Going for 55K: Week 13

Going for 55K week 13 intense workouts

This week the government decided to prematurely close all schools and prolong the Chinese New Year Holiday due to a rather serious outbreak of the flu. This kind of threw my planned training off track and I had to do some ad-hoc changes. Now I have a 7-year old at home craving to be entertained until the 26 February and my wife is away on a business trip, you know, life.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be great, just a bit more planning to get the necessary kilometres in. This particular week, however, didn’t get much distance but two effective HIIT sessions and one speed run on the treadmill so I think it will all work out in the end.

The week in numbers

Total distance: 21.4 kilometres (13.3 miles)
Total elevation gained: 287 metres (941.6 feet)

Breakdown of the week

Monday – Strength training

Continuing on the push/pull/leg setup from earlier, this Monday had back and biceps on the menu.

Deadlifts 4 x 5
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Barbell row 3 x 5
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Lats pull-downs 3 x 10
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Seated cable row 3 x 10
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Face pulls 3 x 10
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Barbel curls 3 x 10
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Hammer curls 3 x 10
Ab exercise 3 x 20
Rest 30 seconds between each superset

Stretch 15 minutes

Nothing out of the ordinary, but I really feel that the added strength training has given effect and I feel stronger. I still need to figure out how to combine it in a proper way with the running though.

Tuesday – Slope running & Strength training

Combined slope running and leg day is a really good combination. The slope running acts as both lactic acid resistance training and as a good warm-up for the legs.

I ran the slope at my house up and down 5 times. I haven’t really had the courage yet to make 6 times, the finishing uphill run when doing 5 is a real mental battle.

Since the announcement of the schools closing down had just arrived here, I decided that I needed to incorporate some cardio and supersets into this strength training routine so that my heart did some work too. Adding cardio, drop-sets and supersets to your strength routine is a good way to make your workout more intense.

Barbell squats 4 x 5
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Forward lunge x 20 (10 on each leg)
Kettlebell swing 1 minute
Reverse lunge x 20 (10 on each leg)
Kettlebell swing for 1 minute
Rest 60 seconds after superset

Leg extension 3 x 20
Stiff leg deadlifts 3 x 10
Rest 60 seconds between supersets.

Standing calf raises 3 x 20
Ab exercise 3 x 20
Rest 30 seconds between supersets

Stretch 15 minutes

Wednesday – Running

The only proper running session this week. 13.1 kilometres with an average pace of 4:39 per kilometre is good, I’m shaving off seconds on the average on almost every run, which makes me very happy. I need to see if I am able to hold that average for a long run so I need to plan for some long runs now that my wife is back from her business trip.

Thursday – Rest

I gave myself a rest day here. No need to put the training into overdrive, yet.

Friday – Yoga

I could find the motivation for neither running nor strength training so I did yoga for about 30 minutes to the best of my ability. I can not say that I really committed to it, but it felt better than doing nothing.

Saturday – Strength training

Push day!

This time, however, I am trying out a method that makes the workout more intense and I feel a more burning sensation in my muscles when doing it this way. It just feels good you know.

The basic concept is a drop-set, but rather than resting when the set is over you make your normal 3 x 10, but immediately when you’re finished you drop down in weight and complete the next set. The only rest you get is when you change weights! This one is really good!

Reduce the weights so that you can complete ten reps. If you come up short, make use of the rest-pause technique until you hit 10.

For the shoulder exercise, I did not drop weight, I just completed all exercises in one go with the same weight.

Flat bench dumbbell press x 10
Reduce weight
Flat bench dumbbell press x 10
Reduce weight
Flat bench dumbbell press x 10

Rest 60 seconds

Inclined dumbbell press x 10
Reduce weight
Inclined dumbbell press x 10
Reduce weight
Inclined dumbbell press x 10

Rest 60 seconds

Peck deck 3 x 10
Reduce weight
Peck deck 3 x 10
Reduce weight
Peck deck 3 x 10

Rest 60 seconds

Side lateral raises 3 x 10
Forward dumbbell raises 3 x 10
Reverse flyes 3 x 10
Arnold presses 3 x 10
Rest 60 seconds between each superset

Overhead dumbbell extension x 10
Reduce weights
Overhead dumbbell extension x 10
Reduce weights
Overhead dumbbell extension x 10

Rest 60 seconds

Shrugs 3 x 10
Ab exercise 3 x 20
No rest between sets, just complete until finished

Stretch 15 minutes

Sunday – Short run on treadmill & HIIT

Since going out for a run was not an option here I went to the gym and did a 5 kilometre run on the treadmill and switched between speeds and managed to keep an average pace of 4:27 per kilometre. Is it only me, or do you also feel that running on the treadmill is harder and craves a bigger effort than running outside? I can run outside with a pace of 4:36 for 13 kilometres and feel that I am not too exhausted, but then run 5 kilometres on the treadmill not that much faster and having the feeling that I want to lay down on the floor in the fetal position and cry.

After the 5 kilometres on the treadmill I did the following;

1 round of tabata on the rowing machine

Rest for 60 seconds

8 mountain climbers
4 push-ups
1 burpee
Complete this cycle 5 times

Rest for 60 seconds

Clean and jerk x 5

So that was week 13! Even though I did not run for that long of a distance, I added a proper amount of cardio to my strength workout routines so I don’t feel too bad about it. Hopefully, I will be able to go out for a long run next week.

As always you can follow my progress on my Strava profile, and if you’re interested in vegan recipes you should definitely check out my social media pages on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest.

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Take care, and be safe!

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