Sunday 26th June – Saturday 2nd July 2022

The course

Loch Ness – London

What, from Scotland, through England and ending in London? All in one go or over a couple of weeks? Do you sleep? Where do you sleep? How do you eat? How long did it take you? Did you finish? Did you ever want to give up? How many toys did you throw out of your pram? Is it a race? Are you timed?

These were just some of the questions that people asked me upon finishing the self-described, UK’s hardest triathlon. So, before going on to try and answer some of the questions, let’s break it down and outline what was involved. Over the course of seven days, I swam over 5km (5,107m according to the always accurate Garmin) in dark, choppy, windy 12-13 degree waters of Loch Ness, cycled over 1,000km (1,021 to the much preferred Wahoo) with 27,000ft ascent over 41hrs from Fort Augustus to Slough and then ran 51km in 5hr 15mins from Slough to Richmond.

Then I had a nice, long bath, had a few beers and collapsed. I have not done any form of meaningful exercise since. 


Rewind to June 2021 when my brother, Ben, floated this event past me as something different that might interest me. Knowing that it would be highly unlikely I would consider a ‘normal’ triathlon or certainly a branded Ironman/Challenge event, the scratch started to itch. My last triathlon had been Alcatraz in June 2019 and my last ‘big’ event had been Seville Marathon in February 2020, literally just before the world went into meltdown. Therefore, unlike many other weekend warriors I was fortunate that I had managed to get my challenge out of the way and had no plans to race during lockdown. I was just happy to enjoy self supported rides and individual challenges and I loved it. I dabbled in a bit of sprinting but quickly realised that a 42 year old body would need a lengthy period of adjustment to avoid constantly breaking down so knocked that on the head pretty soon after.

But the call from Ben came at the right time and after both clearing it with the powers that be, we were both signed up, locked in and up for it.

The training

Next issue, how to train for an event like this though? Whilst I love triathlon and everything that goes with trying to peak in three different disciplines, it’s not my life. So, from last summer until the end of 2021, I still ran and cycled but mostly for leisure and enjoyment. I still played (some would say participated) football and I still ate and drunk what I wanted. Nothing serious at all. I got back in the pool, after an 18 month absence in about November in an effort to try and hit the ground running in the New Year.

Next phase, January 1st until Sunday 27th March – gradually step things up, increase the consistency, start to mix the sessions up a bit, introduce some strength and endurance based work, treat the body a bit more seriously but still play football and have fun.

It all changed on Monday 28th March though – the start of the serious twelve week programme taking me up to the event. Football was banned, drinking limited (although West Ham’s extended European tour hardly helped on this matter!), sleep prioritised and all the focus was about getting to that start line fit, healthy and in reasonable shape. An achilles injury sustained playing football (landing awkwardly from a header nonetheless, something I do about once a year…) in March meant any decent running wasn’t able to take place until the end of April which wasn’t ideal but I was able to push increased levels of swimming and cycling. 

I know many others have similar or more (really?) commitments but balancing training with work and organising the logistics of two sporty kids who play cricket on both Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer as well as numerous athletics fixtures and school commitments is tough. I want to see them play/compete whenever I can so it’s often a case of me warming up whilst they are going through their own team or individual warm ups at cricket and then waiting for the result of the toss – if their team are batting, I then settle down away from other parents to allow my stomach to play butterfly tennis. If they are fielding, grab the trainers/bike or find the local pool and off we go for a session. In the very rare occasions when we are able to watch as a family then I will be able to cycle to the ground and back and get some miles in.

Long and short of it, it’s relentless, hard work, sometimes quite stressful and needs almost every hour planned for. Not one day was free or clear but if you want to achieve something you don’t make excuses and just get on with whatever cards you’ve been dealt with. 

In conclusion to the training, in this period I was swimming three times a week – twice with my triathlon club, Optima Racing Team and once on my own. This was the long swim session which was initially in the pool but then in the open water as soon as the lakes were warm enough, or more accurately, I grew some balls to get in them. These were regularly over 3.5/4km and I topped out at 4,800m a couple of weeks before the event to ease the temperamental right shoulder. It was impossible to replicate the bike mileage of the event so I concentrated getting solid miles ridden in chunks of days to try and get the legs used to cycling on tired legs. There were a good few back-to-back 150-180km days but only once was I able to get a 200km+ day in. Running had to be carefully managed and I was very stringent in wanting/needing two days rest for my achilles between sessions. I probably ran three times every ten days – a mixture between an Optima interval track session, a long run (peaked at 3hrs/30km) and either a super easy or tempo run depending on how the body felt.

The event

To the week of the event, Monday 20th July. I felt in really good shape and most importantly, completely injury and niggle free. Training had been uninterrupted for the final 10 weeks and I felt ready for the adventure ahead. I was fortunate to be able to drop my bike off at the organiser’s offices in south west London on the Wednesday and they were able to transport the bikes up to Scotland so we didn’t have the hassle of flying up with them. Ben and I flew up to Inverness on Friday lunchtime, got the bus across to Fort Augustus and was all settled in at the B&B by late afternoon. All very easy and stress free. Saturday was spent chilling, taking a boat tour across Loch Ness and preparing for the week ahead. Truth be told, we didn’t really need that extra day but it was insurance should anything happen to luggage/kit which thankfully we didn’t need. Other people were not so fortunate, however.

Day 1: The swim (& bike), Loch Ness

Probably the most important point about this event is that it is an actual ‘event’ and not a ‘race’. It is not timed, you don’t have positions and you can start each day when you want within about an hour time window. This won’t suit everyone (those d*ck swingers can stop reading now…) but it does help generate a great, supportive, relaxed vibe (check out that Love Island reference) within the group. Hardly any egos or excessive testosterone swilling about.

The event started at the very reasonable hour of noon on Sunday so plenty of time to faff around and get your bags ready for the team to transport to the next hotel. This is another key point about the event – the fabulous team took care of all your belongings every day and when you arrived at your new hotel every afternoon your key was waiting for you with bags having already been taken to your room. A very welcome and nice touch after a hard day in the saddle.

Participants (not competitors) arrived, mingled, were briefed and before we knew it were told we could set off. The event team opted for 10 laps of 500m which not only required a switched on brain to keep counting but also the mental skills in being able to break it down and keep motivated. The water was choppy, very dark, not hugely welcoming and ranged between 12-13 degrees which in itself isn’t that cold but it can shrink the meat and two veg a little if you are in it for 1hr 45 mins which I was. I needed about 50m doing a mixture of front crawl, water polo and Grannie swimming before I got comfortable and used to the temperature. A cheeky wee was had by a buoy halfway through to warm up the wetsuit and a quick gel for a little boost. No sightings of Nessie, although I don’t think he would have been scared with the speed I was going at

I was happy with the time and how I coped with swimming over 5km but a nice cup of coffee and peanut butter sarnie was very welcome afterwards.

We then had a short 50km cycle across to Fort William but were able to leave whenever we were ready/had warmed up. We were in no rush and I must have minced around for half an hour getting myself ready. Because we’re in Scotland, of course there was drizzle for most of it and a ten minute downpour so we arrived at the hotel wet. And of course the radiator in the rooms didn’t work. I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t feel a million dollars on that ride but it must have been three years since I’ve had a spin after a swim so I put it down to that rather than being crap at cycling.

Day 2: Fort William – Glasgow

174km, 6.5hrs riding time, 4,000ft climbing

A bit about the cycling leg – after breakfast every morning you could generally set off when you wanted, normally between 7-8am. The slower/less experienced cyclists were encouraged to set off first so everyone roughly arrived at the destination hotel at about the same time. There were three feed stations every day so you really didn’t need to take much with you and you also had the option of packing an emergency bag which was available to use at the lunch stop (a good idea when the weather conditions was mixed or if you needed a re-lube…). You really couldn’t fault the service or quality throughout the week and a mechanic and medic was available at most of those stops or at close hand throughout the day.

This first full day of cycling was split into thirds with the first taking us through the stunning Glencoe Pass. I enjoyed that bit and unusually joined a group for most of it where I hid more than Otto Sanhuber (look him up). The second third took us along the shores of Loch Lomond where the weather was more changeable than my daughter’s mood. I got caught out by a torrential downpour about 1km from the feed station which obviously really helped my mood. A refuel and a pep talk (don’t be a d*ck) and the last 60km was lovely and off that bloody A82 and back on Ben’s arse. A bit of bike path action so imagined being back on my lovely gravel bike.

Day 3: Glasgow – Carlisle

203km, 6,500ft climbing, 40 mph constant headwind gusts and utterly relentless, pissing down rain, 9hrs 10m riding time.

Quite simply an absolutely brutal day on the pedals and one of, if not the, hardest ever. Lunch stop was like a war zone with temperatures being taken, people being pulled into the broom wagon and everyone trying to warm up and encourage each other. Dug really deep with that one and went through all sorts of strategies to get me through it. I will remember that day for a very long time.

Day 4: Carlisle – Haydock Park

199km (I’m not a Strava w*nker so didn’t round it up), 6,500ft climbing, 8hrs 15mins ride time

The bike felt lighter with most of the toys being thrown out on the previous day so it was a good day. Great ascent and descent of Shap Pass, got some ok hills t’up there to be fair. Legs generally felt ok throughout the day, certainly better than the old gooch but Mr Lube and I started becoming best buddies. I spent most of the day in a great group of six where I tried to avoid sticking my nose in the air too often. As we were in the north of England, of course it rained but the sun did make its monthly appearance for a few minutes. How does anyone live up there..!

Day 5: Haydock Park – Droitwich

208km, 4.000ft of climbing, 7hr 45mins riding time

Lovely route today, really enjoyed that ride for most of it. Rolling first 120km before a lumpy back half through the Shropshire hills. Nice to see my Uncle Phil at the first feed station for a little pick-me-up. I hid more than one of Fritzel’s kids (too much? Apologies x) in a pack for the most part and nice to have a few chin wags in amongst clinging on to that elastic. The body was generally holding up ok but my pesky left knee caused a few issues in the last 10km which was treated with  a bit of ice and ibuprofen that hopefully helped calmed it down. Onto Windsor we head…

Day 6: Droitwich – Slough

187km, 5,000ft climbing, 7hrs 45mins riding time

Solo day today and the chance for some peace and quiet and to reflect on what we’ve been through and prepare for the last little slog. I really enjoyed some headspace and also a listen to the test match on TMS. Managed the knee and kept the old power down to 320W as opposed to high 300s…Cracking route through Shakespeare country and into the Chilterns, ending in the less than glamorous Slough. Never before have I been so glad to see the sign for such a sh*t hole

Great to see still the best training/racing camp buddie, Justine, and grab some maltesers from her. Best of all, had a surprise visit from the wife at the last feed stop just to check I wasn’t taking any short cuts. She must have loved that sweaty, smelly hug.

Day 7: Slough – Richmond

4hr 15min marathon and 5hr 15 min for the full 51km. 

Not going to lie, I was really chuffed with that time and how I felt for most of it, especially after the week we’ve all had. There were a couple of low moments but generally felt pretty strong and didn’t walk a great deal (bridges/feed stations apart). Due to that achilles injury, I thought I was about 3-4 weeks shy of a full run training programme but it just goes to show that it’s best to be a bit under cooked than knackered or carrying a little niggle. It was great to run part of it with the wife and the final few miles with a fellow coach and friend, John. The wife and brother-in-law were waiting at the finish which was a brilliant moment, as was Ben who had finished a good chunk of time before me and had had a storming run. 

It was great to spend the next couple of hours hanging around the finish and welcoming everyone through the finish line. We had all been on a journey, our own little individual journey but within the confines of a group so it was great to support everyone through to a conclusion. 

It was a fabulous journey, a great challenge at times which tested me physically and mentally like never before. It got me well out of my comfort zone and challenged me more than anything I’ve done before. 

In some kind of way, I felt guilty about not doing it for charity but (perhaps fortunately at this stage) I didn’t feel close enough to a cause to commit to something. However, if I can inspire just one person (youth or adult) to do or try something different or out of their comfort zone then I would be chuffed. Life is about taking risks, screwing up and trying again. It’s not about doing the same things year in, year out and expecting the same results. Live a full life and if in doubt, regret something you did do rather than what you didn’t.

Lockdown training for youth athletes

During any lockdown, with school and clubs either cancelled or going online, many athletes can lack for a bit of structure and/or become a bit disillusioned with any training. I therefore thought it might be beneficial to provide a few thoughts how a youth athlete (c.10-14 yrs) programme might be structured during this period.

A couple of caveats, this is quite a generic programme and would perhaps tailor it slightly according to the athlete, time of the year and if there is any competition on the horizon. I have outlined three sessions a week but this could be spread over 10 days or alternatively choose two sessions/week and alternate them every week. The three sessions are varied and work the different energy systems helping the person become an overall better athlete with an ideal grounding should they specialise in a particular event or sport at a later age.

1) Shorter sprints, 20-60m efforts with plenty of rest in between them. Attack them fresh, the aim is to improve maximum speed and not undertake a shuttle exercise. Try a variety of starting positions – normal sprinting start, skipping into sprinting, jumping into sprinting, hopping into sprinting, backwards running into sprinting. Not every sprint in team sports is from a standing start so you need to prepare your body for different movement patterns.

2) 200m-800m intervals. Mix them up a bit – either a set number of a particular distance or try a pyramid session, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, etc. If you were repeating a session and wanted to make it a bit tougher, I would only vary one thing (increase the reps, increase the distance or decrease the rest) and not two or more at the same time. 

You can also put a hills session in here and repeat a 100-400m incline a set number of times. This builds muscular endurance and strength and targets different muscle groups (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves) than a flat run, helping to make you less prone to injury. It can help to improve running technique by encouraging you to engage arms and raise the knees a bit higher. It can also promote greater ankle flexibility/mobility as well. However, don’t just focus on running the intervals uphill all the time, try some downhill repeats from time to time. Running downhill can help to promote a faster turnover which helps improve basic speed and can improve additional quad and hamstring strength. However, one small word of caution – they are very taxing on the body so please allow for additional rest after doing these and don’t repeat them too often.

3) Slightly longer run 3-6km (depending on age) with the aim of increasing aerobic capacity. This run can be done slowly with no interest in the pace or time. Stick some headphones in, run and play with the dog and chill!!! Keep off the road if you can as grass/trails is easier on the body. It’s not a bad suggestion for some adults to do this type of run ‘fasted’ (first thing in the morning, no food before) as it increases fat burn but I wouldn’t prescribe this to an athlete under the age of 16. 

Alongside these sessions, I would also include other small additional work and pay attention to other key factors:

  • resistance band work (1 set of 10 reps of a range of exercises to activate certain muscle groups before exercise. 2 sets of 10 reps to help strengthen and tone the muscles outside of a run session)
  • plyometrics – improve physical performance by building muscle power, endurance and strength
  • stretching (only after a session, never before)
  • good nutrition (another topic in itself but consume good amounts of protein within half an hour of finishing any exercise)- get plenty of sleep (at least 9 hours for children. It really isn’t cool to show off to your mates about regularly stay up late – performance levels in and out of sport will suffer, illnesses will increase, injuries will occur, motivation levels will drop)
  • walking and/or cycling in between run sessions to aid recovery and keep active
  • limit TV/device activity (a personal choice but don’t become addicted)

Hope that’s useful and always here to answer any thoughts or questions.

Developing resilience and mental toughness in kids

I’ve wanted to write about developing resilience and mental toughness in kids for a while but everything else has got in the way. Trying to coach at schools and clubs, run a football team, submit documentation and programmes for my British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Level 2 Diploma, organise the London League Junior Series for 2020, help establish London’s first (to my knowledge) open water aquathlon race and training for a marathon has been taking some time up. Oh, I forgot being a full time taxi for my kids and trying not to ignore my wife…

Why this topic? I see many able (not talented, that word is for another day…) kids across a number of different sports and age ranges but I know this is only one component that will help them succeed in the future. They (will) need grit, determination, toughness, discipline, motivation and resilience as well. Ability might get you through the door, but those other attributes will help you stay in the room. 

Taking part in any sport at a young age should all be about having fun, keeping them involved in some form of physical activity and not be results focussed. However, how you approach taking part in some of these sessions/training and the process involved should be given careful consideration. If you can install good habits and ethics at an early age then it is much more likely to benefit you through childhood (when it becomes more results focused, either on the field or in the classroom) and into adulthood (on the career ladder or personal life). So, my advice to any kids out there…

  1. Be prepared to fail – try, learn, try, learn, repeat. That famous Michael Jordan quote: I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. Sure, get annoyed and have a cry/sulk if you lose or not get what you’ve aimed for but use that as fuel to succeed. Use failure as a learning experience, to know where to improve and try again. 
  1. Stop making excuses; be honest with yourself and own your mistakes. Assess why you’ve failed. Ask coaches/teachers why you’ve not been selected, what went wrong and what you can do to improve. Don’t think that asking questions is a sign of weakness and be prepared to take constructive comments with how it is intended – to help you improve. You might not agree with it all but you now know what they are looking for and what it is expected.
  1. Know your stress triggers and develop a mantra. This is a complex area with people far more qualified than me to advise on it, especially with kids. However, please be open to having conversations with parents and/or coaches to develop a strategy when you are feeling in pain or negative stress (distress) situations. Don’t think of pain as a weakness, learn to embrace it and devise ways to deal with it – whether that is through controlled breathing, visualisation or reminding yourself why you’re doing something, ie. your underlying motivation. Good stress (eustress) shouldn’t be dismissed, whether that is being a favourite in a race, expected to do well, being captain or living up to expectation. Again, identify the triggers and brainstorm solutions to help get through them. Try different ones and find something that works for you.
  1. Don’t quit at the first opportunity. A lot of sessions don’t go to plan or you feel terrible before and during the session. Don’t quit if it’s a bit rainy, windy, cold or hot (of course there are limits but rarely in the UK), tough it out and thrive knowing that a lot of your competitors won’t be turning out. Your event(s) might be in similar conditions so you need to be prepared for every eventuality and you will be keeping up with that consistency. Listen to your body if it is illness or injury related though.
  1. Be consistent. If you’re attending your sessions, working hard and doing any extra ‘homework’ required you will be rewarded. It might be not be next week or even next month when you will see any progress and you might have to wait until next year(s) but it will pay off at some stage and you will be rewarded. Success doesn’t happen overnight, stick to the plan and the process and the improvements will come.
  1. Sleep. And then sleep more. I know it’s cool for a lot you to show off about going to bed late but it will have a detrimental effect, both in terms of physical performance and also your mental health. You will get ill, injured and break down if you’re not getting enough rest and sleep. You won’t then have the energy, willpower and desire to get through those hard sessions, get up early to train or find something from somewhere at critical point in a particular event. Good sleep also means a clearer mind which enables better decisions to be made during times of stress.

Pre-school/season fitness camp

We held a brilliant 3 day pre-school/season fitness camp at the end of August to help all ages, abilities and genders get ready for a busy term of sport. No matter the sport/games being played, this mini camp was designed to cover all bases, help get the body sharp and hopefully prevent many injuries occurring in the coming weeks. Impressive attitude and work rate from all involved.

The camp ended with the kid’s first ever yoga session courtesy of  Pure Essence Yoga who was brilliant with them. Kids really bought into it and hopefully it not only helped them stretch and relax after working hard for a few days but also sowed the seed how beneficial it can be for them in the future.


Too much too young

I was recently contacted by the mother of a 13 year old client about training for a 15km event. I’ll be honest, I was shocked that someone so young would consider a distance that far but probably even more taken aback that a parent would seem to encourage it.

It got me thinking, perhaps the relatively recent craze of ultra distance adult races, in triathlon and in its individual components, has percolated through to junior athletes. For example, you only have to witness how young some of the kids are that regularly participate in parkrun every Saturday morning. I do worry when I see children under the age of ten having completed over 100 parkruns or seeing five or six year olds being hauled around by their parents.


I am going to be very clear – this is not a criticism whatsoever of parkrun, one of the greatest ever concepts in encouraging an active lifestyle. I am firmly in its biggest supporter stable having completed over a hundred of them and with my family contributing over a further two hundred appearances. We have an increasingly inactive and obese population which shows no signs of reversing so any initiative should be encouraged. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for families to spend quality time together and start the weekend off in a lovely way.

What am I saying then?

Parents and kids, there is no rush to run long distances. Running a longer distance your body is ready for (and this goes for adults as well as children) encourages bad form which only deteriorates over a longer distance. It also increases the risk of injury and quite possibly burn out in the long term. The bones and joints of the 10-17 age group are growing rapidly and repetitive strain and impact on their tendons and growth plates from 5km is not ideal.


Look after your body, you only have one of it and you don’t want to risk doing too much damage to it so young and affect its ability to perform in the future. Concentrate on good form, posture, stability, coordination and strength (this will vary with age). Concentrate on speed and getting quicker over shorter distances. Do a junior parkrun if you are aged between 4-14 instead of 5km every week, do a mile race, do a junior cross country event, walk/run off road on hills if you can, do sprints, skipping, lunges and use resistance bands. Aerobic capacity and endurance can wait. You’ll benefit so much more in the long term if you can nail the core fundamentals of running technique.
I’ll leave you with the below quote from Michael Jordan, the best basketball player and arguably sportsman ever…
When I was young, I had to learn the fundamentals of basketball. You can have all the physical ability in the world, but you still have to know the fundamentals. 
Michael Jordan

Coaching motivation

Make no bones about it, today’s environment is hyper-competitive. From getting into certain schools, sports teams, music academies and drama schools right through to University courses and the first graduate job, life as a post-millennial or Gen Z can be cut throat. 

Or to put it more accurately, for the parent or coach it can be. It is the duty of the parent and coach to try and reduce the effect of this on the children. The temptation is to push them – push them to work harder, do more clubs, train harder or for longer, all in the goal for perfection. 

This won’t work, perhaps not in the short term but definitely not in the long term. Motivation and the desire to succeed needs to come from them and not be forced upon them by a coach or especially a parent. It will backfire, often spectacularly, at some point in the future if it is.

It might be difficult to see in the cut and thrust of all this competition and it can be heartbreaking to see loved ones miss out on medals, teams, PBs, grades, etc but I strongly believe that mastering self motivation in something that catches their interest is more important and beneficial for their future as life as an adult when it all gets more serious.

If a kid can find and utilise motivation themselves then they are well on the right path to a fulfilling and successful life. When they leave home for College, University or for a career then those who are used to being motivated by others stand a far less chance of making it. 

How can kids garner this self-motivation and can it be ‘taught’? These are the three main bits of advice I would give parents:

  1. Encourage participation across a number of subjects, fields, sports, interests at a young age and throughout early childhood years. Don’t specialise too early, even if an early talent is prevalent and push them to explore more. Participating in a broad spectrum of activities strengthens the body and mind in a number of different areas and ways and injuries, illness and lack of interest can also stop promising careers at any point. At some point there is a strong chance that something will catch their attention and once that flash of interest is found, encourage them to pursue with all their passion.
  1. Whether you are a parent or a coach (or even both), be a role model. If you’re a parent, set an example on attitude, punctuality, effort and energy levels, work ethic and the willingness to go the extra mile. Kids copy and learn from adults so get to classes on time or early, don’t moan or quit because of the weather or the time of day, don’t be negative, always accentuate the positives and look on the bright side. Passion and energy is contagious. If they see Mum, Dad or brother/sister working hard on a project and sacrificing certain things, training hard for an event whatever the level and persevering with learning a new skill then it is highly likely they will think this is the norm, copy and bring it into later life with them.
  1. Be coachable. Listen to advice, respect authority, don’t let them think they and you know it all and always want to find ways to improve. As the saying goes, ‘Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults’

Goodbye Strava!!!

It was the listening to The Brick Session podcast that finally made me do it. I quit Strava and have not regretted doing so for one minute. It feels great not being (subconsciously) judged or people making vague assumptions or commenting on your training. Even without Strava, I had two different people look up a parkrun result of mine recently with one commenting that I had been beaten by someone else and the other asking ‘how my ego was’ after my wife recorded a quicker time at a different parkrun. What both these people didn’t know I was pacing a Y6 kid round to a 20 second PB. Kudos to that kid!

Let me start by saying that I think Strava is a great tool. The social interaction, the (sometimes) knowledge sharing, the (mild from some, heavy by others) competition element and the common interest in staying fit and healthy are all admirable traits for a social media platform. 

But I’ve realised it’s just not for me. On the face of it, it would seem an ideal place for a loner like me. Other than some excellent squad swimming sessions, I don’t belong full time to any particular club and haven’t the time or the reliability of a regular diary to commit to rigid training sessions/groups that are intended for the masses so it would it make sense for me to stay connected with likeminded athletes and triathletes. Initially, it did and it served a purpose and I enjoyed it for a while.

What changed though?

I slowly came to realise that I really didn’t care what other people thought or think of my training. I plan my training schedule around work and family commitments which come first so there might be a myriad of reasons why I did that particular session – and I wasn’t going to bore people with explaining that in the title. Still, people would either give kudos (which some religiously do) or comment on them. I would still check a few times a day when I couldn’t care less what other people thought. It was time wasting and distracting.

On top of this, I couldn’t give a monkeys nuts about how fast people go over a particular (wind assisted, peloton-led) segment or course and it depresses me that people care so much about this. And don’t get me started on having to wade through 3km cycle commutes to work as well as yoga or stretching sessions being recorded. Really, are people that addicted for approval!!!??? It was all becoming too pointless.

What I love is chewing the fat about training methods, techniques, fads, etc. I love talking about why people do these activities and what benefit it brings them. I love talking about how to get kids and adults physically active. Strava doesn’t intend to meet these demands so there was little point in getting distracted by something that was not adding any particular value. 

So, taking some downtime at the end of the summer and listening to the podcast in the Spanish sun closed the deal for me. Strava app deleted for the winter. I won’t rule out returning but time to get the head down over the winter without thinking of taking a photo and what to call my workout during the session.

Winter well and please like this post and give me kudos if you agree 😜