Sunday, July 05, 2009

TCA Get Professional Help

In a moment of madness John H signed up to competing in the New Forest Duathlon which takes place at the end of October. Now, being a rather portly chap (some would say fat bastard!), he thought he had better loose weight - secondly learn about competing in such an event and training correctly. So, after a successful Google search, he came across a company called British Duathlon, and after a number of email exchanges with Jon (the owner), coach, bottle washer, etc, a date was set for a weekend's Duathlon training camp. Jon P had also signed up for the event and also thought he had better learn how to approach the task.

A weekend’s course was set up around JH and JP’s total lack of knowledge and experience in training properly for such an event. The first thing to surprise us was the requirement to fill in a weekly diet sheet. Clearly easy for JP: Pizzas; burgers; KFC; and slow cooker meals. For JH on his attempted health kick it has to be said quite a good diet sheet was submitted. Next a typical weekly exercise schedule was asked for: JP was unsure as to whether his daily work activity of scratching his balls for 3 hours counted or not. A couple of weeks later the weekend’s agenda was sent through by the intrepid couple. This created a great deal of debate, not least of which there were words we did not understand and the planned physical activates meant we probably would need a pre-, pre-Duathlon training camp!

A required kit list was also sent, which meant Wiggle made yet more money from the TCA. Eventually, with nervous anticipation, the pair set off (as is TCA tradition) an hour late - JP was customarily late as usual. The debate on the way up centred around who else would be on the course, how fit they were, and how embarrassed JP and JH would get. It was speculated that perhaps a team like the national Swiss Duathlon team could be present on their carbon fibre bikes, with matching lycra clothing, statures of a brick shit house and wish to yodel at 5am each day.

We finally arrived, even later no thanks to the wonderful M25, to be met by Jon (JC) and Sarah in their wonderful house and base in a small village called Emberton (near Milton Keynes). Bikes and kit were soon unloaded, and our fears subsided when we were told that it was just the two of us on the course. However nervousness crept in again as we were asked to stand on a set of Tanita body composition scales. These scales would tell us,how fat we were, where the fat was, how good our metabolic rate was and even how our muscle was around our limbs, how many calories we needed to keep alive and several other facts. JP went first, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that his 'metabolic age' was 35, a fact which we all were to hear about many times over the weekend, and no doubt will continue to hear about! JH approached the scales carefully as he did not want them to blow up and state that only one person at a time should step on them! Stats more or less confirmed what he knew, i.e. an old fat bastard! Joking aside the stats seemed to be more or less the same for the both of us (apart from Metabolic age), in fact spookily close. The four of us then went out for a meal.

JP and JH clearly weren’t fooled by this tactic to catch us off guard, so both ordered healthy options. Talk over dinner was about the planned activities and aims of the weekend. JP was most upset that each day he had to get up at 7am. JH discovered that JC worked alongside Harley Davidson and was ex army, so JP had to put up with more biker and squadie stories.

Day one consisted of,a 50k cycle ride, 7 k run, and weight lifting sessions , interspersed with theory on diet, nutrition, setting training plans, and excellent nutritious food and suitable fluids.
That night after an excellent meal cooked by Sarah, in true TCA tradition we had to avail ourselves of the beer in the local pub. We had to drag JC over kicking and screaming (well not quite true!) JP had a couple of Spitfires and JH and JC Guinness. A fairly early night was had by all, and the TCA chaps slept like logs.

Sunday started with a 8-9k run, incorporating a 5 hill training session, and a measured mile speed run, this session was quickly followed by a 20k speed cycle. The rest of the day was spent on core body training with Swiss balls (so the Swiss were present after all!) and more theory on setting training schedules, nutrition, and target setting. Lastly we both had to stand on the scales again to see what effect the weekend had had on our make up. Suffice to say JP’s metabolic age got better by 5 years, and JH’s got worse by 2 years! JH was also told off for not drinking enough (water). A pattern was emerging here having been told I am lightweight when drinking is concerned!

All too soon it was time to pack up and head off. JC and Sarah are consummate professionals, are dedicated and very knowledgeable, importantly they also are very nice people. Their knowledge is based on scientific fact and principals but also very importantly on their own experiences. Both have competed in many triathlons, duathalons, marathons, etc. The walls and shelves of their house are adorned with medals and trophies. So we both were very happy with the course content, its execution and the whole weekend. Now we each have to set our training schedules and continue to motivate ourselves to get off our arses and train. Without any doubt we would recommend this course, or any other hosted by them, or for that matter you approaching them for any bespoke course requirements.

John & Jon take a step back and
admire their modern art sculpture

(Posted by: John)

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