Yep, I had to wipe out last week - unfortunately its too late now to do anything about it, whats done is done and what I've eaten has gone straight to my hips, now I just get on a deal with it. So today is the day I got back on track, cleaning up the diet and exercise, thinking about what I am eating and what I will be eating later and most importantly not just eating for the sake of it. I think I have expressed enough the troubles I have with food, it is and probably always will be my biggest down fall, my diet is probably 80-85% great, the problem I have is the other 15-20%. The good things are just too good to resist, its not even like I eat fast food or have lots of fizzy drinks, but when it comes to bread and cakes thats when it gets really hard. It really doesn't matter if I am full or not, a nice warm slice of bread is just simply irresistible, or even a warm muffin, hot apple pie with custard (that has to be the English in me). The pattern here is warm or hot, and yes this maybe the issue for most, those Winter days are coming and that comfort food is just so tempting. I also believe it is in our nature to actually want to put on weight around this time of year just so you have an extra 'layer' to keep warm. I am not sure if this is an old wives tale or not, but I am sure I am heard it on the grapevine a few times.
Ok to get over this slump, I have am going to try and run again (hopefully minus the knee and ankle injuries), and by incorporating doing my rehabilitation exercises I will hopefully be able to run injury free (that would be an awesome thought). The reason why I am now going to try and incorporate some runs into my weekly routine, as I have found in the past that this has helped with the weight stabilisation and keeping it off, since usually I used to do this in conjunction with my other exercise, but because of my knee/ankle I sort of stopped. Now is the time to start again, and today was that day. YEAH!!
Starting off nice and easy with a 5km run on the treadmill, I really hate treadmill running (but at this stage its low risk and low impact), there is something about just running on the spot that is so damn boring, at least when your outside, you can take in your surrounds, enjoy the fresh air and get from a to b, but thats not the point. The point is, at least I did something, now I just have to keep doing it at least 2-3 times a week, including my other workouts and clean up my eating - I hope I should be good to go for enduro in 6 weeks time.
This will hopefully keep me motivated and give me another reason to get out of bed in the mornings, since it has been so cosy and warm, just getting out of bed to get to the gym has seriously been hard work.
Ever had one of those weeks where everything just seems out of alignment? Food, exercise, work... I not sure if just getting out of my routine because of the cramp aftermath and not being able to get focused, or the fact that everything was just hurting or that I really couldn't be bothered. I missed a Monday session and few early morning sessions, and thats not to mention how my diet just went out of the window this week. Over indulging on the chocolate a little too much and just not really staying focused.
I suppose we all have those days or weeks and unfortunately there isn't anything I can do about it now, whats done is done, its was yummy at the time, but I guess I have to start getting serious again. Geez its hard work trying to be good but before we know it our 24 hour event will be here and I know I would be wishing that I done everything properly and should have eliminated all the crap from my diet.
I think just having a week of semi rest and recovery, a few over indulgences will hopefully help to get it out of system. After just a great week last week, I should have guessed that a crappy week wouldn't be that far behind. I still, however managed to complete a workout tonight..
Talk about an extreme workout for your muscles but unintentionally, after having cramp in my leg calf on Saturday, I am still dealing with the tightness. I even took two days off exercise to try and my muscles a little break from exercise, couldn't quite do a third day. During this time, my left calf is still tight from the muscle contractions and unfortunately to make it feel any better, is by making it feel worse. Intense massage and rolling, I think I actually went through every swear word possible whilst trying to get the knot out of my calf. Stretching, rolling, massage and rest would be the quickest way to recover.
Its been two days and I am still not quite there, but I am most definitely not missing another day. My thoughts now is that a good training session will also help but also concentrating still on the rolling before and after the workout. I do try and roll out before and after ever session anyway but there today its was more concentrated on the calf.
Tonights strength and conditioning class there was just two of us. The warm up was a little different that what we are used to and consisted of 4 sets of the following after 90 seconds of skipping.
Finishing off with some more rolling and stretching (hopefully my calf will feel better tomorrow). Definitely felt like the ultimate workout, but would 100% rather do an actual workout then go through 5 minutes of muscle cramps.
Probably the biggest culprit for my cramp is dehydration, I really don't drink enough water and I should be making a conscious effort to ensure that I am having more than enough water. Also not really warming up before an event, there really is no point in just doing little leg swings, I should be looking at least 30 minutes of warm ups (this is going to be especially important for Enduro). Taking magnesium supplements should also help, if I remembered to take them everyday. Understanding cramps and how to treat it, also helps to hopefully prevent it in the future. Click here to visit the Livestrong website explains a little more on what causes cramps after exercise.
This is the first time we have done Operation Blackhawk in Nagambie, a two hour drive from home, although we have gone to a few different Operation Blackhawk events mainly at Wonga Park. This one is a little different to the ones we have done at Wonga Park. It is quite amazing that the team travel around Australia producing these events, and each one is so different, how they all pull together and get everything done is amazing, the hard work and effort that they put into each one, and the personal touches. This really does draw you back time and time again to these events.
We were also part of the OCR elite team (scary thoughts), and sometimes I do wonder why I signed us up for this (trying to gain that confidence that you are in fact good enough to be part of the team is just a little scary). Even with the sickness feeling in the pit of your stomach and the start and the self doubt that I shouldn't be part of this team. I do have to scythe best part of it, is that you get to go first, you don't have to worry about queues or getting held up, you can race against yourself and just keep going. I am lucky that I always have my support by my side, cheering me on and keeping me going.
There was a burped challenge for any obstacle not completed and I am proud that I only had one penalty, which of course was the monster wall at the end of the course. Dave just made it look so easy, pretty much running along the side of it, its as quite amazing really (there is a little sip of jealously there).
Unfortunately there was a slight change of location, so the layout of the course was a little difficult to navigate, but given the teams limited time scales of the change of location, they did a fantastic job with what they had, and still included all the major obstacles.
Since we spent two hours driving there and completed the course in order 1 hour (yeah, all I wanted to do), especially as apparently it on average takes about two hours to complete (this maybe a little different because of the different course). We hung around and helped out, Dave spent about 6 hours on the wall, helping people get over it (which was gave them a massive boost and sense of achievement, especially those that had their own self doubt (too heavy, they just can't do it or those that a scared of heights). I just handed out flyers, helped with the kids run and took some photos. It was the least we can do to help out.
After a nice early start with the alarm going off before 5am and a 2 hour drive ahead, you do have to question your own sanity. Why do we do this again, why do we get up at some silly time and drive to somewhere new and why do we put ourselves through it. I am not sure if it is because we are addicted or the fact that we really truly enjoy what we are doing and the feeling of achievement at completion. Really just having that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach at the start of ever race should be enough to out you off doing it again, the pre race nerves that the thought of being not far from a bathroom just fills you with fear, but somehow you get through it. The adrenaline pumps and you have started the race, there is no more time to think about how you are feeling just that fact that you just need to get on with it.
I also have to say that the people we have met along the way have been amazing, for some reason we always have the preconception that there was some sort of elitism happening, but how wrong were we. Everyone is so great and willing to help, cheer you on and take some time time out to give you some great advice. The comradery is unreal, you just can't explain how amazing everyone is.
The very first obstacle course we did was Tough Mudder and the only reason why we did it was because some friends said about doing it. They didn't do it but we did, the thought of doing 21kms of obstacles as well as electricity was a scary thought but we are always up for anything new. This would have to be the start, we did it on the Sunday which overall was a little quieter then Saturday, there were no queues and the pit area was just alive with excitement and nerves, everyone looked just as nervous but had a little excitement too. Our wave time was called and the first thing you had to do was to climb over a wall to get into the pit area. (Seriously it hadn't even started yet and I already struggled with the first obstacle). The MC was amazing, getting everyone pumped as they cheered on, reciting the Tough Mudder pledge and with a few more high fives and cheers the horn sounded and the smoke cannons were unleashed as we ran through and we had started. No turning back now, we just had to get it done. It started off with a nice job around Phillip Island race track and then the first obstacle the 'ICE bath'. A few swear words did elapse my lips as your whole body just goes numb from the shock and the ability to control your muscles and functions were slowly depleting. It was an effort just to climb out. The sun was shining and instead of complaining about being cold, you needed to look at the positive, you could no longer feel your muscles so you could not really feel running (it became effortless), soon you dried off and you just carried on going.
The other reasons is to be able to test yourself, without trying how do you really know you can do? Can you get over that wall? Or rope traverse? Crawl under barbed wire? or just finish a race? There is an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you can get through these things, having a can do attitude rather than just giving up. The ability to just keep going, give it 110%, hurt, cry but still just get on with it.
I can't remember every single obstacle that we did but the ones that most definitely stand out the most would have included the mud mile and the half pipe, as it was so wet and slippery just trying to get up and over was a hard enough task but people that you never have met before gave you a boast, pulled you up and helped you over. Without the help of others, I am not sure we could have done it. Dave of course cleared the half pipe effortlessly, but it took me two attempts to get up, you literally just had to run as fast as you could and hoped that the people at the top caught hold of you to give you a boost up and over.
The adrenaline boost and almost shocked feeling when you complete it, you can't really explain. You walk around in a daze and shock, feeling that what you just did wasn't even real and that the whole thing happened to someone else. You don't even feel the bruises that come along later, the mud has dried on your skin, you have to seriously scrub in the shower as the mud gets into places that you didn't think was possible, there were times during TM that you actually feel like you added a few extra kilos as the mud accumulated in your underwear.
This I doubt would be selling it to anyone, but when we finished having a shower, we headed to the hotel spa where the bruises were proudly on display, more people with similar bruises would join us and there was an understanding on what you all went through, you have something in common as you reminisce about the days events, and you realise how strong and determined some people really are. One of the girls we were talking to tried the hall pipe 8 times before she got, at one point she said that she just stood their and cried, but she did it eventually. The sheer will power and determination not to give up is just unreal and inspirational. Your body and mind is already fatigued but you just keep going. I just have remember this when doing True Grit, that we are all capable of achieving the impossible.
The stories that we have heard along this journey have been emotional and inspiring from weight loss, to broken backs, from young to old, it is amazing what people can achieve.
This of course was the start of our obstacle races in January 2013 and we have never looked back, we have come so far since that TM day, I have overcome fears and obstacles that I thought I could never do, we are fitter and stronger then ever before. My skin is not at its best and seem to be continually covered in bruises and scars, my hair has turned into rats tails with the amount of muddy tangles that it has had to endure, my hands are turning into man hands, filled with calluses, but I would not change it for the world, even the unflattering obstacle racer shots, when all ideas of looking like a health nut go out the window, as you look warn and battered, but the moment either catches that smile or that moment of sheer concentration and grit. The pain that you are experiencing but you are just determined to get through it without giving up, or that moment of exhaustion and excitement when you reach the finish line.
You become part of community, where you can share your highs and lows, there is a connection between people that can never be taken away, you share experiences and give each encouragement. Every obstacle race is a new milestone, where everyone celebrates your achievements.
Cant believe I forgot about the HIIT workout completed the morning before an event, the reminder always comes in when I have set up and the muscles are tight from the previous workout. But is this is my head or does this really make a difference. I find that the body is a complicated matter and I do wonder if I actually eased off the training that I would actually perform better at an event, but the only way of doing this is to actually test and test it probably by doing exactly the same things for a week including food and exercise minus the day before session and then doing the same course and testing the times. I am not sure that this is ever really going to happen, so I have to judge on the now.
My usual argument is that marine and army training is done daily, there is no give if your muscles are hurting or your tired. You just need to get on and do it, I suppose I have adopted this attitude from my dad, a former royal marine. There is no point winging and moaning about it, you just need to get on and do it.
Although I do think it is a number of things that you need to consider in your overall fitness abilities and skills, including of course fitness, diet, health and mentality. Having the belief, skill and strength in order to give 110%. Age could be another additional factor, I do wonder if we got into this 10 years ago, that we could have been so much stronger and fitter.
To continue on with what I was doing, the Friday morning workout consisted of:
Since starting this journey, I never would have predicated how far that I have come. Having a goal has helped keep me focused on my training (the diet is still a hard part), but baby steps. The diet has improved and I have cut a lot of the crap that I used to eat especially the muffins and cookies, although a treat once in a while doesn't hurt. Anyway, since starting I have achieved so much including doing things that I never thought I was capable of and getting my own PBs. This also helps when your doing a class with some great people.
The Thursday night Met Con class is always hard, especially when you get that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when it comes to the sprint runs. No matter what I do, I still get nervous and feel sick, as soon as Jake mentions that its time trials its just such a horrible feeling. I should really be getting used to it, as its the same feeling I get every time I do an obstacle run.
The class started off with some sprint drills, side shuttles and bursts and then we went into the time trails. We must have all pushed each other as we all achieved our own PB's, of course we weren't going to stop at one and did another 2 rounds (untamed)
By the end of 3 rounds my legs and arms were like jelly, I don't actually think I could feel anything anymore but the scary thing is, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love pushing myself and being pushed, at the time I am thinking of so many things, including trying to correct posture, breathing, time, grip and anything else that went through my head. At the end of the day I know that it will be finished soon and that moment of sickness will soon pass, the part when I can breath again will soon be here and then give it another half an hour and I want to do it all again... Its a good job that its not quite half an hour but 12 hours later I will be doing it all again.
This week worked on the same card game principles as last week, depending on the suit would depend on the exercise and the total amount of reps. Push press included 20 calories on the treadmill, but I am trying to achieve this in under a minute by increasing the incline and speed, the only annoying thing about the treadmill is that you can't manually input the speed, you have to use the increase speed controls which takes time.
Apart from achieving my pull up goal, of course I participated in my strength and conditions class too. The benefits of doing this class are always incredible, especially when you are focusing on form and technique. I always end up finding that there is something that challenges me and I need to focus on.
With a warm up which I sometimes find just as hard as the actually core components which were:
Its such a great feeling when you achieve something that you never thought you could achieve. You see other people doing it and you wish you could do it to, but the feeling of elation when you actually do it, there are no words to describe. Although as I am writing this, it feels like a dream and if it wasn't for other people in the gym I probably wouldn't actually think I did do it.
Apparently it is a lot harder for women to do pull ups then men, but is this just because of lack of training. It goes back to my monkey bar theory and kids, women develop a can't do attitude or that its a man thing, but in truth - how often do we try? Most women probably avoid it all costs, but now having achieved it, I know I can do it. Yes it was only one, but one is better then none. Now my next goal is to continue to be able to do them and of course increase the amount of reps.
Don't get me wrong I just didn't go up to the bar and do a pull up, I have been practising these for a very long time and building my strength. I started on a weighted pull up machine and then developed onto assisted band pull ups, first I was only doing it once a week, then I progressed to twice, now I try and do it every other day, even if I can only do a few or if I am feeling fatigued, I am still giving it a go and thats the main thing.
Doing this journey to the 24 hour endurance has really shown me that I can do things that I never thought I could do, I just need to try harder.
We all know the importance of good posture and keeping your back straight, and probably 9 times out 10 you think you at actually doing it correctly. Well I found that I don't always practice good posture, even when I think I am doing it correctly. Practicing good technique is vital especially in the gym, the mirrors are there for a reason and not just to look at yourself in the mirror. They are there for you to ensure that you are doing the exercises correctly, that your back is aligned and not curved.
I am slowly learning that getting the correct technique takes time and practice, also its a lot harder than you anticipate. I noticed that I start adopting bad posture and technique when I get fatigued, that unconsciously I start to curve my back and shrug my shoulders. Of course I am trying to break these bad habits, so today in the gym I worked on areas that I know I have a habit of adopting bad habits.
The problem occurs when in my head I actual think I am doing it correctly when in fact I am not, as video evidence proved. I actually recorded my exercises and then played them back after each set, so I can analyse and correct, what I saw both surprised and shocked me. As I said earlier in my head I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing correctly, my posture was good and my shoulders were back and down. What i found was that the first set was good and then of course I started to fatigue and as I got tired the more the arch came into play, as well as higher I got. The more I saw this, the more I am aware of it and now I take my time to correct it. The same principles also applied to the ski erg, skipping and sled runs.
Thinking about your posture needs to be part of your continuous thought process, as well as embracing the core. It really is going to take a lot of time and training to get this right, but by actually paying attention to how you are doing things including checking the mirrors or if possible record on your phone, its easier to identify and correct technique.
I had the pleasure today to join the girls from the Compound Chicks doing Miss Muddy. It was a great opportunity to be part of an awesome team as well as practice some more obstacles, at the end of the day the more training I can do for the 24 hour endurance event the better.
Miss Muddy is a fantastic starter course, given females the opportunity to test and play around and obstacle course without feeling overpowered by men. There is so much vibe to the atmosphere and everywhere that is there is there to have fun and give it their all, no matter what your fitness abilities.
It was a great opportunity for me to run without Dave too, since I use him for my rock and probably rely upon him so much during certain obstacles, that I didn't have any trust in my own abilities to actually do some of the obstacles. Climbing walls, monkey bars and the rope are all things that my head gets the better of me, however with enough practice the monkey bars are becoming a lot easier, the rope will always be a challenge as having the opportunity to practice climbing a rope are limited (usually to obstacle courses). Miss Muddy, however did not have this obstacle to challenge myself. The next one would be the walls, without a leg up, I haven't quite mastered the art of running, jumping and getting over. Thanks to one volunteer whom had the patience to actually show me how its done, I actually did it, on my own. To try and celebrate your very own victory on your own is quite funny, with no video evidence nor having Dave watching, I just had to have my very own happy dance (similar to one that I did when I did the rope at Spartan).
I have to hank Allyson from The Compound to for encouraging me to push beyond my own limits. The fought of traversing along a walls without using your legs was a scary prospects (but with a little encouragement, I actually achieved it, it really does amaze me how team encouragement really gets you to achieve things that you didn't think you were capable of achieving).
The course was filled with all abilities that truly inspired and motivated you, it really goes to show that when you want to do something and to achieve it, you really can, no matter how old or young, size doesn't matter or even your own fitness abilities. Everyone gets together and motivates each other to keep going and to have fun.
World recommend doing this course for fun, or as your first obstacle course, it was loads of fun.. The obstacles included:
There is nothing worse that having that feeling that your just about to come down with something. At first you think the muscle aches are due to your workouts, but you soon realise that your body feels like the aftermath of a heavy night out but without the alcohol. The question then stands - do you or do you not go to the gym?
My answer is and always will be yes, if your healthy enough to go to work, you can still function at a normalise rate, then why not go to the gym. That was my answer today and I am glad I followed through, it would have been too easy not to go to the gym, but somehow I actually feel a lot better now then I did before I went. Yes my body wasn't functioning as well as what it should have been, the energy levels were not as high but I still had an awesome workout. I still worked hard and kept on going and now feel so much better for it. So why not do your workout if your feeling a little under the weather?
Although, everyone is different. You still need to listen to your body and let your body rest and recover, especially is you want to get the most out of your workout. If you have have a fever, or the flu or stomach problems, stay at home and get better but if its a minor cold, or aching muscles or even a runny nose - you can still make the gym. To reinforce this message check out the Mens Fitness website TRAINING Q&A: SHOULD YOU EXERCISE WHEN YOU’RE SICK?
The gym workout
After all that the workout that I did still managed to complete today included 3 rounds of the following:
This of course is after a variety of sprint drills.
Day lights savings has kicked in, the clocks have gone back an hour, it's dark when you get up, it's dark when you to the gym and generally it's always seem dark. Motivation deteriorate, comfort food sets in. Getting warm and closey takes priority. Tomorrow is a new day, a new start to the routine and a new healthy eating plan. I hate to break it to you, but we all can feel like this, we are all human and the thought of gwtting out of bed to exercise or even go to work is just horrible.
The the question is - how do you get motivated to get out of bed??? The easy answer is JUST DO IT!!
The morning was nice and chilly, and of course at 5.30am (and being Good Friday), there was no where open to grab a morning coffee, which i actually don't think having a coffee before a full on exercise session would have been a good thing. When we arrived, the team Craig and Jessica introduced themselves, thanking us for participating (this is such a lovely personal touch to any type of event). It was still dark and chilly outside when we got started at 6am, we an introduction on the set up and how it would work and what technique should be adopted.
Station 1 - getting the right technique for station one is crucial, especially keeping the rope taut instead flying all over the place like mine, the tyre was moving which was the main thing but I could have used a lot less energy if I had learnt the right way of doing it. This is probably where the hand blisters started from.
Station 2 - doesn't sound that hard, basically we had to bounce a slam ball 5 times and then pass, of course its never that easy and to add to the intensity we has to jump.
Station 3 - doesn't seem that hard, but this was quite cardio intensive, without a short break while the other person runs back and forth, you don't have time to relax, you just have to keep going.
Station 4 - I started to refer to this one as the evil one, a full body workout that had you leap frogging backwards whilst dragging the tyres, this was not fun and you started to seriously feel the burn in your quads and hamstrings.
There were a couple of things that had to to do, which caused us a few problems one was to choose a lane with a tyre number on it and remember it (this didn't really matter at station 2), but for the other station it did since tyres 2-5 were heavier, and yes we did go for the heavier ones for the first 3 rounds and then we learnt our lesson after that and went for a lighter one (after all we were doing four rounds).
The next thing we had to do was count, this does not seem to be a hard thing to do, but when you usually time yourself by a minute or have someone yelling at you about how many you have to do, the ability to count was sort of lost. You would get to a certain amount and then stop counting or get lost. This is probably due to a number of things including the concentration in trying to complete the task ahead or the fact that we really can't do two things at the same time.
Some friendly competition
For those of you that know us, we never really take things lightly and maybe a little competitive. Even when we want to take things nice and easy, something stops us and we have to go all out (not matter what we are doing). So when we bumped into Clem and Allyson from the Compound and we had some friendly, healthy competition, we were no longer competing with ourselves but with another team. I always find it amazing that you can always push yourself that little harder and do that little more when you are comparing yourself with another team. It was a lot of fun but due to our own stubbornness we ended up signing up for another 2 sessions (how I would have loved to do the marathon session, but since I really did have to get home, have a shower and get ready, we couldn't).
There are a couple of things that I have taken onboard for next year and possibly any future events that we may do.
It was a great morning / afternoon and would highly recommend doing this type of training to anyone. The evil one (station 4), was a fantastic full body workout, even though it was the 'evil one' think I would start incorporating into my training sessions. The DOMs wasn't too bad the following day, although having a sleep in and a full day of rest was just amazing, you really don't realise how much it takes out of you. The muscles were a little tight but not painful, I think it was more the overall length of the training session.
For years I have been envious of those that can do monkey bars, especially when they make it look so easy. I know its all in my head and thats what always let it get the better of me, but still it just seems to be an impossible task. The simple jump and hang is bad enough and then the thought that you are holding your own body weight with one arm is actually quite daunting. Unfortunately for me i have never been able to do them, even as a child. Which makes it even more sickening when you see kids just hanging and swinging so easily.
The problem is, that it is pretty much a guarantee that if you are planning on doing an obstacle run, there will be some sort of monkey bars involved. Most training techniques are designed for Men - increase your grip strength by doing some chin ups (well thats just great - if you can do them) or do some lat pull downs or do this exercise or that exercise. The thing is, I don't think kids do these exercises to help them with their monkey bars, and when you look at kids playgrounds they are pretty much like mini obstacle courses with net climbs, monkey bars, balance beams. This is who I need to learn from.
So I am starting from the beginning - remember that kids seem to be doing the monkey bars all the time without a care in the world. As I said earlier, my biggest obstacle is my head, there is something inside of me telling me that I just can't do it. I have been there, I have got to the monkey bars, jumped up to the monkey bars, moved about two bars and then fell. Not so much falling but actually letting go (sounds stupid, I know, but as I said for some reason I can't seem to get my head around it). Thats the one problem, the overall fear - the fear of failing, the fear of letting go and the fear of not being able to do it, also the fear of getting hurt (which is kinda silly since I love obstacle racing, and if you see the bruises I have then getting hurt shouldn't really be one of them), but its these fears and a can't do attitude that are holding me back. Kids don't have that, they just get on and do it, they don't think about it, they don't think of the consequences or the how, they just do. This is the attitude that I need to adopt and to stop being so afraid of these monkey bars.
Learning and conquering
I am trying to adopt a more positive attitude and to not to actually think about them, so to practice I have been heading down to the monkey bars on a weekly basis. Beware the first time I wrapped my hands to shreds as the callus where removed from the swinging. I am taking it one step at a time and there is no beating myself up if I don't do it, just wipe myself down and do it all over again.
Step 1: Find some monkey bars and start playing (the higher the better), if you have to jump up its works out a lot easier than having to lift your legs.
Step 2: Practice going across, basically I started taking it one bar at a time, moving one hand to the next bar and then the next. Of course this isn't as smooth as I would like and my legs are swinging, it takes a little longer but at least I am doing it. Plus it doesn't matter how long it take you to get across, as the bonus is that the longer it takes the more grip strength, upper body strength and overall holding your own body weight strength you build. It took some time to build up my confidence and the ability and still just jumping up and hanging is still a mind game, but once I have done it I just try and do it. I have been trying this for a few weeks now, and as soon as I felt confident enough I moved onto step 3.
Step 3: I have built up enough confidence now and have moved onto swinging from one bar to the next, this of course should make it a little quicker to get through. My grip is still a little tight and I can feel it along the palms, but I am hoping that it will get easier, I just have to keep trying. At the end of the day, the more I try the easier and more natural it will become.
There are few things about own technique that I need to build upon including how hard I grip, I still need to learn to relax a little more into it and also to stop thinking about it so much. Somehow make it a little more natural, my legs still seem to spraying everywhere and of course making it a lot smoother. If I keep practicing it can only get better, I then have to progress onto the rings and single side bar. But one step at a time and eventually I will get there,
In the gym
I have been practicing my grip strength, I regularly do bar squats and deadliest as part of my routine as well as trying to to do a pull up (at the moment I am still using the bands, but I do practice these as much as I can), at the end of the day the more I can carry my own weight the easier the monkey bars will become. I also hang from the bars and change up my grip (again with the bands - as I slowly build this up). However I would 110% recommend just practicing on actual monkey bars as much as possible, kids don't do pull ups nor do they do lat pull downs, what they actually do, is play and thats what we need to adopt and do. Just play, have fun and not think.
Not on the same day, I might be a little crazy but not that much. I did my own session yesterday after my usual knee and ankle exercises which now seem to take me about 45 minutes (pretty much a full on gym session), but of course I want to make sure everything is in check and if I prevent injury I am going to do it. During this time, I contemplate what I can do on my own so I came up with the following:
x 5 Sets
Today I did my Met Con session, so not that impressive really. For some reason its not getting as scary as what it used to be, knowing that it is all achievable, even with the extra push that I am now receiving. Which is for me is great, as if I say someone else doing an extra set, well then I would want to do an extra set. I do really enjoy the sprint training, but just need to work on my turns. The hardest part I am finding now is moving onto the sled (for some reason this really does take my breath away).
I am also focusing a lot more on my form and technique, ensuring that I am aligning my back and my chest is out. These small adjustments are making me stronger and faster. We did some sprint starts, based on reactions (which I now realised my are not that great), I don't relax into it and consistently on edge waiting or the start (then I feel like I miss it by a few seconds, and then I have to play catch up).
It was then followed by some shuttle sprints with sled push.
Next we did 3 sets of side shuttles, ski erg and rope slams. Its a weird sensation when you feel you are giving it your all, but you still walk away thinking thinking you can do it all over again. I guess thats a good thing, as I hope I will be feeling the same way during the 24 hour event.
Keeping you posted on the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) journey. Letting you know about courses, events and general health and fitness.