Half marathon in city centre

I don’t know what it was today, but I REALLY couldn’t be bothered running my planned half marathon. It just seemed to far to run, and I was sort of repeatedly coming up with reasons not to do it… right up to about mile 6 or 7 of the run. I nearly didn’t start it then I nearly threw in the towel a few times.

I’d initially planned to run this route above – a nice Southside half marathon route I’ve done many times, but I haven’t done it for a while. So although I’d decided on doing it, I couldn’t really be bothered trying to remember it all. So I decided this morning that I’d make the route up and run in town again.

I was up about 8 or 9 and had a coffee. Then my breakfast. I usually run long on maybe a banana and some water and caffeine, but these last couple of runs I’ve taken comfort in having breakfast in me to fuel me.

I ended up dragging myself out the door just before 11am… after putting the in off with internet surfing, reading the news, having another coffee… and I even managed to swap out the battery on my heart rate monitor in an attempt to procrastinate.

Even my water pack didn’t want to go a run, I’d left it in the fridge overnight, in the bottom tray, and it had leaked all over itself and the fridge door. Right from the start I decided I’d just run and see what happened.

I got 2 minutes in and I got cramps, and nearly decided to cut it very short, but figured I’d try and get to 3 miles and see how I was doing. Then it would just be another 3 x 3 miles plus a 1.1 mile finish.

There was clearly something wrong with me, as just after the cramps, I got a little upset… sad… lockdown sadness perhaps… and I started to cry. Sad stuff I can’t do anything about. I’ll not say why, but escaping on the run helped with it anyway.

I ran along Morrison street like the other day, then along the Clyde to the far end of Glasgow Green, and by this time I was feeling better and ticking along nicely. My heart rate was around 145-150 and I felt good at last.

I got to 3 miles, then about 6.5 and I’d gone into town by this point. Along Argyll Street and along to bath street. The town was pretty quiet mostly, apart from when you got close to George square where police presence and the people trying to protect the statues in the square were. I took a pineapple gel about 4 miles in.

At bath street I was about half way and about 54 mins in. I was feeling strong now, and I figured I could make it up to 13 miles, but by the time I got to 8 miles I was at sauchihall street and took a bit of a rest.

5 more miles. I couldn’t be bothered… but after my little sit down I felt better and up for it. I was running well, my mind just wasn’t 100% in it.

Then all of a sudden I got to 9 miles and I felt fine… I decided I’d go up to great western road, then down Kelvin way and I guessed that should get me up to 13.1 miles.

Great western road was a bit stupid with people queuing for coffees and shops, but I just ran on the road to avoid them.

Up and over the hill behind Kelvingrove museum and along the river on both sides, then down the back of the old transport museum and I had about 2 miles to go.

Down to the new transport museum, I decided not to go around it, then I ran along the cycle path past about 100 bikes coming towards me. About a mile to go and I figured I’d be at the BBC with about 1km to go…(The distance I walk home).

Then I got a horrible stitch in my neck… I tried to run through it for a bit… and did… then had another rest… and kept going to finish close to home. Just under 1:47, with an average HR of 148 max 162. I’ll take that, especially since it nearly didn’t happen.

Town feels like a good route just now during lockdown… and I’m glad I went there again.

If I’m honest, 10 minutes in, I nearly went home for a sleep, but I tricked myself into keeping going, for three miles, then for 6 and 9… and the last 4.1 miles to finish. It’s mad what you can get yourself to do if you persuade yourself. Now I’ll get a lie down and recovery after it.

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Long run Sunday again

We were treated to this sight last night just before bed around 10pm… the sun setting in the west, and rain in the east, led to an evening rainbow and sunset, for most of the west of Scotland it seems. I have friends in Erskine and paisley who saw it too.

I had another good sleep … just short of 10 hours… my sleeps are much better or longer in lockdown… and I’m feeling better for it.

I was up for about 9am and had a couple of black coffees, a good breakfast, Some water and and then a tropical caffeine shot to fuel me up for the run.

I planned 10 miles, and decided a run into the Southside, on the outskirts of pollok lark, then along and over to the bottom Clarkson and down Cathcart road to the Clyde would be a good route. Nice wide roads where I could shelter in the shade and also socially distance fine.

It was warm and sunny, but I managed to stick to the shade most of the time. I nearly had a wee clash with a cyclist when I ran onto the road going the same way as I was running, but he saw it coming and called out to prevent me getting in his way.

I was wearing my purple Nike shorts and red and white vest, along with my new favourite trainers, my yellow nike zoom fly 3s. They’re very comfy.

On the run today I noticed a few walkers getting out of my way this time, going on the road so I didn’t need to when it would be them who would walk into the traffic. I thanked them. I managed to avoid everyone on this route, mainly due to the side roads. It’s good to run into the traffic where you can too, in case you need to hop on the road.

My run was planned as quite a tough one:

2 miles easy warm up
2 miles hard effort (HR 155-165)
2 miles easy
2 miles hard effort (HR 160-170)
2 miles easy recovery
Then I added on a little easy 0.2 miles at the end.

Here’s how it ended up pace and HR:

Easy was 8:30-9:00 min miles / 135-154 HR
Effort was 7:21-7:41 min miles / 157-170 HR

On the first effort section, I was going slightly uphill, but on the second effort section it was mostly running down Cathcart road so I had the benefit of that. I was ticking along with my heart rate creeping up to 170 ish and feeling strong, even 6-8 miles in.

I used to live up that area so I know it well. And just after I started that second 2 miles of effort I noticed a guy in blue running about as fast as me behind me. He was keeping his distance but I was aware of him. He gave me space to distance from people, which was nice of him.

After a mile or so he caught up with me and we ran apart but chatted. Michael was doing a long run and although I was beast it it I was still able to talk a little – the downhill probably helped. At the Gorbals my 2 miles was up, and my heart rate was up at 171, so I let him go and said I was on a recovery now.

I walked for about a tenth of a mile to let me heart rate come down to 150 ish then started up again. I ran along the south side of the Clyde then over the Squiggley Bridge and in the shade again next to the bus lane.

I’m getting quite used to this bit now, with all of the walking and running I’m doing locally, and finding the best ways to avoid people where I can.

It ended up being a nice strong run, and I finished bang on when I expected to, about 1130. Afterwards I had a vanilla sis rego shake, and some water, and a stretch and shower. Then we went out a wee 35 min walk locally to stretch the legs.

Not long after I had a couple of boiled eggs, nuts, tomatoes and dairylea light slices rolled up to dunk in the eggs. Yum.

I finished my run along the front of the Clyde … adding on the last 0.2 miles because I could. I might do intervals there again next week… it’s a nice wee spot. Now for some sunbathing this afternoon I think. It’s nice and warm when the clouds go away.

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Progress and results – during lockdown – 10 weeks

Lockdown for me really started on Thursday the 13th of March when I started working from home… the tail end of that week, and into the next week, I don’t know about you, but I found myself going to the fridge a lot and eating a lot.

By the last week in March I decided I had better put a can on it … and thought what better time to get a bit of focus to see what I could really achieve (and stop me eating like a whale / horse too). 😂

In the last couple of years my weight has steadily been going up and up…and I’ve felt ok about it… up to 10 stone at the start of the year… but I felt I was carrying it well – whatever the f… that means (?!).

Anyway, I thought, what better time, when I’d be stuck at home most of the time, to be more conscious of what I was eating, track my calories, aim for a deficit and not eat everything in sight? As well as keep motivated and train the way I want to – mixing running solo, with strength training in the gym.

I started off with a 28 day drop plan… where I tracked lots, most of it daily, to keep a track to see if it was all going in the right direction:

– calorie intake (my fitness pal – 1400 – 2000 a day, depending on how active I’d been), calorie burn (BMR – about 1560-1600, and active calories from my Garmin). – then I’d get the deficit for the day and the week
– sleep hours
– steps
– weight in lbs, body fat %, lean mass % (and lbs)
– training
– waist and hip measurements weekly

I was also keeping an eye on when my cycle was, and flexing my training around it, a little bit easier the week before day 1, and on day 1, then getting back into it at the start of the cycle. Then being aware of it in the 30 day cycle and how I was feeling (lethargic or motivated etc).

I was aiming for at least 3 runs a week, including an effort session (hill or sprints) and a long run, along with 1 or 2 easy runs.

The main changes I’ve done with running is in running solo most of the time, and including one effort session a week – hills or intervals. The type I usually shy away from in favour of social runs. And it seems to be working on my fitness.

Then 2-3 strength sessions. Mostly I got them done, but in the 10 weeks since I started, I took my foot off the gas a bit in early May, but just didn’t eat as much to be balanced and still get a calorie deficit.

All of a sudden weight loss seemed to come a little easier, and the graph is going in the right direction. Perhaps it is coming easier because I didn’t have the commute and work was slightly changed – leading to more sleep and with lockdown, there was a little more time to myself / for training.

I had good results, so I thought I’d keep it all going through lockdown. Now here are the monthly results:

30 March – 140.5lbs / 17.4% body fat / 79% lean mass
24.4lbs body fat / 111.1lbs lean mass
Waist: 75cm / Hips: 100cm

30 April – 134.8lbs / 15.1% body fat / 81.3% lean mass
20.4lbs body fat / 109.6lbs lean mass
Waist: 72cm / Hips: 100cm

30 May – 133lbs / 13.7% body fat / 82.6% lean mass
18.2lbs body fat / 109.9lbs lean mass
Waist: 72cm / Hips: 97cm

And this week, I’ve ended up at:

3 June – 132.4lbs / 14.1% body fat / 82.2% lean mass
18.7lbs body fat / 108.8lbs lean mass
Waist: 71cm / Hips: 97cm

All in all, in about 10 weeks –

That’s a loss of 8-9lbs – including about 5lbs of body fat, and 2-3lbs lean mass.

My body fat % is down 3%, and my lean mass % is up 3%.
My waist is down 4cm and my hips are down 3cm.

In kilos I’m down about 3.5kg, down to 60kg for the first time in about 2-3 years.

I’m very pleased with my effort and the outcome, and I’m keeping it going, see where I end up. The weight loss has slowed a bit, so I’m maybe getting to where my body thinks I should be. I’m eating what I want, but in the right portion sizes, ie not eating two of everything or being greedy.

Breakfast is about 400-500 cals
Lunch is about 350-450 cals
Dinner 400-700 cals
Snacks 200-400 cals
1400 – 2000 cals depending on activity

The way I see it, as a runner, the lighter I am, the easier it will be to run and run faster, and I know there will be a point when I get to a weight that my body is just right at.

The strength training will hopefully enable me to keep or build some lean mass which will help with running too. My BMI is now smack bang in the middle of ‘healthy’ so it’s probably about right where it is.

Running has been going well, and my VO2 max estimate has gone up and up… from 50 at the start, to 54. I’m managing to fit more running in, and the solo running and interval / hills are clearly having a good impact. It’s going up up up and my garmin has told me a few times that I’m ‘productive’ or ‘peaking’ in my fitness. 🙂

I feel like I’m lifting well in the gym too – 2-3 times a week, mixing it up between my Squat, Deadlift and Clean n Press sessions, some spin work, and some random shorter strength sessions too.

In the first 4 weeks, I had an overall calorie deficit of about 10,600 calories (-6lbs in weight), and in the second 4 weeks, that deficit was about 6,100 calories (-2lbs in weight).

My sleep was higher than it usually is, at an average of 8:32 in the first 4 weeks, then 8:56 in the second 4 weeks, but my average steps remained about the same, at about 10,600 steps a day.

I had enough rest days, 6 in the first 4 weeks in April, and seemed to need more (x10) in the second 4 weeks in May. I ran and walked similar mileage in each block – about 95-97 miles running and 39 mile walking each 4 weeks, but did more strength sessions in the first 4 weeks (x10), compared to x4 in the second 4 weeks.

I feel like I’m back on track this week, a good start to the week training wise and I have a good weekly schedule that seems to fit in well with my work and life:

Mon, Wed, Fri – Spin, Strength & a 5k walk or run (sometimes only 2 a week)

Tue, Thu, Sat or Sun – 3 runs, including an effort, a long and an easy

Rest day on a Sat or Sun (and another day sometimes if I need it).

I take rest days when I need it to, like Friday this week. I just walked for 20 minutes, and had the rest day I feel I needed. I try to include a walk on these days, or sometimes I do absolutely nothing and try to make sure I don’t eat like I would on a very active day.

I’ve been walking a lot more in lockdown, taking advantage of the ‘one exercise time a day’ but also just getting out and about in the nice weather and getting a break. It’s a good way to get calorie burn up without breaking into a sweat or working too hard. 35-40 miles a month on avg. it’s a good way to wake up and feel good.

As for calories, I’m using my Garmin Connect app to track them – it has a simple function in it – where you put your weight in and it gives you what you’ve burned at rest – it started around 1,600 calories and as my weight has decreased, it’s now at around 1,560 per day.

My active calories have ranged from about 50 on a total rest day… to about 1,100 on a long run day, where I’ve walked too. A strength day gets me around 500 active calories, and run days usually get me even more than that.

The app adds your resting and active calories together, then I track my intake and aim to get as high a deficit as I can… usually around the 400-500 mark on average per day on a good week. A few days I was over it, but that was generally when I didn’t exercise and ate as much as I normally would.

It feels like I understand my intake and calorie burn better, and I’m not mindless eating, just because I did a run and think I earned it.

My main aim with eating is to eat protein with every meal, and get about 30% protein, and of course not to go overboard and eat too much. It feels easier at home to stick to the plan and eat good food, regularly.

I’ll stick to the plan above and see how I get on. I could probably blog some more, and maybe I will, but I’ll leave this blog with you now.

I hope lockdown is treating you ok. If it’s not, why not focus on some things you can start doing, and some things you want to stop doing? See what a bit of focus can do for you?

(Some ideas: Read more, listen to music or podcasts more, eat better, relax more, walk more, sleep more, phone people more, follow a training plan, drink more water, track things… etc)

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Granny’s Egg Flip

I was lucky enough to be left a lot of family bits and pieces by my Granny and Aunt… and in the plethora of photo albums, papers and bits and pieces, was my Granny’s recipe book.

It had been up in the loft, and during lockdown I decided it was about time I got it down and gave it a bit of a peruse. Whenever I’d stay with my Granny she always seemed to be a good and wholesome cook, and baker too.

From chicken roasts and beef olives, to pancakes and drop scones… and even a mixed grill. Knowing my culinary skills… aren’t ever going to be a patch on my granny’s… I tried out the simplest recipe I could find – an egg flip.

I googled what a gill is… and it’s about 140mls … so I heated up 140mls of milk, then whipped up and egg white.

Then once the milk was hot I added a teaspoon of sugar, and stirred it all in. I poured it into a glass, then added the whipped egg and mixed it in.

Here we have a hot probably bed time drink, 124 calories, 11g of carbs, 8g of protein and 5g of fat… almost perfectly balanced – about a third of each macro.

I can just imagine my Mum and Aunt and Uncle when they were kids in the 40s and 50s getting this served up to them by my Granny before bedtime.

My verdict? It’s probably quite a good wee bedtime drink, for winter, and maybe for kids, but it is a bit odd. Maybe if I have it some more it’ll grow on me.

Why don’t you try it out and see what you think?

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12.5 more solo miles in hot lockdown ☀️

I did another long run last weekend, on Sunday again, after I’d been to Asda to get the weekly shop early… then I was out the door for about half 9. It was due to be hot, and the later I left it, the hotter it would get. So I decided early on that the main aim of this long run would be to keep my HR easy / around 140.

I tried my newish Nike Zoom Flys out and they were good the whole way. Really supportive and reactive, if that’s even a thing. They are quite bright too, but very comfy.

The sun was blistering early on, and even when I left I wasn’t sure where I would run. I thought about running a Southside route, then figured if I ran up the kelvin and along the canal it could be a good 10 miles plus 2.5 miles.

But then when I got up to Kelvinhaugh Street, I decided I’d run up the closed Kelvin Way… and decided then that running in town was probably my best bet to be able to socially distance (rather than on a cycle path or canal path).

Here’s Kelvin Way earlyish on Sunday morning. I passed a few people, but the space on the road was good and i was able to avoid everyone. One older lady was standing next to a barrier and looking quite relaxed and contemplating something. It was nice.

It’s still odd seeing the streets deserted, and feels even odder trying to constantly think of running places where you don’t meet people or when you can avoid people.

From Kelvin way I ran down towards Sauchiehall Street, and then all the way down Buchanan street to Argyll Street. It was then that I realised that if I ran up and down the streets in town (as opposed to east to west along bath street etc), I would be able to run in the shade of the buildings nearly at all times.

So that’s what I did. Up union street, aroind the museum of art for a whirley, around George square, down and up streets until I got back up High Street and I went along Duke Street for a bit.

I got along to the Tennents brewery and got saw the nice murals on the walls. Including this one…

My heart rate stayed around 140, which I was pleased with, and I was enjoying my run. As it was to be so hot I took my water pack with me and had drunk and had breakfast before I went. I also had a pineapple energy gel around half way.

Here’s me running down Buchanan street. And here’s a rather empty george square again. Although there were a few more people in town than I’d seen during lockdown, it was still pretty deserted.

My pace was pretty steady though out, and I was careful not to push it and keep an eye on my HR to keep it down.

Last week on my long run for a similar distance my avg HR was 157 and my max was 167. This week, even with the heat, I managed to keep it down to an avg 140, and max 153 (up a hill). I had a couple of wee stops, in particular about a mile from home when I needed a wee stand in the shade and a drink.

I felt strong when I finished, and this was also when I noticed how comfortable my trainers had been. I’ve got a bit of a sore bit on the ball of my right foot just now, but it was fine on the run, so that’s good.

Last week I did 4 runs totalling 25.4 miles, including a long run and an interval run of 3 x 1 miles. This week I’m planning 4 runs again, and will aim to do the following:

Mon: Bike tabatas / Runners Strength / 5k walk
Tue: Hills (Bella?)
Wed: Bike tabatas / Clean n Press Strength / 5k run incl strides Thu: 5-7M easy
Fri: Bike tabatas / Clean n Press Strength
Sat: 13.1M incl 10 marathon HR pace
Sun: Rest

I might swap Saturday for Sunday, I’ll take it as it comes.

The 12.5 miles got my monthly mileage for May up to 115 for the month, the same as January and the most equal for this year. I’m at 491 for the year, so I if I keep running like this I could get to 1,200 or maybe upwards of 1,000 miles for the year if I have some time out.

Here’s me at the end of my run… it was surprisingly ok, despite the heat (around 16-20’C). The factor 50 sun cream and running in the shade protected me from / stopped any burn.

It did remind me of the London Marathon 2018 where it was roasting and I managed to stay on target to finish 3 seconds under my goal target. Thankfully I wasn’t having to do that yesterday (although my average pace was a bit quicker than then, but I doubt I would have wanted to keep that up for much longer).

I was thinking I could write some tips for running in the heat – but it seems that it’s going to go away soon so there’s maybe no point. Lol. Here goes anyway: 1. Run in the shade where you can.
2. Run early or late (for cooler weather).
3. Slow down / or run to an easy heart rate.
4. Walk or stop and have a break if you need to.
5. Hydrate and fuel / run with water if you can.
6. Wear light colours, shades and a cap (wet the cap if that helps). 7. Cut it short if it gets too much.

I’ll hopefully write another post about my June goals etc. What are your plans for June onwards? Let me know in the comments. Hope you have a good one whatever you do.

And how are you getting on in lockdown? Is it getting any easier? Are there any good parts to it? How can you maybe make it easier / better for yourself?

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Mileage for May

My running has been ticking away nicely during lockdown (solo of course)… and in May with one day, and one long run day as it is, left to go…

I’m at 102.5 miles for the month. Last week I ran 12 miles as my long run, and this week I’m going to run 12.5 miles on Sunday as my long run.

That’ll round it up to the same monthly mileage as January, and the same highest monthly mileage for me this year. I’ve been running 3-4 times a week, and been getting a couple of strength sessions in a week in the last couple of weeks too, along with some good rest days like today.

That’ll be 491 miles in 5 months if my maths is right. I’ll need to round up that to a round 10 or 100 figure at some point I think!

I’m not sure of my route yet, maybe into town again, as it’s probably the best for being quiet. But I’m going to do the food shopping first thing, then head out for a run with my water pack and see how I get on.

Sitting in the sun today again, apart from out early for some necessities, I’ve not been past the garden again. Ice lolly in the garden. Then beef and veg for dinner. 👍🏻

Are you getting your runs done and rest in lockdown? What’s your usual mileage and are you above or below it?

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Easy take-away alternatives

We usually get a chinese takeaway once a week, and spread it over Friday and Saturday nights. I vary what I get, sometime beef and black bean sauce, something king po chicken, sa-cha chicken or chicken satay.

Our local Chinese is sadly shut, due to coronavirus but there are a few others locally that we’ve managed to get meals from.

Anyway, two weekends ago I thought I’d buy my own beef and ingredients and make my own beef n black bean sauce. I had it with cauliflower rice and it all went down well. It was easy to make and very tasty.

Very simple – meat, the veg you like and either cauliflower rice or basmati rice.

It’s about 500 cals with cauliflower rice and about 600 with basmati rice.

Here’s the macros and splits for the beef n black bean sauce with cauliflower rice:

And here’s the ingredient list (leeks or onions, similar thing really).

This weekend I made myself chicken satay, and had just normal rice this time.

Here’s the split of macros for the chicken satay.

This is the ingredients and how I made them:

Chicken satay with veg
Or beef and black bean sauce with veg
Two portions

– 2 chicken breasts / 300g
(Could be stir fry beef)
– 50g frozen onions
– Two handfuls frozen peas / 80g
– 100g chopped mushrooms (or your favourite coloured pepper chopped) – Small handful of spring greens (optional)
– Uncle bens basmati rice (or cauliflower rice for lower calorie option) – Amoy satay sauce (120ml pouch)
(Could be Amoy black bean sauce pouch)

1. Chop the chicken up into small pieces and brown in a large frying pan. (Or beef).
2. Once cooked through, add in onions, peas, mushrooms (or peppers) and spring greens (if you want them in it). 3. Once the veg is cooked, add the sauce, simmer and cook through. 4. Cook the rice.
5. Serve two portions (or split up and keep one for the following day).

Yum!

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New Under Armour capris!

I treated myself to a new pair of capris the other week and they are soooo comfy.

Size large for me, about a size 12.

Here’s the link to them:
https://www.underarmour.co.uk/en-gb/womens-ua-fly-fast-printed-capri/

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Energy for life notes

We had a zoom session in work today called Energy for life. I thought I’d share the notes I took from it here with you.

Things in life drain us and energise us. Below are some things that can help fuel us and be well.

Sleep – focus on getting good quality sleep Try to get 8-9 hrs a night, go to bed and get up at the same times, get a routine, we sleep in 90 min cycles. Dark cold room. Reducing late stimulation / light / devices.

Hydration – drink water, keep hydrated. Keep a bottle with you, drink and refill. Pee should be light coloured, if it’s not, you may be dehydrated and this could affect your performance and the way you feel.

Routines – We love routines – get in touch with your daily rhythms and routines. Sleep, exercise, eating, working, socialising etc.

Watching caffeine intake – no caffeine after lunch time, 300mg max a day. Remember it’s a diuretic. Your body tries to get rid of it as soon as it comes in. It makes us more alert but does not provide energy. Limit to 4 coffees or 7 teas max a day, ideally before lunchtime.

Fuel well – good quality, healthy, natural, unprocessed foods. Get the energy in early and keep energised throughout the day. Plan and prep your food / fuel. Be careful with sugar intake. Fuel more in the morning, then less at lunchtime and less again at dinner time (opposite to what most do).

Positive mindset – can help us to be motivated (negative mindset can be draining and can lead to anxiety and depression etc).

Being active – exercise energises us, makes us feel good / opportunity to be out in the open / socialise / chat. Be kind to yourself and include rest and recovery.

Prioritising – Focusing on one thing at once, and having time to plan and do.

Planning – Decide what we need to do next, energy into the right stuff. Make time to plan and prepare if you can. Eat, exercise, work, family time, play, socialise, etc.

Take action – Identify things or something you’d like to do, get a list and make and action plan to get it done.

Actions today

– Start doing something to put energy in.

– Stop doing something which drains you.

– Continue to do something that your already doing that gives you energy.

– Have a call, zoom call or a chat with someone today and see if you can positively zap someone with your energy. Have a positive mindset. Share and solve problems together – carry the burden together.

Q&A

– How to boost energy?

– Individually – what not to do – not a quick fix, ie red bull etc. How to – good food intake, sleep, hydration, activity, as above.

– Team – look for opportunities to encourage each other. How can we act as energy boosters, optimistic chats, to increase each other’s energy. Share and communicate your positive energy on zoom, chat and calls. Consider impact of sending emails – don’t send emails which will drain people.

– Other resources?

Check out TED lectures and watch in timeout.

Books / audiobooks

Do an assessment of where you’re at – and decide where and how can you make improvements.

What can you can do for more energy – see the start, stop, continue above.

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Hill Street hill reps

The other week we ventured out on a walk which took us up the back / North of Sauchiehall Street, along a street which was aptly named ‘Hill Street’.

Just off of Charing Cross, some new build flats have been built there and there’s a nice stairway and footpath which leads up to them.

As we were climbing up the stairs that day, I thought to myself, these would be good for hill reps – so that’s what I went and did this morning. Hill reps at Hill Street, Charing Cross.

I had thought about using more of the many hills there, doing maybe three reps of one hill, then running on to the other hills / streets in the area, but I decided to stick to this hill and run up one side of it, recover down, then run down and up the other side of it. And it worked well.

It took about 14 mins or so to run up to the stairs, along past SkyPark, the Clydeside expressway, and up past the M8 through Charing Cross. I was struck by how noisy it was, even with the limited cars on the road just now and at about 7:30am.

As I was running alongside the M8… who builds a motorway through a city?… ha… I should have expected the noise really. And there was a low constant drum of noise when ones doing my hill reps too. Maybe I should have worn my airpods to block out the noise instead of my aftershokz.

Glasgow – up on a wee hill… the M8 right next to you… church like buildings to the West, and green bushy trees mixed with urban streets and roads. Glasgow how I love you.

Anyway… I didn’t know how many hill reps id do… 10 maybe? 5 times up and down 2 hills maybe. I did the first set, and it took about 3 minutes.

It was 30 secs running up 44 stairs and to the top to a wall, then recover down the other side, and about a 40 second sprint back up to the wall, and recover down to the bottom of the stairs again.

My heart rate was pushing up to about 165, then a short walk to recover and I’d jog again once it was at about 150.

After about 15 mins of hills, I got to about 10 reps (5 times up and down x2) and I was feeling strong and figured I might as well go for 16 reps (8 times up and down). It ended up being about 24 mins of hills, and I felt good for having done them.

My HR maxed at 171, average 141, but my heart got a good workout with it going up and down 16 times in 24 minutes. 🤮 Cool elevation and heart rate graph above. 😎

Running back home I realised it was down hill most of the way – yippee… and I chose a slightly different route back, which took about 13 mins.

Less traffic too – although I did meet another male on a bike 🚲 on the pavement, who then made me go into the road down Finnieston. 😡 I still managed to socially distance the whole way, but some of that was covering the same ground at the hills.

The numbers were a little cool – 5.2 miles in 52 mins exactly … 10 min miles. (Or maybe that’s the endorphins talking again 🤪).

At the top of the hill, there was some chalk drawings, thanking the NHS etc and look what I found (not sure why I’m smiling, must be the endorphins at the end).

Hill reps are good, you can push as hard as you want, and it’s a good workout.

If you would like to try them… here’s my tips:….warm up with a 10-15 min run to a hill or two, or some stairs somewhere, then run up and down them a few times… 3, 4, 5 times or sets…

Sprint up them, then walk for a bit down them to recover, and jog to the bottom, then repeat. I mark a split on my watch once I’ve done a set.

Then when you’re still feeling strong, decide how many you’ll do… and try to keep running strong… I went for 8 sets of 2 hills.

Then once you’re done, jog home as a recovery cool down. It could be 10:20:10 or whatever works for you.

Mine today was:
14 min warm up
24 mins / 16 hill reps
13 min cool down
52 mins

The pace and distance doesn’t matter, it’s how hard you make yourself work and how quickly you recover. Enjoy, and let me know if you do do them.

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