Tag Archives: boot camp

Countdown: 6 weeks to half-marathon


6-week countdown


Starting out

Late Sunday afternoon along the beachfront and plenty of people around enjoying the mild ‘winter’ day, about 15C. Waves gently crashing provide a serene backdrop, interrupted by the occasional speeding motorcyle. Popular pastimes include a barbecue with mates, birthday drinks at the pub, or taking selfies against the backdrop of the gradually descending sun into pinks and oranges. The paths have no shortage of walkers/ runners/ strollers/ cyclists either.

In my quest to train for a 21km run in six weeks’ time, my chosen activity on this day is running 14km. Up until recent times, running predominantly took the form of an individual, solo activity, with the exception of weekly Parkruns. Though even that was really running by myself, surrounded by a hundred other runners. However, the new norm has become running with others, in a duo, trio or larger group. For today’s run, it’s a solo event.

In preparation for the longer distance, my feet are given a trial run (no pun intended!) of a tactic I’ve heard others undertake to avoid blisters: double layering of socks. The theory is that the feet won’t rub against the shoes with extra padding, or something along those lines. Earbuds in, it’s now a choice to listen to podcast or music. And the choice goes to music. Less concentration required and doesn’t matter if there’s background noise or distractions. Getting into the groove I can let my mind wander off into any direction, so long as my feet keep moving in the right direction.


Getting dark by the end

A main advantage of training with other more experienced runners, is maintaining an even, steady pace, and reasonably fast one at that – well certainly faster than I have been capable of thus far. During the course of the run, I feel myself struggling and can tell that my pace is uneven but keep moving forward. Light quickly fading now it’s a push to make back to the starting point.

Checking the stats (ah yes, the handy technology of Fitbit and Strava to tell me all the details) afterwards, I discovered that I had done the distance in the same time as the previous week with Ms T. Indeed the pace was faster and slower in parts, but in the end I made it. As a thirst quencher, I take advantage of my prize – if I have it why not use it – and indeed it goes down smoothly. The double-sock theory doesn’t seem to have made any difference and the same blisters appear in the same places. Next theory, anyone?

This is as close as anyone needs to get to my blisters!

This is as close as anyone needs to get to my blisters!

And in other training news this week… 

My efforts were rewardIMG_2948ed with a PB at the Kawana Parkrun (my 75th run as well) on Saturday – 25:30 for 5kms. Pretty happy with that – and hope to keep progressing and get under 25 soon…

IMG_2885The regular Tuesday morning Atlas SC marathon training session gave us the thrill of hills again. Nothing like killing your legs before work in the morning! But  I couldn’t resist sneaking in a photo of the sunrise – well it’s blurry because I was on the move, but a nice memory of the morning (nicer than the memory of those hills!).

IMG_2934Boot camp also beckoned, a fresh 9C near the lighthouse at Point Cartwright, but quickly warming up with moving around. Though my legs weren’t greatly afflicted, my arms and abs took the brunt of the morning session that included skipping rope, push ups, planks and

This outdoor boot camp is just one of many in the area, and rotates the venue depending on weather conditions and the activities. When out running, I’ve often come across these boot camps, with about 5-15 participants. An observation is that the greater majority of ‘recruits’  seem to be female and not many males. Why, I wonder? Seems like a ‘guy’ thing to do – rough, rugged, challenging. Just interesting.

Mixing it up a bit


Parkrun – Town of Seaside 1st anniversary

IMG_2858Parkrun has a strong presence in this area, and one that I hadn’t been to has just completed it’s first year of operation. Along with my companions Ms T and Mr J, we travelled a little ways up the road to check out course.

Having previously been spotted by photographers at other Parkrun events, we chuckled to ourselves as once more the local press ‘shot’ us and we ended up in the local paper as part of the article.IMG_2857

As part of the celebrations of the day, cake was provided and a number of raffle prizes, donated by local businesses. Luck would have that my number was drawn, and I won a prize that I really had no idea what to do with… a protein drink mixture for hydration. Not considering my level of activity ‘serious’ enough to warrant anything such as supplements, I’ve never looked into them. There’s also that health conscience voice asking ‘What is in those drinks anyway?’

Maybe one day I will find myself at a level that warrants such a drink mixture, and now I have one on hand for that day.

There must be more to exercise than running

Sure, running is great, but wouldn’t it be even better to add in some other forms of exercise?

Use some different muscles, in different ways?

The thought at the back of my mind for several months keeps popping up with a squeaky voice ‘Hey you! Stretch those muscles! Join a pilates or yoga class! Or a gym!’. While I never overtly disagree  with that voice, I also haven’t been proactive in taking steps towards making it happen.

Fortunately, other people in my life have a more tangible, audible voice and it’s harder to dismiss their requests.

‘Hey, I’m going to a yoga class after work today, do you want to join me?’ 

That’s an offer I can’t refuse, an opportunity just waiting to be taken up. Now where is that yoga mat… Though it’s been at least a couple years since I did a yoga class, and with a different teacher and style, I readily get into the rhythm. Great strength and flexibility work on the core, sides and neck/shoulders. Now to make it back again next time.

‘Hey, I’m going to boot camp tomorrow instead of running, do you want to join me?’ 

Now that’s not something I would go out of my way to seek out, but again, an opportunity to mix it up a bit. Having never done anything like that, I went in with an open mind and with an expectation to work hard and come out sore. Planks. Squats. Lunges. Even the pick up a old tyre and run with it above your head.

Which is more difficult: 10km run in an hour, or 45 minutes of boot camp? 

Certainly I never thought I would consider a 10km run as easy, but indeed, everything is relative. I have discovered muscle groups that have not had much challenge recently until now. Abs. Glutes. Thighs. Shoulders. They have now been challenged… Looking forward to that next ‘easy’ run…

The official training schedule doesn’t make mention of such cross-training activities, but other than the once a week group session, I haven’t made much effort to adhere to the regime.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 2.03.07 pm

It hangs nicely on my fridge. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the recommendations for training.