Everyone has the slight drop in motivation that naturally comes with long term goals. If you are comfortable knowing this then you’ll be in the best place to deal with it. As you make the final build towards your end of season ‘A’ race you’ll find the balance between life and triathlon harder. Your commitment increases and directly affects your other lifestyle choices. This is where a training camp comes in perfectly. It takes you away from the day to day life admin and allows you to focus 100% or even just a solid 80%, on your race preparation.

Race preparation is not just about the training sessions you will be undertaking but the whole 14hrs of your waking day. Training load, sleep, nutrition and general load/stress are all key considerations. Time away gives you the freedom to plan your sessions at the optimal time of day to consider the training stress and adaptation/recovery. You should have a written plan of the sessions you/your group need to crack, noting which ones are key high intensity sessions and which are longer endurance ones. I follow loosely the theory of ‘reverse periodisation’ where the pre-race build is about longer (near race duration) sessions with race intensity built in. Once you have your general training plan you can focus on their time of day and fuelling strategy. There is no one right way or perfect guide but these ideas might help you plan. For optimal adaption, early mornings should be reserved for your lower intensity sessions and then once fuelled and your body is prepped the more intense sessions. Making sure your body has carbohydrates for the higher intensity efforts is important to be able to work at these higher levels. It is also worth considering training with your race nutrition in some of the higher intensity sessions nearer your race to prepare yourself for these challenges. For the longer endurance sessions, you can afford to have less readily accessible carbohydrates (fasted) for at least the beginning (60-90mins) of the session. As you start to plan your carbohydrate intake, alongside much needed protein and natural fats you start to focus your diet and consequently your day on your training. Your day’s purpose becomes aligned with being in the best condition for your training and enjoying the training session.

With this purpose and focus your attention can drift during the time you’re not eating or training. Absolute key here; enjoy and relax. Do not feel guilty about not doing more. If you have followed the guidance above you are doing your planned training you don’t need to add in more, just because you have the time. Your body will gain fitness quicker and with less risk if you allow good time to recover and adapt. For me, good recovery includes lots of ‘legs up and chill’ as well as some good music to enjoy a nice stretch and foam roll. If the mood takes me, I try and squeeze in a little bit of pre-hab in these sessions so it doesn’t feel like a chore. This includes some resistance band work (glutes and ankles) and also standing single leg control movements. For some, taking this time out to recover can feel like harder work than the actual training, but not for others. Personally, I am very good at this!

The final piece of this puzzle is sleep. I mentioned 14hrs of the waking day, this is your aim; 9hrs of sleep a night and 1hr of sleep around 2pm. If this is unrealistic, as a minimum you want 8hrs total sleep per 24hrs. It might seem a lot but the research is only growing to suggest how important these hours are for your physical and mental recovery. An untapped gain for most people and whilst in the day to day routine of life completely impossible but whilst away- something to strive for.

Keep all the other life stresses away and allow yourself the time to focus on you, to be better.



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Big final race preparations for #TeamMeglio superstar @katrina_rye Can’t wait to watch you at the Ironman World Championships in Nice next month ???????? • Polished off the roads here in Lanzarote with some over race pace TT efforts straight into the beastly wind. Really pleased with this 10 days pre-race build with the help of @tri_coach_damo , @mymeglio @timpodlogar and @occidentallanzarotemar @suselanza ???? Thank you! Bike away and just a few more sessions to crack before home and the real build begins… @hibsta1 ‘s WEDDING! ???? Legend. #soldierfirst #makegoalsareality #perspective #dreambig#physioathlete #rehabilitation #physiotherapy #notjustphysiotherapy #forabetteryou #asicsroadhawkff #asicsfrontrunner #triathlon #triathlontraining #ironman #ironmantraining #trilife #picoftheday #fitness #athlete #swimbikerun #triathlonmotivation #triathlonlife #im703

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Low-Intensity Fitness Training (LIFT), from Meglio.

Get your core into shape, in just a few minutes a day, with Emma Taylor’s brand-new Quick Abs Workout.

Our quick abs workout is great for beginners but still gets results, through a series of simple moves to start cracking that core.

And in keeping with the Low-Intensity Fitness Training ethos, these exercises are all perfect for newbies or those recovering from injury.

Emma’s friendly, easy-to-follow demos will make exercising a breeze. There are no complex moves, and three experience levels mean you can choose a variation that suits you, building up at your own pace.

Emma includes variations for anyone needing a bit more of a workout, but the basic versions of each exercise really are manageable for complete beginners.

Emma demonstrates the tried-and-tested moves you’re no doubt familiar with, like crunches, side bends, the plank, and cycling legs – as well as some that might be new to you, including Russian twists and mountain climbers.

The programme includes the following exercises:

  • Crunches
  • Side Bends
  • Plank
  • Russian Twists
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Cycling Legs
  • Plank Twists
  • Reverse Curls

Remember – always ensure you warm up before every workout and stretch after every workout to avoid injury.

What is your core?

For more great videos, and to see our fantastic range of fitness and physiotherapy products – all available to buy online – visit www.mymeglio.com

Team Meglio athlete Sophie Whitworth has conquered the Norseman! The Norseman is considered one of the toughest triathlons on the planet, with the BBC describing is as ‘The race for people with minds tougher than their bodies’. Here is her story and her words after one of the toughest triathlons on the planet:

My number came up last year unexpectedly in The Norseman ballot after 5 years of trying. I wasn’t quite prepared for it but its one of those decisions you can’t linger over as they give you a week to confirm your entry.
Inspired by stories from Laurence Plant my Chiropractor who is a top 20 Celtman & Swissman finisher & who is a long serving “ballottee” of the Norseman [8 years] I was suddenly in my first Xtreme Triathlon.

The same distances of my beloved Ironman distance were on the agenda 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2 km run, but with every likelihood the water would be 13 degs & a certainty of 3,000m ascent on the bike & 1,700m ascent on the run. I had to have a support crew of min. 1, max. 2 people, & as I had hoped Laurence was keen to join Mike & I. The training effort went to plan in the UK, Lanzarote & Tenerife, including quite a few jump practices as the race starts with a leap off the back of a car ferry! In the preparation phase I ran more than ever before, I was pushed by Alex Partridge to get my headtorch on for long Tuesday morning runs & finally I enjoyed the Hambleden Hilly after a Sunday bike ride – I knew it would come in handy. I made myself swim in cold water far earlier than normal & with our training trip to Tenerife really helped as I knew the bike climbs were in the bag. The spare room looked like an expedition to Mt. Everest was underway with many kit changes forewarned by other previous Norseman competitors. I took over all the baggage allowance of 3 people & managed to use quite a lot of the kit to be honest.

We flew to Oslo picked up our car for the trip & headed towards the eventual end of the race to check out the mountain top finish. After a 14hr day checking out the course in reverse through Nordic ski country we made it to our idyllic cabin on the edge of Hardangerfjord famous for its soft fruit production. With snow capped glaciers above us we swam in skins in the Fjord at 9 pm, with no sign of fading light. The next few days we relaxed, we swam, & ran up a steep climb to get our eye in before being one of the last ones to check in at the IKEA style registration at Eidfjord. The goal is the mountain top finish at Gaustatoppen to win a Black T shirt just the same as the Pros, no more & no less.

Luck was on my side & on race day the usually brutal Norseman conditions were replaced by one of the hottest weekends in Northern Europe ! The water was a balmy 16 degrees but there was still a reasonable chill into hill fog up the first climb making bike layers the order of the day. By the end of the bike leg I was down to summer kit & being doused in spring water by the team to keep me cool. At one stage I passed Greg Whyte who looked like he was cooking in his aero lid, I was thankful of my vented helmet having suffered the same fate at IM Mallorca few years ago.

“Don’t think, just jump” was what they were chanting to us on the ferry as we jumped into the Fjord @ 4.45 for the 5 am start. A pro start of circa 60 athletes competing in the Xtreme Tri world championships headed off before The Norseman 2019 field, this was quite cool for us age groupers as they didn’t count on the podium this year! I swam quite clear of trouble & then spotted the bonfire on the beach whilst breathing into the air pocket of Louise Minchin [BBC Bfast presenter] for the last 800m ! I came out if the swim around 5th & then set about the more challenging aspects of the day.

I decided not to watch time on my Garmin & flicked it only once at 4 hrs 30 into to see how the time was doing as there was quite a lot to focus on. I was fixed on my power & I was trying to eat but the food wasn’t going in too well, I wasn’t panicking too much but I think Mike & Laurence in the support car were getting a bit nervous for me. The first 2 hrs seemed tough as a permanent climb to 1800m set in, with a quirky element of riding through a few dimly lit tunnels with lights & high vis jackets mandatory items. As usual the men’s field were trickling past me. As time went on I ticked off the 5 climbs & started to pass the faster men now finding themselves in the locker. I had no idea it would be so hot, this is how I like it ! I moved up the field & lost few places heading out onto the run in 4th.

I felt like I was flying on the first 25 km of the fast, flat by now very hot run. Stunning views to the left of a massive lake kept me company until I saw Mike & Laurence again. They were as on the bike leg all over this “support crew gig”. The support crew is the aspect that sets these races apart, it’s a huge team effort. Your support is your everything. They are there in every transition to help to change & pick up all the kit you discard in this point to point trek across Norway. my inhibitions you have get cast aside as everyone strips down to get changed into full gear for the longer legs than normal. You then see your team every 20-30km on the bike responding to every need, like me growling, “No more bars give me shot-blocks.” Every time I passed the boys I was getting the “keep eating instructions” from the car. It was a bit like the Tour de France trying to keep the team principles happy, I was under scrutiny like never before !!

T2 is hilarious its only big enough for 20 bikes at one time so you just roll through & you are off. We did another full kit change with the longest run I have ever done lying ahead it seemed worth it.
With car space a premium my bike was dismantled into the bike box in T2 before the car started to pick me up at 6 km on the run. By then I had passed quite a few blokes starting to loose it & I had such positive comments from all the support cars I was in my element.

Everything was going super well, I had a bout of sickness at 20km but I am used to that & I just cruised on. Laurence joined me a 25km into the run roughly 9.5hrs into the race & we got into 3rd place at this point. Laurence was allowed to run with me from 25km to the mountain top at Gaustatoppen from this point, 1700m of climb. Mike led on in the car with more supplies & the mountain packs for the top section. I ran for the most part up the infamous Zombie Hill, 10km with the chat of Laurence in my ear. As regular at his spin classes I am used to this, but one person out hiking asked if he could make her a podcast of his motivational chat !
Sickness was my problem as I hit around 32 km & I had to steady to a walk.

We started the final climb in 3rd but had to be happy with 4th in the end as we got passed at some point when we weren’t looking. That said I was well beaten on this section with more sickness & a slumping heart rate. It was advisable not to look up with the trail changing from a hard path to a rock scramble all the time & the tower at the top of the mountain looking an eternity away. The support crews of the Pros & best men age groupers were making their way down. This was inspirational stuff as they were being so supportive in their comments. It gave me more of a boost as I vowed never to eat a shot block or drink coke ever again. Even a crisp wouldn’t make it into my stomach & as I am such a crisp- aholic this speaks volumes. Arriving at the top in 14 hrs 02 this was definitely my longest competition in my life but in lots of ways it went too fast.

I knew this race would be tough, looking back it went in a flash. I did look at the landscape for once & savoured this adventure as I am not sure I’ll get this chance again. I am left wanting to do it again & more Xtri events. It’s a far cry from the Ironman M-dot races & puts them right in the shade. It was an epic trip with 1300km covered in the support vehicle, x 2 Air B&B’s smashed, lots of swimming in Fjords in skins, jumps off jettys, sunbathing, tonnes of crisps eaten …plus we found out they don’t sell booze on a Sunday in supermarkets in Norway, who knew…not good news after The Norseman.

Sophie Whitworth & Louise Minchin

Thanks to my amazing support crew, I hope Laurence gets his slot soon [law of averages says yes!] & Mike recovers for Ironman Florida quickly, it’ll be a breeze [!].
I’m indebted to all my training partners back home who I have lent on so heavily, but in particular Lauren Davies who takes on IM Copenhagen this weekend, go well, & Alex Partridge who sets the bar soooo high for me!

Many thanks to Meglio for all your support, you are all the best xx

Race Summary:

Swim: 00:59:57

Bike: 07:04:46

Run: 5:49:17

Overall: 14:02:38

Meglio’s Low-Intensity Fitness Training (LIFT) workouts are the brainchild of fitness queen and personal training expert Emma Taylor.

Emma trained as a classical dancer at The Royal Ballet School, and then after a successful career in musical theatre and choreography, she returned to study in 2007 – training to become an advanced exercise instructor.

She’s now a personal trainer and health and fitness expert, working with children and adults.

She says: “I work with complete beginners right through to marathon runners, so I jumped at the chance to help develop a new exercise system that would work for everyone.

“Exercise is important for so many reasons – it increases fitness and improve body shape, but also make you feel mentally and physically energised, helps you to look and feel healthier and reduces stress levels. Exercise disciplines both the body and mind. It really helps in having a positive outlook on life.

“But a healthy lifestyle is not a short term aim – there isn’t a quick fix – it’s a lifelong journey. Set small goals and build on them. It takes three weeks to create a habit, and three months to create a lifestyle. Stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards.”

Emma is a huge advocate of LIFT. She adds: “We’re a society that doesn’t exercise nearly enough, so I was really keen to be involved in the LIFT project – to help show people that even just 20 minutes of gentle exercise 3 to 5 times a week can have a considerable positive effect on both their physical and mental wellbeing.”

For Meglio, it was crucial to work with a passionate fitness professional who had experience of working with people of all fitness levels. One of the core principles of LIFT is that it’s accessible to everyone.

Meglio CEO Barry Keane adds: “Emma really knows her stuff but she’s also passionate about helping people of all fitness levels achieve long-term health. At Meglio, we’re ‘for a better you’, so our values aligned and the partnership was perfect.”

Find out more about LIFT