Pole Goals 2017

This year will mark the 1st anniversary of me beginning pole fitness. It will also hopefully, be my first full year of pole fitness. Come September a lot of my fitness activities are going to have to be dropped but my hope is to keep Pole as the one thing I do still do. I love it and I get a lot out of it.

At the start of the year I started to think what I wanted to achieve this year, so my three goals are:

  • Get comfortable with shoulder mounts.

Achievable I think. I have managed to reverse shoulder mount quite a few times with relative comfort.

  • Achieve deadlift inverts

Probably my hardest goal. I really need to work at my core strength for this. I don’t have the worst core but it is no where near where I need it to be to be able to do this. I also need to learn how to communicate with my hips as they seem to be on a different wave length to the rest of my body.

  • Be confident with superman.

I have done Superman once. It wasn’t pretty. Getting into it the following week just didn’t happen. I need to work at putting up with the pain as well as some more flexibility in my hips! I think this one is pretty do-able.

15036449_10157844519300374_3939881498250100382_n

And of course I want to continue learning lots of new moves in intermediates. Trying to actually remember the names of some of them LOL and perfecting the ones I have already managed a couple of times.

pole

Mind over matter

I have been a runner since around 2012/13. I have 3 marathons, countless half marathons and 10kms under my belt. I’m experienced in this running malarkey.

And yet I still can’t conquer the mind over matter issue.

The clock is rapidly counting down to Brighton Marathon and here is me coming up with numerous excuses not to run or complete distances I set out to do.

First it was the fact I was busy during December with uni interviews and school experience, then as soon as that was over I got struck down with a hideous cold. No sooner had I got over that one my brother gave me a nice viral infection which lasted a week, went to my chest and saw me with high temperatures and feeling generally horrendous. As soon as I got over that, within a day I had a minor operation under a general anaesthetic. I was told I could run again the following Monday which was about 4 days later.

That was the start of this week. On Monday rather than doing the miles I was supposed to I went to the gym.

On the Tuesday I had told myself I would do 12 miles. Then my son spent most of the night awake so I reduced my goal to 6 miles. I managed 3.11 at a serious push!

Yesterday I planned to do 6 miles. I did 5. I just couldn’t make myself do that last mile.

The ridiculous part is I KNOW running is a case of mind over matter. I know its my head that controls my legs not the other way around. I know that if my head says run my legs will follow. I know its not my legs that give up first. But in many ways I also know its my head that isn’t meeting the goals as my legs probably would carry on quite happily my head just goes “nope, you’re done”.

On Monday I am supposed to get out and do 14 miles. I am really not sure that will happen!

77 days to go!

Women vs Men in OCR

So this weekend was the 2nd OCRA UK championships. Once again I didn’t go. I don’t take part in OCR to compete. I do it for fun. Not for placings. But as so many friends were taking part I have been following whats happened today like I did last year.

Last year a huge debate occurred involving women in OCR and whether they should be taking part in the same courses as the men or if allowances should be made for the fact that our strengths are different to those of men.

Most sports there are some kind of difference between men and women. Gymnastics for example, there are only two events which both men and women compete in – the vault and floor. Other than that they do different events. Olympic swimmers the men do a 1500m whilst the women only do a 800m.

Its not unusual for differences and exceptions to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong I am very much a men and women should be equal but the fact of the matter remains when it comes to sport physically women will rarely outdo the men, it happens sometimes but not often.

So back to the OCRA Championships. Today they were operating a 2 band system (thats a whole other story). Not a single woman managed to complete the course with 2 bands. Only 13 finished with 1 band. Most of these came down to a ‘rig’ which many men failed, even the top 3 had to have a couple of turns to complete it. One woman is said to have been there a couple of hours giving it a go and trying to get over it.

Theres two separate debates to this really. 1 – was the rig too hard? 2 – should women have a separate rig?

For some women there are going to be obstacles that are much more challenging due to height issues. For example a 10ft wall. Or a sternum checker that is that bit too high.

My personal opinion is that obstacles should be looked at on an individual basis and in situations where 50% of women are not going to be able to complete an obstacle I think there should be an adjustment made or a second one differed slightly.

Its a complex area that is no doubt going to cause a great deal of debate over the next year leading up to the next championships. Should women run a different course? More band chances? Run exactly the same course? Theres a ton of options and arguments that can be put ahead.

I’ll continue to enjoy OCR for the reason I started, to have fun. It makes me sad seeing the way the community has become divided between those who want to ‘win’ and those who do it for enjoyment.

 

Choosing a marathon training plan

When I ran the Brighton marathon in 2015 I signed up there and then to the 2016 race. Sadly due to last years injury I had to defer my place until 2017. The trouble is in that time I have become a total gym bunny and not a runner anymore! Well I don’t FEEL like a runner!

I had been torn over if I was going to take part in the 2017 marathon but after some thinking I realised I had unfinished business with the race. I didn’t get the time I wanted last time. I wasn’t far off it but it wasn’t what I wanted. So I’m going at it again!

Choosing a training plan has always been a conundrum for me. I know from training for Man V Mountain that I don’t like plans based on time. I’m a slow runner, I don’t cover the same distance that ‘average’ runners do. I knew I wanted a plan that was based on 3-4 runs a week and no more, I did a 4-5 run a week training plan for my first marathon. I was overtrained and from the start of the marathon sluggish and tired muscles. When I did Brighton and had done 3 runs a week I started the race much fresher and felt good for longer!

So after spending ages googling different marathon training plans and after lots of recommendations from people to give My Asics a go I decided I’d try it again. I started one of their plans for one of my previous events but didn’t like the pace it set. I’m still not a fan but I’ve decided to turn a blind eye for the pace recommendations other than for the long run.

I like that its broken down into stages and it also has a ‘preconditioning’ phase which is where it is currently at. I assume this is simply getting me ready to start upping my distance. Managed a nice ‘gentle jog’ of 4.5 miles this morning. It felt quite good but I know I’ve got a long way to go before I get there.

According to the plan I have another 85 runs, 447.7 miles and 21 weeks to go. EEK!

How do you choose your training plans? 

Mens Health Survival of the Fittest – Manchester – Race Report

Having completed London, Cardiff, Nottingham and Edinburgh last weekend it was time for the final event of the series. Manchester. When I signed up at the start of the year Rat Race had on their website their old info which stated if you did them all you got a souvenir hoodie. Prior to Manchester I got in contact to find out the details as I hadn’t heard anymore and couldn’t find anything on the website. The answer I got was

This was in place in previous years as part of the full monty package. We have not, however, run this package for 2016 as it was replaced with a higher value season ticket offer.

*Rolls eyes*

^ that is all I’m going to say for now, theres another blog post to come about said Season ticket and if I will be getting another one.

Anyway back to Manchester, this event had parking but it was a good distance from the event village with no signage, so it was follow the people who look like they are doing it and hope they know where we are going kind of job. Eventually we found it in the shadows of the Etihad stadium and with the travealator as the finish line.

Soon it was time to go, the usual hay bales were first to take us around a nice 180 turn. Then it was a short run with a couple of little hurdles and a wall before we hit the stadium climbs. Wow they were LONG. But also fun, I love football so running around a stadium is pretty cool to me.

After that we went off to the Athletics Track for a lap with the steeplechase included. I thought it would be about ankle deep, turns out its much deeper, check out the video for me stacking it!

Before long we came to the first canal crossing. Can’t say I was thrilled about it but I was going to do it and I did. Both of them! The lazy river was definitely that as we had to walk it as it was too shallow to glide down! But even though we were walking we had to have a life jacket on…. yet for the canal crossing into water that was 3m deep we didn’t need one … logic anyone?

Overall it was a good course, quite a lot around the stadium for spectators to see, or try and guess where they would see you as there was no map as usual. A bit of sightseeing around the home of British cycling and out into manchester parks and then it was back into the area around the stadium to finish.

In my opinion it was a good course, plenty of obstacles, lots of road running. Overall I was pleased 🙂 Check out the video to get a feel for what it was like to run it!