Silverstone Half-Marathon 2014 training : Week 5

Week 5, and back to the real world and some running…

Monday 30 December 2013

We travelled back from Derby in the windy weather and by the time we got back I was too tired to do anything more, so I shall put this down as a rest day.

Tuesday 31 December 2013

I finished off my 30-day squats and plank challenges today.  The squats challenge has gone really well and I will now continue with 200 squats each day.  The plank challenge hit a wall so I will try that again through January.

  1. Squats – 300
  2. Plank – 150 seconds

Wednesday 01 January 2014

I started another plank challenge, added in a 30-day press ups challenge, and continued with my squats.  I decided to go for a run, doing 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.  It will translate to improved cardiovascular efficiency and, therefore, performance, so it will be worth it, and I will 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, windy and raining, but I made it past the Triathlon shop on the Hatfield Road and to the traffic lights at the crossroads, so I am pleased with that for now.

Back to the running...

Back to the running…

  1. Plank – 120 seconds
  2. Press ups – 2 x 10
  3. Squats – 200
  4. Run – VO2 Max

Thursday 02 January 2014

I was working from home for the rest of the week so I got up and did what are now my moring exercises – plank, press ups and squats.  I am still trying to find a good starting point in terms of a timing for plank and think I will try at 150 seconds and build it from there.  With the press ups I am concentrating on form and not speed, which is making them hurt more but should prove effective over the month.  I went for a run at lunchtime, just doing 20 minutes of Fartlek, and ate a banana when I got back in.  I would be going to Regiment Fitness this evening so needed to make sure I was properly recovered and ready for that.  I had some time available so I did my Thrive exercises for my shoulders.

I ate an apple as I drove over to Welwyn Garden City for my first Regiment Fitness session of 2014.  There had been a downpour in St Albans before I left but it was dry in Welwyn and stayed that way for the early session.  It was being taken by Tom and Richard, and I talked with Richard before it started about my time on High Spy (which you can read about here) and he told me about the time he was in the French Foreign Legion and skied down to the wrong side of the Alps.  It was a very active warm up in the cold, which culminated in having to get into groups of a given number.  I used to be very good at that, being able to slot in to be the final person needed, but it all went wrong tonight and I ended up with two forfeits of ten burpees each.  Twenty burpees and we had not even started yet.  Of course, there was a run to the far goalposts and back to complete the warm up, and I was feeling good.  We had the square circuit tonight, with something different on each of the four sides, which we did for a minute.  But we were not quick getting to the start positions so we got some plank to make up for that.  We began for real with press ups, sprints, holding in the upward press up position, and chest pressing then shoulder pressing a medicine ball; then sit ups, sprints, plank and Russian twists with the medicine ball; and we finished the circuit with burpees, lunges, holding the squat position, and jump squats with a medicine ball.  That was an excellent welcome back to the circuit.  We split into two groups and then the group I was in split into threes.  How on earth did I end up with Robbie and Adrian ?  This was going to be tough to keep up with them.  We were doing chest presses with the log (30, 40 and then 50) before running to the other end of this part of the field, doing 10 press ups and running back.  When I came back from my final set our little three had been given some extras by Tom – 5 more press ups, but this time with someone pushing down on our back as we tried to come up.  So after I had pushed down on Robbie it was my turn to try to break through Adrian’s resistance, and by the fifth press up he did not need to be pushing down at all.  I had gone down so far that coming back up was just not going to happen.  That was a nice little addition.  Then we had three shuttle runs with a tyre before moving on to boxing in pairs, lots of short, sharp stuff with straight arms and hooks, and some sit ups thrown in for good measure.  A stretching warm down brought the great session to a close, and it really was good to be back.

I got home and we ate stir-fried vegetables with quinoa, and I also had three boiled eggs.

  1. Plank – 150 seconds
  2. Press ups – 2 x 12
  3. Squats – 200
  4. Run (home) – Fartlek 20 minutes
  5. Thrive – Shoulders
  6. Regiment Fitness

Friday 03 January 2014

I woke up and did a couple of minutes of plank to get me going, but did not want to do too much because I was going along to the morning Regiment Fitness session in St Albans.  There is one issue I have with this particular session – everyone who turns up to it is so fit !  And they clearly like running !  So that leaves me stuffed from the beginning.  It was being taken by Sean and he got us running to the other side of the field and back to begin with, which turned out to be a lot easier said than done given that the field was saturated with water.  Muddy legs were the order of the day.  And then we had the warm up.  Yes, you are not alone in thinking that was the warm up already done.  No, we had more running to do, going around the poles which would be used in the circuit, building it up to sprints, and then going all the way back to the van, but only after running over to the bench first.  We did two tyre relays before moving on to the circuit, the ones where we have to move tyres from one end to the other by leapfrogging them over each other.  The team I was in did not win the first relay so we joined all the other non-winning teams in ten burpees.  I tried to straighten our tyres in the second relay and very unfairly got my team a forfeit of five burpees, and we did not win so we got another ten burpees on top of that.  What is it with all these burpees before we even get started ?!  After all that we ran over to the poles for the circuit, and Sean had put the poles some distance away so that we could be in the sun and away from the wet ground.  Well, the ground was just as soaking over here and the sun was hardly noticeable.  It was a simple circuit, doing a number or repetitions of an exercise at each pole, and then running another lap of the poles.  I decided to go for the inner set of poles because of the running, and to do the higher number of repetitions.  We began with 20 leg raises, then 16 squats, then alternated lunges and jogging as we went around the poles, before finishing with burpees, where we did 1 at the first pole, then 2 at the second, and just kept going.  I got up to 8 burpees, with some excellent encouragement from Sean along the way.  And after our run following the leg raises we had picked up a forfeit of another ten burpees for not running through to the very end.  So many burpees.  We had a run back to the van with the poles.  Then we were on to the logs for chest presses with a run over to the poles and back while our partner was chest pressing.  We did it three times and I really started to feel it in my left shoulder.  This is a niggle I have felt before and I will see if my Thrive exercises will work it out of me.  We finished off in pairs for boxing and I was the one left over so I went with Sean.  We started with three sets of straight arm punching, and when I was not punching he had me put my arms out to the side and move my hands in little circles.  Yes, that was just what my left shoulder needed.  We finished with a couple of sets of upper cuts and this time I held my arms straight up inbetween.  This had been a tough session for me with all the running and I felt good for having done it, with the warm down bringing it all to a close.

Oh what fun we had...

Oh what fun we had…

I got home and did 50 squats, just to keep my legs stretched.  We had a roasted sweet potato with mushrooms for lunch, and then stir-fried vegetables with lentils for dinner, and later on I did my press ups and some more squats.

  1. Plank – 120 seconds
  2. Regiment Fitness
  3. Squats – 50
  4. Press ups – 2 x 14
  5. Squats – 100

Saturday 04 January 2014

I went for a run in the morning through the cold wind and rain and though my legs were fine with it, my left shoulder started feeling some pain, just as it had done over the last couple of days.  I ran through it but made this into my easy run for the week and I need to keep an eye on that shoulder.  We had couscous with asparagus and mushrooms for dinner, and later on I did some plank and my press ups.  Not enough plank, and I need to work on that.

  1. Run (home) – 35 minutes Easy
  2. Plank – 120 seconds
  3. Press ups – 2 x 16

Sunday 05 January 2014

We went for a walk around St Albans for an hour in the morning.  My left shoulder is still aching but I am going to try a run later on to see how it reacts.  In the meantime I took it easy through the morning and ate some mushroom soup for lunch.  It was cold and wet outside but at least the wind had gone for now, and I set off to do my big run.  In my previous training programmes this is where I have fallen down – I have been able to do the shorter runs during lunchtimes at work but had not been consistent in putting in the longer runs.  That has to change this time around, and this is the first one.  My programme called for 7 miles but it was easier for me to run three big laps and one small lap on my course at home and that would come to 7.3 miles.  I ran at the pace I reckon would be my half-marathon pace right now, so this would give me a good indication of where I am right now.  The good thing was that I hardly felt my left shoulder at all.  It felt pretty easy running at that pace and by the end I knew I could have run for longer, if not faster, finishing the 7.3 miles at just over an 11 minutes per mile pace.  That will do for now but it needs to improve over the next six weeks.  I know my fitness has improved, my weight has dropped, I am thinner and I am eating better, so now I just need to work on the actual running, and the different types of running I am doing should help me with that.

We ate a home-made vegetable curry for dinner with asparagus and spinach and potato, and it was delicious.  I finished off my evening with some plank, my press ups and my squats.  It had been a good week.

  1. Walk – 1 hour
  2. Run (home) – 7.3 miles – 1 hour 23 minutes and 24 seconds
  3. Plank – 120 seconds
  4. Press ups – 2 x 18
  5. Squats – 200

Positives from this week – I got back into my bootcamp sessions and my running and put in a long run.

This entry was posted in Silverstone Half-Marathon 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.