St Albans Half-Marathon training : Week 4

Week 4, I still need to get that long run in…

Monday 20 May 2013

I was giving a training session in Warrington on Tuesday so I thought it would be an excellent idea to take the Monday off and head up to Snowdonia to climb a mountain.  So, of course, I found myself in the office instead with a pile of work which was never going to shift.  At least I had brought in my running kit so I made good use of my lunchtime, running 4.5 miles in 44 minutes and 05 seconds.  I drank a cup of milk when I got back in, and then ate a mango, mangetout and coriander salad with a lime and ginger dressing, and a Marks & Spencer Activehealth fig, date, honey and 3 seed granola yoghurt, which should in no way be confused with Activia.  Having had to go into the office, I determined to leave no later than 3 o’clock to make the journey to Warrington.  I left at 5 o’clock.  I bought a salad from Waitrose on my way and ate that for my evening meal.

  1. The Drill
  2. Plank
  3. Run (work) – 4.5 miles – 44 minutes 05 seconds

Tuesday 21 May 2013

I was up late working and so too tired to do anything in the morning and had another busy day ahead of me, which seems to be a theme at the moment.  I snacked through the day and just had some soup when I got home, before heading off to bed early.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

I was going to a breakfast seminar in London on Data Protection law, so I made sure I did my Drill and plank before heading off, in the hope the exercise would keep me awake through the seminar.  When I got there I avoided the bacon rolls and ate some fruit instead.  I snacked through the rest of the day before heading off to training in the evening, taking a bottle of water with some electrolytes in it.

We started with a different dynamic warm-up, everyone standing in a line, holding a rope, and doing the various running exercises on the spot while holding the rope in front of us, or above our heads, or down low, as instructed, which was a fun way to get going. The circuits this week involved doing each exercise across from a partner, then running a given number of laps, before the partner did the same thing.  I began with 10 clapping press ups followed by one lap, then 30 sit ups followed by two laps, then 20 squat jumps followed by three laps, before finishing off with 40 mountaineers followed by two laps. We split into two groups and I started with a tyre carry relay with the tyre having to be carried above the head, before we split the group into two so we could have a tug-of-war (I knew the rope had been left out for a reason) and while it was the best of 5, the team I was in won the first three so we finished that one early.  Maybe to use up the time we played rock, paper, scissors, using our full body to make the symbols rather than just the hands, and the loser each time got a 5 burpee forfeit.  I managed to end up with 25 burpees in total.  After a quick run over to the bench and back we moved on to the boxing, standing in two circles, with straight arm punching first and then upper cuts.  We finished off the session with a quick game of rats and rabbits before a gentle warm down.  Yet another different and excellent session, and I am really feeling the benefit.

I ate some soup and a couple of boiled eggs when I got home.

  1. The Drill
  2. Plank
  3. Training – 1 hour

Thursday 23 May 2013

I was back in work following my usual morning routine, but there was no warning that the boiling water was cold, so that made my porridge somewhat different.  I still managed a good run in about the same time as Monday’s run, and ate a Marks & Spencer mini salad of quinoa, superbarley and cauliflower with a sesame tahini drizzle for my lunch, which was delicious, together with one of their Activehealth pots.  I ate a soup in the evening with a boiled egg.

  1. The Drill
  2. Plank
  3. Run (work) – 4.5 miles – 44 minutes 11 seconds

Friday 24 May 2013

I was working from home today because I needed to pick up the children later on, and they would be staying with me for most of the following week.  I had thought about getting in an early run but it was pouring with rain and, frankly, I could not be bothered going out in it.  As it happens, the water was not the only thing flooding down and work matters kept me fully occupied until I went off to get the children.  Fortunately, I had got in the Drill and over a minute of plank first thing – that is a routine which really does pay off.

  1. The Drill
  2. Plank

Saturday 25 May 2013

I went to training with Christianne in the morning and we did lots of work on the core including the 100, where I lie on my back with my legs raised and gradually lower them as I move my arms up and down beside me in sets of 10.  So it is 50 repetitions as my legs are lowered, and then another 50 as they are raised.  That hurts.  It was an excellent session which did push me, and that is what I need.  I had decided that I would take as many walks as possible with the children while they were here, and in the afternoon we went out to Kimble, and you can read more about that here.

Another stunning view of the Chilterns

Another stunning view of the Chilterns

  1. Training – 1 hour
  2. Walk – 3.5 miles

Sunday 26 May 2013

I went to the Regiment Fitness session for my second Sunday this morning and it was another different session and felt tougher than any before.  We started off warming up in a running circle, going through a number of dynamic movements.  Then we had a variation on the triangular circuit, where we start with the exercise, then run to the other points of the triangle, before running another lap around the triangle and moving on to the next exercise.  We started with press ups (20), then sit ups (20), after which I got to run an extra lap because I got back before the main group, then mountaineers (20), burpees (10), and a final final lap after the lap which followed the burpees.  Then we split into two groups, and for the first session I was boxing with a partner, straight arm punching starting with 10 punches and moving down to 1, with a sprint away from the partner and back again in between each set, and a final one to finish off; then sit ups from the floor and straight arm punching as we came up, either in singles or in a higher number group as commanded.  Then the groups swapped over and the jerry cans were back, and we ran relays holding them in our arms against the chest, before moving on to another running relay with 15 upper rows of the jerry can at one end, and we finished up this session running a relay of a chain of people, starting with one person and building it up to five, before dropping it back down to the one person who last joined the chain.  It was an easy warm down after some very hard work.

In the afternoon the weather stayed good so I took the children for a walk around Berkhamsted Castle, Northchurch Common and the Grand Union Canal, which you can read about here.

Out in the countryside

Out in the countryside

  1. Training – 1 hour
  2. Walk – 6 miles

Positives from this week – I got in a couple of longer runs and a few excellent general fitness sessions, and the walks felt easy.

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