Week 4

50 % of target runs hit, unfortunately that’s only two runs, and no long run. I think being ill (and perhaps the 90min run on the Sunday I got back from France) took longer to get over than I had anticipated. I had absolutely nothing in my legs last week, I was worried that I was never going to see any fitness gains. Thankfully this week is a lot more positive with a much quicker 45 minute run on Monday. I am scheduled to go out today, but with the wind like it is and a much more settled forecast for tomorrow I shall wait until then.

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Yo-yo

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the loss and gain of weight I’ve managed over the years, specifically the last 4, and worrying whether this would be a permanent feature of my life, dieting down for an event or something and then when it’s over going back to eating and drinking too much. I think the answer is no. The reasons are threefold.

1) I abstained from everything in the lead up to to Wimbleball in 2011 and 2012, I restricted everything, no booze, no carbs, very few curries, and after the race I went nuts on it all because I was so restricted beforehand and I didn’t stop. This time I’ve got no intention of doing it like that. Beer and a white bread sandwich become so desirable when you can’t have them that you over-indulge when you can, so now if I want a beer I’ll have one, if I want a white bread sandwich, I’ll have one. The difference is that it’s not every day, there is a degree of restriction, but it doesn’t build up enough pressure to cause a problem, the pressure is released regularly.

2) In 2011 I totally forgot about my diet as soon as I crossed the finish line, there was no conscious decison to eat more, I just didn’t think about it. Over the course of 2012 when I started reading more about nutrition and the role that sugars and fat have on our bodies I became (subconsciously to begin with) far more aware about what I was putting into my body. When my little boy was born I knew I was eating and drinking too much, but it wasn’t my primary concern (on reflection it should have been) and then more so as Dad declined, I was not interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I just wanted to get home and crack open a beer. These were conscious decisions to have a takeaway or open another beer, I knew exactly what I was doing and that I probably shouldn’t, but I was not bothered at the time (Again, with hindsight not the best way to deal with things). So for the past two years I have been more knowledgeable about what was right and wrong for my body regardless of whether I chose to use the knowledge. I now choose to apply my knowledge, I hope that if any other major ‘life events’ happen I will continue to choose to follow this lifestyle. Eating ‘clean’ (to me ‘clean’ it is the restriction of starchy carbs, processed food, alcohol and sugars. The eating of a lot of vegetables and protein) is habit forming, after being away in Paris for a week I could not wait to get home and put together a mammoth salad (That’s mammoth as an adjective) of lettuce and tomatoes and avocado and peppers and spring onions and cabbage (to go with my steak. obv.)

3) I have set some mini goals for the next couple of years; not all fitness / endurance related exactly, but all are focussed on maintaining a healthy weight and body composition, this is opposed to previous years where there was one big goal and nothing after that, so this year I have a marathon, a few sportives, a fitness show (no competition, but everyone there will be buff as fuck so I don’t want to stand out too much!) half-iron at the end of the year, a couple more bike rides in 2015 and an eye still on an Ironman in 2016. I think having these goals stretching out in front of me gives focus when one goal ends.

Anyway, this is how things stand at the moment, I am pretty confident they’ll stay this way, but I’ll keep adapting whatever happens.

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Here I go again

Well here I go again. My heart wasn’t really in it in 2013. I started training again at the back end of last year, absolutely loving the gym and I’ll definitely be returning there to lift some big weights after April, but my gaze turns towards running for the next 12 weeks.

The Brighton Marathon is on the 6th April and I will be on the start line. I was due to take part last year, but I had no desire to train with Dad having recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. It seems crazy even now that it was only 17 months ago that we were on holiday in Yorkshire, enjoying a few local ales with Dad, and now he’s gone. 5 months since he died. It doesn’t feel real still, I’m told it never does. I am raising money for the Heart of Kent Hospice this year, I’ve never raised money for charity before doing races, but they made his last few days so comfortable for all of us that I really want to try and contribute even a small amount to the wonderful work they do. It also has the added benefit of motivation, it helps with getting me out of the house, and helps keep me focussed out on the road.

I will be keeping this updated a lot more, I have no interest (and nothing to write when I’m not training and I’ve got events – or at least milestones / goals all throughout this year that I need to hit) It’s really useful tool for me to go back and look through my old posts to see how I was training and how I was feeling during the builds to my two Wimbleball races, it’s motivating in the sense that I enjoy writing and I need something to write about so I have to do some training. I could use this as an exercise in creative writing, but I think people would realise come the 6th April that I’d just been making it all up.

It begins…

Week 1:
Not the most successful start, although I actually realised on Saturday that there were still 12 weeks until Brighton rather than the 11 I thought which is good as I was not due a long run until Sunday 12th.

Sunday 5th Jan – Long run 7.33mi
Thursday 9th Jan – 4.76mi

I am sore in my achilles and calves ached after the long run and again after the mid week run so plenty of foam rolling and stretching.

The general plan for the week is

Monday – 5k (recovery)
Tuesday – Gym
Wednesday – 10k (might turn into speedwork, although I think getting some weight off is more beneficial at the moment)
Thursday – Gym
Friday – 5k
Saturday – Off (Or a bike ride)
Sunday – Long run – currently at around 8 miles building up to 22 miles 3 weeks out (hopefully)

The gym sessions will be dropped if I’m knackered, but I hope to keep them in as I think they are beneficial.

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Training Log 12/09/2013

Squat
5x20kg
5x30kg
5x40kg
4x50kg
5×5 55kg

Bench
5x20kg
5x25kg
5×27.5kg
4x30kg
5×4 35kg

Press
5x20kg
5×22.5kg
5×5 25kg

Notes
Squats – love em. Really tough to resist the temptation to leap ahead, I am sure I could go 60 or 65 for 5×5 right now, but I will take it one step at a time and follow the progression. I’ve turned my feet out a little bit further so I can get deeper. Arse is almost on the floor.

Bench – No problems, trying to remember to push away from the weight rather than the weight away from me is confusing, but I’ll get there.

Row, well, this wasn’t a row. For some unknown reason I decided it was OHP day instead so I did that. I was wondering why it was so hard, and hopefully it’s because I’ve already done it once this week. I will do it for a 3rd time on Saturday to get back onto the right routine.

Diet is very clean this week, dropped 1kg, not feeling hungry, although I am probably not eating enough, I will reassess at the weekend, if I can still run and lift weights I’m not too bothered as long as the weight is coming off. When Dreadfish gets back off holiday we’ll dial the nutrition in a bit better.

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Training Log 16/11/2013

Squat
2×5 20kg
5x40kg
5x50kg
5x70kg
4x80kg
3x100kg
5x110kg
5×5 102.5kg

Press
2×5 20kg
5x25kg
5x30kg
5×5 35kg

Deadlift
5x50kg
5x60kg
4x80kg
3x90kg
2x100kg
5x105kg

Good Morning
2×5 20kg
5x30kg
5×5 37.5kg

Notes
Squats – Got a bit cocky and thought I could go 5×5 at 110kgs. I can’t. Managed 1 set, but knew I couldn’t complete so carried on as planned.

Press – Been a while, 35kgs was pretty hard. Will I ever get to 40kgs??!?!

Good Morning – Really trying to get those hamstrings lengthened and working properly, I can now get to 90Deg with slightly bent knees.

Deadlift – I have to raise the bar a bit, it just doesn’t work if I don’t. Feeling good with 2 x 25kg plates under each side. It does bring the bar up quite high, but I still don’t have the flexibility to get down. I’ll keep on trying and working on the mobility so I don’t have to.

I was actually going for 110kgs, but I forgot to put the 5kg plate on the other side. Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Think 110kgs will be ok next time.

Absolutely knackered now!

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Training Log 12/11/2013

Squat
2×5 20kg
5x40kg
5x50kg
4x70kg
4x80kg
5×5 100kg

Bench
2×5 20kg
5x40kg
5×5 50kg

Row
2×5 20kg
5×5 40kg

Notes
Squat – Probably could have gone to 110, but I’ve been off for nearly three weeks so didn’t want to push it. I’m also running again so want to maintain a healthy balance. Felt good. Kept forgetting to hold my breath properly, but that was down to a lack of proper concentration because there were so many dickheads in there.

Bench – Sweet, imbalances seem to have gone, again, not going straight back where I was, but felt strong.

Row – f*ck knows why I did 40kgs. Confused I guess! Was really hard and I’ll be dropping back down to my actual levels next time!

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Run 10/11/2013

I’ve been struck by a serious lack of motivation recently. I have not wanted to do anything, a combination of illness, hangover from a stag do and general malaise means I’ve been really fucking lazy. Had a little word with myself and got out for a run. This is the first time I’ve run that distance in 7 months, and it felt, well, easy! My legs felt absolutely bulletproof and cardiovascular-ly ?I felt great too despite not having run for a couple of months. The work I’ve been doing in the gym, big heavy squats and deadlifts has really helped out on my fitness all round. Strengthening my posterior chain and adding stability into my core has made me a more efficient runner. My pickup is improved, my turnover is also improved. Amazing! Imagine what I can do in six months if I keep at it?! I’ve decided to keep in cardio – probably runs and bike from now on. I know I will stall more quickly adding weight in the gym, but I want to be outside running and cycling so I have to make it all fit.

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