OK, if you haven’t noticed (haven’t read my blog, Tweets or Facebook) then you may not realise that I spent Sunday 22nd February running laps in order to complete my first ultra. That’s ultra-marathon, more than 26.2 miles and yes these distances can be run in locations other than London.
This meant my focus was to survive that, not mess with my routine and get to the start in one piece without any extra niggles. This meant I postponed completion of the 40 days of fitness challenges.
Here’s a quick update though:
Saturday 21st February â€“ 3 minute (#SaturdayChallenge) (actually done on Wednesday)
How many of each exercise can you do for 1 minute each? .
Jump squats: 21
Star jumps: 25
Sit ups: 16
Â Sunday 22nd February â€“ Rest day
Lee: Rest days are often overlooked, but it is important to incorporate them into your routine. Rest days allow your muscles chance to repair and grow. Without rest days you are at risk of overtraining, but this doesnâ€™t mean you get to veg out all day! Keep moving at a low intensity and ensure youâ€™re still eating healthily.
Try this great Thai Red Curry as a delicious alternative to Sunday roast (switch the chicken with tofu for a vegetarian option):
500g (1lb 2oz) skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, bashed with a rolling pin
2tsp grated fresh ginger
200ml coconut milk
1 chicken stock cube, dissolved in 150ml (Â¼ pint) hot water
2tbsp Thai red curry paste
1tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Cook the chicken, garlic and onion for 5 minutes, add all other ingredients, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the lemongrass from the sauce and serve with rice or noodles.
Ha ha ha rest day my assâ€¦. I ran 29.7 miles in 6:13:55, that’s an ultra marathon don’t you know!? We went home and went to the local curry house, it was awesome! Not saying the Thai Red Curry recipe above doesn’t sound tasty but there was no way I was cooking on Sunday night.
Monday 23rd February â€“ Tricep Dips
Lee: Whilst you might think that getting up early and hitting the gym is good for you, if it means that youâ€™re missing out on valuable sleep, youâ€™re probably doing more harm than good.
3 sets of tricep dips with 60 second rest in between
â€‹Beginner â€‹- 10 with legs bent (actually done on Wednesday)
â€‹Intermediate â€‹- 10 with legs straight
â€‹Expert â€‹â€‹- 20 with legs straight
Tuesday 24th February â€“ Ingredient of the week: Substitute milk
Courtney: Dairy can be difficult for many people to digest. It can cause gas and bloating, and unless you eliminate it for a significant period of time you won’t know if it is the source of your discomfort. Unsweetened versions of milk alternatives also tend to have less calories, one cup of almond milk has around 30 calories, whilst skimmed milk has 90. Despite the reduction in calories, dairy alternatives often have similar percentages of vitamins and minerals.
Courtney suggests using coconut milk instead of eggs to fry up your French toast. You could also try coconut or rice milk in a smoothie, which gives your drink the consistency of a milkshake, helping you to feel fuller for longer.
Coconut milk & coconut water protein shakes are the way forward. If you are really hungry or need to remain full (because you are going to be stuck in a 3 hour meeting), then mix your protein powder with coconut milk. It is thick, creamy and will fill you up for ages. After something a bit lighter, perhaps for post exercise recovery then go for coconut water. Lighter, less heavy but the natural electrolytes will help rehydrate and rebalance your post-gym sweatiness!
Wednesday 25th February â€“ 25 minutes
You did a really great job last week, now travel a little further for an extra five minutes. If youâ€™re lacking in motivation, create a playlist of your favourite feel-good songs to listen to whilst youâ€™re out and about.
â€‹Beginner â€‹- Walk
â€‹Intermediate â€‹- Jog
â€‹Expert â€‹â€‹- Run
It’s been Fasnacht in Basel this week, my hotel is just off the parade route and there was nowhere to run (it was a mission just to get into the supermarket on Tuesday night), so I did 3.12km in 25 minutes on the elliptical trainer in the gym at lunchtime. This isn’t cheating this is being creative and balancing exercise with the nightmares that life throws at us!
Thursday 26th February â€“ 3 sets of squats with 60 second rest in between
If you feel like your workout doesnâ€™t challenge you, make an appointment with a personal trainer or join a class. Youâ€™ll get some great feedback on proper form and inspiration as to some new moves you can incorporate into your own workout.
Weâ€™ve increased your reps this week, you can do these during the adverts of your favourite TV show!
Beginner – 20
Intermediate – 30
Expert – 40
Intermediate levelâ€¦90 squats done.
So there we have it, a bit of a consolidated post but at least we are all caught up before I need to plank tomorrow!