For the initial Challenge Throwdown click here

To check out the Challenge Hub with details of all previous challenges click here

I’m writing this intro after just one week of doing the challenge and I have to say it’s been a little bit harder than I thought. Seeing as I thought it would be quite hard in the first place, you can gather that it has been quite hard! Why so I hear you ask? Well you can find out in my detailed day by day run through below. I won’t make further updates as verbose unless something really crazy happens like seeing a unicorn on one of my runs or something, but for the first week I feel it is worth expanding a bit on each day where necessary.
I have no real physical targets I wish to achieve (such as doing all 50 press ups in one go) other than simply completing the challenge in tact. Although I have earmarked trying to improve my weekly average pace of the run section by 30 seconds over the course of the month.

A quick note on my abbreviations below: I’ve written how many Press Ups (PU) and Burpees (Bps) I did and in what number bursts. So 15/10 (PU/Bps) means I did 15 Press Ups, then 15 Burpees, then 10 Press Ups, then 10 Burpees. I hope that makes sense. You can see the stats for each of my runs in the screen shot from my running app I will post each week. Oh what exercise geekery we have on this blog!


Week One Log

Running log week 1

Running log week 1

Thursday – A tough run due to still feeling the effects of NYE. Legs were very achey. Did 20/15/10/5/5 PU/Bps all in one go. Those last few were reallly hard tonight! I think I’ll try to split that part into a morning and evening section of 25 each in future.

Friday – Morning did 15/10 PU/Bps. In the evening had a cinema* and meal date with Mrs TFS. Did the run as quickly as I could before, then quick then PU/Bps when got back in a set of 10/10/5. All a bit crammed in today but I think that is way things are gonna pan out!

Saturday – OK quite a lot to say about today. I stupidly sat around all morning, then decided to reseal the bath (It’s been on my to do list forever and had a free afternoon, and decided to pass up working on the blog/reading other blogs as that’s been taking over my life recently!). Anyway my parents came over for dinner while I was just finishing off the bathroom then I told them I had to go out for a run which was slightly awkward, but they didn’t seem to mind. I then realised I couldn’t have a shower as the sealant was still drying, but again no one seemed to notice! We then went to my Sisters for a family quiz night (rock n roll!) and then I had to do the PU and Bps at 1am when I got home, which was pretty tough. The lesson learned here is get them all out of the way as soon as I can if I have even 20 minutes of free time to sit around!

Sunday – Ah… lesson from yesterday instantly forgotten as I waited till the evening to do it all again, and the rain sounded pretty relentless. So a horrendous run in howling wind, freezing cold and pissing rain. I stopped a few times to try to take some pictures (see below!). Did 15/10 PU/Bps before the run and 25SU/ 15/break/10 Bp after it.
Cold wet and windy UK storms!

Not the best weather for running!

Phone camera lens started to get a bit wet here!

Not the best weather for anything for that matter!

Monday – Getting into the habit of doing 25/10 PU/Bp in the morning and another set in the evening now, it’s definitely the best way of doing it. The run was crammed in yet again as we went round to see Mrs TFS’s parents before they go on holiday.

Tuesday – Stuck with the morning/evening routine for the PU/Bps. Actually had time to do the run tonight and as these things often go I did in in the equal best time so far and I felt pretty good as well throughout the whole thing. I’m positive things can improve from here!

Wednesday – I have to meet my Sister at 7pm tonight to go to the cinema** which would make a run between getting home from work and then extremely tight, so I thought I’d give a morning run a go. What a revelation! I never thought I’d be able to do any sort of run in the morning and I am not traditionally a morning person, but it was actually quite easy and I feel great! I guess the lesson here is to try things you think you won’t like, you might end up being nicely surprised. Also did 15/10 PU/Bps and will do the same after work quickly.

Average pace of runs throughout the week: 7:32
Aim for average pace to hit in the final week of the month: 7:02

The times were a bit all over the place this week due to blowing away the cobwebs from the Christmas indulgences, and the blowing of the galeforce winds and rain! I am hoping to get that average below 7 minutes before the end of the month is out which should come with improved fitness, more consistent times, and hopefully better weather.

Notes on the other aspects of this challenge

Caffeine – Not drinking tea is actually proving to be much harder than I thought. I’m not saying I’m acting like some sort of crystal meth addict but whenever someone offers me a tea I always have to check myself as the automatic answer is usually “yes!”. Also there are those classic combinations such as tea with a bacon roll, and tea at certain times, that I am really missing. It’s almost like the food doesn’t taste as good if I’m not eating it with a cup of tea. So in that sense it is an addiction of habit, a bit like smokers trying to quit miss having a cigarette at certain times of the day or with their tea or coffee more so than at other times.

Alcohol – As expected the first week at least of this has been a breeze. We’ll see how I go in weeks 2, 3 and 4 though. I’ve got a golf weekend with “the lads” on the 25th so that could prove hard but I will stick to my guns!

Exercise – The daily exercise could be viewed as hard but it’s really a matter of attitude. The whole thing seems to tie in neatly with the stoic thing of voluntary discomfort, which I am actually getting now. Yea… sometimes my muscles and joints ache both while I am doing it and afterwards. But ultimately it is a good sort of pain, and only light in nature. Some of the conditions for the running have also been pretty extreme and uncomfortably cold and wet as well. But again looking at it through the stoic lens, I was just thinking how my next walk in similar conditions whilst wrapped up warm in my coat and hat would seem like a nice and cosy experience.


Week Two Log

Week two running log


This week I’ll just give a brief summary of each part of the challenge

Running – Quite a tough week again, I got some good times but also some bad ones. I did a slower five mile run on Sunday with a friend, which was a nice change. The Thursday run was down to Lidl and back, spot on one mile. I had a bag of groceries on my back for the way home! I came down with a bad cold on Tuesday so felt a serious lack of energy. The Wednesday time is split into two because I was working late and decided to time my run to the station at one end and then on the way home at the other end, which was spot on one mile. I had my usual clothes, coat and bag on for this run. The combined pace was 8:09 for those two runs!

Average pace this week (not including the 5 mile run): 7:10

If I can hit that after week two with some bad runs and a cold in there I am going reassess my target for the week four average to: 6:45

Push-ups and Burpees – Nothing really to report. Just doing 25 in the morning and 25 in the evening as usual. I think I might increase this when I get over my cold otherwise I won’t really feel like I making any progress in this category as it doesn’t feel like it’s getting any easier (but I feel like I could do more, if that makes sense!?)

Alcohol – Nothing of note to report for this week. Haven’t had any obviously! I have another potential banana skin this Friday though as there is a work event on Friday. I wouldn’t normally be too bothered about either missing one or just going along for a bit and having a few sodas but this one is to celebrate a project I have been working on for over a year. It’s my pet project so to speak! Bit awkward. Bit annoying. Not really sure what to do now but I will report back after on whether I decided to break on this one.

Caffeine – This has become easier this week. No more headaches and I have gotten out of having tea with breakfast, lunch, and other times of the day. I’m still not sure of any benefit but I guess I am sleeping slightly easier, and actually I’m feeling slightly less stressed at work even though this last week has technically been very stressful. Maybe there is something in this after all?


Week Three Log

Week 3 Mega Detox Challenge Run times

Week 3 Mega Detox Challenge Run times

Running – There were two anomalies this week. The first of which was the Thursday run which says a pace of 9:10 which is a load of rubbish, my GPS cut out so it didn’t track some of the run. I timed it and it was 7:27 for the mile, as I am doing the same course every day I pretty much know exactly the point when I cross the mile barrier (It’s the end of my road). Secondly the 1.5 mile run to my mum’s house. I am quite liking combining going somewhere I actually want to go with some exercise, it’s really good! I included that in the average times because it was only a slightly longer run and I could keep up the pace I wanted to.

Average pace this week: 7:10

Push-Ups and Burpees – I have changed my Push-Ups technique which has made them slightly harder to do. I.e. before I wasn’t really doing it properly! I also stopped doing 25 in the morning and 25 in the evening to do them all at once, just before I go for my run. Combining all of it together provides a better work out I think.

Caffeine – Sleeping very well so hoping that is something to do with this! Pangs for a cuppa are getting further and further apart, but still a few times per week.

Alcohol – Nothing to report! I got my weeks mixed up and the banana skin will actually fall in week 4.


Week Four Log

Week 4 Mega Detox Challenge Run Times

Week 4 Mega Detox Challenge Run Times

Running – One anomaly this week which was the stupidly slow 8:00 time on the Wednesday. What a shame! I played squash on Tuesday and it completely seized all of my muscles up the following day. I’m not too bothered as the squash was a wicked work out and a lot of fun! Seeing as there were a few days left over I worked out what my average was for the final 7 days of the month, along with those final 7 without the silly 8 minute run, which makes the stats look  a bit better. I’m all for fudging the figures if it makes me look better 🙂

Oh I also went out guns blazing this morning for my final run and beat my previous best with a 6:30 pace, so I was happy about that!

Average pace this week: 7:10

Average of final 7 days: 6:56

Average of final 7 days not including slow run after game of squash: 6:52

Push-Ups and Burpees – The squash game screwed my arms as well as my legs so had to go back to doing short and pathetic bursts of push-ups so get them all done, but I managed to struggle through. Rest and recovery period is needed after strenuous exercise… NOTED!

Caffeine – Nowt to report!

Alcohol – OK well you guessed it… I cracked and had a few pints at the pub after work on Friday. As I’d already failed I also had a few on Saturday after the golf. A shame, but no big deal really in the scale of things. I think I have taken enough away from this challenge already which I will write about in the final results.


* Don’t worry – this was part of Mrs TFS’s Christmas Present and I got the cinema tickets for dirt cheap on a voucher deal. I haven’t gone back to the dark side of the monthly cinema pass expenseBack ↑
** Don’t worry part 2 – it’s Orange Wednesday two for one deal 😉 Back ↑