Most of us are busy but we also want to fit in exercise and other fun things. We also get caught up in the shiny prospect of a new year, a new me…and the great New Year Resolution list and promises to start healthier lifestyle choices. Then two weeks in or so and everything starts to go pear shape. Why is that? For most it’s because it wasn’t fun, sustainable or lacked commitment or a big enough “why”.
This year, 2018, “my list” will be my mantra
“I will finish what I started.”
2018 will be a year of completing challenges I set out to do in 2015 but a string of unexpected medical procedures put a stop to that. Since then I have given up my full time desk job to be a full time Nordic walking instructor. So my Me-time is usually my down time to recover from the 12 miles a day I teach Nordic walking. So why, or even how, am I now going to train and complete a half marathon, full marathon, two 24 hour non stop solos, a 50km ultra and a 100 mile ultra…and still teach 6 days a week? I’d also like to slim down and lose some weight off the joints!
Firstly, what is Nordic walking? It’s a technical fitness walk that, with the use of poles you propel yourself forward and can move at speed, distributing the energy through the whole body. It’s a full body workout, burning 45% more calories than ordinary walking or jogging. It’s also a brilliant way to workout and not aggravate joints so perfect for those with mobility issues, those who have had knee or hip replacements, or have weight bearing issues. It helps strengthen core, improves upper body strength, improves flexibility and balance. Great for weight loss too.
I started Nordic walking 12 years ago and before I started running. It gave me the momentum and ability to go up a gear and stride out for ultra distances and add in running. I am not a fast runner, so this is perfect for me to pace and sustain the endurance and stamina for long distance challenges. I am not a sprinter and really do not enjoy anything less than a marathon.
What are the challenges?
- 18th March 2018 Reading Half Marathon - Nordic walking with clients who have never done a half marathon.
- 22nd April 2018 London Marathon - running my first ever marathon.
- 9th June, Endure24 Reading - Nordic walk and run, aiming for 60 miles in 24 hours.
- 30th June, Endure24 Leeds - Nordic walk aiming 60 miles in 24 hours.
- 28th July, Round Reading Ultra - Nordic walk, with time cut offs, and to complete in 13 hours.
- 24th August, T100 - 100 miles from the Thames Barrier to Goring, with the pressure of time cut offs. This has to be completed in 32 hours - or boom, game over! This is a self sufficient race; so no support with food transportation, baggage transfer..nothing! I carry everything on my back. That's 4 marathons in a day and a half! NON STOP!
On December 21st 2017 I completed a 12 hour treadmill challenge and managed 38 miles. I didn’t do any specific training, I also had a wheezy chest so couldn’t run much. I discovered how fairly fit I am both mentally and physically and now know what I must do to ensure I finish the above challenges with a smile and no injuries.
My New Year Resolutions will focus on the key areas:
- Strengthen the piriformis and gluten.
- Lose 1 stone through faster paced running and eating to train (not train to eat!)
- Improve flexibility through hamstrings, gluten and calves.
- Sleep more.
- Drink at least 3 litres of water a day and improve hydration.
- Choose sustainable training times that fits around work and includes dogs and family.
- Hand write my training and menu plan into a notebook.
- Train for me and my goal, ‘Finish what I started.’
These are quite specific and that is essential; be specific to be terrific!
My new resolutions are nothing to do about giving up food groups, or my favourite things such as cheese, wine or alcohol… I am not depriving myself of anything. In the past I have failed with targets because they were not sustainable. Moderation not deprivation! I need stamina and endurance as well as pace and smiles.
Yes, I am busy, not just as a Nordic walking Instructor but I also have five dogs to walk and run with. I am also the chief cook, duster buster and gardener! But I have to adapt and find ways to include the exercise in with the chores.
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Happy running and be proud to be a runr!