Monday, July 29, 2013

Valley Warriors checklist for Saturday....

For the Valley Warriors, here's a few thoughts about Saturday...
My recommended pack list:
Declaration Form (unless you have already handed it to Vicky Conley - NO FORM - NO PLAY)
Towel, wet wipes
Clean clothes and shoes/flip flops for journey home
Plastic bags for dirty clothes and shoes
Bin bag to sit on in the bus
Water to drink
Snacks (nuts, flapjack, fruit, seeds, jelly beans, post race chocolate)
Plasters + vaseline for blisters
Safety pins for your competitor number
Sun screen (we live in hope)
Small amount of cash if you want to buy food or other stuff at the village
Antiseptic wipes for post race cuts and grazes

On the morning of the event.

1. Wake - up, check yourself out in the mirror and tell yourself  YOU ARE A MACHINE, not just any machine but a valley Warrior machine, you EAT other machines for breakfast. Smile. Move on to breakfast.

2. Drink a pint of lemon water, take a shower and then tuck into a 50/50 carb/protein breakfast like oats, nuts, seeds and fruit with cinammon. Eggs, boiled or scrambled and a slice of wholewheat toast. Baked beans on toast with bacon, Green Smoothie...whatever, but lay off the coffee till later.
Aim to do eat half an hour before leaving home and eat a snack on the bus.

Coach leaves The Marina, opposite Moyles at 8am SHARP

Note: REMOVE ALL JEWELLERY. Body piercings included. You will lose it if you wear it. If you absolutely have to wear a ring then tape it up or it will go in the mud.

Wear (or bring):
  • Valley Warriors vest + sports bra - keep those moneymakers where they belong.
  • Light, breathable pants or shorts that will dry fast - no cotton or heavy leggings, they will drag you down. Wear boxer short briefs or full fitting knickers unless you want the world to see your ass, fine as it may be.
  •  Race shoes (tape them onto your feet with gaffer tape when we get there) and running socks, trainer socks will disappear down your shoe and bug you. If you have off road, trail or fell running shoes and are used to wearing them, then do. If not, wear the trainers you've trained in the most over the past few months.
Please feel free to add comments below if there's anything I haven't covered or if you have any queries. See you Wednesday for the final training session (meet at the gym 6.15pm).

Morning Power Juice smoothie

Here's what I've been drinking on the days I do my sprints.

I find it difficult to get solids down first thing in the morning but I'm also acutely aware that I need to rehydrate and feed my body if I want it to perform well running up hills. So I neck this drink about 1.5hrs before I train and have some solids (protein+carbs) within the hour of finishing.

It tastes much better than it looks.

If you've never made a green smoothie before, don't be put off by the colour of your Power Juice. It's half veg and half fruit/coconut water so won't look like a milkshake from MacDonalds but will taste a whole lot better. It's dairy free, gluten free and full of nutrients so will kick start your day nicely (add some solid protein if you are having this as breakfast eg. smoothie + 2 poached eggs + slice of wholewheat toast).

Morning Power Juice
Serves 2 (so give the other half to the kids or your partner, or the postie)

1 tsp 'supergreens'  powder or spirulina*
1 tsp raw, ground flaxseeds
1 head of pack-choi chopped
1/2 papaya or mango
1 kiwi fruit
10cm piece of cucumber
250ml coconut water
125ml water
 lemon juice and agave syrup to taste

Chop fruit and veg into small pieces and put into a blender with all other ingredients. Blend, pour, drink.

*available from most health and whole food stores.

No training this Saturday 3rd August

photograph from Total Warrior website
We're off for a dirty weekend up in the lakes!

This Saturday, all the hard training the 13 Valley Warriors have done over the past few months will come to fruition as we head for The Lakes to compete in Total Warrior.

So the last Box 4 Fitness training session is Friday morning Boxercise (9.30am) and we're back to normal on Monday 5th August at 6.15pm for Bootcamp.

See you on the other side of the mud pool guys!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

No Juniors Training during summer holidays

Saturday morning sessions for Juniors are now closed till the end of the Summer Holidays.

Circuit classes on Tues evenings at 6.15pm (boys and girls 11+) or squad training on Mon at 7.30pm (for those who want to spar) are alternatives during the school break and we'll be back to normal in September.

The next beginners, Boxing Awards course starts September 14th, please email Kate to book a place on this course. Open to 11-15 yr olds, boys and girls.

Enjoy the holidays!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Great video about the caffeine cycle

One night this week, I lay awake till 3am unable to sleep, this happens a couple of times a month if I'm in training for something and my fitness starts to increase along with my caffeine intake.

It's frustrating and disruptive to my working day and every time it happens I curse myself and blame the coffee. But working out the right caffeine intake for your activity level isn't that easy.

Angry coffee people 
I've met a few people who have an excessive caffeine intake and in all cases, they complained of low energy, poor appetite and were pretty strung out and moody. It's a drug after all and should be used sparingly to be effective.

Coffee squeezes your adrenal glands - they are the ones responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress (fight or flight), such as adrenaline. Unless you do something with this adrenaline ie chase a beast to kill for dinner or sprint up a big hill, it stays in the nervous system and has a detrimental effect on the body. However, used correctly, it can aid the athlete in training.

What's your cup max?
As a general rule, I like my first cup about 3 or 4 hours into my working day and another, late afternoon to give me a push for evening training sessions. I don't drink instant coffee, only ground and filtered but am also tempted by branded iced coffees which are usually full of sugar, dried skimmed milk and preservatives. Occasionally I make the mistake of buying these cans of crap and go over my 2 cup limit, usually if I'm a bit stressed, or feeling flat before training. Sometimes I get away with it, but mostly, it leaves me awake for hours unable to quiet my mind.

This video explains the caffeine cycle quite clearly if you are concerned about your intake  Adam Carey talks about caffeine.

High Intensity Training...the fastest way to get fit?

I've been busy recently, getting myself ready for Total Warrior which is just 3 weeks away. My blog ideas have been backing up so I'm going to unleash them now whilst I have a spare hour, lest they disappear forever, to the back of my brain.

First thing to talk about is High Intensity Interval Training. As I struggle to run for anything over 30 minutes without paying the price in back pain, I'm using the science of Drs Babraj and Lorimer to get fit enough to cover the 10km assault course. I hope that after the event, my physio will pick up the pieces and stick me back together again and off I'll go to Tough Mudder in September.

What is High Intensity Training?
Brief periods of repeated bursts of all-out exercise inter-spaced by longer periods of recovery. The intensity of the training can be controlled by the duration of the sprint, the gradient of the hill or the number of sets performed.
Watch the video High Intensity Training explained

In my case, I'm using a hill with a steep gradient, I started off week 1 with a 6 sec sprint and 30 sec rest, 10 times - repeated 3 times in a week. This week, I've upped it to 18 sec sprint and 2 min rest, again 10 times per session, 3 sprint sessions a week. Next week I'm aiming for 30 sec sprint and 4 min rest, 10 times and then I'm going to compare the results before reviewing the plan.

Just 15 minutes

Much research has been done by sports scientists and others that suggests that just 15 minutes of high intensity training, 3 times a week can drastically improve your fitness level, increase your lower body strength, increase your insulin sensitivity by 25% and reduce your body fat by 8%.

Week 3 starts Monday so I'll keep you updated on the progress.