Blog: The Fitness Zone

You're never too old or too fat to uncover the competitor within. The Nelson Mail's Peter Gibbs helps readers to overcome their fears and discover the pleasures and benefits of being fit.

Swimmers' tactical race

05:00am 29 Aug 2014


The six-week swim challenge at Riverside Pool is more than halfway through and some huge distances have been clocked up.

Without a doubt, the star performance has come from Christina Harris, who reached her goal of 100 kilometres in just nine days.

The top male is Peter Thomas, who is up to 80km and will easily hit 100km in the next week or so.

There's been a bit of friendly competition between the pair in recent years.

"One achievement which is really special was to have won the 2011 Riverside 100km Challenge," says Thomas.

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Splashing out to fund Sri Lankan project

05:00am 21 Aug 2014


The Riverside Challenge has been under way for nearly two weeks now.

It's an annual event, lasting six weeks, in which swimmers log their lengths to see how far they can go over the period of the challenge.

You can see the progress of everyone taking part on a noticeboard at the pool.

There's very little doubt over who can go the farthest, with Christina Harris clocking an incredible 100km within the first 10 days. That's 3300 lengths.

There's also no doubt about who will swim the most in a single day.

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Age shall weary you, but keep running anyway

05:00am 15 Aug 2014


More on the motivation battlefront.

I managed to stick to my plan of three runs a week, after not running at all for a few months, and it's been a wakeup.

To the couch potatoes I've been haranguing all these years, I apologise - it's not as easy as I've been saying.

On the other hand, it's not impossible, and good health and enjoyment lie ahead if you can stick to it.

My first run wasn't very auspicious. Last Friday, we found ourselves in Christchurch. It had snowed overnight, but since we had to drive home that day, my son Oliver and I decided on a pre-breakfast run.

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Banishing the winter blues

05:00am 01 Aug 2014


Motivation is a fickle thing. In the past I never had much problem, with goals out ahead, most of them involving some travel.

Entering an event somewhere else in New Zealand, or even farther afield, has always spurred me on, but that incentive has failed me in the past year or so.

After some injuries that made running difficult, I decided to take some time off. Rather than being refreshed, I find I've turned into a bit of a couch potato.

I still get up in the morning and go swimming several days a week, but I'm only doing that because I'm afraid of losing the habit.

I've loaned my bike trainer to someone who will use it and I never seem to get around to going for runs any more after I found that each one would leave me with aches and pains for a couple of days.

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Technical lessons place all in a row

05:00am 25 Jul 2014


A few years ago the rowing club issued a challenge to businesses around town.

Four team members were to row the equivalent of a marathon on a machine.

They're in every gym. You may call them rowing machines, but rowers call them ergs, or ergometers to use their full title.

Our little Nelson Mail editorial team signed up, but it turned out we were the only ones - you could say we won by default, claiming the title of the best corporate rowing team in town.

But first we had to row our way to glory at the same time as finely tuned teams of real rowers took part in the challenge.

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