For many years I have been a fan of the popular chocolate recovery shake and when I was told by my accountant that I was spending a lot of money on their milkshakes, I plucked up the courage to contact them and see if they were after an ambassador…to my surprise they said “yes”.
I’ve been involved with For Goodness Shakes (in case you couldn’t guess from the title) ever since, attending sales events, fitness events and recently training their buyers for obstacle races then participating alongside them to offer on course advice on how to best conquer each obstacle.
In case you didn’t already now, I’ve been a personal trainer of 13 years and worked for the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training Instructor (and Parachute Jumping Instructor) for 10 years before that, participating in my first OCR (Obstacle Course Race) in 2008. I have completed many more since at various levels and have recently made a name for myself as an obstacle race MC, hosting the European OCR Championships twice and in two weeks time I’ll be mic’d up at the finish line of the OCR World Championships…so you can say I have a bit of experience!
So last year, I trained some of the staff from Waitrose Headquarters in Bracknell to complete a Tough Mudder which they all enjoyed and had a great time. This year though, we have decided to raise the bar and are upping their game.
Toby Hook, National Account Manager for ‘For Goodness Shakes’ told me, “We have, in some guise, taken retailers to events for a few years now. In the recent history we have focused on OCR events. As a brand that celebrates and champions a healthy, feel good lifestyle, we thought these were a great fit. OCR events and FGS both encourage everyday people to achieve something they previously may not have thought possible for them. We decided on Tough Mudder last year for Waitrose as we wanted to actively facilitate them achieving something great as a team… it also helped our relationship with them which is no bad thing 😊.”
He continues, “Following on from the success of last year and the great feedback, we thought it only right that we go bigger and better this year. FGS chose Spartan race as it is even more challenging than Tough Mudder and hopefully will give the team an even greater feeling once they succeed. I didn’t expect them to go for the Beast but I’m glad they have as they have really shown great spirit in training for the event, I’m sure much of this spirit is coming from the feeling those that were there last year had from completing their last OCR event…Bring it on!”
So we arranged a few ‘Spartan themed’ sessions for me to meet Team Waitrose down in Bracknell and we carried out their training. Initially I taught them easy home workouts as well as running tips to get their overall run fitness up for when I’m not with them. I’d finish with a 30-40 minute circuit concentrating on them using their body weight for resistance work and adding in the odd burpee or 30! It was all based around team work so one partner would workout as the other counted and motivated then I had them exercising whilst their partner did various shuttles before tagging them to swap. Because some of them were survivors from last year, they were great at motivating each others to get the training in and progress during my sessions and also at work.
I also advised them on clothing for the day with the biggest piece of advice I give to new OCR participants is to invest in a pair of trial trainers. Grip when it’s wet and muddy and you’re tired and fatigued is so important as it really does help keep you going as well as it keeping your spirits up. It’s funny initially slipping and sliding but when you’re knackered you can soon lose all motivation very quickly. As a brand ambassador for Saucony, I of course, recommend the Peregrine model (left) but am also huge fan of the Koa ST (right)…it’s like they’ve got tractor tread on them and are very comfy too!
I didn’t see them for a couple of months, mainly because I was on ‘The Run of Gratitude’ where I ran 585 miles in 17 days from my house to my girlfriends in aid of mental health awareness and raising over £11,000 for Mind Charity. If you want to read about that, then please click here.
When I returned, Toby called me to see if I was up for one more session to give them a final boost of motivation…I was so I came with a killer burpee bias workout and afterwards, I was there to answer any last minute questions that they may have…and they did. It was the usual worries about monkey bars and rope climbs but as I informed them, they will have 4 members from FGS as well as myself and I can probably rope in 9pardon the pun) other members of the OCR community that I know to help coach them whilst out on the course, however they are on their own when it comes to the ‘failed your obstacle now give me 30’ burpees! 😉
So the last time I saw them was on the 24th September and that was also the last time I have heard from them, so I’m hoping that they are all ready and raring to go this Saturday 6th October at 1115am. Toby has informed me that we are all ready to go and will meet at 9.30am this Saturday.
To find out how they get on, please subscribe to my blog and I’ll post a follow up of their attempt at the Beast as well as how I get on with my 2nd Trifecta (last one was done in 2014) which is completing the Sprint and Super as well as the Beast races in on calendar year, me? I’m doing the other two races the next day…AROO! AROO! AROO!
If you’re interested in signing up to a Spartan Race then please click the link here.