Welcome to a new feature on my blog – Ben’s Zone. Written by husband… Ben. A foodie (he doesn’t admit it, but he’s a total food snob), coffee obsessed, ex-smoking, ex-drinking and Ridgeback loving father (our dog adores him – as does our son whose favourite toys are cooking related just like his Dad). Who is also seriously into his fitness. Be it bikes (he has far too many) or more recently muddy racing after completely Tough Guy (and getting hypothermia just for the fun of it) in January this year. Oh and he has a bit of a penchant for pink. He will blog pretty much about the above and you can find him on the blog (most) Sundays. Enjoy 🙂
Five Training Objectives this Summer
1. Get back to running
Last September I had not run since I left school, cycling being my exercise of choice, after agreeing to do Tough Guy with a friend I knew I would have to start and I was not looking forward to it. The thought of running a whole 15 kilometres terrified me and part of me wondered if I could do it. Training for that, a few mud runs along the way and helped in no small part by the beautiful forest I have to run in uncovered a deep joy for me every time I put my trainers on and got out and pounded some ground.
I came through Tough Guy fine, determined to keep up my running and get faster and indeed the times came down. Then disaster struck. While running with the dog I slipped on a wet root and twisted my ankle. I’m stupid about most things but in this instance I hit olympic level dumb. I didn’t rest, I didn’t listen and I ran on it until I had done real damage to my ankle ligaments. It’s been months and many sessions of painful physio but I’m just now starting to be able to run again. This week I’ve been running short distance on the road, I’ll keep this up until I am back from holiday and if all goes well I’ll hit the trails after that. My next proper OCR is Muscle Acre in July, it’s only 10km but I’d like to be quick again before I hit it, we’ll see. I am determined not to rush things this time.
2. Explore sports nutrition
I love food and I’m interested in the science side of things as well as cooking and eating but I’ve never tried any supplements. The team at Monkey Nutrition have offered me some of their M Fusion recovery powder in return for a fair review. I thought I might as well make that part of the Muscle Acre training regime.
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. Up till now I’ve just tried to eat a very balanced, very clean diet but if this stuff can make me faster I’m happy to test it.
3. Go more places by bike
I’m often out around my home town in the evenings and one of the best things about where we live is the proliferance of great quality cycle paths. As I said, I’m running during my lunchtimes again but why stop there? I might as well smash some evening cardio as well. I’ve got my town bike all kitted out and ready, I might as well make the most of the lighter evenings, particularly given that a local trip takes much the same on bike or in a car.
4. Get into the water
It’s been months since I got out into the waters of the Atlantic with my bodyboard under me and I’m jonesing for the waves. Most of my training focuses on constant speed and endurance so the explosive paddling of bodyboarding is always tough at first. It’s worth the pain for the sheer speed and adrenalin and I’m always fitter and faster when I come back. Maybe there’s a lesson there about the type of training, maybe I could bring some Fartlek into my running, maybe not, it’s called Fartlek and there’s no way I’m trying to explain that to the wife.
5. Keep running with my son
4 days ago Logan and I did our first run together, it was a charity run for the Rainbow Hospice and it was just over 1 km, that’s a long way for a 3 year old. I need to make this a regular thing. We bonded on our run, encouraging each other to keep going and he had a great time. My experience of exercise and sport at school taught me that I’m not coordinated and I’m no good at sport. It took 10 years for me to realise that neither of those things matter because I enjoy the buzz I get from running and riding hard and that’s all that matters. Long before sport means getting picked or not getting picked to my son, I want him to know that it means fun, out with dad on a Saturday.
So there are my five training objectives, I think I have a reasonable amount to be going on with. Who knows, if I get through that lot maybe I’ll re-introduce the Ridgeback to the Canicross rig that’s been gathering dust since I damaged my ankle. Maybe.