Get in Shape Challenge Day 9 – Wednesday 24th August

This morning I had a small success on my road to the fitness levels and body shape that I am trying to achieve over this session – my first completed cardio session since beginning the challenge. When the alarm went off this morning at 5:00am I was posed with a choice to either stay in bed or get up and really be proactive in taking my commitment to this challenge to a new level. I chose to make it a fresh start with the cardio workouts and grab this opportunity with both hands. I jumped out of bed and did my usual morning routine of abdominal exercises and then prayer before packing my bags and heading off to the gym in Subiaco. On a side note I am noticing that this week I have started to find it easier to wake up to my alarm then I was last week, this is a really important little change as come tomorrow morning I am expecting to start getting a little less sleep than I have been (probably around the five and a half hour mark more than the six and a half I have been getting).

Having arrived at the gym right bang smack at 6:00am I unloaded my bag and clothes for work in my locker before starting my cardio workout. With today being a Wednesday I decided that I would not push myself too hard with my cardio session as I did have an indoor soccer game with BXVI scheduled for tonight and the last thing I wanted to do was have no energy for the game considering I play in the mid-field sort of role for the team (I always seem to do a lot of running in the games). I started my session on the treadmill with a 15 minute run slowly increasing the speed every 5 minutes from 7.5 to warm up to 10 before finishing on 11.5. This is a long way beneath where I was with my fitness back six months ago but I am aware that I need to ease back into it to prevent any injuries taking place. Over the next few weeks  will look to increase the length of time I am running, aiming for 25 – 30 minutes, and also the intensity of pace throughout that run.

After doing my 15 minute run I moved onto the ergo for a 5 minute ergo, usually I would have done a full 10 minutes but with the game tonight I though it would be best to not go overboard. Setting the machine to just a plain row I planned to row on the highest resistance (10) for the complete 5 minutes keeping the stroke rate above 30 strokes per minute which I managed to do. In the last minute of the row I increased and held the stroke rate at 35 strokes per minute.

To finish my sessions I moved onto the resistance bikes to cycle for a period of 10 minutes. My aim with this exercise was a really simple one, basically push myself as hard as I could on a resistance level of six for the full ten minutes and see how far I could ride. I managed to keep the rpm above 90 throughout the entire 10 minutes and covered a distance of 4.32 km.

After finishing the session I headed over to the stretching area and proceeded to work through all the muscle groups in my legs ensuring that I would stretch out any tightness and fatigue (which my legs were definitely feeling). Holding all stretches for 30 seconds on each leg I worked through my hamstrings, glutes, lower back, quads, groin and calves with various exercises on each group. Every cardio session I do I am always going to make sure I spend a good 10 minutes at the end stretching, I am finding as I get older when I don’t stretch and cool down properly I end up getting a lot tighter and the amounts of injuries I sustain also increases. I am hoping to get through the entire 13 week challenge injury free, stretching will definitely help with this.

Tomorrow is a weights session, my body is feeling pretty good today from a tightness point of view so I am looking forward to getting up and smashing out a good session first thing in the morning. I know the small victory I had today with managing to get a cardio session done is only going to beneficial if it is followed up by making the gym tomorrow for my weights session, so hopefully I can achieve this and not let myself down.

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