NEARING the end of a six-month health kick at Apple Health and Fitness in Worksop, sports editor Graham Smyth blogs on his latest training sessions, and a new personal best.
You can follow his progress on Twitter @GrahamSmyth or @applegymworksop
I HATE cardio.
This statement has always, and may always been true.
But previously, the consequence was that I didn’t and therefore couldn’t achieve much in the way of stremnuous exercise.
Give me the choice between a heavy weights session and a run/cycle/row, I’d pick the former every single time.
Luckily, I don’t get to choose my training sessions at Apple Health and Fitness very often, and so the matter is taken out of my hands.
On Wednesday, it was all about cardio of the worst kind...running.
Andy Bishop, trainer to the stars and budding triathlete, took me for a run along the Chesterfield Canal.
The plan was to run at my ‘pace’ for 13 minutes or so, and then try to get back to the gym in a quicker time.
Why 13 minutes? I hear my one reader ask (hi Dad!) - because these sessions are in my lunchbreak at work and so we have limited time to get me superfit.
I don’t know exactly why I’ve always loathed running and found it so difficult.
Perhaps because I’m naturally lazy and running requires lots of effort. Maybe my running style, that seems to impact on my joints, makes it hard.
But there were to be no excuses this week, as Andy and I jogged out of the town centre, past the rugby club and out along the Lock Keeper stretch of the canal.
Andy gave me some great advice early on, insisting that I should control my breathing from the very start, regardless of how out of breath I was or wasn’t.
In through the nose, out through the mouth.
It certainly seemed to help, as we ran for 14 minutes at a decent enough pace and when we turned to come back I wasn’t dying on my backside.
Coming home took 12 minutes and 50 seconds, and Andy’s estimation was that we ran very close to three miles.
I can’t actually remember ever running three miles before. If I have, it was probably when I was a child playing football all day long in the summer.
My legs were wobbly and sore, and my energy levels low for the entire afternoon, and I dreaded a bad case of delayed muscle soreness.
But mercifully I was able to rock up at Apple on Thursday and train, albeit only light cardio and a weights circuit.
And today is the delightful Friday lunchtime spinning class, which is never easy. But I’m walking, not hobbling, and fully recovered from the run.
Three miles may not sound like a lot to many of our readers, but given that six months ago I couldn’t run for 14 minutes without a break, this is a real sign of progress.
As it seems the done thing these days to put yourself some sort of gruelling challenge in aid of ‘charidee’, I’m now toying with the idea of taking on some kind of run or bike effort.
In the meantime I’m going to attempt to train with as much intensity as I can muster for the last couple of weeks of my time at Apple, and see what the results are as #getgrahamfit comes to a close.