Blogging has been difficult over the last few weeks because I’ve been so busy. I used to blog on a Saturday morning whilst my partner enjoyed sleeping in (he’s a night owl and I’m an early bird!). However I adopted a Saturday morning run after the sports camp in Newcastle and so don’t have time to blog as often. Today I’m on holiday so I thought I’d spend some time updating.
Even though it’s assistance work at the moment, the running is beginning to grab my interest because I’m finally getting success. I joined Park Run before Christmas. This a free 5K group run which is organised by volunteers in a local park near you. My event takes place in a local country park where I often choose to run anyway. There is a website where you register and get a bar code. As mentioned above, my run meets at 9:00 on a Saturday morning (come rain, shine or snow), we all start together and then volunteers marshal and act as timers. When you get to the end your bar code is scanned in. A few hours later the results are published and I get an e-mail giving me my time and place in the run.
When I first started I didn’t have my bar code so I don’t really have a baseline. However,when I did finally use it I discovered I was faster than I thought. Although I finish somewhere towards the end of the field, my results are age adjusted and show that when I am compared to other runners which are my age and sex, I am just in the top 50% and I’ve regularly achieved first or second place within that group for that run. This has encouraged me to go to the run more often and push myself to improve my time. Hence running, not blogging. Over the last few weeks I’ve improved by 86 seconds.
Kettlebell training has now stepped up a notch as my next competition is a few weeks away! I’ve signed up to compete in the biathlon with 12kg. I’m no where near ready to compete with 16kg yet. 12kg is tough enough. I’ve managed 10 mins jerk but only 8 mins snatch so far. However when I was tested a few weeks ago I only had 10 minutes between jerk and snatch set and was still shaking from the jerk set when I began the snatch set! So I’m hoping that further training and a longer break between sets will mean I can finish 10 minutes snatch.
My coach has been working on technique with me so that I am more efficient, I’m not a fast learner when working on movement so this has taken a while. But I’m slowly improving. My training program before Christmas involved weight ladders, now I’m back to timed sets, building up the length of time I’m working with this weight and becoming familiar with the pace I’m going for. I’m not aiming at medals this time, I’m aiming at completing the set to plan.
The glove snatch sets have now arrived in my program. At sports camp in December I couldn’t quite complete 10 mins glove snatch with 8kg at a reasonably slow pace. Over the last few weeks I’ve completed 10 mins and then 10 mins at competition pace. Now I’ve been challenged to complete 12mins – arghh! I hope my windows survive.
Alongside two home training sessions, a PT session and a run, I regularly go to two circuit classes at my coach’s gym. These are really important for my morale. My team does not have a team training session for lots of reasons so this is an opportunity to train with others. The circuits are kettlebell based but include body weight exercises too, giving me some variety. Group numbers are small and ,unlike classes in health clubs, most people come regularly and work hard, so there is a great atmosphere of support, challenge and good humour – we know each other quite well now. A little bit of laughter goes a long way when the going gets tough!