Hi guys,

Well, after 14 months of no illnesses to speak of the dreaded lurgy final got me last weekend. To say I’ve had a great run would be an understatement after having the worst flu of my life back in 2023. I honestly think it took me over 2 months to fully recover, so I was determined to take every precaution this winter to avoid illness. It seems it may have worked, or did I just get lucky? Who knows, but the precautions I put in place from November were strictly adhered to.

These were:

  • Avoid socialising as much a possible through the Christmas period. If many of you know me that’s easy as I’m not the most sociable person anyway. I’m just someone who likes being on their own a high percentage of the time. This is made even easier by the fact that I live alone, and I don’t have kids. This gives me a level of freedom and space that I absolutely cherish every day.
  • I planned to attend only 2 key social key social events in that period. Miraculously after both my squad Christmas party and spending time with my family over Christmas I didn’t get ill. To be honest I was expecting to get ill after those, but for the first time I can remember not a single member of my family got ill over Christmas.
  • I also avoided travelling on public transport and cycled everywhere on my bike. There was also no international travel.
  • I worked at home as much as possible and even stopped working internally at the David Lloyds Club where I am based because so many people seemed to be coughing and spluttering over their laptops every day.
  • I would also run a mile if someone came close to me with visible symptoms! That included visits to the local supermarket where I could regularly be caught speeding away from people who were clearly symptomatic.
  • I focussed more on getting as much recovery from training than I have ever done in the past. This meant taking every opportunity to do nothing, and I mean nothing. I took a leaf out of the Norwegians approach to recovery – nothing fancy just simply sit or lie still for as long as feasible. So, whenever I could, I would lie down on my sofa (easy as I work at home a lot). This could be for 5-10mins or up to an hour + in best case scenarios, this could be pre or post training or both. Sometimes I would nap/snooze for a short period other times I would just watch an old film. I can honestly say taking these opportunities as frequently as I could has been an absolute game changer in terms of my performance, mood and recovery. All of this I’m sure has had a positive impact on my immune system.

Yes, you could call me Mr Paranoia, but if you are an endurance athlete you will know there is just nothing worse than being ill. I’m also incredibly susceptible to chest infections which can knock me out for several weeks in worst cases which means I dread the winter. I have lived and learned from the mistakes I’ve made in the past and for me this approach was highly successful. It certainly isn’t for everyone, especially the social butterflies amongst you. I do love spending time with people, especially my friends, family and my athletes but it tends to happen in small quantities, then they get the best of me.

As I’ve aged, I realised I am much more a pipe and slippers kinda guy and I’m more than happy with that. I’ll wait till the warmer months of the year before I grow my social wings once again. Christmas during the summer, then hibernating through the winter will always makes far more sense to me during this virus ridden time…think my true calling in life was to be a polar bear. A smart creature if ever I’ve seen one.

Race results

 Dorney lake standard duathlon (10k/40k/5k)

  • Angus Pollard 
  • Splits: run 41:28 / bike 1:00:46 / run 19:29
  • Total Time: 2:03:11
  • 2nd in 25-29 category/ 4th male overall

Dorney lake sprint duathlon (5k/20k/2.5k)

  • Philippa Paxman
  • Splits: run 23:36 / bike 36:44 / run 11:06
  • Total Time: 1:13:24
  • 3rd in 30-34 category

Huge congrats to our triathlon couple Angus & Pip who managed to hit the duathlon podium early this month. Two cracking efforts for so early in the season, good on you for putting yourself out there guys in such tough conditions!

Also big shout out to Dr Andy Rogerson for setting a new 5k PB of 17:56 at the Holyrood Park run. Toby Dean also followed up by winning the 50-54 age category at the Fulham Palace 5k run in 20:52. Great work gents.

What I’ve been reading & watching this month… 

The Final Whistle: Nigel Owens

“….a rugby referee who charmed the players, was loved by the supporters right throughout the world and whose off-the-field story provides inspiration to so many.” Dan Carter 

Praise indeed from one of the greatest rugby players that has ever played the game. How does a referee achieve such a status that Nigel Owens did? It was always such a privilege to watch him referee a game with such precision, accuracy and laugh out loud humour. He had a turn of phrase like no other.

His book is just a funny as it is tragic. It charts his early life growing up in Wales to his suicide attempt at the age of 26, then to his coming out as an openly gay man in the macho world of rugby and the pinnacle of rugby referring, he achieved beyond that. It is a credit to the class of players, fans and people around him that he was embraced and respected for his actions when he may have feared the opposite would happen. A National treasure if there was ever one.

The Dynasty: New England Patriots 

I was absolutely delighted when someone recommended this series to me on Apple TV. The reason being is because it has been adapted from one of my favourite sporting books of all-time ‘The Dynasty’ by Jeff Benedict. I’m 4 episodes in and loving every minute of it. This is the story of the serendipitous coming together of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, Coach Bill Belichick & owner Robert Kraft who together created one of the greatest teams in NFL history.

NASCAR: Full speed 

I should state that I’m not car obsessive like many men, but this offering from Nascar more than peaked my interest. There’s something about seeing the inside of a new sport that can be quite exciting when your knowledge base is absolutely zero. Especially when the fan base is so utterly enormous in America. This is high speed, high stakes action at it’s very best.

Six Nations: Full contact

If I didn’t know anything about Nascar then I certainly know a bit about this sport being a Welshman. I was very excited when I heard about it then hugely disappointed when I finally watched it. I’m usually a big fan of most of what Netflix have done for the sporting world but have to say this one felt a bit watered down. I can’t help but feel this one could have been done so much better.

New athlete Q & A…Welcome to the team Viola Traem!


Name: Viola

Age: 30

Star sign: Pisces

Years in triathlon: 1

Occupation: Customer Success Manager & Coach

In another life you would have been a..?   Something creative, working in the arts, maybe theatre or museums.

Who is your athletic alter ego? No idea! I actually don’t follow sports or pros that much.

Favourite training session: Sunday Long Run with a good podcast.

Least favourite training session: Swim speed sessions

Favourite training track (music!): A random mix of my liked songs, though I usually listen to podcasts or an audio book.

Favourite book: Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, for the way it has shaped my thinking and impacted everything that I do.

Last book you read: Good Material by Dolly Alderton

Favourite training venue/location: the outdoors, somewhere away from cars & traffic

Favourite race experience: Cascais Ironman 70.3

Favourite mantra: You never regret a workout.

If you could choose 3 famous people to come to dinner with you who would they be & why?

  1. Taylor Tomlison, she is my favorite comedian of all time.
  2. Reese Witherspoon, I am so in awe of her female entrepreneurial spirit.
  3. Tim Ferris, the conversation would be so interesting and slightly rouge.

Training hours per week: 5-10

What are your training & race goals for 2024?

  • Improve my 10k time

Team out & about this month 

Always looking to find that extra edge this tough guy!

Think the smile and the 300m pool say it all. The Pocket Rocket back in her natural environment in Phuket, Thailand. Ice bath afterwards Vickster?

Before you complain that the treadmill interval session is too hard set by your Coach remember to check this!