Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas Party, Training or Both?

Thankfully I managed to do both! Yesterday was the office Christmas Party so I spent the day "preparing" myself and promising to train today. I kept my promise and parked at the Glen Mona Hotel walked to Lezayre church and back through Maughold up the dreaded Ballajora hill. A total of 16 miles in wind and rain.

I think most Parish Walkers have their difficult part of the walk - mine is Ballajora. I think if I was to give up anywhere along the route it would probably be in Maughold. However, so far I've resisted the temptation! I keep going back hoping that it will get easier with repeated attempts but the hills are still at the same gradient and I still find them difficult.

So the question - how did I get into walking competitively?

After completing the 2008 End to End I was very keen and continued to train almost up to the next E2E but then found out that I had booked a holiday over the same weekend as the event. I was disappointed and stopped walking for 2 years. Towards the end of 2011 I read an article in the Courier about the Winter Walking League and decided to take up the sport once again. Since then I haven't looked back, but I was still adamant that I wasn't crazy enough to walk 85 miles in 24 hours in god knows what kind of weather.
Ramsey training group

I went to training every Monday night with Steve Partington on Ramsey prom and tried to master the art of race-walking (I'm still a work in progress). I was getting faster and fitter. In the photo it looks more like a picnic than training but believe me we worked hard to get the cup of tea at the end!

At the beginning of 2012 a good friend of mine who had walked to Lezayre in 2011 asked me to do the Parish with him as he believed if we did it together we'd finish it. Against my better judgement I agreed. We only trained together once as we never seemed to have the same available time. My training consisted mostly of being dropped off a fair distance from home and I would walk back. I think at this time one of the best tips I received was from Tony Ball. He advised me to buy a GPS watch to monitor my time and distance. I invested in a Garmin and it really was worth every penny. I wasn't worried about racing against anybody else, I just wanted to better my own time on each walk.

My tip of the day has to be - monitor your progress when training by knowing how far you walk and how fast you walk.

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