SiS Academy - Products Recommended by Tim Lawson

You'll recall I'm lucky enough to be one of nine amateur 'athletes' selected for the Science in Sport Winter Academy.

That means I receive expert help with my off-season training and nutrition. I've promised to share all that advice with you. 

So here is the list products, hand picked by SiS founder Tim Lawson for my off-season training. They should arrive any day now.

REGO Night, REGO Recovery, REGO Protein, SiS CLA, OMEGA shots, GO + Carnitine, GO Electrolytes

Unfortunately, I won't now get them until after Christmas as I'm off visiting family and friends. I hope the postman tucks them away somewhere safe...

Would these items work for you and your training? Well, most people in the SiS Winter Academy have received similar items, so it's possible. And this is my write-up of the advice Tim gave me over the phone and the video below introduces me and what I'm about. 

Spanish Translation for DVD2 Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

Once again the esteemed Ignacio Wenley Palacios Iglesias has done all the hard work, crafting the technical terms and phrases into Spanish and incorporating still images from the DVD's coaching sessions.  

It's less of a transcript and more of a free book about sea kayak rescues in Spanish. The journey to St Kilda is also part of the translation 

We are, of course, hugely grateful to Ignacio for all his hard work.  

The links are on the website, but if you want to take a look, you can download free the English or new Spanish versions right here. Click and they'll whizz straight to your computer.

Video - Norway's DNT Hut System - from The Adventure Show

Copyright restrictions usually prevent me from publishing features from The Adventure Show, made by the excellent Triple Echo Productions for BBC Scotland.

This is an exception and it allows me to explain a little of what happens behind the scenes.

Making items for TV programmes like this are my bread and butter.  (If you want to hire me, please get in touch!)

I researched possible locations and English speaking contributors, set up the shoot, and after a month of emails and phone calls, Cameron and I flew out of Aberdeen Airport.  

It might surprise you to learn there is no team behind the camera. No director, producer, sound people, assistants or gear carriers accompany us. There is only Cameron and me. David Attenborough's shoots are quite different, but then, so are his programmes.

Consequently, I shot much of this feature wearing an 80L rucksack. It held my personal hill kit, spare camera kit, and had a large tripod strapped to the side. Cameron and contributor Are helped enormously by carrying a small bag of camera kit each. For the walk-out I made a padded tube so my Canon XF305 slips safely inside the rucksack.  

So when you watch us heading down Bergen station platform it is for real - one take, no rehearsal - we really must catch that train. Cameron is very patient while I try to juggle the physical demands of filming with the mental exercise of ensuring we have all the sequences we need.

We flew out on a Friday, back in a Monday so it truly is a Wild Weekend.  I immediately went into a four-day edit, cutting the material into shape, before passing it to Triple Echo Productions for the final edit. In the finished show it's divided into two parts, but I've run them together here.

Now you know the background of to this sort of film you might watch it in a slightly different way.

GoPro 2 Compared To GoPro 3 Silver

See much difference? No, me neither. Not my test though. GoPro 3 Black should be better. 

(If you find this useful please click a few of the adverts)

Video - White Water Kayaking from The Adventure Show

My first attempt at shooting a white water kayaking video, screened in last month's edition of The Adventure Show for Triple Echo Productions. It's now on Glenmore Lodge's channel so I thought I'd share.

Video Podcast - New Sea Kayak Navigation Aid

A brand new invention to make sea kayak navigation whole lot easier has been invented by Howard Jeffs.

One look at it and you'll think, "that's so simple, why has no one thought of it before"!

[edit - See comments below - they might have!]

It allows you to do table-top chart work in the cockpit of the kayak.

Priced just £14.95, and available from Howard's website, it's the perfect seasonal gift for paddlers.

Howards stayed with us for a night and we shot a proper video which you'll find on his website and YouTube.

After we'd finished I thought we could have a go at a rougher video podcast - you can see the result below.

Next update will be in early January 2013. Subscribe free at and you won't miss a thing.

The Celtman Triathlon on The Adventure Show, Sunday

This was a great edition of The Adventure Show.  It's now on the iPlayer for a week.

Training Nutrition - Advice from Mr Science in Sport Guru

Regular readers will know I'm lucky enough to be one of nine amateur 'athletes' selected for the Science in Sport Winter Academy.

Things started for real yesterday with a telephone conversation with SiS founder Tim Lawson. Fifty minutes later my motivation was fully topped-up and head was buzzing with ideas.

If you want to see Tim talking to a Tri magazine, watch the video below. If you want to read what Matt Fisher, another academy member, learnt from his chat with Tim, go here.

I've promised to share what I learn, but remember, this advice is geared to me. I'm mid 50s, 1.81m tall and since August dropped from 77.2kg to 74.3kg but aiming to loose more weight. 

If you want to know more about the training I'm doing, my background and experience to date, watch the video on this page.  I took extensive notes as Tim spoke and, as my BBC training taught me, wrote them up immediately afterwards.  

The notes I took immediately afterwards look like this.  These are followed by my more detailed explanation. Don't blame me if I've got any of this wrong - Tim's the expert, not me!

CLA - good for fat loss.  Keep taking if it's working. I routinely take 3x 1000mg of Conjugated Linoleic Acid daily, and Tim told me there seems to be evidence it helps fat burning (as opposed to weight loss). So I'll keep taking it.

Suggest fish oil supplement. I don't eat meat but I do eat fish, roughly twice a week (salmon, trout, mackerel). Tim reckons I need more Omega 3 and recommends I take SiS Omega Shot.

Everyone should take vitamin D3. Living in north Scotland I've been concerned about our levels of Vitamin D, which comes from sunshine.

Confusingly, health experts disagree on the level that's needed for good health, and the RDA for supplements is very low compared to what many feel is needed. Tim privately told me the quantities of D3 supplement Pro riders are taking which is staggeringly more than the RDA.

While SiS don't have a commercial D3 product, Tim thoroughly supports the idea of D3 supplementation.

Fasted morning ride could be 60-90 mins.  Twice a week I've been riding 30min turbo sessions fasted, then doing a 20min core strength session, followed by breakfast of organic scrambled eggs. Tim suggested making the fasted ride longer to get greater adaption. But he warned against doing a strength session fasted as the body needs protein before such a work-out.

 SiS GoHydro Tabs in water & carry SiS GO Energy Gel 'just in case'. 
Depletion is good & forces adaption. My outdoor rides of up to an hour-and-a-half could also be done fasted. That was new.

Tim recommended I take the risk of feeling really hungry and drained. A little of this when training is good. Apparently.  But I should do the long ride fully fuelled and keep taking the 60-80g of carbs during that ride. So don't ride fasted all of the time.

Tim later emailed an article he'd co-authored analysing the current research on fasted training - riding 'low' (on carbs) but competing 'high' (again, on carbs... not anything else!)

The process isn't fully understood, but good results are being achieved through a fasted training session, followed by a protein meal, then a second training session. Follow-up with quality recovery, carbs and protein, and the results have been positive. Fascinating!

Seek advice of physiotherapist for core exercises. I know my core strength training could be better, but where to get advice without hiring a trainer?  The internet is full of stuff of suspect value and origin. Tim highly recommended suspension training, such a Red Cord, "like a gym ball  but ten times as powerful". 

My Norwegian friends tell me Red Cord is common in every physiotherapists practice in their country. While not splashing out on a suspension set just yet, I have booked to see a sports physiotherapist to advise on a good core work-out.  But as Tim warned, "make sure she knows the intensity you're looking for - you're not trying to recover from a bad back".  Not yet anyway.

Meals are too high in carbs & too low in protein.  Liz and I eat healthy, home cooked, meat free meals.  I thought we had a perfect diet. But Tim's right, for training there's not enough protein.

He dismissed my regular breakfast of porridge, seeds and honey as "just a big bowl of carbs" and suggested I cut them down while adding 20g of protein to each meal . How do I do that? 

Egg white 7g protein.  Tim made one breakfast suggestion, a fry up!  1 egg with 2 egg whites, a slice of bacon (not for me), served on a big pile of fresh greens and a couple of oat cakes. "It fools you into thinking you've had a fry up", he said.

Protein into porridge (smaller portion)  If I want to stick with porridge, try a smaller portion and mix in some SiS REGO Protein powder. Or add an egg. To porridge?  Apparently, it is done.

For main meals I have to add more "meaty" protein - fish, tofu or other source, rather than filling the plate with pasta, rice and noodles.  "The pros use carbs as fuel", Tim explained. "Increase the amount on hard training days and cut right back on easier training days."

Cook with coconut oil  Tim is the third nutritionist I've heard recently talk about cooking with coconut oil. I've read a lot about this, and Kelli Jennings recommends it highly, mainly for the way it 'works' with the body.  I need to get some.

SiS REGO Night for evening munchies. I needed a strategy to stop late-evening snacking. Kelli has a recipe for a home-made evening shake, but the SiS REGO Night sounds a lot easier.

Tim reckons it gives the body a 'protein pool' to help overnight recovery, improve sleep, and help take some of the aches out of the legs on waking.

That's what I've learnt so far.  When the SiS products arrive I'll try to go through them on video and explain how I plan to use them. Just in time for Christmas eh?  The video below is the man himself.

Ironman? For Wimps. Try Celtman. On TV Sunday.

If you are into triathlon, do not miss this TV programme Sunday 9th December.

Triathlon doesn't always translate well to TV unless it's live. But The Adventure Show coverage of the first Celtman event feels more like a documentary.  

I edited it and had fantastic material to work with. Mind you, just watching was exhausting.

It all happens in Torridon and teeters on the edge of what the human body can cope with in a one-day event. A 3.8 km open water swim across a sea loch. A 202km (185 mile) bike ride around a hilly course. Then a 42km run, a full 26 mile marathon over a 3,314ft high mountain, Beinn Eighe.

After every edition, people cry "why is this superb show only broadcast in Scotland". While nice to hear, there's nothing I can do as I'm just a hired hand. Triple Echo Productions are the people behind the excellent show and, while the don't update their website very often, you can reach them through The Adventure Show - Facebook page.

And in this digital age the programme can be picked up around the UK.  It's on Sky 990, Freesat 990, Virgin and of course, the iPlayer for seven days.

Not Bad Second Best

Winter brings frustrations for the cyclist.

The roads around where we live were icy all day this weekend. Fat tyres might have coped, but skinny ones certainly wouldn't. 

So it was time dig out the crampons and axes to head to the hills.

Liz and I feel it's a good thing not to have any 'Munros' on the peninsula, because that means the stunningly beautiful mountains here are largely deserted.  

We were the only people on Garbh Bheinn on Saturday.

The snow was soft enough not to need the crampons we carried, yet compact enough to make descending really quick. The brisk wind blew snow showers and low cloud overhead. Very little of it lingered.

It helped with the cycle training. I think. Lots of repetitive leg movements and elevated heart rate has to be good, right? Hope so...

New Podcast - Round Britain with a Stick

Rowland Woollven reckons he's the first person to paddle around Britain using a Greenland stick.  

It took him quite a long time. Years in fact. Why? Well, you'll have to listen to the podcast to find out. And view the bonus photos, only in the App vesion.

You can listen to a streaming version below or download free through iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio or at

Rowland is an accomplished kayaker and a member of the teaching faculty of WEMSI, the Wilderness Emergency Medical Services Institute.  

He took one of the two cover shots on Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown, Volume 2 and shot some of the footage.  Rowland will feature prominently in Volume 3.

This is the third and final podcast with people who completed circumnavigations of Britain in 2012.  

There will be another podcast in December - subscribe free and you won't miss a thing.  Oh, and follow us on Twitter @SKPodcasts