Overcomming mental challenges, as important than physcial challenges

So I’m back on the bike riding and back in the pool swimming after having to scale things back after pulling up sore after a ride a few weeks ago.

Tonight was stroke correction class and I always struggle to pump out the 60 minute session.

I’ve built crutches into the way I’m swimming, first some fins then a snorkel, ear plugs and nose clip.

Tonight I was focused on not using the snorkel at all and just pushing through. I’m still having a hell of a time sorting out my stroke and breathing and working out my pace.

I’m still tiring way to easily, but it is progressing.

While all the solo training I’ve been doing has been in a 25M lane by myself, stroke correction is in a 50M lane.

There is some sort of mental block I have and as soon as I hit over half way I seem to stop.

The challenge now is to mentally over come that and I will succeed!  I always said from the outset that this was a physical and mental challenge.

I love a good challenge and I’m enjoying pushing myself to levels of fitness, knowledge and strength I’ve never had before!

Community bike ride

So today despite the mercury topping 39.2 between 10:30am to around 1pm I took part in a community bike ride run by my local council as part of the SA Health OPAL project.

Last year at work a group of researchers came to  interview and test a year level of students. It was known as OPAL testing and I was curious what OPAL stood for.

Turns out it’s a obesity prevention and lifestyle program with the aim of being healthy now and for life. SA Health is working with a number of local council’s focusing on cycling and other health initiatives. A top idea as I’m back on my bicycle after many years off it.

The council is putting on a number of community rides and on-road skills rides. If you don’t have your own bike they can provide one and a helmet for use. They provide water, sunscreen and lunch, all for free!

The rides are conducted  by Ride-a-bike-right

I’ve done a couple of big rides but my knowledge of the basics is still lacking, plus my on road confidence is severely lacking. So I took the opportunity to get back to basics and it’s amazing what you can learn if your prepared to sit back and learn.

Being made aware of your surroundings and how to scan behind you, change lanes and take corners is important. My mountain bike has shocks on the front and while I thought they were adjustable I had no idea how to do that. It was also explained to me what changing them would do. The helmet I have is quite a few years old and there was a time when I couldn’t do up the chin strap. Now I’ve gone the other way the the helmet wasn’t adjusted correctly, glad to have that sorted.

After a brief introduction and chat we headed out to the carkpark and went through some basic skills. The instructors needed to make sure everyone could be safe as the majority of the ride was on street. Most of the people in the group hadn’t ridden a bike for many years and so they really were nervous. Really friendly institutors with a good sense of humour always helps.

Once everyone passed the basic skills test we headed out. By this time the air temperature was in the mid 30s so the ride was scaled down.

We headed to Centro Kurralta to access how cycle friendly it was and it was fairly good.

After that we headed back and had lunch and a de-brief. While the session was very much aimed at beginners I’m sure most people as I did came away with something. I’m not professing to be an expert but I’m probably a little more advanced than most of the group. That said it was very worthwhile going as I did get a lot out of it.

The session today covered the most basic of cycling skills, something that every cyclist will use on a daily bases and while you may not realise it. Knowing and using these basic skills will help keep everyone on the road safe, which is very important.

I’ve signed up for the on-road skills session next week, hopefully the weather will be a littler kinder 🙂



The balance of exercise

I’m feeling a little lost right now, I’m a little annoyed at myself.Not the weekend just gone but the on the previous weekend, I took myself away to prepare and re-group for a really frantic week at work.

I got a little carried away with one of my rides and I’m carrying a bit of an injury.

So I’ve had to take a step back this past week which is annoying.

It got me thinking though when I look at what I’m trying to achieve.

I’ve set myself a goal of doing a tri-athlon within the next year or so. Probably a mini to get a feel for it and then move up as my fitness improves.

The whole ideal in general is to increase the intensity of what I can and to always push that bit harder.

Last week we upped the anti in PT and it payed off.

I focus on doing three types of exercise group, one-on-one & on my own.

Traditionally I do Pilates & aqua (both shallow & deep) in groups and the one one on is my PT.

The on my own has so far been the bike and some walks.

It really is a nice mix of getting out and about with people but also having that time alone where you get to unwind and recharge.

The other balance I’m struggling to find right now is the work – life, work-life-exercise balance.

Again I’ll keep chipping away and having it all! being able to work full time and do structured exercise. I just need to do in incrementally.

Having the level of fitness I now have give me increased options and when I improve even more it opens up even more opportunists 🙂