Friday, 21 August 2009

Summer Trainings...

So the weekly blog ideo sort of got lost over summer...
I had a very very busy time over summer with constant coaching, training and working pretty much nonstop.
I did get a little holiday for a week in italy which was great and my other coaches did a fantastic job of covering classes for me.

I've been sort of plagued with minor injuries all summer which has been a bit annoying for my technical progress but ive accepted that injury is part of training and found ways round it.

I think a little round up of my training and progression over summer is a good way to look at where I got next with my training.

Technical Training.

Over Summer I've been working loads on touch and light movement. I've had pretty much constant injuries around my feet/ankles so it's been low impact all the way.
Ive learned loads about being very precise and controlled in my movement which is at the core of all of training, even conditioning excercises.
When ive been free of injury, I've seen my jump getting bigger and more confident which is great, but i wish I could have progressed more. Injuries make me sad...

I think ive started to move a lot stronger and faster also, big routes are feeling very seamless and fast which is nice.

Overall my technical progress has been ok but I hope to progress a lot more during winte when my foor completely heals.

Strength Training.
After experimenting with a month of no conditioning and ending up with aches and pains, and also really missing it, ive been working very very hard physically.

Big conditioning sessions, loads of quadrupedie and even on my 'play' days ive been slipping in some good hard work.
Strength work is a very big part of Parkour - it's not all about the movement and it's something that can always be worked on no matter what injuries or aches you have. In a way i think conditioning and strength work encapsulates the spirit of Parkour more than any other aspects. It requires discipline, focus, serious work and a strive to improve and push one's limits.
I wish that more traceurs would see this. I tend to think that without conditioning/quadrupedie you arent really practicing parkour at all. If you just move you are only training one aspect of the discipline.

so i'm feeling very good about my strength but have some new targets set for the next few months, particularly working my legs while my foor is injured.

My summer of coaching has been a massive massive learning experience with loads of workshops over many different environments and people.
Im also coaching at Rendezvous IV next week. It's a massive honour to be asked to help out there, and it's also going to be a really interesting challenge to work with practitioners who are miles ahead of me in terms of experience.
Im reallylooking forward to it and feeling the buzz about all my coaching and classes at the moment.

It's been a good summer overall, just need to keep working and keep my head down.

Glasgow Parkour Coaching Year 1

What a summer.
As everyone probably knows im trying really hard to grow Glasgow Parkour Coaching as an organisation. I try to improve on my coaching and GPC's standards and reputation every day.
It's important to me that Parkour is passed on in the right way and I think have access to the right resources and a growing number of contacts and channels to make this happen. It's important that Parkour gives people a positive and healthy attitude towards leading their lives and I try to convey that through my coaching and through GPC.

It's really exciting and busy times - sorry I've not been out much.

This time last year I had 2 adult classes a week which were pretty dead and I was coaching myself.

Fast forward to this summer and we have 3 Adult Classes which are almost full, a permanent youth academy and at least one workshop happening pretty much every day. This included a week-long residency in Dundee as well as classes in North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire, Iverclyde, Stirling, Larkhall, Bellshill and all over Glasgow. On one day we had 4 classes and 6 coaches working at once!
As Summer ends we have a few weeks rest before another busy school season this winter.

My other coaches and upcoming coaches push so so hard and work very very hard to try and maintain the impossible standards I expect of them and I appreciate it no end. You will get what you deserve from this.

From a personal point of view, my trips to London are more exciting everytime. I've had the chance to teach classes all over London for as many as 70 people at once which is crazy, and I've been trusted by ParkourGenerations to do this. That means a lot to me - these guys have been around since the beginning and I have no doubt in the sincerity of their intentions and that the path they are taking is the correct one. On top of that I had the absolutely gruelling chance to sit ADAPT and become the only qualified coach in this country for the moment which has opened so many doors.
I can't wait until this grows and more people have the qualification.

Our team training is the highlight of my week, and seeing the newer and younger guys step up and run a class is amazing. I feel very privileged to be part of this group I've created and with millions of prospects on the horizon I think it's going to reach a whole new level. The pressure is on and I plan to rise to it.

I want everyone, especially young people who dont have many priviledges, to have free access to what we're doing and I want my guys to get the excitement I do with every new project.

If any of you have given me the 'oh id love to try your class' chat then i assure you now is the time to do it.

It's looking like good times for GPC, but i'm never forgetting to look back at the work it took to get here and look forward to the constant and growing work ahead. The day I start counting on this always working is the day I quit.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The quiet week and this week (18-31/05)

So I almost completely rested up last week, hence the fact that I never posted.
I had some coaching and meetings, and the week before my ankle rehabilitation was going really well, so i decided to rest from pretty much all movement and just focus on doing ankle excercises every day.
On top of that, i've been working on my muscle up progression to build strength - Im doing 110 muscle-ups during a session, and I'm increasing the number of reps in each set - first time i did sets of 3(with dead hang between each one) up to 110 and last week i did it in 5's.

Im going to try and do one of these sessions every week until I can do it in sets of 10. muscle ups are a pretty complete upper body and core exercise, as well as a really essential and useful movement. On top of that I can see the difference in my Climbups.
I would recommend anyone to learn them, and then use them for conditioning.
I had some really magical coaching sessions last week and have been working my warm ups so those feelings of being stuck' are now gone which is great.

This week
I went out today with Omercan adn Zeno and had a play session to see how I felt. My jump is almost 100% back and I think I've got lighter, faster and more powerful with all the focused leg conditioning during my ankle recovery.
I broke a few new jumps today, and got some back that used to be on my limit. They now feel a lot easier which is great.
The session today developed into focusing on routes which use these bigger jumps and powerful movements - all that small route and 'touch' training has really paid off and this week I'm going to focus on transferring that into much longer, bigger and more physically demanding routes.
I'm trying to focus on routes which use my techniques to their capacity distance and powerwise, and try to keep moving without hesitation. This should also be a good test of wether my Cardio has improved.

We shall see...........

Monday, 11 May 2009

This week - 11/05 to 18/05

Last week's training went relatively close to what i'd planned -
two sessions of training in on most days, a light and a heavy one.
Ed was down visiting from Forres so it was nice to have some company on some of my training sessions which would usually be solo.

This was one of the wettest weeks of training in a long, long time to that affected things a little, but I stuck at it through the torrential rain.

I started the week with some heavy upper body sessions - the wall at charing x, dynos and quadrupedie. i didn't really work on handstands or traversing as I had planned so ill add that in this week.
My focus ended up swaying more towards doing more touch exercises and some little precisions - i almost stuck to my promise of not jumping - i did a few but not too many.
Another good week.

This week
Im starting to get quite stressd about the inflexibility of my injured ankle, so im really going to focus this week on rehabilitation. Im going to go back down to one session a day for most of the week and try to stay off my ankle a lot more as far as doing running, routes, jumps etc. Just have a lighter week overall but really focus on low-impact ankle exercises.

My training is going to consist of balance, quadrupedie and strength and flexibilty excercises. Im going to try and end every session with at least 20 minutes of flexiblity and isometric strength excercises to really really start working the ankle back to where it should be.
It should be better than it is by now, and although I've been strengthening it, I've also been using a lot and that could be detrimental.

On top of that, I'm going to do some more upper work - mainly traversing and handstands as I had intended to last week - it will be good to improve in these areas and also maintain my strength.

I'm also feeling a little bit out of touch with my coaching at the moment - since im not teaching as much just now I feel like I've lost a bit of the natural rhythm and natural feeling of my warm ups - it just doesnt feel easy at the moment and at times im having to thinka bout the next exercise for my class instead of everything shifting smoothly from one to the next.

I'm going to make sure that when I warm up every day I do a solid half hour of what I would do with a class.
I'm going to try and do a different 'style' every day and make sure i push it.I plan to identify the warm-up exercises I've fallen behind on and make sure I get them back to being comfortable and easy.
As a coach I have to feel really comfortable with all my exercises and it's really easy to lose that. I need to make sure i mantain it when i'm not coaching as much as it could effect my work and my students.
It's interesting having this whole other thing to train for and be conscious of other than my own progression.

I'm heading to the uni right now to get started :)

Monday, 4 May 2009

Training - last week and this week

So last week's plan went quite well - I managed to get two training sessions in on most days, the lonely sessions mainly consisting of running and touch exercises.
Within a fgew days my touch really improved and has started to become quite natural. it feels good to perform a route and realise that you didnt hear anything during it.
I would liked to have done a little more and there was two days where i felt a bit lazy - it's important for me to be honest with myself about this I think.

Had a great session at some old ruins on Wednesday with Omercan - I think my jump distance has actually increased even though ive not been able to take any big jumps or impacts. I've been running and doing loads of squats and isometric strength exercises for my ankles for weeks - hopefully when my confidence comes back and my injuries heal ill be able to really see the benefit.

My bad ankle got a bit of a twinge on thursday, so I'm sticking mainly to Upper body this week, as I did towards the end of last week after it happened.
I'm trying so hard to let these injuries heal and still find ways to improve, work and play every day. it's nae easy!
We also had the first Glasgow Parkour Coaching Team Training session this week. It's going to be a weekly occurance from now - it's great for us all to train together as a group and for each other - our busy and different lifestyles dont permit much time for us all to hang out.

This week's training - 4/5 to 10/5
My first session today went from a quick play into a pretty heavy upper body session - we found this great place to do some lombar traversing and did a few sets. It was sore.....My shoulders are screaming as I type..!

Im going to try and stick to the same rough format as last week - first session of the week is to play, see how my body feels and do some rough planning for my week once i see how I feel.(which went out the window a little today..)

After feeling how my foot feels today today, I think im going to have to go totally cold turkey on the ankle and foot just to let them settle - I got a bit ahead of myself last week I think as it started to feel better, and then jarred my ankle.

Im going to work on upper body conditioning and movements - traversing(all kinds..), muscle-ups, handstands and anything else I can think of. Hopefully i'll get creative with parts of the uni I've not used for upper conditioning before. I can feel that my traps are a bit of a 'weak link' in my muscle chain so loads of handstands and lombar traversing should clean that up.

I'll keep sticking to finishing my sessions with big sets of squats and calf raises(it's all i can do safely!) to maintain and build leg strength and maybe try some running later in the week. Nothing too hard, just enough to keep my level and slowly build it as I wait for my injuries to heal.

and for this whole week - I MUST NOT JUMP.

we shall see how it all goes.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

This weeks training.

Following the fact that i have a couple of niggling foot/ankle injuries i've had to restrain myself from working on jump distance and 'big' and 'scary' stuff which is disappointing as i feel i've let this slip a little the last few months.
i'll need to get back to it, but injury recovery must take priority.

As I started my weeks training yesterday I felt fresh all over my whole body which was nice. I've decided this week to focus on training touch stealth and silence over different routes of varying difficulty. This low-impact approach lends itself well to my injury recovery and is also a massive asspect of movement.

To try and train instinct, I'm also going to always train a whole route - if there's a certain aspect or movement in a route which i can't get right i'm not going to stop and focus on that one part - I must work it out as I go over the whole route.

As the week goes on I'm going to increase the intensity and difficulty of the routes, and also add some conditioning elements into training to make sure that I am maintaining and improving my strength.]

I think this approach is going to be beneficial this week - obviously ill have to listen to my body and see how it works out.....

Lifestyle and Routine Changes

The past week in London has allowed me to get into a routine to improve my training, diet and sleeping habits which i think have been detrimental to my training in the last few months.
With loads of coaching and training, it's easy to get into the habit of naps, coffees,snacks and and energy drinks as the daily routine. I've slowly felt myself get more lethargic and demotivated over the last few months as I've obviously been working very hard and let this sporadic diet and sleeping become my routine.

Every day in London last week was pretty much the same - up early, good breakfast, training, light lunch and a break, then teach afternoon and train night or vice versa.
This allowed me to fit in two training sessions a day, get some business work done, teach and still be done by 9 or 10 at night so I could get a big meal and catch up with friends if i like for a dance.
I decided to totally kill the caffeine during the London week and have had no Starbucks or energy drinks at all, favouring natural bars or fruit/fruit juice for snacks as well as having a light but nutritious lunch such as some sushi or some chicken piences and a vitamin shake. I've also been very consciously drinking 2-3 litres of water everyday.
I feel so much better.

Now my lifestyle in Glasgow is slightly different - I like to go out at least one night a week(although have curbed the drinking!) and have to spend at least a couple of hours a day on emails/paperwork and webstuff.

I'm going to try and mantain a similar routine - times arent exact obviously but they give me a rough way to weigh up my day.

9/10am - up earlyish for breakfast and business work/emails/calls etc.
12pm - light training(probably solo most days)
2pm - lunch and another bit of business work
4pm - either afternoon teaching or training session
7pm - either evening teaching or training session
9pm - finish trainig for the day, eat and possibly go socialise or have a night in.

It's likely that because of my training mates' other commitments that I'll be training solo at some point every day. this is something I want to get more used to and it allows me to fit some really focused training in. i find when training alone it helps me to set very specific targets to finish so that i dont get bored or distracted.

If I can roughly keep this routine most days, I think my training, sleep and general mood will lift as it has in London the past week.