Hi guys,

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

As many of you will know I’ve just spent the last 8 days with 11 of my athletes at my team training camp at Club La Santa, Lanzarote. To say I look forward to this time every year would be a huge understatement. To have the chance to spend quality time looking and watching my athletes in the sun is an opportunity that cannot be missed.

I know many of us have felt ground down by the weather this Winter, especially with the relentless rain we’ve been having.  Until the camp I hadn’t been out on my bike since Christmas which for me is unheard of, lucky that Zwift has been ever present to fill that gap. The gains in fitness I have been able to make using this have been tremendous.

But there really is nothing like getting out on your bike and feeling that wind in your hair. So, it really is food for the soul to escape the weather at this time of year to a place that pretty much has guaranteed sunshine. And for me there is no other venue in the world that comes close to the amazing facility that is Club La Santa. It has everything you would ever need to get your fitness to the highest of levels. It’s a one stop shop for amazing (tough) cycling, swimming (3 x 50m pools + an open water sea water lagoon), running trails as far as the eye can see and a 400m running track. It also has everything else you would want to help support your training – 5 x restaurants, a supermarket, gym, physio & massage therapists …the list just goes on and on.

What I really like about it though is how tough the cycling is, we choose it for this very reason. The hills and wind are ever present so if you ever want to take your biking to the next level this is the place to do it. It’s a venue I’ve used to help prepare athletes for the Ironman World Champs in Hawaii and beyond. The one guarantee being they always comeback on a whole new level once they’ve been there. It also helps them develop technically as well because it challenges every part of who they are as a cyclist with its moon-like volcanic topography.

What I love about it most though is the opportunity to see my athletes in action. It can provide a whole new perspective on their strengths and weaknesses which is fuel for my fire as a Coach to help guide their training for the rest of the season. It’s also a joy to see them develop their skills over the week and improve on areas that might have not been so sharp when they arrived. They all chip in and learn from whilst encouraging and motivating each other. When you get the right group of people together it can be a heady powerful mix that can spawn so much growth & development. 

Our focus for each camp is very much tailored to the individual. The age range on camp this year was wide at 29-70, we also had athletes competing over every distance from sprint through to Ironman. As a coach I love the challenge of making sure that all athletes needs are catered too. That’s the fun part. As much as we work as a group there are opportunities to individualise where we can with very specific sessions for each of their needs.

Volume wise we hit about 25-30+ hours across the 7 days. It’s amazing when you get the training prescription right combined with good quality rest just how much training athletes can absorb. The reason they can do this is because they suddenly don’t have a 40-60-hour work week sapping their mental and physically energy. The progress & development you see when this happens is unsurpassed.

We also focus the training very much on developing the skills they will need to race well. These will be incredibly rusty at this time of year, so the attention very much is placed on re-awakening these skills both technically & pacing wise.  As much as I can I get creative in designing sessions that have some kind of race scenario in to develop these important racing skills. It’s not just training for training’s sake, it’s training with a purpose that is targeted to the individual’s goals, strengths, and weaknesses.

The camp is also well timed because a lot of the athletes on the camp had experienced illness through the Winter period, especially leading into the camp. That’s why a well-timed early season camp is worth its weight in gold because it gives your fitness the necessary jump start it needs as the warmer months approach.

I must congratulate all the athletes that came on the camp this year, they were the most wonderful group of people that bonded so well. Each brought something valuable to the table which will have impacted someone else. When you have enthusiastic, positive, motivated people to work with running a training camp is easy. So, a very big thank you to one and all, it’s a camp I will remember for a long long time to come.

They even do silly poses on request

A Poem

 Whilst out doing a long ride on my camp one day one of my athletes thought up this poem, they agreed to let me share with you. I think it captures the reason we do this sport quite beautifully…

Out past common sense
Cadence, wattage, distance, time
All circumscribed, measured, answered
Beyond the mortal and defined
There is a place where a rainbow
Is simply a rainbow
Where joy and suffering are not separate things
And the soul speaks silently with the infinite
I was there today a moment
That’s why my spirit sings


Who I’ve been watching this month…

Not quite sure which amazing female’s achievement to start with this month so I’ll go for the one that finished first! The incredible ‘Ulster Warrior’ Linda Blakely finally completed her solo row across the Atlantic with no support boat. An astonishing achievement that took her 54 days, 9 hours & 25minutes. It also saw her raise over £100,000 for her chosen charity. Bravo Linda you did yourself, your charity and every one that knows you proud.


For many The Barkley marathons is without doubt the hardest running race in the world. Since its inception in 1986 no woman has ever finished the race. That was until last weekend when the British ultra-running legend Jasmine Paris & mother of two finally became the first woman to finish it. In 35 years only 20 runners have completed it.

The course, which varies from year to year, consists of five loops of the 20+ mile, off-trail course for a total of 100 miles (160 km). The race is limited to a 60-hour period from the start of the first loop and takes place in March or early April of each year.

This incredible lady was also the first female to win the 268mile Spine Race outright. I honestly think both these achievements are arguably two of the greatest all-time achievements by a female athlete. It’s so good to see her success rightly being celebrated all around the world.

If you want to understand the enormity of what she has just achieved try watching the brilliant film on it below, there really is no race quite like it.

The Barkley marathons: The race that eats its young

48 hours in the life of Magnus Ditlev – Ironman World Record holder 

This is a interesting insight into the training methods of the Ironman World record holder Magnus Ditlev. More so from a training data perspective, his power outputs and resulting lactate levels are something you need to see to be believed!

New athlete Q & A…Welcome to the team Nick Betteridge!

Name: Nick Betteridge

Age: 40 next month

Star sign: Taurus (I had to google that)

Years in triathlon: I dabbled with a couple of triathlons after I left uni and stopped rowing, but never really fell in love with the sport.  Three years ago after running the London marathon the next step was an Iron Man (obviously) so I bought a bike and signed up for Bolton in 2022 which was a turning point.

Occupation: Actuary

In another life you would have been a..?   Honestly I would still be an actuary. I work in General Insurance – nearly 20 years on and I am still challenged and learning every day.

Who is your athletic alter ego? My brother – he is a bit taller, a bit stronger, can spend longer in the pain locker… and has the GB kit to prove it. Not that I have a anything to prove.

Favourite training session: Anything in the sunshine!  Or on the turbo with some banging tunes (and without Zwift..)

Least favourite training session: A 2k ergo ‘erg’ (rowing) test back in the day.  But it was a weird love-hate relationship which is why I am probably now loving the turbo.

Favourite training track (music!): My FTP playlist heavily features Tinlicker, Fred Again and My Friend.

Favourite book: ‘No Rules Rules’ by Reed Hastings the Netflix Founder.  Fascinating and inspirational in equal measure.

Last book you read: I’m reading less and listening to more podcasts; Steven Bartlett’s interviews on the Diary of a CEO never disappoint.

Favourite training venue/location: Honestly – Club La Santa has opened my eyes.  That pool is dreamy and I have come back with a new perspective on what actually constitutes a hill!

Favourite race experience: There is nothing like rowing regattas – and beating our arch rival school in a final was epic.  That is coming up to 25 years ago though so I’m looking to make some new memories on the racing front.

Top 3 race bucket list: Still working on it, but all I know is that Bolton is not on it! (The rain, hills and potholes might have had something to do with it…)

Favourite mantra: [When my wife and I are teetering on missing a session]: “When have you ever not felt good for exercise?!”  This has genuinely got us through some stressful periods at work when the last thing we have wanted to do was head to the gym.

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

  1. She’s not super famous, but Hannah Fry is a mathematics professor at UCL and has done some great Ted Talks.  I saw her recently do a ridiculously good talk on AI and Quantum computing.
  2. Barak Obama (obviously, right?!)
  3. Gordon Ramsay so I could shout back when he says my food isn’t any good (it is).

Training hours per week: 3 months in with Julian and I’m at around 8 hours a week…although I am mentally preparing for it to ramp up.

What are your training & race goals for 2024?  My training goals for 2024 is: actually train! Having finally got a turbo at the end of last year and started with Julian I have turned a corner and am making it a core part of my life.

As for my racing goals this year, it is to get a time in Copenhagen Iron Man I’m proud of.  Having had such an epic training camp in Lanzarote and been inspired by some of the people there, my goals have gone from a decent crack at Copenhagen this year to a three year journey.  Bring it on!!

Team out & about in Lanza