Tag Archives: weights

A Change of Pace

I’m a big fan of the Team Bear ethos of “Suffer, but never surrender”. In fact I like nothing more than being the first into the lake and the last out, or pushing myself so that I can hardly breathe at the end of a sprint session in the pool, or using the weights and feeling an ache the next day in places that you didn’t realise you had, or doing a cardio session and almost literally having to wring your t-shirt dry afterwards. I love all that.

But I’m not sure I can do that anymore. Or at least not right now.

Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger (none of us are, sorry to break that to you) and how I have adopted the suffer but never surrender mentality up until this point is to think that unless I’m suffering, then it’s not worth it. So, if I can’t run 10k, then why run? Or if I can’t swim at least a 3k pyramid session, is there any point going to the pool at all?

It’s that attitude [of mine] that has to change. Because it leads to one of two things: 1) not doing anything – “I’ll only manage a short swim, so why bother” or “the pool will be full and I won’t be able to do a proper set, so I just won’t go”; or 2) breaking myself. And the two are usually linked, as I break myself when I push too hard after not doing anything for a while: “I can do this, I’ve done it before, so what that I’ve not done it for three months… OUCH!”

Instead of suffering, for the next few months I want to just enjoy moving around. I’ve not got any big events planned this year, so no reason to suffer, and my previous mentality might have seen me become a bit of a couch potato. Instead I just want to be more active. It doesn’t have to be big and macho, but a gentle bit of exercise to counter balance all the sitting around I do for work.

Last night’s run was the perfect example. A nice 20 minute jog around a lovely village (I’m lucky to live somewhere beautiful) on a lovely evening – and all while my tea was cooking.

So from now on my plan is to take the chance to be active as much as possible and to ignore [some of the] goals and targets and just enjoy it. So more walking, more running, more gentle weights sessions at home and more quick dips in the pool and lake.

Of course it won’t last forever and at the back of my mind is the thought that I’m probably not all that fit at the moment. Instead of being fit I have trained my body to be able to perform one particular task – and even then I’ve broken it slightly as I’ve had a shoulder injury for the past week that will keep me away from swimming until at least the weekend. So a slightly more wholistic approach might improve my general fitness and put me in a much better position to be able to suffer in the future.


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Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming, Thoughts

New Training Plan

Right then, if I’m going to do Windermere again next year and if going to break 7 hours I need to have a serious training plan. Training up for the swim last year was all about just getting the miles in. I didn’t care how long it took me, all I wanted to do was finish. And with very little swimming experience I knew I just had to swim as much as possible to get my body ready for it.

This time it’s different for a number of reasons:

1 – I’ve done it before, so I know what to expect
2 – I have longer to train (I only decided in April last time)
3 – I have a target to aim for

So, to get a different outcome, I need a different approach. This time I’m going to set training targets for myself and train hard to achieve them. For October my plan will be to get four sessions in a week – 2 swimming and 2 gym. However, I will merge one of the swimming and gym sessions to make it only three trips to the gym – I like doing this as it also teaches my body how to swim when it is tired. It’s hard to get a 6-mile training swim in in the pool, but this way I can make it feel as if I’m doing mile 6.

Those 3 / 4 sessions will look like this:

Monday morning- swimming
– 50m sets – time 50seconds, go every minute, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-4-3-2
– 100m sets – time 1min 45, go every 2 minutes, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-4-3-2
– 200m sets – time 3mins 35, go every 4 minutes, 1-min break between sets: 2-3-2
Total 3,500

Thursday evening – gym
– Bike: 20 minutes, Random setting, target 11kms, increase level if achieved (currently level 13)
– Weights: various arm and shoulder exercises
– Treadmill: c. 15 minutes, increasing to run up to 2.8kms

Saturday morning – gym & swim
– Gym: as above
– Swim: 1.6kms, at a leisurely pace (c. 35 mins) to include some breaststroke

I know it’s not much to start with, but it’s good to get a plan together. I also need to be careful to create a realistic plan that is achievable given my other commitments. What I don’t want to do is start to miss sessions after only a couple of weeks and then give up on it. That said, in November I plan to add another hard swim session into the mix, probably on Friday mornings.

Wish me luck.


Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming