Wk3 into Wk4, mornings & TED talks

Last week was similar to the week before exercise wise… balanced out between strength, spin and running, with some more walks added in. 2 runs, 2 spins, 3 strength and a walk each day.

My sleep was much better too… I don’t think I got up in the night once. So that’s better – and I know what to do to make it work for me.

Here’s what I did:

Wk3
Mon: 31 min Strength / 30 min Spin wi Sherica / 1.2M lunchtime walk
Tue: 3.1M Run (fine) / 2.4M walk & Physio
Wed: 45 min physio strength / 1.8M walk after work
Thu: 31 min Strength / 30 min Spin wi Kym/ 1.2M lunchtime walk
Fri: 3.7M / 33 min Run (fine) / 2.5M walk
Sat: 5.2M walks (x3) / Rest
Sun: 8.3M walk (x3) / Rest

I was a bit tired this weekend, so instead of training, I did a few walks with a friend or Fit Girl each day, watched a friends wedding in online, and FaceTimed my Dad and step mum on Saturday and had a good nap on Sunday.

Being in the gym or out running for about 715am works well, particularly on a Monday or Tuesday as I start work at 930am.

Exercising first thing really works for me… here’s how I do it:
1. Know how much sleep I want to get (8-9 hours) – set my bedtime for 9 or at latest 10… so if I wake at 6am, I get 8-9 hours sleep.
2. Set the alarm for 6am, coffee by 630, and an audiobook, TED talk or reading for a bit.
3. Out of bed / dressed for 7am
4. Out the door for 715am

Getting a good sleep time and routine is key to being able to get up, but having around 2 hours before work to get the exercise in, works for me.

If I have a really bad sleep, sometimes I’ll sleep on and do a lunchtime run etc, but I tend not do to much in the evening to enable me to wind down.

Or sometimes at this time of the years it’s very icy, so I get around that by planning a gym or spin workout, or walking / running in the day time, once it’s thawed a bit.

Doing it first thing ensures it gets done, but it also gives me a good level of achieve the first thing and sets me well up for the day.

The pictures and sunrises in the morning can be quite impressive too.

The other thing it does is set my body clock to wake up around 6 or 7 in the morning all week, so it can help to make the weekends productive too (up early / lots done).

I finished my audiobook this week – Shoot for the Moon by Richard Wiseman, it’s good, I’d recommend it. I’ll do a proper summary soon.

And I also watched a few good TED talks too…

Karen Eber: How your brain responds to stories — and why they’re crucial for leaders
https://www.ted.com/talks/karen_eber_how_your_brain_responds_to_stories_and_why_they_re_crucial_for_leaders

Werner Reich: How the magic of kindness helped me survive the Holocaust
https://www.ted.com/talks/werner_reich_how_the_magic_of_kindness_helped_me_survive_the_holocaust

So here’s my plan for next week:

Wk4
Mon: Strength / 45 min Spin
Tue: 3.1M Run / Physio strength
Wed: Strength / 30 min Spin
Thu: 3.6M Run
Fri: Strength / 30 min Spin
Sat: 4M Run
Sun: Rest / Walk

I’ve checked the weather and it looks to continue to be cold… especially in the mornings. So I’ll likely put off cycling outdoors in the morning for at least a week… maybe more.

Now I might go and learn a magic trick or two… 😉 (watch the TED talk above if you want to know what that’s all about).

What are you up to next week?

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Baby you’re a firework

This week I’ve been able to watch the goings on across the pond, on BBC News 24 on in the background. The inauguration was on Wednesday, and went on into the night.

It was good to see the new come in and replace the old… and the Americans really know how to put on a show – from people wearing purple, to the 22 year old poet Amanda Gorman, and Lady Gaga and J Lo singing. But something from the inauguration really struck me this week.

Although I’ve heard and listened to Katy Perry’s Firework many many times … I’ve never really engaged with and related to it as much as I did this week.

See the video here – it was so well stage managed too, with amazing fireworks and shots to make it all tie in spectacularly.

https://fb.watch/3anNk9v53X/

You could say that from a United States perspective, the song could be related to better times coming after the hurricane that was the last 4 years … with rainbows and the perfect path in the future.

We had a trip to Washington planned in 2020, but maybe we’ll make it there in 2022 or 2023. We’ll see.

I’m so pleased for the change over there and I hope they do reunite as a country. Hopefully it’ll help economies all over the world to recover a bit too, with the USA hopefully bouncing back, and hopefully less deaths from the coronavirus there too.

But from my perspective, the song and the way it was stage managed with all the fireworks, shots and setting, hit me hard.

For some of the last 4 years for me, at work have been hard. I haven’t talked about it much on here, because it’s just been what it has been and I’ve been trying to get back on the path I want to be on.

I’ve tried to keep the faith, be resilient and find my place, but it’s not really worked and things are changing again. So I probably need to find another path – yet I still need to be patient and see what happens.

So 2021 will likely be a year of being patient and waiting to see what happens, before some more change.

Anyway, here are the lyrics which struck such a chord with me:

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from cavin’ in?
Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you?
‘Cause there’s a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
‘Cause baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky
Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe
You don’t have to feel like a waste of space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time, you’ll know
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
‘Cause baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky
Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
It’s always been inside of you, you, you
And now it’s time to let it through
‘Cause baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky
Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colors burst
Make ’em go, “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
Boom, boom, boom
Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon

All the upheaval in work started when Trump got in… and hopefully now he’s out, things will pan out nicely for me. I’ve learned and been through a lot of ups and downs in the last 4 years, and now I think it’s time to see if I can reignite the spark in me, and see if I can find my perfect path, or a better one at least.

Finally, this morning I went downstairs… and saw this…

It’s a rainbow cast from a little triangular prism my sister got me for my Christmas. The first time I’ve seen a rainbow cast from it. 🙂

Things are feeling like they’re on the way up, like there’s an end in sight. I’m done worrying and letting it all get to me…

I’m going to take it all as it comes and be positive in seeing what the future brings. I’ll try and be brighter then the moon, moon, moon, but we’ll see.

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Nice note book for planning

For Christmas I got a really nice wee present for this year… to write down my thoughts and plans…

With an elephant head on the front, and A5, it’s a really high quality book, and just perfect for me … with dots instead of lines inside it so you can do what you want with the pages.

Think I’ll get planning … and hopefully blogging a bit more too, if I can get my head screwed back on to do it, and everything else.

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Wk2 into Wk3 training

Here’s the training I did last week.
2 short runs, 2 spin sessions, 2 strength sessions and a couple of walks. Two rest days – a nice wee balance.

Wk2
Mon: 31 min Strength / 32 min Spin wi Bakari
Tue: 3.2M Run
Wed: 45 min physio strength
Thu: Rest
Fri: 45 min spin
Sat: 2.7M / 25 min Run
Sun: Walk 3.1M

My sleep was ridiculously bad, back to work… and I woke in the middle of the night about 4 out of 6 nights. Broken sleep, I tried to be better with it and got a couple of good night sleep. But I’ll need to do better with it next week. Wind down, relaxation, the ways I know to get to sleep… audiobooks etc.

But last week I did a few bits and pieces, and I have a feeling 2021 is on the way up. It’s a long time coming. I know that everything will be fine.

I probably could have got more training in, but with lack of sleep, I’m glad I got in just the above amount of exercise instead, with a good walk today instead of strength (which I’ll do tomorrow).

Next week I’m planning on this training, exercising first thing before work:

Wk3
Mon: 30 min Strength / 30 min Spin
Tue: 2-3M Run (Physio)
Wed: 45 min physio strength
Thu: 2-3M Run
Fri: 45 min spin
Sat: 3-4M Run
Sun: Strength / 30 min physio strength (or spin)

My running is being a little frustrating, my legs still isn’t right, but I’m working with it and trying what the physio is suggesting. I’m going to cut the distances back, and really listen; and get into the strength / physio exercises, and cross train too.

That’ll do me.

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John Kynaston – what to say?

It’s been about two weeks since the passing of John Kynaston, the 61 year old, amazingly fit and friendly guy, who touched the lives of so many people.

Even though I didn’t know John very well, I’ve wanted to say something about him, but I’ve really struggled to know what to say or write about him since he passed away.

What I’ve read in the many tributes to him online, the type of man he was, it truly inspires me to remember to try to be as amazing a person as John was.

Some tributes below…

https://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/sending-our-sympathies-ultra-runner-john-kynaston-passes-away/

https://runabc.co.uk/ultrarunners-mourn-the-loss-of-john-kynaston

And so fitting was the hour today, from 3-4pm when his family asked people to run walk or cycle in his memory. So special.

On Thursday I read a tribute written by his daughter on Facebook. It was so heartfelt and touching. I hope all of the jive things other people are saying about him, are helping his family at this tough time too.

All of the positive and lovely things written and said about John, and my memory of how nice he was to me, even in a few short meetings, will be with me forever. He was a really great guy. The best.

A very fit Ultra runner, with his detailed and engaging blog and podcast, family man, active schools coordinator. Friendly, kind, organised, knowledgable, fit. He must have engaged with and inspired so many people of all ages, kids to adults.

https://johnkynaston.com/

In what I know and have read about him, it reminds me that, particularly given the times we’ve been through recently, that friendships, family, connecting and engaging with others is important. Being there for each other and telling each other what we think, is important too. Thanking those who have been there for us.

Keeping the perspective, that life and the world is bigger than us. Things may be hard now, but we can get through anything and things will be better soon. We’ll be able to hug, laugh and be together some time soon.

As I’ve said, I didn’t know John well, but every time I think of him it will remind me to be the best version of myself. To be there for and be friendly and kind to others. I send my best wishes to his family and friends and those who are hurting through the loss of him.

John was someone so special, to have touched the lives of so many people – his passing is such a wake up call.

But then so are some of the other stories of people with covid, or other challenges which are life threatening. This last year alone…

– someone in work had a stroke, and is now thankfully recovering well,
– another colleague sadly just passed away,
– another colleague, and another friend of mine are battling long covid,
– another colleague has thankfully come out the other side of being diagnosed with cancer.

– and old age and dementia sadly stealing the characters and words of some too – and to make matters worse covid is preventing me from being close to them. Stealing precious time and moments away. Such a cruel disease.

It all seems so unfair, but it’s also a reminder to be more you, to be the best you can be. He made a real difference to so many peoples lives, and did it effortlessly. I know I can to, and he’s inspired me to remember to do that.

Meanwhile I’m sitting here, bunkered down, trying to do what’s right in the lockdown so we can all see better days hopefully.

Thankfully covid hasn’t touched / come too close to me and mine. But if anything, it’s all reminding me that life is short, and we should try to make the most of it. And be there for each other.

Life is precious, and we can choose to make it special and cherish what and who is important to us. Don’t sweat the small stuff, recognise when things are hard, and be kind to yourself. Bring fun into life, do what you enjoy. Lean on and interact with others, and try to find joy in the moment if you can.

Enjoy every moment and take comfort and joy from the simplicity of everyday life.

(Here’s a picture of my Dad doing just that, probably before I was born!)

Make that phone call or FaceTime call, take time to be there with those we care about. And once lockdown eases and things get back to normal, I can’t wait to go see my friends and family and be with them.

I did find it hard to know what to say about John to pay tribute to him, but what’s become clear is that he was such a special guy, and I’m sure those who know him well, particularly those in the running community will likely create some sort of race or memorial for him. And everyone who knew him will remember him so fondly.

Meanwhile every time I think of him, I’ll remember his smile, kindness and warmth, and remember how friendly he was. And I’ll aspire to be more like that and to do me best, and try to make a difference if I can, with young and old, every day.

It’s a reminder I should try more to write and blog more, write about and share things I enjoy. His blog was so great, so inspirational and full of knowledge and experiences. So inspiring and engaging.

There’s no way he could have thought that he would inspire someone like me to do more of all of that, but that’s how special he was.

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Wk1 into Wk2 & hanging on in there

The start of a new year, and whilst I was on leave, I was a little restricted by the snow… so I didn’t run for a week, but kept up my regular walks (about 25 miles across the week) and strength work, and had a couple of Apple Fitness spin sessions too.

Here’s what I did:

Wk1
Mon: 1.1M walk (icy)
Tue: 6M walk / Physio
Wed: 31 mins Apple & 34 mins Physio Strength / 2.5M walk
Thu: 46 min spin / 4.6M walk
Fri: 21 mins Apple & 36 mins Physio Strength / 4.5M walk
Sat: 38 mins Physio Strength / 25 min spin / 2.8M walk
Sun: 10k Run / Walk later

As I was off work, and lockdown was in force, there wasn’t much to do, so I had some proper rest time, not rushing about… doing whatever we fancied… and getting out and about locally each day.

Today I did my first run in a week… just under an hour… and about 45 mins in my right leg was sore… so I’m going to limit my runs to 45-50 mins in January (long ones at the weekend, shorter 25-40 mins) through the week. My hamstring and hip still aren’t quite right, so I need to listen and be careful. I’ll build it up to regular three times a week in January but keep the distances short.

Lucky I have the garagym, strength work and Apple fitness workouts to fall back on.

Back to work tomorrow… my sleep has been good in the last week, but I need to turn my body clock back a bit, so that I’m exercising by 700-715 in the morning for between 40-90 mins … hopefully my good sleeps will continue.

It works for me to get the exercise done at the start of the day, then by the evening I’m tired and ready for a sleep.

Here’s my training plan for the week, and I’ll build the runs up to 45-50 mins once a week by the end of January:

Wk2
Mon: Strength / Spin
Tue: 3M Run
Wed: Strength
Thu: 3.5M Run
Fri: Strength / Spin
Sat: 4.5-5M Run
Sun: Strength

There will be less walking for sure, as I’ll be working from home, but we may pop out for lunchtime walks on work days where I haven’t run… to get some fresh air etc.

The other thing that’s happening this week is that my Dad – Dr P, is going to be 80 on Saturday! Sadly we can’t be together due to the restrictions, but I’m hopefully going to arrange a nice surprise or two for him.

And I’m (sure he won’t mind me saying)… I’m pleased to say he’s getting the vaccine on Thursday too… so that’s good news.

We’re getting there with all of this… all of the sacrifice will be worth it… just a few more months… maybe into mid or late 2021, and we’ll get to be with our loved ones again…. and get back to some level of (perhaps changed) normal. Hang on in there!

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Lockdown 3, day 1 – 3 good things

Today consisted of a few nice walks… some practical bits and pieces… and some good chat. I’m not sure if I’ll write this every day in January / lockdown … but maybe…

Here’s my three good things from today:

1. The first good thing that happened was I walked up to Finnieston and got my 4th physio session at KM Woods. Everything is going well…

I’m about 95% there, having out the work in…. and Kirsty has given me some hamstring exercises to do to accompany my strength work and running.

I managed to walk the 1.2 miles there and 1.2 miles back this morning, without skipping or falling (it’s quite icy in bits!). Roll on the warmer weather. I’ll not run til Saturday I don’t think… but do the bike or strength (and walks) instead.

Then we went food shopping (I sat in the car to save us being out in the supermarket)… before…

2. I met my friend Lesley for a nice long walk and chat in the West End. Just over 4.5 miles and plenty of chat.

Again it was quite icy in many parts of wheee we walked… but we managed to have a good chat and remained vertical / didn’t fall. It was nice to catch up, and within the rules too.

3. Then I came home to the heater I’d ordered for the garagym… a quality but reasonably priced one from Amazon (with good reviews).

It packs a punch and heats things up quickly.

Along side the other fan heater I have, which shows the room temperate too… it should make things a bit more bearable in there when it’s freezing outside.

It could be the most boring thing in the world ever… but since lockdown is here again, it’s a little bit of excitement for the day.

It was a nice yellow then pink sunset today too… so that was a nice end to a good day.

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Wk53 into Wk1 & a blast from the past

Well well … goodbye 2020, hello 2021… my training is back around to week 1 of the year, and as I’m on leave, sleeping and eating a lot, I have plenty time and energy for my training and quite a few walks too.

With the covid restrictions, we’re stuck to walking in Glasgow, but that’s not too bad… we’ve been into town twice, Glasgow Green, Queens Park and Bellahouston Park, and Kelvingrove too… not to mention around the Clyde close to home. About 22-23 miles in total / 15k steps a day on average.

I wouldn’t normally walk that much, but with time off work, and not much else to do, it’s been nice to spend the time with Fit Girl in the holidays. Even though it’s been baltic.

The light has been lovely, low sun, and great big blue skies…pretty spectacular.

And I’ve learned to wrap up well… sometimes with 5 layers on top, and two pairs of gloves etc. Oh and leg warmers too! 😂

I’ve also been running… easing back into running non stop … and it’s feeling ok. My leg still isn’t 100%, but I think what I did in terms of running, spin and strength will have helped.

Here’s what I did in total:

Wk53
Mon: 4M run / 2M walk / 45 min spin
Tue: 32 min physio strength / 32 min Strength / 2.4M walk
Wed: 6.2M run / 5M walk
Thu: 45 min spin / 3.6M walk
Fri: 3.4M & 2.2M walk (rest day)
Sat: 5.4M Run / 4.3M walk / 50 min strength
Sun: 45 min spin Sherica / 15 min strength circuit / 2.6M walk

3 spin sessions with Apple Fitness on my spin bike in the garagym. I’ve done workouts with Sherica, Kim, Emily and Bakari… and they’re all good. Although I think I like Sherica and Bakari the most so far.

My sleep has been good and I’ve got used to wearing my new Apple Watch in bed to track it. I’ve woken a few times and got up a couple of times when I couldn’t sleep, but as the leave is going on longer, my sleep seems to be improving. (Helped along by all the exercise no doubt).

Oh and I’ve had to eat my way through some of the chocolate I got as presents too… fuel for my workouts. Ha.

Now here’s my training plan for the next week…

Wk1
Mon: Apple & Physio Strength
Tue: Run 4 miles
Wed: Physio Strength / Spin
Thu: Run 10k wi Debbie
Fri: Apple & Physio Strength
Sat: Run 5 miles
Sun: Physio Strength / Spin

…keeping running under an hour each time. And alternating run days with strength and spin again. I’ll also be getting walks as I have been. I’d much prefer to be going abroad just now, but hey ho, not the now… maybe one day in 2021.

I also have physio at some point next week, I’ll get a text the day before to remind me when. Maybe Friday I think.

As long as the roads are so icy / it’s so cold, I’ll stick to spin in the garagym … although it is a bit hard, it being so cold in there (with a heater) and you working hard / sweating. This was me at the end of my spin session today.

Next week I’ll hopefully get some nice pics again, nice winter light… sunrises and sunsets. And the odd rainbow like today.

My last bit of chat comes from today (which I posted on my personal Facebook page, and it deserves a mention here I think). We were just starting out our walk today in Bellahouston Park and my phone goes off.

It was my old Art teacher Mr (George) Legg, who’s in his 70s now, but sounded as young, fresh and funny as he always did. We had a good chat about where we were now… then he said he’d had a clear out of is studio and found some of my Higher Art coursework (from around 1995/96)… and more interestingly he thought, a X-ray of the profile of my head.

I can’t remember why I had it done, perhaps to do with some dentist worn I was getting done… but I do remember some of my coursework was to do with the human skull etc. I’d always gone back to visit him up to and after I graduated art school, so he just have had my number from then.

25 years on, and my head / face / body had been through the wars, with a car accident in 1999, a couple of dental implants in the front, a bit of a bent nose, and the big teeth at the back of my jaw in the X-ray are now in, with all the wisdom they’ve brought too (??!). Getting older, but happy and healthy.

When we were on the phone he made some good little jokes (just like he always used to), and he said he’d send me the X-ray and my work to me, which is nice. I look forward to that.

A nice little part to the day, and great start to the new year. 2021, I’m hoping you’ll have some good things in store for me.

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Setting up a plan to be active & my 2021

I’ve been doing this ‘active’ thing for quite a while now… since around mid 2008 when I decided I would make a change to be more active… eat better and be healthier. For over 10 years I’ve learned what I like and enjoy, and what works for me to be the healthiest version of me.

Part of it is activity and what I eat / consume… but part of it is also the rest, recovery and sleep, as well as the social contact and fun. Now Covid has made the last part hard, and I truly miss it… the simple visits to see and stay with friends and family is missing… but we’re getting by aren’t we?

I’ve learned that being active needs to be an every day part of my life… and my other half believes this too – which makes it easier. If I’m not up for it… I’m usually eased out the door for a walk or a run… to get some fresh air, get the blood and endorphins pumping, to get the body moving.

Giving up alcohol (in 2009) has probably been a key part of being healthier too – but I gave it up so long ago that it hardly even enters my mind now (one of the best things I’d changed though). It’s meant it’s been easier for me to lose and maintain my weight, to be more consistent with my training and to also save money for other things like holidays and trainers etc.

Now, what works for me in terms of being active is four things:

1. To have (and review) a weekly plan, and days for each activity.
2. To have an annual training plan with base, build, peak, rest training periods. 3. To have an overall long term goal, a race, or a mileage goal. 4. To be active with others for motivation and chat.

(Having a space like the garagym is also great to enable me / us to do other workouts and keep our gear in there too.)

Now for my 2021… and what I plan for it training wise:

The activities I enjoy…. are – strength training / gym work… running… cycling… walking…

So here is my weekly overall plan for activity… which can change based on me listening to my body and knowing if a rest day or walk would be better that day:

Mon: Strength / Walk
Tue: Run
Wed: Strength / Cycle
Thu: Run
Fri: Strength / Walk (or rest)
Sat: Run
Sun: Strength / Cycle (or walk)

I would generally suggest that if you’re starting out you should look to focus on being active 4-6 days a week and take 1-3 rest days… or do walks on those days… starting out any type of activity can cause aches and pains… and rest is an important part of the plan.

(As are new trainers… only kidding).

I’ve probably learned the hard way about including rest, but now I’m careful to ease in to activity, and to listen to my body when i know it needs rest or sleep.

My weekly plan is usually based on training every day, but as I’ve been doing it so long, my body has become used to this kind of training, and I’m careful to take rest days if I know I need them… listening to your body is key, as is the ability to know when to give yourself a break (and not feel guilty)… or push it a little more for just that one walk, run or workout. I plan in the most of what I’d do and scale it back when i need to.

Wednesdays or Fridays seem the best days for me when I might take rest after the start of the week, or a full on week. Or sometimes I’ll take a weekend where the only activity I do is walking and getting good sleeps in for recovery.

In the latter stages of 2020 I’ve built my running back up so that I’m able to run for 45 minutes non stop fine without any pain (in my right hip)…. so the plan with running is to keep it all ticking over, 3 times a week, under an hour for the first 3 months of 2021, then see where I’m at. I enjoy running with others, but lockdown reminded me that I also like solo runs too.

I am entered for the Brighton Marathon in September, so I’m hoping that by around May or June I’ll be able to to decide if I’ll start training for it or not. Marathons are hard, and having spent three months off running last year due to injury… I might not want to put my body through it. But we’ll see…. it would be a great social event with the bots from Ellon… 😊💜

Then there’s strength – I had some good consistency in the first half of 2020 with strength training until I injured my hip with what was probably down to some heavy deadlifts.

I’ll make a change this year by using Apple Fitness strength workouts, along with some strength working my legs and hips, to see if that can help with the weakness in my right hip.

I’ve really enjoyed the bike in 2020… indoors and outdoors, so I plan to do that twice (or maybe three times) a week in 2021… more in Summer maybe. Long Sunday cycles hopefully. Again we’ll see.

In terms of long term goals, the marathon is one which I might aim for… but this year it will be a long term training plan as follows:

January – March: 3 months – Lay base of fitness across running, cycling and strength.

April – June: 3 months – Build fitness, focus on longer aerobic work and strength.

July – September: 3 months – Train for the marathon, then rest at the end of Sept into Oct.

Oct – Dec: 3 months – Recover, build strength and cycling / shorter run fitness.

Hopefully we’ll get some holidays in there too, fingers crossed.

Other than that, the goal is to keep my fitness up (running, cycling, walking), build strength and be more consistent in the gym. A key one is to improve my sleep too, so I’ll work on that, as when my sleep is good, everything else seems to fall into place.

I haven’t set any mileage goals this year yet… I’ll see how it goes in the first three months or so and take it from there.

I started off the New Year on Friday with a lie in, a couple of nice walks, a chat with a good friend on FaceTime, and a big tasty lunch, with some coffees for good measure.

I’ve arranged a run for early Saturday with Debbie, and I’ll do some strength training this weekend too. But we’re still on leave so this next week will be more fluid, mixing up my training, before we’re back at work and I aim to go with the weekly plan above. We’ll be getting plenty walks in anyway.

What will you do to be active in 2021? Are you going to set yourself up with a plan, and do you have any goals?

What activities do you enjoy, and what activities can you do regularly that fit in with your life and your family?

Who can you / do you want to socialise with to make exercising / activity more fun? What is your motivator to be active and be more healthy?

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Totals for 2020 – 2020 miles

Well here goes… here’s my totals for 2020, after what was an odd year… there were some lovely sunrises when out on my bike.

… working from home since March… injured from late August to mid November… but cycling and walking instead of running… focusing on trying to shift some weight in lockdown … and it worked … I dropped about 10-11lbs in 5-6 months.

I did less steps than usual… previous years have been up at 5 million or 4.7 million… or around 14k to 13k a day. This year I did just over 10k steps a day, with less running (and more cycling).

My active calories were quite consistent, lowest in February when I did just 61 miles running, highest in January, and steady throughout Summer when my training was going well.

So here’s my mileage and activity totals:

2,020 miles done (run / cycled / walked) by doing nearly 700 activities…

150 runs – 97 cycles – 328 walks
All captured in Garmin.

I ran on average 3 times / 17 miles a week = 880 miles

I ran most in January and July… but think I pulled a muscle in the gym in late July, which meant I needed to come off running to try to fix it. In newly back there with it, after some rest from running, and building back into it with physio and running.

I cycled on average 2 times / 12 miles a week = 600 miles

(most cycled after September, which worked out about 10 miles each time – 49 times in 4 months / about 3 times / 30 miles a week.)

I walked on average 6 times a week = 540 miles (longer walks once in lock down)

And I did 116 strength / gym workouts, including foam rolling – so about twice a week.

Garmin says in 11 years… I have:

Run 11,484 miles
Walked 3,203 miles
Cycled 1,253 miles
Gymed it more than 640 times
= 15,940 miles (so around 2/3rds of the way around the world 🌎 😂👍🏻)

Then there’s my weight… it’s gone down down down up up..

Here’s the graph… in March when working from home I took the opportunity to track my calories and see what a focus on not eating too much (not being greedy) could result in. And it worked well – I shifted some weight and body fat.

Then from June onwards I decided to eat more of what I wanted, still keeping the training hours, and I still kept the body fat off, but have increased my lean mass again.

At my lowest I’d dropped about 10-11lbs, now I’m back to a drop of around 5lbs in a year, and my body fat has stayed pretty steady for the last half of the year. Lean mass back up from probably keeping up the activity and being in the gym, and eating plenty.

Here’s my all time weight graph… (for the last 6 years)… it’s been going up and up and up until in 2020 I figured out how to shift it if I wanted to (consume less!)

But I like my ice creams, chocolate and my food, so I think I’ll stick with it as I’m doing it… plenty activity and plenty good eating too.

I’m feeling good on it, and I’m happy that I managed to keep being active on the bike, in the gym and with strength work in the latter stages of the year when I was injured.

This year has definitely been the year where I’ve embraced the cycling and been in the gym more… and out and about walking more too… and my running mileage wasn’t all that far below my usual of between 1000-1200 a year.

I have no idea what 2021 will bring, but I’m pleased to have reached my 2020 mileage goal, and I hope to continue with my cycling, mix in Apple Fitness workouts and keep a balance between it all… including rest, fun and some more holidays away from Glasgow / staying local hopefully!

I think next year I will aim for about:
Runs 2-3 times a week
Cycling 1-2 times a week
Gym 3-4 times a week
Walking 2-4 times a week

And plenty coffee, mars bars and ice cream to keep me going.

What numbers did you achieve this year?

Happy New Year when it comes!

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