New year, time to start planning for…
Well it’s Jan 1, 2009. Time to start planning for the two big personal goals for the year; completing the OXFAM Trailwalk with the teams from Ultimate and passing my Black Belt Grading in June.
Preparation for the OXFAM Trailwalk
Late last year Fiona was drumming up interest for some teams at Ultimate to compete in the OXFAM Trailwalk to be held late in March. I knew a mate of mine Jason had done it for a few years when he was on fulltime duty with the Regular Army and it was fairly gruelling, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. But I like walking, so I volunteered.
In the trailing weeks of 2008 we had a few meetings to talk about training, fundraising and other stuff. We ended up with three teams called Ultimate Wlaking Warriors Ichi (team 480), Ni (team 481) and my team Sun (team 525). Having three teams meant we could pool resources and get more out of training and the walk itself.
Fiona has planned an extensive training regime that involves walks on most Sundays in Jan-Mar of increasing length and challenge (including night walks). These will be on the actual trail so we get some familiarity with the trail, esp. as we have to do part of it at night.
Today I started investigating gear. I had originally thought that what I had would be ok, but reading the docs provided by Oxfam and other blogs/websites, there’s a lot of focus on shoes and socks with blisters being the #1 cause of problems. So I’ll be off looking at those tomorrow. Luckily there’s a recommended running shoe shop here in Heathmont (Active Feet) that work out what sort of shoes you need. Plus I’ll need a decent day pack with bladder. Might go looking on Sat, or leave it till after the weekend.
Preparation for Black Belt Grading
I’m currently on the candidate list to do my Black Belt (Shodan Ho) grading in June. The Black Belt grading in Bushidokan involves five parts:
- 10-week consolidated training program leading up to the grading week,
- the sparring night (normally a Tuesday night for a few hours) where you do roughly ten rounds of sparring, some one-on-one, some multiple-on-one and some from standing to ground,
- the technical grading (normally a Friday night for 4-5 hours) where you demonstrate every technique you’ve been taught,
- the conditioning test (normally a Saturday afternoon) where your stamina is tested, and
- the Graduation, which contains the last part of the testing and presentations.
It’s a fairly daunting activity and not a day goes by where I don’t think of it. At the moment it’s a mix of dread (can I do this, will I be fit enough…) and dismissiveness (I’m not going to focus on it, it’s months away…). I’m sure it will continue to dwell as the weeks go by and the date draws closer.
I know there are three areas I need to focus:
- My fitness, particularly my endurance, stamina and cardio. This is why the Oxfalm Trailwalk seemed a good idea. We’ll complete this about 10 weeks out from the BB Grading so I should be at a good level from a endurance/stamina level. I just need to focus on cardi (and a bit of strength) in parallel (got to get up to 80 pushups and 80 situps a day).
- Sparring – my nemisis. I’ve never been good at it and I don’t particularly enjoy it. I know some folks love it, but I prefer the more technical aspects of martial arts. I plan to start doing some of the Thai kickboxing classes to get my sparring up.
- Everything else. I was hoping to have all the technical content sorted by EOY 2008 so 2009 would be all about polish, and automatic reaction where required (locks, escapes, takedowns etc.). Well that didn’t happen, so we’ve still got a few things to learn in the new year.
Training starts back next week, so the focus will be on.