Training update up to 26/2/2010

Hey, what’s happening people?

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m blogging a little less often in the hope that my posts are slightly more original and not just me reciting the training I had completed that week.

So this is my first post of the new year. My training had gone really well up until christmas. Managed a couple of sessions up in Kirkby with Mickey, and was training nicely on the roads and on the track with Paul (my coach). Then, it started snowing….and did so for most of January causing all sorts of problems to my training. The only thing I could really do was gym work, which I am starting to really enjoy again. I go through phases of what I enjoy most and at the moment the gym is my favourite. I’ve been out for a few long pushes since the snow has gone but no where near enough. So I need to try to get back out in to Sutton Park and do some big sessions to try to make up for it as at the moment, I’m probably only doing 1 long push a week…..this is obviously not enough.

I’m still playing Basketball quite a bit too. Only had 1 Game this new year and we lost by 1 point to Wolverhampton Rhinos. That’s quite incredible as when we first formed as a team, we played Rhinos and got thrashed by 40 points.

Anyway, I have something quite important to inform you all of so it’s imperative you keep reading from this point on. Some friends of mine from the rugby club are doing the Snowdonia Challenge to raise money for a charity called Regain. Regain is a charity that is quite close to my heart because of what I have experienced through a certain period of my life. They are dedicated to improving the independence of all British men and women who have become Tetraplegic through competitive sports injury. Now, I can’t really explain to you how important it is for someone who has suffered a major injury of any type to be able to retain their independence, but I will try. It is massively important and is the reason I’ve managed to deal with my injury. Because I’m independent, I feel as though I retain my dignity and masculinity. It doesn’t matter that I can’t walk and use a wheelchair to get around because I don’t rely on anyone else….it’s me getting myself from A to B, and doing what I want in between. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have good friends and family around me. The rugby club, Old Saltleians Rugby Club, raised an enormous amount of money to help pay for my wheelchairs, racing chairs, basketball chair so that I could be independent and get back to do what any sportsperson wants to do….compete. Some people aren’t quite so fortunate and that is where Regain come in, and that’s why these friends of mine are doing the Snowdonia Challenge, which isn’t some walk in the park I can tell you. Cycle 40 miles, climb Snowdon, canoe 2.5 miles, in under 10 hours. It’s a task well worthy of the Charity they are rasing money for I’m sure you will all agree.

So, stop reading, get you debit or credit card out, click the link at the end of this paragraph, and donate what ever you want or can afford. A quid, a tenner, a ton, it doesn’t matter, but please donate something because I promise you now that you are going to make a massive difference to someone out there who has been injured playing sport and is perhaps struggling a little to retain their independance. Click here to donate.

It will only take a couple of minutes so please make sure you donate something. I get roughly a hundred people a week read my blog, and if everyone donated a pound, that will add up to large sum of money by June.

So all that is left now is to wish Nick Wilkins, Jason Bethell, Jason Langford-Brown and Jason Francis all the best. I’ll let you know how it all goes once they have completed it in the summer, and hopefully let you all know that my training is back to normal in a couple of weeks time.





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Training update last 7 weeks!

Hey all!

Yeah, I know what you are all thinking…where have my weekly posts been? I have a very good explanation. Modern Warfare 2 on the x box. Enough said.

The good news is that even though I haven’t been posting weekly updates, I have still been slugging my guts out on the road, track, gym and basketball court. Training is starting to enter a slightly different phase having nearly completed the stamina or distance stuff where I push as many km’s in the week as possible. Now I’m starting  to do more interval stuff on the track where I’m sprinting and recovering repeatedly. My coach Paul is finding time to train with me too which is good. It makes it slightly more enjoyable having someone there pushing you along…not literally of course…that would be cheating…

Anyway, I’m feeling quite strong and fit. The last session consisted of 15 1 minute sprints and I felt like I’m starting to get back into decent shape. I was able to keep a good pace all the way through the 60 seconds even on the last sprint. In the gym I’m lifting more than I ever have since my injury, although I’m not enjoying the gym at the moment. I tend to go through phases with that though so it’s not a massive problem. All I need to do is keep the training going which might be harder done than said as I’m told snow is coming. I don’t want to sound defeatist, but that would actually stop me training for a few days.

Basketball is going well too! We beat Leicester Cobras 36-32 and I actually scored too! It was a wonderful move and when I scored I acted all calm and composed (I wish)! Training for basketball has been a bit of a pain though, and this is going to start a mini rant. You see, the problem with basketball training is the sheer incompetence of people who work at the venues of where we train. At Sporting Club Albion we have a great coach, a good manager and some decent players who are new to the game, including me, but are happily going up against people who have been playing for years and so far we have played 5, won 2, lost 3. A respectable record for our 1st season in national league 3. However, our problem is that over the last two months, we have probably had 50% of our training sessions foiled at the last minute. People not booking us in on courts correctly, or not telling us when the courts are being used for exams, or caretakers leaving 10 minutes before our session is booked because they didn’t think we were coming. It’s becoming ridiculous, and this is all down to people who work at the venues being either stupid, forgetful, or lazy! Now hopefully we have had just about every possible excuse and reason under the sun stopping us from training, so if we are really lucky, we shouldn’t have our training sessions foiled by incompetent staff anymore.  Rant over!

So next week should bring 3 sessions on the track, and 3 gym sessions. I’m on a course over the weekend in Cambridge so it’s all got to be condensed in to the weekdays. With any luck, the snow will hold off for a little while yet.

Take it easy everyone, and I’ll be posting before Christmas so make sure you come back next week!


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Training update w/c 26/10/09

Wow, how late is this weekly post? I can only apologise. I’d like to say I’ve been busy, but it’s more like I’ve been distracted.

Anyway, last week was a  good week. I spoke to my coach at the start of the week to discuss a week lifting weights in the gym instead of pushing. He agreed and said ok, but I still had to go out for a couple of long pushes. So, Monday and Tuesday saw me lifting weights in the gym, followed by some basketball on the Wednesday. There was no training with Sporting Club Albion (yes, our team name has changed to something shorter), so Sarah and I played some one on one…she beat me again.

So after a few days of weights and basketball, I decided to get this long push out of the way. 15k was the target. I taped a water bottle to the central column of my racer, and attached the bike light to the back. I have struggled to go further than 12k so needed the water bottle for a carbohydrate drink, and the switch back to GMT meant I was going to have to push in the dusk. I was a little anxious because my last push wasn’t very succesful with my arms feeling really heavy…I needn’t have worried, because I had what was the best push of my training so far! I did 15 k, in 1hr 24mins and wanted to do more only I had run out of time. I was really pleased and thoroughly enjoyed a well deserved Guinness and Steak with Sarah and friends in the evening!

I managed another weights session before the week was out, but the weather on the Sunday prevented me from pushing again which was a bit gutting, but overall I was pleased with the step forward in training this week. Only thing is now that I can do it, and my coach knows this, he’s going to get me doing it all the time…brilliant!

So things are going well. If I can have another good week next week, and my body accepts it, then I will be seriously pleased. I’m starting the creatine next week too so that will hopefully have an effect in the gym. The only bad thing this week was not having the chance to train with Mickey, although hopefully I can get up to Manchester soon to train on this new Mondo track!

Regarding basketball, we have a game on Sunday against Bury Bombers which will be tough, but both Sarah and I are looking forward to it!

So until next Sunday, or maybe Monday, take it easy!

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Training update w/c 19/10/09

I’ll get straight to the point, it was a brilliant weeks training this week! The general target of training volume I set myself a couple of weeks back was achieved this week, and all before the weekend! I felt a bit tired Friday night though, which meant I lay on the sofa instead of going out, but hopefully it won’t take me too long to adapt to doing so much training.

Monday – 10k push. Was very slow because I got stuck in a subway in the middle of Lichfield…eventually found a way out. Good push though.

Tuesday – Gym session. Concentrated on chest and shoulders.

Wednesday – Went to basketball in the evening…I was terrible but I’ll blame my injured thumb for that.

Thursday – 8k push in around 42 mins. Also went to the gym in the evening and concentrated on back.

Friday – Went out to do a 12k push but struggled. Not sure if tubs were slightly flat or I was just off form but I felt really heavy and slow. Only managed 6k before calling it a day and falling asleep on the sofa.

Saturday – Day off

Sunday – Basketball. Hopefully I’ll be better today…

With time switching back to GMT its going to be darker in the evenings, so I bought myself some bike lights to go on the racing chair and a high visibility training top to make sure people can see me when I’m on the roads. I can’t always guarantee that I’ll be training during the day so I could end up training in poor light.

Next week should be more of the same with 3-4 pushes and two gym sessions, plus basketball. I’m hoping to go up to Kirby to train with Mickey on the Friday so that will be cool. Apparently there is  some new mondo track which is meant to be fast!

I’m also about to start a cycle of creatine to help my training. Obviously I’ll let you all know what sort of benefits I get from it.

So until next week,


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Training update w/c 12/10/09

Hey, how you doing?

Good week this week regarding training! I set my self a target of four pushes, 2 gym sessions, and some basketball. I missed out on only one push and that’s not really a problem because my coach has only put three pushing sessions a week down on my program. Of course, I can do more if I wish so hopefully that will be the case. My program is mainly tempo work for the first four weeks, then it starts to get a little more exciting. It is important to build up my stamina and base fitness but I much prefer sessions where you work hard in bursts, then recover repeatedly.

Monday – 8k tempo on the track at Alexander Stadium. Horrible because the track is quite slow for wheelchair racing.

Tuesday – 8k on the roads

Wednesday – 2 hours of basketball. Brilliant session, even though my thumb was giving me grief.

Thursday – Gym. Shoulder session.

Friday – 10k tempo in about 52 minutes. Made friends with a massive schnauzer….thats a dog for non dog lovers…

Saturday – Gym session concentrating on back

Sunday – Basketball

So as you can see, a fairly exciting week. I’m not feeling stiff or sore at all today which I’m pleased with as I have trained everyday this week in one form or another. A fourth pushing session might have been good though to take the total km pushed up towards 40km, but it’s my first week back training since holiday so I’m quite happy with that for the time being. Next week will be very similar with more tempo work but over slightly longer distances of 12k. I’m still wanting to get my 10k time under 50 mins…hopefully that will happen soon.

Many congratulations to Old Saltleians Rugby Club who won 69 – 6 against their opposition yesterday. It was brilliant to see!

Have a good week everyone, tune in next week!


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I’m Back!

Hey everyone! Hope you are all well?

Well, Egypt was brilliant! Thats the first “summer holiday” I’ve been on since I was 19 can you believe? Food was brilliant, Hotel was quality, the Egyptians were very helpful (even though one of them wouldn’t get me off the plane until I had tipped him) and a good time was had by all. I think I felt slightly guilty I had not trained that well in the lead up to my holiday, but I can make up for that over the next few weeks. The rest does seem to have helped because in a gym session yesterday I was benching more than I have done before…

Egypt holiday photo

Egypt holiday photo

Anyway, as I said, Egypt was great. I saw the pyramids and the Sphinx and we also went to Naama Bay while Egypt were playing Italy in a World cup qualifier so the atmosphere was buzzing. I went on a boat trip to sea and experienced 20 foot waves and saw a lot of Cairo including a mini boat trip on the Nile. I tried some swimming but struggled to keep my head out of the water so I didn’t do too much of that!

So, now I’m back, I will be training as hard as I can through Autumn and Winter, probably 4 pushing sessions a week plus 1-2 gym sessions plus basketball. The good thing about a small rest is you have the energy and motivation to do everything! My coach called me yesterday and organised a training session together at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham for Monday afternoon as a way of making me realise that I am home and not still on the beach. No doubt he will destroy me…

Can't for the life of me imagine how they built these!

Can't for the life of me imagine how they built these!

So back to earth with a bump. I’ve already done a basketball session with Sarah and a gym session since I’ve been back and have another basketball session today. Really looking forward to getting in the racer tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how my first week back was next Sunday!


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Training update w/c 21/09/09

Hey everyone,

I know you’re all wondering if I hit my target of 40 k this week… The answer is no. Not in the slightest. It’s been shall we say, a poor week this week? I couldn’t get my compressor charged until Tuesday, then fell ill Tuesday night with some rubbish virus thing, and to be honest, just couldn’t find the motivation to push at all from friday onwards. I think this is the first real “blip” since I started training again so I’m not going to be too hard on myself, but I do know I’ve got to kick on with the training when I get back. I’ll be entering the winter phase of training in a few weeks where the mileage increases to build up stamina. Cold windy nights on the track or on the road just pushing away. It’s almost a test of discipline and mental toughness as well as a stamina building phase. Anyone who wished to join me just needs to ask! Hopefully when I return I’ll be hooking up with Ste Hoskins for some training sessions too which will be interesting to see how I’ve developed over the last few months since I last trained with him.

So that’s it really, 2 Basketball sessions and a gym session is all I’ve achieved this week. Slightly disappointing, but I’m sure I’ll hit the ground running (no pun intended) when I get back from Egypt.

I’m thoroughly looking forward to my vacation and will no doubt post some photos of me trying to swim!

Many congratulations to Ade and Anna who got engaged on their holiday last week! Vegas stag do???

Take it easy!

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