Whilst I was googling for the entirely unrelated topic of “trail running near Crawley”, one of the top results was for the Breakfast Running Bootcamp in Clapham. Obviously not what I was looking for at all, but I read a bit more and thought it sounded like a cool idea – a free class, local, and run my a group of experienced PT’s, The Transformers. Since Team Mudstacle were resting after the trials and tribulations of Nettle Warrior, I figured I may as well give it a go.
Now I should confess something first – I’m not a fan of group exercise classes and, outside of the dojo, I’ve not been to one for about seven years (and even then I only went once or twice to various classes before deciding I didn’t like them!). The reasons are manifold, but they can be summed up as: the ones in most gyms are pretty hideous (legs, bums, tums, Zumba, BodyCombat etc.), I have a fear of having to rely on other people that borders on pathological, and I am also so uncoordinated that it makes the prospect of having to move in front of a large group of strangers slightly traumatic.
So I was slightly apprehensive to start with, and things weren’t looking good that morning as my hamstrings were completely buggered after Wednesday’s running and Thursday’s squats ‘n’ deads. It actually hurt to get up for a pee in the night! And things didn’t get much better when we started with… sprint intervals. Ugh. Running between lamposts as fast as you can. The first one I properly powered it – woohoo sprinting! – and then promptly realised that if I went flat-out each time I’d collapse in a heap of gasping and lactic acid. So I mostly just pushed hard enough to be out of breath but not keeling over.
The team of instructors were excellent, and they managed to make it work for everyone, whatever their level. Plus everyone was very friendly – it wasn’t about competition but about taking part and giving your all (sound familiar?!). The lead instructor, Thomas, actually managed to make telling us what to do, something I hate, quite entertaining, and found ways of involving everyone and getting them to mix. He was also very positive, which I love – somehow in my training I’ve always fallen in with people who are really upbeat and have a good outlook in life, so it was really cool to find the same here.
The main thing I learnt, and really the reason I thought I’d post about the class which, let’s face it, is way off my normal training, is that I should probably incorporate more into my regime that doesn’t involve running long distances quite slowly or using massive amounts of power to propel things (mostly myself) over short distances. Apart from burpees I don’t do any conditioning, and as the sesssion went on – tuck jumps, one-legged burpees (owwwww), push ups (phew), leg changes and so on – it occurred to me that there’s a lot to be gained from this kind of stuff, much as I hate it. Also when I train on my own I never push myself to be totally out of breath. Actually it kind of freaks me out. I can do 30s hill intervals on the treadmill, but when things start getting a little hairy I stop. I used to think I was alone in this fear of dying thing, but it turns out I’m not, and that actually it’s part of the point of doing this kind of cardio work – who knew? ;)
Afterwards everyone went off for breakfast, which I had to skip due to other commitments, but next time I’ll definitely head along, not least because it’s at Del Azziz and they do well tasty food innit.