Monday 21 March 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Week 10

Week #10 Run #1: Monday
32 minutes 15 seconds for 3 miles (4.8km)

Run #2: Tuesday 
32 mins 
- mainly jogging with walks during the uphill final mile. Gregson Lane circular route.

Wednesday  REST DAY

Run #3 Thursday 
38m 15s: 3.6 miles
- full, continuous jog, including all hills, non stop.
Legs feeling strong, cardio all good, energy levels very good.

Run #1: A non-stop jog including two steep hill climbs and a gradual incline on the return mile. The same route as used throughout the campaign, but without any walking intervals.
It feels like slow progress, taking 10 weeks, but the old legs had multiple problems to begin with, and rest in between runs has proven to be a big advantage. Resting allows recovery and IMPROVEMENT in both muscles and circulation. 

In general the muscles are complaining much less, although they are tired at the end. That's how it should be, but feeling crippled for the whole day isn't!

Goal for 12 weeks
The end of the programme is less than 18 days away.
Goal #1:  Run 5km daily throughout the weekdays of 12
Goal #2: To Lose bodyfat and weigh - 6lb
Goal #3: To introduce cycling as an alternative cardio and fat burner

Action Plan
Weeks 10 and 11 will attempt to run daily but with intervals and pauses where necessary.
Use the bicycle to burn extra calories and strengthen the legs
Eat fewer sugars and carbohydrate
Eat proteins and vegetables

Tuesday 15 March 2022

B Vitamins

 Keep an eye on these key nutrients for a range of benefits.

"B Vitamin deficiencies can lead to a wide range of health issues from skin conditions to fatigue and memory difficulties. Read on to make sure you’re getting all of the health benefits of B Vitamins in your diet."

I am happy to endorse too.

PWR Couch to 5k Week 9

3 miles non-stop in 31 minutes.

Week 9 Run #1 Tues 15th March 2022

Tuesday 8 March 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Week 8

Week #8
After storms, a chesty cough and some sore angles, calf muscles, hamstrings and pelvis, the body is well rested, with only one run in weeks 6 and 7 completed.

Goals for Week 8
To complete a 30 minute run non-stop without pain and without leaving an injury anywhere on the body.

2. To establish an understanding of what is a beneficial frequency of running to produce progress and to avoid injury and to work out alternative exercises to do in between runs, to keep the metabolism high and keep fat burning (weight loss) progressing.

Week 8 so far....

Tuesday 8th March 2022
30 minutes non-stop - 2.7miles = 4.34 km.
A decent, pain free run which left no injuries.
I struggle on inclines (the uphill parts) and the return leg of this route is a slight uphill climb.
I overheated due to multiple layers of clothing.
I ate some toast beforehand - 8am - where previously I had only consumed a coffee and a glass of water before running.
Eating beforehand causes uncomfortable blood sugar effects which are very distracting. Running on empty is preferred, although I feel the lack of energy towards the 40-minute mark.
Run number #2
Thursday 10th March 2022
46 minutes: 3.85 miles
A decent, pain free run which left no injuries.


Monday 14 February 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Weeks 5/6/7

Week 7

The reason this project is a 12 week project is that pitfalls await as the training and exertion increases. There is a moment when the body starts to need longer to recover than 24 hours, if the exertion increases too steeply. 
Also, there are other obstacles, including  in my case, the daughter's half term break which disrupted the routine, a few niggling injuries, and a lingering cold. These all conspired to decimate weeks 6 and 7. This also coincided with two heavy storms which made running extremely unpleasant and tree-fellingly risky.
I am hoping for better weather in week 8 and for the hamstring to have loosen up a bit.
Let's call week 7 a restorative week.

Week 6 Couch to 5km

After week 5 resting sore calf muscles, I plan 4 runs this week of 40+ minutes.

Week 5 Running diary
One long run this week and an enforced rest due to commitments, injury and rubbish weather.
the benefits of the rest week will be seen in week 6 when I try to run again!

New route: Gregson Lane circle
Run #1:  4.08 miles in 43m 50s

😎 After 4 weeks and 14 morning runs, progress has gone from:
  • 2.24 miles in 30 minutes - 13.4 minutes per mile pace to; 
  •  3.56 miles in 40 minutes - 11.2 minutes per mile pace

I'm relatively happy with this progress. I still required the walking breaks, to rest the cramping calf muscles, which I never used to get before the hiatus. 

Running the same route at the same time of day, increasing it gradually, after the same preparation - a coffee and a glass of water - for 4 weeks has strengthened my legs and lightened my walking style.

My back is stronger as a result of running and my heart and lungs are much improved.

The fat burning component of running, in my opinion, only seriously starts to kick in when you run past 40 minutes and into the 60+ minutes segment. The problem is with this, is the fatigue and pain caused by a 60+ minute jog would probably cause stiffness that would prevent running the next day.

Hence, while rest is the logical step to take to improve the running time and distance, it slows down the frequency of workouts, and hence slows down the fat-burning benefit of frequent (daily) jogging.

The 12 week programme is designed in order to negotiate this problem. A week of longer, less frequent runs, say 3 in total, would be best in the long run, as the calf muscles take this time to adapt and recover.

Eating correctly during the rest days will be important to negate middle-aged spread, keep the weight off, until the next big fat-burning run in a couple of days.

Staying-hydrated and preparing for Week 5 runs by having more fluids and a banana. And home-made pancakes, with oats, are being introduced for more pre-run energy.


Tuesday 8 February 2022

Monday 7 February 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Week 4

 Week 4 Aims

✨ Increase distance to 3.5 miles and stick to the same route for the week

✨ Run for 5km non-stop


🤕 Sore, stiff, weak calves give up after 20 minutes

🍏 Currently running on an empty stomach - may try a bit of breakfast first

😤 Carrying 20lbs bodyfat isn't helping the legs. Eat better!

😤 Daily runs aren't allowing enough recovery time

3.5 miles (5.63km)

✨ Run #1 Monday: 40min 16s

✨ Run #2 Tuesday: 41min 16s

✨ Run #3 Thursday 40 mins 00s.

All 3 runs produced cramping and stiffness in the calf muscles after 10-15 minutes. More pain in the left calf than the right, but enough to force me to stop. This cramp eased and I ran again, but only after a few minutes of walking and a stop to stretch.

This calf tightness may need some treatment and investigation. I conclude that I have increased the distance too quickly, due to impatience. But, I have to admit and be content with the fact that I am yet to manage a 5k non stop run after 4 weeks. My stamina is progressing well. But the legs are certainly feeling it. I set an initial 12 week plan (on January 1st) I am well on target, but need to consider other available cardio options to keep the stamina progressing and to keep burning bodyfat, while relieving the calf muscles in between runs. Swimming and cycling will be brought into week 5.

Lostock Hall to Ribble bank

 Discuss your goals with Paul:

Tuesday 1 February 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Week #3 : 3 Runs and a rest!

After increasing the distance from 2.25 miles, in week 1, to 3.2 miles in week 2, I completed 4 runs in week 2. In week 3 i stuck to the same distance of 3.2 miles but by the third run of the week the calf muscles were struggling and painful. Sacrificing fat burning, I decided to take the hints from the body and stop running for a few days, to allow some recovery.

Run #4 Was replaced by two laps walking around Preston Dock.

Week #3 Run #1. Accompanied by friend, Stu Smith, with conversation a welcome distraction from a few aches and pains that I am still concerned about, but the end result was a steady pace throughout, only one or two walking intervals. 

Week 3

Mond: Run#1: (2.85miles) 29min 45s

Tues: Run#2: (3.2miles) 34 mins 05s

Thurs: Run#3: (3miles) 33min 35s

Frid: Sore legs; Rest for 3 days.

Monday 31 January 2022

PWR Couch to 5k 2022 Diary Week 3


Week 3 - Planned

4 x 2.86miles 

A new, reduced distance for week 3. 

After 48 hours rest, the energy had returned but the calf muscles are still playing catch up and go tight after a short distance. 

I introduced some faster intervals and ran up hills, but this exhausted me and forced me to walk for a breather.

My legs feel very heavy by the end. I may need to stretch more in between.

I expect to develop more spring in my running stride, although this is taking a while to develop. At some point, a prolonged rest of 4 or 5 days, from running, may be of more benefit than continuing with the daily runs. for Week 3, remember to take it easy and not be too concerned with beating the times set.

  • Run #1: 29min 45sec


Summary so far:

Week 1 - Completed

4 x 2.25miles walk and jog

Total miles: 9 miles

Week 2 - Completed

4 x 3.25miles walk and jog

Total miles: 13 miles

Friday 28 January 2022

PWR Couch to 5km 2022 Week 2 Summary

Week #1 - 2.25 miles = 3.6km   more details

Walton Park to Ribble

    Run #1: 17/1/22 : 30m
    Run #2: 18/1/22 : 27m 21s 
    Run #3: 19/1/22 : REST DAY
    Run #3: 20/1/22 : 25m 27s
    Run #4: 21/1/22 : 24m 55s

    Walton Park to Ribble
    Week #2 - 3.23 miles = 5.2km  more details


    Run #1: 24/1/22: 40 minutes
    Run #2: 25/1/22: 36mins 23s
    Run #3: 26/1/22: REST DAY
    Run #4: 27/1/22: 38mins 33s
    Run #5: 28/1/22: 38mins 30s

    Monday 24 January 2022

    PWR Couch to 5k 2022 Diary

    WEEK #2

    Day 5 Sore legs but a steady pace throughout and some good hill runs to. Stopped to talk to a couple of people along the way, and stopped for a comfort break, so 38 minutes wasn't too disappointing, on tired and heavy legs.

    Day 4: calves feel like stones. Not looking forward to this morning's attempt. Must do a good stretch before and after.

    Day 3 of Week 2: Enforced REST DAY due to overtired back and legs. After one day of rest, I resumed the 3 mile distance. The time was slower than 48 hours prior, proving that the distance was increased by too much to soon. Another week of walk jog at this distance wil be needed. 

    Week 2: Commencing 24th January 2022  (see week #1 here)

    After 4 walking jogs at 2.25 miles, the intention was to complete the 2.25 miles circuit without stopping.

    Despite improving the finish time by the 4th attempt, I had not managed to jog the entire distance. I needed to stop several times due to leg fatigue and I could not run for very long up the slopes.

    However, I am slightly impatient for weight loss to start, in earnest, so I decided to increase the distance to the full 5km. Plus, I have felt significant improvements in stamina and the legs feel much stronger after the initial 4 attempts. As the ultimate fat burner is a much longer run than 25 minutes, I decided to step up the distance at the start of this second week.

    This 3.23 miles circuit is an extension of week 1, given the paths and terrain are enjoyable and completely traffic free, other than dogs and cyclists.

    Run #1: 24/1/22: 3.23 miles: 40 minutes. Got a good sweat on even though it was 2°C outside.
    Run #2: 25/1/22: 3.23 miles: 36m 23s. 
    Run #3: 26/1/22: Tired legs and sore lower back. REST DAY: I could do swimming or cycling as a form of active rest, but I had a few errands to run so I took the chance to allow some recovery and adaptation. I'll eat fruit and proteins and feed the recovering muscles and blood. Back on it tomorrow refreshed. 
    Run #4: 27/1/22: 38mins 33s Cramp and numbness in calf muscles. Had t walk and stop to stretch a few times. Sluggish legs were still tired from 48 hours ago. Otherwise stamina increasing and longer running spells developing nicely. Keep up protein and fruit intake plus high volume of fluids.

    Sore calf muscles. Overdid it a bit. I may need a rest day tomorrow. Always a balancing act between progression and injury prevention, but  I feel I need to kick the muscles into shape a bit to toughen them up.

    Have I progressed too quickly?

    Yes possibly, but I need to shred some fat off, quickly so the increase is a necessary move.

    After one attempt, the legs are feeling well worked. The issue may be that the legs may not recover in time for tomorrow's attempt. This may mean that progress diminishes over the course of the week, in terms of finish times. Equally, the risk of longer lasting injuries is greater from this fairly quick and significant increase in distance. This is a common mistake for most people, often made in haste and out of impatience. It is important to recognise the signs of fatigue and injuries creeping in and, if you can, try not to ignore those signs. A rest day is often the better choice over running with pain.

    For the sake of fat-burning benefits gained from the longer distance, I choose to take the risk of the longer distance. If the legs pack in early into the next run, I will take it easy and use walking intervals.

    On reflection,  two weeks ago, I could not run for a minute! My legs are already feeling stronger and 'lighter.'

    Friday 21 January 2022

     Vitamin B12

    There is some very good and detailed information pertaining to vitamin functions and sources at this website.

    Worth a read at lunchtime if you feel under the weather.

    How to get started with your fitness plan

    You can ask any questions you want before considering to start with PWR PT.
    You can have a completely no-obligation conversation with Paul. Ask any questions you may have.
    Discuss a plan that suits your time frame and budget. 

    Thursday 20 January 2022

    PWR Couch to 5km Jan '22

     After a period of inactivity due to a combination of laziness, injury and the odd sniffle, I've embarked on returning to some light and steady jogging. The goal is firstly, to feel fit and, secondly, to burn off some excess adipose tissue gained during 20 months of uncertainty surrounding career, decision making and opportunities.

    The goal is to complete a 30-minute jog (approximately 5km) - non-stop - every day. This used to be fairly comfortable. Not anymore!

    1. First up, find a route that is safe, convenient and enjoyable. Roughly a 30 minute walk/jog route (about 2-2.25 miles).

    2. Secondly, build up to the 5km distance at a very comfortable pace.

    Taking each run very easily by swapping intervals of walking and light jogging, paying attention to any pain or fatigue, and adjusting the speed and tempo at any time according to those signs and sensations. For example, during the first run, I jogged for one minute and felt a twinge in my left knee. Half of my brain said run through the pain. Had I continued, I would have crippled myself for a few days and had to rest up, which is not good for the daily fat burning component of the programme. So I slowed down to a walk, gave it a stretch and a rub and stopped any unwanted injury. As it happened, the next day, the knee felt fine, so the judgement call was proven correct.

    3. Stick to the same route for 10 consecutive runs. 

    Record the time for each run. Try to shave off some seconds each run by lengthening the jogging intervals and walking for shorter periods. Again, be mindful of pain and fatigue, always keeping tomorrow's run in mind. Walk the entire route if the legs are tired or painful.

    4. Eat and drink well

    Flush toxins via the kidneys by drinking lots of water through the day. More than you think is normal! Eat fruit and vegetables and good proteins. Eggs, meat, fish. Soups. I also eat a protein shake each day, using a pea protein to avoid cow's milk, for digestive system health.

    5. After 10 runs, increase the distance

    What took 30 minutes to walk/jog now takes much less as jogging replaces walking. Increase the distance to a genuine 5km/3mile distance by adding another 30% distance. Restart the plan. Set yourself 10 attempts to complete the 5km in under 30 minutes. Remember to keep the intensity at a comfortable pace, mindful of being fit to repeat it the next day - to retain the fat burning component!

    Progress so far.... 17th-21st January 2022

    Route: 2.25 miles

    Walton Park to Ribble banks

    •  Run #1: 17th January 2022 : 30m
    •  Run #2: 18th January 2022 : 27m 21s 
    •  Run #3: 20th January 2022 : 25m 27s
    •  Run #4: 21st January 2022 : 24m 55s



    5 minutes shaved off my time after 4 runs. I felt tired legs at the end, and I was out of breath for a minute or so. Areas of concern are the calf muscles, the ankles, knees and lumbar back. But all felt much better and stamina is increasing, allowing 5-10 min intervals of continuous jogging. 

    I'll attempt 4 more runs next week and aim to jog the entire 2.25 miles non-stop before increasing the distance to 3 miles.


    Remotivate with PWR PT - Online Coaching

    If you are intending to get fit in 2022 and just can't get yourself going, Remotivate package from PWR Personal Training could be the perfect solution.
    If you are a member of a gym or if you have a piece of cardio training equipment somewhere in the house, staring at you as you skip past to the home office, you will find Remotivate an ideal and cheap intervention to get you started and keep you on track for big changes to your shape and health.
    Paul Richardson is an expert in transforming low motivation into healthy habits, through a process of keen listening to your unique story, through tried and tested methods from a lifetime of sport and fitness, and the last 20 years of coaching people on a one to one.
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