The importance of training

We’re a month in to our challenges now, and training is playing a large part in what we’re doing. With all the will in the world if you’re undertaking serious physical challenges there’s no way you can get through them unless you put the hours in.

I learned this lesson when I did my first half marathon, in Bristol, back in 2008. Back then, at the tender age of 28, I could play a game of hockey after a heavy night out without warming up and recovery pretty quickly. But oh, I was so wrong with the race. I went out for a few (too many) beers the night before and got to the start line with a raging hangover.  The next two hours were horrendous – I was dehydrated, sweating like a stuck pig and couldn’t focus on what I was doing. I only got over the finish line because I spotted a mate who was cheering me on with 400 yards to go. When I crossed the line I collapsed on my arse by a railing, and promptly fell asleep. The guys from St John Ambulance came over to check I was ok, and then when the had to come back twice more gave me a minute to get up or they would cart me off on a stretcher. Not good.

But I learned my lesson – don’t do anything like this unless you’ve prepared properly for it, a lesson that is ever more important now I (we, sorry Cozzie…) are getting further into our 30s. It also makes it more fun – you feel confident, fresh, ready to do your best and you simply enjoy it more.

So for our year of challenges Cozzie and I have been training fairly hard, mixing short and longer runs outdoors with treadmill work in the gym, weights sessions, biking in the gym and a bit of swimming. Cross-training keeps things more interesting and helps with the motivation, and mixing up the gym with outdoors work gives a change of scenery. We’re averaging about 15 training sessions a month at the moment, which I hope we’ll increase a little over the year. It’s fun but hard work, and can be quite a commitment when we’ve both got full-time jobs.

But training can be a lot of fun, and the rewards you can reap are incredible. As a qualified personal trainer, Cozzie has got lots of tips and suggestions for people on how to get the best out of their training, and throughout the course of the year she’ll be blogging about how best to prepare for the challenges ahead. So check out Cozzie’s training tips and come and join us as we raise money for the coronary care and cardiology units at Southmead Hospital.

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