The first week of February signalled a change in my training, after a few weeks of building my cardio back up I made the commitment to get stronger by taking on a personal trainer once a week, to help build muscle. I felt getting the help of a PT would mean I would be pushed out of my comfort zone. I have also in the past found the free weights section in gyms rather daunting with the amount of testosterone being pumped around, I have often found myself gravitating to the machines, or lifting small weights where I feel at more at home. So picking a personal trainer who could help guide me to the exercises I should be doing to gain strength quickly, without injury and also having them there to spot me were important considerations in making this decision. One that seems to be paying off (now two weeks into my gym plan).

Last Monday the alarm rang at 5:45am and I rolled out of bed made my eggs and Matcha tea whilst feeding Luna (who was not impressed about being up so early), before heading to the gym.

I met Steve the PT at the gym and for the next hour we went through resistance exercises that would make my whole body stronger. As I have mainly concentrated on building my leg strength for years my upper body and back have become weaker so I was keen to work on this area and improve my strength. Steve took me through exercises like tricep dips, press ups and squats with kettle bells to help build my all round strength.

Most of the exercises I am doing use free weights and resistance I think resistance training works especially well for me as I get bored sitting on machines. Resistance training tends to be more dynamic and interesting.

After my PT session there was time for a protein shake, shower and quick change before driving to the office.

I had said to Lauren we would run at lunch, expecting my body to cope with strength training after weeks and weeks off was rather silly on my behalf!

None the less Lauren and I went for a walk/run and I actually felt okay once I was moving, once we had stopped and I was back at my desk it was clear that the running gym combo was maybe too much too soon and three days later I was still suffering with DOMS!

DOMS can occur anywhere in the body that has recently been exposed to unfamiliar or intense physical activity.

After working my whole body in an unfamiliar way there was not a part of me that didn’t ache in some way.

Top DOMS alleviation tips:

  1. Drinking plenty of water
  2. Eating the correct food, protein shake after my workout and then a meal of good carbs, protein and vegetables.
  3. Resting in front of the tele watching Scandal with your legs in the air (insert favourite TV program)

So much for a big training week… This really highlighted to me the importance of resting and eating for recovery. I have been keen to start building up my miles on the bike again in preparation for racing but having decided to also focus on building strength by using the gym I need to work on a better plan of how my training week will be brought together.

I spoke with Steve and we have adjusted my PT sessions slightly as it’s no good going to the gym if it means I can’t do any bike work during the week.

To make sure I recover well from my PT session I have changed my cardio sessions around and will try a short run on Tuesdays, walking Wednesdays and sprint sessions, a long tempo ride Thursday a rest Friday and then long low intensity weekend ride.