Wk30 into Wk31

Last week I did 3 swims, 2 runs, 1 strength, about 3-5 short walks and had a rest day on Saturday. As I hadn’t swum on Sunday due to being away for the weekend, I swam first thing on Monday at the Gorbals and it worked fine.

My runs were the best they’ve been in a long time, and my right leg seems to be forgetting it’s sore. My runs on Tuesday and Friday were pain free for once. I’m so pleased, and I’ve stopped the physio exercises and physio treatment. But I’ll still take it easy with running – 2 runs a week still, building very gently in terms of distance.

I went for a wee walk on Wednesday morning before work… I think I had spin on the plan? But was a bit tired after the weekend so opted for a wee early morning walk and a strength session instead. And it was raining for once! Shock horror.

It ended up it stopped raining not long after I went out. The walk set me up well for a 30 minute Apple fitness strength session with Kyle.

That’s me swum between 2,000m -2,500m twice a week for about 5 weeks now, plus a few open water swims, in Loch Ness, Lochan Spling and the sea at Stonehaven.

I feel like I’ve got my swim fitness back, and I’m swimming strongly, and seeming to recover well too. Training is going well, and I’m enjoying it. I’m a swimmer again!

Only thing is my old goggles have started leaking… which is a little annoying. An old pair of clear tyr goggles. So I went back to my trusty Speedo goggles instead. I ended up buying a pair of Hyper Elite goggles and they fit well (above). They’re cool. I’ll try them on Thursday.

My sleep was good, although I did have one night where I woke half way through the night and couldn’t sleep. Hopefully that doesn’t happen often. I’ve been much more settled since January, since I knew my path was going to change. So that’s all good.

Things are really good again, at long last. 👍🏻 My big smile is back. (Although my hair needs cut, for sure!)

On Thursday I made some very last minute arrangements to go see the owners of this little pup – Vinny. It was nice to catch up with some ex colleagues and share how good things are with me now – work, training, life. What a difference to a year ago.

I had a rest day yesterday, with a nice brunch at the Marlborough… eggs florentine, yum.

… then I picked up someone nice from the hospital and spent some time with her and her cat, and got her some messages etc. It’s nice to be nice and see people.

Then today Fit Girl and I went a nice wee walk sting Hogganfield Loch in the north of the city.

More animals. This time of the bird variety – loads of them! Swans, geese and all sorts of other birds.

Then we had a late lunch at Toni Macaroni’s where the service and the food was great. I’d done my big swim and not eaten much so I decided I’d have pizza and a pudding of a banana split!

Goats cheese and caramelised onions… then three scoops of ice cream. Funny enough, I didn’t need anything else to eat all day! Oops.

It was pure greed, but probably worth it.

Here’s my distances for July vs June. More swimming – about 22,500m, 30 miles running, 47 miles walking, but a lot less cycling at just 32 miles. So maybe I earned it?!

Here’s my plans for training next week. I’ll aim to get a couple of runs and a couple spin sessions in, and I’ll have a rest day on Saturday which should also help me to recover from giving blood.

As long as I’m fine after giving blood, I hope to go open water swimming on Sunday – hopefully up to Loch Venachar early doors. But I’ll take it as it comes. I’m usually fine after giving blood, but you never know.

Oh and I used my fins / flippers today. Some good strong swimming and some hard work.

My new garmin swim 2 watch is coming in handy for the workouts, splits and heart rate. All these stats are from my swim today at Tollcross.

I leave you with this… a picture of a wee bird who keeps coming to our garden, we’ve named him ‘Scrawny’ because he is.

Cats dogs birds, nice people and plenty activity and sleep and eating. What a good week, I’ve had. Here’s to many more.

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My training in July and going forward

I’ve not written a post about my training for a while, so I thought now would be a good time to write something.

It’s near the end of July, and my training has been consistent – building up my swimming and running, and keeping my cycling and strength training and walking ticking along too.

Here’s the activity I’ve done in July:

Cycling: 32 miles / 3 cycles
Running: 30 miles / 8 runs
Swimming: 18,150m / 9 swims
Walking: 45 miles / 20 walks
Strength: 5 sessions / 10 physio

We’ve done a few good hill / forest and park walls… up conic hill, and around An Torr in Glencoe.

Not to forget my river swim in River Nevis last weekend. That was ace fun. I though I was in for ages, but it was only 12 minutes. It felt great anyway, and I’m glad I did it. Wetsuit for my next swim outdoors though!

I’m now six weeks into my new job, and I’m pleased to say I feel so settled already. A great team and organisation culture, a role where I’ll be trusted, utilised, stretched and valued, great colleagues, and more money at the end of the month. I honestly couldn’t have asked for it to be any better.

My sleep is great too – I’m getting around 9 hours sleep a night, much more than before. And I’m feeling the benefit in being able to get up early to train. It’s ace. Everything is falling back into excellence and great times finally.

I’ve had the odd night where I’ve not been able to sleep, but I’ve listened to an audiobook and dropped off ok. Then gone a walk in the morning to wake up and take it easy.

Oh and the other night we even managed to fix the handle / wire on our recliner sofa…. Saving us buying a new one or getting someone out to fix it.

Anyway, back to my training. Here’s the detail of what I’ve done in the last few weeks:

I’ve been consistent, and getting a balance with it all, as well as rest, physio and fun.

I was trying my physio exercises and working with a physio for just over 2 months, and I do feel some improvements. The last 3-4 runs have been nearly normal and I’m getting there. But last week with a bit of frustration, I stopped doing my almost daily physio exercises, and it seems to feel a bit better.

So I’ve cancelled my next physio appointment and I’ll stick with my progress and see if I can use what I’ve learned and listen to my body to get it back on track.

Now here’s my training plan for this week, and I’ll continue with a similar weekly pattern.

As below – training usually between 700-815am most mornings (working from home helps this too).

Mon: Strength
Tue: 3-5M run
Wed: Cycle/Spin / (or Strength)
Thu: 2,500-3,000m Pool swim
Fri: 4-5M run / yoga?
Sat: Rest / Walk / (or Strength)
Sun: 3,000m pool or open water swim

I’m really enjoying my swim training, and it’s done a good job of replacing my running.

The next / first events I have (in a long time) are:
– 28 August – 3,000m open water swim at Loch Lomond
– 12 September – Brighton 10k

My aim alongside the swim training is to see if I can build my running up to a 10k by mid September… if my leg / injury allows, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. We will see / wish me luck.

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Swimming instead of running!

As you may know, with my injury preventing me from running the way I’ve wanted to since about August 2020, I’ve shifted what I do training wise a few times.

At the end of May I had been focusing on cycling, spin and strength work, and I decided to put a focus on getting physio help to hopefully get my right leg and my running back on track.

The physio said it would likely be a slow 3 month plan – so June, July, August, and I’m still on that journey. I’m running 2 times a week, recently up to 5k for a few weeks, and now I’ve built up to 4 mile running, with physio exercises on the other days.

I’ve always dealt with injuries by not being too upset with them, and focussing on something else instead – it had been cycling and strength, now I’ve added swimming into the mix and it seems to be going well.

It seemed to be working ok, but my leg is still frustratingly not quite right. I’ll stick with it and see what happens, but today I thought I’d share with you my other exercise love – swimming.

I’d always been a swimmer back to when I learned in school, and then when I was a student around 19 years old I took it to the next level and used to swim 3km (120 lengths of a 25m pool) three times a week.

I got the fittest I’ve ever been, and went onto become a swimming teacher for 13 years. It’s fair to say I love swimming and I’m very confident as a swimmer.

Roll on to 2016 and that was sort of when I stopped swimming. I seemed to take a reaction to the pool / maybe the chlorine, who knows but I’d come out after a 2km swim, gubbed and very hot. Possibly dehydrated but more likely a reaction to the chemicals. So I stopped swimming.

Now with running not really on the cards, and Summer being here, along with pools nearby me reopened for some bookings, I figured I’d try it again.

I did a few open water swims in lochs with my new wetsuit and open water gear, and I’ve also been swimming around 2,000m to 2,500m twice a week since the end of June.

I have set sessions I do, that I’ve created, and I feel ready to progress up to 2,500m – 3,000m.

Here were my swim sets from back in the day – 3,000m pool sessions, some of which I’ll do again:

  • 3000m swim sessions

And here are my 2,000 – 2,500m sessions:

Then with running events not happening… some swim training and some open water sessions under my belt, I figured it might be good for me to enter my first open water event.

So here goes, I’ve entered the Loch Lomond Go Swim 3,000m open water swim at the end of August. I thought carefully before I entered (there was a choice of a 1,500m event and a 3,000m event), but given the amount and distances of swimming I’ve been doing, in the pool and open water (up to 50 mins / 1,800m) I’m confident that the 3,000m swim will be achievable and the right level of challenge for me.

Before I entered I came up with a training plan for the next 5-6 weeks, which included pool swimming and some more open water swimming.

Here’s my training plan:

Wk22 – 31/5: OW28’
Wk23 – 7/6: OW45’, OW25’
Wk24 – 14/6: na
Wk25 – 21/6: SS1-2.1km, SS2-2km
Wk26 – 28/6: SS3-2.1km, SS5-2.1km

Wk27 – 5/7: SS4-2.1km TT, SS9-2.5km TT
Wk28 – 12/7: SS6-2.1km, OW50’ (1.8km)
Wk29 – 19/7: SS7-2.5km TT, rest
Wk30 – 26/7: SS8-2.5km, SS2-2.1km, SS11-3km

Wk31 – 2/8: SS1-3km , OW50’
Wk32 – 9/8: SS2-k3m, SS1-TT3km
Wk33 – 16/8: SS3-3km , OW55’
Wk34 – 23/8: SS10-3km , 3kmEvent

Then taking it to the next level, I decided I would treat myself to a new gadget… that being a new Garmin – a Swim 2 this time.

I probably don’t NEED it as I have a Garmin 645 that tracks pool swims (and lengths), but the Garmin Swim 2 also tracks open water swimming, has good heart rate readings, and you can upload your swim workouts for it to take you through them. It also recognises stroke types better than the 645 (giving myself reasons to keep it). (And I got 3 numbers on the lotto on a roll down draw last weekend, giving me £107 profit so that paid for most of it lol).

I tried it on Thursday and today and it was great. I’ve programmed all my swim workouts into garmin, and can schedule them onto specific dates (as above), or do them randomly / select them from the watch. You can also set the watch to be a 25m or 50m (or any length of) pool.

Once the session is being done, the watch tells you when your set is about to finish by making a loud beep and vibration under the water. It counts your lengths and is able to differentiate between the different strokes well too. And it measures stoke count, swolf and heart rate too.

Pool swims will be at the Gorbals and Tollcross and open water swimming will hopefully be on some fresh water lochs. Wish me luck (ps I have all the gear for open water swimming to be safe now too). Wish me luck.

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Dressed like an Apple Fitness icon

A funny thing happened today… funny or maybe a bit sad … being an Apple gadget freak that I am…

I noticed on iPhone messages that you can add Apple Fitness icon to your messages … cool I thought… I’ll send one to Audrey…

This one…

Then she said it looked like my outfit… but what she didn’t know is that it’s exactly the outfit I had on for my run today lol ! (Here it is, now washed).

And my purple trainers too.

Sad? cool? Who knows. But I liked it… and I’m LOVING wearing my shorts in this Summer heatwave / weather!

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Dumbrock Loch swimming

After my attempts at swimming in a loch or two and the sea in June, I figured it was about time I got back in a loch for a swim. With Tollcross closed for an event this weekend, and the weather being warm, it was a good time to do it.

I was looking at a lot of different options over the last wee while… I prefer fresh water swimming to sea swimming, and ideally I wanted somewhere not too far away. I looked at some lochs in the Trossachs, and one day I’ll do them, but this time I decided to go to Dumbrock Loch just north of Milngavie.

It’s about half an hour away, or 11 miles… you can park in the car park at Mugdock (9-630, it’s closed outside those times), then it’s a half mile walk to the loch.

Here’s good directions from the wild swimming womens Facebook page:

It wasn’t too busy at 11am when we got there, but there were enough people there. (There was also a big dog called Derek … who seemed to want to chase and eat my tow float!)

I used my Apple Watch to track my swim this time, and it seemed that the length of the loch was about 250m.

I did the distance in about 5-6 minutes I think, so that gives me an idea of how long it would take for me to swim distances in open water (vs the pool – faster in the pool as it includes multiple push and glides).

The floor of the loch was a little rocky / bumpy at parts… hence my slight trip up going in here, but it was fine. I settled in fine to the water and temperature once I was in, but then it was about 19-20’C in the air.

I swam across the loch first, getting to grips with my new hat, and trying out my tow float for the first time. It’s this one here from Start Fitness. They’re good for a few things: 1. To keep stuff in – your phone or camera, keys etc. 2. For others to see you. 3. For use as a floatation device if you get tired or into difficulties.

Then after settling in a bit, I did a length of the loch… and back. Then I did that another two times… so six times up and down all together.

I felt a bit like I was going squint at points and I was trying to ‘sight’ a bit better than I had been. Fit girl was on the side (taking pic and videos) and at one point I didn’t realise how close I was to the edge (apologies for the sweary word in the video, I didn’t realise how close I was to the edge!).

I ended up being in for about 50 minutes… around 1800m in all. So that’s good.

It was a good place to swim, close to Glasgow, easy to get to and park, not too busy and the water was fine too.

Oh and I had a good bit of fuel afterwards… a tasty burger and chips in a local pub.

That’s me been swimming twice a week for about 4-5 weeks now and I’m really enjoying it. I’m building my distances / time in the water up from about 2000m / 40 mins ish to 2500m / 45-50 mins. And over the next few weeks I’ll build it up to 2500m-3000m twice a week.

It was fun today anyway. I’ll try to do this once a month or once a fortnight at a push if I can, plus plenty pool swimming.

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Taking a different path

Today I went a run… a little longer than my usual 5k, up to Maxwell Park and back. It’s a route I’ve done for over a decade and one of my favourites… a bit uphill at the start, and of course, a bit downhill on the return (weeeeeeeeeee).

I must have run it nearly a hundred times (garmin says 96 times since 2009!)

Before, when I’d run it, I would usually always do the route clockwise, taking a left where St Andrews Drive meets Sheilds road, then round in a clockwise circle and back home. I’d do it that way, just about every single time.

Now since I’ve had some time off and limitations from running in the last year… I’ve not run the route often. A search on garmin shows I run it just 3 times last year, and 5 this year. But I’ve run it many many times, including on Christmas Day.

Today I ran it and I decided to go anti-clockwise for once … taking a right at the lights and running down St Andrews drive towards and into Maxwell Park, then along Terregles Avenue – 4 miles (and thankfully my leg was ok!).

The route is a bit nicer down that way, that’s why I tend to like to run that bit on my way back, after the start of the run is done with… but today I chose a slightly different way. It I was still downhill on the way back, so my last mile was the fastest, as usual (gravity!).

Today I was listening to an Apple Fitness ‘Time to walk’ by Dr Sanjay Gupta. The stories are mostly American, but this one was great today. He was talking about his mums journey from India to the US, and his journey in becoming a medical Dr and eventually a medical correspondent for CNN, and treating the camera lens like his patient. Very inspirational.

Around half way along the run, just out of Maxwell Park, my endorphins and thoughts on the run were flowing, and I got a lovely sense of relief flowing over me. The realisation that now I’m on such a different and much better journey with my career, after so long trying to get it settled. And it really does feel great.

I’m on a different journey with it finally, in a great organisation, with a great culture and in a really good team, and I couldn’t be more pleased and more settled. One month in and finally it feels like everything is as it should be and it’s magic.

So now I’ve gone on a slightly different path in my life, and I’d taken a slightly different path on my usual Maxwell Park run. I have to say it felt good, and I’m not looking back.

Fingers crossed my leg stays ok for running and I can build it back up again. After 6 weeks of physio and 2 runs a week, it’s seeming to all work – touch wood! I’ll see if I can build up to 10k running by the middle of September for the Brighton event, but we’ll see.

This Super Lorn is back, and ready to fly.

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Transferred to the Brighton 10k

I feel a bit of a sense of relief.. and less of a failure today… I say failure, I don’t really feel like a failure, but I know that given the way my leg is, there’s no way I’ll be able to even attempt a marathon on the 12 September…

… so with travel and accommodation booked… I’ve transferred my Brighton Marathon entry over to the 10k instead. Thankfully they just took a very small transfer fee and that’s it sorted (after I emails them and they got me to fill in a form).

I can’t even remember when I entered and booked all of my travel, 2019 sometime, or early 2020 for the marathon which was meant to be in September 2020… but it was postponed to the 12 September this year. Little did I know I’d still be injured! Booooo.

I’m travelling down by plane to Heathrow, then meeting some of the lovely and amazing my friendly Bots from Ellon… Jen and Glynis and crew… then I have a hotel room for two nights.

I’m up to running about 5.5k just now, and working with the physio to hopefully get my leg recovered. If I’m still injured, I might not do the 10k, but we’ll see. I’ve got about 8 weeks to build up and see what’s what anyway.

I was going to spectate / cheer them on, but now I might be able to participate in a race of sorts for the first time in a long time. I’m looking forward to a fun weekend anyway, whether I’m running or not running.

( Here’s where to enter, but I think it closes soon:
https://brightonmarathonweekend.co.uk/events/bm10k/enter-2021/ )

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How to plan your activity and get fit and healthy

I’ve written before about how I got fitter and healthier and lost weight… I thought I’d write a bit today about how you can set goals to become more active, and hopefully have the outcome of becoming more fit, healthy and happy… and if you have weight to lose, some of that could maybe go as a result of what you choose to do.

Here’s what I wrote before – https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2012/11/23/fatter-lorn-and-how-i-got-to-where-i-am-now/

Below I’ll go into what I did, and how you can set goals and plan your activity to hopefully help you change things so you maybe become fitter, healthier and happier. And if weight loss comes as a result of all of that too – then great! It did for me and I haven’t looked back since.

I’ve added habit onto habit, and changed for the better, so that now activity is an every day thing for me, and if I don’t do it, I feel strange.

So around 15 years ago, I was settled in life, my career was settling down, I met my life partner and we were enjoying life with eating and drinking out and holidays.

I’ve always been active (having learned from my Dad that it’s important) but in the early to late 2000s it slipped a bit in favour of having fun and probably consuming too many calories without thinking about it.

Life and fun took over, and drinking alcohol probably became more of an issue than I realised – health, money and mood wise.

I still played with going to the gym, and did the odd bit of cardio or swimming or the odd hill walk; but it wasn’t enough and I needed a kick to get into the habit and way of being more active, consistently.

See more here https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2012/02/15/steady-does-it-my-weight/

Tipping the scales at 147lbs or 10 and a half stone, my BMI was 25 and on the verge of going into the overnight range. (I know the BMI scale is a bit of an outdated scale, but it still gives you an idea.)

Then it was my Dad, in perhaps only a way a Dad (who was GP) could do, made the light bulb go on for me, when he said I was ‘looking comfortable’, and encouraged me to make some changes.

And that I did. I had the catalyst to get me started, and I decided I needed to make some changes – and my reasons for change – for me it was for health and fitness, and to make my Dad proud, and live up to the healthy example he’d set me.

And so I started… in around 2008, over 13 years ago. I’d started my new job, and had more time, with less of a commute. So I decided on my main activity – running, and I mixed other activities I enjoyed in – the gym, playing basketball and swimming.

My main action goal was to be more active, be more careful about what I consumed, and hopefully lose weight and change my body composition. My other action goal was to be more careful about what I ate and drank / consumed (ie stop being so greedy!)

My outcome goal was to become fitter and healthier, and part of that was to get my BMI and weight down (which would come as a result of my action goals).

I think I started in about June 2008 time, and set myself of running a 5k. By October I had a 5k race I’d entered, and I built myself up to running for 30 minutes non stop, over about 6-8 weeks.

Then after 6 months of running, mostly on the treadmill when I was at the gym, and a bit outside, one day I ran my first 5 mile run. Hungover, probably still drunk, I went out an early morning run, and sort of just kept going. It felt great.

I aimed to run 3 times a week, and went to the gym twice, and basketball once. I set days aside for exercise like this:

Mon: Run
Tue: Gym
Wed: Run
Thu: Basketball
Fri: Rest
Sat: Run
Sun: Gym

(Think about what you’d like to do, and when you can fit it into you week – think about what days are best, and at what time, make appointments, remember to take rest too).

My main aim was to run three times a week, and basketball was a fun thing to do. The gym was something I’d always dabbled with, and I knew it would help with weight loss and getting healthier.

On top of the activity, which was the burning of calories, I didn’t go on a diet as such… I was more careful about what I ate and drank.

Every time I consumed something I thought out it… stopping mindless eating. Swapping high calorie crappy foods out for healthier or lower calorie foods which fuelled me.

I had set meals… yogurt, berries and walnuts for breakfast, black coffee (400 cals) … egg or tuna salad for lunch (400 cals), meat and veg for dinner. Treats were ok, but I learned to eat what I needed, and basically not be greedy. And what really helped, was when I cut out alcohol… no empty calories, no hangover calories.

Nowadays there’s an even better way to be consistent with food – log it in MyFitnessPal and aim for a set amount of calories and calorie deficit. Eat similar foods to make it easy (healthy foods you like to eat). Oh, and drink plenty water too.

And in 2009 I had a breakthrough when I decided I’d had enough of alcohol and have it up. A game changer on terms of weight, extra calories, health and the ill feeling and hangovers it gave me. Not to mention the extra money on my pocket. Not drinking makes it easier to keep my weight consistent and keeps my mood and happiness more level too.

Being consistent, measuring once a week, taking test days when I needed it, being flexible with training, having support and motivation from my other half. Mixing things up sometimes with a big walk (keeping in with the being active goal).

In terms of measuring I got a set of scales that does weight and body fat and lean body mass and focused on the body fat and weight measurement as a measure. I also measured my hips and waist.

See why weight isn’t the be all and end all, and waist to hip ratio – https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2016/01/10/why-weight-isnt-the-be-all-and-end-all/

And the result of all of that, plus me getting into running and activity big time… was a loss of about 2 stone, with my body fat % dropping and my body changing shape to be more fit and strong and less fat.

So here’s how I did it… or how you can do it too:

1. Decide it’s time for a change, and take action. Get a reason for the change, and make it positive and about you.

2. Decide on what activity you enjoy and you can fit in to your life. Think about what will fit in, when, with your work, with your kids etc.

3. Set an active goal of what you want to achieve – ie walking 5 times a week, running 3 times a week and 5k non stop by 6-8 weeks time. An action goal.

4. Set an nutrition goal – ie fuel your life, but don’t over indulge, eat in a calorie deficit, don’t be greedy (like me), cut out extra or empty calories you don’t need. An action goal.

5. Set a weekly goal of what you’ll do activity wise, review it each week and plan out the next week. An action goal.

6. Decide on when you’ll be able to fit your activity in and do it – I do my exercises first thing mostly. I have a morning routine which involves exercise usually at some point between 630-810, later at weekends.

7. Measure your progress, with a tape measure or scales, once a week. Don’t just use weight, check your body fat and lean mass too (or just your body measurements if you prefer). See your progress and know if it’s working or if you need to make changes. This is where the outcome goal comes in.

8. Measure your activity – this is optional but I like to use my Garmin to track what I do. How many miles / steps / calories. It gives me motivation and allows me to compare to previous months and years too. An outcome goal.

9. Enter an event or set a goal. To walk or run a certain (big for you) distance by a certain date. Then congratulate or reward yourself when you do it, and set another goal / enter another event or set another goal. 5k, 10k etc. An action goal.

10. Get support and motivation from those around you. Do your activity with others for social chat, but don’t rely on them to get it done. Get support from your partner, ask them to help you carve out time to do what you want to do (childcare etc). Join a club for motivation and fun.

11. Get inspiration and learn – read books, get resources online, find out what works for you and do it. Here’s some of my books I’ve learned from (which are a regular in my zoom backdrop at work now 😂).

12. Invest in yourself if you really want to. Hire a personal trainer. Buy the exercise bike, sign up for Apple fitness or the gym membership. Buy the trainers and the garmin. Kit out a home gym. Buy the wetsuit / fins or hiking boots.

I’ve written a lot here, and perhaps you can do it on your own. Decide to do it and go. Or maybe you really want to make a change, but you don’t know where to start. You really want to commit, but it’s never worked before.

Well maybe it is time for a change. Invest in yourself. If you’re not sure what to do, maybe the change you need is to hire a personal trainer to help give you the tools and information you need to do the workouts and training you need to get fit and healthy?

Finally, I’ll go into what I do now… in terms of keeping on track with my training and consistency…

I’ve been doing this a while, and I would recommend if you’re starting out to ensure you have 2-3 rest or active recovery days in your weekly plan… but here’s what I do:

I have a draft email saved in my phone that I update every week. I have recorded and upset what activity and rest I’ve done, and I review that each week once I’ve done it.

I have an aim of certain activity for each week, just now it’s:
– 5 physio sessions / 1 yoga
– 2 runs
– 2 swims
– 1-2 strength
– 1-2 cycles
– walks / a rest day if I need it

So the one above is what I’ve done. And the one below is what I’m planning for next week:

I probably won’t run on Saturday, but if I did, I might run on Wednesday instead of Friday. Take out the spin and replace it with a run (both cardio). I’ll need to see how my leg is.

Yours could be much less than this,
– walk 5/7 days,
– or run 3/7 days and walk 3/7.

Choose what you want to include and plan it to fit in with your life. If you can do it, move it and make it work for you.

Remember I’ve been doing this for over a decade, so I’m very active. I burn a lot and as a result I eat quite a lot too… I’m lucky to be at a point where my weight is more or less consistent, and I’m happy with it and how fit, healthy and happy I am.

And, I’m back up to nearly 10 stone now. Up about a stone and a half from my lightest… and most definitely a different shape and composition from when I was 10 stone and not training like I do.

Weight and body fat are all just a numbers, and everyone is different… but it can be a good way to track your progress and change over years. (Apart from my niggly leg injury) I’m the fittest I’ve been for years, and I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and have fun along the way.

Hopefully this might help you to decide to make changes to become a better and more fit, healthy and happy version of you. If you have any questions, let me know lorn@lornpearsontrains.co.uk

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New bright swim cap

After my epiphany earlier in the week with a new swim cap (which made me go a wee bit faster in the pool… and did a good job protecting my hair too!)… I figured I could do with a brighter one for open water swimming.

So here’s my new bright pink swim cap. It’ll clash a bit with my orange and black wetsuit, but who cares?

It matches my top… ha. I’ve got another silver one getting delivered too, for the pool.

Here I’m taking function over beauty or fashion!

That’s me fully kitted out for pool and open water swimming now. Happy Friday.

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Got myself some flippers / fins

There’s this classic picture of me when I was little… aged about 3, with arm bands and flippers on in Cyprus. It’s how I learned to swim… the flippers gave me the confidence and power I needed in a deep pool, and the rest is history.

I learned on holiday mostly, and with 4 older siblings who could swim, I was last to learn, but I’m the one who’s gone on to swim the most (and I’ve taught hundreds of others to swim too, which is cool).

When I was about 8, I finally got the knack of front crawl in a pool on holiday. And then when I was 19 away at uni, I started going 3 times a week for fitness… and I got in the shape of my life.

I used to swim 3,000m… and I used the practice to improve my technique, streamlining and tumble turns. I shaved my time from about 1:20 at the start, to about 55 minutes. But best of all, I was the fittest I’ve ever been.

And now I’m back at it, two times a week at the moment, maybe reducing to once a week. We’ll see. 2,000m is just fine for me now.

The Gorbals pool has a rule that you can’t use fins, or flippers… as does Bellahouston I think… for ‘safety’ or some reason. But tollcross… as it’s a pool for competitive swimmers, doesn’t have that rule! So I got myself another pair of flippers or fins as they’re also known.

Just short ones… or training fins…. I got them from Amazon, they’re the exactly same as the slightly more expensive Maru fins, but a nice colour. So I’ll try them on my Sunday swim. Get my legs working some more.

And I also got a swim cap to keep my hair nice – my first ever one. I’ll see how I get on with that!

Here are my draft kick sets:

Session 9 ​(kick sets / with fins)
Warm up​200m FC swim / 200m choice
Set 1​​4 x 200m kick with fins – BC / FC
Set 2​​1,000m FC swim with fins, Time Trial

Cool down​200m swim easy / 100m choice

Total ​​2,500m (with fins)

Session 10​(kick sets / with fins)

Warm up​200m swim / 200m choice

Set 1​​800m FC with fins (odd easy / even effort)

Set 2​​200m FC swim with fins (timed) / 800m FC swim (timed)

Cool down​200m swim easy / 100m choice

Total​​2,500m (with fins)

Session 11​(with fins)

Warm up​200m swim / 200m choice

Set 1​​3 x 400m FC with fins
​​(1. Ev 3rd effort, 2. Ev 2nd effort, 3. 800m hard)

​​200m FC easy

Set 2​​10 x 50m FC swim with fins (timed)
Cool down​200m choice

Total ​​2,500m (with fins)

Session 12 ​(with fins)

Warm up​200m swim / 100m choice

Set 1​​600m FC swim with fins: 100m / 200m / 300m

​​600m FC pull: 300m / 200m / 100m
Set 2​​800m FC swim with fins (timed)
Cool down​200m choice
Total​​2,500m (with fins)

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