For those about to train (we salute you)

By | Uncategorized

Idly flicking through my phone yesterday I did a bit of a double take when I realised that I’ve trained 21 times in the last seven days!! That’s 21 separate sessions. 21 times I’ve made the conscious (or semi-conscious) decision to get my kit on and do some kind of activity. 21 times I’ve left the comfort of a sofa, chair or bed and gone and done something more strenuous. Sweat, showers and washing superseding relaxtion and hibernation. It seems a bit surprising to admit to doing so much on the back of a blog where I declared (the truth)…

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Becoming Past Tense…

By | Mental Health, Running

I used to be a runner… Not a bad one too. And like many obsessive types it dominated my thoughts and actions for years. Fifteen hours a week of skipping round the mountains backed up by recovery spins on the bike. Sub 3:35 Seven Sevens twice in a week, followed by a 3:41 Mourne Skyline, with a couple of 55 minute Slieve Donards for rest days. Diet pored over, any excess a weakness that could shatter the delicate mental balance of an elite mindset. Holidays were thinly disguised training camps. The mantlepiece groaned with the weight of a lovely variety…

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The Last Stanton?

By | Biking

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and as a constant thinker I guess the news that administrators had been called into Stanton Bikes a couple of weeks ago wasn’t as big a shock as it could’ve been. After all, we’ve had Brexit, Covid, war in Ukraine and the gross mismanagement of our economic affairs by an inept and corrupt Tory government for over a decade, formerly led by a halfwit who openly stated ‘fuck business’! What chance does a small-scale UK-based company really have in that environment? Unfortunately, beyond that, to me as a close follower of the Stanton story there…

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When the Fun Stops

By | Mental Health

When the fun stops… stop. It’s a well-worn quote from a gamble aware campaign, and frankly when it comes to gambling I struggle to see where the fun really starts. Formative eighties memories of the stale reek of desperation that emanated from the amusement arcade that I wasn’t allowed into. Watching mates tossing drinking money into pub fruit machines, convinced they were about to win big in the nineties. The creep of online gambling spewing over all sports coverage and sponsorship in recent decades. Stopping gambling seems like as good a policy as never starting in the first place. Stop?…

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You Are What You Eat

By | Biking, Running

My interest in sports nutrition has been a twenty-five year slow-burner, from the genuinely perplexed student wondering why my legs felt flat the morning after eight pints of John Smiths, to the puritanical obsessive and self-confessed ‘diet nazi’ of a few years back. These days I’d like to think I’ve got it dialled, having learned through a painful process of trial and error what my body responds well to, and what ‘recommended’ approaches are actually detrimental to personal performance. My approach to ultra-race nutrition involves zero carb-loading, minimal mid-race food and fluid intake, and precisely pre-planned fuelling to the extent…

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Be Careful What You Wish For!

By | Uncategorized

NOTE: This blog was originally written a year ago when outdoor spaces were being closed and tightly policed to effectively outlaw safe exercise for many. I’m glad to say that since then there seems to be an acceptance of the need for outdoor activities amongst most authorities, and many of the public are over the initial fear and are getting out into the parks, forests and mountains. However, I still witness many keyboard warriors and elected officials decrying those who choose to get out for essential headspace and physical wellbeing. Covid is obviously horrendous and measures are evidently required to…

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Because It’s Everywhere – The ‘Everesting’ World Record

By | Running

Tackling Everest ‘That was my Everest’… An oft-used metaphor signifying the toughest challenge ever encountered by the user. Writing a thesis, overcoming a phobia, making a fundamental life change, whatever it may entail, mention of the World’s highest mountain is synonymous with epic-scale struggle. ‘Because it’s there’… The famous quote attributed to British mountaineer George Mallory, made to a New York Times journalist in 1923 to justify the reasons behind his seemingly impossible attempts on the mountain that took his life the following year. Because It’s Everywhere Of course, attempting to climb the mountain itself is the preserve of those…

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Temptation

By | Running

Temptation Deeper than an emotion, it’s an irresistible drive or uncontrollable desire, the magnetic pull of inevitability, the tractor beam dragging your physical form towards an unknown conclusion, one that may have destructive and permanent repercussions. The rational mind temporarily overridden, sense trampled and realities blurred. Mental and physical scarring distinct possibilities, it could all be so easily avoided, and yet once that carrot is dangled, that poisoned apple plucked, for some of us that temptation is a force that overrides all. It could be a vanity? A midlife crisis? The need for intrinsic or extrinsic verification? Probably a combination…

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How Much?!! Cane Creek EE Wings Review

By | Biking

Who the hell spends a grand on a set of cranks? Well, fortunately not me. But I have retrospectively pondered whether I’d have eventually succumbed even without getting preferential rates through the good people at Stanton Bikes? Certainly the Cane Creek EE Wings were a slow burner; initially introduced by my mate Tony, who sent a link in a (semi) tongue-in-cheek way, pointing out what a great match they’d make for my Switch9er Ti. The idea was discounted instantly, the in-situ XTR’s were doing a great job, I didn’t want to have to buy a new bottom-bracket and chainring, the…

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What If Money Was No Object?

By | Biking

Apologies if it seems a little crass talking about unjustifiably expensive bike builds at a time when so many are discovering the horrors of Universal Credit, and many more are fretting over when they’ll ever be employed again. Rest assured I’ve been hit as hard as most, with all biking work disappearing, taking a huge chunk of my income with it. But maybe it’s the right moment for a bit of escapism. Dreamy School Days School days for me were long and often tedious, I’d usually have the compulsory work banged out in minutes, leaving much opportunity for the favourite…

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