Tag Archives: cycling

Coming Soon…


Well I’ve been busy away from here so thought it about time I updated on what has been going on.  In short, I’ve put together a number of training plans that you can download.  Whatever your level of fitness, I am hoping that you will be able to use the appropriate training plans and gain some benefit from them.  Be that structure, fitness, motivation, whatever it may be.

The first one will be uploaded on Thursday – Beginners 5km.  It is an 8 week training programme based on someone who has minimal fitness and will (I hope) enable you to complete 5km in 8 weeks.  Be that a Park Run, Race for Life, or even just completing 5km, this programme will be free to download and use.

I will also be uploading intermediate and advanced programmes that you can also dowload for free.  The first will be for 5km, but by the end I am aiming to incorporate many more running, cycling, swimming and triathlon training plans so keep your eyes peeled.

Have a fit and healthy day

Rob 🙂

Daily Training…


Well, another productive day’s training coming up.  Still working on aerobic only – sorry to those who train 80/20, but I still want to be able to train well everyday with minimal soreness.

The benefits of working out fully aerobic are really starting to come to the fore now.  I am averaging anyway between 2.5 – 4 hours of training a day and feel great.  Minimal to no muscle soreness and the improvements are still coming along.

Today is a bike and swim day.  Indoor bike so that I can concentrate on maintaining constant HR with constant cadence and 400s on the swim working stroke rate.


300m warm up – 100 swim/100 pull/100 swim

5 x 400m as:

  • 1 x 400 – swim (count stroke rate every 4 lengths)
  • 1 x 400 – 100 pull/300 swim
  • 1 x 400 – 100 pull/100 swim/100 pull/100 swim
  • 1 x 400 – 200 pull/200 swim
  • 1 x 400 – swim

300 cool down


2 hour indoor ride @90 cadence @aerobic HR

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 🙂


Sunday Prep…………


As well as sorting out the food for the week, I like to spend time on a Sunday sorting out my training goals for the week too.  At the moment, all my training is based around time and aerobic improvement (base training), nothing too specific.  So, after my last post, I thought it apt that I share my training goals for the following week:

  • Swim – 3 hours to include endurance and drills.
  • Bike – 12+ hours all low level aerobic.
  • Run – 3 hours to include 30 min brick.
  • Strength and Conditioning – 1 hour split into two 30 min sessions.

So these are my training goals and this is my RPM plan of how I will complete them.


  • Result – Complete 3 hours of swimming.
  • Purpose – I will be racing Outlaw Half and Outlaw next year.  My goal for both races, will be to swim 1:36/100m.  I am currently sitting around 1:50-1:55/100m, so endurance is a key aspect at the moment.
  • MAP
    • Tue – AM Swim – Although I prefer lunchtime swimming, I am on a Running Technique course on Tue, so lunchtime is out for training, therefore AM swim it is.
    • Wed – Lunchtime Swim.
    • Fri – Lunchtime Swim.

Completing these 3 training sessions will get my 3 hours of swim completed.  All aerobic endurance with catch specific drills on each (I like to try and concentrate on one aspect of the stroke each week).


  • Result – Complete 10+ hours of low level aerobic training.
  • Purpose – Again, racing Outlaw Half and Outlaw.  My target for the bike legs is 36km/h avg.  This is a big ask for me as the bike is by far the weakest part of my triathlon.  I do know that, if I continue with my trianing, I can achieve this level.
  • MAP
    • 3 commutes to work and back.  This will give me 10.5 hours of bike time.  At low level aerobic each commute (there and back) will take approx 3:30.
    • 1 Wattbike session of 1 hour working on pedalling technique followed directly by 30 min brick track run.
    • 1 further bike session on Sunday.  Weather dependant will dictate indoor wattbike or outdoor ride.

Completing all the bike sessions will provide the 12+ hours of biking that I need.  Again, all training intensity will be low level aerobic.


  • Results – Complete 3 hours of running to include a 30 min brick run.
  • Purpose – Yes, Outlaw races again.  My target for the run will be to hit 5min/km.  The run is the integral part, therefore, it is important to me to be able to hit this in my aerobic zone.
  • MAP
    • Mon – 1 hour 10 min track run at aerobic pace.
    • Tue – 30 min brick run after wattbike.
    • Sat – 1 hour track run.
    • Sun – 20 min brick run after bike session.

Completing all the run sessions will give me 3 hours of run training.  All aerobic, with 2 brick sessions.

Strength and Conditioning

  • Results – Complete 1 hour of S+C training
  • Purpose – In order to achieve my training I need to work on my S+C.  All work comes from a strong core, therefore it is important to ensure that I include S+C into my training.
  • MAP
    • 2 x 30 min S+C sessions working on Olympic Lifting.

Completion of two 30 min S+C sessions will allow me to have 1 hour of S+C within my training.

All in, this will be 19 hours of training for the week.  A good solid week of training that will have to be managed well in order to achieve it.  I will try and post some of my training sessions as I go through the week.

Have a fit and healthy week

Rob 🙂





Reality Strikes……….


I went to bed last night and watched the live stream of Ironman World Champs.  I turned off as the Pro male athletes started out on the run ( It made me tired just watching!!!).  When I woke up this morning, I put the live stream back on.  They were still going over the finish line and still had over two hours to cut off.  This struck a reality chord with me – I have been to sleep and people had been racing for 5 hours before I slept and they were still racing when I woke up; that’s a long time to be working out!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve completed a Long Distance Triathlon before, but I don’t really think the enormity of the race ever actually hit me; even when completing it.  Today however, it seemed to hit – It could be a really long day.

There will undoubtedly be times when the reality of what we are aiming to achieve hits us and fear overcomes us.  But, remain strong and one day that fear will become confidence.


Do you have fears about racing?  How do you overcome them?

Have a fit and healthy day.

Rob 🙂

The Art of Being Bored………


One of my main challenges for next year is going to be to remain focused during my races.  I am planning on completing both a Middle Distance and Long Course Triathlon and know that the bike and the run is going to take a long time.  In comparison to the bike and run, the swim will be relatively boredom free.  Concentration for an hour is quite easy, especially with a fresh mind and body.  However, when it comes to the bike and run, boredom and more importantly, lack of concentration could come to the fore.  So, how do you overcome boredom?

In trianing, it would be relatively simple – on the run, wear an ipod (or other music device) to take your mind of things.  Run or cycle in a group.  Play some music, or watch a movie or programme whilst you are on your turbo.  But ask yourself this question:

“How often to you race with an ipod?” – “How many times do you watch a film/programme whilst you are on your bike?”  The answer is never.  So, if you don’t race like it, why train like it?

My running at the moment consists of running around (and around; and around; and around) a track.  This is for 2 reasons.  Firstly, the races that I am participating have very flat run courses, so I don’t have to worry too much about terrain.  Secondly and more importantly, it’s boring!  The monotony of running lap after lap can get to you.  But I use this as an important training tool.  I need to make sure that I remain focused at all times.  Focused on my run technique.  Focused on my Heart Rate – did I ever tell you that I am fanatical about Heart Rate training?  No?  Well, that’s for another post!  Focus on making sure that I am fully aware of how I feel at all times.  I have also noticed that the time I run actually seems to go quicker if I focus on what I am doing.  I don’t clock watch, but really focus on every 2 1/2 laps.  This for me makes the kms go quickly.

When it comes to the bike, too often have I been out on a ride and then suddenly ‘woken up’ with the thoughts “where did those (xx)kms go?”  Then the realisation that I had either been going too easy (more often than not) or too hard; failing to get the most from the ride.  Now, I really focus on my bike technique, concentrating on how my legs are turning over.  Making sure that my upper body is as still as possible – I am really keen to concentrate on not losing energy through poor bike technique.  But the bike can still get boring.  One trick that I have looked at in my new training plan is, as with the run, break the bike down into ‘managable’ chunks.  If my bike is 80+km, then I will break it down into 10km sections.  Psychologically, this suits me well as I am tricking myself into thinking that I only have 10kms to go – a more manageable time to focus on and releave the boredom of a long, lonely ride.

If I am on my Wattbike – NO TV; NO MUSIC.  Just focus on what I my body is doing, learning to be comfortable in my own ‘zone’.

Bottom line – Train how you will race and the race will not surprise you.  If you learn not to get bored during training, this will pay well during the race where concentration is key.

Do you get bored during your training?  If so, how to you overcome your boredom?

Have a fit and healthy day

Rob 🙂

Best Training Kit……….Ever


As we all start preparing for a new Winter training phase, I wonder what would be classed as the Best Training Kit……..ever?

Something to keep you warm when you are out on your run or bike?  Maybe your new set of mudguards to keep your backside from getting wet?  Your new trainers that you will be proudly showing off when you pound the streets relentlessly during the next few months? Or even a new gadget that will predict every possible output going (including those that you have no idea about!).

Mine?  Simple.  My training log.

Tracee would disagree with me and say that it’s my Heart Rate Monitor (I have OCD when it comes to HR training!), but I will stick with my training log.

I may be stuck behind the times, but I find nothing easier than writing down my training in a diary.  I don’t use any of the electronic training tools that are available today and for good reason.  I find that people (not all I hasten to add) are too interested in whether they are beating other people rather than ensuring that their training is effective.

So what do I articulate in my training log?

  • Session Aim
  • HR Avg/Max – Good to guage my fitness levels and improvements.  Also, helps me understand where my body is at health wise.
  • Speed Avg/Max – I don’t get too hung up on these as there are so many variables that can effect this.
  • Calories burned – Just as an understanding so that I can ensure correct calorie intake, especially during my bike ride.
  • Brief account of the overall session.  How it went.  How I felt.  If I need to concentrate on anything on the next session.

So, with all this wonderful technology that is available to us these days, I find that there is nothing better than a good old diary to help you progress with your training.  It won’t break, is always available to look at and is a fantastic motivational and accountability tool.

If you could categories your best training kit ever, what would it be?