Army fitness training diary: week 11

I didn’t finish week 10 until Tuesday, thanks to an Easter break, and I then took a rest day. Thursday is a really busy day and Friday is … well, Friday is the start of the weekend. I have a full programme of korfball on Saturday to prepare for a crucial play-off game on Sunday – and I spend Sunday evening celebrating our promotion. I finally embark on week 11 on Monday.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to fit in the run and the strength exercises on the same day. Today I squeeze in a 30-minute run at lunchtime, but I’m going to a work-related event in the evening, so the press-ups have to be postponed until tomorrow.

I perform the strength exercises at home. Chin-ups are supposed to replace press-ups this week, but I lack inspiration for a makeshift pull-up bar, so decide to tackle them in the park next week instead. I seriously doubt that I can do even one set of 10 chin-ups, though, never mind four. Reader Graham Fletcher is surprised by the sudden requirement: “This is the only part of the whole programme which appears inconsistent to me – if we’re expected to do all these chin-ups, you would have thought we should have been practicing them since week one.”

As he points out, however, incline or assisted pull-ups would be more manageable, and these are suggested as viable alternatives in the upper body booklet. The booklet is also well worth consulting for tips on technique. I’ll let you know how I get on next week. Has anyone else attempted the chin-ups yet?

The day three session is ramped up to 16 minutes of intervals plus 20-25 minutes of warming up and cooling down. It’s tough to fit it all into a lunchtime gym visit, what with the extended cold shower required at the end. That’s the least of my worries, though – today’s session must be the most challenging run I’ve ever attempted. I force myself to complete it, but I don’t know if I can push myself much more. There are still five interval sessions to go … I suppose I could drop down a level on the treadmill if it gets too tough, but that would feel like giving in.

Korfball and cycling.

Rest day.

Circuit training at home. This week I have to perform, in total, 60 repetitions of each of the eight exercises. Army fitness is slowly, inexorably taking over my life!

I awake at 8.30am to a beautiful carpet of snow. OK, it’s slightly soiled and slushy by the time I actually venture outside at midday, but it does add something special to my brisk 40-minute walk. It’s a calming end to a frantic week.

· Are you following the official army fitness programme? Email [email protected] to share your experiences in next week’s training diary

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