The second week of daily core exercises is complete and I am still meeting my daily goals.

You’ll recall – or you might if you caught the blog post a week ago – that I have set myself the target of being able to complete 200 crunches and four 1-minute planks by the end of the month. In an effort to build up to this by the end of February, I started low and then committed to bumping up the totals every seven days.

In Week 1 (1-7 February) I started with 100 crunches and four 30-second planks each day. This last week (8-14 February) I upped that to 133 crunches and four 40-second planks each day. So far, things are going according to plan and I am getting through the exercises without an issue each day.

It’s just anecdotal on my part (we are all experiments of N=1, after all) but the planks are coming easier than the crunches. Not that either are particularly troubling, but where I would once be shaking after a plank of 20 or 30 seconds, I am now knocking over 40 second planks with sometimes only 20 seconds of rest before starting the next one. In fact, about the only time I really find myself shaking in a plank is when I have eaten immediately before starting the exercise, and even then I still complete the planks.

The crunches I started out doing in sets of 25 or 33 with a slight pause between sets but as the week draws to a close I have instead been trying to do as many as I can in a single ‘big’ set and then completing the remainder in a shorter second set. This has seen me do 110 or 115 crunches at a time, rest for a short period, then close out with the final couple of dozen. Like anything, I guess, the more you do, the better you get at it.

week-two-crunchesI’ve continued to track the core workouts on Strava each day as this is a good way for me to stay accountable to myself. I’ve set these workouts as private activities so they are not crowding up the feeds of other people and, frankly, these exercises are something I am working on myself outside of my regular training time so there’s no need to get all ‘Strava social’ about them.

For the week to come I am again upping the number of crunches and the length of the planks. This is the last ‘step’ before I reach my goal of 200 crunches and four 1-minute planks and it will involve 166 crunches and four 50-second planks each day. As is the normal schedule for me, I think I will continue to do these in the evening either before dinner (if I can) or just afterwards (with the aforementioned problem of post-dinner effects on the planks) when Jamie goes to bed.

Get it done, log it on Strava, and get closer to the goal – as last week, so far things are on track.

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