Watching the athletes on the track at the Olympic Games was a real highlight. The power, speed and strength displayed by the runners was awe-inspiring to watch. It got me wondering how fast I could run 800m. It’s been a long time since I did any speed work and I’m more of a plodder, so I’m sure David Rudisha’s record is safe!
Inspired by the Olympic Games, QHotels devised their own ‘Go for Gold’ gym challenge. The chain of health clubs invited members of the public to test their fitness by taking part in one of three events- 800m on a treadmill, 1000m on a bike or 2000m on a rowing machine. Results were monitored and logged by individual health clubs based on the age and gender of each competitor. With a complimentary three month membership as the prize, there’s plenty of reason to push for a PB. I was invited down to Bridgewood Manor in Chatham, Kent to have a go at the running challenge myself.
After spending some time warming up in the gym, I hopped on the treadmill overseen by gym manager Jo. Powering the treadmill up and launching into a sprint, I knew this run would be short but intense. Conscious of not going off too fast, I set the speed at 11 then gradually increased after each 20 metres. Glen commented that this was the only time he has seen me not smiling whilst running which shows how hard I was working. Gasping for air, I completed my 800m in 4:22. I was relieved to hit stop when the display showed 0.80m, in fact I cleared the data too quickly before Jo could note down my calorie expenditure!
Glen took a different approach and let the treadmill get up to speed before jumping on to start his run. I’d be too scared off flying off the end which is why I didn’t attempt this method! He finished in 3:50 although he actually did 1000m, just to show off!
Whilst small, the gym at Bridgewood Manor is well equipped with everything you need for a workout. We had the use of cross-trainers, bikes, steppers, rowers, free weights and weight machines. I tend to train outdoors these days, so it made a change to be back in a gym environment. The lack of floor space might be an issue during busier periods, but on Saturday morning Glen and I had the place to ourselves.
We also had a chance to unwind in the pool, steam room and sauna during our visit. I must admit the facilities are a little dated and cramped compared to other spas, but the ambience was just as relaxing and peaceful. I heard a few guests commenting on the pool being cold, but as an open-water swimmer I had no problem with the water temperature! I made a beeline for the heated loungers to recline with my book and doze off.
Feeling refreshed, we were seated in the the hotel restaurant for lunch. I’d gone for a healthy option with ham and egg salad followed by fruit, while Glen had chosen a salt beef sandwich and chocolate brownie. Unfortunately I have no photos of the food as it was all eaten too quickly!
My visit to Bridgewood Manor was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.
What was your favourite moment at the Olympics? Have you taken part in any Olympics-inspired challenges?