Sunday, 25 January 2009

Tom's 28 day challenge...

The good news is that following last week's success at the Brass Monkey half marathon I've struck a rich vein of swim form. Every Thursday H and I complete a set of either 8 x 200, 6 x 300 or 4 x 400 metre efforts in the pool whilst a few hours earlier our mate Roger will have done the same thing many thousands of miles away in Australia. During the day we email our respective results round the world and spend the following seven days plotting how we might squeeze out an extra few seconds in the race for a weeks worth of bragging rights ;) Last year Roger was living in Leeds and so we'd do the session together once a week and I'm pleased to say that since his move down under last autumn we've managed to keep the tradition going... anyway, this week we were doing the 200s with the session laid out as;

400 warm-up

4 x 200 off four minutes

400 easy

4 x 200 off four minutes

400 cool down

Although my 400pb (set about six months ago) is 5:40 and these are only 200s a total of 8 reps for the session had so far seen my best effort an even mix of 2.52s and 2.51s. On Tuesday I managed to find 2.51, 2.49, 2.47 & 2.47 for the first four and 2.43, 2.44, 2.49 and 2.52 for the second four. Although I clearly blew after number six, I also reckon that a sub 5.30 400 is possible at the moment and am therefore confident that my swimming is, like my running, as good as it's ever been... HOWEVER as I said last week, and to be honest as I've said about a million times since starting this blog... IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BIKE, unfortunately I'm great at working on my strengths but not so great at working on my weaknesses... until now.

For the month of February I'm going to set myself three clearly defined and measurable goals, all of which are designed to work on areas of my training which I've successfully neglected for far too long.

What I'd like you guys to do is join me in setting your own three personal 'weakness focused' goals with the aim of coming out of the winter as more rounded athletes. It would be great if you'd post your goals (and your progress each week) via comments on our blog and hopefully we can all benefit from a little motivation as the long dark nights and grey winter days continue to challenge us on our athletic journey.

From the 1st to the 28th of February I will achieve the following goals...

1) 48 hours of cycling
2) Drink two litres of water EVERY day (not including training intake)
3) Spend a minimum of ten minutes stretching EVERY DAY

If I neglect my swimming, running or Internet guffing (three things I'm currently doing well in) over that time then so be it, but those three goals WILL be achieved and hopefully I'll become a little more bendy, a little less thirsty and most importantly a little faster on two wheels ;)

The challenge doesn't start until next Sunday so you've got a little time to think about what you would personally like to achieve... the only rule being that they must be process based goals (i.e. stretch every day) rather than outcome based ones (i.e. be more flexible)

Anyway, hope to see some interesting comments...

See you on day one!



Rob Bane said...

Hi Tom (and Helen),

Firstly, congratulations on becoming a wedded couple, I hope you give more love and inspiration to each other than you believe capable of, you both deserve it.

Great blog, I enjoy dipping in every now and then - especially when I need a triathlon boost.

Thought I'd kick things off with the "Readers Goals". I've been enjoying the serendipitous benefits of a running injury (mainly, actually starting to bike and swim-train). Looking likely that this will continue into March (I'm not dropping out of VARR just yet...) so, February "process goals" will be:

1. Complete 2 1hr+ bike sessions every week
2. Do at least one swim session every week
3. Get medicial attention for my running injury - getting the wife to kiss it better clearly isn't working (does that count?)

Might not seem too stretching, but circumstances dictate...

All the best with yours.


Anonymous said...

Hi T+H!
First time of commenting on your blog although i read it every week!
Your blog inspired me this week so i am going to set my own goals, albeit more mental ones than physical! i am loving traing for Bala at the moment and i can slowly see improvements which is great!! Ok these are my goals for Feb...
1) To have a positive attitude towards my long weekend rides and think of at least one section of the ride that i enjoy.
2) To cut out drinking diet coke in the week (one can at a weekend can't be bad?!)
3) To stretch and warm up properly before every session.

Fingers crossed! Hopefully you have inspired me to fulfill these goals!

Hannah xx

Jevon said...

Good plan. With my upcoming op I'm gonna shy away from laying down any 'I shall do every day' goals... but I know you'll be kicking yours...

Russ said...

I'll play along properly after Epic Camp. Right now plans are -

1. Complete Epic Camp doing more than the minimums.
2. Recover
3. Train harder in the final block before IMOZ

Specific weaknesses - I'll work on those once I'm done with Epic. Suspect it involves nutrition, run endurance and run speed.


Mama Simmons said...

I like the 28 Day Challenge.

Focusing on my weaknesses:

1. Complete speedwork/tempo runs each week (4 during the month of Feb).
2. Get to the gym for weight training 2x/week.
3. Do actual workouts/intervals on my bike trainer during the week rather than riding mindlessly while watching the tube.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Tom, thinking about this I managed to generate a list longer than my arm of improvements to my training, the majority of them were impossible until I win the lottery and can give up work, but here are the most practical three:

1) Regular speed sessions, this has been bugging me for a while as I'm finding it really difficult to fit these somewhere into my training week where they don't interfere with anything else, this is going to be the toughest.
2) Physio exercises, doing these every day, even at weekends.
3) Long run pit stops, see if completely giving up caffeine for the month has any effect on this demon of mine.

Will let you know how I get on (without going into too much detail on number 3).

Good luck

Tony B

DaveMcG said...

Hi Tom - nice post inviting the readers in...

My three aims:
1) Complete all x4 Monday Circuit Training sessions with my 'guru coach' Tony - down at the gym. Also to complete two Wednesday night circuits (out of a possible four) with coach Qu & two BOSU sessions, again with Tony - on Friday nights (again out of a possible four0
Aim - to get stronger 'upstairs' and spread the physical experiences.

2)Get to bed earlier - 11pm latest from Monday to Thursday and by midnight on Friday through Sunday.

3)Get a long run in on Sunday's to properly kick start marathon training and to develop a greater endurance regards volume (distance) and not so much intensity (speed and time).

Good luck with your targets...