Training has continued for the Inspire30 challenge and has been going really well. This time last year I was battling a real lack of motivation and exhaustion; this year is a completely different tale. Working with Ben at Squadron PT I get a few ideas and new sessions to try each week – it keeps me interested and stops boredom creeping in. I am not one for a structured plan and Ben gets this; instead he gives me ideas and I go and fit them in around work and family. Consequently I am getting through between 18-20hrs a week and really enjoying (most of) the training:
A mixture of long, low intensity sessions mixed in with some faster, harder ones and I am feeling fit and strong. The key differences this year from last is that the intensity for some of the longer sessions is a little lower and also I am doing a lot more strength and conditioning. The latter I didn’t really do much of before but now having done it for 8 weeks I am beginning to see the difference. Yes I am doing some lunges with BBs above my head and core exercises balancing precariously on a big ball gets me some looks in the gym but it is making a difference – my core definitely feels stronger and it adds some quality and diversity to the routine.
Yesterday I took part in my first cycle competition and my first experience of riding in a peloton. I have to say it was an exciting and exhilarating experience. I had not really appreciated how much concentration was required as a group of about 40 riders set off on a 45 minute ride. Going for about 30 mins we were rolling almost constantly at 30+mph which I thought was incredible. Unfortunately a crash at 30 mins took out 2 riders, one with very serious injuries. One or two of us stopped to treat the casualties and got them to hospital with the help of the medics. Just a bad accident and it hasn’t put me off and I would definitely recommend having a go – I was amazed the difference drafting made and how much team work was required.
I am away this weekend with a few friends to do some swimming, cycling and running in Snowdon which I am really looking forward to. The week after I am taking part in the Scottish Islands Peak Race; a mixture of sailing and mountain marathons, as part of a team of 5. Not a great sailor so looking forward to the running bit and will hopefully get some good photos for the next blog! Looks a little bit hilly!!!!
My daysack was starting to suffer so I have been training with an Ultimate Direction Race Vest recently. I am not sponsored by UD so I am free to say what I want – and it is excellent! The UD Pater Bawkin 3.0 Vest can carry enough kit for an overnighter if you are prepared to strap stuff on the pack, otherwise more than enough storage for an extended day in the mountains. The compression straps and elastic cords keep bounce to a minimum and so far (30 miles+) no rubbing or blisters. I am using it on the SIPR so will be able to give a fuller update next time.
It has been a bust week for endurance sports and I wanted to say congratulations to Graham Smedley on winning the Enduroman 2×1 Iron Distance event.
As ever he was supported by his wife Claire and he put in an amazing performance as he trains to complete in Deca UK in October at Eton Dorney. Run by Claire at Brutal Events who herself will be completing her own Deca attempt in just a few weeks.
You may also have heard that Debi Hazelden has just completed 100 Half Iron Distance Triathlons in 100 days, finishing with a full IM! Amazing achievement and extremely humbling! If you are on FB you can see how the whole thing went here.
The final bit of inspiration from the blog this time is thanking all those I met on Exercise EXECUTIVE STRETCH. An exercise run by the Army every year to promote the benefits of serving in the Reserves and what skills can be brought back into civilian life. The Unit I lead sponsored the event and I was luck enough to meet a load of people who fully committed to the experience, including a 3.5 mile obstacle course and river run designed specifically for the challenge by me and my team. An amazing event with loads of great people taking part and thanks to Martin Kelly for putting some photos on FB.
One final bit of news is that I have now passed my REPS Level 2 Course with Future Fit. Now looking forward to gaining the PT qualification by November.
Happy training and will update you on how the rest of the journey goes towards the Inspire 30 soon.