Popular perception says the devil makes work for idle hands. As it turns out he also makes work for other parts of the body and this he calls exercise.

Because of the supposed endorphins, it’s really easy to get addicted to exercise and you become so fit that you push yourself to ever-greater extremes, one of which is death. Undoubtedly, the benefit of regular exercise is that you develop a superbly toned body, one that everyone would be highly jealous of, were it not for the fact that you stink of chlorine, continually break off to carbo-load with high-energy liquids and have to stretch for fifteen minutes before starting anything. And, in any event, don’t forget that exercise was actually created for those who can’t handle hard liquor and class A drugs!

I’ve done more than my fair share of exercise: I’m still trying to master the game of squash; have run more adventure races, marathons & ultras than I care to recall; discovered I was more rust than iron in triathlon; continually proved that I have no natural talent on two wheels, have swam often in cold water, very cold water; and don’t ever want to do anything like this ever again.

all the gear…

…and no idea. I read an interesting article the other day where a wife was berating her husband for wanting to upgrade his current £800 bicycle to a more expensive £2000 one. His perspective was that the old one just wasn’t fast enough; hers that the money would be far better spent on a new kitchen. Now, I’m on thin ice here in that my first road bike was a third-hand Pinarrello that I paid £300 for, and loved monogamously for a year, before spanking over £2000 on an equally lovely but far lighter, better spec’d and more sparkly titanium framed second-hand Sabbath Mondays Child. The Sabbath is fantastic bit of kit, I am undoubtedly faster on it and able […]

'time for bed' said Zebedee

Are you struggling to sleep? The flock of sheep never ending? Is the tossing and turning making each night’s sleep an impossibility? Nightmares? Chance would be a fine thing! Well, luckily for all you insomniacs, researchers from the North-Western Medicine University have uncovered a new drug-free antidote that is all but guaranteed to ensure a solid night’s kip. The study, which is the first to examine the effect of aerobic exercise on middle-aged adults with a history of poor sleep patterns, shows a dramatic improvement in both the quantity and quality of zzzs, when compared to any other non-pharmacological intervention, as well as highlighting a positive effect on mood and vitality. Wahay. Too tired to exercise? Think again. Analysing two […]

flag of convenience

I have a problem with Andy Murray. And it’s the same I had with Greg Rusedski and Kevin Pietersen and Allan Lamb and Tony Greig. Is he Scottish or is he British?  Were they Canadian, South African, Rhodesian or what? And the worst culprit? Undoubtedly squash’s very own Peter Nichol. Top boy that he was and is, how could he do what he did and expect to be taken seriously? Go read up on it if you have no idea what I’m referring to. I just don’t buy the ancestral bit. You are what you are and you can only be from one place, there’s only one home country. Yes, it may certainly bolster our own Nation’s sporting prowess and […]

uk ironman: more rust than metal

To those of a certain generation ‘Ironman’ is a Black Sabbath number from their ‘difficult second album’, Paranoid. To those of another, it’s the film featuring Hollywood’s reformed-bad-boy Robert Downey Junior. But to those of the middle-aged-wanna-be-fit-and-relive-your-lost-childhood generation, Ironman represents a whole different kettle of fish, in fact a whole different world of hate and pain. A world condensed to three disciplines – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 (never forget the 0.2 as they are the hardest of 0.2 miles) run. I can now personally confirm that everything you’ve heard or envisaged about this event is absolutely true, not a word is a lie and I’d go as far as say not a single word is even […]

c’mon in the water’s lovely

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Swimmer – Saturday 10th July 2010 Forget the World Cup. Don’t even consider the Tour de France. This Saturday saw your intrepid slippery fish take to the water in both his first ever official swim race and first ever attempt at the 3.8k Ironman distance. Surely an event worth noting. Tony-triathlete-Marsh, Grant Wyatt and I were competing in the 3.8km race (57 entrants) with Paul Broomfield taking to the water for the first time this year in the 1.5km one against 53 other participants. 22 degrees potentially made wetsuits unnecessary for the proper swimmers (Paul) but the rest of us were happy to bubble and boil away for the reassurance of the additional buoyancy. […]

the return match – one year older, one year slower and…

…certainly not one year wiser. Yesterday saw your intrepid local triathletes compete in this year’s New Forest Swashbuckler (Half Ironman Distance of 1.9k swim, 56 mile cycle and a half marathon to end with) and it’s not a pretty story with a cuddly happy ending. All was going well as Jonathan and I met at 3.45am (yep, you read that correctly) and hit the M3 in a journey we’d completed several times, latterly only the day before for registration. There’s no way we could get lost as there was no-one else on the road, right? Wrong. Can you believe it we got horribly lost, ending up on the wrong motorway THREE times before finally getting back on the M3 at […]

hart sprint triathlon – still old, still slow…

Running around the City at 12.15am trying to remember where I’d parked the car wasn’t perhaps the best of training ideas for the night (morning?) of an event but at least when I found it and realised there was already a frost on the windows at least knew it was going to be a cold one… And so it proved to be. Bl**dy freezing in fact with a chill wind that absolutely cut through you, only for the intermittent rain to finish you off. Nice. And don’t forget the hail. I kid you not. Hart Sprint Triathlon is a relatively inexpensive and cracking wee event run by Hart Council just down the road in Fleet Leisure Centre. Attended by about […]

the terror of time-trialling

Hillingdon 25M Time Trail – 21st March 2010: Well, at least I was only over taken by two other riders… This morning saw Johnny and I enter the first Time Trial race of 2010, the West London 25 mile TT, my first proper cycle race ever, and I kid you not we were almost the only ones not racing on a time trial bike, with disc wheels and aero bars. Why, most of the other participants even raced in aero helmets ferchristsakes! Daunted is not the word but, as with most of these events, it turned out to be not too bad at all and the fear of anticipation is greater than its reality. An out and back course into […]

dorney triathlon

Is that the time? 02.38 and there’s precious little chance of any kip. Perhaps caused by having a few swift pints with the boys to calm the nerves, maybe brought on by a last minute carbo loading session of industrial sized quantities of pasta and garlic bread or simply the burning knot of fear in the pit of my stomach together with the recurring vision of being ‘swam-over’ and deposited at the bottom of the lake. Yep, that’ll be it then. Sunday morning saw your favourite gang of intrepid adventurers, Stu Hart, Jonathan ‘the butcher’ Greaves and little ol’ me, embark on the next chapter of physical pain and heart-break by attempting the ORCA Sprint Triathlon at Eton’s Dorney rowing […]