Things Can Only Get Better…..

(You may want to scroll down and play the song so you can listen as you read…then again, you may not!)

I was up bright an early on this very cold and foggy Saturday morning. When I looked out at my car all frozen up (which was a struggle to see in the fog as it was parked on the other side of the road) I thought that there would be no chance parkrun was on today. Then news come through on social media that the event was indeed cancelled, so I headed down to Sweat for a session down there instead. It was a shame parkrun was cancelled. I’m starting to feel fitter, and although I’m nowhere the 22.04 time I got in the summer I was looking forward to seeing some progress since my last park run.


Today’s Sweat session was one of Leigh Barber’s. Leigh’s sessions are usually SUPER tough. However I think the cold might of gotten to him or he may just of been in a nice mood (look at his smile in the picture!!), as although this session was tough it wasn’t quite as evil as it usually is (though the finisher was pretty brutal like). The music was of its normal awful “clubland bounce” standard though. I’m looking forward to the imminent new playlist with Sweat members selections (ANYTHING is better than “clubland bounce”!)

After a TABATA starter (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest) of jumping lunges and high knees (4 lots) to get nice and warm on this cold day we then moved on to the real substance of the session –  an 8 minute ascending ladder, going up in 2’s (2, 4, 6, 8 etc…) of: Kettle bell swings (says American on the board – I can only do the Russian variety due to my rubbish shoulder), single arm row (I used 24kg kettle bells for both of these), and split leg squat (20kg kettlebell).  To make things interesting there was 6 jump squats EMOM (every minute, on the minute) chucked in. I got up to 12 sets in the allotted time.

Next up was another EMOM. This time to do 20 seconds of Romanian deadlifts to really burn the hamstrings up (using 2 x 16kg kettlebells) then in the remainder of the minute do burpees – when you’ve done ‘em you can rest for the rest of the minute. The first 2 rounds were 7 burpees each round, the next 2 rounds were 8 each, then 2 lots of 9, then the last couple of rounds, 2 lots of 10.

Finally, the finisher. “TEAM SUICIDE SPRINTS”. Now, to try to articulate this in words. Actually no, a diagram will do:



Hopefully this make sense, its basically sprinting around the cones – 2 lots of them, then sprinting down to the other end of the gym and back. This was partnered up with someone (I was partnered up with Stu Abel – we went out running after this – more in a bit), so you only get a 1:1 rest. We had to do 10 each of these. This really hurt. A real tough finisher.

After a stretch off and a quick change in to the old running gear we headed up to The Dream (that big white girls head that looks out over the M62 on the old Sutton Manor Colliery), to meet up with the running club and to get some hill training done on the trails around there.

Most of the people doing this had ran up from Widnes but as we had been to Sweat we elected to meet them up there. As we got there the ones who had ran up had understandingly already started on the hills rather that waiting around to get cold (it was freeezzzing!), so Stu and I and another couple (The Seddon’s) set of in hot pursuit to find them. It’s not hard to find a big group of runners on the trails round the Dream and we were soon with them.

Running up the hills to get to Dream is tough work, but the fog had cleared up round here and we got some cracking views and some cracking, cold, crisp, bright weather:


20161126_110248  20161126_110213



After a couple of laps with the running clubbers they headed off back to Widnes so we done another lap and a half and headed back to the car.

All in all some nice running up and around there. We done around a total of 4.5 miles up there with a good few hills thrown in, and in the clear weather it was pretty enjoyable (well the downhill bits where), so I’ve got to be happy with that.


Next up is the Pennington Flash Festive Five Mile on Sunday morning. Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post for this.


Peace and love.


PS – You can sponsor me at:


If you’re wondering about the title and the awful song choice for this blog then read on:

Because I’m a child/idiot/whatever I like to give things stupid names, so in my world that big white head is called D:Ream, not Dream. By going running up there “Things Can Only Get Better” has been stuck in my head. You could argue that this is Prof Brian Cox’s finest hour. Maybe I’ll request that this is added to the Sweat playlist (anything is better than “clubland bounce”).


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