Friday, 28 February 2014

Bike Fit

During February whist still under the influences of pneumonia, I decided the only real kind of training I could do was to make gains by correcting technical things that might be wrong. I decided to invest in a bike fit. It thought it would be best to get set up correctly on my time trail bike to ensure that I would be able to maximize my speed and efficiency.    

I choose to go to SPC Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic where they offer a great technical service. I arrived with my time trial bike expecting to not change to much, maybe higher my seat a little as I have felt as though I needed to anyways. But my seat height wasn't really the problem, it was the front end.

The service I received from the clinic was exceptional; there was a pre-analysis before the fit to find any weakness in my body. Then moved onto the fitting, everything that was changed was explained with sound and technical knowledge.

As you can see from the images below I changed a lot on the front end, lowered my bars to sit on the frame, which allowed me to be lower and more aero on the front end. It felt a lot more comfortable and measured up to be more efficient. I went from a 90mm stem to a 80mm stem and it made big difference. 

Since the bike fit I have been able to cycle more comfortably and push what feels like more power through the pedals. Although this will soon be tested once the time trial and race season commences. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Pneumonia, racing and winter training continues...

Pneumonia, racing and winter training continues...

During the month of February I have had a strange time, firstly I was diagnosed with Pneumonia (life and training came to a halt), I turned 27, and then at the weekend had a terrible race! All in all a wonderful month to forget.

After being ill you only realise just how ill you actually are when you look back. I can now see that I was ill and it had been coming for a couple of weeks. I was forever tired, and didn't have the drive I usual have. But when the Pneumonia really came on, I didn't want to give in to it. I wanted to carry on, but I just couldn't. It was the strangest feeling. I was eating and eating and making sure I stayed in control of my weight, and didn't put a kg on because my body was fighting infection and needed fuel. I found my love for caffeine again and haven’t looked back since (although I need to cut this down again). It was a strange experience and one I don’t want to re-live to soon. Although I did realise that a few days off from time to time will not hinder training, and if anything might actually make you stronger…but haven't and didn't learn this lesson. 

After having Pneumonia I was on a mission to get back to normal and use some extra time I had to invest in making myself faster and stronger ready for the upcoming races. I came out of a weeks rest and felt very strong, actual felt extremely strong and loved every second I was training. I was flying through sessions faster and faster. But it was unknown to me that my body was getting weaker and weaker, and it all came to head this Sunday at Castle Combe race circuit where I had my first duathlon of the season.

The race is always a great season opener and I love the set up of the race. The track is always windy and no place to hide. On this day the wind was even stronger and made for some terrible racing conditions. My first run was slow to say the least, felt slow and was slow. Heavy legs from a tough training block really showed as I had neither speed nor kick. The wind was extremely strong and made it very difficult on the bike as the race circuit is very open. My bike leg was again slow and was over taken by what seemed to be the whole race field. I then ran a little better on the final run leg taking a few positions back, but just didn’t have a kick. All in all a very disappointing race. But it was to be expected, I had a massive training week and nothing really suggested that I was going to race well. I now need to rest and let the recent hard work sink in and pay off, that is one lesson I am learning quickly. To go quick you need to rest!!!!!

After this weeks rest I will be making sure that I have a good solid race at Peopleton Duathlon and then take some form into the First of two World Championship Qualifiers.

Something I am learning is that rest is so important and just because there is a plan written down on paper for you, if your legs won’t go, then don’t force them. If your head says not today, you need to listen. It is important that you learn to understand and get to know your body. After a heavy block of training…rest and let it sink in!

Thursday, 6 February 2014


This past week has been one of the toughest weeks of my sporting carer. I will now tell you why….


I was feeling a little run down for the whole of the last week in January. Putting it down to nothing more than having a cold and a little man flu, I continued to train and all was ok. I then got very ill, cough horrid things up and not feeling well at all. I has to take a day off training (which hasn’t happened unless it was due to it being scheduled for a long long time). The day after (1.2.14) was to be a horrid day, woke up feeling worse and decided to see the doctor. He carried out a few tests asked a few questions, heard some harsh cracking when I breath in my lungs. He then diagnosed me as having pneumonia! WONDERFUL!!


I was told to rest, rest and rest again. Although this did seem like very generic advice and the doctor didn’t seem to even brink when I tried to ask about training again. Didn’t care, but then again why should he? he did his job……you have pneumonia, now cya later…….oh any you need to go to the hospital for some tests. Thanks doc!


It was 6 days into an inactive week and now I am wondering what to do. Unfortunately Dambuster (World Duathlon Qualifier is looming 8.3.14) and I am now inactive, and very frustrated.


I am now waiting in the wings to et back into training and can wait for sessions to start, but will this hold me back? will it come back? will it make is worse if I don’t time sessions right? am I rushing it? Lots of questions that almost cannot be answered without a little bit of lets just two feet in attitude!


What do people do without exercise in their lives? if offers so much to the sole and to life. It puts most things into perspective, it allows you to de-stress, unwind and relax. It takes cares and worries away, allows you to think and reflect on everything. It offers friendships, laughs and enjoyment. Although most of my sessions don’t allow for this, the ones that do are well worth it.   


I will be starting some easy training towards the end of the week and can’t wait. I hope it goes well and I get back onto the steep road to recovery.



Watch this space for some new recipes in production…….