The main picture here today is of the Arizona Road that Forrest Gump ran down in the film of the same name where by he ran and kept on running and feels highly pertinent to me today, let me explain why…..

With my health and fitness, things have changed quite a lot in the past year since I started weightlifting. I am stronger than I have ever been and can lift heavier weights than ever before in my life. I am also heavier than I have ever been in my life. As I’ve got heavier and more muscular, I’ve eaten more and this Summer I’ve eaten poorly and lazily to be honest. Then following my recent holiday where I ate and drank a lot, and with masses of naughty stuff, I decided to get myself into shape once again.

I’ve taken my ‘before’ photos and will place them side by side with my ‘after’ photos in 8 weeks time and I’ll share them here. When looking at my current size, shape and weight, if I am really honest with myself I look pretty good and am in fairly decent shape for a man in his mid 40s. However, when I look at the core values of how I live my life, run my business and adhere to my life philosophy, nowhere in my life vision, or core values does it once mention being “fairly decent” as part of who and how I am. it says achieve to the best of my abilities, dominate my goals, and be exceptional wherever possible. So I’m on a mission to be that way right now with regards to my health and fitness.

The mission I set myself yesterday is one of Search and Destroy:

Search – for my fitness levels and my abs.
Destroy – current fitness level and belly fat.

How am I doing this?

Firstly, I am part of my gym’s 8 week eating and nutrition programme which holds me very accountable indeed with regards to how and what I eat. There is no magic dietary formula to this, just solid good nutrition and charting what I eat, the volume of what I eat and keeping it healthy without feeling deprived and without going hungry – no-one likes feeling hungry all the time, I have no intention of living like that.

Secondly, in addition to my weight training that is going very well, I am introducing the running back into my weekly regimen, that started today.

I took this photo this morning and posted it on Instagram.

I like to call this my “front cover of GQ magazine face” – this “special” look is from this morning’s run, at the end, taken at the top of Middle Chine Hill following an efforts interval session (1.5 mile warm-up, 8 x 400m effort intervals of 80% upwards of my Vo2 max heart rate with 30 second rests, then 1.5 mile cool-down). I found it exhausting.

I’m back running, which is great and I have a renewed love for it. I had lost my mojo following an injury and coming 12th at the New Forest marathon (the last marathon I competed in) seems like a long way off right now. I feel strong when running dynamically and when sprinting because I have a lot more muscle than before when I was running 70-80 miles per week. However, my weight causes a bit of a drag when running, and importantly, my endurance has gradually withered and faded. Getting back running with a variety of training sessions is going to help massively with all of this. My only goal currently is to regain some much lost fitness levels and destroy some belly fat, I am not training for any events. The goals are specific and I have goal focus for each of the runs I engage in and have planned.

I am following the Fuhrman FIRST institute 3 runs a week programme alongside my gym weightlifting training until Christmas. That’ll include a threshold run, a long run and an intervals run each week.

The psychological tools I used today and that I will be using in coming weeks are as follows, go read these articles, they’ll help in a variety of health and fitness, not just for running in most cases.

a) In dealing with the elements here on the coast, I use this. Using Self-Hypnosis To Help Running Performance In Strong Winds.
b) There are plenty of hills and hill sessions I’ll be running, so this is essential. Using Self-Hypnosis To Become a Hill Running Machine!
c) Because I am pretty heavy right now and am feeling it when running. Getting Lighter Legs When Running Using Self-Hypnosis.
d) While I regain my fitness, I need to get my mind on board and used to it all again. Altering Our Perceived Level Of Effort When Running Using Self-Hypnosis.
e) I’ll be setting up all my running mantras again. The Advancing of the Runner’s Mantra – Using Self-Hypnosis.
f) Finally, I want to really keep getting the thrill of the run. Getting and Using The Runners High With Self-Hypnosis

There’ll be plenty more I’ll be back using and engaging with, but this is my initial set of self-hypnosis strategies that I am using at the moment as I get the wheels slowly turning once again.

I’ll be back tomorrow, because I have something very important to write about….. In the meantime though, here is the first song from my current running soundtrack and the inspiration for my Search and Destroy theme, of course, it’s Iggy and the Stooges….