Project 64 + 6,400

My knees creak a little bit. I’ve put some lean muscle on, according to my Withings Body Cardio. I think it’s around the quads and glutes, given the fit of my shorts. I did complete my 6,400 bodyweight squats in May. I’m very pleased. I missed a couple of days when I was swamped and another when I was a bit under the weather. That made for some mighty testing makeup days, including one where I did 600 squats. Project 64 is on track.

I got into a groove early, do 50 squats, pace up and down, then 50 more. Leaving a lot of space between sets only made it seem a bigger task, more intimidating. The first 50 were always hard, then I warmed up, and the next sets went by quickly.

The power of habit won through, as it always does for me. Goal setting, calling out the goal and then getting into the habit.

Project 64 photo of me having finished my laps, wearing cycling kit

After my birthday on the 22nd of the month, I started to think about other challenges. To make Project 64 something of a theme for my current trip around the sun. While riding a couple of laps of Regents Park, I decided to ride 64 laps in a week, about 178 miles. It’s not a lot for an experienced cyclist. But I had taken a lot of May off to focus on the 6,400 squats.

Foolishly at the end of May, I decided to start the one week challenge. Ten laps a day, then a short victory day on day seven, and that would be it. Harder than I thought to be honest. The squats plus the cycling gave my quads and my recovery a good run out. Halfway through, I had to skip a day; I was just tired. But the next day, I doubled down and made up the lost laps.

Again, goal achieved. The appearance of the sun for all my days was a sign, surely? It wasn’t very nice for most of May, but the sun came to town, which made it very pleasant.

Project 64, what am I learning? Having goals is good; I knew that already. But I can guarantee you I would not have exercised so much without those goals in place. Habit is good too; once you work something into your routine, it quality forces discipline.

Nutrition. Of course, I should know that. Three things I focused on. Getting enough protein down, which is easier said than eaten. 200 grams a day of protein is a lot. I have only hit the number twice, but I’m regularly over 150 grams. Staying hydrated should be easy, but a simple colour test told me I was tending not to drink enough.

Finally, on the up to 45-mile rides, I took a small amount of carbohydrate every 30 minutes, whether I wanted it or not. Experienced Rule 5 hard men may be smirking at me using gels on short rides, but once you’re in a deficit, it’s too late, so why take the risk? Be a touch ahead of the curve, and 22 grams every 30 minutes was a nice top-up. Remember as well as the exercise at hand, it helps you to be ready to go the next day.

Well, first, I’m having a couple of days off and seeing my friend of over 40 years and recovering from the last month. Then hopefully stepping back into some improved fitness. I don’t have a clear view of the next one, and I think I might do something simple while trying to devise something suitably daft.

Most certainly want to 64 abdominal exercise reps a day for a period. I am toying with the idea of doing the 64 laps in one day at some stage. Beyond that, I’m bereft. In the mind-body balance sphere, I have no ideas, I’m afraid. I don’t have 64 intellectual things I can attempt or 64 mindful pursuits I could go for at this stage. (Although I would say I’m getting very close to my 564th consecutive day where I meditate.

Next? Watch this space.

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