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Week 3 of my Lucozade 12-Week Training Plan was a fairly uneventful affair, so this blog post will probably be a short one. The story of this week (and next) was the continuation of building up base fitness, and just getting used to being on my feet for extended periods of time. As is always the case in the UK, the weather was the most exciting thing I had to contend with, with the first session being a reasonably mild weather run, and things going downhill with the beginning of a cold snap for run 2 and the long slow run (LSR) saw me fighting against driving wind and rain for the most part. Let’s break it down, session by session.

 

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Here’s how Week 2 of my Leeds HM training went. It all started off in the usual way, with me plodding around my usual haunts in Huddersfield. But as I’m on the job-hunt trail at the moment, the end of the week saw me travelling down to beautiful Shropshire, and I couldn’t resist taking my running gear with me, so I could have a nice leg-busting hill session for my Saturday run. As was the case for Week 1, this week involved a nice steady run, and then a speed session mid-week, and finally a longer steady run. With the Bridgnorth hills, that last run wasn’t so “steady” as it turned out!

 

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In my last post in this series I wrote about my plans to train using the Lucozade 12 Week Training Plan for my Leeds Half Marathon this year. I also gave some brief details of my first run on the plan, together with some weight and BMI information. So my plan for this blog is to give a blow-by-blow account of the training schedule and my progress on the path to half marathon, both in terms of my fitness and my body composition. On that basis, it probably makes more sense to do this on a weekly basis rather than a session basis. Here’s Week 1.

 

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Well, it’s that time of year again – actually it’s come late this year! Time to start training for the main race I am concentrating on for 2013, the Leeds Half Marathon. Last year, I had already ran in three 10K races (or if you’re pedantic two 10Ks and a 6-miler) before the Leeds Half came along in May. But this year, I want to concentrate more on the longer distance.

First of all, I need to get back to basics. My last race was the Leeds Abbey Dash back in November last year, and without running, I managed to gain over 14 pounds in weight during the hiatus. This blubbery winter-coat will need to come back off again!

 

Dan's pre-brick session kit (Photo copyright (c)2013 Dan Millington)

For those who are new to the world of triathlon, the term ‘brick’ might be a strange one. Brick training is essentially the practising of two disciplines, one after the other, in one session. It can be in any order but is most useful if you bike after you swim or run after you bike (for obvious reasons). Triathlete Dan Millington lays out the facts about brick.

 

Running is great exercise for your cardiovascular system, leg muscles, and your brain. Running barefoot is even better. Of course I don’t actually mean going out for a jog with absolutely nothing on your feet. If your neighborhood is anything like mine, you’ll end up with a switchblade or hypodermic needle in your foot in no time. Instead of actually running in your bare feet, more and more people are lacing up minimalist, “barefoot” shoes, and putting one foot in front of the other.

 

Every time someone asks me to help them with their fitness goals I have to start at the same point, making them understand how this works, and grounding them just a little. In my experience, people generally have two “fantasies” in their minds. They think they can make a radical change in 3 months and they think they can gain weight and lose fat at the same time.

But it’s not all that black or white; you can get results in 3 months, but you are not going to go from 50 pounds overweight to a fitness supermodel in that time. You can also try gaining weight and losing fat at the same time, but it’s not the best thing to do and you may not reach your goal!

 

Training for a triathlon can mean months of intense physical fitness drills. The training you focus on generally revolves around the three events you will participate in: swimming, cycling and running. Our bodies and muscles have memory and can eventually remember and grow accustomed to the same training routine if you do it over and over again. The best thing to do if you experience a plateau is to flip your fitness routine on its head. There are many ways to go about this, but one excellent way is to do cross-training, a great example being an in home workout called Les Mills PUMP.

 

Have you ever been doing something and got so engrossed that you later looked at your watch and wondered where the time had gone? Well, that was me a couple of weeks ago during the Kirkstall Abbey 7 Mile multiterrain race. For me, it was yet another return after some little irritating injuries – tendonitis of the foot, probably due to my running shoes being a bit too small for comfort. I thought I should write up a quick review of this one as it was a fairly tough but also a very fun race to take part in, and my first multiterrain run. Here’s how it all panned out.

 

Although I’ve been swimming my entire life, it was not until just recently that I decided I want to compete in a swimming event. Once my mindset had shifted towards that competitive direction, I realized that I had a lot of work to do before I would be able to hold my own. So, I set out to train myself and here are some helpful tips from that I found, and hopefully they’ll help you too!