On the 14th July I participated in a cycle that was just over 116 miles! My time was 7.15 hours- but considering I have only cycled as far as 65ish miles…. to nearly do double that was definitely a shock to the system!! I was just chuffed to finish. I was knackered. My legs felt like planks of wood. On a day as it was… with the sun shining during our own British Heat Wave- just made the course so much harder than it already is!
Full credit to the athletes and cycling enthusiasts who go out most weekends and cycle that amount of mileage. I honestly just don’t know how you manage to maintain that much enthusiasm, concentration, mental and physical stamina to endure the climbs and downhills of cycling. The first part of the course, the Coastal Route was alright, getting into the swing of things and having the views, getting my average pace consistent and being careful with my energy.. but then as soon as I get about 30 miles in- boredom. I’m so bored, sat in the same place in the same position, knowing I have hours to go… yeah I just have to realise that cycling is a chore for me, not a pleasure- but then again what endurance training ever feels like a pure pleasure?
I’m thinking to myself, if the training is hard-both mentally and physically then surely on the Ironman day I will be fully prepared. Don’t get me wrong I don’t care what the course throws at me on the day, I’ll do it. Yeah there were times during the course I felt so tired, I wanted to stop as the lactic acid was filling my legs but I kept going and didn’t stop. As long as you don’t stop and keep moving forward – thats all that matters. I think that if you can adopt the right mental attitude and still train on days where you don’t want to, you’re ahead.
I didn’t have any pockets or cycling pouches for my gels, protein and sweets. I used a bum bag very similar to my personal first aid bag in work 😉 and wrapped it around my handle bars. With this long cycle though, I realised I need preempt when my energy levels will drop and nip it in the bud before hand. An interesting fact is that your brain will get depleted of its glycogen stores about 20 minutes before your body, but even if you start to notice a dip in your cognitive function, you’ve probably left it a little late. It’s about maintaining a level of energy intake to avoid plateau, however for me this “should” be fairly straight forward… in laymans terms… EAT!
Well this week I have gone from no training to stepping up a gear or two- literally! I read in a quote that there are no “short cuts” to training for endurance and stamina, but I wonder if they ever considered shorter sessions and whether they still count?! Hey- a short session is better than no session! I have also entered the Strava world and that’s a game changer!
And also, is it like some unspoken law that every cyclist in the county has to always wave or say hello to each other when on route? Because I swear I’m not being rude if I don’t wave, it’s just I am either out of breath or going to fall off my bike if I let go!!! But no seriously it is an awesome community culture that I see and experience, everyone supporting and waving to each other is lush and there is definitely a cycling community that is appreciated and needed when there is so much cycling in the Local Area.
This week I have worked 5 days plus completed 2x cycles to Amroth which is about a 16mile loop but has an incline of 2000ft! So was pretty chuffed to start to get some hills under my belt. The route usually only takes me about an hour, but it’s a nice route to just go on a blow out and quickly squeeze in if I can’t do a longer ride. I treat it as a sprinting bike ride and literally just try and get it done as quickly as possible! For one cycle to Amroth, Billy, my brother in-law, started 10 minutes before me so it was really good to put my chasing skills to the test and to try and track him down. It was a good source of motivation for me to go as fast as I could as I had someone to chase, plus it just added general excitement to the bike ride as it kept the intensity and my engagement up- as usually within 10 miles of my bike rides I am daydreaming about what I can have for dinner or how much money I have on me to get a taxi home! It brought excitement and motivation to both mine and Billy’s bike ride and will probably be doing more of the cat and mouse training rides again!
After my chase with Billy wearing my mums cycle shorts!
Hydration is Key Kids!
I have also completed my usual Lifeguard training swimming session which I had to do my 400m test which I did in 5min 42 seconds! I have also been trying to cycle as much as I can, even on the smaller distances, like just cycling to the gym whenever I need to do my gym and strength sessions so that I can get comfortable with my bike, practise and experience bike issues like if my chain falls off or get a flat tyre. I also managed to do a 10km coastal path run which I was chuffed with, running on different terrain and with tired legs. I was sweating buckets, it was so hard, especially running on the coastal path with the uneven surface, so I had to concentrate on making sure my feet were safe, keep my pace up, not fall over and make it home before dark and the tide gets me! I ran from Giltar Point to home across South Beach and it was lush on the sand, it felt like an extra leg session at the end, because not only were my legs dying but my feet were struggling on the sand with all the extra movement so was really good for ankle stability and my concentration!
I also had a new revelation this week- STRAVA! How awesome is that?! It’s like an online Local and Global Olympics where you can check out and stalk each others times, scores, distances, rest breaks and wee stops! It’s awesome! My competitive nature definitely comes out with the app, and definitely helps me to address my own endurance capabilities! I’m there every night before bed after I have trained comparing scores and times and it’s an awesome way to get involved and realistic about times and suitable and appropriate competitive times for beginner and elite athletes!
I love how you automatically have like an extra boost of motivation because of Strava, like when I’m running, I remember that there are thousands of people also running and secretly racing me, and yet suddenly my speed steps up a bit and I become so determined to beat my time and other people (don’t ask which one is more important because I don’t know myself!!) But seriously, Strava is wicked because I love challenging myself to beat my times and plus I like seeing where I drop off of the pace when I’m running or cycling certain parts, because then when it actually comes to Ironman I can remember which sections of the course I usually lose concentration or pace so I need to eliminate my drop offs- other mentally or physically.
These are screenshots from both of my cycles, the same routes, just different days and a massive difference with the windy conditions! I’m pretty chuffed with my speed at the moment, but obviously I realise that it’s at smaller distances so speed average is going to be higher, so going to try and add some larger distances in my training as soon as possible- both to me and my “pancake balls” disappointment!
But so far, I am chuffed with my slow but steady increase rate of training, even if it is the smaller distances, short sessions are better than no sessions! For next week I am going to try and include bigger mileage and to try and not neglect my stretching and mobility exercises as I am definitely getting more stiff and tight with all the training on both the bike and the run. This is so important to reduce the risk of injury plus being my size, mobility and flexibility is important for both sport, daily activities and function. My body is not used to this amount of cardio- give me weights any day!
This week I have roughly spent £1200! So far I have bought my registration, bike and some cleats…….. still got to sort out a wetsuit, trainers and a helmet…. but I suppose “fish gotta swim, triathletes gotta have equipment!” or as some friends have said “welcome to the Ironman, you are now broke!” which I try to keep on a lighter topic considering my girlfriend has mentioned that her holiday this year is in the shape of 2 wheels, has a saddle and pedals!
On another positive note…. no training sessions have been done this week!! Considering Ironman is 93 days away.. this week I have been to the gym three times and went Lifeguard swim training, so I suppose I have trained.. but not specifically for Ironman or any endurance training. Plus the weekend and at the beginning of the week have been class with the weather, so I am hardly going to waste the sun whilst we have it!
I’m not stressing though, I still have time plus prioritising work at the moment is crucial as Ironman training isn’t paying the bills-instead it’s making them! Sometimes it does blow my mind though, like spending all this money just for one day, just for a race! Like I could go for a swim in the sea everyday and I wouldn’t have to pay a thing or even a cycle; yes I have to pay for a bike or a wetsuit, but then I can have unlimited access to the roads, sea and the routes to go and enjoy and experience training. Now I am suddenly paying like £500 odd pound to swim in the sea, cycle the county and run around my local town when I could do this everyday for free! But I suppose it comes with the package, like the support, the atmosphere and the title of “Ironmoz” is going to come at a cost, whether it is physically, mentally or financially, it is going to be expensive regardless! Or at the cost of my dignity haha!
This Week I had an early birthday present “The World’s Fittest Book” by Ross Edgley. WOW. It’s awesome! It’s about how to train for anything and everything, anywhere and everywhere and it has totally helped both my understanding of the training and knowing how and when to prioritise my training. What an awesome and inspirational role model to learn from. They say it’s the “fitness enthusiasts bible” and they are not wrong! I have been glued to it- literally!
The only problem with the book, is not only that Peggy wants to read it too, but it is so helpful because of Ross’ size as well. For a big lad being able to complete and be successful at endurance sports is really helpful for my own training and understanding how bigger bodies need and have to endure for training of long distance regarding size, weight and maintaining muscle!
He created the first “Treeathlon” with carrying a 45kg tree for an Olympic distance Triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) which is just insane-Plus surely makes the Ironman look a bit more realistic after a week off training!
The only problem with reading such an inspiring and educational book about fitness is that it makes me want to get active! He gives Core exercises and correct technique advice and I have been testing out certain exercises with his tips. I love being able to test the educational information myself. But seriously though, this book is going to become my lifeline for the next few months, regarding diet, recovery and training!
But seriously though, whatever gives you motivation, helps you have a kick start or just help you to understand the training and fitness process, stick at it and use it to help fuel your training journey! With the amount of money I have already and am yet to pay towards the Ironman, it is important that what you do spend your time and money on is worth it as long as it helps you on your journey. This book has definitely made me feel more comfortable about having rest days- maybe one too many! But then to still be able to be hungry for training sessions when I do complete them. No one is ever too experienced or too good for some help- whether it is help from a book, a person, a website or even a blog! We should take help and advice with both hands and fall asleep with it, no but seriously, help is the most priceless possession in the world, always take it and be grateful for it.
2x gym sessions, a night out, 2 full days of work, 44 mile cycle followed by a 2 mile run to get the legs moving after a cycle and 2 x 10k runs…. oh.. and pancake balls. (Men you will know what I mean!)
First 44 miler……
Well… it’s safe to say cycling has lived up to the hype- it’s boring. I am sorry for all you cycling lovers and Wiggins Wannabes… but, it’s long and even with the views, I found it hard. After a long period of time, I thought we would be on the 25 mark for mileage… We were only on 12.. Says it all. It dragged, even on a sunny evening with temperature being lush, it is safe to say it is a boring discipline. But I have already made it my resolution to find something about it that I like so it can give me the motivation and passion to commit to the mileage and time- even if that does mean cycling too fast down the hills.
I went for my first cycle with the in-laws on Saturday Night and we completed the 44 mile “Angle Loop”. Now for those of you who don’t know what the Angle Loop is, it’s a route that forms part of the Ironman course so it’s good to get some experience on those roads and to get on first name terms with the famous Pembrokeshire Hills! I had no cleats on as I am still in the process of securing a bike! So I borrowed some cycling shorts, a helmet, stuck on my trainers and off we went.
It was “Pancake Ball City” i’m afraid, it was sore, and yes I am inexperienced and haven’t been on the saddle for that amount of time.. but a bit of warning would have been nice, “oh hey Moritz, make sure you get shorts that fit,” or “don’t sit in the saddle for too long,” but no, I learnt the hard way and I have already ordered some shorts to avoid the injuries (sorry mum!).
Cycling in groups though- game changer. It was lush having the experience of Neil and Billy, not even like majorly informative or elite level of athletes, but just giving little “heads ups” about certain bends, corners or when the hills are coming up and when to push on. And for supporting and laughing at me when my chain came off. Even just the social aspect as well, laughing and having the banter on the cycle and taking it in turns to lead and stuff like that, in future I definitely will be begging to go on group cycles to act as both a social session as well as share the experience and tips! I mean if you’re going for a 3-4 hour long cycle ride, I definitely need some conversation and interaction to help break down the journey, compare speeds and have some unspoken races both on the course and up the hills…. some in-house competition never hurt anybody anyway!!
When going downhill though, it’s hard for my shape to try and get so small! I desperately try and shrink and become as streamline as I can be. It is so hard, especially with my weight and size when I am already at a certain speed and still trying to move and get into a smaller and comfortable position on the bike. So definitely need to work on this! Anyone my size or bigger that has the solution to making a smaller frame of body on the hills please get in touch and let me know!
“Safety in Numbers”- when cycling I think this is paramount and should be tattooed on every steering wheel in the country.
There were so many sketchy over takes from passing cars it’s no wonder you see cyclists riding two a breast these days, some people seriously don’t care! Yeah you can form in single file but you end up shouting to your cycling buddies and laughing because you can’t even hear each other and then it just spoils it. All because some inconsiderate drivers fly past and are literally inches away! Now I have always been considerate as a car driver around cyclists…. but after that cycle it has made me even more concerned about the welfare of the cyclists and really, is a 1-2 minute wait until the road is clear that much of a struggle when it could save someones life?
But yes, in future… I need…. Some proper shorts, great company and some food! But for now, I am off to do a recovery run!
Okay. No going back now! It’s official! I have to put my money where my mouth is and start the grit and hard work! Day 1 of Training…
As Kris Gethin once said, “Knowledge without Mileage is cow poo”– well not exactly, but I am trying to keep my Blog as user friendly and word appropriate! I need to get my head down and start organising myself and my training regime. Which I suppose needs to be ASAP considering I haven’t even got myself a bike yet! Anyway, come back to that later.
My training over the past week has been the first little taster week of training! I have completed two 10k runs with the in-laws and two spinning sessions in the local leisure centre. As well as swim training for the RNLI once a week on top of my gym sessions. Just small and simple sessions to try out the lungs and see how and if they are still working after rugby season! My brother in-law Billy said earlier, “with all your publicity you better win it at this rate!!!” which made me laugh and think, yeah I suppose I have made a big deal out of this registration considering I have only signed up for it! It’s not like I have finished it in sub 9 hours or anything like that-nor am I actually going to even think about attempting an incredible time like that. I will literally just be happy if I finish it…. or maybe go for a sub 12 hour time..haha.. anyway that’s way too far in the distance to think of for now.. (literally!).
With the in-laws before and after our 10k!
This mornings Swimming Session:
This morning I went swimming training with the RNLI Lifeguards. It is every Thursday morning and sometimes Tuesday too! The session replicates some of the Lifeguard skills within the pool as well as sprint training.
400m warm up,
8x50m on 1min clock,
8x25m dolphin dives (simulated diving under waves during a rescue) followed by a 25m freestyle
2x200m on 2min50secs
2x 25m underwater followed by 25m under water followed by 25m freestyle
The publicity, shares, likes, followers- it’s great, but that’s not why I am doing this.
I want to prove how being “aesthetically pleasing” is not what everyone should be aspiring towards. In a world where the body is used as a symbol of power,time, effort, responsibility, social status and aesthetics, I want to remind people that being able to use and physically perform with your body should be the main priority, more than the look.
Yes, don’t get me wrong, I love transformations, abs, muscles, bulk, power, strength and looks just as much as the next fitness inspo guy! But can you use it? Can you still perform daily tasks comfortably and efficiently? Yes, you can fit into that size 4 pair of jeans that you have been saving for, or can finally get into an XL shirt that you have been desperate to fill for ages- but are you able to complete your daily 10, 000 steps? Are you still able to run for the bus without getting out of breath or feeling light headed? These are the things you need to ask yourself. Health is more important and should be prioritised over looks.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth” -Marcus Aurelius
Social Media puts so much pressure on individuals who are easily influenced by the latest fashion trends, body images and the assumed social and societal expectations. There is more to life that just being big, or being ripped or having a tiny waist and a thigh gap. With the correct training, lifestyle, sleep and mindset, individuals can have both the aesthetic body as well as the body that is able to perform daily tasks and exercises in comfort.
What I’m trying to say is that we, as a social media orientated society, need to be body confident and proud of what our bodies can do- both physically, mentally and aesthetically! Social Media itself is just a false image of ourselves of what we think our followers and society would want to see, and more important what they would like, both on the app and in person! Social Media and the fear of being judged and criticised should never be the barrier that stops your participation and involvement in sport, society or the freedom to be yourself. Who cares what people think or what they say? If it is making you happy or making you smile, then why should social media stop you from expressing yourself and getting active!
I think if anything, Social Media acts as a binding contract. For example, I have publicly announced “IronMoz”, my reasons for getting involved, my motivations and my ethos surrounding the Ironman, now there is no going back! I have to stay committed and be the example that I want my clients to aim towards and hopefully inspire them. I have to put my money where my mouth is, I cannot afford to let this beat me. I have to do it. Regardless of time, I have to do this and to prove that any body shape and size has the ability to perform and achieve your own personal goals when you put your mind to it.
That’s the first thing I said when my girlfriend asked me why I signed up to Ironman. NO seriously it is. I have been a lifeguard for it since day one and every year I have looked at the people doing it and just thought why aren’t I doing it?
I mean yeah you could say I suppose I do want to make Hari (my girlfriend) and my family proud of me. You know, show them that I can do it and hopefully get them inspired to be more active and help them to believe and get involved with what they are passionate about.
I am the least “cardio active” person you could meet. I mean all my life I have wanted to be big, muscly and lift heavy weights in the gym, so yeah I suppose an Ironman is the opposite end of the spectrum for me. It is the ultimate endurance event so I am a little fish in a global pond right now! It’s completely out of my comfort zone!
That’s why the Ironman is so appealing to me. I mean how can I, as an Online Fitness Coach expect my clients to hit the gym and be out of their comfort zone without me being able to? I need to be that source of inspiration for my clients, to prove that despite age, size and physical ability, we all have our own personal challenges and goals that we may never get the opportunity to achieve or conquer- but none of that matters, because what is important is that we have to start somewhere, we have to take the first step and at least try. We need to set ourselves targets and goals in life- why not be ambitious? why not test ourselves both physically and mentally? Because that is what sport and an active lifestyle consists of, it needs challenges and exposing ourselves to unpredictable environments and tests so we can better understand ourselves as an athlete which then helps us understand ourselves as the person we are.
I’m not just a gym monkey.
Yes I train in the gym, yes I bulk, yes I shred and yes I super-set. But I want to prove I can use my size and strength throughout the sporting domain. I believe that size should definitely not be an issue or a barrier for people to participate in sports and physical activities. I want to prove that anyone and everyone, with willpower and determination can achieve their own personal goals. When I am in the showers after rugby and on the rugby pitch, I have little comments about my size and being a “meathead” and yeah, I suppose I am bigger than the average person, but that doesn’t make me any less of an athlete or a human than anyone else? Being big or “Hulk” (what my girlfriend calls me) should not restrict anyone from trying and starting a sport or activity. I want to show people how being big is great, but I want to prove that I can still perform and use my size to help my physical ability. I want to prove how size, no matter how small, big, wide or tall you are, should never restrict anyone from anything.
Raising Money for Charity
Throughout my Ironman journey I hope to raise Money for my chosen Charity. I have yet to confirm this and when I do I shall post the link for the chosen charity here. But yeah, I do really think that it’s important to gain perspective on events and challenges and realise the bigger picture, yes it’s amazing that you’re attempting the world’s hardest event and challenging yourself, but to do all that as well as help the less fortunate and those in need, is very important to me and needs to be a focus throughout my training.
At the moment these are the main sources of motivation I could think of for wanting to do the Ironman! If I think of any during my training I shall make sure to mention them and keep you informed! But for now I think it’s time to start getting my cardio up!
I am a RNLI Lifeguard and an Online Fitness Coach. My sporting achievements and passions include Rugby, Crossfit, Body Building and Swimming.
I am a Kaged Muscle Ambassador and am inspired by all things fitness and believing that having a good looking body is great, but being able to use and perform with that body is even better.
“I want to test the capability of my body and and prove that a sporting body needs to be able to perform as well as look good”
My Instagram is loaded with loads of information and pictures capturing who I am as a person and who I want to be in the sporting and fitness industry both as an athlete and a coach.
I have worked alongside and am proud to work with some inspirational and influential people like Adam and Kris Gethin, Neil Hill and Kaged Muscle.
My current bodyweight is 104kg and I work hard to both maintain the muscle mass and the training commitments that are vital to achieving an aesthetically pleasing and strong body.
I believe that training and the gym lifestyle is beneficial and achievable as long as one is committed and stays true to both their goals and themselves. The lifestyle however should not come at the cost of spending precious time with loved ones and enjoying life.
Being fit and strong in the gym and in rugby also comes hand in hand with being an RNLI Lifeguard. I have to maintain fitness to be able to rescue and be physically and mentally prepared for emergencies and training.
It is so rewarding to meet hundreds and thousands of tourists and visitors through both the Lifeguarding and the Online Fitness Coaching.
It is so inspiring to meet so many different people of different ages, sizes, abilities and backgrounds that help me gain perspective and increase my experiences both physically and socially in life. I am committed to helping people in everyday life situations on the beach through both my contract and my morale. Helping individuals achieve their life and body goals through my own personal Online Fitness Coaching has also become my career and ethos. I like to have my programs be realistic, motivating and create a healthy, safe and respectful environment where my clients can approach me regarding any physical, mental, social or economical challenges they face on their journey to being the best they can be.
You can email me regarding my Online Fitness Coaching Platform at firstname.lastname@example.org
I live in St. Davids, Pembrokeshire and love nothing more than to spend time with loved ones, especially my girlfriend, hit the gym and walk my dogs. Living in one of the worlds most beautiful locations makes not all of these things easy but also enjoyable. Life is great 🙂
Anyway, that was a brief little Bio, now time for the big stuff! so sit back, grab a cup of tea, or get your trainers on and get motivated, because I am about to go on my hardest challenge yet and attempt my first ever “IRONMAN”.