Thursday, 10 April 2014

Lauren Bradshaw April Update

Spring is here finally! So a lot has happened since my last posting back in January. First of all I turned the big 30 and was fortunate enough to have multiple celebrations with family and friends which included a posh afternoon tea at the Savoy in London! (Far too much indulgence!) However, birthday week I developed the nasty cough/flu bug much like many of you reading this may have also developed as it seemed to be quite prevalent amongst my patient population and it completely wiped me out from work and indeed my training.
 
So despite aiming for a PB at the Cambridge Half Marathon unfortunately it was not to be – my heart rate was still far too high and technically I shouldn’t have ran but me being me wanted to push myself and after the first 3 miles felt awful and did not think I would complete the race. I did however manage to finish in a not so impressive time of 1.37 (personally disappointed after having such great training post-Christmas) and subsequently still have the 1 hr 30 to beat (I will do it!) The event was terrific and the weather was absolutely gorgeous – I think most of Cambridge came out on the streets to support the competitors and I was very thankful for the personal cheering I received from my friends and family – it’s amazing what a boost it can give you.

My story only goes from bad to worse however as I the ended up in hospital the following Tuesday and unfortunately had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst – that would explain another level of why I had been feeling so unwell. Another two weeks off from training was really hard to take but I felt really so unwell that I knew it was necessary rest and as most athletes may empathise, it was like pulling teeth! As I started to pick up a little I had a slight concern that I had a Cycling training Camp coming up at the end of my 2 weeks rest. I decided that I would pack my bike and all my kit and head out to Mallorca with Cambridge Triathlon and Cycling Club and just see how I felt. I am pleased to report that with a sensible start of weaning my way in easily I managed to ride everyday an average of 75-80 miles and progressed from strength to strength each and every day finishing with a 100 miler along the North West Coastal road that was full of challenging ascents and descents and forceful winds! I managed to squeeze in a few runs off the bike (otherwise known as a brick session) but my running (despite being my strength) is really not up to par at the moment and has taken the greatest strain from the illnesses I have had. I have however had the chance to really improve my bike strength and know that my running will come back to being what it was, I just need time.
 
So this last weekend I decided with one week to go until the European Duathlon Championships in Horst that I really needed to get a race under my belt and entered Diss Duathlon. Despite as I previously mentioned not running at my best and still not quite feeling a 100% managed to win my age group and finished 4th female overall. So I have to take the positives of that race and move forwards to Holland where I will be competing for GB in the Female Sprint race on Sunday April 13th. I know it has not been the perfect preparation for such an important race but I feel that I am starting to get my mojo back and will target the World Championships at the end of May as the race to peak for.
 
On another note, I was extremely honoured to speak at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Monday 7th April at a conference for Aesthetic Performers and Athletes. I spoke about the uses of Performance profiling for rehabilitation specialists and how I as an ex ice dancer used profiling regularly to help achieve personal goals and achievements. The conference was extremely interesting covering topics from nutrition to strength and conditioning and bone health in sports such as dancing, gymnastics and diving. I hope that more opportunities arise in the future to discuss Performance profiling as it is the foundation of my current Masters dissertation and I am extremely passionate about helping our athletes maximise their performance.


All in all turning 30 hasn’t been so nice to me but I will keep on striving to stay fit and healthy and get my race face back on!