All hail the machine
ANDY COOPER is getting himself fitter thanks to the team at Exeter Golf and Country Club and is sharing his progress in this monthly column
For me, motivation levels for getting out on a run just about hit their lowest point when the clocks go back at the end of October and don’t get going again, shuffling and croaking their way back to some form of enthusiasm, until January when that postChristmas feeling forces those limbs out onto the streets.
Those dark, dank mornings and evenings do not offer the greatest incentive to get out and pound the streets and so, apart from weekends, I find it hard to go on runs during these late months of the year. I know there is heaps of reflective kit and assorted body/head torches I could equip myself with in order to tackle the mean streets of Devon but it just doesn’t feel the same to me when you can’t really see your surroundings as you pound along.
Which means it’s this time of year the gym truly becomes a lifesaver, of course. That running machine is a beacon of light in an otherwise dark world of fitness and I have been embracing it with a vengeance.
I am working my way round all the programmes it offers – random, cardio, hill, super endurance ultra marathon runner (I may be exaggerating on that last one) and enjoying the variety they offer. Pop in some headphones and listen to some music, or in my case a podcast or two, and you can while away plenty of time – and lots of miles – in the process.
I am complementing these miles on the running machine with a weekly fitness session led by personal trainer Lee Cooke, which adds to the variety of my programme.
Lee has had me doing quite a few weight training sessions and also one particularly, ahem, “challenging” multiple choice task which had me jumping, hopping, side-stepping, pushing, pulling and stretching around a squash court festooned with all kinds of fitness kit. My muscles the next day told me it had worked!
I have, of course, pledged to run the Exeter Marathon on 19 May and so that date looms large in my mental calendar. Lee has given me a bespoke 17-week training calendar to prepare for those 26 miles and my rudimentary calculations show I need to start on this in earnest by 20 January.
So, this is just the build-up to the build-up, I reckon, as I prepare myself to take on that May target. I look forward to really hitting my straps come January and I aim then to mix some outdoor running with indoors as I need to keep the variety going and as the mornings get brighter so will I.
A quick word too for all those new ‘gym bunnies’ planning to hit the place with a fitness plan in mind come January. There will be no snobbery from me about these new guys and gals joining…i have been in that position myself and it’s easy to sneer at those who turn up at the start of the New Year aiming to get fitter but I think they deserve all the plaudits and encouragement they can get. And they won’t get a warmer, more relaxed welcome than from the fab gym team at Exeter Golf and County Club. exetergcc.co.uk
‘It’s easy to sneer at those who turn up at the start of the New Year aiming to get fitter but I think they deserve all the plaudits and encouragement they can get’