Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Training for Hell and Back Titan

Just under 3 weeks until race day. Dun-dun-duuuuun.

Apologies for not having blogged last week, I have been stressed up to my eye balls with relocating to Belfast, I forgot how hard it is to find somewhere to live that doesn't cost a limb! And I really need my limbs to run and jump and stuff, they come in handy. This blog post is basically going over the exact training I've been doing for the race and the rational behind it! I've been focusing on a different set of muscle groups every time I go to the gym, so at the moment I'm on a 3-4 day split. A work out split is simply when you split up your workouts so that different parts of your body are worked out during different training sessions. Here's a good article explaining it all in more detail and why it is beneficial to do so. 

On top of this I'm trying to run 3-4 times a week. My issue with trying to run while maintaining a proper split is that I have to make sure I have ran my long run before I focus on my legs in the gym because otherwise I tend to not be able to run as well. I think this is a dilemma for many people who run and weight train. Well okay no it's probably more my problem because I'm highly unorganised. If I want to run and I feel like running, I'll run. Then and only then will I do a leg day, safe in the knowledge that I have my long run out of the way. Not the most streamlined form of training but it works for me! This just means that I usually do a lot of arm, back and ab work in the gym at the beginning of the week and then as the week progresses I'll do a long run and then do a leg day towards the end of the week. Most people don't need or want to train in a gym but I love weight training far too much to not incorporate it into my running routine. In fact, I'd say I'm more fitting running into my weight routine at this point. 

If I have a baby this is what it's gonna look like in my womb.
Disclaimer: I am not actually pregnant... and this is
not my womb

Herding sheep is the best
exercise one can do
In the gym I am lifting heavy and mixing the rep ranges up to keep the body guessing. I mostly superset all my exercises. It means I exhaust my muscles quicker and more effectively and I'm out of the gym sooner. Using supersets when strength training is when you complete two different exercises one after the other without any rest in between. It is such a valuable tool when training for something like the Hell and Back because you're utilising your time in the best possible way while gaining muscle and getting a good cardio session in at the same time! I don't superset when doing compound (bench press, deadlift, squat) exercises as you want to have your full strength when performing these exercises. I tend to start my routine with a ten minute warm up, then one of the three main compound lifts depending on what muscles I want to train that day and then after that I'll do a few supersets and then I'm out. On top of this I'm trying to run 3-4 times a week. One long run (10-15km), two 5kms and one hill/trail run. I usually do the 5kms on the treadmill cos I just prefer to get it out of the way there and I like that I can put up the speed, not everyones cup of tea but again, it works for me! 

I touched in my last blog series about hill running and how important it is for Hell and Back due to the sheer amount of incline there is constantly. For the last race I didn't do half enough hill work and this time I'm making sure I don't make the same mistake. I will never ever forget running up the sugar loaf, it just never ended and I was angry with myself for not putting in more time with hills because I knew it wouldn't have been half as bad otherwise! I'm not going overboard with it though, just once a week I go out to the forest trails and run up and down the steeps hills until my legs feel like they're on fire. So I highly highly recommend in the time that's left before the race, if you haven't already, get out and run up some hills! 

In my last post I talked about how I'm trying to raise money for the charity SOSAD and I'm delighted to say as of today I have raised €227.09! Still a good bit to go but I have every hope I'll make my goal of €500! I would really appreciate all the help I could get as it really is an amazing charity and I would love to do my very best for them!  The link to my charity page is down below and every euro helps, thank you!    

Me with my SOSAD tshirt they
very generously sent out to me

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