Off Season, Rehab & Fitness

Before I started playing cricket again I wrote about my concerns regarding my fitness levels and how well my body would cope, and throughout the season I documented in my diary how it was working out.

My end of season diary post covered in detail how I felt the season went but overall I was happy. My general level of fitness was good, but I struggled in two significant areas: my old injuries and years of neglecting them and the fact my body had not done anything like that required to play cricket.

I muddled/nursed my way through aided by a lot of stretching and less games being organised than I had expected to play.

I have three objectives over the off season: improve my overall level of fitness, rehabilitation of my old injuries and the effect they have had on my body, and improve my cricket specific fitness.

I have two questions embedded in my remaining brain cells to keep me focused: 1) what can I do to get the best out of myself and 2) what can I do to best help the team (and for the record retiring isn’t one of the ways I am considering!!). The 2nd we have limited control over in many ways – selection, form, availability – but in one of those “life ironies” the more focus on 1 the more control over 2.

I have allocated three time periods to achieve this: post season, off season and pre season.

Post Season: will be end of September and October where I plan on a lot of rest, stretching, walking the dogs and losing some weight.

Off Season: will be November, December and January where I will work on rehabilitation first, then strength and flexibility, bike (general fitness) and running (cricket specific). I also hope to have indoor nets throughout the off season.

Pre Season: will be February and March and will focus on two areas. I will intensify my running and cricket skills training in addition to establishing what will be my weekly maintenance schedule throughout the season.

I can achieve virtually all of this on my own at home and on Cannock Chase and the Canal but will need other people for the Indoor Nets (although Sands has volunteered to feed the bowling machine!!) and for fielding drills, which I hope can be done Saturday mornings at Barlaston.

In terms of specifics.

Weight Loss: I would not say I was hugely over weight, BUT I have too high a % body fat and I do not need to ask this old body to do more than it needs to so it will be a lot easier to move around if I am not fielding with a large bag of potatoes on my back. My core diet is healthy but I have a tendency to binge so for 5 months the aim is alcohol only twice a week, no crisps, nuts, chocolate, sweets or ice cream. No takeaways. Less bread. Higher % of protein to carbohydrates.

Dog Walking: the weather and the dogs ages makes a daily walk a non option so will aim for 4 walks a week, 3 of which will be circa 5miles and the other between 2 and 5miles.

Rehabilitation: this is a LONG list, but some of the issues are related i.e. 5 surgeries on my left knee and the way by body has accommodated this means my left knee does not bend fully (can’t get my left heal to reach my bum), my left hamstring is shorter (used for cruciate ligament repair) which has put pressure on my right hip. These have all improved during the season so my hope is they will improve significantly as they are all basically soft tissue (some issues with my knee are mechanical but should be less of a problem with above and strengthening of the surrounding muscles). My right thigh is another soft tissue issue. I tore it many years ago and whilst it healed I didn’t really do anything so there is an area that has a sort of dent in it which needs stretching out. Again has got better throughout the season so am hopeful of this as well. The issues with my shoulder (broken collar bone didn’t repair properly so not enough of a channel for nerve), neck and back (vertebrae) are mechanical but the main issues relate to the way by body and muscles have realigned to accommodate so again the stretching and pilates has helped so I think they can be improved, especially if I work on the muscle strength as well.

Strength: I have never had great upper body strength so stronger arms, shoulders, chest and hands wont come amiss and more muscle will burn up the calories better. The main area though will be legs i.e. squats and lunges.

Flexibility: believe it or not I am actually pretty flexible, it just takes me too long to ‘get there’ so I need to work on this and to be honest one down side of getting older is that you don’t seem to stay as flexible for as long so it is pretty much a daily task.

Running: this is a crucial area. I do not need to be able to run long distances but I do need to be a) better between the wickets speed wise and b) not get so puffed and I also need to be able to chase after a ball better. Shuttle runs and lots of fielding drills are the only real answer.

Bike: being non weight bearing this remains the best way for me to build up general fitness. I will continue to use it to build cardiovascular and leg strength and during the season I use it the day after a game to take stiffness out of legs and on game days to warm up.

Sounds a lot (it is) and tough (it will be) but one thing I want to take away from my return is a stronger and healthier body. I would like to play for another 5 to 7 years and I am still aiming at the Staffordshire over 60’s in a couple of years time so hopefully I have the incentive. I certainly have the time!

I am going to make this a sticky post for the duration and provide progress reports via the Comments Section.

34 thoughts on “Off Season, Rehab & Fitness

  1. Pingback: Cricket Diary: Looking Back & Planning Ahead – Chris Marshall

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week One

    Priority this week is LOTS of rest, walk the dogs, sleep and assess how the body is doing and what will need working on first.

    Day One: rather depressing weigh in BUT it was on the back of a weekend that included Sands Birthday, T20 Finals Day and end of season Pizza at Barlaston and I do retain fluid and take a while to process crap food!

    Food Wise: A good day. Breakfast of Bacon, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Eggs. Lunch of Cheese, Biscuits, Apple, Grapes, Almonds & Raisins. Snack of a couple of Digestive Biscuits. Dinner of cold salmon and salad. No alcohol, and no treats.

    3 Mile walk with the dogs.

    Day Two: Woke up with a sore throat and runny nose and the start of a stye in my left eye (sure signs that I am run down) and 1.5kg lighter than yesterday which only goes to prove how much fluid and crap my body retains as I am actually only back to my pre weekend weight.

    Body Count: currently in a resting state I have tenderness in both knees, my left hamstring and my lower abs. These have been with me all season but they are a lot better than they were so a good rest should help them settle down.

    Food Wise: skipped breakfast as early buffet lunch at Edgbaston and I always find moderation at a buffet a challenge! Not a huge issue this time though as was served so chicken skewer, samosa, small bhajis, crisps and tortilla followed by small piece of cake and a scone. Not great but was pleasant and way better than I would normally have had. Dinner of tuna salad and some dried fruit and nuts.

    Tequila (medicinal) as full of cold & a hot chocolate with couple chocolates (medicinal)

    1.85 Mile walk with dogs, which would have been easy to duck out of due to cold.

    Toying with the idea of not shaving or trimming hair until I am at my target weight and fitness??!! A delayed Lockdown Look as you were as I just shaved my head and beard as normal during Lockdown.

    Day Three: still got a cold but in old mans language it’s coming out i.e. streaming nose and a bit of a cough and a heavy head. With luck will mostly be gone by Thursday!!! Lost 0.5kg, but suspect this primarily fluid still and body just ‘setting down’.

    Body Count: all feels a little less sore/stiff but very early days!

    Food Wise: breakfast of Weetabix, All Bran, Shredded Wheat and Raisins. No lunch as in bed dosed up and trying to shift cold, but did snack on a 2 Fuseli bars, 4 oatcake biscuits and some cheese, nuts and dry fruit, then dinner of chicken, vegetables, potatoes and gravy.

    No walk for the dogs.

    Day Four: had said would transport a dog from Devon to Norfolk so 12+ hours in van! Woke up with more cough than cold and having gained 0.3kg which could be all the fluid consumed combating cold, or no activity yesterday as asleep most of day, or just the fact I weighed myself earlier.

    Body Count: transport and good measure of how my body has improved in last 6 months: knees good, back and shoulders good, right hip good, just a numb left bum cheek associated with the hamstring.

    Food Wise: never good on a transport but way better than in the past. Breakfast of a bacon roll, lunch a chicken sandwich some jaffa cakes and almonds then dinner of olive & pepper spaghetti followed by yoghurt & fresh fruit. LOTS of cough sweets and mints and a medicinal tequila in the bath!

    No walk for the dogs.

    Day Five: a good start as no aches and pains from the transport at all, although ribs ached from coughing. Lost 0.6kg which was a little surprising given how static I was yesterday and two meals involved bread and a packet of Jaffa Cakes. Still got slight cold and cough, but is on the way out so a quite weekend watching the Ryder Cup just what the Dr ordered,

    Body Count: can’t really over state how far this old body has come in the last 6 months. Driving for 15 hours was a good test as ‘usually’ I would be struggling with sore shoulder, and arm (left), neck, lower right back, and left hamstring. In general the rest seems to be working: knees stiff first thing but loosen up, lower abs hardly ache at all, and left hamstring not too bad. Main improvement seems to be my right thigh. Little finger on the other hand is far from good. It will bend more with ‘help’ and isn’t taped up, but the latest issues seem to be the various ligaments which got damaged at the same time and have sort of seized up with all the immobilising.

    Food Wise: shreddies, weetabix and Bran for breakfast, soup, cheese salad sandwich and nuts for lunch. Snack of fruit tea and two biscuits then dinner of salmon salad.

    Medicinal tequila, still coughing a little but main excuse was the sore chest muscles from coughing!

    2.25 Mile walk with dogs.

    Day Six: cough and cold all but gone but did a COVID-19 test to be on safe side as seeing parents tomorrow, but still feel like need a lot more sleep! Lost another 0.2kg which sort of feels right as I am not going mad diet wise, and apart from walking the dogs am not moving around much at all.

    Body Count: went commando on my little finger to try and get more movement into my hand in general. Not holding out too much hope for the little pinky as still can’t bend very much, is swollen and painful, and rather strange shape around the knuckle.

    Food Wise: Breakfast of Weetabix, Shredded Wheat and All Bran. Lunch of soup and cheese salad sandwiches with a few almonds. Dinner of Singapore Noodles, brie & biscuits. Couple biscuits with tea as a snack.

    Medicinal tequilla just to finish the small amount off in the decanter!

    2.25 Mile walk with the dogs.

    Day Seven: cough and cold lingering and still feel drained. Lost another 0.7kg which seems a lot. Did some work up at Barlaston getting ground ready for winter, but that really an excuse for a drink I think. Sofa afternoon and evening watching a depressing Ryder Cup.

    Body Count: all heading in the right direction rest wise.

    Food Wise: Breakfast or toast and marmalade then Lunch of Crisps, Nuts, Shandy and a Pot Noodle – what can I say just one of those days. Dinner of Sausages, vegetables and Gravy.

    No dog walk

    So overall a pretty good first week with 3.4kg weight loss (which seems a lot and wont be sustainable) and most body parts appreciating the rest. Makes you realise though a) how long 34 weeks is, b) how slow weight loss is, and c) how determined I am, and will need to be.

  3. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Two

    Priority this week is LOTS of rest, walk the dogs, sleep, assess how the body is doing and start to stretch and work on core again.

    Day Eight: still feel the lingering effects of cold with a slight cough and blocked nose. Gained 0.8kg since Day 7 which shows how my body reacts to fluid (lager) and crisps and nuts and why is probably not great idea to weigh daily, but on the plus (and still unrealistic side) I have lost 2.6kg still in the first week. Realistic target is 1kg a week I think, perhaps a little less, hence this going to be a long haul flight!

    Body Count: trying to treat finger ‘as normal’ so no tape if possible. Rather strange that my ring finger on right hand is hurting more than during the season. I hurt it at the same time and it may be that it is reacting to not being taped up as much as well. My little finger is no better at all really. It doesn’t hurt to touch or if I catch it, but it hardly bends at all and when I do force it to bend I can feel the ligaments all the way up into my hand. I think I damaged it twice: a break and ligaments so will just have to give it time. Not ideal but I can live with a finger that doesn’t bend much, but I would like to be pain free!!!

    Food Wise: Breakfast of sausages and scrambled eggs. Lunch a snack of Almonds, Frusli Bar, Apple and Cheese, Snack of team and biscuits, Dinner of mushroom risotto.

    Fitness: 2.85 Mile walk with the dogs.

    Day Nine: Cough and cold 95% gone, but decided a total chill out day with a few chores was the best plan. Lost 0.4kg. I have 33 days to reach my first target weight before I start weight bearing exercise ie running so 0.15kg per day (just over 1kg a week), which should be achievable. Once reached this weight will start running if earlier than scheduled IF body has recovered.

    Body Count: spent a lot of time yesterday massaging the ligaments in finger and hand and it bent a lot more at the end of the day, but woke up this morning to to the ‘normal stiffie’. Seems to prove though that the ligaments are part of the issue. Knees feeling a lot better. Of course will never be 100% and will real test when start running but for now is positive that they feel better after rest. Hamstring is tighter again having not stretched but nowhere near as bad as it was. Groins are the ‘interesting’ as they are stiff and sort after walking: think it’s the faster pace and hills and at the moment I would say it’s a ‘being used’ ache rather than a problem.

    Food Wise: Breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausages. No lunch. Early Dinner of Chicken & Chips, ice cone, then a couple of Shandies

    Fitness: Nada

    Day Ten: still got snuffles but no aches and pains. Gained 0.4kg again – Chips & Beer does that to me and took some measurements which are not great reading but nothing drastic or unexpected. In many ways it will be the tale of the tae which is the most significant ie how my body looks after all of this as whilst I have a fair amount of fat to shed I also need to add quite a lot of muscle/strength so it will be a bit of a rollercoaster for the next -6 months I expect. Main thing for now is I a sticking with it, remain determined and have seen nothing yet to put me off.

    Body Count: much the same. Just takes time! Feels like have been resting for ages, but only 10th day. Groins ache a lot post walk and very short jog proved lower abs still ache when run.

    Food Wise: Breakfast Sausages, Mushrooms and Scrambled Eggs. Lunch Fruslli bars, cheese, almonds. Snack Tea and Biscuits. Dinner Pizza, fruit & yoghurt.

    Fitness: 2.50 Mile walk for the dogs.

    Day Eleven: still snuffles but no cough. Lost 0.6kg. A short transport.

    Body Count: Knees continue to improve. Hamstring and thigh pretty much the same, which is much better than they were. Groins are weird as they ache as if been running but I have only done the usual dog walks – maybe a few more and quicker than in the summer. Will know more when start to run, but it may be a case of pushing on through the pain until they are used to it as they feel stronger. Finger remains a mystery. More and more it seems that I did more damage to the joint between hand and finger as in morning finger really stiff but when I massage this joint and surrounding area it a) hurts and b) loosens the finger up which still has its own issues!

    Food Wise: Breakfast Weetabix, Bran and Shredded Wheat. Lunch Chicken Caesar Wrap, Cheese, Frusli Bar & Almonds. Dinner Cauliflower Cheese, Bacon & Chips

    Fitness: nada

    Day Twelve: in many ways Post Season starts today for a month. More focus on diet, longer walks with the dogs and start stretching and abs again – all basic core stuff that I will do throughout the year. Later in the month will start the rehabilitation stuff but want to see how body reacts to a week or so Stretching & Abs. Gained 0.6kg which shows how up/down my body is processing food (transport yesterday but ate pretty well) and in a way how pointless it is to weigh myself daily, but I will continue as I want to get into the habit and to remain focussed. Very slight snuffle but I am declaring my cough/cold gone!

    Body Count: General issues getting better. Left knee (all the ops) is pretty good. A little stiff first thing and can feel it when walking down the stairs or a hill a little and the top part is still a little tender to the touch. Right knee is the worse one when walking downstairs or hill and stiffer (primarily the muscle above the knee) and is very slightly tender to the touch. Both vastly improved and virtually no swelling so I remain hopeful that the issues during the season were all soft tissue ones from not enough use in recent years. Right thigh has ached a little but nothing compared to what it was and given I have not stretched it since end of season this is encouraging. Ditto left hamstring really. Rest of body feels in pretty good shape considering no stretching. Little finger very much a WIP and I hazard a guess the best it will ever be is 75%.

    Food Wise: more focus this month. Have been good at cutting out chocolate and crisps. Now need to eat less overall (smaller portions) but specifically fewer nuts, less cheese and frusli bars and no alcohol – well twice a week max and never more than two drinks. Breakfast of Shredded Wheat, Bran and Weetabix. Lunch of Bread & Peanut Butter, Apple, Brazil Nuts, Dates and Tomato. Snack of tea and biscuits. Dinner of Pie, Mash, Vegetables & Gravy.

    Fitness: first stretch and abs since end of season. No dramas. No surprises. Usual suspects a tad tight – left hamstring, right thigh, right hip, right shoulder and neck. Lower abs still a little sore but hugely better than at end of season. xx Mile walk with dogs.

    Day Thirteen: a ‘day off’. Lost 0.9kg!

    Body Count: mp adverse reactions to stretching and abs yesterday, and it feels like my knees have made quite an improvement. This may well sound weird but I try and dust and hoover The Cottage every day. Obviously to keep it clean but the range of movements required is a good way to wake the body up and gives me an indication of how well things are going. It also enables me to concentrate on (for example) squatting to dust under the TV rather tan bend so I get to use my body more than I would normally.

    Food Wise: Breakfast Fried Eggs on Toast. Snack tea and biscuits. Lunch Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Gherkins, Apple, Tomato, Brazil Nuts & Dates. Snack tea and Frusli Bar. Dinner chicken and rice, cheese and biscuits. Whisky.

    Fitness: nada

    Day Fourteen: slept much better i.e. went back to sleep in the morning after opening up the garden for the cats and dogs. Still feel like need more sleep. Gained 0.2kg, and finished the week 0.1kg heavier than I started. Not ideal but my body does go up and down a lot depending on fluid and type of food, and it is early days yet.

    Body Count: steady progress on all fronts.

    Food Wise: Lunch Prawn Cocktail and Roast Beef and the ‘works’, chocolate brownie, red wine.

    Fitness: 2.25 Mile dog walk.

    So overall a solid second week. The 0.1kg gained means a loss so far of 3.3kg i.e. 1.65kg a week which is more than reasonable given I am not exercising at all or really ‘on a diet’. At 0.23kg per day I am ahead of the 0.15kg per day target. Body is feeling much better but will try and do the whole of October resting before start on any training, although in a week I hope to start rehabilitation.

  4. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Three

    Priority this week continues to be LOTS of rest, walk the dogs, sleep, assess how the body is doing and start to stretch and work on core again.

    Day 15: gained 0.4kg which is not a huge surprise as had Sunday Lunch out yesterday. I am very much in the camp that if you going to do something do it properly, so I had all three courses and a couple of glasses of wine, but with no breakfast and a snack for dinner I am getting better at overall moderation. I do need to increase my activity levels now though so will start with longer dog walks this week along with stretching and abs.

    Body Count: getting out of bed and going downstairs first thing remain the best benchmark at the moment, and both continue to get easier although lower abs are twinging a bit. This may be stiffness from having done one abs session last week (although very gentle) or that session may have aggravated. Will monitor this week, and maybe test out a little when walking. This remains, along with knees, the biggest issue really.

    Reality is that it’s only been two weeks of R&R and walking today my knees felt so much better. Not normal but probably not too far off being as normal as they will ever be. Stretching is just the usual suspects that are tight and they are not as bad as I thought they would be having had time off. Lower abs are a little sore still which is really going to be the determining factor as to when I start any running, but that not scheduled for a while yet.

    Food Wise: Breakfast of Weetabix, Bran and Shredded Wheat. Lunch of Ham Salad Sandwich & Apple. Snack of Brazil Nuts & Datws. Dinner of Chicken & Vegetables.

    Fitness: Stretching, Abs & 3.45 Mile Dog Walk

    Day 16: 0.1kg weight loss which is not great. Apart from Brazil Nuts, Dates and Cheese I stuck to three reasonable size meals so I may need to revisit Breakfasts. I have always found it easier to avoid Breakfast than a snack in the evening.

    Body Count: still making progress. Knees feeling by far the best they have for a while. Little stiffness in body from stretching in the expected position. Groin stiff/sore I hope from the longer walk and maybe some stretching. Lower abs still telling me they not 100%.

    Food Wise: Lunch – Ham Salad Sandwich & Apple. Dinner – Chicken & Chips. Ice Cream, 5 Pints Shandy. Crisps & Pork Scratchings

    Fitness: Stretch & Abs

    Day 17: Lost 0.1kg which was a surprise as was the headache – from o% Beer!!! Turned into a migraine which wiped me out for the day.

    Body Count: Fingers stiff, knees still heading in right direction as is hamstring and abs seem a little better.

    Food Wise: slice of bread and butter and a frusli bar.

    Fitness: nada.

    Day 18: much better today, but can still feel where migraine was and back stiff from not moving all day. Still lost 1.8kg (as if!!!) and 1.2% body fat. Doubt very much it will read anything like that tomorrow.

    Body Count: one benefit of a day pretty much on bed is a good rest for the old body. At times it is almost feeling normal again!

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Weetabix, Bran and Shredded Wheat. Lunch – Ham Salad Roll with Apple. Dinner – Pork Chop & Veggies.

    Fitness: 3.35 Mile Dog Walk. Stretch & Abs

    Day 19: still got a slight headache. Gained 0.2kg which is less than I thought I would and 0.1% body fat so pretty happy with where I am at currently.

    Body Count: knees and hamstring continue to improve. Shoulder and neck a little sore from stretching and probably contributing to headache. Lower back aches in morning which is either way I am sleeping or reaction to stretching. At the moment my feeling is that I will have less rehabilitation to do than I originally thought.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Weetabix, Bran, Shredded Wheat. Lunch – Toast, Peanut Butter, Nuts, Raisins & Apple. Dinner – Steak, Baked Potato and Veggies.Apple pie & ice cream.

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 20: Gained 0.8kg, lost 0.6% body fat. YoYo continues. At the moment I am ‘watching what I eat’ rather than being “on a diet” but I think I need to start cutting back even more!

    Body Count: fingers going commando are still in morning but loosen up during the day so guess that is good. Still a little tender when bang them but overall much better. Knees seem to be improving still as is thigh. Hamstring still a slight niggle but lower back good today having not stretched it yesterday!?

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Fried Eggs on Toast. Lunch – toast, Peanut Butter, Apple, Almonds. Dinner – Spicy Pasta & Ice Cream

    Fitness: 3.35 Mile dog walk

    Day 21: Lost 0.4kg but body fat up 3.1%. Not convinced any of it s that accurate but it’s certainly not great. Then again apart from walking dogs I am doing no exercise so guess muscle weight will be dropping. That in itself is not a great issue and would indicate why %body fat higher BUT I am not losing enough weight so afraid need more focus ie less food!

    Body Count: groins are aching after walking which I think is OK i.e just getting stronger. Knees, hamstring and thigh much the same. Finger not worth commenting on as it will be a long time before that is any better

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Weetabix, Bran and Shredded Wheat. Snack – Chocolate Buttons & Cookies. Dinner – Roast Chicken & Vegetables.

    Fitness: 3.35 Mile walk with dogs, abs & stretches

    So overall an average to poor week really with just a 1kg weight loss which leaves 3.6kg to go before the end of October to meet my first target. 1.2kg a week (0.15kg a day is achievable). Am happy with the way body has responded to rest so will start some rehab as well as more stretching and abs this week to test the water.

  5. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Four

    Can’t really complain with how first three weeks have gone, but I need to test the body out a bit this week with some rehab work and put more focus into weight loss. Three weeks seems to have gone quickly and body feels better but puts into focus how bad it was pain and mobility wise at the end of the season, especially as my lower abs are still a little tender.

    Day 22: gained 0.8kg but lost 1% body fat which would be OK if I was bulking up but I am not!!! UK Transport day so not a great one health and diet wise.

    Body Count: Nothing new to report other than shoulders and left bum cheek sore from driving.

    Food Wise: Lunch – Jaffa Cakes, Tuna Sandwich, Skittles, Samosa, Crisps and 2 Snickers!!!! Dinner – Chicken, Rice, Vegetables

    Fitness: nothing.

    Day 23: gained 0.3kg and 1.8% body fat which wouldn’t be a huge surprise given how many sweets and biscuits I ate yesterday (and Sunday). With another transport tomorrow and a dinner on Saturday and a course on Sunday this is going to be a bad week I suspect.

    Body Count: Abs the main ‘concern’ as I doubt knees, hamstring and finger will ever be 100% but I need lower abs to be 100% before I run again.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Fried Eggs & Mushrooms on Toast. Lunch – Chicken & Vegetable Soup, Sweets, Biscuit, Hoola Hoops. Dinner – Broccoli and Bacon Pasta.

    Fitness: 4.7 Walk with Dogs which is back up to our old long walk which was the aim, Stomach & Stretches.

    Day 24: Gained 0.1KG and lost 0.4% body fat, which is not great but could be worse given the week I am having, and think will be worse again tomorrow.

    Body Count: Bum and left hamstring and left shoulder letting me now 12 hours driving is way too much, especially two in 3 days!

    Food Wise: Breakfast/Lunch – 2 ham rolls, sweets, Jaffa Cakes, 2 packets crisps. Dinner – Salmon & Veggies, Ice Cream.

    Fitness: nada

    Day 25: rather surprised to have lost 0.2kg less surprised that I added 0.5% fat. Really not a good week and still have a Fundraising Dinner and a Course to go. Reality is I have not really been focussed enough on weight loss so going to introduce two cheat days a week, and two detox days a week.

    Body Count: pleased with how body feels post driving. Left hamstring a little tighter than usual but apart from that everything else is no worse.

    Food Wise: back in the day I never had breakfast. I like breakfast food, not just eating early so I am going to try and stick to two meals a day Lunch and Dinner with snacks of fruit if needed in between. Lunch – Ham Rolls, Tomato, Apple. Snack – Dates & Frusli Bar. Dinner – Sausage, Potato, Vegetables, Fruit & Yoghurt

    Fitness: Stretch & Abs and started rehab program, today being the issues in the top half of my body. 4.7 mile walk with dogs. Was a tiring walk but my body felt stronger than it has for a long time. I stiffen up quite quickly but so far everything feels ‘lack of fitness’ related rather than structural.

    Day 26: Ouch!!!! 0.6kg weight gain and 0.7% increase in body fat which I can only hope is down to the crap I ate on Monday and Wednesday finally hitting the old body! I know what needs to be done, but need more focus (yes that word again) and to accept that so far I am not doing much exercise at all.

    Body Count: No adverse effects to first rehab session yesterday. Would like to see more progress on hamstring and lower abs!

    Food Wise: Lunch – Ham Roll, Soup & Apple. Dinner – Tuna, Vegetables, Rice oh and chocolates and ice cream, really must stop having them in house. Cheese and Biscuits.

    Fitness: Stretch, Stomach, Rehab (Lower) which is going to be hard work I think regards left knee full range and flexibility. Lower abs also more painful today.

    Day 27: lost 0.5kg and 1% body fat so yet more ‘adjusting’, but this has not been a good week. Knew it wouldn’t be and not going to get too tough on myself because overall so far the rest period has been good.

    Body Count: no adverse reactions to the rehab so far, in fact rather pleased with it! Hamstring and Lower Abs the key areas at the moment. I am sort of hoping that once I start actually training I will exercise through the pain and get them stronger, but would be good to have them sorted before that.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Bacon & Egg Roll, Dinner – Pie, Mash, Peas and Gravy. Shandy!

    Fitness: Stretch, Abs and Upper Rehab. 4.7 mile walk with dogs.

    Day 28: lost 0.3KG and 0.3% fat which was a positive end to the week.

    Body Count: No dramas!

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Weetabix, Bran, Shredded Wheat. Lunch – Cheese Rills, Frusli Bar, Apple. Dinner – Mushroom Risotto, Almonds, Cheese.

    Fitness: Was on ECB Level 1 Course so moved around a lot doing ‘cricket stuff’. Will be interesting to see how body reacts as it was a good little test.

    So overall a pretty neutral week! Pretty much the same weight and a little more % body fat, but it was a far from normal week with two transports, a fund raising dinner and the ECB Course. That said I need to have a good two weeks until the end of the month. I doubt I will achieve my target weight but I started heavier than I anticipated so the aim is to achieve the targeted weight loss.

  6. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Five

    To achieve my original target weight by the end of the month I need to lose 4.4kg which is 0.31kg per day – highly unlikely! To reach my target weight loss given that I started heavier than I thought then I need to lose 2.5kg which is 0.17kg per day which is achievable and would be an acceptable ‘failure’. I have no specific body fat target. Ideally would like to get to single figures, but anything around 15% would be good.

    Day 29: so having written the above started the week off 0.5kg heaver but with 1% less body fat!!!

    Body Count: pleased that apart from some slight swelling on left knee absolutely no reaction or discomfort from yesterday. This is really pleasing especially regards lower abs.

    Food Wise: first week trying a couple of ‘detox ‘ days so only water and fruit teas, fruit, yoghurt, then Dinner of chicken and vegetables only.

    Fitness: Stretch, Abs, Rehab (Lower) and 4.2 mile dog walk.

    Day 30: slight headache from my mini detox day, but lost 0.8kg and gained 0.3% fat (am far from convinced the scales work that well!)

    Body Count: so far happy with the way the rehab is going as nothing is feeling worse, knees, groin and even lower abs all feeling better. Remain optimistic that the majority of my issues are soft tissue and lack of use over the years and I will be able to re educate the old body. In general body feels better than it has for years.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Fruit & Yoghurt, Dinner – Soup and Sandwich & Sweets!, Dinner – Spicy Pasta, Shandy.

    Fitness: Stretch, Abs and Rehab (Upper)

    Day 31: Not a great set of figures with a 0.6kg increase in weight and 0.6% in body fat but I am pretty sure no serious diet included bread, corned beef, skittles, shandy and crisps!!! Not hugely worried at this stage as weight loss is not the main priority and I still have a few social things I want to do. End of the day whatever I lose during the Post Season period just makes the Off Season target lower.

    Body Count: Seems like Hamstring and Lower Abs have made significant improvements and if that is the case will be really good news. Knees as good as they have been for a long time but think will get a little better once I start strengthen the muscles. Finger is weird really. I can bend it more and it hurts less but in the mornings it is really stiff. The other finger is a lot better and the hand in general seems less sore. Neck, Shoulder, Groin, Thigh and Hip all making progress.

    Food Wise: Another mini Detox day so Brunch – yoghurt, fruit, nuts Dinner – Fish and vegetables. Snack – cheese, nuts, frusli bars

    Fitness: Rehab (Lower), Stretch, Abs and 1.8 mile dog walk.

    Day 32: Lost 0.8kg which means 4kg lost since I started and the truth is I don’t look that different! I am in much better shape and body is a lot stronger/better but proves how far I have to go.

    Body Count: no change really which is good as means daily abs and stretched and rehab are working slowly.

    Food Wise: Brunch – Soup & Corned Beer Rolls, Dinner – Pork Chops & Vegetables.

    Fitness: Nada, but I did 4 hours in the garden.

    Day 33: Gaines 0.2kg, gained 2.6& body fat!!! Going to try and try something that I think causes me to gain weight quickly – stop eating almonds and brazil nuts!

    Body Count: no post gardening issues and as I lie in best only two parts of my body ache: mt right hip and my finger/hand, ok three, my left knee can ache depending on what position it is in but after 5 operations that really is always going to be the case! Walking the dogs my hamstring, neck and lower abs felt best yet. Right hip feels like it’s realigning as my left leg gets better.

    Food Wise: Brunch – Mushroom & Tuna Omelette, Baked Beans. Dinner – Curry & Lager (cheat day) Was good though ie no nuts, no naan, only a small amount of rice and no snacks with beers.

    Fitness: Abs & Stretches, 4.7 miles with dogs, Rehab (Lower)

    Day 34: no surprise really that I gained 1kg (which obviously in one day is not really likely) and 0.3% body fat having had a currey and lager but not concerned as my body does fluctuate, am far from convinced our scales are consistent and I may just be adding a little muscle now as my legs are getting stringer.

    Body Count: legs feel stiff from rehab and walking. Hamstring and Lower abs seem to be improving still. In bed a lower area of my right hip hurt not the usual muscle. I think this is the effect of more movement in left knee and loosening up left hip and hamstring. Left fingers and hand also ache more. Left knee is swollen though. Again this probably goes with the territory as I am putting a lot into increasing the range of movement. Is no pain (well no more than usual) but going to rest it for a few days and just walk dogs tomorrow. Although I am keen to get everything sorted, there is no huge rush and I want to start running and bike in a couple of weeks.

    Food Wise: eggs, mushrooms and baked beans then leftover curry for dinner.

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 35: Lost 1.2kg and gained 1.1% body fat, go figure that out!!!!

    Body Count: steady progress. One more week with a little more focus then will start training. Very gentle at first.

    Food Wise: friend round for lunch – steak, chips, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes then meringue, strawberries & ice cream followed by cheese. Couple beers, wine, whisky.

    Fitness: Nada. Wanted to give body another days rest and felt a little lazy.

    So overall a good week, but up and down which is very much how my body is! Priority in this post season period though is letting body mend after the season and that does seem to be going well

  7. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Six

    Last week of post season and whilst weight loss and body fat are not going to be as good as planned/hoped the priority was to rest the body and start rehab so I am happy with how that has gone. Will have a ‘good’ last week and try and lose around 1kg and then next week start the Off Season which will be stricter on diet and start to run, bike and strengthen.

    Day 36: Gained 0.5kg lost 0.4% body fat. Relaxed as not unexpected following lunch yesterday but my approach will always be to enjoy 100% the ‘treats’ and compensate with a healthy and active day to day.

    Body Count: body seems to have liked two days off and in resting state knees, hamstring, neck and hip do seem better.

    Food Wise: Brunch – Yoghurt & Fruit. Snack – Cheese, Apple, Brazil Nuts, Dates, Chocolate. Dinner – Salmon and Vegetables.

    Fitness: Rehab (Lower and Upper), Abs, Stretches and 4.7mile dog walk.

    Day 37: Lost 0.2kg, gaines 0.5% body fat! Heh Ho, think the real test will be after I start exercising and trying to eat less next month. For now I am happy that weight is tracking down and I am getting better at moderation and not binging, although that will always be my weakness.

    Body Count: hip and hamstring sore but I did a lot of stretching and rehab yesterday. Walking downstairs in the night to let the dogs out I realised that my right knee in particular felt so much better. Am not going to mention fingers again until they have actually made a significant improvement. the two in question remain sore and stiff, but relatively pain free when knocked and as I can do most things OK with them I will live with them if needs be like this. I think they will need taping up every game anyway. Lower abs sore, but will keep working them and rehab as I am not sure if they ache through use or I strained them so badly that they still damaged.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Weetabix, Bran and Shredded Wheat. Lunch – Chicken & Vegetable Soup & Corned Beef Sandwich. Dinner – Cheese & Biscuits, Pork Scratchings (only a few), crisps, 3 x shandy

    Fitness: Abs, Stretch & Rehab

    Day 38: Gained 1kg and lost 0.5% body fat so go figure! Fluid retention most likely as although not being really strict on what I eat, I have cut down a lot.

    Body Count: pleased with way rehab is going on knees, hamstring and hip in particularly. Thin majority of what I am having to do is realign my body for the way it has compensated for old injuries. Is a slow process and a little painful but my body feels so much better already.

    Food Wise: Lunch – Chicken Rice & Broccoli, Dinner – Soup and Corned Beef Rolls.

    Fitness: 4.7 mile walk with dogs.

    Day 39: and today’s lottery numbers are 1.1kg weight loss and 0.2% more body fat – go figure!!!

    Body Count: walking dogs yesterday I felt knee, hamstring and lower abs much better. Not exactly 100% but better. Tried a jog up a hill which was good. Felt strong. Knees fine, hamstring I could feel a little, lower abs no worse than when walking and this morning nothing seems to have reacted.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – cereals. Snack – Cheese and Fruit. Dinner – Pizza

    Fitness: Abs, Stretch and Rehab.

    Day 40: not sure when the last time my weight remained the same for two consecutive days but I did lose 0.8% body fat.

    Body Count: all seems to be heading in the right direction

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Dinner – Lasagne

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 41: Lost 0.1kg and 0.1% body fat. One more day of Post Season to go which I think has been a success, not a great success but a success.

    Body Count: funny what you take for granted regards aches and pains. Last few days I have not felt my right thigh ache at all and the dent in the muscle I have had since I tour it 10 years ago seems almost gone. I don’t notice any ache in my hamstring in bed or walking, until I walk with the dogs. This is highly encouraging. As I write this I realise I have not noticed my lower abs aching other then when I am actually exercising them.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Toast, Eggs, Spinach, Mushrooms, Avocado. Dinner – Salmon and Veggies

    Fitness: 4.7m dog walk

    Day 42: lost 0.5kg and 0% body fat

    Body Count: Groins and legs in general a little stuff from walk yesterday. We are walking a little quicker and it was wet and wearing wellies for first time which may sound mad but used muscles differently.

    Food Wise: Brunch – Oatcake with cheese, bacon, egg, sausage and mushroom. Dinner – Roast Chicken etcv with White Wine drink as last 0ne for a month.

    Fitness: stomach, stretches and rehab

    So that’s the end of the Post Season stage. I wanted to lose 6kg but only lost 4.6kg and as I started heavier than I thought I would I missed by target weight at this stage by 2.7kg. I am not disappointed though as I did very little exercise wise to aid weight loss and the tape measure confirmed this – have lost cm’s off areas I store weight (Chest, Side, Thighs) but also of the muscle areas I measure (Biceps and Thighs). Main thing though is that the rehab has started to make a huge difference. I am a little torn between carrying on with rehab and stretching only for a couple of weeks, or start training. I am going to have a very light week going through my whole training programme but very gently and with the focus of gauging how well I think my body will do. I suspect I need a little more time, but I also think a lot of the issues (Groin, Lower Abs) will benefit from some regular use.

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Seven

    First week of Off Season stage. In the Post Season Stage I lost 4.6kg in 6 weeks ie 0.76kg per week. In this stage I would ideally like to lose 13.3kg in 15 weeks ie 0.88kg per week. Although this will be much longer period to ‘keep it up’ I have not really been on a diet, just eaten less and cut a few things out from time to time so I am confident that ‘more of the same’ coupled with exercising will sort this out.

    I still need to do some rehab and I am not sure how body will respond to training, but my plan is to try and do two full weeks of initial training and then evaluate and if I need to stop and concentrate on rehab I will. The two main areas are hamstring and lower abs and I am hoping that the soreness currently is mainly scar tissue and will go with regular exercise. Knees will always need watching and groins/hip will hopefully hold up.

    Day 43: 0.5kg heavier thanks to a Roast Chicken Lunch with Wine, G&T and Ice Cream!!! 0.9% added fat as well, but was my last day having a drink and I think body will stabilise as it usually does.

    Body Count: hamstring and lower abs do feel less sore when resting and hardly ache when walking etc. Right hip sore but think this is result of realigning body and rehab. First day on bike (no issues with body) and strength (felt pretty strong but lower abs sore when running stairs and lunges, and shoulder/neck sore with some weights) all very gentle as I ease my way in.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – toast, honey and milk. Lunch – Oatcake, Bacon, Sausage, Cheese and Egg. Dinner – Chicken, Rice and Vegetables.

    Fitness: Stomach, Stretches, Strength, Rehab, Bike & 4.7 mile dog walk.

    Day 44: mixed report. Gained 0.4kg and 1.1% body fat but after my first day training albeit it very very gentle the body feels good. My lower abs felt stiff running up stairs but this morning they feel better than usual. Hamstring causing no issues although can feel it and knees continue to feel better.

    Body Count: A good barometer for my body is always how it feels in bed as injuries, alignment issues and accommodating the cats often means I wake up stiff and sore. This morning I had no issues at all. Knees, Hamstring, Right Hip and Right shoulder all felt really good.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Oatcake, Bacon, Sausage, Cheese, Egg. Dinner – Fish, Chips & mushy peas and non alcoholic shandy.

    Fitness: 4.7 mile dog walk and a very gentle set of shuttle runs and a small jog

    Day 45: mixed start to the month with another 0.2kg gained and 0.8% body fat but the whole point is to still eat things I want to eat but in more moderation and to enjoy life.

    Body Count: no adverse effects to Monday strength or yesterday’s first run. Abs and hamstring felt ok, although a little stiff and sore, but this morning they are no different than a normal morning.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Oatcake, Cheese, Bacon, Egg, Sausage. Lunch – toast and peanut butter. Dinner – chicken and vegetables

    Fitness: nada

    Day 46: lost 0.4kg and 1.3% body fat and no aches and pains from exercises but is a unusual week with Meeting at Cricket Club, Dinner at Edgbaston Awards, Fireworks at Cricket Club, Sunday Lunch at Gold Club.

    Body Count: happy with reaction to starting training, but have only done a small amount.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereals. Lunch – Toast & Honey, Nuts and frusli bar. Dinner – Awards Evening so rich/fancy food but not much of it.

    Fitness: strength, stomach, stretch, rehab and 2.5 mile walk with dogs

    Day 47: put on 0.3kg and 0.6% body fat and woke up with migraine

    Body Count: day in bed so nothing to report!

    Food Wise: Breakfast – 2 cheese biscuits. Dinner – Pasta, Yoghurt and Cereal/Fruit

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 48: lost 1kg abd 0.8% body fat so maybe should just spend more time in bed not eating!

    Body Count: not much to report other than left hip is very stiff in the mornings which I think is result of starting to rehab it more. The whole left leg is an issue alignment wise and has knock on effects on other parts of the body. My left calf, left knee, left thigh and left hamstring are much better but they need a lot more work on them.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Eggs on Toast. Dinner – Hot Dog, Burger, Cottage Pie, Lagers – heh ho!!!!

    Fitness: 2.5 mile walk with the dogs

    Day 49: gained 0.8kg and lost 0.1% body fat but a very strange week with three social events and one day in bed.

    Body Count: can’t really feel any soreness in my lower abs. Knees creak in morning but once they moving seem really good. Was on my feet a lot last night at Fireworks Event and lower back/right hip was better than it has been for many a year in that situation. Happy with the way things are going

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Steak. Dinner – Cheese & Fruit

    Fitness: Nada

    So that’s the first week of Off Season done and not great but it was a bad week as had three social events scheduled. On the weight front I gained 0.8kg, but as I had lager on Saturday night a truer measure will be Monday morning. I gained 1.1% body fat. I only did a bit of light strength and running training but felt pretty good and no adverse effects. Still feeling focussed and determined and that it is an achievable target I have set.

  9. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Eight

    Second week of Off Season stage. So far so good but more rehab needed for sure on hamstring, lower abs and right hip and this will be the first real test of how body stands up to a reasonable level of exercise.

    Day 50: Nice start to the week with a 0.5kg loss and a static % body fat.

    Body Count: Feels like lower abs have made real progress and hamstring hardly aches at all during normal movements.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Toast. Dinner – Chicken & Vegetables.

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, stretch, abs, rehab and strength.

    Day 51: lost 0.1kg which is perfectly OK as for the next two weeks the priority is to start training a lot more and see how that goes.

    Body Count: resting the body feels good, and there are no issues so far with the light training although I can still feel my lower abs when I work them in rehab or run stairs etc. It does feel stuff rather than sore as I can still do the exercise and it loosens up. Hamstring pretty much the same as lower abs. These are the two areas that need the most attention at the moment,

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Soup & Sandwich. Dinner – Pasta but at cricket club NA Shandies, Crisps & Pork Scratchings!

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk and some light running.

    Day 52: gained 0.9kg, lost 0.3% body fat. My body does not like excessive fluids!!!

    Body Count: no adverse reactions during or after running yesterday. Granted didn’t do much, but more than last week and it feels OK. Hamstring a little sore still and lower abs as well but they are no having an adverse effect and feel like they losses up during run and are not reacting the day after.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge, Lunch – Soup & Sandwich. Dinner – Cauliflower Cheese & Chips

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 53: this mornings’ lottery numbers are no weight gain or loss but 0.6& more body fat!

    Body Count: all good in relation to response to recent activity, or more accurately not! Going to join a Gym I think.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Dinner – M&S Bits and Pieces.

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk

    Day 54: unbelievably (really!!) I have lost 2.3kg since yesterday. Of course I haven’t but that is what the scales say and I do try and stand on them at the same time of day, in same conditions and in same place so it is weird. 0.8% body fat loss not so weird, but I am not at all sure the scales are that reliable with this either.

    Body Count: would be worried if were any issues as I have ended up having a lazy week so far, but that is fine. No reactions in groin, lower abs or hamstring.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch Soup and Bread, Dinner – Salmon and Veggies.

    Fitness: Abs, Stretch, Strength & Rehab and Bike

    Day 55: So am 2.4kg heavier than yesterday with 1.4% more body fat. I am not but that is what the scales say! Another headache though.

    Body Count: Slowly slowly getting better.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Eggs on toast. Lunch – Pot Noodle. Dinner – chicken & veggies. Snacks – biscuits, nuts, frusli bars, cheese

    Fitness: nada

    Day 56: 0.4kg loss and 0.4% body fat reduction.

    Body Count: as this remains the main focus is good that nothing is showing an adverse reaction to exercise or rehab and everything seems to be improving.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Roast Beef at Golf Club. Dinner – Soup

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk

    So that’s probably the worst week since I started getting fitter as I lost no weight and gained body fat. No excuses it was not a great week logistically, I am far from convinced with our scales, but I have plenty of time and the main priority remains the old body which is doing well. Have joined a gym and bought some golf clubs as part of the plan to have a more active and healthy lifestyle and for the foreseeable future it will be Dog Walk, Gym, Exercises at Home, Driving Range, Cricket Training and Indoor Nets for now. Will see and socialise with parents and go to Barlaston as necessary for committee stuff but that is it.

  10. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Nine

    Last week was a pretty static one, but that is fine. Gave me a rest and having joined gym and bought golf clubs am ready to increase exercise levels and try and eat less.

    Day 57: Not the best of starts with a 0.6kg weight gain and a 0.1% body fat loss.

    Body Count: No adverse reactions from rehab so going to pick up the pace with Gym, Golf and more focus on walking dogs daily. Going to try and establish a consistent routine over next 6 weeks

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Soup. Dinner – Chicken & Vegetables

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, abs, gym, stretching

    Day 58: 0.1kg weight loss and 0.2% body fat loss.

    Body Count: no issues from gym yesterday

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge, Lunch – Soup. Dinner – Fish & Chips. 2 Shandies

    Fitness: 2.5m Dog Walk, Rehac, Abs, Stretching, Golf Range

    Day 59: Fish & Chips and 2 Shandies equals 0.8kg weight gain and 0.3$ fat increase, which patently make no sense!!

    Body Count: little finger hurt a little hitting golf balls but not any worse this morning. Resting it’s only really my right hip that I feel. Rest of the body has not had any adverse reactions yet to more exercise.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Chicken, Vegetables, Rice, Yoghurt & Fruit

    Fitness: Abs, stretch, rehab and gym (upper)

    Day 60: a truly amazing 1.4kg weight loss since yesterday!

    Body Count: so far so good, in fact better than that. Gym work out yesterday was 20 mins bike, 20 mins cross trainer, 20 mins jogging, 2 x Abductor Machines, 2 x Leg Extension Machines and Squat Machine. Add in my abs and stretching and it was a really good work out and this morning I have no adverse effects.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Toast & Peanut Butter, Fruit & Nuts, Frusli Bar

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, stretch, abs, rehab and cricket nets.

    Day 61: lost 0.1kg and gained 1.8% body fat which makes little sense.

    Body Count: still no adverse reactions from gym, golf, or cricket nets although still early days, Is encouraging.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Toast & Peanut Butter, Nuts & Raisins. Dinner – Curry

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, abs, stretch, rehab, golf range.

    Day 62: a 0.3kg loss and 2.3% reduction in body fat is encouraging post curry.

    Body Count: in addition to everything else I am trying to restructure my golf swing to get into better habits – straighter back, hands further away from body, hands cocked, straight arm on backlift. All feels very strange (and some muscles are letting me know) but having not played for so long it seems a good time to do this. Add in some great coaching at cricket nets which has given me some things to work on and a good week at gym with no adverse effects it seems like progress is being made. I am currently focussed pretty much solely on my body and fitness. Focus on weight will intensify in January once I have got fitness heading in right direction and ‘new habits’

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – Toast & Peanut BUtter. Dinner – Curry

    Fitness: 3.3 mile dog walk

    Day 63: no weight loss but a 1.4% increase in body weight which remains a joke (hopefully).

    Body Count: more and more it looks like I broke my hand as well as my finger which is why the pain is lower down on the side of the hand. Not really keen on an operation to reset it all and it seems to be getting slowly better as does the rest of my body.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – Steaks. Dinner – Cheese, Nuts, FRuit

    Fitness: Started cricket training ie running at Barlaston which went well. Hamstring and lower abs pulled a little but can’t say they impacted my ability. Knees a little sore but they always will be. I was about 6/10 as far as against how I think I can be so will see how body reacts tomorrow. Did some stomach and stretching as well.

    So that’s another week gone with 0.5kg lost which is sort of OK but I do need a couple of ‘big overs’ to get some momentum. Main thing is I have increased activity a lot this week with Gym, Golf Driving Range, Indoor Nets and some running so next week will be interesting to see how body reacts.

  11. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week ten

    So far so good, now to step it up

    Day 64: an encouraging start to the week. Whilst a 0.2kg weight gain and a 0.4% increase in fat are not great, they are post a weekend and post doing more exercise. Weight is currently the third priority after rehab and fitness as it will come down naturally as I get fitter and once I am used to exercising again I can cut down on the eating as well.

    The main news though is the post golf stiffness has gone which is good as shows is muscular rather than mechanical. Yesterday after the running my groin and lower abs and hamstring were sore, but in bed and this morning it’s only my hamstring and I think my Abs and Hip are feeling better. Knees not swollen but the expected soreness remains.

    Body Count: Bring it on – will hopefully have a full week with lots of dog walks, 3 gym visits, 2 sessions running and 2 sessions at the driving range.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – salad. Dinner – fish

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, gym (upper), Stomach & Stretching. Rehab hamstring

    Day 65: 0.8kg weight loss and 0.4% more body fat, go figure!!!

    Body Count: remain cautiously optimistic as so far no exercise has caused any issue or significant soreness. My body will never be pain free and I will always have limitations but I am striving to get it to be as good as it realistically can be. I suspect that may not even be this season given how much needs to be done but if the season started this weekend my body would be so much better than last season so I am happy with the way things are progressing.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Soup & Sandwich. Dinner – Wrights Pie, Shandies

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, Rehab, Stomach & Stretching.

    Day 66: yeah right, gaines 0.9kg yet lost 1.6% body fat!! Bread, Pastry and Fluids do not sit well with my body!

    Body Count: have been forcing my little finger to bed and it will almost bed ‘as normal’ now but it hurt and in the morning it is as stiff as ever but progress of sorts. Football last night was first time since I can remember that I have sat in a public seat and not had pain in my hamstring or right hip. Feels like huge progress and add in that when I am just moving around as normal I can hardly feel my lower abs and it is looking promising.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Sandwich. Dinner – Pasta

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, stomach, stretch, gym (legs), running

    Day 67: 0.5kg weight loss and 0.4% less fat whoopie!!! I am fine with all of this at the moment, although I think my target weight before the end of the season will be a challenge but the main thing is fitness and ability to play better.

    Body Count: really pleased with how little stiffness yesterday and no additional pain in knees, hamstring or hip. My overall fitness is much better as is my flexibility and body shape.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Sandwich. Dinner – Cauliflower Cheese

    Fitness: Indoor Nets

    Day 68: 0.1kg gain. Might just be getting into the muscle being heavier than fat territory as my body is certainly stronger and a batter shape!

    Body Count: at times I almost forget I have a sore hamstring, lower abs and right hip. They are a very distant reminder on a day to day basis, remind me during exercise but don’t cause any real post exercise issues. I would say I am exercising at a moderate level now – more lower body than upper – and so far am really pleased with both the physical effects and the mental toughness I am exhibiting.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Lasagne

    Fitness: Stomach, Stretch, Gym (Upper)

    Day 69: 0.2 kg weight gain but I did eat a lot of pasta and an ice cream, and crisps!! Truth is that weight is less important that fitness, body shape and % fat so remain relaxed.

    Body Count: really impressed with way body has handled gym in particular hamstring, hip and lower abs.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Pizza

    Fitness: Nada, lazy day, bad weather, Xmas decorations, feeling start of a cold.

    Day 70: weight remained the same which O think shows metabolism is picking up and gaining some muscle as I ate way too much yesterday.

    Body Count: big step forward with lower abs. Normally when I push foot stool away with leg, or use leg to rake the gravel path I can feel my lower abs. Not today! Then when I did some running I didn’t feel them at all. Little ache post run walking dogs but huge improvement! Really need to keep working on them along with my hamstring and hip but running today felt so much better.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Cheese & Fruit. Dinner – Chicken.

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk. Running

    So that’s another week gone. No weight loss but body lot stronger and a better shape so think some weight gain is muscle. Rehab has gone well, especially lower abs. Think can now train more but on fewer days to give body more of a rest.

  12. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Eleven

    So week eleven all ready and around 22 more weeks until the end of March. I am happy with the way I am sticking to a routine and making fitness a central part of my life, and so far it is good that I have joined the gym. Weight loss has not been great, but can’t really diet and increase exercise/activity and as the focus remains rehab and fitness I can live with that. Time to increase the exercise though in intensity so can have a few more rest days.

    Day 71: 0.1kg weight loss

    Body Count: arm aches a little from Booster Jab and inner thighs stiff from running yesterday, as are knees. Thighs will get getter as I get fitter, knees will always be an issue which is why two games in two days may not be an option.

    The rehab has gone well so am going to try and do a little more, but need to keep focussed on hamstring and hip as they seem the two areas requiring most work.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Toast & Peanut Butter. Dinner – Fish

    Fitness: 2.5km dog walk, Gym (Upper), Stretch. Stomach. Rehab.

    Day 72: 0.8kg weight loss and measured the old bod. I have three pockets of fat: chest, stomach and inner thighs and they all measure less now than for a long time BUT huge way to go.

    Body Count: little general stiffness from muscle use during exercise and knees struggling a little first thing but I am pleased with way hamstring and lower abs are improving and I think right hip will follow once hamstring is sorted.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Toast. Dinner – Sausage & Mash

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk

    Day 73: 0.1kg weight loss

    Body Count: enforced rest as a last minute UK transport. But after 15 hours driving only shoulders stiff and left buttock sore.

    Food Wise: Not great as on transports – 2 apples, 2 fruesli bars, cheese sandwich, cornish pasty, pie, 2 chocolate bars, skittles, crisps

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 74: 0.4kg weight gain but I am ok with that following transport day as by far the best news is that no part of my body aches as a result of the transport.

    Body Count: finger is making progress as the main issue seems to be the ligaments in the hand. They are stiff in morning so fingers are stiff, but as they loosen up the finger bends more. Lower abs and hamstring much better and I think the issue with hip may be alignment – it seems to be sitting in the socket too much which would explain the tight muscle and probably having an associates issue with hamstring. If I am right then this is huge as I have always thought hamstring was causing the hip issue.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge.

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, Stretch, Strength, Stomach, Rehab and Indoor Nets

    Day 75: yeah 0.5kg weigh gain. Muscle? Still relaxed as main weight loss will be in January and February

    Body Count: legs and hips a little sore from trying to stay more upright batting and hamstring a little tight, but overall all good.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Soup. Dinner – Pie and Chips & Shandy

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk. Strength

    Day 76: Pie & Chips, 3 Shandys, Chocolate and Ice Cream and I add 0.8kg. My body lives in a world of its own!!!

    Body Count: Hips sore, hamstring tight, neck stiff. I need to work more on my core.

    Food Wise: need to stop drinking non alcoholic shandies as they give me a headache! Breakfast – Cereal. Lunch – Pot Noodle. Dinner – Burger & Chips.

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 77: 0.1kg weight gain, but I remain both skeptical and unbothered.

    Body Count: much stronger and fitter running today.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Roast Beef. Dinner – Cheese & Fruit

    Fitness: Cricket Running

    So that’s another week gone. Much stronger and fitter but not losing much weight although clothes fit much better. Focus on weight loss will be Jan/Feb until then focus is on fitness, and working on batting and then golf swing.

  13. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twelve

    So another week, and will be three months which seems amazing. Have made huge strides with rehab and fitness and in making exercise part of my daily life again so am pleased with that. Have got a lot fitter and lost some weight, but need to work on that along with cricket skills and fitness in the New Year. For now though ‘more of the same’ before a break over the Xmas period and then up the activity and intensity levels as per a revised schedule.

    Day 78: 0.1kg weight loss which is a miracle given how much I ate yesterday, but the reality is my body takes a while to process certain things!

    Body Count: very happy with my increased level of fitness running and the way body is responding. Still got to work on hamstring, lower abs and hip, but they are an inconvenience now rather than an inhibitor and all the signs are I will get them all to around at least 90% and be able to work around them, which is the same really for knees and neck/shoulder. Little finger is weird. I can now make it bend to pretty much a normal position with a little pain, but it only does that once I have massaged and warmed up the ligaments. I think the main issue is the two joints where fingers join hand. Again can live with it and don’t think it will have an impact playing.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Soup & Fruit/Nuts. Dinner – Pasta

    Fitness: Stretching & Stomach

    Day 79: 0.4kg weight loss so a better start to the week

    Body Count: no day two issues post running so am going to start jogging further once a week. Lower Abs and Hamstring are improving better than lower hip. Think that may be the last to get better and will see Osteopath in New Year.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Cheese & Fruit. Dinner – Ribs, chocolate, crisps, ice cream, shandy!!!!

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, stretching & stomach, 3km run

    Day 80: 0.1kg gained but no surprise given the crap I ate yesterday and focus remains rehab and fitness so I am still relaxed (ish)

    Body Count: No reaction other than expected stiffness from 3.2km run yesterday.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Bacon & Egg Roll. Dinner – Chicken, sweets, crisps, chocolate whisky!

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 81: 0.4kg weight gain and can’t argie as ate junk yesterday!

    Body Count: no change

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Sweets & Chocolate. Dinner – Cauliflower Cheese

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, stretch, stomach & cricket nets

    Day 82: 0.2kg weight loss so reversed the decline!! Seriously it’s not the main priority at the moment, but I do need to keep heading in the right direction.

    Body Count: lower abs were sore after nets yesterday but a) I bowled a lot and was trying to pivot more and b) I was standing more upright in my stance and batted for 20 mins. They are still OK to do my stomach exercises after and this morning they are pretty much pain free.

    My right hip and lower back not great which may be linked to above but I think it’s one of the stretched I do so I am going to knock that on the head for a while.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Chinese

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk, stomach & stretches, Gym (Upper)

    Day 83: Ah the joys of a chinese with body retention I have gained 0.7kg and the scales have decided to start measuring body fat again so I have 3.2% less than when it last deemed to work!

    Body Count: left hip sore which I think is alignment related and eases up after 10 mins. Lower Abs have calmed down after batting/bowling so again the general feeling is that once I really get training it will all be sore for a while but will be ok long term.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch- Toast & Peanut Butter. Dinner – Chicken & Rice.

    Fitness: stretching & rehab

    Day 84: 0.2kg weight loss, o.1% increase in body fat!

    Body Count: Cricket Running today and whilst lower abs stiff before I started they loosened up and caused no issues. Right knee a little sore which is weird in a way as that’s not my bad one but I did hurt it at the beginning of last season, but again no real issues when running. Ditto hamstring which seems to be getting better i.e. a smaller are hurts and it really isn’t an issue when running but it might be if I actually could sprint.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Toast & Peanut Butter. Dinner – Steak

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk and cricket running.

    So that’s another week gone and no weight loss or reduction in body fat BUT my body continues to look fitter and I am a lot fitter and the rehab has improved things a lot. More of the same until the New Year then a real push on both weight loss and fitness for two months then take stock pre season.

  14. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Thirteen

    So another week starts and have a cough and cold so think it will be a quiet one exercise wise.

    Day 85: Lost 0.5kg and 0.6% body fat.

    Body Count: Just expected stiffness post training yesterday and the usual morning aches and pains so remain in a positive frame of mind regards how fit I will be able to get.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Sausages

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 86: 0.6kg increase but may well be full of fluid as I try and drink my way through this sore throat and cold, which is getting better but still not going to do any exercise today.

    Body Count: a little sore in the hips and hamstring and knees but have been doing more sitting around being ill.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Cheese & Toast. Dinner – Cheese & Fruit

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 87: 1.5kg weight loss, the joys if being ill.

    Body Count: left hip sore, hamstring a little tight. have done no stretching for a few days as to ill.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Pot Noodle & Cakes. Dinner – Fish

    Fitness: 1.5mile dog walk

    Day 88: lost 0.1kg, scales not recording %body fat.

    Body Count: coughing has hurt my right groin!!! Knees a little sore. Body is mixed: has sort of benefitted from a few days rest, but on the other hand has tightened up a little. Main thing is I have a very clear plan for what I need (and can) do next year.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Mackerel. Dinner – Chicken

    Fitness: still way off 100% so taking it easy but had scheduled a 1:1 batting session at Edgbaston so did that.

    Day 89: gained 0.1kg but exactly being active this week.

    Body Count: body felt good after a long net session yesterday. no issues with lower abs at all. Maybe being more upright has helped but I gave them a good work out!

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge

    Fitness: 2.5 mile dog walk

    Day 90: Gained 0.4kg which just body stabilizing.

    Body Count: whisper it bit feels like a corner has been turned in the right direction this week

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch – Soup. Dinner – Fish

    Fitness: Nada

    Day 91: 0.1kg gained.

    Body Count: body telling me that it hasn’t stretched for a while, but it feels stronger and less sore all over.

    Food Wise: Breakfast – Porridge, Lunch – Roast Beef. Dinner – Cake & Cheese

    Fitness: nada

    So that’s another week gone and not a lot got done as had a pretty bad cough and cold. Plus side is body felt really a lot stronger and fitter, and the rest will have done it good.

    I am now going to take a few weeks off from exercise, diet and daily recording to enjoy what we can over Christmas. Will stretch and walk the dogs but that is all. Will be careful what I eat but the main thing the last three months have taught me is ahet I can do, and what I need to do so I am very clear and confident what I need to do in the first three months of next year.

  15. Pingback: Edgbaston Indoor Nets – Chris Marshall

  16. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Sixteen (Start of Week)

    For ‘completeness’ I took weeks fourteen and fifteen off from measuring and recording. It was always the plan to have a winter break. It also allows me to record the next three months in a different way as I have now learnt what I needed to with regard to what my body can and can’t do (hopefully) so the focus now will be a lot more intense: much more exercise both general fitness and cricket related, start working on cricket skills, no drinking for three months and more focus on what I don’t eat.

    So here we go ….. 100 days to get fit, lose weight and get flexibility and mobility back into my body. It is going to be a painful and tough 100 days but I am more than determined and am really looking forward to it.

    The two week break has been a mixed bag really: on the one hand my body has told me in no uncertain terms that it does not respond well to not being stretched each day, on the other my knees and lower abs in particular have enjoyed the break.

    Before the two week break my weight was 103.9kg.

    Starting weight is 106.3kg (I did not fair well over the break) which means I would ideally like to lose 16.3kg by the end of the 100 days which means 1.164kg per week or 0.163kg per day, which is going to be rough to do i.e. is quite a lot per week and a long time to sustain. BUT I should lose quite a bit quite quickly just by getting back into better eating habits and exercising again and then we will have to see. 90kg is my target weight, but 95kg would not be the end of the world.

    Diet is going to try the fasting approach so only eat between 11am and 7pm, cut out alcohol as I do every January, crisps, chocolate, deserts, sweets, biscuits etc

    My exercise plan is based around the Gym four times a week: 2 cardio and upper body sessions, 1 cardio and lower body and 1 run (target is 5k). The weight sessions will be high rep low weight as I want muscle strength not to bulk up.

    We will walk the dogs 6 times a week, their usual 2.5 miles.

    I am planning two short session on the exercise bike each week to build up strength in my legs.

    I have one running session scheduled at the club to work on simulated game related running and movements, and I will start working on cricket skills once a week – catching, throwing, fielding etc.

    Initially I will have one indoor net a week, but this should increase in February once the Barlaston Indoor Nets start and I am hopeful that I will get a) some senior county nets and b) some one on one coaching.

    Finally I want to get down the driving range once a week to keep the old body supple (well try and achieve a little then) and to work on my swing before I take to the course again later in the year.

  17. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Sixteen

    So how did the first week go then?

    It would be an exaggeration to say it was a full weeks training because I have yet to get to the Gym – COVID and a desire to build up slowly made it quite and easy decision but I have walked the dogs, done some running, used the indoor bike, done a bit of strength work at home and been pretty good on the stomach & stretching.

    On the body front I can now bend my little finger fully without forcing it, but it is sore and the ligaments need quite a lot of stretching as they basically not been used to the bend the finger since May. All in all though a positive start to the year. Similar with lower Abs as is virtually no pain on a day to day basis or when exercising although they a little sort post running. Ditto hamstring although that a little tight on a day to day basis as well. Lower right back not great, but groins much better and I am pretty sure that more running is the the answer and that hamstring and back will never be that good. Knees have not liked the cold but they working ok.

    The fasting diet is not hard at all to keep to and it has made me watch what I eat i.e. less picking than usual and in the first week I have lost 1.5kg which of course would be great if I kept that up but I think quite a bit will be the post Christmas purge of cake etc

  18. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Seventeen

    One thing I have realised is that my friend was right when he said it took him two seasons to get back to match fitness after a break. He had been away from the game for 10 years not 33 and is in his early 40s not late 50s.

    My plan now is very much to get to about 80% fitness before the start of the season, focus on playing, then achieve the remaining 20% in the next off season.

    Second thing I have had reinforced is that I am struggling to lose weight and get fit. I am getting fitter (running) and losing some weight, but I need to do a lot more cardio to lose weight, and I don’t have the energy.

    So a mixed second week. Running is going well as much fitter and stronger and when running only my hamstring really hurts and that doesn’t restrict me. Post running my muscles ache and a few old injuries like knees and hip, but after a couple days am OK so think if I run twice a week between now and start of season I will be in pretty good shape.

    Yet to get back into gym and have had to restructure a little as was trying to do too much and need time for a couple of new projects – yes, Cricket Related.

    My finger has made quite an improvement in that it will now fully bend. It is very stiff in the mornings but I can get it to bend without help. It really does seem to be the ligaments in the little finger and side of the hand which are the main issue now. I have also found a couple of stretches which help my hip and hamstring, which are based on mt calves which have always been tight.

    I have lost 3.1kg so far this year in 16 days which is 0.19375kg per day, a little more than the 0.163kg that is required to achieve my ideal target weight so I can’t complain at that.

  19. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Eighteen

    A rather enforced Plan B as Tito cut himself badly and has required two operations so our dog walking is curtailed (a few walks with Tigra and Hollie) and we need to be with him as much as possible as he has two open wounds and a collar.

    Am leaving the gym until February. As I mostly do cardio work there I will do more on the bike at home and more running, and will take the opportunity to work more on my core and specific areas of the body.

    I am not a huge fan of the gym and think I need to find a better use for it i.e. do my cardio and core etc here at home and then maybe swim and try some yoga.

    Lost 0.2kg which not great but a shorter week as want to start measuring on a Saturday.

    Finger is much better, and overall I am starting to feel a lot fitter and stronger.

    Focus now very much running/bike, core, and some cricket specific strength training.

    Tito will be on light duties for upto 6 weeks so will be walking less hence more focus on bike.

    An area I have noticed a lot of improvement in has been in recovery ie much less stiffness the day after exercising.

  20. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Nineteen

    0.3 weight loss which given lack of exercise is OK. Have lost 0.124kg per day so far this year. To reach my 100 day target I need to lose 0.178 which will be tough but possible. This week has shown that I am eating less ad my metabolism has increased.

    Am doing a little exercise but weather, Tito, desire to avoid Gym (COVID-19), and being busy on HHUCC stuff means I have sort of lost focus.

    That said feel quite good overall and treating this as a sort of winter break.

    Going to use gym for classes more from next week as I only really have a couple of months to work on running, core strength and cricket related movements.

    As ever have tinkered with the plan and will be doing a lot more running and core strength over the next two months.

  21. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty

    A 0.3kg weight gain making the current daily average weight loss 0.09 (0.124 last week) leaving a daily average of 0.29 (0.178 last week) to reach my 100 day total. Going to need a bit of a crash diet to get some momentum I think, but will wait and see how rest of this month goes as will be increasing exercise levels.

    This has been a better week exercise wise. Still no gym (start next week) but more running and more stretching, strength, core etc. Was a week to test what was possible and so am pleased.

    Has been a while since provided an body count: little finger is really stiff in the mornings but it is primarily the tendon/ligaments that run down the outside of my hand so I can actually get my finger to a fully bent position now without any external help. NOt saying it doesn’t hurt but once the hand is stretched out it is about 7/10. My knees are coping well with the running. They are a little sore behind the knee caps when I start but once warmed up not too bad and again in the morning or after being sat down for any length of time they hurt but it’s just the result of wear and tear so wont really get much better and doesn’t inhibit me and is more a nagging ache than a pain. 7/10 again and vcan/will live with it. Right thigh ached when running but doesn’t really have a negative impact and is probably as good as it ever will be 8/10. I am giving my left hamstring 810 as well. It aches a little day to day and I can feel it when running but it is recovering post run much better and I am really pleased with the progress.

    Body shape is much better as well, and overall I feel a lot fitter and stronger and posture much better, especially when batting which is getting so much better, as is my bowling it has to be said.

    One of the beat measures of how my body is remains how much I can bend, kneel, squat etc when cleaning the house and the difference these days is significant.

    Is all heading in the right direction. Maybe not as quickly as I would like but I have been focussed on some other projects and have a pretty tough schedule to follow now before the season starts.

  22. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty One

    A 0.2kg weight loss making the current daily average weight loss 0.08 (0.09 last week) leaving a daily average of 0.22 (0.29 last week) to reach my 100 day total. Very unlikely without at least three blitz weeks on diet as I am not really dieting at all, just eating the same but less and exercising more. As exercising picks up it may drop off, bit will be harder to diet as well. Main thing is that I am fitter, stronger and more mobile and the weight is coming off slowly!

    One way or another another not great week although I did a lot more running than usual and felt pretty strong and most importantly the after effects wear of quite quickly. Main measures continue to be how quickly I recover pain wise (getting much better) and how easier I move round the house (much better as well)

    Really good session in nets thought with a lot of batting and bowling. Am comfortable with grip, stance , guard and no trigger movement. Am leading with head a lot more and playing the ball later. Bowling is so much better: consistent run up, getting sideways, more hip action and balance.

  23. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Two

    A 1.3kg weight loss(which would be great if proves to be true and a good sign of what a bit of a stricter diet can do) making the current daily average weight loss 0.096 (0.08 last week) leaving a daily average of 0.23 (0.22 last week) to reach my 100 day total.

    A better week in terms of sticking to a diet and a exercise structure. Was focussed more on strength but at home as not starting back at Gym until next week.

    Finger is much better. Still a stiff pinky in the morning, but I can get it to fully bend now without having to massage a cajole.

    Lower Abs and much better and much stronger. Can still feel then when I exercise but that is because the exercise is designed to use them to strengthen them. They are not restrictive and no following day issues.

    Hamstring is much better as well. benefitting from some specific stretches to straighten the whole leg and more running.

    Right hip is a little better. I still think is very much associated with issues on my hamstring and left leg.

    Core is much stronger so a better posture overall and especially when batting which has improved a lot over the winter.

    Body in general is stronger and fitter and I am bowling a lot more energetically (and better) and longer.

    Running hurts knees a little to start and they still sore until they get going but overall I am running much better as well.

  24. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Three

    A 0kg weight loss (which I will take as was not a good week diet wise) making the current daily average weight loss 0.08 (0.096 last week) leaving a daily average of 0.26 (0.22 last week) to reach my 100 day total.

    Week didn’t start of great diet wise with a Chinese and a Sunday Lunch and I have had a whisky several evenings and a glass of red with lunch, but that is pretty much all I need these days.

    Nets on Sunday included some hand ball to warm up and indoor cricket to end , so my body felt it. My knees in particular were very sore behind the knee caps in the afternoon, but not too bad on Monday. Hopefully they will get used to it but it may be a level of discomfort I just have to live with.

    My hamstring and right hip were great but my left hip really sore, reinforcing really the alignment issue I have. In many ways this is good as I know what I need to work on and fair to say I have a very targeted and challenging regime set for the rest of the off season.

    Overall another stop start week as weather not great, still working through a list of pre season tasks around the home.

    Back of knee caps have been uncomfortable but I still feel that I will get that under some sort of control and once warmed up they are fine.

    Feeling a little stronger and more flexible, but do need a good 4 weeks at least in the gym and running. No excuses now, starts Monday!

  25. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Four

    A 0.9kg weight loss (which is terrible really as I have been watching what I ate. Hopefully is a false negative or muscle gain but I need to sort this weight loss out!) making the current daily average weight loss 0.06 (0.08 last week) leaving a daily average of 0.34 (0.26 last week) to reach my 100 day total. That is not going to happen by a long way so I have set myself an acceptable target for the start of the season, and a revised weight loss for the end of the year.

    Overall a much better week.

    Diet wise I didn’t so much cut down on how much I ate, but cut out the less healthy stuff.

    Exercise wise I finally got back into the gym and had no adverse effects as I am a lot stronger and fitter overall.

    Couple of net sessions went well, with the focus very much still on small trigger (across and back with bat being raised as I go back), head over the ball, but body remaining more upright at the same time. I have messed around with this quite a bit but have a clear focus now, but need a stronger core still and to work on ,y left him and leg alignment.

    Body wise my knees are good (ish) as they will always be a problem. The pain is really only behind the knee caps now (wear and tear) and it is not as bad and recovers quicker so I am hoping that they will continue to improve.

    Little finger is still an issue, It will bend fully now and doesn’t hurt too much, but in the mornings it is really stiff. I can play with it like this so will continue to exercise it and bandage it up for nets and games.

    Hamstring is improving and I think once I get my leg/hip sorted out then it will be fine.

    Which brings me to my left leg and hip, which are the main issue as they have been out of alignment for so long now they have affected other parts of my body. My left hip is the worse part, but I am working on opening up the hip joint, getting more strength into the hip muscle and strengthening my legs in general.

    Realistically I have 4 weeks as I want to have a weeks rest (just walk the dogs and stretch) before the season starts on the 17th March.

    I think my body will hold up well for this season, but I am already thinking of the next off season and pre season as I think it will be 2023 before my body is as good as it can be.

  26. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Five

    A 0.6kg weight loss which is at least back in the right direction and an indication of how much weight loss is realistic each week. I have given up on my original target as I will miss it by a long way a) because I have not got the discipline to really diet, b) because the effort to get fit has needed more calories and has been more important and c) because it was too much in the period of time I set. For completeness though this weight loss makes the current daily average weight loss 0.06 (0.06 last week) which is 0.44 per week. I think being realistic 0.5kg a week would be a steady target. I am going to have a bit of a push on weight loss before the season, with a rest week from exercise a good opportunity. I am hopeful that I will lose weight slowly throughout the season, but the main focus will be in the immediate off season.

    Body wise a mixed bag.

    My finger is a little worse than before, but still good enough to play and I think what has made it worse is that I am doing more with it, because it has got better – if that makes sense. I will be protecting it in nets, training and games though throughout the year, along with a protective gel pad for the damaged part of my hand.

    My knees are pretty good. They allow me to do what is needed and aren’t too painful during exercise but they are sore afterwards but not for long. I think they will get a little better as they get used to being used, but it’s going to be a pain management job really, which to be fair it has been for years. I don’t take any medication for the pain and not much that I can do as is a lack of cartilage behind the knee which is the real issue.

    My left hamstring is a lot better. Can feel it at times but I think the realignment of my leg is really helping.

    Lower abs seem fine. Feel them very occasionally but no issue using them either training or in nets so I think they are good to go.

    Main issue is the stiffness and soreness in my lower back in the mornings. I am not sure if am sleeping differently or the exercises are having a knock on effect. During the day it is fine (right side not great) so have booked the Osteopath to see if can diagnose and suggest some exercises.

    In the nets I am pleased. After a will I/wont I with a trigger movement I have reverted to a Middle/Leg Guard and a slight back and across movement primarily to help me get the bat moving upwards before I play my shot. I was not generating enough power naturally which was making my body heave at the ball when I wanted to hit out. My head is much better aligned and my body more upright and I am happier playing the ball later. Bowling has also improved a lot and the feedback from the coaches is encouraging: they are senior county coaches and they would bat be 3,4 or 5 (I would say 4 or 5) and bowl me regularly which is encouraging.

    Challenging week ahead: 2 Nets for Staffs Seniors which in reality are trials for me! A Club net (two back to back net sessions on Sunday will be a good test of fitness) and a members net on Thursday.

    This is my focus now: as much playing and game type activity as possible, a lot of stretching and core, some strength work and one longer running session each week – I am currently doing the equivalent of 24 singles and 10 ball chases each session and I want to get that up to 36 and 15 as it is unlikely that I will be doing more than that in a game!

  27. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Six

    Gained a little weight but it has not been a great week.

    I have felt flat/lethargic (not COVID) but I also had 4 net sessions which was good as it showed that my body and fitness have come a long way, but it did highlight that my right hip needs to be improved before the season starts and my body needs more rest.

    Have decided that fitness and weight wise I have made huge improvements since last season and as my plan is to play for several years yet I am going to ficus over the next four weeks on getting my body into a season pattern or recover, exercise, training, playing and rest and really try and sort hip and hamstring out a bit more.

    Knees will always be sore but they allow me to do what I need to do.

  28. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Seven

    A good ‘first’ week of trying to establish a weekly schedule that will see me through the season.

    Lost 0.5kg which would just about get me to my revised start of season target. I had seriously misjudged just how little muscle mass I actually had so I have lost a lot of fat but gained a lot of muscle – and no I am not muscle bound!!!

    Back in the Gym I swam for the first time and did some general strength work and both went well and had no adverse effects on the body.

    Walking further with the dogs now and three net sessions are building up my overall fitness. Very happy with way batting and bowling is progressing.

    Did some running and in fact doubled what I had been doing and apart from knees aching post run and a slight tightness in my groin I felt good.

    Core is getting stronger and I think the specific exercises for my right hip are showing some improvements.

  29. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Eight

    Not a good week at all weight loss, or fitness wise.

    Bad weather, list of chores to get done before season starts but mainly a lack of discipline and running out of steam.

    I have done well, but not well enough. Think need a few weeks without bat in hand or bowling now. Just walk the dogs, work on core and stretching and switch off for a while.

  30. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Twenty Nine

    Had a much needed week off, partly because body was tired and I felt lazy and partly because I had a lot of chores to get through before the season started.

    Body benefitted without doubt and it is encouraging how my knees in particular feel much better when rested.

    Without doubt I have done well in the off season but not as well as I wanted or needed. I underestimated just how big a task it was to get fit and lose weight and how hard I would find it, mentally and physically.

    Should have done enough to have a better season, where the focus will be on learning how to manage my body through a game, week and season so I can have a targeted and specific off season before 2023 which I hope will be my first full Seniors County Season as that and my plans for charity cricket games is where my future cricket lies realistically.

  31. Chris Marshall Post author

    Week Thirty

    A good round number and with my first game tomorrow this will be the last update. I will comment on general fitness etc in the weekly diary.

    A good final week. Introduced my summer schedule which includes main meal at lunch which is much better. Gives me more energy during the day and I snack less in evenings.

    Had a few jobs to sort out pre season so not a full week, but had a couple outdoor nets inc some fielding and body was OK.

    We have two games then a fortnight off which is weird scheduling but will be a good time to assess how body has reacted to the two games.

    I wish I had found fabric bands earlier, but bands, swimming, dog walks and bike should be enough to keep me fit and mobile.

    I have achieved a lot in 30 weeks. Mainly internal stuff with old injuries. I would like to have got further with hamstring and lower back but they continue to improve and I am happy that they will cope with the season, especially if I manage my games and recovery properly.

  32. Pingback: Off Season Plans: Fitness, Rehab & Training – Chris Marshall

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