Grateful for every Mile

I haven’t updated for quite some time, not since the end of my no alcohol challenge which feels like a lifetime ago now. So many things are different since then but somehow still the same.


Certified or Certifiable?

Grateful for the milesI am now a Certified Personal Trainer having successfully completed my Level 3 Exercise Programming and Coaching exam in February. Now I move on to my Level 4 Exercise Referrals course which begins next week, culminating in a practical workshop and exam.  This is followed by an Exercise for Low Back Pain module.


Interestingly I have managed to complete all of these qualifications to date (12 in total) without a return to running. I gave up running when I broke my ankle, not by choice but rather because of a post-operative lack of mobility in my ankle joint. I have a titanium plate with 8-pins in my right ankle, which is a permanent feature now as it no longer causes me any trouble, unless I catch it on the dishwasher door. It’s not just the ankle that caused a dropout from running, as I was beginning to get back into it, I tore the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in my left knee, leaving me without a technically “good leg”. The recovery from that surgery is soul destroying, it requires a very degree of mental toughness, stubbornness and resilience. From initial injury to total recovery, it took two and half years to be entirely pain free. This meant that my return to running was scuppered once again, but I have to take that as a blessing in disguise as it meant I got to meet my own Personal Trainer, Kam.

Kam is a rehab specialist focused on a return to sport. He’s like a steady constant in my life and now a friend having spent more than 200 intense hours together. What I have learnt from him makes me fundamentally a better trainer and trainee. I now need less acupuncture, less massage and less osteopathy which means I am saving thousands of pounds each year, as well as many, many hours of pain. I am, of course, now able to treat many of these ailments myself at first sign of niggle, which pleases me and my masochistic side greatly.

I have subsequently had a full return to fitness with no pain from either leg and they are once again fairly equal in power, strength and recovery. Me being me, the return from injury brings with it new challenges and I will be making a return to both running and cycling, and possibly a return to swimming following a year long hiatus following my insane Channel Swim in the Pool for Aspire in 2016.


Challenge 2018 

Every mile counts The Challenge: My aim is to cycle 13 km three times a week and run 5km twice a week, in addition to current training. I am training alone, training myself and training for the next three months, the goal is to be my fittest ever version of myself.

I do not run or cycle at all currently, my current training is all weight training and kickboxing.

Why? It’s time to walk the talk of Personal Training and demonstrate what is possible, starting from a base fitness level of “return from injury”.  I also want to move to Platinum status on my Vitality account so that I can save more money by reducing my premiums. Additionally, I would like to lose some weight.

Existing obstacles: In the interests of transparency, I need to mention that I also suffer from sciatica,  although this is greatly improved by stretching, using a standing desk, moving more, sitting less and never sitting with my hips below my knees; and a massage ball in the piriformis.

The plan: I will concentrate solely on the fitness for cycling and the preparation for running, all other exercise will be incidental to the above, but will include a maximum of 6 days a week and will consist of:

  • Kickboxing
  • Weight training
  • Swimming
  • Golf


Reporting Progress

Measurements will include:

  • VO2 Max (maximal oxygen consumption) which is a good indicator of aerobic fitness
  • Weight loss per week
  • Calorie consumption vs output
  • Exercises completed
  • Body measurements

Final results post will include:

  • VO2 comparison
  • Overall weight-loss
  • Skinfold measurements (calliper, I cannot use bioelectrical impedance analysis as my medical hardware interferes with the results)
  • Total centimetres lost
  • Lessons learned
  • Three month review
  • Next challenge
  • Tips on how to start
  • Further references
  • Total cost of cycling (additional equipm

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