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Over the next few weeks we will be featuring the fitness journeys of some of our players and how they have coped during lockdown, focusing on what changed from their normal training routine, the highs and lows and as we ease out of lock down what their plans are.

We kick off with Sarah Hart our 3rd team goalie and her charity run:

Lockdown has been a really stressful time for me. I work as a NHS surgeon and the hours have been long and altogether harder than pre-covid times. Being able to do something that distracts me from work has been very important for my mental health as well as my physical health.

Out of the hockey season I'm normally a cyclist, mile munching the country roads. My husband was furloughed and during the week has been a dad and teacher to our 6 year old as well as being homemaker, whilst doing some volunteer work for the hospital. I didn't think it'd be fair for me to be disappearing for 2-3 hours at the weekend to ride my bike, so to give him some respite I hit the treadmill at home.

I decided (in a tipsy alcohol fuelled state) it would be a good idea to run 5K in my goalie kit for the Stroke Association Charity. We were in a lucky enough position to buy a treadmill for home so I started on my couch to 5K journey.

As a goalie my fitness is superb over repeated short sharp bursts but anything over 3K would have me puffing and I knew I had a lot of work to do. However there were lots of interruptions to my training as at the end of March I caught Covid-19 and it floored me. I feel I got off lightly apart from one night when I was genuinely scared and my breathing was hard as it gets during a Kay Hanham goalie training session.

For a number of weeks even after the virus was gone my breathing was terrible and normal tasks were an effort. When I returned to work I was briefly redeployed from my day job to help on the intensive care unit and seeing how sick some of the Covid patients were really scared me.

I needed to get my mind and body into a better place and given that my 5K charity run had to be cancelled, my focus shifted to just generally getting fit as I couldn't climb the stairs or speak a full sentence without getting breathless.

I hooked the machine up to Zwift and enjoyed running through virtual scenery and by mid May I could run 5K at a pace of 6.58/km. My breathing improved, heart rate dropped and my anxiety about getting the virus again diminished. I also joined the Fylde Strava fitness group and could see the mileage and times the outfield players were putting in.

The competitive person that I am drove me to improve and by the end of May I bashed out 10K and by the end of June 15K. My pace is now 5.56/km and I'm happier with my fitness.

Going forward I'm not likely to change anything from this new lifestyle, It's working well for me and fits in with my family life. I'll keep to my regular treadmill sessions and hopefully become even fitter. I feel this type of training will indirectly benefit my game as a goalkeeper, it will allow me to train harder which should translate to a much better performance in the game. This will benefit Fylde, my North of England over 35's and perhaps it will even help me progress in the England over 35s trials this year too.

It's also good news for my charity run for The Stroke Association and I will be running 5K in my goalie kit around the Fylde pitch on the 18th August. My aim is not only to raise money but to raise awareness that strokes are something that can happen to younger people and athletes not just the elderly.

I shall be running this with my friend Phil who was a super fit cyclist and had a stroke after a bike ride, he has managed to make a 90% recovery and return to work for the NHS. His mobility is probably comparable to mine in a goalie kit and it will be an honour to run with him.

Come down and support us and please visit our fundraising page.


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