Bodylab Training

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by chriswilson

In recent months Chris has worked with several North London groups and individuals to help them improve their mechanics, running efficiency and speed.

Chris has pulled a variety of exercise types based on his experience and knowledge of how sports injuries manifest and how the body adapts to training. Chris’s work is useful to all, helping with core stability and balance, improving posture and avoiding the onset or development of chronic pain. Talk to Chris about how you can improve your posture and become a better athlete.  It really isn’t just about how much you do or how strong you are, it’s about having a ‘smart’ muscles working together as one unit to move faster, more powerfully.

Over the winter, Chris will continue to work with small groups and is always available for impromptu sessions or organised courses, please ask him for more details.    

Sports Massage – Regular Massages to Reduce Injuries

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by chriswilson

Hopefully, if you have come along for some treatment on an injury, Chris has managed to sort you out or helped with the healing process,  It’s one of the key benefits to sports massage, the different techniques Chris incorporates will bring about a healing response in the tissue and so after a number of sessions, appropriate rehabilitation and return to full activity. 

Whether or not you are injured, there are lots of great benefits to regular Sports Massage.  Chris’s goal is to enable you to train regularly and consistently, improving your performances in competition. Sports Massage aids recovery, flushing out muscle cells and pumping energy rich blood into the tissue to help repair and energise it whilst deep tissue work and stretching return muscles to their natural length. Identifying weak or tight muscles and addressing the possible cause, helps prevent minor niggles becoming chronic injuries.  

Treatments aren’t just about muscles.  Joint mobility is another key reason that injuries can occur, easing tissue around the joints enables freer movement, of course having achieved this we need to ensure that muscles are ‘activated’ to perform their correct function.  When there is a specific problem in a joint, Bodylab Osteopath, Andy Hodgson, is referred to for assessments and appropriate treatment. 

A buzz word of the last few years in the Fitness World has been Myofascia, the connective tissue which enwraps cells, bundles of cells and bundles of bundles, indeed the whole body.  Working with this concept in mind helps us understand how tissue stressed or damaged in one area can connect to dysfunction in another and so give you the right treatment.

Make a Sports Massage part of your training plan, a reward for completing a hard week’s / month’s training or achieving a set goal.  Feel those free muscles and limbs again, stretched out, supple and energised — Ready for action in peak condition. When you are at that stage, I’m satisfied I have done my job. Organise a series of sessions with Chris now 

Winter Warm Ups

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by chriswilson

Dark, rain, wind and snow, it’s never very inviting to train at this time of the year.  With the colder temperatures your body may not work quite as efficiently—muscles feel tight, joints feel stiff and a general feeling of sluggishness.  To help overcome this, it can be really beneficial to spend a few minutes warming up before heading out.

Starting with a light continuous movement, you’ll feel your heart rate increasing almost immediately; it’s preparing the body for exercise. The increase in heart rate, is pumping fresh oxygen rich blood around the muscles, with the increased exertion, the muscles and the body heat up.  The muscles ‘wake up’, become more elastic and flexible allowing an increase in the range of mobility around the joints.  Include some stretching at this stage, these can be static or dynamic.  Whichever you include in your session, always start with easy movements not over stretching muscles, then gradually increase the range of movement as the muscles warm up and become longer.  If static stretches, don’t over stretch, but when feeling as good (not painful) stretch, hold – relax and breath out gently increasing the stretch.  Always be in tune with your body, notice the differences in symmetry between each side/ body segment and ask why is a muscle feeling tight?  It could be overworking to compensate for some dysfunction elsewhere or it could just be a reaction to a heavy weeks training.  Dynamic, functional movements, can be more specific to the actions the body is going to perform. Start with easy controlled movements slowly increasing the range and complexity of movements.   The exercises require strong core, balance, stability and motor control.

Always follow stretching with some functional movement specific to the actions you are about to to perform. 

Here’s a sample full body warm up—12 exercises, 30 seconds per exercise ready to go in 6 minutes!

Head movements  (side to side , forwards/backwards  – not full circular motion)

Shadow boxing (shoulders, trunk rotation)

Shoulder rotations (forwards and backwards)

Standing Press ups (press up against wall, pushing away from wall and absorbing the movement to wall, creating one continuous rebounding movement)

Side bends (lower lumbar vertebrae/ muscle groups, ITB)

Trunk rotations (lower lumbar vertebrae, internal/external obliques)

Tip Toe Rolls (warm up calf’s and ankles) – rise up on the foot into a tip toe position and lower

Jog on the spot (increase heartbeat, warm up legs)

Gentle squats (warm up/ stretch glutes, hamstrings, calf’s, quadriceps and lower back)

Lateral lunges (stretch adductors, ITB and medial hamstrings)

Straight Back, forward bends (glutes, hamstrings)

High knees (stretch glutes, warm up hip flexors, hamstrings & quadriceps) (functional resetting)

‘A’ Skip (high knees, feet horizontal to ground, pull heal up parallel to standing leg, foot strikes underneath the body)  (functional resetting)

Feel free to chop and change this, it will need tailoring to the activity, your personal strengths and weakness and the time /space available.

If you need any help, pop in to see Chris.

2014 – Back on the Triathlon Scene

Posted on: December 15th, 2014 by chriswilson


Inspired by friends and clients endeavors this year, it seemed appropriate to celebrate a ‘biggish’ birthday and my 20th year in Triathlon with a return to racing. I was able to catch the tail end of the 2014 season and loved (nearly) every minute of it.  I took advantage of the quieter time at Bodylab with summer holidays and the great weather, to increase training volume and try to prepare for the intensity of racing. 

I did of course jump in towards the deep end, my first race being the Cotswold Classic Half Ironman Distance Triathlon. Competing alongside 15/16 fellow Tri Londoners made the race into a fantastic day out.  The race went amazingly well, I felt strong and relaxed in the swim and then stunned myself on the bike leg, 56 miles in 2:21, 39th fastest of the day.  Once on the run, i paid the price, legs were heavy, feet ‘numb’ and little energy.  I was fortunate to have Annah and Sophie from Tri London, marshalling and cheering us all on.  They were about  1 KM  from the finish line, each time I past I was reminded to keep going, three laps 13.1 miles total, the Finish line couldn’t come soon enough.  I pushed on to the finish, the solid run led me to a to a top ten finish in my age group. ‘i’m back ‘-Job done.

Alas next time out, my lack of recent experience was exposed.  Although a relatively calm day (and very hot ), I had a torrid time in the Perranporth Surf Triathlon, an idyllic  setting, beautiful weather, great atmosphere, BUT being tossed and turned  in the sea, knocked me for 6!  It wasn’t the physical effort but the mental battle to carry on into the surf which I struggled with.  Finally, after the first bouy and around 1200metres to go, I got myself into race mode and started to work on all the time I had lost.  the swim was followed bya 1KM run ovwer the beach to the transition – ouch.   A hilly roller coaster of a bike section, tough on a Tri specific bike and slightly hampered by traffic on the road, I was happy to see the running shoes and tackle the 8.5km run along the sandy beach. It was really hot out there and running along the beach seemed to take an eternity, I was gasping by the end – I had a really tough day in the ‘office’, once again, having the camaraderie and support of my friends around had made it a truly brilliant day.  I later found I had come 5th in my age group so memory of any pain was quickly forgotten.

My finale for the year was Barcelona Olympic Distance Triathlon, a race with a draft legal bike leg, meaning we could work in packs and it could be potentially very fast.  The run course takes the competitors into the older parts of the city, crystal blue waters and a nice summers day, we were in for a treat.  We woke up to torrential electrical  storm.  For safety we had stay away from the bike racks for the chance of being struck by lightening, the area resembled a lake rather than a sports field!  So, we sat shivering in a sports hall, wondering if we were to race at all at this stage the temptation was to pack up and find a MacDonalds!  Alas,an hour later the storm blew over and an hour plus, after the official start times, we were on the start line.

It was a huge field, 4-500 athletes per wave, ready for a Sea Swim after Perranporth, the Med proved no problem, I swam well and weaved through the mass of swimmers…  Myself and the bike were standing in a few inches of water / mud, getting shoes on was messy and by the time I had pushed the bike to the mounting line, it looked in a sorry state.  It was great, the roads were still wet and slippery, so racing demanded 100% concentration.  I completed the course in 1:00:22 for the 40Km!  A complete c0ntrast to the rest of the day, the sun was out, phew – hot.  I focused on the tempo and that this race wasn’t as long or as hard as the previous two. It wasn’t long before I was back on the sea front and running to a 2:15 finish time – a top 5 in my age group and a great way to finish my 2014 race ‘season’.

 What made all of these events such memorable pleasures was sharing them with my friends from Tri London, visiting new places, having lots of laughs, moments of pain, occasional glory and always the satisfaction of finishing a race, roll on next year!!!

 Of course, there are many of you who are constantly taking on new challenges and racing regularly, please let us know how you get on in your races next year, join our Facebook community 

Two groups of friends entered two extreme Nordic challenges, a quite new concept of Swim /Run races, consisting of multiple swim legs separated by multi terrain runs.  These are ‘Ultra’ distance races with extremes of very cold water followed by undulating, rough run sections, whilst having to wear wetsuits.  Naomi Shinkins and Patricia Richardson completed the 65km (8km swim/57km run) Xterra Swim Run in Norway, winning the Women’s event. Mean while in Sweden, top friend and athlete, Amy Pritchard paired up with fellow Tri Londoner Olivier Tourre to take on the OtillO, the original race of this nature.  With water temperatures plummeting to 10 degrees and a sprained ankle to endure from the first hour, they overcame injury and near Hypothermia to complete the race.  Oustanding performances from both teams, inspirational, so much so, watch out for myself and Anthony Flick racing in the Swiss Alps (6km Swimming / 48km running) alongside Amy, Naomi and Patricia.


More recently long time regulars Dave Ball and Ian Jamieson flew out to South Africa to compete in this year’s Augrabies Ultra Marathon. The 7 day, 250km race runs along dried river beds and deserts in temperatures rising over  40 degrees in the day and almost freezing at night,  whilst runners must haul all their own equipment and nutrition for the duration of the event.  Dave is now something of an old hand at the event having competed in 2011 and 2013, for Ian this was his debut not on at this event but at this race distance and type, running about 6 marathons in 40+ degrees, he’d really taken on a challenge.  In doing so, he and Dave raised lots of funds for the Hope and Homes charity, ( . A big well done to both, who knows what their next challenge will be!

Closer to home, after several weeks of searching for a second hand bike Bodylab Osteopath Andy Hodgson, jetted off to Italy to ride 400 miles from Venice to Rome in four days, after only 6 weeks training!  He completed the challenge comfortably and raised funds for the ‘place 2 be’ charity (

Of course, I have barely touched the surface of my year of rides and runs OR of yours! Lots of you have raced from 100 metre sprints to 10km races, to Ultramarathon’s and Ironman’s.  Possibly you have achieved personal bests or personal goals, overcome injuries or simply taken the first steps to starting a new activity.  You are all an inspiration. Through Bodylab, I am here to help, regular massage, injury prevention or treatment, conditioning training and coaching.  I have a lifetime’s involvement in sport, my primary goal is to support you. 

Friday – Bodylab Run Day

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by chriswilson

Since moving into the Business Design Centre in 2002, I have ran every Friday morning.  

Over the years several friends and clients have joined us, it’s a social run rather than an all out training session, but a perfect start to the weekend.  If anyone wants to have a harder session, they can simply speed up.    What’s the reward for getting up early, cycling 9 miles in cold wet weather, to only go out running along Regents Park Canal or the Thames?  Breakfast, a fantastic self service breakfast and piping hot cup of coffee and of course, great company.

In recent years….maybe the last 5 or 6! David Ball, Ian Jamieson, Anthony Flick and Richard Stabler (and myself) have been the steadfast attendees, but all Bodylab clients and friends are welcome.

Ask Chris for details of the run… we’ll be out there on Friday!


Posted on: July 9th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Inspired last July, by the reports of Ironman Austria (swim 2.5 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26 miles) and with slots still available the following day, I decided to enter the 2011 race.


Since then, it’s been an interesting journey, I started swimming in October/ November once per week and after 7/8 weeks, found I had rekindled my form, if not my speed and endurance. Cycling, was going to be a gradual build up and in the new year we started riding both weekend days rather than one longer day in the saddle. Running I have some regular runs and hoped that with an increase in miles I’d establish a good endurance base to see me through the marathon leg of the race.

I adapted my time trial bike to a less aggressive position and trained on it from March, so come race day, it felt as familiar as my armchair.