Tuesday, 13 April 2010

On the Road Again

Back running last night and feeling fine. Great little run in the sunshine, even got away in just my vest. Mainly on the road, with a diversion over the local golf course and farmer's fields.


Anyway, how's progress toward them goals coming along? 

Goals Progress Week 1


After getting a bit ahead of myself following my initial exhaustion test of 50 (I jumped to week 5 column 3), and failing miserably, I pulled back to week 4 with much better results:

Day 1 (60secs rest) - 21/25/21/21/32, 120 total
Day 2 (90secs rest) - 25/29/25/25/26, 140 total
Day 3 (120secs rest) - 29/33/29/29/42, 162 total

Was supposed to do a max test after this, but this would have put the next week out so tonight I hit week 5 again, hopefully with better results after working through week 4. I have to do a total of 170 over 5 sets, with only 60 secs rest, so it won't be easy.


Again jumped too far ahead on this, but only because I was going for an easy pull up. I was finishing the rep once my chin was over the bar, now I pull further. For clarification, the technique is:
  1. Start position: full hang, arms just wider than shoulder width apart, over-hand grip
  2. Pull-up until chest touches bar/edge of gripping surface
  3. Return to start position, just keeping elbows short of locking at full extension
After an initial max test on the lazy technique (15 reps) and one day at week 3, I redid the max test and got 7 full pull-ups before I couldn't pull my chest up as high. I'm now on week 1 column 3 according to the programme and have got day 1 under my belt (5/6/4/3/5 with 60secs rest).

This will push my six-week goal to the test, as this is a six-week programme, so no room for slip up and repeating a week. In fact, I'm already down a week really, as I'm only just at the start of week 1 (in the programme) at the end of my first week (of my countdown to my goals). Confused? Yeah, me too.

Bench Press:

Very embarrassing this. I don't actually have 100kg of weights to attempt this!! I've only got 73kg of weight to put on my bar. Also, I realise I need a new bench that's got a rack to hold the bar as I hit these bigger weights. The most I can heft up from the floor from a seated position, and then manipulate up my body (without crushing my unmentionables, or my chest) into a lying bench press position is 63kg. Once there, I can bench these quite comfortably. So I need to get a new bench (I've seen a good one with a rack from Decathlon I'll treat myself to after pay-day), and 2x15/20kg plates.

For now, I'll just do what I can with the weights I can move after my press ups.

Hitting 12.5st:

Again, should have thought this through a bit better. I've got no way of measuring this, as we don't actually own a set of scales. However, diet is now heavy on the carbs and protein (mainly tuna/mayo/sweetcorn with pasta or baked spuds), supplemented with a post-training protein shake. Just need to track down a decent set of scales. 


First run since 17th March last night. 4.09mi, and kept a fairly consistent pace which averaged around 7.30mins/mi. It had 340ft of climb on it, so quite hilly for a little road run. Main thing is my knee felt fine throughout. Gonna give it a couple of days before trying it again, continuing to stretch and stregthen the necessaries in order to fend off future ITB problems. Also going to keep it on road (or at least away from fells with dodgy terrain) for the time being so as not to aggravate it again.

The running goals are the ones I'm prepared to be most flexible with, as I've got to nurse my knee back to health, and I'm not going to sacrifice my running for the sake of hitting a couple of goals. Will keep this one under review.


Having got my breathing technique sorted out, I'm going to time myself over 1km in the pool tonight, and from there set a time goal over the same distance for the end of the six-week period. Watch this space.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Eat my Goals

With the decision last week to get a bit more focused I've been having a think about my goals and have decided to give them a bit more structure. So all this to be achieved in the next 6 weeks:
  • 100 press-up challenge completed
  • 50 pull-up challenge completed
  • Bench press 100kg x5 reps
  • Up weight to 12.5st (from 12st)
Assuming my legs start running this week too (testing them out tonight), I'll be aiming for:
  • Sub 7min/mi average on a regular 7mi route of mine (quite hilly road route)
  • To be able to run all the way to the trig at Pendle following the Tour route up to CP1 (currently break into a walk part way up).
I might also add a swimming goal here too, but I need to sort my stroke out. Currenty gasping for breath at the end of my crawl stroke. I'm trying to use a 3-stroke rhythm, alternating the side I breathe out of, but think I might be either too fast/slow in exhaling in the water, leaving me panic breathing when I lift my head out of the water (and having to rest after every other length catching my breath). Will work on perfecting this stroke first. If anyone can help out with this, let me know.

To assist with all of these, I've changed my diet in the last week. With more activity during the week, I've been more reliant on cooking for myself. Until last week, this involved pizza, fish finger butties, and Frey Bentos pies. Last week, I started hitting the jacket potatoes or pasta, mixing up some tuna, light mayo, sweetcorn, and tobasco. 

I've also got hold of some protein and creatine supplements - there's an excellent offer in Holland & Barrett if you buy their magazine (99p) there's vouchers to get a decent sized tub of protein & creatine, both for less than £20. I'm only going to use these as recovery supplements, one protein portion after each session,  moving on to the creatine after this runs out.

At the end of the six weeks - assuming I've hit my goals - I'm going to set another set of goals. I'm not sure what yet, but have been inspired by an article in the afformentioned H&B magazine and like the look of the Gym Jones 300 test (a programme and test put together for the actors in 300, but a good focus on total body strength/fitness). Also been inspired by Ninja Warrior(!), a Japanese obstacle course based challenge, currently showing on Virgin (but also broadcast on Challenge, I think). Looks good for a laugh, but also quite tough.

Got six weeks to work out what goals I could build using these as start-points. In the meantime, I've got plenty to be getting on with.