Today I took part in my forth Newcastle Stampede, a 10k assault course around the fields and woods of Gosforth Park and Newcastle Racecourse. An extremely invigorating experience as always but this time in different company. It was brilliant. My most favourite to date.
As I was running and hopping over and under various obstacles, twisting my ankles on tree roots and cutting my knees open whilst crawling under cargo nets I thought that this could not be doing my training any good. As this is an event I do each year I wouldn’t have missed it for the world (I nearly did, it was fully booked) but I hadn’t considered how it might affect my training generally. Sunday, for example is meant to be my long steady run day.
The risk of injury in the Stampede is very high. The chances of pulling a muscle or twisting a ligament due to the terrain is quite real and so taking part wasn’t a decision I took lightly.
However, it dawned on me later in the day that this was ideal training. Sure, it’s not the normal type of training and the obstacles hammered at muscles I only notice when I do this event but it is proper, full on exercise. It’s running, jumping, squatting and crawling. It gets the whole body working and the adrenalin pumping. If anything it is better than a normal training run.
So the moral of this story is that sometimes the best training is the event itself. If you are training for a big event make sure that you do some smaller ones as training in advance. It doesn’t matter if the event isn’t the exact discipline that you’re training for. Pushing yourself, getting out of breath and working the muscles is what it’s all about. Get to it!
Thanks to all at the British Heart Foundation
and to all the organisers and partners for another top event, best one ever!