Time For Change – Mark’s 12 week journey.



So what’s it all about? Firstly it’s easy to be complacent, blame everything around us but never look closer to home. It’s easy to wish to achieve or hope it will just happen. It’s easy to talk about it but never do it.

I am not going to fluff this up, I don’t care if my spelling is not what it should be or my grammar is not correct because this is about actions, doing and getting it wrong, getting it right but most of all, it’s about learning.

My present nutritional strategy (diet) has been with me for several years. It’s provided great results from health, my performance within my fitness/training etc all while being adaptable during those times when it just didn’t go to plan.

But I am going to change my diet, I am going to challenge it and see what it can bring to the table, both the good and the bad.

Do I need to change it? Not at all. I can be complacent and follow my daily routine as I have for many years. But what if I am missing something, that chance to be 1% better, 1% stronger, 1% faster, 1% leaner?

All this though is easy to talk about as I mentioned earlier, talk the talk etc but how does this process work?

Well Week 1 is about learning, adapting and having fun so here is a little overview:

My nutritional plan starts with a 20+ page document, this will develop over the 12 weeks. This is vital to learning, changing, monitoring, reviewing and provides motivation and for me excitement. If your plan doesn’t excite you what’s the point?

Sunday 20:00 documents reviewed, processed and oh xxxx what have I done?!

Alongside my normal Sunday evening developing training plans for my clients, I reviewed my weekly nutrition which I am going to bring into my week. This will take time so I will use some of what I already do and some of the new changes to help me during the week.

By the end of Sunday evening I have done an online shop, this works well as I wont get time to go shopping. It will be delivered Monday between 22:00 & 23:00 so does not take any time out of my day and keeps me on track with my weekly nutrition.

Weekly Overview


  • Wattbike session, felt tougher than it would normally, how do I know? Through my Wattbike plans, sessions are repeated and I have done this session several times over the last 8 weeks.
  • Loss of concentration during the evening.


  • Wrekin run completed, legs didn’t turn up today.
  • Loss of concentration during the evening.

WEDNESDAY: Crashed and burnt at 15:00

  • Wattbike session, once again felt much harder than it normally would.

It’s at this point it would be easy to blame my new nutritional methods and go back to doing what I have always done. But I looked at reception and the sign above the timetable reminded me.


I also need to review the last few weeks as fatigue is accumulative, it builds over time so progressing fitness is importation but so is recovery.

2 fell races in 9 days = 5 miles & 2800ft of climbing & 4.5 miles & 1200ft of climbing.

Total 9.5 miles & 4000ft of climbing (this would certainly contribute, time to keep a closer check on my recovery both active and passive).

A quick review, a slight adaption and the only way forward, learn form the past 3 days, adapt and make changes for the rest of the week, sit tight and see what happens.

THURSDAY: After a long day and physio appointment with Richard from Physio At The Lodge, I then completed one of my weekly Wattbike sessions @20:30, I completed my session hitting all my set data targets.

But where did that come from? With 3 days of feeling flat to hitting 360w for 5 minutes each time?

FRIDAY: Due to my physio appointment Thursday, I had to swap my training round so a Wrekin run it was, legs felt better and confidence lifted.

SATURDAY: Wrekin Relays but solo so 11.5miles completed and 1800ft of ascent.

SUNDAY: 4am start as I was helping out at the HQ for the SCCA 100mile time trial, then headed to Wenlock 7 road race to watch and support before heading back to work. Wattbike active recovery session complete and all numbers hit.

I am good to go into Week #2.

Nutrition Review:

My new regime is and is not the cause of my lack of concentration directly but I have made a few changes.

My lunch time meal 13:00-14:00 will now be split into 2 therefore I wont have to digest such a big meal which could lead to feeling like I need to sleep. My second lunch I will have between 16:00 & 17:30 if my working day fits.

Quick insight to a day:

Monday Evening at 10.15pm:

  • Had tea.
  • Prepared my breakfast for Tuesday (5 minutes)
  • Gathered any food I needed to take to the studio (1 minute)
  • Removed chicken from freezer ready to prepare for Tuesday evening and Wednesday lunchtime (1 minute)
  • My Tuesday lunch is the same as Mondays tea so portioned into microwave tubs and easily heated at work.


  • Tuesday 05:45 prepared slow cooker so it’s ready for the evening meal and ready to be switched on later in the day (5 minutes).
  • Finished gathering any food I need at work (1 minute).
  • Off to work I go.

This process continues each day, my breakfast is prepared each evening same time as I have my tea. Any frozen food removed from freezer ready for the following day.

This only works by planning and knowing what I need to do in advance.

Is this time consuming? No, it probably take less time than having to think on the spot what to eat and making food choices based on our emotions at that time (easy to make not so good choices!).

Gross & Net calorie Intake

I only take into consideration calories burned if heart rate was recorded alongside accurate heart rate zones.

You will notice the higher calorie intake during Saturday as I needed to prepare, complete and recover which overall started at 8am and finished at 9pm.



Training Review

Consistency achieved but a mixed week which certainly can knock confidence and question methods. Training to data helps see what is really happening not what we think or feel (although we must consider our feelings).

The Wrekin Relays provided the chance to experiment with preparation, race strategy and hydration alongside recovery.

Overall a very positive outcome.


Active Recovery data:

Clear indication of holding Zone 1 power while within Zone Recovery heart rate.

Capture 01

Week #2

Review the above: so many options but no need to change too much.

Plan week 2, learning from week 1 but I need to allow for being away for 2 days where nutrition will need to be manged as I am not sure what, when or how my days will work out.

Repeat the process.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s