Silverstone Half-Marathon 2014 training : Week 3

Week 3, and I need to push it on before going away for Christmas…

Monday 16 December 2013

I did my plank and squats as soon as I woke up and they both went very well, even if the plank really does hurt to get to the end.  I ended up working from home in the afternoon and did my run on my large circuit.  This is the exercise from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Fitness book which is intended to increase my VO2 Max (my maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake, or aerobic capacity) and is intended to be an intense run.  However, it will translate to improved cardiovascular efficiency and, therefore, performance, so it will be worth it, and I will only be running it once each week.  I will run for 5 minutes to warm up, then run three repetitions of 30 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds recovery, then run two repetitions of 1 minute hard followed by 1 minute recovery, and finally run another three repetitions of 30 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds recovery.  It was cold and there was a gusty wind, but I made it past the Triathlon shop on the Hatfield Road and to the traffic lights at the crossroads, so that is an improvement on last week.

I did my Thrive Fitness exercises for the Shoulders in the evening, doing 3 repetitions of each set within each grouping.

  1. Plank – 210 seconds
  2. Squats – 145
  3. Run – VO2 Max
  4. Thrive – Shoulders

Tuesday 17 December 2013

I woke up and did my plank and squats before heading off to work, but only managed 180 seconds of plank so will have to repeat that later to achieve the proper time.  I ate a honey and vanilla flavour Oat So Simple with a cup of milk and my fizzy vitamin C when I got into the office, and also ate a banana and drank more water before going out into the cold for my lunchtime run.  Today I was doing an Interval Workout, which should be four sets of 800 metres at 10km pace, each followed by 400 metres at a jog.  I have no idea how far 800 metres or 400 metres are on my route, so I decided to run 3 minutes of warm up followed by six sets of 2 minutes at full pace, with a minute after each at a recovery pace.  The way I see it, I need to be pushing as hard as I can for the minute.  Doing that I managed to get up around my big lap and up to opposite the entrance to DHL on my small lap.  I pushed it hard and it felt good at the end.  I drank a cup of milk as soon as I got back into the office and ate a rice, lentil and roast aubergine salad from Marks & Spencer, together with an Activia breakfast pot.  I still need to change my diet, but for now I need to refuel ready for Regiment Fitness this evening, because it has been too long since I was last there.  I drank another cup of milk, ate an apple and a banana, and continued to drink more water.

I ate an apple as I drove down to Welwyn Garden City in time for the early Regiment Fitness session, being taken by mad Steve and a new guy, Richard.  It was an energetic, continuously moving warm up with a lot of sprinting before we started the circuit.  This was run on a timed basis so that we did 10 repetitions of each exercise at each of three poles down one side of the field, then crossed over to the other side and carried out a different exercise at those three poles, keeping it going until the time was up, then repeating with two different exercises.  We did squat jumps with superman crunches, jumping lunges with press ups, and Turkish rises (getting up without using our hands from lying on our backs) with mountaineers.  Then we sprinted round the outside of the poles for 2 minutes.    We split into teams of three to do 15 tricep dips over the head with a medicine ball then sprints to another two poles to repeat the tricep dips, while another one of us did upward rows with a jerry can, and the third member of the team did press ups.  We finished up with 2 minutes of press ups, then 2 minutes of sit ups and finally 2 minutes of squats.  We finished off an excellent session with a warm down.  It was good to be back and I had hardly even noticed that it had been raining the whole time.

I tried to do my plank when I got home but I could not make it to 210 seconds.

  1. Plank – 180 seconds
  2. Squats – 150
  3. Run (work) – 4 x 800 Interval Workout
  4. Regiment Fitness
  5. Plank – 180 seconds
  6. Plank – 150 seconds

Wednesday 18 December 2013

I was disappointed to not make my plank last night and I still could not make it this morning, but at least I could still manage 3 minutes.  I actually did 160 squats (instead of 155) in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and they felt easy enough.  I got into the office and ate a strawberry, raspberry and cranberry flavoured Oat So Simple with my cup of milk and fizzy vitamin C water.  It was cold, wet and windy when I got out for my run and I was 30 seconds slower than last week, which was disappointing.  I had another cup of milk when I got back in and made sure to eat so I was ready for more exercise in the evening.

It did not look like there were many people attending this St Albans session with Regiment Fitness as I walked over and when I got there I found Liam with Tom, another instructor who was new to me.  And as it turned out, there were only 5 of us with 2 instructors so this was going to be a tough workout in the light rain.  We started with a very active warm up which took us out to the more swampy parts of the park, and finished it all off with a run to the far pole and back.  The circuit had us starting with exercises at the first pole then running to another three poles before finally going round a fourth to sprint home.  I did 20 of each exercise, which were press ups, lunge jumps, leg raises, burpees (only 10 of them), and squat jumps.  We did the boxing in pairs, working in timed slots with straight punches, then upper cuts, then high punching, and finally hooks.  Each set progressed to a fast final 30 seconds before we ran to one of the poles and back.  Then it was on to the logs in pairs for chest presses (I did 60 60 70) and sprints out to the far pole and back twice whilst the partner did the chest presses.  We finished that with a run with the log in pairs, completing 3 laps and doing 20 squats with the log inbetween each lap.  We finished up with a warm down just as the rain really started to come down hard.  It had been a very good workout and I got home too tired to try to improve my plank from earlier.

  1. Plank – 180 seconds
  2. Squats – 160
  3. Run (work) – 4 miles – 37 minutes 46 seconds
  4. Regiment Fitness

Thursday 19 December 2013

My legs were aching when I woke up but I still did my squats.  I did not have time to get our for a run but I did my Thrive exercises for my Shoulders before we went out to London in the evening.  Plank did not happen, and I must make sure that does not become a habit.

  1. Squats – 170
  2. Thrive – Shoulders

Friday 20 December 2013

My body was aching in many places this morning, most likely as a result of getting back into running and the Regiment Fitness sessions, so I stupidly decided that the best way to deal with that was by going to another Regiment Fitness session in St Albans.  This was being run by Sean, and my previous experience of Sean leads me to believe that ‘run’ is the operative word.  Sure enough, we started with a run over to the other side of the field and back before we moved into a warm up which finished with a lot of sprints.  It was very cold out, with ice and frost on the ground, and the sun was hardly shining through.  I was not wearing gloves and my hands were freezing, and my toes felt very cold too.  I put that out of my mind as we moved into the circuit, running in a straight line through five poles, doing between 12 and 16 repetitions of each exercise at every pole.  We did squats, burpees, shuttle sprints to each of the poles and back, leg raises, leg splits (lying on our backs with our legs out straight and our feet 6 inches off the ground as we moved our legs apart and back).  We also managed to pick up some burpee forfeits along the way.  I could really feel it at the top of my thighs by the end of the circuit, but my legs still had more to do.  We did running in groups of five, one person starting by running to the far pole and back, then adding the second person, and so on until all five of us were linked, and then we dropped off one by one.  I was done in by the end of that.  We moved on to boxing in pairs, doing straight arm punches as quickly as we could, first one person and then swapping over, moving up in sets of 10 until we did 70 punches.  Then we did timed punches with upward punches and hooks, and somehow we managed to pick up two forfeits of 5 burpees, and finished off with more straight arm punches.  We stayed in our pairs for a tyre relay, which we were very close to winning but apparently we had left a gap.  So we joined in with the 10 press ups forfeit, which led nicely into shoulder presses over our heads with a tyre, with two sets of 35 seconds.  As if that was not enough upper body work we then had log chest presses, doing them while our partner ran out to a pole and did 5 burpees, repeating that three times.  It was another great session and I am getting back into things now.

I did my plank and squats in the evening.  I am still struggling with my time for the plank.

  1. Regiment Fitness
  2. Plank – 180 seconds
  3. Squats – 180

Saturday 21 December 2013

Our weekend plans had changed and I was intending to go to a Regiment Fitness session in the morning but it was raining so hard that I decided to give it a miss.  I tried to push on with plank but could not get past 3 minutes the two times I tried.  I will give it another go this evening.  To make up for that I raised the squats up to 200 and they felt fine.  I tried more plank in the evening but am still stuck on 180 seconds.

  1. Plank – 180 seconds
  2. Plank – 180 seconds
  3. Squats – 200
  4. Plank – 180 seconds

Sunday 22 December 2013

We need to go food shopping and will then be setting off on the first part of our journey to the Lake District for Christmas, but first my plank and squats.  Once again I got stuck at 180 seconds with plank, so tomorrow I am going to see if I can move it on just a little.  In comparison, the 210 squats were easy.

  1. Plank – 180 seconds
  2. Squats – 210

Positives from this week – I have got back into the Regiment Fitness sessions and the squats are progressing very well.  I am ready for Christmas.

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