Train your breathing for better race results

Last week I gave you some insights into why how you breathe really does matter if you want to take your endurance performance to the next level.
If you missed it, you can read it here

This week I am going to give you some practical tips and exercises to help you develop and maintain that regular breathing pattern.

1)Rhythmic Breathing:
Practice inhaling for a specific count (e.g., 3 or 4) and exhaling for the same count, syncing the breath with your movement patterns.

2)Nasal Breathing:
Breathe through your nose as much as possible during low-intensity activities to promote diaphragmatic breathing.

3)Breath Counting:
Simply count your breaths (e.g., 1-2-3-4 inhale, 1-2-3-4 exhale) to reinforce a consistent rhythm.

3)Use a Metronome or Music
Set a metronome or select music with a consistent beat per minute (BPM) that matches the desired breathing rate. Try to synchronise your inhalations and exhalations with the metronome or music beats.

4)Breathing Ladders
Start with a short breathing pattern (e.g., 2 steps per inhalation, 2 steps per exhalation) and gradually increase the length (e.g., 3 steps per inhalation, 3 steps per exhalation).
Alternate between shorter and longer patterns to challenge breathing control.

5)Straw Breathing:
Breathe through a small straw during low-intensity activities to promote controlled, diaphragmatic breathing.
This can help you become more aware of your breathing patterns and maintain a consistent rhythm.

6)Visualisation and Cue Words:
Visualize and mentally rehearse your desired breathing patterns before and during activities.
Use cue words or phrases (e.g., “inhale, exhale,” “rhythm,” “control”) to reinforce consistent breathing.

8) Focused Breathing During Warmups and Cooldowns:
Dedicate specific segments of your warmup and cooldown routines to focus solely on controlled breathing exercises.
This can help you establish a consistent breathing pattern before and after intense efforts.

The key thing when practising any of these methods is to start with shorter durations and gradually increase the time and intensity as you become more comfortable with maintaining a regular breathing pattern.

Consistency and regular practice are key to developing this important skill.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Does how you breathe really matter?

    In short, Yes!

    Now for the longer answer:
    The more efficient your breathing the better you will perform. In endurance aerobic capacity is such a key element of your fitness. Oxygen is your primary energy source and your heart rate spikes when your brain doesn’t know when the next hit of oxygen is incoming.

    Therefore, the more regular the breathing pattern, the lower and more stable the heart rate.

    To break it down further here are the key reasons building and sustaining a regular breathing pattern will elevate your athletic performance.

    1) Oxygen Efficiency: It can help improve the efficiency of oxygen uptake and utilisation during exercise. This in turn can enhance endurance and delay the onset of fatigue.

    2) Respiratory Muscle Training: It helps train the respiratory muscles, such as the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, to work more efficiently. Stronger respiratory muscles can improve breathing economy.

    3) Stress Reduction: It has been shown to have a calming effect on the body and mind. You can better manage stress and anxiety, which can negatively impact performance.

    4) Pacing and Rhythm: It can help establish a steady pace and rhythm during activities where maintaining a consistent effort level is crucial.

    5) Recovery: Proper techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing or nasal breathing, can aid in recovery. They can help facilitate the removal of metabolic waste products and promote faster recovery.

    6) Mental Focus: Focusing on breath work can help you stay present and focused during your sessions. It can also improve concentration and mental toughness, which are essential for optimal performance.

    7) Technique Reinforcement: In some endurance sports, like swimming or rowing, a regular breathing pattern is closely tied to proper technique. Emphasising good breath work can reinforce good technical habits and improve overall efficiency.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture

    A thought-provoking question recently popped up in my Instagram inbox, courtesy of one of my athletes: “Is athletic success determined by genetics or mental toughness?” It sparked a lively debate, prompting me to delve into this topic for this week’s blog.

    Firstly, it’s crucial to acknowledge that opinions on this matter vary widely. If you have thoughts to share, head over to my social media post and join the conversation.

    In my view, success in athletics is influenced by a combination of genetics and mindset. Undoubtedly, genetics endow certain individuals with predispositions for particular sports due to factors like muscle fiber distribution and oxygen efficiency. However, it’s essential to emphasize that genetics are individualistic, and attributing success to race is unfounded.

    Nevertheless, genetics merely provide a foundation; it’s the interplay of nature and nurture that molds elite athletes. Rigorous training and opportunities are indispensable for realizing one’s athletic potential. Different sports demand diverse innate abilities, but achieving true greatness requires more than sheer effort.

    While hard work is vital, I’m inclined to believe that innate physical aptitude often outweighs it. Occasionally, exceptional individuals defy this notion, almost transcending humanity with their prowess. Yet, for most, achieving extraordinary feats hinges on mental fortitude.

    The stories of David Goggins, James Lawrence, Sean Conway, and Ross Edgley exemplify the power of the mind in overcoming physical barriers. For recreational athletes, irrespective of their level, nurturing mental resilience is as crucial as physical training. That’s why at Different Breed, we emphasize both the five Training Pillars and five Mindset Pillars, laying the groundwork for success.

    I’ve witnessed remarkable transformations in athletes when their mindset shifts. Enhanced self-belief, focus, and determination invariably elevate performance levels. To unlock your true potential, set audacious goals that intimidate you, and pursue them relentlessly.

    Yet, few are willing to embark on this journey. What sets exceptional individuals apart is their unwavering commitment to improvement and their aversion to mediocrity. As one of my athletes aptly puts it,

    “Training talks. Bullshit walks
    (with a whole of excuses).”

    Are you ready to step up your game? If you’re driven to push your limits and aspire for greatness, join our community. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or aspiring podium finisher, together, we’ll redefine your boundaries.

    Sign up for our athletic endurance performance coaching today or leave a comment below to be part of the discussion. Let’s embark on this journey to excellence together.

    Liza xXx

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs

    Embrace the lows, they’re the launchpad to your highs.

    The 5th Training Principle of Different Breed focuses on recovery and understanding that the highs and the successes are only possible due to the dips and the down time.
    This can be one of the hardest things for some athletes to put into practice

    Everyone I work with is more than happy to do all the training sessions but often I get a lot of push back or reluctance regarding rest days, active recovery days, deload weeks and taper phases.

    One of the main reasons given is guilt. Guilt for taking time off when they could be doing something, which feels lazy. I totally understand this notion but it is not a healthy attitude or a smart logic.

    These aspects of training are just as important as the work. Without them the effort you are putting into to your training could end up wasted.

    So, let’s break it down a little, one by one…

    Rest days during a training block are crucial to allow your body to adapt to the stress of hard training. On rest days, avoid strenuous activity and let your body and mind recharge. Minimum one rest day a week which involves nothing more than walking and mobility work is the standard rule.
    Proper rest days enable you to come back stronger for your next hard workout. Without adequate rest, you’ll experience fatigue, loss of motivation, and increased injury risk. Plus you could experience a progress plateau, or even a regression as your body fails to recover and absorb the level of training stress you are enduring.

    Active recovery days involve light exercise that increases blood flow to enhance recovery without producing additional fatigue. This could be an easy jog, swim, spin or even involve some light bodyweight strength work as long as it done at low intensity. The increased blood flow will transport nutrients to fatigued muscles while removing metabolic waste products. Staying moving on recovery days will help you feel fresher when returning to hard training while still allowing adaptation to occur. If only having one rest day every 7 then including one active recovery day could make a massive difference.

    Deload weeks should occur every 3-4 weeks of hard training. The purpose is to back off and allow more complete physiological, mental, and emotional recovery – not just within a week but accumulated over weeks of training. Reduce your training volume by around 50% during the deload week. You can maintain some intensity but this should not be high for every session. You’ll return rejuvenated and ready to stress your body with hard training again during the next mesocycle. Deloads prevent overtraining, burnout, and loss of enjoyment.

    Tapering prepares you to perform at your peak on race day. Gradually reduce your training volume by 30-50% over 1-3 weeks leading up to your key event. Frequency and intensity stay higher to maintain fitness. The reduced load allows time for any accumulated fatigue to dissipate. You’ll feel refreshed, motivated and ready to give your best effort. An effective taper requires patience and avoidance of the temptation to overtrain during this crucial phase.

    Hopefully this helps you understand a bit more about the how and why of effective endurance training and how recovery plays such a critical role. You should now fee l totally confident to put these key phases in to your plans without a hint of guilt, knowing you are doing exactly what you need to do to help move the needle on your fitness, outside of the hard graft of training.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly

    The 4th Training Principle of Different Breed focuses on being consistent with your training, but also being adaptable and not letting life’s curveballs completely derail your progress.
    We all know that sometimes ‘life gets in the way” but having a solid plan in place and building commitment and discipline is the true way forward to race day success.

    Let’s talk first about why consistency is so important.

    Consistency in endurance training is key to seeing continued improvements and being prepared on race day. By training regularly – following a plan and sticking to a steady weekly mileage or hours training – your body adapts to the stress of exercise. Consistency allows physiological changes like increased aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, and lactate threshold. It also prevents overtraining injuries.

    Athletes who train sporadically, or too much, often find themselves injured, exhausted, or hitting a performance plateau.

    Showing up regularly and putting in the miles, intervals, strength & conditioning, core and cross training outlined by your training plan is equally important in those last key weeks leading up to race day. Consistency sets you up to taper and fully absorb all the hard work you’ve put in.

    By settling into a regular routine and habits, you don’t need to think about motivation or readiness. You’ve trained your body and mind to deliver a peak performance. A consistent training block pays off on race day.

    However, sticking to the plan can sometimes be extremely taxing when you have a full and busy life that demands you pull focus from your training plan.

    But, it doesn’t mean you just give up. If what your are working towards is truly important you will find a way through the tough times.

    If you are lucky enough to be working with a coach, the first thing is to talk to them. They will help you figure out what you can do, to keep you progressing.

    If you are flying solo, you have to figure it out on your own.

    In both scenarios, here are the two key pieces of advice:

    1) Be honest with yourself about how much time and energy you actually have available.
    There is no point putting a plan in place that you know deep down is just too much for you. Progress can still be made, even if you have to accept that your gains are going to come a little bit slower. The takeaway is that you will still making progress… which is the goals right!

    2) Focus on what you CAN do. Not what you can’t.
    OK, so life is going to look a bit different for a little while, and it doesn’t look how you want it to. So what? Change the picture, you are where you are and you can either adapt, or you can fail… and remember, at Different Breed you only truly fail when you give up completely.
    When you are dealing with life’s curveballs remember:
    Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly:
    Every small step fortifies your foundation. When hurdles appear, leap higher.

    Staying flexible and adjusting your expectations are key to dealing with life’s curveballs that negatively impact your training. Rather than getting fixated on a specific race goal or mileage target for the week that is now unattainable, shift your mindset to maintenance and damage control.

    Accept that you may need to take a few days off, cut back intensity or distance temporarily, or modify your workouts. The priority becomes holding onto the baseline fitness you built up without trying to forcibly progress.

    Use crosstraining and active recovery to keep moving when you can. Mentally prepare for the fitness setback but know it is temporary. Stay focused on getting through this short detour without losing too much ground by supporting overall health first. Trust that when life stabilizes again, you can gradually ramp back up.

    The successful athlete understands that they need to be flexible and that unexpected interruptions as part of the training process.

    Hopefully this helps you understand a bit more about the how and why of effective endurance training plans.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact

    Now, don’t get it twisted when reading that headline… I am not saying minimum effort as in you can sand bag your training sessions.

    What I am talking about it the Minimal Dose Response, the third training principle of Different Breed.

    Endurance training aims to improve the body’s ability to sustain prolonged physical activity. As you do more endurance exercise, your fitness and endurance capacity improves. However, there is a minimal amount of training that produces most of these adaptations.

    If you train beyond this minimal dose, additional benefits become smaller and more gradual. The body can only adapt so quickly – extra training stimulates diminishing returns. So more endurance exercise is not always better once the minimum stimulus threshold is surpassed.

    In fact, training well beyond the minimal dose without proper recovery can lead to overtraining, fatigue and burnout. This impairs performance and endurance capacity. So for efficient and sustained fitness gains, the minimal effective training dose with good recovery time optimized long-term development.

    Simply put, more endurance exercise is not always more beneficial if the minimum dose is already achieved.

    The second reason this principle is so important is because it minimises the injury risk.

    When you regularly train well beyond the minimum recommended endurance training volumes and intensities, it dramatically increases repetitive impact and strain on the body. For example, ramping up running mileage too aggressively places a lot of stress on joints and tissues.

    This accumulative overload over weeks and months gradually fatigues structures like tendons, cartilage, and bones beyond their capabilities.

    It makes them more vulnerable to microtears and inflammatory conditions – this manifests as painful overuse injuries like stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral pain.

    By sticking closer to the minimum effective endurance training you ensure adequate rest and recovery between sessions. The body has more time to adapt and get stronger to withstand subsequent sessions. Tendons, bones and muscles are strengthened overtime before being exposed to heavier loads.

    So in every way, less training can equate to more in the long run.

    Hopefully this helps you understand a bit more about the how and why of effective endurance training plans.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance

    Your ability to sustain is your ticket to success and is the substance behind my second principle of training. You must adapt, endure and then you can conquer.

    Specificity develops the physiological capacities, technical skills and fortitude in the exact muscles, energy systems and movements needed to excel in your chosen endurance activity. It puts focus into every training session for everyday athletes.

    The SAID principle is commonly used by coaches in all sports and it stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

    It is a key training principle for endurance that states your body will adapt specifically to the type of training you do and the amount of training stress you endure.

    Some of the key points regarding the SAID principle:
    It targets the specific energy systems and muscles needed for your sport/activity. Endurance activities like running, cycling, swimming etc. rely heavily on aerobic energy systems and slow twitch muscle fibers. Training plans tailored to these systems and muscles will optimize endurance capabilities.

    It matches the specific movements and mechanics. The motions and techniques of running are different from swimming or cycling. Sport-specific drills and training adapts the body to handle those unique demands efficiently.

    It allows for proper recovery and adaptation. Endurance training causes microscopic tears and fatigue in muscles and energy systems. Sport-specific training doses the right amount of stress so you can recover and bounce back stronger in time for your next training session or event.

    It prepares you for the specific rigors and conditions. Training should mimic the motions, duration, terrain and conditions of your goal event as closely as possible. This sport-specific overload principle boosts specific fitness and skills.

    The SAID principle highlights the need for specificity in training and endurance athletes need to focus their training on taxing the aerobic system.

    However, if you just repeat the same session over and over again your body will soon adapt to that training stress and your progress will plateau as there is no demand there any more. Similarly just doing generic exercise won’t necessarily improve endurance, not to any great degree anyway. It certainly won’t yield the results you are truly capable of.

    This means you have to do a variety of different training sessions that specifically target different outcomes if you want to be able to race faster for longer.

    Here is a 4-session running plan that provides different stimuli for endurance athletes:
    Long Slow Distance (LSD) Run: A long run at an easy, conversational pace. This builds aerobic endurance and teaches the body to burn fat as fuel. Aim for 60-90 mins.
    Tempo Run: Run at lactate threshold pace, which is slightly faster than marathon pace. This improves speed and efficiency at higher intensities. Aim for 20-40 mins.
    Interval Training: Short, fast intervals (e.g. 800m-1200m) with rest periods in between. This builds speed and anaerobic capacity. Aim for 6-10 x 800m with 2 min rest.
    Hill Repeats: Short, fast hill repeats targeting max effort. Builds leg strength and power. Aim for 6-10 x 30 sec uphill sprints with jog back recovery.

    The long run provides an endurance base, while the faster sessions develop speed and efficiency. The intervals add anaerobic and leg power.

    Combining these different stimuli allows runners to become stronger and faster overall.

    Rest and recovery around the hard sessions is also key.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance

    This week we are going to delve a little bit deeper into the first training principle of Different Breed:

    Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance.

    To excel in your chosen endurance sport you obviously need to practise the disciplines of your sport and build an extraordinary level of fitness in all required i.e running, cycling, swimming

    However, the key to racing your true best performance lies in developing a robust strength foundation.

    Full-body compound movements such as the squat, deadlift and bench press will provide the muscular endurance to maintain proper form through the later miles when fatigue sets in. During the early off season while you are in the General Prep Phase you should focus on maximal strength, so lifting heavy, to bulletproof your body meaning you will be less prone to injury and able to sustain high levels of training stress.

    Accessory exercises improve balance, engage stabiliser muscles, increase your range of motion and help prevent overuse injuries. Unilateral exercises (single leg or arm) allows athletes to identify and improve any muscular imbalances.

    Core exercises train the abs, obliques, lower back and hips through their full range of motion. Developing endurance in these muscles leads to better form, injury prevention and stronger overall core stabilization. This allows endurance athletes to maintain power and efficiency even after many miles on the course when fatigue sets in. A strong core is a must for excelling over any long distance event.

    Very smart and specific sprint intervals performed at the end of a strength session boost stamina and fatigue resistance.

    Committing to an S&C program encompassing all these elements will give you a huge payout on race day.

    Right now is the perfect time in the season to implement a smart S&C program so get on it, if you haven’t already.

    Remember, if there is a particular subject you want covered, drop me a message and let me know. I want this conversation to be as useful to you as possible.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology

    I had a great response to my New Year’s message email earlier this week and some of you shared some really inspiring “word for 2024”

    Better. Balance. Focus. Energy. Achieve. These are just a few.
    Hold on to your word and use it to shape and guide your year.

    As promised, the DB Conversation email will be back to dropping weekly, every Thursday, full of information that will help you become the best version of you, as both an athlete and a person, as possible.

    To start the new year right I thought the first thing I would share is the 5 underlying principles of the Different Breed training methodology that I apply to all my athletes programming to ensure they have the best chance of hitting their goals.

    1) Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance:
    There’s no such thing as too strong for an endurance warrior.

    2) Minimum Effort, Maximum Impact:
    Train smarter, not harder. Extract the most from the least.

    3) Specificity is King:
    Adapt, endure, conquer. Your ability to sustain is your ticket to success.

    4) Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly:
    Every small step fortifies your foundation. When hurdles appear, leap higher.

    5) Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs:
    Embrace the lows, they’re the launchpad to your highs.
    I’ll expand on each one separately in future communications but this gives you all an understanding of the basics I use without exception to build ultimate endurance warriors.

    Remember, if there is a particular subject you want covered, drop me a message and let me know. I want this conversation to be as useful to you as possible.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…

    I was recently interviewed for a magazine and one of the questions I was asked was:

    Q: What are the biggest mistakes people make with their overall endurance training?

    As this is clearly such an important topic I thought I would share my answers with you here 🙂

    A: People make so many mistakes when left to their own devices but here are the main three that are the most common, and the most serious.

    1) Ignoring S&C!
    I speak to so many triathletes who just run, bike and swim and think that time doing S&C work is time wasted. Or, they do it but they don’t take it seriously. They do it to just tick the box.

    Smart S&C can be the thing that truly elevates someone’s endurance performance as there are so many benefits: Better running economy, better posture, better form, improved speed and power, better muscle fibre recruitment, faster reflexes… to name just a few 🙂

    You will never be the best endurance athlete you can be if you are not doing really good S&C… and the ‘C’ is important. A lot of people focus on the Strength and not the Conditioning.

    Plus S&C is the biggest prehab tool for injury prevention. It’s how you become a bulletproof racer.

    2) Repetitive training.
    I see people share their run/cycle/tri training plans and they include the same sort of session week in, week out. The same sort of runs, the same rides etc.
    The SAID principle is so important in both Endurance and S&C.
    Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.
    You need to force your body to adapt to different stimulus to ensure progression. If you only ever run at a similar pace, lift a certain weight or bike for a certain time or distance you are blunting your progress because there is nothing for your body to adapt to.

    3) Thinking more is more, and wanting to do way too much.
    I know so many athletes that think deload weeks are wasted weeks and that tapering means just not doing anything for a couple of days before the race. It can be a real struggle to help someone truly understand, appreciate and most importantly execute a strategic and meaningful deload or taper period.

    Too many endurance athletes either break themselves, burn out or hold themselves back simply by doing too much.

    Personally I am a fan of the minimal dose response – using the minimum amount of good, targeted, specific work, to gain the maximum amount of benefit. I have honed this technique over my years of coaching and my athletes really benefit. One of the common pieces of feedback I get is ‘I cant believe how much I’ve improved. I thought I would have to do way more to achieve these results.’

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success

    The SAID principle stands for Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

    It is a key training principle for endurance that states your body will adapt specifically to the type of training you do.

    Some key points about the SAID principle:
    Your body adapts to the specific demands and stresses placed on it during training. The adaptation is very specific to the type of training.
    To improve endurance, you need to do endurance training that stresses the aerobic energy system. To improve strength, you need to stress the muscles with resistance/strength training.
    The training needs to be progressive, gradually increasing volume, intensity and frequency over time to see continued adaptation and improvement.
    There needs to be enough recovery between training sessions for the adaptation to take place.
    Variety and periodization of training is important to promote continued adaptation. Always doing the same training will lead to a plateau.

    The SAID principle highlights the need for specificity in training.

    Endurance athletes need to focus their training on taxing the aerobic system.

    This means doing a variety of different training sessions that specifically target different outcomes.

    Just doing generic exercise won’t necessarily improve endurance. It certainly won’t yield the results you are truly capable of.

    The training stimulus needs to match the specific demands of the sport/event.

    That’s why the SAID principle is so foundational – it underpins the need to tailor training properly for the athletic goals and events being targeted.

    Here is a 4-session running plan that provides different stimuli for endurance athletes:

    Long Slow Distance (LSD) Run: A long run at an easy, conversational pace. This builds aerobic endurance and teaches the body to burn fat as fuel. Aim for 60-90 mins.

    Tempo Run: Run at lactate threshold pace, which is slightly faster than marathon pace. This improves speed and efficiency at higher intensities. Aim for 20-40 mins.

    Interval Training: Short, fast intervals (e.g. 800m-1200m) with rest periods in between. This builds speed and anaerobic capacity. Aim for 6-10 x 800m with 2 min rest.

    Hill Repeats: Short, fast hill repeats targeting max effort. Builds leg strength and power. Aim for 6-10 x 30 sec uphill sprints with jog back recovery.

    The long run provides an endurance base, while the faster sessions develop speed and efficiency. The intervals add anaerobic and leg power.

    Combining these different stimuli allows runners to become stronger and faster overall.

    Rest and recovery around the hard sessions is also key.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress

    We’ve been discussing how Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training (LT over Max HR) and in the last post I explained how to test your Lactate Threshold (Test your LT)

    Once you have done the two step test and properly determined your Lactate Threshold you will be able to set your training zones as follows:

    • Zone 1 – Recovery: Below 80% lactate threshold
    • Zone 2 – Aerobic: 80-90% lactate threshold
    • Zone 3 – Tempo: 90-99% lactate threshold
    • Zone 4 – Lactate Threshold – 100%-104%
    • Zone 5 – VO2 max: 105% – Above lactate threshold

    Equip your watch (and connect your heart rate straps) to record data for zone training. 

    Re-testing lactate threshold every 2-3 months (depending on the fitness age of the athlete) is required as zones will need adjusting as fitness improves, meaning your field tested data stays accurate and allows for fully robust training sessions. 

    As you improve your aerobic fitness, you would expect your average heart rate during a 30 minute lactate threshold time trial to decrease. 

    This is because the heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood and oxygenating the muscles as cardiovascular fitness increases.

    There are a few key reasons why heart rate at lactate threshold pace decreases with training:

    • Increased stroke volume – The amount of blood pumped per beat increases, so the heart can deliver more oxygen at a lower heart rate.
    • Improved diastolic filling – More blood fills the heart between beats, boosting stroke volume.
    • Increased capillary density – More blood vessels in the muscles allow better oxygen extraction.
    • Greater mitochondrial density – More cellular mitochondria let muscles utilize oxygen more efficiently.
    • Enhanced fat burning – Greater reliance on fat metabolism and less on limited glycogen stores.

    The cumulative effect is that the cardiovascular system can sustain a given pace with less effort and lower heart rate.

    So if you see your lactate threshold heart rate dropping over time, it’s a good sign you are building robust cardiovascular fitness.

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership

    Previously I gave a little bit of insight into my Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy and my 5 golden rules.

    I’m diving a little bit deeper in to each one in separate posts. So far I’ve discussed Rule #1 Control the Controllable, #2 Find the Positive, #3 Focus on You and #4 100% Effort.

    Time for the last piece of the Mindset puzzle…

    #5 – Extreme Ownership

    Hands up, this one isn’t mine. I stole it from Jocko Willink, ex Navy Seal.

    If you haven’t heard of him or heard of his theory of Extreme Ownership before do yourself a favour and look it up. He has many YouTube clips, there is a short 13 minute TedxTalk and he has actually published a book called Extreme Ownership and it is 100% worth a read, or a listen.

    In a nutshell Extreme Ownership means having a unwavering “the buck stops here” attitude.

    It means owning your failures and your mistakes. It means never looking for someone else to blame, even if other people did contribute to the situation.

    Why? Because when we own our problems we find solutions. When we take ownership we get shit done.

    Ultimately you are responsible for your life. If you want to be a success, take full responsibility.

    Stop blaming the fact you are tired, you are busy blah blah blah.
    Most people are tired, most people are busy. You aren’t so different, your circumstances arent all that special.
    You are just getting in your own way.

    If it is something worth chasing, find a way to make it happen. It might look a little different to how you thought it would but if it works, it’s working.

    If you want to truly be the best version of you, it’s time to take

    #ExtremeOwnership

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort

    Previously I gave a little bit of insight into my Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy and my 5 golden rules.

    I’m diving a little bit deeper in to each one in separate posts. So far I’ve discussed Rule #1 Control the Controllable, #2 Find the Positive and #3 Focus on You.

    Time for…

    #4 – 100% Effort

    This should be the easiest of all the rules to absorb and commit to quickly.

    If you can’t you are, for whatever reason, just not fully ready for the journey yet.

    It doesn’t require any deep mindset practice or any great amount of thought… and really, is pretty self explanatory!

    It simply requires you to show up and do what it required, giving your true best effort every time, all the time.

    It means never dialling it in. It means not cutting a warm up, a RAMP, an interval, a set/rep or a piece of mobility as they all have value and meaning and are there to make you better.

    It means not looking for the shortcut or quick fix as you know such things don’t exist. True champions know this all too well.

    100% effort means just that. 100% effort. In EVERY aspect of your life that requires it in order for you to achieve your goals. In sport and in life.  

    Everyone has a different level of ability which means that your 100% and mine may look a little, or a lot different. That does make one less valuable than the other  – and if you have truly taken on board rule 3, Focus on You, you won’t be aware or concerned about what anyone else is doing anyway!

    It comes back to ‘better athlete = better person’. 100% effort means having integrity and doing the work, regardless of who is watching as you know that it has to be done.

    If you want to be the best you, you will do the work. All of the work.

    It’s that simple.

    #100%Effort

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You

    Previously I gave a little bit of insight into my Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy and my 5 golden rules.

    I’m diving a little bit deeper in to each one in separate posts. so far we have covered Rule #1 Control the Controllable and Rule #2 Find the Positive.

    Time for…

    #3 – Focus on YOU

    This can be the hardest one for some athletes to get.

    It sound simple but in a world of social media and Strava (Social media for sport) there are a thousand and one distractions.

    It is one of the reasons I advise all my athletes to leave the facebooks groups etc at least two weeks before their events. Those places become a drain and if you have trained right, they are not needed. They mostly just become a source of anxiety and annoyance – not great for building the right headspace to head into an event with.

    Thanks to the ability now to constantly see what everyone else is up to, you can be fooled in to thinking that your goal is to go faster than other people.

    It isn’t. Your only goal is to go as fast as YOU can go.

    You are put in a start pen, or on a starting line, against other athletes but your job is not to race them. It is to be the best that you can be.

    I get so much push back from athletes when I tell them I want them to come off Strava. “I like seeing what others are doing” “I’m only looking at ‘X’” are common replies.

    If you are focusing on other people, you are not 100% focussed on yourself. And that means wasted time and wasted energy.

    My most successful athletes are the athletes that really buy into this way of thinking.

    Their only focus is on their pacing, their Heart Rate zones, their FTP, their preparation etc. They don’t engage with other people about what they are doing in their training as it is of no concern to them.

    This doesn’t mean they don’t support others. It is not about being selfish or shut off. It doesn’t mean they don’t want the best for their fellow athletes. They do. They just don’t need to see the numbers or hear about the details.

    As their coach, I need to know the numbers. I am data driven when planning their training. I need to know what results we are aiming for. But thats another part of what a great coach will do for you. They will unburden you of all the noise and distraction and build you the stage on which you can rise to your true, full potential. You just have to want to perform.

    If you are still looking all around you at what others are doing, you are just not there yet. You are not really ready.

    If your focus is anywhere but on your own capacity and capability you will never reach your true best.

    So cut the noise and cut the distractions.

    If you want to become Great stop competing with others and start only competing with yourself.

    #FocusOnYou

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Post Workout Nutrition

    Why Eat after a workout

    Focusing on recovery is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of proper sports nutrition.

    An effective nutrition recovery plan supplies the body with the right nutrients at the right time.

    Recovery is the body’s process of adapting to the previous workload and strengthening itself for the next physical challenge.

    The key nutritional components of recovery are:
    Carbohydrates to replenish depleted fuel stores.
    Protein to help repair damaged muscle and develop new muscle tissue.
    Fluids and electrolytes to rehydrate.

    A full, rapid nutritional recovery plan supplies more energy and hydration for the next workout or event, which improves performance and reduces the chance of injury, meaning we become fitter and improve our endurance.

    Rapid recovery is especially crucial during periods of heavy overload training and anytime two or more training sessions happen within 12 hours 

    When to start replenishing carbs

    Training will generally deplete muscle glycogen.

    The first 30 minutes or so after exercise provide the best opportunity for nutritional recovery due to factors such as increased blood flow and insulin sensitivity, which boosts cellular glucose uptake and glycogen restoration. 

    To maximise muscle glycogen replacement, you should consume a carbohydrate-rich snack within this 30-minute window. Ideally this should include foods providing 1.0-1.5 g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight. Since it can be difficult to eat whole foods so quickly after exercise liquid and bar supplements may be useful and convenient choice. 

    For endurance athletes especially, if you are going to do another intense session within 24 hours you should ideally repeat this carbohydrate load for 2-hour intervals for up to 6 hours, 

    Consuming smaller amounts of carbohydrates more frequently may be the way to go if the previous recommendation leaves you feeling too full.

    Now on to Protein

    Recovery nutrition is essential for muscle tissue repair and muscle growth. Whether you’re focusing on endurance or strength training – or both, taking on protein after your session provides the amino acid building blocks needed to repair muscle fibres that get damaged and promote the development of new muscle tissue. 

    As a rough guide, as protein requirements vary from person to person, consuming 15-25 g of protein within 1 hour after exercise can increase the muscle rebuilding and repair process and help you achieve those all important strength gains. It will also help those trying shift, or maintain, their body composition from fat to lean muscle and can be worked into a calorie restricted diet. 

    Effective Rehydration

    Pretty much all weight lost during exercise is fluid, so weighing yourself (without clothes) before and after exercise can help gauge net fluid losses. Knowing this is something recommended for endurance athletes especially. 

    Be sure to replace fluids gradually and not by gulping down an entire litre of water as soon as you are done. The recommendation is, over the course of 4 to 6 hours drink 1/2 a litre of your chosen recovery fluid or water for every pound of weight lost. 

    It is essential, for performance levels, to properly rehydrate before your next exercise session. If your sessions are an hour or less as low to moderate intensity than water should suffice. However, if you are in hot or humid conditions, or undertaking long or high intensity sessions you will likely find rehydration more effective if sodium is included with the fluid and food consumed. 

    GET IT RIGHT

    As with effective pre workout nutrition, post workout nutrition will need personal experimentation regarding the best fluids and foods to deliver the necessary nutrients. 

    Everything here is a guideline, a recommendation and a starting off point. There are no exact hard and fat rules that suit every individual.

    Pay attention to how you feel during your sessions. Notice when you feel like you have no energy to being with or when you book really quickly on your runs and/or rides.

    Play around with timings and quantities until you hit upon what really works for you and your body. 

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive

    Previously I gave a little bit of insight into my Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy and my 5 golden rules.

    I’m diving a little bit deeper in to each one in separate posts. Last week was Rule #1 Control the Controllable

    This week it’s Rule #2

    Number 2) Find the Positive

    Like the first Golden Rule, this one takes a lot of practice and commitment. You can’t just wake up one day and change your mindset. It takes work.

    Finding the Positive, like Control the Controllable, means embracing the Stoic way of thinking and controlling your reaction to situations.

    As an Endurance Athlete finding the positive is crucial to success.

    You are going to have bad races. You are very likely going to experience a DNF. You are very likely going to get injured at some point.

    Endurance events are tough. You are going to spend a lot of time feeling beaten up and wondering “why the hell am I doing this”  

    How you handle being placed in tough situations, as well as dealing with the lows,  are what is going to make you as an athlete.

    Race DNF – sure it sucks, but what went well.

    Why did you DNF? What can you learn?
    I had a mechanical failure very early on the bike leg at an Ironman, which was my first DNF ever. It was devastating BUT I had a great swim. I took that away with me. Attempt 1 done… live it, learn it… head back for Attempt 2. Yay, I get swim in the gorgeous lake again.

    Injured – yep, its annoying for sure but injuries are opportunities.

    Can you train around it?

    Yes, then let’s go and it might be the chance to work on a new strength or skill!

    No, ok great. Then you now have a bunch of time to devote to developing a different skill that will help you become a better athlete, and a better person.  

    Jocko Wilink, ex Navy Seal, calls his take on this theory ‘“Good”.

    Whatever happens, the response is “Good”

    Didn’t get the promotion you wanted.

    Good. It gives you more time to sharpen your skillset and become better in your current role.

    Can’t afford that fancy piece of equipment you wanted.

    Good. It gives you more time to become a savage using the basic things you have available.

    As I said, this one isn’t easy but it is worth it.

    People love to complain. People love to make excuses… but those people are the  ones content with being average at best.

    If you want to rise up, you will find the positive and say “Good”

    #FindThePositive

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable

    In a previous blog I gave a little bit of insight into my Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy and my 5 golden rules.

    I’m going to dive a little bit deeper in to each one, starting here with Rule Number 1

    Number 1) Control the Controllable

    Only certain things are within our control. If it isn’t something you have any say over, forget it. Only expend energy on the things that you can directly influence.

    My personal belief system and ethics are shaped by philosophies and teachings of Buddhism and Stoicism.

    At the heart of Stoicism is the understanding that the only thing we can truly control is our reaction to the things that happen. If we can learn to control our reactions and remain steady there is no situation that can either completely undo us or over inflate us.

    It doesn’t mean not feeling joy or celebrating the wins. It also doesn’t mean never feeling sad, angry or let down.

    What it does mean is learning to control those emotions so that they don’t overtake your life and screw you up.

    Learning this lesson as an athlete can help set you free and elevate your performance.

    Weather looks bad on race day – nothing you can do about it and it’s the same for everyone. What can you control? Having the right kit. Practising in all conditions throughout your training so you know how it feels.

    Can you actually turn this into an advantage? Going to a hit race? So many people underperform in heat – can you heat train? I did some of my turbo sessions in front of my fire in my living room, in a hat and long sleeves to prepare for the weather in Spain)

    Forgot a piece of kit, maybe a piece of clothing or nutrition – What can you do about it? Is ranting, swearing, getting stressed out helpful? Absolutely not. So what can you do? Do you have time to source something? Can others around you possibly help? If not, whats the best case scenario.


    At an Ironman event this year someone got to the swim having left their wetsuit back at their hotel. They spoke to the IM announcers. The announcers asked over the PA system if anyone had a spare wetsuit and within 5 minutes that athlete had their pick of 4 wetsuits!

    These are just two examples.

    Anyone that knows my story from IronMan Vitoria Gastiez in 2022 knows that I came up against obstacle after obstacle in a race that ended in a mechanical DNF 20km into the bike.
    Without all of the work I have done on my mindset over the last 5 years that situation probably would have broken me, especially as that race was 4 years in the making.


    Yes I got upset. Yes I was bitterly disappointed. But I was also making a plan for my come back before the first athletes had even crossed the finish line that same day.

    Another big lesson – Its only failure if you give up completely. Otherwise, it’s just an attempt.

    For me, that race was merely attempt 1. I hadn’t failed yet. Attempt 2 was July this year, one year later, and I finished that damned race!

    Whatever situation you face…

    #ControlTheControllable

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy

    My personal ethics and belief system are a mixture of Buddhism and Stoicism and this heavily influences who I am, both as an athlete and a coach.

    As an athlete, I hold myself accountable to same 5 rules that I apply to my coaching, and I try and instil these into my athletes.

    As an Endurance Expert these 5 rules have been shaped over many years of racing and they are the foundation I believe every great success can be built upon.

    *I’ll go into each one in more detail as the subject of their own conversation.

    1) Control the Controllable

    Only certain things are within our control. If it isn’t something you have any say over, forget it. Only expend energy on the things that you can directly influence.

    2) Find the Positive
    Even in the most disappointing situation (that race DNF, that training injury) there will be a positive IF you are willing to look for it.

    3) Focus on You

    This is one of the hardest ones for athletes to really internalise and act upon. Looking at what others are doing on Strava and/or comparing yourself to other athletes is a waste of your time and mental energy. All of your focus should be on your own performance.

    4) 100% Effort
    In everything you do. This feeds into the message of the previous weeks conversations…Integrity to do the work even when none is looking and acting like the athlete you want to become.

    5) Extreme Ownership

    Thank Jocko Willink for this one. No matter what the situation or anyone else’s involvement, take ownership. Don’t find someone else to blame. Make it your problem and find a solution.

    #TheFiveRules

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?
  • Do your actions support your goals?

    Let me ask it another way… Are you truly acting like the person, and athlete, you want to be?  

    I work with a range of athletes across various endurance sports; Triathlon, Obstacle Course Racing, Hyrox etc.

    Every single one of them has a goal they are working towards. For some it’s an age cat or podium finish. For others it’s simply to complete their A race and finish it well.

    Every goal, regardless of size, requires some level of sacrifice alongside a huge amount of hard work and dedication.

    Most people have a good idea of what it takes to achieve their goal. The hours of training required, the organisation of daily life to make that time, the dialled in nutrition, the early nights, the early mornings, saying no to certain social gatherings, saying no to certain favourite races or events as they just don’t mesh with the overall Big Goal … the list goes on and for some, it just doesn’t sound worth it.

    Thats why so many people are content with just being average…if that.

    Some are content to make the excuses, hide behind busy lives and find all the reasons not to do what is truly required.

    Others say that they really want it, but their actions just never quite meet their words.

    It may be that they just aren’t quite ready yet, or maybe they like the idea but in practise they really aren’t willing to do what it takes.

    I’ve definately been guilty of this in the past. I would say I really wanted to achieve “X” but I wasn’t acting the person who would do that. I wasn’t watching my nutrition, I was still eating badly, watching my weight creep up but not doing a damn thing about it. I would say I was too busy to count macros but come on – it seriously only takes a few extra minutes of effort to weigh food and log it correctly. I was just being lazy. Plus, that still didn’t explain the amount of crap I was eating!  I was hitting my training sessions, for the most part, but I was content that that was enough. I wasn’t truly ready or willing to do everything it would take.

    Luckily I have managed to shed that person and now I can, hand on heart, say that I truly act like the person I need to be to achieve my goal.

    The first step – getting real with yourself and figuring out if you are truly willing, and able, to do what it takes.

    This might involve a conversation with your coach as you may be willing but not be actually sure exactly how to make it work, especially if you have a very busy life that seems inflexible. As I said in the beginning, it will require some sacrifice but a smart coach will be able to help you figure out how to lessen the impact and make it work.

    Is it hard? Yes… but then so is dialling it in, living behind excuses and not living your true potential. Both are hard. One is infinitely more worthwhile than the other.

    We’ve all met those people. You know the ones. They turn up on the start line and immediately tell you all the “ reasons” why they are likely not going to have a good event. They got a poor night sleep / They woke up that morning with a weird niggle / Their dog ate their training plan…. Preloaded excuses give weak minded people a get out of jail free card. It doesn’t matter if they suck, because they already told you they would… and it’s not their fault.

    Do not be one of these people.

    Do the work that’s required, ALL of the work that’s required and whether you do or not, own your shit.

    Also, remember this (one of my favourites: No one Cares. Work Harder.

    Once you have set your sights on a goal, make sure you go all in and back yourself 100%

    #ActLikeTheAthleteYouWantToBe

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?