Monday, 25 March 2013

Mio Alpha Performance Heart Rate Watch

MIO is releasing a brand new heart rate monitor sports watch in the UK on Monday, March 25th, the MIO ALPHA.

The MIO ALPHA is the world's first strapless sports watch that accurately records heart rate continuously during a workout, even at performance speeds of up to 12 mph, without a chest strap or the need to touch the watch. It also syncs up with mobile apps such as MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal and many more, to help you keep your goals on track. Say goodbye to the bulky chest straps.

The watch will be available for shipment in the UK for 3 days only!

For 3 days only (today-Wednesday), the MIO ALPHA will be on sale in the UK for $199 USD plus $30 USD for shipping and handling. When the site launches in the UK, the ALPHA will cost £169 + shipping and handling,

Here are the websites you can purchase the ALPHA and find out more on: or

Hopefully sooner rather than later (once ankle injury is healed) I will be doing a full review on the blog. I'm wearing it as a stylish watch at the moment but have had a quick play with the heart rate features (my resting heart rate is 65) and can't wait to put it to the test in training over the coming weeks.

Monday, 18 March 2013


Running when suffering with stomach issues can be frustrating. One issue that affects me is bloating, this can lead to all sorts of issues, especially on a long run and in the end cause some discomfort on and after the run.

Ive been running now for about 8 years and in that time diet fads have come and go. Ive learnt many things, forgotten many things but generally stuck to the same old things. I'm quite interested in nutrition but would always follow the old rules that Runnersworld told us month in month out, wholemeal with this, pasta with that, blah blah blah.

But things are a changing, in my 8 years of running the Internet has grown, technology has grown and now we all have so much information at our finger tips on our phones and tablets. The information can now be spread a lot quicker.

The new buzz word at the moment is Paleo. As for eating grains, carb loading on pasta and supping on Lucozade this information is fast becoming challenged.

The world of sport nutrition is going through one of its biggest revolutions ever. I've mentioned before on my blog that I attended a lecture by a sports nutritionist at a Premier league football club and they would not touch Lucozade with a barge pole using more natural sources to get their nutritional needs. Science has tried to move nutrition on in recent years but the human diet cannot evolve so quickly, when it has been programmed over thousands of years with what it knows. It is not programmed for sugar, for wheat or bright orange or blue sports drinks. Its programmed for the natural foods that come out of good old mother earth.

So Paleo as you probably know is basically the caveman diet, I've talked about it before on previous posts. I half heartily tried it, gave up and got back to eating toast and porridge. I could manage quite easily, but try feeding a family of four which includes 2 teenagers on meat and veg everyday with no biscuits, chocolate or treats....Hard!

After busting my ankle last week and a bout of gastric flu, I was determined to look harder at our diet as a family. After a good system clean out with the sickness I thought this week would be an excellent time for change and starting again.

So Saturday morning it was time to head to Sainsburys and do battle with the M&M's, bottles of Coke, chicken nuggets and try to find me some mammoth!

I didn't realise how hard this was going to be, sure going through the fruit and veg isles was easy, everything is Paleo suited. Fresh meat isle, again easy, but then it got a little bit more difficult.

The biggest headache is Gluten. Gluten is in just about everything or so it seems when you study the ingredients of different foods.

Suddenly life without wheat made a huge dent in meal options for breakfast and lunch. I still need to get round this one, sending two teenagers to school with pack lunches without Gluten.....tricky!

I'm mainly doing this for my youngest and myself as we both suffer stomach issues. My wife and eldest seem fine and insist on carrying on with their modern day eating, but they are more than happy to eat Paleo main meals, and seeing as I do the cooking, they don't have much choice!

I got some Gluten free cereals, and when buying the dairy items in the shopping, I went for the full lactose free range as this could be another cause of stomach discomforts.

So my new diet is going to be based on Paleo, gluten and lactose free meals....ish. The 'ish' bit means if I come off the waggon once in a while then I'm not going to beat myself up about it, but if I can stick 80-90% paleo then my diet is going to be a hell of a lot better than it has been.

Before I sign off, I must mention an absolute brilliant app and blog that I have found. Its called Nom Nom Paleo and is a must have app to have with loads of brilliant Paleo recipes to follow and picture by picture guides on how to cook them. The app is £3.99 but is worth every penny and is done really well. The blog has all the recipes there too plus a few more I believe.

As I write this I must confess to consuming a tube of chocolate mini eggs, not very Paleo I know, but I'm sure if they were around back then our ancestors would have enjoyed one or two themselves!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

DNS - Did Not Start

The Grindleford Gallop, a 21 mile loop setting off from the lovely village of Grindleford around the stunning Peak District. Even the miserable weather today could not spoil the impressive scenery.

It was an early start to the day, I had to pick up friend Brian at 5:45am and travel 3.5 hours 'tup north'.

A long journey but worth it to try a spot of Fell running in a new surrounding.

We got to our destiny with 20 minutes to spare to collect our numbers and 'dibbers' to scan at the various checkpoints. I instantly recognised Mike from the Twitter clan who we had met before, and it was also good to meet other new faces who I had been talking to on Twitter. The hello's were a bit rushed but I was looking forward to catching up on the run.

Brian and myself quickly returned to the car to sort out our final preparation for the race.

The car was parked adjacent to the field where the race was starting, and the field of runners were gathering ready for the start.

Brian climbed over and jumped down off the wall that separated the car park and the race start. I followed just as the gun went off for the start of the race.

The wall was of lose stone, typical of the area used to divide boundaries. I jumped but landed awkwardly on my right ankle and instantly knew that something was not right.

The dreaded wall of doom that I fell off (The drop the other side was bigger!)

Fortunately two St John Ambulance members saw me perform my stunt and were over to access the situation. They walked me over to their nearby first aid room and checked out my ankle. There was no instant swelling, they strapped me up and left it to me to make the decision whether to run or not.

By now the field of runners had left by about 15 minutes, but I was determined to run the race that I had been looking forward to, and now having arrived was even more looking forward to.

But alas it was not to be, 1.5 miles of trying to run, and as hard as it was to admit defeat, I knew my ankle would not be OK for another 20 miles on some difficult and hilly terrain.

Action Shot! 1 mile down...and out.

Brian was cool and due to suffering himself with an ongoing foot injury; although he could of run on, was happy to join me in a DNF or should that be a DNS 'Did Not Start'!

As I write this post laying with frozen peas on my ankle it's difficult to reflect on many positives from today. We'd spent 7 hours driving to run 1.5 miles, and cannot say I have learnt anything from the fell running experience because it was over before it started due to a freak injury.

We vowed to return next year, but still have the Loch Ness Marathon in September which means training through the glorious British Summers that we've come to love!