When I’m finding the training hard and don’t feel like I’m making much progress, it’s good to stop for a minute and remember just how far I’ve come in the last three years. I joined Kettlebell Nottingham almost three years ago. When I joined I’d just finished the 10,000 swing challenge and was feeling good about being able to swing a 12kg for 1 minute (two hands) and swing the 32kg for 5 reps. I was very much a Hard Style practitioner and had worked alone mainly as I hadn’t realised Nottingham had it’s very own kettlebell classes. I ran a little, but had knee problems when I ran any distance. Oh and had given up on the jerk because my trainer at the time felt it was too complex for me to learn.
Over the last three years I’ve trained for and passed the HKC and the RKC and rectified my running issues so that I can now happily run 5k on a regular basis. The classes are good fun and I’ve made a few kettlebell loving friends along the way. Over the last year I’ve changed my technique completely so that I can compete and have taken part in two competitions so far. This morning I swung 2 sets of 1 minute with the 32kg (just about), snatched and jerked 12kg for 5 mins each with 1 hand change each time and happily managed some 16kg bumps. It’s not been easy, lots of blood , sweat and tears (mainly from my coach) but I can see the progress I have made when I take the long view.
So, how is the training for Manchester going? Despite all the practice I’m getting , my technique is still not automatic, I forget quite quickly in a test or class situation. My biggest faults are not leaning back into my heels, forgetting the hip wiggle in the snatch, not getting right down to my hips in the jerk and forgetting to breathe. This means that I’m not as confident as I could be going into Manchester. I have managed 10 mins jerk and snatch with the 12kg now, as long as I get the pace right. If I start like a rocket, I run out of steam – which isn’t good. Therefore the next few weeks will be about pace and breathing, staying in control so I finish the set. This competition will be about long term strategy and not getting too nervous. I think there will be some great competitors there. The standard is rising quickly.
My training week now has six sessions: 1 personal training session based around skills and two homework sessions at home practicing those skills and working on timed sets; two circuit classes, which provide assistance work on strength and conditioning(and some light relief) and finally a 5k run for conditioning.
Long term I’m still working on improving my relationship with the 16kg. Getting the pace and technique right so that I can compete with it. Work with 14kg is progressing, a 2kg increase is less daunting than a 4kg increase. This time next year maybe? That 40kg in the corner of the gym looks tempting too…