Granola for breaky…

I’m going to mix up my breakfast when I get back from my holidays.

I was going to make overnight oats (and I still might a few days a week), but I thought I’d make done granola and have it with berries and Greek yoghurt (perhaps easy on the sugar / honey / maple syrup – getting the sugar from the berries)..

Here are two granola recipes I’ve come across which I’ll make a mix of:

Something along the lines of:

300g oats
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
50g chia seeds
100g flaked almonds
50g coconut flakes
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
50mls maple syrup
50mls honey

Handful of blueberries / raspberries (added when serving).
Greek yoghurt (added when serving).

I’ll follow one if the methods above to cook it as a big batch, then serve it with blueberries (or raspberries) and Greek yoghurt).

Do you have a good granola or overnight oats recipe you’d like to share? If so, please comment (and I’ll try it).

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I’ve been thinking whilst I’m on holiday… what’s one of the most important thing to me… ?

One of the most important things to me (that I don’t take for granted) is my health / being healthy. I want to be a healthy and happy athlete. :-)

I’ll go into this in a bit more detail, my Why I want to do this, and my How and my What I’ll do to support it, but in the meantime, here’s some lines to live by:

H is for Healthy – healthy body, healthy mind, healthy eating, healthy life.

E is for Eating Well – optimally fuel and hydrated for health and performance.

A is for Activity – being active with exercise and non exercise activity (15k steps a day avg).

L is for Learning – always learning and reading to improve understanding and self.

T is for Training and Recovery – including running, walking strength, rest and a good sleep routine.

H is for Happy and Helping people – doing things that make me happy and helping people too.

Y is for Yes – I can do this, and so can you too. :-)

Finally, if you haven’t read, Start with Why, by Simon Sinek, I’d recommend it. :-D

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Summer Training Plan 2015

I’m on my holidays just now, but before I went away I got together a training plan to get me back into training.

I’m going to focus more on running, 3-4 run days a week, maybe more runs if I do a couple (or 3) a day (close to the Thunder Run 24 HR run).

I’m training towards the Thunder Run 24 at the end of July (2 months training, building UK my mileage, fitness and endurance)…

…and then the Loch Ness marathon at the end of September (2 more months continuing my build and getting in my long runs too).

Here’s my weekly plan, fitting in 3-5 runs, 2 strength and / or HIIT sessions and 1-2 rest days.

Mon: Rest
Tue: Intervals or Hill runs
Wed: Lower Strength / HIIT
Thu: 1 / 2 or 3 runs
Fri: Fast finish run (or rest)
Sat: Upper Strength / HIIT
Sun: Long run

Here’s the daily plan, (I’ll be using heart rate for most of my running training.)

Mon: Rest day

Tue: Intervals or Hills

Wed: Lower Strength

Thu: Base run or 2 or 3 runs a day

Here’s the 2 or 3 runs a day (and some fast finishes):

Fri: Fast Finish

Sat: Upper Strength

Sun: Long Run

Or long run fast finish

My strength days will be Wednesday and Saturday. I was doing strength training 3 times a week, but it’ll take s back seat now that I’ll be focussing more on running.

Lower weights on Wednesday, and Upper weights on Saturday before long run Sunday (I don’t want sore legs before that). This is the sort of HIIT I could do:

Or even as simple as, 4-5 exercises, repeated:

1. Squat or box jumps
2. Sledgehammer or KB Swing
3. Press up or Mountain Climbers
4. High Pull or Plank Walk Ups
5. Clean n Press left / right

Something along those lines. :-)

I’m back at the end of May and I’ll restart my training in the first week in June. In the meantime I’m enjoying taking some time out on holiday in the sun. :-D

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Sky diving in Las Vegas…

It was a nice day for a Sky Dive in Las Vegas today. We were up early and picked up at 7am.

I have to admit I did have butterflies for a bit beforehand… and the waiting around didn’t help much. But I was up for it.

We did our sky diving with Las Vegas Extreme Sky diving. I jumped out the plane with Warren, and Fit Girl jumped out with a guy called Brian.

See the elevation chart, we flew up to around 15,200 feet… and there were three tandem jumps happening. Fit Girl was first out and was surprisingly calm and controlled.

The next person jumped, then it was my turn… We went up to the opening in the plane, I looked up to the sun, tucked my legs under and then we jumped.

It was scary as anything but I was trying to take everything in…. Free falling for about half of the way… then Warren realised the parachute (thankfully). We went around and around a bit… It was cool. Still taking everything in.

Then not far from the ground… I started to feel sick…. Oh no…water rush and everything… I told Warren, but I managed to keep it down. When we landed I sat on the ground and was sick, just a little. Lol

It was good fun, and I’m glad I did it – but now I just need to stop feeling sick. :-)

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Wk18 into rest weeks

I wrote this on the plane. We got here safely…. Here’s a run down if my training last week – I spent the last 2 weeks not strength training, only running and walking. I’d lost the focus or importance of strength training and felt like I needed a break from it.

I’ve been strength training around 2-3 times a week since the start of the year, and since I’m away on holiday, where I will only do walking, cycling and the odd run (sight seeing mainly), around 4-5 weeks off strength training will be good to give my body a rest.

These last few months have been interesting for me. A more focused effort on strength training seems to have led to something rich I thought was near impossible (for me) – fat loss and lean mass increase. Looks like less focus on running, more eating and more strength training has helped get the results I’ve got.

3lb fat loss and 6-7lb increase in lean mass. Or so the scales show. If I’m honest I don’t feel much different. I’m still running though, and keeping the running long up (8, 10, 13 miles), until I completed my most recent half marathon on Sunday (10th May).

Here’s what I did last week:

Mon: 4M walk
Tue: 6.2M walk (train stations etc)
Wed: 8.2M run
Thu: 6M run in the morning, 6.2M walk in the evening
Fri: Rest
Sat: Rest (and get ready for holiday)
Sun: 13.1M run (last half HR 165+)

Plenty of activity and a few good rest days too.

Last week was around 16-17 miles walking, plus around 5 miles walking too and from work. And around 27-28 miles running. Lots of steps! Around 15k on average per day. :-)

I like to see a day when I don’t hit my goal, as I know I’ve had an easy day that day (Friday). Even Saturday I did around 8000 steps, walking around the shops. Easy peasy. Running is the key to getting lots of steps!

My last long run of my 4 weeks training cycle was another half marathon. The last one of done, was around 3 weeks ago before work. I’d taken it easy then and finished in around 1:52. (End times and splits below)

I was going to do the same route again but Fit Girl wanted to join me on this one, so I did half and half on the north and south side of the city – with a stop off half way.

I ran nice and easy the first half, in around 57-58 minutes… then left Fit Girl, plugged in my headphones with Florence and the Machine on, and pushed my HR up to 165.

It all resulted in a much faster pace, and a much harder run. But I was up for it. I had my water pack and my SIS gels. It’s weird the things that go through your mind when you’re running hard on your own, compared to when you’re running easy. I know for sure I didn’t take much in. It was more about keeping going strong and finishing, than anything else. A fight and not much fun until it’s finished.

But I did it. The second half was run in around 50-51 minutes with my heart rate between 165-173. Mile 12 was up the hills in Pollok park, so the pace slowed as a result, HR still around 165. I got to the last mile and I kept pushing, downhill til I got to 13.1. It was just above my half marathon on pace. :-)

A nice result considering when I come back I’m going to focus more on my running. Believe it or not, I have my training plan for June into July (Thunder Run 24) and August into September (Loch Ness Marathon) all written up and ready to go. 3-4 runs a week, 2 strength, 1-2 rest days. :-) I’ll publish it soon.

I’ve been keeping an eye on my VO2 Max estimate on my Garmin 620. It was at its peak at 55 in May last year ahead of the Belfast Marathon. Then it went down from then… recovery, the Skye half marathon pb, then from August to the end of the year illness brought it down some more.

This year it’s picked up again, up to 52 and more recently to 51. I really feel a difference in my fitness and its a good measure for me to use.

My goal in the next 5-6 months (after my holiday) before Loch Ness Marathon is to train to build up my fitness and vo2 Max too. Get really fit and healthy. :-)

That’s about me. I’m away now, got on the plane with my two favourite cats and FG.

I’m not sure how much I’ll post when I’m away, as if like it to be a time where I switch off a bit and really enjoy the moment. But we’ll see. :-).

Here are my plans:

Las Vegas on 11th May
Sky dive on 13th May
Grand Canyon helicopter trip 15th May
Vancouver on 18th May


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Reading material…

I’m not sure how much ‘reading’ I’ll get done when I’m away on holiday, but I have an eclecticism of books and audiobooks to keep me going if I fancy it.

I’m half way through this ‘actual’ paperback book:

And I have a few audiobooks:

This one, more info here, as recommended by Kaizen… It’s about 9 hours long.

And I downloaded this audiobook too…

These are all of the audiobooks I’m taking with me:

And this is a podcast Anna recommended….

I also have these books on my iPad, starve mode and Chrissie Wellingtons book too (not sure I’ll get around to that last one.)

The audio books should be easy to listen to on the plane(s).

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Half marathon again…

Just over 3 weeks ago I went out and did a half marathon. Not an event, no pressure, just up early one morning and I ran 13.1 miles:

I wasn’t bothered about beating it that day, and I nearly cut it short at 4 miles. I still had a really good run and enjoyed it. Avg HR 154, max HR 164. :-)

It was a lovely morning, clear and cold. Moon in the east as the sun came up over Glasgow.

Now tomorrow I’m going to do the same route, if I can remember it.

Squinty bridge, squigley bridge, Gorbals, Victoria road, nithsdale, terregles, Maxwell park, St. Andrews drive, Pollok via the golf club entrance, loop, past the cows, out the park, Bellahouston park, over the m8, Loren street. :-) easy peasy.

I’ll have my water pack on again, and I’ll have porridge for breakfast, and have done energy gels (2) on the run. I’ll run to my heart rate again.

The weather for tomorrow is looking ideal, if a little cloudy or rainy. Nothing a cap won’t fix.

Looking forward to it. My last long run / run before I go on my adventures (where I won’t be doing much running, I’ll be doing plenty walking, cycling and sight seeing tho).

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