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  1. This isn't really a Deadpool themed challenge - but all Deadpool gifs and pics are welcome - it's more inspired by his catchphrase in the movie. I’ve been coasting along for the last few challenges, which has been fine, sometimes it’s good to take a step back and relax. I’ve still seen a few improvements in my performance over the past weeks including beating obstacles at races that I've never done before. It got me thinking, if I put more effort in, how awesome could I make myself? So now it’s time to put that extra effort in. I know I can make some noticeable gains in my strength, speed and endurance if I put my head down and get on with it. I'll be running this challenge from week 0 and maybe stretch it over into the next challenge if all goes to plan. In the words of DP Get stronger Finish the Nia Shanks’ “Get Strong!” program This is an 8 week program, I’m in week 4 now and so far it’s been great. The plan is a circuit based bodyweight program involving a variation of a pull-up, push-up, single leg squat, glute bridge and walkout. The main reason I brought the program was to finally do bodyweight chin ups without assistance (and eventually move onto pull ups). The program calls for you to increase the difficulty of each exercise every 2 weeks and in week 1 of this challenge, I’m due to move down to the teeny tiny resistance band. The final resistance band! If all goes well with the x-small band, I should be able to move onto bodyweight chin ups and in theory, I should be able to perform multiple reps. In theory! The plan calls for 4 sets of 5 reps and I must admit, I’m a little skeptical that I’ll be able to complete 5 bodyweight chin ups, let alone 4 sets of them. If I can, great! If not, then I’ll break away from the plan slightly and do as many reps as I can unassisted and then finish up the workout with the resistance band - or possibly half reps or negatives. I haven’t decided yet. tl/dr version; if I can do more than 1 rep of a dead-hang chin up by the end of this challenge, I’ll be a happy bunny Get faster? Or go further? Pfft! I’m a Ranger. I'll do both! Weeks 0 + 1: Run, just run. Week 2 +: Half Marathon training plan I’ve let my running slip recently as I haven’t had any big distance races to train for. To get back into the swing of things, I’ve spent the last few weeks going out for “casual” runs without my running watch. I just wanted to enjoy the run without getting caught up in analyzing every little detail of my run. I’ll continue to do that till week 2 of this challenge but after that, I need to start training for the October half marathon. I wasn’t too happy with the plan I picked for the last half I did (I picked one based on time instead of distance and I think it was meant for people that run faster than I do). I’m switching to a different one that is a 4x a week plan so I’m not expecting this to be easy. All kicks up the ass to get me running will be appreciated “Having a healthy mind is just as important as having a healthy body” I’ve found myself getting quite stressed and anxious recently and I’ve been looking for ways to deal with this. The meditation part of last month’s Ranger mini was a real eye opener for me and since then I’ve tried to do some form of meditation whenever I’ve had the chance or if things start to overwhelm me. The aim will be for me to do some form of meditation or relaxing exercise at least twice a week. I don’t want to make this something that I make myself do daily as that feels counterproductive. If I’m stressing about not getting my meditation done one day that it defeats the purpose of it. The relaxation exercise isn’t limited to meditating. Yoga, colour therapy or sketching in my sketchbook will also count. I have an OCR mid-way through this challenge but it's only a 12k so while I can use it to test my strength gains, the real test will be on August 20th when I have an 18k OCR - which also happens to be my birthday! I'll be running with others who are slower than me but it will still be a test of my endurance and strength over a longer distance.
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