The Flowers Guide to Fitness

What I’ve outlined below is what has worked for me since I decided to take up endurance sports and to become a fitter and healthier human back in 2011. It’s not a perfect system, I can most certainly attest to that! But it’s how I started out and pretty much what I continue to do week in, week out (aside from some setbacks over the years).
I’m posting this because over the past couple of months a few friends have asked me how to go about becoming fitter and healthier – outlined below is pretty much what I have sent to them via e-mail…so far I’ve had no complaints from the people I’ve shared this with!
I’m no personal trainer, life guru or motivational maniac and I will advise that what is outlined below is merely a guide. Basically, you should listen to what your body tells you, find out what works for you and then stick to it! Consistency is key – for some people less is more and for others the sky is the limit – it’s up to you where you to find out where you are on that spectrum.
The final word from me is set some goals, go out there and do your best to achieve them. Most of all though – make sure you have FUN on the journey!
Peace & Blessings x
BASIC PRINCIPLES
Dietary discipline, reduce alcohol intake, more cardio workouts, fewer but harder strength and conditioning workouts, minimal dairy and the willingness and ability to:
A) feel tired a lot of the time
B) endure pain and remain motivated
C) push yourself past the point you think you need to stop once in a while
D) adopt a mantra to get you through tough times in training (and eventually racing). For instance, mine are ‘Keep on keeping on’, ‘You only regret the workouts you don’t do’ and when I’m asking myself “Why are you doing this” I answer ‘Sometimes you just do things’ and/or ‘Because you can and you know you can’.
 
DIET
No white carbs if possible. No potatoes. No takeaways (maybe once or twice a month). Two pub sessions per week maximum. No drinking at home. Try to cut down dairy consumption: no milk, no butter, no chocolate if possible.
Brown rice
Brown pasta
Brown bread/pitta
Quinoa
Bulgur wheat
Butter beans
Chickpeas
Broccoli, mushrooms, vine tomatoes, red cabbage, avocados, watercress, rocket, spinach, bananas, apples
Lamb heart, liver, chicken (no skin), turkey (leaner than chicken), red meat once a week maximum, mackerel, fresh sea fish
Try not to stray too far from the above ingredients and guidance and, along with exercising 4 times per week, you should be able to achieve some tangible results.
EXERCISE
Swim:
At least half an hour at least twice a week. Increase laps and/or time as weeks progress.
Sauna:
After each swim. Try 10 minutes to start and then increase the time as you become fitter and more confident.
Steam Room:
After each swim. Try 10 minutes to start and then increase the time as you become fitter and more confident.
Run:
Every other day. Saturday or Sunday you should run to the upper distance limit you can manage. During the week, faster but shorter sessions up to 12km (longer as time goes on). Don’t worry about beating your best time on each run, just go as you feel but always try to push it for at least part of the run.
Strength & Conditioning:
Strength & Conditioning Basics
Every other day. Add or exchange some of the above for bicep curls, tricep extensions and bench press if you like. The picture above is an example, start slowly with one or two sets of reps and only do the amount of reps per set that you are comfortable with. Increase reps and/or sets with time
GOAL SETTING
  • Do not focus on how much you weigh, just work hard and stay consistent until you notice the difference in the mirror. Those that know you will most likely provide positive commentary in time which is always pleasing. Do not weigh yourself more than once a month – personally I only weigh myself the week before a race and then a day after.
  • Pick a race to start off. Racing is a lot different to training so I suggest starting with a 10km road race before you jump in to Tough Mudder or Half Marathon +.
  • Aim to enter another race about 3 months after your first. This should be of the same distance as your first race to test how far you’ve come in training.
  • After your second race pick a challenging race: 10 miles, Half Marathon, Tough Mudder – whatever you feel is a little daunting. Try to make this about 4 or 5 months after the second race and then focus your mind and training towards this.
RESOURCES
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