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.
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.
- 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.
- Run (home) – 1 mile
- 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.
- Run (work) – 7 x 400 Interval Workout
- 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.
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.
- Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
- Run (Dunstable) – 18 minutes 55 seconds
- Hill climbs – 4
Sunday 09 March 2014
- Run (home) – 1 mile
- 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.