November DW training

Week 31st October – 6th November
Another week much the same a the last couple, there’s no need for any big changes, I just need to keep ticking the sessions off.

Monday (October 31st), Gym
Press, 4*6: 95*6, ,97.5*6,7,6
1 Arm Row, 4*8: 40*12,12,12,12
Skull crushers, 4*8-10: 25*10,30*10,10,8,8
Curls, light, 3*15: 10kg I suck at curls so I’m just adding some each week and keeping it at a light weight for now
Face pulls, 3*12-15
Plank, 60″30″*3 quite hard, I don’t like plank (it just isn’t fun, I prefer exercises like weighted sit ups, landmines and medicine ball throws) but I suck at it so I figure I should try to improve.

a.m. Run
20 minutes, just steady. As I was ill last week I want to make any extra sessions I’m adding in pretty easy for now
p.m. Paddle
6/1 * 8 lovely clear (cold) evening paddling at sunset, felt good but it’s easy to feel good when the water is perfectly smooth and lovely

Wednesday, Gym
Squats, 4*8: 75*6, 80*6,6,8 got confused and thought I was meant to be doing 6s not 8s , but I wouldn’t have got all sets on 8 with that weight anyway(up from 75 last week), I’ll aim for all 4*8 on 80 next week
1 Leg rear foot elevated split squats , 3*6-8: 40*8,6,6 remarkably hard
Incline sit ups, 3*10-15: 5kg , 13,12,12

Thursday, Paddle
10km time trial
I want to make sure I don’t get in the habit of going really easy and forgetting what it is like to try hard, because I’m paddling on my own the whole time. So I think it is a good idea to have a few set time trials that I do reasonably regularly. Competition makes you better, I’m just going to have to compete against myself! 10 km is a classic distance, and long enough to be a session in its own right, so I worked out a route on Google Maps and GPSd it to measure. There aren’t any bridges at a good distance so the turn point is a jetty, not ideal but workable. Also, the course might change length a bit when the tide is out because half the river disappears so the insides of the corners are longer. But, as a marker, I did 10.14 km in 50:30, with the first 10km 49.45.

Friday, Gym
OH press, 4*6: 50*6,6,7 52.5*6
Seated row machine, 4*8-10: 59*8,8,8,8 upped from last time but a bit heavy really, not staying smooth, so keep same weight next week
DB incline press, 4*10: 30*10,10,10,10
Skull crushers,3*10-12: 20*12,12,12
Plank, 3/1*3

Saturday, paddle
6,5,4,3,2,1,2,3,4,5,6 i.e. 6 down to 1 and back up. An absolute staple! I must have done this session well over a hundred times… It’s nice to do some shorter faster efforts, and good to keep a feel for it, I don’t want to get too much into a slogging away slowly mindset. Also, there was a lot of rowers around and I needed to make sure they don’t start thinking I’m slow!

Sunday, rest

Week 7th – 13th November
Monday, gym
Press, 4*6: 95*6, 100*6,6,6 right on the limit of being able to do the last two sets
1AR, 4*8: 40*9,10,10
My right forearm felt very tired (and maybe a bit pumped from press) and I felt empty, so I just did the face pulls and went home. Perhaps I should have pushed through but I don’t think it would have been worth it. I’m not sure why I was tired but I felt fine the rest of the week so it was probably worth cutting this session short (and I still got the main exercise in so I got most of the benefit of the session)

a.m run
5.6km, standard run route along the river, 24:18
p.m. paddle, 10,8,6,4,6,8,10
I was just setting my watch to start the session and who popped up next to me, a seal! Poking its head up and looking over at me, it seemed quite interested, floated over a bit closer to see me and the thrashed around a swam off. Being out on the river great.

Wednesday, gym
Squats, 4*8: 75*8, 80*8,8,8 hard!
1 leg rear foot elevated split squats ,3*6-8: 40*8,8,8 pretty gassed from squats but happy with that
Incline sit ups, 3*10-15: 10kg 8,8,8

Thursday, paddle
I went a bit later than planned and it was pretty dark by the end, it was a bit cold, a bit windy, a bit flowy, a bit rainy, but I loved it, I wouldn’t have wanted to do anything else. I lost track of the time on a couple of efforts and did a couple of extra minutes, but if in doubt always do more, never leave yourself the mental option of stopping early, if there’s a choice: work harder, go further, soak it up.

Friday, gym
Overhead press, 4*6: 52.5*6,6,6,6 could maybe up next week, maybe do extra reps or do last set or two on higher weight
Seated row machine, 4*8-10: 59*9,9,9,8
DB incline press, 4*10: 30*12,12,12,10
Skull crushers,3*10-12: 20*15,13,13
Face pulls, 3*10-15:
Plank, in between face pulls, 1 mins *3
Felt a bit tight and achy before, so happy with getting increases

Saturday, paddle
I was planning on doing a slightly faster threshold type session but I had an urge to do a longer paddle, so I paddled down to the town centre and back. I will probably start adding in a longer paddle every week or two, increasing the distance gradually to get some extra distance in and get used to the sort of distance I’ll need to do on the DW stages.
19.5 km, 1:43:00

Sunday, rest

Week 14th – 20th November
Monday, Gym
Press, 4*6: 95*6, 100*6,6 102.5*6 The third set was really hard but I really wanted to get more than last week so I put the weight up on the last set and managed to get it
back off set 90*5, no wraps , I could do more but it’s just to add some volume and to do a set without wrist wraps
1 Arm Row, 4*8: 40*12,12,12,12 back up to 2 weeks ago after last week’s drop, happy enough for now
Skull crushers, 4*8-10: 30*10,10,10,7
Curls, light, 3*15: 10kg
Plank, 60″30″*3
Face pulls, 3*12-15, there was no machine free so I skipped them

a.m. run, 5.6 km along river, 23:58
p.m. paddle, 6-1-6 (6 down to 1 and back up)

Wednesday, Gym
Squats, 4*8: 80*8,8,8,8 definitely easier than last week strength wise, but felt tired and un natural
1 leg rear foot elevated split squats,3*6-8: 40*10,8,8
Incline sit ups, 3*10-15: 10kg 10,10,8

Thursday, Paddle

sunrise on river by bridge

Sunrise at the start of the session

Friday, Gym
Overhead press, 4*6:50*6, 55*6,6,6
Seated row machine, 4*8-10: 59*8,8,8,8
same weight next week
DB incline press, 4*10: 32*10,10,10,8
Skull crushers,3*10-12: 20*15,15,13 going slow to make it hard
Face pulls, 3*10-15
Plank, in between face pulls, 1 mins *3

Saturday, rest

Sunday, rest

I was hoping to wait to have having an easy week until the end of the month (28th – 4th) because I’m going away for four days and won’t be training, but it’s not going to happen. I’ve been feeling quite tired this week and doing stupid things (pouring orange juice on cereal instead of milk type stupid, nothing serious) which is generally a sign I need a few days easy. My gym has mostly still been improved this week compared to last week so I’m not that tired! but this week is five weeks into training regularly again so it’s reasonable to have an easy week, I’d normally do four weeks hard the one easy as a guideline.

I started taking creatine again this week, 5g per day. I used to take it pretty regularly but haven’t taken it for years now. The research is good for improving performance, particularly on short stuff and gym, and its cheap so it’s a bit of a no-brainer. It might have some neurological benefits as well which is a nice bonus and I’ve been loosing weight slowly but pretty consistently so I’m not worried about any possible (but unlikely) weight increase. Check out lots of info on creatine, they are generally good at reviewing studies of all sorts of supplements.

I also started doing 20 reps of band pull aparts each day. More upper back and rotator cuff work should keep my shoulders rounding forward, from bench pressing etc. Also, I spend a fair bit of time at a desk which adds to the rounding so anything to counter act it is good. I’ll work up to a lot more than 20 reps over time but I just wanted to make it easy to do for now so that I start the habit. I’ve got pile of bands next to my desk and a reminder on my phone so there’s no excuse!

Week 21st – 27th November
This week is an easy week so some of the sessions are shorter than normal.

Monday, Gym
A, bench press from pins, 5*5, 90,100,100,100*3+failed on 4th rep
Pins were ~4-5 cm off my chest which is lower than I would like but the next height up is too high so I’ll do this height this for this cycle and then use the higher pins again later in year
B, seated cable row, neutral grip handle, 4*10-12: 39*13, 45*12, 52*12, 52*12
My grip finds it harder than upper back even with a lovely grippy handle…
C, DB overhead press, 3*8-10: 14*8, 16*10,10
D1, curls, 3*10-12, 10kg 10,12,12
D2, cross body triceps extensions, 3*8-12, 10kg *10;10,10
E1, face pulls, 3*10-15 at home
E2, plank, 3*75 secs, at home

This is going to be one of my gym sessions for the next cycle so this week was really just going through it and finding what weights to use and taking it a bit easy as it’s meant to be an easy week.
A, B.., D1, D2 etc means do all of A, then B… then D1 and D2 are done alternating between the two as a superset.

Tuesday, Paddle
conditions weren’t great, lots of flow and gusty wind, so it wasn’t the prettiest session ever, just getting some more miles under my belt.

Wednesday, Gym
I went in the evening so the gym was really busy so I just did what I felt like and there was space to do.
Deadlift 3*3, 120,130,130
Seated row machine, 5*8
Weighted press ups (25kg plate on back), 4*10

Thursday, Paddle
45 minutes steady, taking it fairly easy

Friday, Run
5.6km, standard run route along the river, 25 minutes

Saturday, Paddle
I was planning on doing a 10 km time trail, but there was a rowing race on downstream. I didn’t fancy dodging around fours and eights all morning, and as it was low tide so there is only 1500 m of usable river up stream so four minute efforts seemed the most sensible thing to do.

I didn't fancy getting run down by all of these guys...

I didn’t fancy getting run down by all of these guys…

Sunday, Rest

Week 28th November – 4th December
Monday, Gym
A, bench press from pins, 5*5,lowest pins: 60,80, 90,95,95,100,100 (just)
B, seated cable row, neutral grip handle, 4*10-12: 39*10 52*12,12,12
C, DB overhead press, 3*8-10: 18*10,9,7
D1, curls, 3*10-12, 12kg 12,12,12
D2, cross body triceps extensions, 3*8-12, 12kg *9,9,9 tiny tweaks in arm position make a big difference to which bit of muscle works and how hard the exercise is,so weight is irrelevant really, it’s just useful to remember roughly what weight I need next week
E1, face pulls, 3*10-15
E2, plank, 3*75 secs

a.m. paddle

10 km time trial (actually 10.24 km) 49:20. PB on this course.
I paddled at 8 and it was still pretty cold, the car said -4 I arrived and it was still -2 when I was leaving. Also, it was low tide which is generally not so nice and I felt stiff and the water felt thick but you don’t always feel good. The last (only) time I did this course on October 3rd I did 50:30, so I’m happy with improving while feeling slow.

p.m run, just a gentle one, 23 minutes

Wednesday, Gym
I went to Berlin for a weekend (Thursday – Sunday) so wasn’t going to be training for a few days, so I did a full body session. I should have done more but I ran out of time… bad planning.
Squat, 70*6,80*6,85*6,6
Bench press, 90*8,8 95*8,6
Chin ups, 10,5,6,5

Thursday (1st December), paddle
6-1-6 managed to squeeze a paddle in before going away.

Friday & Saturday
No training

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