One of the hangovers from my back operation a couple of years ago is that I have some residual nerve damage which affects my left leg and foot.

Mostly it’s a minor discomfort. There’s some numbness in the foot and continuous muscle flickering in the left calf. Occasionally however the constant firing of the muscle in the left calf can cause problems.
When it’s bad the calf looks like there’s a little baby alien crawling around in there trying to get out.

While this is a great conversation piece and all very entertaining when I’m sitting in a coffee shop half way through a bike ride. Someone might notice the little alien in my calf and wonder “what the fuckery is going on with your leg Rob??”

I explain about the nerve damage and they marvel at the little wriggly fucker crawling around inside my lower leg.

The time that it’s not so much fun is when I’m in bed at night and the spasms start. That’s because they then lead to cramps. Really painful, knocking me out of the bed cramps.

One minute I’m in that blissful state of being almost,but not quite asleep. You know that really relaxed, calm bit just as you’re nodding off.

Then bang. My left leg flies out savagely trying to undo the excruciating knots tying my calf up. Because of the way I lie in bed this usually propels me out of my side of the bed and onto the floor where I flop around frantically trying to wake up, stretch out the cramp, muffle the screams before fumbling my way out of the room in the dark all hopefully without disturbing Ais.

Occasionally though if I’m sleeping on my other side the leg shoots out in spasm and connects with Ais rudely awakening her which as you can imagine tends to not go down too well.

In fact like some almost forgotten science law we learned about in school it can cause an equal and opposite reaction as Ais kicks back and again, I end up on the floor trying desperately to untie the knots in my calf.

However I have discovered that there is a way to stop the spasms from escalating into fully blown cramps. If I wear a very tight compression calf guard on the left leg they spasms tend to just lightly flicker away and never fully cramp. Allowing me to get a decent nights sleep.

I don’t need to tell you though that this is not the sexiest look. Dressing in only a left calf guard is not like putting on your best trousers and what a friend of mine used to call his “pulling shirt” nor is it like a pair of Calvin Klein jocks which might serve to excite someone.

In all reality dressing in nothing other than a left calf guard when going to bed is most likely to end at worst in giggles and derision from your significant other or at best puzzled looks and a shaking of the head and rolling of the eyes.

Anyway let’s move on to the weeks training.

Monday 16


Tuesday 17 :50 (1)

Run :50 9.5k

Including strides every 3-4 mins in the second half.


Wednesday 18


The cold that has been threatening for the last few days was worse today so I decided to take the day off.

Thursday 19 2:05 (3)

Run 1:00 11k

6×2 mins hard

S&C :40

Bike :25 mtb easy recovery

The cold has more or less cleared up today so I was able to get a decent session in this morning, a good S&C workout in the afternoon and rode home easy on the mountain bike to clear out the legs.

Energy 8/10

Motivation 9/10

Work 8 hours

Sleep 9 hours (good)

Friday 20 2:20 (1)

Run 2:20 22k

Hilly hard first 90 minutes then jogged home.

Energy 9/10

Motivation high

Work 9 hours

Sleep 7 hours disturbed

Saturday 21 3:45 (3)

Run :30 5k easy

AM bike 2:45 67k

Inc 4×8 min bg top Z3/Z4

PM bike :30 12k Z1

Saturdays ride was mostly uneventful with the exception of a minor sliding around a corner like a two wheeled, one legged tripod incident.

It all happened very quickly as things tend to do when you’re on a road bike and the roads are slippery.

I was riding quite gingerly into a 90 degree junction. I was only leaning into the turn slightly when the front wheel suddenly let go.

I’m not quite sure what happened next as it all sort of blended into one swift, not exactly balletic movement.

I felt the rear wheel slip as well and at this stage I was well and truly on my way towards a swift and probably painful contact with the tarmac.

I somehow managed to get my left foot unclipped and underneath me as I tipped over. At this point I was sliding gracefully straight towards the drivers door of a car stopped at the traffic lights on the opposite side of the road.

I had just enough time to see the drivers look change from amusement at my ineptitude to fear as the realisation dawns that I’m likely to crash straight into then as I pirouette across the road bike leaning at 45 degrees my left leg being stretched in the opposite direction as I’m getting perilously close to doing a full splits.

I gradually come to a stop still mostly upright and careful but quickly straighten myself up, remount and ride on like nothing has happened.

The only thing that stops me feeling like a complete tool is the fact that I managed to not hit the road a big, hard, wet slap. As it is I only feel like half a tool.

Energy 8/10

Motivation 8/10

Work 6 hours

Sleep 8 hours, good.

Sunday 22 2:55 (1)

Run 2:55 30k

Energy 6/10

Motivation 6/10

Work 7 hours

Sleep 8 hours (pretty good)

Total 11:55 (9)

Swim —

Bike 3:40 87k (3)

Run 7:35 77.5k (5)

S&C :40 (1)

Monthly Accumulated

Total 34:15 (25)

Swim —

Bike 8:40 209.5k (6)

Run 24:55 257k (18)

S&C :40 (1)

You can check out my blog here if you are so inclined.

You can read how I made the journey from smoker to Kona here

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Thanks for reading


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