SOD IT! I’ve submitted myself for the Great North Run!?

I’ve submitted an entry for the Great North Run (7 September) which will be balloted on Wednesday 5th February. OMG this is a 13 mile / 21 Km run which I’ve never done before (apart from accidentally).

Stand by and wait for Wednesday to see if I’ll be doing it. Not even told anyone yet! Why the secrecy??? IDK

Great North Run 2014?

Well I had a conversation with Iain, manager of AFC Masters and I’ve agreed to step out of the Manchester 10K so I can do the Scout training. I was a little gutted last night when this sunk in. I also felt that the other We Love Manchester 10K isn’t as big of an event that I would like it to be to lure sponsorship AND to test myself. I do 10Ks like I said in midweek evenings.

So how about this for an upgrade?

Great North Run 2014 in Newcastle (7 September)? 13.1 miles / 21 Kilometer run! Is this crazy – well it’s not a full marathon but it’s a step in between isn’t it? I’ll definitely look into this and reignite my Fierce FIVE Challenge idea.

The Fierce FIVE Challenges – Charity Ideas

I’m full of a cold at the moment so no training this week which has been a nice change.

So, I’m still really keen on this Fierce FIVE Challenges thing and here are my thoughts and charity ideas for them.

The Great North Run Manchester 10K
Charity: AFC Masters
Iain, the manager of AFC Masters suggests we should all run together as a group (coaches and players) which means there’s no real need for me to push myself for a fast pace. The issue I also have is that I have Scouts training on this day so I don’t know if I should plan this, do the Scouts training and maybe do the smaller We Love Manchester 10K event instead for pace?

The Great North Swim
Charity: Undecided – I have an idea
I need to do flipping loads of outdoor training but the event is in June and I need to get into the cold open water to practice in before this event. I need to track Hellen down and get some training with her.

Coast to Coast to Coast (back again)
: Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Doing this is going to be flipping hard but will be great running for the hospital that saved my dad. The issue I have is lending a bike and then I’ll need to leave it at Robin Hoods Bay and either a) get it shipped, b) someone pick it up, c) pick it up in car when I get back to St. Bees.

Tough Mudder
: AFC Masters
I’m entered – I’m in no going back. I’ll start the training in April.

1,000 pool lengths swim
: The National Autistic Society
I’m still really keen on this and should be the first event I’m doing this year. I don’t really know how hard it will be. Hellen, the swimming expert thinks it might be too much? I need to do a practice 500 lengths one soon perhaps in March?

Insanity has arrived!

So the Insanity Workout DVDs arrived and they have loads of meal ideas which they said you need to stick to if you’re going to get the right results. The videos seem to be about 50 mins each and I have to start with a fitness test each day then 5 further days of workouts leaving Sunday as a rest day.

It seems pretty good and impressed with the calendar and things they give you. We’ll see if it’s worth the £100.

I’ll start it on Monday but concerned I wont have the energy to do swimming on the Monday either. We’ll see.

Aidy might be in on doing the C2C2C with me

Charlie my good friend came back from London for the weekend for his 30th. We met up at a pub having a chat with his friends, one of them my good friend Adrian Massey. I told him about my secret Fierce FIVE Challenges and he seemed really interested in the Coast 2 Coast 2 Coast event in particular.

Originally I wanted to ask him if I could borrow his GoPro camera but he then said he would consider doing it with me!!! MINTER – it’d be ace having someone else with me to do it and keep me company over the 8 lonesome days.

He’s a top laugh so would definitely be a welcome addition (and am sure Ang would like to know someone was with me whilst I’m thousands of feet up in the Lakes, Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire Moors).

Nice set of swims/runs this week!

Wow I certainly have offset the calories I’m likely to put on at Center Parcs next week.

Monday Swam 2.5 miles 1hr 45mins 160 lengths 1378 calories
Tuesday Ran 5.9 miles 59mins 10:05 min/mile 830 calories
Wednesday Swam 3.1 miles 2hrs 12mins 200 lengths 1709 calories
Thursday Ran 7.66 miles 1hr 14mins 9:42 min/mile 1063 calories

That’s 4,980 calories or 42 pints of Cumberland Ale I’ve offset! I’m ready for my holidays!

200 Pool Lengths!

In 2 hours 12 minutes I did 200 pool lengths tonight! Not bad considering my back was killing after 80 lengths. After 120 lengths I thought, GO ON SON – only another 80 lengths! The barrier has been down all day at Bolton One Pool so as I had a window of above 2 hours it was the only opportunity I’ll ever get. After 160… 170… 180 lengths I started getting panicky thinking “Crap I’m actually out of energy – I have none left – I might drown”.

But yeah baby! 200 whoop – JUST 5 of these and that’s my 1,000 length challenge completed.

So I’m doing the Tough Mudder this year

So I’ve decided to enter the Tough Mudder this year (Sunday 3rd August) with two of the dad’s of AFC Masters who also help out a lot with the training etc. What is the Tough Mudder? :-

Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world.


Click here to see the obstacle I’ll have to tackle when doing it.

MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE? Ian Percival did it last year and told me how NOT EASY this even really is. Gaz has already started training for it which is starting to make me feel uneasy. Most people even slightly involved in fitness has heard of Tough Mudder – How the hell do you plan for an event like this and am I ready to do such an event?

Well to start with, I completed a suitability test on the Tough Mudder website and I got the following results:

Image84 – erm… well that’s an OK score… isn’t it? Just making the grade…. Here’s another number, 78 and according to the Tough Mudder website “Only 78% of entrants successfully complete each challenge“. So nearly a quarter don’t make it????

OK I’ll need to do a lot of training. Going back to my question of how do you plan for an event like this, there is a Maybe Mudder Boot Camp PDF which has lots of training drills etc I should be doing daily. I don’t think I’ll start this right away as I’m doing my Insanity Workout stuff which will see me into March. Then I’ll look at starting this in April since it’s in August.

This will be a great event if I complete it (hears last four words repeated/echoed in head over and over again).


The Fierce FIVE – or should that be stupid Paul’s Fierce FIVE

OK so I have thought long and hard about setting myself challenges for this year. It started off with “hmmm I could do more running/swimming” etc and “I could trim/build up here and there” but thought this isn’t really a target.

So then it hit me, I’ll submit myself in an event this year and get some charity money (ah nice feels right there!) so OK what is there? Well the first thing that came into my head was the Great North Run Manchester 10K on 18th May, but I do 10Ks anyway on a week night. Perhaps I could target a fast time ie 40-45 minutes rather than my typical 55-60 minutes. I could do this with the AFC Masters players and coaches as they were going on about it last year and the money could go towards the club. Nice Idea!

As I went on through the day at work being busy as usual (HA) I thought I need to do something which I can’t do at present but something I could train for – Hmmm perhaps involving my swimming? How about swimming the English Channel? I could do it couldn’t I? Well – it turns out that after a lot of research – NO PAUL not a chance even with a load of training, coughing up the money for a pilot boat etc you wouldn’t be at least ready for it this year. I swim only breast stroke, covering 2-3 miles at best each session – the Channel is 22 miles of ice cold treacherous water – not warm pool water.

OK so that was put to bed – but I thought I could do an outdoor swim? What about The Great North Swim (14-16 June) at Windermere? I could do that? 2 miles in freezing cold open water? I spoke to my swimming expert Hellen and she said STILL I need to do a lot of open water training. She said she’d look to help me with some training and some open water training up to the event. Sounds good to me.

What else is there? Well I got talking to my boss about doing an event which people really are going to sponsor me to do. Something people will say “You are absolutely nuts, OK I’ll sponsor you”. He said Iron Man, which made me laugh as no way on Earth I’d be ready for that in 5 years never mind this year – I don’t even do triathlons.

We kept talking and something I’ve always wanted to do is the Coast to Coast after my great friend Rick and I attempted many years ago AND FAILED COMPLETELY due to being ill prepared with no food and no bike chain repair tool (god that was a fun day pushing a bike 5 miles). Still, I didn’t see this as challenging enough – I could do it over three days which is mega tough but I want something which is going to make people think “That is tough” but still stick to the Coast to Coast idea. How about doing the 3 day cycle Coast to Coast from St Bees to Robin Hoods bay… and then run back? That sounds mad and stupid? 3 day cycle there one way followed by 5 marathons back again, one day after the other making it an 8 day horrible, gruesome, stupid challenge. People might give me a quid to do that?

Then I thought more about doing the Tough Mudder (2-3 August) but this is a very very tough event which one of the dad’s of AFC Masters who also help out a lot with the training etc completed. He told me I could do it if I trained hard for it. I’ll speak to him about it on Saturday at training.

This makes four, but I also wanted an endurance challenge which involved swimming since I was looking at doing running and cycling with the C2C. I could take my time, regular pee breaks, taking in nutrition during the day. Going back to the Channel Swim, how about doing the length of the swim but in a public pool… hmm calculations time.

22 miles = 35,406 meters, so that’s 1,417 lengths of a 25 meter pool. God that seems a lot. I’m averaging at about 1.5 lengths per minute which means this would take me 945 minutes or 15.7 hours. Well, unfortunately most public pools are only open for 15 hours a day, plus I’d need lots of breaks. Hmmm, how about just doing a standard 1,000 lengths? Well I’d do that in 666 minutes (AH A SIGN?) which is 11.1 hours. I could do this!?!? Starting at 7am and going for it? I’ll definitely look into this. Interestingly this event would equate to me burning 9,182 calories. I’m going to need a lot of energy shakes for this?

OK OK, so that makes

  • The Great North Run Manchester 10K
  • The Great North Swim
  • Coast to Coast to Coast (back again)
  • Tough Mudder
  • 1,000 pool lengths swim

Maybe some of these are simply not going to be achievable. What I’ll do is I’ll keep these secret, train really hard, ask a few experts about what they think and I’ll decide if I’m doing these events and announce as they come up?