Chris Worfolk's Blog


Route 66 virtual challenge

February 22nd, 2021 | Sport

Since June, I have been cycling along a virtual Route 66. Earlier this month, I finally finished it. At 3,670 km, I had set myself a year to finish it. It’s been with me like a trusted companion all this time. On to Iceland next!

Workout logs for triathletes

February 21st, 2021 | Sport, Tech

I have been playing around with a range of options for tracking training for myself and my athletes. Here is a brief write-up of my findings.

Final Surge

Really nice. The new beta platform looks good. It’s free. The downside is that you cannot integrate TrainerRoad or Zwift, and if you connect Garmin and Strava to get them both, you get duplicate workouts. Actually, TrainerRoad support is there via TrainerRoad. But on Zwift support.

Today’s Plan

Costs money. Very power base and forces you to enter values from the start. I have to put the sports in that I do, but why> I select triathlon but then the other sports, too? It does have integration with Zwift, but despite sticking TrainerRoad’s logo on their page it is actually a manual upload process at the moment.

TrainerRoad

It’s beautiful but it’s all about cycling. It does not import my other workouts so I cannot analyse my load. I use it just for cycling.

TrainingPeaks

Integrates with everything. I have used TrainingPeaks previously but it seemed expensive for what it was. That said, thanks to the integrations and how nicely it all works together, TrainingPeaks is a winner for me.

Trail running

February 20th, 2021 | Sport

Traditionally, I’ve been a road runner. I like it. You can focus on the pain. Trail running is fun and I am not always a fun person. But I am challenging a lot of beliefs about myself recently and one of them is that getting my feet wet and muddy may not be as bad as it first seems.

Lockdown 3 has been miserable. It is long and the weather had been terrible for months (I am writing this in the middle of February). I have not taken my bike outside since Christmas Eve. But I have been running in the snow. Given it only snows a few days a year, and sometimes not at all in a year, and I am in my 30s, I may only have a month of snow days left. And that ignores climate breakdown. So, I didn’t want to miss them.

But running in snow is slippy when all you have is a pair of road shoes. As is running on the trail which I have traditionally limited to summer. So, I have finally given in and bought a pair of trail shoes. I tried the Hoka Speedgoat 4 as these match my Clifton 6s, but there was not enough height in the toe box for my giant toes, so I had to switch to the Torrent. Less cushioning but otherwise very nice.

While it is a little annoying to go through a puddle the first time, my feet did stay relatively warm at six degrees Celcius. And because of how miserable the weather was, I literally had Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve to myself.

The Salt Path

February 19th, 2021 | Books

The Salt Path is a non-fiction book by Raynor Winn. It is technically travel writing as it tells the story of her and her partner walking the 630-mile South West Coast Path after they are made homeless and her partner receives a terminal illness diagnosis.

It certainly starts on a negative note. But despite the premise, the story quickly becomes a heartwarming tale as the two discover new resources within themselves. Winn is a funny and entertaining writer and the story is captivating throughout.

Storyblocks and YouTube have a copyright problem

February 18th, 2021 | Reviews

Storyblocks is a royalty-free media subscription service that allows you to get stock photographs, audio and video to use in your products for a flat monthly subscription. I have used the service for a while and I like it, with a few caveats. One of which being if you use the music they provide on YouTube, you are constantly getting copyright claims against your videos.

It’s annoying because you have to go in and appeal each one. YouTube recently made this process more complicated so it now feels there is an even heavier presumption of guilt. These appeals are not monitored by YouTube but are considered by the copyright owner who can decide to accept or reject them.

Worse, one of my recent appeals was rejected even after I explained I had paid for a licence with Storyblocks. Storyblocks don’t seem to have a downloadable licence so it’s not clear what would happen if I re-uploaded a video if I ever left Storyblocks. What’s the point in paying for licences when they are not respected?

Crooked House

February 17th, 2021 | Books

Crooked House is a murder mystery novel by Agatha Christie. It is one of the few that stands alone without any of Christie’s regular detective characters. It was okay. I didn’t have to force myself to finish it but it wasn’t amazing.

Person-Centred Counselling course

February 16th, 2021 | News

Person-Centred Counselling is one of the most widespread counselling modalities and asks the question “what kind of relationship can I provide to help another person?”

So, whether you are looking to build stronger relationships in your personal and professional life, or go on to work as a counsellor, a foundation in person-centred counselling is an excellent first step. My new course teaches you the theory, philosophy and skills associated with person-centred counselling.

Preview the course or watch the trailer below.

Deploying to cPanel using git

February 15th, 2021 | Programming

cPanel now has support for deploying via git. Here is a quick guide on deploying PHP applications.

Upgrade Composer

The Composer version is old and will need an upgrade. To do this, you need to log into the server as root and run:

composer self-update

Install your SSH key

To avoid having to enter your password every time you push, log into cPanel and add your public SSH key. You can paste the id_rsa into the box and leave the name as default. Once added, go to the manage key and activate it.

Create a git repo

In cPanel, go into the git section and create a new repo. You can place it anywhere so perhaps a good place to put it is:

/home/username/git/repo-name

Add a remote

Back on your own computer, add the new cPanel repo as a remote.

git remote add cpanel ssh://username@example.com/home/username/git/repo-name

Add a cPanel config file

If you need to run any additional tasks, add a .cpanel.yml file to the root of your repo.

deployment:
  tasks:
    - composer install
    - /bin/cp -a /home/username/git/repo-name/public /home/username/public_html

5. Add a .cpanel.yml script

Push your code

Do a standard git push to deploy.

git push cpanel master

You can find the logs in /home/username/.cpanel/logs/ to find out if everything went as planned.

Weight loss goals

February 14th, 2021 | Health & Wellbeing

You msy think that Ironman training is great for weight loss. But training so heavily makes you ravenous, and I like to eat plenty in the first six months as I am attempt to build muscle and get stronger. Then the next three months is race season and I am busy having fun. That leaves the final few months of the year for weight loss.

This means dieting through Christmas which is always a pain. But this year has gone extra well and I made it through the festive period without any cheat days. This wasn’t easy, for me or Venla. I started Christmas Day with a two-hour run to pre-burn all of the calories and El Junior was not impressed at having to wait to open her presents.

But, earlier this month I hit my weight goal and it proves promising for going up hills faster. An FTP test suggests I am still the cyclist I was last year (4 watts down, so negligable) but seven kilos down from October. My time up the climb in Innsbrook (29:37) beat my previous time by three minutes. Although it should be noted that I am now riding a Specialized Shiv Disc with DT Swiss wheels, rather than stock Zwift frame and wheels.

Training Essentials for Ultrarunning

February 13th, 2021 | Books

Training Essentials for Ultrarunning: How to Train Smarter, Race Faster, and Maximize Your Ultramarathon Performance is a book by Jason Koop. Koop is an ultra coach and I like his book a lot. It challenges some conventional logic but does so with a heavy dose of academic referencing and modern theory on training.

One of the major premises of the book is that you should focus on fitness. This is often forgotten about with ultras. Many runners, including Laz Lake, will preach the benefits of miles and miles of training. And it is true you need to run a lot. But ultra runners should also do tempo runs and interval training. Why? Because if you increase your VO2 max by 10%, that makes running slowly 10% easier, too. And even running slowly is hard when you have to do it for 160 kilometres.

He follows a reverse periodisation model where you work on the least important things farthest away. In a traditional periodisation model, you would work on base fitness and add in speed work later. But Koop starts with speed work and then moves onto getting increasingly specific to the race as we move into the season.

If you want to deep dive into ultrarunning training theory, this is a great book.