Thursday, 2 October 2008

My precioussssssssss…

By Darren Roberts

If you have ever tried to compile a fitness plan, it’s harder than you think. It’s quite easy to write down a masterpiece full of wondrous activities, but it’s difficult to make that fit the task in hand and the timeline you need. You have to really think about the sport involved and hunt around for tips and advice. I relished the task.

Having said that, when Steve proffered a tailor-made fitness plan that he had ‘thrown together earlier’ I could have knighted him there and then, and would have nicked William Wallaces’ sword to do it! Marvellous effort I thought.

I eyed the plan in a gollum’esque way, careful not to pronounce my s’s too much in the process. Reading it through, it made sense. Not too aggressive and mindful of injuries. The trick is to peak
for 23rd November – not turn up a strung-out wreck.

There are many schools of thought on planning, and I prescribe, in parts, to a lot of them. The one that I really gel to though, is Don Fink’s in BeIronFit. It’s all about time not distance. Get that right and then increase your plan by 10% each week on the way to race day. That book of course is geared to triathon’s but it rings a good tune. Steve’s plan had shades of this, so I decided to stick to it.

One week in and I’m on target. I’ve added cycling/spinning to the plan to prep the legs for the hills and have thrown in the odd cheeky strength session on the weights.

The diet to support this isn’t too complex. I gave up caffeine and fizzy pop about 6 years ago, don’t smoke, haven’t got a sweet tooth and stick to balanced carb and protein meals most of the time anyway.

The biggest sacrifice is booze. I’ve never been shy of a few cheeky pints. The advertising industry thrives on social occasions and avoiding alcohol is difficult. I’ve always seemed to be able to train heavily with a couple of boozy school nights per week and the usual at the weekends. This competition has flicked a switch and I’ve decided to go teetotal for the final race.

It’s been 3 weeks since I had a drink and I don’t miss it. Infact, I feel great. Concentration levels have increased and tiredness has decreased. I now enjoy saying no to a ‘swift half’ and prefer to knock back an orange juice and nipping off as the tequila slammers arrive on the bar. Everything in moderation they say, and I like a good party, but I also believe in commitment. We want to win this competition.

Waking up without a hangover just makes the preparation for 23rd November much easier. Here it is-

Click image to enlarge

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