A week in the life of Ben Wickham
Ben is a busy man, he works for Sky News regularly putting in long shifts at work but equally manages to get his training done. Read below to see what a week in the life of Ben is like
Sunday 4 th March
Last Sunday was the The Big Half half marathon. I haven’t raced for months and I had no
idea what sort of shape I’m in, so I just went for it from the gun. It was a great race, good
conditions, and my legs (mostly) held on for the distance. I finished in 76 minutes and
change. I’m so happy with that I blow £100 on some new trainers at the finish line shop.
My legs start this week pretty rinsed.
I work for Sky News. It’s an awesome job. Huge fun, but also constant pressure, long hours
and the small matter of being 20 miles from my house. Luckily, I’m training for a long course
triathlon in July (Challenge Roth) and my main focus is getting stronger on the bike, as I
come from a running background. When I took the job and Google-mapped the commute, I
was pretty happy to see it took me via Regents Park!
Monday 5th March
On Monday, my alarm goes at 5am, which is unremarkable. I’ve got a special show to direct
this week so I’m meeting my presenter and producer in our Westminster office to run through
scripts. I’m using the shorter commute to go in via the Olympic pool in Stratford and do some recovery laps. After a couple of KMs plus change I’m into the office. That’s me done for the
day, other than work. Legs are still a bit busted from yesterday.
(Sky Studios - 8am)
Tuesday 6 th March
Tuesday mornings I tend to run halfway to work. I’ll get a train for 10miles and then get off 10
miles from the Osterley office. I have a very high boredom threshold and sticking to a regular
routine means I can really judge how fatigued I feel. Just because the route and time is
regular, that doesn’t always mean the session has to be. A 5-am alarm gets me to the first
train out at 6:30am and I spend an hour-and- a-bit on the other side working the miles. Today
though, I’m still recovering from Sunday to some extent. My legs feel tired, but not battered
so I’m listening to Rich Roll podcasts and concentrating on good form. I’m also running way
too fast. My pace judgement is all out of kilter after a fast race, but it’s nice when a quick one
At work we’re setting up for a special show ahead of International Women’s Day, it’s very
different from our regular programming, so it’s fun to put a team together with a blank sheet.
It makes for a stressful, but good day.
Sometimes I manage a cycle to my regular swim session with the East London Triathletes
on a Tuesday, but that requires a cycle to work on a Monday (my life is all about logistics).
Today it’s a train ride. I cut it bit fine, but I just make it. Thanks to my work, training with
other people is a rare treat so I try to do it as much as I can. Swimming is not dissimilar to
cycling, in that you spend the whole set working in a group. The pressure to push on the
front and not drop off the back of a group is intense and it makes for a good, if tiring workout.
Not to mention a coach keeping an eye on your form. We finish at 9pm and by 10pm I’m
asleep. I sleep well on Tuesdays.
(College interior, swim session - ELT)
Wednesday 7 th March
Wednesday is the day of my big show at work, so I take an easy day on the training. Cycling
to and from work means I get some decent miles in the legs with no effort. A 7-am start
means I need to be up at 3:30am to eat and sort myself out (I never go out without food in
me, as I love breakfast too much) 20 miles to work, starting at 5am is much more fun than it
sounds. I hit Regents Park at halfway. On a day with less going on, I might crack out a lap or
two, but I roll past the red neon barriers that you only know about if you ride before 6am, and
onto west London.
The day at work is insanely busy. Setting and rehearsing all day, then one incredibly busy
hour of TV. By 6pm I’m smashed and I roll home with no pep in my legs, but I don’t really
care. All miles are good miles, and it’s better than getting a train any day.
Thursday 8 th March
Thursday and my plan says to get a run session in. I take on my regular 12-mile train/run
set, but the legs aren’t playing today. I’d hoped to pick off some Strava segments, but for
whatever reason I can’t get any pace up. It might be the weekend’s race, Tuesday’s run,
yesterday’s show or my general lack of sleep. Probably all of the above, but I’ve learnt to be
cool, accept it, and get it done. Ten miles on tired legs is a pretty good session anyway.
Thursday night I’m out for drinks with a bunch of work mates. I manage three before calling it
Friday 9 th March
I promise my wife I’ll try and leave early today. Up at 5am, out the door at 6am for my 20-
mile commute (which today feels awesome) to get to my desk for 8ish and a relatively easy
day at work. I end up leaving at 5:30 pm and I’m faced with 20 miles of traffic in the rain and,
later, the dark. Halfway home my boss needs to speak to me urgently so a bus shelter on
the A406 at rush hour temporarily becomes my office. Hideous.
Saturday 10 th March
Saturday would normally be a run day, but I’m organising my local ParkRun, so I skip it for a
lie in (6am). After ParkRun my coach suggested an FTP test, so I climb onto my TT bike,
which is hooked up to my RevBox and fire up Zwift. I’m insanely happy to have got up to
309W which pops me over the 4w/kg mark. These means almost nothing to me, but I love a
goal to shoot for. I’m coming back from a fractured knee (car accident), so seeing the
numbers climb on the InfoCrank is awesome.
Sunday 11 th March
Sunday I’m supposed to be doing a long ride, but it’s Mother’s Day and I haven’t seen my
Mum in ages, so my alarm fires at 5am, I do 90KM around my regular Essex loop and pop
down on the train to see her, via the flower shop.
I have a massive cake to finish off the week!