10 Lessons Learned & New Gym Routine!

10 things learned over the last 6 training weeks:

1. The first 5-10min of a run are horrible but after that it gets easier, whatever the weather.

2. Training legs in the gym is never a good idea a day or two before a “long run”.

3. Its taken 6 weeks but I can now run without my calves stiffening up and feeling tight.

4. Stretching well after a run really really helps with aches and pains.

5. A cold shower after a run makes you feel amazingly alive and awake!!

6. You never regret going to the gym/running but you always regret not going.

7. Trying to convince yourself your not ill and then feeling like death on a run is not a good idea.

8. I can still make weekly increases to distance and pace by completing one speed session and one long run per week.

9. Quality and form of a set is better than quantity of sets in the gym. One set with good form is better than 5 sets with poor form.

10. Motivation is key. As soon as the thoughts, “i’ll do the run tomorrow…. or its raining outside i’ll just miss this one…” pop into your head, quickly grab the gym bag or running shoes and go!

Things I will change!

Training for different disciplines such as the marathon, toughmudder and 3 peaks etc is definitely starting to have a positive effect on my general overall fitness and health.  My body fat appears to be dropping at quite an alarming rate, put down to what I can only suspect being the running.  My strength has gone up too, but not as quick as I might have hoped (again due to the running I supect or not concentrating on proper form enough…!) but im up 5kg on bench press and amazingly 10kg on squats and deadlifts (running again maybe?).  I have also adopted a new program, more to follow below.

On refection of setting out the original training program, I had tailored it more towards the running aspect, with gym taking a side step in the back ground if you like. After 6 weeks of training, its now time to change about my workouts to keep the body guessing and to continually improve (hopefully), hence the new plan. I have also found my current plan starting to get a little bit boring and so wanted to find a new routine and give it ago over the next 6 weeks and see how it does.

Firstly, my original targets still remain the same:

1. To beat my quickest time in the Great North Run – Sub 1:46.

2. To get a sub 4hr marathon time in the Kielder Marathon (Not a good course for PB’s!)

3. Maintain/add muscle mass in the 28 weeks.

My original training goals are also the same:

1. A minimum of 1 long run per week

2. Keep a training log – this has been a great help for progressing! I use the notes section on the iPhone and swap between that and the stop watch in between sets.

3. Increase weight and distance each week, however small.

4. Keep nutrition the key. Eat like hell.

So the new plan!

Very much the same as the original really in terms of the number days of in week spent training, just amending the gym parts from Pull/Push/Legs workout to now a 3 day split full body routine as follows.

The routine will be followed on 3 days with 1 day rest in between. I found this routine in an old mens fitness magazine where there is a before and after picture of some bloke who went on for 8 weeks. The results looked quite impressive (granted he had a personal traininer and all the supplements he could possibly need but still..)so I thought i’d give it a try too as its over 3 days and would allow me to continue to run on the other days.  There are rules for the work out though. As you will see there are a given number of sets and then a given number of reps.
As an example, Squat – 3 Sets, 25 reps. This would mean that over 3 sets you need to have completed 25 reps in total. NOT 25 reps per set. Once you can manage 25 reps over 3 sets, add weight. If you can do more than 25 reps over 3 sets then keep going and add weight next workout. When you hit 25 reps with the new heavier weight, add more weight etc etc… This applies to all the exercises each week.

The second rule is a max of 3 cardio sessions per week between 30-40 mins in length.  This works well for me as I will continue with 1 speed running session and one long run session (which will be over 30 mins but cant be helped).

Also – you need to eat like hell and i mean eat. If i want to put on any weight, with my current running I need to eat a horse every day with dessert basically.

Eat like hell!

Eat like a King!

The workouts

Day 1

Squat – 3 sets, 25 reps

Bench Press – 3 Sets, 25 reps

Dumb Bell row – 3 Sets, 25 reps

Barbell Curls – 3 sets, 25 reps

Weighted Sit ups – 3 sets, 45 reps

Day 2

Deadlift – 3 sets, 15 reps

Overhead press – 3 sets, 25 reps

Dips – 3 sets, MAX reps to failure each time

Barbell Calf Raise – 3 sets, 45 reps

Side bends – 3 Sets, 30 Reps

Day 3

Squat – 1 Set, 20 reps

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 Sets, 25 reps

Barbell Row – 3 sets, 25 reps

Dumbbell Curls – 3 Sets, 25 reps

Weighted Sit up – 3 Sets, 45 reps.

At first I didnt think there was enough exercises in here but after completing day 2’s workout yesterday, I can confirm there is if done properly!

Day 4 and Day 5 of the week will be for running with 6 and 7 rest/”cheat” days.

Anyway, will see how it goes over the next 6 weeks and feed back but hopefully i’ll improve further and find it beneficially on the next up coming challenges! Theoretically 6 weeks from now I should also be upto running between 15-17miles on my long runs! This seems crazy at the minute but anything is possible… It was only last week I did my first ever run over 10miles since the Great North Run in 2010!

This weekend im going for 20km/12 miles – two laps of the airport trail. This will give a good indication of how far i’ve improved with running i think… gulp.



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