27 Feb

Chill out… it’s only one event!

Soooooo, the famous Cambridge half marathon is here again 😉

STOP bloody training and panicking.  You can not make any further fitness gains in this last week, so NO ‘last long runs’ relax and chill.  Enjoy the build up and hype.

My top tips for event week:

  1. Relax, get some good sleep and chill out.  You have done all the hard work, now is not the time to tire yourself out for no reason, you will only make yourself worse and more tired.
  2. Do not go and do a few easy runs this week.  You need to be doing the opposite, short interval based runs, lasting 30-40mins, with about 10 little short bursts of speed, anywhere from 30seconds to 2mins max.  This will fire up the legs, sharpen the mind and get you in the right mood for Sunday.  A slow run now will make you feel heavy, lethargic, slow.. not good event prep!!
  3. Fuel, stick with what you have been doing, stick with what you know.  Do not start changing your diet now, if you have never carb loaded PLEASE do not try this week.  You have no idea how your body will react, its a little more complicated than just eating more carbs.  Otherwise we would all be over taken by people we see scoffing their faces in McDonalds all week.  If you have not trained with gels do not use them on event day, this could stop you in your tracks and ruin your day.
  4. Stay hydrated, its been lovely outside this week so make sure you are increasing your fluid intake this week.  Hydration has a bigger effect before your event than during.  If you are hydrated properly leading up to the event, all you need to do during is take little sips from the aid stations.
  5. Remember why you started this journey.  If the reason was to challenge yourself, then be prepared to be challenged and remember all those sessions you have done over the past few months and how hard you have trained, all the cold, dark and wet mornings and nights, it was all worth it to smash your goal this weekend.  If your doing the event to enjoy it and have fun MAKE SURE YOU DO! smile to your supporters, make new friends, laugh and enjoy yourself, no need to get nervous if all you want to do is enjoy yourself and ‘get round’

There will be plenty of Spartans running in the event, some may even be walking bits, but you will never see a spartan going backwards.. well Clive might be 😉 there will be Spartan supporters dotted along the course especially on Capper corner.  We are a friendly community who support each other like no other club, and if we share the same path as you we will 100% be cheering you on and supporting you too.

Have fun, enjoy yourself and see you on Capper corner

25 Feb

Race wheels


Follow the above link and get some of the best race wheels money can buy!

Make sure you use the code ‘spartanwheels’ and get your 10% off

Do your research and see why these are the wheels  will be using this year and next year…. and its not just because you can custom your decals to match your bike 😉

25 Feb

My first 8 weeks being coached by an Ironman champion

What an honour it has been to be coached by Ironman and triathlon legend Bella Baylis.

I have always said that even the best coaches need coaches to help them get 100% from themselves, and just before Christmas 2018 I was given the opportunity to learn from one of the best.

I had already got myself across 10 ironman events with the help of some amazing coaches and friends , and managed to improve my finish times and performances at each event (apart from the injury ones) but I still had this burning desire to qualify for the Ironman world championships and I was starting to get the picture, I was not going to get there on my own!

So how much could a 10 times ironman finisher with over 15 years of coaching knowledge and experience learn from someone else??  ALOT and that’s why I reached out help.

Conversations started around the 20th December, sounded promising and I was ready to start my year with the right foot forward, but I was wrong, already.. Bella wanted me to start tomorrow! 21st December.  I considered all the reasons why I thought it was best I started 1st January, new year, new start, give me a week or two to get back in the pool, the weather was ice and snow.. but like I said I was gifted with this opportunity so I said ‘yes, of course I can start tomorrow’ ‘oh, you want me to train Christmas day, ok’ I already knew there was no excuses I can have used!

The only good time to start something is NOW!

Week 1- Survived, wow, that was a rude awakening.  For someone who is not afraid of hard work and gets up at 4:15am to go out an cycle before the rest of the world wakes up, this was another level.  Running 2 times in one day, swimming 5 times per week,  10hrs on the bike.. indoors.  Weirdly I was buzzing and was ready for more of the same.

Week 2- Smashed it

Week 3, Exhausted

Week 4- It smashed me.  Not a single rest day in 28 days.. I was sure one was coming..

Week 5- Nope still training everyday and sometimes I’m now training 3 times a day

Week 6- Feeling good, found some rhythm and a pain threshold that I could just about sustain for the duration of each session.

Week 7- Smashing PB’s all over the place, new cycle FTP during a 90min training session, running nearly 40miles a week, my swims were getting crazy fast, I had beaten my fastest times for 100m, 200m, 400m, 750m.. I have found my flow (more of that to come) I was swimming further that I used to run in a week

Week 8- Bollox, my hernia that I have nursed for about 12 months has finally got the better of me.  No time to waste and wait around, I decided, well pushed, convinced, forced to get it sorted so I can carry on training.

Fast forward 10 days and I have had my operation and slowly on the road to recovery.  The surgeon said that most patients are back to 95% activity in a bout 4 weeks.  Well, I am not most patients and my 95% is different to most, so I am taking every day as it comes.  Looking at the bigger picture I know that having a few extra days recovery now will help me long term and allow me to reach my bigger goal.

So, I am laying here in bed, in a reasonable amount of pain and discomfort, telling you that shit happens, and that’s ok! It is not about what happens and what it stops us doing, but more about what fire it’s fuelling deep inside you.  When I first realised that I needed to get this sorted I cried my eyes out, not because of the pain I was in but the realisation that my goals for this year were slipping away and that all my hard work over the last 8 weeks was going to be lost and I would have to start again, but it made me realise, I hadn’t just been training hard for the last 8 weeks, I have been training my whole life, even before I started swimming, cycling and running.  Life gives us challenges all the time and one day we will need to call apon those moments to help us get through the next rough patch.  So what ever you are going through or recently been through, embrace it and take the positive that you came through it and you will again if you have to.  Don’t let one bad day, one bad training session or one bad life moment ruin years and years of your hard work.  Your time will come if your persist and never give up!

Love Coach

25 Feb

Race Calendar 2019

10th March- Hoohaah 10km run

Come and join us and our friends for a very friendly 10km

Barr Ellison Thetford Forest 10km run – 10th March 2019

30th March- Suffolk spring sportive Cycle

Ride one of three options depending on your ability and training goal
30 miles
65 miles
84 miles

Starts and finishes at Newmarket race course.  A very popular event for all Spartans 😉 and they have THE BEST food stations, I think last year a actually put weight on over the 84 miles 😉

Enter here

27th April- Lanzarote training camp

Sold out!

No need to panic, I will be doing some more training camps throughout the year, long weekends and much more local, so watch this space for updates!

28th April- Hoohaah Childerley 10km run

Barr Ellison Childerley Estate 10km run – 28th April 2019

19th May- Hoohaah wimpole 10km run

Barr Ellison Wimpole 10km run – 19th May 2019

9th June- Staffordshire 70.3

What an amazing event to be part of, the complete ironman experience.
If a half ironman/middle distance triathlon is what you want to achieve this year than this has to be the event to race at 😉

Enter here

22nd June- Great east swim

The most beautiful and relaxed open water swimming event of 2019

Swim options from 250m to 10k events
In previous years most of us swim the 1/2 mile, 1 mile or 2 mile but the choice is yours.

Enter here

14th July- Alton water triathlon

This event has it all….
Standard distance triathlon
Sprint distance
Super sprint
Aqua bike
Relay event- THIS SOUNDS FUN

Enter here

14th September- Revolve 24

yep, we have finally managed to get this one of the calendar

24hr cycle race round Brands Hatch race circuit

Same rules apply to endure24, its complete as many laps as you can in 24hrs, Solo options and team options… I am thinking this is going to be our biggest event of the year and would love to put in LOADS of teams!!

If you want to push it and see how competitive you can make it let me know and I will put together a ‘winning’ team.

If you want to take par and just have some fun, I will put together a fun and happy team.

Enter here

21 Sep

You never stop learning!

So, Cambridge Spartans went on a little road trip to Weymouth last weekend for the Ironman and 70.3 races. We had experienced iron distance finishers, first timers, those hoping for PB’s and those hoping for survival. By the end of the day we had all experienced the usual joy, pain, sunburn, sore bits and queasy tummies associated with long distance racing. We had also understood once again the massive power of the team, the camaraderie, hugs, tears and good wishes that comes from knowing you have friends waiting for you at the finish line


So what about the learning part? Well I for one learnt a lot from last weekend that I thought was worth sharing……….

* Listen to coach………….and I don’t mean “look like you are listening, let it go in one ear, nod then forget what he has said”. No, I mean, listen, digest, understand and apply what he has said. When I asked Ben about a year ago whether he thought I could achieve a solo race at Endure 24 (I ran over 100k) he said of course, but that I needed to let go of all thoughts of getting a PB at any other even during the year. I nodded, agreed, trained hard to run slower but longer, and promptly forgot what Ben had said about not asking too much of myself after that. Then came Monster Ely half, and yes my swim and bike were slower….and I did not like it! I knew I was really fit but somehow the speed and endurance on the bike and swim had left me, and I basically got cross! Weymouth was better, but still I was confusing what Ben had said, what I had agreed with, and what my brain was telling me. Lesson – Ben was right and I needed to listen!

* There is no such thing as “Only” a half Ironman! Because my training was for a 24 hour race, and my fitness level is maybe the highest it has ever been, I totally underestimated the two half iron distance races I have done in the past month. Most people think that swimming 1.2 miles in the sea, cycling 56 miles in the hills and running a half marathon in the sun is something only the truly deranged would attempt, and when I first did it I also thought that. But fast forward a few years, a few marathon, ultra run, full distance races later and it is tempting to think of a half iron in the terms “only”. I have some advice for you on that score: Don’t! It is a long way and the fact that some other people are doing double that at the same time does not make the shorter distance any less of a challenge. I will never use the phrase “only” in relation to middle distance triathlon again

* Train the terrain – something I think a lot of the Spartan crew have learnt this year. I was doing a sea swim last weekend, and had only really sea swum this year in Corsica, which let’s face it was some sunny splashing not endurance training. We were lucky last weekend and the sea was flat and gorgeous, but it still feels, tastes and behaves differently to river and lake water. The Dorset hills are unrelenting, Cambridge is flat, and another few practise runs of the bike route would have helped most of the people who had not been down before the race (me, mainly!). If you want to nail a course then practising it is definitely a good idea

* Friends, friends, friends…………..support on the ground, by phone, on Facebook, hugs, tears, the bringing of some chips after a race – all of this is what makes the world go around. For anyone supporting anyone doing a physical challenge, then truly know that they could not do as well without you being there, the IronFan as the brand likes to call it is a very important role. We are lucky with the Cambridge Spartan crew that we support each other all the time, and very importantly on race day too

* If in doubt, there is always Rudyard Kipling to fall back on. Chrissie Wellington, Ironman World Champ several times, had the poem “If” written on her water bottle. I prefer the poem in my memory, as accessing it can sometimes take a few moments of pain away, and have finished with an excerpt to inspire you………..

If you can force your heart, and nerve, and sinew To serve your turn long after they are done When there is nothing left within you Except the will that says to them “hold on!” If you can fill an unforgiving minute With sixty seconds worth of distance run Yours is the earth, and everything that is in it And what is more you’ll be a man, my son

That’s for all last week’s racers, and supporters………..Cheers! Bumblebee x