Turning 50 is not for sissies, let me tell you that first up. Everything becomes that much harder, while your body becomes that much softer and less likely to want to jump out of bed at 4:45 am to go training. Take a break from anything for a month to get some much-needed recovery and it’s a long climb back…it’s like starting all over again.
Which is where I currently find myself. A post PUFfeR break and way, way too much Christmas, Two Oceans is around the corner and I’ve also entered Comrades. The mind is willing, but the body is saying “are you crazy woman?” So, when offered a spot on the Sports Science Institute’s Grucox Training Programme to help runners get ready for the Two Oceans Marathon, make you stronger and more toned, plus offer you a supply of your pre-race go-to snack aka Futurelife, you do a happy dance and accept the offer.
We all know we have to some form of strength training…but that doesn’t mean we enjoy it, well I don’t and I’m extremely slack when it comes to gym work. I always feel a bit intimidated and it’s tough to do unless you have a coach or training partner to keep you motivated and let’s face it, I’d far rather be out running.
This Thursday I start a ten-week Grucox Training Programme in conjunction with Futurelife at the Sports Science Institute in Newlands and I’m excited but also a little scared. I Googled Grucox and all kinds of extremely scientific information populated my screen. It’s all about eccentric training on a fancy orange bike with motorised pedals. Wait, this sounds easy, right? Wrong. These bicycles are unique in that the pedals are motorised. The aim is to resist the motor and this resisting motion, or eccentric (pronounced e centric and not eccentric as in crazy, lost the plot, out in left field…I thought it was quite appropriate actually) training, has been shown to be more beneficial than traditional resistance training and is becoming popular in rehabilitation and performance training, as well as general well-being.
The SSISA website says it’s for anybody wanting to strengthen and tone their leg muscles – hey who doesn’t want that? It also says that runners and cyclists, in particular, will benefit from strength, balance and stability training offered by the Grucox bikes.
There’s plenty of other benefits listed but the overriding factor is that this is going to be an extremely positive thing and it’s going to make me strong and able to tackle Chapman’s Peak and Constantia Nek.