Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I have officially left the reservation - four straight days training

Had a day off from training on Friday and boy does that seem a long time ago.

Since then I have been training five times in four days. What is going on?

I don't do this, I normally drink beer and relax and eat awful food but that was the old me. The one who used to smoke. It's 60 days today since I had my last cigarette, thats 1442 hours or 86520 minutes or over 5 million seconds and do you know something, it was the best decision I ever made.

I didn't realise until reading Allen Carr that the lethargy I used to feel and my general disdain for exercise including all things gym related were a side effect of the nicotine monster. I'm so glad I've decided to embark on this challenge as it changing my life.

I also had a dilemma on Friday, I received a VIP invitation (still had to pay) to complete the GE Blenheim Triathlon but after much soul searching and advice from Twitter I have decided not to as I have something else planned for that day as I have been granted media accreditation to the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff. This means a lot to me as an aspiring photographer.

The five training sessions I have completed are as follows (I apologise in advance if some of this seems boring to some but for those who know me in the non-net world, some of this may be surprising)

Saturday AM

I woke up this morning feeling good and with my usual exercise fuel of Coco Pops (what can I say I'm a big kid really) and a can of a Red Bull substitute, I got changed and loaded up the new bike for its first outing. My first bike ride outside since 1st April and my first bike ride full stop in about a month. I decided to take a picture of the new beast for posterity.

And boy what a pretty bike it is. Once the momentous photo was taken, I decided to see how comfy the bike was and after completing a 41.77km ride in 01:44:48 (route below)  I can safely say, it is very comfy. Ben at J E James Cycles was right. No back pain whatsoever although that could be due to the Cherry Active which I drank on completion. This was also the first time I had tried various High5 products and they are very tasty. The gels are really easy to eat as well.

The average speed was 14.5mph. I know I can improve on this given I have another 18 or so weeks but I am so glad I did this ride.

I was meant to brick this with my third interval run of the week but I think I had hit a brick wall on the bike around the 30k mark which is to be expected given it's my first bike ride in a month. And also it was bloody hot on Saturday, too hot for me to run in anyway.

I also learnt an important lesson on this bike ride. Even though it is 08:30, you still need suncream otherwise this happens.


Saturday PM

I felt guilty on Saturday evening about having not bricked my bike ride with a run and despite arguing with the lawn for an hour (more exercise) I decided to complete my interval run before me tea. I think I was partly spurred on having watched the coverage of the ITU Women's triathlon from Madrid (so a special thanks must go to Vicky Holland, Liz Blatchford, Jodie Stimpson, Vanessa Raw and the rest of the field for getting my up and exercising again on the same day).

Two training sessions in one day, seriously what is wrong with me. My interval run was the same as the one on Tuesday and despite having cycled over 40km, it was comparable with Tuesday's effort. The route can be seen below.

I still can't believe I managed both of these given the heat on Saturday.


I woke with no pains on Sunday so proceed to go to the gym and I completed a multitude of exercises as detailed below. None of these are going to break World Records but they were completed and thats the main thing.

  • 7 minutes on cross trainer at varying difficulties
  • 5 minutes on rowing machine
  • 3 sets of leg exercises on power plate
  • 6 sets of chest/arm exercises on the power plate
  • 7 minutes on sit down exercise bike (didn't fancy a normal bike as I was a bit tender in certain places)
  • 5 minutes @ 10km/h on the running machine
  • 150m front crawl

And my personal favourite achievement

  • 300m of front crawl completed in 5 minutes and 20 seconds at a relaxed pace.
I did this to see how easy I will find the swim during my triathlon and to be honest I wish I found running this easy. At this pace I could complete the swim in 25 or so minutes which is 7 minutes and ten behind an elite male at Olympic distance.


When I had completed all this again I drank Cherry Active.

Now a little on my new best friend. As stated previously I know Etienne Stott (the GB C2 canoeist) on a first name basis from having built the Olympic Canoe Centre at Lee Valley and he is sponsored by Cherry Active. I asked him what this was once and told me to check out the website.

I did as he suggested and could not believe what I read. This was at the start of my quest and it claimed to get rid of muscle aches so I thought what the heck. Cherry Active is 100% cherry juice concentrate and is bloody marvellous. Without it I think I would be in bits after every training session as I don't stretch (yes I know I'm stupid). The 30ml shot has relieved me of aching muscles the next day and I now have it after every training session. If any of you are suffering then please try it. I am not going to try and bore you with science or a sales pitch. It works for me and that is all I have to say but I was crippled when I started training and now can train on multiple days.


Again no aching on getting up (even though it was at 03:30 for work).

Today was not a good day and I know the reason. TIREDNESS. Not muscle tiredness but I was exhausted. I got out of bed at 03:30 (after about four hours sleep), drove to London, worked a full day and then decided to go on a run. When I set off my legs felt heavy and I felt lethargic.

I can only describe the next 32 and a half minutes as pure torture. I felt awful on every step but soldiered on. I entered a new week in my training plan and the intervals increased.

The run for this week is
  • 5 min warm up walk
  • 3 sets of 1 min run, 1 min walk, 3 min run and 2 and half min walk
  • 5 min cool down
I completed over 3km again but as usual went off at stupid pace an knackered myself out during the first and second runs. MUST LEARN CONTROL.

My route is below.

I was so despondent after the run that I contacted a triathlon coaching company via Twitter (RG Active) to see if they could help but when I woke this morning I realised I felt like this cos I was tired, so no more running following a drive to London for me. Onwards and upwards. If I need a hand I'm sure I can find a running club in London or Doncaster to assist me. But I will persevere with the training plan and hope it sorts me out.

On a plus note, no more searing pain on the outside of my shins thanks to my new trainers when I run.


Four days straight training. A new record.

I was going to try out the Virgin Active in Cricklewood but when I got there the swimming pool was shut. As tonight was a swim night this was a disaster and I had to drive to Hendon, which cost me about 45 minutes in time. Not a good start.

My session in the gym consisted of 5 minutes cross trainer, 3 sets of .legs exercises on the cross trainer followed by a 600m swim at race pace and I completed this in 10 minutes ish. I need a waterproof watch to help me time myself.

Four days in the gym done.

More importantly it's a rest day tomorrow which is a good job as I have to go and photograph the women's British Handball team in their match against Montenegro.

Sorry for the boring training update but this is as much for me as anyone as it's a record of what I've achieved.

Remember you can sponsor me via my Justgiving. So far with my contributions from colleagues I think I've nearly raised £500 which is nearly half my target.

You can follow me on Twitter also, which I update a lot more.

I'll update this blog at some point over the weekend.

Thanks for reading,


1 comment:

  1. Hi Michael,

    Just a note to say thank you for mentioning Allen Carr's Easyway To Stop Smoking book in your blog.

    It would be great if you could write a piece for our blog about how you came to stop smoking with Allen Carr and the effect it might have had on various aspects of your life.

    No problem if you're too busy/don't fancy it - but if you do - please send it to me here

    Best wishes
    John Dicey
    Worldwide Director
    Allen Carr's Easyway