Archive for April, 2019

How to be incredibly productive, even when you have anxiety

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 | Public Speaking

Last week, I presented a talk as part of Leeds Anxiety Clinic’s series of events on helping people manage their anxiety. It was entitled How to be incredibly productive, even when you have anxiety.

I thought it went well. Everyone turned up for a start. We weren’t expecting that. When Anxiety Leeds ran a trial, we invited 30 people and 4 turned up on the day. Everyone who had bought a ticket (it sold out a week in advance) turned up, so we were scrambling around for extra chairs just before the start.

LBT Brownlee duathlon April 2019

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 | Sport

On Saturday. I completed my second duathlon at the Brownlee circuit. Hosted by Leeds & Bradford Triathlon Club, it takes place on a regular basis and I completed my first one in March.

I had my new bike wheels fitted the day before, so I was keen to see how they would perform. The answer is badly :(. I was 15 seconds behind last month but a lot of that was lost on the bike.

Section March April
Run 1 20:27 19:46
T1 1:13 1:11
Bike 19:32 20:34
T2 1:00 1:02
Run 2 5:19 5:12
Total 47:30 47:45

That said, I’m not totally heartbroken. It was miserable weather. It rained pretty much the whole bike section and so I wasn’t as confident going through the corners at speed. I also backed it off down the hill due to the strong crosswinds.

I also went hard at parkrun in the morning to check my form. I only managed 23:45 there, despite my best effort. But that’s no excuse because my power numbers were only negligibly less.

Ultimately, I need more data and to test them in the dry.

Thanks to LBT for hosting another good event.

Public Speaking Without Fear course

Sunday, April 28th, 2019 | News, Public Speaking

Final course launch for April: overcoming the fear of public speaking. Here is the blurb:

Do you want to conquer your fear of public speaking, improve your confidence and build your communication skills?  Maybe you want to be an amazing speaker, or maybe you just want to feel less terrified every time you have to give a presentation at work or “say a few words”.

If so, this is the course for you.

We’ll start by learning 12 different strategies for managing public speaking anxiety. We’ll then move on to how to prepare, write and deliver amazing speeches. We’ll learn how to practise our skills in a safe space, with exercises workbooks and expert tips.

And here is the trailer:

Check it out on Udemy here.

Introduction to Social Psychology course

Saturday, April 27th, 2019 | News

I’ve launched a new course on social psychology. Here is the blurb:

Do you want to better understand the people around you? Why they think and act as they do? Maybe you have noticed people don’t always act rationally and are wondering why.

These are the questions that social psychology answers. It looks at how other people, groups, and wider society shape the way we think and behave.

It is an academic overview, but presented in a fun way with real-world examples, like what we can learn from climate change, elections, and even online dating.

And here is the trailer:

You can check it out on Udemy here.

ROKA SIM Pro II buoyancy shorts review

Friday, April 26th, 2019 | Reviews, Video

In this video, I’ll review the ROKA men’s SIM Pro II buoyancy shorts. It’s the full thing: I’ll take you from the unboxing into a long-term review where I report back on them after a month.

Buoyancy shorts simulate the position in the water that a wetsuit gives you. This means you can practice your open water swimming practice in the pool. This could be a lifesaver for triathletes who don’t have a local lake to swim in and thus only get to practice their open water swimming in triathlon races.

I spoke to ROKA about the difference between the Elite and the more expensive Pro version. They’re very similar but the Pro version is slightly more adjustable and slightly more buoyant, so will give you a slightly better position in the water.

Are they race legal? Not really. They count as a wetsuit. So, you can’t use them in a pool-based triathlon. If it is an open water event and wetsuits are allowed, you could use them. But, in that case, you probably want to go with a full wetsuit instead. So, they’re really intended for training.

They are made of neoprene, which is the same material as a wetsuit. Basically, it feels like they have cut a section out of one and added a drawstring. I was worried about tearing it, but so far, so good.

MUSIC CREDITS

Lostboy & Slashtaq – Elysium
RIVERO & Anna Yvette – Heaven

Vue’s My First Cinema Experience teaches children how bad going to the cinema is

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 | Life

Looking for things to do over the Easter weekend, Elina found that View Cinemas were running a film called Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Experience. This seemed a great chance to introduce Venla to the cinema, although why we would want to do that I am not sure.

We purchased some refreshments before going in. I asked for a Coke, but all they had was cherry flavour, and what I was actually sold was a Coke Zero, without being asked to consent to the substitute product. This and some sweets was about £5.

We arrived when the film was due to start. We were the only people there. Eventually, two other families turned up, and one man who looked to be in his 50s who was alone. He was just a huge aficionado of Peppa Pig, I’m sure.

I foolishly thought that given it was a “first cinema experience”, they wouldn’t make young children sit through loads of adverts. But I was wrong. There were 19 minutes of them.

It turns out that an hour of Peppa Pig is too much Peppa Pig, even for a toddler who loves Peppa Pig.

And finally home, stopping by the toilets to admire the broken hand driers.

It’s hard to understand why cinemas are losing ground to iTunes and piracy. Why would I want to watch it on my large Apple TV with my Sonos soundbar and clean bathroom, when I can spend a morning watching adverts, dodging paedophiles and paying over-the-odds for substitute drinks?

Easter Sunday ride

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 | Sport

As if the punishment from Good Friday’s 84km wasn’t enough, I set out to do a round trip to York on Sunday. I collected Bogdan from Rothwell and we headed along the quiet roads of East Leeds to Cycle Heaven’s Naught-E cafe in the centre of York.

The cafe has a good range of stuff: full cooked breakfast and a wide selection of nice cakes. I opted for a bacon sandwich and a brownie. And we timed our arrival just right, getting there three minutes after they had opened.

The way back had some inevitable headwind but this died off the further we went. In total, the distance came to 110km, making it a new personal record for me, although only by 4km. I’m feeling like I should have done way more than that given the Yorkshireman is only nine weeks away, but putting nearly 200km into my legs over a weekend and still feeling good has been a confidence boost.

HPH Good Friday ride

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 | Sport

On Good Friday, I went cycling with Hyde Park Harriers triathlon club. Around twenty of us set off from the Three Horse Shoes in two groups: a “fast” group and a “social” group, with both being respectable rides that took in some hills.

I managed to hold the wheel of the fast group as we made our way to Bolton Abbey for some cake at the pavilion. We then took in Langbar, which was not as bad as I was expecting, before descending (and then climbing, because it’s Yorkshire) to Golden Arce park for ice cream and finally The Stables for a beverage of a refreshing nature.

In total, it amounted to 84km and just over 1,000 metres of climbing. A lovely way to start the Easter weekend.

Facebook Ads with Chris

Monday, April 22nd, 2019 | Business & Marketing, News

I’ve launched a new course on creating Facebook ads. Here is the blurb:

Do you want to master Facebook Ads? Maybe you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner looking to reach new customers. A marketer looking for new audiences. Or maybe you’re new to digital marketing and want to find out what it can do for you.

This is a complete beginner to advanced course: we’ll cover the basics from setting up your account and creating your first campaign to advanced topics like split testing, retargeting and instant experiences.

It’s a big course: three and a half hours of full HD video showing you exactly how to create ads as you follow my screen. You can check it out on Udemy here.

Skipton Triathlon 2019

Friday, April 19th, 2019 | Sport

The triathlon season is here! After a long wait, Skipton finally arrived. Last year I went to Skipton to do my first ever triathlon. This year I was coming as a seasoned veteran. Because I’m old, but also because I spent all of last year racing.

It was April, so it was freezing. As I stripped off in the transition area and headed to the pool, I was biting myself with the cold. Luckily, the pool was a lovely 28 degrees (like bath water) and the rest of the race was fine if a little windy.

I brought it home in just under 90 minutes, comfortably beating last year’s time.

Stage 2019 2018 Diff
Swim 09:44 09:36 +0:08
T1 04:31 05:46 -1:15
Bike 48:54 53:05 -4:11
T2 01:52 1:56 -0:04
Run 24:10 23:40 +0:30
Total 1:29:13 1:34:02 -4:49

My veteran status showed in the swim: I remembered my goggles this time! I completed it in just over nine minutes, which is a fast 400 metres for me. After that, it was overtaking people all the way, which is one of the best bits of being such a slow swimmer.

The bike segment was where I picked up most of my time, but it was a tough ride. It was in a tonne of lower back pain to the point where I almost had to stop and get off. However, I managed to stretch a bit on the bike and bear with it until I could get back to T2 and onto the run.

It was lovely to be racing with Hyde Park Harriers. Having friendly faces to chat to before and after the race made it feel like a real community event and their cheering on was much appreciated. Unfortunately, I missed the group photo as Venla was a bit bored by this point.