#TeamSony: The Saturdays' Vanessa White's Tough Mudder blog 1

To be honest, I’ve never done anything like a Tough Mudder before, and I’m pretty nervous about it! Don’t get me wrong, I train quite a lot already, but my gym sessions tend to consist of high-intensity weight training with a lot of bodyweight exercises like squats. I love lifting weights, and the sessions I do are great for building explosive cardio, but they don’t really do much in terms of developing endurance.

To make matters worse, running is one of my main weaknesses – I only ever really do it during my warm-ups and never for that long. Obviously a big part of doing a Tough Mudder is the running: you’re covering around 19km in total, which is a long way. But that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to sign up for it, because it’s really going to test me and push me that extra step to get even fitter.

Now I’m going running and trying and keep as steady a pace of possible. When I started I was only running in quick short bursts, but now I’m gradually building up the distance I can cover. One thing that’s really helped has been using my SmartBand Talk and XperiaTM Z3 from Sony. They sync together via an app called Lifelog, which shows me loads of useful information such as how many steps I’ve taken and how many calories I’ve burned – which is always the first thing you want to know after a workout (and it turns out I’ve actually been burning quite a lot, which is good news!). I’ve never used anything like this before, so it’s been really intriguing to see what my focus has been like and how active I am day-to-day. Sometimes I’ll have a session where I get tired very quickly, but by the following week I’ll have improved because I’ve been building everything up, which is really nice to see. Being able to track my progress like that using the SmartBand Talk and the phone is really motivating.

In addition to my Sony tech, the other new tool I’ve been using to help boost my running is a simple skipping rope. When I first started skipping I was really surprised by how difficult it was – six minutes of jumping rope feels the same as 12 minutes of running – but it seems to be really complementing and improving my running,

As well as working on my cardio, I’ve been trying to prepare myself for some of the Tough Mudder obstacles in the gym. I don’t mind climbing things – I should be fine going over walls and ramps – but the monkey bars are a bit of an issue at the moment. There’s a set of them at my gym, which is handy, but I find them fairly difficult because I’ve got quite small hands and my grip’s not the best. To help counteract this I’ve been building up how far I can swing across them, and doing specific exercises to improve my grip strength, such as pull-ups where I pull myself up to the bar and then lower myself down as slowly as possible.

Like the running, I’ve had to really work on my grip on and it’s been difficult, but I’m getting there slowly but surely, and I’m hopeful that by the time the event comes around I’ll be able to give it my all.

To find out more about the progress of Vanessa, #TeamSony and fitness technology, click here

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