training diary

Daily updated training info + stuff #AKtraining

03 April 2017

One of my strengths is my willingness to push things, which is also one of my major weakness’. Last week I had this aim of running a sub 25 minute 10km, which I did at 24:44. And so today I was like, “let’s see if I can get it down to 24”, which as anyone can tell is a stupid thing to think, that in running you’re looking at seconds not minutes of improvement. So today I tried running 12.2 kph, thinking I’d push my time down a bit (I didn’t think I could run a sub 24 yet!). I managed this pace until 3.60km, but that was all, and had to go down to 12km, then 11km, as I felt shattered, finishing at 25:01, which was funny as this would have been good last week, but not this week! I guess I need to go back to switching speeds until I get comfortable at that pace.

The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 25:01
  • Bench Press 70kg 4x4
  • Bench wide 60kg 5x5
  • Squat 80kg 5x5
  • Clean and press 50kg 5x5
  • 30 Pull ups

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

It’s funny, but I was so tired this weekend, sleeping late on Sat and Sunday, as well as falling asleep on Sunday afternoon, I take that as a sign that I’ve been having a lot of early starts, lots of training, so it’s a good thing to catch up.

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 25:01
  • Bench Press 70kg 4x4
  • Bench wide 60kg 5x5
  • Squat 80kg 5x5
  • Clean and press 50kg 5x5
  • 30 Pull ups

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

31 March 2017

Had a day off training yesterday, why? Because I was weak! Was walking up the hill to the gym at 7am and made up some bullshit reason why I could not do it, that I was going climbing later on, so I was in the clear - so I turned right and did some work. Did I go climbing? No, because when Vanessa got home she said ‘Shall we go climbing?” and I said ‘Nah, lets go tomorrow!” Why I’m telling you this is that often we only keep on the straight and narrow because the grooves are set deep. An example of this is that I always meet Vanessa in the Esso garage at 4pm when we go climbing, not at home. She finishes work at 3pm and go and runs up a hill called the Sugar Loaf. Why does she does this? Well she’s got an hour to kill before she meets me at the Esso garage! Training is one of those things in life that you never ever regret, but is often the hardest thing to do. I guess setting up these grooves, which for me is getting up to make breakfast, getting into car, getting out of car at crossroads to walk to gym, all add up to a feeling of ‘Oh well I’m hear, I might as well go training” - like when jumping into the cold sea, when your balance is off, and you’re committed, you might as well just go with it!

Got my sub 25 min 5km today (hardly minute mile speed!), so that was good, and need to start aiming for sub 24 minutes next.

The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 24:44
  • Dynamic overhead press 3x5 60kg
  • Overhead press 5x5 50kg
  • Bench 70kg 5x5
  • Bench Wide 60kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 120kg 4x5

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Not too bad. Stopped mid way through fifth set of deadlifts as felt my form was going off, which creates a lot of stress in my lower back, so binned in. Not a bad week, and it’s good to see improvement in different areas, and thought today that it’s great to have short, medium and long term goals when training, each supporting the other.

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 24:44
  • Dynamic overhead press 3x5 60kg
  • Overhead press 5x5 50kg
  • Bench 70kg 5x5
  • Bench Wide 60kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 120kg 4x5

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

29 March 2017

Another day of feeling a bit tired and it’s only Wednesday (went to bed too late I suspect). It’s funny but I’ve been struggling with work stuff at the moment, something to do with a project not coming together this winter, which often results in a bit of a slump (disappointment, both with the outcome - or non outcome - and with myself). When you put several months of thought into something it’s hard when you have to let it go, and it seems to leave a bit of a void, that that energy is not commodity any other part of me can spend. And so work stuff, like writing, even the point of writing - that ‘what am I doing with my life’ thing creeps in. I’m trying to launch a kickstarter for my The Bear Pit book, but as with most things I do I’m 95% there, but can’t find that last 5%. I need to record myself reading from the book and it never sounds write (what sounds great in your head often sounds shit on your tongue). And so for the last few days I’ve kept kicking it down the road, that tomorrow I’d launch it. But the question I have to ask myself, is what’s the underlying reason for that last 5%, that maybe saying I’m shit is just a way of hiding the truth? I think to be honest I’m scared of launching such a project, that if it was a big wall book, or follow up to Cold Wars, or a film, it would fly, but climbing fiction? Maybe at this slight dip in how I view my job as a writer, to launch such an ambitious project, and for it to fail, maybe that’s what the problem is.

And so this morning, feeling the pressure to get this kickstarter thing finished I had that familiar thought, that I’d not train today and crack on with work. Now the danger with this is something I know very well. One way to be ‘happy’ and feel fulfilled in some way is to divide up what it takes to create that sense of accomplishment each day: to be a good partner (to remember to say ‘I love you’, to make them feel wanted and special), to be good to your body (to move, to stress it and make it stronger), to make some small step towards success in your grafting life (make money, lay the foundations for being better). If you do this you can have failure in one or even two, but you should always hit one, and on the best days all three. But putting all you happiness in one silo, to make money, is to invite unhappiness. To think I’d not go to the gym today, and to still end the day without completing my kickstarter project would be to rob me of the possibility of doing one good thing to offset that disappoint. I often try and explain this to people who have depression, that to do the smallest thing well, like simply brushing your teeth, having a shower, making a meal that does not come in a box, gives that day its value.

And so I went to the gym.

Anyway I wanted to run 5km in under 25 minutes today, which is no big thing but is to me (I’m not a good shape for a runner!). Usually run at 11kph for first 1km then switch backward as forwards between 11.5kph and 12kph but today I kept it on 12kph after first 500m. I seemed to be going fine, which was cool, as this meant there’s some improvement going on, but then I blew it by trying to do 13kph for the last 1km, which resulted in me having to drop back, the result 25:02, which just goes to show often what you desire is best achieved in small changes, not giant overreaching steps!
Wanted to give my shoulders a rest today so did some mobility work on my shoulders with the bar, doing overhead squats with just the bar (my shoulders don’t seem to want to go back far enough for this to feel easy), then some ass to grass squats.

The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 25:02
  • Low Squat 60kg 5x10
  • Forward row 20kg 5x10
  • Overhead squat 20kg 5x10

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

A bit of a lacklustre showing, but maybe the run tired me out a bit?

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 25:02
  • Low Squat 60kg 5x10
  • Forward row 20kg 5x10
  • Overhead squat 20kg 5x10

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

28 March 2017

Felt pretty beat up this morning, maybe due to going heavy on the squats yesterday. Keep thinking I’m going to go a bit faster on the rower, but so far just getting a sub 20min seems to be all I can do (probably need to do some sprints to get that time down on the 5km).

It’s funny, but today I thought about much conflicting information there is on training. I’ve always done squats so my ass goes right down to the ground (ass to grass), as I liked the full movement (I’m not bouncing it), and it feels like a good stretch, plus feels like lifting up a haul bag/person. Then a few days ago someone I really respect, who does squats ass to grass, said he’d been doing it wrong, and to lift heavy loads you need to train with your ass above your ankle bones. ‘Fuck’ I thought ‘I’ve been doing it wrong’, and so switched to his way of doing it, thinking I must have looked like a newbie! (although people had commented in gyms about my hip mobility). Then today, walking out of the gym, listening to someone talking about training on a podcast, someone I also respected, and who’s training more for real life (not gym life), said how he always goes all the way down. I guess this teaches me that you should train for what feels best for you, and this is not a game about getting a great PB in squats, but about practical fitness for life (climbing, mountaineering). If it feels good, and you can lift weight without injury, then it’s probably good for you.

The Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:50
  • Bench 5x5 70kg
  • Bench wide 5x5 60kg
  • Snatch Puss press 5x5 60kg
  • Deadlift 10x10 100kg
  • Snatch from waist 5x5 40kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Good day, and added a few new exercises that I want to work up on. Did a 100 100kg deadlifts as 100kgs is an easy weight to lift but I want to really get my body moving right before going back into heavier weights, as I’ve noticed it’s not quite there.

Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:50
  • Bench 5x5 70kg
  • Bench wide 5x5 60kg
  • Snatch Puss press 5x5 60kg
  • Deadlift 10x10 100kg
  • Snatch from waist 5x5 40kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

27 March 2017

Blimey I got a shock waking up at 6:30 to find it was dark - damb that daylight saving time! Was meant to be doing some new exercises today, but sort of slipped into doing the same old set. I will try harder tomorrow! In the gym today there was some Youtube film projected on the wall (it’s not a gym with little TVs) of the Crossfit games somewhere. One of the female competitors seemed to knacker her knee within a few minutes of the start, which included two long runs wearing a weight vest. The woman should have dropped out, but instead limped around the whole course, coming in long after the winner, but with huge applause. I made me think how daft this kind of thing is, where someone runs on knackered knees or even fractures, and does a huge amount of damage, just to prove how hard they are. Unless it’s life of death I think it’s best to just stop.

The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 25:30
  • Low Squat 80kg 5x5
  • Bench 5x3 80kg
  • Bench Wide 5x5 60kg
  • Press 40kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 5x3 120kg
  • Rotator cuff exercise with 20kg plate 5x10

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Knocked a minute off run by keeping up the speed today, and hope to get it must faster.

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 25:30
  • Low Squat 80kg 5x5
  • Bench 5x3 80kg
  • Bench Wide 5x5 60kg
  • Press 40kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 5x3 120kg
  • Rotator cuff exercise with 20kg plate 5x10

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

24 March 2017

Had an embarrassing mishap in gym today. Was doing bench presses at my limit at 80kg, the aim to do five sets of three. On my last set I was beasted by the second one, but thought “maybe I can do one more after resting the bar on my chest”. I rested the bar but 80kgs is actually quite heavy, and I realised that I wasn’t going to get it up. Trying to remain cool I tried rolling it along my body to my hips when some spotted me, ran over, and tried to lift it, but from one end (idiot!), which he couldn’t do. Next someone else ran up, seeing two people entangled in some terrible weights based industrial incident, and between the three of us we wrestled the bar back onto its perch. Christ how embarrassing, but I guess it does show that I’m trying! Funny little note is the guy was rescued me was the dental assistant from my visit to the dentist last night (it’s a small world, but with a population of 4.5 million Ireland is smaller than most).

The Day's Training

  • Row 5km 29:46
  • Bench 5x3 80kg (last one was only 2!)
  • Bench Wide 5x5 50kg
  • Low Squats 5x5 80kg
  • Press 5x5 40kg
  • Deadlift 5x5 100kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Good week I think, but next weeks going to be very different. Time to go out of pre-training routine and do throw in some my dynamic compound exercises into the mix.

Day's Training

  • Row 5km 29:46
  • Bench 5x3 80kg (last one was only 2!)
  • Bench Wide 5x5 50kg
  • Low Squats 5x5 80kg
  • Press 5x5 40kg
  • Deadlift 5x5 100kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

23 March 2017

Nice day today which makes up for a dreadful yesterday. Seem to have lost site of when this period of training has been going on for, but today started to feel that I’m getting fitter. Need to increase my speed on the runner, and working on running 1km at 11kph then 12km for another km, them back to 11kph, finishing on 13kph for last 500 metres.

The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 26min
  • Bench 75kg 5x3
  • Bench wide 60kg 5x5
  • Squat low 80kg 5x5
  • Press 60kg 5x5
  • Forward Row 60kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 120kg 5x5

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Piled on the weights a bit today, and deadlift of 120kg was the most I’ve deadlifted for a very long time, which felt cool. It reminded me how I used to do 100x100kg, which was doing a 100kg deadlift 100 times, which was cool and gave me wicked grip strength… right up until I got killer tendonitis!

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 26min
  • Bench 75kg 5x3
  • Bench wide 60kg 5x5
  • Squat low 80kg 5x5
  • Press 60kg 5x5
  • Forward Row 60kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 120kg 5x5

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

22 March 2017

Very rainy morning here in Bray, and had that ‘ooh I could stay in bed and go to gym later (which means never)’, but got my ass up anyway.
Did row this morning, then weights. Doing 5km row/run is giving me an extra 30 minutes of weights, which is good as I really like lifting weights (it’s like eating a very hot curry!).

The Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:58
  • Bench 65kg 5x5
  • Bench Wide 60kg 5x5
  • Low Squat 65kg 5x5
  • Press 45kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 100kg 5x5

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Good day. Need to start looking into tying some of these exercises together into more complex movements like a clean and press etc, which will reduce the time in the gym once I can master them.

Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:58
  • Bench 65kg 5x5
  • Bench Wide 60kg 5x5
  • Low Squat 65kg 5x5
  • Press 45kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 100kg 5x5

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

21 March 2017

Not a bad morning’s training, with some extra weight added, and some new exercises. Add a few light exercises to balance out my shoulders a bit (never had problems with my shoulders which I put down to doing weights), plus overhead squats. I’ve never done overhead squats, well I’ve tried but not done it well. I seem to have very good flexibility in some things (like low squat), but body just feels very tight for overhead squats, so hope a slow build up will help (also can’t do a front squat as my arms just don’t seem to want to bend like that).

The Day's Training

  • Run 5km 26 min
  • Bench 70kg 5x3
  • Bench wide 50kg 5x5
  • Low Squat 80kg 5x5
  • Overhead squat 30kg 5x5
  • Barbell row 30kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 5x5 100kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Not a bad session, but need to up my speed on the runner.

Day's Training

  • Run 5km 26 min
  • Bench 70kg 5x3
  • Bench wide 50kg 5x5
  • Low Squat 80kg 5x5
  • Overhead squat 30kg 5x5
  • Barbell row 30kg 5x5
  • Deadlift 5x5 100kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

16 March 2017

Christ I was tired last night at the wall, which is not surprising as I’d had a hard morning session (10km run and lifted nearly 6000kg). Our usual warm up is to speed climb 5 routes back to back with the winner the one who gets them done the fastest. Picking a 5+ Vanessa had them done in 14 minutes, but after two and half laps I just fell off. I was knackered. I only climb 6b at the wall (with the odd 6c but only if it’s vertical or in a corner!), but found I was flayling on routes I can usually do and so stuck to doing 5s well. This is one thing I hate about climbing in that it’s just such a bloody cage, your trapped within in just to keep current with the strength you have and the second you leave it’s down the snake the shit city. Such thoughts clouded my head, everything annoying, my trousers that didn’t stretch, my borrowed harness, my chalkbag belt that made the bag hang too low. Everything was annoying! But understanding yourself is key to life and really what I was suffering was greed, that you can wake up at 6:30, beast yourself till 10a, then work all day and do it again down the wall, speed climbing, pushing your body etc. Of course your body is going to fight back, stubbornly resist, throw a tantrum etc. I just had to listen, which isn’t always that easy.
I felt that again today, as I was doing some lifts I felt a little tweak in my shoulder. I only had one rep to go but instead I didn’t, and after that’s what stands between an injury that stops you dead and nothing but a momentary yelp of strain from a overburdened body!

The Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:46
  • Bench 5x5 70kg
  • Low Squat 5x5 75kg
  • Pull down 5x5 80kg
  • Military Press 5x5 65kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes

Good session and took the advice of hard man, beast and ex-para Andy McKenzie (@ironmacfitness), to watch the joints, and so switched early to a shorter distance but harder row (if people want a good program to follow I’d highly recommend they get in touch with Andy).

It’s Paddy’s day in Ireland so off to Galway tonight so will need to think up some fun training tomorrow (swimming in the chilly Atlantic maybe!).

Day's Training

  • Row 5km 19:46
  • Bench 5x5 70kg
  • Low Squat 5x5 75kg
  • Pull down 5x5 80kg
  • Military Press 5x5 65kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

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