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This week we are featuring Ladies 1st team speedy midfielder Lucy Whalley. Lucy re-joined Fylde last season after 4 years away at University. Lucy was part of the former Springfield's Junior Programme and played for the 1st team from the age of 15.

This is what Lucy had to say about her lockdown fitness journey: Coming home in May 2019, after playing at university in the U.S on a full scholarship for 4 years, training 5 days a week and playing matches on the weekend, including weight training and running, I was in the best shape I have ever been. However, shortly after coming home a back injury was starting to develop. At the beginning of the season I was starting to really struggle with the injury, which I later found out was a slipped disc after having an MRI. I had to stop going to the gym and weightlifting due to the pain and playing hockey was becoming really hard.

Originally, I thought stopping exercise was the cure to the pain but that was not the case, I was told to increase my exercise by the back specialist. Running was not causing me pain thank goodness, so I ran twice a week, swam, and started new leg strength exercises in the gym, tailored to minimising the back pain. A combination of this increase in exercise and receiving treatment including acupuncture, the injury finally subsided after Christmas and so I was able to play hockey pain free in the second half of the season.

In the season I was lucky to have a lot of free time whilst completing my master’s degree at Lancaster University. With the time, I was able to commit to working out. Establishing a workout routine, I was really enjoying running and various sessions at the gym. When lockdown hit, the gym shut, my Master’s course went online, and I knew I would struggle to keep motivated especially with no Summer League.

With this in mind, I joined the Ladies 1st Team’s Strava group and decided to implement a running routine in order to keep some normality, and sanity; I would go on to run day on, day off first thing in the morning. For the first few weeks I was loving the freedom of running in a time where freedom was scarce.

Before going away to University I still trained regularly with Blackpool Harriers and competed as a middle distance runner but concentrated on 1,500 and 800 metres track and 3K Cross country runs but during lockdown I decided to work on longer distances and originally I was seeing improvements in my 5K and 10K times.

I became hung up on beating the previous time, obsessed to see improvements until it was just too wearing. After a month or so I packed in the routine. I shifted the focus a little more on the strength training. I saw an opportunity to increase another side of fitness in hope fun would be useful by-product. In and amongst this, I was fortunate enough that my brother in law owner of CrossFit Blackpool brought over some equipment for use in the our garage. It was a case of making the best of a situation.

I suppose I just needed a little break as you do with anything. I reignited my love for running again, enjoying the chance to test myself in the Fylde 5k Challenge every Saturday and I recently achieved a P.B of 21.15.

If lockdown has taught me anything, it’s helped me become more aware of my body and how best to train. I’ve found a happy balance with two runs and two strength training sessions a week, in addition to now being able to play hockey once a week within the social distancing guidance. I’ve come back more appreciative to the sport I love and it is a good feeling to back playing hockey and seeing teammates!

Going forward, now that gym's have reopened, I will revert back to my former routine of swimming, spin classes, yoga classes and running but I will also include strength training. I'm also looking forward to pre season training which is increasing to 2 sessions a week and playing matches again.


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