Exciting update for all new and existing PT Clients!

I am so happy to be able to offer this amazing upgrade to being a client of MH-Personal Training!
For a while now I have been a member of Lift The Bar, arguably the best in the business for personal trainer education and development, a programme which helps me keep my skills fresh and up to date.
As part of this programme we have worked together to be able to offer our clients an App – Session X, that will provide you with easy to follow sessions on the days you are not training with me in order to compliment the training that we do together.
The sessions we are starting with are:
‍♂️ Yoga – 4 Sessions to access immediately
‍♀️ Pilates – 5 sessions to access immediately
Healthy Hips – a 4 part series to access immediately
☯ Guided Meditation series
and also a Healthy Shoulders series coming soon as well as many more videos to be added to the library.
These sessions can be accessed at any time and will help you relax, support recovery, and improve your muscular control.
Oh and the best bit, it’s absolutely FREE to all clients of mine, new, and of course the existing legends too!
All current clients should have received the email already. If not let me know, any potential new clients interested please get in touch
I’m really excited about being able to add more value to your training

Baby its Cold….Inside!

Now I wasn’t a big fan of the cold, last couple of winters Ive got proper moody because it was all dark and chilly.

I decided I needed to make friends with the cold. So back in June I started to take cold showers every morning, at first I could only manage about 10 seconds now I regularly stay under for a few minutes and haven’t missed a day of cold showers since.

 

There are lots of supposed health benefits from cold water, ranging from improving blood circulation, strengthening the immune system, improving sleep quality but for me it’s the challenge of first thing every morning doing something you don’t really want to do and stepping into that freezing water, then an instant mood lift for the day which means you’re already winning before you’ve even had breakfast!😊 #coldwatertherapy❄️💧

Recommendations are that you start off with the water lukewarm so you can have a soapy wash then finish with the water as cold as you can, trying to regulate your breathing as much as possible gradually increasing the length of time under the shower each time.

Lucky to do the job I do…

Being a PT isn’t just about trying to help someone lose weight or put on muscle, sometimes you are challenged in other ways. I am fortunate to have been asked by a couple of clients who have Parkinson’s if I can help them improve/manage their symptoms. Its a disease that is close to my heart as a family member also has it.

It’s not something I take lightly and anyone who knows me knows that I research everything I can sometimes to the point of being obsessed about it, always to make sure I am offering my clients the most recent and up to date guidance I can , utilising experience and trial and error to find what tools and exercises can benefit a client managing these symptoms.

I have been working with one of these clients for a while now, she is totally inspiring and we have been working lots on , Strength, Co-Ordination, Balance, Motor Skills, Gait, and much more. Everything I have challenged her with she has tried and it’s great when you receive a testimonial like this only I feel it should be me writing the testimonial for her as even on bad days she still gets in the gym and gets it done …

“For over 2 years I have been a participant in a Parkinson’s Disease research project. For the same period I have been following Matt’s personalised training sessions twice a week. I’m thrilled to report that the final computer analysis shows that my walking has improved in almost every aspect into the borderline/normal range. I was also able to participate in the ‘pull test’ category for the first time, which means I now have some ability to recover my balance and avoid a potential fall. I couldn’t have completed the exercise programme without medication, but I am certain that the self help tools provided by Matt are what provided these measurable results. I can’t thank him enough. ”

Too know more about this disease and what we can do to try and raise awareness and funds for research please visit the Parkinson’s UK website https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/ 

Raising money for Parkinson’s in the Prudential Ride 100 

 

Meet The Smash HiiT Spartans !

On a chilly weekend in October, 12 members of my lunchtime Smash HiiT Bootcamp class took on the challenge of a lifetime, ok Im overcooking it a little bit and apart from one sprained ankle we all got through it in one piece but it was a challenge and immense fun at the same time. This particular Obstacle Race consisted of 15km of muddy, boggy running and approximately 25 obstacles of varying difficulty.

Have a look here at the video of the day, the end is worth watching and please note that is a sound effect expertly edited into my toilet exit, defo aint real, I promise !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calories First!

 

When training people and offering nutritional advice they can normally be split into two camps. Those that want to track calories and those that don’t!

For both camps I educate on which foods to eat, which to reduce, portion control, lists of good food options that are nutrient dense to choose from, lifestyle changes to help them perform as optimally as possible as well as structuring the right training programme to compliment all these aspects.

A lot of the time ‘mindful eating’ and not tracking calories fails. This is due to the person not understanding portion control well enough, not prepared to be accountable for what they eat, excuses range from not having the time to add the food to MyFitnessPal (even though there is always time to check social media!) to a genuine dislike of using an App to record data.

A few rules to go by (Via @Cartergood) if not tracking Calories:

  • Its ok to have an ‘unhealthy’ meal just try not to miss a healthy meal twice
  • Limit yourself to one plate of food if you are at a party or buffet
  • When in doubt eat lean protein and veggies
  • Stick to 3-4 bigger meals, and if you do snack, opt for fruit or protein

I totally understand if people do not want to track calories to start off with, but if results are not forthcoming its time to focus in and start tracking, at least for 2-3 weeks to see just how much or little one is consuming.

Those that do track generally use MyFitnessPal , there are others out there that will work out your calories and they will mostly all come back with different figures. Therefore it is only a guide, you need to be the detective, take ownership and find out roughly where your maintenance calories are.

After this it doesn’t need to be difficult, setting a deficit if you want to lose weight and using those calories as your target, after that set your protein, this can be anywhere from 1.5-2g/kg/day. Then you have the remainder of calories from Carbs or Fat, for me personally I ask what the client prefers and set that one higher, it doesn’t really matter as long as Protein is met and you are still in a calorie deficit. I also wouldn’t lose any sleep if you are 10-20g either side of your targets as long as Calories are in check.

Once you get all this in check and understand the fundamentals more then you can stop counting calories, lets be honest nobody wants to be inputting into MyFitnessPal for the rest of their lives, It is just a tool to help with your awareness of energy in/energy out, macronutrients and nutritional info of food.

In a Nutshell

  • Hit Calories first (below maintenance)
  • then Protein
  • with the remainder coming from 80 % whole, nutrient dense foods
  • Lift Weights!

Childhood Obesity – more than just diet and exercise?

Overweight kids: tackling childhood obesity is about more than just diet and exercise

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David Morley, Sheffield Hallam University

A recent World Health Organisation report revealed that the number of obese children and adolescents – aged five to 19 years – worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades.

Worryingly, it also predicts that “obese” is likely to become the new norm. The report stated that:

If current trends continue, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately or severely underweight by 2022.

The number of overweight or obese infants and young children increased from 32m globally in 1990 to 41m in 2016. The vast majority of overweight or obese children live in developing countries, where the rate of increase has been more than 30% higher than that of developed countries.

And in the UK, recent research shows that 9% of four and five year-olds are now classed as obese – with the proportion rising to 20% for 10 to 11-year-olds.

Efforts to reverse this growing trend have mainly focused on two aspects of a child’s life: diet and physical activity. The aim has been to try and regulate a child’s dietary habits by decreasing calorific intake. This is most commonly through the reduction in sugar, while at the same time boosting the amount of exercise children get.

But what is often ignored is a child’s ability to move effectively. It is one thing to say that a child should be more physically active, but quite another for a child to develop the competence and confidence required to engage in physical activity.

Changing lifestyles

Most adults tend to think this is something that will happen naturally as part of child’s development – through play and sports participation. But because of the way the world has changed over recent decades – think less time for running around outside and more time inside looking at screens – opportunities for children to move are in decline.

In this way, a child’s “play radius” – the distance a child travels from their home to play – has shrunk by 90% in a single generation.

A decrease in walking and an increase in transport by car, train or bus also limits children’s opportunities to play. Combine this with the lack of specialist physical education teachers in primary schools and the result is children’s movement development can no longer be left to chance.

The way children play has changed.
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Effective movement for children in the early stages of development, (roughly four to seven years of age) can be assessed by their ability to perform fundamental movement skills. This includes how they run, catch, throw and balance. These skills are often viewed as the building blocks for participation in sport and physical activity. And there is growing evidence that supports the positive relationship between “movement competence” and physical activity in early childhood – showing the importance of appropriate movement skills for children.

Evidence suggests that the “movement competence” of four to seven year-olds, in the UK, is average or below average in relation to their peers in most other countries, which, alongside childhood obesity levels, clearly indicates the UK’s poor standing in children’s health.

Getting children moving

But one glimmer of hope comes from a new movement assessment app called Start to Move. The app is based on an assessment tool that enables primary school teachers – who are well placed to spot these skills – to measure, record and track the fundamental movement skills of children aged four to seven years old. And this data can then be used to help policymakers and practitioners alike recognise what support is needed to ensure all children have appropriate movement skills.

Let’s get kids moving again.
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This is important because although findings from previous research studies are useful in providing a snapshot of children’s “movement competence” only a very small number of children have been measured. So a more widespread understanding of children’s movement is a positive next step – particularly as we stand, globally, on the brink of a situation where “obese” will be more common than “underweight”.

The ConversationIt is crucial then that every solution available is looked into to reverse this worrying trend, because it is clear that current methods are falling short in many places. But ultimately this is about more than just the figures and obesity rates, this is about making sure the next generation of adults are suitably prepared for a sustainable active lifestyle.

David Morley, Professor of Youth Sport and physical activity, Sheffield Hallam University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

My Ironman Journey for Sporting Footprints: I am an IRONMAN!

What a journey it has been. 3 years ago I set myself a 3 year plan, year 1 was to do as many different challenges as I could, year 2 was to do my first Half Ironman with the final year being to complete my first Ironman and now that journey is over.

 

Rewind 1 week and I seriously thought the final part of the puzzle was not going to happen. On the Wednesday before Ironman UK I was sat in a Orthopaedic Consultants office being told the injury I thought I had (fat pad irritation) was in fact possibly a ‘type’ of Osgood Schlatters which is pain and inflammation possibly micro tears just below the knee on the bony bit at the top of the shin. This went some way in explaining why that morning and the previous week I could only run 2 miles before the pain got too much and I had to walk home.

So, there I was sat in the chair being told rest is the best option and an MRI needed. I explained the reasons behind why I was doing it, the charity Sporting Footprints I had raised so much money for and the 9 months of training I had put into it. I then told him that no matter what he said I was going to attempt the Ironman anyway and deal with the consequences afterwards. We agreed a cortisone shot may help although as he thought the pain may be deeper in the knee joint and I was only having it around the ‘bony bit’ it may not work but it was at the point my last resort. One great thing to come out of the examination was the consultant told me he was waiving his fee for me and to donate it to my charity so instead of coming out of there fed up I was instead blown away by a random act of kindness.

For the next few days my knee was very painful and my head was full of doubt whether the steroid shot would work but I drove up to Bolton on the Friday with my wife and the kids flying up to Manchester on the Saturday morning to meet me.

FRIDAY

With the knee now very sore I drove up with my fellow Ironman wannabee Steve and his family and we arrived at the Macron stadium to register, we also had a look around the merchandise shop. I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything just incase I jinxed it and didn’t complete it plus they didn’t accept returns and refunds!

That afternoon we planned to head to Pennington Flash for a recce of the swim, they allow you to do a short practice swim of about 400m just so you get an idea of what it’s like to swim in there. On this particular day the wind was howling and the Flash looked like the sea, very choppy and with its mud like colour didn’t look very appealing at all.

We sat there looking out at that lake taking in the huge distance we had to swim on the Sunday, I had never swam that far before in open water and by then I had talked myself out of swimming that day also, Steve however still wanted to go in. As I started to meander (sneak off) back to the van to head off I bumped into my coach, talk about imperfect timing, I then felt like a naughty schoolboy as I joked I was heading back to the van to get my wetsuit and do a practice swim only for Steve to drop me in it and tell him I was in fact bailing! Anyway, some encouragement from Chris (Coach) along the lines of ‘just get in and ***ing swim mate’ meant I was now reluctantly putting my wetsuit on much to the howls of laughter from everyone else.

The practice swim was as expected very choppy and you couldn’t see anything but it was done. As I got out Chris asked how it went. I said ‘I actually quite enjoyed it, I’m glad I went in’. ‘You’re welcome’ was his reply.

 

SATURDAY

Today it’s all about logistics and dropping your bags and bike off at transition ready for the following day. Ironman UK has split transitions which can be a bit of a pain logistically. Lots of checking and rechecking you have the right stuff in the right bags, you get given the following:

WHITE BAG: This is where you put clothes and wetsuit in on the morning of the race

BLUE BAG: This is where you put everything you need for the bike leg of the race

RED BAG: This one is where you put all your running stuff in

PERSONAL NEEDS BAG: you request these bags and in these you have one for the bike and one for the run, in mine I had paracetamol, bagels, KT tape and spare inner tube for bike.

I then drove to the lake where I dropped off my bike and bike bag, then drove to the Macron Stadium to drop off my run bag, then met up with my friends for late lunch, yeah cheeky Nandos.

That afternoon I met up with my family for the first time that weekend before heading back to some friends, Cat and Andy (and multiple Ironman finishers) house where I was staying over the night before the event and some last-minute pasta demolishing. Cat was also taking part so it was good being able to ask them what to expect. Off to bed at 9pm where I lay there for a few hours trying to sleep, still wasn’t nervous at this stage, just wanted to lie down and rest.

 

SUNDAY – IRONMAN DAY

 

3 AM ALARM! This is it, this is the day all those months of hard work and sacrifice come to fruition, those missed outings with friends, those sober nights out/in, the 4 hour Wattbike sessions at 6 in the morning on a Sunday back in the winter watching the Rocky films whilst pedalling away sweating over the dog, the injuries, physio and osteo appointments, sports massages, stresses on family life, getting sponsorship and more. Today is the day.

After a breakfast of Porridge, Pitta bread with peanut butter we were ready to go. Andy drove both Cat and I to Pennington Flash where we arrived just before 5 am, here I met up with the Mrs, Steve and another mate Marc and bumped into another friend Darren briefly, some nervous chatter and we all set off to the start .

SWIM 2.4 MILES

This swim was a rolling start so you seed yourself in the line at roughly the time you are expecting to finish. I put myself in 1hr 30 mins as I would be happy to achieve this, just before 6am the national anthem is played and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and you look around at the thousands of other triathletes gathered. I was strangely totally calm, the swim doesn’t bother me like it used to and I now quite look forward to it but I was surprised at how relaxed I felt.

 

 Me and Steve before the swim.

 

The swim is 2 laps, you get out of the water after 1 lap run over a timing mat then jump back in again for lap 2. Lap 1 was pretty uneventful, I stuck out wide so had lots of clear water in front of me and I finished it in 41 minutes, lap 2 was different, me and another guy were swimming quite close to each other and he was zig zagging all over the place, just as I turned my head to get a mouth full of air I was on the receiving end of an elbow to the face, luckily my goggles stayed on. I shook it off and carried on but my second lap was about 4 minutes slower. I headed to transition where I proceeded to take about 15 minutes to get changed, I do like to take my time, if they had a kettle in there I would have probably made myself a cup of tea.

I decided on a full change into bike gear as I was after comfort over speed for the 112 mile bike route, as I jumped on the bike all I kept thinking was would the knee hold, how painful would it get and if it would get that bad that I wouldn’t even get to the run. I set off out of transition with a quick shout out to Sian that I would see her later.

Total Swim time 1:27 – 3 mins quicker than I planned.

BIKE 112 MILES

The bike route of Ironman UK has 2 infamous hills, one is called Sheephouse Lane, the other is called Hunters Hill and you have to do them both twice as the course is 2 loops. As I joined the start of the first loop after riding from transition you head uphill through Babylon Lane (otherwise known as COLT Alley) this later in the day is unreal, it is lined with spectators to a point where you can only cycle one at a time and they really cheer you through here, you feel like you are in the Tour De France.

 

  The crowds on Babylon Lane

 

Before the race I knew I wanted to finish the bike in 7 hours 30 mins roughly as this would mean a steady average on the bike of about 15mph. I settled into a rhythm and I made sure I said thank you to the supporters as I rode past, smiling and waving as much as possible as I knew it was going to be a long day so keeping spirits up was important.

I reached Sheephouse Lane for the first loop and this was pretty easy as I was still fresh, the support up here is great and when you reach the top there are guys dressed as wrestlers with music blaring cheering you on, at the top randomly was some guy with a lucky pink dildo, apparently this makes an appearance on the bike course every year, he shouted out ‘touch my dildo!’ whilst waving it in my face, I don’t know why but I touched it, only afterwards I started to wonder where it had been.

At 40 miles I reached Leyland and I knew my family were all there waiting and I saw them in the distance. I slowed, saw the kids jumping up and down shouted all was ok then carried on, after seeing them I must have got some dust in my eye as my vision become watery for about a mile, then I turned the corner to see a man and woman  triathletes crashed on the road, she could hardly move, he had blood all over his face a couple of us stopped to help but nobody knew the number to call so I rode on to get the attention of a marshall to come back and help, I hope they were ok, she looked in a bad way.

I was told at some point in the race you will reach your ‘dark place’ until 40 miles my knee had been ok, this was due to the fact that I was putting most of the power through my other leg to preserve the dodgy knee, however when I eventually got over Hunters Hill with some spine tingling support I started to notice that all this uneven power displacement was in fact causing some issues with my good knee, it felt like ITB related as it was outside of the knee where the pain was, very sharp and localised, at around 60 miles I then went into my ‘dark place’, my pace slowed right down I went in on myself not making eye contact with supporters, started doubting myself, thinking what’s the point, if my knees hurt I ‘ll never be able to run a marathon it wasn’t fun and every pedal stroke seemed an effort.

This went on for about 20 miles until Cat caught up with me, she asked me how I was and I moaned about my knee (again) and asked her if I would have enough time to walk the run if I hit T2 at about 4pm, she point blank replied ‘probably not, no!’

That was it. She flicked a switch in me. I then said to myself ‘right that’s it, I’m not coming back next year to do this again, I need to get it done now’. My intention then was to get to my Personal Needs bag as quick as I could take 2 paracetamols and get to T2 and have as much time as possible to walk/shuffle/crawl the run.

I got on the drops of my bike, gritted my teeth and repeated to myself ‘You’re not coming back next year!’

** Funnily enough after speaking with Cat at the end she had actually misheard me she thought I had asked if I could walk the rest of the bike course and still finish in time, if she had heard me right she would have probably said yes you have enough time and I would have carried on moping, so thanks Cat. **

I reached the Personal Needs bag and took my paracetamol, from there I had to hit Hunters Hill for the last time at about 96 miles, second time round this was hard work, stood up the whole way slowly grinding my way up, support up here was thinning out now but still fantastic.

At 108 miles I felt spent, one more climb up Babylon Lane where I saw a mate who told me my family were waiting at the top, this gave me extra motivation to get to the summit, once there I stopped rode over to the family for hugs and encouragement, that dam dust again, by this point I was quite emotional so told Sian ‘Whatever happens do not let me quit!’ I kept thinking about all the money I had raised and didn’t want to let people down.

Finally, I reached T2 after 7 hours 29 mins, 1 minute quicker than I had aimed for.

RUN 26.2 MILES

This is where I hadn’t a clue what was going to happen. I had only ever ran 15 miles once in my life before and only ran about 4 half marathon distances, the previous week I managed 2 miles then had to walk home.

I took 10 minutes in transition getting my make up on, I mean, getting changed then headed out after applying a bit of voltarol to the knee, what an uplifting moment to see my mates, Neil, Joelle, Ray & Imo and kids straight away, then the small matter of a hill to run up. I had already made up my mind to walk up any hills and decided to try and shuffle-run on the flats so as not to flex and extend my knee too much to see if it helped.

The run starts with a 7 mile route into Bolton, followed by 3 x 10k loops in Bolton Town Centre. On the 7 mile run I got chatting to a few other runners which passed the time, before I knew it I was in the first loop and I had no knee pain, the pain on the right knee from the bike had stopped and the left knee had held up most of the day so the cortisone shot must have done something. I started to feel confident that even if the pain came I had enough time to finish. It was only at this point did I start to think I might become an Ironman.

After loop 1 I saw the family, more hugs and high 5’s, this time no dust, I became more focused on what I needed to do and decided to enjoy every moment. The miles ticked by, eating at the feed stations, high fiving the crowd, chatting to other runners.

As the course is looped you get to see your mates who are takin part, I managed a call out to Marc who was looking strong and ahead of me and saw Steve at the start of end of Loop 1 again ahead of me.

By mile 15 I started to get a bit lightheaded and knee twingy , 2 more paracetamol, half a banana and a flat coke at the feed station saw me right. What can I say when you are coming towards the end of an Ironman flat coke is the drink of the gods, as someone who never drinks coke I proceeded to have it at every feed station thereafter.

By about mile 16, I caught up with Steve, we have been on this journey together for a couple of years now, both signed up together, train together, so it was great to see him. He was walking as whenever he ran he cramped so we walked together for a mile or 2 just chatting about the day, how amazing the support had been and the fact that we were so close to finally becoming Ironmen.

I carried on shuffling and picked up my last band from the marshall which signified that next time I reached the town centre I would be running down the finishers chute instead of running past it to start another loop.

I started to get excited, I couldn’t believe I had ran this far with the injuries I have had, all those months of training some of it enjoyable some not so much had led to this moment and I wanted to savour it. I saw my coach as I ran past with a big grin on his face then saw the red carpet. I stopped made contact with the lady with the microphone who looked at my run belt with my name on it put her hand on my shoulder looked me in the eye and said those immortal words that I had longed to hear for so long….” MATT, YOU. ARE. AN. IRONMAN!”

I then ran down the chute almost missing my family and friends who had been so pivotal in getting me not just through the day but through the training I am truly so lucky to have such a supportive network of friends and family.

As the medal was placed round my neck, with a beaming smile the pressure I had put on myself these 9 months seemed to disappear and relief took over, I couldn’t wait to see my family and of course get some sleep!

 

TOTAL TIME: 14 hours 32 minutes

 

Although this may seem like an Oscars thank you speech these people deserve a mention as without them I wouldn’t have believed I could do it.

Sian and the kids for putting up with my moods when injured, the early training sessions, the late family events I got to when training overran and the encouragement when I doubted myself (which happened a lot!). 2 hours after the event Sian was so inspired by the day, she could well be on her own path to becoming an Ironman.

Steve for inspiring me to do this when we first discussed this all those years ago, its been an amazing journey brother, well done you are an Ironman! Lyds and the kids thanks for letting us get away with it.

My Mum, Gemma and kids for being there on the day and supporting me through this.

Nene, Juju, Ray, Imo & Toon for travelling up and being there and for the bike rides in the winter months.

Andy & Cat for letting me stay over the night before, Andy for all his sounds words of wisdom over the months and Cat for mishearing me on the bike!

My Coach Chris, for the advice and training even though I didn’t get all of it done, we got there in the end mate.

Marc for the training rides and the crocodile attacks in the lake.

These guys I fully recommend for being so positive, wise words and helping to keep my body moving:

Mark Randall (Physio and all round top bloke)

Ian Harrison (Physical Balance) – KIA KAHA mate

Jenine Nugent (Sports Massage @ Square One)

 

 

And finally thank you to all those that sponsored me, I have raised £1500 for Sporting Footprints, I am humbled by the generosity of people and all that money will do such good to the kids and families that need it.

 

When I crossed the finish line, I said to myself never again, 4 days later here I am thinking…..maybe just one more!

 

My Ironman Journey for Sporting Footprint 006: 2 Weeks to go!

Its finally almost here, 2 weeks until I take on the biggest challenge of my life so far, IRONMAN UK.

 

I cannot believe 9 months ago my training started unfortunately I am not where I was hoping to be with 2 weeks to go.

I went for what was supposed to be a 2-hour run last week only to be halted by knee pain yet again after only 2 miles, so I ended up having to walk home, since then I have seen a physio and running looks highly unlikely until the big day and even then I don’t know if I will be able to run. The annoying thing is it also hurts when I cycle so I’m in for one fun day!

My plan has now changed from one of going out there and maybe going for a decent (for me) time to one of just finishing and pain management, this has also dampened the excitement somewhat but you can only play with the cards you are dealt with so I am going to give it my best shot and see how far I can get. If I don’t get to the start line then I won’t get to the finish line.

I have put a lot of pressure on myself due to trying to raise money for Sporting Footprints, plus having family and friends coming along to support as well as friends taking part so I am determined to enjoy the day as much as possible, smiling to supporters and thanking the marshals goes a long way to improving spirits as I have found out from previous races so I’ll be doing that.

Also it helps to try and break down the day instead of thinking of it as swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles then run a marathon, I’ll be breaking it down into smaller chunks. The swim is 2 loops, the bike is 2 x 47 miles loops plus a ‘bit’ added on and the run is 3 loops plus a 10k warm up, roughly, that’s how I will be thinking about it.

The challenge on the day is still nothing compared to what some of the parents and children have to go through daily that are supported by Sporting Footprints so if you can spare a little bit and have enjoyed reading these blogs then please sponsor me here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Matt-Hart4

I’ll be posting the tracker nearer the time so if you want to follow my progress you can.

Thanks for reading, and hopefully next time you hear from me I’ll be an Ironman.

 

My Ironman Journey for Sporting Footprints 005: MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

May has been without a shadow of a doubt my worse month for training, this on going knee problem has been playing havoc with any consistency, however looking back at the month I have still managed to get some good sessions in.

 

Having never swam the Ironman distance before (2.4 miles or 3800metres) I set myself the target of going to the pool and seeing if I could hit this target, more for a mental thing to prove I could do it and give me the confidence going forward. I managed to do it , I did use a pull buoy as this mimics wearing a wetsuit and managed it nonstop in a time of 1:25 so a nice shot in the arm when running and cycling were not going to plan.

 

On the 13th May me and my mate Steve decided to drive up to Bolton to recce the Ironman bike course, the course itself is 2 x 56 mile laps, we were planning on doing about 70-80 miles. On the morning of the ride it was wet and windy so probably similar to what Bolton would be like in the summer anyway!

I could tell that not long after setting off that my knee was not going to play ball so annoyingly we had to abandon after about 56 miles, we still managed to get the 2 big hills in that are infamous for Ironman UK, Sheephouse Lane and Hunters Hill, if I’m honest Sheephouse Lane is not much to get excited about but Hunters Hill is a challenge and I’m sure even more so the second time around.

We headed back that afternoon, the drive back a lot quicker due to traffic behaving itself but still painful due to Steve demanding we played Shania Twain most of the way home.

 

After this the middle of May saw lots of abandoned rides and short runs, I started seeing my Osteopath who believed all my knee problems were hip related, possible prolapsed disc and sciatica and a very tight hip so he set to work on making me better.

 

One of the most important things about Ironman is getting your Nutrition right, in fact they say it is the 4th discipline, I decided I would try a product called Tailwind which is a drink that supplies you with about 50g of Carbohydrates and 200 kcals with no real need to take on food. The plan is to drink one bottle every hour with this in and a cheeky little snack here and there to top up if need be. I have a flat 30 mile loop that I cycle so I thought if I did this 3 times I could come home after each loop and fill up with water and go out again, I managed 91 miles with minimal knee pain so it looked like things were going in the right direction and the Tailwind worked well so I will be using it for Ironman.

 

I started to get a few smaller runs under my belt by the end of May, then signed up for my first swim race at Tri20 swim centre in Reading, this was good fun, an early start on a Sunday morning I finished about mid pack but a decent time for me. The highlight though this day was my wife swimming a distance PB and my son having a swim in the lake for the first time, at 8 years old we may have a mini triathlete in the making, not to be outdone by her big brother my daughter decided she wanted to have a go so we may have enough members now to make our own tri squad!

If one good thing comes out of this experience it’s the fact that the kids may get inspired to keep active, it’s great to see them having a go at new stuff.

 

So that was May, I must admit there were times when I thought that this whole thing is a big ask for me, but I am strong willed and persistent and will keep going and get as much training under my belt as possible.

At the time of writing this Ironman is only 5 weeks away, I can’t believe how quickly it has crept up. Next months blog post will include the Cotswolds 113, which is a half ironman distance which I have as part of my training and build up to Ironman, stay tuned for this to see how I did, I’ll give you a clue, I finished it.

 

I am still someway off my target I set myself for raising money for Sporting Footprints so if you have enjoyed reading this and following me on my journey, please chuck a fiver (or more of course) into my justgiving page for this worthy cause.

 

Thanks again

 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Matt-Hart4