Monthly Archives: May 2013

A mental challenge

Some of you reading this may already think I’m nuts! This isn’t about my craziness, although you may think i’m crazy for wanting to do it in the first place, its about the mental challenge I faced in my first ever duathlon.

I entered the duathlon (run, bike, run) with only 7 weeks to specifically train for the event. Knowing I’m fit (thanks to my job) and knowing I could complete all distances individually I planned my training out including the dreaded ‘brick training’ sessions to ensure I could complete the race. I set my target time for each discipline and overall time and told myself that no matter what happened on race day, stick to the plan! Ha!

Sticking to the plan was harder than I planned for!!!!!

As we arrived at the race I immediately panicked (first stage of plan -  gone). All the participants had fancy road bikes, you know the ones with the fast wheels, carbon frames, etc, I had my mountain bike with road tyres on! The others didn’t only have fancy bikes they had the proper triathlon suits to match, they looked professional! I was totally psyched out!

So, trying to pull myself together I lined up with all the other competitors (serious male testosterone competitors) and waited for the whistle. The whistle went (not that I heard it) and so did the runners. I knew they would be faster than me in the first run (I’d planned for it!) so I carried on waiting for the first km marker, which never came! Plan out of the window again! How was I going to know my pace if I didn’t know the distance. Panicking again I carried on with only a few people behind me, totally disheartened and losing 3 minutes off my planned time.

Arriving at transition area and hearing my supporters encouragement (i’m pretty sure I had the most supporters there) I carried on! I got lapped on the first lap by several competitors, feeling totally downhearted about the whole situation I wanted to stop, but after giving myself a good talking to I carried on!  I then went through the mental challenge of wanting to stop, really wanting to stop,  twice more on the bike, particularly on the big hills, and telling myself to carry on!

Carrying on, the bike actually went almost to plan! I made it back to transition area to dump the bike and set off on my final run. I’d told myself if I get back to transition before 1 hour 30 mins I had to do the run, it was 1hour 28mins so off I went despite the heavy legs and heavy heart I carried on! As I passed the marshall I shouted I’ll be back in half an hour (that was the plan), I completed the whole of the second run pretty much on my own (most had finished already) having the mental battle of wanting to stop (yes, again) along with the physical battle of a stitch and tiredness, I made it to the end!

I made it because I carried on!

This race taught me more about my mental strength than my physical strength, like I said at the start I’m physically fit but am I mentally fit? I am now! I completed it despite all the negative thoughts and mental barriers, and have registered for another!  Yes I’m mentally strong and I’m mental!!!!!!

Are you drinking too much?

Dave’s experience of drinking too much water
Wherever possible I try to talk in these blogs about experiences I have personally had to help give you guys an insight into my life as a fitness professional.
A little while ago I noticed that I was feeling really lethargic, not just in the mornings or by the end of the day, I’m talking ALL the time. For quite a while I passed it off as just the intense New Year rush catching up with me, I thought ‘I’m not as young as I was and I’m busier than ever before so that must be it! Right?’ Wrong!!!
As the same lethargy plagued me for longer than I was happy to accept I began to think of reasons why I could be feeling like this. Being a man going to the doctors was completely out of the question! So I looked at the areas I knew and understood. Still getting no where I spoke to my wife about how I was feeling and she came back to me with a simple question, ‘how much water are you drinking?’ I dismissed the question, Oh its not that, I drink loads’ I said!
When we spoke about it in a bit more detail though we realised that I could be drinking too much water! How can this happen I thought? But looking back it was pretty obvious this was my problem. Being a fitness coach I am always reminding people to take a sip of water whenever they get a chance in my classes or one to one sessions, after all they’re working hard and need to replace what they’re sweating out! What I didn’t notice though was how I was doing exactly the same! Lets call it subconscious drinking!
On top of this I realised that I was drinking too much through my own exercise routines and classes. This had become a bit of a viscous circle, I had thought that drinking more water would help me feel better after my workouts but the more I drunk the worse I felt! It got to a point where I was coming home after my training sessions looking like Casper the friendly ghost!
I decided to actively monitor what I was drinking and kept a tally every time I refilled my water bottle, it turned out I was drinking easily over 4.5 litres of water a day! Now the recommended guidelines are that we should drink somewhere between 2-3 litres of water a day, depending on your sex and size. This number increases by anything up to 3.75 litters if you are a regular exerciser, so I was way over the scale!
I have now dialled back my drinking and have so much more energy again, although I probably am still getting just that little bit older! All of this is just an example that sometimes you can get carried away with something that you think should be doing you good.
As with a lot of things in life, everything in moderation is key!
@Varietyfitness
Fitness professional, Pilates and Yoga studio owner, sports therapist and nutritionist. Love anything fitness related #Pilates #yoga #Macclesfield