Month: August 2016

Cross training – Body balance

As part of my journey to come back stronger I have been trying to make use of my gym membership and school holidays by taking in some different exercise classes.

One I have previously heard of but not considered was body balance. I decided now might be the time. The class is pitched as ‘the Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centred and calm.’ This is what sold me as it sounded like it would be a good amount of stretching and core work. This is how it turned out to be.

I was quickly thrown into some wide squats and swinging arms to move into a lunge. To start I looked like I had no rhythm or movement skills but soon caught up. I was already feeling it in my hip flexor a which justified me being there. training photo with foam rollerThe class then moved into sun salutations which I have done before but was a little bit rusty. It then continued with a number of different movements and balances which included a single leg balance with my body parallel to the floor – this was extended with me grabbing my leg behind.

There was a challenging section which required stretching both legs out in front and making large circles. I really struggled with this as my back would not stay stabilised and I would consider this a weakness of mine and something I really need to improve. Before the session ended there was a good amount of stretches that worked the hips and hamstrings. We even had a moment to relax with the lights off to take some breaths.

Overall it was a really pleasing class and I will definitely be back for more. I have also seen that there is a virtual body balance class at the gym which I will take in soon.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this or other cross training sessions. Has anyone else added a body balance class to their training plans? Do you feel their are long term benefits for runners?


Don’t compare

Sitting here watching the Olympic Gymnastics I find myself comparing my fitness levels to theirs and wishing I could do the things they can do – their wide arm handstands are ridiculously good.

Realistically this is such a stupid thing to do as these elite athletes commit their lives to doing their sport and achieving their best possible levels. They train specifically to be successful in their sports and they deserve our respect and recognition for what they do. But they should not be used for comparisons with our own levels.

However, it got me thinking about how often I find myself making comparisons with other people or how often discussions lead towards making similar comparisons. In the gym I always see people doing exercises and I find myself frustrated that I would not be able to do – especially with the weights being used by others. But it is important that I do not compare with others and I know this. So why do I still do it!

press ups as part of running trainingI am, and will always be at a different point in my journey to other people and we all have different goals that we want to achieve and we must all remember this. Letting it demotivate us is not a good thing to do and we should instead admire and appreciate the efforts that other people have put into their training to get to that point.

Going forwards I will watch other people train, continue to read about other peoples training, admire the efforts of others and give my respect where it is due, but I will not compare myself to others in a way that could potentially demotivate me. I will use it to make me more determined and willing to work harder