It’s a quiet and discrete place to exercise, so you can relax and focus on the task ahead of you. You would never believe you are on central London’s doorstep in the heart of Mayfair.
With state of the art Technogym equipment, you can surf the web, watch your favourite show or listen to music to help you push yourself even further (and distract from the pain). You could even do some work, but we think that’s a bit much. Find out more here.
Our GM, Chris Penn, is a committed athlete and has been taking part in triathlon events for a number of years now. You may remember Chris’ Olympic Challenge in the run-up to the Olympics. Here’s an insight into the mind of a dedicated fitness enthusiast, with some great tips for you too:
1. When did you start competing in triathlons and why?
I started competing in 2001. I remember it vividly as I was much heavier, socially smoking and generally in the process of becoming the stereotype that I most feared. I spotted an advert at a local gym for a small triathlon and couldn’t help but think it was impossible – it was a 200m swim, 23km bike ride and 2.5km run in Stratford. Triathlons were not very fashionable at the time and the advert was the first I had heard of such a crazy event. So, with my fear of a stereotypical hotelier’s future and my love of challenge, I set about preparing myself. Little did I know that I would catch the bug and push myself further and further over the years that followed. An interesting fact, although slightly embarrassing, was that during my first triathlon, in the transition from swim to bike, I actually took out a towel and started drying myself! It made a few people laugh and at least it showed how novice I was.
2. How do you divide your training in the gym? (ie between CV equipment and weights?)
I place a heavy emphasis on CV work as this comprises the majority of my sport. However, the strength work is really important and can give you an edge in terms of power and speed, particularly in the shorter sprint and Olympic distance races and also helps to prevent injury if used correctly.
3. Give us some insight into what goes on inside your head when competing and how you keep yourself going
A large part of mid to long distance triathlon racing is in fact battling against your mind. Marathon runners talk about hitting the wall and if you have ever experienced this, you know how tough it is to get through. I spend time in training working on my mental strength and use distraction techniques to take my mind away from the negative thoughts that come into my head and often use counting or positive words to keep me going. When competing in Ironman, my worst feelings were in Austria, when I was climbing a tree lined hill on the bike and my mind was telling me to go and sleep under the trees – it is hard to explain if you have never experienced it, but it can be quite tough to get out the other side of those thoughts.
4. What advice do you have for how to fit in training around a job, family etc?
Too many people say that they “do not have enough time.” I argue that you do not make enough time. There is a big difference between can’t and won’t and if you look at many of the inspirations that complete Ironman in their 70s, you will know exactly what I mean!
5. What advice would you give to someone who is considering taking up triathlon as a sport?
Enjoy it, reap the energy benefits that it brings to your life but always keep a balance as it is very addictive and can lead to obsessive behaviour – I talk from experience.