I've finished by initial 30 day challenge which was to do 100 chin ups and 200 push ups every day for 30 days. The 30 day challenge wasn't about the actual exercise but more about good habits and no more excuses.
To start with lets talk numbers:
- Weight loss was 3.5kg in 30 days
- Training load per week for the 30 days averaged out at 13 hours per week including the daily strength session which took 30 minutes
- Training intensity distribution was 90% at RPE (rate perceive exertion) of 5-7/10 and 10% at RPE 8-9/10. For those who follow a zone model this would be 90% in zone1/2 and 10% in zone 4
I did not count calories but was certainly more mindful of the food I ate. The major changes I made in relation to my daily eating habits were:
- Reduced sugars by looking at nutritional content of sugars in food when buying
- No chocolate bars
- Reduced gluten
- Reduced Dairy
- No sweet foods like muffins or cakes
I still had the occasional sweet lolly after a swim session or longish ride and there was a two day period last weekend where I wasn't quite as disciplined as I had been. My weight also fluctuated most days but the overall trend was downward.
The most pleasing thing however was the change in mindset. By committing to the 30 day challenge I could feel my mindset changing. It got me back into the good habit of not allowing excuses to stop me. The two key factors that helped me achieve this were:
- The daily habit of putting a cross on the wall calendar when I completed the session
- Having some accountability. I made a public commitment that I would do it. While no one would even care if I did or not the fact that I made the commitment in a public manner meant I was accountable to myself.
Overall my routines are well established again and I am not relying on motivation to keep me going. Knowing that the 30 day challenge was a big part of that my next 30 day challenge will be doing 30 minutes of trigger point massage, foam rolling and stretching every day.
Like the strength work I see this as a 1% er activity. The little things that we all make excuses not to do. But when completed give us so much more than the actual activity it's self. Better discipline, improved routines and habits and a sense of accomplishment when we achieve the goal.
When I completed the last strength session for my 30 day challenge I felt so good. The actual sense of satisfaction I got from doing it was extremely rewarding. There were many days where I did not want to do it. There were days where I didn't think I could do it due to being tired. But pushing through and completing has given me a real boost.
Next month I will also boost my weekly training load to 13-16 hours per week. I have found I am recovering much better between sessions which is a sign of improved fitness. Much of it will still be easy aerobic work and I still have a long way to go in terms of weight loss and body composition.
However I am enjoying my training again, feeling the positive changes and looking forward to regaining my fitness for triathlon.