Current training – September 2013

I’m still cycling through lift days, move days and run/swim days, generally two of each a week. This pattern has been working really nicely for a while now and I see no reason to change it.

It’s a nice balance of structure and randomness.

I’m currently doing ring dips and deadlifts for my lifting. I have been following a volume-based approach which is working nicely. I set a timer of twenty minutes and cycle back and forth between the two exercises, staying away from failure, and taking as much rest as I need – you can get a lot done in not much time if you put your mind to it.

Those sessions look like this:

  •  A1: Warm up
  • B1: Turkish get up plus overhead walk – 2 x 1L/1R
  • C1: Deadlift/Ring dip – 20mins = 20-50 reps of each
  • D2: Farmers walk –varied weights & distance
  • E1: Rope climb – as many as possible in 5 minutes

The move days are some combination of bridging, crawls and hand balancing.

The run/swim days are pretty self-explanatory!

Advertisements

Current training – June 2013

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – well not too much at least.

Not a lot has changed this month – maybe the whole consistancy idea is finally sinking in!

I’m not being too rigid with the routine. I will do all of the things listed below at some point during the week but might move things around to take advantage of the good weather. I’m exercising outside as much as possible at the moment. The sunshine is a rare and welcome thing in my litttle part of the world so I want to spend as much time outside as possible.

Work is pretty crazy at the moment as well so a walk at lunchtime is out of the question. Most days when I finish I just want to get out in the park and run around for a bit (once my girls are in bed that is!).

Saturday – rest

Sunday – run (longer 6-8km)

Monday – home

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, 16kg Goblet squat & curl, 16kg Windmill
  • A1:Windmill – 16kg x 5/5, Turkish get up, 20kg x 1/1, 24kg x 1/1
  • A2: Goblet squat – 16kg x 8 (plus 3 curls at bottom of last rep), 20kg x 6-8, 24kg x 6-8
  • B1: KB deadlift, 48-65kg – 3 x 5-8
  • C1: KB clean & press – 20kg x 10-20 reps, sets vary
  • C2: Hang from bar – 10-30sec between c&p sets
  • D1: Farmers walk – 24-28kg each hand
Tuesday – run 3-4km (maybe)

Wednesday – park workout

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, run to the park
  • Run around the park stopping off for a few:
    • Push ups
    • Pull ups
    • Dips
    • Rows
    • Crawls

Thursday – Movnat/playing in the morning, swim in the afternoon

Friday – park workout

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, run to the park
  • This session is more playful:

Current training – May 2013

Now we’re getting semi-regular sunshine I’m doing as much of my training outside as possible. Being able to exercise with the sun on your face is a wonderful thing.

I’m doing two types of main session, still loosely on the same framework as last month. The first is a basic strength workout where I do some kettlebell lifts in my garden and then loaded carries up and down the street.

The second is some basic bodyweight exercises in a local park. I’m lucky enough to have a couple of outdoor gyms nearby. Inexplicably most of the equipment is for cardio (think rowers, steppers etc), which has always seemed odd as it makes more sense to me to do cardio by moving around the park. Fortunately there are also dipping stations and some play equipment that is good for pull ups.On the other days I’m enjoying some easy Maffetone style runs, always on Thursdays and sometimes on Tuesdays too – depending how energetic I’m feeling. I’m also running to and from the park for those sessions and including sprinting. Quite a bit of running at the moment.

Saturday – rest

Sunday – home

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, 16kg Goblet squat & curl, 16kg Windmill
  • A1: TGU – 24kg x 1/1
  • A2: Goblet squat – 24kg x 6-10, 28kg x 5-8
  • B1: KB clean & press – 20kg x 10-20 reps, sets vary
  • B2: Chin up – BW/+5kg/+10kg x 10-20 reps, sets vary
  • C1: KB swing – 24kg x 10, 10, 10
  • D1: Farmers walk – 24-28kg each hand
Monday – park workout
  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, run to the park
  • 3-4 rounds of 5-10 reps:
    • Push ups
    • Pull ups
    • Dips
    • Rows
  • Then:
    • Sprinting/cartwheels/tree climbs (play stuff)
Tuesday – run 4-5km (maybe)
Wednesday – home
  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, 16kg Goblet squat & curl, 16kg Windmill
  • A1: TGU – 24kg x 1/1
  • A2: Goblet squat – 24kg x 6-10, 28kg x 5-8
  • B1: KB clean & press – 20kg x 10-20 reps, sets vary
  • B2: Chin up – BW/+5kg/+10kg x 10-20 reps, sets vary
  • C1: KB swing – 28kg x 8, 8, 8
  • D1: Bear hug/shoulder carry

Thursday – run 6-8km

Friday – park workout

  • Warm up – Becoming Bulletproof, run to the park
  • 3-4 rounds of 5-10 reps:
    • Push ups
    • Pull ups
    • Dips
    • Rows
  • Then:
    • Sprinting/cartwheels/tree climbs (play stuff)

Winter running – an update from October to April

It’s been a long time since I did one of these posts. I have to confess to being a bit of a fair weather runner and have been running pretty infrequently over the winter months. I can deal with the cold ok, but when it’s cold plus rain/snow/ice I’d rather stay indoors and lift some kettlebells.

I took a big break in December and January but have been going out occasionally, and recent progress has been good.

This table has details of all of my runs from the last five or so months. I think the kettlebell training has had a positive effect on my overall endurance. There’s something about hoisting those things repeatedly that gives you relentless legs.

Date Distance (km) Time Ave HR Max HR Time in zone Time per km % in zone
26/10/2012 4.88 00:26:38 140 149 00:22:27 00:05:27 84.29%
02/11/2012 5.31 00:29:26 141 153 00:20:49 00:05:32 70.72%
09/11/2012 6.86 00:40:50 140 153 00:28:27 00:05:57 69.67%
23/11/2012 5.31 00:29:51 139 151 00:20:36 00:05:37 69.01%
02/02/2013 4.5 00:23:34 138 149 00:16:20 00:05:14 69.31%
08/02/2013 5.59 00:31:33 136 150 00:17:36 00:05:38 55.78%
22/02/2013 4.64 Forgot HR monitor
15/03/2013 4.35 00:23:04 139 154 00:15:48 00:05:18 68.50%
22/03/2013 4.71 00:24:07 139 150 00:17:22 00:05:07 72.01%
05/04/2013 4.71 00:24:19 139 150 00:16:59 00:05:09 69.84%

I said back in October that I would be happy when I was running 6km at under 5 minutes per km while keeping my heart rate between 138-148 for 70% of the time, and I’m now not that far off.

My pace and time in my target HR zone are both very close, I just need to push up the distance a bit. I’ve felt pretty fresh at the end of my recent runs and could happily carry on for a bit longer.

Current training – April 2013

My sleep is getting better but still far from ideal. I think that’s just part of the parenting gig though.

The Isaac Hayes template I posted about a couple of weeks ago is still working well. My current set up looks like this:

Sunday (heavy)

  • A1: 20kg Turkish get up
  • B1: 20kg one arm jerk 6-8 mins @ 6rpm
  • C1: One arm push up –  hands elevated
  • C2: Partial pistol
  • C3: Tuck back lever
  • D1: 20kg swing 3 mins

Monday (medium)

  • L- seat
  • Bridging
  • Movnat – jumping/climbing/balancing/carrying
  • Prasara yoga

Tuesday (easy) – run (maybe) or light stretching (more likely)

Wednesday (heavy)

  • A1: 20kg Turkish get up
  • B1: 20kg one arm jerk 6-8 mins @ 6rpm
  • C1: One arm push up –  hands elevated
  • C2: Partial pistol
  • C3: Tuck back lever
  • D1: 20kg swing 3 mins

Thursday (medium)

  • L- seat
  • Bridging
  • Movnat – jumping/climbing/balancing/carrying
  • Prasara yoga

Friday (easy) – run

Things I’ve learnt from running more frequently

The more often you do something the better you get at it.

It’s obvious really. In addition to training the muscles more frequently I am also training the skill.

Skill such a big part of any movement based exercise it needs some frequency to learn the details. I’m not beating myself to death with running – I go out once maybe twice a week – but the difference over a few months of consistency have been noticeable.

Strength helps

I’ve mentioned this before.

  • Stronger muscles make each stride easier and less taxing on the body (accounting for total body mass – of which I have reltively little). 
  • This means you are less fatigued and are more able to concentrate on technique. 
  • Better technique makes you more effecient and able to go longer/faster = better runner.

I’ve noticed a similar thing in my judo classes. I’m on a beginners course so we’re all brand new to judo, but have varying levels of conditioning.

Some have a fair bit of gym experience, some have just got off the sofa (after having a fag). The difference between the two groups is clear. One is getting fit by doing judo and trying to learn new skills at the same time. The other, while still working hard, is much more able to focus on the techniques.

Mobility helps too

As my squat improves (i.e both stronger and deeper) my running improves too. I think this is largely as I am learning to use my hips better.

I thank Becoming Bulletproof for that, the rock exercise has been amazing in teaching me how squat properly.

I also notce this at judo. My ability to get my hips into throws is pretty poor, but when I (luckily) get it right the different is incredible.

 

You could certainly apply these points to most athletic activity:

  • Move well
  • Get stronger
  • Practice frequently

Nothing groundbreaking. Much wiser men than me have been saying this for a long time. I guess this is just me finally noticing.

 

Endurance/HR training update – August – October

It’s been a good month for my running. I’ve not always gone out as frequently as I’d like, as I’ve had to rearrange traing to fit in my judo class, but it’s usually been once a week.

Progress has still been good though. The drop in temperature has had a really positive effect on my ability to manage my heart rate.

It’s obvious when you think about it – heat will make it go higher, faster. Interestingly barking pitbulls have a similar effect.

The general trend has been for the amount of time spent in my target HR zone to go up and the time per km to come down – all good.

Here’s the stats for the last month or so:

Date Distance (km) Time Ave HR Max HR Time in zone Time per km % in zone
29/08/2012 6.11 00:36:19 140 155 00:23:33 00:05:56 64.85%
02/09/2012 7.36 00:42:41 140 151 00:30:14 00:05:47 70.83%
08/09/2012 7.3 00:41:06 142 153 00:31:49 00:05:37 77.41%
13/09/2012 3.8 Forgot HR monitor
21/09/2012 5.75 00:30:16 140 151 00:20:32 00:05:15 67.84%
28/09/2012 5.75 00:30:31 140 151 00:21:35 00:05:18 70.73%
12/10/2012 4.4 00:23:56 139 152 00:15:22 00:05:26 64.21%

And some comments:

  • 151-2 bpm is when I realise I am out of the zone. My monitor does beep but it’s pretty quiet and this seems to be the point I notice I’m working a bit too hard.
  • It looks as though my % in zone peaked on 8 September, but that is misleading as it was also one of the longest runs. The amount of time spent warming up and cooling down is the same no matter what distance I cover so time in zone is more likely to be high on a longer run.
  • 21 & 28 September show good progress. This is exactly the same route. I was a little bit slower second time , but the time in zone increases nicely.

The best measure of progress I have is the very first and last runs.

Date Distance (km) Time Ave HR Max HR Time in zone Time per km % in zone
28/06/2012 3.8 00:23:00 142 160 00:15:03 00:06:03 65.43%
12/10/2012 4.4 00:23:56 139 152 00:15:22 00:05:26 64.21%

The time spent running is roughly the same but the distance covered, and especially the pace, is way up.

I’m pleased with how this is going – it feels like a nice four months work.

It’ll be interesting to see where I am when the progress plateaus. If I can get to a point where I’m consistently in the zone for 70% of a 6km run, where the time per km is under 5mins, I’ll be pretty happy.