Abu Dhabi & Dubai – There is always something on!

There’s always something happening in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and although you could always spend a fortune on the luxuries of life, there are in fact a lot of activities available for free. Two free events that we enjoy going to every year are certain exhibitions held at ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center), which always display some weird and wonderful things, and the Red Bull sports events.  Continue reading “Abu Dhabi & Dubai – There is always something on!”

UP and RUNNING, Dubai

When taking up running, or any kind of exercise, there is always an associated risk of injuring yourself. Now that I’ve taken my first steps towards getting into a running routine, to slowly but surely prepare myself for the madness that is the Berlin Marathon, I have concerns about the old injuries I remember experiencing during my training for the Bristol Half Marathon back in 2009. I remember terrible chin splints, and especially, a previously torn ligament getting inflamed and sore when I train too much.

With this in mind, I didn’t only look for a coach who could provide me with a safe training routine, which is now being provided to me by Full Potential, but also for a physio who could assess the source of these aches and pains I had experienced in the past. Continue reading “UP and RUNNING, Dubai”

#IGNITEDXB 5km Puma Night Race – Race #1

In preparation for the Berlin Marathon in September, my trainer decided that I should try to run approx 2 races per month over the next few months. I’ve never been good or fast at racing, but I do push myself harder than if I was just trudging along by myself. Here’s a recap of my first race in January, and the lessons I learnt 🙂  Continue reading “#IGNITEDXB 5km Puma Night Race – Race #1”

Paragliding in Spain – Day 7&8

The next video in the series of Paragliding in Spain is up. After a busy first week, we got day 7 off. Pablo was kind enough to give us a ride to Ronda, which is definitely worth a visit. Very special place! Unfortunately there was bullfight on that day, which I am not in agreement with, but I respect that this is a local custom. Hopefully someday enough Spaniards will vote to have this practice banned due to animal cruelty. Irrespective of this, Khaled, Michal and I spent a wonderful morning wandering the streets of Ronda while Josh stayed back in Algo.

Day 8 provided us with some great conditions! We flew from Levante in the morning and went back to Poniente in the evening. As we had to wait for the winds to drop, we ended up being the last ones on Poniente and had the ridge all to ourselves! Joshua, Michal and I were the last three in the air, and we only gave into coming down when the sun got too low. After doing our first tandem at Poniente just over one week ago, it was an amazing feeling to fly here by ourselves!

 

 

 

Paragliding in Spain – Day 6

Day 6 ended our first week of training, with a fantastic evening flight along the ridge of El Bosque, lasting over one hour! When we started this course, I did not think this kind of progress would be possible within just 6 days. And it was only achievable thanks to the experience and support of the awesome boys at Zero Gravity – Jose, Javi, Pablo: thank you so much! This is a day we surely won’t forget. And thanks to all the awesome people flying with us, especially Michal and Khaled!

Hope you enjoy the video. Although it basically shows this one long flight, it gives you a nice idea of the coaching we got while in the air, the beauty of the location, and the joy of finally advancing to flying with friends 🙂

Marathon Training – Week 1&2

So, in December I found out that I won myself a spot on the 2017 Berlin marathon. It’s 10 months till the race in September, and 10 months sounds like a long time to train, but I know time will fly and I really haven’t run properly in 7 years. The longest race I ever did was a half marathon in 2009, in Bristol (UK), so the marathon distance does suddenly sound very, very daunting. I know I have a lot of work to do, and I want to do it properly and slowly, to remain injury free and enjoy the process.

In order to help me do this, the first thing I did was contact Full Potential in the UK, to ask Ben Barwick for private coaching. Ben helped Maria Conceicao train for her crazy 777 challenge (7 ultra marathons on 7 continents in 7 weeks), so I knew I’d been in good hands.

Full Potential can offer training plans and coaching via email/phone/Skype, which made this a great solution for me. Ben and I discussed my goals, current state of health and fitness, and what I have available to me for exercising (swimming pool, gym, space to run,…). What followed was an Excel sheet with a first training plan, and a flood of supporting information. The training plan covers running, swimming, and a multitude of specific exercises to improve strength, conditioning and stability. He also provided me with information on stretching, nutrition, and a detailed guide on what feedback to provide him with for every day so he can adjust my training accordingly. Thanks to Garmin Connect, I can also use my Garmin Forerunner to share my runs’  data with Ben. After our first Skype meeting, to address any initial questions, I went off on Christmas holidays to start my training plan!

The first two weeks are ticked and done, and were thankfully a lot less scary then I expected them to be. Getting back into running was daunting, but Ben’s plan has helped me make a comfortable, but challenging start, and the stretching and conditioning exercises have prevented any sore muscles to date. Which is awesome 🙂

I’m excited to see where this training will get me. Throughout January I am registering for the first little 5K races. It seems like such a short distance in comparison to what lies ahead, but I am happy to have enough time to take it step by step, so I can hopefully progress in leaps and bounds!

Thanks to Ben for getting me started so quickly, especially just before Christmas, and to Maria for her constant encouragement!