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Life Sci ready to go.



So here we are again, the Life Sciences Commit to Get Fit team. Slightly bigger this year with 12 members and really excited to be participating in the 'commit to get fit' challenge again. Welcome to all the teams involved we're certainly looking forward to some healthy competition, but equally some collaboration and joining together on fun and new activities.

Last year our team mainly concentrated on personal goals which we are doing again this year (separate blog post to follow) but we thought it important to work towards a team goal too, we wanted to choose something achievable that everyone could take part in. In the end we have decided to do a mileage challenge. It appears great minds do think alike as I have noticed some of the other teams have opted for a simillar challenge too.

The details of our challenge are as follows: we aim to cover the as the crow flies distance (red line) from Brighton to Venice, which comes in at 684 miles. Why Venice you ask? Well why not? Initially we thought of a traditional mileage route such as Land's End to John O'Groats but in reality by the end of the month I think we would all prefer to be in Venice sipping something cool at the canal side. Throughout the challenge we will be keeping a count of the miles covered. One of the hopes of this is to show people that you really do cover more than you think and those small distances do add up. It helps that we have a few keen runners and cyclists on our team, but this is really a group effort. We are keeping track of distances in a number of ways; using pedometers, plotting on google maps and an app called 'map my run'

Brighton to Venice

pedometerThe challenge officially started today and the majority of our team joined the annual boundary walk. The turnout this year surpassed previous year's, I'm awful at estimating numbers but I would say there were over one hundred people there. We all had a wonderful walk around the campus with the sun shining.

boundary walk 1 boundary walk 2

The walk really does showcase that Sussex is smack bang in the middle of nature. The boundary walk is just one route around campus but there are many shorter walks you can do. One I recommend is over towards Stanmer, there's also a tea shop there, just saying...

So day one over and we are 20 miles in our team challenge, though that does take us into the English channel, good job i'm going swimming tonight!

I feel like Julie Andrews



It became clear yesterday that the Commit to Get Fit challenge was getting serious when the office biscuits were replaced with a tub of tangerines. I have decided not to be down beat about this, and, in the positive spirit of Girl Power, will tell myself that I don't want biscuits...what I want, "what I really, really want", is a piece of fruit!

The Boundary Walk yesterday was also a great way to kick off my health regime - if I didn't feel like Julie Andrews surrounded by all those hills, I definitely should do today when I hope to be blithely cycling through the countryside.  If the DARO team would  join me in singing about our favourite things, it would be perfect! X



Commit to get fit Challenge - ITS Group - weeks 1 & 2



The ITS team consists of 13, we range from inactive couch potato(es) to very active people, but we've all committed to improve something.


We got off to a cracking start as one of our members, who will remain nameless, Gill Powell, harangued all staff in the building and gathered enough people to win the coveted “University of Sussex Boundary Walk Most Departmental Participants 2013”. With shouts and heckles from smaller departments we strode off for a thoroughly nice walk. I asked one member of ITS why they were doing it, “Gill was right in front of me, I just couldn’t say no” was the reply.


Group activities started with Wii Fit. With our BMIs and Wii Fit ages we booked ourselves in for Body Composition at the Sports Centre. 3 of us done and Terry runs out of sticky pads – so I’m afraid folks you’ll have to wait on our comparison.


Individually, we worked towards our goals in various ways such as buying tracksuit bottoms and gym kits. One of us went to a rave. One of us has now given up smoking, another has cut down. Other activities tried out are handball, running, boxercise, mountain biking, trampolining, horse riding, rowing, spin, headstands and tennis. 3 of us attended Terry’s interesting talk on Food.


Next week we have a table tennis tournament and a group spin class AND will Terry’s sticky pads arrive?

Stuart Sets the Ball Rolling

Commit to Schedule - Dealing with Injury, Illness and DOMS



What is great about Commit to Get Fit is that you get a bunch of team mates together, most of us don't know each other well and then you've got something to relate to other than work and like any relationship you then have a building block. The same is true at the additional classes. You can see people every lunch time heading for the sports centre and there's a fair chance they're commiting to get fit.


This year I'm trying to get a fitness programme together. I injured my knee nearly 4 years ago and it took over 3 years to get a diagnosis. Before my injury I used to run, not at any particular level but I enjoyed pounding the streets. However I always needed a goal, 10k here, 1/2 marathon there and one marathon. After that I tried a triathlon and really enjoyed it, despite not being a great swimmer. Shortly after that I injured my knee. After a few months out I needed something so I found Yoga and Spin. My knee got worse and the spin had to go. I saw an NHS physio, a chiropractor and got some suggestions from the Sussexsports team. I started Life Circuits twice a week and included some recovery exercises in that. I returned to the NHS and finally got referred to Orthopaedics, who then sent me back to my original physio who diagnosed me with quadriceps tendonitis.


Having a diagnosis means that I have some exercises that will help overcome the injury, or at least keep it at check. I does mean that I have to go to the gym once a week and extend my left quadricep. I've started running sporadiacally and go to spin lessons again. I haven't got a clue where my limit lies, this is something that I've decided to test. So the theory is let's aim for a 1/2 marathon and a beginners triathalon within a year. I've done two casual 5 milers this year and I've a 10K coming up in June. One thing is clear though, I won't make 10K without training.


So this year's CTGF is a weekly program of gym, outdoor run, indoor cycle, a 25 min swim and 1 or 2 yoga classes. I'll also be trying out Charleston and Bouldering as group activities.


Week 1

Thurs - Boundary Walk - CANCELLED due to ILLNESS

Sat - Swim - CANCELLED due to ILLNESS

Great start but unavoidable.


Week 2

Mon - Yoga - CANCELLED due to Bank Holiday

Tues - Life Circuits - Great class, team reps, good fun with a smigeon of competition

Weds - Run - Blowing a hoolie so I headed up to Falmer Sportscentre gym for the first time in about 9 years. Did 5K at pb speed? Lent forward in an attempt to start a change of running style. Calves are feeling it afterwards.

Thurs - Charleston - Really good fun and alot more energetic than I imagined it would be.

Fri - Spin - My legs are dead. I've no power in them at all but I give all I've got.

Sat - Swim - Enough is enough - CANCELLED due to DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) has kicked in. I need to rest or I'll injure myself.


Now I go into Week 3 with some thoughts. Where did I over do it? I certainly went for it a little hard running on the treadmill and the Charleston was more energetic that expected. I think I'll stick to the program, yoga, spin and life circuits are classes so I'll do as expected. I want to up my distance for running by 1k per week, so 6k this week at a normal pace, and a 25 min swim. The knee is a little sore as I start, but yoga and life circuits should help that.


I've also read Sports Physio Tom Groom's notes from last year.......hopefully they'll keep me in check.

Commit to Get Fit 2015 - It begins....



MPS Commit To Get Fit 2015!
Another year, another month full of fun and activity!

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