With a dull ache in the legs from last weekends hike I decided to bag all the Coniston Fells in one push. Coniston Hall provided the campsite for the weekend and the sun was in full force.
I was set off from the campsite and this added 3 miles to an already big day out in the hills. The route I decided on took in the Wainwright summits of Weatherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag. The sun played a big part in the day and I was so glad I took a baseball cap with me as I would have burnt to a crisp.
This route is one of my favourites so far in the Lakes and comes highly recommended, I took a slightly different route up to Weatherlam ignoring the guidebook (Walking the Wainwrights) and taking in Kennel Crag which is a very interesting feature to play about on.
Dow Crag and Buck Pike also floated my boat and I will be coming back for a wild camp at either Blind Tarn or the summit of Kennel Crag.
Fitness wise I’m happy with the steady progress I am making and nailed the route in 6 hours dead with plenty to spare in the tank. 16 miles, 4400 feet and 7 Wainwrights, job done.
After reading this book on recommendation of DNF I am willing to give this diet/lifestyle plan a try. It took a few weeks of persuading the missus but I eventually beat her into submission with several medical facts that countered her argument 🙂
Over the last 2 weeks we have been sourcing fresh food from our local butchers, grocers, fish quay in a bid to steer us away from the mass produced foods sold by the supermarkets. We shop online at Tesco’s and have managed to source the remaining bits and bobs from there. The primal blueprint basically eliminates carbs from your diet, its similar to Paleo diet but less intense. We will be trying it out for a month, apparently it tales 3 weeks to reprogram your genes to start burning stored body fat, it’s all very complicated for a person who normally laughs at diet plans, but it boils down to the production of insulin. I wont bore you with the details, more info can be found here.
We have put together a weekly food plan which we will stick to for 4 weeks. We both have different goals, my goal is to increase energy levels and fitness, Leanne is wanting to lose a bit of weight and tone up. Both should be possible the primal Blueprint.
There PB contains 10 laws which you must follow, this shouldnt be a problem as I led quite a healthy lifestyle already, but avoiding poisonous things may prove to be a problem with myself, I have more vices than the average man.
On the fitness front I have been following the Simplefit plan for the last 2 weeks, and its working well, hopefully it will produce over a period of time. Leanne is going to be adopting the new PB Fitness plan which can be tailored to suit even a beginner.
It all starts Monday, we will survive, who knows !!
The month that was July brought about my 31st birthday, I responded the onslaught of age by walking the Yorkshire 3 peaks in a respectable time of 6hrs 16mins.
My car broke down and wiped out my cash for the month, which eventually saw the arrival of my new motor which has brought a smile back to my face. I spent a lot of time reading, so much so that I was going through a book every week fuelled by the easy and cheap supply of books at Amazon. The picture shows some of the books, my favourite so far was minus 148 degrees a true story of the first winter ascent of Denali, mountaineering classic if ever one was wrote. Currently I am reading about the myths and legends surrounding Don Whillans, an amusing read full of eye witness accounts. The Primal Blueprint is a diet/lifestyle book which a friend mentioned around Christmas time, I have never adopted a diet before, me being a lean mean walking machine, but some drops in energy of late means I may well be adopting the 10 point primal lifestyle, possibly more to come on this.
My son passed his National Swimming level and is attending football camp this week so sport and fitness are second nature to him, this is something I always strive for.
I also picked up a new rucksack, the Inov8 Race Pro 30, this is for future lightweight ultra distance hikes I have planned for the future. I have been drawing inspiration from Andrew Skurka on this front who is currently pack rafting around Alaska.
I also adopted a new workout, it’s so simple its hard to believe it would work, but it certainly does, I wont bore anyone with the details, you can check it out here Simplefit.
Train tickets have been booked for the Great Glen Way in October which will see the FC Hikers back in action. Anyway that’s what’s going on with me at the moment.
I have been thinking about my hiking over the winter months and wondered what the next logical step would be to keep myself interested and motivated. Having prepared for the TGO challenge with a 4 day hike of the Wolds Way (80 miles) I am happy that my thru-hiking is going in the right direction. But there is still something missing from my day hikes that I need to address.
I watched a video trailer many months back of a Suunto X10 watch and is showed a hiker bombing along a mountain ridge at almost jogging pace with two poles in hand. Ever since then I have been considering changing my outlook on day hikes to match this new style of hiking. I want to go faster, longer and climb higher and this seems the perfect solution. It may sound sick to some people but I want to push my body up and down hillsides and mountains, really testing myself along the way. I considered trail running and mountain biking but neither struck a cord with me.
Over the winter months I have been quietly getting fitter shedding over a stone, I purposely included an intense workout on a stepper machine 3 times a week to build up strength in my legs.
I have been reading religiously the blog of Andrew Surka from America who has been pushing the boundaries of thru-hiking with his amazing Ultra long / Ultra fast hikes of most of the major trails throughout the world. He has been my inspiration for this change in direction to my hiking.
Poles are another area I have been reading up on to increase the pace of my hikes. I had wanted to buy some Alpkit poles but they are out of stock. So I have decided to buy some cheapo poles from go outdoors to test out before I take the plunge into uber-pricey poles.
Quick navigation is also something I desire so a GPS would be handy. I considered the Navigator 2800 but opted for a less selfish option of a family tent. My mate from www.didnothingfatal.co.uk contacted me today and is sending me a Garmin Foretrex 101 to play with over the summer – what a guy !!! I will make sure it takes me out into the hills each month pushing me harder.
So now all I need is a break in my work cycle to get me out again, its 3 weeks until the TGO and I am hoping to get a long distance hike in before.
Possible targets – Welsh 3000, Y3P, National 3P, Oggie8, Edale Skyline, LWW, the list goes on.
At Christmas I weighed in at 15 1/2 stone, my fitness training started at this time. And included the iron gym, press ups, weights, gym sessions, running and hiking.
I never wanted to lose any weight so it came as a bit of a surprise yesterday when I jumped onto my mothers digital scales and came in a 14st 4lbs.
My other half has been on the slimming world plan and has lost close to a stone. I have been eating my usual junk but ive notve not had to endure food hardship like her. This kind of proves to me that the best way to lose weight is in fact exercise. But I suppose each person has their own agenda on this, it’s what suits you best that matters.
I am considering a few pointers from the primal blueprint that my mate lostme adopted a few months ago, it does make interesting reading but I don’t agree with all the points he makes,
Yesterday I took Pepper jogging along the Seaton beach which came in at just short of 10k. No problems with this at all so I am considering a half marathon being my next logical step.
The irongym has brought great results, this is the strongest I have ever been and I cannot recommend this simple piece of equipment enough.
I have been lacking to say the least in my outdoor activities for the last month. Sometimes its hard to find that balance between hobbies, work, family and keeping a 5 year old happy.
Thomas picked up the school merit award this week so we took him along to Summerhill outdoor center in Hartlepool. The Chinese year of the tiger was being celebrated with plenty of activities for the kids and Tai Chi for the grownups.
Pepper was not allowed in the center so i decided to take her around the 2km trim trail that surrounds the huge grounds on Summerhill. My trainers had stayed in the garage since new year as upper body/core training took precident. The sun shone and Pepper trotted alongside me around the course. I did two laps and stopped at the pull up bar for 10 pull ups to mix it up a bit. Covered in mud i popped Pepper back in the car for a rest and I joined in the activities of Chinese new year.
Lottery funding had meant the event wasnt scrimped on and the staff made the kids feel very welcome, it was quite funny as the adults were taking the dragon making very seriously and after 20 minutes we had made fluffy the chinese dragon.
I also picked up a National cycle network leaflet showing me the routes of the local area, i may get my old Claud Butler out of the garage for a blast when Spring comes around. Keeping intrest in the training will mean i will need to diversify on jogging and gym work.
My better half has also joined slimming world and is on her own little fitness drive, 5 pounds lost in the first week was impressive to say the least. I set up the rowing machine and cross trainer to help her out and tap dancing classes are her favourite way to keep fit.
Next weekend means payday and i fancy a family bimble over to the Lakes to show Pepper some sheep.
Well the Tamiflu course has worked and i am feeling the best I have in years. Lost a stone while I was off sick had to hit the sunbed shop as I looked seriously gaunt and green after the bout of flu.
The gym sessions are paying off in barrels, I do a 2 hour workout devised by a personal trainer. The first hour is cardio and strength training to get me ready for the TGO challenge and also the National 3 peak challenge being organised by Radder on the Walkingforum. The second hour is weights designed to get me ready for rock climbing, mainly forearms, biceps, lats and back.
At home I do a few 30 minute workouts during the day with dumbbells, medicine balls and iron gym. On the iron gym front I am improving everyday with the pull up exercises but i feel a lot of pain in my arms for an hour afterwards, but I guess that means I am getting results.
IanS and myself are just putting dates together for the Cullin Ridge, hopefully we can get this sorted as it is one of my main goals for this year.
I am also planning a summit of Poland’s highest mountain Rysy in September, 2,503 m (8,210 ft). It ties in nicely with my mates stag weekend in Krakow and hopefully I will be able to hook up with Lysagora from the Peaceful Hikers forum. I have put the question to a few of my mates to see if I can lure them into the mountains and hopefully get them interested.
I popped down to the local gym today to sort out my training plan. I have been informed today that they don’t offer personal trainers anymore and have a new computerised system in place called the Wellness Trainer .
I gave the gym manager a list of the key muscle groups I want to target and he will have a plan set up for me on Monday. I am issued with an electronic TGS key which i pop into the main terminal when ik start my workout, this then gives me a my workout plan showing machine info, weights, reps and muscle groups. When I go over to the machine I pop in my TGS key and the machine gives me a message showing the reps and weights etc and it also counts my reps and keeps me to the correct speed and rhythm. My full workout is then stored into the system and it can be reviewed and modified as and when i need to. The price of this £3.50, bargain. I am full of cold today so training starts on Monday.
Target Muscle Groups
- Leg strength
- Core strenght
Afterwards I popped into the sports hall to see our Thomas doing his football training. This is still my favourite part of the week. When I got home there was a Royal Mail delivery card for my Alpkit jacket – these guys have the best customer service bar none !!!
I have just finished reading Epic Stories of survival from the worlds highest peak. The book is a collection of extracts from other books put together by Clint Willis. With stories from the likes of Joe Tasker, Eric Shipton and Greg Child to name a few. It’s a great read and the short stories from each book make for a nonstop action packed read.
It always amazes me how tough these unassuming guys are, they are real men cut from rock face itself and made of sterner stuff than the normal endurance athletes. Some of the hardships they have endured are pretty much as close to death as your are likely ever to read about. I fully recommend this book to anyone with a interest in mountaineering, 9/10.
I have booked in a personal trainer to help me create a gym based training plan to get me ready for rock climbing and build on the mountaineering strength I have already built up. The Iron gym is a killer workout and I am already feeling a lot stronger in the upper body because of it. However this is only the start, I have such a long way to go.
I sent my mountain guide friend IanS an email today enquiring about the Cullin Ridge, it has been put off too long, lets hope he is not fully booked up.
It’s the 8th day without booze and fags. My body is doing it usual detox trick of turning my skin into join the dots and my lungs are bringing out all the crap from my lungs. Quite a few of my mates are doing a January detox so i have plenty of support to draw on. To be honest until I started typing this post I have no thought about either of the two vices, I have been too busy with work and training.
Picked up some books last night and I am currently working my way through Epic-Stories of survival from the worlds highest peaks, Mountaincraft and Leadership 3rd edition and my sister Christmas present the excellent Shantaram.
I made some repairs to my airbed the other night by flinging it in the bath and locating the leak. I will do anything to avoid giving Themarest money for a neoair – robbing bastards !!!!
Roads are not looking good to get to Wales but I will make a last minute decision on the trip later on today.