So after a run-free week I had a bit of a slow re-introduction to it this week. I only managed to get out for one and a half of my runs (partly due to locking myself out of the house, but more about that later!). I’m a bit all over the place with my workout schedule at the moment – I can only fit all of my sessions in if everything is just right… and that’s no way to be – it’s too stressful. If one plan moves out, pretty much my whole schedule is thrown out.
I wish I was more chilled out about it, but I’m not. I do sometimes get in a bit of an “all or nothing” frame of mind, and it’s a bit of a downward spiral then. In truth, exercise is one of the only things that keeps me almost confident. If I can’t do it, I start feeling a little down about myself, and then I don’t want to exercise and just want to slob around instead. Not fun.
But I try to snap myself out of it, and most of the time it works. Then I wonder what all the negativity was about. Does this happen to anyone else?
Anyway, onto this week’s workouts…
Week 10: 2nd to 8th March 2015
Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – CrossFit 6am. Our skill element was some handstand practice; there are two main up-side-down moves in CrossFit, one is handstand push-up, and the other (coincidentally one of the big moves that always comes up at some point in competitions) is the handstand walk. For the latter, you need to be able to do a handstand away from the wall, so that’s what we were building up to. Coach Phem got me trying to move my hands further away from the wall, keeping it just as a safety net, and I managed to hold a free-standing handstand for a couple of seconds after trusting myself to come away from the wall – super happy! After that we did 6 x 8 front squats at 70% 1RM. I worked at 52.5kg. The WOD was a 7 min AMRAP of:
1 box jump (20″)
1 sit up
What can I say? This was pretty horrible. You can’t really get into a rhythm with any of the movements when there’s just 1 rep of each – it certainly makes you learn quicker ways of transitioning between the moves. The hardest part for me was getting down and up from sit-ups to standing… 29 times! Good flexibility would definitely help here.
I finished up with a white chocolate shake from MyProtein mixed up in my Promixx blender (god I love this thing!). I’ve been wondering if the delay between finishing a workout and having my breakfast might be affecting my recovery, so I’m going to trial having a protein shake after each workout and see how I get on.
Wednesday – CrossFit 6am. We got straight in with the strength element after our warm up and mobility today; good old bench press. We don’t usually have a specifically set out warm up protocol, but today it was set out for us to do 10 reps with an empty bar, 8 reps at 50%, 6 reps at 60%, then 6 x 8 at 70% 1RM. I worked at 35kg. The WOD was a pretty brutal chipper of:
50 wall balls (7kg)
40 american KB swings (24kg)
There was a 15 minute time-cap, which I was really close to finishing within… until it came to the handstand push-ups (HSPU). The 24kg kettlebell swings were really tough – we usually work with 16kg, and I’d scaled the pull-ups to supine rows (because I’m rubbish at pull-ups). I’d managed to get to the wall with a couple of minutes to spare, but then the wheels fell off. I managed four kipping HSPU in about a minute, but then it took me ages to the get the next two out, and I kept failing to get my hip drive to get me up there. I got so frustrated with myself and ended up swearing and groaning! With only four left to do the time ran out. Boo!
Run 6:30pm. I was lucky to be invited to take part in the Race For Life this year. The Cancer Research UK Race For Life 5k was my very first race back in 2008, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. At the time I was fortunate enough not to have had much experience of cancer, but in the last few years I’ve had a few people close to me be diagnosed, including my dad – twice. Because of that, the cancer charities are more dear to me now and I am pleased to be able to support them when I can.
Race For Life and their sponsors very kindly sent me a lovely parcel with a RFL kit and some snacks and treats to keep me going in training (thank you RFL team!). I took the kit for a spin today and clocked up a nice and pink 5 miles.
Race For Life have also given me a code which will give 20 lucky users £2 off entry to a Race For Life race. This code can only be used 20 times, so act quickly if you want to take advantage! I’m racing the Epping 10k on Wednesday 15th July, so feel free to join me there or find your local race. Sign up here and use RFLFit for discounted entry.
Thursday – Rest day
Friday – CrossFit 6am. Today was the second WOD of the CrossFit Games Open – 15.2, which was a repeat of 14.2 last year… but before that, we started with some muscle up progressions. We did assisted kipping by starting with a band underneath us, almost like sitting in a swing, and then using our hips to help us drive up to the bottom of a dip. Much harder work than it sounds. After that we had some time to warm up ready for the WOD. It went like this:
3 minutes to perform 2 rounds of:
10 x overhead squats (43/30kg)
10 x chest to bar pull-ups
If you completed the required work, you rested for the remaining time and then had another 3 minutes to perform 2 rounds of:
12 x overhead squats (43/30kg)
12 x chest to bar pull-ups
This was the RX (prescribed) WOD. But as I’ve already mentioned my pull-ups are rubbish, so chest to bar was never going to happen. Not only that, but my limited mobility means overhead squats are also a bit rubbish. So I chose to do the scaled version, which replaced chest to bar pull-ups with ordinary chin over bar pull-ups, a lower weight of 30/20kg, and also started with 6 reps, then 10, then 12, etc.
I practised a few of each movement, and to my surprise my squats were getting below parallel with comfort. I was still leaning forwards slightly, but not to a point of stress. And I was actually getting my chin clearly over the bar with single pull-ups! The clock started and I knew it would be a struggle to get the first 3 minutes’ work done. Sure enough my 3 minutes was up and I hadn’t made it through the two rounds, in fact I’d only done 19 reps. But for me, a small victory. My first WOD with proper kipping pull-ups, and I wasn’t getting no-repped for my squats! YAY!
Saturday – Rest day. I had a busy day at my dad’s college’s U18s semi-final rugby match for the Natwest Schools’ Cup, held at Allianz Park. The boys won with a slow first half but really impressive second half and are now through to the finals, being held at Twickenham in a couple of weeks – good luck guys! It was so inspiring it almost made me want to try rugby, then I remembered I’m a wimp.
Saturday night I went out for dinner with some friends from Mike Samuels’ Free Fat Loss with Healthy Living Heavy Lifting group on Saturday night. We went to Four Two Eight in Covent Garden and I had the most delicious lamb with caponata, followed by sweet potato ice cream (yes really!). The restaurant was beautiful and the food was amazing!
Sunday – Run 8:30am. I ran with my lovely friend Zanna, who’s running her very first obstacle race in April. We did a nice 4 mile run along the Flitch Way, which used to be a train line – it even still has one of the old station houses and a platform! I was supposed to do another 5-6 miles once I got home, so dropped my stuff off and left the house… only the door wouldn’t lock. I’d managed to turn the key in the barrel halfway and couldn’t turn it back to open it, or turn it forward to lock it. So there I was, stuck outside the house with no phone to call my fiancé, and no way I could leave the house unlocked. I did an extra mile of strides outside my house, but then got fed up (it’s that all or nothing thing again!) so stretched in the sun until Darren got home.
When he got home we headed out to the Wimpole Estate National Trust centre. We both love walking and the National Trust centres are fantastic ways to see the country. We visited the farm, and then took a walk around the gardens. We’re both now members so can go to any National Trust centre in the country for free (or discounted). I’d thoroughly recommend joining; membership helps the NT look after and run the centres for us all to enjoy.
Weekly Miles: 10 miles
Running Total: 105 miles… finally over that 100 miles mark!
2015 Fitness Goals Progress
|Running||Twice per week||On track (one joker used!)|
|Inversions||Unsupported hand/handstand (end Q1)||Can hold unsupported (for a second or two!) once up|
|Pullups||5 strict (end Q2)||2 underhand grip|
|Squat Depth||Below parallel (end Q4)||Air squat 3/4 depth|
|Clean & Jerk||Body weight (end Q4)||60/72.5kg… slowly creeping up!|
|Snatch||2/3 body weight||40/47.5kg|