Blog

Book review – Running up that hill, Vassos Alexander

I’m not a big reader. This may seem like an odd way to begin a book review but hear me out. I’m not good at sitting doing ‘nothing’, I either want to be productive and busy or asleep. The reality is that once I’ve been to work, done any training, spent time with the kids and completed normal life stuff there really isn’t much time left to sit and read. But I have been making an effort recently to take 15-20 minutes each evening before going to sleep to read. There’s been many studies done that show you sleep better when you haven’t been looking at a screen in the evening and let’s be honest aimlessly scrolling through Instagram isn’t really useful or productive is it? […]

The no plan training plan

Sometimes you need to push yourself to stick to a training plan and get through a tough period. Sometimes, however, you need to listen to your body and mind and back off. This is one of those times. I’ve never been a prolific racer but the whole idea of taking part in a race at the moment doesn’t motivate me at all. The discipline of training and then the hassle of race day just to get a medal doesn’t appeal nor does religiously following a training plan.

Maybe I’m a bit jaded from such an intense 6 months last year building up to my Ironman? Whatever it is I’m currently using the no plan training plan. I don’t have a colourful table on my fridge telling me what I’m doing each day, instead I’m just doing what I feel like (or don’t feel like for that matter). I’m still trying to train as a triathlete and do all 3 sports each week I’m just doing so without feeling I HAVE to get the sessions done. It’s really quite refreshing.

Enjoying the view rather than worrying about the pace

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barbury castle

Stop, re-calibrate and listen

Wednesday last week we all sat around the breakfast table feeling very sorry for ourselves. None of us wanted to be out of bed, none of us wanted to be heading out into the dark and cold to work/school/childcare. I had tonsillitis, my wife had a throat infection, our youngest had an ear infection and the older 2 children coughs and colds. I think we lead a healthy life, we get lots of exercise and fresh air, we generally eat well with lots of fresh fruit and veg but this winter has been pretty darn miserable.

In these busy modern lives that we lead it can be hard to stop and rest, I work in finance and being off at month end isn’t really an option. So I ploughed through it and then crashed for 2 days afterwards as my body screamed at me to rest. But rest and listen to our bodies we must, especially if we are endurance athletes who at some point this season want to try and push our bodies. There is no point pushing on with sessions when sick, better to recover properly and quickly.

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Training with YouTube

I don’t like gyms. In fact I might go so far as to say I hate them. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see photos of sunrises and muddy trails not selfies with a latte as I leave my morning yoga class. In fact I’m not even sure there is anywhere within a 10 mile radius of where I live that I could go to for some pre-work Pilates. But despite all that incorporating some strength training and stretching into your week is very important and a good way to help prevent injury.

Fitting it in isn’t easy, especially if you have to work around a class schedule at your local gym/leisure centre plus normal life commitments. My training budget is limited so I have to make the best use of it that I can which is where YouTube comes in. A quick search for yoga or strength workouts will give you an almost unlimited choice of videos to follow on demand from the comfort of your own home. Personally I think this is a great way to get your strength training done during the week and takes away one more excuse for not doing it.

With that in mind I thought I’d share a few of my favourites that I use all the time, you can also find a strength and conditioning playlist on my YouTube channel here.

Yoga for runners – Ekhart yoga

This is my go to video whenever I feel I need to stretch. At 20 minutes long it’s short and to the point and easy to do once I’ve go the kids to bed in the evening. Plus of course being able to enjoy a Savasana at the end!

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