Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Dunwich Dynamo XXI

We did it!!! No not just complete it. 3rd time lucky for eatingtrees and myself and this time, no curbs were hit. No punctures were created. No roadside maintenance sessions were needed at 2am. And then again at 3:30am. No collisions were had. No spokes were broken. And finally, no ditches were landed in. It was all a bit normal really. Well as normal as cycling 183km through the night from Hackney to the Suffolk coast on a Saturday night in July can be.

From the joys of Leyton... 'I f**king hate cyclists' to the bemusement of others 'what the hell is going on', it was the usual array of comments you get from people watching a lot of people on bikes heading past you dressed in anything from full lycra to 'I'm popping to the shop' attire. Dunwich Dynamo is just a wonderful, wonderful thing that brings a bunch of like-minded people on bromptons, road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, fixies, single-speeds, penny farthings, boris bikes, post office bikes, dog carrying bikes and various other contraptions for a night of enjoyment.

As this was our 3rd time, we've learn't a lot along the way including bring a flask of tea, a change of top for halfway and a little music for the early hours. Then don't crash and just enjoy it!


Now some people use it as a race and quite frankly, the quicker they go and take their condescending comments with them, the better, that then leaves the rest of us to enjoy the relatively relaxing ride to the coast where you can chat with who you like, go where you like (don't just follow the lights) and enjoy the satisfaction of the ride.

The first half is always relatively straight forward with our planned stops around 45 and then 86ish km. Then we head into what I call my dark place. Except it wasn't dark this time. In the past, I've sometimes struggled with this bit and questioned why I do it but this time when my eyes were feeling heavy and my blinks were getting longer and longer, I just called eatingtrees along side me, looked at him and said 'Right, I'm going to fall asleep soon and I need to stay awake so I'm just going to start talking to you and it's probably going to be a load of crap but just stick with me'. Eatingtrees being as wonderful as he is just said 'yep' and we started to chat which pretty much went on for the next hour and a half talking about everything and nothing. It was wonderful!


Then after our final pit stop at around 130km, I remembered why I do this. When the sun starts coming up around 4am, and then all the way until the beach, I get the biggest high I know. It's honestly like a drug. I sing, I smile, I attack the hills with glee, I dance on the peddles, I become chatty, I say hello to everyone, I laugh. It's like my body just says 'well if you're not gonna bloody sleep, we may as well have some fun'! I love the Dun Run, DD, the Dynamo. It makes me low, it makes me euphoric, it makes me think that everything should be this wonderful in life. See you next year, I may bring some friends!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The Amazing Health benefits of CrossFit

If you are bored of your current fitness regime and are looking for something that will push you to your limits, then CrossFit might the answer.

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program designed to help you achieve broad and general fitness, so you are prepared for any physical challenge. This is not for the faint-hearted, so starting off with a decent level of fitness will help you adapt to the program; this is where your years of running come in.

Notable CrossFit athletes include Annie Thorisdottir, who obliterated the competition in the 2011 and 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games. She’s now known as the ‘fittest woman on Earth’. Although not competing this year, due to a back injury, Annie is an impressive physical specimen of how CrossFit can transform your body.

The CrossFit regime focuses on constantly varied functional movements, performed at high intensity. With a mixture of aerobic exercise, gymnastics, body weight exercise and Olympic weight lifting, it is a well-rounded program of fitness.

An example of a WOD (workout of the day) shows how intense CrossFit can be:
  • Running – 1 mile
  • Pull-ups – 100 reps (sounds impossible, but you do as many as you can, up 100 then return to it again and again between your push-ups and squats)
  • Push-ups – 200 reps
  • Bodyweight Squat – 300 reps
  • Running – 1 mile
Combining cardio with weight training, this WOD gives an overall workout that will push your body to the limits. As a runner, you will have the cardio bit down, but if your aim is to build up your strength and muscle, the pull-ups, push-ups and bodyweight squats will get you there.

This sport is massive in America, and is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with specialist suppliers such as Savage Strength offering a wide selection of CrossFit equipment to aid you in your strength and conditioning build up.

As a principal program for many police academies, tactical operations teams, champion martial art specialists and military special operations units, you can be sure that this regime is pretty hardcore, so you’ll need to look at your diet as well as your training routine.

The workouts for CrossFit are generic enough to be adapted depending on your body type and fitness goals, so you can scour through the backlog of WODs to find some of the less extreme ones to try out this fitness regime. You can find a vast amount of information at CrossFit.com - including workouts - and if your local gym is anything to brag about, they should have a CrossFit class for you to test out.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Cranleigh 10k Race Report. 2013

Better late than never i guess but the 7th July saw my 3rd attempt at the Cranleigh 10k. I love this race a lot! I've said it all before but what's not to love about a small local village race where the route is flat, the marshalls are friendly and it is generally good weather. unfortunately, due to the very, very good weather, (which i am in no way complaining about) all PB attempts were cancelled. And also extremely unlikely even if it had attempted it!

A warm day meant picnic, so along with Mrs HMC, we packed the monsters into the car nice and early so they could eat some food and burn off some energy in the vast field and playground near the finish while I did a little run.

The route is approx 5/6km slightly shaded and 4/5km open sunshine. It's those 4/5 km that hurt a lot. But I'm not complaining ok. Just to make that clear. I'm not complaining. A slow 10k was eventually finished just under 54 minutes caused but my completely erratic pace (no idea what was going on there) and the heat but a lovely run none the less. I do love this race and will return next year hoping for just a couple of degrees cooler!

For now, I need to concentrate on next weekend's Dunwich Dynamo where myself and eatingtrees attempt to cycle 180km through the night. This year in a change from previous years though, we will be attempting to both stay on our bikes for the entire duration. Wish us luck...