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Hi all!

I was originally going to skip this challenge as I have other things going on in life that are taking priority this month. However, I've since changed my mind so here I am, albeit a couple of days late. My goals this month are on the modest to take into account the lack of time and I'm going to backdate to count January 31 as the start for the purposes of counting things I want to do at least X times per week.

Fitness Goals:

1) Swim, bike and run at least once each per week

I have a couple of running/triathlon races in the next month or two and it's time to get back to more specific training.

2) Spend at least 3 hours per week working on flexibility

I started working on this last month and was disappointed with the apparent lack of progress. Hope to see results from continued work this month.

3) Get to level 15 in OMFG -- edit: DONE!! new goal: level 20

I've not yet spent much time figuring out OMFG but I'm looking forward to having some fun with this. I briefly looked at some of the different skills and I think I can get to level 3 in a number of them so I'll test a bunch of my skills over the course of the month.

Life Goal:

4) Improve sleep habits: get out of bed before 7.30 AM at least 80% of the time during the last two weeks of this challenge.

I'm usually up till at least 3 AM and usually sleep till 10 or 11 AM. I expect it will take me a few days to a week to get into a new routine but the long term goal is to consistently get up at 7 AM every day.

Edited by mark

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February 4 update:

Went swimming today for the first time for the year. Very easy session, swam 1k in total over probably about 20 minutes. I'd forgotten what that chlorinated hair feeling was like...

Also, from earlier this week I've done an hour accumulated stretching and a short, hard, interval run: 5 min easy warm up, 4 min hard, 30 sec easy, 2 min hard, 3 min easy, 2 min hard, 30 sec easy, 4 min hard, 5 min easy cool down.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week one - swim 1, bike 0, run 1

2) Flexibility: week one - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: nothing yet

4) Sleep: last night was bad (slept ~4-12), the next two days I have to be up at 7 AM which will help reset my body clock

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February 5 update:

Rest day today as I'm running a 5k tomorrow. Had an ice skating lesson for an hour this morning and spent an hour stretching later in the afternoon. Sleep was good last night. Got up at 6 AM for my skating lesson and will be up early for the 5k tomorrow. Monday will be where it will get more difficult as I don't have anything that I have to be up at a certain time for.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week one - swim 1, bike 0, run 1

2) Flexibility: week one - 2 hours stretching

3) OMFG: nothing yet

4) Sleep: 12-6AM

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February 6 update:

5km race in the morning. Ran 23:42 and happy with how it went. I have run only once in the last three weeks, although a good amount of other activities, so I wasn't sure how I would go on the run. Plan was to run 5 min/km for the first 3 and then see how I was feeling. The plan lasted less than 30 seconds as I felt great running 4:30/km so just went with it. Felt great through halfway but the last couple of kms were tough. Managed to maintain fairly constant pace throughout.

30 minutes stretching after the race. Played a futsal match in the afternoon.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week one - swim 1, bike 0, run 2

2) Flexibility: week one - 2.5 hours stretching

3) OMFG: nothing yet

4) Sleep: 11.15 - 6.15

February 7 update:

Was exhausted last night and went to bed really early. Still managed to oversleep though :( Didn't matter so much today as I was skipping uni for the Superbowl this morning anyway. Half hour stretching while watching the game. Went to a spin class tonight for the first time ever. Really enjoyed it and being used to exercising along the group atmosphere is a nice change.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week two - swim 0, bike 1, run 0

2) Flexibility: week two - 0.5 hours stretching

3) OMFG: nothing yet

4) Sleep: 10 - 9.30 -> oversleep

Edited by mark
typo

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February 8 update:

Slept late again today. I seem to always come against the same problem in that my body clock is off. It seems no matter when I go to bed I find it really hard to wake up and function before 10 or 11 AM. Years of 3 or 4 AM nights have this pretty conditioned, I guess I just keep plugging away. If anyone has any experience or suggestions to change this, they would be most welcome.

Strength workout: first time lifting weights in the gym for many months (almost a year!) although I have been doing some bodyweight work. Felt good to get back. Only did easy sets to ease my body back into it, generally light weight/high reps.

Bench press: 10@20kg + 2 x 15@40kg

Pullups to fail: 2

Chinups to fail: 4, 3

Lat pulldown: 15@30kg, 15@40kg

Shoulder press: 2 x 15@20kg

Deadlift: 2 x 6@40 -- didn't do many because I wasn't happy with technique here, need to improve

Squat: 2 x 10@20 -- again technique is an issue

I wasn't happy with technique on the deadlift and squat. Flexibility is the issue. With the deadlift I have trouble getting down low, it feels like I have to round out my back too much. On the squat I have trouble getting down to parallel. I've been working on flexibility a lot in the last couple of weeks and I've noticed it improving fast so I hope it will be there soon.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week two - swim 0, bike 1, run 0

2) Flexibility: week two - 0.5 hours stretching

3) OMFG: nothing yet

4) Sleep: 12 - 10 (see above)

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I know how you feel on changing the sleep habits. I'm an investigator and it requires me to be up before everyone else. Trying to adjust to going to sleep at 8 or 9pm instead of 12 or 1 has been rough.

If you have any particular trick that has worked well for you, I'd love to hear it. Otherwise will just keep on persevering...

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February 9 update:

Sleep was bad again last night. Went to bed about 1 AM but could not sleep even though I was tired. Slept from about 4 till my alarm at 8 but decided to sleep a bit more so up about 10 AM. It was really frustrating, it not something that often happens.

Played Ultimate Frisbee for the first time ever today. It was a lot of fun even through I'm fairly average at throwing the thing. About 2 hours of running/sprinting really took it out of me. Probably not the best thing to do before my futsal game tonight but both went well, although I'm exhausted right now.

Created an OMFG character sheet (link). Level 17! My goal for the month was level 15 so I think I will up it to maybe 20? I added levels based on races and training results in the last 6 months only, I don't really consider any further back valid. I also have a list of things that I need to go and try to see what level I can get or try and improve levels.

Haven't done much flexibility work this week. I've set aside a couple of big chunks of time to work on this, need to make sure I do it tomorrow.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week two - swim 0, bike 1, run 0 (+ strength 1, futsal 1, ultimate 1)

2) Flexibility: week two - 0.5 hours stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (see above)

4) Sleep: 1(4) - 10 (see above)

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Sounds like you're doing great. The only way I have found to reset my sleep schedule is to stay up 24 hours and then go to bed about 12 hours before when I am supposed to be getting up. Obviously you do this on a day you're not working/going to school - and it sucks to be so tired and frazzled for that day, but trust me, after 36 hours you will have no problem going to sleep.

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February 10 update:

Picked up a bit of a cold somewhere so didn't do much today. Had already made plans to run with a friend so still did that but otherwise have done as little as possible. We ran ~7 km in somewhere around 40 minutes.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week two - swim 0, bike 1, run 1 (+ strength 1, futsal 1, ultimate 1)

2) Flexibility: week two - 0.5 hours stretching

3) OMFG: level 17

4) Sleep: 4 - 11.30

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Overdue update...

February 11:

Went to the gym, did a couple of sets of pull ups then the fire alarm went off and we were all evacuated?! Did some pushups and bodyweight squats at home later plus an hour flexibility work.

February 12:

Ice skating/hockey lesson early in the morning. Easy 1km swim around lunch time and 30 minutes stretching.

February 13:

Futsal game in the afternoon.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week two - swim 1, bike 1, run 1 (+ strength 1.5, futsal 2, ultimate 1, ice skating 1)

2) Flexibility: week two - 2 hours stretching

3) OMFG: level 17

4) Sleep: sick last few days - no alarms, lots of sleep, as much as I felt my body needed

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February 14:

Spin class today. Originally planned to do more this evening but a friend of mine arrived back home and we ended up going out to dinner tonight.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week three - swim 0, bike 1, run

2) Flexibility: week three - 0 hours stretching

3) OMFG: level 17

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 0/1 for last two weeks of Feb

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February 15:

Good run after uni with a mate. About 7 or 7.5k in about 41 minutes. Pretty warm today and the pace was a bit above where we should probably be training; we've already agreed to ease up a little next time. 30 minutes stretching in the evening.

Sleep goal, or more accurately the 'getting up before 8 AM' goal, is not going so well. Need to get to bed earlier and practice getting out straight away.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week three - swim 0, bike 1, run 1

2) Flexibility: week three - 0.5 hours stretching

3) OMFG: level 17

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 0/2

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February 16:

1 km swim at lunch, easy swim, mostly freestyle with a couple of other strokes thrown in occasionally. Futsal this evening. Tough game, played the first half a man short. Feeling a slight tweak at the top of left hamstring, need to watch this over the next few days. 30 minutes stretching.

Got up at 7:30 AM. That makes 1 day in a row up before 8 AM; better than no days in a row...

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week three - swim 1, bike 1, run 1 (+ futsal 1)

2) Flexibility: week three - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (nothing new)

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 1/3

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February 17-19:

Not much to add for the last few days. I have a slight tweak is my left hamstring so have just been resting until today when I went to my usual ice skating/hockey lesson. On a positive note I've been out of bed before 8 AM now for four days in a row, which is a big improvement on the first half of this month.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week three - swim 1, bike 1, run 1 (+ futsal 1, ice skating 1)

2) Flexibility: week three - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (nothing new)

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 4/6

Edited by mark

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February 20:

Back at it today. Scored 5 goals during futsal this afternoon (woot!) and then played cricket, or more accurately just practised batting and bowling in the nets with my brother for 45 minutes. First time I've done that in ages and it was great.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week three - swim 1, bike 1, run 1 (+ futsal 2, ice skating 1)

2) Flexibility: week three - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (nothing new)

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 5/7

Edited by mark

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I know virtually NOTHING about any kind of football, but I do know that scoring a goal is a massive deal... so well done you!! Do you have a celebration thing that you do? Pull the shirt over the head or some such?

Nice job getting up early too. I know how hard it is to not ignore your alarm clock, so good on you. :)

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Mark you sir are the man...5 goals, sweet! Can't congratulate you on cricket yet cause I don't get it...lol it'd be like asking my mom about baseball, a trainwreck. Just keep driving hard.

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February 21 and 22:

Two hours futsal training Monday and today a good run with a friend at uni, 6.4 km in 33.5 mins.

Overslept till 10 today for the first time in a while but I was up till 3.30 last night.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week four - swim 0, bike 0, run 1 (+ futsal 1)

2) Flexibility: week four - 0 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (nothing new)

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 6/9

Edited by mark

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February 23:

Futsal game and 60 minutes stretching. Not much to report other than I'm planning to run some time trials over the next couple of days and see if I can level up on OMFG :)

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week four - swim 0, bike 0, run 1 (+ futsal 2)

2) Flexibility: week four - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (nothing new)

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 7/10

Edited by mark

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Nice, almost an 8 minute mile. Doing great man.

Thanks mate! It's funny though because on our last run we were both completely cooked by the end so we made a conscious effort to go easier this time, which we did, and somehow we managed to go slightly faster and both felt much better afterwards.

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February 24:

Run this afternoon: 1600 moderate then 3 x (800m in ~3:30, 800m easy)

Played tennis for an hour and a half tonight too. It was fun but I haven't played in six months and frustrating to be so rusty; I used to play a lot as a junior.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week four - swim 0, bike 0, run 2 (+ futsal 2, tennis 1)

2) Flexibility: week four - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 17 (nothing new)

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 7/11

Edited by mark

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February 25:

Long swim this afternoon: 2km in somewhere around 55 minutes, with a moderate amount of rest at times. Little bit frustrating, I felt sluggish for some reason today but not sure why.

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week four - swim 1, bike 0, run 2 (+ futsal 2, tennis 1)

2) Flexibility: week four - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 18

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 8/12

Edited by mark

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February 26 & 27:

Life caught up with me a bit over the weekend and the last few days, hence this update is a little bit late. I sliced the bottom of my foot on Friday. Nothing serious, just become painful to put pressure on the ball of my left foot. Was going to bike but took Saturday off instead. Ice skating/hockey and futsal on Sunday. I'll post a summary of the challenge results below in a new post

Goals:

1) Swim/bike/run: week four - swim 1, bike 0, run 2 (+ futsal 3, tennis 1, ice skating 1)

2) Flexibility: week four - 1 hour stretching

3) OMFG: level 18

4) Out of bed before 8 AM: 9/14

Edited by mark

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