Hello! I’ve been neglecting you, haven’t I? Pull yourself together you ridiculous fool. If I was sitting next to you right now, I’d administer a firm clip round the ear. Actually, some of you have been doing Freeletics for ages and are doubtless much stronger than me. So perhaps not.
Anyway, Week 3 yeah? YEAH? It’s AMAZING because I’m writing this at the arse end of Week 4 AND I’M STILL NOT BROKEN! I’m starting to think that this pathetic excuse for a body might be up to the challenge after all. Well, without further ado, here’s how Week 3 went.
Monday: Aphrodite – 29.09. (It seems I’m getting in the habit of starting every week with Aphrodite. Good thing?)
Tuesday: Short run, 3 miles at 7:12/mile pace
Wednesday: Hera – 19:15 (star and PB)
Thursday: Run, 6.45 miles at 8:37/mile pace
Friday: Zeus – 25:47
Saturday: beer, wine, far too much rum and crawled into bed at 4am
Sunday: Run! 3.24 miles at… wait for it… 9:10/mile pace. Nearly died.
So let’s pick the bones out of that then. Happy to start the week with an acceptable time for Aphrodite, no PB but I think I’m going to be consistently under 30 minutes now. I guess it’s like anything; just look for incremental improvements. So my next target, obviously, is to get under 29 minutes.
Hera… Jesus. For someone that actually now enjoys distance running and used to run the 400m at county level when I was at school, I am SHIT at this! To be honest I think it would be easier if I was on a track, but there’s nothing like that near to where I live. Consequently I am running up and down farm tracks and it’s HORRIBLE. But I knocked a little bit off my PB, so I suppose I was pleased with it. Hera is one of those workouts that it feels great to finish.
The Thursday run was all about taking my time and not worrying about pace. It was great, and reinforced to me yet again that I’m extremely lucky to live a life where I can basically please myself when it comes to this stuff. And it helps that the countryside is rather nice, too.
Zeus was a bit of a nightmare. For some reason, I’ve suddenly started struggling with squats. I’ve never particularly enjoyed them, but I was really having to work. And if I’m 100% honest with myself, I definitely shorted on a few of them. So, the answer? MORE SQUATS.
As you may have surmised, we ‘entertained’ on Saturday. I had actually intended to work out before our guests arrived, but I ended up spending the whole day cooking and ran out of time. It was a great night. 4am though. That’s too late, isn’t it? I’m not 20 anymore. I’m not even 30. Or 35. Bloody hell. I’ve got about three months of my 30s left. [weeps] Needless to say I felt like absolute shit on Sunday morning, so I was really pleased when my children woke me up at 8am. I was a mess, but that run was my penance. My head was throbbing and I was actually weaving about at one point, but I did it. Not sure if it did me much good, but it certainly made my workout easier the following day.
It looks like I’ve slipped into a routine of doing something six days out of seven. I’m reasonably happy with that – I’m busy with work at the moment so it’s nice to be able to take the pressure off every now and then.
Changing the subject slightly, I wanted to write something about burpee technique. I’ve watched a few different Freeletics videos (user films as opposed to the official ones) and also been reading some other blogs. It seems commonplace for people to do a straightforward pushup movement from the horizontal ground position, but that’s never the way I’ve done it. If you watch the funky new instructional video that Freeletics have put up, you can clearly see during the slow mo part that the upwards movement starts at the shoulders and comes up from there, then chest, waist and finally knees. That’s the way I’ve always done them, but I’m wondering why it’s the ‘best’ way? Obviously doing a straight pushup from the ground is going to benefit your arms and shoulders more, so what’s the benefit of doing it the Freeletics way? How do you do them?
On the subject of videos, here’s one of the ones I watched. It confirmed something interesting. (Well, interesting to me.) Watch it with the volume down, the music is inexplicably awful. (Sorry, but it is.) It’s a guy called Gabriel doing the Metis workout. Now I knock off Metis in under seven minutes, and this video is over nine minutes long. He’s young and looks strong, so what’s the story? He looks good on the burpees, struggles a little with the climbers, as I do. SHOULDERS AAARGH. But it’s the jumps.
He clearly finds the jumps incredibly difficult. I’m approaching 40 and by no means an athlete. But during Hera, I can do each round of 40 jumps in under 30 seconds, without having to stop. So here’s my point: everyone’s different. That’s a REALLY obvious thing to say, but it made me feel better about some of the routines I’m no good at. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses, in this case literally. So it’s okay that I’m completely crap at jacknives and pull-ups, and it’s okay that this guy struggles with the jumps. The point is to grind it out and do it to the best of your ability. Because ultimately in Freeletics, you’re only up against one person: you. Yeah, I know there are leaderboards and there’s nothing wrong with some competition. But the point of Freeletics is not, I don’t think, to be bigger, stronger and fitter than the next man or woman. It’s to be bigger, stronger and fitter than YOU. The ‘you’ of last month, last year, whenever.
So keep pushing. To be honest, I can’t believe I’m still here doing this. It seriously crossed my mind to stop Freeletics altogether when I got injured. But I didn’t, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My body is changing, and I’m going to write more about that soon.
I’d better wrap this up, I’m starting to sound like some kind of dreadful fitness evangelist. I’ve got absolutely no idea if anyone ever bothers to click the music videos I leave at the end of every post – but here’s another one. Brand new Freestylers remix that combines my two favourite things about working out: fat beats and swearing. (So yes, don’t pump this out in front of your mum.) Sampling Samuel L Jackson in ‘that’ Pulp Fiction scene, this is an absolute banger. Available on Beatport now. Back in a couple of days, motherfuckers!