Cycling

Cycling

After giving up trying to lift weights in the garden, going on two runs and doing a couple of online body weight movement sessions, I finally remembered I had my bike in the shed. So thought I would dust the cobwebs off, literally.

I haven’t used it since my last sprint distance triathlon back in 2013. I used to love cycling. For me, it was the best bit of Triathlon training. So I searched for my cycling gear and found that it was all far too small for me! Lockdown had well and truly got a hold of me by this point and instead of the 80kg I was back in 2013, I was sitting around 98kg, which I can attribute mainly to beer. Nevertheless I sucked my belly in and prayed that the zips did not break as I squeezed into the stretched-to-the-limit lycra. My movement was pretty restricted but luckily you don’t need to move your upper body too much on the bike.

I went out and hit a 14k loop that I used to do on my rest days. Unsurprisingly it was hard work, but the landscape was beautiful and this is one of the things I have always loved about getting out on the bike. We are so lucky here in Tonbridge. In 5 minutes you can be in the beautiful Kent countryside. So I got home knackered but happy! I waited to see how the legs felt after a couple of days and they were ok so I did the route again only this time a little faster. I was a little less knackered and happy again.

Exercise makes you happy BUT you have to enjoy the exercise for it to be sustainable. I was not happy doing the weights, in fact it was probably having the reverse effect and just pissing me off. Before lockdown I was, and have for a long time, been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which for me is perfect as the ‘getting fit’ part is a byproduct of having fun with friends, wrestling and learning some cool stuff.

Cycling is the same in lots of ways. Like Jiu Jitsu, cycling enables you to train together in a team but you are on your own on race days or those big weekend rides. No one can physically help you on that big hill; it’s down to you to dig deep in the same way when you are under someone’s side control in a Jiu Jitsu competition. The guy on the side shouting, “get out from under him” doesn’t help! It’s all on you and you need to utilize everything you have learnt while training with your team to get out. I love this!

So anyway, after my second ride out I bought a new jersey online, in a Large. When it arrived, it didn’t fit much better than the old ones. It was at this point that my mindset shifted. Not being able to fit into a large top (even though cycling jerseys come up small) was the trigger I needed to break some pretty unhealthy habits and train more. We all know its calories in vs calories out and I’ve always trained really hard, which has allowed me a little flexibility on my diet and drinking. However, stop training and keep eating and drinking means I blow up like a balloon pretty quick. Being someone who likes to eat and drink, I decided to increase my training so some rides I was burning 1800 calories. So far the most I’ve burnt on one ride was our 145k ride to Rye that burnt 3785 calories. The more I trained the less I drank, the better I started to eat. If we were heading out on Sunday morning ride, I wouldn’t drink too much the night before and would try and get an early night.

Now 3 months since my first ride of 2020 I have stopped drinking completely, made a few tweaks to my diet, I am doing yoga every morning and I am feeling great. I am also now ranked 10th on one of the Strava segments that covers part of the loop I first went out on and have now reduced my time for that loop from the initial 33:35 to 27:13. Perhaps most importantly, the new jersey that was too tight now fits perfectly!

We have managed to bring a few likeminded cyclists from Tonbridge and surrounding areas together and created PeloTON, a fun little club that anyone can join. We ride varying distances on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays as a group. We have had some awesome Sunday rides around Kent, Sussex and Surrey. We have climbed two of the top 100 hills in the UK including The Wall and York Hill. We’ve seen some stunning views on the marshland around Romney and up on Ashdown Forest. Most importantly we’ve found some great coffee shops. We are heading out to Whitstable next Sunday to try and hit the 100-mile trip goal.

If you are interested in joining contact us on Instagram or join our club on Strava (PeloTON).

Social Media

Social Media

Sulston’s Kitchen was built on social media. I started the business as a YouTube channel back in 2014 and it has been able to grow into what it is today because of social media.

 

Over the last 6 years social media has changed and it has become a strange world for me. For people with certain personality types, social media can take over and become all consuming. This is what has happened to me. In the last 6 years I have only really had 1 week off. This was in June 2019 for a family holiday. I put an out of office on my emails and deleted WhatsApp. The out of office read:

‘I’m on holiday but the kind of holiday like we used to have back in the 90’s when we didn’t answer call, texts or emails.’

 

The 24-hour availability we have created has its benefits but it can also be hugely detrimental. Obviously this is part of running a business in 2020 but at the same time it is also important to ensure your mental health is looked after as well as your business.

 

At the end of July this year I deleted all the apps from my phone and installed a brain-training app. When I picked up my phone to go on social media, I went on the app instead. If you have deleted the apps from your phone you will know, there are times in the day that you reach for your phone to look at them for no reason.

The algorithms are clever and the more you understand them, the more entangled you become. If you don’t post you disappear off peoples feeds, so you keep posting. Running a local business with close to 3000 followers I estimate maybe 20% of them are the people purchasing my products. So when people say ‘comment on my post’, it’s because when you comment you are showing interest so future posts will show higher on your feed. I use Instagram for personal posts and fun as well as business but out of all my followers, I estimate less than 5% care if I went for a bike ride or went to the gym. So it ends up being a balancing game.

 

With this said it is important not to underestimate the power of social media to motivate others. That gym pic or that ride may be just what someone needs to see to get them out of a rut and make more positive choices. Friends I follow have inspired me and I’ve been told I have motivated people that follow me to train. I feel like you end up in this strange place where you need social media and you feel like people need you on social media.

 

We are in the process of updating the website at the moment and this will be our main platform to communicate through the events, and blog pages. Obviously social media will still be active but I will be allocating specific time in my week to manage it. It will become a functional part of advertising/ marketing for the business from my laptop rather than my phone.

 

So going forward, if you care what I’m doing on my bike, follow me on Strava. If you want to see what I’m up to at Jiu Jitsu, come train and if you want to talk with me, we can meet for a coffee.

This is just my own personal experience and the changes I am making are a choice I have made for a more positive future.

 

I’m still in the process of making changes and so for now I am taking a break.

 

 

The Tiny Table

The Tiny Table

As lockdown was announced local chef and MasterChef winner, Julie Friend saw, like many of us, all of her jobs crash like dominoes from her diary.

“I started to panic after enjoying the first couple of weeks of enforced holiday and realised that I was going to have to either look at a new career or reinvent myself somehow.

A friend came round for a socially distant tea in the garden and remarked ‘this really is a magical spot you have here’. They were right. It was not only magical with views over wildflower meadows and apricot orchards, but the perfect solution for a COVID-safe dining experience which could be reached directly from my drive with no access to the house. Overnight The Tiny Table was born”

Creating bespoke menus with local seasonal produce, Julie cooks from her licensed kitchen, for one group at a time of up to 6 people. Lunches and early evening dinners are both an option and maybe brunch if you ask nicely.

The food reflects the setting with many of the ingredients having been picked straight from the garden a matter of minutes before they end up on a plate. No concerns about food miles here. Julie also takes advantage of being positioned between two fabulous farmshops – Haywards and Farmers Farmshop – and creates dishes with what she finds available in those.

“We are also weather and light dependent, so I’ll only be able to take bookings until mid-September but will try and fit as many requests in as possible”

People can book by emailing me for more details at julie@juliefriend.co.uk

Instagram: the_tinytable

The Benefits of strength training – Why you’re doing it all wrong!

The Benefits of strength training – Why you’re doing it all wrong!

Firstly what are some of the benefits:

 

Better Body Composition – if you are looking to change the way you look then strength training is a must, by training for strength you are going to increase your muscle size and strength, this in turn will help you to workout harder which in turn means more calories burned. Muscle also gives you a firm, tight body, the squidgy stuff thats body fat and we want to decrease that.

Higher Metabolism – This is paired with the above as its not actually very important to think about how many calories you burn during a workout as in the grand scheme of life its not that many, maybe 500 if you’re fit. But by having a higher metabolism you will burn more calories all day long, this is a must if you are looking to change the shape of your body and nothing increases metabolism better than having more muscles, which are a result of strength training.

Injury prevention – Being strong will not only protect you from picking up injuries but we can fix long standing pain. A bad back as an example is a result of muscles in the body being too tight and too weak. If we fix this balance with correct strength training then the problem will go away and will not come back.

Now there are many more benefits but I just don’t have the capacity to explain all of them here, what is strength training?? It’s the ability of your muscles to work harder. Now why do most people that go to the gym not actually get this right? It’s because we need to look at the body in the way it moves firstly, not buy each individual muscle so think how do we move, we squat, hinge, push, pull, rotate and move. We need to simulate these patterns in the gym and when we do we need to be using a weight that is challenging with perfect form, the correct tempo (speed of the rep) and the correct amount of reps. Doing anything above 10 reps is not strength training. Now I know what you are thinking, you are thinking well I want to “tone”. Unfortunately the term tone is not a scientific possibility, the body is only capable of gaining muscle and losing fat but it’s the combination of these two things that will give you the “toned” look. So we need to stop training to be toned we need to start training to gain muscle and lose fat.

If this has been of interest to you and you would like to learn more, Register for my free talk on “Debunking fitness and diet myths to gain your best body ever” by emailing anatomy37@outlook.com to register for our newsletter.

Adam

Director of training

Anatomy 37

Q & A with Lost sheep

Q & A with Lost sheep

Where does the name Lost Sheep come from? 

When we decided to get lost ourselves, leave our day jobs, go backpacking around the world. Which is how we discovered Aussie style coffee and the name was literally a light bulb moment. 

 

Why did you start roasting coffee?

We really wanted to create and source amazing coffees and have full creative control of the coffee itself.

 

What does single origin mean? 

There’s different types actually. You can have single origin when something comes from one town or area, or straight from a farm. Many of our coffees are single origin and straight from the farm.

 

How do you choose which country to buy beans from?

We’re very fortunate to have amazing contacts and known in the speciality coffee industry. This means we receive a high volume of green samples from around the world, and we simple cup each one and choose through taste and not price. 

 

Do you buy direct from the growers?

Yes! We’re proud to say that we have great close relationships with our green suppliers and will always buy directly.

 

What’s your favourite way to brew coffee? 

We’ve been playing around with Clever Drippers lately and we’re really enjoying the results we’re getting! 

 

What’s the best coffee you have ever drank?

Lost Sheep of course! 

 

Any tips for people getting in to speciality coffee? 

Enjoy it, but remember to stay grounded. There are some great blogs our there and even YouTube channels that focus of Speciality Coffee, so it’s super easy to learn nowadays. 

 

What do you think will be the next big thing in the coffee industry? 

Now that would be telling…. we think variations of fermentation and processing methods 

 

What’s your view on cafes charging for takeaway cups?

Obviously we encourage people to be as environmentally friendly as possible and will always actively encourage people to take their own cups to our shops and other coffee shops. We’re probably as a nation not fully there yet with the need to take a cup everywhere as most coffees we feel are bought as impulse purchases. Hopefully this will change in the future.