Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Intervals.....and I am not a fish.

I am not talking about the intervals between blogging as they are far too long I am aware; I am talking about interval training.  In my reassessment of all things lycra and gym based I realised there is a beauty to the controlled environment of the treadmill. I realise you don't need a treadmill to do intervals, Adidas mi coach is a pretty good tool with some interval functionality.  Hill sprints are a form of interval training but in the last week i have enjoyed adding an interval session between each road run.

Session 1:

2 minutes just outside aerobic pace (8 minute miles at the moment)

2 minutes just inside aerobic pace (10 minute miles)

The idea is to get my body to recover at that 10 minute mile pace.  I can comfortably do 8 1/2 minute miles so I am just going anaerobic but then recovering it at 10 minute mile pace.

Session 2:

1 Minute 7 minute mile pace

1 Minute 3 minute mile pace

Keeping good form rather than going for the treadmill shaking slapping that I see sometimes; the seven minute mile is currently a challenge but is actually around my target pace if not just a little quicker.  This session actually feels easier mentally as I know I have a minutes walk coming up.  The trick will be to do 2 fast 1 slow but we'll get there in a while.

Meanwhile I am thinking up charity challenges for my 40th year and causes to run bike or swim for.  Believe me I want lots of sponsorship for the swim bit for some reason my body is not adapting to swimming as well as I would like.  Lessons may ensue but I have all the finesse of waterlogged drift wood.

So if you know of a good cause and a good event let me know.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Some amendments.....

I need to post some amendments as I commence this blog again.  Gyms are not bad, Lycra has its place and bells and whistles are OK.  Particularly if the bells are kettle and whistles are appreciative.

Houston we are good to go...
Today I got back in the saddle after Mrs L conquered the London marathon I figured maybe just maybe it was my time.  I always said that a marathon was for 40+ athletes and I am about to enter my 40th year so yesterday I applied for the Virgin London Marathon 2013 ballot.  It is crazy because 110kg of me running 26.2 miles is a world of leg battering but I took a spin this morning and was banging out sub 10 minute miles......which brings me to confession number 1.....I have been using a gym - The Olympiad in Chippenham to be precise and I have enjoyed the services of a personal trainer and it seems to have done me some good. Not only has the interval training paid of but an element of circuit weight means I feel stronger and have better local muscular endurance. So no more excuses we are marathon training.

Today 3 miles steady - 28 minutes - with splits around 8.30 9.30 and 10.16 - not a bad start and not as sore as I though and still a little gas in the tank for some burpees.  The key is not to hammer it to quickly which is my usual problem.  The diet is pretty strict - wholefoods only so no breads or pasta to bulk out that empty feeling.  I am allowing myself the odd for goodness shale post trainig as I have found that this is the best product I have ever used for recovery but, as with this morning, it replaced breakfast after the 3 miler.  My target weight is 99 kilos and my commitment is high....although I have been sneaking raisins all afternoon.

I will keep you posted.........

Friday, 15 April 2011

Completely forgot to blog....was out running.

Nike + GPS is rocking my world.  I get times, pace, distance and encouraging words.  Makes the iphone 4 this weeks most useful training aid.  I have managed 4 runs in a week and I have lost 4 pounds.  I should point out that there has been some pretty lean eating going on.  Tuna salad, no mayo, minimal olive oil dressing and no additional carbs.  Target weight is 16 stone.

So joy of joys I am starting to fit back into clothes that I had always thought I was hoarding never to wear again.  Don't get me wrong I still have what i believe the ladies call muffin tops (lads call them love handles) but I am getting there.  Todays run was my first 5k run in a while and I managed 6 minute kms which is not bad as there was a big ole hill right in the middle of the route.

I will change route to see if I can get a decent 5 k time down but the hill stays in the training program at least once a fort night to try and strengthen up my running.  In other good news the bike is fixed and we'll probably be doing a 30 miler once a week...who know I might start swimming and enter a triathlon.  Summer is not so far away and it could be a bit of a giggle.

Monday, 4 April 2011


Well I am back on the horse, not a literal horse of course as my sturdy 112kilo frame would do said stead absolutely no good.  Part of the reason for me being absent was a quick trip to Haiti for work, this is not a place of great fitness opportunity although in the mountains of Cange I see a potential run or two. Anyway enough of this nonsense.


Bazza is the septagenarian who trained beside me at my first ever body pump class.  I have decided that gym classes are the way forward, as being supervised by an adult is always wise.  Now I don't know Bazza's reasons for staying in shape whether he likes to keep mobile or he likes the ladies in lycra but he has obviously got this body pump thing taped.

Yes you guessed it I got my ass handed to me by the old guy.  He was pumping more weight than me with better technique with fewer breaks in form.  Bazza is a hero and I regret suggesting he may just like ladies in lycra as he is for seventy odd an accomlished gym athlete.  Qudos to Bazza.

In other news

Belt news, i am now four holes in on the old belt test which is confusing as I have not actually lost any weight.  I am perfectly happy to be heavy and lean but it surprised me.

Core news, all core stability is gone!!!!  I don't know where or when but it is bust, gawn, dissappeared just not there which suggests this is a long road back to fitness.

Mike-the-Bike, today completed a personal best to Tetbury knocking ten minutes off his time only to find he had had a 20 mile an hour tail wind assisting him, the ride home was 'tiring'.

Diet going well, eat sensibly all week and blow out at weekends a little - I am hoping the pounds will start to drop off.  I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Funny things, backs.

People say things they don't really think through the sense of, like "it is too cold to snow" or "he won't get there any faster by speeding".   Both of these statements are balderdash*, the Arctic and Antarctic both regularly see snow and we invented cars in order to speed past horses and get to places sooner.

Another thing people will say to you when you are suffering with a back injury is "funny things, backs".  NO.  Sorry did I shout, it's just that there is nothing humorous about backs at all.  They are amazing and when you have injured one you find all the things that you use your lower back for which you had no idea about, these include such mundane things as going to the toilet, sneezing, coughing and well pretty much everything.  I have been prescribed a number of drugs to assist the rehabilitation of the facet joint more recently identified in the post "injury" but a short lived attempt to walk briskly to the post office highlighted we are some way off.

Backs just aren't funny, I even googled to find jokes where backs are funny and they aren't.  They are the straight man, the Ernie Wise, the Tommy Cannon, Sid Little of body parts.  So please don't say "funny things, backs" unless you really do have a rip roaring tale of hilarity involving a back.

*Balderdash interestingly has no known etymology it is a word that exists on it's own, unlike poppycock, an alternative for senseless speech, which is derive from old german for "soft dung".  Please season your conversation and writing with this apparently original word.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


I have been away and not updated I am sorry.  Now, don't laugh but I managed to inflame a facet joint (it's in your lower back ....the doctor said so) by tying a shoe lace.  Crazy eh?  Now I could cuff it and say that such a highly tuned athlete is susceptible to such injury but pretty much everyone I have told has said it is a sign of getting older.  I reject this wholeheartedly, why do we fall for this baloney about getting older being some excuse for injuries happening to us.  The truth is that I have for the last eighteen months neglected my body in terms of diet and exercise and now that I have started again a few of the nuts (no smut please) and bolts are loose and need tightening. Offending joint pictured below:

This however leaves me with a dilemna, because now the principle means of me losing weight is going to be diet which is a weaker suit.  I know the science of dieting and I can avoid many of the pitfalls but cake is nice!!!  As are crumpets, tea and toast and a host of other nibbly things.  So this week or so that I am taking to recover is an exercise in self control, which I guess is like any other muscle the more you exercise it the stronger it gets.....or so the theory goes.  This doesn't account for the fact we are living with my in laws at the moment and ma in law is a great cook and serial cake buyer, all well and good for her as a dog walker and for Mike the Bike with his 40 mile rides but for Mr Sleeping on the floor because bizarrely it is more comfortable this means temptation.  So in attempt to be accountable to someone.....I only have 2 followers, (neither averse to a bit of cake or a pint so perhaps unlikely to criticise) but I may as well blog about it or else I would get to talking about what is happening in Libya, or Bahrain or the Earthquake in NZ; and to be honest after years of working overseas in disaster zones and conflict zones I am now just a little quietly uninterested.  I think I may be going post colonial.

Anyways breakfast has consisted of:

1/2 sachet of Quaker oats porridge
1 pot of Activia Kiwi fruit youghurt
1 pint of tea (worng in so many ways probably)
1 small glass of apple juice

Salad is ready in the fridge with my own personally concocted salad dressing, ingredients are as follows

2 fl oz Extra virgin olive oil
1.5 fl oz balsamic vinegar
0.5 fl oz lime juice
1 tspn cayenne pepper
1 tspn black pepper
1 tspn mustard powder
1/4 tspn ground ginger
pinch of salt

It has a kick like a mule but if like me you find salad a little bland this baby will sort it out with a minimum of fuss, much better than these shop bought numbers. Anyway toodle pip for now.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Practicality and lunch with the vicar.

Now in the battle to shed pounds of fat with out shedding pounds in cash (see what I did there) there is a certain amount of practicality that can be entered into, such as the 9 mile round trip into Chippenham can be done on a bike, burning a sizeable 777 calories.  Notionally a rest day I manage to include some level of activity that brings about positive change.

The the local vicar invited me for lunch and one pint of flanker and two sausage and mash later, it is all undone!!! Pants.