NEW Brick Club at Maindy Leisure Centre

spinning classes

Brick club has moved!

Our brick club sessions have moved from Penarth Leisure Centre to Maindy Leisure Centre. These sessions are a group 90 minute bike and run session, where indoor structured cycling intervals are followed by running speed work outside. Coach Lawrence guides you through the session plan and each individual work to their own abilities. 

  • Location: Maindy Leisure Centre, Cardiff.
  • When: Tuesday’s at 1900. 
  • We use the Kaiser bikes (with power meters), before a quick change into running kit. 
  • Hi-Viz and a head torch recommended during winter.
  • Newcomers welcome! 
  • Booking required.
  • £5 per session.

For more details and booking information, check out coach Lawrence's web page

6633 Arctic Ultra: October training update

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After our first blog post on the 6633 Arctic Ultra (6633 Arctic Ultra.....setting the scene) I thought I'd give you an update on my training for October and a few updates on November and beyond. 

October has been a strange month for training for the 6633 Arctic Ultra, I was away with a friend/coached athlete working on a TV documentary for 2 weeks (documentary to be aired in December on BBC Wales), then we hiked/ran from Prestatyn to south Wales, then had a week VERY easy to recover from that trip, then got back into training, so this month isn't what I'd call a 'normal' month. Anyway, the training hours break down as:

  • Running (pure running): 9hr 40mins
  • Walk/hike/run (mixture of all): 41hr 5mins
  • Strength: 6hr 45mins
  • Misc (cycling): 1hr 

My training for the 6633 Arctic Ultra will be a lot about having 'time on feet', getting used to being out in the mountains, getting strong and not so much about pure running, hence the reason why you'll see from my training log (above) lots of walking and hiking (weighted hikes and tyre pulls too) and not so much just normal running. 

Read more: 6633 Arctic Ultra: October training update

Vo2 max testing now available at WhittleFit


IMG 2078Vo2 max testing is now available with WhittleFit coach Lawrence Cronk. So what is Vo2 max and why might you need to know what yours is?

Vo2 Max is a measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen a person can utilise during intense exercise. Vo2 Max essentially shows an individual’s ‘potential’ or ‘ceiling.’ Vo2 ​Max testing is regularly used by elite and professional athletes and is regarded as the most effective way to measure cardiovascular fitness and individualise training. Our test not only provides a Vo2 Max score but also pinpoints Aerobic and Anaerobic Threshold heart rate points.
 

We provide you with the same high-quality performance data you would receive if you visited a university or hospital in a friendly, accessible environment. Our aim is to enable all athletes from seasoned professionals to complete beginners the opportunity to reach their potential through comprehensive testing data. 

Read more: Vo2 max testing now available at WhittleFit

6633 Arctic Ultra......setting the scene with coach Mark!

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So I've decided on my A race for 2019, it's going to be a VERY special race, it's called the 6633 Arctic Ultra and is billed as "the toughest, coldest, windiest ultra distance footrace on the planet". Yikes!!! 

The race: The 6633 Arctic Ultra has been run by Martin and Sue Like, who run the Likeys outdoor store in Brecon, for the last 10 years. It's a non-stop, 380-mile self-supported foot race in Canada, starting at Eagle Plains in the Yukon, passing through the Arctic Circle on the Dempster Highway, continuing North until you reach the banks of the Arctic Ocean and finishing in Tuktoyaktuk. Competitors have 8 days to negotiate some of the most remote and inhospitable landscape known to man (where the winds can blow up to 70mph and temperatures will plummet to about -40'c), which is in part why the race has a 75% DNF rate (yes, not very many people have actually finished this race!). Yes, we'll have to battle the extremely strong Katabatic winds, but on the flip side we'll see some amazing scenary and we might get the opportunity to see the amazing Northern Lights! 

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The training: Unsurprsingly the training started quite a while ago. I'll go into more detail in the coming months into what training and races I'll be doing in preparation for the 6633 Arctic Ultra, but in the past few months I've hiked and ran a lot in the Brecon Beacons, hiked/ran the majority of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, raced the Brutal Midnight Marathon & the Brecon Beacons 10 Peaks race and most recently hiked/ran 165 miles from Prestatyn to Merthyr on Offa's Dyke and the Taff Trail. In addition to that I've increased my strength training to try to keep the injuries at bay and provide the strength endurance to make it through the 8 days of gruelling exercise, and added in a lot of weighted hikes and tyre pull sessions to simulate pulling the sled. 

image3 1Equipment: With the extreme weather conditions you'd probably guess that there would be a requirement for some specialist food and equipment, and you'd be right! As temperatures are often at -40'c the clothing and equipment has to be able to work at those conditons, and, more importantly, keep you safe and warm! As for the food, most food (and drinks) will freeze solid when it's in your sled, so food choices are very important and a lot of work will be done here to ensure I get adequate calories during the race. As we're self-supported, our pulks, or sleds, become our own little mobile homes, carrying everything we need from food, water, clothing to equipment; so every item will be carefully considered, any useless pieces of kit that makes the pulks heavier will be discarded!  

Why the 6633 Arctic Ultra? Honestly, I'm not 100% sure why I chose the 6633 Arctic Ultra, but I do know that after many years in the triathlon world I needed a different challlenge. I considered doing a double or triple Ironman, but even that wasn't enough. I needed something that really scares me and takes me out of comfort zone.....and the 6633 really scares the crap out of me! You have to cover the 380 miles in 8 days, which is about 50 miles a day, which means for 99% of the race we'll be hungry, very tired, very cold and sleep deprived! This is the challenge; and this is why I have spent hours and hours researching the race, read every race report out there (there aren't many!), spoken to past competitors and researched every piece of equipment on the kit list, but you don't really know how you'll cope with the extreme conditions until you get out there. As I have no Arctic expereince, I know this will be my biggest challenge to date! 

image5 1Goals for the race: I'm going into this 'race' as a challenge or an expedition, not a race. Due to the extreme conditions and the very high DNF rate I am fully aware that finishing the race will be an emormous achievement in itself. Of the 23 starters this year, only 6 people finished the 380 mile race (and only 1 person finished the race in 2011!), so if I'm able to finish the event then I will be over the moon. Obviously I will have a plan for the event (probably a very detailed one!), but anything is possible out in the Arctic Circle and the goal will be to 'simply' keep moving forwards towards the finish line at Tuktoyaktuk. A mantra I've used before will be at the forefront of my mind during the event......."Keep on trucking!". 

What's next? Basically, lots of training and more research! I have planned some big training sessions (watch out for my next blog post), a couple of big training 'races' and we have a training weekend with Martin and Sue at Likeys next month. I'll keep you updated with how the training is going, however, in the meantime, if you have any questions about the 6633 Arctic Ultra please send them to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Wish me luck! 

The Ultimate Cycling Improvement Course

2015 Raleigh Tested Feb 10

Do you really want to improve your cycling over the Winter? If so, check out our Ultimate Cycling Improvement Course with WhittleFit coach Lawrence Cronk. You get 12 weeks of coaching with progressive, challenging sessions that are focused on improving your cycling power output and periodic testing to track your progress. Improvements made on the Wattbike translate directly over to your road cycling and the sessions will be tailored specifically towards your athlethic ability and goals.

The 12-week course includes:

  • 12x one hour 1-2-1 coached sessions with WhittleFit coach Lawrence Cronk.
  • VO2 Max gas exchange analysis on weeks 1, 6 and 12 to track progress.
  • Resting metabolic rate testing on Week 1 & 12 to gain an insight into how many calories your body needs.
  • Bioimpedance (Body fat & muscle mass) analysis on week 1, 6 and 12. 
  • One additional bespoke session per week to challenge you at home to accompany the 12-week course.

Details:

  • Price: £500
  • Location: Maindy Leisure Centre Cardiff (Enduraprep Health & Performance Testing Suite)

For more information about our Ultimate Cycling Improvement Course please CONTACT US and we'll get straight back to you with more details and course availability.