Sunday, 29 April 2012


Well today I got up and as expected the heavens had opened. Thanks again to BBC for the screen grab below.

After putting a blind up in the kitchen which I promised the wife I would do last weekend but was in to much pain after my 40k on the bike.

I decided to get on the turbo trainer. But first I had to change my back tyre again as I really didn't want to use my new tyres on the turbo trainer. I definitely need a new complete wheel so I can rapidly change wheels for when I need to turbo train and when I road ride. I couldn't decide what distance to do but settled on a 25km ride bricked with a jog.

I smashed out the 25km in 00:49:37 which equates to an average of 30.22 km/h (I maxed out at 60.2 km/h). This means the 40km would have been completed in 01:19:28. I'm quote pleased with this pace again. Now I just need to do this on the road. Please can I have some good weather next weekend to be able to try and match this in real life. In total I burnt 505 calories with an average heart rate of 137bpm.

Right so ride completed, I strapped up my achilles (as I did yesterday) and set off on my run. My initial pace of 7 min/mile I was very happy with but my achilles didn't feel as good as it did yesterday so I decided to cut short my run (after only 0.31 miles) in case I aggravated my achilles. Disaster. I will have to try running during the week. The one advantage I have is that Regents Park is round the corner from work so if needed I can run on grass to limit the pressure I put on my achilles.

I'm going to build up slowly so I don't aggravate things. Tuesday the plan is to jog 1.5 miles and Thursday up this to about 2 miles. Fingers crossed I am still feeling this good next weekend.

Right now for the ouchies, I really don't think my bike is correctly fitted to me and am contemplating going to get this professionally done. Becausse at present when I'm riding on the turbo trainer I'm getting some lower back pain which is not good. JE James cycles in Rotherham do offer this service. Now I just need to enquire how much it costs.

Hope my back gets better soon. Right now I'm off to the pub to watch my beloved Blackburn possibly play their last televised Premier League game.

Remember you can still sponsor me and it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Well today is a good day

So got up this morning and decided to test out my new achilles strap to see if I could manage a run and to my absolute amazement I could. That means I can do some running during the week which is good.

I'm so relieved. Turns out my random internet shopping on return2fitness was worthwhile.

Also today I have reached over 4 weeks without any smoking or nicotine. I even got a certificate from Smokefree Doncaster. Check me out.

The only reason I think I have found it so easy (this time) is because something from Allen Carr must have stuck in my head before I started taking Champix. I really have had no cravings.  I have had the occasional bout of short temperedness but thanks to my wife for supporting me.

I ordered some new bike tyres as well. Some Schwalbe Ultremo ZX in red to match my bike and damn they look amazing when fitted.

Think I'm going to leave these off for a while as they don't look very hard wearing and I don't want to have to spend £62 replacing them. May leave them until the month before my triathlon. There are mixed reviews on the internet as well, which is just compounding my worries. What to do?

Tomorrow the forecast is for heavy rain so I think it will be another turbo trainer session. May even try to brick it with a little jog afterwards to see if my achilles is really better.

The achilles strap that I have seems to stretch out my tendon which means no pain on running. You have no idea how relieved I am about this. I was really worried that I would have to walk the run leg of my triathlon which would mean that I would have to smash the times for my swim and bike if I was going to stick to my target time of between 3 and a half to four hours.

Please sponsor me on my Justgiving page. There are 21 weeks to go and I still need £580 in sponsorship to get on the start line. That means I need nearly £30 a week in sponsorship.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, 22 April 2012

No training makes me grumpy but taking photos makes me happy

Well the last couple of weekends have been occupied with taking photos.

The first weekend I was lucky enough to photograph the Great Britain handball team at the London Handball Cup. For those interested, my photos can be seen here. HANDBALL

The second weekend I was fortunate to obtain media accreditation to the GB Canoeing Olympic Selection Event. Again for those interested my photos can be seen here. CANOEING

Unfortunately this led to no training being undertaken as I was too busy with photography.

This made me feel a little grumpy but hey ho.

The most important thing is that I am still off the evil weed. 23 days and counting. Can't believe how easy I am finding it. Many thanks to Pfizer for producing Champix. Admittedly the side effects could put a lot of people off but I am having none, which I am relieved about.

The most important thing is that I KNOW that I will never smoke again. I'm even finding myself turning into an ex smoking nazi and nagging people at work. But that is only because I am really feeling the benefits.

On Sunday I decided to put this to the test. I was planning on going out on the bike but the weather in Doncaster was changeable at best. Thanks to the BBC for the snapshot below.

It absolutely bucketed it down before I set off.

Right then on to plan B, a session with my turbo trainer. I decided to do at least 25km on the trainer. Despite this being very boring it was preferable to getting soaked to the skin.

I put on my new (well second hand) HRM. It's a Polar F11. I found it really difficult  to stay within the heart rate zones which were specified.

After 15km my wife came to ask "why don't you do the full distance?" Right gauntlet thrown down, challenge accepted. Great.

Another 25km later and I got off the bike with jelly legs. The time. Brace yourself 01:19:36 which I was amazed by considering I was aiming for 2 hours in the event. Admittedly there was no wind resistance but I had overheating to contend with as there was no wind. I felt chuffed. At about 35km in I decided to see if all the exercise had warmed up my achilles tendon sufficiently to enable me to jog afterwards.

I a word NO!!!!!! Gutted. I managed a brief jog but felt a slight twinge so decided to stop and just walk. I then stretched every muscle in my legs as a warm down.

The display off my HRM makes for some interesting reading. 1128 calories burned, max bpm 177, average bpm 148. Over an hour spent in the hard zone. For someone who has done very little exercise since 2006 (well really only 7.5 hours on a bike for the hell that was London to Brighton in 2008 with no training), this makes for some encouraging progress.

Can't believe how much difference not smoking makes. At the start of this expedition I used to get out of breath after about 3km. Indeed my first ride was 5.1km in 00:18:30. The performance today was a marked improvement.

I really need to sort my achilles tendinitis out so that I can go running during the week as I am neglecting this aspect of my training (although it is not my fault), my latest thought is that a compression ankle support may help my tendinitis. Cue google research through this week. Unless any readers have any ideas?

Right, the downsides to this much exercise out of the blue. Stiff back afterwards and stiff legs but that is to be expected, hence the stretching and warm down.

Remember you can sponsor me via my Justgiving page. I will be nagging people about sponsorship now that the London Marathon has been run.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Bad couple of weeks training wise

Well I'm still not smoking which is the main point behind everything.

Ive not had so much success with training though (which is incredibly frustrating). Due to other commitments (photographing 6 international handball games) I only got home at 9pm on Saturday which made this week extra long.  Then I got invited round to a neighbours and proceeded to drink too much homebrew. I had commitments with my family on Easter Sunday and then arranged a night out with some friends to unwind after a long week.

Then on Easter Monday I couldn't muster the inclination to go for a bike ride in the rain. By the time the rain had stopped I was otherwise distracted (publicising my photographs) and hence this week I will not have done any training, which I am disappointed about.

Next week does not bode well either. I am still working away and have to stay in London next weekend to photograph the BCU Olympic Selection Event at Lee Valley White Water Course. I may have time for a quick session on my turbo trainer next Sunday night, like I said it does not bode well however I will be taking my swimming stuff on the off chance that I manage to get to a pool outside of work.

I might have the time on Friday and Saturday morning depending on what time things kick off with the canoeing.

My Road ID arrived from America in record time so I know that I will be safer should I have an accident while training outside. Can't wait to use it soon.

That's all I've got to say at the moment.

Sorry for the lame as update but like I said the main thing is I am still off the evil weed.

Thanks for reading.

Remember you can still sponsor me using Justgiving and I hope some of you do as I still have to raise £580 before I get to the start line.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Confession and disaster averted

Firstly I have to get something off my chest. The claim made on the 26th January was genuine at the time but the Allen Carr books didn't work for me. I think this was mostly due to my transient lifestyle and the fact that through the week I didn't have the support of my wife and got very bored while staying in hotels. I could manage four days without a cigarette and to be honest did on several occasions, however then boredom and cravings would set in and I would be back at square one.

This reduced me to tears on several occasions as I viewed myself as being too weak to quit.

I debated long and hard on whether to try the counselling provided by Allen Carr in Yorkshire or try try the NHS, but persevered with the books but alas to no avail, I still couldn't quit for longer than 4 days

Finally after my third successive failed attempt to kick the evil weed, I contacted the Smokefree service in Doncaster and went to their one to one counselling. I decided to take Champix rather than NRT as some of the "brainwashing" of Allen Carr obviously had some lasting effect and I completely agree that prescribing a poison to defeat an addiction to said poison is ludicrous.

Anyway I'm three weeks into my six week long counselling to stop smoking and have now been a happy non-smoker since Friday. Champix is marvellous. No cravings at all, the odd weird dream but other than me forgetting to take them at regular intervals I can't complain. The support I'm getting from Smokefree is wonderful. Even though I've seen three different counsellors, they all seem really amazed by my quest.

Right now thats off my chest I can update you on other things that have been going on this week.

My new stem arrived during the week and I fitted this on Friday night. I think I've got it about right now but am still contemplating paying for a professional bike fit. It's lowered my bars by about an inch and a half which is lessening the effects that wind will have on me.

As discussed yesterday I decided to really push myself on the bike in a turbo training session. There is no way I could maintain the speeds I did for any length of time until I am a lot fitter but it was still an achievement.

This morning I got up with a hangover (thanks to all my friends for an amazing day) and after faffing for England I decided to make the most of the nice weather and really push myself on the bike. I was aiming to complete about 30km in as quick a time as I feasibly could. I had breakfast, loaded my body with caffeine and set off.

All was going well and I felt really good up until about 12.7km into my ride when much to my alarm I hit a sunken gully cover which was lower than the road by about an inch and a half. With the speed I was going (47km/h or 29mph) this caused me to have an instantaneous blow out of my front tyre. This scared the life out of me and it wasn't until I started to turn slowly but carried on in a straight line that I realised I had a major problem. I slammed on and then had to walk the best part of a mile home. At least I escaped ok as had I fallen off at that speed I dread to think what the consequences would have been.

When I got home I changed my front tyre's inner tube. I was going to repair the punctures but there were four of them in total and it seemed silly to try running on a tyre with that many repaired punctures.

For a map of my ride please see below.

With this sort of pace I should be able to complete my bike leg in well under two hours which is better than I was aiming for.

Please take some time out of your lives to sponsor me using Justgiving, it is for an amazing cause. Who knows some day you may need the services of Cancer Research.

Thanks for reading. 25 weeks to go. BRING IT ON.


Super sprint

I thought it was time to see what my legs could do yesterday so I got on the turbotrainer and decided to really give it some welly.

I managed to top out at 67.3km/h (41mph) and managed 6.5km in 9 minutes 30 which equates to 41km/h. If I could maintain this speed I would complete my triathlon bike leg in under one hour. Needless to say I'd need a new body to maintain that speed. Generally though my speed is improving and with 25 weeks to go it's averaging 24 km/h. Right time to drag my hangover addled body out on a bike ride and see how far and fast I manage to go today.

Thanks for reading,


Six months to go

Started writing this last weekend but never got round to finishing it. Sorry.

Well in 182 days I'll be running the Virgin Active London Triathlon. Starting to get a little nervous to be honest but it's mainly because I still can't run and thus can't train during the week. Rang some gyms this week so I can try to train while in London. The prices were slightly prohibitive (ranging from £60-90) for a split centre membership. If I get desperate I'll have to join.

I did two bike rides this weekend. The ride on Saturday was very short but thats because I had a lot of things to do.

The one on Sunday was 22km long and I completed it in under an hour. Which I was really pleased with. The route can be seen below.

I was genuinely impressed with this ride. My legs were jelly when I finished though. As you can tell from above I have now joined Endomondo so that people can track my progress. I will also be including rides in my blog. It really is a clever website.  The only other items of note were the fact I have ordered a new stem for my bike to help my get in a more aero position following something I saw on Youtube. I've also ordered a Road ID in case I have an accident.

Please remember you can still sponsor me at Justgiving.

Thanks for reading