Category: Janathon & Juneathon

June 8th, 2014 by matthias

This was over more quickly than I had thought. I started #Juneathon with a run on Sunday (5k) with my significant other, mindful not to overindulge – which had brought me into trouble last year.

Monday was a challenge – I hadn’t trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu in a while, and after 90 minutes I was well exhausted. But my brilliant training partner John could convince me for one more round on the mat, making it the full distance.

Tuesday was resistance training – weights. New rules of lifting, basic training four. I’ve been working through the basic workouts for months now, almost reprogramming well practiced movement patterns with exercises focusing on things like: dynamic stabilisation (anti-extension). Yes, that’s a thing.

Wednesday was another run, again 5k, again with my significant other.

It was a busy week, with a number of late nights, so on Thursday, I decided to recover: 30 minutes of stretching and then some foam rolling prepared me for Friday’s no-gi (no funny white suit) Brazilian jiu-jitsu workout. I’ll be going to my German jiu-jitsu school later this month for a week’s training – culminating in a one day seminar; so I’m prioritising my martial arts training, as not to look too silly then.

Saturday was my second weights workout – weirdest exercises were one-legged planks, and weighted T-pushups – oh, and goblet reverse lunges. I’m glad not have fallen over during any of these.

I closed the week with another 5k with the SO. So far, so good. I’ve only got some minor elbow pain, and a lightly sore knee. Nothing that required any attention or treatment. I’ll be careful, but clearly will go into the second week fully motivated.

Posted in Janathon & Juneathon

June 1st, 2014 by matthias

I normally don’t write for specific people, but this blog post is focused on my friend Matt, who’s decided to try #Juneathon after learning about it yesterday. Yes, it’s that time of year again, and the ‘festival of activities and excuses‘ has kicked off today. So back to my friend – he asked me for ideas on what to do during Juneathon, so here’s my advice:

  1. Don’t get injured: I know, the training part is the cool bit (and I’ll get to it later), but injury’s the biggest risk. Those little twitches and pains you have, over the next 30 days, they are only going to get worse. If you train daily, you will get tired, and much more prone to injury. Sleep, rest, hydrate, relax – try to make sure at least two workouts of your week are focused on recovery: swim, stretch, dance, foam roll (my favourite).
  2. Vary your training: The key is to do something else every day, to avoid repetitive stress. This is my game plan for this time around: I’ll do two types of jiu-jitsu this month (German – yes, that’s a real thing – and Brazilian), I have set up a training plan (based on the basic training phase four of Shuler & Cosgrove’s excellent New Roles of Lifting – Supercharged) with three different days – two classic lifting days, and one for metabolic training (with lots of fast and exhausting jumping about). For endurance training, I run (probably is short run around 5k, and then the occasional longer run), and for more relaxed days, I’ll jump on the cross-trainer. That’s about six, seven different days.
  3. Keep it short: Juneathon is about regularity, not all out effort every time (see number 1 above). What I found most freeing about it, is that the question ‘when do I get time to workout next’ has been answered – it’s today. And I’m surprised how easy it becomes, when you’re committed to not give up.
  4. Keep going: Last time, when I did Janathon (I guess that’s kinda self-explaining), I decided to just keep going. I trained all through January and February, and by mid-March, I only had about 8% of all training days in the year missed – none of them in January. It’s great when the routine kicks in, and you’re just going on. Train like it’s never going to stop, and daily is the new normal, even if you fall back into a more reduced schedule.
  5. If you get injured – don’t give up: Never, ever ‘work through the pain’, it will only get worse. If you need to take time off, take it. Chronic injury is not worth risking, however motivated you might be. There are – especially with resistance training – many ways to avoid the injured body part. Feet sore? Work on the punching bag. Knuckles sore from punching? Go swimming. Lift the next day. Go dancing on Saturday night. Do yoga the next day. Rinse, recover, repeat.

There they are – my five tips for surviving Juneathon. And that’s my first post – I’ll probably, as every time, mostly tweet, but here we go.

Posted in Janathon & Juneathon

May 14th, 2014 by matthias

Please sponsor my run this Sunday

Never did this before – but if you like to donate some money for my 10k run next Sunday, feel free. Might as well do something good, so I’ll be running in memory of my friend Alexander, who died last year of pancreatic cancer.

Posted in Janathon & Juneathon

January 7th, 2014 by matthias

So, I’m a few days in now, and things are settling in. Time to go through the training plan I’ve set myself up to fulfil:

Resistance and other training

I’m following a New Rules of Lifting protocol, starting right at the beginning, with the Basics 1 and 2 plans (finished basic 1 ending last Friday). Learning from my experiences in Juneathon 2013, I’m aiming specifically low – low volume, low time under tension – to make sure I don’t burn myself out early in the month. I like Shuler’s writing, and Cosgrove’s training plans – as they are able to engage both with a beginner and advanced audience; and they take great care of making sure mobilisation and stabilisation find their way into the programmes through a variety of exercises. Again, the challenge will be to keep intensity low and progression slow to not jeopardise the overall effort. The critical aspect on the training side will be to integrate my martial arts training, as the sessions tend to be fairly intense and also very long compared to what I’m planning as my workouts.

To just jump into my professional role – that’s the advice I normally give my clients: I prefer a steady pace over an overly ambitious one. Applications campaigns (like pretty much everything) run much better when they are not worked off in bursts, but when there is a steady stream of applications going out.

Recovery and supplementation

For recovery, it’s the usual combination of low-level cardio work (currently on a cross-trainer). stretching, mobilisation exercises and of course foam rolling. I also support recovery with a cycle of creatine-monohydrate – pretty much the only supplement worth considering in my personal experience. I’m going for a five day loading cycle (finished on Sunday, just before going back to work), and a three week maintenance phase. Nothing spectacular – but that’s what this whole exercise regime is all about.

Posted in Janathon & Juneathon

January 1st, 2014 by matthias

Happy New Year, everyone!

Right, now that we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s get to business: Last year I took part in Juneathon, the self-proclaimed ‘annual festival festival of activities and excuses’. The rules are simple:


Click the link to join

  • Run or do some form of exercise every day
  • Blog/tweet about it within 24 hours
  • Visit other blogs and leave comments, giving your support to other participants.

So for 30 days last year, I lifted weights, ran, and trained martial arts – and I blogged about it on one of my other blogs. I learnt a lot during this time – mostly that I’m not 20 anymore – but also a lot about my body and how to take care of it. The main issue was recovery, getting enough sleep, and dealing with minor injuries – but I persisted, and as a first-timer, succeeded – by not giving up. Which can of course be a perfectly acceptable option.

And as there is a similar challenge in January, called Janathon, I am going for this again – and I know it’s one day longer, which slightly scares me. Sounds somehow competitive – but it’s not. Some people sometimes win prizes doing this – but that’s not what I’m interested in. As you may know I’m fairly sporty, but I’m fiercely uncompetitive and I am very sceptical of the educational value of competition. This is also not a new year’s resolution – I’ve been training to plans like this for over 25 years, and it’s just another one; albeit a slightly more prescriptive one than usual.

So why write about this here? I like a personal challenge, especially when it’s one where I have to overcome just myself. And as I wrote above – it was an educational experience last time as well, and I hope for one again.

Rest assured, I will not  update my blog every day about this, but over the next 31 days, I will post my observations about my own learning during this experience. I will also tweet my daily progress (and struggles) under the hashtag #janathon. Should you want to follow, or indeed take the challenge yourself – just follow the link and go for it.

Posted in Janathon & Juneathon Tagged with: , , , ,