Chris Worfolk's Blog


Big Fat Bike Ride

May 19th, 2022 | Sport

The Big Fat Bike Ride is a sportive organised by clothing brand Fat Lad At The Back. Bogdan and I did the same event back in 2018 when it was known as Up North Yorkshire sportive.

Last time we took it easy with the 40k route; this time I pushed onto the 80k one. Still fairly short all things being considered. It was well worth it. beyond Kettlewell is when the scenery really gets beautiful. The route was similar to the White Rose Classic which is probably the most beautiful sportive I’ve done.

it is a lumpy route: no big climbs but no real flat either. I felt much better on the bike than I did at Tadcaster sportive and was able to put out an extra 20 Watts of average power which is a good confidence boost with the triathlon season arriving.

I also made a video about it:

Tadcaster Triathlon 2022

May 6th, 2022 | Sport

The triathlon season is back! 10 Harriers turned up to race with another three of Harriers volunteering and being a smaller event than Skipton, it made for a social atmosphere where it was easy to find each other.

I wasn’t sure how my legs would hold up after completing Around The Park, Around The Clock the day before. However, I woke up feeling relatively fresh. And by that I mean I wasn’t overwhelming sore or achy. I did have to re-do my elastic laces so that my swollen feet would fit in my shoes, though.

I turned up 1:45 in advance to try and see everyone off and allow plenty of faffing time while I remembered all of the little touches: opening the velcro straps on my shoes, syncing my bike computer, having the final pre-race gel and pre-race wee, etc.

The swim

Tadcaster sets swimmers off in waves at 5-second intervals and it is annoying because that means someone is almost instantly on your toes. Luckily, this year I was the last of four so did not have that pressure. Someone overtook me on the last lap, though, which logically means she must have swum 18 lengths.

In the end, I came out of the water in 8:36, so pretty close to the 8:30 I had predicted. Everyone else was well ahead, so in future, I might deliberately underestimate my pace so that I end up with swimmers of similar ability.

The bike

The bike felt pretty good. Only two people came past me and I took one of those places back. I have not practised on my aero bars much over winter but I was able to use them without issues.

That said, my ultimate time was disappointing: 27:38 which was 99 seconds slower than 2021. That was a mixture of fatigue and fitness. I did not work quite as hard this year (165 bpm vs 173 bpm) but was also putting out a lot less power: 202 W vs 247 W.

The run

I set off on the run with some gentle expectations. At this point, my legs started to feel sore and so I did not want to push too hard because these events are supposed to be fun. I went through the first kilometre in 4:43 and roughly maintained this pace throughout factoring in gates, bridges and other chokepoints.

The run contained some interesting obstacles including a field full of cows, several of which were standing right on the footpath. It also finished on a set of steps.

After we crossed the finish line there we were handed a warm pie and a jar of chutney. Nice way to end a race.

The result

My final time was:

1:12:04

I was feeling pretty good about the race until I compared it to last year’s results. Not much gain on the swim and a significant loss on the bike. The run and overall are not comparable to last year the course flooded and the 6k trail run was replaced by a sub-5k road run.

Stage 2022 2021 2019
Swim+ 12:07 12:30 12:21
T1 01:03 01:10 02:36
Bike 27:38 25:59 28:41
T2 01:16 01:49 01:31
Run 30:02 22:54 32:32
Total 1:12:04 1:04:20 1:17:38

Recovering from a broken ankle, ongoing ear and kidney issues, focusing on ultrarunning rather than cycling and having done an ultra the day before are all good reasons to a be a bit slower this year. But hopefully, I can get some cycling form back once Man Vs Coast is out of the way.

Or maybe I’m just getting old. This race marks the start of my fifth season in triathlon and 48th event overall. Not sure who I order my 50 t-shirt from in two races time…

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made the event happen and see you all at World Triathlon Leeds!

Around The Park, Around The Clock 2022

May 5th, 2022 | Sport

Last year, Toby organised Hyde Park Harriers’s first Around The Park, Around The Clock, a backyard ultra that consists of 5km loops that take place on the hour, each hour, for 12 hours. While this makes it somewhat easier than other backyard ultras, there is obviously no such thing as an easy ultramarathon.

This year it returned in the same format with ten of us taking on all 12 loops and many others joining us for many of them and the accompanying club picnic. Well done to Sam, Jon, Chloe, Robyn, Jed, Curtis, Rich G and Toby for completing all of the laps.

The weather was slightly kinder this year. There was no heavy rain at the start and it as a touch warmer, too, ending in a pleasant summer evening but without any sunburn.

Thank you to Naomi and Steve for the photos.

Old friends and the Abbey Inn

May 4th, 2022 | Friends

So lovely to be hanging out with these awesome people again.

British Triathlon Level 2

April 24th, 2022 | Life

My certificate is here! In my next life, I’m going to train with a triathlon federation that either delivers coaching courses in the summer or is located in a warmer climate.

Tadcaster sportive

April 15th, 2022 | Sport

The Tadcaster Sportive starts in Tadcaster (surprisingly) and heads out for two unique loops on the 60k route and three unique loops on the 100k. It is flat for the first 60k with all of the climbing crammed into the final 40.

Having not taken my bike outside for about six months, I wasn’t sure how well I would hold up riding 100k. The answer was okay, but not great. I got around fine but my power numbers were low and my average moving speed was only 22.9 kph: not the kind of speed I am wanting to hit in Copenhagen! Good fun, though, and lovely to be riding outside again.

Roche Abbey trail race

April 14th, 2022 | Sport

I booked the 32k Roche Abbey trail race as a prep event for Race to the Castle. Unfortunately, five days before the event, Race to the Castle was cancelled. But it would still be a useful test of the legs after breaking my ankle in December.

It was a three-lap course. We took the first few hundred metres together before the eventual winner accelerated off into the lead. I settled into third place but was down to sixth by the end of the first lap as everyone found their pace. After the second lap, I moved back up to fourth as the other runners slowed down. It was annoying. If they had left me for dead I could chill out. But being close to the podium I wanted to keep pushing.

As we approached the aid station on the final lap, I saw the third-place runner ahead of me. He wasn’t moving too fast and stopped entirely when we reached the aid station. This would have been fine but I was hurting by this point, too. By the halfway out-and-back, I was 3.5 minutes up but I was running out of energy myself and had to do a bit of run-walk.

As I went up the big hill through the woods I realised I had run out of water. Probably the first time ever! For some reason, I had done my maths incorrectly when filling my bottles that morning, so I had estimated my water intake correctly but did not put enough water in the flasks. I was about 20 minutes from the end so there was nothing to do but push on.

In the end, I was still moving faster than everyone behind me and finished 10 minutes ahead of fourth place. Unfortunately, Grim Up North are now only giving out trophies to the winners, but it’s still officially a podium for third overall.

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy course

March 22nd, 2022 | News

My Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) course is one of my best selling courses and the owner of a coveted bestseller tag. But CBT is not a single therapy: it came out of the work of multiple psychologists including Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy and Albert Ellis’s Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT).

REBT is still highly relevant today: the way it attacks core beliefs, the ABC model and its use of a variety of cognitive, emotional and behavioural strategies are all still key to the success of CBT.

If you would like to learn more, you can preview the course on Udemy or watch the trailer below.

Ven-Top

March 21st, 2022 | Sport

Yesterday I completed the Mont Ventoux climb on Zwift. At over 1,500 metres, it is the biggest climb in the game and significantly higher than the Alpe du Zwift.

But more importantly, it means I’ve completed all of the routes in France. My goal was to complete everything in Innsbrook, France and New York by spring. Yesterday was the first day of spring, so technically I missed it by 18 hours. But I’m pretty happy nonetheless as I’ve also completed all but three of the Makuri Islands routes (at least two of which were only added since I started the challenge). Plus I’ve done everything in London except PRL full, which is not on my to-do list because 8 hours turbo trainer sounds utterly miserable.

Front crawl fundamentals

February 24th, 2022 | Sport

This month, I’ve been running a weekly front crawl fundamentals workshop to help some of our less confident swimmers really get their heads around front crawl. It’s been a very rewarding experience because getting to see the same athletes on a weekly basis, especially with the homework they put in, really demonstrated some great progress. Well done to everyone who took part!