Yesterday, I had my first ever boot camp experience, put on by Essex Boot Camp. I had been considering driving down to Salisbury and running the 5-4-3-2-1 marathon which I'd entered, but I realised before it was too late that I'm just not ready for racing 26.2 yet and that wouldn't be a sensible thing to do!
So instead, at 9:45am, I ran the mile down to our local park, Lake Meadows, and joined the group of people in Essex Boot Camp t-shirts, who were congregating by the park gates. The instructor, Aaron, ran through with me where I was with my fitness and what my background was - I told him I was a runner but had got injured in May and was just trying to rebuild my fitness. He asked me how I got injured …his face was a picture when I told him it was by running 10 marathons in 10 days ;)
When everyone had arrived, Aaron, walked us out to the field. There were about 15 of us - a mixture of guys and girls, and all shapes and sizes - and pretty immediately, without much introduction, we were suddenly in the middle of the hardest workout I’ve ever done.
There was running, press-ups, sit ups, planks, squats, more press ups, burpees, sprinting, lunges, more of everything….running around carrying stretchers with one of the team laying on it, more press ups, running, stretching, all continuous and under time pressure. We were only able to stop for drinks and a rest twice in the hour, and only very briefly.
The time went quickly, and in a bit of a blur, and by the end, I was a bit disappointed it was all over, but there’s no way I could have carried on at that intensity for much longer!
I ran home afterwards, and my legs were ok, but my arms were absolutely dead. I was really tired too and spent much of the rest of the day either asleep or moaning about how much I ached! This morning, I woke up in near-agony…well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but my arms, my abs, obliques,and my glutes are all exhausted and killing me. After just one hour of exercise! Although my legs feel ok, it’s a real wake-up call as to just how much fitness I’ve lost, and how weak my upper body is.
It’s definitely something I’m going to continue – I'm going to try to make the 6am session on Thursday morning – if I’m serious about this 100 miler next year, I absolutely have to be stronger than I am now, and just getting back to running isn’t going to be enough to achieve that. I need resistance work, and intensity, and that’s just what the boot camp achieves!