Workout Wednesday – Push Your Engine Then Recover

 January 31, 2018

Running requires enough time to be durable and to have the engine to support your goals, and rewards economical and efficient movements that require coordinated muscular activations but it also punishes you if you overdo any of the work.

This session is designed as one that lets you push your engine, but also includes enough recovery to be able to keep pushing that engine appropriately during other parts of the week.

15 min warm up, focus on cadence first

Main Set

3 x 30 sec stride, 90 sec easy (strides are an acceleration from your steady pace to a fast, smooth effort)
10 min build over the first 5 min to tempo/10k effort, hold for 5 min at 10k effort, then right into
3 x (30 sec FAST, 30 sec easy or walk)
5 min easy effort
10 min all 10 min tempo/10k effort, again, right into
3 x (:30 FAST, :30 easy or walk)

Cool down
Easy effort to round out the hour, re-focusing on cadence and adding attention to posture.

We offer either one to one or group coaching throughout the season at our Northwood venue. Please contact us at for availability and bookings.

Coach Grainge of SSIU Racing


Article: Hercules Events Support Hertfordshire Child Tennis Prodigy

Join us in building local talent

Here at Hercules Events we are just mad about sport and when the opportunity arose to support a local girl and assist her in achieving her sporting dreams, we jumped at the chance.Introducing Ekua, an 11year old child tennis prodigy who we think we will be seeing and hearing a lot about for years to come. Since the age of 3 years old Ekua has eaten, slept and dreamt about being the number one seed in women’s tennis.



“I started playing tennis when I was three years old, when I used to tag along with my dad to take my brother to his tennis lessons. My favorite tennis players are Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Andy Murray”

“First, I was selected to join the Mini Aces programme at Batchwood Tennis Centre but it was not long before I moved to the more advanced Tarbes programme. I progressed swiftly through the red ball, orange ball and green balls in the mini tennis programme. My current LTA rating is 7.2″

“I love playing tennis more than anything. I spend a lot of time training and playing in tournaments around the country. I have won many tournaments in different towns and have also been awarded sportsmanship awards twice, for playing fairly and professionally. One day, I will be world number one!”

Ekua has done fantastically well so far and has gone on to win numerous trophies, which has led her to be entered into the 2016 Europe Tennis ‘Nike Junior International Tour’, taking place in Halton Tennis Centre in June. She now needs our help in raising £4,000 so she can take part in the tour. Training for such a prestigious event takes a lot of time and funding as you can imagine as she will need one-to-one coaching sessions, squad training, fitness training, hitting sessions, equipment, match play and entry fees for other tournaments. She has already started a campaign with Hertfordshire University Crowd Funding to help her collate the money and you can find out more about it, as well as donate money to Ekua’s cause, by visiting

We hope you will join us in supporting such a promising local talent and we will keep you up to date with her progress.

Go team Ekua!

Let’s talk ‘wheels’

cycle tech


Let’s talk ‘wheels’!

At some point we have all experienced a problem with our wheels, and it can appear to be a minefield on how to tackle the problem especially when stranded at a most inconvenient time!

Our quick guide below will take you through step by step on how to remove a wheel correctly, and hopefully allow you to resolve immediately or at least identify the problem.

Rear Wheels ……

  • Shift derailleur to outermost gear (smallest sprocket) and innermost front chain-ring.

Rear 1

  • Release brake quick-release, if any, or loosen the brake cable.

Rear 2

  • Release wheel quick-release by pulling the release lever outward. Pull outward on the end of the quick-release skewer lever. If necessary loosen quick release adjusting nut to clear any tabs at the end of the fork. For wheels with axle nuts, loosen both nuts outside of the dropouts.

Rear 3

  • Ease the wheel out of the dropouts.


Rear 4


  • Pull back on rear derailleur to allow cogs to clear the chain. Lower the wheel, guiding the wheel down through the brake pads and forward to clear the chain and derailleur. Guide the wheel through the brake pads and out of the fork ends.

Rear 5

Front Wheels …….

  • Release brake quick-release, if any, or loosen the brake cable.

Front 1

  • Having released the quick release lever and loosened or loosened the hub nuts, guide the wheel  down and out of the fork.

 Front 2

Replacing the wheels

  • For non-quick release wheels, tighten axle nuts fully.
  • For quick release; in reverse as to removing the rear wheel. When installing the front wheel, simply place the axle evenly up into the fork dropouts, with the quick release lever on the left side of your bike. Make sure the wheel is aligned centrally between the forks. Holding the cap with one hand, spin the lever clockwise, making sure the side marked ‘open’ is facing outwards. When tightening the lever, it should meet resistance at about the halfway point. Now push the lever closed. The lever should be pointing up in the locked position
  • Close the brake quick release mechanism. View the wheel centering in the fork. The wheel should also be centered between the fork blades.
  • Inspect the brake block alignment and centering by closing and opening the brake caliper with the brake lever. If the wheel fails to center in the frame, either the frame or wheel may be misaligned. In this case contact your Cycle Tech Technician for advice.
  • Spin the wheel and double check the brake block alignment on the wheel rim. Be sure that the blocks do not rub on the tyre.
  • Close the brake quick release or attach MTB brake release wire.


For further advice on ‘how to remove a wheel correctly’ why don’t you give our partners –           Cycle Tech Hertfordshire a call on 07767 305064.


Hercules & the Cycle Tech Hertfordshire Team

Specialists in Mobile Bicycle Servicing & Repairs

The M Check

Check your bike using the ‘M’ check

Before setting off on any cycle ride whether it’s a quick blast off road, a lengthy road ride or a leisurely day out its essential to make sure your bike is safe to ride before you set off.

Our simple guide will give you some quick and easy check points before setting off.

The ‘M’ check – a quick and easy guide!

The M Check

Once you have made all your checks and all okay enjoy your ride!

If any of the above throws up any problems or queries give us a call at Cycle Tech Hertfordshire on 07767 305064 and we will be happy to advise you.

Over the next few articles we will be breaking down each initial component and how to fix/adjust.


Hercules & the Cycle Tech Hertfordshire Team

Specialists in Mobile Bicycle Servicing & Repairs

Getting to know your bike: Name that part!

cycle tech


Over the next few weeks we will take you through the importance of getting to know your bike, how it works and finding out all the technical and non-technical names of parts of your bike – some you may have never even known about!

Getting to know your bike and its parts will enable you to discuss any problems with your bike Technician or bike shop with a greater understanding on what work may need doing to bring your bike up to tip top condition!

Name that Part!

Typical Road Bike:



Typical Mountain Bike:


For further advice on ‘getting to know your bike’ why don’t you give our partners at Cycle Tech Hertfordshire a call on 07767 305064.

Hercules & the Cycle Tech Hertfordshire Team

Specialists in Mobile Bicycle Servicing & Repairs

Open Water Swim Sessions

Merchant Taylors, Middlesex, 18th April to 19th September 2015

We are closed this weekend 12th/13th September. Last two sessions on Wednesday 16th and Saturday the 19th of September.



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Open water swim sessions are back for 2015 at a stunning new venue. This year the Merchant Taylors private lake will be our home from 18th April – 19th September and we do hope that you will all join us for a dip at this fantastic venue.

This year we will be holding our usual Saturday morning slot and there will also be additional sessions on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Not only will you have three sessions to choose from but there will be the all important hot drink and breakfast provision by the lakeside for you to warm yourselves up afterwards.

We look forward to welcoming you all on 18th April.

The loop will be 750m with a turn around points at approximately 200m and 500m so everyone can join in! We will have a full water safety crew on hand to support you in the water as well as the Hercules Team who are always available to offer tips and advice. If you feel you would like to brush up on your open water skills we have our very own highly qualified coaches for one to one or group lessons.

  • Convenient location
  • Beautiful fresh water lake (meets EU bathing water standards)
  • Full water safety (Boat and qualified personnel)
  • Swim coaching
  • 200m turn around point for beginners
  • Large male and female changing rooms
  • Hot showers
  • Free parking
  • Free access to beautiful grass running tracks
  • Hot drinks and snacks by the lake side
  • Card payments accepted on site




Type: Usage: Price:
Single Pass Once £6
Carnet 10 sessions £50
Coaching – Group 1:2 Once £45
Coaching – 1:1 Once £55


Hercules Open Water Swim Sessions

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Hercules Coaching

If you are new to open water swimming or an experienced swimmer looking to better your skills we have the perfect coach for you. During our usual swimming slots we can offer either 1:1 or Group 1:3, coaching lessons of 1 hour in duration. All our lessons are individually tailored to your needs and competency levels by our highly qualified Hercules Coaches so they really are open to everyone. The prices for coaching are as follows:


Type: Usage: Price:
Coaching – Group 1:2 Once £45
Coaching – 1:1 Once £55


If you are interested in a coaching lesson this season please contact us at for more information and bookings.


Swim Course

Swim Safety Notice

Swim Safety Guidance Notice

Please read carefully:

  • We will not operate sessions if the water temperature drops below 11 degrees Celsius.
  • Wetsuits will be mandatory under 14 degrees and not permitted above 22 degrees.
  • If you are unwell do not swim.
  • Under 16’s must be accompanied to the lake by a responsible adult.
  • The minimum age for open water swimming is 8 years old.
  • There is a single entry/exit point. Do not enter or exit the lake at any other point.
  • Please take care entering and exiting the lake, as the surface will be slippery.
  • Please show consideration for other swimmers. If you notice someone in distress, alert the water safety staff.
  • We recommend you swim with a buddy.
  • Wetsuits are mandatory below 14 Celsius.
  • We recommend that you wear a bright swim hat so that you are easily visible to the water safety team.
  • If you get into distress, lie on your back and raise one arm. Safety staff will come to your aid.
  • You are responsible for your property and belongings. Neither the Venue operator nor organisers take any responsibility for the security of your property.
  • Do not leave valuables in the changing areas.
  • If we need to evacuate the lake a horn will be sounded five times.

Please note that the use of wetsuits for open water swimming is forbidden or mandatory if the following combinations of distance and water temperature are attained:

Swim Length Forbidden Above Mandatory Below
1500m 22oC 14oC
1501m – 3000m 23oC 15oC
3001m – 4000m 24oC 16oC




We know how important it is to have a hot drink after an open water swim so this year our Friends at Cafe2U will be on hand at every session to provide drinks and snacks by the lake side.

Drinks include Hot Chocolate, Chai Late, Americano and of course a good old English tea!

Snacks to include porridge pots, bacon rolls, croissants, sandwiches, cereal bars and fruit.




Merchant Taylors’ School, Sandy Lodge Rd, Moor Park, Northwood, Middlesex, HA6 2HT

Where we will be:

The registration area will be next to the Old Merchant Taylors Club House at the back of the Merchant Taylors School site adjacent to the lake and changing facilities. You will need to drive into the school and head for the far car park next to the club house and you will see the Hercules team there. We will also provide directional arrows to the designated parking area.

By Car:

By road from M3, M4, M40, M25 (south and west)
By road from M3, M4, M40, M25 (south and west) Leave the M25 at J17 or J18. Follow signs for Rickmansworth and Northwood through a series of roundabouts (2 from J17, 4 from J18) At the final roundabout follow the A404 (2nd exit, London Road) up the hill. Continue on the A404 past the Nine of Herts golf course on your right and the Olde Green Man on your left. At the Prince of Wales Pub, turn left into Batchworth Lane. Follow Batchworth Lane all the way until it ends and turn left into Sandy Lodge Road. Drive down the hill. Turn left immediately after the big Esso Station into Sandy Lane. The School entrance is 350 yards on your right.

By road from the M1
(M25 north and east traffic exit at J21/J21a and follow signs for M1 London) Leave the M1 at J5. Take the A4008, Stephenson Way, towards Watford. Bear left at the second roundabout (A411). Carry on at the mini-roundabout opposite Tesco’s and follow the one-way system into Dalton Way. Keep left and continue straight on for 200 yards. Turn right at the Bushey railway arches roundabout (following signs for Northwood HQ) and turn into Eastbury Road(which becomes Hampermill Lane) continuing straight on for 5-10 minutes. The road bends sharp left and you see an Esso Station on the right. Turn right immediately before the Esso Station into Sandy Lodge Lane. The School entrance is 350 yards on your right.

By road from London via the A40
From the A40 take the A4180 through Ruislip following Duck’s Hill Road to its end. Turn left onto the A404 – the Rickmansworth Road (which becomes the London Road). Pass Mount Vernon Hospital. At the Prince of Wales Pub, turn right into Batchworth Lane. Follow Batchworth Lane until it ends and turn left into Sandy Lodge Road. Drive down the hill. Turn left immediately after the big Esso Station into Sandy Lane. The School entrance is 350 yards on your right.

By Train:

Half-hourly Chiltern Line trains from London Marylebone take 14 minutes to Harrow-on-the-Hill. Change to Metropolitan Line north (Amersham branch) for Moor Park (10 minutes). You may also continue to Rickmansworth (23 minutes from Marylebone) and take the Metropolitan Line south one stop to Moor Park. There is generally a connecting train within 5 minutes at either station.

By Tube:

Moor Park (Zone 6) on the Metropolitan Line is a 10-minute walk from the School buildings. Plan your journey at At the exit turnstiles, double back on yourself, sharp right along the walkway under the railway line. Go up the stairs and turn sharp left through the barrier
onto the path through the spinney. At the end, bear left along Askew Road, cross the road at the zebra crossing and walk on 50 yards until you see the school gates on your right (pedestrian gate to the left of the main gates). Walk up the Long Drive to the School.


Click here for a map of the location


Parking at Merchant Taylors is free for swimmers and spectators and will be well signed from the school entrance.


Every Wednesday 18:30 – 20:30

Every Saturday 06:30 – 08:30

Every Sunday 06:30 – 08:30


Overcomming Cycling Aches and Pains


Its race season and  you have begun to log up the miles on your bike. One thing you can guarantee is that new and old aches and pains are going to show themselves. What is often misunderstood is what is happening and why is it? Usual suspects include poor riding positions, a weak core, muscles imbalances- a whole wealth of things. For the new rider aches and pains may result from poor bike fit and set up or from simple training errors like excessive mileage too early into their training.

For the seasoned rider it could simply be wear and tear. Your body has grown accustomed to your set up and training regime and yet things will still suddenly go. Our goal at The Flying Physios is to offer advice on how to remedy such things with traditional treatments options. See below.

I’ve got Hip Pain!

What has happened and why?

You may well have been pushing hard in high gears and this can ravage your hips. The addition of tight muscles and weak glute muscles will only add to the problem.

What’s the fix?

Drop the gears back and in doing so increase your cadence (crank revs per minute)- this will take pressure off those hips. Focus on some glute strengthening exercises as detailed below in the knee section. In to yoga? A number of yoga poses can help as well. Muscle weaknesses/overuse can be identified by a Physio or Sports massage therapist.

I’ve got Knee Pain!

What has happened and why?

Achy knee pain may well be the result of incorrect saddle and/or seat position. Weak outer Glutes- the Glute medius-  may also be to blame. New to riding? Then you may simply be trying to do too much too soon in the bigger gears.

What’s the fix?

Pain on the front of your knee? Your saddle is too low. Pain in the back means it may well  be too high. Strengthen the Glute Medius with lateral leg exercises. Focus on stretching the quads, IT bands and hamstrings. Finally try spinning in a lower gear.

I’ve got Foot Pain!

What has happened and why?

You experience tender spots under ball of your foot. You may also experience numb toes when pressure is applied to certain areas on your sole as the nerves between the foot bones are squeezed. This could be due to tightness in the posterior compartment of the lower leg- situated deep under the calf muscles. It could also be the fat pads on the sole of the foot shrinking which can happen over time. This results in the exposure of some nerves.

What’s the fix?

For the numbness try loosening your shoes or if does not alleviate symptoms then try a wider shoe. If you experience a burning sensation try switching shoes to  a stiffer sole or possibly tweak your pedals with a wider platform. Also look a sliding your cleats back.


I’ve got Back Pain!

What has happened and why?

It may be wear and tear due to your age, fatigue related back pain, a weak core (more common than you think) or a poor bike fit (again very common for new riders). All of these have the opportunity to cause strains and pains.

What’s the fix?

For the core- look at plank exercises as a great way of strengthening the area. Also focus on stretching your hamstrings. Take your bike to a professional if you feel the bike fit is the issue- you may be overreaching due to poor fit. As the years roll by your set up may change quite a lot due to your lack of flexibility.

I’ve got Hand Pain!

What has happened and why?

Pressure on the wrist and hand during training can put pressure on the nerves in that area. It will tend to cause tingling and numbness in the fingers and possibly a sharp pain in the wrist. Placing your wrists in too an extreme angle will also cause problems as will putting too much pressure through your hands due to seated position or technique.

What’s the fix?

Firstly consider well padded gloves. Also consider how you hold the handle bar. Try to hold on with a neutral grip position -picture shaking someones hand and note how straight the wrist is- this is what you should be aiming for. Check the saddle position and see if the nose of the saddle is level or has it slipped down? If it has it needs to adjusted and levelled as this will reduce your weight from shifting forwards and putting unnecessary stress on your wrists and hands. .

I’ve got Neck Pain!

What has happened and why?

Your position on the bike may well cause too much over reaching resulting in tension through the neck, shoulders and the upper back.

What’s the fix?

With your hands on the grips look at down at your front wheel the handlebar should obscure the view of the hub. If not adjust. Also try to relax those shoulders as much as possible when you ride.

FIX: When you look at the front wheel with your hands on the hoods, your bar should obstruct your view of the hub. Relax your shoulders when you ride.

I’ve got Ankle Pain!

What has happened and why?

Pain in the back of the heel is a key symptom of Achilles tendinitis. This condition is often brought on by doing too much too soon. Another cause may be having your cleats in far too forward a position making you pedal on your toes too much. This too can strain the Achilles.

What’s the fix?

Ice, ice, ice! Also use an anti inflammatory if you take meds. We recommend resting the area fro a while too. Stretching often helps too. Try letting your heel hang off the edge of a step holding for a minimum 20 seconds. Also look at moving your cleats back.

We at The Flying Physios hope this info has been helpful. Our London Colney St Albans clinic is open 7 days a week and we welcome you to drop in after a run or a ride. Our ongoing offer to all Hercules subscribers is 30 minutes of sports massage for just £20.00. Perfect after a session out beating the streets. To book call 01727 758 846. Take care and safe training.

How to dress for cold weather cycling


Let’s admit it not everyone likes to get on their bike in the very cold weather – even the hardiest of cyclists! The important thing to remember is to be prepared and dress appropriately for the weather conditions whether you are training for a forthcoming event or riding for fun. It’s always good to stay warm in cooler weather, and the best way is to wear layers.

What on earth does that mean?

If you take a cross section of an onion, you can see all the skin layers surrounding the core. Layering of your clothing works in the same principle.
When you dress in layers, you generally have three different types of clothing on your body, each with its own purpose.

Base Layer

The base layer is the one closest to your body. Its sole purpose is to help you stay warm but not get too hot, and most importantly, should serve as a way to carry perspiration away from your core. Wool is an excellent material for this, and some synthetic materials are suitable as well.

Typical Example of a Base Layer:Base Layer

Long sleeve base layer providing insulating compression for muscle support.

Middle Layer

The purpose of the middle layer is to insulate and at the same time to still continue to move moisture away from your body. This layer is “fluffier” than the base layer, keeping warmer air in close to your body yet allowing it to still circulate around you so that you don’t get too warm in periods of high activity. Of the three layers, this one will vary the most depending on the temperature and the individual person. In addition to the actual air temp, your level of activity plus the amount of sunlight and wind combined with your level of fitness and metabolism will all factor into how much insulation you will require in this middle layer. Polyester fleece is a good choice for an insulating layer. Wool polo’s or vests also work well.

Typical Example of a Middle Layer:

Casual long sleeve t-shirt in light fast-wicking Tri-Lite® fabric

Outer Shell

The outer shell primarily serves as a windbreaker and also works to thwart any good old UK showers! This layer’s first job is to keep you dry – the warmth you will feel comes from what’s underneath. The outer shell should be breathable to help get rid of the moisture you’re generating through perspiration. Lots of jackets now have rear vents and underarm zipped vents help remove the moisture.

Example of a typical outer shell:

Lightweight translucent waterproof & breathable jacket in an athletic fit

Most of All – Enjoy Riding in Any Weather

You can enjoy a great days riding using the above principle. However don’t forget your hands, head and feet. They all need insulating!

With the right gear you can safely and comfortably ride in the UK winter climate.

For further advice on clothing and ‘layering’ up for your ride why don’t you give our partners the team at Cycle Tech Hertfordshire a call on 07764 185515.

Above all ENJOY!

Hercules & Mike & the Cycle Tech Hertfordshire Team

Specialists in Mobile Bicycle Repairs


How to stay race fit ALL season…


By now your race season should be planned and you will be gearing up to the first event whilst easing off on the hard work you have put in your off season. The fact is, there is still some hard work to do – such as staying fit and healthy for the duration of your events timetable.

It is not unknown for an athlete to work so hard off season only to develop an injury just weeks before competition and ruin their season. We at The Flying Physios are keen to stop this from happening and so below we offer some top tips on keeping you race fit all season.


Keep strong all season long!

Runs, swims and biking, focus on key areas such as the glutes, quads, core and back. To avoid injury as the miles build up you need to STRENGTH train all of the muscles groups. Why? It promotes balance throughout the body and it keeps the muscles strong alleviating pressure on the joints.

Roll away the pain.

Foam rollers are something we at The Flying Physios have warmed to slowly. They are useful for rolling out some niggles and promoting replenishing blood flow into areas – similar to a deep tissue massage. Focus on the ITB, your calves and your lower back and roll AFTER stretching. A word of advice – use them gently. We see too many people bruise themselves – though not always visible- by hitting these things too hard. Also when using it on your calves roll from bottom to top- not top to bottom. Why? Because you can damage the valves in the blood vessels by forcing fluid the wrong way!

Keep a keen eye on your kit!

Tri-athletes have 2 key pieces of kit that must be maintained and attended to regularly – the bike and the running shoe. The bike needs fresh tyres every season and regularly check tyre pressure and brake pads and always wear your helmet. Your running shoes need to be changed every 400 miles or 3 to 4 months. Flat shoes like flat tyres on a car will hamper performance and are guaranteed to aggravate knees, hips and your back.

A rub makes everything better.

Recovery is a very important part of your season and your training. A sports massage by a trained sports massage therapist will help identify muscle imbalances, tension and aggravated muscle fibres and treat them. A good therapist will also identify problem areas you never knew existed and address them too. A sports massage can be performed as much as once a week but twice monthly or even once a month will suffice. At the very least, schedule a massage following every race. The Flying Physios run pre-race clinics prior to all Hercules Events.

What’s your body telling you?

Neck stiffness following a bike ride or foot issues following a run are symptoms you cannot not ignore. If you are working with a trainer speak to them about it. Advice will stop something small turning onto something much bigger. Again a massage can help.

Learn from someone else.

Coaching at any level is extremely beneficial. So seek someone with the experience you need and work with them for a while. Work outs can be enhanced and training kept within reasonable limits during race season, greatly reducing the chance of over doing it. Working with a coach is also a great way of staying motivated.

Eat like a champion athlete.

You are what you eat so pay attention to your diet. Failing to refuel or  becoming overheated and dehydrated can cause some serious issues. Take on iron and protein which both allow your body to fully recover. Food is fuel, good fuel equals good results, bad fuel… well you get the idea.

Have (n) Ice bath

Believe it or not an ice bath should be an essential part of your recovery following every workout. Ice reduces swelling and aids muscle recovery.


Rest, rest, rest.

A rest day is so important as a part of your training schedule off season and during race season. Rest is rest – no running, cycling, swimming or strength training. A rest will not hinder your performance, it will help it.


The Flying Physios are offering all subscribers and individuals participating in Hercules Events a preferential rate on our Sports massages throughout the race season. You can book a 30 minute appointment for just £20.00. To book call 01727 758846 or email

Our first Hercules Events ‘pre-race clinic’ will take place at our London Colney St Albans clinic in the week leading up to The Hercules Festival of Sport – Luton on Sunday 24th May.