Green Man Ultra

The Green Man…

March 16, 2015 - General Past Adventures

Doing ones first Ultra is an incredible experience, so to review this experience as a race is simply impossible.  To do that, would be an injustice and one needs to outline what the intentions of entering are from the outset.  I have written and re written this blog post - some good, some really frustrating; but I think this would be wrong and inaccurate. The Green Man is an Ultra that takes you around some incredible places in Bristol.  But, if this is your first Ultra you need to hire or bring a course loaded GPS.  This course is not marked and it will effect your experience if you do not have one.  But that's it, the rest is brilliant.  In fact, the very fact we did not have Gps and navigated off the directions makes the memories special in their own right.  And this is what the Green Man does, it keeps bringing you back to the "Ultra Experience". And I loved it ! We entered this race as a warm up for MDS.  The Green Man was put in the schedule to allow us to test our nutrition, pacing, backpacks and late race humour! We arrived at the race early and registration was really relaxed and welcoming.  First impressions - Ultra runners are a special breed and so welcoming to their sport.  We had some great chats; the first a lad from Cardiff who did it last year "the race is pretty flat." The second a gent from Bristol - " The route is horrendous....." Welcome to Ultra running ! But really, if there were any nerves before the race, they simply disappeared.  Most are not here to chase a time - Its all about finishing and the journey.  With the course as it is, speed is out the window.  Expect everything, the green man will deliver! Hills, mud, scenery, laughs, woodland, golf courses, pubs, architecture and amazing people all doing what you are doing, urging you on and everyone talks to you! As we started and ventured into the first set of hills - we queued at the first style - belly laughs everywhere as people were introducing themselves to each other, taking in the blue sky and hoping the runners in the distance on top of the hill were not in our race - knowing full well they were !! I don't want to talk about the race too much as it will spoil it for anyone that is yet to do it; like uncovering key plots in an excellent film.  Trust me, The green man is an event that will keep you smiling and thinking for days after the race.  For me that is the key to a great event, it leaves you wanting more, grateful that you had the chance to be part of something very special and that knowing feeling you are going to do another.....that will be completely different again! The Green man is not bells and whistles.   It's heart and warmth.  It touches you in a way you do not see coming and I simply want to go back, now, with a gps!  Not for a time; but simply to run, take in the freedom of simply running, chatting to incredible people and maybe try and put my finger on what makes this race quite special.
Race Prep

New Adventure Eve….

March 6, 2015 - General

  As I sit here tonight with butterflies dancing through my stomach; there is something quite special happening.  Its that first time feeling once again; and I am loving it ! Tomorrow morning will see me line up alongside Steve, Nicky and Daf, our team that will head out to MDS in a little under 4 weeks.  With the exception of Daf, none of us have ever run over 26.2 miles ! Dat is from Whitland and counting has never been his strong point, so he may well be in our camp too !! Tomorrow that is all about to change....I hope ! Its funny how a focus of an event changes over time.  Personally, I have done a lot of events, a damn lot ! So when we entered MDS, the only thing that shot through my mind was....Adventure! I visualised sand dunes, heat, the tents and to be honest the party at the end did take up quite a bit of the thought too! But only now as I sit here, has it finally sunk in - How am I gonna get through this? 44 miles tomorrow is beginning to spin me out ! back to back marathons in the desert, 50 degree heat, with a sneaky rumoured 60 mile section thrown in to celebrate 30 years, just doesn't bear thinking about! And you know what? - There is the answer! Don't think just do ! I think I can recall a number of teachers telling me that too !  But there is a lesson in there.  We are here.  The training is done, rightly or wrongly it is done. Now its about enjoying every minute of the opportunity all 4 of us have been blessed with.  And to simply be here is a blessing.   To donate to the Thyroid Cancer Trust please visit  - Thank you so much !

The Road to…

November 12, 2014 - General

  So with Ironman Barcelona 7 days behind me and having had a fantastic 7 days of eating and drinking what i like, when I like; it's time to focus! Using downtime to read up on races, find others that have done the races on your bucket list and review injuries and preventative methods is a great way to get ahead.  For me it was time to look at what is needed at Mds, what is achievable and more importantly how am I going to get there! Repair End of season massage and review sessions are a great way to try and identify parts of the body that are in need of some TLC.  Its these niggles that can seriously turn into injuries during the heavier part of training.  Personally I have a few people I like to visit.  Different styles for different reasons, but also I like to get different opinions on niggles and solutions. Nutrition Getting food right is 80% of it all.  Food to live, food to fuel and food to recover.  Get any of it wrong and it costs us.  I have tried all the faddy diets (ask my wife!) but its time to bin the lot and just get eating right!!  I have employed the services of Non Evans and done this for a number of reasons. A natural born athlete Non Evans has been playing sport since she began to run at the tender age of one. Throughout an illustrious and internationally recognised career she has been an International Rugby player, Olympic Games commentator, Commonwealth Games competitor and medalist (she is in fact the only female to have competed at three different disciplines at the Commonwealth Games), TV and Radio presenter, successful businesswoman and recipient of an MBE. There are few people who have excelled at sport at international level in more than one sporting discipline – but Non Evans has competed with honours at international level for over 20 years at 5 different sports – Rugby Union, Judo, Olympic Freestyle Wrestling, Weightlifting& Powerlifting.  So basically, if I do not do what she says - she is gonna kick my arse !     Plan Planning is everything if you lead even a moderately busy life.  Plan food, training, rest and quality time with family.  write it down, put it in your diary, put training sessions in the family diary and stick to it.  At home we call it the slot.  Miss your slot? Tough, its now family time. Kit Right now - no idea! Personally, I did not know a sleeping bag could cost more than a second hand car! Food that begins life as dust before you add water and a first aid kit that is simply just scary ! But there is something extra cool about carrying Venom Spray!  Beats energy gels all day long !  
Turbo training session

Turbo Time

October 13, 2014 - General Training

As the nights draw in, its time to dust off the old Turbo trainer and put some focussed sessions together. Whether you live on the snow-locked Colorado Front Range or in your office for 13 hours a day, the indoor trainer is a key part of many riders’ midweek training regimens. Follow these five workout plans to keep the trainer interesting and to optimize your time in the saddle while staring at the wall. Workout E1: Rolling hilly course (63 minutes) Warm-up 5:00 Pedal easy with cadence above 90 rpm. 5:00 Alternate :30 standing, :30 seated. 6:00 Seated, alternate 80 percent of workload between 1:00 on right leg, 1:00 on left leg. Set 1 6 x 2:00 Effort: Zones 1-2, RPE 6-10, Critical Power 180 Choose a gear to maintain 70 rpm in Zone 2. 60 sec. rest interval (maintain 100 rpm during rest interval) 3:00 Spin easy Set 2 6 x 3:00 Effort: Zone 2, REP 10-12, Critical Power 180-90 Choose a gear to maintain 70 rpm in Zone 2. 60 sec. rest interval (maintain 100 rpm during rest interval) Cool down 5:00 spin easy workout E9: Feel for pacing (131 minutes) Warm-up 5:00 Pedal easy with cadence above 90 rpm. 5:00 Alternate :30 standing at RPE 10, :30 seated at RPE 6 6:00 Seated, alternate 80 percent of workload on each leg for 1:00. Set 1 3 x 15:00 Effort: Start at low Zone 1. Every 5:00, increase heart rate by 3 bpm or power by 10 watts Throughout this set, try to guess your intensity before looking at your HRM or power meter. 5:00 spin easy Set 2 3 x 15:00 Effort: Start at low Zone 3. Every 5:00, increase heart rate by 3 bpm or by 10 watts. Throughout this set, try to guess your intensity before looking at your HRM or power meter. Cool down 5:00 min. spin easy Workout SS2: Spin-ups (60-65 minutes) warm-up 5:00 Pedal easy with cadence above 90 rpm 5:00 Alternate :30 at 100 rpm and 80 rpm 5-10:00 Easy riding at 95+ rpm Set 8 x :30 Effort: Zone 1-2, RPE 12-14, Critical Power 90 Spin up to the maximum rpm you can maintain without bouncing, then maintain for :30. 4:30 rest interval Cool down 5:00 min. Workout ME5: Cruise intervals (51-59 minutes) Warm-up 5:00 Keep cadence over 80 rpm. 6:00 Do 1:00 min. reps at 60 rpm and 100 rpm. 5:00 Spin easy at 95+ rpm. Set 4-5 x 6:00 Effort: Zone 4, RPE 15-16, Critical Power 60 Pedal steadily at 90-95 rpm, maintaining your 60:00 time trial pace. This workout help increase your speed at lactate threshold. 2:00 rest intervals Cool down 5:00 Spin easy Workout M7: Fruit loops (84 minutes) Warm-up 5:00 Pedal above 90 rpm. 5:00 Do :30 reps at 80 rpm and 100 rpm 5:00 Pedal at 95+ rpm. Set 1 3x 4:00 Ride 2:00 standing at 70 rpm. Effort: Zone 2, RPE 10-12, Critical Power 180 Ride 2:00 sitting at 100+ rpm. Effort: Zone 2, RPE 13-14, Critical Power 180-90 2:00 rest interval 3x 6:00 Ride 3:00 standing at 80 rpm. Effort: Zone 3, RPE 13-14, Critical Power 90 Ride 3:00 sitting at 100+ rpm. Effort: Zone 1, RPE 6-9, Critical Power less than 180 2:00 min. rest interval 3x 6:00 Ride 3:00 standing at 70 rpm. Effort: Zone 3, RPE 13-14, Critical Power 90 Ride 3:00 sitting at 90 rpm. Effort: Zone 1, RPE 6-9, Critical Power less than 180 2:00 rest interval Cool down 5:00 Spin easy Editor’s note: These workouts are reprinted with permission of VeloPress from Workouts in a Binder for Indoor Cycling by Dirk Friel and Wes Hobson. For more sample workouts, please visit Read more at

Power of Fish!

October 13, 2014 - General

Fish, why is it so good for us? Would you believe that fish is a great nutrient to help your body after a strenuous workout? I didn’t, but I have been converted! Seafood has long been recognised as the best dietary source of Omega-3.  You’ll have heard a lot about Omega-3. It’s on food packaging, it’s in advertisements and it’s in the papers.  But what is it? Why do we need it? And where can it be found? Health benefits of Omega-3include: significantly reduced chances of cancer and heart disease.  Boosts to sporting performance and concentration.  Association with brain development, joint function and healthy skin. Some examples of fish species for Omega-3:- Lemon sole and Monkfish 140 mg per portion.  King scallops 207mg  Tuna 223mg per portion, also Lobster, Halibut, Sea Bass, Mussels, Cockles, Salmon, Mackerel, and top of the pile - its Herring, and don’t forget with over  100 species of fish to choose from threes no excuse for sticking to the same old fish.  Try a new one. Now that's what I call Omega-3. It also comes in capsules, but I recommend the real thing from my favourite Fishmongers, Francis Greene Fishmongers Swansea Market Since I started eating the fish my joint pain has definitely eased and I believe in real food not supplements or tablets.   Omega 3 can also help the following: Blood fat (triglycerides).Fish oil supplements can lower elevated triglyceride levels. Having high levels of this blood fat puts you at risk for heart disease. DHA alone has also been shown to lower triglycerides. Rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil supplements (EPA+DHA) can curb stiffness and joint pain. Omega-3 supplements also seem to boost the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory drugs. Depression. Some researchers have found that cultures that eat foods with high levels of omega-3s have lower levels of depression. Fish oil also seems to boost the effects of antidepressants and may help the depressive symptoms of bipolar Baby development. DHA appears to be important for visual and neurological development in infants. Asthma. A diet high in omega-3s lowers inflammation, a key component in asthma. But more studies are needed to show if fish oil supplements improve lung function or cut the amount of medication a person needs to control the condition. ADHD. Some studies show that fish oil can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in some children and improve their mental skills, like thinking, remembering, and learning. But more research is needed in this area, and omega-3 supplements should not be used as a primary treatment. Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Some research suggests that omega-3s may help protect against Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and have a positive effect on gradual memory loss linked to aging. But that's not certain yet.     So my top tips for this week: Eat real food instead of taking vitamins or tablets Make eating fish part of your training regime. Eating the correct fish will help you recover from exercise Omega 3 from fish can increase sporting performance and concentration Omega3 may significantly reduced chances of cancer and heart disease and much much more. For more information on real nutrition feel free to drop Non a line at