I hope you are all having a great new year so far! To help me stay motivated and consistent, I have decided to take part in the Gymshark 66 Challenge. I’m not going to lie; I had no clue what this was until this year when I got an email from Gymshark! At first, I simply deleted the email thinking it was spam, but then decided to take a look into it.
The theory is that it takes 66 days in order for something to become habit. The Gymshark 66 is a challenge designed to help you stay consistent and keep your new year’s resolutions. Basically, you make a pledge (or multiple) and then post about your progress at least twice per week on social media. There are then winners announced at the end of the 66 days; these are based on consistency and inspiring others. Along the way there are also weekly challenges with prize rewards. These vary each week, from trying something new or hitting 10,000 steps per day.
I decided to make a few pledges:
- Run 100+ miles per month – I ran my first marathon (London 2018) for charity and it definitely got the better of me. I wasn’t a runner back then and carried a few extra pounds. Now I have a club place to run London 2020 and I want my revenge! I’m running with a club place so I’m feeling the pressure to do well.
- Lower my body fat percentage – before I got married in July 2019, I was starting to build my body confidence. With wedding planning, my honeymoon, and then Christmas, I’ve put some pounds back on which I want to shift.
- Study towards my Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification – I want to get my Level 2 in the bag so that I can push on with my Level 3 Personal Training course. Fitness has changed my life; it gives me a way to push myself and manage my anxiety and depression. I want to inspire and help others to reach their goals and achieve things they didn’t think they could.
- Do a pull up – yup, so I do strength work and cardio, but the one move that I’ve never been able to do is a pull up. Hopefully with some more specific focus I’ll finally be able to say that I can do one!
It’s nice to see the community sharing their pledges and then seeing the progress they make. Everyone is at different stages and has different goals, so it’s a positive environment of people inspiring and encouraging each other.
If you want to follow my progress during the Gymshark 66 Challenge, my personal Instagram account is linked here.
Training… so far so good! The plan is to build up to running 5 times a week and strength training 4 times a week. I’ve eased myself into it this week with 4 runs. I’ve kept them all at a comfortable pace with no speed or hill work.
Moving forward, the plan is as follows:
- Monday – either full body, light weights and higher reps, or legs and shoulders with some core, chest and triceps added
- Tuesday – hills / tempo / intervals
- Wednesday – recovery run with a back and biceps session either before or after
- Thursday – usually a comfortably paced club run of between 4-6 miles
- Friday – core strengthening, maybe some Yoga / stretching and foam rolling for recovery
- Saturday – comfortably paced Parkrun (where possible, otherwise 3-4 miles on the treadmill) followed by an upper body strength session
- Sunday – comfortably paced long run of the week, progressively getting longer each week but with a cut back week every 3 or 4 weeks for recovery
The strength sessions aren’t set in stone as I may have to juggle them about due to time constraints or if I get severe DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). I’m trying to find a routine where I can train legs without interfering with my running, so I may have to switch my leg to Friday as Saturday is an easier paced run. The reason that it’s on a Monday at the minute is because I also want to train chest, shoulders and triceps, and I don’t want to train them two days in a row like I would be if I went with Friday and Saturday.
Depending how my legs adjust (I’ve skipped leg day for a long time until this week!), I may try doing my strength work on the Wednesday followed with a recovery run and then trying to take it as easy as possible on the Thursday at club.
Basically, my training plan is still a work in progress! I need to find what works for me and also let my body adjust to the new training plan. As long as I’m consistent, I don’t mind having to mix up the days or lower the intensity of a session to allow me to recover.
At the minute, I don’t have any training races booked. The only 2 events I have booked for 2020 so far are the London Marathon and the Liverpool Marathon. I’m currently building up my base mileage and getting used to adding more strength sessions into my plan.
I’m looking at entering the Warwick Half Marathon on March 1st; it’s a club Grand Prix event, and I could do with testing my fitness before attempting the London Marathon again. Fitting races around a big event can be tough as I don’t want to overdo it. Racing hard leads to longer recovery times, which can be a negative when I need to get miles in my legs. It’s also tough when you really want to get a personal best in the half marathon, but haven’t really been training at the pace required. We’ll see what happens, but the plan is to go for Warwick as my first paid event of 2020.