Author Archive for James Eacott

COMPETITOR STORY – LORI MARSHALL

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Lori Marshall who took part in the #51fiver with us.

In 2016, myself and a friend decided to really push ourselves both physically and mentally by completing 11 National and International challenges. We call ourselves Mud, Sweat and Fears!

This was to raise as much money and awareness for four incredible charities extremely close to our hearts, aptly spelling out the word DAFT: Dementia, Autism (NAS), Florence Nightingale Hospice, Thembalitsha (based in South Africa).

So far we have successfully completed 10 challenges including a 3 day trek up an active volcano, shark cage dive, a half marathon, Macchu Picchu 5 day trek, a lot of mountain climbing and a 12 hour relay where we both ran 36 miles each!

There have been challenges that got us sweaty, caked in mud and truly facing some of our biggest fears!! Some of them we knew were going to physically and mentally test us, but we also found that we were surprised by a few of the challenges being a lot tougher then we had anticipated! That is something that makes completing all the challenges feel that bit sweeter! We truly pushed what we thought were our limits and lived by our motto of Mind Over Matter.

When you put your mind to it, really almost anything is possible! My friend Cosette has recently completed her childhood dream of running the London Marathon which was challenge number 10, and now it is my turn to complete something that I have always wanted to do which brought me to the Cotswold #51fiver Triathlon.

The anticipation of this event was exciting and I could not wait to push myself even further with this event, who knows maybe one day you’ll find me doing an Ironman!

Search “Mud, Sweat And Fears” on Facebook to see full details of past and present challenges!

 

5 triathlon tips for newbies

Summer is fast approaching and the 2019 triathlon season has begun!

Being a triathlete myself and reminiscing of my first few races, there are certainly some tips I wish I’d been given prior to the day. So this post is aimed at helping those first timers who are in the same position in a bid to help you avoid the mistakes I made!

1. Practice swimming in open water before the race

Open water swimming is entirely different to pool swimming. For a start, you haven’t got the lane etiquette and that big black line to follow up and down. Instead you will be emerged in a dark lake with weeds and a couple of bouys to sight. If the swim is a “mass start” get ready for a bit of a scuffle. You will find yourself surrounded by flying limbs left right and centre and it can all be a little overwhelming especially if it’s your first time.

Try to remain calm and get yourself into a space where you are free to move and hit a rhythm (this may take a couple of hundred metres before this can happen due to the number of other triathletes in the swim).

Remember to sight regularly and look out for the bouys as it is easy to drift off course without even feeling it. It takes a few times to adjust so if you can get yourself to an open water swimming venue before hand, I highly recommend it.

2. Always check your bike

Prior to your race, give your bike a little once over, checking the gears and breaks are working efficiently, your tyre pressures are correct and you are happy with the set up.

This can be done the night before and also when in transition setting up prior to your race. Although once you leave transition it is out of your control what happens, knowing that everything was working and you’ve placed your bike into the correct gears before takes a little pressure off of you when you rush in from your swim.

My first triathlon saw me having to place the chain back on once I had de-racked my bike from T1 because it was in the wrong gear when I went to mount…fun times!

3. Practice your transitions.

It’s a good idea to have a couple of trial runs of your T1 and T2 transitions prior to race day especially if you are racing in a sprint and olympic where every second matters. The time taken in transitions can be valuable, so nailing these as efficiently and fast as possible is key. An example would be practicing coming out of your wetsuit and putting on your bike gear as these things can be tricky when under a pressured situation like a race.

4. Elastic laces are game changers.

Swapping your normal laces for elastic ones is a great idea and one which will save you valuable time in T2. When I did my first triathlon I had no idea about elastic laces and spent a few too many minutes undoing and redoing my laces before setting off on my run.

5. Don’t forget to enjoy it.

Although the above tips are something which can help prepare you a little better than I was for my first triathlon, it’s important to not get too caught up in it all with it being your first race. Try to take it all in and enjoy the day. There will be plenty of opportunities to nail these tips in future races and improve on your times etc.

Triathlon is a great sport and one which brings everybody together and involves all walks of life. The triathlon community is so friendly and helpful and I have no doubt that which ever race you have entered for your first one will be great!


Be sure to check out our 2019 triathlons:

Westonbirt sprint triathlon – 27th May 2019

Titan Brecon middle distance – 15th June 2019

Portishead sprint triathlon – 17th August 2019

 

COMPETITOR STORY – LORRAINE MOSTAFA

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Lorraine Mostafa who took part in the Pulsin Westonbirt Easter 10k with us.

‘I started running 5 years ago after my daughter was born. I did C25K. I moved house around a year later and a mum I had become friends with at a baby group moved next door. We had done a mums fitness group together so decided to start running together. Little did I know that she was a marathoner!!! We got thinking that it would be nice to have a ladies running group, for all abilities, in the North Swindon area. As we are both mums, and we know a lot of mum’s, we called it Mums On The Run!  We got a good response to our Facebook advertising and had quite a few runners join us! We meet up every Tuesday and Thursday. We now have over 100 members on our Facebook group. We have our regulars who run with us each week and other members get out around their own areas of Swindon. We share our accomplishments with each other and support one another in our races. Without these ladies, I would never have considered running a half marathon, but I have….TWICE! Our group has also entered the Cotswolds 100 mile run and we came second! Not bad for mums who run to get out of the bedtime routine!!

Mums On The Run is a chance for ladies to have a little me-time, to meet up for some exercise, fresh air, a natter or a rant!! It is also a way for ladies to get out running with a buddy if they are nervous of running on their own. We have ladies of all abilities running with us and we welcome new faces all the time.

We have also set up Mums On The Run C25K for beginners! We have had huge success with that! One of our mums did the C25k and then went on to run a half marathon a few months later!’

COMPETITOR STORY – MICHELE CAUDREY

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Michele Caudrey who took part in the Pulsin Westonbirt Easter 10k with us.

‘I wanted run a 10K as I run 5K most weeks and wanted to stretch myself more. It was more realistic for me to do this distance rather than a half marathon as it was easier for me to fit in the training around my work shifts and children. I am raising money for BOWEL CANCER UK.

I am a Specialist Nurse with the Bowel Cancer Screening Team in Gloucestershire. My dad died in 2005 from bowel cancer – there was no screening then. I miss him every day. If bowel cancer is caught early, it can be cured. Yes – it seems embarrassing, but the nurses and doctors are all professional and experienced and have seen it all before. 55 year old’s are offered a one off ‘camera test’ to look at the left side of the bowel. From age 60 – the ‘pooh’ test is sent out every 2 years. Any bowel symptoms, please discuss with your doctor (GP) – these include, a change in bowel habit, abdominal pain and bleeding from your bottom.’

Check out Michele’s JustGiving Page for Bowel Cancer UK  http://www.justgiving.com/MicheleCaudrey1

 

 

COMPETITOR STORY – EMMA BURKE

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week it’s Emma Burke who took part in the Pulsin Westonbirt Easter 10k with us. Here’s what she had to say:

I ran the 10k in memory of my husband Jamie Burke who was taken away from us in April 2018. I chose this event as Westonbirt is a special place for us as a family, Jamie loved running and I wanted to raise funds for St Peters Hospice, who cared for Jamie and supported us as a family.  I only started running in January this year to train for this event, whilst doing this I have discovered that I enjoy running. When I run outdoors I feel free, it clears my mind, I have now found myself a new hobby!

Emma has set up a JustGiving page:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emma-burke15

 

 

 

COMPETITOR STORY – PETE FLAHERTY

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

We were delighted that Pete Flaherty took part in the Battle Of Lansdown……..here’s why Pete tackled the 35 obstacles.

Over the last two years I have witnessed the suffering and passing of both my Nan & Granddad due to this terrible disease.  For those that know me, they know that calling them Nan & Granddad doesn’t do them justice, as for most of my life they brought me up.  I am extremely grateful for everything they have given me. For taking on the job of being my ‘Mum & Dad‘.

As a way of remembering them and saying thank you for all the sacrifices they made, I will be undertaking 12-months of extreme(ish) crazy(ish) challenges.  My aim is to raise as much money as possible to help the continued research and treatment of Dementia.

So far I have completed Tough Guy in January, The Beast in February and the Battle of Lansdown.’

Please see Pete’s fundraising challenges below:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peteflaherty

  • January: Tough Guy
  • February: The Beast
  • March: The Battle of Lansdown
  • April: My Jiu-Jitsu Challenge – 1,000 throws in 5 hours
  • May: Tough Mudder 5k & 100km Canoe Challenge on River Spey in Scotland
  • June: Rough Runner 15k
  • July: Climbing Ben Nevis
  • August; My 6 year old son will be climbing Snowdon (with me!)
  • September: Tough Mudder Full
  • October: Hell runner: Hell-up North
  • November: tbc
  • December: My Ju Jitsu Black Belt Grading (hopefully!!)

COMPETITOR STORY – FXT OBSTACLE ADDICT

A regular look at some of the inspirational stories from some of our amazing DB Maxers……

This week we have featured FXT Obstacle Addicts who took part in the Battle of Lansdown with us.

How it started

‘The FXT Obstacle Addict workouts started as a result of realising that people were ‘addicted’ to OCRs, which we learnt whilst participating in many ourselves.  We also realised that people couldn’t regularly get their obstacle ‘fix’ because events are often months apart and are scattered all over the country.  As a result of this we decided to start our very own obstacle style workout in the local area, that people could do regularly to help them train for OCRs whilst still getting their ‘fix’ throughout the year.  The workout has been hugely popular and regularly attracts 20-30 people, which is managed by 2-3 qualified personal trainers (one of which owns TRIBE PT – our partners) who help motivate and coach people in a really friendly environment.

What’s involved

FXT Obstacle Addict is a challenging and fun outdoor workout held every other week at Widbrook Grange in Bradford on Avon.  It involves running through streams, climbing over walls, scrambling through nets, carrying logs, sand bags, dragging tyres and much more.  This is a great whole body workout that will improve your strength, fitness and mind.  There’s nothing else quite like it in the area.  We have plans to set up another one in a surrounding area soon.  Please come along as we know you’ll love it!’

For further info please visit the Facebook page and the website – https://www.fxt-wildfitness.co.uk/

Too high, too cold, too deep, too scary…4 tips to face that obstacle head on

Following our OCR Kit List – 4 things to take and 4 things to leave at home blog, we’ve now got tips on how to face your fears and overcome obstacles which you find intimidating.

With such a wide variety of obstacles over the 10km course you will no doubt find one or two which test your nerve, strength and commitment.

Some competitors fear heights and some the cold. Others worry about that feeling of lack of control as they speed down a slide or shoot. Most competitors will have an Achilles heel, a point of weakness.

But fear not. There are two major advantages obstacle course racing has over other types of racing. Firstly, you are not out there alone. Helping each other out, lending a hand or supporting your fellow competitor works to your advantage. What goes around comes around. They help you on one obstacle and you will be able to help them out on the next.

A second bonus is that very few of you will be in it to win it. Most of you are there for the fun. That makes ‘time’ irrelevant. No one will ask when you finish how long you took. Instead they will focus on the size of your smile as you cross the finish line and the hilarious stories you tell over a beer!

In the event that you are still faced with an obstacle you dread, here are 4 tips on how to tackle it:

  1. Assess – Look for things that might help like hand holds or foot supports. Is one side easier than the other? Is one side muddier or really wet and slippery? If so, avoid it. Plan your attack.
  2. Admire – Watch how others are attacking it. See what is working and what is not.
  3. Attack – Once you decide to go for it, really go for it! Use momentum, strength and positivity to attack it. Don’t waste energy with multiple half-hearted attempts. If you have tried, roped in help and still can’t seem to crush it…
  4. Accept – this one isn’t for you. Bypass it and don’t look back. Take the hit and continue on your journey. The next obstacle will need all your attention and it’s only around the next corner!

Kerry Sutton,
Coach at Perpetual Motion

OCT Kit List – 4 things to take. 4 things to leave at home!

An OCR Kit List, by Kerry Sutton.

What to bring:

  1. Nothing made of cotton. It absorbs water, becomes heavy and loses it’s shape. What starts off as nice and fitted is soon sagging around your bum and knees.
  2. Leave valuables either at the home or at the start. Phones are the obvious one (let the photographers capture you at your most vulnerable), and you’ll be far too busy surviving to take photos anyway! Sunglasses, hats, jackets and all jewelery come under this bracket too. And please don’t take keys with you. They hurt when you sit / fall on them, plus it’ll be a long walk home if they are the bottom of the pond!
  3. Goretex. It repels water, yes, but that also means it traps it in. You will be in and out of water and mud (frequently!) and you don’t want to be carrying litres of water with you.
  4. Shoes with good tread and ankle support are key (preferably trail running shoes). No Green Flash tennis shoes please! You’ll soon regret it as you struggle for the umpteenth time to ascend the short muddy gradients and keep ending up on your arse at the bottom.

Thinking of wearing a leotard?! Think again!

What not to bring:

  1. Wicking sports tops are a great idea. Tight-fitting is a good idea as it’s less likely to snag. Compression gear might not be to everyone’s liking but it works.
  2. Commando or not? It’s hard to answer this as it’s very much down to personal preference. The most important thing to remember is to bring a change of underwear – you’ll need to change out of wet gear as soon as possible at the end, especially if you are prone to the getting cold.
  3. Some like to wear compression shorts or leggings with looser shorts over the top. Compression socks and arm sleeves are great. They have the two-fold benefit of adding a layer of protection against chaffing or scratching on the wood, and undergrowth, whilst also helping you adjust your body temperature. This is especially true in the case of arm warmers which can be rolled down if you are warm or pulled up if you are chilly!
  4. Gloves get a green light every time. Don’t leave home without them!

Don’t forget a change of clothes….

Have a blast and enjoy the day!

Kerry Sutton,
Coach at Perpetual Motion

Training for an Obstacle Course Race – Part 2: Advanced Tips

Now that you’ve taken a look at our 5 beginner tips for OCR racing and are (hopefully!) implementing some of the advice, we thought we’d crank things up a notch and share more advanced training methods to help you prepare for the big day.

Mix up your runs
Long, short, fast, slow and fartlek runs – embrace them all! As you get closer to the event, ensure you’re doing some good speedwork and short hill sprints to build your engine and leg strength.

If you have access to trails, these are better to run on than roads as they’ll ask more of your tendons and ligaments, which strengthens them. This not only makes you less injury-prone, but also better able at tackle undulating obstacles and rutted fields.

Get to the climbing wall
There’s a couple of great climbing walls in Bristol – Redpoint Bristol and Bloc Climbing – which are well worth a visit before an OCR. Not only are they great fun, but they develop grip and forearm strength which comes in handy when you find yourself dangling over a muddy pool.

The climbing wall is a great addition to your Obstacle Course Race training

Do bodyweight circuits
Most gyms offer circuits classes. This classic, all-round fitness session will always leave you with hands on knees, heart beating out your chest. The group environment too is a great place to build OCR-specific fitness.

If you’re not a fan of group circuits classes, there’s plenty you can do in the gym or even your living room to prepare for an OCR like the Battle of Lansdown.

Burpees, squats, lunges, press ups, pull ups, tricep dips and planks should form the foundation of your bodyweight exercises. Nail these and you’ll be well on your way.

Cross train
Running can get a little tedious, but there’s loads of other activities you can do to boost your heart and lungs. Swimming, cycling, hiking and the rowing machine are all superb for developing your body’s ability to withstand the aerobic stress of completing an OCR.

Mountain biking is another great way to develop the fitness and coordination needed for Obstacle Course Racing

Don’t neglect your core and flexibility
Two things we know are good for us but infrequently actually do!

Core work and flexibility are both key components of an enjoyable OCR experience. A strong, stable core helps injury-prevention as well as supporting your entire body as you challenge it over various obstructions.

Improved flexibility will help you reach, stretch and lunge over, under and around each obstacle!

Pay attention to your mental game
Hopefully you’re bagging some semi-consistent training now. That should give you confidence for the big day, but it’s worth adding some mental tactics to your process too.

Don’t let the day get the better of you! Visualise tough moments so that when they come, you’ll cope.

It’s often overlooked, but the power of visualisation is very real, particularly if this is your first OCR and you’re a little nervous. Close your eyes and picture what the day will look like and how you’ll feel in various situations – in the water, caked in mud or hanging from a monkey bar. When you visualise the day, ensure you’re in a happy place and relishing the challenge with a broad smile on your face.

Make your training slightly uncomfortable
It’s no secret, you’re going to be scaling obstacles wet and muddy, so if you can replicate this in training, the day may be more enjoyable than if it’s your first time wearing soggy trainers and shorts!

If you’ve yet to enter the South West’s premier obstacle course race – the Battle of Lansdown – get a group of friends together and ENTER HERE. We give a discount to group entries so hurry before all the waves sell out!