Monday, 30 November 2009

Three Little Boys....

Three little boys went through their school life. Each boy had very similar opportunities throughout their time at school, some opportunities they took, some they didn't, soon they moved on to Year 13 and began the process of applying for Universities. I am a Year 13 (Upper 6th in old money) form tutor and have to write UCAS (University Application Process) references for the above three not so little boys.

Writing the reference for Boy One, who I shall call Arnold is a doddle. He has a tremendous work ethic, too many personal qualities to write in the provided space, has fully involved himself in Sport at school, has excelled as a senior pupil, was given Head Boy Status, raised money to and then participated in a month long World Challenge Expedition, and has shown dedication to pursue his Sporting talents. He achieved a solid set of GCSE grades and last year completed his A Levels also gaining a strong set of grades. His academic achievements have been as a direct of result of some natural talent but mainly huge amounts of hard work, dedication and desire to succeed.

Writing the reference for Boy two, who shall be called Sylvester has also been quite straight forward. Sylvester has been on a steady progression as a pupil throughout his school days. He has taken many sporting opportunities and is currently 1st XV Rugby Captain. Recent hard work and determination have resulted in Yorkshire U19 representative honour's this season. He has passed on some opportunities offered at school, but has gone out of his way to focus on coaching some of the junior sports teams, as a result he is moving positively in the direction he wishes to focus on at University. Around school he is very approachable, friendly with most pupils, a prefect with responsibility and a decent, independent young man who has been on a slow burner throughout school who will be successful at University.

The reference for Boy three, who I would like to call W Astas Pace is proving more difficult to write. Here is a boy who has slowly regressed as he has aged. He is a talented sportsman but has coped poorly with the sporting environment, he failed to take opportunities in the senior school to represent the school and struggles to cope with the playing environment. We are currently discussing whether he should represent the school 1st XI or whether his involvement will upset the balance of the team. He is academically decent however a lack of effort, focus and desire to achieve resulted in a weaker set of GCSE grades, that can only be described as underachievement. His A levels have been a constant battle between said pupil and staff, and now he is finding himself studying just two A Levels and looking at the possibility of a Foundation Degree, in a subject area (Architecture) where in all honestly his chance of success is fairly limited. I am not prepared to extend the truth with W Astas Pace, so can only write a short concise reference, not dwelling too much on his failures.

Writing references and helping students succeed is one of the reasons I teach. I have really enjoyed guiding Arnold and Sylvester through their University Application and I am sure they will continue to be very successful, as for W Astas Pace, I can only hope the passage of time and the contact with new individuals will put him back on the track he has fallen from.

We are all presented with opportunities throughout our days, weeks, years and life, how firmly we choose to take them depends on many factors, many people and often situations we may be in when the opportunity arises.

Sometimes I wonder whether I am always taking the opportunities in front of me, however many, many factors affect whether an opportunity is taken, and the degree to which it is pursued. At the moment there are opportunities to do many things, I am hoping I can take as many of them as possible in the next few weeks.
This week Ellie has left me no choice but to share a quote with you all. 'Ellie's Quote of the Week'
"In the night I heard a little voice and it was a fairy and it wanted to sit on my special plaster on my finger"

Monday, 23 November 2009

My Training Diary

Do you keep a training diary? I have kept one since my University days (1996) and think I have managed to write one every year except the few years in the early 2000's when whilst still training I didn't really have any focus. I find it a really useful 'NOW' tool, and also an interesting retrospective read. It also allows me to look at training progression, and I guess in 20 years I might be able to compare max bench press efforts, or interval run session pace with my Grand Children (oh how they will love visiting Grandpa Garrard's). So this week I thought I'd look at my last 4 training weeks and compare them to this time 12 months ago.

Week 1; 2008 Bike x 6, 6hrs, 120 miles, Run x 4, 3 1/4hrs: Total Training 9 1/4hrs.

Week 1; 2009 Bike x 4, 5 1/4hrs 110 miles, Run x 4, 3 1/4hrs, Swim x 2, 1 1/4hrs, Guy Fawkes 10 mile race: Total Training 9 1/4hrs.

Week 2; 2008 Bike x 7, 5 1/2hrs, 110 miles, Run x 2, 1hr:Total Training 6 1/2hrs.

Week 2; 2009 Bike x 6, 7hrs, 140 miles, Swim x 1, 1/2hr: Total Training 7 1/2hrs.

Week 3; 2008 Bike x 7, 9 1/4hrs 170 miles: Total Training 9 1/4hrs.

Week 3; 2009 Bike x 5, 6hrs 110 miles, Run x 2, 1 1/4hrs, Swim x 2, 1 1/4hrs, Weights x 1, 1hr: Total Training 9 1/2hrs

Week 4; 2008 Bike x 7, 9 1/4hrs 175 miles, Run x 3, 2 1/2hrs, Weights x1, 1/2hr: Total Training 12 1/4hrs

Week 4; 2009 Bike x 6, 7hrs 130 miles, Run x 2, 2hrs, Swim x 2 1 1/4hrs, Weights x 2 1 1/2hrs, Abbey Dash 10k Race: Total Training 11 3/4hrs.

In a summary form;

2008 Bike 30hrs, 575 miles, Run 6 3/4hrs, Weights 1/2hr: Total Training 37 1/4hrs.

2009 Bike 25 1/4hrs, 490 miles, Run 6 1/2hrs (2 races), Swim 4 1/4hrs, Weights 2 1/2hrs: Total Training 38hrs.

What does this show? well I guess the one thing that jumps off the page for me when I look at my diary's is the consistency of my training, particularly over the last 3 years. This year I am trying to train much more like a Triathlete and whilst it is still 'all about the bike' my promise to swim through the winter and to run more consistently is happening. I haven't looked into specific sessions but if I did these 4 weeks would show much more variety, interval sessions on the bike, running intervals and more specific weights/core sessions (currently in a leg strength building phase) In addition there are 2 running races in 2009. This isn't a coincidence or me selecting particular weeks for good stats, but a deliberate desire to do more running races for that ultimate, not possible to replicate in training intensity that only a race brings.

My training diary also provides me with positive motivation, it is great to look back on a week and see a solid set of numbers, or to see numbers missing for a particular discipline and to then sort it out the next week.

So week 4, 2009 was a good one, nicely balanced, some intensity and the Abbey Dash 10k race where I ran 39.10 (6.18min mile pace) today my legs are suffering, but what's the point in racing if you don't hit it as hard as you can, a little DOMS didn't hurt anybody!!!!

Sarah knows that I enjoy the prospect of opening a new training diary on Christmas morning, I wonder whether she will be able to find another Mickey Mouse one?

Sunday, 15 November 2009


This weekend I have managed to watch some of the International Sport that has been on. I enjoy watching the Rugby, and find it really beneficial to my refereeing and development as a coach. I find football on TV a long occasion, and rarely manage to watch an entire match. I saw some of the England v Brazil match (England 0 Brazil 1), watched England beat Argentina 16 - 9, and then managed to see Ireland v Australia (20 - 20) when Evie fell asleep lying on my chest. Sitting here on Sunday evening am I inspired by the performance of highly paid professional sportsmen? well in a word NO, (although things improved somewhat this afternoon).

Where has the spark gone from team sport? where have the match winners gone? where has the spontaneity and improvisation gone? There wasn't much on show this weekend, particularly when an English team was involved.

I think 15 year's ago (bit of a guess) football started to change, (was that about the time of the Premiership?) I remember hearing many managers say 'if we don't concede a goal we won't lose and we may win'. Team's started to put more and more emphasis on the defence and as a result games became tighter, teams conceded fewer goals and they would often sneak a goal or hold out for a draw. I realise a solid defence is vital in professional sport, but the last time I explained winning to the boys and girls I teach I remember saying if you score more goals, score more tries, score more points you will win, it's still the same. Yes you need to be solid in defence and stopping the opposition scoring or your badminton opponent hitting winners will give you a greater chance of winning, but you still have to score some points for yourself or your team. In my teens I played tennis, and every year we had the village tennis championships. Very often I would come across the same player who had one very simple strategy, get the ball back over the net. He did exactly that, safe, low risk tennis, he kept returning the ball, safe serves, rarely going for a winner, guess what happened? He frustrated the hell out of me, I made mistakes, got wound up by his defensive game plan and quite often I would lose to him. (I don't really think he beat me) Some would argue a pretty effective tactic........anyway back to our overpaid footballers. When was the last time a striker scored a hatrick? when was the last time a midfield player scored a mighty goal from outside the box (not a free kick) when was the last time you saw a attacker take it past the goalkeeper and slot it into an empty net? I think with all this defensive thought, strategies and tactics to keep the opposition out individuals and teams have forgotten how to score goals, and guess what the same thing is now happening in rugby.......

Stop the opposition scoring, let them make mistakes and maybe opportunities will present themselves, enter stage left the specialist 'Defence Coach'. A contrasting thought, be aggressive in attack, outplay the opposition, commit numbers and create overlaps, look for opportunities to score, controversial!!! The England game was dire. Talk about a team devoid of ideas, and individuals scared to make mistakes. Another thing I will tell the boys I teach is to look after the ball. Keep the ball, protect the ball, surely you need it to score goals or tries!! However cue the England's tactics, (and many other Rugby teams), kick the ball back to the opposition and see if they make a mistake, if they don't they will return it to you, and you can have another go. I remember at school practising kicking the ball so that it bounced into touch and you then had the opportunity to win the lineout (guess lineouts are too predictable now so that's a pointless tactic) So mistakes are made, the ball is knocked on. Ok, nice territory deep in the opponents half with the ball at the scrum, surely a perfect position to launch an attack, Oh how wrong I am. Instead, win the scrum keep it tight, set a ruck, set another, set another make some ground and lure the opposition into a mistake that results in a penalty, Bingo, free shot between the posts 3pts yawn, yawn, yawn!!!! Who would want to be a winger with today's tactics. The way we are going, and I don't think we are far away we will have specialist kickers (probably American Football Players) who are that good they will be able to kick from pretty much anywhere. We wonder why today's players can't attack, score goals or tries, well it's not rocket science, they rarely get the opportunity to practise the skills required or create the partnerships with their team mates to build effective attacking positions.

Rooney attacking the Brazilian defence doesn't have the skills, knowledge or confidence to back himself and take on the defender and head towards goal, it's fear of failure, or lack of confidence, so what does he do? He turns back inside and plays a safe square or backwards pass, end result all impetus has gone from the attacking situation. Same on the Rugby pitch. The opposition give you the ball via a poor kick, where's the 15 running with pace and power, initiating an attack bringing in his winger and looking to open up the defence? In an attacking line where's the 15 joining the line, running with pace, looking to outnumber the opposition, looking to commit a dummy runner, throw a miss pass, work a scissors move he's not there, he's sitting deep just in case the scrum is turned over and the opposition attack. Managers are scared of losing, directors in turn put so much pressure on not losing, and as a result this negative approach to winning sport is reinforced in most modern players. Modern players are scared to be do something different, scared to be spontaneous, in case it doesn't work.

Before I move on I have a simple idea that might make the game of Rugby more exciting again. Make the penalty worth 2 points and the try work 6. Teams will still have to behave themselves, but it might just encourage teams to be braver and look for try scoring situations. 3 converted tries would require 12 penalties for the boring, play it safe team, even Jonny's not capable of slotting that may over.

I wonder whether some endurance athletes have also lost the spontaneity and ability to improvise, particularly with our training. Not necessarily just in terms of effort, but also in terms of the type of sessions we choose, where we do those sessions, when we do those sessions, swimming, running or cycling in your comfort zone. Some sort of training plan is probably a must, for me a rigid weekly training plan very rarely works. I usually miss a session and then beat myself up for doing so, if I set a session in stone and then fail to deliver I am often left feeling a bit deflated. For me I prefer to have some ideas for my training but with enough flexibility to change or miss sessions, without it causing World War V in my mind.

How often do you ride the same old routes at the same old speeds, run the same out and back or do the same warm up set, session after session in the pool. In the gym, Bench Press then Shoulder Press then Upright Row then Bicep Curl then Tricep Extension then too knackered for the situps and crunches, sound familiar? Take a look around you, have you ever run a route through the woods near your home or have you ever driven to a challenging wood or park for a run in a change of scenery. Have you ever ridden your favourite route in reverse. When was the last time you left your HR monitor at home and just went for it, or just ran without any timing device.

Unfortunately in Professional Cycling the Rugby, Football theme is occurring. Take for instance the fact that all cyclist are radioed up. Taking directions from their team managers the riders know exactly the time gaps and when to chase and how hard to chase, I hope the UCI ban radios, and we get back to the cyclist racing, taking chances and making there own decisions.

To a lesser extend power meters are having a similar effect in Ironman Triathlon. A superb training tool, but doesn't it take the guess work and spontaneity out of race day. Stick it at 200watts and come in with a 5.30 bike split giving you the platform to run your predicted 4.30 marathon using your Garmin to control your pace, Oh what a surprise my finishing time is exactly as I predicted. OK I know it's not that simple but what about if you were having a 'blinder', your legs feel like you are spinning, and you wonder whether your chain has fallen off it feels that easy, but NO wait a minute, stay in control, Mr Powermeter is too high, slow down, slow down!! Have we lost the opportunity for that monster day when massive PB's are earned?

This week I was spontaneous, and I loved it. On Thursday I rode my bike and slotted in 5 intervals on a steady incline taking approx 4 mins to ride. I hadn't planned to do this, but I rode the hill and felt good so decided to do a few more, I also hit it pretty hard. Then on Friday I trained with My Judo Friend Dane, although I hadn't lifted weights for a couple of weeks sod it, lift heavy, bench press, squats, flys and some pretty severe weighted abbs exercises. After lunch I wanted to run. I wasn't that inspired by my usual route along the river bank so decided on some rugby pitch intervals. I completed 8 laps, holding 68seconds on a 90 seconds recovery. I felt very tired on Saturday morning and had planned to ride to work, but with 2 solid, different high intensity days behind me I was quite content to drive in and take a couple of rest days.

This week I invite you to look for moments in your life and training where you can be spontaneous. Go on do it, it really is quite enjoyable doing something a little different.....I think I might ride where I will sprint max out for every sign post, bring it on...
The photo? I wanted to jump off the steps on holiday in Majorca, so I did......

Monday, 9 November 2009

Citius, Altius, Fortius

'Faster, Higher, Stronger' the Olympic moto and the name of my Blog, what's that got to do with this weeks thoughts? Well it sort of links in to how I am looking at my training this year. The picture for the last 3 years has been racing Ironman. During the preparation for each Ironman it has all been about preparing my body to endure a long day of racing. This is vital and must be number 1 priority for an athlete like myself, by that I mean an athlete who has just a finite training window each week due to work and family commitments. Each session is aimed at maximising success on race day. It is either a very brave athlete, very confident athlete or very experienced Ironman athlete that is prepared to play around with their training. For me most swimming sessions were long, steady sets, riding was mostly as long as possible, steady state/ submaximal and running was focused on steady 8min/mile or slower with great form. With the hours I had available to train I felt this was the most sensible approach and would give me the best possible chance of finishing my Ironman race as well as I possibly could, it's not the only way but it is where I found myself. I think it worked, I finished each Ironman, went faster at Switzerland than UK and then had a strong race throughout the day on the challenging Lanzarote course. This year however things are getting a bit more spicy.......

I am aiming to race predominantly Middle Distance Triathlons. I know I can complete the distance so it's all about doing so with as much speed as I can muster from my 8.5% body fat frame :) (I am sure it's shot up to 15% thanks to the Guys Fawkes goody bag and my lack of will power and over indulgence!!) This year as many sessions as possible will have an aim, and I will look to vary the aim of sessions from day to day or week to week. Now this sounds straight forward. I have many years of training experience, I have a Sports Science Degree, I teach training principles and I am surrounded by very knowledgeable people......but I reality of change and is quite tough. I am quite motivated by miles in my training diary, comparisons between years for training hours and such like volume related goals. See my keenness to complete the 1000mile May challenge, great for an Ironman athlete, but a direction I have to move away from this year. It is a new direction I am looking forward to moving in and so far I have resisted the invitation from Tom to join him in early August for the 'Outlaw Ironman Triathlon'

So what sort of stuff will I be looking to do. Let me start with swimming. "Hey Ben it's 6 months before your first race, surely it's way too soon to start swimming"? No not this year, I am going to swim through the winter, and I am going to swim properly through the winter. I am going to focus on my technique, I am going to try and bring my continuous swim 100m time down from 1.45's to 1.30's. I am going to swim shorter sets, and I am going to test myself with the added motivation found in the form of the Winter Swim Challenge.

As always my bike training will be consistent courtesy of my daily commute to work. However I am looking at a different approach to my cycling for at least the next few months. I have lowered the gearing on my fixed wheel, I have challenged myself to stay out of the BIG ring on my road bike and I am looking to train at a much higher cadence and improve my pedalling efficiency. I have also realised that my long ride on a Thursday is not all about spending as long as possible out on the bike, aka last few years Ironman training mode. I intend to mix up my Thursday rides. Riding between 1 1/2 and 3 hrs but throwing in some higher tempo intervals mid ride, hard hill repeats, shorter max efforts etc etc. My rides to and from work will also vary, some days 1 min on 1 min off or timed efforts between set points. I might not record many really long rides in the next few months, and I may find I don't tot up as many miles of riding next year, but more riding variety and quality is the song I am dancing to this season.

Running is all about gaining my long lost friend 'Mr Speed'. In 2000 I ran a 17.51 5k on the track, a 37.30 10k and 62.30 10 miler. OK I am 10 years older and may have lost a few fast twitch muscle fibres, but I should be capable of running faster. I am slowly distancing myself from the slow plodding style (great for Ironman racing) and have realised that to do so I need to hurt more when I run. Intervals, short hill repeats, more racing and generally more frequency of running will I am sure bring my fast twitch fibres out of retirement and allow me to see low 7's and 6min/mile splits frequently on my Garmin. I am no longer fearful of running 26.2 miles, and hence have changed my perspective on my run training. So far so good, as I am really pleased with my performances at The Harewood Off Road 10 miler, Sherwood Pines Off Road 10k and the Guy Fawkes 10 miler. I have more races planned and some tough training sessions to do.

I think realistically I can fit in between 8 and 12 hours a week training. This is of course dependent on my work load at school and my energy levels. This sort of time, spent training like I did last year would see me maintain my fitness and consolidate my present bike and run speed, however this amount of time spent at a variety of running speeds, biking speeds and heart rate intensities will I have no doubt see me come out of the winter with more power and speed. As for my swimming watch this space, I can already feel a strange like skin growing between my toes!!!!

Finally motivation, without it the winter is hard. I am surrounded by very motivated people and love the fact that through Twitter and various other means I can influence others and be exposed to their positive influences. I know I have been a great source of motivation for an ex-pupil of mine in the past, now he is also adding to my motivation armoury. Dane Mitchell is a black belt in Judo and this year has delayed his University application to pursue his goal of completing in the 2012 Olympics. I have been training with Dane helping him pack on some muscle to take him towards his 81kg weight limit. (Oh to be 18 again and overflowing with Testosterone and HGH he just looks at the weights and develops) A few weeks back he took bronze in the National Championships and is now firmly in the GB squad. On Sunday he was put through his paces at a GB squad fitness testing session at the EIS at Sheffield. In his group he won every test. He reached level 13.8 in the bleep test (bare footed on a Judo mat) sick on completion due to the level he pushed himself to, he completed level 17 on the press-up test. Start with 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5 all way up to 17 (total 153 press-ups) as well as topping the group in a power test, flexibility and various other tests. He is well on his way, and whilst I cannot bench press as much as him anymore I am still doing a regular training session with him, taking inspiration and motivation from his attitude, performance and drive.

This time next week I will be reflecting on a solid training week including variety and a further move away from Ironman training and a move towards training for Middle Distance Speed Performance.......'Citius, Altius, Fortius'
p.s. this weeks picture my DS Racers, built for Speed :)

Monday, 2 November 2009

A Great Week...

After my ramblings last week, I can report a great week and a return to my old self. The week has been helped by being on Half Term, but I do feel I have turned a new page and started a new chapter. Whilst it's been a long 7 week first half term it's hardly an eternity, I am very happy to have a week's holiday however I have very little time for the teachers at my school who just cannot hack a few weeks work before claiming illness and then moan about how long the term is. Come on guys don't moan about it, if you don't like having 16 weeks holiday a year, working at most 7 weeks before a weeks break then please get out and get yourself a job where you have to book your 5 weeks with your boss!!!

It's been a full week, lot's of family time, some relaxation time, plenty of training and mucho weather. Spring felt like it arrived on a couple of days, perfectly timed for a couple of bike rides. Then on Sunday the wind and rain came just in time for the Guy Fawkes 10 mile running race. I actually love running in the rain and once we had run the first mile I was quite warm. However my supporters remained stranded in the car in the flooded field where they did very well to amuse themselves with all the usual in car games, including eye spy and singing. The Halloween Chocolate and Sweets came in handy but really the patience and inginuity of Sarah was the real reason 2 hours in car can be so much fun. This was a real shame as the race venue was Ripley Castle which has some fantastic grounds, a great tearoom and looks pretty Castley so Ellie would have been fascinated (she asked if Kings and Queen's still lived there) It will be a good location for a picnic in kinder weather.

The picture's were taken at Tropical World in Leeds. It was nice to have a day out with just Ellie. Recently Evie has sort of taken over, she is at that very awkward 2 1/2 years age where communication is developing more slowely than understanding and the desire to be involved. At times she is certainly a terrible two. Anyway me and Ellie went to Tropical World saw all sorts of exotic animals and got up close and personal with some lovely butterflies. We hit the gift shop where Ellie bypassed the soft toys instead wanting a book and animal pen to draw some pictures, and practice her writing. So often I forget she has only just turned 5, she really is an attentive, caring, intelligent little girl. We then headed up into Headingley and had lunch at Gusto's. Ellie got to make her own Pizza and I got a hugely overpriced, miniature Caesar Salad, (should have had a pizza) but the food was secondary to the time I got to spend with Ellie.

On Friday I took myself, Ellie and Evie (Sarah was fixing Saxophones) across to Liverpool to see my brother Max and his wife Rachael. It was a visit with a two pronged attack. Auntie and Uncle get to spend a bit of time with their nieces and Daddy gets ride a stationary bike to exhaustion whist bro is stabbing his finger taking copious amounts of blood for lactate analysis. Max lectures Sports and Exercise Science at Liverpool Hope University, I wanted to a do a Maximal Power test on the bike to establish some training zones and Max wants some more subjects for his BASES accreditation. I got a body analysis in the bodpod which gave me a body fat of 8.5%. Although Max is quite happy with it's accuracy I think it may be a little low, however I was super happy with the result. Onto the bike and I maxed out at 390 watts for 2 mins, reaching 180 bpm heart rate. Lactate was sky high so Max will be able to plot an accurate Onset Blood Lactic Acid Accumulation profile against Heart rate, and then give me some advice for some subsequent training zones. I was more then happy with my bike performance, it is great to do and fits nicely with my desire to train more scientifically and move away from the long steady training I have focussed on for the last 3 Ironman filled years. Speed and quality is where it's at this year my friends!!!
The rest of the week was far from empty. Swimming with Ellie, pumpkin carving, Trick or Treating, tree surgery in the garden, leaf clearing, a shocking DVD 'Shoot em up' with Sarah, Nice Sunday lunch post race with Ove, Emma and 6 week old Eva and of course the usual day to day fun and frustrations that two little girls bring. I managed to give Sarah a bit more free time than her usual week so she could get to the gym and pool, where she is really enjoying herself. This weeks post wouldn't be complete without some attention to my training, given that when it's happening I am a much nicer person to be around, more balanced, more contented and generally happier. In a summary form my training week looked like this.
Mon: am RUN 5.5 miles, Steady 8min/ BIKE (Ceepo) 1hr steady spinning 139bmp HR.

Tues: am RUN 5 miles including 8 hill rep hard SWIM 400m TT 6.33

Wed: am BIKE 47 miles 2 1/2 hrs high cadence riding (min 100 rpm)

Thurs: pm BIKE (Ceepo) 1hr steady spinning 132bpm HR Brick RUN 3.5 mile 8min/mile

Fri: am Max Power Test 3/4 hr
Sat: pm SWIM Drills set 1600m 3/4hr
Sun: am Guy Fawkes 10 Mile Run Race 1:10:50 ave HR 170bpm

Total: 9 3/4 hrs nicely balanced between swim, bike, run.
The challenge now is to maintain the balance between each discipline and the balance between intensity when I return to work. I know it's possible and I am going give it a good shot.
Oh yes nearly forgot, my new Asics DS Racers were the 'dogs danglies' on Sunday in the race, and finally....I have booked my place on the Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club Training Camp departing 28th March 2010 to Malaga for a week, will be awesome.
Let me leave you with one of my favourite quotes,
'if you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself expanding and learning as you go you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip'

Have a great week folks, see you in 7.......

p.s. nearly forgot, Best of luck to my best mate Ben Bigglestone in his latest coaching adventure, his VO2 Performance Center nr Seattle where you can crank out some serious cycling watts in one of his organised group cycling sessions. You don't need any luck Ben it's going to be very successful, just wish you'd not moved so far away, miss you buddy.