Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Monday, 30 January 2012
And the next morning, Gav spent some time contemplating his fate:
Friday, 27 January 2012
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Monday, 23 January 2012
(well, an amalgam of several different recipes from the internet anyway, and I am only posting so I can stop Googling it every time I make it)
Porridge oats – 500- 700g depending on sloppiness requirements
Semi-skimmed milk – 500ml
Apple juice – 200ml
Lime – juice of one
Yoghurt – 500ml
Raisins – some
Apple x 3, peeled and grated
Banana x 2, mushed
Frozen berries – one packet
Vanilla extract – one teaspoon
Honey – to taste
Step 1: Mix the oats, milk, apple juice, vanilla and raisins in a bowl and leave for a couple of hours.
Step 2: Squeeze lime into a bowl, grate the peeled apples into the bowl (the juice stops the apples going manky), mix into the oats mixture.
Step 3: Mix in the yoghurt.
Step 4: Mush the bananas and half the berries (now defrosted) and the stir into the oats mixtures.
Step 5: Mix in honey bit by bit until its sweet enough - warning, its easy to over sweeten.
This makes a lot! Enough for a week of Nick sized breakfasts - it seems to keep for upwards of three days in the fridge and freezes fine. If it separates, stir it - it'll be fine.
I also guess the ratios differently each time, it doesn't seem to make much odds.
Saturday, 21 January 2012
In other news I should be climbing right now, yet I am not. Less than one month until Norway so midweek sessions this week need to get serious.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
This article should be enough to encourage you to stay active for, well, ever...
- The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest - Steig Larson (finish it)
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Haruki Murakami (finish it)
- Full of Myself - Johnny Dawes (finish it)
- What Comes First? Weights or Cardio - Alex Hutchinson
- Bad Science - Ben Goldacre
- A Brief History of Time - Steven Hawking
- His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
- Matterhorn - Karl Marlantes
- The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Monday, 16 January 2012
Last week was my second 50 mile week. The first was the week before xmas. These were both to and from work on Monday and Friday and to work on Wednesday. I'm quite pleased that I have managed to ramp up the mileage quite quickly with relatively few problems. I have had the odd niggle, and it's weird how the pain moves around, one day my quads will ache the next my ankles - and it even moves around during a single run. I hope its just my body hardening up to it all rather than any precursor to more injuries.
Oh, and finally got back down the gym today so I think I will easily slip back in to the habit.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Friday, 13 January 2012
Thursday, 12 January 2012
This got me to thinking about the ways I have trained for ice climbing over the last few years. The first thing to point out would be that, despite improving ever year, I am still desperately weak if you put me on a dry tooling route or any remotely difficult Scottish mixed. But I can definitely hang on axes longer every year, so here are my thought thus far...
The limiting factor for me is holding on to the bloody axes. All the rest – core strength, calf endurance, tricep strength for repeated swinging – are important, but pale into comparison to gripping the axes. This last trip to Norway was the first time I have been properly comfortable climbing leashless at my limit – in previous years I have had deploy the leash at the top end of my grade. Gripping something metal, above your head, in freezing temperatures, is no way to have either warm hands or good forearm endurance – there ends up being no blood in there to do the work – so relaxing and shaking out are key.
Chalk – short of actual ice climbing, traversing the chalk cliffs at Saltdean, near Brighton, is probably the most effective training I have found. I say probably because one could argue that the time may be spent better down the wall as it’s a much shorter drive and so would leave more time for the training – but I think chalk still wins. It’s very steep so in some ways is more demanding than ice, but it tends to be hooking rather than swinging. It is surprisingly similar to ice though. I guess upward climbing would be better, but a) it’s a faff and b) its dodgy as hell.
Fig4’ing – These are like wooden axes with a loop of rubber instead of a pick, intended for use on indoor walls. I was persuaded to enter a completion using Alpkit’s Fig4s just before xmas. I came third from last (and I won’t mention James’ performance). But actually I was satisfied at my performance, given the routes and who else was competing. In preparation for this we did a few sessions at The Reach with the Schmoolz (very similar but not quite as good imo). They are bloody hard work, and if chalk takes too long, then they are a good fall back. Walls could do with specific routes for them though.
Bouldering laps – see the beginning of this blog. Before Canada, three years ago, I worked up to twenty mins of traversing laps which I thought was quite good at the time. That was holding anything. So I have obviously improved no end. Infact even my V2/V1/VB circuit is too easy I think. After a while I seem to stop getting more pumped.
Repeats on the wall – climb up, climb down, climb up, etc. Very dull, but a good workout – for ice purposes, steep on big jugs are best. I try to finish off a climbing session with some of this.
Gym work – so far, for this year’s trip I have done very little as I had to lay off the pull ups after getting various worrying niggles. A few exercises I like for lunchtime gym sessions though: pull ups, levers (well, half levers), rockring training, and kettlebell swings. I have, in the past, tried doing the bar work off some old bike bar ends with a loop of rope tied to the end – hook these over the bar and you have something similar to ice axe handles to dangle from, but without the extra two feet of length (or the carrying Nomics into the gym). Works quite well.
So far, my bouldering laps are going well, I have once chalk session under my belt, and have done some Fig4’ing. So performance wise I am on target, but volume of training I am behind (ie I should be even better than I am at this point in the season). So time to step it up, starting with a weekend in Brighton this weekend, and then back down the gym at lunchtimes next week. Boo-yow.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
Thursday, 5 January 2012
So here are a few of the issues I have with my diet:
Sugar - I am fueled far too much on high GI foods - cake, chocolate, snacks, etc. This means I am prone to sugar crashing - even on the cycle home from work. It is also distinctly lacking in any nutrients.
Laziness - I eat breakfast at work, which means I often skip it and then getting hungry at about 11am - which means only one thing: CAKE. So I need a better planned and sustainable source of breakfast - I am quite into bircher at the moment.
Sleeping arrangements - Splitting my time between my house and Holly's means its harder to plan my diet, especially in terms of taking in breakfast and lunches to work. This should be easily solvable with some effort.
The 5-a-day - I don't get it, so more fruit and veg is needed.
So as soon as the last few Xmas choccies have been devoured, I shall begin...
Monday, 2 January 2012
Save money - somehow in amongst the above, i need to stop spending and start saving, which will lead too... Achievability: 8.5/10