Written by Paul Ransome

Time seems to be flying by after my break for my break. I’m finally starting to get back into consistent training again, all be it sweating inside on the turbo while everybody else has been enjoying some of the great summer weather we’ve had recently.

I was forced to have a couple of weeks with no training at all due to the operation to fix my broken arm. Over 3 hours under anesthetic left me fatigued for a couple of weeks which I sucked up and used the time to plan my restart for the season. Part of this involved getting some blood tests done. This was already on the cards as those of you who have read my previous blogs will know how much I moan on about being ill, which as a parent of three children is a hazard of the job. Three colds in four months was the final straw.

I thought that three weeks after breaking my arm would be the perfect time to get my blood taken. I hadn’t over trained and apart from repairing my injury, my body should be in a rested state. That made it the perfect time to get a baseline test done. I chose to go with ‘Forth With Life’ as a fellow health professional, my coach and a client of mine had worked with them before and for those of you that know any marketing rules once you’ve seen something in three places you usually act on it!

Forth With Life have a wide range of tests available on their website from single markers done via a finger prick test they send you in the post to a full belt and braces ‘ultimate’ health screen which tests over 50 biomarkers. I went with the ‘Improving Health and Fitness’ test, which required me to visit a doctors’ surgery for a phlebotomy. This was easy to book as they have a large network of participating surgeries so finding somewhere close to where you live or work isn’t to much of a problem.

The test was quite painless, and I’m not that keen on needles, only three vials of blood were required. The best thing was that it stated it will take forty-eight hours for your results to go live after they receive the sample but hey presto, a mere thirty-six hours after the blood left my body, my results were live on my dashboard on their website. Forth With LifeI just needed to decipher what it all meant. The website does break down the results into the areas of physiology that the biomarkers affect and they give you a simple traffic light system to tell you whether you are ‘normal’ or not. I was not surprised to find that some of my white blood cell levels were slightly low as my body was repairing and I’m having to focus on keeping hydrated. My cholesterol was slightly high, on the good side which isn’t a bad thing. Apart from these results, everything else looked good and it was a great base test to allow me to pick specific areas to retest in the future. Each biomarker that has been tested has information which gives you the exact position you fall into in relation to the norms as well as how to improve your levels.

I’m now going to get some nutritional advice from Renee McGregor to help me dial in my nutrition and help me optimise my markers for performance. That will help me deal with the harsh conditions in Kona. Onwards and upwards!


Paul is based in Bath and is a personal trainer and triathlon coach. He is part of the team who run Urban Training Systems and you can find out more about them here: Website / Facebook / Twitter