If the race is important to you, nothing new on race day!
Do not be tempted to try that snack new bar in the vendor village. You have trained hard for this event so no point screwing up your chances by putting something in your system that may not agree with you, or not digest properly leaving you feeling sluggish, or worse, with digestive issues.
You will need to be prepared to consume a few hundred calories in the morning to ensure that you start the day right and end up properly fuelled to begin the event. *This may be hard for some athletes, so be sure to practice prior to the event.
Breakfast should be easy on the stomach so it needs to be low in fibre and easily digested. Stick with simple carbohydrates again like a bagel or even rice, possibly some fruit and just a little bit of easy to digest protein like egg or nut butter.
Include your normal coffee/caffeine routine.
In an ideal world you would finish breakfast 2 hours before race start and once you have eaten you should aim to consume 500ml of water every hour until you are out on course.
Race Start At the 10 minute countdown to race start, you should be drinking 1/2 to full bottle of sports drink or a sports gel plus water for a final carbohydrate boost. Do not take the gel without water as it will not digest well.
Avoid taking in this fuel in the 30-60 minute pre-start window as you will lose the benefit of the boost and are more likely to suffer a drop in blood sugar at race start.
Front Half of the Race In the “front half” of the race (especially the early stages) your gut is able to absorb the nutrients much easier than when your body begins to shut down blood flow completely to the gut in the closing stages of the race.
In the closing stages your body will be sending all blood flow to your working skeletal muscles, which means limited flow will be sent to the gut and this often results in those dreaded GI issues.
A common mistake people make is going too hard in the early stages and then failing to hydrate and refuel efficiently. This leads to a big drop off in performance thanks to the combination of fatigue, dehydration and low energy.
General Rule of Thumb Endurance athletes should aim to eat 60-90 grams of carbohydrate per hour during their event. You will need to practice and experiment to see what exact levels work for you.
Fluid Intake Your fluid intake plan needs to take into account the hourly amount of fluid you need (example, some athletes need about 1 litre/hour to match their sweat rate – others need half that amount and some need nearly double that). *The only accurate way to really know is to perform a sweat rate test which means taking pre and post body weight checks when racing in similar conditions and intensity as you have on race day
Ensure you have practiced with your chosen electrolyte fluids and that it has enough of the critical component; sodium 800 mg/litre of fluid is a good “starting” amount. If racing in particular hot conditions this may need to be closer to 1000-1,500mg/litre while some people suffice with only 400-500mg/litre,
Back Half of the Race The total fuel intake here is typically lower. However, you still need to ensure you are maintaining hydration and electrolyte balance (again – the importance of sodium) and going with more fluid energy intake, rather than eating bars/chews.
Consuming a caffeine liquid, such as a flat coke on the last couple of laps is common place in endurance sports such as Ironman and can be beneficial but I generally wouldn’t recommend starting to drink coke until you’re at least half way through the back half. Ideally you would, if needed, consume something like this in the last 10K to 10 miles.
There Three Big Mistakes
Not hydrating early enough. If you wait to start your hydration plan this can result in early dehydration. This can have a huge negative impact on your race as your body then has a reduced ability to process fluids and fuel for the rest of the day.
Not having enough sodium in your fluids. This means you do not ingest enough sodium which at best can cause bloating and at worst, potentially dangerous hyponatremia (low blood sodium) which can result in coma and even death.
Taking on too much fuel and/or taking on too much fuel in one go. If the body needs to work at digesting food it will divert blood flow away from the working muscles to the digestive system and your race will suffer.
Back in December last year, after seeing my friend Hannah’s results, I decided to take on the 75Hard challenge. I’d looked at it earlier in the year but dismissed it as I didn’t understand it properly. 75 days of training without a rest day? No thanks! I don’t even do 14 day challenges that don’t factor in rest and recovery as that’s just a straight road to overtraining, loss of performance and possible injury.
Hannah posted her results and I immediately messaged her to ask some questions. She gave me all the info I needed to finally understand this challenge and decide that yes, this could actually be one for me.
I shared it with the 3 other Team NBR members (my accountability group)that I would be starting this on 1st Jan and in sharing it for accountability reasons I actually inspired (although he’ll say peer pressured) Chris James to do it with me. We had several discussions about our individual ‘Why’ as we both had similar thoughts… “it doesn’t actually sound that hard”, “thats pretty much what we do anyway” “I don’t really know what I’d get out of it”… and I think we both came to the same conclusion; This is the Why… because we think it’ll be easy/simple and it must be called 75Hard for a reason. I was also still massively motivated by Hannah’s results but also aware that she is an absolute beast when it comes to fitness so it was unlikely I could achieve what she had.
What is 75 Hard?
It a mindset challenge, not a fitness challenge, designed by Andy Frisella, also known as the MF CEO. It’s 75 days of discipline abiding by the following 6 rules: 1) Two 45 Minute workouts. 1 MUST be outside. They cannot be consecutive and 3 to 4 hours apart at least. 2) Follow a diet. You choose the diet to match your goals but it must be strict. If you decide on calorie deficit and macro counting you cannot just have a takeaway pizza one day and make the rest of the day fit. It must be clean. 3) No alcohol or cheat meals. 4) Take a progress photo every day. 5) 1 gallon of water a day. This is a US gallon which is basically 4 litres. 6) Read 10 pages of a non fiction book every day. Not a e-book, not an audio book. An actual book.
I completed day 75 yesterday and can honestly say this is one of the most surprising challenges I have ever done. I didn’t expect it to be so worthwhile or interesting. I got so much more out of doing this than I ever imagined. It was also a better experience for doing it alongside Chris as we had a lot of the same revelations and thoughts.
Ok, so what did I get out of it?
Well for starters I look better. I start there because it’s the most obvious change. I’m the lightest I’ve been for about 20 years maybe, but the body composition shift is all the right way. Fat% down and muscle % up.
I’m stronger than I was. During the 75 days I PB’d my 1RM Deadlift and Strict Press and have been challenging myself to use heavier options during CrossFit classes.
I read more, I read better. I have loved carving out a little bit of time everyday to sit down with a book and this is definitely something I will be continuing. I’m always listening to audiobooks and reading my kindle but very rarely read an actual book and this is staying. I found it makes such a difference putting the book in my hands. Its a different focus as there are no devices, no electronics and I really liked that a lot. I finished 6 books and am a third of a way through the 7th.
I have proved again to myself that all the stuff I say about myself is true. I am disciplined. I have strong mental grit. I have a strong work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something I do it. There were days when it got to 8pm and I still hadn’t hit the workout criteria so had to get shit done before I could think about going to bed. I’m Ironman training so many days I would hit 2, some days even 3 workouts but because they were either brick sessions, or all indoors or outdoors, I hadn’t followed the rules. In this situation a few people said to me “what does it really matter” “you’ve done 2 workouts” and thats true, but thats not the rules and you can say the rules are stupid/not fair/whatever but I knew the rules going in so bitching about them would have been pointless. I could have quit, saying the rules don’t suit my lifestyle… but thats the point. It’s meant to be difficult, it’s meant to be inconvenient so head down, mouth shut, do the work!
I discovered how much of a difference refined sugar makes to how I feel day to day. Both Chris and I cut refined sugar as part of the diet rule. Neither of us are mass consumers and we were both surprised as how a small change made such a big difference. I followed a strict high protein, calorie deficit diet with no refined sugar. I’ve been doing the high protein, calorie deficit thing for a while, although not as strictly, so the major difference was the sugar piece. After the cravings on day 5 and 6, it was actually really easy to stick to. I thought this would be the hardest bit but not at all. I feel a bit in love with no sugar me. I had more energy, I didn’t feel the need to power nap every afternoon (although I still love a nap – I just didn’t need one), I was just, well, better. Thats not to say I’m never eating refined sugar ever again but it was a learning experience and will for sure shape my diet moving forward.
I finally found a type of yoga I can get on board with. As mentioned at the start, the bit I struggled with when I first heard about 75Hard was the 75 days of 2 workouts a day. After speaking to Hannah, and listening to Andy’s podcast ( a must for anyone thinking of doing this), I understood that you can still have rest and recovery days. An outdoor workout can be a walk and an indoor workout can be yoga. I’ve never been a fan of Yoga but Hannah was using the downdog app and suggested I look at the Yin Yoga. Ok, game changer! I LOVE Yin Yoga. I’m a huge fan of mobility work so this was perfect for me and although I only did maybe 1 or 2 sessions a week, my mobility improved, my squat technique improved and I genuinely enjoyed every session. Like the reading an actual book, weekly yoga is staying as part of my new routine.
The Results: *for the before and after photos you’ll need to check my social media. Body Compostion: Weight – Day 1; 82.4kg – Day 75; 74.6kg (Total loss: 7.8kg)
Body Fat % – Day 1; 32.8 – Day 75; 27.5 (Total loss: 5.3%)
After The Grizzly on the previous Sunday this week was always going to be a bit of a slow builder while I gave my body some time to recover. I was honestly expecting to feel a little worse after all those miles and hills but I’m generally ok. A little tired but thats about it. My foot feels no different to how it did a week ago so it’s still all systems go!
Mon – Rest Day 6pm – Restorative Yoga (via Down Dog App) *Just a 45 min easy restorative yoga session this evening, rather than Yin as this is very gentle, after a nice long dog walk in the morning.
Tues – Rest Day 8:45 – Yin Yoga via Down Dog App *Another day of dog walking and Yoga… feeling good and ready to get back to it.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 12 of 12; The Vortex. A max interval session. 4 min blocks of 105% FTP+ holding 85/90RPM with increasing amounts of full recovery down in the white zone.
7:40am – 2 mile Brick Run *Easy 2 miles of the bike with George, one of my Forza Performance clients who also attends my Indoor Cycle classes.
12:30pm – CrossFit Class 50-40-30-20-10 Kettlebell Swing, Sit Up +30 Double Under each rd *If there was a workout made for me, this would be it. I can’t swim this week as I had my hair done on Monday and I cant get it wet for a week so the stars aligned and gifted me this joy of a wod. I’d gone to the box with the thought of RX’ing this one as DU’s are the one RX skill I have. However, I’d expected the RX KB weight to be 20kg and it was 24! Luckily Pam (good friend and owner of Big Croc) was in the class and convinced me to go for it still… she RX’d it with me saying “we can fuck ourselves up together” and sometimes you need someone like this around you to give you that push. I am very much a coward when it comes to a lot of CrossFit and one of the things I’m working on is to try and be braver.
Thur 12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 40 Min EMOM- Min 1-3 30 sec on (you can do 40 but this is active recovery for me), Min 4- 60s 1; Plate Ground to Overhead, 2; Burpee to Plate, 3; Goblet Squat, 4; Alt Run. Row, Bike Ski 5; Rest *No, I didn’t swim today either. The sessions available didn’t fit my day so easy indoor conditioning it is.
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Same as Weds am.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Open 22.3 This wod is too long to write in full so you can go find it elsewhere online if you really care. *I completed the first set of thrusters and single unders and spent about 10 minutes fighting to get 10 Pull Ups out. The video of my struggle to get these pull ups out is on my socials if you want to giggle -they are not pretty but they were effort!
2:00pm – Just Move EMOM with Head Coach Toby (and James & the hubby) 30 Min EMOM 1:16 DB Snatch 2: 20 Air Squat 3: 14 Hang Power Clean 4: 16 Down Up 5: “Recovery” Assault Bike
Sat 8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with Si 25 Min AMRAP; 400m run together then 20 Weighted Box Step Up, 30 DB Snatch, 40 Cal Row, 30 KBS, 20 Devil Press (split reps) * I’d planned for this to be an easy, light recovery session but as often happens with Si and I, we went all in and pushed each other to the max. I didn’t go super heavy but I didn’t go as light as I’d planned.
9am -7k Row with Si I’d planned to run after class but Si said he was doing a row instead so I jumped in on that instead 🙂
5:45pm – 45 Min C2 Bike (easy recovery) As I haven’t finished the 75hard yet I still needed an outdoor workout to meet the rules for the day so I dragged the C2 bike into the garden, set up the 2018 CF Games film on my iPad and just peddled. No stress, just moving.
Sun – Extra Rest Day 5:45pm – Restorative Yoga via Down Dog App * I was feeling VERY beaten up today so I gave myself permission to take life easy. I got up with the dog at 6am and we went for a gorgeous 2 hour walk around Staunton Park and The Thicket before the rest of Havant woke up and then a yoga session in the evening. Even though these yoga sessions are low intensity I am feeling the benefits greatly as my mobility has improved no end since discovering Down Dog. My squat form continues to get better and better and I am definitely more flexible. It really is time well spent.
This week was a tense one. Sunday saw the arrival of my first big race of the season, The Grizzly, and the first big test for my foot. Since my initial sit down with my CrossFit coach, Kerry, back in January, when we agreed I’d take a small step back to focus on my IM training, we’d put this race as a marker. If my foot didn’t make it my IM/Tri season was probably dead in the water. If it survived it was 100% game on!
It was also week 2 of The Open and I was feeling pretty good about my performance in week 1… would that com crashing down come Friday. It doesn’t matter, right – I’m not focussing on the Open. This was what I had to keep telling myself many, many times.
Things were a little quieter this week leading up to The Grizzly, although not a lot… here’s how it went:
Mon 6am – CrossFit Class For Time: 50 Air Squat, 40 Box Step Over, 30 Jumping Pull Up, 20 Hanging Basket, 10 Jumping Bar Muscle Up * This was fast, and fun. Still not jumping on boxes due to my foot but if it survives the weekend I will try and few box jumps next week.
1:15pm – 45min Zone 2 Run *Threw all the layers on to try and make myself more uncomfortable and still control the HR to zone 2.
Tues – Rest Day 3pm – Yin Yoga via Down Dog App *45 min mobilty session with a lower body boost in prep for the weekend.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 11 of 12; Faster, Better, Stronger. A repeated pyramid session of tabata sprints, heavy climbs and rest.
7:40am – 2 mile Brick Run *Easy 2 miles of the bike with George, one of my Forza Performance clients who also attends my Indoor Cycle classes.
12:30pm – CrossFit Class 18 Min AMRAP; 21 Wall Ball, 12 Cal Row, 9 Over Rower Burpee *I was supposed to swim today but I really, really liked the look of the workout so decided to switch my days around and Crossfit today and swim tomorrow. I love, love, LOVED this workout.
Thur 12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 42 Min EMOM- 30 sec on, 30 sec rest (you can do 40/20 but this is meant to be active recovery 1; Weighted Box Step Up, 2; Row, 3; Goblet Squat, 4; Ski, 5; Down Up, 6; Ski *No, I didn’t swim today either. The sessions available didn’t fit my day so easy indoor conditioning it is.
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Same as Weds am.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Open 22.2 For Time: 1 to 10 to 1 – Deadlift @ 43kg + Bar Facing Burpee (Time Cap – 10 minutes) *Not a bad workout overall. I’m not the biggest fan of fast deadlifts for time but I don’t mind a Bar Facing Burpee. It got gassy real quick but it was only 10 minutes so you could push.
2:00pm – Just Move EMOM with Head Coach Toby (and James & the hubby) 30 Min EMOM 1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions + 15 Air Squat, 2: 30s Handstand Hold, 3: 50 Double Under, 4: 20 Sit Up, 5: Rest
Sat 8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with Si 9 Min AMRAP; 3,6,9,12,15,18.. Hang Power Clean, Push Press, Hanging Leg Raise (split reps between you) 6 Min – to establish a heavy 3 Thruster 9 Min AMRAP; 8 Front Squat, 20 Double Under (1 rd each, U Go, I Go) * After the day before and all the deadlifts my hamstrings were feeling a little tight so no heavy weights todaybut still moving fast.
Sun Race Day – The Grizzly 20 Miles, All Terrain with a total of 1065m of elevation. *This race is nuts. Carl and I always run this one together as it’s so challenging. It’s down in Seaton in Devon and it is the hardest 20 miles I’ve ever run in one go. This was our third time doing it so we knew what to expect as the route rarely changes from year to year. I was bricking it that my foot would blow up and that would be it but I did what I tell my clients to do – control the controllable and find the positives. My foot has been “ok” since January. No, it isn’t 100% right but it hasn’t stopped me doing anything (except box jumps) all year. After some reassurance from my close friends, who also form Team NBR (No Bling required) – my accountability group, and lots of good luck messages from my coaches and friends I felt ready. The headline of the day is: “Liza’s Foot is OK and happily survived the full 20 miles with no repercussions” I was ELATED on the drive home (and pretty much all the way round to be honest) and it now really feels like this season is here and happening. It really is time to get to work!
This week saw the start of the CrossFit Open. I wasn’t going to join in the fun this year, apart from as a Judge, as it detracts from my primary goal but when my box said they were going to run an In House Comp and all proceeds would be reinvested back in the gym, well, how could I not sign up! I now have three weeks of competition where I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not taking it seriously and I AM NOT bothered about how it goes… honest! Fun times 🙂
I had an Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation treatment with Muscle Therapies 640 on Monday and we focussed solely on the foot and connecting areas. Paul managed to trace some of the issue to my achilles so hopefully this issue will get sorted once and for all within the next couple of months.
Other than that, nothing much has happened this week beyond the norm so here’s what my week looked like.
Mon 6:30am CrossFit Class Every 3 mins x 5; 30 x Double Under, 20 x Pistols Squat (Foot behind ankle), 10 x Handstand Push Up from a box
Tues – 11:45am – 2000m Pool Swim *Boom! Longest swim to date, after only a few weeks of swimming and the only reason I stopped was because the pool session is capped to one hour!
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 10 of the 12 week Program = The Force, or as my husband calls it, The Kitchen Sink as I’ve thrown everything at this one. It’s a full on interval session that flies by. No brick run today as, following my treatment Monday I’m not allowed to run until Saturday.
12:30pm – CrossFit Class Deadlift; 3 Reps every 3 mins x 5 Then Every 90 seconds; 5 Deadlift + 10 Burpee over the Bar
Thur 12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec) 1 – Down Ups, 2 – KB Swings, 3 – Top Of Plank Hold, 4 – Weighted Box Step Ups, 5 – Alt Row/Ski, 6 – Rest
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Same as Weds am.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Open 22.1 18 Min AMRAP; 3 Scaled Wall Walk, 12 Alt DB Snatch, 15 Box Step Over *A fun start to The Open. Very happy with Snatches and Box Step Overs… not practiced Wall Walks a lot lately but the scaled version was simple enough.
2:00pm – Just Move EMOM with Head Coach Toby (and James & Jack) 30 Min EMOM 1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions, 2: 16 Wall Ball, 3: 100ft Dbl KB Front Rack Carry, 4: 12 Hanging Leg Raise, 5: Rest
Sat 8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with Si 25 Min AMRAP (U go, I go but run together); 1000m Row, 200m Run, 75 Thurster, 200m Run, 50 Bar Facing Burpee, 200m Run, 25 Hang Power Clean, 200m Run.
Sun Rest Day * Myself and a couple of the Forza Performance crew went to Southsea to support one of our own, George, participating in the Portsmouth Duathlon. That was ahard fought race in brutal wind whipped conditions. I was very glad I hadn’t signed up!
8pm – Yin Yoga (via DownDog App) * A chilled way to end the week 🙂
This week I had my first dark day. My foot has been playing up more than usual and I was still a week away from treatment. I knew I had to cut back the running and thats not great for someone less than 5 months away from a 140.6, with no more than 8 continuous miles under their belt.
Still, the first things I try to instil in my athletes is “Control the controllable” and “Find the positive”. I am usually pretty good at this and up until Wednesday I was doing ok. However, for whatever reason, I woke up feeling less than chipper. I then had a disaster session in the pool and my mindset went black. I’d been feeling a little guilty for all the training hours taking me away from my husband, my dog and my home but I know my husband understands (and has never complained so this is ALL in my head) and while things are going great it’s ok as it all feels worthwhile.
Normally one bad session wouldn’t be enough to derail me but this week, for whatever reason, it was. I am only human after all and sometimes things get the better of you. Realising that I’d forgotten to check in with a close friend, who is really going through something shit, pushed me over the edge. It all seemed pointless. Thoughts of “whats the point in doing all this, if you’re going to fail anyway” plagued me, along with “this just isn’t worth it, you’re a shit triathlete and all this is going to count for nothing” and more along the same theme. Dramatic right! I know! But when you get beat down, you get beat down and it happens to the best of us.
What really matters though is what you do next.. how you deal with the black thoughts and whether you pull yourself out of the quagmire. Obviously I did. I quit the swim as it clearly wasn’t working. I went home, ran a bath and took 15 minutes of relaxed silence to reprogram my thoughts. I told myself it’s inevitable to have bad days. I always tell my team its the bad days that define us. Its easy when everything goes right. It’s how we deal with the tough times that show us who we really are. So, who am I? Oh right, I’m a muthafucking badass bear and badass bears don’t wallow in self pity. They take charge, they fix shit and they keep moving forward. Once out of the bath I first messaged my friend, then rescheduled my week to attack the swim again at the end of the week and got back on with my day.
Why am I sharing this? Because everyone will have self doubt at some point, especially anyone training for an Ironman (or crazy ass endurance event) as it takes such a commitment and so many other things have to take a back seat. Its a dark side of endurance training that we need to normalise and learn how to deal with. We all know the mantra; It’s ok not to be ok and it’s true. We just have to be kind to ourselves, take a few deep breaths and rationally look at the big picture, not just that one bad day!
Overall, my training week was pretty good so here it is:
Mon 12:30pm CrossFit Class 15 Min AMRAP 100m Farmer Carry 2x DB then 2 Rounds of DB DT (12 x Deadlift, 9 x Hang Power Clean, 6 x STOH) *This was, as you can imagine, a grip burner. I survived better than I thought I would and my forearm only really went on my lefthand side. More unilateral grip strength work needs to be done clearly!
Tues – Rest Day 6:30am – Active Recovery Session at CFID *Usual mobility and HR Z1 cardio to just move and focus on some deep mobility.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 9 of the 12 week Program = My favourite week of the program. It’s called Le Tour and is basically an homage to my favourite stage of the 2019 Tour De France. It was an Alpine stage so lots of heavy, heavy climbs and a bit of fast racing in between.
No brick run today as my foot has been a more tender than usual so had to cut it. Already by this stage of the week I was getting a little concerned that my training activity had dropped from it’s usual level, which as contributing to the dark mood I described in the opening of this blog.
In reality I’d missed a session on Monday (which is an added bonus if I do it anyway) and a 20 min run but today was the day my PMS kicked in and my mood dropped as a result of a hormone change but I wasn’t being rationale at this stage and mentally berating myself pretty damn hard.
12:45pm – Pool Swim 1 mile for time – was the plan but the world had other ideas (or, I let my mindset slip and get the better of me so I quit!) *I have been saying in every other IM blog so far this year that my swim karma was seemingly a bit too good. Well, today it all changed. I was already being down on myself. When I arrived at the pool the changing room was loud, busy, chaotic and everything about it just rattled me. Then I went to put on my swim hat and it snapped. I was stood, in front of the mirror with my swimsuit on, watch set, googles in hand staring at my now useless swim hat thinking “well that’s that then. I cant swim today” Ridiculous maybe, but I have long, thick dreadlocks which do nothing to aid buoyancy or aerodynamics and weigh a ton when wet. I did tell myself I was being ridiculous though, pulled my hair into something i thought might work in the water and hit the lane. It was a DISASTER. My hair fell out of the ponytail/bun thing I had tried to secure it as, it pulled my head and neck down in the water. I retied it and tried to keep going but it kept slipping and threw my whole swim off. My feet were hitting the bottom of the pool, I was over-rotating, everything was just wrong. I persevered for 400m and then gave up. Another contributing factor to my dark mood and building sense that this week was going to shit.
I teach my athletes three key things when it comes to mindset; 1 – Control the controllable 2 – Find the positive 3 – Learn the lessons I tried to apply these to this situation, both in the moment and after. Doing this is one of the main reasons I pulled myself out of my funk. Instead of not swimming I thought “what if this happens on race day, what if you end up having to swim without hat” – actually, this is not only unlikely but would probably secure you a disqualification as generally, all swimmers must be wearing the issued swim cap so they can be easily identified, and I would have spare hats so that if one split or snapped when putting it on, I would just grab another. The positive was that at least I tried. I managed 400m. Ok, it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things but it was something. Lessons learned – buy a couple more swim hats (I need a special size swim hat because of my hair so couldn’t even just go to reception and buy one) and keep spares in your bag.
Thur 11:30am – Mono-structural Cardio Conditioning Session 45 Min; 5 Min Row, Assault Bike, Ski – Each 5 min starts with 400m run *I pulled my head out my ass and decided that if my main concern was my lack of activity this week, find some space and add a session in. I had 60 minutes spare before the CF class so went in early and got some shit done. I could have stayed at home and done this session in my own gym but I like going to the box. Its separate to my work and my home and if I’m going there, it’s for the purpose of training (or to drink coffee, but thats usually only ever after training!)
12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec) 1: Alt Devil Press, 2: Goblet Squat, 3: Sit Up, 4: Box Step Up, 5: Row, 6: Rest
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Same as Weds am.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Class Part A: For Time 10-9 -8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 2xDB Front Squat + Bar Facing Burpees At minute 10: 6 mins to establish a heavy complex for the day; 1 x Clean, 1 x Front Squat, 1 x STOH *This was a variation of an Open workout from 2018. Part A was an exact copy so we got to test ourselves against our previous best. I was really pleased as I beat my score by over a minute. Happy Liza! The complex was new as in The Open it was only a 1RM Clean. I was strong with the Clean and Front squat but as usual my confidence in/fear of pushing a heavy bar over my head let me down. Once this Ironman is done and dusted I am going to spend a few months focussing mainly on overcoming some of the major weaknesses in my CrossFt repertoire.
2:00pm – Work on your Weaknesses EMOM with Head Coach Toby 30 Min EMOM 1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions, 2: 16 Box Step Over, 3: 6/6 DB Hang Clean & Jerk, 4: 2 x 16kg KB 100ft Farmer Carry, 5: Rest
Sat 7:15am – 4 Mile Run
8am – CrossFit Class, Partner WOD with my husband 25 min AMRAP; Run 400m – Together (row for me) 30 x Power Cleans, 20 x Box Jumps (Steps for me, Stoopid foot!), 30 x STOH 20 x Pull Ups TeamSmith got to train together today as my usual CF Partner was out with a bad back. Carl and I don’t often train together so it’s really fun when it happens. We both agreed to push ourselves with a heavier barbell weight and go hard on the run/row. We both tried, and we both succeeded. Go Us 🙂
9am – Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class * as a participant rather than coach.
10am – 1650m Swim * yep, thats right I redid my swim session and it was fine. It was better than fine. It was good. It also helps that I’m on restricted running right now as normally I’d run on Sundays but rather than sulk about not being able to run, find the positive. No running means time available. What sucked this week, what can I put right? What can I try and fix?
This biggest thing this week I re-engaged with my Nutrition Coach, Demi @ Deep Health Nutrition, as I’m still dropping weight quite quick due to the 75Hard and the increased training levels that come from IM training. I’m hitting protein goals (30% of daily intake every day) and I am still losing fat and building muscle but I just need to ensure I’m eating enough, at the right times etc to maximise my performance and not let all this hard work go to waste.
I definitely had fat and weight to lose so I’m not at all concerned about dropping weight, but 5kg in 6 weeks is quite fast and if I had done it any other way I would know its not sustainable. It just shows that my calorie deficit was a little too aggressive, although occasionally in the very short term, this can be ok. I PB’d a couple of lifts in this time and both my running speed and bike power has improved so all signs show this was all perfectly ok. But, I know it wont last… soon, if I’m not careful I will lose performance due to being inadequately fuelled and that cannot happen.
Now, I could absolutely sort my nutrition myself but a) I don’t want to have to think about that as well as program my own training etc b) I want to be accountable to someone and c) I am smart enough to know what I don’t know and would rather lean on another expert to help me get this right. You should all know that one of my biggest beliefs is that the best coaches are ultimately coachable and have coaches. I stand by my beliefs.
And with that out of the way… on to the weeks activities.
Mon 6am – CrossFit Class 2k Row for Time – A classic cardio test * I equally love and hate the 2k row test. I love it because rowing is something I am strong at but man the 2k hurts. If it doesn’t, you didn’t do it right. No PB today but I was too conservative in the first 1000m. Still 5s off isn’t too bad.
Tues – Rest Day 6:30am – Active Recovery Session at CFID *Once again my coach Kerry let me crash the early morning class, hide up the back and just do my own recovery session. 5 minute rounds of 3min easy (Z1) row or ski and 2 min mobility. I have had a few people ask me what sort of mobility I do here and it standard stuff; couch stretch, pigeon stretch off the box, lizard stretch, back extensions using the GHD, deep squat holds etc. Nothing fancy, just basic shit that works.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 8 of the 12 week Program = Get Stronger, which basically means climbing week. One of my favourites as I much prefer to climb than race.
7:30am – 2 Mile Brick Run
10am – Pool Swim 1 mile for time *Still got good swim karma. One mile, no stopping and it was both easy and enjoyable. Surely this enjoyment of swimming can’t last. I don’t ever remember liking it like this, or finding it so easy. I am also aware that I have not even hit half distance of what I require on race day but leave me alone, let me enjoy this while it lasts 🙂
12:30pm CrossFit Class Back Squat Day Lift every two minutes: 5 reps, 5, 5, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2 *My squats have never felt so good, or looked so good according to Toby, who was coaching the class. I think the Yin Yoga is paying off. Who know… oh right, almost anyone who’s done any amount of decent yoga.
1:30pm Post CF 4 Mile Run * This run sucked. I felt so tired, which is completely justified after everything else I had done today. I would normally only Cycle, Run and Swim on a Weds but I had no clients after 10am so I took full advantage and snuck in a couple of extra sessions. Let’s face it, being able to run tired, on fatigued legs is a skill all Ironman and potential Ironmen should develop so as much as it sucked, it was also great.
Thur 12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec) 1: Plank DB Taps, 2: SA DB Thruster L, 3: DB Box Step Up, 4: SA DB Thruster R, 5: Assault Bike, 6: Rest *As per last week, I used this class as active recovery so easy intensity all the way through, a med weight DB, not too heavy but also not crazy light.
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Same as Weds am.
Fri 11am – Conditioning with Head Coach Toby 60 Min AMRAP 5 can Row, 5 Cal Bike, 5 Cal Ski, 2m Burpee Broad Jump *add 5 class every round. * The goal here was to keep Heart Rate in Zone 3. This meant having to pull back on the bike but push a little harder on the Ski. 60 minutes passed fairly easily.
12:30pm – CrossFit Class 4 Rounds for Time 400m Run, 50ft SA DB Overhead Walking Lunge, 25 DB Push Press *Not a lot to say about this one. It wasn’t as horrific as I thought it would be so happy days… move on.
2:00pm – Work on your Weaknesses EMOM with Head Coach Toby 30 Min EMOM 1: 1 Snatch, 3 Bar Muscle Up Progressions, 2:2 x 16kg KB 50ft Farmer Carry , 3: Alt 8 Pull Up / 30s Active Hang, 4: 8 Toes to Rings 5: Rest
Start of the week brings me to 31 Days complete of the 75Hard challenge. This means I still need to hit the 2 x 45 minute workouts, one must be outdoors and they must not be consecutive rule so most days, due to bricking a lot of my sessions, my activity level continues to rise 🙂
Mon 12:30pm – CrossFit Class Barbell Day WOD For Time: 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 Hang Power Snatch and Clean & Jerk *Loved this workout. Grip strength held out and my plan for the WOD worked well. I finished just within the time cap, as in, with literally seconds to spare.
6:30pm 45 min Zone 2 Run *Lots of layers, hat and gloves as it was pretty bitter outside. Still took over 5 minutes to get my HR out of zone 1 and in to zone 2 but once it was there, it was a steady run. It felt a little harder than a usual zone 2 due to me being completely ready for my rest day tomorrow.
Tues – Rest Day 8:20pm – 45 min Yoga Practice via DownDog App *Another Yin Yoga session. Definitely more my style of yoga and definitely what I needed today to help me recover from the last few days of effort.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 7 of the 12 week Program = Unbreakable. A no rest, pyramid session using a mix of racing and climbing peaking in the middle with a brutal mountain climb.
7:30am – 2 Mile Brick Run Two of my clients who also come to Indoor Cycle Class kept me company on the run this week. Its what I called a “Naked” run – I set the watch but don’t look at it while moving. This is a great way to test if your perceived effort matches your actual effort. The goal of this run was to keep it comfortable and the data showed a mix of Zone2/3 so not far off.
12:45pm – Pool Swim 1000m for time *Aiming to continue my positive experience with swimming I decided to just swim this week. No repeats, no stopping, just swim 1000m and see what happens. I’m not going to break any speed records thats for sure but that isnt my goal. My only goal is to get through the swim relatively unscathed and without exerting too much effort. Today’s 1000m was fairly effortless, i enjoyed it and when I uploaded it to garmin, it turns out it was 3 minutes quicker than back in 2020… Result!
Thur 6:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 42 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 4 40sec, Min 5 60sec) 1: Ski Erg, 2: No Push Up Burpee, 3: Double Under, 4: Alt DB Hang Clean & Jerk, 5: Row, 6: Rest *Used this class as active recovery so easy intensity all the way through. First time having skipping in a conditioning class so I took the opportunity to play with all my different ropes and alternated my speed rope, heavy rope and drag rope. I’m easily pleased and found this fun 🙂
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Same as Weds am.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Class 15 Min AMRAP 800m Run + AMRAP 12 Alt DB Snatch, 6&6 Devil Thruster, 12 Weighted DB Step Up *This was brutal! And yes, you read that right… Devil Thrusters! Do A S/A Devil Press, add a S/A Thruster and boom – one Devil Thruster. Another genius move from our Head Coach Toby.
2:00pm – Conditioning EMOM with Head Coach Toby 60 Min EMOM1: 30s Active Hang, 2: 20 Air Squat, 3: 30s Handstand Hold, 4: 60 Alt Single/Double Under 5: 20 Kettlebell Swing, 6: Rest *It was Toby’s deload week so a it was a bit different this week…no crazy programming today. It was good but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal next week.
Sat 7:15am – Pre CrossFit 3 Mile Run *With my CF training partner Simon, and my husband Carl 🙂
8:00am – CrossFit Class (Partner wod with Simon) 30 Min AMRAP Part A – P1 400m Farmer Carry, P2 Max Effort Row Part B – Combined Row Cals x 2 = Wallball total to be completed (split reps) Part C – Establish max weight for BB complex: Deadlift, Clean, Hang Clean, Jerk *This looked horrific and while it was tough, both Simon and I really enjoyed it.
9:00am – Post CF 4 Mile Run *Carl stayed to drink coffee and be sociable while Simon and I went back out for a few more miles. We hit the trails not far from the box and I discovered there are nicer places to run in Waterlooville than I realised.
6:00pm – Yoga Practice via DownDog App
6:00pm – Yoga Practice *Originally I was going to do my usual Indoor Cycle Class and run, then I was going to go for a swim instead as that would be a little less, but I went to bed exhausted Saturday night so decided to just give myself permission to wake up without an alarm and have a lie in. Carl and I went for a long dog walk in the morning which was just perfect. Took an extra rest/active recovery day and didn’t stress about it at all as I knew I needed it.
Last week in my first IM training blog of 2022 I outlined my approach for this 6 month block of training, which will take me from 0 to 140.6.
There isn’t really much to say about this week so on to the specifics:
Mon 9:30am Outdoor Upper Body Strength & Core EMOM 1: 10 Min 3xPull Up, 2: 10 Min 3xPush Up 3: 10 Min 30s Hollow Hold, 4: 10 Min 30s Arch Hold All with 2 min rest between
12:30pm – CrossFit Class Mono-structural Cardio day today 30 Min AMRAP – 400m Row, 400m Run, 50 Double Unders *My goal was to keep every round consistent and hope my foot holds out with the combo of running and double unders – I did, and it did 🙂
Tues – Rest Day 6:30am – “Just Moving” Recovery Session at CrossFit *Same as last week – without 75Hard I would likely just do the dog walk and that would be but as I need that second workout I went to hang out with the early morning crew again and did an easy (zone 1 max) session. I threw in the Ski Erg as well as the Assault Bike for of 9 x 3 min cardio + 2 Minutes mobility – and I threw in the GHD to work on some deep back extensions.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Week 6 of the 12 week Program = Get Faster aka Speed Week. I’m a better climber than racer so this is a good week for me to work on my weaknesses. No brick run post class this week as I had no one to run with (meaning I had no one to store my bag with as I cycle to the gym). I know I could have done it once I got home but I got through the door and Cracker dog was so happy to see me I couldn’t turn round and leave hime again straight away… weak sauce I know but dog owners, you will understand.
12:45pm – Pool Swim 14 x 100m repeats with 1 min rest. *Building on the positives of my first session last week I simply aimed to add two more 100m repeats. I ended up doing 4 more, with the intention of completing 16 to get the mile but I ran out of time as the session ended. Note to self – find out how long the session is so I can plan accordingly.
Thur 12:30pm – CrossFit Conditioning Class 40 Min EMOM (Min 1 to 3 40sec, Min 4 60sec) 1: Burpee Box Step Up, 2: Alt Ring Row/Push Up, 3: KB Swing, 4: Alt Row/Ski, 5: Rest
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) *Thurs night is the same as Weds morning so a second crack at speed week. It’s always interesting to compare the two efforts and weirdly there isn’t a clear pattern of best performance. One week my morning session will be stronger, another the evening.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Class Heavy Strength Day today Every 3 min x 10 = 1 Deadlift + 10 Hanging L Raises (add one deadlift every set) *The deadlift was advised to be 50/60% of your 1RM and completed in unbroken sets. My current 1rm is 95kg so I went for 55kg. It felt solid, I could maintain good form and consistent pacing on each set and more importantly my grip lasted the workout. I split the hanging leg raises from the start into 2 sets of 5 and held this throughout.
2:00pm – Conditioning AMRAP session with Head Coach Toby 100 Wallball for time + 4 min rest. *The goal here was to complete as big a set as possible for the first set, same again for second set getting it done as quickly as possible with as few breaks as possible. I hit a set of 50, 20, 20, 10. Toby, because he’s a rock star hit 70, 30! 1 min on, 1 min off: 5 cal row + 2 Burpee over Rower. Add 2 Burpee until you cannot finish. *A twisted take on Death by Burpee -I got the round of 14 but could only get 12 reps. Toby, again because he’s a rock star got to the round of 20 but got timed out at 19 reps; EMO2M 5/5 Single Arm Dumbbell Squat Snatch x 6 * I cannot squat snatch a dumbbell I found out. I had never tried before and it did not go well. I cannot even really single arm squat with a dumbbell so I went back to basics, removed the weight and just worked on bodyweight single arm squats. I def found something I suck at which I will need to work on.
Sat 8:00am – CrossFit Class (Partner wod with Simon) 25 Min AMRAP (Run together, split the reps) 400m row, 50 Wallball, 50 Burpee Box Step Over 400m row, 50 Alt Devil Press, 50 Weighted Box Step Up 400m row, 50 Hang Power Clean, 50 Push Jerk *It was meant to be a run but I cant run in my CF shoes so Simon ran while I rowed. We both decided we wanted to push ourselves so we both went heavier with the dumbbell and barbell. During the warm up I genuinely felt done and was properly worried about how this was going to play out. I shouldn’t have worried. I loved every second of it. I worked harder than I honestly thought I could and thoroughly enjoyed it.
9:00am – 4 Mile Run w/ weight vest *No Simon to run with this week so I decided if I didn’t have him to push my pace, I would throw on my weight vest and mix it up that way. I ran 2 miles out, 2 miles back, so I couldn’t be tempted to dial it in early. It was practically spring like outside so no layering up required. Shorts, vest top, weight vest – Go.
7:00pm – Yoga Practice via DownDog App *So I discovered Yin Yoga on the app and let me tell you, I am a fan. I bought a new yoga matt in the week, one with the alignment lines on it (which actually helps a lot) as new kit always helps right 🙂 These two things combined mean that I think I can say, I enjoyed yoga.
Sun 9:00am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class *Again, not coaching the session I upped my FTP and just let Chris tell me what to do. It must have been a good session as at least twice when he gave an instruction I told him to fuck off (in my head of course). It’s like I tell my athletes, if every so often you aren’t cursing me during a session, I’m probably not doing my job right. No, it shouldn’t be high intensity, max effort all the time but occasionally you need to go to war with yourself and I did that in the class today.
10:00am – 400m Hill Reps *Post Cycle Brick Run session but this week focussed on building leg strength, cardio endurance and quick recovery. Once again Lorraine was the only one willingly to jump in with me and we spent around 40 minutes running 200m up 200m down the same incline for 3.5 miles. The goal is not to sprint up and jog down, the goal for this run was consistency. Same pace up, same pace down.
7:00pm – Yoga Practice *The exercise rule of 75Hard, is as you may remember, 2 45 minute workouts (can be longer), 1 must be outdoors, they cannot be consecutive. I’d hit the first two parts of the rule but same as yesterday, they were consecutive so I had to hit a third workout to meet the rules. Let’s face it, Yoga is never going to be a bad thing to do and I am determined to get to a place where I like yoga – yes I enjoyed the practice yesterday but that doesn’t yet make it something I relish and look forward to. I tried a second Yin Yoga session and I think because it feels more like the mobility sessions I’m used to it’s more comfortable (mentally, not necessarily physically). Again, I enjoyed it and could def feel the pain points in my body releasing a little.
As we know, I am not going to quit CrossFit, as I love it and its been proven again and again that it works to build a brilliant training base encompassing strength, speed, power and overall conditioning.
My aim for this 6 month training block is to continue pretty much as normal at CrossFit (with a few tweaks here and there which I will discuss as they happen) and hit 8 to 10 hours of specific Ironman Training alongside. This duration will increase as we get closer to the event but not by a huge amount, I expect.
It’s worth mentioning that I am also currently doing Andy Frisella’s 75Hard challenge, which I started on Jan 1st. I will be posting a separate post about this challenge on my Fitness Blog so head there if you want to ready anymore about this. What this does mean is that I have to do two workouts a day, min 45 minutes, 1 must be outdoors and they must not be consecutive, and at least 3 hours apart. I walk my dog every day for around an hour and as this often constitutes the outdoor workout I have turned it into a ruck, taking the weight plates out of my weight vest and putting them in my rucksack.
So, on to my week and the training specifics:
Mon 12:30pm – CrossFit Class 3 x 3 Min AMRAP of 20 Box Step Over, 12 Cal Row, 5 Hanging Leg Raises
3:30pm – Concept 2 Bike Erg Session Zone 2 HR for 50k – took just over 1hr 45. *Why use a C2 bike and not a turbo – Simply the C2 bike is there in my studio and to use the turbo I have to get the turbo out, put the bike on the turbo, load up a program blah blah blah. No it means I’m not putting the time in on my bike but right now, building bike endurance is all that matters and that can happen anywhere. There will be time to build bike craft and work on technique later.
Tues – Rest Day 6:30am – “Just Moving” Recovery Session at CrossFit *Without 75Hard I would likely just do the dog walk and that would be but as I need that second workout I went to hang out with the early morning crew and did an easy (zone 1 max) session of 9 x 3 min Assault Bike, 2 Minutes mobility – holding static stretches for 1 minute or 1 min per side.
Weds 6:45am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) Coaching Indoor Cycle is a blast. It’s where I started my FitPro life. Coach by Colour is power based training using your FTP and power zones. Its now the only type of Indoor Cycle I will do as its meaningful and measurable. I run my classes on a 12 periodised program (which I created) with FTP testing every 13th week. Luckily, as its expected for the coach to be in with the participants I can actually use this session as a training session. Good coaches are not “paid to train”. That is the mantra of lazy, crap trainers. Coaches are paid to Coach and I believe one of the very few expectations to this rule is on the bike.
7:30am – 2 mile Brick Run As soon as the class is over me and one of my clients and friends, Gary, hit the road for a 2 mile blast. Nothing special, nothing fast, just a bit of a brick session to build endurance and ability. Plus, it gives us a chance to catch up, which is always nice!
Thur 6:30am – CrossFit Conditioning Class 2 x 20 Min EMOM 1: Down Ups, Air Squats, Row, Rest and 2: Ski, Alt Sit Ups/Plank, 600m Assault Bike, Rest
12:45pm – Pool Swim 10 x 100m repeats with 1 min rest. *This was my first session back in the pool since March 2020 and I was dreading it. I had to really force myself to go to the pool. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. I have never been, nor will I ever be, a good swimmer but I get by and this session was a huge confidence builder.
6:30pm – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class (as Coach) Back in the Cycle Studio for Class 2. Same session as Weds as I keep both classes on the same schedule. This week was Wk5 in the 12 wk program and that meant Power Pyramid. 3 Repeats of Hill Climb, Tabata Sprint, Rest. A brutal but effective session and a firm favourite amongst my squad.
Fri 12:30pm – CrossFit Class Benchmark WOD Nancy – 5 Rds of 400m Run, 15 Overhead Squat. I had to row this one as I have been dealing with a crazy foot injury that is finally healing. However, it not healed enough to allow me to run in my CF shoes, and I cannot OHS in my Running Shoes so rowing was the solution.
2:00pm – Conditioning AMRAP session with Head Coach Toby 9 Min AMRAP: 15 Burpee Box Step, 30 Lunge, 15 Power Clean and Push Jerk, 4 Min Rest 9 Min AMRAP: Ring Muscle Ups and Double Unders (no need to write the specific rep scheme!) *Every Friday I jump in with our Head Coach Toby on whatever he has programmed, purely so he has someone to train alongside. I call myself his “Anti Sandbagger” His coach Matt has a bit of an evil streak and some of these sessions are the worst I have ever encountered (but in that really good way). This one was waaayyyy spicer than I thought it would be. Fun though.
Sat 8:00am – CrossFit Class 3 Min Max Effort Row for Meters, 2 Min Rest 6 Min Build to Heavy 3 Thruster, 2 Min Rest 3 Min Max Effort for Meters, 2 Min Rest 10 Min AMRAP (partner WOD) 2, 4, 6, 8, etc Cal Row, Thruster, Burpee Over Bar *Saturdays are Partner WOD at our box and I am lucky to have landed on my feet with my regular training partner, Simon, another triathlete, who is this year again attempting the DECCA (thats 10 full 140.6 Triathlons in 10 days)
9:00am – 5 Mile Run Layer up, change shoes and Simon and I were out the door straight after class. My plan was to run 4 miles, he needed 5 so 5 it was. It was one of those beautiful runs where you felt you could run forever. Again, it wasn’t fast, the HR was a bit too high (thanks to that beast of a CF class – that isn’t a complaint, I bloody loved it) but it felt comfortable and we had a really good chat all the way round.
4:15pm – Yoga Practice via DownDog App I am not a yoga fan but I am trying to find some love for it. I had to add something else in today to meet the 75Hard requirements and a bit of yoga seemed like the sensible choice. This was my 2nd session and I liked it a bit more than my first – I guess thats something right. We are going in the right direction at least.
Sun 9:00am – Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class This time I was on the other side of the class and not coaching. In this weather I am not risking outdoor rides os decided to head to the gym and see my favourite Indoor Cycle Instructor – who also instructs Coach By Colour. Not being the one on the stage I didn’t have to think. I didn’t have to talk. I just had to ride so I whacked my FTP up by 10 watts to see how I’d get on and I held it ok. Will be keeping this up the next few weeks while the weather is questionable.
10:00am – 5 Mile Run Again, layer up, change shoes and straight out the door after class for a run. This time Lorraine met me. Its so nice having so many people around me, willing to jump in and train with me. Lorraine is another friend and client and she’s training for her first attempt at competitive OCR so was more than happy to work on her running.
5:00pm – Yoga Practice Again, as the first two sessions were back to back I needed a second session for 75Hard. Yoga practice was about all I was up for and again, I “enjoyed” it a little bit more BUT I cannot breathe that slowly. I guess all that comes with time… I find it ok for the first few minutes but then the voice on the app is saying “and breathe out” and I’ve taken 3 breaths! Is this normal? Do others struggle with this?
No body comp stats this week as Sunday morning is my check in and we were in Devon.
Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning
Simple yet effective work… the shit that gets yo fit (if you hit it hard enough); 35 minutes of Row, Bike, Ski – 40 secs on, 20 secs off.
Mon: 1pm Upper Body Strength Work
5 x Negative Pull Ups, 10 min EMOM of 3 Strict Banded Pull Ups and 10 min EMOM of 3 Strict, chest and thighs to the ground, tricep Push Ups. Working hard for bullet proof shoulders 🙂
Mon: 1.30pm Strong Leg Programming
After a chat with Kerry a couple of weeks ago where we agreed I was missing weekly leg strengthening sessions, she wrote me a Strong Leg programme and today was day 1. Build to a heavy set of 3 Front Squats followed by 5 sets of 5 at 80%. I was also supposed to do 5 x 5 Barbell Split Squats but ran out of time and the gym was shutting.
Mon: 6:30pm Indoor Cycle Class + 2 mile Run
I got asked to cover a Monday night class which meant a bit of extra bike work 🙂 I chose a favourite playlist, which I put together specifically for cover classes as it showcases most of the key elements that go into making my periodised programme. Gary and the husband did the class with me so we all turned it into a brick session and added the usual post class 2 mile run.
Tue: 1:30pm Pool Swim
This was one of those sessions were everything leading up to it went wrong so I was just not in the mood! I had to hunt around for change for the parking meter only to lose the ticket down the front of my dashboard. I then went to pay for my session and realised I’d left my debit card at home. Once changed I found I didn’t have the right hairband, only my Tough Mudder headband which is too big for my swim cap meaning I couldn’t put my hair up and wear my cap. No cap meant my dreadlocks getting wet which gets heavy fast. In the pool the space was really busy, which in turn meant the lane was busy and given my foul mood I got my head down, did 400m and got out.
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class and 2 mile Run
One more go at coaching my Le Tour session. Definitely my favourite session of my programme and given the feedback I got, a lot of the class seemed to feel the same way. The post class run was bloody cold and both Gary and I felt it in the legs.
Wed: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning
3 workouts split by a 2 minute rest. 1) 10 min partner AMRAP. 1 = 12 cal Assault Bike. 2 = Max Effort Ski Erg 2) 10 min EOMOM. Max Effort Row 3) 10 min AMRAP of something that I didn’t write down and cannot remember! Seriously, I cannot remember what it was so maybe it was so awful I wiped it from memory!
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class
Split the sessions today so that I’m doing the same thing in the morning and the evening. This morning we did an old session I created in 2018 all focussed on endurance. 40 minutes split over 6 tracks meaning 3 long ass climbs broken up by some varied sprint work.
Thu: 1pm Pool Swim
I took my time today, made sure I had everything I needed and arrived at the leisure centre in a much better mood than Tuesday. I felt in the mood to swim and was determined to have a positive experience. The aim was to swim an easy mile and I achieved that goal, leaving with a smile on my face 🙂
Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Week 10 of the programme. Just two more weeks before FTP test week and tonights offering is a pure interval session. Each track offers a different type of interval with strict RPM and Watt guidance. I was extremely pleased with how this session went as it was way better than I had hoped it would be. Everyone was moaning at the end, so job done I guess. No brick session tonight as on Sunday the husband and I are running The Grizzly and I have a running interval session planned for tomorrow courtesy of Head Coach Toby, and his coach Matt.
Fri: Unplanned Rest Day
So, as just mentioned I had planned to do a running interval session today but I went to Big Crocodile HQ straight from coaching my classes at Nuffield Chichester and ended up staying longer than planned. It was a productive visit with Pam (owner of Big Croc) and not just because I had stopped at Marks and Spencer on the way so that we could try some of their weirdly flavoured Jaffa Cakes (note: the raspberry are much nicer than the peach and passion fruit). We sorted out quite a few things so it was worth missing my run session for.
Sat: Rest Day
Sun: 10.30am The Grizzly
If you’ve never heard of The Grizzly Race it is a brilliant but brutal 20 mile run across the beaches, fields, swamps, hills and cliffs in and around Seaton, Devon. Carl and I ran the race in 2017 but that year the weather was very much on our side and it was a different, nicer beast. This year it truly was a mental and physical slog. I said to Carl at about mile 15 that if I say in August that we should enter the ballot again he had permission to punch me in the face! However, even on the way home I was already thinking that actually, we may just be doing it again. I left my Garmin watch at home charging and it was quite nice to run ‘naked’ as it’s sometimes called and not worry about heart rate, pace etc.
Body Comp Stats Weight: 76.1kg (+0.5kg) Body Fat %: 28.3 (-0.6) Muscle %: 33.8 (+0.4)
Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning
Come on, you know it by now… Monday = Row, Bike Ski 🙂 Today it was 1 min Row, Bike, Ski, 2 min, 3 min, 4min and back down. No rest and, as those that mentioned this found out, no sympathy either!
Mon: 1pm 20 min Core Conditioning
Another go at Eliud Kipchoge’s core routine (taken from his training camp for the 2 hour attempt) which takes roughly 10 minutes and then 10 minutes of GHD, Sit Up, Russian Twist, V Up work.
Tue: 12:15pm FTP Test (Take 2)
It isn’t really advisable to do two FTP tests in two weeks but I wanted to validate my Ramp Test result with a 20 minute Test and I really wanted to do it on a Concept Two Bike -Erg. Luckily my Coaches recently purchased one and very kindly let me have some quality time with it.
Man, does it burn!!! My test result was very slightly less than last weeks Ramp Test but I kinda expected that so I wasn’t disappointed. I’m excited to see what I can achieve when I retest in 12 weeks time 🙂 Toby and I were going to do a second workout, something called Acid Bath (I will explain more when we do it) but he informed me that we were postponing that joy as he was still a bit broken from his session yesterday. The only good thing about this was that I could go all out on the FTP test without worrying about what was coming next.
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class and 2 mile Run
Certain things are becoming routine and coaching my class then heading straight out with Gary for a quick out and back run is one of them. I am a believer in routine being the enemy but my indoor cycle changes week on week and you can’t beat a brick session when preparing for a triathlon.
Wed 1pm PT with my Coach, Kerry
The focus today was on building leg strength and power so say hello to Bulgarian Split Squats, with a barbell. 5 sets of 5, with a little interlude from Toby informing me these were the thing that fucked him up! Obviously I wasn’t doing them anywhere near as heavy as he was, plus I wasn’t doing any of the other stuff he did with it so I was pretty sure I would be ok… and I was. I mean, don’t misunderstand, it was hard work and my glutes were on fire in that way that you are very aware of your ass for the next 24 hours but I was ok.
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle
It was week 8 of my indoor cycle programme; Unbreakable, a tough race – climb – race pyramid session and one of those sessions that I was cursing myself for creating at certain points.
Thu: 6:30pm Double Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle
I hit the training jackpot this evening. Rather than coaching a class then participating in a class I was asked to cover the second class meaning I got to control the programme. The first class stuck to the programme so, second shot at Unbreakable (I was not the only person cursing me this time!) and then I chose to bring back one of my favourite 2019 sessions called Relentless… which is exactly what it sounds like. A brutal mix of racing and hills that simply didn’t let up.
Fri: Unplanned Rest Day
Again, my Friday plans went awry but like last week, because I had coached an Insanity, LBT and Tabata class all by 10:15am I wasn’t too worried. I was also aware that next Monday is Hell Session day so an extra rest day isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Sat: Planned Rest Day
Sun: 7:30am Pool Swim and Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
I made up for my missing swim by hitting the pool early but I guess other people had a similar idea because wow was the pool busy. But, this turned out to be a good thing as I had a lightbulb moment while following an older lady up and down the lane towards the end of the session. I realised that swimming had suddenly got easier and it was simply because I had slowed my stroke.
I remembered things that I had learned a long time ago and clearly forgotten. Its like rowing… power over speed. Unfortunately I figured this out at the end of the session so I’m excited to get back in the pool and test out my re-learned knowledge.
Quick change and straight up to the cycle studio. I had 30 minutes before the class so I got to put in a decent amount of time in the saddle. I wasn’t coaching this class so I was able to just focus on the work and nothing else. My training plan had me doing a 40 mile ride and by the end of the class I’d hit 37 so not too bad at all. Hopefully the weather changes soon and I can actually get outside.