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YOUR FIRST HALF MARATHON

LO O

MOWE’R K! NT E HL Y

R U N w C Y C L E w S W I M w N U T R I T I O N w A D V E N T U R E wT R A I N I N G w C H A L L E N G E TRAINING PLAN

BULLET PROOF YOUR BODY

The workout for any challenge

BEGINNER'S NER'S GUIDE TO CYCLO-CROSS

PLUS

734 marathons

From 15-stone smoker to ultra-running hero

SWIMMING FITNESS TRAINING PLANS Arrests, blisters and fur-lined tights Trekking across Mongolia

MEET THE INDIANA JONES OF MOUNTAIN BIKING ISSUE 11 DEC 2012

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> 10 flu-fighting foods > Night riding skills > Beat back pain > London-Paris triathlon

WORLD’S TOUGHEST SPORTIVE

TESTED: WINTER RUNNING SHOES + CYCLO-CROSS BIKES


Fitness Plan

Bullet ProoF Your BodY Escape injury and ensure you’re ready for any outdoor challenge with our super-simple body-strengthening regime Words Paul Larkins Pictures Stuart Collins

Y

our armchair has a lot to answer for when it comes to sports injuries. While it is undoubtedly comfy and rather inviting, it’s the slouch-inducing, pillow-like softness that’s so damaging when it comes to muscular support – or more accurately the lack of it. While chilling out in front of the tV, your posture suffers – hips sink, calf muscles shorten and mobility decreases. slowly but surely, 21st-century bodies are being weakened… and we haven’t even mentioned the office chair, which brings its own perils. Eight hours spent in the same position is not good for your body’s sporting future. Backs, hips and knees have never had it so bad. successful endurance sport is about the accumulation of months and years of progressively harder training, and central to the success of all that is your body’s resilience to injury. to succeed your body needs to grow and adapt with each month; starting again because of an injury slows that progression, and in some cases can end a sporting career. so clearly, an essential part of any training regime is understanding how your body works, or (perhaps more importantly when it comes to injury prevention) how it ought to work. “What we need to recognise first,” says rob Earle, England athletics Flying coach in the eastern region, “is that with just minor adjustments to our body position and body strength we can ensure everything works pretty much as it should. Because of how we spend our lives today – working on computers, sitting at

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desks – we are all prone to incorrect posture, poor hip strength, lack of mobility and so on. and while no single thing is particularly damaging, when they come together sportsmen can become prone to injury.” the great news, continues Earle, is that altering all this doesn’t take long, and while nothing can guarantee you an injury-free future, the exercises he recommends will go a long way towards promoting that. so how does his regime work? First, Earle says you need to ask yourself a simple set of questions that will help you build a bullet-proofing system. You need to ask yourself just why you get injured, or why you might in future. is it down to poor physical preparation? is your training too tough? have your upped your workload suddenly? is your body working through a different range of motion – for example have you started sprinting instead of running slowly? it’s all pretty straightforward stuff, but once you have those possibilities in your mind, it’s easy to understand the importance of the simple exercises Earle uses. “they are about training your movement patterns, not muscular strength,” he says. “Keep that in mind while you’re doing the exercises. You’re not looking for huge power and speed, rather you are trying to mimic exactly how your body would work in a perfect world.” With that in mind, devote 15 minutes twice a week to the following workout and you’ll be well on the way towards bullet-proofing your body. continues over>


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Rainbow warrior: Zdenek Stybar, of the Czech Republic, powers his way to a second Cyclo-cross World Championship

Beginner’s guide

CyClo Cross

For a bad-weather adrenaline buzz, nothing beats the mud, sweat and cheers of cyclo-cross racing. Its mix of cycling, running and strength training makes it a complete winter workout Words Mike Cotty

A

first british winner in the tour de france since 1903, then a stratospheric 12 Olympic medals by team Gb in London: to say that UK cycling is on the up is an understatement. what’s more, it’s a sport we can enjoy all year long. what do we mean by that? welcome, one and all, to the winter wonderland known as cyclo-cross. According to legend, cyclo-cross was born over a century ago, when ‘roadies’ would race each other to the next town to maintain fitness during the off-season. there was no set course, just man and machine against each other and anything that got in their way. Across farmers’ fields, through streams, over fences... you name it, they rode or ran it. And when frenchman Octave Lapize attributed his win in the 1910 tour de france to his off-season cyclo-cross racing, the sport began to take shape, evolving in the 1950s into a discipline fully sanctioned by the Union Cycliste internationale. so even in its infancy, cyclo-cross formed the backbone of the ultimate winter workout, and while riders no longer have to hurdle head-high hedgerows or wade through alligatorinfested waters to get to the finish, they’ve by no means got it easy. nowadays

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competitors face challenging courses built on public parks and playing fields, with each lap about 2-3km in length. what makes the sport really stand out from the crowd, though, is the multitude of terrain a rider will face, from asphalt to hard-pack trail and grass to mud, littered with off cambers, steep banks, planked barriers and even the occasional sandpit. it not only tests a rider’s fitness but also their bike handling and skill. Obstacles and technical sections are linked by a series of serpentine bends and tight switchbacks, forcing you to make explosive efforts time and time again. there are events week-in-week-out from september to the end of January, so it’s easy to maintain winter motivation as you progress to mastering the silky skills of a seasoned ’cross rider. but beware: it can become addictive. You’ll need to make sure you have a clean towel at work, as your regular commute turns from functional to frenetic, jumping away from the lights to simulate a race start, punching the pedals out of a corner or slicing your way through the park from tarmac to trail. Oh, and as if that’s not enough to cure your winter blues, there’s one last thing that we forgot to mention. Cyclo-cross is a heck of a lot of fun! continues over>


PiCTure: TiM De Waele/Corbis

december 2012 outdoor fitness |

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Sunrise during his cross-Channel swim was a highlight of Bayliss’s epic triathlon

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ulTImATe eveNT

Words Ben Wilson Pictures Ryan Bowd

RACING ARCH TO ARC Mark Bayliss spends 13 hours a day at work – but he still squeezed in enough training to run, swim and cycle 290 miles from London to Paris, breaking the world record. He’s proof that even the busiest desk jockeys can achieve superhuman feats in the great outdoors…

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leave your coMfort zone

#01 My first Half MaratHon In the first in a new series following ordinary people pushing their limits, Charlie Connelly shares his journey from sofa surfer to half-marathon fitness

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december 2012 outdoor fitness |

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PiCTures: ANNie ATKiNs

He’d put it off for decades, but a race on his Dublin doorstep inspired Charlie Connelly to finally get fit


Have bike, will travel... two-wheeled adventurer Hans Rey on a volcano-bagging mission in the Philippines

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adVenTURe HeRo

The

IndIana Jones o f m o u n Ta i n b i k i n g Hans Rey has travelled from Egypt to Peru in search of daredevil two-wheeled adventures. We kept him still for long enough to learn about his most incredible exploits – and how you can follow in his tyre tracks for the ride of a lifetime Words Mark Bailey Pictures Bill Freeman / Alamy; Mesum Verma Photography & Seb Rogers / Alamy

december 2012 outdoor fitness |

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Training PLan

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theConCrete Playground | outdoor fitness december 2012


Urban Gym’s London fitness group limber up for an assault on the Barbican

Stuck in the city? Hate the gym? No problem... there is more to the great outdoors than moor and mountain. The London-based exercise outfit Urban Gym now offers streetwise circuit training in cities across the nation. Here’s how to get involved... Words Warren Pole Pictures Stefan Lubomirski de Vaux

december 2012 outdoor fitness |

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The tortuous road snakes its way up Col d’Izoard, a 23km climb for the riders

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ulTimaTe evenT

7 days, 780km, 21,000m of ascent, 19 mountain passes…

The World’s ToughesT sporTive When you’ve tackled challenging one-day rides, the next logical step is to try a multi-day stage event... at least that’s what Jonathan Manning thought until he took on the Haute Route Pictures Manu Molle

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duncan’s 10-week training plan

this complete 10-week plan is designed to gear you up gradually for a 2.5km swim event, and is based on training in a 25m pool. aim for at least two training sessions a week, and step up the frequency of your training as the big day approaches – next year’s Swimathon Weekend makes a great target on 26th-28th april. and remember: rest days are critical to long-term performance, too.

1

target 850m

You’ll need 30 minutes, a hat, goggles, kick board, drinks (for pre-, during and post-training), energy bar (for post-training) SeSSion Set

effort

reSt

2

target 950m

You’ll need 35 minutes, a hat, goggles, kick board, drinks (pre, during, post), energy bar (post-training) SeSSion Set

Warm up Easy

up to 1 minute after the 4 lengths

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice – without resting

Easy

up to 1 minute after the 3 minutes

maIn SESSIon Hold a float in front of you and kick for 6 lengths using breaststroke or front crawl

moderate

1 minute after each length

Swim 12 lengths using a stroke of your choice

moderate

45 seconds every 2 lengths

Easy

You’ll need 45 minutes, a hat, goggles, kick board, drinks (pre, during, post), energy bar (post-training) effort

Swim 16 lengths front crawl Lying on your back hold a float* above your head or to your chest and kick for 8 lengths using backstroke

Swim for 5 minutes using as many different strokes as you can

moderate

45 seconds every 2 lengths

5

moderate

1 minute after each length

Easy

45 seconds after each length

maIn SESSIon

Easy

effort

30 seconds every 2 lengths

Swim 24 lengths using your favourite stroke. Increase your speed every 4 lengths

Hold a float in front of you and kick for 10 lengths. Build your speed from slow to fast

moderate to hard

45 seconds after each length

Swim for 5 minutes using a different stroke to the one you used for kick

Hold a float in front of you and kick for 18 lengths using your favourite stroke. Increase your speed every 3 lengths

moderate to hard

30 seconds after each length

Swim for 10 minutes using front crawl. aim to swim as many lengths as possible.

moderate to hard

1 minute after the 10 minutes

Hold a float in front of you and kick for 6 lengths using front crawl

Easy

1 minute after each length

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice – without resting

Easy

1 minute after each length

6

target 1,800m

You’ll need 50 minutes, a hat, goggles, kick board, pull buoy, drinks (pre, during, post), energy bar (post-training) SeSSion Set

Easy

up to 1 minute after the 3 minutes

Swim 16 lengths using a stroke of your choice. use 3 different strokes

Easy

15 seconds after each length

Hard

Hard

SWIm doWn Swim for 6 minutes using three different strokes. This can include holding a float in front of you and kicking

up to 1 minute after the 4 lengths

moderate to hard

reSt

effort

Easy

reSt

Warm up

maIn SESSIon

moderate to hard

Easy

SWIm doWn

You’ll need 50 minutes, a hat, goggles, kick board, drinks (pre, during, post), energy bar (post-training)

Hold a float in front of you and kick for 6 lengths using your favourite stroke

Swim 6 lengths using at least 3 different strokes

reSt

Swim 8 lengths using your favourite stroke

Warm up

Easy

Easy

effort

maIn SESSIon

target 1,650m

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice – without resting

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice

Swim 8 lengths using a stroke of your choice.

up to 1 minute after the 4 minutes

SWIm doWn

SeSSion Set

up to 1 minute after the 3 minutes

SWIm doWn

Easy

maIn SESSIon

reSt

Warm up

Swim 20 lengths using front crawl or breaststroke. Increase your speed every second length

SeSSion Set

Warm up

*If you don’t have a float your arms can be by your sides or straight above you in a streamlined position

target 1,450m

SeSSion Set

Swim for 4 minutes using a stroke of your choice – without resting

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice – without resting

SWIm doWn

4

reSt

You’ll need 40 minutes, a hat, goggles, kick board, drinks (pre, during, post), energy bar (post-training)

Warm up

Swim 4 lengths using a stroke of your choice

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice – without resting

effort

3

target 1,250m

30 seconds every 4 lengths

30 seconds every 3 lengths

Easy

up to 1 minute after 16 lengths

maIn SESSIon Hold a float between your legs for 8 lengths using your favourite stroke

Hard

30 seconds every 2 lengths

Swim 8 lengths using your favourite stroke

Hard

30 seconds after each length

Swim 12 lengths using your favourite stroke

Hard

20 seconds every two lengths

Swim 8 lengths using your favourite stroke

Hard

10 seconds after 4 lengths

SWIm doWn Swim 12 lengths using a mixture of strokes

Easy

1 minute every 3 lengths

Swim for 3 minutes using a stroke of your choice

Easy

1 minute after each length

continues over> december 2012 outdoor fitness |

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Gear meet DANiel llOYD Our tester is a professional road racer with nine years’ experience at domestic and World tour level. He rides for British UCi Continental team iG Sigma Sport – but he began his career riding off-road.

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new GeAr

CYCLO-CROSS BIKES tEStEd Whether you plan to go racing or just fancy the odd off-road thrash on the daily commute, there’s a chunky CX model for you Pictures Lloyd Rogers

C

yclo-cross bikes were originally designed to allow road racers to continue their racing through the winter months. They have bigger tyres and more robust framesets, while retaining a physical likeness to standard road bikes – which means they also make great commuters, especially if getting to work is going to be quicker if you use the occasional off-road section. To this day, they offer a perfect alternative to your ‘best bike’ in the changeable (or downright nasty) weather that we in the northern hemisphere are bound to experience over these colder months. Not only are they a little more sturdy and robust than road bikes – with steel or alloy frames, and wheels designed for longevity not aerodynamic performance – they are also built specifically to handle off-road conditions. you’ll find they can really spice up your riding if you’re starting to get a bit stale out on the road.

in testing the six bikes featured over the following pages, our man Daniel lloyd spent hours with each over all sorts of terrain – from normal roads through fast gravel tracks and even technical singletrack, the likes of which they’d rarely encounter, even in a full-blown race. He also got to test them on both dry and muddy trails, to give a true sense of their strengths and weaknesses in all possible conditions. The bikes range in intended use from rugged commuter to full-on racer. read on to find out which one best suits your needs…

“You’ll find these bikes can really spice up your riding if you’re starting to get stale out on the road”

WHAt tO lOOk FOr

è

Frame Due to the mixed terrain that cyclo-cross bikes tackle, frames need to be able to apply power for speed in races without shaking out your fillings. Aluminium frames are common in the cyclo-cross world – unless you’re a top racer, when carbon becomes the material of choice. Frame weight matters in races, where you will inevitably have to carry the bike over certain obstacles. The geometry of frames is designed more for sharp handling on

technical courses than for aerodynamics, and frames also require extra clearance for wheels to avoid clogging with mud. As a rule of thumb, if a cyclo-cross bike has mounts for mudguards or panniers it’s likely to be a more leisure-oriented than race-oriented machine.

è

Brakes Cantilever brakes are standard, but disc brakes are starting to make an appearance, offering the advantage of sharper stopping power and an

improved ability to deal with muddy conditions. A second set of brake levers on the flat part of the bar gives you more riding-position options.

è

Tyres Choose tyres to suit your riding. If you’re primarily going to commute, a slick or semi-slick tyre will be ideal, but the muddier you ride the more you’ll need the grip of knobbly tyres. Tubular tyres are still used in competitions because it’s easier to run them at very low pressures.

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Gear

Gear TesT

winter running shoes

Striding out in winter, you need footwear that both cushions you on the road and gives you traction on a dirty weekend. Modern shoes can deliver, and we’ve tested nine of the best... Words Paul Larkins Pictures Jacques Portal

W

INTER RUNNING is all about mixing road and mud together. More than in the summer, road plays a significant role in just about every runner’s training programme, because often it’s just too dark and unwelcoming to head out on those forest tracks, canal banks or rolling hills that you so enjoyed in August. With that in mind, consider your winter footwear wisely. It needs to be able to

tackle a bit of dirt during your weekend training, but must also treat you right on the roads come evening. More than ever you need to look for cushioning, support and a responsive feel underneath the forefoot. Shoe companies have really got to grips with this lately, and their recent models truly encourage you to drive off from that position. Support plays a role for just about every runner, because nobody wants shoes

crushing inwards (pronating). Some offer more than others, but technical advances mean you no longer need to sacrifice weight for support. New compounds are creating lighter, more flexible models than existed even two years ago. Grip is always an issue in winter. If you mix road and country, don’t go for anything too aggressive. It will quickly wear out, and won’t feel as comfortable on the road.

what to look for in thE PErfECt wintEr ShoE

SUPPORT Training miles demand support for both the heel and arch of your foot

GRIP Make sure you choose the right level of grip for your preferred terrain – road and off-road differ greatly

WEIGhT New sole compounds and breathable upper fabrics have produced lighter, more flexible models

FOREFOOT Look for excellent cushioning and a responsive feel under the forefoot

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BrookS PurEflow £90 A responsive, lightweight shoe which offers acceptable support – that pretty much summarises this model. Brooks has always offered a softer-ride shoe in its range, and this is certainly tops in that department. The forefoot cushioning is exceptional, indeed the Pureflow project is all about encouraging you to drive off from that soft, flexible plate – a running position that not only allows you to move more quickly, but also potentially reduces injury problems. The lightness of these shoes is certainly a plus, although for long, slow, easy runs in mid-winter you might like to consider different models – this one prefers outings on drier days over shorter, quicker distances. It’s certainly up for that Wednesday-night five-miler on the road, but for heavier runners in particular, it may not work so well on a 90-minute Sunday thrash around the park. Put them on for a quick blast on a sunny afternoon. Rating 8/10 More info brooksrunning.com


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OF issue 11 rutland  

The essential guide to fitness and physical exercise

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