Friday, 21 October 2011

At last some running success

Well all in all it took me 10 weeks to get back to being able to run 5k again due to my injury. But I'm back strong.
I had an initial couple of 5ks, felt pretty tiring but I just plugged along with them.

I've gone back to trying Hal Higdon's 13.1 novice plan and did my first "Long run" of 4 miles (6.5k) on Sunday. I had to do it in intervals and my time wasn't great, but I completed my longest ever run. Since then I've had two 5k runs that have felt great.

On Tuesday, around the 4k mark, I looked down at my watch and thought I had a good chance of beating my 5k record so I pushed very hard (uphill all the way to!). I did beat my record with a 30:50 time.
On Thursday, I just thought to myself that if I had pushed a little harder earlier on, I could have hit that target of a sub 30 minutes 5k. So with Garmin primed and the "Virtual Partner" set to 6:00min/km for 5k (exactly 30 minutes), I set off.....

After about 1.5k, I looked down at the Garmin, I was 110 metres ahead! I felt like I could drop off the pace a little bit and though I had, but at 2.5k I was 200 metres ahead. The furthest I observed myself being ahead was 232 metres. I knew that although the last 1km is steep uphill, I still felt strong enough to not slip back and I was jubilant even then. I finished in 28:15 and was over the moon.

To have come from a place where I didn't think I could take up running again to this is wonderful.

I've not really kept up with the P90x as the running has come to the forefront again. I will still use some of the workouts in between though.

One negative point is that my big toe is sending shooting pains up my leg when I put pressure on it a certain way. Hopefully it's just something very minor.

Another 6.5k run on Sunday!

My latest Triumph on DM HERE

Monday, 29 August 2011

P90x - Bring it

In acceptance that I need a big break from Running, I've decided to use the time well. I've got a real wimpy looking (and feeling) body. I want to make a difference but like I've mentioned in previous posts, I find weight lifting just dead boring.
Enter P90x.

It's a 90 day program to build muscle and lose fat. It uses dumbells, pull up bar and chair only. I've done three workouts so far and it's tough, but motivation. I actually am enjoying it so far... fingers crossed.

Still keeping the cardio going with the bike riding as well.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Plodding along

It's been two weeks since my attempt at a short recovery run (that revealed my leg is not better). I actually thought yesterday that I might test the waters again. That idea died as soon as I was having a mess around outside with the kids and the ball. I could feel pain in the same spot after just a little bit of running about :-(

I've kept going with the bike and my quads are really feeling it. On Sunday I managed to do the 7.8km route both to my parents house and back from it. That's a new "day distance" best for me. I'm going to look to up my midweek bike rides to the 7/8 k mark now and over the next couple of weeks try an even longer route to my parents house.

I've done the odd bit with kettlebells, weights and stretching but have no motivation in doing so and never feel like I've had a good workout. I just give up after one set of each exercise. Need to improve there!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I ran... for a bit.... injured again

Well, after about 10 days with absolutely no pain (hop test fine etc), I bit the bullet and went for a short (<3km) run. My fitness was still pretty good considering all things and my leg felt good - no pain at all.
The next day, it hurt. It's not enough to make me hobble, but there is a tell-tale twinge in the same place as previous pain.

Frustrated and almost defeated.
Took the bike out the next day instead

Sunday, 7 August 2011

The longest journey (well, for me.. so far)

I've had 3 rides this weekend. The usual 5 3/4 km on Saturday, then a ride to and from my parents house. The trip there, I took to a 7.77km route. It was pouring with rain, but it went pretty well to be honest. The return journey was less in distance (cut through the lakes) but MAN did my quads hurt like hell. I felt like I needed to give up with those thighs and my sore bum!

My legs are feeling pretty good, pretty strong and it's just a case of how long can I hold out without going out for a ran. It's so hard, it really is.

My Cycles...

Sunday to Parents
Sunday from Parents

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Very small light, Very long tunnel

Yesterday, I walked without limping. Ok, so it's not a big deal, but I'll take it. It's getting on towards two weeks now since I was last able to run and I've been limping badly (seemingly getting worse as well) ever since. I was at the point of needing to book in to see a Doctor which for anyone who knows me will affirm to that being a sign of desperation for me!

My hope is that I've had a 2nd bad case of shin splints rather than a stress fracture. This would obviously greatly reduce my recovery time!

I still have real doubts in my body. It might be a case of underdeveloped muscles or overtraining (both good reasons for shin splints), but equally, it might still be biomechanics or that my running is on concrete - both of which are difficult to change for me.

I will continue with a program of stretching and biking for now because running, although tempting, would be foolish at this point.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

More Bike + Injury update

Two more runs out on the bike, using the same route as previous (the 5k route I used for running). I spent over an hour trying to set the gears up so they don't skip and jump so much. It was mostly successful and the rear derailleur works quite nice. The front derailleur clatters a bit and I'm still struggling to shift if properly.
I am gaining a bit of confidence and technique although going downhill over our potholed cycle lanes at speed sets the pulse racing still!
My bum hurt too much to make it to my parents and back today so I had to give it a rest.

My leg is absolutely no better :-(

My two cyles are:
Here and Here

Thursday, 28 July 2011

2nd trip out on Bike.

I decided to ignore my bum pain and just get on with it. I picked my 5k running course as my route as I know the hills and where it's flat.

Things to fix / work out.

  • When I have the rear gear set to say 4 (out of 6), the chain is on the third cog, so it's one out I believe. I've found a site that tells you how to adjust the rear dérailleur so I can have a go at that one myself
  • The front gear really struggles to go from 2 down to 1. It doesn't engage most of the time so I am left stalled out on a hill with the chain rattling around.
  • The chain has slipped of the front gear on both bike rides now (usually when I shift to 1st).
  • Peddling is MUCH too easy when I am on even the slightest of down gradients. In most cases I end up in a freefall and the pedals do nothing. I've switched to the highest gear 3/6 but it makes no difference. So I freefall to the bottom of the hill. As I am getting to the bottom (ready for a steep climb), I can't pedal in anticipation for the hill because they just spin and I can't change to a lower gear for the climb because the derailleur won't work without me pedalling. I have to wait until I'm on the ascent and slowed right down before slogging away in a high gear to the top!
  • My newly installed Cadence sensor stopped working half way round.
So all in all, the technology is hindering me from just going out to increase my fitness!
I'm still working out how to keep in a straight line but I guess it's just a matter of practice!

I'm up to 14.9km/h now :-) My Ride

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I've got a bike, and my bum hurts.

Resigned to several weeks non running and recovery, I'm determined to keep a measure of fitness going. I've made the brave / stupid decision of purchasing a wheeled beast to aid me in this. I had not ridden a bicycle since I was 8. 23 years have since passed.

Why a bike? I've been really struggling to find an enjoyable alternative to running on my days off (and obviously now, through injury). Weight's really do suck and I can't do step aerobics / shred / fitness DVDs because the all want me to do some form of weight bearing activities like jumping jacks. Biking will hopefully give me a similar buzz to running when I beat speed and distance PRs as well as being fun outside, which I prefer.

So there's my new steed. I picked it up, already assembled from Halfords which is quite near where my parent live, so it equates to about a 5k ride home. I was extremely nervous about falling off of it. My wife dropped me off and waited to make sure I was OK. It took me about 3 attempts to fight the instinct to put my foot down straight away. I was wobbly and struggled with cornering and particularly downhill sections but I made it home without falling off!

I need to work out how to shift gear properly. I could not get the front low gear to engage at all and near the end of my ride, the chain actually came off altogether needing an emergency repair.

All in all, I actually rode about 6k, adding on the distance that my garmin wasn't on. I'm pleased with my first run and will just spend the next couple of weeks learning to to ride correctly and safely now. I've added some smallish bike targets to the blog to challenge myself.

I also purchased the cadence sensor for the bike because as you know I am a stats freak!

My first bike run home is HERE

Monday, 25 July 2011

Another kick in the teeth (or shins)

A summary of my runs this week would reveal that I didn't hit ANY of my targets in the three runs I've done. I could cope with that (albeit frustrating) if it wasn't for the fact that I am now sidelined yet again with pain that makes walking difficult.

I've already Blogged on Tuesday's run, how I pushed myself and had to give up, only then jogging to the end of 5k. Thursday came around and the run was a very strange one. I ran down to the local lakes only to enter in the middle of a 3k relay race. It made the run difficult because I was wary of getting in the way of everyone. I changed my route a bit to get around the crowds, marshals etc but it was just a bit off-putting. It was also eye opening to see how fast some of these guys and girls (young and old) easily outpaced me. I managed just 4.74km that day. 250 metres short of my 5k target. My legs were so heavy I couldn't resume in a reasonable time.

Since that run and over the weekend, I had nagging twinges in both legs and I thought many times about not running at all (I should have listened to this voice of doubt). I rang regardless, a new and unknown route from my parents house. My legs were dead before I had run just 1km. I carried on going (perhaps through pride more than anything) and about 15 minutes in I took a couple of minutes walk break. I ran for around 5 minutes longer before admitting to myself that my twinge had become pain. I hobbled back.

Last night and this morning, the damage is clear and I fear that I face another lengthy spell on the sidelines. I don't know what more I can do to rectify this situation and prevent reoccurance, I'm lost for ideas.

Thursday and Sunday stats

Friday, 22 July 2011

Weight loss progress

Five months into my running program and time to check on progress.

My targets from the start have been to get fitter but most importantly to shift some of the fat and become leaner with it. This table speaks volumes to my success so far

DateWeight (lbs)Fat %Fat (lbs)Non Fat (lbs)

I've lost 21.6lbs (1 stone 8lbs) BUT, over 18 of those lbs have been pure fat with only 3.2 lbs making up the rest. I've only made small changes to my diet and have enjoyed many unhealthy meals, chocolate etc during these months. I'm not a big believer in crazy diets and my stats prove what can be done with sensible exercise and sensible eating.

For now, what started as a way to improve fitness has become a way of life. I hope I have found something that I can continue with long into the future (body willing) and that my competitive thirst can be quenched with.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Help me Hal!

Possibly (read probably), I'm mad.

I've gone from wanting to try a 5k-8k plan to trying my hand at Hal Higdon's Half Marathon 10 week schedule.

Hal's advice is that people who start this plan should be able to run 3 miles (just short of 5k) 3-4 times a week. That's about where I'm at right now, looking for a new challenge.

The reason's I've plumped for this plan, scary as it seems are:

  • Increasing mileage, especially the "Long Run days" at the weekend should improve my overall pace for 5k (and eventually 10k).
  • The plan is really focused on running. I'll be doing weight's twice a week, but low weight / high reps. I find pumping iron boring and dangerous at the moment so hopefully this will be better for me.
  • I get to run 4 days a week. The run on Wednesday being an "Easy / Short Run".
  • Mondays are focussed on Strength and stretching, something I sorely need.
So the new plan is

Monday: Stretching + Light Weights
Tuesday: Running
Wednesday: Easy Run
Thursday:Running + Light Weights
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Exercise Bike
Sunday: Long Run

To War...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Another 5k (just) in the bag

Having enjoyed my longer runs to my parents, partly because the route takes me past the local park and lakes, I decided to map out a return route that covers the lakes. The problem is that the lakes are the home territory of the local running club.

I past them going the other way when I was going round one of the lakes - no problem. About 4km in, I was tiring a fair bit. I came round the corner and there they are, all on a walking break or rest. I ran passed them up the hill.

20 seconds or so passed when I could here the pounding of feet behind me. Sure enough, a couple of their leaders (each about 10 foot tall with legs as long as my whole body) drifted past like I wasn't even there. About 5 of them went through inclusive of a girly. "Run your own race" went straight out of the window! I upped my pace significantly to stop any more getting past. My Garmin was bleeping "Slow Down" about every 5 seconds. When I came out of the park, I stopped the watch at 4.72km because I had killed myself! I walked a short way and resumed the rest of the run.

Pride is a dangerous thing I guess

The run:

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I ran 6,000 metres!

Yesterday was run to parents day again. I struggled with this last week having to have two brief walking breaks.

This run didn't have positive signs at the beginning. My legs were stiff, sore and grumpy. I seriously didn't expect to make it 1/3rd of the way. What's worse is a torrential downpour (it lasted the entire run in fact).

I set off confidently. I set my Garmin to warn me if I dropped below a 6:10/km which I did on about 4 occasions. The run was BRILLIANT. Running in the rain was awesome. It wasn't cold at all and it only added to my determination. It felt great passing people scurrying under cover when there I was enjoying a run. They probably thought I was insane, but what the hell. I just think I am a winner.

I felt really strong and powerful. Reaching near my folks home @5k I wanted to push it and felt I really could make it to 6k. I did it.

Awesome run - perhaps my best ever yet!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wot no weights?

No, I felt tired OK? In all honesty, I still find psyching myself up for pumping Iron impossible. I am struggling with my runs with Heavy legs and just general tiredness. I'm really considering the bridge to 8k program to get some focus back into my running.

I didn't reach 5 k today but I got most of the way there.

Long time no see

Well be fair, I've been on Holiday!
My last run before my trip had killed my legs a fair amount. I had planned to keep up training efforts whilst on Holiday, but my legs as they were, I decided that it really wasn't any point dragging my running gear out with me. As it happens, this was a wise choice as our days were packed and the kids played up most nights meaning we were all knackered!

Anyway, we ate out - lots. I had chocolate and/or ice cream pretty much every day and I didn't exercise (unless you count pushing a fully laden buggy with two kids and a whole load of bags for most of the time).

I thought my legs would take much longer to recover, but they didn't. In fact they feel pretty good right now - No pain!

I resumed my running two days ago with another ambitious 5k+ run to my parents at the weekend. It went pretty well, especially at first with a good amount of cloud cover. When the sun came out it was pretty oppressive. I had to take a couple of 2 minute walk breaks but my pace overall was still excellent!

I had a second run around my usual route a couple of days ago but I just was not motivated for it. I was tired and exhausted and it showed. I gave up before I hit 4km and walked home. It's the worst an most demotivated I have been on a run in some time.

Still - again I need to remind myself of when I was desperate to make 3km not so long ago!

Another 5k calls tonight after a BBQ at work. I'm off work tomorrow for Hannah's first ever sports day. Hope there isn't a Dad's race with my poor body!!

My two runs:

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

C25k Week 9 Day 3 – I graduated :-)

Well I finally completed the journey. It's taken me well over 20 weeks to complete this program due in part to injuries and illness.

Writing my journey through this blog has been a great decision. I can look back at those first few entries and remember vividly some of those early runs where I barely went a Kilometer without puffing and hurting and then limping back home dejected and beaten.

I've learned much on this journey about pace, mental strength, nutrition, running technique amongst other things. Most of all I've learned a lot about myself. It is easy for me to get passionate about things, but rarely do I stay passionate about them. Running has got a hold on me for sure. If my body allows, I know it will become a lifetime love.

The thrill for me is that there is an ever moving target. "Just get through these 60 seconds" to "Just make is to 5k". I want to keep going... get that 5k under 30 minutes and then under 25 minutes. Run a race, train for a 10k and then maybe beyond.

Running has given me that. The sense of belief in myself and my abilities. Why shouldn't I dream of achieving. If I can come this far in something that was at first so alien to me, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

I feel a brighter future ahead and I will continue to blog my progress. Already I'm planning next steps.


My last run was difficult but I felt free from the structure of C25k. I experimented a bit with Chi-running which saw me log a 5:13 first kilometer (big mistake). I was forced into making this an interval workout which itself was eye opening.

You'll see that in my latest run (second table) that I walked for nearly a quarter of the time, yet my overall pace was better! There is something to be said for interval running!

Nonstop Jogging









0.00 km





3.85 km





0.72 km





4.58 km













0.74 km





0.66 km





3.61 km





5.01 km




My Run:

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Long Walk + YOGA

Well, Sunday was BLISTERING hot (I've got very burnt shoulders to prove it. There was a local funfair/carnival on in our town and my (stupid) suggestion was that we walk it. It's about 3.5km each way which is not bad except...
Two young kids fighting over who was going to sit in the pram, who couldn't hold onto the buggy board and who didn't want to walk/was hungry/was thirsty. The situation was compounded because my wife had a problem with her footwear that was making it painful to walk (after we'd walk there of course!).
The day itself was nice, but too hot. I had to walk (and run) back to get the car to come pick everyone up in the end. My legs were shot from the previous day's running so yes it hurt.

YOGA for beginners...

Well, I must be an idiot.
Firstly, one of the first thing she says is "come down off of your brick". WTF? What brick? Yes apparently they were are sitting on a brick (cue impromptu rush to find something to get my bum off the floor).
Second problem, you have to close your eyes. Great, except you have absolutely no idea what any of the poses look like from how she is describing, so you have to open your eyes and reposition the ipad to see etc.
Third problem. I'm sorry, but I cannot do the "Tree Pose" with out falling on my arse. Either that or my foot slips with sweat etc.
I don't think this video IS particularly good for beginners. But now I've done it once, maybe next time I will know a bit more what she is talking about. Overall it felt quite good to havee a bit of a stretch which is good because my posture is the absolute worst.

Tonight, weights.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

C25k Week 9 Day 2 + Shred

First 5k done. Why? I ran to my parents house today which is a 5.35k journey at it's shortest. I took a short walking breather after 16 minutes and then pressed on for a full 5k. I'm really very pleased with this. It confirms that I can incorporate this run into my routine and I'm certainly ready to finish C25k, improve my 5k time and start working towards 8k.

Shred went ok, but it was too much doing it on one day. My legs suffer a lot of pain whilst jumping. My wife joined in which was really nice for my motivation and her fitness.

Weigh in day - 158.6lbs 18.2% fat.
My run:

Friday, 24 June 2011

C25k Week 9 Day 1

My first 30 minute run!

I set my Garmin's Virtual Race Partner to 30:00 @6.45 min/km which would have been a great time for me. I killed it, managing a pace of 6.34 and a distance on 4.58km!

I'll be honest with you that several times I almost quit (or at least stopped for a walking break) and the whole last 10 minutes were a rough deal for me.

In the 2nd KM particularly, I felt I was going to fast but my body was willing to continue (bar lots of leg pains still). My heart rate throughout only peaked at 177 during the hardest climb. It went higher right at the end but that's because I sprinted the last 2 minutes.

I do feel like I am starting to see some gains in my heart strength which is immensely gratifying.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

HGM (2.2)

Finished off Week 2 strongly, upping weights to 37.5k for Bench Press (10, 8, 6) and putting an extra 1k on each of the dumbbells for the exercises that use them. I'm still just looking to make steady strength gains here.

I've adjusted my schedule already to incorporate new items and to switch run days so that on Sunday's I can part-run the way to my parent's house

Some new items I am incorporating into my schedule:

30 day shred - Why? I put it on the other day and it wiped me out. Even though I am scheduling for 1 day per week, it will hopefully help me with fat burn an strength.

Yoga - I'm going to give this a try starting on Sunday. Why? My flexibility is very very bad. I think it hampers my running and general wellbeing. I understand that Yoga can help with balance and flexibility as well as getting blood to areas it doesn't usually get to making you feel refreshed. A good way to end the week hopefully!!

So my Schedule is now..

Monday: Weights - HomeGrown Muscle Plan
Tuesday: Running - C25k and onward
Wednesday: Weights - HomeGrown Muscle Plan
Thursday: Running - C25k and onward
Friday: Kettlebell - 15-20 minute quick burn
Saturday: Shred
Sunday: Running (AM), Yoga (PM)

It's worth noting that I'm on holiday in 10 days time so the plan WILL go to pot. I plan to at least maintain my 3 runs whilst I am away.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

C25k Week 8 Day 3

Yay, week 8 complete.
Every run feels so hard, but yet when I look back at my progress, I am amazed by it. I remember dreading 3 minutes, then 5, then 20 and now it's only a 20 that I begin to struggle a bit!
I'm looking to finish this program very strongly. All Week 8 runs are supposed to be 28 minutes long, but I've been doing over that, culminating yesterday in a 29 minute run.

Trust me, I was glad when it finished and I was severely labouring at the end. Mentally the whole run seemed tough. It was a lovely sunny evening, but very windy. My legs felt fairly good but did deteriorate as I went on.

One milestone - I passed someone who was slower than me :-) Ok, so I probably had 10-12 years on the poor sod, but it's nice to be THAT person who breezes past.

I find my new route challenging but good. It starts of basically flat for about the first couple of km, then there is a series of ups and down that come in quick succession (you can say to yourself, "Just get to that lampost and you can go downhill then" etc). The final bit is a very steady incline.

I'm only going to weigh in once a week now at the weekend so no stats to share. I've posted yesterdays run, my back catalog of runs and all future runs on dailymile as I transition from runkeeper.

I managed to run 4.4km in my 29 minutes at 6:34/km!

This run on Dailymile

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

So, you want to start C25k? Here is my guide

As I come to the end of the program, I thought I would share some advice on where to start for those that, like me have no prior running experience and are pretty daunted by the whole prospect of jogging and running.

What is C25k
Couch to 5k is a program designed for the absolute beginner that aims to turn that person into primarily a much fitter person. The end goal of the program means that after 9 weeks, you should be able to run either 5k (just over 3 miles) OR 30 minutes straight without stopping.

It is important to make the emphasis that most true beginners should not expect to run 5k within 30 minutes at the end of the 9 weeks, it really is a matter of picking which goal suits you the most.

Which plan should I use?
The most widely recognised plan is available at
This plan gives you the choice of running to distance or time. My personal recommendation is that you use the time based plan rather than the distance based plan. Why? Because time is much easier to measure than distance with a simple stopwatch, podcast or such like.

What equipment do I need?

  • Suitable Running clothes. Depending on temperature, any t-shirt with shorts or jogging bottoms (pants) will do. I've heard a sports bra is a necessity for the ladies!
  • Running shoes. At first, you can probably go out in a pair of average trainers (sneakers) but as soon as you can, you must move to a properly pair of running shoes - see below
  • Something to time your run - a watch will do, preferably with a stopwatch counter
  • Courage and strong will.

  • Running tops / shorts and socks that can help wick away the sweat
  • ipod/MP3 player for training podcasts or running music
  • GPS device / footpod
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Treadmill / Gym membership if you don't want to run outside.
Why the big deal over running shoes?
There are different foot types. Those that roll inward when you walk or run, those that roll outward. Some people are flat footed, others have high arches.
When you begin to run, you put a lot of stress on your feet and depending on what type of foot you have, this can cause a great deal of pain and injury including shin splints and stress fractures.
There are a variety of different running shoes (and prices) that deal with different foot types. Some have more cushioning whereas others have motion stabilizers. The most ideal solution is to go to a running shop where they can assess how your foot falls and is shaped. Some have GAIT Analysis software that watches you on a treadmill.
All of this can sound scary for some and too much hard work. If you want to try to work it out yourself, Google for "Wet Test" to try and figure out your foot-type at home and then have a look at trainers that fit your profile.
The most accurate way to test your foot type and prevent injury is to go to a running shop and ask.

I've got all I need, where do I start?
  • Decide if you will run the plan to time or distance and stick to it.
  • If you like, download podcasts or iphone apps that help you to know when to run and when to walk.
  • Decide if you are going to run outside (I really recommend it) or start off on a treadmill.
  • GO
It's important that you warm up. All podcasts will incorporate this in the form of a 5 minute brisk walk. Stretching beforehand is not usually necessary, but may become so if you develop particular muscle weaknesses.

That first 60 second run

Most people will over-estimate their fitness and run too fast. For most, the correct pace is a jog barely faster than a walk (some in fact end up jogging slower than they walk). In terms of exertion, you should be able to hold a conversation when running. If at first this means you have to walk the "running" sections then so be it. Keep going with Week 1 until you can complete it 3 times in a row!
It really doesn't matter how slow you go at this point as long as you finish all the intervals per the plan, so eight times 60 seconds jogging.
For someone who has never run or is plain unfit, you might struggle to complete this first day's run, but don't be discouraged - most start here.

The program is scary. In 5 weeks time I am expected to run for 20 minutes straight!

Take one run at a time. When you are asked to do 3 minute runs, you will find the prospect scary. The next week when you run 5 minute intervals, you will be grateful when you "Only have to run 3 minutes on this interval". Your body adapts and can achieve what seems impossible.
The 20 minute run at the end of week 5 (in fact weeks 4-5 in general) can literally stop people from starting or continuing the program in pure dread. You can do it - it will take strong will - you will feel on top of the world once you have completed it.

How can I stay motivated?
  • If you are a people person, try to find a running buddy who can start the program with you. Maybe someone recommended this program to you? Get them to run with you and coach
  • If you are competitive, you will find a GPS watch and HRM invaluable for recording your progress.
  • Join up to dailymile, runkeeper or such like. Post your progress on facebook or blog your runs for encouragement.
  • Realise that when these 9 weeks are over you will be in vastly better physical condition
  • Set an an achievable goal such as "I want to run a 5k race by the end of the year" or "I want to lose 10lbs in 6 weeks".
  • Give yourself credit where it is due.
What other advice can you offer?
  • Don't run on an injury. Your body has to adapt to running so you will be sore. If you get pains, talk to a doctor. You should make sure that if you are in any doubt about your health prior to running, you get the all clear from a GP to begin.
  • Slow down. Pace is not important for C25k
  • Try to get outside. Other people don't care what you look like when you are running and anyway - you are not running for their benefit anyway!
  • Make sure you diet correctly. Your body needs fuel to facilitate burn. Keep well hydrated at all times.
  • Stretch after your run.
  • Set short, medium and long term targets. Write them down and track how you are doing.
  • Don't give up. If you cannot complete a week, repeat it. Try not to go BACK a week unless you've had a long term injury.

Remember that you can do it. Be brave.

Diet... Destroyed

It's all very well exercising and busting your arse to see improvements, but it has to be part of a total package. My Fat% as of the 19th June was an all-time low of 18.3% which is awesome. But.

On Sundays we usually go round my parents for a roast dinner (of huge proportions), but this time they served cheesecake and gave me a portion that is equivalent to 3 servings. You can imagine the calories in that.

Slightly more forgiveable, was the trip we had to Chessington yesterday and we ate out. I picked a good choice in the grilled chicken breast with barbecue dip and a jacket potato.

I was then goaded into getting a desert (@530 calories) by my wife. Yesterday was my run day but we didn't get home until 9:30 and after putting the kids into bed, there was no chance for any kind of workout - so I'll go today.

I feel pretty deflated about the below record from livestrong and I'm hopeful I can make u pfor it this week!

Date Calorie Goal Calories Consumed Calories Burned Net Calories Defecit
June 14th, 2011 1601.029 1810.3 180 1630.3 -29
June 15th, 2011 1601.029 1689 294 1395 206
June 16th, 2011 1592.048 1657.5 360 1297.5 295
June 17th, 2011 1592.048 1715.2 200 1515.2 77
June 18th, 2011 1592.048 1205.05 187 1018.05 574
June 19th, 2011 1592.048 2487.6 0 2487.6 -896
June 20th, 2011 1592.048 2146 0 2146 -554

Thursday, 16 June 2011

C25k Week 8 Day 2 + HGM (2.1)

Again there is not much to add to the weight lifting front. I'm still adding weight and sweating like hell.

My run went really well. I moved to the longer >5k route and I ran my first continuous 28 minutes. The pace was absolutely spot on as well. In fact its the best run I have had in a calendar month.

My Stats:
4.25 km @6:43/km

My Vitals:
161.1lbs, Body Fat 19.7, BMI: 23.1

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Monday, 13 June 2011

C25k Week 8 Day 1 + New milestone

Forget the run.... 19.8% body fat - NORMAL

Throughout this process, the body fat has been a big milestone for me to hit - more than the body weight. I want to drive down the weight a bit further but I do expect to build some muscle mass. Body fat is key in all of this. I want to be healthy for my family!

Ok, so on todays run, again I set off too fast and it was HOT and horrid. 20 minutes in I did take a 2 minute timeout walk before completing the 28 minutes. I did see some marked improvement in recovery HR going from 174 down to 138 in those 2 minutes which is excellent coming from where I have.

My legs are still painful, both calves and shins. I'm still just hoping that these will improve over time - I just don't know.

My Stats:
3.93 km @7:11/km

My Vitals:
162.2lbs, Body Fat 19.8, BMI: 23.3

Sunday, 12 June 2011

HomeGrown Muscle Phase I (Week 1.2)

I'm not going to post stats on this every time, simply because its a lot of work to get the data out of excel!

Nothing much to say other than I still find weights really boring, even with a great comedy podcast "The Bugle" on to keep me amused!

I upped the reps by a sensible amount as I am just not confident with Weights. I'm determined to keep going with this and look forward to a stonger body.

C25k Week 7 Day 3 and Kettlebells

I set off just too damned fast again and 16 minutes in on the tough uphill part of the route, I took a walking break for 2 minutes. I did recover quickly and managed to push through to 28 minutes! Next run, I will have to repeat that feat without the walk and that IS pretty scary.

I am making some improvements with the kettlebell (20lbs) but I'll be honest with you, I was still beat after just over 10 minutes or so. The weight is probably too heavy for this kind of aerobic activity for me and it is painful on my (very weak) lower back, but my goal is to do a full 20 minutes at this weight.

My Stats:
3.88 km @7:14/km

My Vitals:
162.6lbs, Body Fat 21.4, BMI: 23.3

Friday, 10 June 2011

New Schedule and Calorie counting woe!

First things first. What an idiot I am!!
I started using livestrong many months ago and found it really eye opening as to what I actually eat. I enjoy seeing my calorie "allowance" raise when I plug in my exercise details as well :-)

I stopped using it out of complacency but have decided to pick it up again to see why my weight loss (and fat loss more importantly) is stalling. Reviewing my profile, I realised that I made a HUGE, HUGE mistake!

When I started out with Livestrong, I put in my weight, height, age, gender etc into the program and when invited to choose my lifestyle, I pick "lightly active" - after all, I'm a runner now (!) and I try to do a bit of exercise. Wrong with a capital W! Livestrong calculated that I would need to have a calorific intake/burn equal to 2000 calories (give or take) to lose 1lb a week. Most days I found I would come comfortably under this target and my weight came down a bit then stopped. Have you spotted my error yet?

The problem is that I happily put my calorific burns into Livestrong ON TOP of marking myself as active. Actually, I am "Sedentary" in that I work all day in an office and drive everywhere. Take away the 500kcals a day needed to lose 1lb and I am left with 1600kcals, not 2000 :-(

Bloody Hell.

Anyway, expectations reset I will move on. Today at work was continental breakfast day. One mini baguette with no butter or filling is 330kcals. WOW. Needless to say I downsized my usual portion size and swapped for some fruit.

Anyhow, the (gruelling?) schedule is now set as follows. How long can I maintain it?!

MON: Running
TUE: Kettlebell
WED: Weights
THU: Running
FRI: Day off (possible lunchtime walk)
SAT: Running
SUN: Weights

HomeGrown Muscle Phase I (Week 1.1)

I'm pretty wimpy looking and I'm pretty weak. I've had on and off sessions with home gym equipment, firstly with a basic York Machine before moving to free weights and a bench. The thing is that I go at it for a couple of weeks then give up. Weight lifting is tedious and BORING!

Anyway, I need to do something about my complete lack of strength. Ultimately, fat loss and running is great, but not at the expense of losing the muscle that I don't have in the first place.

I am hoping that my new found love of exercise will translate into the Home Gym so I am starting a new program.

Weeks 1-8 are identical compound exercises. I'm hoping to build up the reps in Weeks 1-4 and then increase the weights with lower reps for Weeks 5-8.

Below are my first workout stats for Yesterday. Today, I have no exercise scheduled, but I had a 40 minute brisk walk at lunch time where I work.

All my Weights are in KG, so x2.2 for lbs.

IC Bench Press Set 1 35 10
Set 2 35 8
Set 3 35 8
DB Deadlift Set 1 22 10
Set 2 22 8
Set 3 22 8
DB Pullover Set 1 11 10
Set 2 11 8
Set 3 11 8
Set 1
35 4
Set 2 35 4
Set 3 0 0
DB Lying Row Set 1 22 6
Set 2 22 7
Set 3 0 0
DB Lunge Set 1 11 6
Set 2 11 5
Set 3 0 0
Cuban Press
Set 1
Set 2 10
Set 3 0
Std Calf Raise Set 1 11 10
Set 2 11 10
Set 3 0 0
Crunch Set 1 20
Set 2 15
Set 3 0

The squats were the only disappointing aspect of this workout. I can't believe I can only squat 35kg x 4. I admit that I get really nervous about doing myself harm with the squats by falling Arse over tit, but they have to be done!