Last weekend I decided I wanted a bit of a different training session. Having never climbed Pen y Fan in South Wales, I thought, why not.
However, like anything, I wanted to make it a little more interesting / exciting / different / harder.
So, after a 3.30am start on Monday morning, we (my brother, his girlfriend and me) arrived at the bottom, in absolute darkness.
After 10 minutes of scrambling to try and find the start of the route (whilst avoiding the wild horses) it was time to make this 886m peak (2906 feet) a little higher and certainly more of a challenge.
Enter the altitude mask provided by Training Mask.
It was a little eery hearing the sound of my own breath in absolute silence but once I found my stride and the right positioning of my phone torch whilst running I got into a good rhythm.
The lungs were working well and seemed really comfortable. The tricky terrain in the darkness was hard on the calves though. They started to tighten up on the steep bits and I have to admit to having to slow to a power walk in parts.
After around 40 minutes and a few photos taken on the way up, I reached the top with 30 minutes to spare before sunrise. Huge apologies to the couple who were having a romantic cup of tea at the top to hear only the sound of what I can only describe as Bane / Darth Vader running for his life. I hope I didn’t ruin your selfie…
So, I managed to turn the 886m peak into roughly 3,600 metres (11,906ft). It was a good session to start the week and I’ll be working this run into my training on an on-going basis. The sunrise is pretty incredible up there!
The rest of the week was made up of high-intensity training sessions in the gym and at home. I’ve started to change the order of different exercises to see how my body reacts.
Note to self; Don’t perform 200 squats straight after a 10 mile cycle and a 4 mile run.
Come Thursday, I was feeling good. Mentally, I was in a good place and ready to up the weight on certain exercises to see how much I could shift in an hour…
After chatting with a few mates I’ve trained with over the years, it was decided I try throwing in some Deadlifts and Bent-Over-Rows in between press-ups, squats and sit-ups. It seemed wise, as out of all the exercises I have to complete (other than rowing), my back should be pretty fresh after a long cycle.
In one hour I managed;
- 10-mile cycle
- 15 tonnes of weight shifted
- 100 squats
- 100 sit-ups
- 50 press-ups
- 2-mile run
So after this, I was feeling really good. So good, I thought I’d try and do one of my ‘burnout’ exercises to finish the session.
5 sets of 10 pull-ups with your legs horizontal was not a good idea. I ended up pulling a muscle in my lower back, causing me to walk weirdly, sit down like an old man and having to roll out of bed every morning since.
This week will be a tough one not being able to train properly, so if anyone knows a good physio in South Wales that wants to become part of the 24hrs4cf journey, feel free to get in touch!