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When we were soldiers


Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Big cheers to Mel G for the title. I reference it because it's safe to say that when we were soldiers was probably the fittest most of us had ever been and will ever be.

A decent diet before PAYD raped us all, forced fitness kept us trim and a generally active lifestyle plus mad shagging meant most of our calories were dealt with. Less if you were a Marine and thus the one being shagged.

I spouted about fitness ages ago somewhere and basically said we should never stop trying to keep fit and always think of how the young and keen soldier of yesteryear would look at us now and call us civvie biffs.

I used to run loads after leaving the army, and kept it up for about four years. Job, family, other commitments... Those bastards all chisel away at my spare time and I've not ran in donkeys now, and have put on some ration survival fat which whilst there's a Cold War looming, is probably not to my benefit right now.

Thing is, I think there are a few of us that could probably do with pulling our socks up and making more of an effort.

As such, I thought we could look to get a little bit of fitness back into our lives, where relevant and it helps to be part of a group.

If you're interested, here's what I propose:

Op Name: Certain Death
Intent: Get fitter, be happier, keep Death disappointed.
When: 23rd April until 23rd May
Objective: Record at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, sex not included (you don't get much calorie burn or CV work from lying on your back... Or front...)

So dead simple. If you want to do it, take a post and each day from Monday onwards, when you do your exercise be it a run, swim, walk, cycle, etc, just record it by editing your original post thus:

How did you feel?

At the end it should read like a training diary.

For apps that track, I use Strava. Gives great feedback on your pace, time, etc.

For entertainment, I use Zombies, Run! which I highly recommend you check out.

Remember though, can be anything, even if it's 30 minutes of circuits in the garden or 30 minutes of running up and down the stairs. Nobody gets judged, nobody gets ridiculed.

The key point is, we do it and reap the benefits.

Any takers?

EDITED: I've gone through and pruned the thread - your posts are hidden, not deleted. Everyone who wants to take part in this now should have their 'diary' at the top of the thread, so it's not hidden in among the chat.

I can't see a better way to organise the thread, so if you can, try and chat in your own post? If anyone wants to join, start a post and get your diary running. If too much chat fills up, I'll prune it again to keep the diaries at the top.


My diary

Date: 23rd April
Activity: Lots and lots of walking and a 3 mile run
Duration: ****, knew I forgot something.
How did you feel?: For the walk, it was Edinburgh, those bastard hills. The run was pure guilt, as I'd gone to Brewdog with a mate and ate and drank quite a bit. So the run was a wobbly one, but it was at night and it felt great, with cool fresh air and that feeling of being outdoors reminding me of my first time on exercise in Pirbright. Ah the days!

Date: 24th April
Activity: Struggled today just for time as I've got a ton of work to do, but I've done a few bursts up and down the stairs with high knees and I've tried for the sit-ups and press-ups
Duration: Combined, about fifteen minutes
How did you feel?: Put it this way, if this was the fitness test, I'd be hoping my neighbour was bluffing the counting.....

Date: 25th April
Activity: Jog around the neighbourhood
Duration: 40min
How did you feel?: Forgot how much I just enjoy being outside and keeping active. Weather was shit but hey-ho. I also feel much better for easing back into it all rather than doing my usual which is run for miles on day one and hobble myself for three weeks.

Note: I've also started cutting out the shit I eat. Eating much less but eating healthier. I also discovered the joys of 'oat milk' which is just oats and water with a tiny pinch of salt. It's maybe an acquired taste but at 50cal per 100ml and being oats, it's actually good for you.

Date: 26th April
Activity: No exercise today, but after work I spent two hours in the garden, weeding / mowing / hedges, etc and generally trying to de-muck after winter.
Duration: Two hours
How did you feel: Like I'm letting myself down by not doing exercise, but I had to remind myself that it's not just about doing exercise, it's about just becoming more active generally speaking.
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yup - but there will be some rest days in there.

23 Apr 18 - 2 mi warm up run, 4 x 400m (hard PE = 8) then 10 burpees; check-out with 150m lunge walk. 50 mins all in. Was meant to do 6 x 400m, but realised I probably need to ease in after 3 weeks off.
24 Apr 18 - decent DOMS from the lunge walks added too by an hour of Pilates. Significantly less DOMS now, but we'll see how I fare tomorrow...
25 Apr 18 - 5 x 5 squat @ 80
5 x 5 thruster @ 45
5 x 5 bench press @ 80
5 x 5 deadlift @ 105 superset 5 x 5 narrow grip parallel chins

Not looking forward to the DOMS tomorrow.

26 Apr 18 - ran 3.7mi because I’m a sap. Gentle 9:01 pace, lovely day outside so just enjoyed it. DOMS after last night not as bad as feared, but there’s still tomorrow...
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War Hero
Am short for my weight (though 6 foot :( ) and used to walk 70 mins to work & back, but dodgy knee, heavy loads, pissy weather (lots of other excuses) have been taking the bus.
Cycling would be OK, but takes the same time as walking if you count the showering time, there's 2 hills.
I hate sweating, so it's the wrong time to be rushing about...but I would hate buying fatbloke trousers more.

mate suggested the ' half bean' diet - beans on toast? half a can instead of whole one. three biscuits with a cuppa? try one. Not so much losing weight as not piling on more.
15 mins today carrying & lobbing out of date supplies in a bin, quick walk to & from bus stop & supermarket for lunch.
Bonne chance, mon braves. On y va!
Hmm - fuggit i'm in, started yesterday before i saw this.

Date: 23/4/18
Activity: AM core Circuits 5/10/3 PM 5km Erg
Duration: 20mins & 23Mins
How did you feel? Achey, breakey - (body not sound track)

Date 24/4/18
Activity AM Core Circuits 5/10/3 PM 5Km Erg
Duration 20mins & 22 Mins
How did you feel? Meh. Rubbish running weather, so Erg again

Date 25/4/18
Activity Walked round a work site perimeter twice (2.4km)
Duration half an hour
How did you feel? Though a rest day from circuits/cardio, nice to stretch the legs and lift the first week lethargy fug

Date: 26/4/18
Activity:AM Core circuits 5/15/3 PM 3.6km work/rest/play run
Duration: 20mins & 24mins
How did you feel? Stretching & rest day gave a bit of spring to the legs.
Read up on the String test today (height/waist ratio Can we trust BMI to measure obesity? ) so back on 5:2 as well

Activity:AM Core circuits 5/15/3 PM 3.6km work/rest/play run
Duration:24mins & 25mins
How did you feel? legs heavier and bit sluggish & bit of a head wind made it more stagger/shamble/lurch

Date: 28/4/18
Activity: AM Core circuits 5/15/3 PM 3.6km walk/jog/run
Duration:24mins & 25mins
How did you feel? PM sesh started great, 2/3rds done on the bounce, then "Man not hot, Sound of the police, OPP, 99 problems & insane in the membrane" sound track crip'd the pace.

Date: 29/4/18
AM Core circuits 5/15/3 PM 3.6km walk/trot/jog
24mins & 26mins
How did you feel?
Achey legs slow to warm up- still blaming the sound track...
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Walking to Largs from my home in Paisley today (well, Saturday) is enough for a while. Over 22 miles to get to the train station there, plus another one-mile walk from the station in Paisley, to my home's not a bad day out. Especially in that heat. I can't remember the last time I necked back that much water.

I wish I could indent for some tougher feet though. The last eight miles to Largs was an utter bitch, with it being rather rather hilly in bits just one of the problems. I'm not sure I'd go that route again. Too much traffic and far too many idiot bastard stupid speeding ****** motor-bikers for comfort, sharing just two lanes total. And not one bloody traffic Dibble all sodding day to book the idiots.
Last week:
Mon. 6am boot camp on the beach. Varies, but this week we took a ships tow rope for a run on the beach. Loads of sit ups, squats etc in the surf with the rope.
Mon pm. 60 min spin class

Tues. am. 8km dog walk on the beach. Spin class. pm weights session

Wed. am. Boot camp. Mixed session including free weights, body weight exercises and sprints. Pm spin class

Thu. am. 8km dog walk. Yoga. Pm spin class

Fri. 8 km beach run. Swim. Spin class. pm. Beer

Sat Dog walk. beer

Sun (this morning). Spin class

I burn about 3500 cal a day and I’m fitter than I’ve ever been....

Activity: Jog with kids , cut short in the 2nd km by dog biting daughter. Rest of day in hospital.
Duration: 10 minutes
How did I feel: Bloody angry at irresponsible dog owners. Council issued an order and dog made a last visit to the vets.....

Activity: 16km speed walk
Duration: 3 hours 15
How did I feel: sore.

Wed 25th
weight lifting. Light weights, less than 0.5kg. Multiple reps.
Two-up, multiple games
Duration: all day
How did you feel: pissed. Its Anzac Day and my good intentions to avoid beer got blown at breakfast....

Date: Thu 26
Activity: Beach boot camp. An hour of boxing, pokie drills with scaffolding tubes, sprints, a couple of circuits of squats, kettle bells etc finished off by an ocean swim
How do I feel: energised. Anzac Day excess burned off!.
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I'll put one in the bank for tomorrow because, as I mentioned, I'll be out kegelling and drinking.

Date: today obviously
Activity: 5km run + 5 min warm up/down at each end.
Duration: 41 mins 42 secs.
How did I feel: Pretty good and refreshed. It was nice out in the local woods. It is quite warm (23deg at 1130), but being in a forest I was mostly in the shade.

Date: Tues 24 April
Activity: 5km run with 5 min warm up/down at each end
Duration: 42 mins 37 secs (Slower)
How did I feel: Weather was cold and a little blowy, so not too warm, but otherwise OK

Date: 27 Apr
What: 5 km run with 5 min warm up/down at each end
Duration: 40:57
Feel: Relaxed, especially after cold showering my leg muscles.

Date: 28 Apr
What: Cutting and raking about 1200m2 grass.
Duration: 1.5 Hours
Followed by...
What: Lifting, splitting and stacking loads of firewood for next winter (Or the one after)
Duration: 2 Hours or so.
Feeling: Knackered all over. Fell asleep on the couch at 21:00-ish.

(Still going for a run this afternoon though :) )

Same run again, but a little bit quicker. I actually got a worse running index score on Polar Flow (32 today, 36 on Friday:( ), probably because my heartrate was over 90%. Also tried the hip-stretches as part of the post warm-down stretching. We'll see how that goes with time.

Date: 29 Apr
What: 5 km run with 5 min warm up/down at each end
Duration: 38:42
Feel: Relaxed, with that comforting slight fatigue feel in the thighs. Cold showered my leg muscles (Again).
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Went for small run this morning and hips and legs were in bits . Possibly due to longish bike ride Saturday but it is recurring I find.
As I drive a lot and sit on my arse at work im thinking this is contributing.
I've done some Egoscue realignment stuff but I don't think for long enough
@Whey_Aye_Banzai do you have any hip stretches that might help? I'm also thinking of stretching legs before running which I always used to do but gave up as modern thinking is not to stretch before a run. What are your thoughts?


Book Reviewer

Getting started
If you’ve not done much physical activity for a while, you may want to get the all-clear from a GP before starting.

For the exercises that require a chair, chose one that is stable, solid and without wheels. You should be able to sit with feet flat on the floor and knees bent at right angles. Avoid chairs with arms as this will
restrict your movement.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and keep some water handy.
Try to attempt these exercises at least twice a week, this will help to improve muscle strength, balance and co-ordination.
Build up slowly and aim to increase the repetitions of each exercise over time.
As your fitness improves, why not look for a group session near you? Age UK have lots of ideas.


War Hero
yesterday and today
walking & carrying stuff
4x15 mins both days, got off the bus a few stops early/walked down the road to the next stop
How did you feel

Urgh, sweaty!
Glad to get away from the smelly bus-people, noisy, too much perfume/.aftershave.
Sad, could've done it a few years ago without thinking; knee a bit tricky stomping along
Glad to make a bit of a start. Investigate if work pay cycling mileage.
Start weight : 18 stone/114.3 kg pre breakfast, post morning swamp. Nekkid

Date MONDAY 23rd April

Activity.1 Foundation yoga (technique rather than full flow thrashing)
Duration 1 hour 15
How did you feel. Aching at start but great afterwards.sweaty as ****

Date TUESDAY 24 April

Activity.1 sunrise yoga 0645
Duration 1 hour
How did you feel. Strong Had a jacuzzi before and after so feeling fine although there was a para in the group which made the women uneasy :mrgreen:

Currently piling into admin and comforting myself with three 330 ml cans of heineken a visitor rather disrespectfully left in my fridge, may have to drink and cycle down to bargain booze for something proper.....bearing in mind I have to hit flow yoga tomorow at 0930. Puking in front of hotty yoga teachers probably not a good look

Date Wednesday 25 April
. Hot flow yoga (40 degrees)
Duration 1 hour
How did you feel: brutal session lost a kg in bodily fluids

The thread is working as described. Got up this am with nowt planned and thought I can’t drop the ball in front of those cuntbags on arrse so went for my first run in about 3 years.

Date Thursday 26 April
Activity: gentle run around the neighbourhood
Duration 25 minutes
How did you feel. Old and creaky but didn’t die

Date 27 April
Activity. Two dog walks
How did you feel. Fine
Just got diagnosed with pneumonia, after 6 weeks and three GPs. Practice nurse finally pinged it and kicked doctors arses. Sooooo wheels may have become wobbly if not fallen off. Feel totally ok but now full of antibiotics
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Start weight 92kg

Date - 23/04/18
Activity - 4.85km run/jog
Duration - 28:51
How did you feel? Rough. First time I've run the whole distance for a while.

Date - 26/04/18
Activity - 3050m run/jog
Duration - 16:56
How did you feel? - Not too bad, actually.

Date: 28/04/18
Activity: 5.5km hangover recovery jog
Duration: 35:11
How did you feel? Not too good during. Feeling a bit fresher afterwards though.

Date: 29/04/18
Activity: 6.53km dog walk.
Duration: 1:07:17
How did you feel: Great! Lovely weather today.
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no f in beer

War Hero
Started today - hah!
Bike ride to and from school, about a mile, bloody battery ran out on bike so i had to peddle quite hard.
Felt awful, but that is down to the heart failure, and having a bad day, oh, and i cut the grass on the front lawn, really shouldn't have

Bike fully charged for tomorrow :)
Shagged but not breathless and a little moist, I dont perspire much

34:08 mins
Still shagged , stumps complaining and a good "glow"
tomorrow I may up the speed to "outrun the tortoise"

Treadmill of hell
a little less than yesterday , a little sore kept the same speed though

Must try harder

Tried harder..
on my "Hill"
got a second wind at 35:00 ish and increased the incline a bit got a proper sweat and aching hips and sore stumps

edited to add picView attachment 332348

The never ending road
almost 30 mins , would have been more had it not been for the sausage casserole being ready
on the level , the incline is a bit too much at the moment
aches and soreness and a warm glow

No treadmill today
surprise guests staying for the evening
will build myself up with steak and alcohol
Still feel a wee bit sore but in a good way


Back on the run ing machine
34mins gradient 2
Tired , stopping for a day isnt a good idea



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23 Apr 18
8 km
Walking the dog
50 mins

Just restarted exercise post operation on my left hand, normally swim 3 times a week but can not due to still open wound.

24 Apr 18
8 km
Walking the dog, different route so as not to get bored
47 mins but who is counting.

26 Apr 18
Clearing brambles with a mattock
1.5 hrs
Knackered difficult to use mattock with only 1 and a half hands.

29 Apr 19
9 km including 300 ft of ascent.
Dog walking,
50 mins


Moderately fatigued.
First time in the water for 6 weeks after operation on my hand, times 10 seconds off over 400m no adverse reaction in hand overall v pleased.
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23 Apr 18
2.49 Miles.
Walking to and from college.
Rather slow.
Blisters still healing.

Date - Wednesday 25th April
Activity - Walk to and from various locations in Paisley to pay bills etc.
Duration - an hour or two.
How did you feel? - not bad. Feet still healing so no kicking the ass out of things.

Date: Thursday 26th April 2018.
Location: In and around Paisley.
Activity: Brisk(ish) walk, around three miles or so, to various locations and back home.
Time taken: No idea - left phone in house and hence no step count/total time taken available.
How do you feel: Not bad. Feet are still healing, but better than before.

Date: 27th April 2018
Activity: Brisk(ish) walk/setting up new fibre broadband account/shopping.
Duration: About an hour and a half.
Location: In and around Paisley.
How do you feel?: Not too bad. Feet slightly better.

Date: 29th April.
Location: My apartment building.
Activity: Brushing and mopping my landing and stairs.
Duration: About quarter of an hour.
How do you feel?: A bit sweaty.
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What the hell, 51 and trying to get some weight off... the wife and I have been ferrying the kids to judo for nearly a decade now, and three years ago they started up an adult beginner class at the club, so we both joined in. Always fun to be laughed at by your eldest for poor technique, before he discovers (on the vanishingly few occasions that we work together) that mass has a technique all of its own, muhahahaha (he may be a brown belt and in the Scotland development squad, but I'm 80kg while he's only 46kg). Lately I'm puddling along at two or three exercise sessions a week, this is a chance to raise that...

Date MONDAY 23 April
Activity Judo class
Duration 90 minutes
How did you feel? Not too bad - more of a technical session last night. Getting chucked around for a sequence of shoulder and hip throws by a beginner who hasn't quite got the same control as the more experienced types... has some impact badoom *tish*

Grip related bruises on the forearms after Saturday's groundwork and conditioning session are going down. When T-shirt weather finally arrives in Edinburgh, it's going to look as if I'm a battered husband...

Date TUESDAY 24 April
Activity Cardio session at the gym, mostly on an elliptical trainer. Some of it at rather high intensity.
Duration 45 minutes
How did you feel? Not as smooth as I could be... still, the fitness test mode claims that I've got an approximate VO2max of 40. Bit of a drop from my heyday :(

Date WEDNESDAY 25 April
Activity Cardio session at the gym, mostly on an elliptical trainer. Again, some of it at rather high intensity.
Duration 50 minutes
How did you feel? Sweaty...

Date THURSDAY 26 April
Activity Cardio session at the gym, mostly on an elliptical trainer. It means I can read a book while I exercise :)
Duration 60 minutes
How did you feel? Very sweaty... with the upside that I lasted longer on the fitness test, so its guesstimate of VO2max is now 45. What's interesting is seeing my heart rate over its theoretical maximum of 169, for five or ten minutes, while I was still aerobic... (I've had an HRM for over twenty years; my heart always used to beat slow, as in mid-thirties, but run fast when exercising). 79kg.

Got dragged out to shoot for the County team in the evening; interestingly, the upper-body / core stability work I've been doing for the judo appears to be doing me some good in my shooting. My competition average this past winter's indoor season is 99, and I managed to keep to it for last night's Commonwealth Cities / BSA Cup postal matches. My left shoulder was feeling it by the end, though...

Date FRIDAY 27 April
Activity More lunchtime cardio. High-intensity start, then a 40-minute low-intensity session.
Duration 60 minutes
How did you feel? OK... Decided to have an easier session today, so did more of a cooldown at near-zero resistance before starting up again. Trust what your body tells you, and it's a conditioning session at judo tomorrow...

Date SATURDAY 28 April
Activity Judo; our Saturday class is groundwork. Core warmup, twenty minutes technical, twenty minutes of randori (rather full-on), ten minutes of HIIT to finish. Yay...
Duration 60 minutes
How did you feel? Knackered. As expected. Judo may not involve striking, but it's definitely full-contact / full effort.
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Date Tues 24th
Activity Run / Free weights
Duration 10 min treadmill fast run 30 mins weights dumbells
How I felt Annoyingly cheerful all morning.

treadmill run 180 method
Frustration at having to walk in parts. Good afterwards though. Sticking with it.

Date 26/4/18
Activity 8 mile cycle to work 8 mile back
Duration 25 mins each way
How did you feel? Sound as a pound although rucksack is a pain in the arse to carry.

Also got hip stretching advice from ultra marathon guy at work and I've been tap dancing round the house like a twat. Buzzing.

Date 27 4 18
Activity treadmill run 180 method
Duration 45 mins
How did you feel? Easy and hip stretches have helped already

Date 28/4/18
Activity Bouldering at local climbing wall
Duration 1.5 hours
How did you feel? Exhausted, arms were blown out and fingers couldn't grip by the end. Good fun though
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