Monday, 28 June 2010

Fitness focus

As last week was mainly about weight loss this week mainly isn't!

Though on that subject it went pretty well. I don't know the final scores, as I've spent the last 2 days in Swaledale eating whatever I wanted, but the rest of the week went well and back on focus today. May update later in the week on this.

Now, to the running & fitness:

Almost a rest day after yesterday's long run. Just did 3.75 miles very, very slowly with Bethan. She definitely struggles in the heat and running after school.

Club run in the evening. Did a hilly 7.5 miles with the intermediate group. Relatively hard work because of hills, less stops than I've got used to with the steady group and above all the heat. Good though.

Went to the gym in the evening to pick up my weights programme. All pretty straightforward and I enjoyed it. Did 4/5 sets of 10 for each exercise so should be able to increase the weight.

A long day. Was away by 5.30am to drive to Hampshire and back. Then in the evening did an enjoyable hill training session at Boddington. No DOMS from weights.

Surprised myself by being up before six in order to get to the gym to do a weights session. Upped all the weights from Wednesday and managed fine. Greatest limiter is the amount of weight I can lift over my head to rest on shoulders for squats. Got back and had a trip to Warwick and back before packing the car and heading to Swaledale camping.

Up by six to do a sluggish run to Hurst and back. 6 miles precisely. I think I need a good 45 minutes before my body is loose enough to run properly! Followed that with a 3hr round trip back home to pick up the sleeping matt I'd forgotten! In the afternoon we went for a walk from Reeth along the river beyond Grinton then back beyond Reeth to loop back via the suspension bridge. Pub in the evening for Gammon & chips and apple & blackberry crumble for pudding!

Up before six am to go for another early run. Planned a route based on yesterday's walk in part but had to make a couple of detours where the footpath was helpfully blocked by cut down trees and where an absence of signs (or map on my part) made it tricky. Went from Grinton along the river beyond Reeth to the next road bridge then looped back along the road through Reeth. Came in at a slow 6.11 miles. Did a pleasant but hot walk in Arkengarthdale in the afternoon before a visit to an ice cream parlour!

So, some long days but decent output. Had the slightest hint of groin trouble so need to re-start the core work; though I suspect it could be as much a product of sitting driving for many hours a day as any running or weights.

Monday, 21 June 2010

First week back

First week back on track went OK. Biggest challenge was illness. Not sure whether it was viral or stress induced IBS. Maybe a bit of both. Anyway, here's how it panned out:

A rest day after the previous day's long run and over on my calorie target but logging it all and in the weight loss zone.

Managed to win back the calorie surplus from Monday and still fit in a meal out with work (beef baguette, salad and chips). Felt a little under the weather in the afternoon and very gassy so wondered if the club run would be OK. In the event it was. Set off virtually at 10k pace to test myself and was fine so left the group and ran on my own to increase the miles - 7.6 miles at 8.00m miles.

Broadly on target calorie wise and went for another run at dinner time. Did 4.6 miles but found it incredibly tough. Assumed it was heat and previous night's run but with hindsight may also have been a virus.

Still feeling a bit under the weather and gassy again but on target calorie wise and did speed training in the evening. Was on the track at Carnegie and did 8 x 3 minutes at 5k pace with 1.5 minutes rest between. Went OK but I was behind people I might have thought I'd be up with. Weigh in that morning was nearly 5lb down since Monday.

Here's where it got more challenging. Felt a bit jaded and gassy during the day but went to the gym early evening. Managed 20 minutes on the cross trainer but really struggled to do even that. In the evening had really bad stomach and back cramps.

Felt a little better first thing and went to the gym to get a weights programme worked out. Managed only 3 minutes on the cross trainer - no energy in me. Abdominal cramps came back until early evening. Over ate considerably on bread as I'd heard that if its viral or bacterial you need to send a good amount of fibre through to clear it out.

Felt 90% better and did 13 miles in the morning, slightly faster than last week, then 4.5 miles walk in the afternoon. No aches or strains from either so very pleased with that.

Overall I have to be pleased with the week. It threw up some challenges in the form of illness but the exercise didn't suffer too badly and calorie wise I was just about OK for the week.

Beth and Sue each lost just over half a pound which is good but they might have hoped for a fraction more. Mind you they're each just trying to eat more healthily rather than logging what they eat.

Overall result - 3.8lb off.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Now the pressure is on

I should have hit my weight loss target a long time ago.

By late April to be precise.

Yet here I am in mid-June and its looking a long way away.

The last 3 weeks echo the results and sentiment of the entry below. I've done no core work, haven't been to the gym, missed a couple of runs, haven't logged what I've eaten, have eaten a number of very unhealthy meals and snacks and have even missed a couple of scheduled runs.

I could come up with a number of excuses/justifications: I had a cold for a couple of weeks, hay fever, felt stressed from work, didn't sleep well for a week, stayed away with work, stayed away on a farm for a long weekend enjoying cream teas, puddings and cooked breakfasts....but the truth is I've been a bit slack and let things stop me. Once something breaks my virtuous circle the wheels fall all too easily off.

I said in the entry below that I respond best when I have a target. I believe that's at its most accurate when the target is close and I have the pressure of being 'up against it'. That's true for far more than weight loss as I was the same with exams and still am with regards to work deadlines.

I'm up against it now. To get to 11 stones I'd be looking at early September, though I suspect I'll lose enough water and 'food in transit' this week that late August will be more accurate.

I have 3 things now helping me:

1) Running is going OK as I managed 13 miles yesterday with no ill effects.
2) Its now a family thing with joint weigh ins and measuring each week.
3) I've found the scales were set incorrectly so my body fat percentage was far lower than I'd previously thought.

The family approach looks like being a huge help and the scales settings mean that I may not now go for a target as low as 11 stones.

We shall see!