Avalanche Endurance Events : Winter Fan Dance 2015 training : Week 1

Week 1 and I need to get going again after Point To Point.

This week’s blog is brought to you by a couple of meerkats, because I have been mad enough to sign up to do the Winter Fan Dance back to back.

Winter Fan Dance back to back ?  Simples !

Winter Fan Dance back to back ? Simples !

Monday 01 December 2014

I need to get going again, so I decided to start the week with the 0630 Regiment Fitness bootcamp session in St Albans, and to do a bergen run to get there.  If you have read my recent blogs then you will know I have got into tabbing in a big way, and a bergen run is much the same as that only not in boots or long trousers, instead in running shoes and sports legwear.  Believe me, there is a difference.  Shaun was taking the session this morning and I was the first to arrive so we had a quick catch up before we were ready to go with 9 participants.  The weather was mild and it looked like a small sized circuit, but Shaun assured us it would keep us warm with a lot of repetitions.  We warmed up to start with, doing various dynamic movements running between the poles until we finished off with a series of sprints which certainly left me remembering that I had not been to a Regiment Fitness session for a couple of weeks.  The circuit really was going to be a lot of repetitions, running out to the pole and going up in 2s to until we got to 20.  We did press ups, with some extra shuttle sprints while we waited for the group to finish, sit ups, with my final set being 25, and an extra 25 and a shuttle sprint to finish off, squat jumps, and went from 1 up to 10 with burpees.  We continued with everyone to a jerry can, doing tricep dips for a minute with the jerry can lying flat on the ground before running out to the pole and back, sit ups for a minute with the jerry can on its side before running out to the pole and back, and power jumps for a minute with the jerry can upright before running out to the pole and back.  Then we split into pairs, and because there was an odd number I was on my own for the tyre pulls.  The tyre had a rope attached to it and we pulled it behind us, running out to the pole and back 5 times.  I had finished so Shaun had me add a sixth run, and then I ran out in support for the final person running to add a seventh.  We still had some running to do, with Shaun running us over to the mound for some hill repeats, and overall we had run 2.5 miles during the session.  It had been a good welcome back.  I got my bergen on and ran back home.

The run over to my session with Jon Bell was also a bergen run and I was feeling tired.  After doing some foam rolling we began with a full warm up, doing walking lunges across the space and back, then 5 full military press ups, 10 deep squats, 10 pull ups on the rings, and 10 siy ups, all repeated three times.  We then moved on to weights, doing squats in this session and I built up from 40kg to doing 5 repetitions of 65kg.  To be honest, the most pain I felt was at the base of my neck where the bar was resting against the bone.  It was good to make such a substantial improvement.  I finished off with an AMRAP circuit over 10 minutes, doing 200 metres rowing and 10 press ups.  The rowing stayed consistent but the press ups felt really hard right from the beginning, and in the end I only managed 5 rounds plus 200 metres of rowing, when I had wanted to achieve at least 6 rounds.  My bergen run home was slow and somewhat laboured.  I was definitely tired.

The one good thing about my final bergen run of the day is that it qualified under an Advent running challenge I am taking on, where for every day in Advent I have to run at least 3 miles or for 30 minutes.

  1. Bergen Run (St Albans) – 1.1 miles – 9 minutes 25 seconds (25lbs + 2L)
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  3. Bergen Run (St Albans) – 1.1 miles – 15 minutes 05 seconds (25lbs + 2L)
  4. Bergen Run (St Albans) – 2.2 miles – 24 minutes 10 seconds (25lbs + 2L)
  5. Jon Bell Fitness – 1 hour
  6. Bergen Run (St Albans) – 2.3 miles – 31 minutes 03 seconds (25lbs + 2L)

Tuesday 02 December 2014

I was in the office today and decided to do a run from the Para Fitness course I am following.  It was bitterly cold and windy outside and I felt slow, which showed in the final performance.  I was doing a run with sprint intervals included in it, which meant I would be running for 15 minutes, then doing 10 repetitions of 30 seconds pushing hard and 30 seconds recovery, before finishing off with 10 more minutes of running.  In that time I managed to cover 3.7 miles.  I know I can do better than that.

I got stuck in traffic on the way home so could not make it to the Regiment Fitness session in time.

My lunchtime run qualified for my Advent challenge, but this evening I became aware of Marcothon, which is running for at least 3 miles or 25 minutes every day in December, including Christmas Day, so I am switching to doing that.

  1. Para Fitness (work) – 3.7 miles – 35 minutes

Wednesday 03 December 2014

I was in the office and although meetings got in the way of a lunchtime run, I did still head out into the cold a little later on.  It was not as windy as yesterday and I decided to run a straight 5k both to meet my marcothon requirement and to see if I could achieve another PB.  I wanted to run each mile at 8 minutes and 30 seconds pace, and was pleased to see the first mile come in at minutes and seconds, which gave me a slither of breathing room, but then the second mile was minutes and seconds and my advantage had been blown.  I was also now running uphill for a long stretch so I just got my head down and pushed to see where I could get to.  When the third mile came in at 7 minutes and 47 seconds I was shocked and had absolutely no idea where that had come from, but it spurred me to drive on to the end, and I did get my PB, although Strava will not acknowledge it, for some reason.  I will just have to keep trying to better it week on week and get it recorded peoperly.  Strava did give me a PB for 400 metres of 1 minute and 10 seconds.

The rain was just about holding off as I arrived in St Albans for the evening session with Regiment Fitness, which was being taken by Richard, who I knew very well from Welwyn Garden City sessions.  Our warm up included sprints and finished with a run to the bench and back.  We would be doing what Richard called the multiplication table circuit, which for those pushing it meant using the 5 times table, moving up through the 5 posts by adding 5 repetitions each time, so that we did 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25.  Richard then added in a twist, so that we had to also run back to the start from each post before moving on to the next one.  We did squat jumps, moving press ups (where our hands moved to a different position each time), dirty old man sit ups, and power star jumps (or you could choose burpees) for the first round, and then lunge jumps, plank to press up, pulsing sit ups, and Turkish get ups, so that each round we worked our legs, upper body, core and did a combination exercise.  We split into teams of three to work with a tyre and a medicine ball, with one person running to the far pole to do 15 tyre slams, while another worked with the medicine ball by taking it down to the ground and then pushing it to the sky, while the third person held the plank position, doing that round twice, and then we did diamond press ups on the medicine ball, mountaineers on the tyre and I just cannot remember what the core exercise was.  We finished with a warm down and had run 1.4 miles during the session.

  1. Run (work) – 3.1 miles –  25 minutes 24 seconds
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Thursday 04 December 2014

I ran down to Verulamium Park to do my Para Fitness running session, and once I was at the path along the top from the lake I did 8 x 200 metres @ 70% with 200 metres recovery and 8 x 100 metres @ 70% with 100 metres recovery, measuring the distances by running alongside the football pitches, and when running back home I came further up Holywell Hill than I wanted to go because I could not get across through the traffic, so that turned into a nice little hill climb to finish off the session.

  1. Para Fitness – 6.4 miles – 1 hour 2 minutes 42 seconds

Friday 05 December 2014

I had plans for today.  Not for the first time this year, work got in the way of those plans.  I did have two things that simply had to happen, so I decided to combine them by taking a 3 mile route to run over to Waitrose to pick up a delivery from John Lewis.  It was cold out and dark, and while my legs felt a little tight and heavy I did not think it was as slow a run as the timings showed it to be, with it creeping over 10 minutes per mile.

  1. Run (St Albans) – 3 miles – 30 minutes 37 seconds

Saturday 06 December 2014

I have been enjoying obstacle course based training with Joe Brigham on Wednesday evenings for the last couple of months and have joined the Team Bright Hammer for some obstacle course races in 2015.  This morning I was meeting up with him for a fitness assessment which turned into a workout.  We had already decided that I need to work on my upper body strength, and he had put together a workout around that.  I started with an active warm up before doing pull ups and press ups.  I did 5 pull ups using the green band with my knee through it, and no little assistance from Joe for the third repetition onwards, holding the bar with my thumbs over the top so there was no grip, before doing 5 reverse press ups, so I went all the way down to the floor on a count of 5 before coming back up.  I repeated that a couple of times before we tried the reverse movement with hang downs from the pull up bar, although that was less a lowering down over a count of 5 and more a plummet over a count of less than 1.  I tried a farmer’s walk with a kettlebell in each hand to work on the grip, and then moved on to a circuit workout.  I would be doing 21, 15, and then 9 repetitions of squats with a Bulgarian bag, war rope, and burpees.  The first round felt really tough ploughing through the burpees, but I was fine with the other rounds and brought it all in at a time between 5 and 6 minutes.  Our first team training session is in January at the Knights Templar School doing rope climbing, which should make a fun entry in my training blog…

I could still feel the excellent workout when I arrived at Dunstable Downs.  It was very cold, frosty and icy up there and I had the disadvantage of having to change out of my workout kit and into my tabbing kit.  This was especially so when it came to changing my footwear and getting into my socks and boots.  Even with two pairs of socks I could barely feel mt feet and toes.  I put on a fleece and gloves, and still felt cold so I got going.  I felt slow and it was definitely heavy going, even when I had warmed up, but I pushed on to complete one circuit, which was all I had time for today.  I will have to do a lot more tabbing through December.

  1. Joe Brigham – 1 hour
  2. Tabbing (Dunstable Downs) – 5.4 miles – 1 hour 25 minutes 03 seconds (25lbs + 2L)

Sunday 07 December 2014

I had the children this weekend and we were indoors making a gingerbread house and watching cartoon movies.  If it had not been for the Marcothon I would never have dragged myself outside for a run.

  1. Run (home) – 3.2 miles – 30 minutes 19 seconds

Positives from this week – I went for a run every day of the week.

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