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Name: Chris Palfreyman | Age: 30 | Location: Boars Hill, Oxford

Sport: Long Distance Triathlon/Ironman (Swim 3.8km, Bike 180km, Run 42km)

Next Race: ITU Long Distance World Champs, Spain.

2019 Main Objective: To perform well at Ironman World Champs, Hawaii.

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In 2014 I first had the idea (‘dream’) of trying to qualify for the Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hawaii. At this point I was totally deluded to what that really meant but I knew it would get me out of bed every morning and give me a challenge that excited me like nothing before. At this point my swimming experience or ability was close to zero, my bike was fairly strong as I cycled with clubs and dabbled in some road racing and even though I didn’t run at this point I was sure that I could pick that up fairly quickly. How hard could it be…?

Five years down the line, I can safely answer that question with ‘bloody hard’! The level of performance needed to qualify for Kona now is outstanding. In my current Age Group (30-34), the top 4 finishers of an Ironman are given the privilege to race in Kona. So out of around 2,500 participants at these events, my Age Group will have approximately 250 athletes and only the top 4 walk away with the mystical Kona slot. I was lucky enough to get this 4th slot at Ironman Wales 2018, which means I will be heading to Hawaii in October 2019 to toe the line with the very best athletes Ironman has to offer.

Having fine-tuned my training, thanks to coach Rachel Stoakes a typical week will be 6 days of training twice a day with one day of full rest or active recovery.

As I build towards a race the training can increase somewhat but a typical week looks like this:

Swim: 16km/4h. Mostly in a 25m pool but once the sun is out, one session a week will be in a lake.

Bike: 200km/9 hours. Usually broken down into 4 hours on the indoor turbo trainer and 4 or so hours on the road.

Run: 45km/3.5h. A mix of off-road trails, road and track sessions. Also ‘brick’ sessions (run straight after a bike session) start to feature as race day approaches.

Gym: 2h. Focusing on areas of weakness, injury prevention/rehab and specific strength work.

Sports Massage: 1h. Best hour of the week, by far!

The above may seem manageable (which of course it is) but what gets tough is the fact that consistency is really key. The above is what happens week after week, month after month and year after year. Balancing that with full-time work is an added challenge which most Age Groupers face.

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I’m often asked what the secrets are to getting through the tough sessions. It’s really hard to answer as there are no secrets but here are a few tips that could help you.

For example, I have been set a few three-hour indoor turbo trainer sessions. So, it’s just me at home on a stationary bike staring at a wall thinking ‘how has my life come to this?’. But wait, it can be fun, honest!

Here are my tips to anyone thinking of doing a tough session whether it be a swim, bike, run or any physical activity to be honest:

  • Understand why you are doing that specific session. Then you will never ask yourself ‘why’ or ‘what’s the point’ when your legs and lungs are screaming for you to stop. If you are not sure, then ask your coach, do some research or ask someone who knows. This is so important!

  • Embrace the solitude and the pain. You will have at least 9 or so hours of this come Ironman race day. If you are always entertained or distracted you will have a real shock come the race. Don’t be scared of spending time with your own thoughts and get to understand what your mind needs to get through the tough times.
  • Have objectives during the session. In my case all the sessions are based around power numbers (watts). Personally, I just stare at my little computer between my arms for hours on end trying my absolute best to hit the prescribed numbers set by coach Rachel. There are lots of training apps and programs (Zwift, Trainer Road etc) available now which can also help in setting and hitting objectives.

  • Be well fuelled. During a 3h session I can easily get through 3 litres of water with electrolytes (Precision Hydration), 2x energy gels and if it gets bad an energy bar or two. Remember fuelling has to be right before and after the session too.

  • Surround yourself with the right people. If those around you understand how important this challenge is to you, they will support you and even motivate you at times when the training seems to be never ending. Find others who are doing similar sessions and team up with them. Share the pain!

 In a nutshell, if you really believe the challenge you are doing is worthwhile and exciting, then why not commit 100% towards doing the best you can!? That shouldn’t only be on race day but in the months leading up to it too. Don’t be scared of the daunting task, be excited and remember how lucky we are to be healthy and physically able to challenge ourselves in this way.

 

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Thanks for reading. Time for a turbo session…

Feel free to contact TLA if you have any questions or want help in achieving your goal.

Special thanks to: TLA for their amazing support!

Rachel Stoakes

Precision Hydration - www.precisionhydration.com

Bryony O’dowda – www.odowdasportsmassage.com

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Great chilly mornings and December dates

Those chilly mornings are nearly upon us and not to mention so is the rain already! However, none of this stops you dedicated TLA’ers from striding out into the wild to roll around in the mud and enjoy what nature has to offer! It's fantastic to see you all so motivated to keep training outdoors throughout the Winter - this is often a time when some manage to find an endless list of excuses not to train – so keep it up!

TLA's new Ultra-Fit classes are proving to be very popular and we are so pleased to see some new faces coming along too. Both Monday and Wednesday classes have started off well and are now part of a great training routine for all of you who attend. Variety is at the top of the list to keep you all engaged and motivated and we are extremely excited to continue this forward into 2019. 

Below are a few dates for your diaries so please read on....

Cumnor Bootcamp

Saturday 22nd December will see the last TLA Cumnor Bootcamp. We know some of you dedicated Saturday bootcampers will be sorry to see this class go HOWEVER, TLA has been spicing things up a bit recently by introducing new classes, one of those being a new Saturday class ‘Battle Strength’ which takes place at the TLA Studio.

You will have read the recent email regarding the new Battle Strength class that has been successfully running for 4 weeks already and again is proving to be very popular. This will be continuing onward and upwards...

Battle Strength is a structured class whereby you will need to commit to weekly blocks of training. Battle Strength is progressive and working you on a whole new variety of training methods. We truly understand that mental strength is just as important as physical strength to unlock peoples potential and chances of success. The only way to find out about Battle Strength is to come and give it a go. You will require the willingness to commit physically and mentally and to not be carrying any injuries.

Battle Strength will always be held outdoors at our TLA Fitness facility in Sunningwell with each and every session being different to the next. So.......why wait?! 

Battle Strength will re-start on Saturday 5th January 2019, 08:00 at TLA Studio. For all enquiries and to book please email tom@tlafitness.com 


Another little massage treat for TLA members


Simon Brand will be back on Friday 14th December 4:30-6:30pm delivering sports massages. Please do BOOK by emailing tom@tlafitness.com

There are only 4 x 30 minute spaces available so BE QUICK!
 

PYRENEES 2019 - YEP, IT'S INBOUND :)


Your next TLA Fitness newsletter will contain all the details and introduce the 2019 TLA Pyrenees trip, whooooo!
 

TLA December Training Dates 2018


TLA Fitness will be continuing with all TLA membership classes up until and including Sunday 23rd December. TLA classes will re-start on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.
 
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A very good morning everyone.

I am delighted to bring you this October newsletter. On top of the New Ultra-Fit 1 class we are introducing Ultra-Fit 2 (see below).  The TLA Fitness team is excited to announce our fantastic member of the month and also a golden ticket opportunity for a FREE sports massage.........on top of all this there is more... however a second newsletter will be on it's way to you next week.

Ultra-Fit 1 (UF1) Monday nights @ 19:00

UF 1 - involves lots of different types of Cardio Vascular exercises, activities like walking, jogging, running, cycling, aerobics, rowing + skierg's and many different types of bodyweight movements. You're heart rate will be racing by the end of this workout but if you really want that stronger level of cardio fitness then look NO further than this class. It's guaranteed to leave you feeling worked yet amazing at the same time.

It's going great guns! Click here to book on

Ultra-Fit 2 (UF2) Wednesday nights @ 18:15

TLA is renaming the TRX & Spin fusion class to now Ultra-Fit 2. The class will continue to start at 18:15 for 45minutes.

UF2 will very much continue onwards and upwards with The Spin element and TRX workout that will continue to build your core strength, stability and functional mobility, all in one workout. There will be the gradual introduction of further weighted kit to provide good variation in all the UF2 workouts, think along the line of high repetition and getting a good muscular endurance workout.  Click here to book on
 

Ultra Fit Classes

Classes will not exceed one hour and programmes will always vary in length and focus on different types of exercises. These classes will be suitable for all abilities - come with an open mind and a willingness to have fun and really engage in Ultra-Fit!

TLA's Member of The Month!

This month we would like to highlight someone who embodies the TLA spirit to it's fullest.  That is trying new things, and throwing your self into what you do 100%.

Amanda Benstead is a regular at Heather's morning Bootcamps and has attended TLA classes for some time.  She is a great addition to the classes being committed, enthusastic, hard working and great fun.

Recently Amanda was giving an amazing opportunity - a chance meeting on a long haul flight resulted in her being given a ticket to the Burning Man festival (Google it!) - basically, it is a festival of art, music , performance, and everything else you can think of out in the Nevada desert, you bring everything you need, you leave no trace when you leave.  Instead of saying, thanks but no thanks, Amanda took the opportunity and travelled by herself to take part and had an incredible time. 

This may not be a fitness related achievement, but as mentioned at the beginning, it is what embodies the TLA spirit - take the opportunities, try the things that frighten you, don't be afraid to experience new things.  So whether that is entering your first ParkRun, running up Snowdon, racing in the freezing conditions of the Yukon or travelling solo to a crazy festival in the deserts of the USA, in the words of a fitness brand you may have heard of 'just do it'!! 

FREE Sports Massage...?  Read on and be quick...!
 



Simon Brand, Whilst playing full-contact, first team rugby at 40 years of age, Simon realised that if sports massage could keep him fit and on the field, it could help anyone! Currently studying for a BTEC Level 5 in Soft Tissue Therapy with Oxford School of Sports Massage, he assists at Abingdon and Banbury Rugby clubs as well as providing post-event massage work, such as at the Blenheim half-marathon. 

Simon will be offering FREE 30minute massages on the following dates 30th October, 13th and 27th November the timings will be between 18:00-20:00, please BOOK by emailing tom@tlafitness.com

 

 

 

 

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NEW Class


Introducing ULTRA-FIT 

Starting Monday 10th September @ 19:00 (this class will be replacing TLA's Boxercise)

Ultra-Fit involves lots of different types of exercises, starting with cardio-vascular and moving on to muscular endurance. It is good for metabolic conditioning and taking the body through a transition of these disciplines.

“It’s all about getting everyone involved in different disciplines of exercise, doing something a little bit more exciting, people coming together, learning more about exercise and truly learning what the body is capable of!"

We are super excited to launch this class. Classes will be led by Jim Thorne and Tom Alden, both former Royal Marines that have previously competed in Ultra-Fit. Classes will not exceed one hour and programmes will always vary in length and focus on different types of exercises. These classes will be suitable for all abilities - come with an open mind and a willingness to have fun and really engage in Ultra-Fit!

 

Three Autumn Kit Tips


1. Check out your Autumn/Winter wardrobe
Is all last years kit still OK, or does it need one or two additions? If you are new to running and want to keep running through the Autumn and Winter months, as it gets cooler in the mornings and evenings, you will need to put on an extra layer/base layer.

2. Remember the accessories
On colder mornings those first few minutes when you get out of the door, are when you will feel the chill. Lightweight hat and gloves will help you cope with this. 

3. Are you visible out on the run?
With the shortening days, just make sure you are safe, particularly out running. There are many hi-vis tops and jackets in our clothing ranges and reflective accessories and head torches to help you see and be seen.
 
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No need to think that Autumn is a time to ease back on your running, whatever your standard and whatever your goals. Many runners find autumn the most exhilarating time of the year to run, whether you are just trying to keep up a gentle 3-4 day a week class/run routine, or starting to lay the foundations for a spring event. Enjoy yourselves this autumn.


Nutrition bullet from Helen:


Are you getting the most out of your training session?

Be it a bootcamp, studio class or PT, no session at TLA Fitness is ever easy. You put yourself through the pain and then what? To get the most out of training sessions it is essential to eat afterwards, and as soon as possible after. 

When exercising, muscles rip and to reduce the risk of injury they need to be repaired. Additionally, most of us want to build muscle and get stronger. Both muscle repair and strengthening is dependant on protein. If exercising for general fitness, then eating 20g of protein after training is enough. For greater muscle hypertrophy and those more interested in bodybuilding or athletes in a strengthening phase of training, the recommendation increases to 50g. But for the masses 20g is ample. So what is 20g of protein?


1 pint milk
200g 0% Greek yogurt
65g chicken
100g salmon
110g white fish or prawns
3 eggs
170g tofu
1 tin beans

Eating is the easy bit! And here is a delicious recovery snack that makes the most of the abundance of free blackberries available at the moment.

Instant frozen recovery yogurt

200g 0% Greek yogurt
200g blackberries, frozen (or any frozen berries, also works well with frozen mango)
2 tsp honey

Simply blend and enjoy.


 

Farewell Tony


Tony has been an exceptionally strong member of the TLA Fitness team since July 2013.

Tony was a bit of a silent assassin; cool, laid back, but should your form go off, he was on top of it and it was only at the end of the class you realised how hard you had worked with his 'just one more rep in the next round' or his favourite surprise finisher of a 5 minute burpee test.

But what Tony will be remembered for is his 'little bursts of speed'! 


 
DON'T FORGET TLA BBQ 9TH SEPTEMBER 13:30

Tickets on sale now.

PLEASE DO EMAIL heather@tlafitness.com

ALL are very welcome, friends and family, please ensure dogs are on leads. Thank you

Limited tickets and we will work on a first come first served basis.

Really looking forward to having you all there
 
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TLA Members take on Blenheim Triathlon - Race report by Adrian Pitts

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1844.jpg It promised to be a great day for some swimming, cycling and running: the glorious sunny weather really brought out the colours in our TLA sponsored Cumnor Kites kit!

As Gemma Pitts, John Rogers and I entered transition before our midday wave time, we had to pause to allow some athletes in their T2 head out on the run: looking strong as he sprinted past, David Wigg was able to ‘high five’ us as we wished him luck for his last section of the race.

Wet-suited up, we headed down to the lake and shared a few tactical navigation tips: reading the wind patterns on the water we decided to start on the right and leave the others to do battle on the left. As it happens most people were ahead of me so it didn’t really matter! Before we knew it we were out of the lake and starting the long 500m climb back up to the courtyard for T1.

The downhill start to the 3 lap bike course is always exciting. The course was busy but dry allowing us to really build up some speed. Unfortunately, Bladon Bridge wasn’t ready for John; he chose to lovingly protect his bike whilst simultaneously acquiring a little bit of road rash on his first lap.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1847.jpg We’d been on the course for about an hour as we left our bikes in T2. The temperatures were picking up and the 5.6km hilly, 2 lap run certainly used the last of my available energy. Gemma finished looking strong and took 4 minutes off her previous time. As for me, I was a few minutes down on my PB, which will inevitably lead to me signing up for yet another ‘last Blenheim Triathlon’!

For a variety of reasons excuses, this season hasn’t seen too much triathlon specific training! It goes to show that the odd cycle or run to a TLA Bootcamp for an hour of press ups by numbers, squats, hill reps and (although I hate to admit it) even a burpee or two, must be doing us some good after all! See you there next year, maybe…


 

Benefits of Sports Massage by Pollyanna Fitzgerald

Following on from Adrian, Gemma and John's exploits at the Blenheim Triathlon - it is good to talk about the benefits of Sports Massage both pre and post event.  You don't need to have a specific injury to make use of a massage - it is a great tool for keeping your body in good condition to stand up to the rigours of training.

 

 

Here is a list of the benefits and results of a good sports massage:

  • You will get a reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

  • Massage can help hugely with pain relief

  • It can promote collagen alignment, muscle function and reduces scar tissue from injuries when applied at the correct stage in the healing process. Therefore making massage an important part in rehabilitation

  • It reduces the potential for injury making massage an intergral part of an injury prevention programme

  • Great for muscle relaxation

  • It helps give an increased range of movement and flexibility

  • Increases lymphatic and blood flow

  • Muscle spasm and tension can be relieved

  • And last, but not least and maybe one of the nicest results of sports massage it promotes an immense feeling of well-being

Please contact Pollyanna on pollyanna@tlafitness.com to book in for a massage to reap these benefits.  Whether you have run a 5k or Man V Horse, massage can benefit everyone.

 

 

Member of the Month

We have a new feature for the TLA newsletter - each month we are going to be shining a spotlight on a TLA member who, for us, stands out.  This is a difficult task as all of our members are fantastic and give everything to each training session.  However, this month, we are giving special praise to someone who has just gone from strength to strength and that is Nadine Hunter.
 
Nadine joined TLA in 2009 and quickly became a regular at bootcamp sessions and a very loyal and committed TLA member.
 
Nadine has been a role model over the recent months, she trains so hard and now gives many members a real run for their money! She takes part in numerous events including the incredibly tough Man V Horse event and the TLA Pyrenees trip.
 
Nadine is extremely dedicated to her training, even running when everywhere was flooded, however a slight deviation from the flooded river path resulted in a dunking in the river! Not to be detered, Nadine finished her run, albeit rather soggy!! (this was in the Winter too!!!).
 
So please join us in congratulating Nadine as our first member of the month!
 
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Summer Family Bootcamp

We are thinking ahead to the summer holidays which are not all that far away now!! We are going to run our Family Bootcamp again this year for 6 weeks starting on Wednesday 25th July and running until Wednesday 29th August.
 
The classes will be held at the TLA Studio in Sunningwell and will start at 9.30am.
 
Price will be £10 pay as you go for adults and £5 for participating children, or you can pay for a block of 6 for £51 (£8.50 per class).  Members on block booking can also use their cards for this session.
 
As always, children are very welcome to come and join in, or they can watch and play in the woods behind the Studio.
 
We look forward to seeing you, keeping you fit over the Summer and having some fun while we are at it!.
 
Please contact Heather on heather@tlafitness.com to book on.

 

 

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TLA Studio

Our HQ is based in Sunningwell, Oxon. The TLA studio runs regular classes daily, take a look at our membership options to find one that suits you!

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