Friday, April 19, 2013

Hell and Back Apollo, update and training plan.

So it's 8 weeks until the big day! That is plenty of time to plan and put in the time and effort that'll be needed to make it through the course! The best thing to do is to realistically assess where you are fitness wise. I think a lot of people actually underestimate their fitness and tend to remain in a pretty stagnant fitness routine as a result. I am definitely a culprit of this! Pushing yourself to the limits is pretty uncomfortable and it's much more enjoyable running at a comfortable pace than at say, a race pace. This is something I've been trying to be conscious of recently and hopefully the added bit of effort will pay off dividends!

On a completely hypocritical note, I haven't been able to do a whole lot this week due to my final year college assignments being due in soon and well... a hangover. I'm not one to usually drink midweek but it happend and I paid the price! What I like to do before I go on a night out is get a good run in beforehand so I feel pretty good the whole night and the temptation to eat my face off with greasy burgers and chips is decreased!

This Weeks Tips


My absolute essential tip this week is to buy a decent pair of runners! I can't stress this enough, it really is a crucial element to running comfortably and reducing your risk of injury. I bought a brilliant pair of Asics last summer and they really have had their day! They're even ripped at the sides and they're causing some rather unpleasant side effects because of their wear and tear! I need runners with a support so I'll be looking for a pair specifically for my foot type. I recommend heading to an Elverys or any other running store to get a gait analysis done, it's maybe not for everyone but it was a life saver for me! I kept getting persistent blisters on my right foot and it was due to the wrong runners with not enough support, when I got a pair that was suited to my foot all my problems went away instantly. So with all this in mind I'll be popping into the city centre tomorrow on a mission to get a new pair. I want a pair of Nike ones I think, one because they do excellent running shoes and two because they're damn nice looking! Asics are pretty hideous in my opinion, kinda like having an ugly kid but loving it anyway.

Interval Training

Interval training might be the magic ingredient to push you over that Hell and Back finish line with a time you never imagined seeing! I love it because it's an amazing way to improve strength and performance and it gets your body used to working at a very high rate. Yes, it's difficult but because it's usually in 400-600 metres bursts it's not unbearable. Interval training is good preparation for racing as it tests the same mental and physical barriers that you inevitably face while racing! I could go on and on about interval training but here's an excellent article by the Irish Times all about it and how you can incorporate it into your routine! Do it, you won't regret it! On the treadmill it's easy enough to do this as you can track your pace and distance but what I do when I'm on the roads is I pick a point in the distance like a bus stop or a tree and I run as fast as I can to it and then go back down to my normal pace. Do this 4-5 times when you're running and you'll be flying!

Training Plan

I'm not one for sticking to a specific training plan and kinda prefer to stick with telling myself that I'll work out and run a certain amount of times a week instead. So that way if I'm not in the mood or still feeling the effects of the previous workout I can always have a rest day without deviating from a set plan! I'm the type of person who gets annoyed at myself if I say I'll do something and then don't so it's best to keep it this way! Here's what I usually do in a week! :

Main objective is usually run 4 times a week and strength train 3 times a week.

Beginning of week (Sunday or Monday) -

  • Run 10km on road.

Midweek (Monday and/or Tuesday and/or Wednesday) - 2 days

  • Run 6-7km on treadmill and weight session.
  • Interval training for 5km on treadmill (hill and speed work), weight session.

End of week (Thursday or Friday or Saturday)

  • 5km at race pace on treadmill and weight session.

I'm hoping to increase the 10km to 15km soon enough and would like to increase the 5kms to 6-7kms. I'll see how things go! Every time before I workout I assess how I feel, if my arms or legs are sore, if I'm feeling tired or any number of things that can make working out hard pretty difficult. Like I said in my last post it's important to listen to your body and sculpt your workout to your needs so you don't over do it. But when everything is working in harmony it's time to push yourself! My main woman and fellow Hell and Back blogger Jen Conroy explains her very own 8 week training plan in her blog post here! Check it out!

What I Did This Week

  • 10km on road


  • 10 mins warm up on cross trainer
  • 5km at race pace (12km/13km) 
  • 3 sets of 12 squats with 12.5kg bar
  • 3 sets of 20 push ups
  • 3 sets of 10 tricep dips on bench
  • 3 sets of 30 mountain climbers ((legs to chestx2, legs to opposite sidex2, legs to elbowsx2)x5)
  • 3 sets of 20 lunges
  • Various core work


  • 10 mins warm up on cross trainer
  • 5km on treadmill
  • 10km on bike
  • Assisted tricep dips and chins 
  • Various dumbbell exercises
  • Core work

I'll hopefully get a workout in on Saturday and Sunday too but time will tell!

That's all for now folks! Any questions or comments write them down below and I'll get back to you! Or ask them on twitter here, don't forget to follow me! 


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