouts separated by 2 minutes rest. 1 AMRAP of Over Row Buprees, Squats and 200m Row Sprints. Another of 2x8kg DB DT (12 Deadlift, 9 Hang Power Clean, 6 Shoulder to Overhead) + 20 Mountain Climbers and finally a 1 min on, 1 min off Max Effort Ski. I’ve loved DT whenever I’ve done it with a barbell but the dumbbell version was not so great. I think my shoulders, arms and lats were still feeling the effects of yesterday but you know, no excuses. I think we all agreed though that this was one of the toughest TBC classes we had done in a while, possibly ever!

    Wed: 1pm CrossFit Class

    I really didn’t want to stay for class but that attitude does not an IronMan make so I ordered myself to just refill the water bottle and get my ass to the board for the class briefing. One more AMRAP for the day; 3 Snatch, 6 Clean and Jerk, 400m Run. Ouch! During the skill work practising the lifts even just the barbell felt heavy and I wanted to ensure my technique was as good as possible so I didn’t add anymore weight and stuck at 15kg. I took my time on the lifts, focussing on form and tried to push hard on the runs. I’m not sure I was particularly quick on the run but I do know I couldn’t have done anymore.

    Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Consistency was the name of the game today. 5 Rounds comprising of 3 minutes work, 1 minute rest and the goal was to hit the same number of reps every round. The rounds were made up of 1 min Max Effort Wall Balls, Hang Power Snatch (yep, more Snatch work!) and Calories on the Rower. Despite being in a world of pain I actually really enjoyed this one and managed to score pretty evenly.

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Again, 3 10 minute workouts separated by 2 minutes rest. 1 AMRAP of 200m Run Sprints, 10 Single Arm 10kg Devil Press. 1 EMOM of 40/20 2x10kgDB Box Step Overs and Ski and 1 min on, 1 min off Max Effort on the Assault Bike. Despite teaching 3 classes prior to arriving at the gym, and knowing that I feel wiped out, I always have the intention of doing the double of TBC and CrossFit Class but as per the last two weeks, I finished TBC and quit. I think I’m using the fact that it’s ‘The Open’ as a bit of an excuse as I’m not doing The Open this time round. Maybe in 3 weeks time, when it’s all over, I will be more inclined, or have less excuse, to suck it up and stay for class.

    Sat: Rest Day

    More alcohol today. I have drunk more in the last 6 weeks than I think I have all year. It’s not that big a deal. It wasn’t a vast amount of alcohol but I already know that in 2020, until we arrive at the CrossFit Games, post IronMan, I will not be drinking, at all.

    Sun: 9:30am Sunday Boxing Squad

    3 of my girls came over today to workout with me. Along with working some combinations we included a 5 min Assault Bike Test, 100m Row Sprints, Box Step Ups, Squats and Sit Ups. 1 hour of fun, team work and sweat.

    Sun: 5:30pm 5k Run

    I was planning to do a zone 2 run but as soon as I got outside I thought sod it, I’m just going to run. I pulled my sleeve down over my watch and did just that. As most runners do, I accurately know 1 mile, 3 mile and 6 mile routes in all directions from my house so I choose a 3 mile route and set off. It was comfortable and I was having a long conversation with David Goggins in my head (I don’t like to run with music). When I got back I was pleasantly surprised to find I’d run a 26:57 while keeping my heart rate in zone 2 for 20 minutes. This whole Zone 2 training stuff does actually work it seems.

    *A few of you have asked what my full week actually looks like so here it is!

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 14/10/19

    * 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.

    Once again plans went awry but at this stage in the game I am not worried about it. I’m lucky enough to be a part of an Accountability Group with 5 awesome guys I met doing Tough Mudder. We check in with each other, discuss workouts, training plans, share anything we think will be useful, and talk about David Goggins… a lot! One of the things we’ve started doing recently is setting a personal weekly goal and due to how things have been going I have made mine for next week really simple; Train 6 days out of 7 as last week I only hit 5. My training plan is always 6 days on, 1 day off with Saturday as my rest day so to make sure the fundamentals are right this week that is my main focus, rebuild my routine. Yes it has only been a week but stuff can start to slide really easily if you let it and I am just making sure that doesn’t happen.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Mon is always a pure Row, Bike, Ski day and todays formula involved 3 rounds of Tabata on each piece of equipment. Simple and highly effective.

    Mon: 1pm CrossFit Class

    I was on my own for class today which was tough as for a workout like this one it is good to have someone to go against. I really love rowing next to someone really strong as it pushes me to go that little bit more. Class format was straight forward; 10 x 250m sprints, rest 1:1 (meaning rest as long as each sprint takes). Fastest sprint 51.9, Slowest 54.9. It was a true slog and suckfest but Coach Toby turned ‘The Prodigy’ up loud (one benefit of being in class by yourself – you can own the playlist if you ask nicely, although I didn’t need to ask, Toby knows me that well!) and I was away 🙂

    Tue: 12pm Zone 2 5k run

    My zone 2 (low aerobic) heart rate ranges from 140 to 156 and for the first two miles I could hold a steady run and stay in this zone. The last mile went completely to hell and I seemed to be walking every minute as the moment I started running I was pushing into the high aerobic zone. Very frustrating but I am trusting the process and just going with it.

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Today was a repeat of an Open workout, 14.5 and 16.5. A grim couplet of Thursters and Bar Facing Burpees. It was sweaty, it hurt but my goal was just to keep moving and get the thing done and I made the time cap. Job done.

    Tue: 2:15pm A Harry Workout

    I was rehydrating in the social area at the gym post class, everyone else had left and I was about to get my stuff together and leave when Coach Harry looked at me and said just two words “Bike Sprints?” Me being me, my only response was “how many?’ and that was that. 6 rounds of 90 sec work/ 90 sec rest, completing 15 cals on the Assault Bike and as many 10kg DB Power Cleans as possible in the remaining time. It was my first time working out with Harry and I was determined to put up a fight on the bike so as not to get left behind. It was tough but fun. For some reason Assault Bike and Dumbbells are a favoured combination of mine.

    Wed: 1pm PT Session

    Dogshit Deadlifts today! Yes I know I am getting over a cracked or broken rib or whatever but we did deadlifts not even a month a go and I did better than I did today. The plan was 5 x 5 but I didn’t get that far. 65kg went up fine, 5 times, no issues. Add 5kg and for whatever reason I could not pick 70kg up off the floor. Last time, I was picking up 80 for 5 and my rib is better now that it was then so no idea what was going on.The only thing I know for sure is, it was a weak day! Second part of my session went much better; 45kg Deadlifts and Prowler Pushes. Talk about a lactic acid quad burn.

    Thu: 12pm Zone 2 5k run

    Another run where the first 2 miles were great but the third mile was spiking heart rates and lots of walking. This has to get better though right?!

    Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class

    All about the Back Squat today and after my shit day with the barbell yesterday lets just say I was feeling a little nervous about how this was going to go. 5 sets of 3, building to a heavy 3 for the day. Since ‘rib gate’ I haven’t tested my back squat, or any squat that much, but in July I hit 65kg which is a good average for me. I am pleased to say that I hit 65kg today, although I took my time getting there. I hit 60kg ok, put 65 on the bar, did one rep, decided I didn’t like it so took it off again. Hit 60kg again, had a word with myself, loaded up 65 and hit my 3 reps. What was all the fuss about? It’s a barbell, I love it but I am not confident with it so yes, sometimes I make a fuss! Finished the session with some accessory work in the shape of 3 x 20 15kg DB 24″ Step Ups.

    Thu: 2pm Playtime with Jade

    I was trying to decide what else to do when I noticed Jade at the back of the box with a barbell out. We’d already done 30 burpees as it’s her 30th birthday today and the tradition in our gym is that you do birthday burpees. I managed to coerce all of the 1 o clock class in to doing them with her as who wants to do 30 burpees alone on their birthday. I ended up joining her and her barbell and we worked our way through sets of power cleans and power snatch. Next up was 30 Pull Ups, then 30 Push Ups and finally some skipping. Happy Birthday Jade 🙂

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning

    Another ‘made up on the spot and ingenious session’ by head Coach Toby involving a 10 min Assault Bike Test, Goblet Squats, Max Effort Rows and a Team Challenge of Ski Erg Cals and Burpees. Just like last week, I had planned to jump in the 1pm class but was completely done in so skipped it and just helped judge the guys doing The Open.

    Sat: Rest Day

    I had planned to do something today as the Forza Fitness squad were going out in the evening and I knew that Sunday would most likely be a write off. But, the day was busy, no workout was done so, rest day. There were a couple of burpees on the dance floor that night though!

    Sun: Rest Day

    And here is where it all fell apart. Sat night some of us made plans to train together today. The night wore on, more cocktails were drunk but we were still talking, and fist bumping, about training. Roll on Sunday and everything is quiet… no messages are being exchanged, everyone is busy, my dog went back to school (advanced classes as well 🙂 ), the boy and I had an afternoon nap, dinner time rolls around and it is clear that nothing resembling a workout is going to happen. No biggie though, last night was worth it and come 2020 the alcohol will be cut completely. I barely drink as it is and these nights happen less than once every 2 months so I’m not beating myself up about it. Whats the point. It’s done, it’s happened. Tomorrow is a new day, a new week and I have my goal. Train 6 days out of 7, no excuses. So I will do just that and have no remorse about 1 missed workout!

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • 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 🙂

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 30/09/19

    * 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.

    This week the focus on low heart rate training, in relation to running and cycling and also back to back sessions to improve endurance.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    Very simple but effective cardio conditioning circuit cycling through 2 mins on, 1 min off between the assault bike, rower and ski erg for just over 35 minutes.

    Mon: 1pm 5k Run

    First attempt at zone training. 5k run working to keep my heart rate in the aerobic zone and below 142. It was a very slow 5k!

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    A lot of time spent working on pull ups during the skill/strength portion of the class. I am definitely seeing some progress with regards to my broken/cracked rib and things involving me hanging off a bar are getting easier again 🙂 The WOD was a grim 15 min AMRAP of 5 x Jumping Chest to Bar Pull up, 10 x 45kg Deadlift, 16 12.5kg Alt DB Snatch and a 200m row. Usually I love DB Snatch but today it just sucked a little less than everything else sucked!

    Tue: 2:15pm 5k run

    Second attempt at zone training. Again working to keep my heart rate in the aerobic zone and below 142. Went slightly better than yesterday 🙂

    Wed: 12:15 Total Body Conditioning Class

    First order of the day, a 10 minute assault bike effort. This started to remind me of the horrors of last weeks 30 min max effort threshold heart rate test but luckily I had my girl Claire on the bike next to me and she, without saying a word, pushed me to get it done and get it done well. 1 minutes rest and then it was on to 2 10 min EMOM’s involving Rowing & 10kg Plate Cleans and Ski Erg & DB Down Ups.

    Wed: 1pm Crossfit Class

    No run today as I really wanted to do this class. A 10k partner row. The rules being you can split the meters however you want but both partners must row 5k each and the time cap is 40 minutes. I bagged the awesome Olly as my partner at the beginning of the TBC class… and then started to question my sanity as that boy is seriously fast and I realised I would be getting very little rest! We always make a good team though and despite it being a workout that really, really hurt, we managed to have a lot of fun and smash the time cap!

    Thu: 12:00pm 5k Run

    Third run of the week and the first mile was great, I didn’t need to walk to keep my heart rate were I wanted it and I thought I was starting to get the hang of it. Then the second mile was, shall we say, a little less smooth and the third mile was complete crap. Every time I pushed into a run my heart rate instantly pinged into the threshold zone and it was possibly the slowest mile I’ve run for the longest time. Still, I preserved and got it done.

    Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Skill/ Strength focus was on Toes To Bar and Handstand Push Ups. Two movements I suck at and two movements severely hampered by, yes, you guessed it, my bloody cracked/broken rib! However, more proof that it is definitely healing.. I landed my first toes to bar 🙂 No, I couldn’t get another one but small victories right. I now know that I can do it! The WOD was two 6 minute AMRAP’s, separated by 2 minutes rest, of 1; Toes to Bar (so in my case knees to chest!) & Burpee Box Jump Overs and 2; DB Push Press and Double Unders. I do love a bit of skipping but I’m now using my super heavy RX Gear Zeus rope and man does it burn.

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    I had planned for today to be a rest day but originally my lovely friend Amy was signed in on her own and she is not one for doing solo classes so I thought I’d do the decent thing and come keep her company. What a mistake! Welcome to Burpee Frikkin Friday! Yep, you can tell The Open is coming up… shame I’n not entering this year though. We 30 minutes of rowing, over row burpees, DB Row Clusters (Head Coach Toby’s latest tortute creation!) Over DB Burpees, Ski Erg and Plate Jumps. It was gross but awesome and more than enough for what should be a rest day.

    Sat: Tough Mudder 5k Urban

    Saturday is usually my rest day but we (being my husband and I) were off to play on Clapham Common at at Tough Mudder event with no mud and no water. Different and a brilliant little event and the last UK event of 2019. Totally different to anything else Tough Mudder offer and it showed as pretty much everyone on course was new to Tough Mudder and obstacle racing in general. This meant we were able to hang out at obstacles and help a huge amount of people. It was all over by 4pm and that was it, TM done for another year. Now, it’s a waiting game to see if we are chosen as ambassadors for a 4th year in 2020.

    Sun: 9:30am Forza Fitness Squad Strong Girl Sunday Funday

    5 of us this week playing around in my studio this week and it was all about boxing and core work. Lots of combination work and laughs, just as a Sunday Funday should be… especially when one of the squad creates a very confusing combination that foxes everyone!

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22