Obstacle Course Race Training : Greenwood Park (Boundary Lap)

“Hi everyone, gonna do 1 more week at Greenwood Park this Sunday – will mix it up a bit – running a longer lap before some goalposts and playground action – repeat
Meet at 7:20 for 7:30 start”

You can read about the first session at Greenwood Park here.

You can read about the Greenwood Park circuit here.

You can read about the Greenwood Park pyramid here.

Reading those blogs will fill in the gaps from this one, which built on those previous three sessions.

Coach Tony Leary had spoken, and we were going back to Greenwood Park for my fourth time, which I did not have an issue with at all because I had really enjoyed what we had been doing there these last few weeks.  Once again I was very fortunate to get a lift from Rebecca Cohen, who picked me up at 0700, on a very mild, dry morning.  Which was nice, because it had clearly rained overnight.  I brought my gloves with me, just in case, and in the end did not wear them.  Ray was back !  After a few weeks’ absence, it was good to see Ray Fletcher already parked up in the car park as we arrived, and Steven Lamb was also already here.  Tony arrived just after us, and then Robert Boarder.  We carried the jerry cans, the beer keg and the heavy sandbag over to the other side of the big red climbing frame, ready for the carries in the circuit, and as we left the playground to get started on our warm up run, I saw a new sign which seems to indicate that not everyone is happy to see us here.

Get orf my climbing frame

Anyway, we set off on a long boundary run, following the path of the North Orbital Road before turning left at the corner of the park.  The ground was firm, not too wet or muddy or slippery, although some care was needed with footing in places.  At the top of the hill we turned left again, with Tony, Robert, Ray and Steven adding in an extra loop, while Rebecca and I headed straight on, following the track which would take us to the woods.  By this point we had naturally split into distinct groups – Tony and Robert, Ray and Steven, Rebecca, and then me.  Tony and Robert went past me after the extra loop and headed off to the woods, with Rebecca following them.  Ray and Steven went past me as we got closer to the woods, with some great encouragement for me from Steven as they did so, but they could not have seen where the others had gone because they began to head towards a track leading off to the right.  I called to them to carry straight on into the woods, and as they did that they appeared determined to turn right on entering, so I called to them that we turn left and follow that path, and potential disaster was averted.  Anyone who wishes to claim that this is organised has obviously never run with us.  We followed the track round to a part near the other side of the wood where we could run down into dips and then struggle up the other side.  I was very thankful for the roots of a fallen tree, which gave me something to pull myself up by.  Then we followed the track again before coming out on to the football pitches, running across them back to the playground.  We had covered 3 kilometres already.

Goalpost rope traverse

The plan now was to do one circuit of the obstacles, then run 4, 3, 2 and 1 laps, doing the rope traverse on the goalposts on the final lap of each run before going through the circuit.  We would go up the front of the big red rope climbing frame on this lap, and the challenge on further laps was to climb up the underside of the rope until the first level. 

That’s where all the carry items got to…

All the carry items had gone by the time I got to the other side of the climbing frame, so I was forced to just run up and down the slope unweighted.  We continued round the lap and gathered on the other side of the last goalpost, after going over the top of it.  Rebecca had picked up something of a strain, though she did not know from where, and in the following speculation I suggested it might have been from the sprints at the end of the bootcamp circuits session on Wednesday.  Tony made a comment about touching the far wall on the sprints, so I reminded him that I beat him on the final sprint, probably because of the extra momentum I gained from pushing off at that far end.  Tony tried to push me over from my squat position.  And lost for the second time this week.  Robert confirmed I had won the sprint, then added, “Although I gave him a huge head start, which he mostly gave away.”  Who needs friends, eh…

Then we were off, doing our 4 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps and 1 lap, with the obstacle circuit after each run.  I had been pleased to keep running through the warm up lap, and now my target was to run as many and as much of these laps as possible.  I can feel my running coming back together and sessions like these will only help.  I got to the ropes as I came to the end of my fourth lap, and tried just holding a position with the J-lock on each.  I really need to work on it because it kept slipping.  I cannot help but think that is because I cannot hold my leading leg in a bent position while hanging from the rope.  My current Road2Worlds training will help with that. 

Unconscious Competence on the Bridge Of Doom

There are areas of progress over the last few weeks – I can now climb through a picnic table without touching the ground, so I am looking forward to that obstacle at Nuclear Oblivion; I am also able to traverse across the swings. 

Ray shows how to climb on the top of the big red rope climbing frame

In between those obstacles, on this circuit lap I stuck with climbing on the top of the climbing frame, rather than underneath it, and carried the sandbag up and over the slope and back. 

Rebecca does it properly

I was definitely slower on the 3 laps.  It is interesting just how much doing the obstacles takes it out of you before you set off running again.  I tried hanging by my hands from two ropes this time, which was as successful as I suspect you are thinking it might have been.  I carried the jerry cans up and over the slope this time, and really struggled with fatigue on the goalpost traverse. 

And here is how you do the goalpost traverse

I got good encouragement from everybody as they passed me on the 2 laps and that really helped me to keep going.  When I got to the ropes this time I tried holding on to the first while trying to fix the J-lock on the second.  I just keep sliding down so my feet touch the floor.  Definitely something to work on.  I carried the beer keg this time, and it always feels heavier than the other objects.  Everyone else had finished, so I decided to run the final lap while everything was tidied up and taken back to the cars.  It had been another tough session.  I had covered 8.72 kilometres and Robert had covered 9.68 kilometres, with everyone else somewhere in between.  Still, we had bacon rolls from Rebecca to look forward to !

The finishers of Tough Greenwood Oblivion 2018

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