Paras’ 10 Catterick 2014 training : Week 1

Week 1, and after the Fan Dance I have another bergen run to prepare for…

This week’s blog is brought to you by the Field Gun Run from the Royal Tournament and you will have to read the blog to find out why.

One log, a couple of tyres and medicine balls, and a jerry can

One log, a couple of tyres and medicine balls, and a jerry can

Monday 07 July 2014

I need to push on with my training now that I have done the Fan Dance (which you can read about here) because I still have a number of events to run before the end of the year, the first of which is the Paras’ 10 at Catterick on 31 August.  The good thing is that gives me 8 weeks to play about with my training a little, and you may well find a few new things coming in over this period.  I was going to start off the week with the core of my training, though, a Regiment Fitness bootcamp session.  This was the 0630 session in St Albans, and this morning it was being taken by Shaun, who told us it would feature a fitness test.  So after a brief warm up we did one minute of press ups, one minute of sit ups and one minute of burpees – I scored 59 press ups, 30 sit ups and 20 burpees, and I can check my progress at the beginning of the next quarter, because different tests will be used at the beginning of the next two months.  We moved on to the square circuit, and working with a small group allowed Shaun to do some things which he would not be able to do with a usual sized evening group.  So our first exercise, which we did at the three poles around the square, was 25 squats.  While holding a log.  Then we did 20 burpees with a medicine ball, which we carried over our head between poles, 40 mountaineers with a jerry can, which we pushed between poles, and 20 Russian twists with the medicine ball, which again we carried over our head between poles.  We finished off with a lap of the square, walking lunges for the first side, then sumo squats, then holding our ankles, and finally combat frogs.  We moved on to shuttle runs, progressively building up to running out to 4 cones and a pole, before bringing it back down again to finish.  My legs were not liking me for this after the weekend.  We got into pairs for the boxing, doing hooks before moving on to thrusters, sitting down as for pistons, but doing both arms at once.  It was a great way to finish that part of an excellent session before we brought things to a close with the warm down.  We had run about a mile during the session.

I ran over to my session with Jon Bell, and while the run is not feeling any easier, at least I am able to run it all now.  It is strange that I am finding running just over 2 miles to be so hard.  The first part down to the park is easy and fast, it slows a little going over the grass, then there is a long uphill stretch before I run along the road to my destination.  I just have to keep at it and get used to it.  We started off with some movement on the foam roller, which really hurts, and so is clearly much needed !  We moved on to deadlifts using a dowl rod, to work on my technique, and then proper deadlifts, adding weight until I did 45kg x 10.  I know that I can do more, but that is it for now.  We moved on to the WOD (Workout Of the Day), doing 20 step ups on to a box with a 10KG dumbbell in each hand, 10 press ups, and 20 sit ups with 10kg held to my chest, which saw me completing 5 circuits in 18 minutes and 01 seconds.  I was dripping with sweat and exhausted after that, so I walked home.  At some point I will trying to build in a run home at the end of these sessions.

  1. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  2. Run (St Albans) – 2.1 miles – 21 minutes 35 seconds
  3. Jon Bell Fitness – 1 hour

Tuesday 08 July 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, hot and humid conditions I managed to complete one big lap and got round to the speed limit sign before the NDG garage on the main road on the small lap, which is almost at my best on this Interval Workout.  I carried on to finish 2.6 miles in 22 minutes and 49 seconds.  I really felt like I had put everything into that.  I drank a cup of milk when I got back into the office and did my wall squats before taking a shower.

  1. Run (work) – 6 x 800 Interval Workout
  2. Squats – 15

Wednesday 09 July 2014

As you should know by now, I had signed up for 8 weeks of the DUO, a course designed for runners and cyclists, which ran from 0615 to 0715, and because I left the house later than planned this morning I had to put my running to good use.  We began with some mobility warm ups, before moving on to a progressive walk, jog, then run active warm up.  The circuit would have us doing 30 seconds of each exercise, then 60 seconds rest, before repeating with 45 seconds of each exercise.  I started with my worst, skipping, then press ups, repetitions of 10 squats and 5 squat jumps, mountaineers, wood choppers with a 5kg medicine ball, and finally lunge twists with a 8kg kettlebell.  It was a great circuit and I was sweating at the end of it.  Which would not have been a lot of fun for my partner as we moved into pairs to stand back to back as we passed the 8kg kettlebell around us, then got into the plank position to touch alternate shoulders, before finally holding hands to go into a squat and then lifting one leg.  We did all of those twice.  We worked on an indiviual basis sprinting into the middle to collect cones, and I came out the winner.  I can never bring myself to give out a forfeit, though.  We continued with some core work, holding the plank position while moving the legs out and back, the the side plank, leg raises, side plank on the other side, and finally holding normal plank for 1 minute.  We finished with a couple of yoga positions to stretch us, downward dog and pigeon, and it had been another excellent session.  We had run for just under a mile during the session.

I went to the evening session with Regiment Fitness in St Albans, which was being taken by Adam.  He always does interesting sessions, and while his relaxed demeanour might leave you thinking they are going to be easy, you should not be fooled.  It was a lovely summer’s evening and we began with a dynamic warm up standing in a line, before a number of us got into pairs for sit ups while the others did the fitness tests I did on Monday morning.  I am not sure I got the best deal with that.  We finished the warm up with a run around the island near the sandpit.  The circuit was split into four areas and we could choose the order we did them in, doing 30 repetitions of each before running a lap around the poles to come back to the exercise area again.  The four exercises were press ups on a log, tuck jumps, squat jumps with a medicine ball, and leg raises while holding a tyre with straight arms above the chest.  Having done one round of the full circuit, we then repeated it but this time doing 2 of each exercise before setting off for our lap, and then 4 of each exercise, and then it should have been 6 of each exercise but I misunderstood the instructions and did 8, then 16 and finally 32 before the circuit was brought to an end.  We did another lap of the island.  We moved on to boxing, which was a bit of a surprise, because boxing usually comes last, and it is funny how a small change like that can throw you out.  We got into pairs and began with sit ups, going up with our punches in 2s as we sat up.  Then we were standing and going up in 2s again until both of us had done a set of 30 punches, signifying we had reached the end by holding a squat position.  With the boxing finished I did wonder what else we might be doing, but first another lap around the island.  We got into pairs with a tyre between us, then with both of us holding the tyre we tried to pull the other one over, doing the exercise twice.  I was with Sarah and Adam came over to give her a hand both times, and it was all very good fun.  Then we all got into a circle and held the squat position as one by one we each ran around the outside of the circle with a medicine ball.  We had run over a mile and half in the session.  The warm down included talk of what we were eating for dinner, and that developed into the strangest things we had eaten.  My mention of guinea pig did not go down well.  Much like when I ate it.

Yes, it really is guinea pig

Yes, it really is guinea pig

  1. Run (St Albans) – 1.6 miles – 15 minutes 30 seconds
  2. theDUO – 1 hour
  3. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Thursday 10 July 2014

I was in the office today and decided to go for a run at lunchtime.  I was not feeling up to doing anything much so I just ran an easy 3 miles and did my wall squats when I got back into the office.

There was a nice surprise at Regiment Fitness in Welwyn in the evening because Richard was back to take it with James.  After a running active warm up we moved on to a circuit which was new to me – we would have 20 minutes to work down from doing 15 repetitions of each exercise to doing 1 repetition of each, running a shuttle between each complete set of exercises, and the exercises we would be doing were press ups, squats, sit ups, mountaineers and burpees.  Mark Pidgen got to do it while dragging a tyre behind him.  It was tough going and you had to keep at it, which was not so easy in the sun which was still with us this evening, but I managed to finish the complete 15 with a minute of the time still left, so I did another set of the 10 in the remaining time.  We moved on to one of my favourite things, the gun run !  Using a log, two tyres, two medicine balls and a jerry can to form the gun, we were in teams of six.  Although we only had five in our team.  The idea was to run down to the other end with each of the bits of equipment and recreate the gun once we were there, just like they do in the Royal Tournament.  I carried the two tyres the first time, and we got set up just in time to come second out of the three teams.  Our team discussed the equipment after that run and we decided that I would carry the jerry can because it was full and heavy.  I also took one of the medicine balls because we still only had five in our team.  Once again we managed to avoid coming in last as we ran back up the field.  The teams were slightly changed around after that, although we were still left with only the five team members, and when I got to the end of this run I saw the new member in our team was struggling with her tyre, so I ran back and helped her with it, that action proving to be decisive because the team next to us were having trouble pointing their gun in the right direction, so we again managed to avoid coming in last.  We were given a sixth member for our team for the final run up the field and all three teams pretty much came in at the same time so no team got a forfeit this time.  We had odd numbers for the boxing, so I paired up with Richard for some double bubble, doing everything both times, which meant a lot of straight arm punching, upper cuts, hooks and pistons.  I loved it !  The warm down felt very good after that.  We ran just under a mile and a half in the session.

  1. Run (work) – 3 miles
  2. Squats – 15
  3. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour

Friday 11 July 2014

I did nothing today.  Which was probably a good thing because I do wonder if I am giving myself sufficient rest and recovery time now that I have stepped up the overall exercise.

Saturday 12 July 2014

I signed up for an early morning tabbing session with Regiment Fitness at 0615 and you can read more about that here.

One last hill !

One last hill !

As if that was not enough, I then took my children’s dog for a tab around Dunstable Downs while they were at their drama class.  I followed my usual lap around the hills under the burning sun, and shared my water with the dog.

  1. Regiment Fitness tabbing (Chorleywood) – 3.1 miles – 1 hour
  2. Bergen run (Dunstable Downs) – 5.3 miles – 1 hour 35 minutes 09 seconds

Sunday 13 July 2014

I went for a walk down to the park in St Albans with the children and their dog, and that was the full extent of my activity for the day.

Positives from this week – I really feel like I have taken things up a level with my performance in the bootcamp sessions.

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