Tree-athlon Training & (Vauxhall Mokka X) Transport Logistics - Ross Edgley

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Tree-athlon Training & (Vauxhall Mokka X) Transport Logistics

This month I announced on social media that on the 12 November I will enter the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean and attempt to complete their annual triathlon (Olympic-distance consists of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run) whilst carrying a 100-pound tree. As you might expect, when I announced my “treeathlon” lots of people were a bit confused.

How will I actually do it?

With difficulty (and the new Vauxhall Mokka X) is the answer.

For those interested I have:

  • Included basic training principles (and studies) that have helped me
  • Created a video to show how the new Vauxhall Mokka X came to my rescue when travelling and training up and down the country whilst needing to transport my bike, tree (and kayak).
  • Detailed the exact 12-week training plan I adapted below.

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Training Principles | Calories 

Whether you’re walking, running, cycling or swimming, as soon as you add weight you burn more calories. That’s according to scientists from the Chaim Sheba Medical Center who found the additional weight alters your, “locomotion biomechanics” — basically your technique — which leads to a, “Significant increase in energy (calorie) cost over time.”

An idea supported by research published by the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology who examined the influence carrying 10kg, 20kg and 30kg of weight had on the cardiorespiratory system (heart and lungs). After measuring oxygen uptake, heart rate and pulmonary ventilation they found, “Each kilogram of extra weight increases oxygen uptake with 33.5 ml/min, heart rate with 1.1 beats/min and pulmonary ventilation with 0.6 l/min.”

So how much will I burn during my tree-athlon? The exact answer is hard to say, since it’s believed that if you complete an Olympic triathlon in the average 3 hours and 9 minutes you might burn between 1,960 and 3,000 calories total. Smaller female athletes tipping the scales at 120 pounds (54kg) will burn a lot less whilst larger, muscular athletes who weigh 180 pounds (82kg) and more will burn towards the higher end.

Then there’s me and my tree.

If you add the 100-lbs (45kg) log to my 210 pound (95kg) frame that means I will be attempting to drag 310 pounds (140kg) around the course which includes 2 laps around the island on my bike with each lap requiring me to tackle the infamous 5km ‘Anaconda’ 9% hill gradient climb. What this means is my final caloric expenditure could be anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000. Considering I’ve committed to a vegan diet this is a lot of chia seeds and a lot of almond butter.

Training Principles | Core Conditioning

Gyms the world over are filled with men naively trying to crunch their way to a six-pack. I say “naively” because despite all the weighted crunches in the world you’re only ever going to slightly increase the size — and therefore depth and definition — of your rectus abdominis muscle. For those reading that missed that physiology lesson, the rectus abdominis is the muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the human abdomen. It’s the one you have to thank for the appearance of a six-pack.

Yes, like all skeletal muscle, it can be sculpted, molded and increased in size. But even the world’s most chiseled abdominal muscles cannot be seen beneath a layer of fat. Which is why the above calorie-burning science of the tree-athlon is of so much value.

But even more interesting than that is the research conducted at the University of Jyväskylä, in Finland. They wanted to see if upper body exercises where you hold a static and stable position could engage the abdominal muscles more than a conventional “crunch”. What they found was these stabilising exercises ― like carrying or cycling with a tree ― elicited a “Sufficient level of contraction of the trunk muscles for the development of their endurance and strength characteristics.”

In short, the simple act of holding and stabilizing certain positions is a valuable training tool for developing a six-pack.

Especially when you couple this with research from the Département de Mécanique Appliquée at the Université de Franche-Comté who set out to analyse muscular activity during two pedalling postures and found that “the change of pedalling posture in uphill cycling had a significant effect on the muscle activity.” Specifically they discovered the influence of the “lateral sways” of the bike leads to greater activation in everything from the biceps, triceps, glutes and – most importantly – the rectus abdominis muscles that are (again) responsible for your six-pack.

Which brings me to the end of my tree-athlon training theory.

12-Week Plan: World’s Strongest Triathlon Training

Worth noting is the below training plan is great if you’re training for a triathlon, but isn’t so good if you’re training for a tree-athlon. This is because as soon as you attempt to swim, cycle and run carrying a 100-lbs tree it becomes a completely different sport. This is based on a basic law of sports science called the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands).

Don’t be fooled by the impressive sounding acronym it’s not complicated. All it means is your body will adapt to the specific demands you place upon it. If you want to improve your cardiovascular system, do things that tax your heart and lungs, repeatedly. If you want to get stronger then just do the same with your musculoskeletal system and weight training.

Flexibility, speed, power and the list goes on.

treeathlon

Do more of whatever it is you want to specifically improve. That’s it in its simplest form. For me this meant the below 12-week triathlon training plan all needed to be done with a log on my shoulders in order for it to be specific to the newly invented sport of tree-athlons.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Week 1 Swimming Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up – 10 x 25m drills with 20 seconds rest

– 10 x 50m (25m hard/25m easy) with 20 seconds rest

– 5 minutes warm  down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up
– 6 x 20 seconds hill reps and jog down recovery
– 15 minutes running at 80% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes warm down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific

Turbo 40 minutes. (10 minutes warm-up.
10 x 60 seconds high cadence (low gear at <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 60 seconds easy.
10 minutes warm down)

Swimming Specific
30-45 minutes technique work
Running Specific

40 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes

Cycling Specific

60 minutes steady pace

Week 2 Swimming Specific

-10 minutes warm-up;
– 10 x 25m drills with 20 seconds rest
– 15 x 50m (25m hard/25m easy) with 20 seconds res;
– 5 minutes warm down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up
– 8 x 20 seconds hill reps and jog down recovery
– 15 minutes running at 80% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes warm down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 45 minutes, (10 minutes warm-up.
12 x 60 seconds high cadence (low gear at <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 60 seconds easy.
10 minutes warm down)
Swimming Specific
30-45 minutes technique work
Running Specific 45 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

70 minutes steady pace

Week 3 Swimming Specific 10 minutes warm-up;
10 x 25m drills with 20 seconds rest;
20 x 50m (25m hard/25m easy) with 20 seconds rest;
5 minutes warm down
Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up
– 10 x 20 seconds hill reps with jog down recovery

– 15 minutes running at 80% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes warm down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 40 minutes, (10 seconds warm-up,
15 x 60 seconds high cadence (low gear at <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 60 seconds easy.
10 minutes warm down)
Swimming Specific
30-45 minutes technique work
Running Specific 50 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

80 minutes steady pace

Week 4 Swimming Specific Complete 50% of race distance
non-stop
Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up
– 15 x 20 seconds brisk strides at 5k pace and 40 seconds recovery

– 5 minutes warm down
Weights. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific 25 minutes turbo. 10 minutes warm-up, 10 x 30 seconds at high cadence (low gear <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 30 seconds recovery. 5 minutes warm down Swimming Specific 30 minutes technique work Running Specific 30 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

45 minutes steady pace

Week 5 Swimming Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 10 x 25m
drills with 20 seconds rest

– 10 x 100m (50m hard/ 50m easy) with 20 seconds rest

– 5 minute warm down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 6 x 30 seconds hill reps with jog down recovery

– 15 seconds running at 80-85% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes warm down.
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 40 minutes (10 minutes warm-up; 10 x 30 seconds at max
intensity; 90 seconds easy; 10 minutes warm down)
Swimming Specific
45-60 minutes technique and endurance work
Running Specific 45 minutes easy and off-road. Find a hilly route to build leg strength Cycling Specific

70 minutes hilly at steady pace. Stay seated on hills to build leg strength

Week 6 Swimming Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up;
– 10 x 25m drills with 20 seconds rest;
– 15 x 50m (25m hard/25m easy) with 20 seconds rest
– 5 minutes warm down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 8 x 20 seconds hill reps and jog down recovery

– 15 minutes running at 80% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes warm down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 45 minutes, (10 minutes warm-up.
12 x 60 seconds high cadence (low gear at <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 60 seconds easy.
10 minutes warm down)
Swimming Specific
30-45 minutes technique work
Running Specific 45 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

70 minutes steady pace

Week 7 Swimming Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up
– 10 x 25m drills with   – 20 seconds rest
– 20 x 50m (25m hard/25m easy) with 20 seconds rest
– 5 minutes warm down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 10 x 20 seconds hill reps with jog down recovery

– 15 minutes running at 80% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes warm down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 40 minutes, (10 seconds warm-up,
15 x 60 seconds high cadence (low gear at <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 60 seconds easy.
10 minutes warm down)
Swimming Specific
30-45 minutes technique work
Running Specific 50 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

80 minutes steady pace

Week 8 Swimming Specific Complete 50% of race distance
non-stop
Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 15 x 20 seconds brisk strides at 5k pace and 40 seconds recovery

– 5 minutes warm down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific 25 minutes turbo. 10 minutes warm-up, 10 x 30 seconds at high cadence (low gear <75% Max. Heart Rate) and 30 seconds recovery. 5 minutes warm down Swimming Specific 30 minutes technique work Running Specific 30 minutes easy and off-road
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

45 minutes steady pace

Week 9 Swimming Specific

10 minutes warm-up.
– 10 x 25m drills with   – 20 seconds rest

– 6 x – 100m hard with 30 seconds rest.

– 5 minutes warm down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 6 x 30 seconds hill reps and jog down recovery
– 2 x 5 minutes running at 85-90% Max. Heart Rate + 2 minutes active recovery.
– 5 minutes warm down.
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 45 minutes (10 minutes warm-up, 8 x 2 minutes at 85-90% Max. Heart Rate and 60 seconds easy spin with 10 minutes cool down) 5 minutes run off the bike Swimming Specific
45-60 minutes, open water if possible. If not, include open-water skills
Running Specific 55 minutes off road and easy. Run on terrain similar to race route.
Strength session. 30 minutes
Cycling Specific

70 minutes including 10 minutes at goal race pace

Week 10 Swimming Specific

10 minutes warm-up

– 10 x 25m
drills with 20 seconds rest

– 8 x 100m hard with 30 seconds rest after each 100m.
– 5 minutes cool down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up

– 8 x 30 seconds hill reps and jog down recovery

– 2 x 8 minutes running at 85-90% Max. Heart Rate with 2 minutes active recovery.
– 5 minutes cool down.
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 45 minutes (10 minutes warm-up,
5 x 3 minutes at 85-90% MAX. Heart Rate with 90 seconds easy spin and 10 minutes cool down) 10 minutes run off the bike
Swimming Specific
45-60 minutes open water if possible. If not, include open-water skills
Running Specific

55 minutes off road and easy. Run on terrain similar to race route.
Strength session. 30 minutes

Cycling Specific

80 minutes including 15 minutes at goal race pace

Week 11 Swimming Specific

10 minutes warm-up

– 10 x 25m
drills with 20 seconds rest

– 10 x 100m hard + 30 seconds rest

– 5 minutes cool down

Running Specific

– 10 minutes warm-up.
– 10 x 30 seconds hill reps and jog down recovery.
– 15 minutes running at    – 85-90% Max. Heart Rate

– 5 minutes cool down
Strength session. 30 minutes

Rest day Cycling Specific Turbo 45 minutes. 10 minutes warm-up, 3 x 5 minutes at 85-90%MHR and 2 minutes easy spin. 10 minutes cool down and 15 minutes run off the bike Swimming Specific
45-60 minutes open water if possible. If not, include open-water skills
Running Specific

40 minutes off road. Run on terrain similar to race route.
Strength session. 30 minutes

Cycling Specific

90 minutes including mid 20 minutes goal race pace

Week 12 Swimming Specific

10 minutes warm-up
– 10 x 50m drills with 20 seconds rest

– 6 x 50m sprints at goal race pace and 30 seconds rest

– 5 minutes easy cool down

Rest day Cycling Specific

– 15 minutes warm-up

– 15 minutes sustained effort at goal race pace.
Running Specific

5 minutes at goal race pace and 5 minutes easy jog to cool down

Rest day Swimming Specific
15 minutes including 5 x 25-50m
sprints
Cycling Specific

15 minutes including middle 5 minutes at goal race pace.
Running Specific 5 minutes easy pace off the bike

Race day

Transport Logistics | NEW Vauxhall Mokka X

All of the above was only made possible because the Mokka X enabled me to travel the country for 12 weeks with my bike and log in the back of the boot. But (for me) the Mokka X is so much more than just an generously spaced vehicle. Having spent so long in it, I wanted to detail the (official) technical spec. followed by why I personally loved driving it.

NEW Vauxhall Mokka X | Official Spec.

Engine 1.6CDTi 136PS
Capacity 1598cc
Max Power 136PS @ 3500rpm-4000rpm
Max Torque 320Nm @ 2000 – 2250rpm
Max Speed 116mph
0-60mph 9.7sec
Fuel Tank Capacity 53litres
  • Luggage capacity (rear seat up): 356 litres
  • Insurance group: 15E

FUEL ECONOMY (MPG)

  • Urban driving: 3
  • Extra-urban driving: 2
  • Combined figure:1
  • CO2 Emissions (g/km): 124

STANDARD FEATURES INCLUDE:

  • Silver-effect 18-inch alloy wheels with 215/55R 18 tyres
  • Alloy-effect protective front skid plate
  • Side-protection mouldings
  • Silver-effect roof rails
  • Front fog lights
  • Stainless steel exhaust tailpipe
  • Dark-tinted rear windows
  • Alloy-effect door sill covers
  • Chrome-effect side window trim
  • Leather-covered steering wheel
  • Steering column adjustable for reach and rake
  • 60/40 split flip and fold rear seat
  • Leather seat facings
  • Ergonomic sports front seats
  • Electrically heated front seats
  • Electrically heated steering wheel
  • Rear seat centre armrest with drinks holders
  • Dual-zone electronic climate control
  • Cruise control with speed limiter
  • Multi-function trip computer
  • Automatic lighting control
  • High beam assist
  • Rain-sensitive windscreen wipers
  • Electro-chromatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror
  • 12-volt rear power outlet behind front seats
  • Electrically foldable door mirrors
  • Electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors
  • Electrically operated front and rear windows
  • Remote control central locking
  • Vauxhall OnStar, your personal on board assistant
  • Switchable electronic stability programme
  • Anti-lock braking system
  • Traction control
  • Hill start assist
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Remote control alarm system
  • Front and rear parking distance sensors
  • Emergency tyre inflation kit in lieu of spare wheel
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Intelligent four-wheel drive
  • Descent control system

 

Post Author
Ross Edgley