The Fan Dance training : Week 1

Week 1, but not really the first week of training for this…

This week’s blog should be brought to you by hope and a prayer because it begins the final preparations for my running of The Fan Dance, but instead I will take the liberty of having it brought to you by Colonel David Stirling, because this is one of my all time favourite photographs of all time.

From North Africa to the Brecon Beacons

From North Africa to the Brecon Beacons

Monday 19 May 2014

Back in December 2012 I published a blog which previewed my running of The Fan Dance.  You can read that naive piece of writing here.  Time has passed and while I have done most, but not all, of the things I detailed in the blog, and a few others in addition, I am a year late to the main event.  That is probably a good thing because despite what I said in my 2012 blog, I know now I would never have made it if I had done it before this summer, and I do have to laugh that I suggested back then I would do it in 4 hours and 15 minutes.  A huge improvement in my fitness later, I very much doubt I will hit that time this time around without a miracle or two !  Anyway, the factual part of that blog stands, and these last few training blogs will take you with me up to 5 July and The Fan Dance.

Today was spent resting after the Paras’ 10, which you can read about here.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

I was in the office with not much spare time available, so I took the opportunity to run one lap.  It was good to stretch my legs, and I do need to get the consistency back into my running training because it has been somewhat haphazard for a couple of weeks thanks to the pressure of work and going on holiday.

In the evening I got along to Regiment Fitness at Welwyn and was pleasantly surprised to find Steven Nodwell taking the session, with another new instructor, James.  We began with a running warm up across the field before pushing it with a run to the buildings and then back to the van.  The circuit was set up so that we carried out the exercises in an enclosed area before running to the right end of that area, out to either the near, middle or far pole, and then back to the left end of the area to move on to the next exercise.  Whether my legs liked it or not after Sunday, I was running to the far pole.  We did 30 repetitions of each exercise, doing press ups (touching alternate shoulders on each upwards movement), squat jumps, twisting sit ups, incline sit ups in pairs, and squat thrusts.  We split into two groups, and then into pairs in my group, for one of us to run with the jerry can down the 100m track and back while the other held the bridge, lifting the right leg, then the left leg, and then I followed the instruction to lift both legs…before we repeated the run without the jerry can while our partner held the plank, and then we finished off with a jerry can push along the ground.  We were not finished in this group yet, though, as we move from the jerry cans to the logs, working in threes to take the log from one shoulder to the other over our heads 20 times, then do 20 squats with it, and finally 20 sit ups with it.  We still had the boxing to switch over to, doing some straight punching, upwards punching, punching from the half sit up position, and then one minute of straight punching.  We brought the session to an end with a much needed warm down after all that.

  1. Run (work) – 1.5 miles – 14 minutes 16 seconds
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Wednesday 21 May 2014

I was in the office and doing an Interval Workout today, which would be six sets of 800 metres at 5km pace, each followed by 400 metres at 10km pace.  I was not running on a track to measure this, so instead I ran 3 minutes of warm up followed by six sets of 2 minutes at the full pace, with a minute after each at the recovery pace.  Doing that in the very sunny conditions I managed to complete one big lap and got round to the small speed limit sign just before the NDG garage on the main road on the small lap, which is not as far as I managed the last time I ran this Interval Workout, before I continued on to finish 2.6 miles in 22 minutes and 57 seconds, which is about a minute slower than the last time I ran this Interval Workout.  I am not surprised by that given that I am still feeling stiff after Sunday, and I know my running has suffered over the last few weeks.  I just need to push on and I will recover the lost ground.

I got down to Regiment Fitness in St Albans in the evening, which was being taken by Steve (who is neither of the other Steves).  We started with a running on the spot warm up, except for Serena, who arrived late so had to run over to the drain and back, before having to do that again for turning up without her wristband.  A couple of lessons to learn there, although we all ended up running over to the drain and back anyway.  The circuit this evening was based around shuttle runs, with us working in pairs with one doing the exercises while the other ran the shuttles.  We did 40 repetitions of press ups, squat jumps, and sit ups, and just as many burpees as we could, repeating each exercise after we had done our own shuttle runs.  The shuttle runs always included going out and back to three cones, and sometimes one or more of them were doubled up.  My legs were really feeling it.  Then we split into different pairs with a log between us, and ran out to the log indvidually, did 15 squats with it and ran back, before repeating after our partner had run through it.  Next we split into two teams for a rolling series of crawling under everyone else in the downward dog position.  It was interesting how seemingly impossible it was to keep the teams going in a straight line, and that cost us the race and got us a forfeit of ten burpees.  Next up was the boxing, starting with both partners in the sit up position and coming up for a minute while pumping our hands up into the air, almost certainly just to warm us up ready for the next exercise of 200 upward punches.  We then moved on to 50 straight punches with the left hand and 50 straight punches to the right hand, and we still had time to do another 20 with each hand while others finished around us, before the boxing was brought to a close with 200 straight punches.  As we went through the warm down I checked my Garmin and saw that I had run 1.67 miles during the great session this evening.  It had been just the sort of workout I need right now.

  1. Run (work) – 6 x 800 Interval Workout
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Thursday 22 May 2014

Work was just too busy for me to find any time to get out for a run, which was very frustrating given my comment from yesterday.

Friday 23 May 2014

I was working from home today because there was a good chance I needed to go into London for a meeting, so I decided to go for a run during a break in work.  However, I began to feel a little dizzy and my vision was a little blurred, so I brought it to a halt after one lap.  I have no idea what caused that.  I had something to eat and drink, and a while later went out for a VO2 Max training run, and that went fine, getting me very close to the best I had done before.

No big red shorts were harmed by this incident

No big red shorts were harmed by this incident

  1. Run (home) – 2.3 miles – 23 minutes 07 seconds
  2. Run (home) – VO2 Max

Saturday 24 May 2014

I had the children for the bank holiday weekend, which meant that they would go to their drama class on Saturday morning while I would go for a bergen run on Dunstable Downs.  I decided to try to follow as much of the route from the Warrior Adrenaline Race as possible, because Strava had failed to record it when I ran it, and because it seems likely it will not be run there again.  I also added in Regiment Hill for a laugh.  I did it in my boots for the first time on Dunstable Downs, carrying the same pack I carried for the Paras’ 10, and it went all right.  Now I need to increase the distance up from doing one lap.

  1. Run (Dunstable Downs) – 5.7 miles – 1 hour 32 minutes 51 seconds (loaded 40lbs)

Sunday 25 May 2014

I had a walk with the children in the morning, and in the afternoon decided to go for a run and keep going until I went above 10 minutes per mile, working from my Garmin, which gives me lap times each mile.  I managed to keep it going up to 5 miles, and finished up having run 5.2 miles.  My minutes per mile went at 9:07, 9:46, 9:35, 9:39 and 10:24.  I was pleased enough with that for now, and will continue until I can keep that pace going through 5 miles and up to 6 miles now.  I did notice that I first felt something in my left shin, and then in my left knee, and finally round the back of my right leg.  I will just have to run them off…all joking aside, they did pass as my run continued and I think I am just feeling the effects of getting back into a good routine again.

  1. Run (home) – 5.2 miles – 50 minutes 15 seconds

Positives from this week – I have got back into my running routine.

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