Daily Training….


If you follow, or have come across this blog you will notice that I am currently putting together New Year…New Challenge posts.  The aim is simple – try and get yourself more active but not just from a physical perspective.  This week is about not procrastinating and getting something done that you have talked about.  I too am taking this on as I prepare for Outlaw.  So, my new block of training revolves around increase in training.  My plan is to increase to 2 training sessions per day.  I will still be working soley around aerobic training, but I will be increasing the training to ensure that I cover 2 different phases of training each day.

Today was swim and run.  Both are going well and I am now pushing on the distance, but staying aerobic within both disciplines.  Todays sessions were:


  • 400m warm up
  • 3 x 800m split 200m pull, 600m swim
  • 200m cool down

A pretty simple set but worth doing.  The main concentration on this is pacing.  I ensure that I count my stroke rate every 4 length to make sure that I am not slacking off (too much) towards the end of each 800.  I will stick with this, but Apr will increase to 4 x 800s and May to 5 x 800s.  I am also going to look at dry warm ups rather than warming up in the pool.  Whilst you get the opportunity to have a little swim prior to racing, I beleive that if I can get my body used to preparing out of the water when it comes to race day it should be ok.  I’ll keep you posted on how I get on with this.


  • 90 min track run @aerobic pacing.

Again, back on the track.  I am getting used to the monotiny of track running for long periods, but I have also taken myself away from running circles from time to time.  The track run is primarily there for two reasons.  Firstly, it helps me pace on a flat route.  The Outlaw run is pretty flat, so if I can get the pacing right now, hopefully it will work come race day.  Secondly, I need to be able to stay focused on the run.  I don’t want my mind to wander as this could cause me to run too fast or too slow.  Staying focused on the pacing will hopefully allow me to hit the run in the time that I want to achieve.

A good training set today.  2.5 hours of training and feeling good.  Swim and Bike tomorrow.

Have a fit and healthy day

Rob 🙂

New Year…New Challenge..Wk 9


Welcome back and say hello to week 9.

The observant amongst you will be asking the question “what about week 8?”  Yes, I did miss out week 8, but that was deliberate and I will go into a little story as to why.

A good few years ago I had a group of individuals for 3 weeks on a training camp.  The aim of the camp was to get them to bring up their fitness up to a satisfactory level.  Each week the intensity and frequency of training sessions increased, but, from day one we went for a 4 mile final run of the day at 8pm.  As the first 2 weeks progressed everyone was ready and at 8pm we went out for a run.  Time was irrelevant as the onus was simple – the sooner you finished, the sooner the day’s training was over.  On the third week come 8pm I left them to their own devices.  On the first 2 days, I left it until 8:30pm and then went to find them in their rooms.  “Let’s go then” and off we would go.  Now, the onus of the final run was still the same – as soon as you were finished the training day was finished.  But for the first two days they waited until I prompted them to run before they ran.  After the Tuesday run I got them all together and asked why nobody had started their run at 8pm?  The answer was simple and unanimous – they were all waiting to be told to go.  I then explained to them that after these 3 weeks were up, I, nor any of my trainers would be there to tell them to go out for a run.  They would have to go out on their own accord.  The rest of the week everyone went out at 8pm with out being reminded.  A small breakthrough, but a breakthrough non the less.

So, my moral for this is that I hope that despite me not prompting you are keeping up with the challenge.  If you had a ‘rest week’ last week well not to worry.  I hope you understand the reasoning behind the lack of week 8 and I hope that you don’t see it as a cop out on my behalf.


Well, this week is a challenge of bigger proportion.  I want you to challenge yourself to this – No More Procrastination.  I am sure that there is something that you have always said that you want to do but only got round to talking about it?  I know I have.  So, over the next 4 weeks, I want you to stop talking about atleast one thing and get it done.  No matter what it is, stop talking; start doing.

Let me know how you are getting on.  I too am going to be taking on this challenge and you will be able to see how I get on by following the blog.

Have a fit and healthy week.

Rob 🙂

That Sicky Feeling…….


Over the last few days I have been struck down with ‘Man Flu’.  Now I know that all the males reading this will have a full understanding of the effect that ‘Man Flu’ has on the male body, there may well be others who will dismiss this horrendous and debilitating illness.  Just because some people will never be able to contract ‘Man Flu’ does not mean that it doesn’t exist.  Just ask any male.   I’m sure that they will be able to give you some gorey details as to how ‘Man Flu’ knocks you for the proverbial six…….

Anyway, in all seriousness a question that is commonly asked when we are struggling with a cold or sickness is whether we should train or not?

Dependent on what you read there are those that are for training during a cold or sickness and there are those who are against.  The bottom line is this – you know your body and you will know how your sickness affects how you work but there are a few things you should remember:

Your fitness will not disappear overnight 

If you stop training for a few days to get over an illness it does not mean that you will lose your fitness.  If you have been training consistently and have a good base level of fitness you don’t have to rush back into training.  If you have been a little less consistent it may take you a little longer to get back to your target level of fitness.  Bottom line – Don’t panic.

You can still train

You may find that you can still train when you are sick.  You may not be able to train at the same intensity, but that does not mean that you can’t do anything.  You may be able to do something at less intensity.  You could also concentrate on aspects of your training that may take a back seat when you are in full flow.  Take this time to do some more flexibility training, or some technique work. You may even find that if you do some form of light workout that it helps you.  Light training may help flush useful healing nutrients through your body and help expel toxins.  Bottom line – Listen to your body and adapt your training accordingly.

You can’t rush your body

If you rush your training and train hard through a cold or sickness you could end up with a negative training effect.  Train too hard and you risk not only hindering your body’s ability to recover but you also risk a reduced fitness output.  Your body will have to cope with not only the effect from the cold/sickness but also the effect of your training.  Bottom line – take your time.  Train effectively and ensure that you don’t overload your body.

Stay motivated

If you need to take time out don’t see this as negative.  Remain focused on the bigger picture and what it is you are trying to achieve through training.  Look back at what you have achieved and be mindful of what you are going to achieve when you get back to full health.  Bottom line – Feeling below par now does not mean that you will be below par forever.

Feeling unwell can seem like a curse when you are following a training plan or even if you are getting into fitness.  Colds and sickness are common, especially this time of year and it can be hard to stick to a training plan when you are not feeling 100% due to your health.  However, if you manage your cold/sickness well it won’t be long before you are back on the fitness trail and the time away will soon be forgotten.

Have a fit and healthy day

Rob 🙂



Up Early…….


I was listening to an audible book by Jim Rohn the other day and he was talking about people’s reactions relating to getting up early.  “You’re up early” or “Why do you get up so early” – something along those lines seems to be the norm.  His answer was great (in my opinion) – “Well, you’d be up this early too if you were going where I’m going”.  He does talk a bit more indepth but I hope you get the point?

Well, I was up early this morning.  Out and running by 05:15.  Out and running for 1hour 30min.  That means by 06:45 I’ve completed my long run before some people have even thought about getting out of bed.  Why?  Simple.  I’ve got somewhere to go and if you were going where I’m going, you’ve been up that early too!

Have a fit and healthy day

Rob 🙂

Daily Training…….


As I continue my journey to Outlaw, here is a sample from last weeks training.  In the context of triathlon I thought I would share with you a swim, bike and run session from last weeks training programme.  Overall the training is going well, although the outdoor bike is not going as well as I had hoped due to the weather.  Not that I am afraid of getting cold/wet but I would rather stay injury/accident free as there has been a lot of black ice on the roads recently, so the bike commute has been put on hold.


Aim – Pacing with leg work.  My target for outlaw is 1:36/100m for the swim, so I am doing a lot of pacing work, trying to ensure that I stay within my times.  At the moment, I am hitting around 1:43/100m, but bearing in mind I have just over 5 months left, I am happy and not worrying about the difference at the moment.  Leg work thrown in because I have about as much kick power as a new born deer (sorry if I offend any deer by that comment).

Session as:

400m warm up – Nice and relaxed making sure that I stay as smooth as possible with long and full strokes

3 x 250m on 5 min – The aim of this is to try and hit the same time (approx 4:15-4:20) for 10 lengths.  This gives me 40-45 sec recovery so that I can maintain the pacing again for the next set.

3 x 25m kick/50m swim/25m kick – Working the bambi legs!  30 sec recovery between sets.  Legs feel this one, especially on the 3rd set.

Repeat both again.

200m cool down – Various strokes, but as with warm up, nice and long with the strokes at a very easy pace.


Thank goodness for a wattbike.  This may be a bit of a gloat and I am very lucky to be able to use a wattbike, but it’s a fantastic bit of kit.  As with all my biking at the moment, it’s all about keeping aerobic.  This was a 2 hour bike keeping at a cadence of 90rpm.  I manipulate the air resistance to keep me high aerobic as I want to be able to push to the aerobic limit without being over.  If my HR begins to stray then I decrease the air resistance accordingly.  To be honest I don’t monitor my Power output as much as I maybe should do, but one thing I do look at is my force distribution.  I currently sit around 52/48 with my left leg stronger than my right.  I am hoping that by sorting out my pedal technique a little I can get this to 50/50 pretty soon.  NB:  Tracee seems to be able to hit 50/50 every time she uses the bike, so I have some work to do in order to get my technique as good as hers.


Oh, the track!  This was an hour and a half track run and as with the bike, this was strictly aerobic.  My target for Outlaw is 5:00min/km for the marathon.  Now, I know that I would be able to run 5:00min/km now, but not staying aerobic.  I could do it within my theshold pace, but the fall out from this would be that my muscles may be too tired to train the time/distance I need the next day.  I also know that I probably will be more into threshold than staying aerobic when I race, but if I can train my body to maintain the pace and slowly improve, I think that I will be on target when I get to Nottingham (or as near as possible).  I currently sit around 5:45min/km at an aerobic pace, so again I am happy with this.  This has been a reduction of over 1min since my training started.

Overall a productive week that has kept me smiling when I think about how long I have left to train.  I am sure that these next 23 weeks will fly by, but I am hoping that if I keep this training and structure up I will be able to hit my targets.

Have a fit and healthy day.

Rob 🙂


New Year…New Challenge..Wk 7


Hello again and welcome back to New Year.. New Challenge.

Week 7?  Wow!  If like me you may be thinking “where has the time gone?”  A great trait of people – wondering what has happened to time.  Fact is it’s gone and it’s not coming back.  No matter what, we are never getting the time back.  One of the aims of this challenge albeit a little hidden is to make the most of the time you have.  So this week it is unhidden and I want you to look at your time management.  I want you to make every second count in a positive way.

You have 86400 seconds in a day.  At midnight that starts over again.  If you had a bank account with £86,400 in every day and you knew that at midnight that would re-fill again, what would you do with the money you had that day?  Answer – use it; all of it.  If you knew that you could use that £86,400 and it would be refreshed every day, you would use it to it’s best potential.  So use your 86400 seconds well.  Don’t waste any of it.  You can’t save the time up and hold onto it for another day.


So, this week I want you to ensure that you use all of the time you are given and make the most of it.  Keep up with the previous tasks highlighted in previous challenge posts, but really concentrate on using all the time you have in a positive way.

Have a fit and healthy week

Rob 🙂



That Fat Burning Zone………


Did I ever tell you that I’m a massive fan of heart rate training?  No?  Well I am.  But there is one thing that really bugs me when it comes to heart rate training and it’s the ‘fat burning zone’.  Not that the zone itself bugs me, but it’s when people big it up and get you to believe that you are going to lose weight quicker if you train in the ‘fat burning zone’.  Just for the record, in my opinion….THAT IS SO WRONG!

When you train at a lower intensity the body is more likely to utilise fat as the energy source rather than glycogen (carbs).  This is due to the respiratory exchange rate – the ratio of oxygen consumed to carbon dioxide produced during training.  If the respiratory exchange rate is less than 1 (more oxygen than carbon dioxide) your body will utilise fat as the primary energy source.  If the respiratory exchange rate is equal to or more than 1 (more carbon dioxide produced than oxygen consumed) the body will use glycogen as the primary energy source.  It must be understood that either way, you are not soley using fat or glycogen alone as the energy source.

When you train at a lower work rate, the percentage of fat utilisation is greater than glycogen.  At higher work rates this is switched so that glycogen is the primary energy source. When you train at lower intensities (around 50% of your max) the fat/glycogen energy ratio is approximately 60/40.  However, when you increase your workout intensity this ratio changes and your body will use glycogen over fat.  However at higher intesity training you still burn fat and have the potential to burn more fat than at lower intensity training.

The below is taken from an article from builtlean.com.  Hopefully this will show what I am trying to say from a numbers perspective:

So here’s what the breakdown looks like assuming 30 minutes of exercise for a low vs. high intensity group. The high intensity group will likely burn double the calories as the lower intensity group, or 200 vs. 400 calories:

30 Minutes of Exercise Fat Calories Burned Glycogen Calories Burned Total Calories Burned
Low Intensity Group (50%) 120 80 200
High Intensity Group (75%) 140 260 400

I train in the fat burning zone but I’m not doing this because I want to lose weight.  I’m doing this because I want my body to get used to using fat as an energy source.  As I am going to be racing for extensive periods of time I am training my body to use fat so that, when my glycogen stores become depleted (and I know that they will) my body will be able to make a quicker transition to using fat rather than having that ‘bonking’ feeling when my body switches over.  If I wanted to lose weight I would work on buring calories not just fat.  I would be pushing for higher levels of training ensuring that I burned as many calories as I could within the training time that I had.

I hope this little article makes sense to you and you get to understand that if you want to lose weight, you don’t have to get too hung up on the ‘fat burning zone’.  If you want to lose weight hit that HIIT.  Get the calories burned and understand that even if you are working at a higher intensity, you will still be burning that fat.

Have a fit and healthy day

Rob 🙂