Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Getting the (not so) Good news - you are what you eat!

Despite a fairly active last few months with a regular commitment to serious circuit training on Thursdays, spin class on Tuesdays & strength sessions on a Monday my Nuffield Health MOT didn't go too well today. Nearly 2kg up from where I thought I should be and with an increased belly-hip ratio, we know exactly where that extra weight is - and unfortunately it's not in the old 'muscle is heavier than fat' story. The sad truth is I've been eating a lot and a lot of what I've been eating has been rubbish... I guess it's time to really start paying attention to the re-fuelling strategy, as I don't think I can afford to spend any more time training at the moment. You should probably sell your Dorito shares about now...

Monday, 19 August 2013

uh oh!

So, 6 x 250m on the ergometer @ 1:30/500m pace.... You should have taken that bet!

I gave it a wee bash today at lunch time, with a fairly easy warm-up, some upper body moves (pull-ups & dips if you must know) and some stretching.

1. Set the erg up for 250m and row at a quickish pace, but still breathing... 1 min 06 sec with an end pace of 2:13 / 500m.

ok, so that means that 1:30 / 500m is quite a bit quicker than my normal pace.

Let's go balls out to see how far away...

2. Perform 3 sets @ maximum pace whilst maintaining some semblance of form...

Time Pace / 500m

It's not getting any quicker as we practice and it's a long way from 1:30 / 500m and that's not at the end of a hard PT workout and it's only half the challenge... uh oh!

Friday, 16 August 2013

A New & Interesting Remote Challenge

I've got an old rugby mate who live in Melbourne, who seems to be going through his own form of mid-life crisis with some pretty tough sounding personal training. He just posted that they finished a session with 6x250m sprints on the ergometer @ 1:30/500m pace... If you haven't tried it, that's bloody hard going by any standards. Right now I don't even think I could do that pace, never mind hold it for 250m then repeat it 5 times.... but I bet I can before the end of October... Game on!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Maggie's monster

Can't believe I forgot to mention this, but I completed the gold level of Maggie's monster bike and hike with 2 great friends in May this year. I was really looking forward to it as an event since the turn of the year, but a chest infection in March, which knocked me for 6 had cast a fairly big shadow of doubt over my participation. In the end I got some fairly powerful anti-biotics and was better with 3 weeks to go... not the greatest ever training program. Fortunately my team mates agreed to a trial run 2 weeks out from the event and Finlay planned a circular route from Callander, which included 2 hours cycling in the rain then a hike from Callander out to Balquidder and back over Glen Finglas to Brig O'Turk, before hitting the road along the South side of Loch Venacher back to Callander.

Hill walking & Scottish Weather - always a challenge!
I think we learned an awful lot about ourselves on that - and it dawned on us just how big an undertaking the Monster was going to be... The only thing to do from then on was diet carefully, do a bit more cardio work without overdoing it and concentrate on stretching for strength & flexibility.

Wasn't able to do justice to the early morning light unfortunately

For the event we cycled from Fort William to Fort Augustus on a glorious Saturday morning, after having seen it lash with rain for all of Friday. It had snowed overnight and Nevis Range was as stunning a backdrop as you could imagine as we followed the Caledonian Canal footpath for about 20 miles, before getting into 5 miles of reasonably challenging & occasionally technical mountain biking - with not a few moments of utter joy free wheeling down through forestry tracks.

After parking the bikes at Fort Augustus and donning the walking gear, the rain started and stayed with us for the next 6 hours as we trudged up the West side of Loch Ness. Chatting with our fellow 'competitors' though was entertaining and inspirational as we heard so many stories of people who had recovered from cancer and were walking or those who were doing so in tribute to friends or family members that had lost their battle with this awful disease.

From Drumnadrochit to Inverness was an overnight adventure through forestry trails and about as strange a thing as I'll ever do. Who wouldn't be touched by the kindness of the volunteers who were manning tea tents in the middle of nowhere. Walking from the darkest part of the night towards the lights of Inverness and a slow breaking dawn was a high I'll never forget, and 23 hours 21 minutes after setting off, we crossed the finish line to the slight whiff of bacon butties in the distance and the satisfied feeling of a good job, well done.

You can still donate to the cause here.

Endurance Events and the mid-life crisis

As I head further into my forties now I find myself more and more drawn to endurance sports. It seems to be a common theme amongst us middle aged men, as the 21st century is becoming the age of the MAMIL (middle aged men in Lycra). I'm hugely impressed by my fellow odd balls who drag themselves through pain barriers to complete 10km, half marathon, marathon and ultra- marathon events, sometimes I even get jealous when someone completes a novel new challenge that I hadn't had the imagination to have already considered for myself. It doesn't bode well for aging gracefully!

Attended an interesting talk last night though by Mark Cooper who had a slightly different, almost non-competitive, perspective on life, happiness and endurance eventing. He's set me thinking! He got into endurance events as a way of getting focus and shaking off his mental & physical flabbiness. I liked the term, mental flabbiness - I wonder if I don't suffer a fair bit of that at times. Running replaced smoking as an addiction for Mark, but finding a job that he loves has meant that he doesn't depend on having a running event to aim for... which is just as well really, as each time his events get bigger and having run from Amsterdam to Barcelona already, that could get out of control quite quickly I imagine.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

August 2013 Weigh-In

What you can't measure, you can't control.