UKRunChat Squat Challenge – Week 4




I'm out

For those of you who’ve been following my posts about the 30 Day Squat and Lunge Challenge I’ve been doing with a group of UKRunChat Twitter users, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling. If you haven’t been following but want to read about  it, the saga starts here.

The final week was a wind-down week, but I’ve been suffering with back and pelvic pain on and off for a couple of months, and it was obvious that I just couldn’t manage the squats, let alone the lunges and high impact moves.

I’m annoyed with myself, and with my body. As I mentioned last week, I’ve never managed to complete any kind of training plan or challenge. However, there is a lot going on in my life right now, and I just don’t have the energy to beat myself up about not finishing this challenge. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. I gave it a shot, and maybe one day I’ll come back to it and make it through all four weeks.

At the moment I’ll have to continue with the limited exercise I can do, which is pretty much just walking, and hope that when I finally get to see a doctor (only 10 days to go now…) they can offer some insight and help to fix whatever is causing the pain.

I want to end on a positive note with a shout-out to the three people I did this challenge with – thank you Amy, Lucy, and Martin for your encouragement, and well done on making it to the end!

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

UKRunChat Squat Challenge – Week 3

Falling behind, but not giving up

If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’ll have seen my previous posts about the 30 Day Squat and Lunge Challenge that a group of UKRunChat tweeters decided to take on a couple of weeks ago.
If you want to catch up, you can read about the first week here and the second week here.

UKRunChat Squat & Lunge ChallengeBut what about the third week? I’ll admit it hasn’t been good; my body has thrown all kinds of spanners in the works. Here’s the recap of days 15-21:

Monday – 35 squat jumps, 35 lunges. I really had to force myself to do these. I bribed myself with the promise that afterwards I could watch the first two episodes of Star Trek: TNG on Netflix. But I felt good afterwards.

Tuesday – Unplanned rest day. My calves were in knots.

Wednesday – Another rest day, because of the cramping in my calves.

Thursday – Yet another day skipped.

Friday – 40 squats, 60 seconds high knees. With the pain eased enough to get back to the challenge, I decided to miss out Tuesday’s catch-up since squat jumps and lunges would aggravate my calves. This was Thursday’s catch-up.

Saturday – 45 squats. I didn’t do the 75 seconds high knees on the plan because of back pain. If I were a horse, they’d shoot me…

Sunday – 45 squats (instead of squat jumps). Broken down into small sets with long rests between. No lunges, and high impact is definitely off the menu for a while, and I woke up with the start of a cold. Not a fun day.

I think it’s safe to say I haven’t enjoyed this week much. I don’t know where the calf cramps came from, but I could barely walk on Tuesday and Wednesday. I had my usual negative thoughts: ‘well, I haven’t stuck to it so I may as well give up‘, but I squashed them. I always give up. I’ve never completed a training plan of any kind. But I’m determined not to give up on this one, so I’m going to modify it and get to the end.

The last week kicks off with a rest day tomorrow, which is nice…

My goal for next week, as well as continuing to pay attention to form and range of movement, is to just modify it to suit me and stick with it. Secondary goal is to try to enjoy it – it’s the last week, after all!

You can find me on Bloglovin’ or follow me on Twitter (@MaxSlothBlog) and find out how the fourth and final week shapes up, as well as how I’m getting along with my newfound desire to try yoga.

Week 1
Week 2
Week 4

UKRunChat Squat Challenge – Week 2


14 days ago, a small group of UKRunChatters decided we were going to do the 30 Day Squat and Lunge Challenge to strengthen our legs and glutes, and hopefully help with our running.

As I said earlier this week, I’m not running at the moment. For the benefit of my health (physical and mental) I’ve taken things right back to basics. I’ve continued with the challenge because I know that the squats and lunges, even with the introduction of a little cardio from week 2, aren’t going to negatively impact my energy, and building a strong foundation will help immeasurably when I do start running again.

UKRunChat Squat & Lunge Challenge

So, days 8-14. Here’s how they went:

Monday – 20 squat jumps, 30 seconds high knees. I choose to believe the floorboards only rattle and groan when I do this because they’re old and tired.

Tuesday – Accidental rest day. I didn’t feel well most of the day, and in the evening opted for a ‘date night’ short walk in the sun and meal out.

Wednesday – 30 squats, 45 seconds high knees. This was what I should’ve done on Tuesday. Nice and easy, despite the heat, but I do wish my knees would stop crunching. Straight after, I brought myself up to date with 25 squat jumps, 30 lunges. Hello again, lunges. Jolly good to see you… Not.

Thursday – Rest day.

Friday – Another unscheduled rest day. Inner thighs were still aching and I just couldn’t face the high knees.

Saturday – 30 squats. The first part of Friday. 30 lunges. The second part of Saturday. I didn’t do the high knees from Friday or the squat jumps from Saturday, because I still couldn’t face it and didn’t want to put on a sports bra for the sake of a couple of minutes.

Sunday – 60 seconds high knees, the second part of Friday. Followed by 30 squat jumps that should’ve been done Saturday. Then 35 squats, 60 seconds high knees. Up to date again. I hate high knees. Probably even more than I hate lunges.

Not the best week. I didn’t stick to the plan and ended up doing two double days. Part of it is that I’ve not been feeling 100% and I’ve needed extra rest. Part of it is just not committing. I’ll work on it and try to stick to the plan for the next 7 days.

This week I’ve been concentrating hard on maintaining good form. Next week I’d like to increase my range of movement as well.

Week 1
Week 3
Week 4

UKRunChat Squat Challenge – Week 1

Working to get stronger

It’s been a year, maybe longer, since I discovered UKRunChat on Twitter. It’s a wonderful thing. A community of runners, from all walks of life and all ability levels, who share experiences, advice and motivate each other. No bitching, no drama, just people encouraging and raising each other up.

During last Sunday’s UKRunChat hour (8-9pm, come and join us tonight using #ukrunchat), the discussion turned to strength training to help with running. A small group of us decided to start the 30 Day Squat and Lunge Challenge.

UKRunChat Squat & Lunge Challenge

Alright, I’m not currently running very much because my health is all over the place, but it can’t hurt to do a few squats and lunges to tune up ready for when I can run regularly again.

I set a recurring alarm on my phone for the evenings so that I would remember to do it. I need reminders for everything.

It’s 7 days since the challenge began, and here’s how my week went:

Monday – 15 squats, 10 forward lunges (each leg). Easy peasy. I didn’t go too deep into the movements and focused more on form. Lunges were wobbly, because my balance is terrible.

Tuesday – 20 squats, 15 lunges. Easy again. This time I went deeper. Somehow managed to not fall over doing the lunges.

Wednesday – Enforced rest day due to migraine.

Thursday – Ditto.

Friday – 10 squat jumps, 20 lunges. Urgh. A day behind the plan, and still not on form thanks to two days being ill. But the squat jumps were surprisingly fun.

Saturday – 20 squats, 25 lunges. They were fine. The lunges were tedious – 25 on each leg takes a while. Later in the day I did my catch-up to bring me up to date with the schedule: 15 squat jumps, 25 lunges. Again, squat jumps fun but lunges not so much, even though I was a lot steadier.

Sunday – 25 squats, 30 lunges. I was feeling the effects of a double day, but loosened up beforehand and got the exercises done.

Thanks to the others doing the challenge for being so encouraging and motivating!

Bring on the next week!

Week 2
Week 3
Week 4