Monday Motivation: More Spartan Training

Monday Motivation: More Spartan Training

Pheeee-ew! What a busy weekend! We had our end of class salsa night out on Friday, our Ceilidh-come-Fèis-Showcase on Saturday and a lovely day out to Portavadie on Sunday. My parents were here, so it was good fun to catch up and relax. But it did mean that I didn’t get much training done over the weekend.

Before that, though, I’d made good progress in my attempt to become a SpartanJogger: I didn’t get to WAR on Monday or PiYo on Tuesday: I’d had some adjustments from the miracle working Osteopath on Monday so I gave my body some time to adjust, but I felt brilliant afterwards.

On Wednesday I ran. Yay! 

First run in five weeks. It was a slow, steady three miler chatting with Emily so the time flew by. It was also torrential rain- we had thunder, lightening and overflowing drains to contend with, but we got it done. Why does running in the rain make you feel so bad ass?

Thursday was my first full- power PiYo session for some time and it felt great to be back to some degree of strength and flexibility. Jacqui loaned me some kit so that I can work on strength training in advance of the Spartan race, which is brilliant- and very kind of her. I now have a box jump, medicine balls which I can use as they are intended for or in a hold-all to replicate a sand bag. Jacqui gave me some really really good tips on some training ideas and exercises so I’ll be testing those out in the coming few weeks. 

Friday night was our last Salsa class- boo 😔I’ll miss it: the fun, the footwork, the cameraderie- hopefully we’ll have a chance to do it again.

So, all in all, I have definitely made progress in my work towards the Spartan race. Yay!

Tonight I gave it my all at WAR. I’m almost back to my old self: I definitely still have some weakness in my left leg, and it did collapse under me when I was doing some jump lunges. But for other parts of the class I dug in deep and kept focussed. I imagined myself in four weeks, ready to run and as strong as I could be 💪🏻, so I worked HARD and used my weighted gloves as much as possible.

 My plan for tomorrow night is to get in a solid run and to follow it up with some circuit exercises- if I’m not too sore after tonight’s class. I want to test my body a little, pushing it on while trying not to set back my recovery. 

We’ll see how that goes and I’ll report back to you next week 👍🏻, meanwhile I hope this resonates with you:  How is your training going? 

Have a good week 🙂

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello! How has your week been? Did you have a busy weekend? Are you loving this weather? Not that we’d know here in Argyll- we haven’t seen the glorious sunshine or high temperatures that most of you have had. Ah, well 😏

I’m not going to bore you with the details of my training last week, since I shared that with you all yesterday. You don’t need to read that lot twice! 

I just wanted to pop by and give you a dose of motivation, if you need it 👍🏻 After our walk on Saturday I thought that this would work: 

 Have a great week!

SpartanJogger Training Continues 

SpartanJogger Training Continues 

Well, in a fashion it does. And by fashion I mean this rather swish Spartan Ambassador Tee 😉   As the weeks go by, I’m feeling much more like my old self physically, but I still have a way to go with some numbness in my right thigh, triceps and upper back. My left knee isn’t collapsing nearly as much but I’ve not ventured a run on it yet. 

I had a great night at WAR last Monday working on my core, legs and arms in particular but I didn’t use my weighted gloves- I’m planning to add them back in tomorrow night, if my osteopath appointment goes ok. I was a bit wobbly in the legs last week, too, but much improved from the previous week. 

Yesterday, @TheWelshWookie and I went for a long, hilly walk in the woodlands above Tarbert, getting in six miles which was a real achievement: I felt ok physically, with my left leg struggling a little only in the downhill sections. 

The view was gorgeous:   When we got back, I did some work comparing my current training to the Spartan guide and there are some gaps I need to work on. Granted, I’m very happy that I’m already working hard on squats, lunges, planks, press ups and other key strength exercises, but I do have some gaps to address:

Bear Crawls: I’ll need to work on these to get my butt under the barbed wire. Not sure what to do beyond focussing on dropping my hips when holding a plank.

Pull Ups: Nope. Definitely a gap for me. Not sure I’ll ever manage pull ups so I’m going to rely on The Wookie punting me up ropes and walls 😆. Meanwhile I’ll work on my next gap:

Box Jumps: I’ve asked The Wookie to find a suitable implement we can use for practicing these- my coffee table is too high, higher than a dining chair. Still working on this one for now but I know it will be a critical one.

Sandbag Lifts: we’ve been working on imaginary sandbag lifts at WAR so I’ll have to really focus on this, and see if there’s something I can use in the meantime to build some strength here.

Not too bad, though, four key areas for development in terms of strength.

In the coming week I’m hoping to try a short run/walk/run so wish me luck with that, it’s been five weeks since my last run so I’m missing it terribly! 

All in all, training is slow: my focus has been in recovery and on returning to fitness in a measured way. Long may it continue but with five weeks until the Spartan run I hope that my improvements build momentum as my confidence in what I can do returns. 😀

Monday Motivation: Spartan Training Begins

Monday Motivation: Spartan Training Begins

Yes, it begins. Slowly. But better than nothing.

I’m still unable to run, but my mobility has improved a little meaning that last week I managed to get my sorry butt back to classes. With one eye on the Spartan Sprint in six weeks, I started last Monday with WAR. I didn’t use my weighted gloves, and I kept to low intensity moves, but it felt great to be there 👍🏻

On Tuesday I went to PiYo Stretch and Flow which is more gentle than the Thursday class. While I missed my usual run, I felt that I was helping my body by doing as much as I could to keep up. My left leg was driving me crazy and had a mind of its own but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I planned to join the walkers group at Jog Scotland on Wednesday night but it was cancelled. Undeterred, I walked 5k myself and I kept the pace up as much as I could manage. 

All in all, the week was a real improvement on the previous few. 

This week, I’ve been back at WAR again and I managed some higher intensity work- but I’m still limited. I do feel that I’m making progress so I’m focusing on that. But I really want to get training for the Spartan Sprint more intensely while not setting myself back. I’m sure that will come in the next week or so. I’m waiting for some training tips to come through, so that should help!  It I can’t help. It feel worried when I see images like this:

Eeek! All I can do is focus, train and do my best.

I hope that this resonates with you as much as it does with me right now:

Have a good week!

TartanJogger to SpartanJogger?

TartanJogger to SpartanJogger?

I hope you’d think of me as someone up for a challenge. I’m not usually one to shy away from trying something new, unless it really, really scares me. And there aren’t too many that I can think of.

I’m a little scared of the tough, boot camp- obstacle type- races, though, and I don’t mind admitting it. I did the Zombie Night Run which had some obstacles, a lot of mud and a lot of water: and while I absolutely loved it, I thought it was at my upper limit for those types of races.

Well, not any more. In July, The Welsh Wookie and I are going to do our first ever Spartan Race! 

😀😳

I’m going from TartanJogger to SpartanJogger 😉


We have the chance to do the Spartan Sprint- and so we’re going to really challenge ourselves both physically and mentally and do it! For those unfamiliar with Spartan Races the sprint involves a 5-6k trail run interspersed with 20 or so obstacles involving mud, walls, water, barbed wire, fire and any other challenges they can come up with. Gulp!

I’ve been out with injury (and I still am) for the past few weeks, but given the cross training I’ve been doing I reckon if I don’t do this race this year, I may never pluck up the courage to do it.

So….. bring it on! My training starts now with a return to WAR tomorrow night focussing on leg strength, upper body, arms and core. All of which I will definitely need. I’m far from where I was before but now is as good a time as any to get stuck in.

I’ll keep you updated with my training progress as this is all going to be very different for me.


Have you become a Spartan? Any training tips for me?  Are you joining us?

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

I can’t quite believe that I’ve been back to my routine for a week, with my holiday not yet fading. And yes, the post-holiday lurgy has just caught up with me. Boo! I’m hoping that it will lift quickly, so that I can keep my training on track. Last week was OK- looking back I now know that this was working on me, which affected my performance at times.

Monday- I was back at WAR, which had new tracks. They were tough, but since I’d forgotten my sports bra I couldn’t work as hard as I’d like. At least I eased back in gently.

Tuesday- I ran 4 miles, and found it pretty tough. My NRC app was playing up, and I think I probably ran further but the GPS didn’t track correctly. I was glad to get it done.

Wednesday- the Jog Scotland run last week was around Stonefield and Barmore Island. It was great, with beautiful scenery even if it was a reasonably short 1.75 mile run. 

Thursday- I had PiYo and VeraFlow, and I was a little concerned I’d have fallen behind. But I was able to keep up with most of the tracks. It’s definitely my favourite classes, in terms of fitness classes.

Friday- we were back at salsa- yay! We had two new steps to learn, which were very different 😀 Our wee routine is beginning to come along nicely!

Saturday- I ran the Taynish 5k with some of the JogScotland ladies and I loved it! It was a tough out and back route, with the first kilometre a surprising uphill trek. But it was all worth it for the fabulous home baking we had in aid of Macmillan Nurses afterwards! I’ll post a race review, I was very happy with my sub 30 minute run. I was pleased to see my first ever decent race picture too: We then had another amazing afternoon at the Fèis, this time I had a guitar session and my first ever fiddle lesson: I even managed to get a tune (of sorts) out of it! 

Sunday- I had a rest day, but we did marshal at the Inveraray Jail Break once again. I love supporting this race, and I’ve written about how amazing it is before. In the afternoon we visited the Loch Fyne Food Fayre and stuffed ourselves on amazing local produce including venison, hog roast and seafood:

Today I’m skipping class for an early night, and I hope to shift this bug quickly. 

I’ll be back to it asap! 

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

So I’ve been AWOL over the past couple of weeks. Did you notice? Anyone miss me? I took a short break while The Welsh Wookie and I were on holiday in Tenerife. We relaxed, ate, drank beer and had a great time. 

We weren’t completely idle, though. The weekend before we went we took part in the Great Edinburgh Run, a ten mile race around the city. I’ll post my race report separately (I’ve yet to write it) but I had a great run, with a pace of 9.50 per mile, faster than I had predicted over a hilly, hot course. 

The day of the run was also the final day of my 5×50 Challenge so it was great to finish on such a high note. 

  

We then jetted off to the sunshine for ten days. We did lots of walking, getting in an average of 15,000 steps per day and I also managed a couple of hot, sweaty dreadmill 5ks but it was good to dial down the intensity a little and have some down time to relax and repair. 

But my focus is now on the next challenge: the Rock n Roll Liverpool half marathon in a couple of weeks. I managed a hot, hilly 11 miles yesterday but I found it tough going. I went with my body, though, and walked a couple of times when I had to. But the mileage is there and the training has been good until now. 

Tonight it felt amazing to be back at WAR. I kept the intensity down a notch. I had no choice, I’d forgotten to pack a sports bra…. oops! But I took part, omitting the more aerobic moves for a change! The new core section was a tough one, it was challenging across my whole body, but I’m looking forward to giving it another go, when I’m properly attired! 

Whether you’ve also taken a break from your routine or you’ve been skipping your training altogether, I hope this helps getting you back on track: 

Late Motivation 

Late Motivation 

How was your Easter weekend? Mine was fantastic, but it meant that I forgot to blog yesterday- sorry about that! I thought I’d post tonight instead, with a round up of my training from last week.

Monday was WAR. This is such a good way to start my week, I’m really feeling the benefit of the HIIT style tracks and the strength training: my arms and shoulders are stronger than they have ever been and I know the squats and lunges are paying off. I’m pushing hard, and leaving each section shaking and sweating, but I still have work to do, especially with the tricep work. I’m determined to keep building on what we are achieving so far in this session. It’s ace!

On Tuesday I ran a strong four miles in 38:55, which was better than I expected. I was running comfortably and didn’t push too hard, but want to keep the intensity on track which I think I did. 

Wednesday was a 5k run to West Loch Tarbert with Jog Scotland. This was at a comfortable talking pace which was perfect after the stronger run the evening before. The run was over before I knew it: I really look forward to my Wednesday night social runs with JogScotland.

PiYo and VeraFlow was off on Thursday due to the Easter break and so I headed out around the village for a walk which was good. I needed the break and so I listened to my body and focussed on active recovery.

Friday was a day of getting organised, but I thought I’d get in some cross training so did 30 minutes on the indoor bike. It will never be my favourite type of exercise, but I understand the benefits and so I have been just getting on with it!

On Saturday we were able to get to Victoria Park ParkRun and I was in two minds about how I’d run with a week to go before the Great Edinburgh Run. I decided to see how I coped with a sub 30 minute 5k and it turned out that it was very comfortable indeed! I was able to chat easily, and I could have easily pushed harder but to know that I can now run sub 30 minutes again shows me how far I’ve come in the past four months, I’ve knocked at least 5 or 6 minutes off my 5k time. I still have a way to go to reach my 5k PB time of 26:11 but I think I *could* have run around 28 minutes 😉 Big thanks to the 30 min pacer- she was absolutely ace!

Easter Sunday was all about family time, but I squeezed in a walk around Glasgow’s West End, in the pouring rain. And then I ate. A lot. We had Mexican food which made a change for our family: for starters I had chicken rice balls, which were like arincini followed by a spicy cod dish served with rice and finished lunch with creme egg cheesecake! Wow, it was awesome! I also had a few margaritas and a few of us had tequila shots…… as you do! Eek!  Just immediate family for dinner 🙂

After an after party at LADs house (and a couple of gins) we headed off to Ryan’s gig in Merchant City: it was amazing! They were awesome! 

On Monday @TheWelshWookie and I had some shopping to do, but when we arrived back in Tarbert we headed out for a lovely walk, soaking up the last of the bank holiday sunshine. We had stopped off at the George Hotel in Inveraray for lunch, which was ace! We definitely over indulged this weekend. 

Tonight, I headed out for an easy 5k but ended up with another four miles in the bag, at a pace of 9:22. I didn’t plan that pace, my legs just wanted to run so I went with it 🙂

I know that balance is everything- and I’ve rounded up tonight by eating half of a Lindt teddy. I don’t mind admitting it- it’s the first major chocolate fest since Christmas and I feel a bit sick after it….. not my best idea, but It is all about balance, isn’t it? At least that’s the choccie overload out of the way 🙂

I’m looking forward to getting back on track for the rest of this week, before the Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday. 

Here’s a little motivation if you’re struggling after the weekend:

 Have a great week!

5×50 Challenge: Week Six Round Up

5×50 Challenge: Week Six Round Up

Link

Monday Motivation 

I cannot believe another week has passed, we’re only a week away from Easter and two weeks away from the Great Edinburgh Run!

I’m feeling inspired today, inspired by those who achieved so much yesterday: my feed was full of smiling faces and bling: with people achieving in Brighton, Paris and elsewhere. Big congratulations to Allison (The Running Princess) and Steve (Running on Espresso) for doing so well in the tough heat of Paris- I’m jealous of both your bling and your post- run refuelling!

I hate to say this out loud, but my training is still on track and going well, which is just brilliant. Here’s my roundup for last week:

Monday: I love WAR and I can really feel the benefit of the strength and endurance training we are doing. I’m pushing hard each week and, I think, reaping the benefits.

Tuesday: Get better soon, Sam, but in the meantime Pound and Zumba is off. But what it meant was I managed to get an extra run in. I did a nice, solid 10k and I was comfortable with my time. I didn’t push myself too hard, and I now feel that my 5k race time would be under 30 minutes and my 10k race time under the hour, the Jog Scotland speedwork is definitely paying off.

Wednesday: we had week two of the new training block at Jog Scotland tonight which was 2×20 minutes. I didn’t stop in between, and we managed to run four miles in total, which was great after my 10k the day before. I still felt strong and comfortable even though I try not to run two days in a row.

Thursday: I had my Thursday Doubler which I love. In PiYo we did the whole round without stopping between tracks too much. We also put together both Flow sections and did the whole Flow on each side, which was tough and challenging. I really love the Power session in this round, which I will miss! We also did an alternative Total Body Fusion which kept the body challenged. We had a new floor track in VeraFlow which was really good: it involved some variations on pigeon and the various deep stretches felt good!

Friday: we had no salsa as it’s off for the Easter break, so I squeezed in some steps in between baking for the Fèis coffee morning.

Saturday: I ran the glen loop and out along the Kilberry road, totalling nine miles. I felt good: I was running comfortably and my pace was fine for a LSR. I had to slow myself down a couple of times, but my pace increased as the run progressed. I also tackled some hills along the way, which were tough but gave me confidence for the Great Edinburgh Run, as I know it is hilly! I felt great, all in all. At one point I was running down a hill, arms outstretched, singing along to my music: I must have looked a sight to the drivers who passed me! 😮

Sunday: I didn’t want to do too much today, as I know I could do with some RnR, so I did a gentle 30 minutes on the indoor bike to get my daily target done for my 5×50 Challenge. I usually find the bike really tough, but today it was ok- probably down to my gentle pace 😉

Classes are winding down a little this week for Easter, but that just means I can focus on the GSR, and making sure I’m ready for it.

Hope this helps if you need a kick start to your week:

This really resonates with me: I hope you like it too. Have a good week.