I’ve only really started to challenge myself to external goals over the last two years. Before this I just worked out, or set myself personal goals. Last year I signed up for RKC so I knew I had an external goal to work towards, making this decision has changed my approach to training for the better.
In many ways I did not challenge myself enormously last year because I already knew I could snatch 100 with 12kg and had done so several times. I just needed to get the speed and the form up to scratch. The background training to do this did however improve my strength and endurance so I could meet the rest of the RKC challenge head on. At my fastest I could complete the test in 3mins 30secs. My RKC trainer then slowed me down and worked on form. In the end, after a long weekend, I did it in 4mins 20 secs. Looking at the 60% failure rate of last month’s Belfast RKC, this was more of an achievement than I thought!
Training this year is very different. I’ve been learning a new move, the jerk, changing how I snatch and clean and working towards endurance goals I’ve never achieved before. This has involved trusting in my trainer’s skill and experience that I will be ready when the time is right and doing my homework. At the end of last week he sprung a test on me, with a wicked smile which said ‘you’re going to work hard today’. Ten minutes long cycle, competition conditions. Up to this point, ten minutes swings, changing hands as often as I liked, and six minutes jerk had been the longest timed sets I’d done. I took a deep breath and cleaned the kettlebell. To be truthful, the biggest battle was with the mind, at the four minute mark on both sides (a woman does 5 minutes on each side with 1 kettlbell) I gritted my teeth in determination and kept going. My trainer said it was the only emotion he saw, I was so focussed. He did suggest a sprint in the 9th minute but that was a step too far at this stage .
I was very pleased to set the kettlebell down after 10 minutes without stopping and was even more elated to learn that I had scored 48 (R) and 46 (L) reps. This is a huge boost to my confidence, now I know I can achieve the time, I can start work on speed and getting the form spot on. I was good for nothing for the rest of the session but I smiled all weekend 🙂
This week work has continued separately on the clean, using a 16kg and the jerk, working on endurance. I managed six minutes and four minutes of jerks yesterday and am working towards ten minutes jerk alone by the end of next week. The weather was good enough for ‘Robin Hood and back’ 800m hill runs during bootcamp. My running is a little rusty so I was slow and didn’t complete the whole workout but my body felt good afterwards – it clearly needed some variety. I am also working with my physio at the moment so that my right shoulder moves more easily and allows my arm to shoot up straight not out to one side a little as it has been doing. I can already see some impact of this work as my arm is staying straighter when I get tired. onwards and upwards!