Body Comp Stats Weight: 75.5kg (-0.1kg) Body Fat %: 28.9 (-0.1) Muscle %: 33.4 (+/- 0)
This week is my first de-load week of the year and after a hell session on Monday and 33 mile Ultra on Sunday man, did I need it!
Mon: Rest Day
Normally the day after a marathon/ultra I would go to the box and do a very light recovery total body conditioning session but I was told by many sources (Kerry – my coach and Tim @ We Dominate Nutrition, my nutrition coach to name just two) to just take the day off. I quite like to move the day after as I think it helps my recovery so I took Cracker dog for a long walk instead.
Tue: 10:30am Insanity Class
Coaching this class wouldn’t normally even be considered as part of my training but on de-load week it counts.
Wed: 6:45am Indoor Cycle Class and 2 Mile Run
I asked my class this morning “have you ever seen a Spin Instructor die on a bike before?” Even during the warm up my legs felt heavy and my breathing was very laboured. I struggled through the entire class but made it through and weirdly, the run was absolutely fine. Well, I say fine. It is supposed to be a zone 2 run and on checking my watch at the end it was pretty much all in Zone 3. I had Gary for company again (thanks Gary) so maybe the fact that we just chat had something to do with that.
Wed: 1pm Pull Up and Push Up work
Amy and I, same thing every week, working on a couple of our weaknesses for half an hour. I recently found Eliud Kipchoghe’s 10 minute core routine from his training camp on YouTube and did this before we started the Upper Body Work.
Thu: 9:30am Indoor Cycle Class
The first go at Speed Week this year, renamed ‘Get Faster’ for 2020. I was a little nervous after how hard yesterday’s class was, especially as speed work is not my favourite. It was still tough, but I felt a little better than yesterday.
Thu: 6:30pm Coach By Colour Indoor Cycle Class
Get Faster take 2… Having the power meter and colour zones keeping me honest and controlling my output meant nowhere to hide and I honestly don’t think I have worked as hard on that bike as I did in this class to keep up. I hated myself a little bit for creating the damn session!
Fri: 10:30am 400m Swim
After coaching Insanity, LBT and Tabata classes I took advantage of the Nuffield Chichester facilities and hit their pool for an easy 400m. They only had one lane open as there was an aqua aerobic class going on which made the swim a little busy and choppy. I guess thats good IM training in itself.
Sat: Rest Day
Sun: 9:30am Sunday Funday Boxing Session
I was due to do a 15 mile cycle today but thanks to Storm Ciara I decided to bin this idea and Saturday night I put a call out to some of the Forza Fitness squad to see if anyone fancied a boxing session. Lorraine and Anna answered the call and we spent about an hour boxing, combining it with Squats, Jump Lunges, Slamballs, Push Ups and Sit Ups. All done by 10:45 meaning The Boy and I had the rest of the day to binge watch The Stranger (in between taking Cracker Dog to his training school) and yes, we finished the entire series by 10:30pm!
Return of the 6 Hour Hell Session: Choose your Own Adventure
In 2018 I did 4 of these sessions. They came about because I was training for a 36 hour SAS style event where you had no idea what you would be asked to do. I had worked as staff for the event the previous year so I could get some first hand experience and understand a little more about what it might be like. I was talking to Kerry about it during one of our PT sessions and I commented it that it would be really good training to somehow do some longer sessions. About 15 minutes later we had a plan for a 6 hour session where she would plan various workouts for me and I would just turn up and do whatever she gave me. Given the work she was putting in planning this for me the deal was that I could never say no or alter them. The workouts would be as directed. I’m not sure when they became known as Hell Sessions but the descriptions fits. Unfortunately the event I was training for was cancelled so there was no need to do anymore…. until now. As I’m now training for an IronMan I asked Kerry if we could bring it back, with a pure focus on endurance (as the SAS focussed sessions had some stress stuff included, both mental and physical) and because she is awesome, and I think she loves the challenge and seeing how far she can push me, she immediately said yes. We set a date and that was that.
I arrived at the gym at 12:30 as planned and as soon as I walked in she had a huge grin on her face. I love that she enjoys this and it comes across in her planning and attention to detail. We went to the office to go through the plan and she handed me two beautifully written sheets of A4 paper, written in pink pen for extra effect as she knows I love pink (not much!)
The two sheets contained 6 workouts. It was a choose your own adventure day so I could do the workouts in any order. Here is how the 6 hours played out:
*Just FYI I haven’t included my scores as honestly why do you care? The one thing I hate about marathon running is that the only thing people generally ask is “what was your time?”. This is why Tough Mudder holds so much appeal to me as it’s all about the personal challenge, teamwork and camaraderie and not about your time.
Workout 1: 100 Rep Challenge – For Time 100 Burpee Box Jump Overs (over the Jerk Blocks)
I chose to do this one first as I figured doing it later in the day would be awful. I also (wrongly) thought that this was the only burpee workout and I figured get the burpees out of the way. I didn’t go all out as you know, first workout so I broke it down in to ten sets of ten with a 10 to 30 second break between sets. I’m always trying to figure out how to move more efficiently and managed to find a rhythm and technique over the blocks that minimised the amount of work I had to do.
Workout 2: Row, Jump, Swing – For Time 1000m row, 10 x 24” Box Jump, 10 x 24kg Kettlebell Swing 750m row, 20 x 24” Box Jump, 20 x 20kg Kettlebell Swing 500m row, 30 x 24” Box Jump, 30 x 16kg Kettlebell Swing 500m row, 30 x 24” Box Jump, 30 x 16kg Kettlebell Swing 750m row, 20 x 24” Box Jump, 20 x 20kg Kettlebell Swing 1000m row, 10 x 24” Box Jump, 10 x 24kg Kettlebell Swing
More jumping so I decided again to do this one early on while the legs were still fresh. I paced the row, focussing on consistency with both pace and stroke rate. The box was higher than I’m used to using in a workout as female box height is generally 20”. I liked this element of the challenge and appreciated the fact that I got to use the soft box in case of mishap.
Workout 3: Weighted Run – For Time 5k Run in 7kg weight vest
Simple. Put the vest on, head out the door and come back 5k later. This outdoor workout was always going to take place at 2pm as Kerry and Toby wanted to get out of the the gym for a change of scenery, to get warm and a coffee 🙂
I haven’t ever run more than 1 mile on my vest so this was one I was really looking forward. I had no idea how the vest would affect my pacing on a longer run but it felt comfortable and my Zone 2 training must be paying off. I was about 2 minutes slower than usual on an easy 5k and I spent 95% of that time in Zone 2. I managed to get back before Kerry and Toby meaning the gym was still shut but once again they showed why they are the best coaches as my water bottle was waiting for me on the doorstep.
Workout 4: Push, Pull, Ride – For Meters For one hour 60kg Prowler Push / Pull (10 meters each way) Every 50 meters complete: 25 cals on Assault Bike and 30 sec 70kg Hex Bar Hold
I kinda wanted to do this one with tired legs to help work on my endurance, especially as it involves the bike. This may be a controversial statement but I actually love the Assault Bike. I was most concerned about the Hex Bar Hold but this only became really taxing in the last two rounds which was a pleasant surprise. The pull of the prowler is so much easier than the push and the minute I get distracted with the thoughts I lose count, even though I only need to count 5 lengths at a time! This workout become quite monotonous but that was the point right. As Kerry said after “you’re going to be sat on a bike for hours… you need to learn to deal with it” and she’s right. The music during this workout was a pop punk playlist which I really dislike but I embraced this as well as it helped toughen the mind.
Workout 5: 500 Rep Challenge – For Time 100 x Wall Ball (10lb ball) 100 x 10kg Dumbbell Snatch 100 x 35kg Sumo Deadlift 100 x Jumping Pull Up 100 x Shuttle Run (Burpee) *Split reps as you wish.
I’d left this workout til late as I liked the look of it and didn’t expect it to be too bad. I was wrong! This workout stole a little piece of my soul. I’d not noticed the burpee next to shuttle run for one but that wasn’t actually that bad. I’d been feeling really positive before this workout, pleased with how things had been going and how my endurance seems to be improving. Kerry’s advice was to split the reps into 10 rounds of 10 so that is exactly what I did. I started the first two rounds with a 12.5kg dumbbell for the snatch but switched down to 10kg as it was not going up well. The 5 movements together were just hell (so at least on brand for the session I guess!) and every minute of it sucked. It took longer than it should have done as there was much rest… especially during the jumping pull ups, which ended up in sets of 3!
Workout 6: 40 Min EMOM Min 1: 15 Cal Ski Erg Min 2: 50kg D Ball 10 meter carry Min 3: 10 x Hanging Leg Raise (from Rings) Min 4: 10 x 10kg Russian Twist Min 5: Rest
I’d saved this until last as it looked relatively simple and I figured the EMOM format would keep me on point if I started to feel like I wanted to slow down. The 15 cals on the Ski Erg were averaging 45 seconds so I knew I couldn’t relax there but luckily it came after the rest so this was manageable. The 50kg D Ball got switched to 30kg for the last two rounds as my back was pulling slightly when trying to pick it up. To make up for the change it weight we increased the distance. My grip was properly tested in the Leg Raises and again, these got split after the first two rounds. But, 8 rounds later and it was all done.
A huge thank you to Kerry for all her planning and general evil genius, and Team Cooley (Kerry and Toby) for allowing me to use their space for my training, especially while classes were going on.