The Fan Dance training : Week 2

Week 2, and I need to keep the running going and step up the bootcamps…

This week’s blog is brought to you by Twang, because he brought us Celebr8.

I am led to believe this is bad Twang

I am led to believe this is bad Twang

Monday 26 May 2014

So many things conspired against me on the Bank Holiday Monday and my good intentions to at least get out for a VO2 Max training run had to take a step to the side.

I should make it clear that this is not actually only the second week I have been training for the Fan Dance.  I would say that all the running and fitness training I have been doing for the last 18 months has been leading up to this, and especially the bergen run work I have been doing since the Warrior Adrenaline Race training camps started in January, and more so since I started training for the Paras’ 10 in March, so I am not taking this lightly with just a few weeks’ training to show for it.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

I was working from home and needed to move my car because of the local parking restrictions, so decided to get in a VO2 Max run before doing that.  The good thing about my VO2 Max training run is that I can fit it into a small gap in my working day.  That is the theory, anyway, and today I managed it, running in the wet conditions for 5 minutes to warm up, then ran three repetitions of 30 seconds hard, each time followed by 30 seconds recovery, then ran two repetitions of 1 minute hard, again both times followed by 1 minute recovery, and finally ran another three repetitions of 30 seconds hard, again each time followed by 30 seconds recovery.  It felt very good and I got to further than my last time of doing this, and about as far as I have managed before.  I could really feel that I had pushed it at the end, and Strava reckons I covered 1.7 miles.

The weather cleared a little so I decided to get myself up to date for this week by putting in an Interval Workout run.  Today that would be seven sets of 400 metres at 5km pace, each followed by 400 metres at 10km pace.  I ran 3 minutes of warm up followed by seven sets of 1 minute at the full pace, with a minute after each at the recovery pace, and it seemed to go very well.  I ended up following the same course as my earlier VO2 Max run and seemed to be just slightly ahead of that as I progressed, finishing up having run 1.8 miles.

“The weather cleared a little” – famous last words, as that did not last long.  It was raining when I got to the Regiment Fitness session in Welwyn, which was again being taken by mad Steve and James (and it was James whose name I could not remember from last time, presumably because I thought I would never forget a name like that, so did not bother making a note of it).  We got going with a running warm up which seemed designed only to get us as wet and muddy as possible, although I am sure all the falling to the ground and getting back up again has legitimate warming up benefits as well.  We finished the warm up in two teams, and ran out to Steve and James to make the letter S with our bodies sprawled on the ground, then N, and finally OnO (you probably had to be there to fully appreciate that one), then it was a push over to the buildings and back to the van.  We continued with a square circuit doing 5 repetitions of each exercise at the first pole, then 10 at the next pole, then 15, and finally 20 repetitions at the final pole before running a lap of the square (which actually meant we ran a lap and one side because we started the exercises at the starting pole).  We did press ups, squats and leg raises for the exercises.  The rain was falling steadily now, so to keep us all moving we got into pairs in the middle of the field, before running away from each other to the far poles to do the specified exercise for 5 seconds, then came back into the middle before running out again for the next exercise.  We did squat thrusts, sit ups, jumping jacks and press ups.  We split into two groups and our group split down into threes to go through a shuttle run involving a medicine ball, a tyre, and a  jerry can.  One of us would run out to the tyre with the medicine ball held above our head, put down the medicine ball and run out to the jerry can with the tyre, then put down the tyre and push the jerry can to the far cone, before running back with it, then running with the tyre, and finally running back with the medicine ball.  While all that was going on one of the other two would be doing press ups and the other would be holding plank.  Then we threw the medicine ball out, did 5 press ups on the tyre, 5 upward rows with the jerry can, and ran back with the medicine ball, while the other two did sit ups and held the squat position.  The rain had got heavier and I was soaked through by the time we moved on to the boxing with James, doing straight punches, upward punches, hooks, upward punches from the sit up position, and finally a minute of straight punches.  The warm down brought an excellent session to a close and I quickly retreated to the relative comfort of my car and the drive to my home, where I could be dry again.  We had covered 2.2 miles during that session.

  1. Run (home) – VO2 Max
  2. Run (home) – 7 x 400 Interval Workout
  3. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Wednesday 28 May 2014

I decided to go for a run at lunchtime and as with the one last week would keep going until I went above 10 minutes per mile, working from my Garmin, which gives me lap times each mile.  I managed to keep it going up to 5 miles again, and finished up having run 5.2 miles.  My minutes per mile went at 8:48 (9:07), 9:52 (9:46), 9:26 (9:35), 9:56 (9:39) and 10:05 (10:24), with my times from the last run like this in the brackets.  I was disappointed to just miss out on that fifth mile, although I know I put everything into it and so the sixth would have been beyond me bringing it in under 10 minutes, so will continue until I can keep that pace going through 5 miles and up to 6 miles now.  It is interesting that I was running faster than last time on the easier miles but slower than last time on the harder ones.  I said that like I then knew what to do about it, which I do not.

On the plus side, the rain had stopped by the time I made my way down to Regiment Fitness in St Albans.  Just to counter that, the grass had been cut and the midges were out in force.  The session was being taken by Steve, who appears to be the regular instructor in St Albans now, which is great.  We began with an on the spot warm up, with a couple of runs out to the poles which had been set up for the circuit, before taking in a run over to the drain and back.  The circuit was one we had done here with Shaun before, so I was prepared for how tough it was going to be.  We would be doing 1 minute of exercise before jogging over to the gate at the start of the sprint, sprinting 100 metres, then jogging back to the exercise area for another 45 seconds of the exercise, before repeating the sprint.  The exercises we did were press ups, squat jumps, full sit ups, burpees, and a press up with a squat thrust added into it.  I pushed every sprint, and it was very humid out there anyway, so I came away from the circuit sweating buckets.  We split into groups of four, and into pairs in the fours, so that two of us were working together at any one time.  We would be keeping hold of the tyre throught this bit, doing tyre shoulder presses of 5, then 10, and finally 15, running out to the far cone after each set to do 5, 6, and 7 burpees (putting the tyre on to the ground, holding it while we did the squat thrust part of the burpee, then raising it above our head as we came up), and only when both people were back did the other pair set off.  We followed that up with tyre slam downs, keeping hold of the tyre and smashing it down into the ground, doing that 15 times for three repetitions, with a run out to the far cone and back between each set.  We finished off the session with boxing, doing straight punches, then immediately upper cuts, and finally immediately going into hooks, doing 20 seconds of each.  Then we did 200 straight, before sitting down to do 200 upward pistons (which I managed in 47 seconds), and that was a great way to finish the boxing.  The warm down seemed to be midge-free, although I did manage to pick up one bite along the way, but that should not take away from another brilliant session.  We covered just over 2 miles during that session, and just to finish things off I ran up the hill to get home.

  1. Run (home) – 5.2 miles – 49 minutes 41 seconds
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Thursday 29 May 2014

My legs feel like they need a rest today.  Of course, I could not let them off entirely, so I did some squats.

  1. Squats – 100

Friday 30 May 2014

I was working from home so I got myself down to Regiment Fitness at St Albans in the morning.  It was dry and overcast, and Steve got us going with a warm up which included sprints along the poles which were going to be used for the circuit, and taking a run over to the drain to push it.  There were five poles, and we would be doing 20 repetitions of each exercise at each pole, as well as doing lunges to the first three poles for the first two exercises, and then bear crawls for the next two exercises, and a leopard crawl for the final one, and sprints to the final two poles every time.  We did press ups, then close hand press ups (because, obviously, you can never do too many press ups), leg raises, squat jumps, and burpess (only doing 7 burpees at each pole).  I was putting everything into this and I was knackered.  I definitely did not need the extra run over to the sandpit (where the winter lake used to be).  We split into pairs for jerry can pushes out to the far cone and back three times, with the losing teams getting a forfeit of 20 sit ups, and then we did bear crawls out three times and a sprint back, while our partner did 15 press ups on the tyre.  Now I was even more knackered.  We finished off with boxing in pairs, doing 20 seconds of very quick high, straight punches, then upper cuts, and finally hooks, before we did a minute of sit ups with piston punches as we came up and went down, and brought the boxing to a close from the seated position doing 250 piston punches, which I managed in 1 minute 15 seconds.  The warm down felt really good after all that.  We had run about 1.5 miles through the session, which surprised me, because it felt like a lot more.

Fun, fun, fun :)

Fun, fun, fun 🙂

  1. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Saturday 31 May 2014

There is an early morning Regiment Fitness session at St Albans on Saturday mornings now, and it fitted in nicely for me this weekend because I could get along before heading off to Celebr8.3.  It had been sunny when I woke up, and while it had turned overcast by the time I got outside, at least it was dry.  I decided to run down to Verulamium Park with my loaded bergen, on the basis that you can never get too much bergen training, and was pleased to find there was a good group of regulars along for this session, again being taken by Steve.  The warm up was familiar, including the runs over to the drain and the sandpit, but Steve always varies his circuits and this morning we had a stacked one.  He had 8 laminated cards, each with an exercise on it, and we picked them in turn, the idea being that we would pick the first exercise, run out to the far pole, do 12 repetitions of that first exercise, come back to the beginning, pick the second exercise, run out to the far pole, do 12 repetitions of the first exercise followed by 12 repetitions of the second exercise, and so on.  The only exception being that we would do ‘only’ 7 repetitions of burpees.  We did lunges, burpees, squat jumps, marine press ups (where you bring alternate knees up to your shoulders as you go down), normal press ups, sit ups, squat thrusts, and half sit ups.  We had another run over to the sandpit to finish things off, because you need that after doing 96 lunges, 49 burpees, 72 squat jumps, 60 marine press ups, 48 normal press ups, 36 sit ups, 24 squat thrusts, and 12 half sit ups.  We split into pairs for lunge walks with a jerry can while our partner did 20 sit ups with a medicine ball, then did military frog jumps while our partner did crunchy sit ups with the medicine ball, where you lie flat out with the medicine ball in your hands over your head, come up into a sit up with your knees bent into your chest so that you can place the medicine ball between your feet, then go back down so that you are flat out, with the medicine ball remaining balanced between your feet, then back up to retrieve the medicine ball with your hands.  That is more than tough just from a mechanical point of view, before you even start thinking about the abs.  We had run out of time for boxing so instead did a minute of press ups followed by a minute of sit ups, and I managed 67 press ups and 36 sit ups.  I have done so many of these as many press ups in a minute drills over the last 18 months that I have just become good at it.  I still struggle to push through full sit ups.  After the warm down I ran back home with my bergen, taking the route up the hill.  We had run 1.3 miles through the session.

Then I was off to Celebr8.3, a rock festival in London, and a few hours of standing up.

  1. Run (home) – 1.1 miles – 11 minutes 13 seconds (loaded 40lbs)
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  3. Run (home) – 1.1 miles – 13 minutes 26 seconds (loaded 40lbs)

Sunday 01 June 2014

I was spending the whole day at Celebr8.3.  That’s a lot of standing up.

Positives from this week – I got in some good runs and feel like I am getting back to my best, which gives me something to work on, and I got in some excellent sessions with Regiment Fitness.  It is all coming together again.

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