Towards the end of SATS week and before my peak work period of the year starts a post about coaching myself on own activities, There’s so much out there in the media upsets me at the moment I need to focus on what I can make happen to stay happy. Thankfully we have the Dorset School Games and Orienteering champs Friday- and the Southern Youth Omnium Saturday to keep me busy with the future stars .If you coach and don’t compete in anything I’m not sure how that works, little bit like if you teach Yoga but don’t practise, what does that say about you’re teaching? In relation to sports it’s only actually been about 8 years since I started running training, actually just going to purposefully run routines. Of course there’s a lifetime of bike miles in my legs, however that’s totally apart from running ability. Orienteering skills are helped massively by running, when you’re aerobically fit the brain can then have the ability to navigate at speed. Distance running is another game altogether and it’s something I don’t do now competitively, during the period 2010-15 my partner was a serious athlete and of course I took up distance running then. 5 KM distance is something enjoyable as witnessed by the amount of park runners there are, it’s an easy distance, however if you’re not making sub 20 Minutes then try harder, that’s the real club runners time. Sorry if thats harsh, I don’t see the point in dilettantism, I come across loads of folk who nibble at things constantly, never getting anywhere at them. In Boscombe winter October – March there used to be a Winter 5 k series that I raced in lots of times, turning up in November with guys in shorts and tees (makes you run faster allegedly) was so fun in its own way- like all sports pure British Grassroots brilliance. Smashed that 20 Minute time a few times on occasion helped by the massive tail wind- in one direction only!! My first Poole 10KM was in 2010 and it took me 4 years hard work and attempts to get my time below 40 Minutes- the bench mark for a quality club runner. Both these events set up and coached in part by the excellent Poole Runners then coach Rupert Pepper. Much of my self- coaching for the sub 40 Ten K was done solo at the track where I teach cycling, within the Velodrome, the 250 metre datum line is the lowest part and a White Line of exact distance. Running 8 x sub 4 minute Kilos there, prepared me for the actual 10 KM. It a disciplined activity that allows you to be exact in the outcomes, of course in the actual race theres the added adrenalin of racing and group running but essentially it’s the same- you run fast for 10KM. Other training is every Tuesday for running with Wessex club mates, we do a winter on the roads and then a summer on my next door Talbot heath, love it. Ranging from short hill reps, Medium Hills and then Kilometre loops this not only keeps my endurance up its the social and motivating weekly date that keeps me steady in mind and body.
Moving onto swimming there’s been a few races I’ve taken part in called Aquathlons that give you a Swim then Run, good fun combination. Swimming was never a childhood activity other than the usual school classes and occasional family stuff, I really got into swimming like so many best things in my life in Australia. The 50 Metre pools of Sydney where you’d see (and still would) guys training miles and miles of pure endurance just made me want to be able to emulate them. Of course whilst I was there I did do North Sydney Pool and lots of others, always imagining I could front crawl lap and tumble turn smoothly like a true swimmer. Since 1996 I’ve been a Swim/ Sauna addict for the relaxation and swum about three times a week, London days after that and more recently since being a westender in Bournemouth swum at Stokewood regularly. My Kilometer time is down to 18.30 which I’ve been shaving off the times from for a couple of years. Disciplined twice weekly sessions have been helped by getting some coaching myself from Tri-Purbeck coach Fran Bungay who does lots of work with children and adults to prepare them for Triathlon. Techniques I learned from her have got me down to that reasonable rate from a good 20 Minute baseline. Whatever youre goals are training is going to get you there, discipline and dedication. I feel good giving myself the regular competitions of Orienteering, alongside the self coaching for keeping everything working right into middle age. You can do it too- just start now there’s no other time than the moment.