Archive for May, 2020

EveryMayDay 10k challenge

Sunday, May 31st, 2020 | Sport

Every day this month, a team of runners (including myself) have been running 10km each day to raise money for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. We are aiming to reach £10,000 and, at time of writing, are already over £9,000.

Click here to support us on JustGiving.

It’s been a tough month. I don’t run anywhere near 70km a week, so it was a big uplift. Typically, they say do not increase your mileage by more than 10%. But if anyone actually did that, how would ultramarathons get done? I did take it easy at the start: most limiting myself to 10km and some days were super slow. Every run involved some running, but some “recovery dates” were mostly walking.

Towards the end, I picked up the distance a bit as I wanted to reach 400 km total for the month (I am also clocking up mileage for the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee). So, the final week was made up of a lot of 15 km runs and reaching 401 km by today meant I have averaged just under 13 km per day. Not bad, although nothing compared to the superhumans I was running with, several of whom knocked out marathons today.

My body has mostly held up. I’ve been done strength and stretching exercises every day. My left ankle is not happy but it does not feel serious. I can still run on it once I warm up. Calf muscles are fine. Mostly, I am just tired. I think I have been eating enough and I have gone through several cases of energy drinks, but I still find I am lacking energy. I haven’t lost any weight, either.

Well done to everyone who completed the challenge and thanks for your support. It has been a pleasure running with you all.

Nutrition for Athletes

Thursday, May 28th, 2020 | News

I am pleased to announce the launch of my new course, Nutrition for Athletes.

The course covers physiology and how the body adapts to training, how nutrition supports this, macro and micro nutrients, the psychology of eating and weight loss, hydration, fueling for exercise and more.

Here’s the trailer:

Hadrian’s Wall virtual ultramarathon

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 | Sport

On Monday, I finished the Hadrian’s Wall virtual ultramarathon. 144.8 km in 11 days. But, before I brag too much, there are a couple of caveats.

It was a virtual event, so it’s not like running a real ultra: you get to sleep in your own bed each night and have plenty of recovery time between runs.

Second, I’m already running the Great Virtual Race Across Tennesse. Both events explicitly say you can run in two virtual races at the same time, so I decided to join this one in case I fail to finish GVRAT, which has a strict cut-off and much longer distance.

Full disclosure over, I’m looking forward to my medal turning up.

Ironman VR8

Monday, May 25th, 2020 | Sport

Another virtual duathlon in the bag. I was already doing a 23 km road race on Zwift as part of Hyde Park HArrier Triathlon’s Zwift race series, so I just kept peddling fnr another 17 km after finishing to complete the bike section.

I knocked the runs out back-to-back with a 14 km run up the canal and around Kirkstall Forge. I’ve always wondered what the path from the towpath to the forge, and running 10 km every day has given me the nudge to explore it, so I did. It’s not that exciting but a least now I know.

Engineering Health

Friday, May 22nd, 2020 | Life

I recently completed Engineering Health: Introduction to Yoga and Physiology with New York University.

It is a good overview of the health benefits of yoga. Yoga does not have any magical properties, but what it does have is a bunch of stuff bundled together. Things we know that allow us to live healthier and happier, like exercise, strength, flexibility and mindfulness. All wrapped up in a single package that is easy to consume.

One-Hour Guide to Sport Nutrition

Thursday, May 21st, 2020 | Books

New book alert. If you are an athlete, coach or just someone interested in learning more about nutrition and exercise, The One-Hour Guide to Sport Nutrition will give you a fundamental and practical overview in around an hour’s reading.

We’ll cover macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and how they work. `But we’ll also look at personalising nutrition, the psychology of healthy eating, managing hydration, losing weight safely and how to fuel before, during and after exercise.

It’s available on Amazon in paperback now.

Ironman VR7

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 | Sport

Another weekend, another virtual race. This time it was only a sprint distance, so all I had to do was to find room for a 20km bike ride and I was away. I’m running better off the bike than I am on regular days now. My usual runs are anywhere from 55-70 minutes, but off the bike, I’m constantly running 50 minute 10ks. I think my body is just so old and tired now that it needs a full you to warm up.

CSS Grid course

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 | News

I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new course, Introduction to CSS Grid. If you are a web developer that is not using grid yet, now is the time to jump on board before you get left behind. Grid is amazing: it is like flexbox on steroids. It is the thing that finally gives us everything we had in table-based layouts and lots more.

Here is the trailer:

Ironman VR6

Monday, May 11th, 2020 | Sport

I did all four of the first Ironman VR events. However, having accidentally done a middle distance for Ironman VR4, I did not fancy doing two middle distances on back-to-back weekends, especially as #EverymayDay 10k had started by this point, so I decided to skip Ironman VR5.

Ironman VR6 was back down to standard distance, though, and already running 10km every day meant that all I had to do was squeeze in a 40 km bike ride.

I decided to put the 40 km bike and 10 km run into a brick session. It was a slow bike ride, taking me nearly two hours to totter around North Leeds for 43 km, but the run afterwards I was on fire: 48:06.

Nutrition, Exercise and Sports

Thursday, May 7th, 2020 | Life, Sport

As well as the courses on macronutrients and micronutrients, I’ve also been doing a course on sport nutrition with Wageningen University. I’ve finished the course and am on track for a final grade of 92%, but even though I’ve submitted everything, the grades do not get finalised until the summer.