I haven’t written about training in quite some time, but its the Summer Holidays, I have time on my hands, for both training and blogging, and with no race this weekend I thought I should write something to keep you all going.
This week has been particularly good for training, often I start off with the best of intentions but things fall by the wayside, but this week I have certainly put in a good few hours, and I thought I would share this as I am sometimes asked how I train.
Saturdays really vary for me, it depends on if and when I have a race at a weekend, this means more often than not I end up having to take a rest day on a Saturday. This week, however, with only Colour the Coast to contend with on Sunday, I dragged myself out of bed and down to the park for 9am to do a class with RP Combat Conditioning.
Before I headed out the door though I decided to complete my Muddy Race challenge. Throughout August Muddy Race are putting up a daily fitness challenge, and on this particular day it was 111 Squats.
I teamed up with my friend Ella Roberts at RPCC, I love training with Ella, she always pushes me really hard, and we smashed our way through a tough fighter circuit – incorporating extra burpees along the way (We have both agreed to do 30 burpees a day leading up to the Spartan races)
Sunday this week was Colour the Coast, which for me, having promised not to race, was a nice gentle 4km jog along the seafront, you can read a full account of it here.
Before leaving to get covered in paint I did my muddy race daily challenge – 3mins of mountain climbers. Much like microwave minuets, these seemed to last longer than normal minuets, I was sure my phone must have stopped timing me. I did three sets of 1 minuet mountain climbers, followed by 10 burpees and about 30 seconds rest, this got both my daily challenges out of the way.
Originally I had good intentions of going for a bit of a run Monday morning, but after a rather later night than I had anticipated on Sunday, the run never materialised.
Once I had managed to normalise though it was back on with the Muddy Race challenge of 55 box jumps (inter-spaced with my 30 burpees) and then down to the park for my second RPCC training session of the week.
Again I partnered up with Ella, and we pushed through sprints and a tough circuit. Once we had completed our circuit we hung around for a bit -quite literally – trying to master climbing a rope. Ella had really mastered the technique and was doing a really good job of teaching me, its not her fault she has a rubbish pupil in me. I did improve a bit, but I am still yet to make it to the top. After this Ella wanted some company completing her 55 box jumps, so we went over to a park bench and smashed them out – not bad after a tough hour of circuits.
Tuesday evening saw me heading to Women’s only Beachfit, another class run by RPCC. I have missed this class the past few weeks, being unable to get a lift there, and was really please to be back.
We started off with a run up a hill, followed by a good warm-up at the top, before setting back off down the hill to complete another circuit, with the added challenge that being on the shingle brings. This class was finished off with a beach sprint down to the sea and back, followed by a good stretch.
The Muddy Race challenge for the day was 75 press-ups which I did as soon as I got out of bed, along with my daily dose of burpees.
Wednesday I was again up fairly early for a personal training session, I quickly got my 2 minute plank out of the way for the muddy race challenge and after a quick phone call from personal trainer Adam Shaw I was told to “put on your trail shoes” and it was time to go. The weather on this morning was rainy and misty, a complete departure from the sunshine we had been enjoying, and this was actually a bit of a welcome relief from running in the heat.
We headed up to the Firehills (read more about them here) and did a steady run for about 50mins, tackling hills and rough terrain, brilliant training for OCR. The idea of the session was to think about covering ground in a race, if you are tired, don’t stop, just keep moving, and that’s exactly what we did. We finished off with three fast (well fast ish – I’m not exactly Usain Bolt) hill sprints, then it was home for a bit of a rest.
I actually spent most of Wednesday with my foot up, I had turned my ankle on the beach Tuesday night and after running on it Wednesday morning I was in quite a bit of pain. By the afternoon though I was bored stiff, so I got up and did my 30 burpees and then went to my weekly Aquafit class with my mum.
I decided that since Aquafit was in the water it was therefore lower impact and my ankle should be ok – this turned out to be more or less the case. We had a bit of a swim, and then did the 45min class.
Aqua can be seen as a bit of a sport for old ladies, but in truth the instructor of this class is really good and it can be a tough workout if you put the effort in. It seemed to be all about the legs this week, with lots of jumps and kicks. The section where you have to wade through the water in a circle and then turn around to push against the current you have just created is also really good training for water obstacles if you don’t fancy open water.
After convincing myself to leave my bed Thursday morning I got stuck into the Muddy Race challenge. As this was the 7th Day you had to put together all the daily challenges so far into a circuit. They offered three levels of workout 1/3 for bronze, 1/2 for silver and the full lot for gold. I took the bronze workout and did three sets of it to get to the full gold amount. This totalled in at 50 Burpees, 111 squats, 3 mins of Mountain climbers, 75 press ups and a 2 min plank. The mountain climbers were probably the toughest, but by the end I was struggling to hold myself in the final plank, I made it, but barely.
Thursday evening saw me take on yet another brilliant RPCC class, this time it was running club, taking me yet again onto the dreaded Firehills for an hour of running over tough terrain. As I was getting ready to leave though disaster struck as I noticed a ridge had developed in the heal of one of my X-Talon 212s, I didn’t have time to fix it, so I switched to my Nike Flyknit Ones (super light and comfortable, but no grip) and hoped that the ground had dried out since yesterday. Thankfully it was dry underfoot, although by now my legs were feeling my week of training and I think my running suffered as a result. It was really hot and sunny, and I felt pushed to the limit of what I was capable of at the time.
The alarm went off at 5.45am and, as with every week, I wonder why I am voluntarily getting up at this time during my holidays. A very quick change and it was out into the grey morning to walk down to the seafront for my last RPCC session of the week – Friday Morning Beachfit.
This class usually starts off with a run, and today was no different, this morning we took a run up the East Hill steps, which is a brutal warm up, then across the hill, back into the old town, a hill sprint up an alleyway and then back onto the beach.
Friday beachfit incorporates circuits with beach sprints down the shingle. It’s fair to say that my effort this morning was a bit on the lame side, it really is time for a rest day now! I pushed through until the end with as much energy as I had left, but I was really feeling the week of hard training catching up with me.
Once home again I did my thirty burpees, my whole body was screaming at me by now, and then hit the shower. Thankfully today’s Muddy Race challenge is stretches, which I will do later tonight.
With a Hen-do on the horizon this weekend I will finally be taking a bit of a rest from training, but I have one last thing I need to do before I can rest, and that’s take another light jog. I think I have fixed my 212 problem, but I don’t want to find out mid race next weekend (where I actually have two races) that I hadn’t so it will be back out for me later, but don’t underestimate the value of a good rest guys, I have really felt the lack of it this week, and next week I will be training much more lightly or I will never get through two races.
Now if I could only sort my nutrition as well as I’ve sorted my training things would be very good indeed!