Why Wellness Matters

Fitness is big business, am I right? Everyone wants to be fit. Fitness, fitness, fitness. Well I am not too worried about fitness because for a long time now I have been prioritising wellness. Wellness, as defined by the sense of being healthy and well, feeling good and positive, of being fit for a purpose in life, able to carry a burden and so forth. Here are five reasons why.

1. Fitness is unattainable.

When pursuing fitness, when does one stop? Running a half marathon? A marathon? Lifting twice your body weight and the putting it back down again? A triathlon? An Ironman race?

The answer is none of the above, because fitness is relative. To get fit is to be fitter than you used to be. This all sounds very nice but at some point you will reach the terminus of fitness where it clashes with the rest of your life. Then what? You have not yet attained fitness, but now must make a decision, whether or not to chase fitness to your own detriment.

2. Wellness is aligned with purpose.

Wellness is not a pursuit. It is an end in itself. You are either well or not. There are no increments of wellness. Wellness is a target that is not only attainable, but once one achieves it one gains rest from the pursuit and other things can be done.

When I feel well I know what I did to achieve that, and I am able to maintain it. It is the point where I can swim, cycle or run or whatever for the joy of it, and that is a great place to be.

1. One cannot overdo or overindulge in wellness.

We have all heard it: ‘no pain, no gain.’

This phrase is so toxic. We all know what it means right? No, because that attitude causes injury, causes people to continue to train whilst carrying an injury and it promotes the notion that fitness must be paid for with misery and agony. Wellness is not like that. You will not exercise through pain when you wish to be well because you know that a rest is needed. Additionally, because you are not chasing the moving target of fitness you do not beat yourself up when you take time to rest. There is no problem because you know that what you are doing will make you well.

4. Wellness is generative.

I have radically raised my immunity by targeting wellness. Once my perspective shifted towards this as a priority I realised that running, cycling or otherwise training myself half to death is not what I need. So I have been taking vitamin D3 for a long time now. Whilst I occasionally pick up a bug as we all do, now I have noticed that I no longer get it every couple of months. By prioritising being well I have managed my body and it has been a radical shift in my health. Fitness does not cure sickness, wellness does. By working towards wellness I have generated better health, better immunity and a better lifestyle.

5. Wellness is liberty and freedom

It may well be a cliche, but when you have your health you have everything. Wellness allows you to live on your feet rather than die on your knees. Whilst none of us knows how or when the end will arrive, we can do everything in our power to avoid slowly dying of preventable metabolic disease, cancer or similar. I do not want to spend the last decades of my life falling apart. I may be unlucky, who knows, but I can make wellness my lifestyle choice and give myself every chance of a healthy and prosperous second half of my life innings.


Past is Prologue – The Future Belongs to Gods!

Today’s post is a line in the sand, followed by the data from today’s swim.

My best distance run is 15 miles. I have had ambitions to do a marathon for years, ambitions I upgraded to an Iron Man. Sadly when I was working at this I got hit by cars three times in two years whilst cycling. End of Iron Man. I recovered a while ago but had children and real life took over. Now I am feeling ambitious again. My kids are old enough that I have renewed independence and so I have committed myself mentally to pushing into major endurance running. Quite simply, I would like to be an ultra runner. Lofty ideas I know, but you have to believe right?

So, that is my plan. As the summer arrives and the nights get long I am going to push for serious distance, and hopefully by the time autumn is in view I will be hitting ultra distances. I mean, really, how hard can it be?

I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek of course but there is a part of me that genuinely believes in my ability right now. After all, a marathon is just an arbitrary distance. It’s not any kind of universal limit on human endurance. So, with the obvious caveat that it’s going to be hard, how hard can it be? I guess I will soon learn!

Today’s Swim

Here is the day’s swim data. Pushed up to 1250 metres in drills of eight laps. The extra 50 is because I did a ten lap drill by mistake.


Interval Splits


Negatives into Positives, or Why I Should Read the Manual…

My Vivoactive HR is now working and producing accurate readings, and I know this because I managed to record two workouts where there ought to have been one. D’oh! My previous swim was 700 metres, 7 x 100 metre drills. I had intended to do 5 x 150 metres to clock a 750 metre swim but sadly I pressed the stop button after drill one rather than pause, and thus I have 150 + 750 metres. The positive side of this error is that I did 900 metres and drills of six laps, which demonstrates further improvement. For the purposes of this post I am discarding the opening 150 metres.

Also, I am now starting to hit serious weight loss and fitness gains. My clothes are hanging off me, I bonked in the pool this time and on my previous run, and I can tell that I am working my body hard because I am finding myself absolutely ravenously hungry after exercise. That always happens when I work my hardest.

Garmin Data



An extra 150 metre drill is only a good thing so I’m calling that a positive. I could just have easily not started again and split the 750 metres into two swim recordings.

View on Strava.

Week in Review, Plus First Running Readings from Vivoactive HR

After the bizarre readings I took the first time I clocked a swim with my Garmin Vivoactive HR watch I am relieved to have gotten accurate, good quality data when running with it for the first time. It will be interesting to see what happens when I swim again. Hopefully it is just a teething issue but let’s wait and see. My cycling is hovering around the 6 mile mark at 12 minute miles, and to be honest I could cycle 25 miles tomorrow easily so right now my focus is on my weaker sports. I have also maintained my 16/8 fasting routine whilst trying various new recipes, all of which are posted here and on my Instagram.

This week I have pushed my swimming up to 100 metre interval drills, hitting the 700 metre mark. My run below is the longest yet, having added roughly 33% in distance to the last one. The one caveat here is that I ran during storm Clara and thus had to stop a couple of times to avoid torrential rain soaking me wet through.

Garmin Connect Data

Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary

Garmin Connect Data Summary
Garmin Connect Data Summary

Data Breakdown

Detailed Data Breakdown
Detailed Data Breakdown

Split Times

Split Times
Split Times

Graphs for Heart Rate, Cadence, Heart Rate Zones and So Forth

Cadence, Elevation and Heart Rate Zones

Cadence, Elevation and Heart Rate Zones

Pace and Heart Rate
Pace and Heart Rate

Strava Data

Strava Data
Strava Data

View on Strava and follow me here to get a follow back.

Vivoactive HR and Bizarre Swimming Data

This weekend I pushed up my View on Strava to a 700 metre workout, 7 x 100 metre intervals. I also upgraded my watch to a Garmin Vivoactive HR and according to the first data readings I took with it, this is what I did:

Bonkers watch reading

That’s right, according to my watch I swam for 12:59 minutes and covered a distance of zero. As if to drive the point home all other screens had no data, like the one below.

Bonkers watch reading
Bonkers watch reading

I have reached out to Garmin via Twitter, however this is worrying because the reason for my upgrade was spurious workout data, and now this supposedly better watch is apparently even worse. I hope that it is something that can be resolved because I have to believe that such a great company is better than this, but right now for me the jury is out.

Still, that aside, I am successfully pushing harder and extending myself. The watch clocks my resting heart rate at 48 bpm from a previous steady reading of 52 so it looks like my fitness is returning quickly.

Week in Review & Pushing Forward


Last week I couldn’t hike as the weather stank. I ran and swam, and when running I hit that feeling when you suddenly start enjoying it. It happened during my previous run that was spuriously recorded as 3.99 miles when it was actually closer to 1.5. This is not the first time my Garmin Vivoactive has done this and my tweeting Garmin about it was ignored. I have remedied the situation, however, by upgrading to a Garmin Vivoactive HR. It arrived in the mail today so hopefully that will be a step forward that solves this. It’s an obviously better watch with or without the heart rate monitor, but more data can only be a good thing so I look forward to seeing my readings on that front.


I am pushing this hard as I enjoy swimming enormously. My latest progress is below, including times, interval splits and frankly more data than I am ever going to need, but here it is anyway.


Interval Splits and More

Pace, Strokes & Swolf


Holding at just over 12mph average. That will change with the weather


Positive growth but I am not going to post spurious GPS data. That would be pointless. Suffice to say my new watch should do better.

Torpedo Mode: Engaged

I’m back in the pool! I always feel as though I glide with ease through the water like a torpedo, even though I only started with a 500 metre swim. Back Doing all of the Swims

Back Doing all of the Swims

I hope that swimming will once again strengthen my back muscles. I will also be doing my incremental growth curve where I push up the distance swam and the number of laps per set. It is amazing how quickly you can push into high distance swimming this way, and how fit you can become in a short space of time.

Strava Data

Strava Data
Strava Data

For whatever it’s worth, this is what Strava made of my swimming based upon data from my Garmin Vivoactive watch.

Week in Review

Last week I picked up my schedule for the first time in 2020 after a pretty awful 2019. I got Twitter and Instagram accounts, and in addition to easing back into the outdoors I started to further expand my nutritional horizons. I love cooking and it’s a great way to express one’s creativity. I remain on a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule and I am more than ever committed to a vegan diet that contains little to no sugar and is not processed wherever possible.

I cycled twice but only over short distances. I don’t pay too much attention to statistics and data for rides under five miles as cycling in Lancashire is so roly-poly, hilly and stop-start that it is difficult to build up a decent cadence and pick up a good cruising speed for any meaningful length of time. I was hoping to post some swimming data but I have been held up by the supplier of a replacement strap for my Garmin Vivoactive watch, which has yet to arrive and is now six days late. Thanks useless eBay parts supplier.

Today’s Cycle
Today’s Cycle

I have cycled today already, again just a short town ride on an errand, the virtue of which I extolled last week. My focus this week is to begin to add swimming to my cycling again. I hope to strengthen my lower back after hurting it quite badly last year, such was the sedentary nature of caring for my crocked little boy.

Small beginnings yield massive outcomes. Let’s destroy 2020.

Slowly, Slowly

Metatarsalgia is a bitch so I’ve been resting my foot and swimming last week, slowly getting back into a routine whilst being careful to avoid pushing myself to the point of injury. Two swims last week and a gentle jog this morning have left me feeling a whole lot better, particularly as I’ve slept well.

The data aren’t very interesting as these aren’t workouts that have pushed me into the stratosphere but at least I’m getting back on the move.

Assessing Numbers and a Great, Faithful and Loyal Friend Moves on to her New Home at the Rainbow Bridge

Because I wasn’t blogging at the time I didn’t get a chance to immortalise our little lurcher, Muffington (Muffin), on here when she passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

We rescued her and she became the most faithful and sweet little lap dog I have ever known. She gave us twelve years of unconditional love and loyalty and lived her life sitting on my knee. That dog hiked all over the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria with us and loved every minute of it.

Good speed into the void little Muffington. Enjoy your rest. You have certainly earned it.

Pulse Clues

A friend of mine who is a nurse tells me that one’s pulse and blood pressure are important because symptoms of serious illness so often manifest there first. She takes my pulse all the time (don’t ask) and confirms my resting heart rate at 54 bpm. This is apparently very good and the healthy norm for a 6’1 adult male of my height ought to be 60-80. This reading was taken during my recent hiatus with a pinched nerve so I am now on a mission to drive down my heart rate. The lowest I have ever recorded is 44 so I am aiming there first. I already eat a vegan diet designed to facilitate extremely good mental health – of that more anon – and this also keeps my blood pressure healthy. Where I can improve is exercise. I’m going to work hard to push my heart rate very high during runs and swims in particular to produce a positive effect on my resting pulse.

I’m also hoping to get some decent knowledge and understanding of logging this information and what to do with it over time.