Lifestyle.jpgA completely unrelated picture to the title of this post. This is my training stress balance chart for this year for my biking. I’m going to start by covering recent training. The yellow line above is Training Stress Balance. In my mind it being negative is making you fitter and positive is recovery and being ready to race. That big negative at the start of the year was Epic Camp and since then it’s been positive since. The blue line is fitness and it’s been declining since then until recently. So … what did it  take to get it negative again. Some hard long riding:

  • Sat before my marathon – 113 miles 7 hilly hours
  • Tues – 139 miles in just under 8 hours
  • Wed – 93 miles, 5.75 hours including 9 repeats of Box Hill
  • Sat – 130 miles, 8 hours – at pace with a group initially then lots of hills on my own
  • Sun – 146 miles, 8 hours – hard core pace throughout. Only 2 left standing
  • Tue – 137 miles, 7.5 hours – fast riding with Russell
  • Wed – 105 miles, 6.75 hours including 12 repeats of Box Hill
  • Thurs – 108 miles, 6.5 hrs … feeling tired at last.

It’s like the good old days. Riding long. It’s certainly removed one of my doubts about my New Zealand training – lack of over distance riding. In a 12 day period I rode 971 miles including 4 rides of 130+ miles.

It highlighted to me that the above graph doesn’t do everything. It suggests I’m losing fitness but at the moment I feel great on the bike. I think it’s taken this long for the Epic Camp riding to kick in.

On the swimming front it’s not so good. I’ve been only just managing on session a week. I’m trusting to 3 week weeks of big swimming in Lanzarote will sort me.

The problem with swimming when I’m in London is it’s so hard to get it done. The pool is 5 or 6 miles across London. The sessions are early or late and in general when I’m in London I just don’t get enough sleep. I used to be able to cope with this when I worked but now I just can’t.

I’ve been making conscious efforts for many years now to get my lifestyle as I would like it. I’m getting so close. I stopped working in the city. Got rid of loads of possessions and as a result loads of costs that has allowed Jo and I to live the dream. We realised though that a large part of doing that was the generosity of friends and family – putting us up (as well as putting up with us) and storing stuff. This has allowed us to move around and focus on getting our coaching business off the ground. This is going well but now we need a base. We’ve had nearly 18 months of this and we both find it increasingly frustrating when we’re back home but don’t have a ‘home’


I’ve bought a house in Taunton. It’s a lovely little 3 bed terraced house. Easy reach of station, pool and all the facilities. No need for a car and plenty of space for bikes and visitors. The aim now is to continue with this flexible lifestyle whilst owning and maintaining a home. It’s exciting and will prove whether we’ve got to the point that this life is sustainable. One thing I’m trying to avoid is a regular job – ie regular hours. I want to be able to move around – not really overseas (though thats nice) but more be able to spend time in London with my sister and to see friends and time in North Yorkshire with my mum.

Having a base will also give opportunities to try some things that have been put on a back burner. The first one is wheel building ! I did my course a year or so ago and now I’m looking to invest in a wheel building jig and start out by building up some strong training wheels. Hopefully I’ll get a few customers willing to try them and then my reputation will grow !! Watch this space. First thing is to keep fingers crossed the purchase goes through.

Tomorrow we’re off to Lanza – just 5 days late because of the volcanic ash … not too bad. Looking forward to having training as my focus again.

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