8 Weeks To SEALFIT : Week 1 : The Baseline

As part of my fitness training I have decided to follow the programme set out in the book 8 Weeks To SEALFIT by Mark Divine, a Navy SEAL’s guide to unconventional training for physical and mental toughness.  I know this is going to be very hard work, and believe the rewards will be well worth the effort I put into it.

As time allows, I also intend to keep going with the other parts of my current fitness training – Metafit, boxing, kettlebells, rowing and swimming – so I will make it clear which parts of these blogs are specifically SEALFIT.

Monday 18 April 2016

There has been a gap, and so I will repeat a few background points in this blog, although I should make the point that I think the gap has served me very well.  I completed the Screening week, which you can read about here, then started the real Week 1, full in the knowledge that travelling would prevent me from completing it, then spent a week walking the hills on Raasay while looking wistfully at the Red Cullin on Skye, which renewed me in a way that only being out on the hills can do, and so came back home more than ready to hit Week 1 head on.

So energising and refreshing

So energising and refreshing

I am continuing with the lemon drink mixture from Matt Ollie Ollerton (of the Channel 4 television programme SAS : Who Dares Wins fame) first thing each morning, at least 30 minutes before any food.  It is half a grated frozen lemon, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and hot water.  It definitely kick starts my metabolism !

Be interesting to see what this does...

Be interesting to see what this does…

My working week was not going to make this easy for me, and my Monday began with a 3am wake up call and a trip on the Eurostar to Paris.  I had time on my hands once I got there so I walked from the station to the location of my meeting, and then took a walk around the park I found there.  I also walked back to Gare du Nord after the meeting.  I did all that carrying my work backpack, which once it has my laptop and papers in it is not light.  I was too tired to do anything more once I got home, so I was a day behind with SEALFIT already.

The Big Red Angel Bear

The Big Red Angel Bear

  1. Walk (Paris) – 4.7 miles – 1 hour 21 minutes 23 seconds
  2. Walk (Paris) – 3.2 miles – 42 minutes 33 seconds

Tuesday 19 April 2016

I had not managed to get booked on to Metafit this week, which turned out to be a good thing because equally I did not manage to get out of bed early enough in the morning after my tiring Monday.  We went for a walk at lunchtime, which was very pleasant, and while I am more than aware I now need to step things up from just walking each day, today was going to be dictated by my car needing to be taken in for a service.  I live in St Albans and the man who services my car works out of Chipperfield, which leaves over 8 miles between us, and I decided I would run home after dropping off the car.  I knew at my current level I would not be able to run the whole distance, not least because of some of the hills I would encounter, but I would speed march whenever I was not running, and I had a target finish time because I had to be home to join a work conference call.  So taking the wrong turning and going off course was not in the plan, although it did mean I got to add some trail running to the road running.  Coming through Bedmond I turned right too soon, then missed a couple of opportunities when I could have hit the correct route again, and finally found myself on the main road from Hemel Hempstead to St Albans, which was busy, so I was reduced to marching along the verge.  It had been a tough workout.  Welcome back to running !  I did manage three Strava segment PRs, on Chipperfield Hill, Chipperfield Road Push and Toms Lane Climb.

SEALFIT Week 1 : The Baseline : Day 1

I walked down to the gym, which I have previously mentioned is just over a mile away, and so I have a perfect warm up for my SEALFIT session, both physically and mentally, leaving me arriving at the gym ready to go.  I started with 5 repetitions of 5 back squats, using a 25kg barbell, which was the strength part of the workout.  I continued with the work capacity section, baseline for time completed for 500 metre row, 40 x air squats, 30 x sit-ups, 20 x push-ups and 10 x eccentric pull-ups.  My gym membership allows me to do a workout like this, although I do need to walk from the rowers to the general workout area, adding on some time to the total.  I managed the rowing in 1 minute 55.3 seconds, and the whole workout in 10 minutes 25 seconds.  I was pleased with my rowing time, which is steadily improving, and pleased with the workout overall.  I walked home.  I could not run.

Happy that my rowing times are improving

Happy that my rowing times are improving

  1. Walk (St Albans) – 3 miles – 1 hour 08 minutes 01 seconds
  2. Run (Kings Langley) – 9.8 miles – 2 hours 10 minutes 27 seconds
  3. Walk (St Albans) – 1.1 miles – 14 minutes 16 seconds
  4. SEALFIT (St Albans – gym) – Day 1 – 19 minutes

Wednesday 20 April 2016

SEALFIT Week 1 : The Baseline : Day 2

I walked down to the gym and past it.  This morning my warm-up would be done on the path running through the far end of the park, beside the football pitches, because I needed to use the football pitches to measure 200 metres.  I ran 200 metres, did 20 x 2-count mountain climbers, ran back the 200 metres, and finished with 20 push-ups, before going into the gym.  I did 3 rounds for time of 400 metres running, 10 x burpees, 10 x back squats, and 10 x knees to elbows.  I did the running on a treadmill, and as I have no idea how to work a treadmill, I ran for 2 minutes on a setting of 6, estimating that to be around the time it might take me to run 400 metres.  I used a 35kg barbell for the back squats.  I completed the 3 rounds in 12 minutes 45 seconds.

Making good use of the gym resources

Making good use of the gym resources

I then walked home the long way as a warm down, taking an hour and covering 2.8 miles as I went shopping for items for my daily smoothie.  More about that next week.

I went for a run in the afternoon.  I am not going to focus on my pace at the moment, and will instead focus on time spent running without having to stop.  To get that going, I will be running for 30 minutes at whatever pace it takes to achieve it without stopping to walk.  I should add here that I am absolutely useless as running ‘slowly’, and tend to just have one pace – whatever speed I can run at – so this should be interesting.  It was not easy running for the 30 minutes, which shows how far I have fallen off with my running, but I managed it, and at an 11 minutes per mile pace – which, while it is not fast, is hardly ‘slow’.

I was feeling good and wanted to do something more today, so I went back to the gym in the evening for some rowing, intending to do 8 x 500 metres with 30 second intervals.  I was feeling less optimistic after the first 500 metres took me 1 minute 59.5 seconds, but I was still below 2 minutes, so that was good.  The second 500 metres felt a lot harder and came in at 1 minute 58.8 seconds, which probably reflects putting in more effort, but it did not leave me feeling good, and I thought I was going to throw up through most of the third 500 metres, so when that came in at 2 minutes I decided to call it a day before I made a mess of the gym.

And that is enough for now...

And that is enough for now…

  1. SEALFIT (St Albans – park and gym) – Day 2 – 35 minutes
  2. Walk (St Albans) – 2.8 miles – 1 hour 00 minutes 53 seconds
  3. Run (St Albans) – 2.7 miles – 30 minutes 03 seconds
  4. Rowing (St Albans) 3 x 500 metres – 8 minutes 13 seconds

Thursday 21 April 2016

SEALFIT Week 1 : The Baseline : Day 3

I walked to the gym for my SEALFIT session, and warmed up with a 400 metre run on the treadmill.  I ran for 2 and a half minutes at level 6, because I reckoned that would cover me for 400 metres.  I then did 5 rounds of 5 air squats, 5 back squats with a 35kg barbell, 5 push-ups and 5 sit-ups.  The strength part of the session was a 5 x 5 set of front squats, again with the 35kg barbell.  The work capacity part of the session was a 10 minute AMRAP of 5 x eccentric pull-ups, 7 x push-ups and 9 x front squats with the 35kg barbell, and I managed 6 rounds plus the pull-ups and the push-ups.

That was a tough one

That was a tough one

I did another 30 minute run in the evening.  I was not trying for any sort of pace, but I did cover more distance anyway, which was nice, and also achieved Strava segment PRs for Alban Way Half Run In, Alban Way (Camp Rd Bridge to London Rd), and St Albans Way – Morrisons to London Rd Bridge, which was also nice.

  1. SEALFIT (St Albans – gym) – Day 3 – 23 minutes
  2. Run (St Albans) – 2.9 miles – 30 minutes 03 seconds

Friday 22 April 2016

There was a class at the gym which caught my eye so I decided to give it a go.  It is called Go Tri and I tried it.  Go Tri.  I Tried it.  Please yourselves – fitness training is not meant to be funny, anyway.  The class was taken by Emma Plunkett, one of the trainers down at the gym, and was designed to.  We began with a circuit of 5 stations – kettlebells, climbing on a Keiser bike, medicine balls, sprinting on a Keiser bike, and skipping ropes – before riding 1km on the Keiser bikes, doing 3 rounds of 10 repetitions of 4 floor exercises, then 500 metres on the Keiser bikes, doing 2 rounds of 10 repetitions of 4 floor exercises, before finishing with another 500 metres on the Keiser bikes.  I had never been on a Keiser bike before, so that was a new experience, and I enjoyed the great workout of the class.

Very glad I tried Go Tri - definitely in my schedule now

Very glad I tried Go Tri – definitely in my schedule now

I had to collect my car in the afternoon, so I ran over to Kings Langley.  I could make a joke about Kings Landing but after the way my Go Tri joke went down I just will not bother.  This was a lot more straightforward than my run back from dropping my car off, because I actually know the way going this direction.  I got some success with Strava segments, achieving a PR on Langley Hill and also on Descending Toms Lane, and a 2nd fastest time on A414 Bridge To Bedmond Road Junction.  I have no idea where any of these segments are when I am out on the ground, so I certainly do not just up my pace at times to hit them.

Where's the Throne ?

Where’s the Throne ?

  1. Go Tri (St Albans – gym) – 39 minutes 53 seconds
  2. Run (St Albans) – 8.3 miles – 1 hour 52 minutes 29 seconds

Saturday 23 April 2016

SEALFIT Week 1 : The Baseline : Day 4

I had some catching up to do with my SEALFIT sessions, so this morning would be Grinder PT.  I went to the gym and did 20 minutes of 10 x run and drop, 10 x 10kg dumbbell squat jumps, 20 x push ups, 20 x leg levers, 15 x burpees, 15 x 4-count smurf jumping jacks, 15 x tuck jumps, 20 x 10kg dumbbell thrusters, 20 x push ups (narrow), 20 x crisscross jumping jacks.  The session suggests 10 minutes of LSD run, ruck, or swim, and I decided to do 30 minutes of swimming because I just fancied a good swim.  I really got into it when I did my swimming the English Channel challenge back in February (which you can read about here) and want to put in some decent swimming time each week.

Who wants croissants ?

Who wants croissants ?

  1. SEALFIT (St Albans – gym) – Day 4 – 20 minutes
  2. SEALFIT (St Albans – pool) – Day 4 – 40 x 25 metre lengths

Sunday 24 April 2016

I had my children with me during the day so we went hunting for urban trig pillars.  I will tell you now that trig pillars are very much easier to find when they are on the top of the mountain.  Anyway, we enjoyed a nice walk in the bluebells of Cowcroft Wood, even if we did not find the trig pillar.  We did later find one on a bus route in Hemel Hempstead, and in a side paddock of a farm in Coleshill, Amersham, near the water tower which once featured on the Channel 4 television programme, Grand Designs.

Bit of climbing involved to bag this one...

Bit of climbing involved to bag this one…

SEALFIT Week 1 : The Baseline : Day 5

I ran down to the gym for my final SEALFIT session of the week.  The warm-up was 3 rounds of 150 metre rowing, 10 x air squats, and 10 x front squats.  I ended up rowing 514 metres, which took me 2 minutes 02 seconds, and did the front squats with a 25kg barbell.  The strength section was 5 sets of 5 repetitions of overhead squats, using a 25kg barbell.  The work capacity section was a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 repetitions circuit of overhead squats, step-ups and sit-ups.  I used a 20kg barbell because I knew I could not lift 25kg through the circuit, and the step-ups were meant to be on a 15-inch box, but they had all been taken so I adapted with a Reebok step and went faster because it was lower.

  1. Run (St Albans) – 1 mile – 10 minutes 14 seconds
  2. SEALFIT (St Albans – gym) – Day 5 – 19 minutes 21 seconds

Positives from this week : I completed my first real week of SEALFIT and am loving it, and already seeing some very positive changes as a direct result of what I am doing.  I also found a new class at the gym, and have plans for one more.  It was good to get a decent swim in, and I need to build on that.

This entry was posted in Avalanche Endurance Events, Elan, Fitness Training, Long Drag, Paras'10, Ricochet, Swimming, The 100 Peaks Challenge, The Fan Dance. Bookmark the permalink.

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