MondayYasmine introduced me to a new piece of kit at our 8am session - the ViPR. It's a hollow tube with holding points cut into it at different places along its length. Their website defines it like this:
"ViPR bridges the gap between movement and strength training. It combines full-body movement with load, enhancing the vitality, performance and reconditioning goals of clients and athletes. ViPR introduces a new concept in fitness and sports conditioning – Loaded Movement Training."
It's fun to use: lunging with it, chopping it through my legs, making a circle with it front of my chest before hoisting it overhead, jumping jacks with it and doing shuttle runs where the ViPR is placed on the ground to the side, in front and the other side. It's a good cardio workout and I'm sure it must be doing wonders for my all-round conditioning.
We finished with some gruelling side plank raises. I hate those. They left my sides feeling stiff for the next three days. And my neck muscles are still tender today (Friday) after doing some slow leg raises to work on my weak-as-a-kitten abs. It's amazing how quickly these hour-long sessions fly by.
I finished with a sauna and jacuzzi soak and felt good right through to the 9pm end of The World Right Now and a glass of white wine at home.
Up at 6.30am for a 40-minute routine run down the Thames under the clouds. I felt quite sluggish over the first mile but soon loosened up to maintain 8:09 per/mi and an average heart rate of 140bpm.
I headed to the gym after work to try one of Yasmine's recommended interval sessions. The aim is to warm up for five mins before running at 95% (161 bpm) of maximum heart rate for 1'30 then dropping to 70% (120 bpm) for three minutes. Repeat five times then cool down for five minutes.
Fine, but the problem was getting my heart rate up to 161. I was running at 14kph at a pace of 4'20 p/km which was as quick as I felt I could go safely but my rate was only up to 140-ish by the end of the first quick 90 seconds.
I raised the incline for the subsequent quick bit but it wasn't until the last of the five intervals that I felt my heart was up to the right level. I was sweating like a pig but not reaching the sort of rate that I routinely reach on my outdoor runs.
It was a frustrating half-hour and I left feeling I hadn't had a proper session. It's probably a case of practising more on the treadmill. I'll have another go next week.
No booze today; the moderation push is working.
One of those rare, beautiful things - a random day off on a summer Friday. The sun has refused to come out for the second day of the Lord's Ashes Test but the buddleias and tall daises are in full flower, the leaves are rustling and the kids have finished school. Summer 2015 is officially under way.
I took yesterday as a rest day and celebrated by having a decent session of Longhorn IPAs and a liver dinner in the Princess Victoria with Deborah, Grace and Kevin.
This morning it was a 50-minute steady run to Barnes Bridge and back. Nice and breezy, overcast with the house martins feeding their young under the eaves of the mighty homes opposite Chiswick Eyot.
September is beginning to creep up on me. The training is going ok so far, I'm enjoying the runs and I'm feeling confident enough to plan running routes around the various stops on our imminent Californian odyssey. If I can keep fit, I'm sure I can get round Berlin.