My Top Tips for Fat Loss – Results from the 8 Week Body Fat Challenge

As you may remember I was participating in an 8 week Body Fat Challenge with my training partner, ‘Wayne’.  I was being quite consistent updating the blog with our progress in the challenge (good on me) until Week 6 where I suddenly dropped off the radar.  I’m sorry, the tail end of the challenge coincided with hubby returning to a stint of reverse FIFO work.  Yes we moved to Panna to stop the FIFO lifestyle but somehow we are now living remote and hubby is flying to Perth for work??  Anyway…..the end of the challenge also coincided with 2 study courses that were due around the same time so I was sick of being on the computer.  We did still finish the challenge in style and I will give you a quick run down of the results and all the take home tips that you need to know if you are trying to lose some body fat.

Drum roll please…..from a starting cast of approximately 50 people ‘Wayne’ placed second overall in this challenge.  Wahooo – fantastic effort!! More importantly I think she now believes in her ability to improve her health and fitness.  I think she has made changes that will stick, and I think she may even enjoy her new love of the gym!!

Results

When we have a final look at the numbers you will see that for both of us our weight loss is similar to our % body fat lost which is a good thing.  This means that we can probably assume that the weight we did lose was actually fat and not muscle.  You will often see large weight loss results with smaller % body fat losses as a result of high levels of aerobic training and a significant cut in calories.   This is great for short term success on the scales but is very difficult to maintain over the long term.  Muscle is very hard to gain but has so many benefits for weight loss, injury prevention, and general health that we don’t want to lose it.

Even though my numbers weren’t huge, it is still progress that I am proud of.  I would love to know how many people dropped out of the challenge by the end of the eight weeks as weight loss is a difficult thing to commit to.  To help you out I thought I would put together a list of my top tips for sustainable fat loss.

1.  Find a Training Partner

Just trust me on this one.  Don’t worry about what sex they are, how strong they are, or what shape they are in.  You just want to know that they will turn up regularly, have a laugh with you, and that they are willing to get a little sweaty and pull a few of these faces…

2.  Set some goals that are NOT related to weight loss.

Numbers on a scale are too fickle to be all that you rely on to tell your story and give that all important positive feedback that keeps us going.  By all means track your progress but don’t stress about the weekly numbers too much.  Choose something that you enjoy doing.  Your goals may be to run 3km, climb a mountain, bench press your body weight, or something crazy like complete an Adventurethon!!  Dream them and make them happen……then dream some more.

3.  Build Muscle

This is one of the most beneficial things you can do for lifelong health.  To build muscle you need to lift a load that your body can’t quite cope with, forcing it to recruit more muscle fibres to get the job done.  For those new to lifting I would be aiming to find a weight that you can only just complete 10-12 repetitions.  Aim for 3 sets initially and remember that you may not finish 12 reps every set.  If you are hitting 15 reps the weight is too light.  If you have been strength training for a while then mix up the number of sets.  You might want to try heavier weights, completing 5-6 reps only and doing 8 sets of this.  Variety is the spice of life, so mix it up.  Try drop sets, super sets, eccentric loading, isometric contractions……the choices are endless.

A note to the women – if another female tells me that she doesn’t want to ‘bulk up’ just ‘tone’, I will seriously headbutt them!!  Toning is building muscle!  Often that initial feeling that you are ‘bulking up’ is because you may still be carrying extra fat whether because the diet hasn’t changed or your body hasn’t had the chance to burn through the fat stores.  Give it time.  If in 12 weeks you aren’t convinced that you are feeling the best you have ever felt, then stop doing it.  You will lose that muscle pretty quickly.

Image Credit

4.  Stop Eating Crap.

How well you eat will determine how quickly you achieve your results.  It is easy to think that you have to be on some special diet to lose weight.  The media loves to create hype around certain magic weight loss diets and push all these ‘superfoods’ at us. The truth is if we just made small commitments to eating a healthier diet the results will still come, we would just have to be more patient.  You know, like a lifestyle change, not an 8 week challenge.

5.  Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Research shows that strength training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) appear to be the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off.  Don’t try and do too much.  I am a chronic over exerciser.  I love to exercise and challenge myself, but the trouble with this is that I do a lot of different training without much of a plan to it.  I love the variety and I enjoy it but it is very difficult to get a handle on what you really need to be eating to satisfy your energy needs when you are exercising like a crazy person and varying it day to day!  From experience, my best success with weight loss is usually when I keep my routine based on strength training.  Generally, I am aim for 4-5 x 45 minute strength sessions a week.  I often throw in optional extras such as a short HIIT session, a jog, and/or a mountain bike ride if my week allows and I am done.  Simple.  Effective.  Realistic.

What have you found to be most effective for your weight loss or health goals?

Weigh Ins and Workouts – Week 6

Just a very brief update on my Week 6 weigh in results as you can read all about my week in workouts in this post on Rockin’ the Timetable.  The lessons learnt from this week include the reminder that you can’t out exercise a bad diet!  I had quite a physical week with 8 classes and 3 runs but my eating was terrible.  Lots of Easter chocolate and a lot more carbs than I needed.  That’s the problem with a lot of cardio vs strength work as the cardio tends to make you hungry, increasing the tendency to overeat.

I am actually quite happy with my results this week, they weren’t spectacular but I think it bodes well for a strong finish in the next two weeks.

Weight remained the same this week but Body Fat% was down 1%.

Total lost:  1.8kg lost and 2%BF lost.

Why am I so happy with that you may ask?  After finishing the timetable challenge I had a lot of muscle soreness, typically a result of challenging the body and tearing muscle fibers leading to an increase in muscle mass.  The whole point of strength training really.  My theory is that I would have held on to a little fluid on a cellular level as my body was adapting to the stress I had placed it under during the week.  My problem knee was a little swollen as well with the increase in high impact activities in the classes but this usually settles with a little rest.  So I am hopeful that with a return to a better balanced workout week and better eating, I should have some good movement on the scales this week.  Watch this space to see if I am correct…..;)

I am really impressed with my training partner, ‘Wayne’, as her numbers are continuing to drop and her weight loss to date is really quite respectable.

This week she dropped another 0.3kg but BF% was up 0.2% which is neither here nor there.

Total lost: 2.6kg and 3.7%BF

Two weeks left of this challenge and we are far from done!!

 

Weigh Ins and Workouts

Today marks two weeks into the 8 week Pannawonica Body Fat challenge.  With our trip away last weekend and a cyclone cruising past late this week, my initial two weeks have been far from perfect however progress has still been achieved.  For those that are interested I thought I would document my (and my exercise partner’s) training and progress over the next 8 weeks.  Now for confidentiality reasons I am going to call my training partner ‘Wayne’.  She will laugh at this as it was her kids who sparked this name after an innocent chat during dinner the other night when she suddenly remembered she had ‘weigh in’ the next morning…one child asked ‘Who’s Wayne?” and her other child stated…”I think it is someone she trains with at the gym.”  Everyone had a laugh and now ‘Wayne’ will be the name of my training partner for the sake of the blog.

The purpose of these first two weeks at the gym was to build a foundation of good technique and basic strength and endurance.  ‘Wayne’ and I are doing a mixture of classes and strength training in the gym.  Research has shown that one of the best ways to lose body fat (notice I said body fat and not weight loss, as a common mistake is to cut the calorie intake and hit the cardio which results in great numbers on the scales but often leads to loss in muscle mass, difficulty maintaining this weight loss, and sometimes minimal changes to actual body fat) is to follow a strength protocol and/or add some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  As ‘Wayne’ has not done a lot of this type of training we won’t be following a strict HIIT protocol, more of a vigorous exercise intensity level until we reach a point where technique is solid and fitness/strength allows us to push to the level needed for HIIT.

Obviously a good diet is crucial for any body composition changes to occur and we are both tracking our intake via My Fitness Pal.  In terms of macronutrient breakdown, at this stage I am aiming for a moderate diet of approximately 50% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein, and 20% Fat.  I know, shock horror, the carbohydrate percentage is quite high and flies in the face of the recent push for high protein and low carb diets for weight loss.  For me this works at the moment, I like endurance exercise and will keep it in my training so I find I like a higher carb content in my diet.  I’m also not aiming for a competition bikini body just a better, healthier body so I am not super strict with my diet at this stage.  I may change the ratio if my weight loss stalls, but for now it works.  In terms of diet, the things I am working on at the moment are:

  • Increased water intake >2L + extra during exercise
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Restricting/avoiding chocolates, sweets, and processed food
  • Aiming to have greens at every meal
  • Controlling portion sizes

As I said, not strict, just working on the basics.  I have also agreed with ‘Wayne’ that we have 5 Diet Passes for the 8 week period, where we are able to use them if we have a special dinner or event and want to splurge, or just really have a craving for something.  Everything in moderation and I think it is unrealistic that we can be perfect 100% of the time.  The aim for this is so we don’t feel like anything is forbidden and also to encourage mindful indulgence.  If you are going to indulge make sure it is something you really want otherwise don’t do it.

OK enough rambling, my training for the past two weeks is as follows.  ‘Wayne’ and I train together Mon-Fri with weekends on our own to allow for family commitments and our own individual training interests.

Week One

Monday – 100 Club (Jumping lunges, KB Swings, weighted boxing combo, wall sit with barbell bicep curls, Fitball ‘Y’s’, medicine ball slams, Heel taps, Shuttle runs length of gym) 100 reps of each, any order, any amount of reps at a time in 45mins with a 60sec plank every 5 minutes.  Ouch!

Tuesday – At the gym, upper body focus.  Warm up 5minutes followed by 10-15 spin bike hill climbs, 30sec hard work 30sec easy.  Chest Press, Seated Row, Lat Pulldown, KB rotate rack and press, Knee push ups (tricep or normal depending on ability).  3 sets, 10-15 reps.  Emphasis on JUST getting 10 reps to start, if we reach 15 reps then must increase weights.  Technique, technique, technique.  Intensity may not quite be there initially but it will come down the track.

In the afternoon – training run with the kids

Wednesday – Both feeling a little sore so decided on a 4km recovery walk round town.

Thursday – Boxing Class, 1 hour.

Friday – At the gym, lower body focus. Start body weight only add weights if able.  Squats to sit on a low step (to encourage good range and good technique), Single leg balance exercise (balance exercises are awesome for pelvic/knee/ankle stability as well as body awareness and increased muscle recruitment), Weighted Lunges, KB Swings, Push up position rows.  3 sets, 15 reps (each side if required).

Saturday – Rest Day.  Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking at Coral Bay.

Sunday – 2km Paddle, and 4km beach walk in the afternoon.  Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking at Coral Bay.

RESULTS:  No weigh in for me this week as away in Coral Bay.  ‘Wayne’ lost 0.3kg and 3%BF.  Now initially I had warned that this type of training can be a little slower to show you the love on the scales in kg lost.  The aim is to build some muscle and burn off the unwanted fat.  Muscles grow when challenged and broken down, forcing the body to rally to meet the challenge.  1kg of muscle weighs the same as 1kg of fat BUT takes up only 1/3 of the space which is why we always remind you to look for changes in how your clothes fit and how you feel and not only for what the scales say.

It can be a little disappointing to look at “only” 0.3kg loss but if you look at 3%BF lost in one week, that is amazing!  When I crunched the numbers this 3%BF translates into 2.6kg fat lost of ‘Wayne’s’ total body weight.  We know that body fat is down 2.6kg but the scales only showed 0.3kg overall so we can assume that we managed to build some hard won muscle.  It is a great result.

Week Two

Monday – Drive home from Coral Bay but dragged myself to the gym that night.  4km treadmill run, quick upper body circuit – 15 Bench Press, 15 each side KB rotate, rack and press, 15 Deadlift with bent over rows, and 20 KB swings. 3 times through.

Tuesday – At the gym, lower body.  Warm up then 10 x 30hard/30easy standing hill sprints on spin bike. Squats to low step (weighted), Low lunge hold with kickbacks (focus on good posture and stretching out ‘Wayne’s’ tight hip flexors), push ups, high step ups single leg with weights, single leg balance exercise.  15reps, 3 sets.  Finished with another lot of spin bike sprints.

Wednesday – 4km walk around town.  Fun Run training in the afternoon with the boys.

Thursday – Cyclone incoming and school cancelled so didn’t make it to class.  Did a Jillian Michaels circuit class found on YouTube.  It was a little hard on the body especially on the tiles in my living area, lol.

 

Friday – At gym, upper body focus.  15min bike warm up.  Chest Press, Chest Flies, Leg Ext and Alternating lunges (weighted if able), Lat Pulldown and Shoulder Press.  10-15reps, 3 sets.  Finished with 10 x 30hard/30easy on cross trainer.

Saturday – 20 km bike ride (Pyramid set: Increase level every 1min for 8 levels, 3min recovery ride, Increase level every 45sec for 8 levels, 3min recovery ride, increase level every 30secs for 8 levels, 3 min recovery ride.  Finish final 7km steady pace, keeping at 90-100 RPM.)  Followed by 3km treadmill run, steady pace.

Sunday – Yoga for Weight loss and Fun run training with the boys.

 

RESULTS:  First weigh in for me….dah da daaah….1.5kg down and down 5%BF over the two weeks.  Very excited about that considering my less than perfect food choices over the weekend away and, ahem, during Cyclone day at home.  I have used 3 of my passes, eeek.  Time to tighten up the belt.  ‘Wayne’ didn’t have big improvements on the scale this week, back to starting weight but BF% is down a further 0.3%.  So still making some body composition changes.  She also admitted that she missed a couple of training days this week.  We will sit down and review everything on Monday and step it up.  To be honest I don’t really expect to see huge weight loss in the first two weeks with someone new to strength training as their body adapts, but I do expect to see a good loss on the scales in week 3 all things going to plan.

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 7

With under two weeks to go until I give my first Enduro Adventurethon a crack, I am wondering and hoping that I have done enough.  The body is starting to spring a few leaks, the back and hamstrings are a little touchy and this time around it is a little bit of calf pain on my right leg that is side lining my running for the past few days.  I am hopeful that it is just muscle fatigue as it started during my 2km run after a particularly gruelling crossfit session.  I tried running again two days later and the calf was starting to pull, cramp, and complain again so I stopped and walked instead.  I am a little nervous about this new strain as I need to keep up the running!!  I have decided to drop the crossfit for the next two weeks so that my body doesn’t have to deal with that added stress and concentrate on some longer endurance sessions followed by a lighter week leading into Albany.

In this last stretch I am really starting to think about the details.  Do I wear my shoes in the kayak or put them in a backpack?  Or just try and go barefoot on the beach run?  Water bottle only for kayak, banana during the run, kayak back.  May need second bottle with energy drink?  Camelpak waiting with bike, ice in camelpak?  Homemade energy bar/balls for ride?  Ordered little bag for the frame of the bike but may also need a waterbottle holder and bottle for the bike as well.  Will need a second smaller camelpak for the run.  Wondering where I leave shoes and socks?  Do I need a watch to make sure I am keeping fluid and energy intake up as I tend to forget and then really hit the wall.  Have done that a few times with some of my longer sessions.  I like the idea of frozen hydrolyte iceblocks in water bottles and down the top to keep me a little cooler during the run but wondering how to keep them frozen or stop them defrosting too quickly at least….so many questions.  Anything else I need to think about?  Any answers or tips let me know!

WEEK 13

Monday – My cousin offered to take me out kayaking on his kayak again.  While I did slightly better, managed to stay in for a decent stretch, and only tipped out three times, I did come to the realisation that I would need a different kayak that I felt more comfortable in.  Definitely toying with the idea of swapping to the duathlon.  Lucky the hubby is home this week which opens up my training options a little.  5km run in the afternoon, dragged my eldest boy on his bike to keep me company.

Tuesday – Crossfit followed by a 2km run.  I even had one of crossfit girls ask to keep me company and joined me for the run.  Emailed a few of the paddle clubs in the area explaining my situation and asking about lessons and advice on beginner kayaks.  Trawling through Gumtree to find a secondhand kayak that would be suitable.  Now the Canning River Canoe Club was one of the clubs that I emailed.  David Brown was the contact I emailed and not only did he call me that very afternoon to try and help me out, he went out of his way to fit me in that very same night.  He told me later that he was a little nervous about this mother of four who had never really paddled before and wanted to make 8km in four weeks…and didn’t even have a boat.  Never the less, he was still willing to do what he could to help me reach my goal.  We tried out the Endorfinn kayak, I didn’t even fall out, and we knocked out about 3km that night.  At the end of the session, David just gave me a pat on the back and said that he thought I would be fine.  I just have to say, that David was exactly who I needed to restore my broken confidence.  The practical tips and the guidance on technique, just in that little first session was fantastic.  I was able to tee up 2 more sessions with David and again I am grateful that he was able to make this happen for me.

Image Credit  –  Canning River Park, nice place for a paddle, or run, or play with the kids.

Wednesday – Rest Day but I picked up a second hand kayak.  I have a boat.

Thursday – 90mins Exercise Bike and 50km in the morning.  5.5km run in the afternoon.

Friday – 2km row then Crossfit session with my youngest in tow.

Saturday – 2hr paddle session with David from the Canoe Club.

Sunday –  Hilly road ride on MTB, 1hr 45mins and 30km

WEEK 14

Monday – Paddle 4km followed by a 5.5km run

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Crossfit followed by 2km run.  Calf muscle was pulling/cramping towards the end of the run but finished off the run.  Not happy with the calf but hope it was just a cramp.

Thursday – 90mins exercise bike.  52km.

Friday – Paddle 4km.  Strawberry picking and lunch out.  Crossfit in the afternoon.

Saturday – At David’s suggestion we paddled at Point Walter Reserve which had a little more chop to the water which would be more like the conditions I would be paddling in come race day.  Point Walter Reserve was another beautiful spot to have a paddle.

Image Credit – Point Walter Reserve

Attempted to run after the 2 hour paddle only to pull up short with the calf muscle problem.  Grrrrr, so annoyed right now.

Sunday – 28km road ride on the MTB, followed by a 4km walk (grabbed one of my children to keep me company).  Walking doesn’t seem to worry the calf.

So the plan of attack is to stay away from running til after rest day on Tuesday and then give it another go.  I have been religiously rolling, stretching, and using the anti-inflammatory cream.  I did investigate the compression socks but am unsure that they will be worth the cost?  Anyone used them?  This week I really want to work on going full distance blocks of training ie 8.9km paddle followed by 22km bike  or 22km bike followed by a longer run.  I also want to try a mini adventurethon on the weekend.  Hell week has begun.  Then I want to drop back distances in final week but keep the intensity up.  Tick, tick, tick goes the countdown clock……c’mon body hold in there.

Asking The Stupid Questions – Interview with Adventurethon Creator Joel Savage

Several weeks ago (before the kayak meltdown period which you can read about here), I had a few burning questions related to my adventurethon preparation so I wrote to Adventurethon Facebook page and asked if anyone could answer a few questions for me.  Without any hesitation, race director/organiser/creator, Joel Savage, agreed to answer any questions.  Read a little about Joel and the birth of adventurethons in this article.

Remember that old adage that there are no stupid questions?  Well I am holding on to that OK.  Alrighty, here are the big questions I put to Joel…

1.  I’m really nervous about the kayak portion of the Enduro event as I haven’t done a lot of paddling.  How important is it to have experience and can I ‘wing it’ so to speak?? 

Experience helps for sure but having the right craft for your current ability is king!

You need a boat you can keep upright for starters, the more experienced will generally upgrade to faster surfskis/ ocean skis which are pencil thin and accelerate fast but if you are not up to the skill / balance to stay on one of those there are slightly fatter versions available to be more stable with a small sacrifice of speed but in the end the only fast boat is one you are paddling.

2.  What tips can you give me for training kayak wise…I am waiting on a large family kayak that we have ordered so that I can at least start paddling once a week.  I was wondering about hiring a kayak for the race but will it be too different? 

Yes hiring a kayak will be different, see above rule.

Main thing to note is paddling is about torso rotation to deliver the power not just moving your arms.

I think this gives a great sum up of the paddle stroke.

 

3.  So the course outline has been posted and while I like the fact that the paddle leg is broken up, I am a little concerned about this beach run?  Now this is going to sound completely girly but….am I going to get sand in my shoes?  What sort of shoes do people wear for this, because I am assuming they will get wet from the paddle to the run and back again?

Some run in socks, some in wetsuit style shoes, some athletes choose good socks and go in their trail shoes…if you plan to run in your trail shoes later be aware that running on wet socks can lead to blisters later…my suggestion for that run…have 1 pair of crappy running shoes that you take off when you get back to HQ. 

4.  I bought a 2XU tri suit to train and race in and it is really comfortable however its not the easiest to get in and out of, which got me wondering….Are there toilet stops on the way?  Or are the rumours true…do the athletes really go to the toilet on the run so to speak??  (I told you I would ask the big questions lol)

Urination on the go??? Well I would say that most people do not go on the course…there is a hormone during activity that removes water from the bladder…antidieuretic hormone I think it is called.

Number 2’s I would focus on getting those out before the race…often this is part of many peoples pre race rituals (suggest a few minutes jog in the morning to help get the bowels moving)

That said, the perfect time to go number 1’s would be in the water getting back into your boat after the first island paddle.

ADDIT:  Can I just say in my defense, I am a mother of four with three pregnancies under my belt, I am pretty sure I am going to need to go at some point during the 5hrs + (god knows how long) that I am going to be out on the course.  I am still unsure whether there are porta loos out there?  I think there must be right??  And surely I am not the only one to wonder about the old toilet question for endurance athletes? Hehe, I had to ask.

5.  I was wondering whether I would need to run with my camelpak or are there enough water stops along the way?

Don’t count on any water stops, we are a self supported race so a camel pack, race belt or similar are totally necessary…practice this yes, adjustment and knowing how much you use is important…also you need to work the logistics of having all the disciplines and which method of water you will carry.

6.  Is heat going to play a big factor {in South WA}?  And are there ways to manage the heat…ice in the camelpak?  Cold facecloths?

Heat a factor? Yes it could if its like lat year we had 30 degrees which levelled a few locals, that said the heat is different in South WA, generally less humid than north QLD

Taking in enough electrolytes

You can add ice to your water, or on your head, in your tri suit etc

A mate of mine just tagged me in this… try this one:

http://trailrunningaustralia.com/tag/heat-running/

At a recent race (as I’m a big guy) I have to cool down with some of these things.

7.  Best tips for getting rid of that dead leg feeling when you get off the bike and go to the run?  How do you make your legs listen to you again?

Firstly the last 2km or so you need to make sure you go a bit easier in the gearing and spin a tiny bit faster (take less muscle strain and gets less looser)

On that note I think gear selection is important the entire race…never go into a massive deficit of muscle fatigue as running long distance is really going to suck.

Practicing brick sessions will help … a couple of ways

Each ride you do  go for a 15 -30min easy jog afterwards

Have a dedicated ride hard run hard  ride hard run hard repeat session.

Distances and intensities ned to vary if it’s a long race then you need to build up longer geared heavier bikes and simulate the pace you are running at…..if you are training for a sprint tri thenn short and sharp run pace will be more important.

For an adventurer it might be ride up a hill, run down or ride some flats run up a hill…really depends on the terrain…best if you can prepare as close to race conditions as possible

(so that might include paddle to the beach do the run then paddle back at race pace)

 Sometimes mates will share a bike up a hill (so 1 person rides and 1 runs then the rider drops the bike and keeps running up the runner grabs the bike and rides up drops the bike and swaps…)

8.  Finally, do you know of anyone who does any of this outdoor adventure training in Perth?  I was originally from Townsville and Adventurethons were quite big there which sparked my interest but I didn’t get around to it before moving to Perth.  If you have any contacts that would be great.

Indian ocean adventure racers

Or get in touch with James Payne at Go paddle sports and he can help flick you in the right direction.

James is the Go to man for Stellar kayaks in WA and has a decent network of perth people he could guide you to http://www.gopaddlesports.com.au/contact-page/

Thanks Beth for the Questions

 As for any further info just ask, if you need it urgent give me a call

Joel Savage

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“Helping participants escape concrete society with adrenaline charged and inclusive events”

www.adventurethon.com.au

 

So there you have it.   I am really thankful to Joel for taking the time, in what must be a really busy period in the lead up to Adventurethon Albany, to answer my somewhat naive questions.  I found his answers really helpful and hopefully you all learnt something new!!

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 6

This has been a long, hard two weeks and to be honest I am feeling a little defeated by this big goal I thought I could do.  It started with a run of visitors.  I love having visitors, in lots of ways it can take the load off, but it can also disrupt the rhythm of the household.  Its like when you are running and you find your stride, the whole run can feel quite comfortable (unsure what I’m talking about, yeah well, I don’t get that feeling very often but it has happened a couple of times so I live in hope everytime I run).  My point is that I feel like my stride is out of whack, everything just feels like hard work.  Then there was my back.  Not long after coming back from our road trip to Kalbarri, I did a couple of big crossfit sessions which, on top of the travelling, not so good nutrition choices, poor rest, and limited effort put into stretching, was a recipe for disaster.  The back flared up along with significant tightness in several other muscles surrounding the area as often happens.  So I implemented some injury management strategies including some anti-inflammatories, rest, massage, stretching, stretching, and some low impact exercise to get back into the swing of things, which seems to have got me back on track.

Now, there is the whole kayak thing.  As in I can’t stay on the bloody thing!! We are waiting on roof racks for the car so I can transport it, then hoping that I will be able to lift it on and off by myself so that I can train.  All this doubt, uncertainty, and negativity is exhausting.  Trying to stay positive when you are not really believing it is exhausting.  I am exhausted.  SO, I need to devise a plan of action that I can believe in because I need to stop wasting energy on doubting.  I have a few options to follow up on this week to see if I can stay on track for the full adventurethon or I move to plan B which is to swap over to the Dirty Duathlon (13km run, 22km mtb ride, 1km run).  13km run is scaring me a little also but I WILL be having a crack at something.  OK vent is over and now for a quick wrap up of what I did manage to do over the last two weeks.

WEEK 11

Monday – 5.5km run

Tuesday – Cleaning and running around in preparation for visitors arriving tonight.  Crossfit in the afternoon with 4 kids in tow.  They were very well behaved, did some homework, played on a big tractor tyre, and joined in with a little of the session from the sidelines.  Felt my back twinge a little in this session.

Wednesday – Rest Day.  Woke up like I had been run over by a truck.  Had planned to rest today anyway and catch up with my visitors.

Thursday –  Rest Day.  Massage in the morning and then out and about with visitors.

Friday – Touring the Swan Valley with visitors.  Quick low impact ride on the exercise bike.  60mins, 42km.  Then out again that night.

Saturday – Walking around Kings Park.  Completed a few stair climbs (Kokoda and Jacob’s Ladder) then did a 3km run.  Stretching.

Jacob's Ladder, Kings Park

Jacob’s Ladder, Kings Park

Sunday – Rottnest Island.  No training just a long day out and about.

WEEK 12

Monday – Girl’s shopping trip.  45mins on the exercise bike followed by a 3km run (my eldest boy rode his bike to keep me company).  This run felt really good and I had a glimpse of the possibility that I may just be able to still do this.

Tuesday – 30km hilly road ride.  1 hour 45mins.

Wednesday – Crossfit + 3 x 400m runs after the session.  Kids basketball in the afternoon.

Thursday – Rest Day.  Not recovering as well as I would like.

Friday – Crossfit killer session, followed by a 2km row (machine)  Went for my first kayak with my awesome cousin who showed me the basics in his kayak.  Fell out as soon as he let go of the boat!  Then fell out many, many, many more times.  Felt quite defeated and not sure I can do this.

Saturday – Unbelieveably sore.  Took the whole family out for an afternoon at the river.  Tried out my surf ski that I picked up from the side of the road.  I tipped out more than I did yesterday, and that is saying something.  Aaaaggghhh don’t know what to do.

kayak tip

Sunday – Tired, sore, and defeated.  My wonderful friend, Snooze, organised to take my four boys to the movies and spoil them rotten.  Hubby and I went for a date ride.  Hit the mountain bike trails and had some fun.  Only about 15km but blew some steam off.  Just went out to enjoy it and the hubby.

What to do, what to do?  Any suggestions or words of wisdom would be quite welcome. 

 

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 3

I know, I know, I have been slack with my blogging over the last couple of weeks but I have been in recovery mode after the busy couple of weeks leading up to the end of Term 3….where has this year gone??  I am currently enjoying the school holidays with the kidlets and have made some progress on my current hitlist, yay!!  So I have a few posts that I am itching to share and I will try and complete them this week.  If you have been missing me (you never know, someone might) don’t forget to pop over and check out my facebook page or #theexercisehitlist on instagram which I usually update fairly regularly.

To get back into the blogging groove I thought I would kick off with a quick update post on my journey to Adventurethon Albany which is starting to loom closer and closer.  School holidays has made training a little harder but I am happy to say that I am still managing to keep the sessions up.

WEEK 5

Monday – Rest Day.  Absolutely exhausted after the sleepover weekend for 14 boys.

Tuesday – Ride on exercise bike, 60 mins and 36km.

Wednesday – CrossFit in the morning.  Week 5 run 1 of running program in afternoon while kids at basketball practice.

Thursday – Ride on exercise bike, 45 mins and 25km.  Jog to park in the afternoon with the kids on bikes.

Friday – CrossFit in the morning, Week 5 run 2 in afternoon with my 4 yr old on his bike (before school pick up)

Saturday – Exercise bike 60mins and 35km

Sunday – Week 5 run 3, I ran for just over 20mins and completed 4km without stopping!  This was a big moment for me and I felt quite proud of myself.  Went mountain biking with the kids in the afternoon.

One of the greatest momets

WEEK 6

Monday – Exercise bike 70mins and 41km.  Took the kids to Kings Park Variety Place and to the Anzac memorial.

Tuesday – Rest Day.  School holidays so I took the kids for a beach walk and play.

Wednesday – CrossFit.  Took the kids to a local creek for a play with their friends.

Thursday – Packed the bikes in the car for the kids to ride while I did a run (Wk6,run1) along the beautiful Swan River in Perth. Had a play and a picnic after the run.

Friday – CrossFit.  Preparing for a camping trip.

Saturday – Snuck away for a run around the Lake at our camping spot.

Sunday – Small ride around the lake with the family.  Wet and miserable day.

All in all not too bad considering it is the school holidays.  Nutrition and diet was a complete write off this week, aaarrgghh will have to get back on top of this as soon as possible.  Really struggling to eat the way I need to and will have to get back to recording a food diary I think.  I have one more week of holidays to get through and then I will review where I am at and start stepping up a notch again.

Journey to Adventurethon – Update 2

So I am still plugging away and feeling pretty proud of my consistency and that my body is holding up quite well.

WEEK 3

Monday –  CrossFit first session! Scary…

Tuesday –  Rest Day and Foam Roller session

Wednesday – Mountainbike Ride (60mins), Wk 3 Run 1 after getting home.

Thursday – CrossFit

Friday – Exercise Bike (45mins, 25km) and Foam Roller session

Saturday – Wk 3 Run 2 with all four boys on their bikes.

Sunday – Exercise Bike (50mins, 28km), 4km walk at King’s Park with the kids

WEEK 4

Monday – Wk 3, Run 3, followed by a strength session. (Set 1: Bench Press/Pull through with rotation/Push Ups, Set 2: Lat Pulldown/Squat Thrusters/Low lunge with 10xrows each side) 3 times through each set.

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – CrossFit in the morning, Wk 4 Run 1 in the afternoon

Thursday – Exercise Bike (60mins, 36km) followed by a small 2km walk/run with 2 kids and 2 extra bikes to pick up other 2 kids from friends place.

Friday – Crossfit in the morning (was dreading it because I was so sore), Wk 4 Run 2 in the afternoon with my eldest boy.

Saturday – Party Day for my eldest.  Only managed to play Bullrush at the park, which was quite a few sprints so I am counting it!!

Sunday – Wk 4 Run 3 completed in the rain and so tired from sleepover party for 14 boys the night before.

Motivation - Be awesome

This was a tough two weeks to get through as I started CrossFit, stepped up with my sessions, increased my runs slightly, and my husband was away for most of this time.  So I was really wrecked, my body aching more days than not, and I have to admit I questioned my ability to fit it all in.  I have tried to go to bed a little earlier the last couple of days and had a rest day yesterday and I am feeling quite a bit refreshed.  The body feels quite good, shins/legs have settled down so I think the shoes have made a big difference and I do believe just sticking with the run program is allowing my body to adjust to the running.  I also think the foam rolling is making a big difference too.

In terms of diet, I still have plenty of room for improvement.  I still need to make sure I am drinking a lot more and had a couple of slip ups with party food which I am not too worried about.  On the whole I feel like my nutrition is going ok.  I feel like I am toning up and clothes are feeling a little looser as well.  Winning!

Goals for the next two weeks will be stepping up again with the running and maintaining nutrition as much as possible.  It is going to be school holidays next week which will make it a little more difficult to get my sessions in…will just have to get creative.  I have also bought 2x sessions of kayak hire so Snooze and I can go for a bit of a paddle to get the feel of what we need to do.  I have been looking for a secondhand kayak on Gumtree but haven’t got lucky yet.  Feeling quietly confident that I can do this……I think.

Journey to Adventurethon Albany

I thought I would do a quick update every couple of weeks on how my training for my first adventurethon is progressing for anyone who is interested.

Focus this week was to start running and get into a bit of a routine.

Focus this week was to start running and get into a bit of a routine.

Was going to start CrossFit this week but sick with a cold so I decided to stay with similar program to last week.

Was going to start CrossFit this week but sick with a cold so I decided to stay with similar program to last week.

So overall I am happy with where I am at and the body seems to be holding up OK.  I have ordered a new pair of running shoes that I am hoping will help me out with some calf and shin pain.  It is only niggling and I have really been hitting it with the roller and stretching.  After a rest from running it seems to recover OK at the moment.  My biggest focus now is on getting the diet on track.  While I have lost just over 1kg in the last two weeks, it really should be more considering the exercise I am doing, and I know my chocolate addiction is to blame.  Damn you chocolate!!  My goal is to lose 5kg in the next 5 weeks.  I usually find that if I increase my water intake (leave a jug on the bench), increase my greens (some at every meal), and ban all chocolate, I find that I am able to drop the weight.  I eat carbs at breakfast, but then don’t eat a lot of simple carbs during the rest of the day.

If you know any good links for a fitness journey of any kind, for weight loss, or regarding nutrition please feel free to leave a link in the comments section.  That would be great!!

Your body can stand almost anything

Registering for my First Adventurethon

O…..M….G!!  I just realised that there is only 16 weeks until my first adventurethon in Albany.  I have been waiting for registrations to open for the event so that I could register, it would be official and then there is no backing out, but today I realised that I don’t have time to wait I really have to get cracking with my training if I am going to complete the Enduro event.  Mentally I have committed so I am claiming the hitlist item!

I am a little disappointed in the Adventurethon website as it is actually very difficult to find out distances for each leg of the event.  Basing it on last years information and some feedback from the facebook page I think that I will be up for approximately 7.5km paddle, 22km mountain bike ride, and an 8km trail run.  But I could be wrong.  I haven’t really paddled before, except for recreation, and currently I can probably run for 2km at a pinch (as in I will probably have a heart attack after this point).  The bike I have covered…..I think.  I completed a fairly tough 42km mountain bike ride last year which you can read about in this post, so I am pretty confident that I can get that leg done, but I haven’t ridden outdoors since we moved in January, well not without the gator attachment for my youngest.  So I have to get back to some mountain biking, you know, outdoors.  Call me crazy but I think I can get it done.  The reason I love to book in an event like this is that it gives me direction for my training, its a challenge, it gives me a chance to see a whole new town and scenery, and it is an awesome sense of achievement to actually finish a race.  My friend Snooze has bravely agreed to come along this journey with me and we will try and co ordinate a couple of sessions together each week.

Snooze and I.....No I couldn't find a better picture of us...and we had great lobster that day!!

Snooze and I…..No I couldn’t find a better picture of us…and we had great lobster that day!!

At the moment my current training has been riding a stationary bike 3x/week and strength training 2-3x/week, so I am not starting completely from scratch fitness wise.  In terms of preparation I am going to break it up into four blocks of four weeks.  The first block my focus will be on increasing strength via CrossFit, developing a good running base, and focusing on eating well to lose a little weight.  My second block of four weeks will be about building endurance in each leg.  The aim of the third block will be about starting to do some block training, that is, doing a bike ride followed by a run or a kayak then ride.  Early in the final block I will try and organise to do a couple of run throughs of a mini adventurethon to get a feel for the event and then scale back/taper a little in the final week leading up to the race.

Race nutrition will also be something I will need to look into as the race can be 5-6hours if not a lot more depending on how my training goes!  Hydration and fuelling are going to be critical.  I have purchased a new pair of running shoes specific to my big flat feet as it is one area where I can’t compromise if I want to get through this injury free.  I will be using the roller and trying to do a bit of yoga on my rest day and may splurge on a couple of massages throughout the lead up with a real focus on injury prevention.  I am carrying a little niggle in my left knee and am prone to migraines if my neck is out and diet isn’t right, so I will keep an eye on these things.  I need to drop in at the bike shop to get my bike set up properly as well.    A little nervous but a whole lot excited!!

could not finish