*As this was a Goggins event I thought I would use his suggestion in his book ‘Cant Hurt Me’ and file my challenge review as an AAR, After Action Review.
4x4x48 – After Action Report
Establish the Intent:
The 4x4x48 is a training tool that David Goggins (DG) has been using for however many years – I don’t know. I first heard about it while listening to Jessie Itzler’s book ‘Living with a Seal” as DG puts Jessie through it in the book.
Its a simple format: Run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. If you can’t run you do your chosen alternative activity for 45/60 mins instead.
It became an event that people took part in last year but because of work etc I didn’t even consider it. I first talked about doing it this year with my very good friend Chris James in January – as I knew he’d be up for it and probably already mentally signed up. I then sat down to discuss it with Carl, my husband, at the beginning of Feb (as he would have to take over dog walking duties etc, plus it would just be generally disruptive to his weekend) and once it was clear he was on board I was committed.
Up until the start of Lockdown 1 (23/03/21) my running was pretty ok. I was training for my IronMan and had been running a marathon or Ultra a month since September. I’m not a fast runner but I’m pretty good at staying the course and I’m a stubborn bitch so I will get the distance done. However, as soon as Lockdown hit I stopped running as I wore myself out doing so many online classes trying to keep my fitness business going. That has levelled out as this Covid situation has progressed but I hadn’t run more than 22 miles in any one month, with a couple months registering a big fat zero!
My intent for the event was simple… Align with David Goggins (he started at 8pm Friday, which meant 4am Saturday here) despite it being a pig time wise and finish It. And finish it injury free, with minimum recovery required. I had no pacing goals. Speed, Cadence, Pace etc were not my concern. The aim is to run each lap as a zone 2 run to minimise stress.
Outline the Performance
I met my goal and completed every one of the 12 runs. I stuck to the timing schedule and completed the event as prescribed. Run times ranged from 44min18 to 52min56. I achieved the goal of maintaining a zone 2 HR as much as possible. There were instances of walking to either get out of zone 3, or just because I needed to walk. Again, pace was not part of my game plan so this was not an issue.
Report on the Learning
Positives/ What went well
I met the objective. I completed the challenge and am injury free. Recovery is looking good so far, 16 hours post event finish.
I ran every lap on my own, testing my true mental grit. I wanted to see what happens when its just me. No eyes on me, no one to cajole me alone, no one to cheer me on. I realised that all the things I say in relation to mindset, grit etc are really true. I don’t just talk the talk, I do actually walk the walk.I am proud of myself for this.
While I ran every lap on my own I did have the best pit crew at home. Carl made it so that I didn’t have to think about anything other than running and what to do during the down time. He had coffee, tea, baths waiting as required and made everything that little bit easier.
Forming a team with my 3 fellow badasses was a great idea. We quickly became Team NBR, No Bling Required – which sums up our ethos quite well. We were not together physically but supported each other via our WhatsApp group. The pre run check ins and check outs reminded me I was part of something bigger than just my efforts. Although it was a solo mission, we were still there for each other as all good team people are.
Changing up the route where possible (i.e. during daylight hours) helped break the monotony. (It still got boring though)
Finding two different 1 mile loops that started at my house made me feel safer during night ops, but also gave me at least a little bit of choice.
Kit choices were smart. I have done enough other events to know how to dress for running in all weathers I am fully aware that you need to stay warm and that, once you get cold, it is too late. In the cold icy nights, layers are your friend. I also had the right clothing for running in the dead of night plus a second head torch and spare batteries.
Creating an event schedule that tracked the run times, plus essential warm up timings, hydration requirements and carb/protein intakes ensured I didn’t miss anything key, meaning I enhanced my goal of finishing injury free and minimising my recovery time.
Forming an UK event facebook group (Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge UK (Unofficial) https://www.facebook.com/groups/230741878545765 with Chris, which grew quicker than either of us expected, gave us a sense of community and allowed us to connect with other people who actually get shit done, rather than just talk about it. These are the people I want to know and hopefully even learn from.
Deciding to add a fundraising element, as a team, meant that we got to put something good out in to the world. No member of the team usually does any of the events we do (Obstacle Courses, Marathons/Ultras, Triathlons, Sportive’s etc) We do them purely to test ourselves, or just to have fun with our friends in the mud. We are always asked “oh, why are you doing that? Is it for charity?” so we decided to add that element to this challenge. Not because we needed it, but just because we figured that, even if we raise only a few £££, that has to be a good thing. We all know people that have been effected by this past year so chose Mind, the Mental Health Charity as our benefactor. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liza-chris-pete-4x4x48
Negatives/What went wrong
The week of the event was planned as a Taper week but I got taken down ill on the Monday with a fever and spent the next 3 days in bed unable to work or really even move. I went for a Covid test Wednesday morning but luckily that came back negative. It was left as a down to the wire decision as to whether I would participate or not.
Lack of run training. Having decided for sure a month before the event that I would definitely take part, I ramped up my run training. I broke every rule in the book about how to increase volume etc and my lack of talent as an endurance athlete showed itself after the first 24 hours. Luckily talent was not required as I had the mental grit to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. Coming from a CrossFit background helped the lack of run training not become an issue as my general fitness carried me through.
Felt nauseous on both 8pm runs. I have examined my food diary and the break between the 4pm and 8pm run is when I ate most solid food. It is clear I have not yet built up the endurance athletes ability to consume food… and I def should not have had that extra pizza slice on the Saturday!
Finding a way to make the 3 hours pass in between runs, once you have stretched, foam rolled etc gets tough, especially the 9pm to midnight gap!
Inability to sleep. A lot of people in the group were talking about getting their heads down in between runs, and some saying the key to success was sleep gaps. I managed a grand total of 4 and a half hours sleep from 3am Saturday to 1:30am Monday. This isn’t a massive downer for me as I am able to function on little sleep, if and when required – as long as this isn’t too often. This is because I abide by the main rules all year round – get 8 hours sleep, hydrate like its your job and fuel your body for what you want it to do. Getting these basics right massively improves your chances of success, in all situations.
Provide a Future Outlook
If participating in this event again next year the only real thing I will do differently is ensure that my running is on point way in advance of the event. Now that I have completed it relatively stress free I would take it to the next level, increase the difficulty and the obvious way to do this would be to push the pace and set myself specific targets for each run.
I enjoyed the event the way I did it, for me the challenge was definitely more physical than mental. At no point did I question whether to get moving, ready for the next run… I did have a small negative moment after the penultimate run (8pm) as midnight seemed so far away and I just wanted to go out and get it over with. Having to hang out and wait for 3 hours began to annoy me, a lot!
Knowing that I can mentally handle it the way I did it I would push the envelope and see if I can hold on to that if I make it tougher. I saw the DG changed it up although I only saw his 11th leg, where ehe did 45 minutes of Jumping Jacks… maybe this is an idea to play with. There are many options, IF, I decide to do it again.
Hopefully, if I do do it again, these crazies will be right there with me… maybe even in person if the world sorts itself out.
Improve your running, get in the Zone… Zone 2 that is!
Let me preface this by saying if you are already a Zone 2 convert then this post is not for you as you have already learned the secret and it would be a pretty safe bet to assume you are reaping the benefits.
However, it seems lockdown has pushed a lot more people to get outside and get running. I’m guessing a good percentage of these will not continue to run when they can get back to their old routines but some will. Some will have started to find that place where running starts to suck a little less and actually becomes something (almost) enjoyable.
Maybe thats you, or maybe you’ve been a runner for a long while now but you’ve never heard of Zone 2 or you’ve heard of it but not bothered to look into what it actually means. Well lucky for you, I’m going to break it down and make it real simple for you.
Zone 2 training is probably the best tool available to improve your running, especially if you want to get faster over longer distances. This is also the perfect solution for those of you that struggle to breathe properly whilst running.
Zone 2 refers to heart rate zone 2 so in order to unlock this magic you will need a heart rate monitor, preferably of the chest strap variety (as these are way more accurate than the monitor in the watch on your wrist).
Your Heart Rate Zones
Zone 1 – 65% to 79% Zone 2 – 80% to 89% Zone 3 – 90% to 94% Zone 4 – 95% to 99% Zone 5 – 100% +
% of what ????
I know, I know.. the next question is % of what exactly and the answer is your Lactate Threshold.
It is better to work off your Lactate threshold rather than Max Heart as this gives better results for running performance and it is easier to work out your Lactate Threshold than Max Heart Rate; no Max Heart Rate is not 220 minus your age. It’s a calculation used as it’s better than nothing but wildly inaccurate for a lot of people and doesn’t take into account he myriad of factors that affect your heart rate.
What is my Lactate Threshold?
Put as simply as possible the lactate threshold is defined as the fastest pace you can run without generating more lactic acid than your body can utilise and reconvert back into energy. I’m sure you’ve all experienced that uncomfortable burning in the muscles when working at high exertion. That burn is lactic acid!
How do I calculate my Lactate Threshold
With an uncomfortable 20 minute max effort run. This must be completed while feeling rested and refreshed – Do not do this under fatigue! Here are the steps to follow…
1) Ensure you can record your run on a device that will record your heart rate for your 20 minute effort.
2) Put your heart rate monitor on (if you have a chest strap)
3) 10 minute warm up run. Gentle pace but with 2 or 3 sprint intervals that spike your heart rate as high as you can. Ensure the last spike allows for 2 minutes easy recovery. Do not record this warm up on your watch or if you do make sure it can be separated from your 20 minute effort. You do not want heart rate data from your warm up mixed in with the data from your 20 minute effort.
4) 20 minute max effort run. Basically ensure your watch starts when you start and run as hard as you can for 20 minutes. Distance is not important, only time and your effort. Stop the watch after 20 minutes. If you do not go as hard as you can the data will not be accurate, which means your work following this test will not yield the best performance improvement possible. Make sure you give this your all. It will hurt, it will not be any kind of fun but it is important and necessary.
5) Recover! Make sure you take some time to walk off the effort. Please do not finish the 20 minutes and then just collapse on the ground. Take a few minutes, walk around the park/block. whatever.
6) Workout your Lactate Threshold – yay… at last I hear you say, and it’s really simple; Your Lactate Threshold = your average Max heart rate for the 20 minute effort.
Now, you add Zone 2 runs into your programme. Some of the best runners and endurance athletes do nearly all their training in Zone 2. All you do is go for your planned run and keep your heart rate in Zone 2.
Sounds easy huh? ell, it is easy but it is also hella frustrating when you first start out. It’ll be frustrating as I can can pretty much guarantee you will end up walking a lot because as soon as you run your heart rate shoots into zone 3 and above. I usually advise people to start with 5k. If you haven’t got to that distance yet then you do whatever you can.
The key to Zone 2 training is patience and perseverance. Because you end up walking a lot in the beginning many, many runners give up, claiming it can’t be doing any good. Oh how wrong they are. For maybe the first month it might feel like a pointless exercise but just hold on, good things come to those who wait.
Once you manage that first 5k where you can run the whole way and that heart rate stays in the right place you are well and truly on your way. You will soon find you can run that 5k at your old pace but in Zone 2, where it feels soooo much easier than it used to. Then you start increasing distance and soon you are running long distance, at a great pace, all in Zone 2 where you feel comfortable and in complete control.
Don’t Get to Comfortable
Just remember to retest your Lactate Threshold every 3 months or so. The heart is a muscle and like every muscle, the more you train it the fitter it gets.
To continue getting great results you must ensure you are working with accurate information.
Body Comp Stats Weight: 76.1kg (+0.5kg) Body Fat %: 28.3 (-0.6) Muscle %: 33.8 (+0.4)
Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning
Come on, you know it by now… Monday = Row, Bike Ski 🙂 Today it was 1 min Row, Bike, Ski, 2 min, 3 min, 4min and back down. No rest and, as those that mentioned this found out, no sympathy either!
Mon: 1pm 20 min Core Conditioning
Another go at Eliud Kipchoge’s core routine (taken from his training camp for the 2 hour attempt) which takes roughly 10 minutes and then 10 minutes of GHD, Sit Up, Russian Twist, V Up work.
Tue: 12:15pm FTP Test (Take 2)
It isn’t really advisable to do two FTP tests in two weeks but I wanted to validate my Ramp Test result with a 20 minute Test and I really wanted to do it on a Concept Two Bike -Erg. Luckily my Coaches recently purchased one and very kindly let me have some quality time with it.
Man, does it burn!!! My test result was very slightly less than last weeks Ramp Test but I kinda expected that so I wasn’t disappointed. I’m excited to see what I can achieve when I retest in 12 weeks time 🙂 Toby and I were going to do a second workout, something called Acid Bath (I will explain more when we do it) but he informed me that we were postponing that joy as he was still a bit broken from his session yesterday. The only good thing about this was that I could go all out on the FTP test without worrying about what was coming next.
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class and 2 mile Run
Certain things are becoming routine and coaching my class then heading straight out with Gary for a quick out and back run is one of them. I am a believer in routine being the enemy but my indoor cycle changes week on week and you can’t beat a brick session when preparing for a triathlon.
Wed 1pm PT with my Coach, Kerry
The focus today was on building leg strength and power so say hello to Bulgarian Split Squats, with a barbell. 5 sets of 5, with a little interlude from Toby informing me these were the thing that fucked him up! Obviously I wasn’t doing them anywhere near as heavy as he was, plus I wasn’t doing any of the other stuff he did with it so I was pretty sure I would be ok… and I was. I mean, don’t misunderstand, it was hard work and my glutes were on fire in that way that you are very aware of your ass for the next 24 hours but I was ok.
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle
It was week 8 of my indoor cycle programme; Unbreakable, a tough race – climb – race pyramid session and one of those sessions that I was cursing myself for creating at certain points.
Thu: 6:30pm Double Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle
I hit the training jackpot this evening. Rather than coaching a class then participating in a class I was asked to cover the second class meaning I got to control the programme. The first class stuck to the programme so, second shot at Unbreakable (I was not the only person cursing me this time!) and then I chose to bring back one of my favourite 2019 sessions called Relentless… which is exactly what it sounds like. A brutal mix of racing and hills that simply didn’t let up.
Fri: Unplanned Rest Day
Again, my Friday plans went awry but like last week, because I had coached an Insanity, LBT and Tabata class all by 10:15am I wasn’t too worried. I was also aware that next Monday is Hell Session day so an extra rest day isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Sat: Planned Rest Day
Sun: 7:30am Pool Swim and Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
I made up for my missing swim by hitting the pool early but I guess other people had a similar idea because wow was the pool busy. But, this turned out to be a good thing as I had a lightbulb moment while following an older lady up and down the lane towards the end of the session. I realised that swimming had suddenly got easier and it was simply because I had slowed my stroke.
I remembered things that I had learned a long time ago and clearly forgotten. Its like rowing… power over speed. Unfortunately I figured this out at the end of the session so I’m excited to get back in the pool and test out my re-learned knowledge.
Quick change and straight up to the cycle studio. I had 30 minutes before the class so I got to put in a decent amount of time in the saddle. I wasn’t coaching this class so I was able to just focus on the work and nothing else. My training plan had me doing a 40 mile ride and by the end of the class I’d hit 37 so not too bad at all. Hopefully the weather changes soon and I can actually get outside.
Body Comp Stats My weigh in is on a Sunday morning at the end of each week and as we were out the door at 6am on Sunday for an Ultra race I didn’t weigh in!
Mon: 12:15pm 6 Hour Hell Session
Last Monday of each month between now and the IronMan is Hell Session Day 🙂 Workout 1: 6 rounds of 30 cal Ski Erg and 15 Double 10kg DB Front Squats. Rest 1:1. Workout 2: Accumulate 5 Minute Wall Sit (total time to achieve = 7:26) Workout 3: Accumulate 10 Minute in Dead/Active Hang off rig (I broke this into 2 sessions doing the last 4 minutes after workout 5). Attacked this Tabata style hanging for 20 secs, dropping for 10 secs and repeating. Workout 4: Build to a heavy set of 5 Deadlifts and then 5 x 5 @ 80% – this one was cut short as my back wasn’t playing. At 45kg I could feel my back pulling despite good technique so not worth pushing through. Workout 5: 8 Rounds of approx 1km run loop and 15 squats… in my weight vest! This one was done in the pouring rain and one of my favourite workouts as I love running in the rain. That doesn’t mean it was easy, I just really liked it.
Workout 6: 3k Assault Bike + 50 Bar Facing Burpee 6k Assault Bike + 40 Bar Facing Burpee 9k Assault Bike + 30 Bar Facing Burpee 12k Assault Bike + 20 Bar Facing Burpee 15k Assault Bike + 10 Bar Facing Burpee Total time = 1:50:35 This workout was the worst thing my coach, Kerry, has ever programmed for me. I told her as much and she looked very pleased with herself. Maybe if I had done it first it would not have been so bad and pretty much after finishing it I was considering when I would do it again to test that theory!
Tue: Rest Day
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class + 2 mile run
Same as usual, coach a 45 min cycle class and head out the door for a run. Not much more to say really 🙂
Wed: 1pm Pull Up and Push Up work
Again, with my friend Amy we worked through 5 as slow as possible Negative Pull Ups, a 10 minute Pull Up EMOM of 3 strict banded reps and a 10 minute Push Up EMOM.
Thu: 9:30 Indoor Cycle Class
Week 5 of my programme sees the return of the Power Pyramid, the first indoor cycle session I ever created and 5 years later it still forms an integral part of the periodised programme. It is a brilliant session for increasing both aerobic and anaerobic fitness and improving recovery. Who doesn’t want that.
Thu: 6:30 Coach by Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Power Pyramid take 2… oh my god I nearly died on the final round but the Coach By Colour system is a great motivator, especially when you are up on a platform with the entire class able to see if you turn down, slow down or give up.
Fri: Rest Day
Another extra rest day this week in preparation for the South Coast 50 on Sunday… a 50km+ ultra race.
Sat: Rest Day
Sun: 8am South Coast 50 Race
5 repping the Forza Fitness Squad today 🙂 It was quite simple… start is on the pier in Littlehampton and, via a self directed route with check points/aid stations roughly every 7 miles, run 33 miles back to Portchester Castle. I had a really lovely day on this run. Unfortunately the boy (My husband, Carl) voluntarily withdrew at mile 23 in Emsworth, but still hit his longest run distance to date so went home happy.
As you can probably tell from these training logs I don’t actually do what most would call traditional training runs, partly because I find them quite boring but mainly because of the way I train I don’t feel the need. I don’t care enough about pace and times to give up my other training (or time at home with the boy and the dog) to hit the pavement. I run for enjoyment enjoy. I can comfortably run decent distances and thats enough for me. I get asked quite a lot about why (and how) I rock up to these endurance events without properly training for them and my answer is that I do train for them, just not how most people expect. If I was more competitive, or cared more, or wanted to focus just on running, I could probably become a much better runner but honestly, who cares. I definitely don’t. In a year, a month, or even a years time will it matter how fast I ran this race? No it won’t, What I will remember is having a brilliant day out with my husband and my friend Claire, who, until this race I hadn’t spent any one on one time with and now know much better.. I am very grateful for this and means more to me than a time.
Body Comp Stats Weight: 75.6kg (-0.4kg) Body Fat %: 29 (+/- 0) Muscle %: 33.4 (+/- 0)
Mon: 12.15pm Total Body Conditioning
10 Rounds of 40 seconds on 20 seconds off; Row, Bike Ski, Rest. That rest minute meant that each 40 seconds of work should be a hard effort. I tried but it got tough!!
Mon: 1pm 10 min Pull Up EMOM + 10 min Push Up EMOM
Same as last week but we (meaning me and my friend Amy, who is doing this extra work with me) have added in some negative phase work before the banded work to try and fast track our Pull Up progress.
Tue: 12pm Pool Swim
Today was a CrossFit day according to my training plan but I decided to go back to the pool and put a bit of extra work in on my swimming. Just a short session focussing on trying to improve my breathing, working specifically on breathing on every 3rd stroke. I’m fine on 2 but if I do 3 stroke alternating sides, after 50 meters my lungs feel like they want to explode. It got a little easier but it needs a lot of work.
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class
I do love coaching indoor cycle and no matter how tired or sluggish I feel when I wake up by the time I start this session I am buzzing. Tracking my performance this year I can already see that I definitely don’t perform as well at 6:45am as I do later in the day.
Wed: 7:30am 2 Mile Run
Straight out of the spin studio on to the road for a little run. Training is usually better with someone else and this was no exception. My friend, PT client and fellow Ironman in training (he has already done one though) Gary did my Indoor Cycle class and then kept me company on the run. I do love my friends :0)
Wed: 1pm PT with my Coach, Kerry
Does your Coach make you cry with laughter during your sessions? Mine does! We did some strength work, specifically Strict and Push Press, and between lifts she was telling me a story that had me howling with laughter. Thank goodness, as the lifting was enough to make me cry with frustration… but so far I’ve only cried over a deadlift and I don’t want to add to that list! I know I lost a lot of strength due to “ribgate” but it’s still a little frustrating to realise how much. At least knowing where I am means I can figure out what I want to do about it. Before I signed up for the IronMan I had planned on focussing on the Barbell and improving all of my lifts. I think this will be the first thing I do after… once we get back from our trip to the CrossFit Games.
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class
Ohhhh the hamstrings were feeling the workload today. I got asked recently if, as the instructor, I ever turn it down and coast through the class. The honest answer is no I don’t. I ask my class participants to give me 100% so it only seems fair I give them the same. I know that I find it difficult to engage with an indoor cycle class if the coach isn’t in it with me. If I have a reason to take it a bit easy I tell the class beforehand. I coached a 1hr class the day before the London Marathon. I said to the group I was heading straight to London after the class so I would be just having an gentle ride (what I call a “Do as I say, not as I do” class) but I got wrapped up in the class and ended up leaving a sweaty mess as usual.
Thu: 11:45am Pool Swim
It was time to increase the distance with 3 x 400m metre intervals with a 3 minute rest in between. I alternated between 2 and 3 stroke breathing so that I could focus a little more on distance and pace. It still isn’t what I would call smooth or easy but it did feel a little better.
Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Oh my god, I struggled towards the end of this one. It’s week 4 of my programme, which means ‘The Scorpion’, an intense, progressive interval session which improves active recovery. Twice in one day was tough. Enough said really!
Thu: 7:30pm 2 mile Zone 2 Run
Rather than doing a double in the spin studio I swapped the second class for another little brick session of cycle and run. This time the Boy (meaning the Husband) kept me company and to be honest, to have 20 minutes of side by side running, just the two of us, was pretty lovely. We train at CrossFit together quite a lot, participate in OCR together quite a lot but hardly ever is it just the two of us. Hopefully there will be a bit more of this.
Fri: Unplanned Rest Day
Today was supposed to be a TBC and CrossFit day but after coaching my three classes at Nuffield Chichester I decided to take the rest of the day off. I tweaked my glute during Insanity at 6:45am and if a client had done that I would be telling them to go home, stretch and look after themselves. So, I listened to my own advice and did just that.
Sat: Pool Swim
My friend and client Anna wanted a bit of company in the pool so she picked me up at 7:15am (!) (Saturday is normally my rest day which means I lie in until about 7:30/8am) for the lane swimming session. Just an easy recovery session for me consisting of 800m all done in breaststroke.
Sun: 8am Bike Ride
The boy was happy to stay in bed with the dog so I was on my own today. God, it is a bit dull on your own! I’m also not overly familiar with cycle routes, roads etc so headed out to see if I could do 30 miles without getting lost. I chose a fairly straightforward (and straight) out and back but after 9 miles my hamstring started to really pull so I turned round earlier than planned and headed home. Slightly annoying but with a 6 hour hell session tomorrow and a 50k ultra run on Sunday it is all about the long game.
* I am not including the classes I coach in this training log but for reference I coach 3 indoor cycle, 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.
Once again plans went awry but at this stage in the game I am not worried about it. I’m lucky enough to be a part of an Accountability Group with 5 awesome guys I met doing Tough Mudder. We check in with each other, discuss workouts, training plans, share anything we think will be useful, and talk about David Goggins… a lot! One of the things we’ve started doing recently is setting a personal weekly goal and due to how things have been going I have made mine for next week really simple; Train 6 days out of 7 as last week I only hit 5. My training plan is always 6 days on, 1 day off with Saturday as my rest day so to make sure the fundamentals are right this week that is my main focus, rebuild my routine. Yes it has only been a week but stuff can start to slide really easily if you let it and I am just making sure that doesn’t happen.
Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning
Mon is always a pure Row, Bike, Ski day and todays formula involved 3 rounds of Tabata on each piece of equipment. Simple and highly effective.
Mon: 1pm CrossFit Class
I was on my own for class today which was tough as for a workout like this one it is good to have someone to go against. I really love rowing next to someone really strong as it pushes me to go that little bit more. Class format was straight forward; 10 x 250m sprints, rest 1:1 (meaning rest as long as each sprint takes). Fastest sprint 51.9, Slowest 54.9. It was a true slog and suckfest but Coach Toby turned ‘The Prodigy’ up loud (one benefit of being in class by yourself – you can own the playlist if you ask nicely, although I didn’t need to ask, Toby knows me that well!) and I was away 🙂
Tue: 12pm Zone 2 5k run
My zone 2 (low aerobic) heart rate ranges from 140 to 156 and for the first two miles I could hold a steady run and stay in this zone. The last mile went completely to hell and I seemed to be walking every minute as the moment I started running I was pushing into the high aerobic zone. Very frustrating but I am trusting the process and just going with it.
Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class
Today was a repeat of an Open workout, 14.5 and 16.5. A grim couplet of Thursters and Bar Facing Burpees. It was sweaty, it hurt but my goal was just to keep moving and get the thing done and I made the time cap. Job done.
Tue: 2:15pm A Harry Workout
I was rehydrating in the social area at the gym post class, everyone else had left and I was about to get my stuff together and leave when Coach Harry looked at me and said just two words “Bike Sprints?” Me being me, my only response was “how many?’ and that was that. 6 rounds of 90 sec work/ 90 sec rest, completing 15 cals on the Assault Bike and as many 10kg DB Power Cleans as possible in the remaining time. It was my first time working out with Harry and I was determined to put up a fight on the bike so as not to get left behind. It was tough but fun. For some reason Assault Bike and Dumbbells are a favoured combination of mine.
Wed: 1pm PT Session
Dogshit Deadlifts today! Yes I know I am getting over a cracked or broken rib or whatever but we did deadlifts not even a month a go and I did better than I did today. The plan was 5 x 5 but I didn’t get that far. 65kg went up fine, 5 times, no issues. Add 5kg and for whatever reason I could not pick 70kg up off the floor. Last time, I was picking up 80 for 5 and my rib is better now that it was then so no idea what was going on.The only thing I know for sure is, it was a weak day! Second part of my session went much better; 45kg Deadlifts and Prowler Pushes. Talk about a lactic acid quad burn.
Thu: 12pm Zone 2 5k run
Another run where the first 2 miles were great but the third mile was spiking heart rates and lots of walking. This has to get better though right?!
Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class
All about the Back Squat today and after my shit day with the barbell yesterday lets just say I was feeling a little nervous about how this was going to go. 5 sets of 3, building to a heavy 3 for the day. Since ‘rib gate’ I haven’t tested my back squat, or any squat that much, but in July I hit 65kg which is a good average for me. I am pleased to say that I hit 65kg today, although I took my time getting there. I hit 60kg ok, put 65 on the bar, did one rep, decided I didn’t like it so took it off again. Hit 60kg again, had a word with myself, loaded up 65 and hit my 3 reps. What was all the fuss about? It’s a barbell, I love it but I am not confident with it so yes, sometimes I make a fuss! Finished the session with some accessory work in the shape of 3 x 20 15kg DB 24″ Step Ups.
Thu: 2pm Playtime with Jade
I was trying to decide what else to do when I noticed Jade at the back of the box with a barbell out. We’d already done 30 burpees as it’s her 30th birthday today and the tradition in our gym is that you do birthday burpees. I managed to coerce all of the 1 o clock class in to doing them with her as who wants to do 30 burpees alone on their birthday. I ended up joining her and her barbell and we worked our way through sets of power cleans and power snatch. Next up was 30 Pull Ups, then 30 Push Ups and finally some skipping. Happy Birthday Jade 🙂
Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning
Another ‘made up on the spot and ingenious session’ by head Coach Toby involving a 10 min Assault Bike Test, Goblet Squats, Max Effort Rows and a Team Challenge of Ski Erg Cals and Burpees. Just like last week, I had planned to jump in the 1pm class but was completely done in so skipped it and just helped judge the guys doing The Open.
Sat: Rest Day
I had planned to do something today as the Forza Fitness squad were going out in the evening and I knew that Sunday would most likely be a write off. But, the day was busy, no workout was done so, rest day. There were a couple of burpees on the dance floor that night though!
Sun: Rest Day
And here is where it all fell apart. Sat night some of us made plans to train together today. The night wore on, more cocktails were drunk but we were still talking, and fist bumping, about training. Roll on Sunday and everything is quiet… no messages are being exchanged, everyone is busy, my dog went back to school (advanced classes as well 🙂 ), the boy and I had an afternoon nap, dinner time rolls around and it is clear that nothing resembling a workout is going to happen. No biggie though, last night was worth it and come 2020 the alcohol will be cut completely. I barely drink as it is and these nights happen less than once every 2 months so I’m not beating myself up about it. Whats the point. It’s done, it’s happened. Tomorrow is a new day, a new week and I have my goal. Train 6 days out of 7, no excuses. So I will do just that and have no remorse about 1 missed workout!
The two most asked questions I have had since blogging about my IM journey (apart from when/where is it? and why on earth would you want to do that?) are 1; Why do you, a coach/pt/trainer yourself have a coach, can’t you do it yourself? 2; Why haven’t you switched to an IM coach?
So, let me explain…
1; Yes, it’s true I am a Coach myself and I have now worked in the fitness industry for more than 4 years. For that reason alone, of course I have my own coach. Why would I not buy in to the very thing I put so much value in, it is now my life’s work! Yes, I could write my own programming and do it effectively but, if I do that, my world becomes very insular. In that scenario I am accountable to no one, I am not learning from anyone else and I am not being held to any kind of standard.
Kerry, my coach, has a Coach – Head Coach of CrossFit Iron Duke (and also her husband), Toby. Toby has a Coach, his coach has a coach and so on and trust me, the chain is long. We are all progressing together, albeit at different levels, and my clients benefit from this as I continue to develop and grow, both as an athlete and a coach. Personally, I wouldn’t work with a PT or Coach that wasn’t involved in the process themselves from the other side.
2; There are so many reasons why I haven’t switched to an IM coach. First and foremost I love Kerry. We have been working together for nearly two years, since January 2018. I had stopped working with my previous PT about 6 months previously and started CrossFit in August 2017. Given the amount of coaching you get via the regular CrossFit classes I decided to take my time picking my next Coach. At the time we had 4 coaches at CrossFit Iron Duke, 3 of which offered PT and I decided pretty quickly that I wanted my next coach to be one of them. I asked Kerry for a chat to find out how it works and she explained that I simply had to decide which one I wanted to work with and go from there. That was a tough decision as each Coach offered something slightly different in both skill set and manner. At the time I was starting to plan for a 36 hour SAS Hell Week style event and I decided to go with Kerry as, gods honest truth, she scared the crap out of me and I thought that might be a good experience, bearing in mind what I wanted to take on! It took all of our first session for me to realise that actually she is a complete sweetheart and not in the slightest bit scary.
She may not be scary but she is thorough, committed and very inventive. When I gave her carte blanche to create what has lovingly become known as my “6 hour hell sessions” she certainly seemed to relish the task. These basically involved me turning up to the gym, knowing I would be training for 6 hours but never knowing what exactly I would be doing. My brief to her was make it as tough and varied as she felt appropriate/necessary. I will post a couple of the full sessions in a separate blog for those that are intrigued.
As soon as I booked the IM I contacted Kerry, we scheduled a meeting for the very next day and my statement to her was ” I want to do this and yes, I know that the next year has to now be all about this IronMan but I don’t want to leave CrossFit and I don’t want to leave you… unless I have to, what do you think” She had clearly given the matter some thought and laid out just a few ideas of how we could make it work and I knew instantly that I would be staying.
Another key reason is simply because I don’t want this to take over my life and I don’t want to forsake everything else for it. Yes, I want to do an Iron Man and I want to do it as well as I can (although do not ask me my time as I don’t ever participate for time) and most importantly I want to enjoy it but, when this is all over I don’t want to only be good for endurance/ triathlon events.
The CrossFit open will take place 3 months after my IronMan and I want to be able to compete, and finally, give it my best shot. The Open in Feb 2019 was meant to be a chance for me to see how all of my hard work in 2018 would pay off but I was ill in January, to the point that the doctor ordered bed rest, and so The Open became only about setting new benchmark’s as I had lost a lot of fitness and was still being warned to protect against post viral fatigue. The Open that starts tomorrow was going to be my next shot but I cracked my rib in May and only this week does it actually feel like it’s healing so I am not even signed up for this one. With all this behind me I can assure you that I have other goals next year besides my IM.
The Open, October 2020, I am coming for you! SAS Who Dares Wins.. I want another shot…My Coach can help prepare for all of this whereas an IM coach can only help me prepare for the IM so for me, that is not the right choice. If I wanted a specific time or had a goal beyond, finish it with a smile one my face, I would likely make a different choice but this is what will work for me.