Shaking Up My Training Goals

Right now I'm trying to work out what matters to me, regarding my health and fitness, what matters to me right now

At the moment, hundreds of runners on my twitter feeds are gearing up for London; Paris and triathlon season. In a sea of narrowly-focused, dedicated swimmers whizzing to their race island (to carry the metaphor), I am paddling around in circles floating on my back. What am I doing? I run, box, climb, do HIIT, kettlebells... Do I care about getting good at any one of these? Or am I just trying to survive? Let's break it down.


In running I just want to be consistent. I'd like to keep running 3 x per week. If that means low mileage, sure. If that means all easy runs, sure. If that means skipping some, well I'm skipping some. I have to prioritise my studies right now. Damn that depresses me a little.

This also means I don't think I can shoot for new things right now. One day I would love to run a marathon, run an ultramarathon, run an obstacle race, smash my 10K PB. I know its no excuse to be busy, everyone is busy, but I don't have the mental strength to dedicate to finessing my running. I need to be doing a variety right now, to keep fitness as my relaxation time, not as another thing to focus on and stress about. I'd like to get up some more hills, run some sunny riverbanks. I don't think I will be setting any distance or time PBs this year. I talked with my SO over the weekend about what it would take to get a 10K PB. It was a lot. A. Lot. Just thinking about it made me feel exhausted.


Currently I can climb purple (3), black (3 > 5), some blue (4 > 6a) and some red routes (5+ > 6a) at my bouldering wall (the most difficult ones are therefore V2/V3, for a look at how different bouldering grades compare see here). I would like to be climbing V3 or V4 by the end of my PhD. At my wall we have Grey 6c-7a+ and Green 6b+-7b+ routes that I cant even touch yet. As a short term goal, I'd like to get comfortable on the reds and the more strength-focused blue and blacks.

I appreciate I wont always be able to go, as climbing can take quite a few hours, but I am shooting for once a week. I currently go once or twice a week. My consistency hasn't always been there, so that's what I would like to maintain. I know in the running section I said I didn't expect improvement. You may be asking, "Why is climbing different?". Climbing is different because I haven't been doing it very long or very regularly. Sheer regular practice will improve my grade without much focused effort. I also find it very relaxing- it distracts my brain well because its full of miniature problems. I also think the simple addition of some more press ups or incline pull ups will really help.

Muay Thai Boxing

To be honest Muay Thai is likely going to be the weakest link ('goodbye'), as time gets compressed and I have to split and choose. Its not in a convenient location for me, and the training per night I go is random enough that I have no expectation of improvement. It has already sort of disappeared from my fitness calendar. I do it mostly for the health benefit and can use Meta Box at the university gym as a good proxy for that kind of fitness (punches) or circuit classes (HIIT moves, burpees).

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General (HIIT, kettlebells...)

Without sounding too preachy, the thing of central importance to me this year is my health and well-being, not improvement in any one sport. Fitness needs to be a sanity point. I therefore intend to keep fitting in small moments of fitness fun- lunchtime classes; runs uphill with friends, the odd weekend hike.

The key here I think will be to keep it entertaining- no grinding legs bums and tums classes, more fun kettlebells or silly strength exercises in the park with K. I've also been using Neila Rey online to find some quick, dirty, but difficult bodyweight sets for the days that the set gym times are no use.

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One thing I would like to improve is my eating habits, as I want good habits to be ingrained by the time I'm at a desk 14 hours a day. I eat well during the day but have a bad habit of snacking on crisps or sweets at night. In the final few months this will not do. It will make me feel sluggish and ill. This is the first thing I want to address over the next few weeks now the easter eggs are gone!

I have also been told yoga and stretch very much benefits climbing. Lets see if we can fit that in. I kind of doubt it as I am ridiculously un-motivated for yoga...


What are your current fitness goals?

Apologies for the re-used insta photos. I had no new ones for this post!


  1. I'm like you - I like to do a gazillion things! :) At the moment it's Bikram that's fallen off my regular schedule - mainly because it takes 90 minutes! It's the only kind of yoga that's exciting to me though, although I haven't tried Ashtanga, which I have a feeling I might like as it involves handstands :)

    And I'm with you on the evening snacking thing - it's the only reason I can't get my body fat % below 20. How do we tackle this? Any ideas??

    1. I think partially for me it is just removing it from my sightline! I'm so bad if they are sitting open beside me. I also think I dont snack enough healthily- I'm often STARVING when I hit home and then snack on crisps before dinner. A little carrot stick action on the walk home would be hugely advantageous; what do you think?

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I am not a runner, but I do enjoy climbing. Ever since I was a little child I used to love walking, hiking, climbing small rocks and trees, but it was only last week I decided to take it seriously and signed up for bouldering. I love it. My fitness goal is to try and climb 3 days a week and still go to the gym 2 days a week, just for core exercises, no heavy lifting. In the past I wanted big and lean muscles but now I'm mostly aiming at strength, endurance, and flexibility. Yoga would be beneficial, but I just don't see myself doing that. Even the thought of it bores me. My main problem is my eating habits. I will often starve all day and then end up having something like pizza or other form of fast food or crisps. Even though my calorie intake is waay under 2000, it's bad calories that overall make me feel ill and sluggish, instead of giving me energy. I want to try and have more meals but healthy and smaller. I like snacking on carrot sticks + houmous which is not too bad, I believe.

    1. I'm so glad you have started bouldering, youre going to adore it- its all about the love of movement that you clearly have.

      From my experience climbing has given me sneaky arm muscle that shows when used but not otherwise!

      Carrot sticks and hoummos is an awesome snack, though I like the sticks solo too :)