Paras’ 10 training : Week 1

Week 1, and I have found something new to target…

Monday 03 March 2014

I was very disappointed with the outcome of my run in the Silverstone Half-Marathon, which you can read about here, and especially after the training I had put into it, so I decided to do something about that and signed myself up for the Paras’ 10 in Colchester on Sunday 18 May.  Which means I have 11 weeks to train for an event where I will be running the 10 mile ‘P’ Company cross country route carrying a bergen weighing 35lbs and wearing long trousers and boots.  Selection cut off time is 1 hour and 50 minutes but I will be allowed up to 3 hours to complete it.  I may well need every second of that time.  What I will need is a suitable bergen and suitable boots.  I might already have a suitable bergen but I have a feeling my Scarpa ZG10 GTX boots will be too rigid for this, so I will have to research that aspect further.

Anyway, working on the basis that if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball, this should be good training for The Fan Dance in July as well, although I will not have Patches O’Houlihan training me.

"Come on! I get better runs in my shorts."

“Come on! I get better runs in my shorts.”

Tuesday 04 March 2014

I woke up tired and got the train into London for a morning meeting.  I ate some dates in the meeting and when I got home ate some cottage cheese with added hemp, flaxseed, chia, spirulina and maca.  My legs were a little sore but I was feeling good and was not really feeling any ill-effects from the half-marathon, which is hardly surprising considering I walked most of it.

I drove to Welwyn Garden City for the early Regiment Fitness session taken by Tom and Richard.  The weather was dry and not too cold, the ground was not too muddy, and it was still light.  Is it too much to hope that Spring may well be on its way ?  We got going with a running warm up before I took the middle-option push to run over to the goalposts and back.  I was taking things a little easy until I found out if my pain from the half-marathon would show up again and turn out to be a pull of some sort.  Fortunately, it did not.  We continued with a sprint circuit, doing 20 repetitions of each exercise with sprints inbetwee, so we would sprint down a channel of cones, do our press ups, sprint up and do our sit ups, sprint down and do our squats, then sprint up and do our burpees, before repeating.  It was good to have some open space to sprint in, and with it being straight and marked out it did make it easier to give it a real push, to the extent that I nearly went headlong on a couple of the down sprints.  The ground is still muddy and slippery !  We moved on to boxing with Richard, and I was partnered with Sam, and her excellent motivation saw me getting probably a little too close to hitting her !  We started with both of us in the sit up position, coming up together with one throwing two quick straight punches before we went down again.  We continued in the standing position with a squat between each set of punches, and finished off with short sharp bursts of straight punches.  I am really enjoying the boxing part of the sessions now.  We swapped over to Tom for 20 jerry can upward rows followed by a shuttle run, doing that five times.  The problem was I lifted the jerry can far too easily while he was watching so he went off and got two heavier ones so that I could do shoulder shrugs with them instead.  We swapped the jerry cans for a tyre and five shuttle runs holding it over our head.  The session with Tom was not quite over yet, though, as we moved into a squat circle while the boxing group finished off.  I am good with squats now, so for me this was a good way to bring things to a close.  We had our warm down and I made my way home after another excellent session which had felt good considering I had run/walked the half-marathon on Sunday.  I was pleased with my recovery.

  1. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Wednesday 05 March 2014

I have given up chocolate for Lent.

I ran down to the evening Regiment Fitness bootcamp in St Albans, although as I came across the park in front of the leisure centre I could not see anything this side of the new lake, and was not sure if I could see anything on the far side, in the larger part of this area of the park.  I wondered for a moment if the session had been cancelled, but only for a moment because then I could see the van and Shaun on the far side.  I made the mistake of telling Shaun that I had entered the Paras’ 10, so once we got to the warm up he made me go for the big square, rather than the middle or small ones.  That would mean a lot more running this evening.  So we did our warm up while running around the squares, and finished it with some interval sprints, sprinting one side then running the rest of the square, then sprinting two sides, and three sides, and finally the full square.  I was definitely being pushed.  The circuit also worked around the square, doing 30 press ups at three of the corners and then running a lap, doing the same with sit ups before running a lap, and then doing 20 burpees at three of the corners before running a lap, and then finishing off the circuit with something that seems to be a favourite for Shaun, doing lunges down one side, sumo squats down the next, ankle holds down the third side, and bringing the square to a close with power jumps.  Of course, the bigger the square, the more of those you have to do to get round.  My legs had got a very good workout, and as I said to Shaun as we made our way back to the van with the poles from the circuit, this is exactly what I need for the next 11 weeks and beyond.  We got into pairs for five jerry can shuttle runs – that is five shuttle runs carrying one jerry can across our chest, not one run carrying five jerry cans, and I could feel it working my core while at the same time feeling the swamp sucking at my trainers.  It is still very wet out there.  We followed that with three tyre rolls, rolling the tyre out to the far cones through the swamp and then carrying it back over our shoulder.  Next up was boxing in pairs in the standing position, starting with straight arm punching, then upward punching, then hooks, and finally some more straight arm, doing short sharp bursts of all of them to close out a brilliant session that I could feel had worked me.  We warmed down, I walked back across the park, and then I ran up the hill before walking home.

  1. Run (home) – 1 mile
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Thursday 06 March 2014

I ate an apple as I drove into the office and took my Wellman Sport tablet and multivitamin with my fizzy vitamin C.  Having looked at the ingredients, I need to consider whether I will continue taking the vitamin C tablets.  I ate some dates through the morning and drank more water, but I will not be going for a run at lunchtime so I do not want to eat too much through the day.  As it turned out, I had to stay late in the office so I did not make it to the evening bootcamp session.  I need to make sure I do something at home when that happens.

Friday 07 March 2014

I ate a red apple as I drove into the office and took my Wellman Sport tablet and multivitamin with my fizzy vitamin C.  I would be going for a run at lunchtime so I ate a bowl of The Ultimate meusli from Rude Health -which is the one which includes oats, rye flakes, raisins, sultanas, barley flakes, apricots, almonds, brazil nuts, dates, golden linseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cranberries, quinoa flakes, apple, buckwheat flakes, goji berries, hazlenuts, puffed rice, blueberries, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and cinnamon, to which I added my usual hemp, flaxseed, chia and spirulina, also adding green tea as the liquid.  Today I was doing an Interval Workout, which would be seven sets of 400 metres at 5km pace, each followed by 400 metres at 10km pace. I ran 3 minutes of warm up followed by seven sets of 1 minute at the full pace, with a minute after each at the recovery pace. Doing that in the chilly and very windy conditions I managed to complete one big lap and got down to the other side of the Lodge Farm Trading Park (the turning before the io centre trading estate) on a small lap, and I felt like I had put everything into the run so I brought it to a halt there.  I got back into the office and ate a couple of dates, did some squats and took my shower, then I drank water through the afternoon and ate a green apple.

  1. Run (work) – 7 x 400 Interval Workout
  2. Squats – 50

Saturday 08 March 2014

When I have my children at the weekend I have to take them to their drama classes on Saturday mornings in Hemel Hempstead, and as I can drop them off at 0930 that leaves me just enough time to get to the Regiment Fitness session on Dunstable Downs, so that will be my plan from now on.  The first thing I noted this morning was that the car parking charge has gone up to £2.50, which is something for anyone going to the Warrior Adrenaline Race training camp next weekend to be aware of.  The session was being taken by Steve and Dean, and I took the opportunity to ask them about suitable boots for the Paras’ 10 and the Fan Dance.  Dean came up with what appears to be an excellent recommendation but I am saying nothing more until I manage to obtain a pair.  Anyway, I should get on with the training, and there was a big turn out for what was my first session at Dunstable Downs, not that they were all there just to greet me, obviously, and the weather was mild and not too windy.  We got into two lines for the warm up, running on the spot and adding in other dynamic movements before moving  on to press ups, sit ups, sprinting on the spot and some burpees, and then it was a run over to the wind turbine and back for a final push before we moved on to the circuit.  The circuit was laid out in a straight line, repeated sufficient times so that everybody was able to be doing something at the same time.  Each line contained a log for shoulder presses while kneeling with one knee on the ground, then a cone, then a medicine ball for chest presses from the squat position, then a cone, then a jerry can for upward rows, then a cone, and finally two poles for shuttle bear crawls.  The first time through we did each station for 30 seconds, did sit ups at the cones, and after doing each station ran to a pole at the side of the circuit area and back.  The wind seemed to pick up just in time for my runs between the exercises.  The second time through we did 20 repetitions at each station, press ups at the cones, and three bear crawls.  We got into the plank position when we finished, before Steve moved us into side planks, then the bridge, and then had us extend alternate legs from the bridge position.  It was a good way to spend the time while waiting for the whole group to finish.  Dean took us to the bottom of the slope in front of the visitor centre and got us into groups of ten so that we could run back up the hill and make shapes.  We started with an X and the losing teams got 3 burpees as a forfeit; then we did 10 squat jumps before running up the hill to make a B, with the losing teams getting 10 rolling press ups; and finally we did 5 burpees before running up hill to make two numbers, a 6 and a 9, with the losing teams getting press ups (I think – my mind seems to have blocked out that bit…).  Then we lined up in two ranks and ran off towards what I guessed was going to be a hill climb.

Here we go...

Here we go…

I found myself at the back of the ranks,as can be seen from the photograph, and once we got to the route we would be taking to the bottom of the hill, heading off to the right in an arc to bring us down, Steve encouraged me to get overtaking some people, which turned out to be much easier said than done given the ground conditions.  We got to the bottom and just carried on, taking on the hill, and I was able to run some distance up it before continuing to walk while swinging my arms to give me some more momentum.  This seemed to work and I got up in good time, then went back down to where Dean was now standing and came back up about half the hill again, which seemed remarkably easier than I had expected it to be, while still being an excellent workout for my legs, and just what I need going forward.  We sat at the top of the hill for the warm down, which meant we could watch the gliders taking off, and then walked back up to the van.

I took a toilet break and then went for my run, following the same route as previous weeks, setting out along the top away from the Visitor Centre, until it drops down into a clearing from where I can follow the bottom track until it gets to Regiment Hill, and this week I did that in 18 minutes and 55 seconds, which is almost a minute slower than the last week I ran it, but I had just finished a bootcamp session this morning.  I did 4 hill climbs, running as far as I could before walking the rest of the way to the top, then carefully coming back down again, which is getting easier as the ground dries out.  If only the hill climbs up were getting easier too.

  1. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  2. Run (Dunstable) – 18 minutes 55 seconds
  3. Hill climbs – 4

Sunday 09 March 2014

Real excitment this morning as I have a new muesli to try !  It is called maca’s secrets and is from a company called alara.  They do not appear to like capital letters.  It contains 100% organically grown ingredients, being oat flakes, barley flakes, chopped dates, toasted barley flakes, HOT! granola (oats, maca, apple juice, cocoa powder, ginger), sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, to which I added flaxseed, hemp and chia.  It tastes as you would imagine it to taste, somewhere between a muesli and a granola, and it is delicious.

I ran down to the park in St Albans for the morning Regiment Fitness session being taken by Steve and Andy (who was new to me).  We seem to be moving further along the park away from the leisure centre in the vain hope of finding a dry patch of ground.  Andy took us for a running warm up, running in a scattered fashion around a not-so-wet area of ground, building up a little routine with others in the large group which had turned out in the sun this morning until we shook right hands, then left hands, high tened, bumped right hips and then left hips with a squeal, and finished off banging chests in a manly fashion.  It must have looked good to the passing crowds who were enjoying a Sunday morning walk in the sun.  We had a bit more fun bending down to harvest vegetables or jumping up to pick fruit or lying down to shoot rabbits, and finished off trying to touch as many shoulders as we could without having our shoulders touched.  Unfortunately, my attempt to touch Nina’s shoulder not only ended up with me poking her on the side of her face but it was also seen by Steve, who gave me a press up forfeit.  I had done five quick press ups when Steve started to push down on my back, both making me go all the way down and also resisting my upward push, and after another ten he decided that was sufficient.  To finish off the warm up Andy sent us away to hug three trees while telling the trees that we loved them.  Another moment for the passing walkers to enjoy, but we had a lot more for them yet because the circuit had been set out alongside the path that runs through the park.  It was a very similar circuit to the one at Dunstable Downs yesterday, going in a straight line with one person at each station.  Each line contained a log for shoulder presses while kneeling with one knee on the ground, then a cone for squats, then a jerry can for upward rows, then a tyre for slam downs (picking the tyre up, swinging it behind the head, then slamming it down into the ground, and repeating) then a cone for lunges and finally a medicine ball for shoulder presses.  We did each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 seconds transition, then each exercise for 45 seconds and 5 seconds transition, and finally each exercise for 20 seconds with 4 seconds transition.  We split into two groups and Andy took us for the boxing.  He got us into two standing lines for straight arm punching, moving along the line when he told us to, shouting out “Adrian” after we reached the end of the row and had to run to the other end, and doing a little foot shuffle with our arms in the air while shouting “I am the greatest” when he said “Muhammad Ali” – yes, it was all good fun, although Nadine did seem to get a little carried away with a left hook in my general direction while I was doing an Ali.  It was swapped about a bit so that as we went down the line we did straight punches, then upper cuts with the next person, then hooks with the next, back to straight punches and so on.  Then we were back to just straight punches with a ‘knockout’ added in, which meant we had to fall to the ground and get back up.  It has been a really good boxing session.  I was worried that I had not seen the other group while we had been doing the boxing, so they must have been taken off somewhere else by Steve, and we would now find out where.  He told us to pick up an item of equipment and ran us over to the other side of the park.  I took a jerry can with me.  We split into two teams and ran two games passing the medicine ball, first between our legs and then over our heads, and my team won both.  Then we got into a downward dog position so that the others in our team could crawl through underneath us.  To be honest, we won that one as well, but for some reason one of our team went twice so Steve gave us ten burpees anyway.  Then we picked up the equipment again and ran out of that end of the park and over the pathways to the hollow by the side of the Roman wall.  The hollow leads up a slope to a row of trees, and Steve had us in pairs with one doing hill runs for a specific period of time while the other did sit ups, and then we did two bear crawls up the slope while the other one did squats.  Steve gave Mark and Ollie extra press ups at the end, and I thought that would do me some good so I joined in for a few, before they got to give a piggyback to two of the group for the run back to the van, and I got to carry what was now the two jerry cans.  The warm down brought another brilliant session to a close.

Thanks to Ollie for taking such a brilliant photo of us in the sun for a change

Thanks to Ollie for taking such a brilliant photo of us in the sun for a change

I ate a banana as I walked back across the park and then ran up the hill to get home.

  1. Run (home) – 1 mile
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Positives from this week – I got back into things straight away and enjoyed my Regiment Fitness sessions.  There is a lot to build on from this week.

This entry was posted in Paras' 10 Colchester May 2014, Summer Fan Dance 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

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