Well what can I say..... Let me start from the beginning.
I have always wanted to do the moonwalk, it has been on my bucket list. Amazing people coming together to raise awareness for Breast Cancer whilst raising money. I didn't even need to think about doing it this year. I had been personal training a great lady who had recently lost people very close to her through the dreaded disease and so I put it to her that we do it together. There was no hesitation from her either, so as soon as registration opened we were on it and we got our place.
I was very excited to get a place and thought nothing more of it, life carried on, kids, work and family. The moonwalk was months away! It was always in the back of my mind that we were doing this huge walk – 26.2 miles in total in the middle of the night! A training plan had to be put together, but still at this point I thought, oh well we have ages, it cannot be that hard to walk 26.2 miles. I had done a marathon!!!
We Started our training in February, this gave us 3 months. Our first walk was 8 miles around the Somerset countryside. We did find this quite challenging, 8 miles seems like nothing when you are going for a run, but takes so long when walking. We did 3 more long walks which included a 10 mile an 18 mile and a 15 mile. They got easier as we got more used to walking the long distances. It is essential to train, no matter what your fitness levels. Whilst on the walks we took snacks to keep up our energy levels, such as nuts, dried fruit, flapjack and protein bars and lots of water, on some walks we were out for 7 hours so it was important we looked after our bodies, I had bought new trainers also as your feet are the main component when walking!! Blisters need to be avoided at all costs, so the right socks and footwear are so important
Saturday the 14th May arrived, we were full of anticipation and trepidation. Would it be cold? Would we hit the wall? All these things we were unsure of. We had our bras fully decorated but we also had a few other layers as we were told it can get nippy at night, especially along the river. And it was very nippy. Another tip I was given was to get some long socks and make them into gloves, these were very handy.
With it being the moonwalk you do not start walking until late in the evening, there are 5 different waves, number one wave starting at 10.30 (this is the one we were in), so make sure you fuel up during the day, I had a big breakfast before I left which was scrambled egg, avocado, wholemeal toast and cherry tomatoes. Lunch was a salad and some snacks of nuts and fruit, then around 5.30 I had soup and bread, when you arrive at Moonwalk site they give you food, you have a choice of pasta or rice. I had the rice and they also give you flapjack (which I saved for later in the night).
There were people clapping, cheering and some tears. Everyone marched off, there was no stopping anyone!!! We made our way onto the streets of London. To start with it felt normal just walking along the streets of London with a load of women and men in their costumes and Bras, there were so many of us that it did not feel any different to walking in London on a busy day. But it then became a bit more surreal, I looked around and there were no NORMAL PEOPLE (the only way I can describe it)!!! it was all moonwalkers, talking, singing, laughing, crying. I heard so many different snippets of conversations.
There was so much to see. Of course I had been to London before, but to see it all lit up and quiet (just moonwalkers) was surreal. There more miles we covered the thinner the crowds became. The marshalls were amazing, cheering us on and giving us a clap, a wave, a hello. The marshalls all volunteer and they are absolute stars, it was not a warm night, especially by the river and to stand there for a very long time, giving words of encouragement was amazing. They were all so happy.
As the night wore on and the more miles we covered I did not feel at all uncomfortable or tired. I was actually a bit buzzy!!! It was the middle of the night I wasn't in a pub or a club, I wasn't getting drunk but I felt like I was OUT OUT!!!! It was amazing to see the sights and see the occasional person/people spilling out of a club or on the party boats on the Thames. I wanted to say hi to everyone, I wanted to let everyone know what we were doing (Mary thought I was mad)!!!
There was so much to take in that I can't actually remember some of it, walking past Harrods at 3.30 am in the morning was weird. There were still cars on the road, and life on the streets with the walkers and the occasional "normal person" but to see Harrods when the streets are not bustling with tourists, shoppers etc was weird. It started to get lighter around 4.40 am. the dim light made everything look amazing. I do love this time of the morning when you know most people are in bed. We went through Sloane Square, Belgravia, Chelsea. I had never been to these parts of London before and OH MY I will be visiting them again (when I have lots of dosh!!!).
As we crossed the finish line at 6.15am and it was an odd feeling, the sparse crowds that were there waiting for loved ones seemed to be half asleep themselves (well who would blame them it was early). The fantastic
marshalls were there yet again cheering us on and giving us our medals congratulating us on our achievement. Mary and I hugged, we were dazed, tired but elated. Coffee was needed!!!!!
It was an amazing journey, one that I would do again. If anyone is thinking of doing it I would say "do it", it is an amazing experience. But make sure you train!!!
Top Ten Types of Training
Choosing a workout programme can sometimes be just as challenging as the exercise itself. With so many different names for classes and training methods, you might be hard pushed to decide which one suits you best, or even what they mean.
To cut out the jargon and to make life simple, I’ve put together a guide to the top ten training types, so you can decide for yourself which workouts suit you best!
As with all these things, always remember to work “within yourself” to avoid injury and eat well to complement your training.
1. Strength Training: Also called resistance training, this type of workout uses the resistance of your own bodyweight, resistance bands, free weights and weight machines. Strength training gives tone and definition to muscles and helps balance out your fat to muscle ratio; it improves posture and gives all-round conditioning. It can take time to build up your strength so it’s important to start lifting weights you are comfortable with. Exercises include dumbbell lifts, shoulder press, and tricep dips.
2. Aerobic Training: Anything that raises your heart rate is considered to be an aerobic exercise, so common examples would be running, swimming, dancing, and jumping. With your heart rate and breathing increased the cardiovascular system kicks in, and there are proven benefits to carrying out aerobic training for a sustained amount of time (typically more than 15 minutes), including a lowered risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. Most people can carry out some form of aerobic training, even if it’s just gentle walking.
3. Circuit Training (Boot Camp): Traditionally called circuit training, boot camps also follow the principal whereby strength and aerobic training is combined. Often there will be individual stations which require you to try different exercises, covering flexibility, dynamic strength and static strength. Jogging or running adds to the aerobic element, and often a class may last for up to an hour. A great choice for all round fitness, boot camps and circuit sessions typically include exercises like squats, shuttle runs, sit ups and burpees.
4. HIIT Training: The idea with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is that short bursts of high intensity physical exertion have the same, if not more benefits than more drawn out training plans. The strategy is to alternate short bursts of anaerobic exercise (where you workout so hard that you’re short of breath and lactic acid is produced in the muscles), with less intense recovery periods. Sessions can vary in time, from four-30 minutes and can improve athleticism. The regime can prove tricky for those who are less motivated and it’s been suggested that it’s not the best method for those who are starting out on their fitness journey, but more aimed at athletes and those with a high level of fitness.
5. Tabata Training: Tabata is a form of HiIT training, but is the time you work hard is reduced, with a total workout time of just four minutes. The idea behind it is that you work to capacity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 and complete eight rounds of this. Due to the shorter time carrying out the exercises, this is favourable for many people over and above HiIT. You can apply Tabata training to almost any exercise, using squats, sprinting, lifting, press ups or kettlebells.
6. Plyometrics Training: Focussed on power-building, reaction time, explosiveness and coordination, plyometrics are essentially jumping, or “bouncing” exercises. Lateral jumps, high knees, forward jumping and double leg hops are some examples. This type of training should be done in conjunction with other sports.
7. Tempo Training: We all fall into our own comfort zone, and when you reach a certain level of fitness it’s easy to not push yourself. Tempo training requires you to maintain a pace that is just beyond your comfort zone so you increase your “lactate threshold” – the point at which the body tires. Try lifting slightly heavier weights, or running that little bit faster.
8. Fartlek Training: Yes, it’s an amusing name! But comedy aside, this training method is a great way to improve speed and endurance. The word fartlek literally means “speed play” in Swedish, so the idea is to have variations in your speed. You may start running slowly, then have a section of “moderate” running and then the next section will be fast, where you go all out. Then drop back to your moderate pace, and then drop again to slow. Continue this for your whole run.
9. Flexibility Training: Often overlooked, flexibility training includes all the exercises which involve stretching and lengthening the muscles. Perfect examples of this are Pilates and Yoga. Other exercises such as weight lifting, and many martial arts including kick boxing can cause the muscles to shorten and tighten, so these flexibility sessions are great to counteract that and ensure that injury is less likely.
10. Endurance Training: Taking your training to the next level is something that many people enjoy doing when they have reached certain fitness goals. As part of pushing ourselves we are often spurred on to run marathons, take part in triathlons or take our fitness to the next level. Endurance training involves building on your base fitness level, so gradually adding to your weights if lifting is your thing, or to increase your mileage if running is a passion. With endurance training you need to take into account your nutrition and also you need to think about recovery times to avoid injuries and stresses to the body.
Don’t forget to talk to me about any fitness goals you have, and check out my boot camp, personal training and Zumba sessions!