This is a blog for myself…my own personal reminder in an attempt to ensure I remain focused and on-task over the coming weeks. The idea is for me to review this every few days and see how I am progressing against the various points raised in this specific entry.

2016 for me has been, in terms of running, a up-and-down year…probably more down than up. Life, work and coaching has meant that for the second half of the year my own running took somewhat of a backwards step. This was mainly down to some inconsistent training and work / life stress that resulted in some very poor diet choices. The end result was a slow increase in weight over a period of months taking me from low 12 stone to mid 13 stone…!

Over the last two weeks I’ve been a little busy with work and coaching and, also picked up the winter cold that is currently doing the rounds. This meant that I have not been able to get any runs in for the previous two weeks…this enforced break however gave me a chance to recharge my batteries a little and also gave me a period of reflection. The upshot of this is that I finally have the desire and (excuse the pun) appetite to tackle the weighty issue of my diet. Work and life seems to be a little more balanced at the moment and I have some work stability for the next 6 months.

I’ve cleared out my race diary for the remainder of 2016 so I can focus on getting back into running again without the stress of worrying about races. My next race will be the Cleethorpes New Years Day 10k quickly followed by the Brass Monkey half-marathon two weeks later. The plan for those two races is simple…they’re just fitness tests. A chance to see how the recent training has affected the body and mind. Between now and then I will be focusing on the following;

1. Building Fitness Up
2. Weight Management / Nutrition
3. Physical Preparation

:: Building Fitness Up ::
This will be a solid block of training where I gradually increase the miles and slowly introduce some intensity to my training. The first few weeks will be mainly aerobic running with a weekly fartlek session. Then after a few weeks I’ll replace the fartlek with some Kenyan Hill work. That will probably take me right up to the two races.

:: Weight Management / Nutrition ::
This is key for performance…I have to get the weight down before I rock up to the start line at Manchester Marathon on 2nd April. The good news is that past experience has shown me that I can drop weight relatively quickly once I start regular running without impacting performance too much. Nutrition is hugely important to performance, not just in weight management but also in terms of ensuring I consume the appropriate vitamins, minerals and fuel to support my training and racing goals. There’s little point in dropping the calories if all you do is replace burnt calories with junk / empty / low value calories. Remember, not all calories are equal…the focus will be to ensure that I maintain good quality nutrition and not just drop calorie intake.

:: Physical Preparation ::
I like the term physical preparation as opposed to the traditional strength and conditioning label…the rationale for me is that I need to improve my flexibility and mobility as well as do some traditional S&C workouts. So I will brand them together, each session I do will consist of some traditional S&C exercises and will also have a section that will specifically target my extremely poor mobility and flexibility. My flexibility is so poor that it is extremely surprising that I haven’t had a significant injury.

So…that’s my plan over the next few weeks, taking me into the end of 2016 and into early 2017. Fingers crossed I will quickly drop my excess weight and ideally will be in the low 11 stone range come 2nd April.

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