Winter Wolf Run training : Week 3

Week 3, and I have to keep things going while away on holiday…

Monday 23 September 2013

As I indicated in my last training blog (which you can read here) I was going to be on the beach in the mornings this week to do the fitness drills session from the August issue of the excellent Outdoor Fitness magazine, and where time permitted I would also try to finish things with a swim in the sea.

The beach workout zone

The beach workout zone

That, together with the walks we are planning to do, should keep things ticking over whilst we are on holiday.  There are 9 exercises – jump squats, lunge to knee-lift jumps, press-ups with gecko, elbows to full-arm extension, tucks, ice skaters, sprawls, sit-ups with oblique twist and tricep dips – and I will describe a few of them each day through this blog.  In each session I did at least 20 repetitions of each exercise, and went through the routine at least two times.

Jump squats

Muscles worked – quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and core

You stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight down through your heels, then dip your hips down and backwards, keeping your spine straight and head and chin upright.  Make sure your knees do not extend any further forward than your toes, then explode upwards, aiming for height, or, in my case, aiming to get off the ground.

Actually, I do like jump squats, and seem to be good at them, which is hardly surprising given how many of them we seem to do at Regiment Fitness.

Lunge to Knee-Lift Jumps

Muscles worked – quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, glutes, hip flexors and core

You take a stride backwards, ensuring that your feet are in line and pointing straight forwards.  Keep your back upright as you slowly bend and lower the back knee towards the floor, raising the heel off the floor.  At the same time bend the front knee, making sure it does not extend further forward than your toes, then drive the back leg forwards bringing your knee towards your chest, with a jump on the front leg.  Return to the starting position and repeat, alternating the leg with each repetition.

All of that was very hard work, and I am not sure I really get this one.

After breakfast we drove over to Ag Gerasimos for a walk which you can read about here.  When we got back we went down to the beach at Lassi and I enjoyed a long swim in the choppy water, which was hard work for me.

  1. Holiday Drill
  2. Walk – 4.5 miles
  3. Swim – 1 hour

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Press-Ups with Gecko

Muscles worked – pectorals, triceps brachii, deltoids, core and serratus anterior

Kneel on all fours with your hands a little more than shoulder-width apart.  Straighten your legs out behind, so that your weight is distributed between your hands and toes.  Then bend the elbows outwards to lower your chest towards the floor.  So that is the press up, and now at the same time as you lower you also bring your right knee up towards your elbow, which is the gecko.  You raise the other leg on the next repetition.

They were a nice change from the usual press-ups, a little bit harder, and good fun.

Elbows to Full-Arm Extension

Muscles worked – rectus abdominals, transversus abdominis and erector spinae

Lie on your front and place your forearms and palms flat on the ground.  Lift your chest, stomach and legs and balance between your forearms and toes.  Plank, then, with your hands pointing forwards.  Raise your forearms so that your arms are extended and your palms are supporting you.  The raised press-up position, then.  Lower down again onto your forearms.  Repeat this, maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.  I did this one arm at a time to go up and down, and switched between which arm went up or down first.

This starts off easy and then becomes very much harder.

After breakfast we drove over to Fiskardo for a walk which you can read about here.

Yummy lunch

Yummy lunch

  1. Holiday Drill
  2. Walk – 7.2 miles

Wednesday 25 September 2013


Muscles worked – quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and core

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and descend to a squat position, keeping a neutral spine and your core engaged.  At the bottom of the squat, powerfully explode straight up, bringing your knees towards your chest.  Control your landing and then descend into the squat again for another explosive jump.

This started off hard and then became very much harder.  I am trying to jump a big weight off the ground, but I can already feel I am doing better than when I did them in Le Croisic, which you can read about here.

Ice Skaters

Muscles worked – quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and core

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your spine neutral, core engaged and head up (with chin off chest).  Step to the right and flex your right knee into a side lunge, bringing your other leg off the floor behind the bent leg.  Keeping your core engaged, use your arms to help drive the movement.  Then step onto the left leg, flexing the left knee and following behind with the right leg in the same way.  Again, use your arms to help you drive and balance.

I must have been doing this incorrectly because it felt too easy – another one I am not sure I get.

This was the first morning this week I had woken up early enough to get out on the beach and really go through my Holiday Drill with enough time to concentrate on form.  In fact, I was up before the dawn on an empty beach, and I saw three cruise ships come sailing in, but then a fourth followed them, so it spoiled the Christmas reference.  It felt very good to be running barefoot along the beach as part of my warm up, and after doing the drill I was alone in the sea and enjoyed a good swim in very calm waters, which made a pleasant change from the choppy waters of the afternoons.  When I got out and was showering off the salt water, another early riser remarked that I had a good workout going there, and as it turned out he is a triathlon coach then I like the validation.  We had an excellent chat and he told me he trains the world’s oldest triathlete, who is aged 93, so I have time to do my first triathlon yet, and we also talked about running interval training and hill training – so all good stuff !  During the day, Debbie and I went over to Sami for a walk which you can read about here and returned to Lassi in good time for me to have my afternoon swim, in the choppy water !

Another enjoyable swim

Another enjoyable swim

  1. Holiday Drill
  2. Swim – 30 minutes
  3. Walk
  4. Swim – 1 hour

Thursday 26 September 2013


Muscles worked – quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core and latissimus dorsi

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, core engaged and a neutral spine.  Your weight needs to be on the balls of your feet.  Squat down and kick your legs back to land in a modified press-up position, on your toes with palms on the floor, arms extended and elbows slightly bent.  As soon as you land, drive your hips forward again into the squat position, and stand back up to repeat the movement.

This was a powerful movement and a powerful feeling, and suddenly it dawned on me that it is a dynamic burpee.

My day was mostly spent re-climbing Mount Ainos after I found out that my attempt last year had not quite reached the summit.  You can read about that one here.  This time I got up and down a lot quicker and I made it to the summit.  You can read about my successful attempt here.

At the summit of Mount Ainos 1627m

At the summit of Mount Ainos 1628m

  1. Holiday Drill
  2. Walk – 12 miles

Friday 27 September 2013

Sit-Ups with Oblique Twist

Muscles worked – rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, obliques

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms extended in front and above you.  Lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground, keeping your shoulders, back and neck relaxed.  Halfway up, hold and rotate through your torso, first to the left and then to the right.  Rotate back to centre and return to the lying position, keeping your shoulders off the ground.  Repeat the drill in the opposite direction.

I had done these before and enjoy them.  I appear to be good at sit-ups, and enjoy the variety in this exercise.

It was another rushed drill this morning as we went off to do a walk to Old Skarla which you can read about here.  After that we both had delicious omlettes in Siroco in Skarla, before playing a game of giant chess (which I won !), visiting the Roman mosaic, and finally going to the beach, where I took my final swim of the holiday, before we headed off to Poros and saw the HMS Perseus memorial.

I won

I won

  1. Holiday Drill
  2. Walk – 5 miles
  3. Swim – 1 hour

Saturday 28 September 2013

Tricep Dips

Muscles worked – triceps brachii

Sit with your back to a rock, or, if you are not on a beach, to a bench, placing your palms on it with your fingers pointing towards you.  Lift your body off the ground and straighten your legs so that only your heels are in the sea, or on the floor.  Bend your elbows behind you and lower your body back towards the ground, then push back up until your elbows are straight, and repeat.

I dread to think how many of these I have done since I started seeing my personal trainer, Christianne Woolf, in May 2011, so the exercise is very familiar to me, although it does seem to be one that we do not do very often at Regiment Fitness.

Unfortunately, we had to check out of our hotel early so time was too tight in the morning to actually allow me to do my Holiday Drill but I did get in two minutes of plank.  This early exit was mostly unfortunate because we did not have to get to the airport until 5pm, so there could have been time for at least another swim if I could then have dried everything, including myself.  I saw all the photos from the Warrior Adrenaline Race of the guys I know from Regiment Fitness at St Albans and Welwyn Garden City, and it left me feeling very jealous to have missed it – I will have to make sure I am around for the next one in April.

  1. Plank

Sunday 29 September 2013

We had to travel up to Derby, so I did no form of training today.  I did finish reading Thrive Fitness by Brendan Brazier, and I will be saying a lot more about that in next week’s training blog.

Positives from this week – I kept things going with my Holiday Drill, enjoyed some wonderful swimming in the sea, did some great walks, and made it to the summit of Mount Ainos, which at 1628 metres is higher than all the mountains in the UK.

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