It's been a week of switching things up and starting to change the way I am training a bit following on from the learnings of my 'Menopause for Athletes' course. Contrary to what public expectations might be of that, perhaps along the lines of "oh, getting older, better ease things off a bit" Well far from it, what I have been learning most of all is that during this time we really should be training for power, not endurance. Apparently women over the age of 40 inherently have the ability for endurance, whereas we start to lose our power and ability to build muscle mass. I briefed Javier on what I would like to achieve from a 'heavy lifting session' at Hyde Park and he took me at my word! We were doing sets of no more than 5 reps at a time of squats, deadlifts followed by farmer carries, rows and then single handed overhead presses with a kettlebell whilst seated on the floor. These shots are certainly anything but flattering, but they give a sense of the effort. I didn't include the seated overhead press as it truly is a grimace - I had no idea how much stability we put through our legs and feet when we do these standing up. The seated version is a real challenge of balance and core activation. I could feel the DOMS setting in even early that evening, but definitely felt the benefit of this session.
Its very appropriate that I was doing a power session with Argentinian Javier this week as I would now be in the Cordón de la Ramada region running between Argentina and Chile. This area boasts boasts five peaks over 6000m, including the mammoth Cerro Mercedario, which tops out at 6770m. I would be needing to pull on all of my muscular resources to get through these climbs! The distances this week are looking like this:
Another couple of glimpses of normality came this week, firstly in the form of a site visit for a potential event I may be managing in December. YES an actual meeting with people in London at a REAL in person event. It was a breath of fresh air after being stuck to my two Mac screens running virtual events for such a long time. It also gave me the opportunity to see my great production colleague Duncan in person after working with him via a screen for over 18months.
Then the week rounded off perfectly with another singing opportunity. Singing teacher Matt Thompson had tried to keep our choir going via Zoom for the first few months of lockdown, but it just hadn't been the same with varying wifi strengths and we had stopped even these virtual meet ups around August last year. A close group though, we had kept in touch via a WhatsApp group and were delighted when Matt suggested a get together at a bar in Camden for a singalong around the piano. Apparently it had been requested by the bar owner and we jumped at the opportunity! It was quite emotional to actually see these people in the flesh again after almost 20 months and we embraced the following 2.5 hours of singing. It seemed bizarre after the restrictions to think we could not only be in such close proximity in a bar without a mask but also singing heartily into each others faces. I won't subject you to the video footage but the highlights had to be the renditions of 'Sweet Caroline', 'Living on a Prayer' and to see the whole bar na na na naaaa-ing to 'Hey Jude' at the end of the night. It truly was a night of joy and hopefully a monthly fixture. So make your way to the Lord Stanley in Camden next month to be part of the fun :)
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.