August 2013Eclectic Cake: August 2013

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Nike Training Club Trainer: Kezia Lopez

I had the pleasure of trying out a month of personal training sessions with Kezia Lopez from Nike Training Club (NTC) last month – I'm telling you, my muscles still live in fear!

I'd never had one-to-one training before and was a little scared ahead of my first session - there'd certainly be no hiding behind anyone else (obviously I never do that anyway)! But it did give me the opportunity to focus on the areas I wanted and to be pushed at a pace good for me. Boy was I pushed!

Don't let Kezia's constant smile fool you, she's anything but soft – in my first session she had my legs shaking uncontrollably as I struggled to hold a sitting position against a lamp post for yet another 60 seconds! But her enthusiasm for her job rubs off so easily and, despite the momentary suffering, I was keen to work harder and achieve more.

Kezia looks slightly more glamorous than I do during this exercise!

I foolishly told her I don't like press ups and burpees because I wasn't good at them...I guess practice makes perfect! Cue a few rounds of Tabata training – a series of short bursts of high intensity activity with intermitent resting – 20 seconds of burpees followed by a blissful 20 seconds rest until I had 20 seconds more of burpees to face, and so on for 4 minutes! Just 56 minutes left of the session, then!

This Gibraltar beauty is also pretty imaginative! Each session was based around the NTC app workouts but always shaken up so I didn't quite know what to expect...besides a lot of sweat, of course! (I'm reassured her NTC girls also 'benefit' from her creativity – burpee step climbs, anyone?!) The variation in sessions helped to keep them fresh and also allowed me to cherry-pick parts of the session that worked for me best for next time.

7am training at Lincoln Inn Fields – beautiful!

But alas, my time is up. However, there's no escaping Kezia that easily, her new NTC class is right around the corner from me!

You can join her every Tuesday for Train to Run at the Covent Garden Nike store at 6.30pm, or at Regents Park for an early bird class. Sign up here.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Trouble with Cycling: Unicycling

It's no secret I have a love of all things circus, yet haven't quite bonded with all things bike. But what if these two worlds could come together? Would this help me form a love for the wheeled beast? Obviously the answer to my problems is unicycling!

It certainly started off well. Sitting tall on the bike, eyes forward, arms outstretched...for a millisecond, before grabbing the bench I'd used to mount the thing having not even moved a micrometer!

This was scary! Two wheels are bad enough but a unicycle doesn't even have the handlebars to grab on to. And the only way to stop is to get off - a quick glance at the paved floor confirmed that I would probably be going home a lovely shade of black and blue.

Gripping the back of a bench, I managed to roll forward. But the rest of the path looked way too open to venture further - not enough things to grab. My pedalling was pretty sporadic. Rather than keep a smooth rhythm I jerked forward, scared that each pedal forward would send me toppling. I was stranded with my bench, not able to go any further.

Then one of the instructors took my arm and firmly told me to "just pedal". I reluctantly did as I was told, occasionally glancing at the hard floor where I knew I'd end up! But after travelling a couple of metres, past the safety of my bench, I felt more confident. My pedalling became smoother and the instructor's support eased off. I was unicycling!

Obviously, I'm not planning to use a unicycle for my races (there are unicycle races, so perhaps one day...) but if I can get moving on just one wheel, surely when it comes to two it should seem a little easier. Here's hoping!