Week in review 20th – 26th February

11am Kickboxing. Excellent session to start the week. My strength is growing week on week as is my flexibility. This was the first week that the kicks and punches started to feel right, proper rotation on the kicks, weight transfer on the punches. Even some compliments from Stu (Still outweighed 10 t0 1 by “Stop dropping your hands”) There’s still a long way to go and I won’t achieve everything I want before I have to cut it back when the Swim, Bike and Run increase, but I will be giving it everything while I can and be straight back in to work towards some belts when the season is over. (746 Calories – Garmin estimate, I think it’s a bit low, but will do)

Breakfast – Yoghurt and Honey and Fruit
Snack – Banana
Training – Protein Shake
Lunch – Ham Salad
Dinner – Tuna Steak & Stir Fry
Muller Yoghurt while I was watching the telly
1612 Calories

Swim: Late afternoon pool swim. Nothing terribly exciting to report. Slight twinge in my left shoulder afterwards. 1600m complete, 500cals

Breakfast – Yoghurt and Honey and Fruit
Snack – Banana x 2
Lunch – Chicken Salad
Dinner – Thai Turkey Burgers and Vietnamese Salad (Yes, I know, so culinarily cosmopolitan it makes me sick)
1587 Calories

Run: now that my running is coming back to me I have devised some more routes that are a bit longer around the SE London area. My new favourite takes in a long drag up one tree hill which has a lovely downhill on the other side, round Peckham Rye park then into Nunhead Cemetery which is an abolutely amazing place. 9.33km / 1hr1min (actually slightly longer as Garmin didn’t pick up until 4 mins in. 800cals
Bike: Ah, the turbo, I’m actually beginning to enjoy it, it’s ok if I have the windows open. I have saved up a load of Mr T’s Craziest Fools to watch. 55mins 475 cals

Eating – big day today!
Breakfast – Yoghurt and Honey and Fruit
Lunch – Chicken Salad
Snack – Tin of Tuna (Spring Water)
Snack – Rice Cake (I was desperate not to eat crap – never again though – I’ve had tastier fingernails)
Dinner – Mini Jacket Potatoes with Chilli Con Carne and a bit of cheese!
Muller Yoghurt while I was watching the telly
2118 Calories

Swim: Planned distance of 2000m, but I only managed 1800m as the Breastroke Crew got into the pool at the end of my session and I had to get out before I drowned one of the two ronnies bobbing up and down in my lane. Definite pain in the left shoulder on recovery. Oops. 1800m / 55mins 475 Cals

Breakfast – Yoghurt and Honey and Fruit
Lunch – Chilli con Carne
Snack – Packet of Kettle Chips
Dinner – Cod fillets with Chorizo and Roasted Vegetables.
1688 Calories

Run: Local SE London run, 49mins / 7.33km / 653cals

Breakfast – Yoghurt and Honey and Fruit
Snack – Banana x 2
Lunch – Chicken Salad
Dinner – Chicken Rogan Josh and Rice (Recipe to follow)

Bike – 3hours in the Kent Countryside with Leo. Pretty fast and flat until Hunton Hill at the end. Pain in the outside of my left knee which was a bit worrying. I’ve just had a bike fit so it could be the change in position and tight ITB. 3.05hrs / 1500 calories
Breakfast – Porridge and Honey
Lunch – Cheese and Ham Sandwiches
Dinner – Summer Rolls, Massamman Curry, Stir Fried Vegetables
Had Bez and Claire up for dinner so not quite the tight control I exert in the week!
3018 Calories

Run: Local route up one tree hill and through the cemetery. 1hr 800cals

Hmmm, not the greatest day for being controlled with my intake!

Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs on Toast
Lunch – Ham Sandwich
Dinner – Roast Chicken, Potatoes, Parsnips, Cabbage, Peas, Beans.
Um.. Apple Strudel and Ice Cream. This was the problem I think!
2383 Calories


Swim: 3400m / 1hr 40mins
Bike: 105km / 4hr 19mins
Run: 26.67km / 2hr 53mins

Calories in 14489
Calories Out 13873
Difference: +616

Weight Loss: 1kg



My plan for the start of this year was building back up the base fitness and strengthening my lower limbs with exercises from James and some Kickboxing back at Paragon – the idea being that the movement and strength work would compliment the other exercises, and it’s lovely and warm in the gym! Great plan, until I managed to injure myself.

During my Kickboxing session in the first week of January I was trying to learn the Lunging Left Hook. Same principle as the Left Hook, but you lunge forward to throw it. Unfortunately my lunge turned into a fall and I turned my left ankle underneath me and sprained it pretty badly.

3 weeks on and I’m healed up nicely. It’s still a bit tight first thing in the morning and I’m wearing an ankle support when running and kickboxing, but I can run again so we are back on the programme.

171 days to race.


Here we go

Stading in the pub is one thing, laughing, beer in hand that training starts next week is so easy to do. Eating and drinking and not training are easy to do. I’m certain the same cannot be said of the converse, however that is what awaits me in a little over 48hours (I am planning on relaxing with a few beers if the desire takes me on New Years Day – it may not, I’m keeping my options open)

I set 4 conditions for the first 202 days of 2012

1) Train consistently
2) No Drinking – There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they will not number more than 5 (that’s days in case you were wondering)
3) Eat right – I know all the theory, I know what is good for me and what is not, I need to put this into practice again
4) Lose weight – the sum of the 3 previous conditions will mean this is the outcome. I’ve managed to set myself a pretty tight program for losing the weight I need to. I want to drop 29kg in the 29weeks I have available. It’s simply achievable, it just requires hard work and dedication. I posess the ability for both of these things, I surprised myself in the run up to Wimbleball this year at just what I can achieve when I put my mind to it.

I found it quite simple to give up the booze last time, after a couple of weeks the mornings are easier with no Kronenbourg in the system and you get used to weekends without going to the pub or having a glass of wine over dinner. The eating right is no problem either – I’ve factored in a curry once a month to keep the spice in life and without a hangover or large quantities of food slowing me down the training should come easy!

On Monday I’m going to plot out my starting points as reference for progress over the next few months, weight, measurements, current fitness and whatnot so I’ve got something to look back on and hopefully be a long way from come race day in July!


Hugh! Veg! Dinner!

So on Sunday night we watched River Cottage Veg – last in the series and we only caught the last half hour, but…… We found what we were looking for and it was bloody lovely. It’s totally vegetarian too! The recipe was Squash and Leeks. The Hugh Version is on the Channel 4 Website and now I’ve just read it again I realised that I missed out the mustard which would made it even nicer (Even though it was really nice) So here’s what I did..

2 Baby Squash – ours were about 15cm in diameter
Small knob of butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 large leek (40cm in length)
50g Cheese – chedddar will be fine
30ml Cream
Oven to 190°C

Slice the tops off the squash and scrape out the insides, I found hands the best way to do this although a knife was required to cut out the stringy bit at the bottom.
Chop the leeks into thin slices
Butter and oil into frying pan and fry the leeks for about 5 minutes or so
Chuck in the cheese and then the cream
Add Salt and Pepper to taste
Spoon the leek mixture into the squashes and put the lids on and put in the oven (I put them onto a wire tray because I was worried about them burning – not sure if this is necessary or not)
Check them after about 45mins, ours needed about an hour in a fan assisted oven at 190°C
When you take them out of the oven they will be inedibly hot for about 10 minutes and even after that will require quite a bit of bloated cheek blowing.

I was thinking they should be served with something, but they were so filling you don’t really need anything. Full up on Vegetables!! Who’da thought it.



Injured. My first real proper layoff since I started this and it is mildly annoying at the moment as it’s 2 out of 3 disciplines and I’m left with swimming which I just don’t like!

I’ve been having shin splints on and off since I started running, but they’ve always been manageable with the foam roller until last week when I had to quit my run about 5 minutes in because it hurt too much, and then on the turbo trainer the pressure needed to turn the crank over sent shooting pains up my leg. Neither of them good signs, so I went to see the physio and it is, as predicted Medial Tibial Friction Periostitis – or Shin Splints. He thinks that the change in my running style to midfoot has put stress on already tight calves and my tibialis posterior is very tight as is my plantar fascia There is also some swelling on the front of my shin (forgot what that one’s called, which indicates over compensation for my tight calves) The Physio is not sure why it came on so strongly this time, but most likely trying to do too much. I have been slowly extending the runs, riding to work and doing reasonably long, reasonably hilly bike rides.

There is no running for 2 weeks and no long bikes for 2 weeks either. The cure is more stretching and strengthening work as prescibed by James at Kinetic Revolution So I will also be returning to Paragon and Stuart Lawson for some pain and strengthening over the winter. It’s really going to help so I may as well be indoors in the warm punching stuff while I do it!

I am very relieved that it is just a continuation of the same problem and nothing new. The change in my running style is definitely the right thing to do as it will make running off the bike so much easier, put less stress through my joints and it’s a much more fun way to run! , unfortunately it has highlighted some biomechanical problems I have that need working on.

So after some discussion with Russ and James the next few weeks will be a swimming and strength bonanza and then we are going to get back into everything else slooooooowly. I am going to hit the swimming and strenght stuff hard as I need to not put on too much weight, I know that weight gain over christmas is inevitable and with 7 months off the booze and cakes to look forward I won’t be holding back, but excessive weight gain will just make things more difficult in January. I have over 8 months until IMUK and with managed weight loss next year and a good strength base to train from I’ll be alright!

Shin Splint Exercises

Shin Splint Exercises

Single Leg Squat

Standing Hip Abduction

High Step-Up

Hamstring Exercises


Recipe Number 1 – Cambodian Curry

Curry Small

I’ve wanted to do this for a while now, writing a bit about food and do some recipes. As most of you know I love to cook and have been knocking up breakfast lunch and dinner for my loved ones for a few years now, only had one death and that was almost certainly due to old age rather than the Butter Chicken, Tarka Daal and Chapatis although one can never really be sure when a bucket of Ghee goes into a dish. Anyway, I haven’t decided whether to separate this part of my writing out somewhere else or keep it here. I am going to keep a (mostly) healthy focus on the recipes and information on here as it is an important part of my training to be eating well. There are a few things I have lined up that fall outside the boundaries of “healthy” but I’m sure you’re all adults and can make sensible decisions on your own.

I would really welcome all comments and criticisms as I am new to writing recipes and I may occasionally miss out some information. I’d also appreciate any advice on how to photograph food, I don’t really know how best to light it.

So, onto the food…
Last week I was flicking through the tv guide when I came across Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey, I think I had seen it once before, but can’t have been paying much attention as this time I was blown away by the sight of some of the dishes on the program. I tried to find the recipes online, but apparently you have to buy the book to get the recipes. Not I said I so I watched it again to get the general idea and made the rest up, (not that I have anything against buying cookery books, on the contrary I love them, I just didn’t want to leave the house) so here is my recipe for a Cambodian – I think – Curry.

For the Curry Paste:
1 Stick of Lemongrass – try and get nice fresh ones as they don’t smash up too well when they’re old and dry
2 Shallots
1 tsp. Turmeric (If you can find fresh turmeric then definitely use it, but I couldn’t so powdered will do)
Thumb sized piece of Galangal – Ginger will do if you can’t get it, but Galangal is nicer!
1 red and 1 green Chilli
6 Kaffir Lime Leaves
Zest of 1 Lime
1 Tsp. Shrimp Paste – You can find this in good Asian supermarkets, it is a pinky / browny paste made from fermented ground shrimp!

For the Curry
2 Tbsp. Groundnut oil
500g Chicken on the bone – I used 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks
Half a coconut – grated
300ml water
1 Tin of Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp. Palm Sugar
1 Tbsp. Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp. Tamarind Paste – Only just found this stuff – it’s made from Arabian Dates, it’s got a really acidic taste, and it’s well worth getting hold of some as it adds a lovely dimension to the dish
Large handful of torn Basil
100g Green Beans
1 large red Chilli

Small food processor / pestle and mortar
Wok / Large Pan


Take your Lemongrass and remove the tough outer leaves, give it a bit of a smash up with a rolling pin and slice as finely as you can. Chuck this into the food processor, finely slice the shallots, ginger and chillies and put these into the blender with the rest of the paste ingredients. Add a little water and blend to a paste. Put to one side
Skin your pieces of chicken and discard the skin.
Heat your oil in a large wok or heavy based pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Once this is done add the paste and stir to coat the chicken give this a couple of minutes to release the flavours and add the water and grated coconut, bring to the boil then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the water has reduced to a thick gravy.
When the gravy has thickened put in your tin of coconut milk, Sugar, Tamarind and Fish Sauce and leave to simmer for a further ten minutes
While that’s simmering, top and tail your green beans and add them for the last 5 minutes
Once they’re added slice your chilli into rings and tear some basil roughly with your hands. Chuck the basil in and give it a quick stir before transferring to a serving dish and sprinkling over your sliced chilli

Serve with some sticky rice or noodles or just have it on its own, do what you want really, I’m not the accompaniment police.