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 7.km/h 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.

Rounding Out the Year

Day 221 – Monday 31st December 2012

This morning’s session signalled the end of my Fitness Training 2012 regime, to complete the year I hit the gym to do a cross-training regime.

I am quite happy with how the session went, especially considering that when I got up this morning I didn’t overly feel like completing the session. Perth’s heatwave has continued and living in a house with no air conditioning meant that the outside temperature of 40 plus degrees last night was really like 45 degrees inside the apartment. The result of these conditions was a night of disrupted sleep with me waking every couple of hours from only a light sleep to turn the fan back on and in a pool of my own sweat (not very pleasant at all).

I finally did manage to pull myself out of bed at 7:00am (an hour and a half after when I had planned to get up) and due to the temperature already being over 35 degrees I decided to head into the gym to do a cross training session rather than complete a 7km run.

I arrived at the gym a little after 8:00am and headed for the treadmill. Starting on 7.5km an hour I did 5 minutes before increasing the speed to 10km/h for 10 minutes and then finally 12.5km/h for the last five minutes. After 20 minutes I had run 3.31km which would equate to an average of  kilometre every 6 minutes and 3 seconds. I was feeling nicely warmed up by this stage and headed to the rowing machine to complete a 10 minute row. I had decided that I still wasn’t going to push myself too hard on the row and so set out keeping my stroke rate at 30 per minute and an average 500m split of around the 2 minutes and 15 seconds. For the first 8 minutes I managed to maintain this before increasing the work rate for the last 2 minutes to have completed a distance of 2,247m inside the 10 minute timeframe.

Day 221My legs were beginning to feel fatigued from the work put in across the running and the rowing as I headed onto the cycle to complete a 15 minute ride. I alternated the resistance on the bike in two minute intervals beginning with the resistance on 6. My legs were quite fatigued and I found it difficult to sustain a speed above 90 rpm on the level 6 resistance. By the end of the 15 minutes I managed to have ridden a distance of 6.89km, whilst this is a long way beneath my personal best I am aware that I am still only just getting back into the routine.

To complete my workout I moved over to the stretching area and completed three sets of 50 sit ups using a 7kg medicine ball to provide extra resistance. After this I spent a good 10 minutes stretching out my leg muscles to try and help in my recovery before tomorrow’s planned run in the morning.

As the year draws to a close and I look back on my training in 2012 I can honestly say that I have learnt a lot about myself. There is a bit of disappointment that I did have an end of the year where I didn’t really commit to my training, as a result of this I have put on weight and feel incredibly unfit. I am excited though about the prospects moving forward into 2013, the past week has been enjoyable to start to try and get some sort of routine back, I do have a long way to go but feel like it is possible. I am still considering the goals I want to set for myself in fitness and life in general in 2013 as there are many exciting factors outside of control that will come into play. Do I want to try and run a a marathon come August, or do I want to change my regime a little and include cycling and swimming to push for a triathlon? My main focus on training is to try and have a healthy lifestyle, I want to feel good and hopefully extend the length of my life so that I will have more time to spend with my beautiful wife and the children we will have in the future. Whilst these are my focus and main motivation I do know that it is important for me to set some short term goals.

I feel 2013 is going to be a great year for me and my family and friends, on this note I say fair well to the Fitness Training 2012 an hello to my 2013 regime – Pushing the Limits 2013.

 

Taking Baby Steps

Day 219 – Saturday 29th December 2012.

This morning I felt like it was another important step to me getting back into shape with me completing a 7km run around Lake Monger. When my alarm went off at 6:00am the last thing I felt like was getting up, however after some procrastination I managed to pull myself out of bed and got ready for my run. I had thought that this morning I really wouldn’t enjoy the experience as Perth is still in middle of a heat wave and the temperature really hasn’t dropped for the past three days by more than 5 degrees. I was pleasantly surprised when I began my run that I didn’t it find it too hot at all, my legs were quite stiff and it did take me a while to warm up but the heat wasn’t really too much of a distraction.

Day 219Today’s run had the purpose of being a starting point, I wasn’t too interested in the time it would take me but more into whether or not I would complete it. I have experienced the joys in the past of pushing myself too early in a training program only to sustain a slight injury that sets back my progress. It was important as I ran to keep this in mind, especially when having the humbling experience of having other runners run past me whilst I was completing my second lap. This was a new experience for me as in the past I have always been the one who has done the overtaking.

Keeping my focus on just completing the run in a reasonable time, and without injury, I managed to run the 7km in 44 minutes and 28 seconds. This is by far not a blistering speed and well off my personal best times but is a start. It equates to running each km in 6 minutes and 21 seconds, I will aim to get this time down to 6 minute kms as my first goal with an aim of smashing it down to 5 minutes in the next few months. A worthy challenge and achievable goal.

As I write this I can’t help but reflect on where I had gotten to fitness wise towards the end of 2011 to where I am today and everything that has happened inbetween. Some people would feel demotivated to find themselves in a less fit state than 12 months prior. I can’t felt but feel motivated to dedicate myself to getting back there. I can remember from my past experience it isn’t about the one session but the accumulation over a period of time and the baby steps that are taken with each session. Today’s baby step of getting back into a run will only prove beneficial if followed up by another session tomorrow morning. Here’s hoping that I can take that next step as well.

A Disappointing Effort

Day 218 – Friday 28th December 2012.

I would like to be writing this post saying that this morning I was up at 5:00am and completed my planned 10km run. Unfortunately, this is no the case, in a disappointing effort I didn’t complete my run this morning. My alarm went off at 5:15am and instead of getting up I rolled over, turned it off and went back to sleep.

Day 218

They say that you can learn something from every situation and I believe that this is no exception. One of the largest factors for my failing to get up this morning was a failure to go to bed at a reasonable hour last night. I was hoping to go to bed between 10:00 and 10:30pm however got distracted by a movie that came on television which didn’t finish until just before midnight. Five hours sleep always used to be enough for me to be able to function, however in the past year I have found that I can’t function as well off that amount of sleep. I have been working off a six to six and a half hour regime but think that I may need to try and get seven hours sleep a night regularly as I go into 2013. One of the advantages with this next four weeks is that I get to work on finding the “right” bed time for me to be able to not just survive but function at my best in the coming year.

I am sure as the next year progresses I will need to reassess amount of sleep and things will change, but if I  have a plan it is always easier to readjust it after having been proactive than just being purely reactive in all things.

Here’s to a (hopefully) earlier night tonight and a great run tomorrow morning!

Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2009-2017

';