One of my big goals for 2019 is to become a better athlete. I was never interested in being the fastest runner or the person who could swim the furthest, etc but…and it’s a massive but…I am very motivated to be the best I can be at anything I take part in. Pushing myself to go further then I thought I could go! After taking part in a 4 hour challenge my gym recently put on: 1 hour running, 1 hour boxing, 1 hour circuit training and then 1 hour yoga, I really started to think about how I can strive to improve in each area that will benefit me in the long run. Here is what I’m doing to strive for the best and become a better athlete.
It’s a no brainer that most of the events I take part in (if not all) have an element of running involved. With 2 half marathons in March, potentially a full marathon in April (will soon know more), not too mention all of the OCR events later in the year, being a better athlete and runner is essential. Adidas runners London definitely helps me do this, along with the occasional track session. Looking at areas like pacing and distance, I weekly attempt to get better at running!
Awesome for endurance! I’m not sure if you have tried to fight a 3 minute round, but that’s one of the most tiring things you could do! Boxing increases speed, sharpness and getting hit really increases your grit! Sometimes things suck, stop whining and get on with it. Probably one of the best mentality testers, as it shows you that after getting knocked down (literally and figuratively speaking) you got time on the clock to keep going!
After changing gym in the new year and doing away with lifting as heavy as possible for no feasible reason, I now have a greater focus on body weight excercise and callisthenics. As an obstacle course racer, being able to hold and control my own weight is imperative. Practical fitness that helps me perform better when in action is my main focus. Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, dips and burpees! Oh, and whatever the coach makes us endure.
Many of you wouldn’t know I completed a 50 mile bike ride waaaay before I started any of this racing stuff. I absolutely hated it! Now I’ve signed up to a race where a third of it is on a bike, it’s time to face my ‘fears’ and get back on the saddle. If I can start getting some miles in on 2 wheels as opposed to running all the time then hopefully that will set me in good stead for the Quest Wales event!
I will always love lifting heavy weights, but I also like the idea of keeping my fitness functional. CrossFit is a great way of encompassing all areas of your fitness into a 1 hour session. Whilst keeping the strength gains growing, you are often testing your cardiovascular system at the same time. It almost goes hand in hand for OCR training!
I know how to swim, albeit very badly. The idea of a triathlon is still very far away but if I start upping my swimming game now, then the closer I will be towards the idea of becoming a triathlete. It’s a tough road but I see an IronMan event as a huge accomplishment. It would be amazing to be confident enough to sign up and complete one someday.
I found a love for climbing last year and it’s something I want to continue. Grip strength is one of the most important parts of obstacle course racing, especially if I’m taking on events like the OCR world championships this year. Not only does climbing do wonders for that, but an all body workout at the same time. It’s a great way to take your training to the next level!
There is a lot I want to achieve this year and I am trying to do as much as possible to make my goals a reality. With an array of training techniques in my arsenal, I should be better equipped to take on some of the tougher challenges I have lined up and become a better athlete!
How do you train for events? What’s your biggest goal at the moment? Are you doing any of these practices at the moment? What’s your best way to stay in shape and train for your events? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!