I went to the gym on Sunday and began with one set of the abs exercises Pete suggested I do with my workouts:

- Hanging knee raises x 10
- Side bends x 10 on each side (20-lb weight)
- Abdominal toe touches x 20

I then did Week 6 Day 1 of the 10k Runner app:

- Warmup x 5 min
- Run x 10 min
- Walk x 5 min
- Run x 10 min
- Cool down x 5 min

I managed to do the two runs at 7.5 km/h without reducing the speed at all! Each 10-minute run was a distance of 1.25 km/h so I managed to do 3.5 km in 30 minutes (not including the cool down at the end). I had some water and did two more sets of the abs exercises.

I had a session with Pete on Monday morning. I started with a 10-minute warmup on the cross-trainer and some stretches. He told me I’d be lifting weights during the session. The first set of exercises was:

- Romanian deadlifts x 12 (20-lb weights)
- Leg extensions x 12 (machine)
- Repeat two more times

After I’d done three sets of those exercises, I did an abs circuit:

- Single leg abdominal in/out x 20 (alternating 10 on each side)
- Side raises x 16 (8 on each side)
- Weighted crunches x 20 (10-lb weight)

I’d forgotten my mat at home so Pete improvised a little. The single leg abdominal in/out was similar to cycling crunches. The side raises were done with my elbow on a bench so I was at an incline, rather than in a side plank position. The weighted crunches were done on a bench, holding a 10-lb weight behind my neck.

I had some water and did three sets of the following exercises:

- Incline chest press x 12 (15-lb weights)
- Bent over row x 12 (10-lb weights)

After three sets, I did the same abs circuit as before. I had some more water and moved on to the third group of exercises:

- Bicep curls x 12 (10-lb weights)
- Tricep kickbacks x 12 (3-kg weights)
- Abductor machine x 12

Pete had forgotten that we only have an abductor machine at our gym – or it would have been 12 reps on that too! I did three sets of that and did another set of abs exercises. And I was done for the day! I did some stretches and went home.

On Tuesday morning I was a bit sore in my upper body but I went back to the gym for Week 6 Day 2 of the 10k Runner app. I began with one set of the abs exercises (hanging knee raises, side bends, abdominal toe touches) and then did my run:

- Warmup x 5 min
- Run x 10 min
- Walk x 3 min
- Run x 10 min
- Cool down x 5 min

I did another two sets of the abs exercises and went home.

I had another session with Pete on Wednesday morning. He told me it would be more cardio-based (ugh). I warmed up on the treadmill for 1 km and did some stretches. He told me that before each group of exercises I’d do a fire hydrant abs circuit. I was on all fours and did the following routine:

- Lift leg out to the side and forward x 10
- Lift leg out to the side and back x 10
- Lift leg out x 10
- Repeat on the other side

I did a 4-minute Tabata circuit:

- Burpees x 20 s
- Rest x 10 s
- Bicep curls x 20 s (10-lb weights)
- Rest x 10 s
- Mountain climbers x 20 s
- Rest x 10 s
- Combined front/side raise x 20 s (3-lb weights)
- Rest x 10 s
- Repeat

I did another set of fire hydrants and then did the following group of exercises:

- Monster walk x 10 steps forward, 10 steps backward x 2
- Walking lunges x 2 lengths of the gym
- Jumping jacks x 30
- Pushups x 10
- Repeat three times, no breaks

For the ‘monster’ walk, I had my legs wide with the resistance bands around my ankles and my hands up. With the walking lunges, I had to do a double lunge each time I took a step – so step, dip, dip, step, dip, dip, etc.

I did two sets of the following abs exercises:

- Plank and single leg raise x 10 (alternating 5 on each side)
- Butterfly situps x 20 (10-lb weight)

While in the plank position I had to lift one leg and put it back down, lift the other and put it back down, alternating 5 times on each side.

I did another set of fire hydrants and finished with another abs circuit:

- Crunches (arms at my sides) x 10
- Crunches (arms above my knees) x 10
- Reverse crunches x 10
- Crunches (arms overhead) x 10

I did some stretches and was done. Yay!

My glutes felt sore the following day! I went back to the gym on Thursday morning for Week 6 Day 3 of the 10k Runner app:

- Warmup x 5 min
- Run x 15 min
- Walk x 3 min
- Run x 5 min
- Cool down x 5 min

Well, that’s what I was supposed to do – but going from 10 minutes to 15 minutes is a big jump! And when I started running I wasn’t even sure I’d make it to 10 minutes, but told myself to get to 11 minutes at least. I ended up doing this:

- Warmup x 5 min
- Run x 11 min
- Walk x 1 min
- Run x 4 min
- Walk x 2 min
- Run x 5 min
- Cool down x 5 min

So I ran the same number of minutes I would have, I just broke it up differently. I found it really tough though – and will probably spend next week doing the same workout a couple of times just to get used to it. I didn’t do the abs exercises on Thursday – I was running late and knew I’d be getting plenty of exercise over the weekend as I was going on a yoga retreat at XVA Hotel in Bastakiya, which was hosted by one of the teachers I know at Eco Yoga Sanctuary. I hadn’t done any yoga since the end of April so I thought this would be a good way to get back into it!

We were a small group at the retreat: me, my friend S, the yoga teacher and her mum. Our first class was at 6 pm on Thursday evening – it was an hour long and took place in one of the air-conditioned courtyards of the hotel (where all our classes took place over the weekend). We had a sleep yoga session at 9 pm – but that was more relaxation/meditation and we didn’t move at all.

On Friday we had yoga at the following times: 7-8:15 am, 12-1 pm and 6-7 pm. The classes were really good – more of a Hatha Flow class than regular Hatha yoga. The 6 pm class on the Friday was tough though as the courtyard was really warm and we were all drenched in sweat by the end of it (we realised halfway through that the air-conditioner was on the wrong setting). We had another sleep yoga session at 9 pm that night.

We had our last class of the retreat at 7 am on Saturday morning.

Total distance covered this week?

Low point of the week? Not being able to run for 15 minutes while doing Week 6 Day 3 of the app.

High point of the week? Getting back to yoga. And having five gym sessions and five yoga sessions in the week!

Weight loss? Pretty steady for now. I didn’t have scales over the weekend so didn’t weigh myself.

Read more updates here.

[…] Friday morning I went to a yoga brunch at the XVA Hotel in Al Bastikiya. I’d been on a weekend yoga retreat in June with the same teacher, and she’s now organising yoga brunches. Eight of us (all women) had a […]