Thursday, December 1, 2011


So last week I finally completed my fitness assessment which is very intense and detailed. I now have a program targeting my quads, thighs and vmo muscle in order to strengthen them for the hard mountain climbs. It includes various squats, as you might expect, but also a whole new range of activities including Olympic-style squats which sound cool, split squats which sound a little painful and finally sled towing!! Now as you know we don't get a lot of snow in the Meditteranean, so what's this all about? Well basically its a rather bizarre contraption with heavy weights pinned on to a red disk that sits on a sled with a harness for me to pull it....and wait for it, pull it uphill, on a road.....and backwards. The first thing Sue said when she saw it was 'I have to get a picture of this'. I feel many mocking comments are headed my way. Helen, my physio, has already started to refer to me as her 'husky'. Sue is convinced the police will arrest me; probably for 'pulling a dangerous object backwards without due care and attention....... or a licence!' How do I get myself into these situations?
        My running has been divided into 3 main types, which I do any way but now its much more targeted, mainly;-
 1) Short sprints - 6 x 1000 metre repeats  at 90% heart rate with 90 second rest. This is to increase my anaerobic threshold.
 2) Medium tempo run, 20k average at  heart rate 80% max.
 3) Block Specifity run, 30k average at heart rate 75% max; but including one long (block) for say10k at 90% max heart rate and uphill.
Apart from the short sprints all my other runs are in hills and mountains. The running program is designed to increase my speed over a whole race whatever the terrain and the exercises are to assist in avoiding isn't it ??
        Then there is the diet. The first thing we did was to analyse my fat content with a Biosignature analysis. The results were that my Body fat is 14.7%, which I'am proud to say just puts me in the 'Athlete category', however there were areas where work needs to be done in order to bring this down whilst at the same time increasing muscle density. My thighs, hips and abdomen are to be targeted as the rest of my other body measurements were pretty good.
         I will be reducing my carb intake,(unless I am doing a long run or race) whilst increasing my protein and healthy fats. Before meals and with post workout protein shakes, I am adding L-Glutamine to assist in absorption, along with green drinks, pro-biotics, Juice plus, fish oil, vitamin solution, etc, etc; and before breakfast I will be doing a series of squats to open up my glut-4 receptors, ( sounds like something out of Star Trek). You should see our kitchen in the morning, its like a chemical laboratory what with so many different concoctions being prepared.......Sue is going nuts......'Why can't you just go out to work every morning and grab a coffee like everyone else?' Well for two reasons 1) Coffee ain't going to help me run up mountains. and 2) What does 'go out to work every morning' actually mean?
      After all this if my next race isn't a triumph then I will take up golf.
      Yesterday dressed in a bright red running shirt and my long winter snood, I  did my first sled pulling workout on a quiet country road and low and behold a police car turns up.....unbelievable.... I thought how am I going to explain this?  Luckily he drove slowly past, smiled and just shook his head. His expression could have been translated into 100 different languages all with titles such as; tosser, dork, idiot, dickhead, dweeb,..........and finally, 'must be English'. I can just imagine him getting back to the police station that night.....'Hey Pierre I saw that mad Englishman again today'...........'you know, the one in the ballerina outfit we saw last week'......'You'll never believe what he's doing now?'............'Don't tell me.......I bet he's probably dressed up as Father Christmas and pulling a bright red sled'............'Ha ha Pierre.....He is, He is !!'

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