Gladiators ready!

It has indeed been a while since my last blog so I thought I would give you all an update.

I mentioned that Mandy and I had started a new gym routine and that it included Kettle bells and Viprs. It's now been two weeks since we started the program and I am pleased to say that I can now cough and breathe without pain after the sessions but that doesn't mean it's getting any easier!

The first thing we do is a 10 minute warm up on the Cross trainer, it was originally meant to be 10 minutes on the rowing machine but it didn't agree with me at 7am! The Cross trainer is much better and lets me warm up without thinking about passing out. 

After that it's then on to either Kettle bells or the Viprs, we alternate which ones we do, it tends to mean Monday's are Kettle bells and Friday's are Viprs. The exercises are different depending on what we are using. Kettle bells tend to be a lot of leg work, squats and lunges while Vipr stuff is more lifting and burpees. (Burpess are evil!)   Kettlebells and Viprs

For anyone that doesn't know what a Vipr looks like, if you imagine a log with handles cut out of it, that is a Vipr. I have put an image on this blog to help. They come in different weights and usually they are coloured differently to indicate the weight i.e.. Black is the heaviest!

I sometimes get the feeling that I should be auditioning for Gladiators (do you remember that TV programme?) and once I'm finished with the Vipr I then need to run up the travelator! I shouldn't joke about that otherwise the instructor might expect me to do that on the treadmill.

There are 4 exercises we do with the kettle bells and Vipr and once they are done we then go to the weights machines and do leg extensions, leg curls and leg press. It's 3 sets of 10 for each.

This isn't it though, after this workout then its on to the core strength work and this is the same every visit to the gym, leg work is also the same each visit with the aim of lifting more weight each week but the core strength workout is where I struggle.

First we do 3 sets of 10 press-ups on a balance board then its in to the pyramid session - all moves are done with an additional weight of 8kg (medicine ball)

10 x Double situps then 10 x lunges but this is more a stretch than anything. I go in to a press up stance and then bring one leg round and up to my hand, take it back to the push up stance and then do the same on the other side. Flexibility is something I really need to work on in this area. After this its then

10 x Double situps, 10 x V-Situps then the lunges
10 x Double situps, 10 x V-Situps, 10 x toe taps then lunges
10 x Double situps, 10 x V-Situps, 10 x toe taps, 10 x leg raises then lunges
10 x Double situps, 10 x V-Situps, 10 x toe taps, 10 x leg raises, 20 x russian twists then finish with lunges. At this point my abs are killing me and I am glad it's the end of the session!

Already I have found a change in my running, I feel stronger when I am starting to feel tired and I can keep more upright rather than folding in the middle!

Not only have I been going to the gym more but my miles are increasing again as well since my slight niggle. Last week was 61 miles finishing on Sunday with a 20 mile run in the sleet and wind along the union canal. I tried out some gels as well to see how I got on with them. The biggest issue I seem to have is getting them open and then consuming them without getting my breathing all out of time - I ended up stopping, taking the gel then running again, not ideal for a race! I found I was almost holding my breath while trying to suck the gel out of the tubes which actually then made me feel more exhausted. They tasted fine (High5 Banana and Orange) but after the second one I did find I was burping a lot and my stomach didn't feel 100%. I took on water with them but still they didn't really do it for me. I couldn't say they helped me in any way so I think I might look at alternatives. Might pop in to my local running shop and have a word with them to see what they recommend. One option is I try Lucozade since that will be available at London Marathon but I am put off by the artificial sweeteners that are in the juice. I still have time to experiment on my other long runs so we will see how I get on - I may end up just using water.

Any suggestions are welcome!

Last week I also went out to run as many miles back to back at 6min/mi pace and I was pretty pleased with the result although I did have to drop the pace for a couple of miles. The head torch I was using decided that it had had enough and stopped working, not great when I am running up a dark path.

This week will be a target mileage of 65 but anything over that is a bonus. The plan is to get up to 70 miles and hold that total up until London then after London take the mileage up again nearer the 90-100 miles a week. By then the mornings will be lighter as well as the evenings so longer and more frequent runs will be easier to get in.

Last night was 10 miles home from the office and considering I had 20 miles in my legs from Sunday I felt pretty good and managed an avg pace of 7min/mi without thinking about it.


Owain Williams

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