Yea, that's right - I'm having a great time! I'm spending my times being drilled by ex-Royal Marine/advanced instructor Rob and ex-paratrooper/PTI Mark from Ozone Fit. Well, we don't only work our butts off, some of us (read: Rob, Mark and I) also frequents the hotel bar at late nights....but mainly we work hard!
Yesterday we kicked off the day with a bleep test...now for those of you who don't know what that is it's a test that's used to estimate the athletes VO2-max. You run between two points, 20 metres apart, and have to complete each run within set intervals- The intervals are indicated by a beep and thoughout the test the interval between the beeps shortens, forcins you to run quicker. I'm not going to lie to you, it's really bloody hard! Coach Rob gave us loads of tips and tricks before starting on how to conserve/not waste energy so that you would be able to keep up with the bleeps for as long as possible. The first few stages are easy and the whole group completed them, but after that some people strted dropping out (it's people of varying fitness attending this week) until there was only one person still running - yours truly! Rob was running with me, as he had from the beginning to help us pace ourselves, and he pushed and helped me to reach level 12 when I missed a few beeps and was out. I was a little bit annoyed with myself as I felt I could have pushed myself a little bit harder but once the lactic acid takes its grip over your legs it's hard...
After that we did a great core session, with lots of tweaking of our technique and lots of great exercises, until it was lunch time where Clair, Ian and myself hit a lovely little seaside restaurant. In the afternoon we had a technique session in the gym and a little circuit. Yet again Rob was absolutely brilliant (there's just nothing he doesn't know, I tell you!), showing us basic, full body, exercises. We ended the day with a beach volleyball game, which was great fun and most people went from the court dusty and with abs aching from laughing so much. The day ended with a good nutrition workshop with Coach Mark where the moral of the story was 'be conscious of what you eat, but remember to live as well' - right up my alley!
Today we started the day with running up to the lighthouse behind the hotel/resort. In my naivety I'd pictured it as an easy run but it was pretty much 7k uphill....steep uphill even! The other Swede in the group, Chris, and I set off at a decent pace (for uphill running that is) and soldiered up the various hills. It was an absolutely stunning run and I was enjoying a good hilly run after all the flat running I've done in east London lately. When we had about a mile or so left Rob caught up with us (he's a machine...) and ran with us the last stretch until we reached the lighthouse. Now, the last kilometer was tough and proper steep and Chris left to finish of strongly. Rob stayed with me and coached me up the last climb, and I don't know if I could have done it without him! He reminded me of my breathing technique, running economy and helped me visualize the hill in different stages hence tricking me into running the whole thing. My legs were like jelly when I reached the top but the view was worth it! We had a bit of a rest before we headed down again on tired legs. Chris, Rob and I kept up a good pace and let our legs do their own thing and speed up downhill, making use of the gradient.
In the afternoon we had a kind of foamrolling session, but using a tennisball. Coach Mark was great and started off with a mobility and stretch session before torturing us with the tennisball. The sounds, moans and grunts that escaped various people had us all in stitches but the muscles that were soooo tired after that tough run felt pretty good afterwards. Clair and I then set off to the gym for a short session, utilizing the new knowledge we had from the day before whilst other people chose to go and rest.
In short - I love it here! I'm here with a great group of people and the training we're doing is varied and fun, yet top notch. Coaches Rob and Mark are full of knowledge and I'm constantly learning new things. Life is good.....!