Martin Hulbert Personal Trainer Leicester

London Marathon Training – Week 6

I wanted week 6 to be a big week and that is exactly what it turned out to be.  My biggest week of mileage ever!

 

Monday started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, immediately followed by an 8 mile run with 3 miles at marathon pace. On tired legs, I was pleased to hit an average of 6.15 pace for the marathon pace miles with my heart rate being in exactly the same place as it has been on my previous marathons. I use this as a guide as I know that a heart rate in that region is sustainable.

On Monday evening I had a Running Buddy session, where I was showing a client how to run a progressive training run. It ended up a great run for him as the first 3 miles were net downhill with the wind, whereas the next 2 miles, his fastest, were uphill and into the wind and heavy rain. He managed to finish with a mile that was 1m/m faster than his anticipated race pace. He was happy, I was happy and it threw up some questions as to whether his race pace may be quicker than we first thought. The run ended up being 6.43 miles giving 14.5 miles of running for the day.

 

Tuesday, as usual, was my long day. It started with a 10 mile easy run, followed mid-morning with a 4.4 mile Running Buddy session which was mainly running up every hill in Wigston! I finished the day with a 3 mile run to the club and then a comfortable-paced run with them and an easy mile home for an evening total of 12 miles and a daily total of 26.42 miles.

 

Wednesday, as always, was a very easy day, with just a 4 mile recovery run at a very easy effort.

 

Thursday was overall a physically tough day. I started with a 3.1 mile walk with my wife, followed by an easy 6.6 mile run. In the evening I ran down into Wigston to join the club speed/hills session. As I wanted to make the session as hard as possible for me I wanted to run off the front of everyone else immediately, in the hope of doing at least one extra lap of each hill than everyone else. After an initial warm-up rep we headed to the bottom of Newton Lane and then I pushed hard up the loop of Newton Lane hill, turning right at the top and running hard back down the hill to Welford Road, with the recovery being a flat stretch of Welford Road, about 100 metres long. To make it harder I jogged this recovery at a cruising pace so that I wasn’t as recovered as normal for the next rep. After 5 of these I felt as though I was struggling but surprisingly, each rep actually got faster and rep 5 was 4 seconds faster than rep 1.

The next set of reps was a loop of 3 roads on the Wigston Harcourt estate. The faster parts of the loop was 400 metres in length and once again I ran as hard as I could with the recovery being as fast as I could sustain. Once again, the reps got faster as I got through them, with rep 5 being 5 seconds faster than the first. We then did one final sprint uphill on Meadow Way where although it felt as though I was running through treacle I actually averaged 4.4m/m pace. The session finished with me running back home to complete a total of 7.9 miles for the evening and 14.5 miles for the day.

 

Friday was another easy day with just a 4 mile recovery run after the Thursday intervals and I could certainly feel it in my legs!

 

Saturday was a long 20-mile run that I never look forward to, but always seem to nail when I actually do it. I call it my 6,5,4,3,2 run as I increase the pace the further through the run I go. I was up and out before 6.45am on Saturday, with the weather very cold, dark and sleeting/snowing/raining. Plus there was an annoying cold wind. I felt quite good for the first few miles and the first 6 miles averaged 7.16 pace. I then pushed on a little harder for the next 5 miles, which averaged 6.53 pace but still felt very comfortable. At this point I was heading towards the bottom of Great Central Way. After the first of the next 4 mile block I turned at the bottom of GCW and headed back up to Glen Parva. I always find it harder running this way as it is net uphill. This 4 mile block averaged 6.30 pace and my HR was still way below my normal MP HR. Just as I got to the bottom of the big hill at the top end of GCW I had to increase my speed again, this time to around marathon pace. Heading back towards Wigston I hit a very cold headwind but kept pushing, keeping an eye on my HR, trying to keep it between 150-155bpm. I managed to keep going for the full 3 miles within the HR I was looking for, with my average pace for the 3 miles being 6.10 per mile. I was very pleased with this as it was faster than I had expected but was also my 80-82nd miles of the week. The final 2 miles was a sedentary-feeling 7.11 average pace.

 

Sunday closed the week with a very easy 4 mile recovery run on very tired legs.

 

Week 6 Totals: 87.5 miles covered over 11 runs, plus 6.2 miles of walking, one strength session and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

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Martin Hulbert Personal Trainer Leicester

London Marathon Training – Week 5

We are now moving in to the second quarter of London Marathon training and I had planned another high-mileage week, with two-thirds of the weekly mileage coming in two days. I’ll explain why further down!

 

Monday kicked off with a 3.3 mile walk with my wife and was immediately followed by a 6 mile easy run as I had a planned Running Buddy session late afternoon. However, he cancelled due to a niggly knee so it left me a little short of my planned mileage.

 

Tuesday was to be a long day with two medium-long runs and a Running Buddy session with a new client. I started with an easy 10-miler, followed two hours later by the Running Buddy session. This ended up as 3.8 miles of hill reps and flat sprints around Wigston. As with most clients, she surprised herself by how hard she can work when pushed and how much faster she can run than she thought. A very pleasing session for both of us. Tuesday finished with a 3 mile run to Wigston Phoenix Running Club, followed by their Linear Run. This consists of a half a mile warm up, then a 20 minute run down Welford Road from Wigston to the city centre, seeing how far you can get. You then have 25 minutes to get back (so at an easier pace). The theory is that everyone arrives back at the start point at the same time.

As I had already ran 17 miles by this point, my plan was to run the 20 minutes at Marathon Pace (6.15-ish pace) and then run back with others. However, as usual, everyone started tearing off down Welford Road and I was soon caught up with them. The 20 minutes averaged 5.57m/m and I managed to get to Fenwicks in the allotted time. My legs felt good all the way and I actually felt as though I still had another gear if needed. By the time I had ran home again this third run totalled 11.57 miles, giving a grand total of 25.4 miles for the day.

 

Wednesday was a very easy day, with just a 4 mile recovery run at a very easy effort.

 

Due to Friday being my long run day for the week I kept Thursday to a one-run day. Before that, I decided to get back in to my garage with a heavy weights session. I really enjoy lifting weights but often do not have enough time between working and not wanting it to conflict with my running. After an hour of lifting various weights, working my whole upper body, I realised that it had been a while and I would ache in the morning. My one run of the day was the club speed/hills session at Victoria Park. As my legs now felt fresh I pushed hard on all reps and tried to do as many as possible in the time we were there. I managed a total of 6.5 miles and my legs could feel it by the end.

 

Friday was a bit of a ‘make it up as we go’ day. First of all it was a Running Buddy session which entailed a hills/speed session around Wigston. This totalled 5.5 miles and the reps were ran at a faster than comfortable effort.

As I had a night out planned for a friends birthday and had agreed to lead the 8.30m/m pacing group at We Run LE1 I decided to aim to run 17 miles and then lead the pacing group for a further 5 miles. I parked at Victoria Park and headed down New Walk to the canal and out through Abbey Park and Watermead Park. As the light was starting to fade I turned back at 8 miles. As I did, I upped the pace to aim for a few miles at 6.45m/m pace. However, I had managed to misjudge the light as not only was it getting to dusk, but it also got cloudier at the same time. This meant that I was having to concentrate more on the muddy towpath than I would have liked, whilst still trying to keep the pace fast. After a couple of miles I started to become a little disorientated with the darkness and unlit towpath. I tried to keep to my 6.45m/m pace but it started to feel harder after each mile. I started to slow down as I began to feel a little light-headed. I put this down to just four rounds of toast and a banana being eaten for lunch. I headed around Bede Park and the bottom end of Great Central Way before cutting through town, up New Walk and around Victoria Park to my car. That was at the 16 mile mark, but as I was early I drank a 500ml bottle of home-made sports drink and then did another lap of the park before joining the We Run LE1 runners.

I have to say that at this point I didn’t feel great. I felt light-headed and as though I was running through treacle, even though my heart rate was fine. I set off at the front of the We Run LE1 crowd, sharing the pacing with the other 8.30 group pacers down New Walk, around town and back again. I was trying to talk as much as possible and concentrate on my running form, trying to keep my brain working. Once back at Victoria Park, I said my goodbyes and left the group, heading across the park back to my car as the taxi to take me back into town gave me 30 minutes to get home, showered and changed. Once home, and after consuming a bar of chocolate and a cereal in record time, I started to feel a bit more normal again. So lesson learned; even in my 11th year of marathon training you can still get your fuelling all wrong!

 

Saturday was always planned as a rest day and that is what I did. It was my first rest day of the year and my last day off was also after a night out!

 

The week was finished with an easy effort 6 miler on Sunday. Nothing special and if anything, I felt a little sluggish after my rest day. Not an issue though as it means I can run further next week!

 

Week 5 Totals: 75.6 miles covered over 9 runs, plus 6 miles of walking, one strength session and some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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London Marathon Training – Week 4

This was my first planned cutback week of the year, but as my wife was away for the week on business I thought I would take the opportunity of pushing on with the miles. My legs, although a bit tired, felt ok to continue through one more week of high mileage.

 

Monday became another double-run day as I had a new client who wanted me to run with him to kick-start his Half-marathon training. Therefore, I slowed down my morning run to an easy-effort 6 miles so I would be fresh for later. The Running Buddy run was far better than I expected. After Strava-stalking I thought that we would run for a maximum of 4 miles and I would throw some fartleks in to test his speed. However, while chatting along we managed 6 miles, including fartleks and finishing faster than we started. A very positive start to his training.

 

Tuesday was my long double-day, once again aiming for 20+ miles. My first run was 10.2 miles of easy effort running. My calf muscles had started to feel tired so I’d do extra rolling and stretching when I got home. I ran 4 miles, as usual, before the running club run. With my calf feeling better I decided to push the pace a little bit down Great Central Way and then back though South Wigston. My 21st mile of the day was 6.33, which I was very pleased with having followed a few miles at a similar pace earlier in the run.

 

I awoke on Wednesday with very tight calf muscles. I went out for a very easy 4 mile recovery run and whilst my legs felt better by the end of it, my calves were not quite right. Having the experience of knowing that my calves are my weak point and most likely muscle to injure, I called Function Jigsaw and was lucky enough to be seen by Lauren on Wednesday afternoon. I would like to say it was a nice massage, but being honest it was bloody sore. However, it was much needed and did loosened them off.

 

With my wife away, and her very kindly leaving her car with me as it was booked in for a service, Thursday was another day of four runs. As with last week, the garage tried to convince me that they could drop me home or lend me a courtesy car and just couldn’t understand why I would want to run home and back later on. An easy 4.5 mile run home felt very strange after my massage. My legs felt heavy and it took until halfway through the 4.2 miles back to the garage in the afternoon for them to feel almost back to normal again.

The third run of the day was the Next Running Group and the tenth and final week of their Couch to 5K plan. As they had ran 5k the previous week we embarked on another tour of Enderby. However, with my sense of navigation severely lacking and their sense of achievement growing by the minute, when we finally got back to the start point we had ran for 4 miles. Once again, massive congratulations all round as they finally realised that when I told them on week one that they would be able to run 5k by the end of week ten I wasn’t lying to them.

My final run of the day was the Wigston Phoenix speed session at Victoria Park. Running late due to the extra few minutes with Next, I was 15 minutes late by the time I caught up with everyone. I ran as hard as I could for the limited time left of the session and finished with some hard hill reps. Over the four runs of the day I had totalled 17.6 miles.

 

Friday was a definite recovery day. Just over 4 miles ran at a very easy effort and my legs started to feel normal again.

 

Saturday should have been 14 miles with 6 miles in the middle at Marathon Pace. However, waking with a thick head due to one too many beers at the running club awards presentation on Friday night, it was obvious that my run was not going to be the best. I got out and started with 4 easy miles but soon realised that my stomach was not going to play ball. Having my sensible head on and knowing that I didn’t need to chase mileage, I turned for home, changing the run into a 7 mile easy run.

 

I felt far better on Sunday morning so got up early and headed out for a 10 mile run, including the MP 6 miles I missed on Saturday. The pavements were icy but the roads were clear and I had them to myself. I ran the first 2 miles at a steady pace before pushing on aiming for a MP heart rate of around 150-155BPM. Sticking to this average, I managed the 6 miles at an average pace of 6.13. I was very pleased by this during the 2 cooldown miles to finish the run. Confidence boosted after Saturday’s aborted run.

 

Week 4 Totals: 78.2 miles covered over 12 runs, plus some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

 

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

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How Easy is a ‘Sustainable’ Diet?

Firstly, allow me to clarify the title:

Diet means the food that you consume on a daily and weekly basis. It does not mean banning or forbidding foods.

Sustainable means from now on, not just for the next 6 weeks.

 

To make your diet sustainable forever (and I do mean forever) you need to look at what you currently eat and probably (I’m sure if you are reading this you are looking for ideas) change a few things that you eat.

All ‘fad-diets’ do the same thing; they forbid certain foods or types of foods in order to reduce the amount of calories that you eat. The only (well not the only problem) is that as you are forbidding foods, you will miss them and that is not something that will be sustainable.

I believe that a reasonably easy way of looking at what you eat on a weekly basis is that I have set out below. Aim for:

70% of your weekly food consumption coming from whole/minimally processed foods (fruit, vegetables, lean meats, fish, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, etc) that you really enjoy

10% of your weekly food consumption coming from whole/minimally processed foods that you neither enjoy or dislike (neutral to taste)

10% of your weekly food consumption coming from ‘questionable/semi-junk foods’ that you like

10% of your weekly food consumption coming from anything else you love

 

It is better to be eating healthy food for 80% of the time, rather than cutting out the questionable and junk foods totally for a short time and then binging on them when you realise how much you miss them.

This allows you to factor in those meals out with family and friends, the odd packet of crisps or small bar of chocolate.

The biggest thing that you can do is just to cut down on your portion sizes. Just eat slightly less each meal, stick to the percentages above and, combined with some enjoyable exercise (yes there is fun enjoyable exercise for everyone) you will see a sensible and sustainable weight loss that you will be able to maintain for life.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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Motivation – Have You Got Your PERM in Place?

As most of you will know, my core beliefs when it comes to health, fitness, weight loss and exercising are that whatever changes you are going to make in your life, they need to be sustainable. For a change to be sustainable you must have the correct reasons and motivation for making that change.

Now you may ask ‘What is the correct motivation for making a change in your life?’. This is where you need to know your goal or target. What do you want to achieve? When you know what you want to achieve you can then begin to work out what it will take to get there. These are the changes that you need to make in order to achieve your overall goal.

Just to go slightly off on a tangent for a minute; there are two types of motivations that we need to know about. These are Intrinsic and Extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is the self-desire to seek out new things and new challenges, to analyze one’s capacity, to observe and to gain knowledge. It is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on external pressures or a desire for consideration. People are more likely to have intrinsic motivation if they

  • are interested in mastering something new, even though there is no reward at the end of it.
  • engage in a task willingly
  • attribute their results to factors under their own control, also known as autonomy of control
  • believe they have the skills to be effective agents in reaching their desired goals, also known as self-efficacy beliefs

Extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity in order to attain a desired outcome and it is the opposite of intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation comes from influences outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are:

  • rewards (prizes, exam results, personal best times) for showing the desired behaviour
  • the threat of punishment following failure/non-compliance

 

Competition is an extrinsic motivator because it encourages the performer to win or to beat a personal best, not simply to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity.  So in order to achieve the extrinsic goal, you need to have an interest or self-belief in the activities you need to complete to get there.

With extrinsic motivation, the harder question to answer is where do people get the motivation to carry out and continue to push with towards their target.

 

Now back to where I got distracted with explaining motivation. You need to know your ‘why?’ for your original goal/target. If it is weight loss, ‘why’ do you want to get to your goal weight? ‘Why’ did you choose that weight? Is it the weight on the scale you crave or the look you had when you weighed that weight last?

In 2011 a psychologist, Martin Seligman, published the book ‘Flourish’. This included a model with five elements that if all are in place we have a great chance of making lasting changes and experiencing well-being. This model is the PERMA Model. The five key elements are:

 

P             Positive Emotions

E              Engagement

R             Relationships

M            Meaning

A             Accomplishments

 

Let me explain each one in relation to a healthier lifestyle.

P             Positive Emotions – This is often described as sensory pleasure. This could be tasty (nutritious) food, warm baths, being in a place you love (outdoors, gym)

E              Engagement – When we’re truly engaged in something, you we experience a state of flow: time seems to stop and we concentrate intensely on the present. This could be cooking your favourite healthy meal, a gym class or a run outdoors

R             Relationships – These are often the social ties between the extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. Think of the friends you have made through exercising or the strengthening family ties that follow fun outdoor activities

M            Meaning – This comes from us thinking that we are serving a bigger purpose than ourselves. This can range from being religious, to being part of a running club, gym or even Facebook groups.

A             Accomplishments – These are usually the extrinsic motivators (certainly previous ones). If you are reading this, the chances are you will have something in the future you want to accomplish. This could be weight loss, getting new running PBs, learning a new language, etc.   As these have an outcome at the end, they are the easiest to struggle with. This is where you need your PERM to be in place (no, not the 80’s hairstyle) to ensure that you have the intrinsic (internal) motivations in place to carry you through the days or weeks where things don’t go to plan.

 

So, to bring everything back together as this has been a little disjointed (sorry), you need to find your intrinsic motivation to achieve your extrinsic goal. This means that to get to your goal weight (for example):

  • you need to know why you want to get to that weight (Accomplishment)
  • what can you do that you enjoy and gives you positive emotions that will keep you on track (Positive Emotions & Engagement)
  • do you have the relationships, social groups and belief, or can you find them, to support you towards your goals (Relationships & Meaning)

If you can get all of these in place, you have a far better chance of not only reaching your goal, but also in sustaining a healthier lifestyle than you had previously. Sustainable progress needs to be enjoyable and fit in with your lifestyle or you will just find it to hard and not enjoy your new life.

Good luck and if you need any help, please contact me.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised online training or nutrition plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

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London Marathon Training – Week 3

Week 3 already and another high mileage week planned.

Monday started off with a 3.3 mile walk with my wife, immediately followed (after a quick change into my shorts) by an 8 mile run. This included 4 miles at potential marathon pace (MP). The MP miles averaged 6.15 pace, which as you can imagine, I was very pleased with, especially as my heart rate (HR) was lower than in previous marathons.

Tuesday was my first double day of the week. It started with an early 10 miler, all at an easy effort and not focussing on pace at all. I ran 4 miles to the club in the evening to the club before joining them for another 8.2 miles, including some faster miles helping keep someone company who was aiming to run at his marathon pace. Those faster miles, my 17th-20th miles of the day, averaged 6.25 pace. Once again I was very pleased with those after that amount of mileage in my legs.

On Wednesday I put my sensible head on and just ran at a very easy effort level and once again didn’t focus on the pace.

Thursday was an interesting running day and I think I almost underestimated it. I had to drop my car into the garage for a service. I dropped the car at 8am and ran at an easy effort home. However, town to Wigston is net uphill so although I was running at an easy effort, the 4.25 miles home felt harder on my legs than I thought. However, without a car I had the choice of catching a bus or running back to collect it. As I am not one to take the easy option I decided to run back. As it was a net downhill the 4.37 miles back felt far easier than earlier. Two runs down by 12pm.

The next run was the Next Running Group and week 9 of their Couch to 5K plan. However, as they have been doing so well we decided to go on a ‘magical mystery tour of Enderby’! If anyone knows Enderby they will know that there isn’t much magical about it and the only mystery element was that I allowed each person to pick part of the route. This meant that (with a bit of creativity towards the end) we managed to run bang-on 5k. High-5s all round!

My final run of the day was the Wigston Phoenix hills session. Running late due to the extra few minutes with Next, I managed to see runners from the club just setting out as I neared the meeting point. Luckily, as they were warming up and I already had with Next, I managed to catch them just before they got to the first hill. 16 reps of various hills later and I was blowing hard! The hill session was 6.67 miles bringing Thursdays total to 18.76 miles.

Friday should have been a recovery day and would have been, had the client I was running with not been faster than she let on! So after 5 miles of various hill reps around Wigston and finishing with some sprints on the flat, my legs were feeling it again. However, I can’t complain as she pushed hard and was faster than she thought as well and, after all, it is my job to get people working.

Saturday is long run day and for the second week running the plan was 20 miles. Once again I thought about letting the time drift by with another ‘Tour de Parks’. I thought I’d see how many green spaces and parks I could run through without looking at a map or plan a route beforehand. I think I managed 15 different green areas/parks within the 20 miles. The run itself started as a bit of a struggle. My legs felt tired and although it was cold, I felt warm ‘just not right’. However, after about 5 miles I started to get into a happier rhythm and settled into a consistent easy effort and pace. By the end of the run, which took a fraction over 2hrs 30mins, I was feeling far better than at the beginning and could have gone on for longer. I had my sensible head on though and really wanted breakfast!

Sunday was a very gentle 4 mile recovery run around Wigston. For the second week in a row my left calf felt a little tight and tired, but nothing I would deem as anything more. However, the biggest aim of my training is consistency so I will not be risking injury.

 

Week 3 Totals: 82.3 miles covered over 11 runs, 3.3 miles covered over one walk, plus some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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London Marathon 2017 Training – Week 2

After Week 1 was a total of 77 miles, Week 2 was due to be more of the same.

Monday started at 6.30am with a 3.3 mile walk with my wife to encourage her to get out in the dark and to test my left calf, which was feeling a little tight yesterday. Once home, a quick change into my shorts and then back out for 6.6 miles of running, including 3 miles in the middle at an average pace of 6.23, which I would describe as ‘comfortably challenging’. The pleasing thing for a stat-geek like myself, was that my heart rate (HR) was slightly lower than my normal marathon pace HR meaning I could have pushed harder. My calf was fine.

Tuesday was my ‘normal’ double-day. I started with another 3 mile walk with my wife, followed by running 10 easy miles. Running through Knighton Park in the dark was a different experience (very eerie). The second run of the day was 4 miles before our Wigston Phoenix club run. The total run for the evening was 10.8 miles with only 2 miles of those under 7.00 pace and they were just striding without any extra effort. 20.8 miles for the day but I felt strong and fit.

Wednesday was a very easy effort 4.2 miles. The wind was not helping my effort levels on what were very tired legs!

Thursday was a frustrating day. For my Personal Training business I have converted half of my garage into a gym. However, when the mirrors were delivered they were damaged so a replacement set were sent. This meant that for the gym area to be safe I had to put them up as quick as possible. Annoyingly, this meant skipping my morning run to get them fixed before my clients were due. My first run of the day was with my Couch-to-5k group at Next. This week we ran continuously for 2.6 miles. I followed this with a mad-dash to Victoria Park to join in the club speed/hill session. My legs were working well and I pushed hard to get the most out of the session.

Friday was another very easy effort recovery run of 5 miles. My legs were a bit tired from the speed training the previous night and I had a long run to do on Saturday so I ran as easy as I could while keeping my form.

Saturday is the day of the year I usually dread the most; my first 20 miler of the year. I don’t know why they affect my head the way they do as I have ran so many over the years and they are not much further than the 18 miler I had done the week before. Anyway, I was up and out by 6.30am for an ‘easy-effort’ 20 miles. I hadn’t planned a route but as it was dark and raining I thought I would go for a ‘tour of parks’. Starting in Wigston I ran to Great Central Way, then across and through Braunstone, crossing the park long before any parkrunners were around. I then took the ring road to Western Park and cut through the park to Fosse Road where I ran through The Rally, up by Leicester Tigers, up New Walk and then across Victoria Park, where the parkrun volunteers were just setting up. Finally I headed up Queens Road and through Knighton Park and on to home. 20.05 miles in 2hrs 31mins of cold, mainly dark, but with a lovely sunrise. I would call that a confidence booster at this time of the year.

Sunday was a recovery run, at a very easy effort, of 4.76 miles to get my legs moving again. Weirdly, my legs actually felt quite spritely, so I had to force myself to slow down. That is very pleasing after another long week.

 

Week 2 Totals: 70.2 miles covered over 9 runs, 6.4 miles covered over two walks, plus some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

London Marathon 2017 Training – Week 1

Well here I am for the 10th year in a row (11th in total). Week 1 of London Marathon training.

I had finished the previous week with a 16 miler on Sunday, meaning my legs were coming into this week a little more than normal (as I do my long runs on a Saturday).

Monday started with a 5 miler, broken down as 1m easy, 2m at rough marathon pace (MP), finishing with 2m easy pace. As it was icy, the faster two miles went to pot a bit. I was ok on flat straight roads but having to go round corners was a bit like ice skating without the friction. However, I was very happy with MP miles of 6.29 & 6.25. Run one done, nailed and no falls!

Tuesdays are what I like to term ’20-mile Tuesdays’. I like to run in the morning and then again with my running club, Wigston Phoenix in the evenings. My morning run was an easy 9.2 miler, concentrating on running form and keeping effort and heart rate low. In the evening I drove to the club and ran 4 easy miles before everyone else arrived. I then ran with someone who wanted to run at their MP (approx. 6.40) for 4 miles.   As we approached the ring road we left the rest of our group behind and pushed on into the wind. We ran the 4 miles at an average of 6.39 pace. Spot on! I finished the evening with 11 miles for a total of 20.2 miles for the day.

Wednesday was nice and easy after that big day. I started the day off with a nice 3.3 mile walk with my wife, followed by a very easy effort run of 4.1 miles.

Thursday was a triple-running day of sorts. I started the day with a 3 mile walk with my wife, following it with a 7.1 miler at an easy pace. Later in the day I ran 2 miles with my couch-to-5k group from Next and finished the day off with our club speed/hill session around Victoria Park. Surprisingly, my legs still worked and I was able to push hard on all of the reps. The overall daily total was 14.72 miles.

Friday was the third double-day of the week. This is unusual for me as I usually have an easy day before my Saturday long run. However, I had a new client who wanted a consultation meeting while running (madness – most prefer coffee) in the morning and then I was leading the 8.30 pace group at the monthly We Run LE1 run from Victoria Park through Leicester city centre. This is a great run for inexperienced runners or those looking to meet or chat to others in a similar boat as it is purely social as it is not timed. The day totalled 8.86 miles and finished at about 7.30pm.

Saturday was an early start; up and out to get in 18 miles before 9.30am. Some would say I am mad, but I like to think that by 9.30am I have finished my long run and the rest of the weekend is my own. This 18 miler is a two-paced run, the first 8 miles ran at an easy effort (around 7.30 pace), the next 8 miles ran at around 6.52 (sub-3hr) pace, with 2 easy miles to finish. My legs were tired from the start and it soon became a bit of a war of attrition. Me against mile after mile. I have ran this route so many times over the years and often still hate it when my legs don’t want to work. However, on a positive note, the first 8 miles were ran at 7.23 pace, the faster 8 miles at 6.44 pace, meaning that my legs were not really a problem (although my HR was higher than usual); it was more in my head!!

Sunday is just a nice easy finish to my running week, an easy 5 mile recovery run from home to marshalling at Aylestone Junior parkrun. I love finishing the week watching the enthusiasm of the kids, whether they are racing or just running round for the sheer enjoyment of being able to run. Even those being ‘dragged’ around by their parents manage a smile when they finish.

 

Week 1 Totals: 77 miles covered over 11 runs, 6.64 miles covered over two walks, plus some basic core exercises on my BOSU ball.

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Do you want a personalised training plan?

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You Need To Think About What You Won’t Do

I love bread, sausages and beer. I have a healthy diet, but I do enjoy these three things and I don’t think that I could ever give them up totally as part of any nutrition plan. They would be on my “I won’t list”. We all have one of these lists, even though you’ve probably never thought of it.

We always talk about what we will do to be healthy and how you are willing to achieve your nutritional and exercise goals. For example,

  • I’m going to exercise 4 days per week
  • I’m going to hit my calorie goal every day
  • I’m getting up an hour earlier each day so I can work out at 6am

That’s great. We do need to identify those qualities, those markers within us that can create habits that will reinforce the positive behavior and give us a growing awareness of how far we are willing to go.

However, there is something else that you need to factor in; your capacity for succeeding is also dependent on what you are not willing to do. Mine is bread, sausages and beer. What won’t you give up? Where will you draw the line at pushing yourself? Examples on your “won’t do” list could be:

But there’s something else you need to factor in: your capacity for success is also predicated on what you are not willing to do. What you won’t give up. Where you draw the line at discomfort. Yes, your list of things you won’t do. Examples:

  • I won’t eat vegetables
  • I won’t stop eating cheese
  • I am NOT running
  • No high intensity exercise
  • I can’t get up at 6:00 am to exercise. That’s too early
  • I won’t lift weights because I’ll get “bulky” (you won’t)

It is important to look at this list as definitive statements are an indicator of our mindset. Because of this, we need to take a minute to examine them for clues.

Here is an exercise for you to do: take a piece of paper and write at the top: I WON’T and then fill in 5 lines below with things that you are not willing to do in the pursuit of a healthier life. Just write them down. Don’t think about “why” at this point, just write the important points.

Once you have finished take a look. Consider if all of your points are definite “won’ts”. If they are then keep them. If you are unsure whether they are definite then ask yourself these questions:

Why are you unwilling to?

What would that mean to you? To your life? To your family?

If you could give it up for a short time would that be ok? Could you survive and how long for?

 

You may have some understandable points on your list. For example, if you are a single parent then “going for a run before work” is probably not achievable. However, what about points that fall into a “middle ground” or definates that do not have a concrete reason? You may refuse to do weight-training as you do not want to bulk up. Could you seek advice from someone who could give you a programme to allow you to weight-train without any possibility that you will increase bulk.   With these “middle ground” points, there is often a way of removing them from your list with a bit of help.

Writing your list and then analysing it is a great way of getting to know yourself. It will make you think about your mindset and behaviours and help you to visualise the following: the road to success has two yellow lines running down the middle, dividing it in half (those lines represent what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do). A little further down the road it splits into two. One fork takes you to success, the other doesn’t. However, to take the road to success you must be on the right side of the line at that point.

And the secret to this? Successful people will do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Say it again; “successful people will do the things that unsuccessful people are not willing to do”. So, all of those things in your “won’t do” list may be holding you back from being successful.

Success is not an easy path to follow. It never has been and never will be. It requires smart planning, sacrifices, consistency, re-evaluation, willingness to adjust and perseverance when life gets hard. There will be hard times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get through them. You just need to be determined.

So, want success. Figure out what is holding you back, and work on it. You might find a hidden key to a door you need to unlock. Good luck!

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

Contact me today to ask any questions or to book your FREE consultation

Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com

How do you know if you’re an athlete?

ath·lete

noun

a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.

 

More and more people are exercising nowadays, and while the definition is helpful, it is more fun to look at the list below to see if you can call yourself an athlete.

So, you might be an athlete if…

  1. You feel more at home at the gym than you do at your actual home
  2. You spend most of your waking hours thinking about PBs
  3. You DREAM about PBs
  4. You plan your holidays around upcoming races
  5. You own ten pairs of trainers – not for vanity, but because you need running shoes, gym shoes, trail shoes, barefoot shoes, etc
  6. You’ve had to ask for help getting out of a chair, because yesterday was leg day
  7. You’ve had to walk downstairs backwards the day after a marathon
  8. Random people ask you if you work out, and you’re excited to respond
  9. When you watch an action movie, you think to yourself, “I could do that.”
  10. Most of your wardrobe has been replaced with free t-shirts from fitness related events
  11. You’ve had a bad day completely turn around as soon as you exercise
  12. Your normal friends know how fast you run, even if they don’t know if that is fast or not
  13. Your Facebook profile pic is you exercising
  14. Most of your Facebook status updates involve you exercising
  15. You never miss the opportunity to take a nap, because naps = recovery
  16. All of your friends come to you for fitness/diet advice
  17. You’ve had nightmares about an interval session
  18. You’d NEVER stay up late partying if you have a race the next day
  19. You’ve shared a “leg day” meme on your social network
  20. Your Instagram is basically just fit people and food.  And cats, of course.
  21. You know how big your arms are – you’ve measured, and my how they’ve grown
  22. You can’t wait to tell your friends and family about a great workout, even if they hate hearing about it
  23. You have a section of wall in your home dedicated to all of your event medals
  24. You have a pair of running shoes you wear for mud runs so you don’t ruin your OTHER running shoes
  25. You stay up obsessing over tomorrow’s workout, wondering if you’ll actually be able to hit all your goals
  26. Most of your jeans are too loose around the waist and calves and too tight around the thighs and bum
  27. You’ve given up on jeans and spend most of your time in shorts or leggings
  28. Family gatherings totally freak you out because you only talk about training
  29. You watch TV grimacing while using your foam roller
  30. You’ve had to explain to people exactly what a foam roller does/is
  31. You make time to exercise, no matter what
  32. You’ve been told, more than once, to talk about something other than training.  You did not comply
  33. There is never enough coffee. Or food
  34. You’d rather be training than reading this
  35. People think you’re OBSESSED for wanting to train all the time. You know you are DEDICATED
  36. You’re in 16 different Facebook groups, all of which revolve around fitness or nutrition of some sort.
  37. While traveling, you make it a point to run around the local area, taking photos to post on Facebook
  38. You seek out the nearest parkrun when you go away for a weekend
  39. You made it all the way to the end of a “You Might Be An Athlete If…” list

 Please let me know what numbers apply to you!

Want to know more about running, personal training or nutrition?

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Call me on 07815 044521 or email me at martinhulbertpt@gmail.com