A bit of a change
Thought I would pen a quick update on my current training.
So what does one do post marathon?
It’s not uncommon for people to get post-race blues. You train hard for something. You’ve focussed on it and worked hard to get there and once it’s done you’re left feeling a bit empty.
This is not just true of running but triathlon, fighting and probably a wide variety of other sports.None of this happened to me after this marathon.
I hadn’t really had the focused approach this time round. I didn’t burn myself out training, I didn’t race hard; I just ran the marathon and had a good day out.
My approach to the marathon this time round was different. I wasn’t out to get a PB, I just wanted to have fun and I did so. I was stiff and sore for a few days but I was back to training within a week, which was good going.
So what now…Well, I’ve a few goals. First a bit of background.
At the moment I’m carrying a fair bit of extra weight. After I did the boxing last year I sort of laid off a little on the training. I still trained now and again but it was all sporadic. Life threw me a few curveballs and without getting into any of the detail, things were a bit tough for a while. I was still getting out for a run once in a while but, to be honest, full weeks were often missed and in fact in November I only ran once. My fitness suffered and my physical and mental health also suffered.
Come January I kicked off my running streak that lasted three months. Then I stepped up the long runs and got myself ready for the marathon. The thing is though that due to the fact that all my running was fairly low intensity, I’ve not managed to shift any of the fairly significant amount of weight that I put on during those long months of doing very little.
I don’t need to talk in general terms here; I know how much weight I put on over how long. I record this shit.I think my ideal weight is around 85kg. I race triathlons at that weight and I think it’s a realistic and manageable weigh for a guy of my size. I’ve dropped as low as 80kg for running races, but at that weight I look too thin and its hard work to stay there. Screw that, I’m fine with 85kg.
At the start of 2012, following a post triathlon season of laziness and overeating my weight crept up to about 90kg. By February it was down to 88kg and I stayed in that 86-88kg ballpark till July. Then I laid off the training, stopped weighing myself and by Jan 2013 I was 100kg.
OK that was probably the post Xmas “few pounds” but since then I’ve kinda levelled out at 95kg. It’s gone up and down here and there but my body seems to have an amazing ability to make me eat exactly as much food as I burn off and to thus stabilise very well. Also in January of this year I started going to the Dojo more regularly. Initially I just went for the weights and circuits, but then I started going to some of the stand-up technique classes and the occasional groundwork and sparring session. When I was younger I loved martial arts, but never really got seriously into it. Coming to the sport at the age of 38 is challenging, but a lot of fun. Now I am trying to make it twice a week and I managed to do so the whole way through my running streak and marathon training. Now that the marathon is out of the way I plan on increasing it to 3 times a week.
Hmm… Considering that this post is sort of a “what now” themed thing, I guess I just finished it, right?
Hell no. When have you ever known me to do something in a simple and straightforward manner?
A bit more background. My wonderful wife Steph hasn’t been too well lately either. She has fibromyalgia and this has really taken its toll on her. In fact it’s been tough on everyone.Fibromyalgia sucks.
It’s really just a horrible affliction. It drains the life out of you completely. Steph is such a dynamic, passionate, enthusiastic and energetic person and over the last few years she has been reduced to a shadow of her former self.
She is constantly in pain and she is constantly exhausted. Like that utter soul destroying “I can’t open my eyes and I want to just collapse and sleep on the pavement” kind of exhausted. The sort of exhaustion that most of us feel once or twice a year when things get too much and we go sleep for 16 hours. Yeah. She feels that on an almost daily basis. Of course we have two young kids so she can’t just go and sleep, she has to keep going and going and going. She has had to stop working, though, in fairness, that just means she no longer gets paid to do something exhausting and instead she has to run around after the kids 24/7. Which is probably more exhausting than any job, and she no longer gets paid. Amazing huh?
Anyway, it actually took a long time to get this diagnosed. Up until then, and due to the strange and complex nature of the problem, it was nigh on impossible for her to even consider doing any exercise. She tried a few times but it nearly killed her.
So she took a few months “off” and tried to recover a little. There wasn’t really any marked improvement, and if anything she seemed to be getting worse. I’ve really struggled with this as I just felt very powerless and unable to help. I read up a bit and found that trying to push yourself a little with exercise should help.
I’ve tried to help Steph out with fitness before with running, but it’s not really her thing. We needed a different approach.
Coincidentally, I happened to be talking to a friend of mine who moved to the states a while back. He had been asking me about the Karate and was considering starting some martial arts classes himself. He mentioned that he had started working on some basic fitness using the GSP Rushfit workout system. I had no idea what this is but he said it was excellent. I looked into it and discovered that it’s a core and functional fitness program endorsed by and featuring the UFC welterweight champion Georges St Pierre. I’ve never actually watched much UFC stuff and had never seen the guy, but I took Gavin’s recommendation and decided to give it a try as I figured it would be something Steph and I could do together.
We are now two weeks into it. I’m still going to the Dojo as normal and so this involves skipping some of the rest days or doubling up my training on others, but this works well as it means I can follow the beginners program. So far, I’m impressed. The program has a good series of workouts, it’s got nice variety and it works well for both beginners and people just wanting to improve their overall fitness levels. I’m already feeling some positive effects and Steph seems to be responding well to it also.
This blog post has been long enough…Well done if you’re still reading at this stage… I’ll update more as I go further into the program.