Hi guys,

Hope you’ve all had a great month of training.

I’ve just spent a glorious week of training back in Wales and it really was food for the soul. That was probably because for first time this year I didn’t get rained on once while out training! The weather was perfect for a big week of training and the Welsh Mountains & coastline more than delivered. As much as I love living and working in London it’s great to escape for a short period of time to just swim, bike and run. I also get the added benefit of my wonderful Mum doing all my cooking & clothes washing for me which is of course a godsend!

As much as a 31-hour training week fatigues you it also helps to charge my battery. I’m just one of those people that needs that time and space to be alone to do what I love doing to be a better more energised person when I’m with people. I also like to take these opportunities to push and drive myself to new levels of fitness with these periods of training overload. When added at the right time it’s an incredibly useful tool for athletes who are looking to take their fitness to the next level.

These blocks of overload don’t need to be a full week, I’d say anything from a few days to a week can make such a difference. The goal is to commit to a training focussed period that goes well beyond what you might do in a normal training week. Leaving the days clear for a pure training, recovery and eating focus (think of them as mini-training camps). It needs to be done sensibly, particularly in relation to areas that you may be slightly injury prone. For me that meant being careful with running as I have just come back from a slight calf strain so the plan was to overload the biking and aim for 20+ hours, use swimming for recovery, use a run/walk strategy to build my running and hit the gym for 3 sessions over the week (but with no leg loading, just upper body an core work due to the high amount of load on the legs).

I managed to complete:

  • 3 x 1-hour swims (all Z1)
  • 3 x 7-hour long bikes: (Z1-Z3 intensity)
  • 4 x 1-hour run/walks (all Z1)
  • 3 x 1-hour upper body + core gym sessions 

 Over 7 days this was broken down as:

  • Day 1: 1-hour run + 1-hour upper body S&C + core
  • Day 2: 7-hour bike 
  • Day 3: 1-hour swim + 1-hour run + 1- hour upper body S&C + core
  • Day 4: 7-hour bike 
  • Day 5: 1-hour swim + 1- hour upper body S&C + core
  • Day 6: 1-hour swim + 1- hour run
  • Day 7: 7-hour bike 

 It really is amazing what you can do when you commit to that focus and give that time completely over to training. I even surprised myself at times. The only downside to this level of training is the deep fatigue it will eventually create; you just can’t avoid it. Anything that makes you feel really good (or gives you a high like exercise) will always have an equal and opposite low afterwards and you must mentally plan for that too. This is the process of super-compensation that the body must go through before you come out the other end fitter and stronger:

Training overload + Recovery period = Increased level of fitness

Mentally it’s also important to prepare yourself in advance for this huge increase in fatigue & big drop in mood because it will hit you hard. By Sunday & Monday I felt depleted & grumpy, but it was all expected and I planned 2 complete rest days to account for this. I also planned a week of training that drops my training volume to about 6-8 hours the week after and 3 full days rest during that week. Most of this will be swimming to let my legs rest as they took the biggest hammering. I know from doing these weeks previously it can take 7-10 days before I even start to feel remotely normal again. Then suddenly when the super compensation process is complete, I start to feel strong and energised again. You can rush this; it’s just a waiting game and your body will keep telling you all you need to know. Patience is crucial.

How do I know my body is ready to go once again, it’s usually obvious to be honest. My mood improves & I feel so much more positive about everything, I feel so much more excited & motivated to train again, I can think more clearly, I feel my legs are strong not heavy when going up and downstairs, I feel like there is depth and many more gears if I needed or try to push harder…until that point the opposite is true. The best example of this was I tried a 15min run on the Tuesday when I got back to see how the legs felt, I lasted 3 x 5mins with 1min walking in between and it felt like I’d run a marathon, I felt like I was running like a baby elephant. They just weren’t ready to run yet. 5 days later I ran hour continuously and produced one of my best easy runs of the year. It was like night & day. These are the signs you have come out the other side of the super compensation process.

So, if you are really looking to take your game to the next level consider adding some mini training blocks throughout the year as a way to really boost your fitness. Or if you have been ill or injured. It’s great way to play catch up when the body is healthy once again. It’s also fun thing to plan, you certainly don’t need to go away you could do it from home, you just need to clear the decks for a few days or more and make training, rest and nutrition your focus. It really can work wonders.


Welsh queuing issues

It has been said that I’m Saintly, this Welsh pub & Peter Allen will confirm this. So I popped in for half a shandy with my alter ego

Race results 

What I took a great sense of pride from this month was the range of performances from all our athletes that were out there racing.  I love the fact that fact Team Nagi we have athletes racing at all levels from people starting their journey doing their first triathlons right up to athletes racing at the highest of levels.

One performance this month deserves a special mention from me is our very own Dr Andy Rogerson who put in a lifetime best performance to win the notoriously tough Celtman Solo Point 5 race outright. This race is as tough as it is beautiful, I wanted to highlight this for you with the images below. The race is roughly over half Ironman distances but what makes it so tough is the fact the water temp was 10 degrees, the bike has 2270m of climbing and the run has 504m of climbing. It really if for the faint-hearted! But those who know Andy know that he loves a challenge, he also likes to take on the big tough races as he’s a bit of a mountain running goat. Not only did he win the race is also took a KOM segment on one of the toughest hill climb sections on the run course by over 2mins. For those that know these segments are usually set by only the highest calibre of runners.

To see Andy find this performance was awe-inspiring, we also know he has a lot more in there. Self-belief is a wonderful thing that starts to break down so many barriers as it starts to build. It is also just reward for the commitment and dedication that Andy puts into not just his training but the areas outside of that too. Huge congrats Andy, this was well and truly a breakthrough performance that was always going to come at some stage with the work you put in. Onto Ironman Wales next!

Celtman Solo Point 5 (2.2km swim/ 85km bike/ 24km run)

  • Andy Rogerson 
  • Splits: swim 34:59 / bike 3:09:32 / run 2:00:38
  • Total Time: 5:51:29
  • 1st male overall

Andy’s race report:

“This ‘little brother’ of the legendary Celtman is a formidable race in its own right, with more bike elevation than the big one (2270m over 85km), and a run to match – 23.4km with 540m ascent. A 2-hour drive north-west of Inverness along single-track roads, the Torridon area boasts a single grocery shop within a one-hour radius. For me the landscape here is the jewel in Scotland’s Highland crown. Driving in past mountains like Alligin and Liathach, it’s impossible not to be awestruck by their grandeur.

At 5am on race morning after a frantically rushed pre-race routine I was treading 10-degree water in Loch Sheildaig to the sound of a lone piper on the pier. There are no marker buoys – the route is simply “around the island”. As we set off, I quickly discovered that the water was cold enough to paralyse my facial muscles, whose function I’d heretofore taken for granted. With every breath, seawater trickled through my frigid lips to the back of my throat, making me gag and occasionally retch. Not a challenge I’d encountered before, but I tried to stay in the moment and eventually the swim was done. Soon I was wobbling out of T1.

I spent the next hour vigorously shivering while trying to get my bike legs going. After a few rollers I reached the monster climb – the Bealach Na Ba. This “alpine” pass has the greatest ascent of any road climb in the UK (626m) with tight switchbacks and a 20% gradient at its steepest point. This effort, and my 5kph pace (with a cadence of 35rpm), eventually helped me stop shivering. Over the top, the descent was no picnic either due to its technicality. I couldn’t switch off for a second, but at least my legs got a reprieve. The remainder of the course is basically constant ups and downs with barely any flat sections. I felt like I was cremating my legs on these hills and would have nothing left for the run, but I had no option – it’s just relentless.

I eventually got into T2 with 10 men ahead of me. I had no idea how far it was to the front, but thought that maybe if I had a stellar run I could get onto the podium. I could see two guys in the distance and set off to hunt them down. As we ascended into the hills, I found that I was never without someone within sight, and just kept picking them off. This surprised me a bit as I’m usually weaker on the uphills and better going down, but I gained confidence with every man I passed. I was working hard but in control, repeating “process not outcome” to myself constantly.  I got to the summit in 3rd place, and the marshalls told me it was only a “couple of minutes” to the front two, which gave me an immense boost. I came up to the front runner with 5km to go, and the cat-and-mouse tussle that ensued really took me into the red: I had to surge twice to get past him, but struggled to drop him. As he pulled back up to my shoulder I said “easy peasy” in the most casual voice I could muster. Within another 20 seconds or so he started to fall back, and eventually he was out of sight. The final few km were tough but beautiful.

Learning points for me: Enjoy the process. Don’t take it too seriously. Savour the view. And believe.

What a race. It’s got me in its talons now – I can’t wait to return. With any luck, for the full Celtman next year”.

Ironman France

  • Augustin Downes 
  • Splits: swim 1:05:43 / bike 6:17:49 / run 3:55:18
  • Total Time: 11:33:52
  • 40-44 category

When you go back to your home country to do an Ironman it’s always a very special experience. Probably one of my favourite races I’ve ever done with a bike course that’s as tough as it is spectacular. Huge congrats to Augustin for putting in such a terrific all-round performance. This was off the back of taking time out from the sport and only having a relatively short period of time to train for this one. You more than delivered a hugely impressive performance so very well done to you. Bodes well for the future.

Elsinore 70.3 (Denmark)

  • Angus Pollard
  • Splits: swim 27:59 / bike 2:21:49 / run 1:24:04
  • Total Time: 4:20:53
  • 9th/258 in the 25-29 category

Yet another breakthrough performance from Angus which continues to go from strength to strength this year in such a tough deep field. This was one of his most mature performances to date that resulted in his best swim, his best bike power output and his fastest run. It would have been his fastest overall time had he not received a dubious 5min drafting penalty on the bike. What delighted more than anything was his pacing, a negative power split on the bike (first time ever!) and then controlled early pacing on the run that finally delivered his fastest ever run.  We aimed for 1:24 and he dually delivered and there is still plenty more to come.

Powerman Malaysia/ Duathlon (10km run/ 60km bike/ 10km run) 

  • Vicki Hill
  • Splits: run 45:16 / bike 1:44:57 / run 47:43
  • Total Time: 3:22:52
  • 5th of 7 in the elite female category / 3rd age group female overall / 1st female 50 + category

You don’t get many athletes in the 50-54 category that are prepared to put themselves up against the best of them in the Elite category for racing. But this tough girl was up for the challenge and as ever ‘The Pocket Rocket’ delivered an outstanding performance.  This was with hardly any specific race prep as we begin her build up to Ironman Langkawi later in the year. Sometimes you just must be prepared to put yourself on that start to line to test both the mind and body and this girl is always up for the challenge which is great to see. The ball is rolling.

Warsaw 70.3 

  • Hollie Strawson 
  • Splits: swim 32:02 / bike 2:31:41 / run 1:51:07
  • Total Time: 4:59:54
  • 7th in the 25-29 category

Huge congrats to Hollie for dipping under 5 hours for the first time and punching her ticket to the 70.3 World Championships later this year, whoop whoop!

Windsor Triathlon (National Triathlon Champs) 

  • Toby Dean
  • Splits: swim 23:53 / bike 1:06:47 / run 42:29
  • Total Time: 2:19:35
  • 5th/ 126 in the 50-54 category

Property sprint triathlon (Dorney Lake) 

  • Toby Dean
  • Splits: swim 11:52 / bike 33:57 / run 20:44
  • Total Time: 1:09:02
  • 1st in the 50-54 category / 7th male overall

On outstanding performance from Toby to place top 5 at the National Triathlon Champs in Windsor. The goal was top 10 in this high-quality field so to deliver a top 5 performance just shows how much he continues to improve year by year. He then put in another solid performance to take the win at the age group at the Property Sprint Triathlon. Yet again plenty more to come as well as he starts his build towards the Triathlon World Champs later in the year.

Dorney Lake Olympic triathlon 

  • Nick Betteridge
  • Splits: swim 26:23 / bike 1:06:22 / run 50:40
  • Total Time: 2:27:05
  • 4th in the 40-44 category

A first hit out of the year and a solid performance from Nick as he builds towards Ironman Copenhagen later in the year. The plan was to go hard on the swim and bike and run easy due to just coming back from an injury. A classy, controlled performance that was executed to perfection. (Obviously Nick was far too cool to wear the pink visor).

Cardiff Sprint Triathlon (Qualifiers)

  • Tony Jarvis
  • Splits: swim 12:39 / bike 32:42 / run 18:36
  • Total Time: 1:06:42
  •  45-49 category

After a tough few weeks, I was so pleased to TJ get out there and do his thing back at the National qualifiers in Wales. This race had been extremely doubtful, but he put himself out there and got the just reward. Nearly 2mins faster than last year and a race that firmly got him back on track. Loving your work as ever TJ.

Dorney Lake Sprint  

  • Peter Hicks 
  • Splits: swim 14:34 / bike 39:14 / run 23:45
  • Total Time: 1:21:04
  • 7th 25-29 category

A special moment for Team Nagi newbie Peter Hicks which completed his first triathlon down at Dorney lake. And what a fine performance he found. To break inside the top 10 as well shows the potential that is there for the future. Great work Peter a much-deserved result based on your incredibly consistent training!

Sailsbury Plain Marathon 

  • Kendra Marsh 
  • Total Time: 3:59:00
  • 2nd female overall

Big shout out to our ultra-runner Kendra Marsh who continues to go to from ultra-running strength to strength with another fine podium performance this month. Next up is the big one, her 100k run in July.

What I’ve been watching this month…


Tour De France – Unchained (Series 2)

 For me there has only been one thing to watch this month and that’s the incredible second series of Tour De France – Unchained. Is it better than the first? I’m not quite sure, but I loved it none the same. What’s great to see is the broad appeal of this series from cyclists to non-cyclists who seems to be talking about it. It really is amazing to witness at close hand this special era of cycling where these two phenomenal cyclists go head-to-head.

Team out & about 


Huge congrats to our man in France for completing the legendary Defi De Monte-Cristo 6km swim, great work Remi!

Huge congrats on finally getting your moment in the Team GB kit Princess, a fine performance to be proud of (nice socks too)

Team Nagi swim ladies on tour

Always good to see ‘The Flying Spaniard’ keeping his hand in the game by completing the Ride London 100!

Your first ever new road bike is always a very special day, looking good Peter!

Triathlon humour