Archive for the ‘Gym’ Category

Insane in the Portslade   1 comment

I thought I’d better get back to the gym after a three week break as I am paranoid I shall lose my leg muscles again. I was pleased to discover I could do everything at the same weight as before so everything is ok. I was less pleased when I arrived at track in the evening and remembered it is difficult to run having been to the gym in the morning. Although I tried I was completely unable to keep with Mark and Rick in the 4 minutes kilometre group. This week we had to do the 1000 in 4 minutes then 2 x 500 in half the time minus 5 seconds so 1.55 in my case. As I couldn’t keep with Mark and Rick I had no idea of my pace except what my watch told me and I don’t think it’s very good on the track. Too many corners and not much real movement in a GPS sense. Bob confirmed this by telling Joel and I at the end that we were too erratic and thus had rendered our session useless. Ooops. Sorry Joel!

On Wednesday I was able to go to the Arena tempo run after last week’s bicycle breaking ruination. I had a plan to run at 7mm again this time with Joe but when it came down to it I just stayed at the back with Andy doing 7.45 – 8mm as he was tapering for Beachy Head marathon on Saturday. Thus it was a pleasant chat-speed run and a good solid 9 miles in the bank all told.

Thursday was a break from the norm with a visit to the wizard in the morning followed by an exercise class in the evening. I had been invited to try Insanity so I would then write about it for the West Hove Directory. Having done most sorts of classes going I thought it can’t be that hard. It was. It was like circuit training but continuous with only a 30 second rest every 4 revolutions of 3 different 30s exercises followed by a minute of “power” moves which seems mainly to be jumping. Obviously I got stuck in with gusto from the off which meant I was well and truly dead by about half way through (25 minutes or so). I began to massively rue thinking it would be a good idea to go to the gym on Monday (and was very glad I hadn’t been this morning). I reached a point where my legs just had nothing left so had to wibble about jellily for the second half. It was an excellent class but doesn’t mix well with gymming and running. Or it didn’t for me anyway. I could tell it was hard as I was already DOMSing before I’d even finished, so technically I suppose that’s just MSing. After crawling home I put my calf sleeves on my upper arms which had taken an almighty beating. Psychosomatic. Addict. Insane. Except there was quite clearly a reason for my all over brokenness.

On Friday I had planned to do a LSR but after the Insanity I had to cut it down to a SSR, partly for recovery, partly because I couldn’t be bothered to drag my sorry form any further.

Saturday meant parkrun. Obviously. I am still trying to make my way back down to sub 20.30 pre Brooks 10k. I managed to knock a tiny bit off my recent times with 20.49. I am hoping that, like the past, if I am consistent for a few weeks then I shall suddenly jump down by 30 seconds or so. The last 4 I have run have been within 7 seconds of each other which is really consistent for me so I’d better pull that sub 20.30 out of the bag soon.

This morning I joined a merry band of fellow Arenas on a LSR. It is so much easier to run with other people. It was stupidly windy in one direction which was still horrible but at least there were others to share the pain. 13 miles at an average 8.47mm, though the middle 8 were sub 8.30 (wind permitting).

All in all this was a good week with a variety of runs and strength things. Somehow I ran 40 miles.

Too much (too young[old])   3 comments

Monday morning: Gym. Monday evening: Track. Bob was away so Steve was in charge which turned out to be excellent as paarlaufs were on the agenda. 500s and 300s. Six of each. I paired with Rick as he is about the same speed as me (especially on these as I am better at the short stuff). Nothing more to be said really other than I love paarlaufs.

On Tuesday I went MyRiding again. This time I decided to try and keep within the suggested RPM which meant I had to put my resistance down a bit sometimes. I am not very good at making my legs go fast (ditto whilst trying to do fast feet at track). I just about managed to stay in the right zone most of the time. Cycling to and from involves two big up hills so a good workout all told.

The first Wednesday of October meant it was back to the seafront for winter tempo runs. As there is a lot of work being done on the prom by the West Pier we took a different route to the Peace Statue and then all the way along to Carat’s Café. The run was broken up into 3 sections of approximately 2.5 miles each. This was the perfect distance to be able to keep up my effort knowing that there was a brief rest at the end as we regrouped (brief as I was near the back of the group). I was very pleased to discover that I managed the full run at a consistent 4.22(ish)mpkm. Over all this run totalled 9 miles including the jog to and from the start. The gym and LSRs are beginning to kick in I think.

Even though I had run well on Wednesday I thought I had better get out for the planned LSR on Thursday morning anyway. I managed 12.5 miles but I could definitely feel yesterday’s run and it was quite a struggle, especially as I made it too hilly. In the evening I went to the Hove Park session and put in some effort. Unfortunately regardless of effort my legs were shot so even though I felt like I was going fast I obviously wasn’t as I was right at the back. This session was hills hills hills which was excellent as Steve made us do some hills as a warm up. 21 all together. My poor legs.

I rested on Friday but one day wasn’t enough and parkrun rolled around once more to be run on tired legs. This week I decided to go by heart rate as that is after all why I bought a HR watch. I set it to buzz to keep me in the target zone of “speed” which is 80-90% effort, 166 – 187bpm. This I did with an average of 179bpm. Unfortunately this did not equate to a speedy run. 20.50 which was about the same as when I ran last time. I shall attempt to run at a higher heart rate next time though I was already nearing 90% if the technology is to be believed. Oh well, if I explode at least I shall know I tried for once.

Today was the return of the Lewes Downland 10 Mile race though this time I would not be racing it rather just using it as a training run to force myself to do some hills and off road both of which I don’t like. I trotted home a mere 9 minutes slower than last year. I didn’t enjoy any of it bar the last 400 metres downhill on grass but I’m sure it has done me some good. Although currently I just feel knackered.

I must now attempt to rest a bit in preparation for Thursday’s track 10k.

44 miles for the week.

Positivity   Leave a comment

I think I went to the gym on Monday. I definitely went to track in the evening. This week’s session was an evil concoction of Bob’s involving long reps broken down into alternate stretches of tempo and fast running. So the first was 1200 broken in to 300t, 300f, 300t, 300f. Then with 400s, then 500s, then 400s and 300s to finish. It was unpleasant and I was too slow to keep with my normal group (which adds evidence to the feeling I went to the gym in the morning).

On Tuesday I did a spin class at Withdean Gym with Rob, who turns out to be a total spinmeistergeneral, who put me to shame. However it was good for me to do something different and notwithstanding the Wiggoesque nature of Rob I still worked hard.

Having cycled on Tuesday I needed to get a LSR in on Thursday so this I duly did. It was long and slow and a run so success! Managed 13 miles on the seafront at an average pace of 8.43 which I was pleased with especially as it was rather windy and I’m still not fully back to routine long runs. In the evening I went to the Arena Hove Park intervals session that I haven’t been to for ages. I was a bit worried I might be dead after the morning but in fact I was not and put in a good session. Perhaps not particularly fast but I put in the effort which is the main thing.

On Friday I definitely did go to the gym. I really wanted to go up a notch on the leg press but due to Thursday double day I wasn’t able to. However I did all the usual stuff so that will do.

Today (Saturday) it was the Goodwood Cross Country relay which heralds the start of the cross country season. It’s always strange when this race is run in hot and summery weather but it was once again this year. This time I ran 3rd leg which I don’t think I’ve done before. It meant that I was running by myself but there were a few people within catching distance and in fact I overtook 4 people which I was pleased with. I was pleased with my run as a whole as I tried throughout and for the first time EVER felt like I actually RAN up the hill. Hoorah! All this gymming is paying off.

The leg one ladies are off! Thanks Tom for the photo.

The leg one ladies are off! Thanks Tom for the photo.

I think my time was roughly 20 seconds slower than my PB which is good as I’m still not back into full long run mode and I was not motivated by being on leg one and surrounded by people or by having been given a MASSIVE head start, meaning I was in the lead and being terrified of losing it.

A pleasing week and 27 miles in the bag.

Stuff (and possibly nonsense)   Leave a comment

On Sunday it was time for Hellingly 10k. My first race for ages in an attempt to get faster. Emily very kindly gave me a lift so we arrived in plenty of time to collect our numbers.

Emily and I pre Hellingly 10k Pre Hellingly 10k

I didn’t have a plan for my race rather I was happy just to see what happened and would not care how fast or otherwise I was. It was a nice warm day so very pleasant for a pootle through the countryside. This course is reasonably hilly and I knew I’m in no shape for a fast time so I just tried to make sure I kept trying throughout. I made a conscious effort to use the downhills, which I did, but it made no real difference as I don’t seem to have any speed at the moment. Never mind. I kept the effort up so there isn’t really anything else to be done until the speed returns. I finished in 45.05 which is acceptable.

On Monday of course it was track. The session was 800t, 300f, 800t. 300f, 800t, 300f x 2 with the 800s at tempo pace and the 300s fast. As I was in my usual group I was able to stick with Duncan and Rick for a good consistent session.

Tuesday was back to the gym. Must keep my legs strong.

I managed to go for a run after work on Wednesday. It was only 7 miles at a slow pace but at least I did it.

Same on Thursday morning. Very slow to Yellowave and back. About 8 miles.

Friday was another trip to the gym.

All this meant by today (Saturday) I was pretty tired. After setting my watch to various different things I wasn’t really feeling up to I opted for the traditional split at every k. I tried my traditional go out fast approach but even though I thought I had I only reached 1k in 4.01. Gone are the days of a 3.45 first kilometre. Ho hum. I knew even though slow it was still too fast. Lo! Rick and Duncan caught me around 3k as usual but this time I worked to keep with them as I wanted to replicate our three in a row Arena finish a la last week. It seemed much more crowded where we were this week so it looked like getting the trio would be tricky but I was determined to keep with Rick and Duncan anyway. Somehow we did it! Arena row #2! Whoop! Even when a man pushed in between Duncan and I in the funnel I managed to get him to take the tag after Duncan instead to keep the line intact.

After cycling home I immediately embarked on a 12 mile LSR. I had to go straight away or otherwise I wouldn’t have gone at all but it meant I was starving from the start having only eaten a Mule bar pre parkrun. It was a mightily unpleasant experience and I stopped dead as soon as my watch buzzed to let me know I’d done 20k, even though I wasn’t home. I shan’t do it again but it was a case of having to get it in when I could as I know I shan’t tomorrow after being up very early to help at the Arena 10k.

36 miles for the week.

Something to report   2 comments

To continue keeping up a decent weekly mileage and having a day off I started Monday with a 7 mile run. It was very slow and I felt tired but my legs felt strong. I’m still getting used to having proper legs again and it was good to feel them NOT knocking into each other in a spindly style as I made my slow way along the seafront. I had already decided that this week I wouldn’t go to the gym as I think it is important to let my legs have time to reap the benefits which means not thrashing them in the gym every week (just thrashing them by running instead … ahem …). Of course as it was Monday I also had track to contend with in the evening. I joined my trusty band of running mates and thought I’d do my usual and try and follow Rick (I think he is fed up of this but hey ho). After a 1k warm up Bob set us off on 5 x 1300 with the first 1000 tempo with a wind up last 300. Arg! This was hard as long reps. I have no idea what speeds we were doing but I remained in about the same place each time and know that everyone (bar me) in the group is good at pacing so assume I was consistent enough throughout. A reasonable double day over all.

On Tuesday I went to visit my old running friend Rob who has become a rampant gym goer whilst being injured. I joined him in his new habitat. It is sooooo modern compared with my gym! It had actual people in it too whereas mine tends to be emptier. Anyway I didn’t really do much as I was knackered after Monday but I did end up doing 5k on the treadmill after I had to leave the elliptical machine as I can’t coordinate my limbs for it.

Rob capturing the moment I remembered how much I hate the cross trainer

Rob capturing the moment I remembered how much I hate the cross trainer

Wednesday was a long run. Well it was supposed to be but ended up being just over 10 miles. Not too bad though as I wanted to do well at the track 5000 on Thursday. My pace was very slow again as well which is fine for now as I’m just trying to get my weekly mileage back up to a decent number.

Thursday rolled around which meant it was time for Tom’s annual 5000 track race.

The 5000 posse pre race

The 5000 posse pre race

I hadn’t even really thought about this and suddenly it was time. I did my shoelaces up a bit tighter as I think their looseness isn’t helping my dodgy calf/Achilles as I am probably scrunching my foot up a bit to hold shoe on (not that it would actually fall off). I felt good from the off and even overtook some people after about 1k as I knew I could go faster (usually I stay behind for fear of going to fast and dying later). Only one person re-overtook which I knew would happen anyway. Foolishly I hadn’t set my watch to beep at each k so I didn’t really know where I was but could see my average pace was 4.04 per k so this boded well for an acceptable time. Once I received the last lap shout (thank you Mr Cartledge) I did a traditional Muir wind up and windmill-sprint which brought me home in a quite unexpected 20.10. This was pleasing as my best run for ages. I had felt strong all the way in leg, mind and lung which is a rare occurrence indeed.

On Friday I rested.

Today I ran Preston Park parkrun in 21.09. Was putting in a good effort but was unable to produce any speed.

Pushing the invisible shopping trolley of slowness. Thanks Rob for the photo.

Pushing the invisible shopping trolley of slowness. Thanks Rob for the photo.

Hellingly 10k tomorrow.


A better week   Leave a comment

Monday was back to track after a week of due to bank holiday. I cycled over straight form work which meant I was early enough to get a mile warm up in even after stopping to help a man on a Brompton whose chain snapped as he tried to burn me off at the traffic lights. This week’s session was (3x) 1000, 800, 500 with the final 500 of each rep being fast. Rick took out the first set which meant it was well paced with a distinct change in speed at the last-500 point. I was assigned the task of pacing the middle set which meant I went too fast on the first bit, slowed down around 10 metres from the last 500, sped up for 10 metres into the fast 500 then went back to the same speed as the rest of it. Fail. Good to know after 6 or so years I can still not be trusted. Sorry Rick! For the last set Rick said he’d pace the tempo beginning parts then I could go on the fast bits but alas I could not because I was knackered by this stage. Sorry Rick! (Again.) Regardless of my dodgy pacing this was a good session and started me off well with 7 miles in the bag (remember I set a goal to run 30 miles this week in RunKeeper).

On Tuesday I kept up the momentum by getting straight out for a LSR, well more of a MSR really as it was only 10 miles but better than anything I’ve done recently. Although it was rather slow it wasn’t as bad as I feared and a good chunk of the way to 30 miles for the week. In the evening I went bouldering with Lydia. Having not been for ages I was rubbish. We did both manage a one hold yellow on the duck through “sheer bloody-mindedness” as Lydia so succinctly and eloquently put it.

Wednesday was a rest (work) day.

On Thursday I went to the gym before work and managed to do the leg press properly which I was a bit worried about due to actually having done some running in the preceding days. In fact I managed everything which is good and proves that my legs are getting stronger. I can tell they are anyway. No knock kneedness and I can cycle properly and uphill without having to go into the lowest gear. Splendid.

Friday was time for another LSR. This time it just about warranted the title being just under 13 miles. After about 6 I was truly knackered as my heart rate attested to as it informed me I was in the “Sprint” zone even though I was over 9 minute miling. At least I managed it and on my own too which makes it feel infinitely harder. I had the dulcet tones of Netsky to help me onwards though and the stink of the sewage works a few miles from the end to keep my spirits up. There didn’t seem to be any runners out. I suppose summer is over and it’s not quite marathon training season yet which is when they all appear. I finally dragged my weary carcass home pleased that, although really hard, I had managed a decent distance.

Post LSR woe

Post LSR woe

On Saturday I went to Preston Park parkrun as usual. As this week was all about getting some decent mileage in I wasn’t worried about my speed so set my watch to just record my run and set off with Duncan. We stayed together the whole way round and rolled in around 21.30 which was completely fine for my purposes.

Today I went to the gym before work and went up a notch (20lbs) on the leg press so distinct progress is being made. I must keep up the long runs and decent mileage weeks then, along with my newly strong legs, I should be getting back to some acceptably quick times soonish.

Hip raise bar

Hip raise bar

34 miles running this week, one bouldering outing and two gym sessions. Good.

Running nil   Leave a comment

The race I was due to do when at my sister’s was called off so I took this as an omen that I should just rest. I sort of did but as I was playing with two children for two days it was actually rather knackering.

I was supposed to be doing a 1500 at Withdean when I returned on Wednesday but I felt very tired and coldy (I got spectacularly rained on on the way to the station on Tuesday) and knew that if I did go I would be miles off my target time of sub 5.30. So yet another day of rest (three in a row – wowzers).

Although I am still out of love with running and feeling tired and sneezing like a goit I thought I should at least get to the gym on Thursday morning to continue the leg muscle developing so when I eventually start running again I have proper legs on which to do it. Since I have started I have moved up 40lbs on the leg press and managed 3 x 12 reps at 260lbs which is good progress (I think). I have also increased my calf raise weight by a kilo to 16lbs (sorry for the mix of weight types but some are in lbs and some in kilos).

Today (Sunday) I shall try and increase both the leg press and calf weight along with the hip raises which is currently 40kgs. Although my legs must be stronger they still the same. I started a gym-goers rant but decided I probably should just be pleased are going even if they aren’t actually doing anything but think they have so treat themselves to a massive curry afterwards thus meaning they end up fatter than they would if they didn’t go to the gym at all. Oh, looks like I failed not to rant after all…

Friday was yet more rest. Though the evening saw the return of the annual Arena volleyball tournament.

The volleyballers

The volleyballers

volleyball action

Action! (Inaction in my case.)

I keep forgetting how cold it is at Yellowave and how much I don’t enjoy team sports. I just stood freezing in the sand until it was all over. My team managed the prestigious position of second last.

On Saturday I decided to test the lap function on my watch setting it to alert me of my pace every 500m which should be around 2 minutes. Weirdly although it did indeed beep at 500m it then gave me my pace for a k ie 3.57 for the first 500. Of course this is fine for something so easy to calculate as 4 minute ks but not as helpful as I had hoped. Not that it mattered as I was already dead at 500 and had dropped off target pace by 600. This reminded me why I didn’t do Wednesday. Lack of training, too much work, not enough eating (probably) and general coldiness mean I am very slow and weak (and moany) at present. I dragged myself home to an utterly pointless 22.01. Huff. Though shouldn’t huff as I know why yet that never really helps.

Today I did indeed go to the gym and attempted to move up to 280lbs on the leg press. This was completely unsuccessful. As was 260. So I had to drop back to 240. I need to remember that I can’t do heavy leg press twice in a few days. I made up for it by doing calf raises with 10kg instead of 8kg (there was no 9kg weight). This was really hard and I did fear my calves would explode in a crampy mess on the stairs but alas they did not. I also put my hip raise weight up to 50kgs which gave my buttocks a good work out. I dispensed with the leg extension which Matt only put in because I used to love it but I don’t anymore and it isn’t functional so byeeeeeeeeeeeee! I can now do 2 x 10 single leg squats whilst balancing with hands on attached weight bar thing when I could hardly do one to start with so this is good. I’ll have to start throwing in a few more. I even did a bit of stretching afterwards as my calves were so very knackered. I am very much liking the feeling that my legs are getting back to normal. I no longer feel knock kneed whilst running or cycling. I just need to remember the days or so following a session will mean I can’t run as well due to utterly destroyed muscles. Of course in the long run and after a proper few days of rest I shall feel the benefit and spring along like a gazelle on steroids (probably).

A grand total of … wait for it … 4 whole miles this week. This is really really rubbish. I have set up a goal on RunKeeper to run 30 miles next week so hopefully that will spur me in to action. Also I have signed up for four 10ks over the next few months, the first one being Hellingly on 14th September, so this too will help me actually DO some running in the coming weeks (fingers crossed).

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