Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hell and Back Apollo Race tips and Final Chance Workout!


TWO DAYS UNTIL THE RACE. In case you forgot.


So race day is looming and anxiety is high! This post will hopefully calm your nerves if you're worrying about the race! I've been receiving a few emails from people who are worried their training isn't sufficient and they're worried about whether or not they will be able to complete the course. These feelings are completely normal, as with any event that is based upon our physical prowess, it is human nature to doubt ourselves when we have to prove ourselves. I mean when has anyone ever went into an exam and thought "wow I am actually over-prepared for this!". It simply doesn't happen!

Some comic relief from the serious tone of this blog post

There comes a certain point, as with everything you do, that you have to accept the effort you've put into it and work with what you got. It's easy to say "I should have done this and that more" but that negativity won't get you through the race. I always doubt myself before, during and after a race. This process of thinking doesn't do me any favours and can completely ruin the experience. It's only when I look back that I think okay I actually did pretty good and I can appreciate my efforts. This race will be different and although, yes, I do wish I had done more, I won't let myself think negatively and I am going to try and do my best with the training and hard work that I have put in so far. I want you to do the same! As cliché as it sounds, just believe in yourself and trust that the effort and training that you have put in thus far will get you through the race.

Hell and Back is just as much a metal feat as it is a physical one. There is a reason we don't know what the obstacles are going to be! It's all a mind-fuck. It would ruin the magic if we knew exactly what we're in for, even though it's all we want right now! Half the fun is running up to an obstacle and figuring out what the hell you have to do! What I found when I did the Hell and Back Trojan in January was that the hardest obstacles were not physically difficult, but mentally difficult. Yeah, it's tough hauling yourself over bales of hay and trudging yourself through mud on your elbows and knees but the toughest things were mentally preparing myself to plunge my whole body under water and summing up the courage to run through electrified rags. So, if you're worried about the physical element of the race, don't waste your energy! Yeah, it's going to be tough obviously, but it is designed to be completed and every level of fitness can accomplish it!

Race Tips

1. Calm your tits. Worrying won't help you complete the race, just relax and do your best.
2. Fairly obvious, but arrive early. It's nice to soak in the atmosphere and get your bearings.
3. Get a good nights sleep the night before.
4. Wear appropriate clothing. Here's my blog post on what clothing I recommend to wear.
5. Drink lots of water the day before and on the day.
6. Run slowly at the start.
7. Be nice and help people! See someone struggling with an obstacle? Give em a hand! You'll appreciate all the help you can get when you're stuck! Someone in front moving too slow? Suck it up!
8. Bring a towel and lots of warm clothes. You're more than likely gonna feel like your skin is gonna shake off you're that cold so make sure you have a dry set of clothes to throw on you straight after you run.
9. ENJOY YOURSELF. There's no point in getting caught up in times and being competitive, just embrace the experience and try not to take anything too seriously!
10. Get really drunk afterwards cos you deserve it damn it.

Last Chance Workout

Yep, I just used a Biggest Loser phrase and I don't care. This week I tried to make up for my past sins and I ran one 5km, one 7km and I did a 3km sprinting session. I was going to do a 10/15km run but I figured that might be too much if I was to do a 12km at the end of the week so just went with some short fast runs instead. I did two weight sessions on top of this and currently can't lift my arms above my head without wincing. It was plank, mountain climbers, pushups and situps galore this week! I was going to go to the gym again today but my knee is twinging so I decided to leave it! I have pretty dodgy knees and if I overdo it even slightly I can be out of training for weeks! This is how I've learned to listen to my body the hard way! In my last blog post I discussed how my love of running has decreased because I've been finding it difficult to actually run lately. I went to the doctor the other day with a different issue but mentioned how I was finding my breathing rather laboured and it turns out I have exercise induced asthma. I've had asthma all my life and it is very manageable but in the last few weeks I have found it is present much more often and it is what has been making my runs so difficult. It is kind of a kick in the face but it won't stop me and it just means I need to take my inhaler along with me on runs and that the beginning of my runs and workouts are going to be a bit more difficult until the asthma lifts, which is usually after 15-20 minutes. It is a relief to actually know why I've been finding running so difficult lately, I just figured I was having normal breathlessness after exertion because I was losing my fitness or something which in hindsight is pretty ridiculous. Silly Sarah head. So that is the training conclusion for Hell and Back! I really hope I inspired or helped anyone who has been reading my training as I've went along! 

I want to wish everyone the best of luck in the Apollo Race this weekend and I know everyone will do amazing! I guarantee you will surprise yourself and don't forget to dig deep when you're feeling the burn! I will be running the race on Sunday in the orange wave so look out for me if you're running then too! I will hopefully have my summary of the race up at the beginning of next week! 

All the best and good luck! 

Here is how pained I look when I'm asked to pose for a picture
minutes after completing the Hell and Back race in January, such a babe


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