I’m back. I’m bloody buggering back After what seems like an absolute age, I’m finally ready to start heaving, sweating and groaning my way to slightly above average fitness. My aim: to achieve the kind of physique and physical well being that you might have expected from Bruce Lee if he’d spent the last two decades getting arseholed in his local (and not being mostly dead). Aiming high.
So what’s all this ‘Freeletics life transformation’ bollocks then? Why no 15-week coach? Well, as I’ve droned on about previously in punishing detail, I’m coming back from injury. Right now it doesn’t make a lot of sense for me to get straight back into the coach, given that I could end up breaking myself again. The plan is to ease into it and listen to my body. If I feel that certain workouts might be causing a problem, I’ll either avoid them altogether or modify them to remove the offending exercise.
Also, I don’t want to limit myself to 15 weeks. But neither do I wish to do the 15-week coach indefinitely. I’ve enjoyed my Freeletics experience so far, and I want to carry on with it. But to my own schedule and as part of my ongoing exercise routine. I’m running again now, and that will be integrated into it. I know that the Freeletics team have recently included running workouts into the coach app, but on inspection they are a bit, well, basic. Essentially a selection of distances, with you simply being challenged to set and then beat your PBs. I have a problem with this. On longer runs, focusing solely on beating your time can be counter-productive depending on what you’re trying to achieve. What I’m trying to achieve where my running is concerned is to build endurance and burn fat. The most effective way to do that is to run at a comfortable pace, the kind of pace where you can comfortably hold a conversation. So that’s what I’m doing. Sure I might do a few intervals, but generally it’s about relaxing and enjoying it.
Before I bore the balls (or, I daresay, breasts) off you with details of my workouts and runs last week, I just want to briefly gush about how utterly fucking marvellous it is to run at this time of year. The autumn is absolutely my favourite time of year to run, and there have been a few occasions where I’ve actually been grinning like some kind of… Well, like some kind of sweaty fucking weirdo. The weather and conditions are just about perfect right now: warm but not too warm, dry, fresh and with that lovely change in the air.
I’m very sorry if the above paragraph has caused you to be sick all down yourself. Perhaps you should print it off and stick it to the fridge in case you ever need to induce vomiting.
Anyway, here’s what I did last week.
Day One: Burpee Max 51*, Situp Max 101*, 50 pull ups (not timed)
Now please bear in mind that I hadn’t done a burpee (or much exercise in general) for almost two months. I was a little apprehensive, but started off well. My aim was to get over 50, so I achieved that. I was also apprehensive about the situps, since I’d had issues with my abdominal muscles. But they were fine, although I started to ache quite a bit in the last minute. The pull ups, well this was just an afterthought really. I’ve been doing 50 more or less every day while injured. When I first started Freeletics, I couldn’t do a single proper pull up. I can now do 10-12 on the bounce without having to rest my arms, so there’s been some good improvement there.
Day Two: 5.6 mile easy run, average pace 8:26 per mile. 50 pull ups
Not much to say about the run, I was really just focusing on keeping it comfortable and good form.
Day Three: Metis 6:38* PB! and 50 more pull ups
Don’t ask me how, because as well as being relatively inactive for a while, I was also suffering from quite a bad cold. But I beat my previous PB for Metis by forty seconds.
Day Four: 3.4 mile run, average pace 8:07 per mile and I can’t be bothered to write about pull ups anymore
A shorter run and I wanted to improve my pace slightly, whilst still running comfortably within myself. So that’s nice ISN’T IT.
Day Five: APHROFUCKINGDITE 36:03*
Here it is then. The big(ish) one. After a few gentle sessions of easing myself back into things, it was time for a proper test. Now bearing in mind I’d managed to get under half an hour before I was crocked, I was hoping to get within maybe five minutes of that. It was close. In my defence, my wife called me from the supermarket about halfway through. Ordinarily I would’ve cut the call short, but this was important: she was in the beer aisle. Anyway, it was really, REALLY tough. I couldn’t wait for it to end, but I was absolutely thrilled that I didn’t get any aches or pains at all. Oh, until the next day when I discovered that my legs had grown pretty accustomed to not doing squats for a while. Wow. Proper ‘hobbling down the stairs’ agony for the next two days. Which kind of scuppered my plans to follow this workout with a run and then another workout on Sunday because I couldn’t really walk. But that’s okay – I was reasonably pleased with this for a first week back.
Couple more things. I’m weighing myself far more regularly now. I don’t really know what my ideal weight is, but my gut feeling is that I probably need to lose about ten pounds. I started the week at 179 pounds (81.2kg) and finished on 178.8 pounds (81.1kg). So I think we can all agree that my losing a total of two ounces (or 100 whole grammes) is an incredible achievement. I think I might write a book about it. Hopefully next week I can lost the same again. I should hit my target weight in about a hundred years.
In connection with that, I’m pretty much not eating any meat all now. It can’t be coincidence that this pain in my side is ALWAYS exacerbated by red meat consumption. I haven’t eaten meat of any kind for over a week and guess what? No pain at all. We don’t eat a lot of meat in this house anyway, so I’m not missing it. I’ve no intention of becoming a vegetarian, but I’ve got to admit to feeling really good.
And in other news, Richard D James finally pulled his finger out of his arse and released a new album. Obviously it’s brilliant. If you have any feelings for me at all, you’ll listen to this. If you don’t, I hope your head catches fire and you get a fly in your wine. In that order.