Monday, 24 July 2017

Training Non-Plan or Doing What You Can

Training. Hmmm. Yeah. Well. Since the triathlon, I don't think I could say that I've really done any focused training. I had a plan, post-triathlon, to do three runs a week, a HIIT workout, an arms session and occasional yoga. That's not really happened. A very big reason for this is that recovery from stem cell donation took waaaaaay longer than I thought it would. On the surface, after a couple of days of loafing, I felt fine. Great, I thought, let's do some of this running stuff. Ha! A four mile run knocked me for six. Everything high impact left me feeling as though I'd been put though a couple of rounds in the boxing ring.
At the end of the Yateley 10k, feeling knackered.
I tried to take it easy, but easy by my standards isn't easy by most people's. The kicker came at a 10k race that should have been a sub hour but took me an hour and seven minutes. It was a battle the entire way round and friends on the finish line were genuinely concerned. I gave in, and took to more gentle activities. Somewhat ironically, as part of the thank you package from Anthony Nolan, I was given a free membership to my local branch of Everyone Active gyms and so I decided to check it out and see what it had to offer.

First impressions were very good. Smart exterior, plenty of parking, friendly front of house staff. I got my card, promised to do (and duly did) the online induction, downloaded the app, booked my first class. Set. With running seemingly out of the picture I opted for an RPM class as my first experience, a virtual spin class, where a Les Mills video is played on a screen in the spin studio and you are trusted to follow along. This was pretty good fun, although it's easy to slack off, and there isn't a lot of guidance about what actual RPM or resistance you should be using.
I discovered that the gym boasts Watt bikes, which I hope to use in future training plans, and used the gym a few times for arm workouts. I signed up for 20 days of Yoga Studio use for £20 and tried Hot Bikram Yoga (led by fast-talking James and possibly the most exhausting yoga class I've ever done) and Hot Vinysana Flow (led by the beautiful, calm and encouraging Rian).
Seduced by the fact it was only a half hour class I tried HIIT only to discover that it was the last class before the summer break. I poked my head into the spa area with it's hot beds, sauna, steam room and theraputic shower and vowed to use it in the not too distant future (I'm yet to do that). I've booked up to try Restorative Yoga (at a regular temperature) and Body Combat. There's a kettlebell class that could be interesting as well as Dance Fitness for when I'm feeling frivolous, Group Cycling and Body Conditioning that I really would benefit from. Whilst waiting to join the HIIT class I found a stock of Balance magazines, a publication I've been wanting to get my hands on for a while, so taking a tip from the title I took half an hour out to flick through it between classes.
It's a month or so since the donation and I'm just about feeling back to normal. I'm back to running a couple of times a week at a not-too-shameful pace. My race times are heading back towards normal territory and I'm not feeling so exhausted after high impact activities. I suppose it's not the training that I'd intended, but I'm still seeing and feeling the benefit of it. It's just a case of moving the target a bit. At the beginning of August, Dean and I are heading out to Jersey for the Round The Rock ultra. I'm not at all where I want or need to be with my running but that's not going to stop me from doing the event. I might not complete it within the 10-hour window to earn a medal, but I will enjoy the scenery and the adventure.
Moral of the story? Work with what you've got. Listen to your body a bit more. Adjust the plan. Don't beat yourself up. As the Everyone Active slogan states... Feel better for it.

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