Week 1, and yet another training plan…
Monday 09 September 2013
This is it. The warm down from the September Wolf Run and the run up to the Winter Wolf Run. I decided to work from home today because my back was aching after the Wolf Run on Sunday, and that decision would save me from two hours of driving, but would naturally throw out my eating. So I snacked through the day. I must say I feel a lot better after this Wolf Run than I did after the first one I did, so my training plans do appear to be working.
The Monday evening Regiment Fitness sessions at Welwyn had come to an end, so I went to their training session at Hatfield this evening. I will also try Wheathampstead when it opens to see which is best to get to from work and to get home from. This one was held on the large area of grass beside the Birchwood Leisure Centre and was taken by Sean. Rather than being called the Hatfield session it could be called the Hedge session, for the number of times he sent us off running to the hedge and back. It was getting dark by the time I got there and it began in the pouring rain, and the rain was colder than any of the water I went through yesterday, so that added to the fun. Speaking of fun, I could tell Sean was in a mood to push us because he was handing out forfeits to anyone who forgot their wristband, making them run out to one of the poles and back. While carrying a log. Never forget your wristband. We started with a running warm up, which was certainly needed in weather like this, and finished up going through the legs of our partner, which posed a few problems for me because my partner was so petite and I ended up just crawling along the ground. Then it was over to the hedge and back. The circuit involved running around a triangle and doing 30 repetitions of each exercise at the points of the triangle. I opted to go for the middle-sized triangle and to do the highest number of repetitions. We did press ups, leg raises (lying on our backs on the wet ground raising both legs all the way up and then bringing them down to six inches off the wet ground. Did I mention the ground was wet ?), squats, and we finished with sets of 15 burpees, and got from the first pole to the second pole by doing lunges. After each set of the exercises we also ran another lap of the triangle. One of the excellent things at Regiment Fitness is how encouraging everyone is, so those who have finished will always clap in those who are still finishing. Unfortunately we did not clap well enough this evening, and so it was over to the hedge and back for us all. We got into teams of three for 20 upward rows with the jerry can, followed by a run to the pole and back, which we each did three times. And then it was over to the hedge and back for a final run at the end of that part. We split into pairs for the boxing, and I was with the same partner from the warm up. The first drill saw us coming up from the sit up position to punch with both hands at once, with our partner standing on our feet to hold us in place and holding their hands above us for us to punch. She apologised if she was too heavy on my feet but, to be honest, I could hardly feel her there. I could certainly feelher once she started punching, though ! Then we moved to the standing position for short, sharp bursts. We were not finished yet because there had been a rope lying on the ground the whole time and clearly we had to use it. Tug of war it was then, with the losing team getting burpees as a forfeit. And for once I was on the losing team, and we picked up two forfeits, while winning one contest. In our defence, they only won when they had an extra person in their team. The rain had stopped by the time we got to the warm down but it was very dark. It had been another excellent session and had certainly helped keep me loose after Sunday.
- Training – 1 hour
Tuesday 10 September 2013
My back still aches a little but nothing too serious. I had meetings in London, so I knew my eating would be rubbish again today, so I was looking forward to me evening session with Regiment Fitness.
Apparently, if it ain’t raining then it ain’t training. Tonight it was training steadily for an hour. I had finished my day working from home, so I decided to get along to the early evening session at Welwyn, which starts at 6 rather than 7.15. The traffic from St Albans meant I got there with seconds to spare. Never turn up late, because they make you run over to the warm up. This evening’s session was being taken by Tom and mad Steve, so I knew it would be fun. Corinne turned up in her Wolf Run technical tshirt, which annoyed Tom from the start, what with it being in competition with the Warrior Adrenaline Race and all that, but Steve seemed very interested in taking part in the next one. Anyway, moving on, we had a running warm up from Steve, which included sprints and naturally ended up with us rolling on the ground, although Tom took it a step further than that by getting us to crawl away from him and then back again to finish it off. Then, if we wanted to push it, we had a run to the bin, and I have got to the stage where I almost feel obliged to push it now. We went into a zigzag circuit, involving six poles and 15 repetitions of each exercise at each pole. The exercises were press ups, sit ups, squats, and then 8 burpees at each pole to finish it. We sprinted between the poles (to the extent that we could sprint) and also sprinted back to the beginning from the final pole after each set. And then we ran to the bin and back. We split into two groups and I started with boxing with Steve, working in pairs with straight arm bursts in the standing position, then kneeling and punching upwards in bursts, and with a quick standing burst to end. That was hard work on the shoulders. We switched over to Tom for a jerry can push and carry relay in teams of three, where we pushed the jerry can out and ran back with it, four times. Then we split into three teams within the group for some tug of war, with each team, surprisingly, winning once. The resting team were in the plank position. We were not finished yet as we split into two groups and those who wanted to push it went with Tom for a run round to the top of the grass, then holding in the squat position before sprinting out to him and back, then holding in the squat position before going out to him and back with bear crawls, then holding in the squat position before sprinting to the van. It had been a very good session and the warm down felt good too.
I got home and snacked while I finished writing up my blog of The Wolf Run, which you can read here.
- Training – 1 hour
Wednesday 11 September 2013
I was back in the office and followed my usual morning routine and got myself ready for a lunchtime run. I have a new running training plan to get into ! My usual morning routine at the moment is a pot of Oat So Simple, and this morning it was honey and vanilla flavour, with a cup of skimmed mild, a cup of water with a Redoxon vitamin C and zinc tablet, a Seven Seas cold liver oil with multivitamins capsule, and a Vitabiotics glucosamine and chondroitin capsule. I need to slightly revise my diet, and will be doing that after I get back from a week in Kefalonia at the end of this month, and I also need to look into the supplements I take. The important thing right now is to make sure I am properly fueled and hydrated for the lunchtime run, so I ate a banana. It was very overcast with a threat of rain when I got out for my run, although the rain did not arrive while I was out there. It is a while since I last did a timed run and this one seemed to go all right. I did have to run on an opposite pavement to avoid the Unite industrial action, though, and my left shoulder is aching a little for some reason. I drank a cup of milk as soon as I got back into the office and then ate a Waitrose Middle Eastern spiced wild race salad for lunch with a white peach and raspberry live gourmet yoghurt from the Collective Dairy, which are both items I need to remove from my diet. I ate an apple during the afternoon and kept drinking water.
I ate another apple as I drove through the rain of Northampton to get to the rain of St Albans. This was real rain. Although it was not red rain pouring down, pouring down all over me. I was wet walking from my car to the Regiment Fitness van for this evening’s session, but it’s only water. The session was with Adam and mad Steve and as we all chatted waiting for everyone to arrive it was clear we just wanted to get going. I like Steve and I always enjoy his warm ups, even if he did keep sending us running over to the bench this evening. It was a simple circuit, working along six poles in a straight line and doing 15 repetitions of each exercise at every pole, before sprinting back to the beginning. We did squat thrusts, press ups, sit ups, sitting up to individual raised legs, 30 repetitions of star jumps, and explosive squat jumps where we reach down to our feet. Then we sprinted to the far end of the poles and back, just to finish (us) off. We stayed in one group and moved on to the ‘games’ – jerry can relays in pairs, with one of us pushing the jerry can out and carrying it back, while the other did press ups, and we did that twice. Then it was straight sprints with the jerry can, three times, and we finished off running in our pairs, one carrying the jerry can and the other carrying a tyre, swapping at the far end, and then running back. Then it was a run over to the bench and back, put on the boxing gloves, get into pairs, and begin some short, sharp blasts in the standing position, and then kneeling and punching upwards, before we were running over to the bench and back again, ready for the warm down. I was soaked through and very happy after another great session.
I got home, had a shower to clean off all the cold rain, and then snacked.
- Run (work) – 3 miles – 28 minutes 27 seconds
- Training – 1 hour
Thursday 12 September 2013
I was working from home this morning because I had a meeting in London later in the day, so I decided to get along to the Regiment Fitness morning session at Harpenden. I had enjoyed it the time I went to it in August, so was keen to take the opportunity to go again. I was a little worried that it was going to be another wet session as I drove through the rain to get, but I was a lot more worried that I was going to be late. As it turned out, the rain held off and I arrived just on time. The session was being taken by Coxy and there were seven of us there, so no place to hide. We started with a running warm up in a circle and because of the odd number I ended up in a three when it came to the arm pumping. Then there was a run to the other end of the football pitch and back if we wanted to push it, so I went for it. The circuit was an interesting one, running to the far pole and doing 30 repetitions of the exercise, as well falling to the ground and getting back up at the first pole as we were running to the far end, and then sprinting back to the start. The exercises were squat jumps, clapping press ups, half sit ups, mountaineers, squat jumps, sit ups to touch our ankles, crossed hand press ups, squats (which I did 15 with my feet forward, and 15 with them pointed more outwards), arm raises from the plank position, and we finished with burpees. Yes, 30 burpees to finish with. I could hardly do 5 burpees when I started with Regiment Fitness, and here I am finishing off a circuit with 30. We split into pairs for a relay involving a medicine ball, a tyre and a jerry can. One of us ran out the the medicine ball and brought it back, then out to the tyre and brought it back, and then out to the jerry can and brought it back, before the other one then ran them back to their starting places, and we did that three times. Then it was time for some boxing in pairs, starting at one cone and doing 30 straight punches, 30 hooks and 30 upper cuts, then moving to the next cone and repeating, before finally moving to the third cone and doing it all over again, and then sprinting back to the beginning for our partner to do it. Then it was down into the sit up position to come up for hook punches and build in twos each time from 2 up to 30. We were not finished yet as we moved across to more jerry cans and got back into our relay pairs to push them out and run back with them, twice. And there was still more to come. As a prelude to WAR we crawled under a camo net, tiptoed through some tyres, fell to the ground at each of four cones and then ran back to the start to do it all again. And again after that. I was sweating into the warm up. That had been a really hard and enjoyable session, and I felt all the better for it.
I said in my last training blog that my running has come a long way since I started doing it seriously back in November 2012, but I can definitely feel that I need to keep working on it, and I am hoping that this training schedule will do that. For the first time in a very long time I went for a run at home, doing 35 minutes of Fartlek running and covering one big lap and two little laps. I ate a pesto pasta and a Russian fudge yoghurt when I got back in.
Man cannot live on beefcake alone, and in the evening I took in two lots of culture. First of all I had an invite to a showing of Emily Young’s We Are Stone’s Children sculpture exhibition, which was fascinating. I was very interested to note that she had worked with Simon Jeffes of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. I then joined Debbie for the Regents Opera performance of La Traviata at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate.
- Training – 1 hour
- Run (home) – 35 minutes Fartlek
Friday 13 September 2013
Another day working from home, so another day when I was able to take advantage of an early morning session with Regiment Fitness, this time in St Albans. This week’s theme has been rain and Friday morning in St Albans did not let us down. Unfortunately, Nina did let us down by forgetting her wristband, and as Sean (you will remember him from Monday in Hatfield) was taking the session we all got a forfeit of running over to the bench and back before we had even started. The warm up started with a run over to the far side of the field and back, before we continued running round the poles which had been put out for the circuit while doing the usual punching movements, and then touching the ground with our hands, knees, elbows, stomach, back, bum, so we were not only wet but also covered in grass cuttings. Then our high knees were not high enough, so we got 10 burpees, and those of us wishing to take it on got a run over to the bench and back. Sean told us to put on a pair of boxing gloves and I did wonder if he had decided we had already done enough and he would skip the circuit this morning as it was raining so much. Yeah, right. We were going to work in pairs at four poles while wearing the boxing gloves, doing an exercise for a period of time at each pole, and then doing some boxing. So we did burpees (yes, more burpees) followed by straight arm punching, then burpees (yes, still more burpees) followed by straight arm punching, then squat jumps followed by straight arm punching, and then more squat jumps followed by more straight arm punching. Then we ran a lap of the poles. Now we moved on to two sets of leg raises while lying on our backs, with hooks as the boxing exercise, and then two sets of sit ups with our hands coming between our legs to our ankles, with more hooks. And then a lap of the poles. And five more burpees because we were not running fast enough, which was increased to seven when people groaned. Then some upper cuts, another lap of the poles, some more upper cuts, and a final lap of the poles. Then a run to the bench and back to finish off. We split into teams of three to do shoulder presses with a log, doing three repetitions each for however long Sean left us at it, and at the end of each repetition running out to a pole and back. Then some tug of war to bring things to a close, three pulls, and after one win each we were winning the third until Sean joined in with the other side. So we got five burpees. Finally the warm down, and Sean asked how people were feeling after all that boxing, if our shoulders were aching, then suggested stretching out the arms, bringing them in, and putting the palms of our hands on our cheeks…and some people did, and transferred the sweaty odour of the gloves to their faces. They will know better next time. Sean reckons that session burns at least 1000 calories, and I am not going to disagree with that. It felt good, it felt tough, and it was great fun. I enjoyed all the boxing, for sure. I came away wet and happy, even though the session does seem to have stirred up an insect bite I got either yesterday morning at Harpenden or Wednesday evening here.
I snacked through the day.
- Training – 1 hour
Saturday 14 September 2013
I had an excellent session with Christianne this morning, including using dumbbells for fly extensions and chest presses, and kettlebells for upward rows, and while we were doing this we discussed forms of training and nutrition. One thing I have really benefitted from through my training with Christianne is being ahead of the game when it comes to exercise and nutrition, although I am terrible at following the nutrition advice. So while I was doing tabata back in 2011, way ahead of the current fad, I was also taking ages to get sugar out of my diet because chocolate just tastes too good. We measured my body fat and despite my increase in exercise it had stayed the same, so clearly my nutrition needs to be worked on. I need to cut down on the sugar, increase the fresh fruit and green vegetables, add in a greater variety of fish, and cut out the processed foods. I am also going to be reading the Thrive books from Brendan Brazier to see what ideas they can give me.
I had my children and their dog with me for the weekend, and while the children were at their drama class the dog (Chumley) and I went for a jog. I do not think that counts in my training schedule.
- Training – 1 hour
Sunday 15 September 2013
I managed to get the children and the dog ready in time so we set off to Verulamium Park in St Albans for the morning session with Regiment Fitness. Shaun was there to take it with an instructor I had not seen before, and whose name I have instantly forgotten (my apologies for that !), and as I walked across I recognised the gate circuit laid out on the ground. We started with a running warm up, which I am getting a lot more used to as the weeks go by, and finished that with a run over to the trees and back if we wanted to push it. I feel like I want to and need to, so I went for it. The circuit involved 30 press ups and one lap, 40 sit ups and two laps and 30 burpees and three laps, followed by 20 of each exercise and one lap. I still find that one a killer. We split into our two groups and I started with boxing, 20 straight arm punches in the standing position then a run to the pole and back, repeated five times, before we sat down for upward punching, doing three sets with different rests inbetween. Another killer. Then we were back with Shaun and into teams of three for a tyre relay, running to one end with the tyre held over our head, leaving it there and running back, and repeating that five times. Somehow our tyre ended up at the far pole rather than back at the beginning, so when we moved on to jerry can pushes, and running back with the jerry can, I decided to pick up the tyre on the way and carried it back with me. It had been a fun session and for the first time this week it had stayed dry !
Then I spent around 4 hours walking around doing the St Albans Giant Monopoly with my children and the dog, which you can read about here. You will see it involved me cycling for a whole minute, so that is going straight into my training record.
- Training – 1 hour
- Cycle – 1 minute