Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Core-based gym routine

October 28, 2014 Leave a comment

As I mentioned at the end of my last blog post, I have a routine which I am currently using to work on my core. I’m having to use this more than I’d like as I have got tendinitis in my wrist which means I am unable to use either of the two previously mentioned work outs.

So, my core set consists of a number of variants on the crunch and plank exercises, I do the following but change the order, sometimes to split the crunches and planks.

  • crunch
  • plank (60 seconds)
  • reverse crunch
  • side plank (30 seconds each side)
  • bicycles
  • oblique crunch
  • Russian side twist

I do 20 reps of each in a set apart from the planks where I hold it for 60 seconds on 30 for each side on the side plank. The first set I find is very manageable but the second set is noticeably harder with the third set often being to failure if I can’t hit the target reps.

If I find I am losing form and really struggling then I’ll end the exercise there as it’s too easy to get an injury when you’re tired and pushing the last few reps – I’d much rather be able to come back the next day and workout rather than gain an extra couple of reps and then been injured for a week!

Before commencing the core exercises I warm up on the treadmill after a bit of stretching, I follow-up the workout with some stretches as I get my heart rate back down.

One thing I do really like after a gym session is a MaxiNutrition Protein Milk from Maxishop, I find it’s an easy way to get valuable protein in quickly to aid my muscles. Click on the banner below to find more from their Recover & Rebuild range.

I will see if I can get either some links to videos of these exercises or some photos demonstrating how they are done and will include them in a future post.

If you’ve got a favourite session for working on your core then please feel free to add a comment telling us about it.


New gym routine

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I recently went back to my gym having been absent for too long with no good reason other than a lack of motivation. I spoke with one of the gym team there and we discussed my aims and he then came up with a new routine based on a minimum of two sessions a week.

Workout No. 1 – Pyramid sets starting with 10 reps

  • Bench press
  • Pull ups
  • Dumbbell shoulder press

Workout No.2 – Reps to failure

  • Bench press
  • Pull ups

From my experience of the above two workouts, it’s important to consider the order of exercises as it is very easy to fatigue your muscles with dumbbell presses and then fail to hit the target reps on the bench press. Also, may be worth having someone on hand to spot you on the bench presses through the higher rep sets.

With these two workouts I have left the gym feeling like I’ve pushed myself and although they both wok the same muscle groups I am enjoying them greatly. I have a core-based routine to use so as to give my muscles a chance to recover so all-in-all I’m pretty happy right now!

Categories: Training

Norwich Triathlon Training Ride

May 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Making the most of the good weather, and being back home after a week in sunny Glasgow, I met up with a good friend to ride the Norwich triathlon olympic bike route.

I’ve known Gary for something like 15 years but have not really seen him for some time so it was good to bump into him at the Tri-anglia Waveney 1 traithlon at the beginning of the month. He’s a strong cyclist having done a couple of E’tapes taking in a good few of the most famous mountains France has to offer. As Gary is doing the Olympic tri this year, we thought it would be good to ride the bike route to get a good feel for it.

We joined the route at Saxlingham Nethergate and then proceeded round the course, the first 5 to 10 kilometers were on fairly quiet rides which allowed us to have a good chat. From joining the main road back Woodton into Brooke it was pretty much single file due to the traffic. The road is quite fast although there are a few inclines to consider pacing correctly on race day. Again, the road between Brooke and Poringland was pretty quick and it was nice to turn off toward Arminghall and away from all the cars.

The road to Arminghall is okay but as there are fields either side it could get windy when the road opens up. We then decided to ride to Whitlingham Lane for completeness rather than turn back toward Caister. When we got to the lake we had a quick look at where the ramp comes out of the water and the short run into transition.

The last leg of the course was okay although it takes in Skeet’s Hill, which for us was toward the end of our ride, but on race day will be fairly near the beginning – this is a good little workout for the legs!

Finished off the morning with a nice coffee and chat with Gary and Clare about family, work, cycling and triathlon.

What a great start to the weekend!

As shown in the graphs below, my heart got a good workout. I’m fairly pleased with my cadence and average speed of just under 19 miles an hour (30 km/h) given that I’ve not really cycled further than about 10 miles in one go!





Heart Rate

Heart Rate



My Training Levels

March 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Ideally, I would measure my heart rate in swimming, cycling and running – but I haven’t done this yet. Instead, I have calculated my HRmax from the formula 220 – age.

This equates to 220 – 35 (well, I’ll be 35 in May so probably closer to the mark!) which gives me 175 bpm.

Maximal heart rate % of HRmax Actual Figure
T1 65 114
T2 70 123
T3 75 131
T4 80 140
T5 85 149
T6 90 158
T7 95 166
T8 100 175
My heart rate zones as of April 2012
Tempo-level % of HRmax Type Description
T1 65 Very gentle Regeneration and long to very long sessions.
T2 70 Gentle Improves fat metabolism. Training between hard days.
T3 75 Relaxed Base, long sessions. Able to talk easily. Main zone for cardiovascular training.
T4 80 Quick For longer fartlek runs and tempo cycling.
T5 85 Fast Anaerobic threshold zone. Limit loads in first two months of preparation period.
T6 90 Hard Approaching race pace for 70.3 distance. Improving basic speed in training.
T7 95 Very hard Improvement in anaerobic zone, intervals only in short-term. Training for sprint and Olympic distance.
T8 100 Maximal Competition tempo for solo race – 3.1 mile run, 12.4 mile cycle or 550 yard run.
Guide to heart rate zones

I am able to set up training zone alarms on my Garmin Forerunner so that I am alerted each time my heart rate moves into a new zone, I am yet to do this but it will prove a useful tool to concentrate my effort.

Training w/c 27th February

March 5, 2012 Leave a comment

This week has felt pretty good for training.

Monday was swim technique and involved trying to correct my stroke, drills with the kick board and pull buoy plus catch up.

Having my poor arm movement pointed out prompted me to try a different technique. Immediately I noticed an improvement in my efficiency and power. I alternated between 100m pulls, kicks and catch up plus free swimming.

Tuesday – strength and conditioning session. Warm-up of 10 minutes of treadmill, covered 1.84km. Working through the routine with Stewart, from the office, was good. He has a good knowledge of the equipment in the gym and is also good motivation to push the last main set.

Wednesday – 45 minute spin session. These sessions always seem hard, I think the graph below may give some indication.

Thursday – strength and conditioning session. Usual warm-up of 10 minutes on the treadmill, covering 1.65km. The gym was busy so had to make do with making use of any machines which were free.

Friday – will probably be a lunch time run.

All in all, not a bad week given my workload at the office. Rest this weekend – unless I get tempted by a session on the turbo! 🙂

Swim Training: Part 1

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Having had a long break from swimming I thought it time to start training again given that it is my weakest discipline.

Each lap is 100m, my warm-up lap is also front crawl.

My session today was a bit rubbish as the pool was really busy and in both roped off lanes there were people doing breast stroke so it didn’t look promising. Lap 07 was particularly bad as I was stuck with three people in the lane making it impossible to get into a decent rhythm or overtake them. Lap times:

Lap 01: 02:11.17 – Warm-up.
Lap 02: 02:36.20
Lap 03: 02:44.87
Lap 04: 02:42.67
Lap 05: 02:25.42
Lap 06: 02:41.22
Lap 07: 02:56.97
Lap 08: 02:29.61

Swim Session 13012012

Click for larger graph.

My previous session was a lot better in that the pool was quieter, although I forgot to hit the lap button so lap 7 includes extra two lengths! Here are my lap times:

Lap 01: 02:41.00 – Warm-up.
Lap 02: 02:26.8
Lap 03: 02:23.5
Lap 04: 02:41.50
Lap 05: 02:51.70
Lap 06: 02:32.47
Lap 07: 02:41.72
Lap 08: 02:32.37
Lap 09: 02:46.47
Lap 10: 02:43.02
Lap 11: 02:45.93
Lap 12: 03:56.27
Lap 13: 02:42.62
Swim Session 06012012

Click for larger graph.

Strength & Core Training

October 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Having neglected proper strength training for, oh – I don’t know, about a year, I thought it was about time I started up again. With this in mind, I took advantage of a deal and re-joined Harpers at Riverside, Norwich where they have not only a decent gym but also a 25m pool.

As part of signing up I got three 30 minute personal trainer sessions. At the first session I spent some time with Dave discussing my targets, previous results and also noting various health metrics. We then took a look at a few exercises which I tried out and added to the plan. I followed this session up over the remainder of the week by trying out the exercises – my muscles didn’t know what had hit them!!

The second session we added some more exercises and talked about the weights that I am using. For the first week or two, on most of the exercises I was struggling to complete all the sets with a decent number of reps. I am now increasing the weights on a few exercises while hitting new max reps on the others, once I get to max reps and keeping good form I’ll increase the weight there too.

I have started to get into a routine at the gym now based on two days a week and I’m enjoying the various exercises which are really working the different muscles. Basically, my routine includes a five minute warm up on the treadmill then Smith Squats, deadlift, chest press, lateral pulldown, cable row, shoulder press and occasionally shoulder pulls. After this I do some Swiss ball crunches and then half scorpions, following this is a 10 minute cool down back on the treadmill.

With the above in mind I am hoping to improve my upper body strength (shoulders, arms and chest) and also my core. Really hoping this will help my swim form as well as giving me a little more muscle strength for the bike and run.

More news to follow, back to watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona on 🙂

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