Hitting the wall (and jumping over)

There is a saying ‘You get better at running by running’, which is true, until you just get so sick of running; which is not ideal training for an ultra but is the exact situation I find myself in at the moment. I love running, always have. The admin involved in going for a run is so wonderfully simple. Sneakers on, out the door – and boom, you’re running. Compare that to something like kayaking which involves remembering all the gear, kayak on the car, finding someone to go with (safety Sam), dropping a car at the start, car at the end, the list goes on. Throw in a typical spring Nor’ Wester raising the river levels and even when all your ducks are in a row mother nature likes to throw in a curveball.


So back to running and the wall which I have run smack-bang in to. I am forcing myself to pull on the sneakers, even coming up with tactics like rewarding myself with a treat of some sort if I do go. The days have gone when I look forward to my daily dose of exercise. And I miss it. But I know I need it in my life as without it things can get rather ugly. So I needed to come up with a solution, a way to get the exercise mojo back. So in the words of my brother-in-law regarding that wall, ‘climb over it!’


So I’m going to eat my words from a previous post, where I talked about the many options of exercising for free and have joined the gym (Fitness First). This is just until Christmas, to get me through until I hop on the big bird and fly home to sunshine and trails. It has turned out to be just what I needed.

First up was BodyAttack, my favourite when it comes to Les Mills and classes full stop. If I was searching for a sign, I found it, with my favourite track of all time on the playlist (for those BodyAttack geeks like myself, its track #9 from release 56 – Nowhere Fast). In fact, I love this track so much I sang it to my flatmates the other night, remembering every move (and thus confirming to them that their flatmate is crazy).


The day after however was a WHOLE different story. That was my first class in more than a year, actually since August last year, when I traded in my gym membership to focus on the outdoors and training for Coast. I could hardly walk down the stairs. Wow, and to think I used to instruct this class, talking included. I thought of those brave people who used to come to my classes and have to listen to me yelling at them to ‘lift the tempo.’ I’ll admit I did feel a slight tinge of guilt and thankfully most of the time they came back! I did manage to get out for a run later, but I could feel my quads and glutes with every step, so the length of the run didn’t quite match the training plan!

Next on the list was Spin. Fitness First have developed a new type of class where they team up with British athletes and tailor their chosen discipline into a class. Much the same as Les Mills classes, they are based around music and choreographed for a certain length of time. Last night was release #5 of Victoria Pendleton’s class (a former Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion track cyclist). It was only 30 min, thank goodness because the sweat was pouring off me. I was glowing under the fluorescent lights and not just because of my orange laces. The theme was Team Riding, where we ‘pretended’ to play cat and mouse for basically the entire length of the class, with the breaks (if you could call them that) coming when we were 'drafting’. I’m pleased to say I am nowhere near as sore as I thought I would be; maybe I should turn that dial an extra quarter next time!


It was good to get back in the gym and to add some cross-training to my fitness plan is great too. I always say the reason I have never had an injury (touch wood) is due to the broad range of activities I participate in (broken bones not included). So hopefully this will inject the enthusiasm back into my training and get me excited about pulling on the sneakers and running again.


Say Yes to Adventure Magazine

A quick update and a massive thank you for your support and encouragement for this new project. The response has been extremely positive, with some genuinely inspiring contributions coming through my inbox, offering many different perspectives on what an adventure can mean. Not to mention the stunning photography that will have to book your next adventure in a heartbeat!


I am on track for a February print date which is super exciting. Pre-orders will be available at a special early-bird price from the beginning of January, so watch this space!

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