Challenge update

Having injured my hamstring 3 weeks ago, I’ve been managing my recovery whilst still trying to progress with the Olympic sports.

For the first couple of weeks, I focused on gentle running to encourage blood flow and ensure that my legs were mobilised. Complete rest would probably have been more logical but I’m always conscious of losing fitness and especially in this case as I’d had a couple of easier training weeks prior to getting injured.

Luckily it hasn’t really affected the rowing or the diving too much. My first rowing lesson after the injury was on the ergo machines, so I could take it easy and I was able to dive without putting too much strain on the legs.

For the past week my hamstring has been feeling really good, so I’ve upped the effort. We had a great ‘learn to row’ session at the weekend. The 4 of us got into a great rhythm and I really felt like we’d made some significant progress. My diving lesson on Monday was also good fun. I started off with a lack of confidence, which is the worst thing you can do whilst standing on the edge of a dive board and unfortunately this resulted in some rather painful entries. I got it going though, towards the end of the session and completed a few hurdle dives, back dives and also a couple of falling dives off the 3m – all ready to be filmed next week at the final session! Yesterday I also felt confident enough to play in the Middlesex Winter League for Will to Win. We played indoors at Heston David Lloyd which was great, as the weather has been awful recently. The result wasn’t so good.

In between all of this the intensity of my running has started to increase in preparation for my 16 week training plan (starts 29th Dec) for the Manchester Marathon on 19th April. Yep – I’ve gone and made the challenge harder again by signing up for another marathon. I had told everyone that I wouldn’t be running a marathon in 2015 but the lure of potentially running a sub-3.30 marathon was too much to resist. It’s going to be tough but I’m going to give it a go. I’ve also decided that I might as well run a marathon every year of the Olympiad so 4 marathons in 4 years.

In the middle of this training I will also be tackling the rugby challenge. Rugby 7s is the newest sport in the Olympics (along with golf) and despite being a huge rugby fan, I’ve never played. I would like to compete in all of the team sports but realistically rugby as a contact sport could be a bit dangerous without spending appropriate time learning how to tackle and how to protect myself in contact. As an alternative I’ve signed up to ‘tag rugby’. Tag rugby is growing rapidly in London and there is a league starting at the beginning of March so for the last 8 weeks of my training plan I will be playing rugby every Monday in addition to running 5 days a week.

2015 is looking like a very exciting year. Watch this space.

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Back to Tennis

The tennis season is up and running so I’ve taken a couple of days break from Triathlon training. This evening I played in the first match for Will to Win Lammas Park in the Middlesex Summer Division 3. After 5 straight promotions we are slowly working are way up to the top divisions.

Had a quick warm up last night which paid dividends as we won 24-0 to get our season off to a great start. Unfortunately, the various stag and wedding commitments I have over the next couple of months mean that I can only play in a few of the matches this year.

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I’ve been looking at entry level tournaments for both Badminton and Table Tennis. Whilst there are events, they are few a far between. I recently came across Racketlon, which should help me to achieve the above challenges.

Racketlon is a combination of Table Tennis, Squash, Badminton and Tennis, where matches are played to 21 points across each of the disciplines. There are events played throughout the year and I’m confident of being able to hold my own in Tennis and Table Tennis. Badminton will take a little practice and I have little to no experience of Squash.

The first opportunity is the English Open in October but I may wait until next year to hone my Badminton and Squash skills.

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More Tennis

In the past few weeks I’ve played a couple more times for Will to Will Lammas Park in the Middlesex Doubles League. A 16-8 victory over Ealing LTC and a 20-4 victory over Tythe Farm propelled us from 2nd bottom to 2nd top of division 4 earning us a 5th consecutive promotion. Looking forward to the lofty heights of division 3 next season. Onwards and Upwards.

Unfortunately success wasn’t carried over in the London Parks and Postal. I lost an epic 2.5 hour match in the first round of the main draw to Sameer Kumar Bagga. Despite winning the first set 7-6. I couldn’t hold on and lost the second set 6-4 before succumbing to defeat in a championship tie-break.

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5th challenge completed – Tennis

After a few gentle jogs in the recent heatwave that we are experiencing in the UK, I’ve finally managed to get myself back into playing competitive sport following my operation in May.

I started this week with a hit and set against my doubles partner Ed Rowley to get myself prepared for my first competitive tennis match in over a year.

My local club Will to Win Ealing in Lammas Park play in the Middlesex Summer Tennis leagues, which consists of three matches, two one-set matches and one two-set match. We had been drawn to play Wycombe House in the 5th round of the competition and despite a slow start to the season the format of the leagues meant that a good win could move us from second bottom to near to somewhere near the summit.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to put out our strongest team so despite myself and Tom taking 3 out of the 4 sets that we played and therefore contributing 6 out of 8 points available the team could only manage a single set from the other 6 matches resulting in a 16 – 8 defeat.

Despite the loss it was great to get back playing competitive sport again and I’m looking forward to getting the challenge back on track.

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Tennis – Tournament entry

I’ve entered my first tennis tournament since the start of the challenge.

The London Parks & Clubs Postal Tournament is an event that I’ve entered for the past 2 years. I’m currently the 10th highest rated player in the tournament, which should mean that I go straight into the main draw without needing to qualify. Last year I won by first round match before loosing to the eventual winner. Hopefully I’ll be given a more favourable draw this year.

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I have played tennis all of my life and currently represent V-Tennis and Lammas Park tennis clubs in the Middlesex leagues. I have competed in competitions since I was 8 and this year I have taken part in the Middlesex winter postal, London parks and clubs postal and the Lammas Park club championship.

I am confident I will be able to complete the challenge of competing in a tournament between now and Rio 2016.


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