I’ve done four solid weeks of the JTF2 pre-selection fitness manual and it was exhausting. It’s basically a heavy duty short distance triathlon training plan. Sub out some runs or marches for some bikes and voila… a triathlon manual with some weights. I’ve mainly stuck to the manual’s prescription. Week one was a fitness check and in week six it’s a rest week and evaluation week. As demanding as it has been my body has adapted and the volume of training doesn’t seem new anymore. In the beginning I was tired a fair bit and noticed that my recoveries took a long time. As the training progressed my recovery got shorter and my energy level started to increase and handle the new workload I put it under. Psychologically there was also an adjustment. Two-a-days aren’t easy and that is definitely true in this case when there will often be an 8k run in the morning followed by some plyometrics, sprint sets and a full upper body circuit in the afternoon. By the end of the four weeks I was feeling pretty burnt out and was physically and mentally looking for a break. Since this is week six I get a bit of a rest and a chance to see my progress. Well without further adieu here’s the progress I’ve made:
- 2,400m run went from 10:33 to 9:55 – quicker by almost 40 seconds.
- Push-ups went from being able to do 60 to 80.
- Chin-ups went from being able to do 20 to 23.
- Pull-ups (undergrip) went from being able to do 13 to 23.
- Long Jump went from 221cm to 230cm.
- Two Jump went from 437cm to 440 cm.
- Vertical Jump went from 54cm to 63cm.
- Sit ups (no support and situp from floor to elbows touching knees) went from 35 to 45.
- Bench press on the machine went from 15 to 33 reps at 100lbs.
- 400m run went from 1:16 to 1:12.
As I get older, now almost 32… yes that’s still young, I know that I am nowhere near the shape I used to be in when I was 20. It’s depressing a little and a sign that tomorrow is becoming today. It’s unavoidable but I’d like to hold on to youth for as long as I can. In doing that I believe that an active lifestyle is key. So with a month long of serious training I was able to make some serious strides. To say that I do 80 push-ups is something that I’m proud again of and hope to take that to 100 with the next training phase starting Monday. More than doubling my bench press was a huge improvement. My vertical jump increased by 10cm and should help out the next time I try to do a standing back flip which I would like to be able to do again. My 2,400m run was also a big improvement shaving 40 seconds off, 6% is a pretty large gain.
The area’s that I’d like to improve on are my long jumps, 400m runs, pull-ups and sit-ups. They are going to take a lot more concentration in the speed and power areas of training however those are also the riskiest areas as they are the areas where injuries are most likely to occur. Train smart will have to be the motto. An injury can derail everything.
One area that isn’t measured in the check is swimming. Although there isn’t a prescribed measurement I noticed that I was able to swim about 200m before taking a short break to being able to swim 600m continuous without taking a break. I used the workouts from Triathlete’s Swim First which is written by thewaterbloggedtriathlete.com for the days that only a distance is prescribed rather than different strokes. That book has helped out my stroke and technique in major ways.
Nutrition is another area that I had to get serious about. If I was going to take on that kind of workload then I would have to fuel properly. That mean grabbing a light bite before the am workouts… which start at 5am and also making sure that I get in enough calories during the day. In addition to more food it had to include lots of fruit and vegetables.
I’m glad that I started the plan and look forward to the next cycle and to see where I can take my fitness to. As I said earlier tomorrow is becoming today and it’s happening quick. Take charge of what you want and make it happen.