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Posts tagged ‘Sport’

You only know it, if you are living it.

I attended a seminar about wealth creation, and the speaker T. Harv Eker said that – “You only know it if you are living it.”

He meant it in the context of ‘Don’t take wealth creation advice from someone who isn’t rich!’ but I also think it applies to all other areas of life too, including health.

  • I’ve met weight loss coaches who are fat
  • I’ve met people who are broke, telling you how to make money
  • I’ve met fat unhealthy doctors who smoke
  • I’ve met people who help others quit addictions…who still drink
  • I’ve met personal trainers who aren’t very fit
  • I’ve met people teaching ‘how to make millions online’ who haven’t made millions online
  • I’ve met people teaching property investing who don’t own a large portfolio of investment properties
  • I’ve met people teaching relationship skills who are not in a blissful loving relationship
  • I’ve met people who teach marriage success who have been divorced 2 or 3 times
  • I’ve met nutritional therapists who teach weight loss and good health, who are fat and in poor health
  • I’ve met healers who need healing
  • I’ve met therapists who need therapy

I am sick and tired of this bullshit. Is it just me? Read more

Guest post “The day I lost to MLM”

I very VERY rarely post anything written by anyone else…but I like this, and I wanted to share it with you.

I know a super nice guy called Chris Burgess who runs a great business called “Lift the Bar” helping Personal Trainers improve their careers, maintain professional standards and further their education.

Chris blogged this and I wanted to share it with you, I think it is great.

LTB_email3

The day I lost to MLM

Was about 5 years ago, almost to the day

I remember a client telling me that they were cancelling their session with me because “It’s not working”

We’ve all been there, right? Read more

Fitness gadgets and gimmicks

I feel compelled to have a bit of a rant today…I’m sorry if I ‘knock’ something you like, don’t take it personally!!

Being a health and fitness freak and keen blogger, I am myself subscribed to many other blogs, newsletters and health or fitness related websites, so I receive LOTS of emails about health and fitness related topics. Some are great, and some are, well, crap. If you are a regular follower of my blog, you’ll know already that I try my best not to ‘name names’ as I don’t like to be negative or put anyone else down, I just don’t think there is any need. So I’m not going to name any person, company or product in this post if I can help it, I’ll be purposefully vague when it comes to names.

There’s an app for that

I read a lot, and for the last 17 years I have been professionally involved in the tech business, specifically in the mobile phone business. Over the last year or two, I have a growing nagging feeling that there are aspects of ‘the smartphone boom’ that are really starting to bother me. Increasingly, I worry that the devices in our pockets are doing so much for us, that our brains (especially the common sense part, and the ‘gumption’ part) are in danger of atrophying away to nothing. I am bothered by the ridiculous range of apps available, and the ridiculous ways they are encouraging people to become lazier, and the ridiculous ways they are filling all our time with nonsense activities. Image for infographic

In the last week, I have read of several truly ridiculous new apps. There is one that’s just been released which links a certain make of car (in the US) with a certain extremely popular make of phone. So you can buy the app, sync your phone with your car, and the app enables you to unlock the car and start the engine from a distance, as you walk towards the car and prepare to get in to it. I am forced to ask the question…WHY? Why the hell does anyone need such an app? Why would any developer/company bother to put up the development costs to make such an app? Are people really THAT lazy or in that much of a hurry?

Another new app helps people find their car, if they can’t remember where they parked it in a car park. This particular app specialises in doing this in places with no mobile signal, so it uses Bluetooth or satellite signals. Oh, however did we survive the last 50 years without such a thing? Read more

Taking a holistic approach to supreme good health

Today, I feel the need to have a little rant. Well, maybe not a rant, more of an impassioned plea, or a ‘call to sanity’ perhaps.

I have a line of thought that’s been rolling around my mind for a few days…not about any one person in particular, but sparked by several separate conversations with several people over the last 2 or 3 weeks, but this stuff applies to ALL of us.

This is so important, I hope I can put it into words intelligently, with care and respect.

Health : Balance : Being an all-rounder

MotherNaturesDiet is all about ‘supreme good health and abundant natural energy’.

  • It’s not a crash weight loss plan
  • It’s not a fad diet (I hate even using the word ‘diet’ because it’s so often wrongly used to mean ‘temporary weight loss plan’ and that is NOT what the word diet really means!)
  • It’s not a ‘6-pack abs’ plan
  • It’s not a ‘build bigger muscles’ or ‘get huge’ ‘get hench’ ‘get jacked and ripped’ plan
  • It’s not just for endurance athletes to help them run a faster marathon or complete their first Ironman
  • It’s not a cookery course
  • It’s not an exercise class
  • But it can HELP with all those things

 

MotherNaturesDiet is a LIFESTYLE to help you achieve supreme good health and have abundant natural energy. The goals of MND are to help you live longer, feel great, have more energy TO DO MORE with your life, to SHOW UP with more vibrancy and energy in your work, your relationships, your family, your chosen sport, your whole life!

Yes, MND will help you maintain a lean healthy body, you can use MND to lose weight, to get ripped, to build muscle, to run faster or further and much more, but only because MND is all about being HEALTHY on the inside, it’s about getting your body working optimally, removing the blocks that are stopping you from making forward progress in any area of your life, so you can do more, be more and have more of whatever you want. So if you WANT to build big muscles, get a 6-pack, run a faster marathon, complete an Ironman, put more drive and energy into your career, put more passion and energy into your intimate relationship, have more energy for parenting, for your chosen sport or whatever else YOU want, then MND will help you to be healthy inside and out, to act as the BASE platform for you to build, be or do whatever it is you want. MND can’t do it all for you, but it will help you to have loads of energy, feel great, not get sick and perform at YOUR best to do whatever you want to do.

This is what ‘supreme good health and abundant natural energy’ is all about. Read more

MND is 3 years old – the story so far.

Today is my birthday!

I am 44 years young today, and inside I am literally bursting and screaming with stuff I want to say and do and share with you.

Apologies if the below is all over the place, I just have a lot to say today and I’m kinda ‘blurting this out’ in a big mess of words and pictures, so it might not be terribly coherent, but who gives a damn, it doesn’t have to be coherent, it has to mean something, and it has to help you to be the best you that you can be, and nothing else really matters.

Summary of this post:

  • Elsewhere on this site, is ‘My Story’ in words. Below is a shorter version of ‘My Story’ but more in pictures
  • Changing your life and your body is a journey – it takes time, but it’s worth working for
  • What is MND and what’s it really all about?

I started MND 3 years ago, the first year was “formulating the 12 Core Principles” while I was living about 95% as per MND, it was still in the refining stage, and then I set the 12 CP in stone and have been blogging about it since this day 2 years ago, my 42nd Birthday in July 2012.

3 years of living the MND way – then and now

I’ve been living the MND way for 3 years now…the first year it was all still evolving, the last 2 years I have been living completely by the 12 Core Principles.

If you haven’t yet read My Story, and if you have half an hour spare and want to read about my long journey ‘from fat to fit’ then please follow this link and check it out.

During my decades as a fat guy, I was pretty camera-shy, and I spent years hunting down and destroying pictures of fat old me, so I don’t have many. If I had ever known there would come a day that I was no longer ashamed of how I looked, I might have gone to some effort to keep more of them! Read more

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!! (And other bullsh*t beliefs!)

Forgive me going off on a bit of a rant today, but I was just having this conversation with a friend and I thought I would share this with you, as it’s a relevant ‘case study’ and applies to loads of people.

What is this post about?

  • There are a LOT of people around who are not over weight, so they take an ‘I can eat whatever rubbish I like’ attitude to their diet
  • This is deep-held belief that people have, that if they are not grossly over weight, then there is no further connection between diet and health
  • Last time I checked the scientific literature, slim people still get sick. Slim people still suffer coughs, colds, flu. Slim people still suffer chronic fatigue, tiredness, skin conditions and bowel conditions. Slim people still get heart disease. Slim people still get cancer. Slim people still die! Last time I spoke to one of my Doctor friends, I don’t recall “Not being over weight” as a cure-all solution to living forever and never getting ill.

Conclusions in this post:

  • There are many factors involved in whether or not you are over weight
  • Body fat serves numerous function in your body, some of them are involved in keeping you healthy
  • Eating a diet high in junk food affects your health in many ways above and beyond whether or not you carry excess body fat

Read on to learn more.

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!!

I hear this one a LOT. I could write an entire book (seriously, 100,000 words, 200 pages, no problem!) just tackling this myth and all the threads and sub-topics that come off this. In the interests of time and sanity, I will try to keep this post brief, as you and I don’t have time for a whole book today! Read more

Real world, real workouts, real nutrition – keeping it simple and REAL with MND

As I wrote earlier this week, to help you get through my long posts, from now on I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • We live in a time when we are drowning in information, the Internet offers more health, diet and fitness advice than you could ever read
  • The trouble is, most of it is rubbish!
  • The vast majority of diet and fitness information online, is unnecessarily complicated, usually because someone is trying to sell you something
  • I see far too many people wrapped up in all this time-wasting, complex detail, and yet they don’t have ‘the basics’ covered

Main conclusions:

  • In my opinion, the basics are simple things we can all do – eat real food, stay well hydrated, and demonstrate a solid. basic level of strength and fitness that can be adapted to all sports and fitness programs
  • Be able to run a few miles, do a few push-ups, lift your own bodyweight on a chinning bar – this is simple, basic stuff

Read on to learn more.

The diet and fitness industry online

In recent days, I’ve spent a few hours reading a variety of ‘health and nutrition’ pages on Facebook. I don’t want to put anyone else down, and I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet (well, maybe a bit, MND is the best page on Facebook!!)…but I have to say, there really is a total load of rubbish out there. There are loads of sites promoting supplements, loads focussed on weight loss, loads for body building, there are ‘disease-specific’ support groups, there are ‘tone up your tummy’ type diet pages, but there is an overwhelming amount of noise, with very little practical advice and sales-pitch-free useful information lost in the general hubbub of attention seeking marketing.

I’m not saying MotherNaturesDiet is all things to everyone, but this page is about REAL world stuff. I’m not a personal trainer, fitness model, yoga goddess, body builder or some other health and fitness professional. I’m a ‘normal’ guy, I have young kids, a day job and a busy life. I was fat and unhealthy for 20 years and I smoked and drank and made poor choices. But after 2 decades of making those poor choices, I figured out how to be healthy, and now I am sharing what I know with YOU. Read more

Has anyone got a copy of this month’s ‘How to Breathe’ magazine…?

I stopped in at Sainsbury’s the other day to buy a bunch of flowers, and I spotted this magazine on the shelf – ‘Womens Walking’

What? Does someone think women need a bi-monthly magazine to tell them how to walk now? Is this a joke? Is it April 1st?

Look, I don’t want to put down anyone who engages in physical exercise – walking is the #1 best exercise going and we should all walk every day and I regularly encourage you to get up, get out and go walk. So I am not down on walking, and not criticising anyone who pro-actively makes an effort to get out and walk more often. BUT, I think this is a classic example of the complete rip-off of the ‘diet and health industry’ that they try to cash-in on healthier lifestyles, by trying to convince people there is some kind of science around going for a walk. There isn’t, don’t fall for it. I did NOT look in the magazine, it would have likely wound me up too much…but what comes next, I can imagine, you probably need special shoes that cost £130 quid, and you need nutrition tips, a hydration pack, blister-resistant socks, a training plan?

IMG_1912The articles  – kit guide, events, routes, weight loss. Folks, please don’t be fooled by the over-complication and over-scientific-complexity of going out for a walk…just walk! Any time, any place, any weather, just go for a walk. Do you think you need a ‘kit guide’ for that? Let me help:

Hydration – take a bottle of water.

Really long walk – take 3 bottles of water.

Fuel on long walks – take some food, carrots, apples, hard boiled eggs.

Lots of water and food to carry – get a rucksack – tends to have an opening at the top, you put stuff in then close it up and carry it.

Looks like it might rain – take a jacket.

Routes – find a hill, woods, a forest, a coastal path, looks for signs that say ‘Footpath’ – and go explore. Buy a local map.

Really, I just don’t think it needs to get any more complicated than that. You don’t need to spend a load of money. Read more

Eating to Fuel Endurance Training and Long Distance Races

A subject I am often asked about is ‘what is the best food to eat for marathon training, ultra-marathon running, Ironman training’ and so on. I have lots of friends involved in endurance sport, and I have a reasonable amount of experience myself, and there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about fuel for endurance sport. Personally, I have been in long distance endurance events with far more experienced runners than myself and seen them fail and drop out because they ‘got it wrong’ with their fuel, yet in my own experience, such problems are entirely avoidable most of the time.

This post will explain:

  • Why complex carbs are not the best fuel for endurance races
  • Why complex carbs are not required in great quantities pre-race (carb loading)
  • Why gels and bars are not the best fuel to consume during a race
  • How to be ‘a fat burner’, not ‘a sugar burner’
  • Understand how to unlock thousands of calories of energy for long races

Read more

Workout of the Week – The Push-Pull Workout

Monster workout today!

This one is NOT easy!

I call this my ‘push-pull’ workout. The idea is to do to 2 exercise that use different muscles, or direct the force in opposite directions (such as pushing, versus pulling…squatting versus jumping, etc.)for alternating sets, with no rest in between, until completely fatigued.

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2013 Popular Posts #4: The MND Guide to Body Composition – free eBook

  • How do we know what is ‘too fat’? We all know that it is unhealthy to be obese, but at what level does body fat start to become ‘too much’?
  • How do we define ‘too thin’ at the other end of the scale? Being grossly underweight can be as harmful as being grossly overweight. Where is the balance point?
  • Should men all aspire to the stereotype ‘6 pack hunk’ and are women unfairly pressured by the media to be ‘rail thin’ like catwalk models?
  • Is it healthier to be ‘a little chubby’ or ‘skinny as a rake’ or somewhere between the two?
  • Is it healthier to be ‘build like a brick outhouse’ or ‘built like a racing whippet’? IS it healthy to build lots of big muscles?
  • In short, what is the optimum amount of fat and the optimum amount of muscle men and women should aim for in order to achieve supreme good health and longevity?

This little book will answer those questions for you.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/08/13/the-mnd-guide-to-body-composition-free-ebook/

chicken salad

127 Weight Loss Tips from MotherNaturesDiet – free eBook

For so many people, losing weight is a top life priority.

Millions of people flock to the health and wellness industry every year looking for help, looking for answers, looking for solutions.

Well here is a solution for you, and one that won’t cost you any money, and it doesn’t involve buying supplements, so-called ‘superfoods’ or some new-fangled piece of home workout equipment.

Please download this free book and share it with your friends and family if they are interested in being healthier and losing unwanted excess weight.

127 Weight Loss Tips Book from MotherNaturesDiet

I hope you like this little book and find it useful. As you have probably figured out by now, MotherNaturesDiet is the no-tricks, no-gimmicks, common-sense approach to good health and fitness. That’s all you’ll find in this little book, just lashings of common sense and simple ideas, things you can do to lose weight and feel great.

Please share it with friends and let me know what you think, I always love to hear from you.

Stay happy, stay healthy.

 

Training hard to resist aging and weakening

Some of you regular readers may have noticed a lot of recent posts related to working out, perhaps with more focus on strenuous workouts and less on the gentle workouts. This is not always the case, here on MND I talk about the need for regular gentle exercise – walking, outdoor play, an easy bike ride, a nice swim – but I also talk about the need for more strenuous exercise.

I am 43 years old. I keep myself super-fit. As a benchmark, at any time, with no warning or preparation time, I could bang out 500 push-ups in an hour and then jump up and run 20 miles. That’s a level of fitness which I maintain pretty much year round.

However, I notice that a LOT, I mean the vast majority, of people I meet in my age group, do not maintain anything like that level of fitness (in fact, most people I meet in their 20s and 30s too) and most people consider me to be rather ‘extreme’, an exercise addict and some kind of ‘fitness freak’. But if you re-read this old post from a year ago, and think about our ancestors before 15,000 years ago, they HAD to be this fit all the time, throughout their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

Mortality rates in our ancient ancestors

While there has been much discussion about ‘caveman’ not living to a ripe old age, the data is not straightforward and should be carefully analysed. Read more

Making it trendy to be healthy

Street gymnastics are cool, from free running, to martial arts, to downhill mountain biking, skateboarding and extreme cheerleading – street gymnastics are ‘in’ and that can only be a good thing for the youth segment.

I saw this video this morning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdsioXA9rAQ

Read more

My fastest run in 2 years

If you have read My Story then you will know that I enjoy running, and over 2009-2011 I ran a few marathons and mountain races. You will also know that I had to stop running near the end of 2011, in November, whilst training for the Las Vegas marathon, because of a persistent knee injury. The knee ended up needing surgery and I didn’t run at all, not even once, for a year from the end of November 2011 through to around about October or November time in 2012.

Since November 2012, I started running again, just a little at a time, building my running stamina back up.

A couple of weeks ago, late in August, I had my first ‘long’ run in 2 years. I enjoyed an awesome fun run on Brecon Beacons, running a total of 18 miles up and down, including a lot of climbing.

Read more

Changing standards in what it takes to be a ‘muscle man’

This is Charles Atlas, the original strong man of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Charles Atlas was considered to be ‘huge’, a hunk of a bodybuilder, and the epitome of masculine development and peak fitness.

It fascinates me….just 60 years ago, this was the epitome of “phwoar what a muscle bound hunk of health and fitness he is” yet today’s media would say this is “smooth, barely athletic”.

The media set impossible standards…women are expected to be rail thin like catwalk models and men are pressured to have square pecs, washboard abs, rugby-player thighs, bulging biceps and a big square jaw. The ridiculous ‘Hollywood standard’ that we are all supposed to meet is driving our young women, and men, to exercise obsession and eating disorders.

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Motivation: it doesn’t matter WHERE you get it, just that you DO

There is a saying 'Motivation: it doesn't matter WHERE you get it, just that you DO' and I tend to agree.

One thing I know we all suffer from is body dysmorphia - where we see something in the mirror that isn't really there. Often, women see themselves fat and saggy, when in fact that look fabulous, and men all think they look like Sly Stallone when they actually look more like the Michelin man.

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Avoiding injuries, training and eating ‘caveman style’

One year ago this day, I fractured my spine in two places falling 6 foot onto a concrete floor while training.

To be honest, I have a very high pain threshold, but that accident did hurt quite a lot. Especially after 24 hours, then it really kicked in and for a week or so all movement was very painful and very difficult and very limited.

I guess there is a certain amount of potential danger involved in the way I train. I climb rocks and trees, dangle from branches and bars, jump over things and run over uneven grass and mud. I have suffered a number of injuries, such as twisted ankles, stress fracture in my tibia, shin splints, fractured rib, several fractured fingers and toes, a couple of muscle sprains, compressed disc in my back, muscle spasms and the obvious trashed knee (from running, I had surgery last year) and a variety of cuts and scratches.

Life can be dangerous

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Doing Nothing is a Backward Step

A friend reminded me of this line of thought yesterday, so I thought I would blog about this today.

My friend lamented that he had previously worked hard for 10 months to improve his physical conditioning, but then just 3 months of taking his eye off the ball and all his hard work was lost.

Let me give you an analogy that might resonate with some of you. This is a running story, and I wrote this for a business book I published back in 2009, but it is very relevant to diet and exercise and how we treat our health and our bodies in general.

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Sick of Eating Meat!!!

This ‘headline’ will get the attention of my vegetarian friends!!

I trained hard early this morning, then came home and needed a good breakfast to feed my body after training, and to nourish me for the day, as I went out rock climbing all day and I knew I probably wouldn’t get the chance to eat much during the day.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, I eat a lot of meat. Animal products make up about 50% of my diet (measured by calories) and fruit and veggies make up the other half. I like meat and when I started on my ‘paleo’ journey it seemed like a treat to have so much tasty meat in my diet...succulent roasts for lunch, juicy sausages and eggs for breakfast, tasty chicken any time, any day, any meal. But I have to say, since I massively ramped up my meat intake about 10 months ago, that novelty has now worn off, and while I still enjoy the majority of my meals, there are days I feel like I can’t handle any more meat!!

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Just Do It. Eat clean. Workout. No more excuses!

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone about motivation. This person was like a walking, talking book of excuses...oh, no sorry they were not excuses, to this person they were 'legitimate reasons' why those healthy meals didn't get cooked, 'good reasons' why the wrong things seemed to be in the kitchen cupboards and the fridge, 'genuine reasons' why those hard sweaty workouts were not happening, 'real reasons' why that belly was still hanging over the trousers.

So often, many of us talk a ton of bullshit to everyone who will listen, and we talk the most bullshit to ourselves. I know, I've been there, done that, for years, as I ate pizza, drank beer and rolled up another cigarette I would trip out all the reasons why I hadn't worked out that day or why I 'needed' that beer and that cigarette to unwind from my stressful day.

Bullshit. There are no reasons, just bullshit excuses. In truth, it's all about priorities.

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Controversial Rant – The Diet Industry is ONE BIG CON!!!

Some days I get REALLY annoyed about the whole 'diet industry', it makes me so angry that there is so much misinformation out there. I was looking at another nutrition training course the other day, costing a couple of thousand dollars, and selling itself as ‘cutting edge’ and ‘representing the new paradigm’ in diet and nutrition. This drives me crazy, really, there is NO cutting edge, NO new paradigm, there are no ‘amazing secrets’ or ‘miracle cures’...this is all just marketing speak to get you to buy diet books, supplements, powders, potions and fad exercise equipment.

I get so frustrated – we shouldn’t be looking for ‘the cutting edge’, or ‘the latest thing’, there is no ‘21st century solution’, in fact I would say the majority of the human population has never been so malnourished as they are now, they – WE – have never eaten so badly as we do now...yet at the same time, more humans eat more calories than ever. People are stuffed and fat, but malnourished at the same time, and hence suffering from such a wide array of health complaints, diseases and physical malfunction.

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How can I help you?

Your questions...do you have any health related questions you want to ask me?

How can I help you?

What questions do you have about health, nutrition, disease prevention, having more energy and passion, exercise and natural healthy living?

What health challenges do you face?

What diet/cooking/food questions do you have?

What exercise challenges do you face?

Read more

Exercise while you travel

When away from home, as well as finding it harder to stick to a clean diet, many people find it harder to fit in regular exercise.

While I was on holiday with my family, I didn't have my home gym available, and there was not a commercial gym to be found for miles around, so I had to improvise. The good thing about being experienced in using my own body weight for exercise, is that I can usually work out any time, any place, without too much trouble.

Squat the kids!

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The 3 major problems with most ‘diets’ and health ‘experts’

I think that most ‘experts’ in health, diet and nutrition are well-intentioned, but many are making the whole healthy lifestyle thing more complicated than it needs to be.

As you can imagine, with my passionate personal interest in all things to do with health, nutrition, food and longevity, I read a LOT of books, blogs, articles and magazines, and I listen to many hours of videos, presentations and seminars on health related topics. I have to say, the vast majority of the material I read and listen to, fails to win my complete support because of any one or more of these 3 most common problems.

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Is it Healthy to be a Tough Guy?

Tough Guy race, winter edition, Jan 2013.

On the last Sunday in January, I ran in the Tough Guy winter race, which was a cold, muddy race on a farm near Birmingham. I have run a few off-road events before, so the mud and the 'puddles' were nothing new to me, but Tough Guy has a well-earned reputation for being the hardest event of the genre, worldwide, and it deserves that reputation, it is a tough challenge and many fail to complete the whole course. Of the 5000 crazy men and women who entered the race, only 4500 started, and only 3500 finished.

I enjoyed it, for the most part, as much as anyone can enjoy the cold water. I guess we rarely truly enjoy these things at the time, but I do feel very pleased and proud with myself afterwards! But there was one bit that was an extremely unwelcome surprise.

The torture chamber

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Running Marathons and Goal Setting

Today’s picture is from April 2011, I was running in the Exmoor trail marathon (a CTS event run by EnduranceLife – excellent events, I can thoroughly recommend them) and I finished 1st in ‘Male Veterans’ and 9th overall, with a finish time of 4 hours 40 minutes and 59 seconds. The course was approximately 27.1 miles and included well over 5000 feet of ascent, including one very big, long, steep climb just 5 miles from the end, which was torture on tired legs.

This time of year, with New Year just around the corner, I always spend time thinking about goals and challenges. I ran a lot of marathons in 2011, that year my fitness was one of my big goals and I pushed it to an all-time high. As well as a ‘first-place-in-age-group’ marathon finish, I ran a sub 3:15 road marathon in Copenhagen, aged 40, I ran a 10k PB of exactly 42 mins, I completed the National 3 Peaks Challenge inside 24 hours, I completed 1014 good-form clean push-ups in 1 hour and I cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 9 days, a total of 963 miles. I certainly was ‘fit’ in the sense of cardio-vascular performance and the mental attitude for endurance sport.

Broader goals

As regular readers of this blog will know...

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MNDs Christmas Survival Tips!

It is almost Christmas, and we all know that the holidays are a testing time for anyone trying to lose weight or get fit, but in truth I don’t see any reason why we can’t enjoy Christmas, indulge in a few extra luxuries, relax a little, but not throw weeks or months of hard work in the bin.

This is my approach to surviving the Christmas period without my waistline and energy levels paying the price.

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Respect for your age

I have been pushing some pretty intense workouts the in recent weeks, training hard with weights, and I notice how when I really work my muscles hard, it now takes me at least 3 days to stop aching and fully recover. I don’t mind pain, I could train after 1 day or 2 no problem, but I will get progressively weaker. In order to train and get progressively stronger, I now need 3 days between really heavy, intense workouts.

It's an age thing!

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Just Get Up and Do It

These days, I am pretty much an exercise addict. Not obsessively (maybe I was a couple of years ago...) but I just find it easy these days, it’s part of my life, I workout 5 or 6 days each week and rarely find it any effort to fit it in.

But there are days we all struggle, days it is an effort.

On the days I feel tired, the days I lack motivation, the days I am rushing around and I tell myself I just don’t have the time, the hardest bit is the first 5 minutes. In fact, the first minute. Actually, it's just the first 10 seconds.

Just start

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Regular Exercise and Weight Training

Too many people forget that a healthy lifestyle is an active lifestyle, and should include a variety of exercise and activities. Think about caveman’s lifestyle compared to ours today. He didn’t have a car, a sofa, an armchair, a soft bed, pillows, cushions, a thick duvet or a padded work chair at his desk. He didn’t work in an office, he didn’t have a desk, he didn’t drive a car or truck for 9 to 10 hours each day, he didn’t sit down all day.

I often think about the work caveman would have had to do. Imagine the running involved in chasing down an animal such as a wild boar. Caveman would have had to chase the animal at pace through woodland for long enough to exhaust the boar, before finally getting close enough to attack his prey, and then fight to the death. Caveman may been armed with a stone-tipped spear, to bring the animal down, but in all eventuality, once wounded, he would have had to go in for the kill, and he probably would have used a ‘knife’ made from a sharpened bone from a previous kill, or a pointed stick, and he would have had to attack, wrestle, and kill the animal by hand. This 200 pound boar with short tusks, hard hooves and strong teeth, would have been fighting for its life. Think about how much work caveman had to do to secure his meal. He had to be a strong middle-distance runner, a careful sprinter (minding hazards on the forest floor – there is no hospital if he broke his ankle), and a tough cage-fighter (no tetanus jab for cuts and scratches).

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Fresh air and rock climbing

I was lucky today and managed to arrange a day out rock climbing (my #1 favourite pastime and in my opinion the best sport in the world!)

A friend and I went to a great place called Wintour’s Leap near Chepstow in South Wales, and we even enjoyed some blue skies and warm sunshine.

Rock climbing is an excellent ‘primal’ form of exercise…combining fresh air and time spent in a natural environment, with muscular exercise, and usually some walking to get to and from the rocks. And it is plain great fun, I love it!

Persistence pays

This week [Aug 2012] I am – as we all are - completely inspired by the Olympic athletes thrilling us all with their medal-winning performances.

We sit and watch these superstars perform, and we see their moments of glory – 10 seconds of sprint, 12 seconds over hurdles, a long or high jump, a massive throw or several fast laps of the track, but in these moments of glory too few of us truly understand and appreciate the immense effort that it has taken to get to this brief moment when all the magic happens.

Winning Gold

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Age and sleep

This week has been extremely busy, and although I am used to working long hours, I admit to feeling a little weary. I get up at about 6 every day, and I either train early or start work right away, and I pretty much keep at it til about 7pm. So 12 to 13 hours of work, only stopping to eat and exercise, then I spend an hour or so between 7 and 8:30 eating and chatting with my kids and putting them to bed, then I work again from 8:30 until about 11 most nights. I get to bed around 11:30, maybe read a book (about nutrition or exercise or disease prevention, of course) for a few minutes, and then sleep around midnight. No two days are the same, but that's a typical average kind of day.

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Sports Products and Sports/Energy Drinks

BBC Panorama just aired a TV show titled “The Truth About Sports Products” which told us that sports drinks, running shoes and supplements are basically all a total waste of money.

The presenter closed the show by saying that the best approach to sport and exercise for 99% of us is “to eat a healthy balanced diet, drink plain old water as and when we feel thirsty, and get out in the fresh air and exercise, often.”

Sounds exactly like the basis of what I have been saying, really. 🙂
MND is just good common sense.

p.s. The show explored bare foot running. For further reading on the topic of barefoot running, check out the superb book ‘Born To Run’ by Christopher McDougal.

Living the MND way – 42 yrs old Today!

Hey!! It's my birthday! I'm 42 years old today!

As from today, I am 'officially' living by my 12 Core Principles completely now. I have pretty much been living this way for a the last 6 to 9 months anyway, but now I am being more strict.

What you can measure, you can manage

That old business saying is true, you can only manage what you measure, so I think the best way to start is with a full set of my stats, as follows:
•Age: 42
•Height: 6 ft 1 in (186 cm)
•Weight...

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