Month: May 2015

Training Diary 18-24 May 2015

Keeping track of the training I get up to, on and off skates. 

 

Thursday: A trip to Russia meant no training earlier on in the week, but I did manage to get to an after work spin class on Thursday. Turns out that the Thursday night instructor is INSANE! Really high intensity intervals with increments of resistance up and up and up for (what I consider) long tracks. Bloody heck. I certainly felt like I’d worked out after that!

Friday: Derby practice. This week I learned the hard way that skating barefoot is NOT a good idea. Forgot to bring any socks to practice and had to skate without. My feet got even more sweaty than usual and slipped about in my skates, rubbing in some areas and taking little bits of skin off – nice! On the plus side, it was a fun session. We tried hitting for the first time which I really enjoyed. I’ve never done contact sports, and to be honest I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t like the contact side of derby (how do you know?!), but it turns out I needn’t have worried. DEFINITELY looking forward to practising hits some more.

Sunday: Went bouldering (indoor climbing without ropes) for the first time in aaaages. Last year I was going with friends nearly every week, but since I started fresh meat roller derby has taken priority (both time-wise and money-wise). Really enjoyed it though, especially now that the weather’s warmer; I find climbing in the winter a bit of a bummer as your fingers and toes get so freakin’ cold! I tried to kind of… observe if my legs felt stronger from all the skating I’ve been doing. I felt fitter than last year overall, but I think my arms got fatigued just as fast as before (I guess squats don’t make your arms that beefy, huh?). It made me realise I miss bouldering though; I want to start squeezing in a few sessions a month from now on.

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New Kit!

Pay day this month meant I could FINALLY get myself some of the kit I’ve been needing. Top priority was some outdoor wheels – I managed to pick these up second-hand complete with bearings for £25. Bargain.

IMG_6465

Since I already have a red helmet and now red outdoor wheels, I figured I may as well stick with the red theme and got myself some red cushions (bushings). I’ve heard that changing your cushions is a good upgrade for rookies because it’s cheap (I paid £15.95 for a full set) and relatively easy to do, so I figured I’d go for it!
new kit

While I was in the shop (the awesome Double Threat Skates in King’s Cross, in case you’re interested), I also picked up some cheap toe guards (£10) which I figure will be particularly necessary now that I can skate outside. Can’t wait to update my skates!
new kit

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Training Diary 11-17 May 2015

Keeping track of the training I get up to, on and off skates. 

A late training diary this week, but with a good excuse! Jetting off to Russia at an ungodly hour last Saturday morning for a four-day, whirlwind trip left no time for blogging. BUT I did manage to fit in some exercise before all the vodka-drinking and dumpling-eating ensued…

Monday and Wednesday: Managed to squeeze in 2 spinning classes this week, both with my favourite instructor. Woo! These classes are at different times of day (straight after work at 5.30pm, and straight before work at 7.45am), which is only doable because the gym is right by my office. I do so much more exercise now I work somewhere with facilities that are easy to get to, and I feel really lucky to have them.

I can’t tell whether I prefer/perform better at the early morning or after work class; I definitely feel more alert all day at work when I’ve done a morning class, which is nice. Thinking about what (and when) to eat before a morning session is a bit harder though. To get as much sleep in as possible (top priority, obvs), I get up one hour before the class starts, throw on my gym clothes, snatch up my pre-packed bag and head out of the door toot sweet. Generally I have a snack on the train, such as a Trek bar or small fruit smoothie or just a travel mug of coffee. Reading around the interwebs, there seems to be some debate around whether ‘fasted cardio’ (i.e. exercising first thing on an empty stomach) is a good thing or a bad thing. I’m going to keep trying different things until I find what works best for me.

Friday: Back onto skates! This week we were back to basics, covering all the essential minimum skills techniques we’ve learned during our first few months: knee taps, double knee slides, falling small, t stops, plough stops, cross overs. We also had a few goes at accelerating from a standstill to complete one lap, and I managed to get my time down to 13 seconds which is about 1.5 seconds better than the last time I tried. All the rookies improved on their previous times which made for good moods all round (yey for small gains!). Our track is slightly smaller than regulation so I’m not quite there yet, but almost.

Plough stops were still my nemesis, but I did manage a couple of successful (if ungraceful) transition stops which had me falling on my ass A LOT the week before. Probably the most fun of the night was completing an obstacle course which included some toe stop footwork around cones, laterals, cross overs, and a two foot jump, all topped off with a transition stop. Good times!

Weekly posts about the training I get up to, on and off the track. 

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Kit Love: Strawberries and Scream Toe Guards

How bloody good are these toe guards from Etsy shop Strawberries and Scream? I’m in love. Wonder Woman! On your feet! (£23)

Strawberries and Scream skate toe covers

Glittery stuff! It’s a scientific fact that glitter improves everything, so why not your skates? (£22)

Strawberries and Scream skate toe covers

Pow! Bam! Seems like excellent roller derby advice to me. I adore these classic comic book exclamations. Available in a range of colours (£25).

Strawberries and Scream skate toe covers

Just look how awesome these Batman toe guards look on some skates. Just LOOK (£23).

Strawberries and Scream skate toe covers

Don’t have enough gold skulls in your life? Sort it out (£20).

Strawberries and Scream skate toe covers

Or, make like the the green guy and SMASH (£23).

Well, £20-25 for a pair of hand-stitched, made in the UK leather toe guards seems like a pretty good deal to me. These would make a great gift for the derby player in your life. I also spotted vegan ‘leather’ toe guards in the Strawberries and Scream shop, for those who prefer to avoid animal products. Roll on pay day…

Photos belong to Strawberries and Scream. 

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Training Diary 4-10 May 2015

Keeping track of the training I get up to, on and off skates. 

 

Wednesday: Went to my regular spin class after work. For me, how much I get out of a class is hugely related to how much I like the instructor – and I really rate the Wednesday instructor at the gym I go to. Just the right amount of enthusiasm, encouraging but not military-esque-shouty and excellent taste in music… Dreamy. I think I might need to work on my pre-workout snacking though; toward the end of the class I started to feel a little faint, even though I’ve been doing regular spinning for a few months now. I wonder if maybe it’s something to do with what I’m eating/drinking earlier in the day, and at what time. Or it could have been the cold I was getting over… we’ll see. I got into spinning to make my legs stronger for roller derby, and to improve my cardio fitness, and although I’m still finding the classes really tough I think I’m starting to see a difference.

Thursday: I planned to go to an open skate session in Dalston on Thursday, but after voting post-work the journey across town felt like too much of a slog. I still felt like doing some exercise though, so I did this 20 minute interval workout followed by some stuff in my skates – balancing on one foot, squats (in my carpeted flat it’s hard to do much else!). I’ll probably do this video again – it felt like a good, intense workout with plenty of stuff to train skating muscles – squats, lunges, planks. I was knackered after 20 minutes!

Friday: Actual derby training night! I was so looking forward to this as I hadn’t had any real time on my skates since the Friday before. This was my eighth practice since starting rookie training, and I feel like I’m starting to see some improvements. Knee taps are WAY more manageable than two months ago – I feel like now I can lightly touch down and then keep on skating without really breaking stride, which is a MILLION MILES away from where I started. On the other hand, I had a complete mental block with transition stops. It just wasn’t happening. I definitely need to get more confident with transitions in general, and get comfortable with being up on my toe stops which we haven’t practised much yet. My 5 minute laps time improved – 23 up from 20 when back in March (we practice on a track that’s slightly smaller than regulation, so will need to do 30 laps in 5 minutes to pass our minimum skills). Not a huge amount of extra laps, but how I felt after was SO different. Two months ago I finished the 5 minutes beet-red and gasping for breath. This time it was still hard but I didn’t feel like I was going to be sick, which I figure is a Good Sign. We also spent some time in the session doing one-on-one blocking and practising whips which was all super fun. Now that we’re starting to do stuff with actual contact, I find that I’m enjoying practice more and more. Roll on next week!

 

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Bout Review: Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club vs London Rockin’ Rollers Allstars 9th May

Disclaimer: These ’bout reviews’ are written by a roller derby novice who… really doesn’t know what she’s talking about yet. But I’m trying to learn!

On Saturday I dragged a few friends to a bout hosted by London Rockin’ Rollers Allstars over in Newham: Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club, followed by Roller Derby Metz Club vs London Rockin’ Rollers. Yup, you read that right – the RDMC team played in both matches!

Formed in September 2013, Team Crazy Legs is  is a group of roller derby skaters from across the UK affected by mental or chronic illness. Currently ranked 55th in Europe, Roller Derby Metz Club hail from Metz in northern France.  The London Rockin’ Rollers were of course the hosting team, currently 14th in the UKRDA rankings and 26th in Europe. 

Up first was TCL vs RDMC. According to the bout flyer, TCL had 13 players with them – although with Okami-Kaze off the track due to injury, they ended up with just 12. Having fewer players to field seemed to take its toll on the team, and RDMC were able to dominate for most of the game. The score at the end of the first half was 131 RDMC – 24 TCL and, although TCL managed to add a few points to their score in the second half, RDMC went on to widen the gap, finishing the game on 321 to TCL’s 45. It’s worth mentioning, as the commentators did, that TCL is a challenge team and as such doesn’t get to practice together very often. Here’s some snaps of the game:

Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby BlogTeam Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog Team Crazy Legs vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog IMG_6053 IMG_6054 IMG_6056 IMG_6060

TCL vs RDMC

TCL vs RDMC

Up second was Roller Derby Metz Club (again!) vs London Rockin’ Rollers Allstars. LRR had three skaters playing their last competitive match before retirement – Flash Bang Wallop, Betty Swallox and Robscene – which I imagine added some poignancy to the game for the whole team. Despite being on their second match of the day, RDMC managed to put up a good fight and the crowd got to see some past-paced play.

By half time, LRR had extended their early lead with a score of 126 to RDMC’s 41. RDMC managed to rack up some more points in the second half, with Général Moulinator snagging lead jammer aplenty, but LRR comfortably kept their lead with Rammit seemingly unstoppable every time she was up to jam. Watching these two as a rookie made for really inspiring stuff. Just… wow.

Despite two LRR players fouling out within the last few minutes of the game, the final score was LRR 191 – 114 RDMC… until it wasn’t! The decision was taken to have one final jam, with the *final* final unofficial score being LRR 191 – 123 RDMC. Here’s a few pictures from the game…

London Rockin' Rollers vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog London Rockin' Rollers vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog London Rockin' Rollers vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog London Rockin' Rollers vs Roller Derby Metz Club: Hell Yeah Roller Derby Blog IMG_6108IMG_6118

RDMC vs LRR

For a blow by blow of both games, check out the London Rockin’ Rollers twitter feed.

 

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