Frivolities and fitness!

Since the ‘excitement’ of finding out just what I won’t be able to eat once Christmas is done, I’ve subjected myself to yet more tests, continued training and received my physiotherapy plan for my weak hip flexors. Now I spend a good hour lying all over the floor, or falling off a Swiss ball before I can even begin to contemplate whether to shave or get dressed!

The further tests were intriguing, more of a formality than the others although whilst in the most part they were fairly mundane and expected (glucose normal, not diabetic, pulse AOK, VO2 max perfectly adequate….) there were two anomalies that disappointed me and I will be looking to address. Firstly my fat percentage is higher than I would hope (even if I have lost half a stone in recent months….who knows just how bad it was before!!) as was my blood pressure. Surely these aspects will be rectified by my New Year diet plan and subsequent exercise routine, and my posture will be helped by the myriad of stretches I perform every morning! Indeed, most of the results came as no shock at all and the remedies were already known to me! The biggest challenge of that particular day was probably the traffic in and out of Bristol!

So what comes next? Plenty of information to take in, much to act on and assess but does that mean a hiatus in the Ironman plans? Well, yes it kind of does for a very short period I suppose. Until the elimination diet is completed and a proper nutrition plan developed, I cannot increase the training as I will not have the energy to do so and recover quickly. Therefore I can’t really visit an S&C coach and develop my training plans fully, although I still haven’t found the coach I want to work with yet either….. That of course doesn’t mean that I won’t be training at all, far from it in fact, however I must be careful not to push too hard before I am able to correctly fuel my body to work at the required level to obtain maximum benefit.

I will still be swimming and lifting weights for core stability, but mainly I will be concentrating on running to prepare for the Paris Marathon in April. Last week we ran a 10k in Telford for ‘fun’ at a pace which will have helped with aerobic training, if not endurance!

The next month is therefore probably likely to be a little frustrating, unable to really start full-on training but not being able to eat and drink in the same way as normal either!! That said, there are two weeks of holidays to come before the elimination diet starts on 5th January. Probably best to clear the cupboards and fridge of any temptation right away……so let the festivities commence!

P.S. I’m still searching for a partner company to help with my funding in return for a charitable donation of the same value and good PR. Please pass my details on to anyone who may be interested and I would be delighted to talk further with them!

P.P.S. If you are, or know a good S&C coach who can help with a training plan at a reasonable rate, please get in touch!

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Ironman MOT

It’s still early days for me as an aspiring ironman participant, however having some experience of higher level sport through my time as a semi-pro rugby player, and working in a similar domain as a consultant with “Paul Turner Sport”, I am aware of many good sporting practices already.

That said, I also know that many improvements can be made, and at this level each beneficial adjustment could count for a lot come the end of the competition. Even at a level lower down the field (as competitive as I am, even I must accept that winning this event is more than a little unlikely!), the efforts over a long period of time are great, and every ounce of energy I can get out of my body will be vital, both on the day, but also during training.

With that in mind, my first thoughts of winter activity have turned straight to making sure my body is ready for what lies ahead. Am I physically capable of this exploit? How can I prepare, train and recover better? What should I eat? Where are my strengths and weaknesses? And how can I improve my techniques for efficiency?

So, I have basically started subjecting myself to an ‘MOT’… I’ve seen a nutritionist who has given me a diet plan to follow and supplements to take to assess what I can and can’t eat, although since this means 5 weeks with no alcohol, eggs, flour, cheese, roast meat or caffeine at all, I have chosen to start this process properly in the New Year! I’ve seen a physio who has told me that my body is fundamentally alright, but my hip flexors are weak and creating an awkward running gait, which I need to correct! And I will soon be undertaking a full body analysis to assess my cholesterol, blood pressure, VO2 max and so on…… After this, I’ll be able to speak with a strength and conditioning coach to create a personal development plan of training for the next 10 months! Of course, I have a personal swimming coach and sports masseuse living with me who has already improved my technique in the pool so I am able to swim 2.5km in an hour, and who helps with my recovery.

So far, I have funded these developments, my entries to the Paris Marathon, Ironman Wales and the associated equipment and accommodation myself, however I have developed a plan to receive sponsorship from partners, which I will raise back in the form of a donation of the same amount to the charity of their choice, and assist with PR and creative work wherever I can. I believe this is an innovative way for a company to donate to charity whilst also receiving benefits from publicity over an elongated period of time, and I am currently in the process of publicising this opportunity. I am very fortunate and pleased to announce that my own employer, Paul Turner, has already offered support on behalf of his company “Paul Turner Sport” for which I am extremely grateful. His donation will allow me to purchase some more necessary equipment, such as a wetsuit for open water swimming. I am hopeful that other companies will soon join us on this journey, and if you would like further information, please contact me.

So that’s the end of episode one…..I’ll be back soon with further updates on my gait and the state of my health!!