Age: Born in 1974.
Location: Buckinghamshire, England.
Personal Information: Married to Ivy – we have a daughter and a son.
Interests: Long-distance/ultra-endurance sports, martial arts, health & fitness writing, and building the ElliptiGO Community.
Sporting Background: Running, martial arts, ElliptiGO cycling, general fitness.
My Goals in 2017: I would like to continue building a more humble and selfless character throughout this year – and throughout my life. This is a goal I hope never to lose focus on.
This year, I also want to mentor a minimum of 10 new ElliptiGO Randonneurs and to see them successfully inducted into the ElliptiGO Ultra Endurance Team – after completing their Audax rides with me during 2017. My late brother Garai could convince hundreds of people to jump out of aeroplanes, so I should have no trouble at all getting hundreds of decent athletes to complete rides of 200km distance, or more (on the ground – on their ElliptiGO bikes)!
How I train:
Below is an outline of how I trained for my Land’s End to John o’Groats (‘LEJOG’) ElliptiGO Guinness World Record 1,350km ride in 2016. My 2017 training plan will be pretty much the same.
Since 2010, I’ve successfully used a number of different training approaches to prepare for long-distance cycling events on the ElliptiGO, but the one outlined here is probably the most minimalistic. An alternative training plan (with higher training volumes) which I used to prepare for the 1,200km PBP ride can also be seen on this link.
Sunday – ElliptiGO Long Ride (50 miles, primarily in Heart Rate Zone 3). Occasionally, I will do long-distance cycling preparation events, instead (ranging from 200km-400km).
Monday – ElliptiGO Indoor training session (2-3 hours) – Heart rate Zone 1. In summer I will often substitute this session with 18-25 mile outdoor ElliptiGO ride, in heart rate Zone 3.
Tuesday – Rest.
Wednesday – ElliptiGO Indoor training session (2-3 hours) – Heart rate Zone 1. In summer I will often substitute this session with 18-25 mile outdoor ElliptiGO ride, in heart rate Zone 3.
Thursday – Gym (Kickboxing & Weight Training).
Friday – ElliptiGO Indoor training session (2-3 hours) – Heart rate Zone 1. In summer I will often substitute this session with 18-25 mile outdoor ElliptiGO ride, in heart rate Zone 3.
Saturday – Rest.
Notes on Training:
I don’t eat before (or during) training because I prefer to train while fasting (to build on my fat burning efficiency, to minimise my weight/body fat – and to allow me to become even stronger when I do eat during my long-distance endurance events). During training I only consume water. On training days I will eat my first meal of the day immediately after training (but I don’t eat before – or during – training). However, I normally eat hourly during actual long-distance cycling events.
When preparing for a long-distance cycling event I first increase my training volume, whilst sticking to lower-paced (easy) riding. I then start to increase my training intensity (pace) after I have reached my peak weekly training volume. Regardless of whether I use a low-volume or a high-volume approach in my training plan, the bulk of my training rides are done at a low-to-moderate intensity. I do not do a lot of high intensity sessions on the bike, but when I am at peak fitness I can produce reasonable pace at lower effort levels.
I also stretch 2-3 times a week (and usually quite soon after riding) to maintain my flexibility and to prevent injuries.
Something most people don’t know about me:
I’m a big ‘fan’ of what some people would call ‘self-deprivation’ practices (things like intermittent fasting and taking cold baths). I first got into these practices quite accidentally – back in the 1990’s – when I was still at university.
When I was a university student I was sometimes low on cash and had to ‘cut back’ on food – which made me realise that I could actually get by really well on just one big meal a day (technically a form of intermittent fasting). And the dormitory showers were always cold by the time I got back from doing my fitness or sports training every night (so I usually took cold showers)!
I’ve since found both these practices to be really good for building my mental & physical toughness and for improving my motivation & discipline. Cold baths are also great for helping with faster recovery from training.
- “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding…”
- “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk leads only to want…”
- “We choose to go to the moon… and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…”
- “Where the mind GOes, the body will follow…”
- “Adversity usually presents an opportunity for us to truly define ourselves…”
- “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m terrified of not living…”
Quite a few, actually. I’m far from perfect! One regret I am happy to publicly share is that I never got to meet Nelson Mandela. However, my Big Brother did go to view his body before the funeral, so that’s something of a ‘consolation’…