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Bounce back from Long term Stress




Your world as you know it has been turned upside down. A side effect is that your health and fitness has probably taken a knock!  Although not your fault, this lack of wellness is now contributing to your stress and leaving you feeling drained, frustrated, run down and possibly a bit depressed.


When you are in a state of long-term stress, as you have been with this lock-down, you have been operating in survival mode, which means none of your energy resources have been going towards repair and vitality.  This leaves you open to getting sick or feeling depleted, as your system has no longer been dealing with the short-term stress such as healing, warding off bugs and keeping your immune system strong as it usually does on autopilot. 

Being aware of this is the start of positive change.  Below are my 3 steps to help you begin the process of bouncing back after this lock-down experience.

Step 1: Challenges that you experience are actually ‘neutral props’!  It is your choice whether you infuse them with positive or negative.  So the first thing you need to is ask the question “How can this work for me?”.  No matter if it is a weight problem, fitness, health or mindset issue… there is always a lesson which is there to move you in the direction you actually want to go.

Allow your mind to get creative for a while of how you would prefer things and then let the outcome go for now.  Carry on with your day maintaining your vision of how you would like things to turn out.  This is the first step to creating a positive shift as it all starts with the mind.

Step 2: Understand there is a timeline for things to play out.  Maintaining the vision you created in step 1 is important as that is the direction you are going, despite the time it may take.  Think of it a steering a ship.  You may not see the shift initially but if you stay on course, you will eventually get there.  The problem comes in when you get thrown off by the seemly endless sea of water so keep looking back.  Looking back will keep you in a holding pattern of ‘sameness’. Always hold your focus forward, as that is where you are going.

Step 3: Be selfish in this process.  Now to be clear I do to mean this in a greedy or spiteful manner, I mean that it is important that you look after YOU first. If your cup is not full you are no good to others anyway. Unfortunately, you have been brought up in a world where you were taught that being selfish is bad and that you should always put others needs before your own.  I’m saying it is 100% perfect to look after others but NOT to the detriment or sacrifice of your own needs. Understanding the difference will have a huge impact on your progress and headspace.  

In closing, think of your world as a University, which means you are here to learn.  So use every situation as ‘feedback’ and work with it in gratitude, not resistance.  As long as you are making progress daily, no matter how small, you are winning.

So now it’s time to take the next step.  Send me a mail to with the heading DESTRESS and in the body let me know were you are battling and what your goals are.


Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Why your bike is causing you back pain



Why your bike is causing you back pain

You are on the most amazing ride with your friends then that dull back ache starts to kick in. What’s worse, is after the ride your back goes into spasms causing you to hobble around like a cripple for a few days. The thing that is meant to give you pleasure is causing you pain.
So the problem is not the bike, nor is it you. It is your preparation for the ride that needs fine tuning. The very nature of riding has its roots in endurance, which means you need to prepare your muscles to sustain endurance-based activities. As your core is what takes the most pounding when you ride, it is important to do your physical prep work off the bike so you can endure long rides pain free.

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lengthened. While simultaneously your hip flexors and pectorals (chest muscles) become shortened. Holding this position over a long period of time, repeated over and over again can cause an imbalance between your posterior chain and anterior chain. This means your body becomes rounded in a C-shape. This unnatural position puts huge strain on the entire back, lower, middle and upper as your posture is misaligned, similarly to those who sit at in offices for most of the day.
Now, I don’t have to explain the difference between a bike and a chair, but realizing that your back is not supported in a hunched over position so it does not take much for the aggressive movement of a bike to jolt the body into a spasm. This is why your back is so vulnerable when you ride.
Your solution is simple. You need to do exercises which counter act the C-shape caused by the riding position. To open your frame up you must lengthen your chest muscles and stretch out your hip flexors. Then you need to strengthen your upper back muscles and allow them to shorten slightly by avoiding to much stretching. You will also need to strengthen your glutes and lower back.
Below are some exercises which I suggest you incorporate into your weekly fitness regime.
1. Lower back – Supermans * Strengthens lower back (primary) and glutes (secondary) as well as stretches out hip flexors
2. Glutes – Glute bridge walk outs * Strengthens glutes (primary) and lower back (secondary) as well as stretches out hip flexors
3. Upper back – Overhead squats* Tightens upper and middle posterior chain while stretching out chest
4. Upper back – Rear delt kickbacks* Tightens upper and middle posterior chain while stretching out chest
As with any sport you need to prepare. Just because you are sitting or standing on a bike, does not mean the bike is doing all the work and you can just coast. The bike is just an extension of you so ensure your muscles that support your spine, as well as the muscles which attach to the spine are strong and balanced.
If you need a program to assist you in relieving back pain please mail me on with the heading BACK PAIN

Mandy Sealy – Base Fit

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10 Things you must do to get fit!



10 Things you must do to get fit!

By Mandy Sealy, BASE FIT: Specialized Sports Fitness

Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of getting fit, not sure what to do and how to apply it?
In this article we are going to simplify fitness for riding into 10 simple aspects which will:

  • make up a balanced fitness routine for you to follow,
  • allow you to experience real fitness progress.


Below are the 10 fitness components which will have you operating like a pro when you combine them into yourfitness schedule. So let’s get started:

1: Stamina (The ability of body to use energy)
You feel your lack of stamina when halfway through a workout you start yawning or feel you need to sleep. To
build stamina over time, make sure you include segments of high-rep body weight exercises, for example 50
repetitions push ups, body weight squats and sit ups.

2: Strength (The ability to apply force over time)
The best way to build strength is to lift a weight in a manner or heavy enough where you can only manage
between 8 to 12 repetitions, for example dumbbell shoulder press or deadlifts. This can also be achieved using
your body weight for example with pull ups or decline push ups.

3: Power (The ability to apply force in a short burst of time)
The explosive movements including resistance call on your muscles to react and fire quickly and are a must to
include in your fitness program. You don’t need to do many just about 5 as fast as possible for example clean &
press, snatches, and box jumps are another good one.

4: Speed (The ability to minimise time of a repeated movement)
Shuttle runs work wonders for building speed. Do drills every 30 seconds, on the 30 seconds mark, with a rest
period of only 30 seconds in-between.

5: Agility (The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another)
Improving agility takes time but is critical. Incorporating agility drills as part of your fitness routine will train your
body to be ready for quick direction changes.

6: Balance (The ability to control the placement of your centre of gravity in relation to your support base)
Core strength plays into your balance, so the stronger your core, the easier you will find balance work. Great
exercises are single leg work for example snatches or RDL’s. The better your balance, the more energy you

7: Accuracy (The ability to apply force)
A great tool to help train accuracy is to use balls, ensuring your ball hits the target every time.

8: Coordination (The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement)
It’s important to force your brain to coordinate multiple movement patterns.

9: Cardio (The ability of body to deliver oxygen)
Most people get this one right. It’s simply doing steady state exercise like jogging or cycling where your heart
rate reaches about 60 to 70% of your max and stays there. Here you can do the talk test, which means you
should still be able to chat while exercising.

10: Flexibility (The ability to maximise your range of motion at a given joint)
Working on mobility can be as simple as incorporating a foam roller into your daily routine for a few minutes. If
you really want to see big changes, add in a 5-minute block of full body stretching after each fitness training

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Preparation is 80% of the win



Preparation is 80% of the win

Winning is not Accidental

Goal achievement requires more than just planning and knowledge. You must also be able to get yourself into the right mental state to follow through with your commitment. Here’s how:

  1. See the Moments Coming
    Everyday you will need to be on top of your game in order to make healthy food choices and to have productive workouts. Give yourself time each night before to identify where you battle and see yourself overcoming those challenges.
  2. Adopt a Winner’s Physiology
    Your body and your mind are in a feedback loop. If you’re slumping, frowning, cramped, and taking shallow breaths, your body is telling your mind to fail.
    Break that downward spiral by acting like a winner:
  3. Smile.
  4. Stretch.
  5. Straighten up.
  6. Hold your head high.
  7. Take deep breaths.
    Now your body is telling your mind to win 😊
  8. Visualize the Winning Outcome
    Create a vivid picture in your mind of exactly how things will look like when you’ve won your race or reached your goal. Imagine how you’ll feel when you KNOW you’ve made it. Make winning so real in your mind that it’s like you’ve already won.
  9. Mentally Rehearse Your Actions Steps
    Tracing backwards from what you’ve just imagined, have a good understanding of the specific actions you took achieve your goal, as well as how you overcame the obstacles that may have come up.
  10. Go For It.
    Now don’t think about winning or losing. Just be in the moment, focused on what you need to do next. Eat, train, and ride in a manner that you already own your victory.
  11. Learn
    Take a look at your results. Regardless of whether you won at the level you’d hoped or not, notice what worked and what didn’t. Going forward make any changes you need to in preparing for your next race or goal. Preparation, both mental and physical, is already 80% of the win.
Base Fit rider Kirsten Landman with her Dakkar Medal

Is your WIN to improve your fitness for riding so you can get more enjoyment out of your sport?
Is your WIN to be fit enough to finish your races with ‘gas in the tank’?
Is your WIN to smoke your competitors with a podium finish?
Is your WIN to burn off excess body fat, and feel super energized?
Understanding what your WIN is, will be the driving force that keeps you going when motivation lets you down.

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Trick to Sustained Energy in Extreme Enduro



Trick to Sustained Energy in Extreme Enduro

Your body will first cool itself before it gives you energy. So if you become dehydrated you will feel the energy draining from your system. The trick is to go into your big race with enough water on board on a cellular level that you have ample to keep yourself cool for far longer than the usual 4 to 5 hours of riding.

But of course, there is a catch!

Carrying so much water in your system will make you heavier, and you may feel a bit like the Michelin man. This in turn can make you feel slower, but only initially. Hence why this strategy is only used of long enduro races, not shorter 3 to 4-hour sprints. Bear in mind that being a bit slower in the beginning of a long ride is far better than running out of energy later. This is the difference between the slow finishers and those that finish strong and fast.

The trick is to get as much stored energy in your muscles as possible as well as water in your cells before you race. This is achieved through increased glycogen stores in your muscles. Glycogen not only responsible for immediate available energy, but it also holds three times its volume in water. Bonus!!
So how do you increase your glycogen stores for race day?

The first step is to deplete your current glycogen stores on the 4th and 5th day before your race. This is achieved through strategic exercising and limited carbohydrate intake. The point is to deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles, so when you reintroduce glycogen in the days to follow your muscles will hold on to more than it did previously. Eating: Drop your overall carbohydrate intake, without reducing overall calories, so replace the carbs you cut out with protein. Exercise: Keep exercise sessions short but still push to near exhaustion without causing any muscle soreness. It is very important to train your entire body evenly as only muscles exercised will benefit from the increase in glycogen levels when carbohydrates are re-introduced.

Please note that you will feel tired on the second day of doing this, it’s normal and temporary.

The next step is the fun part, the re-feeding. Eat carbohydrates again. Your body will convert these carbohydrates to glycogen but in higher quantities than before as the muscles are coming out of a depleted state. Eating: It is very important NOT to increase your overall calories when increasing your carbohydrates again. You will need to eat less protein and fat at this point to make up for the increase in carbohydrates.

Drink about 50% MORE water than you would on a normal day. Exercise: Drop the intensity of your training to only very light, even shorter sessions but still working the whole body evenly. We just want to keep moving so joints don’t stiffen up and reaction times are kept quick.

On race day keep your carbohydrate intake high with less focus on protein. All your muscle development work was complete long before now, so the focus is the need for energy. Make sure you have a solid carbohydrate-based breakfast about 2 hours before racing. Keep taking in water right up until you race.

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Drinking and riding, are you under the limit?



Drinking & Riding: Are you under the limit?

Adequate hydration is critical for:

  • Not only maxing out your riding performance,
  • But also protecting you from dehydration related injuries, especially on those ultra-hot
    riding or race days.

Now, if you are one of those riders who only drinks when you get thirsty, you are not doing your riding performance any justice.

This is because the high energy demand when you ride causes:

  • insane rates of heat production and of course
  • extreme sweating!

This means you need to drink to a planned schedule….
not just when you feel you need too. Doing it this way you can ensure you are taking in fluid at the
same rate as which you are losing fluid.

Please realize…that even the slightest bit of dehydration will affect on your riding performance on the day as well as affect your ability to stay focused!


So as everyone is different, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ hydration plan is not going to work!
What is important is that you understand is what YOUR specific hydration needs are … and the best way to work that out is to weigh yourself before you ride… and to weight yourself again after you ride.
When you do this, please also take note of:

  • how intense your ride was on the day,
  • how long you rode for,
  • and of course how hot it was….. as these are all variables that will affect your water loss.

Doing this means that you can use each training ride to work out how much fluid you typically needon an average ride. A rule of thumb you can work with is to drink 1 liter for each kilogram of weight that you lose.
If you find you weigh more after a ride, which is highly unlikely but has happened …..then you are drinking way to much fluid.   But the weigh ins will help you figure that out.
As a starting point work on about drinking half a litre of fluid about an hour before you are about to do an intense ride (or race) …. and then keep drinking between 600ml and 1200ml every hour – but that is where you will need to make the adjustments according to how much you usually need
factoring in the temperature of that day.

Now here is another important point to remember Your body will FIRST cool it’s self before it gives you energy!

So sometimes what you are battling with energy, it actually because you are slightly dehydrated.

When it comes to your electrolyte mix, add about ..somewhere between 4% to 8% into your hydration pack. You will also need to test how much works best for you as too much or too little can cause cramping. So play around with that too.
Please also bear in mind, that drinking water with your electrolyte mix is as important also important in the hour before you ride as well as the hour after you have finished riding. The worst thing in the world you can do to your body, is to have an alcoholic drink straight after you have ridden – but that is a topic for different day.

I hope this helped you. If you have any questions just drop me a message or if you need some personalised coaching to help you with your riding, then just get hold of me or one of our top level coaches at our Base Fit Branches, just go to our website or reply to this mail.

Keep hydrated
And see you next time
Mandy Sealy

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