Dark 15 training : Week 3

Week 3, and I have a few ideas to push things on…

This week’s blog is brought to you by Prince William, because I visited his FOB on Saturday.

Prince William, not at the FOB I visited

Prince William, not at the FOB I visited

The situation has changed.  This set of blogs will take me through to Dark 15, which I have to say I am very excited about, and then I planned to build on that through to 2015 and the Winter Fan Dance in January.  That gradual plan has to change now because I received an email from Avalanche Endurance Events (the guys who run the Summer Fan Dance I did in July and the Winter Fan Dance I will be doing again in January) telling me that I had been accepted for Point to Point, a march from the SAS Selection Test Week.  I had sent in an application a lot more in hope than expectation and was delighted to be accepted to the inaugural running of this event, which will be run over a weekend in November with the event happening the day after a training day.  I know very little about what Point to Point will actually entail, but I do know it will be the toughest event I have taken on to date, and I am taking it very seriously indeed.

Not sure I have properly thought this through...

Not sure I have properly thought this through…

Which meant I took a look at my training schedule and decided that it needed to be enhanced.  I had bought The Para Fitness Guide book by Major Sam McGrath at the Paras’ 10 in Catterick, had spent some time at the opera on Sunday reading it, and now it was time to put it into action.  I would be following the 8 week Spartan Soldier (Intermediate Level) Programme, as well as continuing with my Regiment Fitness bootcamp and tabbing sessions, my running programme, and my weekly session with Jon Bell Fitness; plus I would be running some 10k events and taking on any extra tabbing and other interesting sessions that happened to come up in the meantime.

Monday 15 September 2014

I decided to get the week off to a good start because it looked like it would get very busy with work later on, so I ran down to the early morning Regiment Fitness session in St Albans.  There was a good turnout given the early hour and it was being taken by Aaron, another instructor who was new to me, and another who turned out to be excellent.  We started with a running warm up before moving on to a overload and stress circuit.  This meant that we would work with three different body areas, doing a minute of three different exercise for each, with a run in between each exercise, and then after that overload we would take on a stress position.  We did press ups (normal, narrow hands and wide arms), sit ups (normal, V sits and ankle taps), and legs (squat jumps, mountaineers and burpees), and followed those with holding the press up position, plank and one where you try to spread your hands and feet as far apart as possible without actually lying face down on the ground, with a run after each to finish things off.  That had been a tough circuit.  We followed that up with a jerry can push (with a carry to bring it back) repeated three times, and a tyre pull and drag back, again for three repetitions, before moving on to the boxing, beginning with straight arm punches and building up in 10s from 10 to 70.  Then came 200 upper cuts, and we finished off with combinations of straight punches and hooks.  It had been a great way to start the Monday and we had covered 1.6 miles.

I ran over to my session with Jon Bell, but I have changed it so that now it is a bergen run – running in my Merrell Trailgloves again (because my Merrell All Out Rush trail running shoes still need a wash) while carrying a bergen with 36lbs plus 1 litre of water.  Not a proper tab because it is not in boots, but it should keep me used to running with the weight.  It was another excellent session with Jon and I do feel like my body is responding very well to what I am doing with him.  This evening I did dips with the red elastic band, working up to sets of 10, before moving on to a couplet WOD of 150 metres running and 10 deadlifts with 40kg, seeing how many sets I could complete in 12 minutes.  I managed 5 sets plus one more sprint, which was frustrating because I was aiming for 6, but I found the deadlifts increasingly hard on my back, and that in turn had an adverse effect on my running.   I always come away feeling like I have worked hard, and that in turn adds on a few minutes to the time it takes me for the return run, and I also came back a different way, partly to include the climb up Holywell Hill, and partly because it was now too dark to go back by my usual route.

  1. Run (St Albans) – 1.1 miles – 9 minutes 41 seconds
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  3. Run (St Albans) – 1.1 miles – 11 minutes 33 seconds
  4. Bergen run (St Albans) – 2.1 miles – 25 minutes 35 seconds (36lbs + 1L)
  5. Jon Bell Fitness – 1 hour
  6. Bergen run (St Albans) – 2.2 miles – 29 minutes 11 seconds (36lbs + 1L)

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Work got in the way of everything, which is very frustrating after the good start I made to the week, so in order to not write off the whole day I did the first session from the Paras Fitness Guide.  I was able to do everything inside at home for this session, which was great, and I did 3 sets of 20 press ups (standard military, close hands, and wide arms), 3 sets of 20 dips (bench dips off the sofa with straight legs), 3 sets of 20 sit ups (full, crunch, and twist), 3 sets of 45 seconds of core exercises (leg raises, and then plank for 1 minute and 30 seconds), and 3 sets of 20 legs (squats, lunges).  I can already feel this is going to make a difference.

  1. Para Fitness

Wednesday 17 September 2014

I was in the office and the day was too busy to allow me to get out for a run at lunchtime, and I left the office too late to get to the evening Regiment Fitness session at St Albans.  In fact, the only good thing about the day was that my new boots arrived, and I cannot wait to try my Aku Pilgrim GTX.

I'm sure they'll not stay that clean for long

I’m sure they’ll not stay that clean for long

Thursday 18 September 2014

I am doing some running with Debbie to take her from the Couch To 5k programme to running a 10k race.  We are calling it Bridge To 10k (B210K).  Part of that is our running of the parkruns and part of it is these longer runs, which I enjoy because they are for around an hour at a comfortable pace for me, and I find it easy to run with Debbie, often easier than when I am running alone.  So these runs are good as an extra to my running training schedule.  It was sunny and hot for the run and we added in some hill repetitions near the beginning before finishing it off with a run up the hill to the Cathedral.

Regiment Fitness announced their Tab 10 event, which I would have really enjoyed doing, not least because it is based in St Albans, but it clashes with Point to Point.

  1. B210K (St Albans) – 5.1 miles – 1 hour 00 minutes 26 seconds

Friday 19 September 2014

I went to the morning Regiment Fitness session in St Albans, which was being taken by Aaron again.  We were in pairs for a warm up which culminated in us running over to the 5 trees and back.  We continued with a decreasing circuit, doing repetitions at each pole around a square, and at the top level that meant 40, then 35, then 30, and finally 25, doing press ups (although I miscounted and ended up doing two lots of 35 and a final lot of 30), V sit ups (where I started with 30, or we would never have finished), squat jumps, and then the final time around the square had us holding plank, left side plank, right side plank, and the crab.  We continued in teams doing tyre pulls twice while those not doing that did medicine ball squats, and then we did a tyre pull out and drag back.  We finished off with boxing, doing straight punches, sit ups, and going from 10 punches to 50 punches with upper cuts, before the warm down brought a great session to an end.  We had run 1.2 miles.

I needed to try out my new Aku Pilgrim boots and decided to just go out to the park in St Albans for about an hour.  They easily coped with the pavements, grass, tracks, muddy slopes, uphills and downhills on the route, and they felt very comfortable and light.  They will get a proper testing tomorrow…

  1. Run (St Albans) – 1.2 miles – 9 minutes 10 seconds
  2. Regiment Fitness – 1 hour
  3. Run (St Albans) – 1.1 miles – 11 minutes 09 seconds
  4. Tabbing (St Albans) – 4 miles – 55 minutes 49 seconds (25lbs + 1L)

Saturday 20 September 2014

I went to the Dark 15 tabbing training session in  in the morning, and you can read more about that here.

The cutest tabbing photo ever

The cutest tabbing photo ever

  1. Dark 15 tabbing (Swinley Forest) – 11.7 miles – 2 hours 55 minutes 12 seconds (25lbs + 2L)

Sunday 21 September 2014

We went up to Derby for the day and there was not any time to do exercise.  This means that from my good intentions at the beginning of the week of doing the Para Fitness programme, I had actually only managed one session out of the three.  I can look for substitutions in what I did, but this was supposed to be extra.  On top of that, I only made it to two sessions with Regiment Fitness, and at a minimum I want to be doing three each week.  This all needs to improve over the next seven weeks, and with that said I can move on to…

Positives from this week – I did a long tabbing session involving many hills in the Dark 15 race location, which was not so far off the race distance by the time we finally finished, so I know I can do it.

This entry was posted in Avalanche Endurance Events, Dark 15, Dark 15 2014, Fitness Training, Paras'10, Point To Point, Point To Point 2014, Silverstone Half-Marathon, St Albans Half-Marathon, The Fan Dance, The Wolf Run, Warrior Adrenaline Race, Winter Fan Dance 2015. Bookmark the permalink.

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