31 Day Challenge – Day 13 (Andrew)

As a challenge, I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Thirteen

Day thirteen – unlucky for some but, for me, a chance to run from another office and brave the hardest challenge for any runner: the lunchtime shower. Our shower is particularly challenging as it blasts water with all the force of a shot-putter with no arms. There is so little pressure the water almost drips up to the ceiling rather than down to the floor. If it was a waterfall it would be a cliff. A very dry cliff.

When running at lunchtime I have to factor in the fact I will have all the benefit of shower gel blasted with a hair dryer unless I get back in time to let the shower run for a couple of minutes. Although it’s only a few minutes it does make my run faster so that I know I won’t be returning to my desk unwashed and looking like I’ve been rubbed down by sandpaper. Oh, for a proper shower!

How was it? You may notice, about three quarters of the way round, I suddenly veer north east. I wasn’t lost. I knew where I was going. I just wasn’t going in the right direction to get there… However, it did fit in with the spirit of the run which was to try and explore some new areas around the office and the challenge to try and work out where I was kept me from thinking about whether I was tired. So, top tip, if you want to avoid fatigue, just get lost and you’ll be to busy trying to work out where you are to think of anything else.

31 Day Challenge – Day 12 (Andrew)

As a challenge, I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Twelve

I had a good night’s sleep and still woke sluggish and stiff limbed. I’d thought I would run again today but settled instead on an indoor session on the bike. I would have loved a swim to stretch out but, being back at work, I need to plan any swim with going to my office as I don’t have time to swim and work from home.

How was it? I thought it would be a big of a slog but once I’d warmed up, it was straightforward.

31 Day Challenge – Day 11 (Andrew)

As a challenge, I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Eleven

I was planning to run after work (see yesterday) but good weather trumps good intentions. A flash of blue sky and the promise of a run that didn’t require five layers and a rescue team on standby meant a lunchtime run instead. As I ran, I started thinking about whether a challenge like this should have minimum distances or times each day. I’ve just been running, cycling and swimming the same as I would any other day, without thinking about whether I needed to do more or do less to make 31 days more manageable. At the moment, without thinking about it, I’ve roughly followed a:

Run – 5 miles

Cycle – 45 minutes plus indoors and 1 hour plus outdoors

Swim – 1 km

I’m not sure these should be minimums as they all involve around an hour a day, when including travel to pool or getting changed and showered after running or cycling. For the moment, I’ll just keep doing what I feel each day, but I think I will look at this again at the end and think about whether the challenge is to do something each day for 31 days or whether it is to do a minimum of something instead.

How was it? Great to run in dry conditions and not be jumped on by a ninja shower or have to plough through mud or ice. Right calf was tight towards the end but otherwise I felt fresh.

31 Day Challenge – Day 10 (Andrew)

As a challenge, I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Ten

I have a theory that if I do something first thing in the morning and then wait until evening the next day before doing anything else then that’s the equivalent of a rest day as more than 30 hours pass between activities. I’m not claiming that there is any science behind this theory (because there isn’t) but it does provide a nice cheat to this challenge as I swam first thing and I’m not planning to do anything else until tomorrow night.

How was it? Legs were heavy after yesterday’s eight-mile run and I was a bit lethargic. If I’d waited until later in the day I’d have struggled for motivation but, by swimming first thing before work, I completed today’s challenge before I’d really even thought about it.

31 Day Challenge – Day 9 (Andrew)

As a challenge I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Nine

I had no plan going into this other than I would run, bike or swim every day. I didn’t plan how I would chose what to do, or a routine I would follow. Instead, I would decide day by day what I was doing depending on time, weather and location (work or home). Except that is for today as I’d already booked a place on the Glasgow Triathlon Club’s ‘Rugged Run’ around Chatelherault in Hamilton. That meant today I didn’t have to think about anything. I just went to the run as booked, did it and came home. It required no thinking, not that there’s much thinking in a challenge like this but anything that cuts down the amount of time required is a good thing – like former US President Barack Obama only having two colours of suit and two colours of shirt, so that he didn’t have to think about what he was going to wear. He just picked a suit and a shirt and got on with the important job of deciding whether he was going to run, bike or swim that day (or whatever other much more important things he was doing).

In future, if I was doing a challenge like this again I think I would plan more days in advance rather than do it day by day as I suspect day by day is what for US President Donald Trump would do…

How was it? Mud, mud, glorious mud. The park can get very muddy after heavy rains and with the last few days being particularly wet I almost brought my wellys to run in. I should also have brought ice skates for the car park. Anything but trainers… however a few sticky spots meant a slow run and a gentle end to the week.

31 Day Challenge – Day 8 (Andrew)

As a challenge I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Eight

After yesterday’s slump, today felt much better and was only spoiled by a common problem of running in Glasgow in January: ninja showers. It doesn’t matter if the sky is blue and the forecast is for a draught, in Glasgow, in January a shower can appear out of nowhere. Today was damp so a shower was not completely unexpected, I thought I had timed my run to miss it. However, if dodging showers was a game of Russian roulette then you have to always assume that there are five bullets in the gun instead of one and that chances are you are going to get wet. Why did I not attempt the challenge in June?!? I got soaked.

How was it? Felt strong again.

31 Day Challenge – Day 7 (Andrew)

As a challenge I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Seven

For the last three years I’ve been working towards a long distance triathlon in the summer. Challenge Roth in 2019 and Celtman in 2020 and 2021. I’d normally start the year by following a rough training guide from Tuesday to Sunday with a rest day on Monday. I’d always have one day off a week. So, as this is day seven, this should be my rest day – and I think my body thought so too. I woke up tired, I had no motivation to do anything and my original plan to swim in the morning was scuppered by a heavy snow shower overnight which made driving dangerous until the roads were clear. Instead, I avoid doing anything until work was done and then jumped on the bike for a second day of riding. Tomorrow, hopefully, my brain will think I’m back at day one and will just assume I had a rest day today. Where’s Derren Brown when you need him to brainwash you?

How was it? Found the easiest training plan on Zwift and then the best that can be said is that I did it.

31 Day Challenge – Day 6 (Andrew)

As a challenge I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Six

If yesterday was an example of how to fit the challenge around working in the office, today was an example of how to fit it in around working from home. I have a bike set up behind to my computer and, when running short on time, it’s great to be able to use my lunch to go straight from ‘office’ to ‘gym’ just by turning around. Today was my daughter’s first birthday so as well as work there’s a party to have and sweets to eat so the challenge had to take place before I ate too much of the party cake!

How was it? I like to use the training programmes in Zwift to provide a bit of structure. My favourites are the ones which have short fast bursts followed by long easy stretches. The fast sections don’t seem too bad when you immediately have an easy section after it.

31 Day Challenge – Day 5 (Andrew)

As a challenge I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Five

Back to work today and a chance to swim before going to the office. One good thing about lockdown is that when I do need to go to the office I know it’s easy to get parking nearby as the city centre is empty, which also makes it easy to drive to a swimming pool first and then start work as there’s no traffic either. On pre-lockdown days I would never drive as it would take longer to get to the office than it would to jump on the train. Lockdown has been a big help for swimming – well, except for the 12 months when the pools were closed. But, apart from that…

How was it? I’ve been swimming 2 – 3 times a week for the last month and today felt like a breakthrough as I wasn’t lap counting to try and hit a target, just enjoying the swim while I aimed to hit 1k.

31 Day Challenge – Day 4 (Andrew)

As a challenge I’m going to run, bike or swim every day in January.

Day Four

I haven’t changed any settings but, when I start an activity on my Garmin watch, it suggests a training run. Today, it suggested 7 x 10 second sprints over 44 minutes. Given I’ve got 31 days I thought I might as introduce an element of surprise to the challenge and I do whatever my watch tells my to do. So, seven 10 second sprints it was. Three minutes of running then beep, beep, sprint. Normally, I only spring in Glasgow when I realise I’ve run down the wrong alley.

How was it? One of those nights where it’s cold enough that it’s impossible to sweat but not cold enough to have to worry about patches of ice on the pavement. I love running in these conditions so it felt easy to be out today.