A photo of Geoffrey Hayward

The First 10 Days of Building Strength for a Worthy Cause

Doing the Alzheimer's Research UK 30-Day Plank Challenge.

Published June 11, 2023

Hanna and Geoffrey making a video of the Plank Challenge.
Day 3: Making a video of the Plank Challenge.

In life, we often find ourselves drawn to causes close to our hearts, seeking meaningful ways to make a difference. As an advocate for Alzheimer’s Research UK, I am wholeheartedly embracing their 30-Day Plank Challenge, and I am pushing myself to new limits while helping raise vital funds for a cause that resonates deeply with me. Join me as I recount the first ten days, where planks have become more than just exercises.

Day 1: Reconnecting with Planking

As I embarked on this challenge, I approached the plank with a mix of excitement and uncertainty. It had been a while since I last held a plank position, distantly limited to brief gym classes. I began the challenge with a benchmark plank of 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Day 2: Combining Running and Planking

Determined to maintain a well-rounded fitness routine, I kicked off the day with a 5km run. Then at lunchtime, I embraced the plank challenge with a hold of 2 minutes and 9 seconds.

The idea behind the challenge is to plank for longer each day.

Day 3: Family Fitness and Plank Progress

On Day 3, my daughter Hanna began supporting the planking challenge by helping me capture the moment on camera as I pushed myself to hold the plank for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Straight after, we joined in with the Family Synergy 360 interval class together, which is a lovely shared experience.

Day 4: Tackling the Turf and Plank

Undeterred by the scorching weather, I dedicated the day to transforming my garden. I spent hours digging and preparing the area for turf. Meanwhile, I held a plank for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Day 5: Steadfast and Strong

On Day 5, my determination extended my plank time to 2 minutes and 26 seconds.

Day 6: A Day of Endurance

Day 6 was an eventful day that started at the Exeter Cardio Hub, where I did a 50-minute cardio session. Later that day, I then tackled a 7km interval run. And after all that, I still faced the plank once again, where I held the plank for 2 minutes and 36 seconds.

Day 7: Conquering Challenges, On and Off the Road

With each passing day, my planking endurance has been growing. On day 7, I pushed myself to 2 minutes and 46 seconds, continuing to add seconds to my previous day’s record.

Then later, I joined the Cranbrook Running Club in the evening to participate in the monthly 4-mile handicap time trial. Despite limited recent running opportunities, I completed the course in 30 minutes and 53 seconds, embracing the heat and going for it.

Day 8: A Whirlwind of Fitness

I began the day with an hour of tennis. Later I made my way to the Exeter Cardio Hub for yet another heart-pumping cardio session. With determination coursing through my veins, I concluded the day with a 3-minute plank, leaving me with a great sense of achievement that day.

Day 9: Pushing the Boundaries

Day 9 brought me closer to my goals as I pushed through the 3-minute mark during my plank session, holding on for 3 minutes and 6 seconds.

Day 10: Resting, But Inspiring Others

On this rest day, I took a step back from the plank challenge. However, my efforts have inspired my daughter Hanna to give it a go. Witnessing her enthusiasm and determination was a reminder of the impact we can have on those around us.

Hanna managed 2 minutes and 7 seconds.


The first ten days of the Alzheimer’s Research UK 30-Day Plank Challenge have been lots of fun and are in support of a worthy cause. As I look ahead to the next 20 days, I am feeling the excitement. Stay tuned for another 10-day update here on my blog, and for daily photos and videos this month, see my Facebook Fundraiser page.

Big Thanks:

A big thanks goes to Ewa, Mike and Phil for making a donation.

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