Rounding Out the Week

Day 11 – Friday 11th January 2013.

I have found that as the week has progressed I have been feeling increasingly tired and have needed more rest / sleep time to fully recover. I think that this is just going to be a temporary state as my body is still getting used to the rigours of my new training regime, especially when combined with two soccer games this week and also moving house at the same time. What can I say, I just don’t like to do things by half!

This morning I was hoping to get up at 7:00am so I could get in my full cardio gym session before heading down to Fremantle to meet with a good friend of mine and have a cup of coffee. Unfortunately this didn’t eventuate and it was 8:00am before I was out of bed. Immediately I knew that this shortened time period would result in me not getting the usual gym session done and being in Fremantle by the 10:00am meeting time so I decided to modify my session for today. I also felt that my legs would appreciate some respite as I was feeling sorer and tighter than I have done so previously since beginning this new regime.

I arrived at the gym and began my workout just after 8:30am. I started with only 10 minutes on the treadmill and decided not to push myself too hard, this would be the warm up for the remainder of the session. My routine followed its usually course of 5 minutes on 7.5km/h before 5 minutes on 10 km/h, this meant that by the 10 minute mark I had run 1.45km. Throughout the run my legs felt quite tight, especially my left hamstring, so I decided to continually monitor my progress throughout the session the last thing I wanted to do was pull a muscle at this stage of the regime.

My 10 minute row was next, I went into this hoping to try and beat my personal best and row over 2.4km in the time frame. To achieve this I started out harder than usual and after a few minutes settled into 30 strokes per minute with a 500m split of 2 minutes and 10 seconds. I started doing the calculations in my head and realised that even at this pace I would fall short of the 2.4km mark inside the time frame. I lifted my stroke and work rate with my 500m split getting down to between 2 minutes and 2 minutes and 5 seconds, this I managed to hold throughout the remaining row but still missed my target falling short by 100m with a distance of 2.3km coming up right on the 10 minutes. I guess the lesson to learn is that in the early stages I need to get my distance up and not leave everything until after the 5 minute mark!

Day 11

To finish I headed over to the cycle for a 10 minute ride. I kept the same regime of alternating between 6 effort level and 3 effort level and had the goal of reaching a distance of over 5km inside the time limit. My first 2 minutes I did fall behind the pace slightly in only riding .9km, this didn’t worry me overly as I always did a slower first two minutes as I built up speed and a rhythm. In the next two minutes I was back on track having ridden 2km inside the four minutes. I decided that I would stretch myself and see what I could achieve, I pulled further ahead int he next 2 minutes and reached the 3km mark by 5 minutes and 45 seconds. I kept pushing myself through to the end of the 10 minutes and managed to ride 6.1km inside this time, a great effort.

Usually at this point I would head over to the mats, stretch and work on my abdominals but I had run out of time. I headed off to have a shower and get changed to go and meet my friend in Fremantle.

I am quite happy with the effort today. Tomorrow’s session is supposed to be a run outside however I might not even get to my session due to the amount I still need to organise and pack for the big move coming up. Normally it would be a just get up earlier, but with how tired I have been feeling and needing my energy to concentrate on the packing and moving of heavy objects it might turn into a miss. As my Saturday sessions I think will become an optional extra in my regime as the year progresses I am not too phased, I still achieved five sessions in this second week.

Missing the Bar

Day 10 – Thursday 10th January 2013.

Today’s run was a bit of a disappointing affair with me not setting any new best times. In all fairness I did start my run about an hour later than I usually did but the overall weather today has been a lot cooler so really that shouldn’t not have been a factor in the outcomes of the run.

Today was an outdoor run, the 7km track I have been doing around Lake Monger (2 laps in total). I began at just after 8:00am and felt quite good early on in the run, I felt that I was making good time as I finished the first kilometre. In the middle part of the run I think I slowed down significantly, the reason behind this would not have been because of fatigue but more because of the amount of large decisions I have had to deal with recently and I found my mind wandering through all the different possibilities involved in buying a new house which settled yesterday.

Day 10All those things aside, I realised that I had fallen behind as I was at the 4.5km mark due to the song that was playing. I raised the tempo to try and make up the distance I had lost, unfortunately I did end up falling short of the 40 minute mark by a minute and a half. This meant I came nowhere near my hoped 37 minutes and 30 second goal. I will have to wait until Saturday before having another attempt at that one.

Whilst there is disappointment from not setting a new PB on this run I am still happy with my overall progress. I am continuing to feel fitter and better about myself and seem to already being able to focus for longer and harder on the various work details I need to get done at the moment. I haven’t really seen any significant weight loss as of yet but I know that as I commit to the regime this will come over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow’s session is supposed to be back int he gym for another cross training session. I am really savouring every one of these that I do because I might need to freeze my membership for a period of time, not because of not using it but more as a saving measure over the next few months. We’ll just have to wait and see what is necessary in the future.

Reaching New Bests

Day 9 – Wednesday 9th January 2013.

Today I still find myself struggling with the desire to actually do my gym sessions. I know that you go through periods where things are just difficult and you don’t “feel like it” so for me that isn’t really a problem you just do it anyway. As someone once said to me, you do something based on a decision and not on a feeling at the time because feelings come and go.

This morning I got up a little later than usual, I decided that I had better try and recover a little after the hard start to the week and as I didn’t really need to get up urgently didn’t rise until 8:00am. I then headed into the gym to complete my scheduled cross-training session.

The sessions so far have been going well, at least once I get there, so I decided today I would push myself a little harder. I wanted to leave having set new bests across all three disciplines of running (20 minutes), rowing (10 minutes) and bike (15 minutes). This challenge I knew would take it’s toll but I figure that it would be worth giving it a crack and seeing how close I would get.

I began with my 20 minute run on the treadmill and started on the usual for 5 minutes before increasing it to 10 km/h for the next 5 minutes. I would usually leave it on 10km/h for another 5 minutes but decided instead to push myself and raised the level to 12.5km/h. This additional pace took me to doing 4 minute and 48 second kilometres and after holding this for 5 minutes I reduced the speed back to 11km/h. I think that my next session I will try a similar thing but only reduce the final 5 minutes to 11.5km/h and gradually build it up like this.

Day 9My rowing started off well, a stroke rate of 30 per minute and a split of 500m in around the 2 minutes 14 seconds. My aim today was to get over the 2.4km mark inside the 10 minutes, a feat that in itself hasn’t proven that easy in the past. By the 5 minute mark I knew that I was falling behind, I’d be lucky to reach the 2.3km in the time so I increased my work rate by lifting the stroke rate to 32 per minute and reduced my split to 2 minutes and 8 seconds per 500m. By the 8 minute mark I had improved my position but the 2.4km seemed to be proving still elusive, i increased my output by reducing my split down to 2 minutes per 500m and held that for the remaining time. Unfortunately I fell just over 500m short of the 2.4km with a row of 2.345km inside the 10 minutes.

I was feeling quite tired by this point in time as I headed over to the bike for my 15 minute ride. I had missed out on setting new PBs across all three apparatus but was hoping that I could finish by riding over 8km in 15 minutes. I kept the same regime of alternate 2 minute effort levels and began at an alright pace, the rpm was holding around the 100 mark and by the end of 2 minutes I was only just under having ridden a kilometre. I decided to try and push myself that little harder to make up the time and managed to be on track having ridden over 2km by the 4 minute mark with my rpm up at 110. I kept pushing myself and kept pulling further in front, I was not sure whether or not I would get over the 8km in the time and found myself setting targets of distance to have covered by certain times. I know that on average I can ride about 600 metres in every minute on the bike, it would be close but I should be able to get there. By the 13 minute and 30 second mark I had ridden 7km, the end was insight and definitely possible, at approximately 14 minutes and 40 seconds I crossed over the 8km mark – it was done! The ride finished at 15 minutes with a distance of 8.1km being covered, an effort that I am quite proud of.

To finish the session I completed my usual three sets of 50 sit ups, today I pushed myself  with the use of a 9kg medicine ball, the extra weight made it a little harder. I spent the next 10 minutes stretching out my legs, tomorrow I have another 7km run to complete and would like to see if I can get down to 37.5 minutes for it.

Running on Empty

Day 8 – Tuesday 8th January 2013.

In what has proven to be the hardest and most physically demanding 24 hours since restarting my training I now feel like I am running on empty. I feel that the toll of a hard cross training session and indoor soccer game yesterday when combined with running this morning will be beneficial in the long run if I now focus on replenishing my energy and fluids throughout today.

Day 8I got up this morning at 7:30am not having had the best night’s sleep. The hot and humid weather has returned to Perth and without air-conditioning in our unit I really struggled to sleep for longer than the two hour timer on our little fan. That all being said, I was determined to complete my run today and do it in a faster than 40 minute time frame.

I arrived at Lake Monger just before 8:00am and was told that the temperature was sitting at just below 32 degrees centigrade. This in itself isn’t too bad but the level of humidity was the factor that I was concerned about. I started my run at a slow p yet consistent pace, there was this other runner who ran past me in a hurry but then stopped about 100m up the path. I caught up to him and went past him only to have him again pass me about a km later and then stop again and walk. I passed him for a second time and then never saw him again, my consistent pace was overall a faster run than his stop and start regime.

I got to the end of the first lap and I was feeling hot, thirsty and tired. My aim was to do the full 7km so I kept running, pushing through the tiredness I was feeling. As I was passing the markers I kept trying to think to myself in relation to the songs I was listening to what my pace was and how close I would come to beating my 40 minute PB that I had previously set. As I came inside 1km of the end I increased pace to try and push through and get the result.

I ended up running the 7km in a time of  39 minutes and 50 seconds, a new PB since restarting my runs.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another gym session, I am feeling so exhausted at the moment that I know today is going to be spent trying to recover and replace my fluids. All I can say is bring on tomorrow, I am tired but loving it!

A Good Start to the Second Week

Day 7 – Monday 7th January 2013.

To begin this second week of training I returned to the gym to complete a cross training session. I was feeling quite good and optimistic that it would be a good session even though it is still a struggle to actually get motivated to go and do a session.

I arrived at the gym just before 8:00am and started with my usual 20 minute warmup run on the treadmill. I am still not pushing myself too hard with this run and kept to following the same routine of 5 minutes on 7.5km, 10 minutes on 10 km and the 5 minutes on 12.5km. I did find today that it was a lot easier than what it has previously been for me, hopefully this means that I am showing some signs of improved fitness. My plan is to move towards stretching the run by running in 5 minute intervals on 7.5km, 10 km, 12.5km and then 14km however I don’t feel that I am there just yet so maybe the start of next week this can become a possibility.

Day 6At the conclusion of my time on the treadmill it was time fore my 10 minute row. I was determined today to try and set a new PB by rowing over 2.4km in the time frame. I had rowed over2.3km previously so this is my next step in moving towards the 2.5km goal that I have always struggled to maintain regularly. I started off well with a stroke rate of around 30 per minute and an average split of around 2 minutes and 14 seconds. At the 5 minute mark I increased my workload in power and started to row splits down towards 2 minutes and 7 seconds whilst maintaining the same stroke rate. At the  minute mark I lifted my stroke rate and was rowing with a split just above 2 minutes, by the time I crossed the 10 minute mark I had rowed over 2.4km which I am very happy with.

My session was completed with my 15 minute ride. I decided to keep with the same regime I have been doing of alternating resistance every 2 minutes. Todays goal was to ride over the 7.5km inside the time. I began, and as always, had a slowish first 2 minutes as I was trying to find my rhythm. Gradually I managed to stabilise my revolutions at 104 per minute and managed to ride a distance of 7.8km by the time the 15 minutes clicked over. I am quite happy with this effort and look forward to trying to break the 8km in the coming weeks.

After finishing the ride I headed over to the stretching area. I completed 3 sets of 50 sit ups with a 8kg medicine ball before stretching out my legs. I have an indoor soccer game tonight and need to make sure that I am not too stiff and sore before the start of the game.

Overall today’s session has been a good one, I am seeing progress in most of the areas of my training. My big hope is that this can continue not only through this holiday period but throughout the entire year.

A Work in Progress

Day 4 – Friday 4th January 2013.

Today’s gym session really makes me realise that this year is going to continuously be a work in progress. I am still not feeling like getting up and going to do the exercise yet I know the benefits that I will get out of it make it worth it in the long run.

I was quite surprised after getting to the gym with the progress that I am making, my run on the treadmill was similar to the one I did on Monday with completing 3.31km in the 20 minutes moving from speeds of 7.5km/h for 5 minutes to 10 km/h for 10 minutes and a final 5 minutes on 12.5km/h.

Day 4I was feeling pretty good at the conclusion of this run and headed off to complete the 10 minutes on the rowing machine. The last session I completed I managed to row just short of 2250m in the 10 minute time line. I was keen to try and beat this today with a target of a minimum of 2.3km in the 10 minutes. I started at a reasonable tempo knowing that I would pick up the pace in the second half of the row. In the last 2 minutes I picked up the tempo an managed to row 2.4km in the 10 minute time frame, an effort I am very happy. My next task will be to push for the 2.5km in the 10 minutes which will be a big challenge to achieve.

To finish my session I headed to the cycle for a 15 minute ride. I mirrored the routine from earlier in the week in doing 2 minutes on 6 resistance before moving to 2 minutes on 3 resistance and then alternated between these. I was happy with my progress and managed to ride over 8km in the 15 minute time frame.

To finish my session I headed to the stretching area and completed three sets of 50 sit ups with an 8kg medicine ball.

Whilst there is still a long way to go I am happy with the progress I have made in this first week. Hopefully I can use this to build on top of it as I head into the second week come Monday.

Held Up By Shoelaces

Day 3 – Thursday 3rd January 2013.

Today I returned to Lake Monger to complete another 7km run. When my alarm is going off in the morning I still am not feeling like getting up but am forcing myself to push through this apathy knowing the longterm returns will be worth it.

Having learnt from yesterday’s session I put a bandaid over my open blister to try and prevent the bleeding occurring. Whilst this was successful it didn’t prevent the discomfort from having tender skin as I was completing my run.

Day 3I started the run slowly, the first kilometre was an opportunity to loosen up from my gym session yesterday and try and get into a good running rhythm and form. I was just getting into a good rhythm when for the first time on the run my shoelace came undone. I tried to leave this without stopping however I found it too irritating so stopped to tie my lace – this cost me 30 seconds at least. I then restarted my run and continued for about another kilometre before my shoelace on my other shoe also came undone, I couldn’t believe it! This never had happened to me before. Again I stopped and retied my lace nice and tightly – this cost me another 30 seconds.

I continued with my first lap and felt like I was a little behind (due to the stoppages) at the end of the first lap. I kept pushing through and felt like I was sitting a little behind where I had previously been in other runs. I picked up the pace as I passed the marker for the past kilometre and made good time to finish just behind my personal best time finishing in 40 minutes and 40 seconds. If it wasn’t for the shoelaces it would have been a new personal best time.

The lesson to learn is to make sure my laces are tied firmer for the next run!

A Shorter Session

Day 2 – Wednesday 2nd January 2013.

Today I was really keen on following up on the good start I made yesterday with the run to see in the New Year. I am aware that if I don’t fully commit to training every day from this early stage in the year than I will have considerable difficulty later on (plus I would love to be able to get to the end of the year and to have not missed a day).

The problem I was facing with today’s session was that I was on a strict time limit due to being given free tickets to the 7th session of the Hopman Cup and needing to catch public transport into the city. Perth’s public transport is very average and quite unreliable so I needed to give myself plenty of time to be able to be in by 9:30am to meet my friend who I was taking along. A secondary problem I was facing was that I have developed a significant blister on yesterday’s run which had popped and I was a little reticent about aggravating the area.

Day 2I finally fought off my demons and committed to a shorter session consisting of a 10 minute run, 10 minute row and 10 minute cycle. I arrived at the gym and felt quite sore as I got onto the treadmill to run. The blister on my foot was very sore whenever the shoe rubbed against the spot, I ignored the pain and began my run. After a few minutes the pain from the blister subsided and I continued to increase my speed from the starting 7.5km/h to 10km/h each for 5 minutes.

I headed onto the rowing machine for my 10 minute row, as with the treadmill I wasn’t interested in pushing myself too hard but wanted to get a decent workout. I began at a slowish pace with a stroke rate of 29 strokes per minute and a 500 minute split of 2 minutes 14 seconds. At the 5 minute point and again at the 8 minute point I increased the intensity and had completed 2.25km by the 10 minute mark, I think my goal for the next session might be to try for over 2.4km in 10 minutes.

To finish the session I headed to the cycle and began my 10 minute ride. I copied the format used the other day with alternating every 2 minutes from 6 resistance back to 3 resistance. i managed to ride 4.8km in the 10 minute time frame.

I felt quite satisfied with the quality of the session today, whilst the length wasn’t as long it did feel like it was good quality and I do feel stronger. One side point is that I think I will start putting a band aid on my blister, the excess rubbing has caused a significant amount of bleeding from my heel. Hopefully a band aid will stop some of that bleeding (a little).

A New Year Means New Beginnings

Day 1 – Tuesday 1st January 2013

Today marks the beginning of my Fitness Training for 2013. With the New Year comes New Beginnings, I admit that we are all affected by what we have previously done and experienced but this does not need to necessarily dictate our future and the successes we can have as individuals going forward. We are a product of our past but have control over present which, in turn, has influence on our future and who we become. This had lead me to decide on calling my fitness challenge for this new year “Pushing the Limits 2013” as it is exactly what I want to do, push the limits on who I am and ultimately who I can be.

When my alarm went off this morning I was really tempted to not get out of bed and take the day off. I felt I could justify it with the night before being New Years Eve and me not getting to bed until after 1:00am. After running through this process in my head I pulled myself out of bed as it is more important to me to start the day off well. It would be fantastic to see if by the end of the year I had completed an entire year of training, the 1st of January I feel; is a logical place for this to begin.

Day One - A New Year Means New BeginningsLuckily the temperature today is no where near as bad as what it has been over the past week in Perth, this suited me as I was going for a 7km run around Lake Monger. This run I had completed a few days ago in just over 44 minutes, I was hoping that today I would be able to better this time. With my iPod on Lincoln Brewster’s album “Today is the Day” I started my run. My legs were feeling quite stiff from yesterday’s cardio session and when combined with being quite dehydrated still from last night’s gig in Northbridge I found the run at the start quite challenging. Today’s run I managed to complete in 40 minutes at a time of approximately 5 minutes and 43 seconds, a little better than the last run but still a long way to go before I am completely satisfied.

I am really hoping to Push the Limits throughout the course of 2013, taking it a day at a time and building on the successes of each session will be the key.

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