Manchester Institute of Health and Performance


One of the strangest days of our lives! Tom stayed at mine in the Peak District so that cycling weekly could photograph our daily commute into Manchester. 6:45 two journalists knocked on the door and photographed Tom eating his breakfast, well part of his breakfast, he was too slow and we had to leave! On the ride to BMI they got some shots of us riding around the Peak and going in and out of the hospital.
Private clinic done it was time to get my legs waxed. No idea why I volunteered for this, a totally surreal experience, which seemed to give all the women in outpatients a great deal of pleasure, I think it was just the pleasure of watching a man in pain! Having your legs shaved as a man is so weird for many reasons; one – your legs look like someone else’s, two – women give you beauty tips on how to keep your legs in good condition (wtf), three – it’s bloody freezing ha ha and four – I keep running my hands up and down my bald calves ha ha ha


After another ride to the Nightingale centre and a meeting I was running late so I had to pedal hard to MIHP. I want worried. How hard could an hour be in the environmental chamber. Oh dear. We had no idea, lambs to the slaughter.
Mihp have always been so welcoming. They have offered their services for free to support the charity. Having ridden to MIHP in rain at four degrees we knew this is the only way we can prepare for 40-50 degrees in the desert in 40 days time.


The chamber was set at 26 degrees and 2200 metres altitude. A few photos done, Tom and I feeling good we settle in on the bikes at our normal power levels. I immediately feeling really shit and over tired. Cycling weekly interview us for the first 20 mins and it’s super hard to speak, so.. short….of breath. I keep passing them over to Tom to ask him about something so I can breathe between questions. The temp gradually cranks up to 32 degrees. And zero humidity. Tom and I are sweating, I mean really sweating. Ross who’s looking after us in the chamber tells us we are losing 1500ml of water per hour, we cannot drink that fast, we try but after even 25 mins I am grateful when Ross tells us to back off and have a break. Shirts are off. Chat has stopped. This is hard. Drink. Sweat. Drop head and pedal. 30 minute session to go, not sure I can do it. My oxygen sats are 84 % no wonder I feel out of breath. When I see a patient with sats that low I would be seriously 😧 worried. 25 minutes to go, seriously? Not sure I can keep this up, got to. All good training. Twenty minutes to go. Ross asks us repetitive questions about our level of exertion and how hot we feel. I feel “very hot”, top of the scale. Sweat is running off us, not dripping, running.


Ten minutes to go, can’t keep this up, I’m backing off. 3 minutes to go. Thanks god. I can do this. Never been so happy for a workout to end.


Tom and I walk out. Slowly, broken, really tired. 25 mile ride home to go. In the freezing rain . Hungry. Time for an afternoon snack that every athlete needs, McDonalds. Salty fries and mayonnaise never tasted so good, cold milkshake dropping our core temperatures. Sooo good.


See you at MIHP, same time next week.