#Janathon Day 7: The Longest Swim

Good news, my arms are working again. After last weeks failed attempt at swimming I was determined to get to the gym today and give it a serious #Janathon effort. My gym happens to be located immediately adjacent to the Bet 365 stadium, home of the mighty Stoke City and there was a match on today. I have no real interest in football, but I knew that traffic would begin to build from about mid-day for the 3pm kick off. I waited until all the fans should have been inside before heading up to the pool.

The pool was busy, but not as busy as the (suspiciously) packed car-park had suggested. The pool was split into three parts: a slow/play area, a fast ‘lane’ and lessons area. I have to rest frequently as my swimming fitness is not up there yet, but when I’m moving I’m reasonably fast, so fast lane it was. At one point there were four of us sharing this lane (which was about twice the width of a regular swimming lane) but we did a good job of accommodating each-other as we chugged up and down.

It was hard work and as I gasped for breath (must get a hang of that breathing technique) I was thinking “how the hell am I going to do this at 7am in a wet-suit in open water for twice the distance?”. IRONMAN will require a 2km swim with no rests in under an hour. I’m concentrating on my upper body with a view to saving my legs for the cycle and run. I swam mainly front crawl, using a pull buoy for some of the time and clocked up my longest swim of my life – ever. A total of 1,125m to be exact (Strava).

I am very pleased, but still feel (quite literally) out of my depth.

Posted in Swimming | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Janathon Day 6: Turbo is Back!

Remember the days when everything came in red with ‘Turbo’ written on it? Aftershave, sunglasses, computer games, T-shirts,  caps, electric guitars… and Mk 1 Vauxhall Cavaliers with aftermarket stickers on the back… Ahh, the 80’s… Turbocharged cars had hit the mass-market and the word ‘Turbo’ became synonymous with power, excitement, sex and money… Thankfully it didn’t last, and before too long the 90’s took over and everything suddenly became ‘multi-media’ (I bought a wooden shelf once that was ‘multi-media’ compatible because the picture under the cellophane illustrated said shelf holding CDs). The 80s neon, bouffant hair, Gordon Gekko buzz had gone, and now, (like CDs since) turbo’s have become one of those things we use daily but don’t really think about.


The Turbo and the Felt… with a beer keg and empty fruit bowl…

That was the case, until I unwrapped my recent Christmas present from Mrs Trenthamfolk. What she had bought me was a new and very exciting type of turbo – a strange tripod contraption that allows me to ride my road bike indoors. Given I wanted to catch up on some TV, didn’t have anyone to run with today (I’m a social creature really) and the weather was miserable, I decided to #Janathon inside… and what fun I had. Having not ridden my bike for a little while my legs had forgotten what to do and felt battered after about 30 seconds… however I persevered and rode consistently for a whole hour (Strava)… whilst watching a movie, texting my friend periodically and drowning in sweat (heating on full blast you see). The Turbo Trainer is definitely the future. Seems like Turbo is back!

Posted in cycling, Running | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Janathon Day 5: I Got Chills

You may have gathered that this week I am on my holidays. No such luxuries for Mrs Trenthamfolk however… She was typically up late, so in a particularly chivalrous display of affection and self-sacrifice, I offered to defrost her car while she gulped down her early-morning brew… So there I was at half six in my boxers, dressing-gown and Crocs, chiselling ice off the Volkswagens windscreen in minus 5 temperatures… after that bracing experience there was no going back to bed, so I wrapped up Junior, packed him off to school and settled into a morning of ‘not a lot’. Despite having the heating on full-blast I struggled to get warm. I hoped that my 3pm #Janathon effort would put that to rights. Sadly, it didn’t improve things. I ran just over four miles (Movescount) and froze all the way… I usually love running in the cold, crisp sunshine, but today I could happily have gone the pub instead. Cheers!

Janathon 2017 Stats
Total Miles = 23.20
Total KM = 37.34
Total Calories = 3,744
Average KM Day = 7.47

Days Worth Calories = 1.87
IRONMAN Distances = 0.33
10Ks = 3.73

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#Janathon Day 4: A Muddy Climb

Today I started my day with #Janathon. Once Junior had left for school, I got my kit together and waited for running wife Ems to knock on. A few minutes later we were running towards Trentham Park, the hilly wilderness that is part of the Trentham Estate but open to the public and surrounds Trentham Gardens. There were very few other people about, which may have been due to the presence of lots of mud. As ‘hardcore’ runners we were unphased by the boggy conditions and we squelched along merrily, sliding about and shrieking as we attempted to stay upright. We were like kids at play.


Mud running is hard work, and as we climbed the bank towards the old quarry, my muscles were complaining. However, as we reached the top we were rewarded by impressive views of the area. This is a slow and shortish route but a rewarding one, for this very reason. We paused for a moment to pick out local landmarks – it all looks so peaceful from up there – the clouds were parting to reveal patches of blue sky and we could feel the warmth of the sun on our backs. We could have stayed up there for ages, but headed back down for more skidding about in the mud.

We only ran five miles, but it felt like eight, and took over an hour. However it was a lot of fun, which is one of the many things #Janathon is all about.

Janathon 2017 Stats
Total Miles = 18.90
Total KM = 30.42
Total Calories = 3,043
Average KM Day = 7.60

Days Worth Calories = 1.52
IRONMAN Distances = 0.27
10Ks = 3.04

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

#Janathon Day 3: My Arms Don’t Work

This morning I was up bright and early, not to return to work like the rest of the nation, but to go the the gym for my ‘Health MOT’. This is where they measure your height and weight, calculate your BMI and waist to hip ratio, analyse cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and ultimately tell you that you’re overweight. After that crushing blow to my ego, I decided to take a dip in the pool. There were people everywhere, in the hot tubs, in and out of the steam room and sauna, standing about gossiping, but strangely not in the water.

This suited me just fine. I dropped into the deep end, the water a comfortable 29 degrees, and pushed off… only to discover that my arms didn’t work! Strange, they were fine getting dressed, brushing my teeth and driving, but asking them to pull me through the water after last night’s PT session was simply asking too much. I resembled one of those wind-up paddle toys you put in the bath – loads of splashing and not much forward motion – I managed eight lengths before I gave up and joined the rest of the pre-work rabble in the steam room. Intense, soothing and relaxing heat… It was bliss.

I spent far too long in that steam room, so later in the day I hit the road to clock up four more #Janathon miles (Movescount) to add to my pitiful swimming tally. My legs were unsurprisingly, fine, which made me realise that my upper body really is in bad physical condition. The shock of lifting up heavy things and putting them back down again has destroyed me… Strength will come in time but I also need to get the hang of planning my workouts. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”.

Food for thought, that.

Janathon 2017 Stats
Total Miles = 13.70
Total KM = 22.05
Total Calories = 2,187
Average KM Day = 7.35

Days Worth Calories = 1.09
IRONMAN Distances = 0.19
10Ks = 2.20

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

#Janathon Day 2: Mixing It Up

This morning I met up with my running wife, Ems, just after sun-up. Ems has landed a place at the 2017 Virgin London Marathon and is starting her VLM training in much the same way as myself and my IRONMAN prep… Having put the festive season behind us, we are now both experiencing mild to moderate panic, coupled with an unnerving sense of excited anticipation. The reality of our respective training journeys ahead are drawing into focus. We are motivated (if a little bit freaked out) but both know it is time to get moving.

The morning was a chilly minus 2 degrees, the air was dry and still and the ground crunched satisfyingly beneath our feet. We ran a leisurely 10 KM or so (Movescount) along the canal and past the historic Wedgwood house on the hill. It is one of our favourite routes and we chatted about all and nothing as we went. The way was peppered with dog walkers and other runners, the sky was clear and blue and ducks were going crazy skidding about on the icy canal. For me, this is the best kind of run and I was very happy.


Later today I had a personal training session booked with Scott… as a runner, I have the upper body strength of a mouse and arms like pipe-cleaners: not good for swimming! Scott is a qualified PT who has tailored a plan for me to help me achieve my goals and pushes me beyond what I think I’m capable of. By the end of the session I was exhausted and had trouble lifting my arms above my head to stretch. Scott said I’d smashed it. The contrast between this and my morning run couldn’t have been more apparent. This is a different kind of training but I was still very happy.

I’m not sure which of my #Janathon exploits on Day 2 was most satisfying (I get the feeling that my decision will be made tomorrow as I have trouble lifting a cup of tea to my mouth) but I am getting more and more excited about the journey ahead.

Janathon 2017 Stats
Total Miles = 9.70
Total KM = 15.61
Total Calories = 406
Average KM Day = 7.81

Days Worth Calories = 0.20
IRONMAN Distances = 0.14
10Ks = 1.56

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#Janathon Day 1: A Depressingly Familiar Cliché

On this day, the 1st of January 2017, I became a statistic… a living, breathing and depressingly familiar cliché. I joined a gym. I know, I could barely bring myself to do it: during the month of January, gyms turn into zoos of newbies as a matter of course. Wave after wave of enthused beginners sign away hundreds of pounds, and hit the cardio and the weights machines in a determined but inevitably, all too short-lived attempt to ‘get fit’. I desperately didn’t want to be seen as one of them… but today I was motivated by something other than health, my own crushing vanity and the desire to obliterate some of this Christmas wobble.  This ‘something’ happens to be Staffordshire IRONMAN 70.3 2017.


Earlier today I was reminded by a friend that, as of this morning, I have just 167 days to train for this mid-life crisis mission… a 1.2 mile open water swim, followed by a 56 mile bike ride and a quick Half Marathon. 70.3 miles in total, three disciplines, and what will no-doubt be the biggest physical challenge of my life. Having been part of an IRONMAN relay team as a cyclist last summer, I know that if I don’t want to be disqualified or to drown, my swimming stroke needs some serious attention. For this I need a pool that is long enough, open when I need it to be, not full of school-kids and close to home. The local gym was the obvious choice.

That straightforward and all-too-accurate text message from Luey was all the motivation I needed to swallow my pride, sign on the dotted line and become a fully paid up Turkey Trotter. And it was with this in mind that I also headed out for a swift 5k Janathon before sundown (Movescount)… a short leg loosener following my running club’s traditional 13 mile multi-terrain jaunt around Rudyard and Leek yesterday. Now the first run of the year is out of the way expect my 2017 Janathon exploits to be a mixture of running, cycling (on a turbo trainer), swimming and strength work, as I transform myself from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man I have become, into Tony Stark. Watch this space.

Janathon 2017 Stats
Total Miles = 3.13
Total KM = 5.04
Total Calories = 406
Average KM Day = 5.04

Days Worth Calories = 0.20
IRONMAN Distances = 0.04
10Ks = 0.50

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment