Friday, 29 May 2009

My Fundraising site is up and running, following a technical hitch, which did not allow me to add my own picture - just a rubbish cartoon of a man in a bath of beans - not really my thing.

Please consider sponsoring me this way - the Dogs Trust really will benefit more.

A day of rest

Today we all rest, as we will be spending the next three days walking with Luna and Willow in North Norfolk. They benefit from the training programme too, with endurance being the theme.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The trainers have been dusted off and the training programme has started - this is what they say:

Do not wait until a month before you leave to start training. Your body needs time to build up the strength needed to allow you to enjoy the dog sledding experience. This is best achieved by training consistently over time. Start training now.

Within your training programme, rest is as important as time spent on your feet. We strongly recommend that you rest on at least one day out of seven. Equally, when training, stick within the limits of speed and distance that are comfortable for you.

You may like to consider some of the following activities when putting together your own personal training plan:

Interval training … It may be worth considering interval training. Distance runners use interval training as a means of improving their endurance levels, and so can you. Alternate between walking briskly for up to a minute, then returning to your original pace for a few minutes.

Whatever your physical condition, the key to enjoying the trip is to build up your stamina. Try making going for walks a daily activity – it will help.

Gradually increase the time you walk, but never more than 10 – 20% from one week to the next.

Aerobic conditioning … Most of the aerobic training that you do must be on foot, outside. Training entirely on a treadmill will not adequately prepare you for the conditions that you will encounter on the trip. Your trip will take you up and down hills, in addition to sledding over the flats. Do not neglect your hill training (and remember that where there is an uphill, you will generally be rewarded with a downhill section).

Cross-training … Many forms of aerobic exercise can be used to help you train effectively for the trip. Sports such as running, cycling, swimming, canoeing or skiing will all help in a cross- training programme. All use similar muscle groups to those that you will use on your trip, and help to increase your overall levels of stamina. However, do not deceive yourself.

Weights … You could try improving your strength by adding a weights session to your training programme. Dog sledders benefit from strengthening other muscle groups, particularly in the abdominal and back region, as well shoulders, chest and arms.

Chart your progress … Keep a training diary in which you log type of exercise undertaken and your achievements (for example, distance walked, time taken and even how you felt at the end of each session). This will help to keep you focused, honest and allow you to map your progress. This will help maintain motivation by showing you how much you have improved as your programme progresses.

Mixing different training adds variety and can help to alleviate the boredom associated with doing the same activity every day. Your body and your mind will stay motivated to train as the time for

departure approaches.

No pressure then....

Meet my new friend - he's going to be instrumental in my challenge: To drive a team of huskies across the wilderness, hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle, in support of the Dog's Trust.

Comments from friends and family, when I told them what I was going to do varied. The concerned 'Oh dear, are you really sure about this Claire?' to 'You are quite mad', which she then modified to 'deranged' (my Mother). Many thought it was just a pipe dream, but this week I signed on the dotted line, got my itinerary through and started running. I also met my new friend, more of whom later.