Archive for the ‘Training’ Category


Natalia with the kite at “midday”

Yesterday off we finally went to a beach near Cumbuco, just outside of Fortaleza, with our instructor Luciano Cordeiro from 30 Knots, the school we are working with in this project. Fantastic experience!

Getting there took a little while – Luciano arrived at just before 11am – he had on the preceding day say 9am, but apparently the winds were pretty poor in the morning so when we called him, he gave us a new time. At first we were a little suspicious as Ceará state, as is pretty much the entire northeast of Brazil, has a quite a reputation for the laid back attitudes to punctuality, but when we got the beach an hour later, it seemed that we were the only second group on the beach for the day.

Ben with the kite at 9 o'clock, under the watchful eyes of Luciano our instructor

Ben with the kite at 9 o’clock, under the watchful eyes of Luciano our instructor

Luciano was very methodical and straightforward – starting from the beginning, the way I guess you should: unravelling the kite and the strings, pumping up the kite, and then tieing the knots from the trapezium to the kite, and then the basic positions of the kite… from “midday”, with the kite directly above us and the wind coming from behind us; 9 o’clock, with the kite off to the left side, and 3 o’clock over to the right. We just stayed on the beach by a lagoon practicing the control of the kite in these positions, rather than going on to a board where we would have the extra concern of staying afloat. For me the easiest part was at “midday” when there was very little pull from the kite, as off on the sides, I felt it easier to move out of the right position and the pull on my body increase. Moreover, for a big kite (12 metres), it was amazingly sensitive to any adjustments from the hands.

The time we had playing around with the stunt kite was actually pretty helpful, with the principles behind the wind dynamics being very similar – when the kite was in the three positions, there was relatively little pull from it, though any forced movement from our part and we instantly felt ourselves being pulled along. This went against our natural tendencies as when we felt like we were losing a bit of control, we had to ease off on our pressure on the kite bar, rather than trying to grip it and force it back under control. This would just make matters worse, and Natalia felt the consequences of that, when she was pulled from the beach and into the water. Fortunately it was okay and when she let go of the kite, she soon came to a halt without having any damage. Quite funny to watch and unfortunately I didn’t have the camera out at the time!

The three hours sped by all too quickly, and I think we did a decent job for our first time, so here’s looking forward to the next lessons!

A viagem até fortaleza foi um tanto cansativa. Dentro do avião estava muito frio e havia muitas crianças choronas em nosso voo. Como chegamos de madrugada, eu resolvi enrolar no aeroporto para não chegar tão tarde na casa dos meus tios.

Ficamos no aeroporto por 4 horas, e entre um cochilo e outro dedicávamos nosso tempo a bater recordes nos joguinhos do tablet como Angry Birds e Magic Alchemist.

Saindo do aeroporto pegamos um taxi até a 30 Nós, a escola de Kite surf e Wakeboard, lá conhecemos o Thiago um dos nossos instrutores e conhecemos a unidade da escola mais voltada a Wake. Um lugar super bonito e bem estruturado no bairro Edson Queiroz.

Depois de muito bate papo, fomos de taxi até a casa dos meus tio na Maraponga. Foi muito bom rever a família. A Jeane, minha prima, é uma ótima companhia sempre e a casa de Maraponga um máquina do tempo com tantas memórias.

Não sei se vocês sabem, mas quando eu tinha uns 12 anos me mudei para fortaleza com minha mão e o meu irmão Gabriel. Moramos aqui por 2 anos e meio. Nessa época moramos um tempo nessa casa com meus primos. E foi aqui que vivi muitas coisas: meu primeiro cachorro, tomei meu primeiro copo de açaí, tive que lidar com a separação dos meus pais, com a distância do meu irmão mais velho Marinho, com a falta dos amigos… E muito mais! Tantas coisas que lembro hoje com imenso carinho. Certamente Fortaleza foi um dos lugares que fui mais feliz na minha vida, e só de pisar o pé aqui, e sentir essa brisa leve que ameniza o calor me faz super feliz.

Se passaram 15 anos desde quando voltei a morar em São Paulo, no começo víamos para cá nas férias, ou seja 2 vezes por ano estávamos aqui. Mas com o passar do tempo foi ficando difícil. E já faziam uns 10 anos que não vinha para cá.

A cidade mudou muito, cresceu!

Não andei muito, na verdade ontem e hoje fiquei aqui curtindo a família e descansando. Mas só de ver o quanto a Maraponga mudou fico imaginando como deve estar o centro, a Aldeota, o Papicu, a Beira Mar e as praias!

Amanhã teremos a primeira aula de Kite em Cumbuco, mas essa já é uma coisa para contarmos depois!


Posted: June 1, 2013 by Ben Weber in Training
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At airport at 4am…. Easier staying here than going to hotel… Not much company around though!


It has been a difficult few weeks for me in terms of aches and pains. The first problem occurred about a month or so ago – I was going for a 15km run at a gentle pace and felt a pain in my calf muscle. I kept running, thinking it was cramp and that I could run it off. Big mistake as it turned into out to be a partial tear of the muscle, which ruled me out of a 6km race I had entered into. I’m no doctor, but the pain felt pretty much like it was in the location in the image – after the tear, it felt like there was a bit of a lump and redness there, I guess because of slight internal bleeding from the injury. The problem was exacerbated when, after the pain had died down a bit, I tried going for a run again and pushed myself a bit to far too soon… It can be very frustrating not being able to exercise properly.

Fortunately the muscle recovered in time for the last half marathon in Rio, but it is still a good reminder about how we need to be careful with our bodies and pushing ourselves too much too soon. After the half marathon almost two weeks ago now, my leg muscles were naturally tired, though just tired rather than any aggravated injury… the problem this time, however, being in my left foot which has been painful to walk on since the race, with the pain on the outside. It felt like a pain in the bone rather than any muscles. It seems completely better now, which is nice, so will need to see how it goes – not sure how/why it happened: the running shoes I wore were the same as the previous race (and gave no problems) and in which I have been training, and this is the first time such an injury has occurred.

Back to the gym this last week, but definitely no impact sports like running while the foot is like this. From tonight  we will be in the water for a week on the tropical beaches of Fortaleza, kite surfing so that should also be good as well as definitely not much impact in that! Swimming in the sea should be good as well for general fitness (so nope, not really a holiday though the location will be great!).

For the kite surfing, though the nice tropical beaches and hot weather will be an added bonus! I lived for a year or so in the city back in 2000, though I hear much has changed in that it has got ever larger. Will be great to be back and catch up with some old friends and definitely looking forward to the coming week. The city isn’t the most beautiful in the world in terms of architecture etc, and it does have its problems – harsh inequalities, crime, and it is not safe to be out away from the tourist places at night. However, it is an enjoyable place to be, and I do miss the ocean breeze, its accessibility and walking along the Beira Mar promenade. Will certainly be the warmest training project (and arguably the most fun…. but then again, every project we have done so far has been challenging and the rewards of managing to complete them have certainly outweighed any “suffering” we have had to endure in the process!!). But yes, flight at 11:30pm on Friday night and back in São Paulo next Sunday. Here we go!

On the glacier - IllimaniThe two climbers from our 360 Extremes training project in Bolivia, alone on the glacier up to the summit of Illimani; two insignificant dots on the ice, making a slow journey up in the thinner oxygen levels at over 6,000 metres (19,600 feet) above sea level.

The Niteroi bridge

The Niteroi Bridge and the route we were to take – Photo: Lourenço Alcimar

Back from another half marathon in Rio de Janeiro, my second such race, but this time going from Niteroi, over a 13km bridge, to Flamengo beach. A steady up-hill over the main hump of the bridge for the first few kilometers, and then just about downhill or flat from then on… more or less (there were occasional slight upward slopes that helped make things harder, especially towards the end when you think that the hard parts are over with)!

View over the bay

Looking over the bay from Niteroi to Rio de Janeiro Photo: Lourenço Alcimar

Altogether it was pretty different from the previous course which was straight along the beach for 17km before having a devilish uphill for a kilometer or so before going down to the finish. This time we had splendid views over the bay and it was neither too hot nor too cold, and altogether quite enjoyable as well as pretty unique. With this uniqueness comes the popularity – around 8,000 athletes joined the race, about twice as many as the previous one I was in.

My time last time was 1h54m59s and this race, with a bit more training (which was admittedly interrupted for a little while by my pulling a calf muscle and then re-pulling it when I tried to run too fast too soon), I managed to reduce this time to 1h50m31s. So I was pleased.  I am suffering a bit as I write now – my right knee hurts (just below the knee to be precise), and the outer side of my left foot is not great, so am hobbling a bit and it wasn’t nice getting up this morning!

Also, at the same time as being pleased for beating my previous time, I was slightly disappointed: my pace for every kilometer up to 19km was between 4m41s per kilometer and 5m26s/km and I was pretty much dead-on completing it in 1h46m… In the last two and a bit kilometres, however, my body faltered and my pace reduced quite a bit to around 6mins/km. From then it was all psychological and pushing myself to get to the end.

But still, I suppose this can be my next goal for the Porto Alegre half marathon which happens at the end of June. It looks to be a hillier course for that race, however, so it might be tougher, but hopefully it should go alright.

Medal ceremony with Lourenço! Photo: Lourenço Alcimar

Medal ceremony with Lourenço! Photo: Lourenço Alcimar

Pequeño Alpamayo - Bolívia

Essa foi uma semana atípica, o ben viajando a trabalho quase a semana toda, me vi um tanto desanimada para fazer as coisas. Como eu não gosto de dormir em casa sozinha, minha mãe veio dormir comigo em casa algumas noites e em outra fui dormir na casa do meu irmão e aproveitar o tempo com os sobrinhos. A Marina cada dia mais linda e bravinha, apesar que hoje já consigo arrancar risos e sorrisos, o Lucas sempre esperto me diverte com suas piadas e respostas rápidas.

Ontem fui no salão e fiz a sombrancelhas e a unha depois de séculos sem saber o que era um  momento de beleza… E como isso deixa a gente mais confiante. Não sei como funciona para os homens mas para nós que viemos de vênus auto estima, confiança e segurança são coisas que podemos adquirir depois de umas horas num salão de beleza.

Passei de noite no shopping, e passeando sem querendo comprar nada, vi que uma loja tava vedendo calça jeans muito barato, tipo R$49.00, resolvi ver se tinha algo que gosto. Na hora de experimentar o ponto alto.

Nem me lembro a quanto tempo compro calça numero 44, fui ao provador com a numeração 44 e uma outra calça 42, já pensando que eu devia ter emagrecido alguma coisa!

A 44 ficou gigante, dava até pra fazer propaganda antes e depois, a 42 para a minha felicidade grande também, peço para a vendedora trazer uma 40, já pensando que essa deveria ficar pequena… Mas que nada ficou certinha nas coxas, um pouco apertada na batata da perna, e na cintura um pouco folgada, mas nada demais.

Saí do provador com a calça na mão e um sorriso nos lábios.

Moral da história: Nós não somos complicadas, o problema é que apesar de sempre querermos que vocês nos agradem aquilo que nos faz feliz tem que ser feito por nós mesmas!!!


PS>: Mais tarde posto fotos dessa evolução!

Dare you to walk over to that ridge...

It has been a good year and a half since we officially started working to this project; a good couple of years or more since we came up with the ideas. A lot of things have happened and a lot of things will still be done. It goes without saying that without  sponsorship, the more ambitious parts of the projects, the Poles, will simply not be possible – the whole logistics of these parts would be prohibitively expensive. But, in cutting down our daily expenses on little luxuries; spending less money going to restaurants, more time training and building the project, we have been able to do a lot more than we ever could have imagined that we would do prior to committing ourselves to this, and we still will be able to do a lot more.

Riding through the snowWorse case scenario and it doesn’t work out (yes it’s a worry!), we still will have opened up a completely new world of adventure and sports that we wouldn’t have done otherwise. If we hadn’t committed ourselves to this… goodness knows what we would be doing, but am pretty sure that we would not have gone mountaineering in Bolivia, and am pretty certain we would not have ridden from Land’s End to John O’Groats in winter. We probably wouldn’t be going to the gym and be in anywhere as near as good health as we are today, and I doubt that we would be entering into the various races we are going into now. We probably would be just working away, content but not happy with everything, in a standard city life somewhere, wondering what wasn’t quite right.

But fortunately we did come up with this whole mad-cap crazy project, and the world that has been opened to us is incredible. So much to do! Kite surfing (training for the polar training) in June… (hopefully) a two-week adventure race in Chile in February 2014, to be swiftly followed by our polar training at Baffin Island for a few weeks in February-March 2014… followed by either another mountaineering expedition or a traverse of the Greenland ice-cap (something that no Brazilian woman has ever done, as far as I have seen, so Natalia will be the first!)… exciting stuff! And then off… in August 2014.

The question is, do we wait a year longer if we can’t get sponsorship, or just go anyway on a round-the-world bike ride…? that is a good question and one that I do not yet know how to answer.

As dietas e rotinas de exercícios já estão bem puxadas, semana passada por conta da correria no trabalho acabamos não fazendo os treinos funcionais o que me dá uma certa dor no coração. Os treinos funcionais são incríveis porque sinto tanta diferença no meu corpo e na minha performance na escalada que ficar uma semana sem me entristece um bocado. Mas essa semana começou e não adianta ficar se lamentando pelo o que não conseguimos cumprir semana passada.

Esse domingo resolvi aproveitar todas essas mudanças e cobranças para organizar as finanças e tentar ver onde estamos gastando demais.

Baixei o aplicativo Yupee, e lá pude ver certinho quanto gasto em cada categoria (moradia, transporte,alimentação, lazer, saúde, etc), o que eu não esperava era realizar que 1/3 dos gastos meu e do Ben são em alimentação. O valor gasto no mercado por mês é absurdo, fiquei chocada!

Resolvi que isso iria mudar, impus  uma meta drástica de cortar as despesas nessa categoria pela metade, e uma das metas é gastar somente R$25,00 por dia para a janta de nós dois e o meu almoço no dia seguinte. O Ben vai ter que manter os gastos no almoço dentro do budget de seu vale alimentação, como sei que na região da Berrini os preços para almoçar são bem altos combinamos que ele pode até estourar o orçamento de em no máximo R$100,00, caso o dinheiro acabe o dinheiro ele vai ter que levar marmita e ficar no escritório.

Espero que a gente consiga poupar nesse novo mês que começa e quem sabe assim posso impor outras metas em outras categorias!




Since the end of our last training project, riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the British winter, we have settled back into Brazil, something that has been much harder than it does sound (I know, that sounds silly… settling back in Brazil… how hard can it be to settle back into such a wonderful country..?!). It has been over three months since we got back, but it is still a bit difficult.

Sao Paulo Metro rush hour

The daily rush on the São Paulo metro system… and this is a good day.

Well the first thing is that we are back in the daily grind of the work place, earning our salaries to try to pay for all the training projects that we are still yet to do and all the equipment that we need; going through the São Paulo traffic can make life hell for the commuter – going to work by bus in the morning can take 40 minutes (at night, 30 minutes)… if you are lucky. This morning, like many other mornings, it took two hours. The alternative is metro, where in the rush hour, the stations and trains seem to be operating massively over capacity, and it isn’t fun.

Coming through the snow - beautiful but tricky conditions

Coming through the snow – beautiful but tricky conditions

The second thing is that, though it might sound crazy, riding that challenging route in the UK, even in the middle of winter, was simply a massive amount of fun as well as nice and challenging: every day, we had our goals – we needed to get to our next place in accordance with our schedule; trying to get there before dark; every day different challenges… The first day, absolutely miserable weather, cold, windy and raining cats and dogs… arriving at our host’s house completely soaked, like drowned rats; the next day, nicer, cooler, fresher… until we got over Dartmoor, when the weather closed in before we went down to Exeter… every day was different…  snowy days, icy days, fresh days, wet days and the gale force winds on our last day. Every family with whom we stayed was fantastic, welcoming, interesting and incredibly helpful. The HD with the photos and the videos of the journey may have been lost, but it is hard to imagine any of these memories fading.  I guess the adrenalin of doing all of that really was much higher than it is with us now back in São Paulo… back in this concrete jungle.

So back to São Paulo where we have had to think and prepare for our next training projects, and keep developing our fitness and skills to make sure that we are in as good a shape possible for the kite training; the polar training and a number of other projects that we want to complete before embarking on the actual expedition. For me, the mini-projects like the half marathons help to keep me sane as they give additional goals to keep going in the short-term, but the daily training at the gym and with our personal trainer, Alercinho, with the functional training, is absolutely essential.

Time is flying – it is unbelievable that we are in May already… almost half way through the year… almost a year before we should leave. There aren’t enough days in the week to be able to do everything we want and need to do, though at the same time, being here rather than on the road, just keeping to regular training schedules… is hard. I mentioned in my previous post that I missed the mountains. I miss the UK as well. I miss being out and on the road, and really can’t wait till we get out of São Paulo for the next project.

Huayna Potosi, with its summit under cloud - quite daunting!

Huayna Potosi, with its summit under cloud – quite daunting!

It has been almost a year since our first major training project, mountaineering in Bolivia, and I am very definitely missing it all and would love to go back. I don’t know what it is exactly – I must confess that I did not enjoy every minute of it; I got pretty sick for a couple of days; I must have lost a good few kilograms of weight going up those mountains; the fear of heights and looking down those steep steep drops… those 1,500metre falls just inches to one side, and those 500metre drops just inches away on my other side… nope, those knife-edge ridges were not nice! Mountaineering certainly leads to a lot of suffering if you ask me, especially when you are adapting for the first time to the high altitudes; your body just isn’t used to it and doesn’t know what to expect. Looking back at the video when I got sick and remembering back, and the change in my own physical state from good and enthusiastic, to vomiting and other nasty things, is too alarming to think about; literally in an hour or so!!

But I miss it, and I look at the photos and videos – even the one when I got sick – and the good memories of it all easily outweigh the difficult parts.


I guess all the moments which were hard were all balanced by the exhilaration of the challenge; really going for a goal that I had never done before but had wanted to do, and in facing some of my worst fears; going against the exhaustion with the altitude and the fatigue that the lack of oxygen causes in the body; managing to get to the summit and (more importantly!) back again… definitely amazing feelings. Seeing the tents of base camp, after 15 hours of climbing from midnight, just as the weather closes in… a superb sense of accomplishment. So I really do want to go back.

When will we be able to? Good question. I thought about it for this June, but we really do need to train for the kites, so we are going to Fortaleza for training with that for a week or so. Then we will have to keep working to keep income in for paying for this whole project; a month or so training up in northern Canada in February next year… meaning that may be possible next June or July – this would be the last chance before heading on the actual journey… so here’s hoping.

Kite surfers

Kite Surfing?

Yup! This will be our next main training project (while we keep up the cycling and the general fitness as well as our own individual challenges…) and one am particularly looking forward to as it will probably be the most fun. But why Kite Surfing? Will we going kite surfing during the actual expedition..?

A very simplified map of how the winds in Antarctica work - plenty out there more comprehensive than this! But basically, until the South Pole, we will be going into the wind, though after it, it will be in our favour...

A very simplified map of how the winds in Antarctica work – plenty out there more comprehensive than this! But basically, until the South Pole, we will be going into the wind, though after it, it will be in our favour…

Well when we are on Antarctica, when the winds are in our favour (mainly, most likely, when we leave the Pole towards McMurdo as the Katabatic winds blow off from the Antarctic plateau down and towards the coast) we will be going by kite-ski. This form of power helps… a lot – when skiing we will be going and hauling our 120kg pulks around 15km or so per day, if things are good. Kite-skiing will allow us to travel around ten times this speed, and so make it possible to cross the continent before the winter closes in.  When we are in northern Canada this coming February, we will be practicing kite ski, and we hope to embark on a smaller expedition of 600km across the Greenland Icecap from west-to-east next May; an expedition that will take a month or so, and which we will do plenty of kite-skiing.

Here in Brazil as you can imagine it is difficult to find places to ski… okay, not difficult: impossible. We would have to go to Bariloche in Argentina to be able to enjoy such opportunities. However, the principals behind kite surfing, in terms of using the wind and maintaining your balance, are similar to kite ski: using the wind is everything. They also say that kite-surfing is harder because it is harder to maintain your balance on water as opposed to snow and ice, which is what it would be like in the Antarctic. So the more practice we get with it better and will hopefully make our lives much easier when we are a) in the training at Baffin Island; b) the Greenland traverse and c) for the full expedition.

So yes, at the beginning of June, we will be going up to Fortaleza, with the glorious sunshine and waves of Fortaleza, to open a new chapter of our training for this whole project. Should be fun!

Kite surfing

Food shopping

Ontem divulguei aqui o passeio oferecido pela Kaiporah esse final de semana, englobando bike e escalada. Já escrevi aqui antes como acredito que esses dois esportes são parceiros e em como vejo cada vez mais ciclistas na Casa de Pedra e mais escaladores se aliando a bike para manter o condicionamento físico em dia.

Por isso hoje vou dar uma dica e falar um pouco da importância de uma alimentação adequeada para quem pratica essas modalidades e quer alcançar um bom desempenho nos treinos.

NewFoodPyramid1Por se tratarem de modalidades onde os treinos são de longa duração e com variados graus de dificuldade, intensidade e serem praticados outdoor as refeições devem ser constituídas em maior proporção por carboidratos e a ingestão de liquidos deve ser constante. Carboidratos de baixo a médio índice glicêmico (ex.:batata doce, granola, biscoito integral, maçã, morango) são as opção mais recomendadas por fornecerem energia de forma gradual, evitando os picos glicêmicos. Os alimentos antioxidantes (ex.: frutas vermelhas, frutas cítricas, verduras escuras, siga o princípio de quanto mais colorido melhor) ajudam na redução de radicais livres.

Na noite anterior a saída para rocha ou pedal deve se evitar alimentos ricos em lipídeos (ex.: molhos, biscoitos recheados, maionese) e proteínas, que são mais difíceis de ser digeridas e podem assim gerar desconforto; fibras por acelerarem o processo intestinal e a cafeína por ser diurética te faz perder liquidos mais rápido e podendo levar até mesmo a desidratação. Os doces e alimentos cheios de açúcar, e que a maioria dos ciclistas tem como queridinhos em suas mochilas e bagageiros fornecem uma energia não efetiva, ela leva o corpo a um pico no indíce glicêmico o que te dá a sensação de energia, mas essa energia dura pouco tempo, o que na maioria das vezes te faz consumir muito mais colorias e açúcar necessário.

Suco de beterraba com laranja antes de pedalar!

Suco de beterraba com laranja antes de pedalar!

Viu se alimentar não é tão fácil quanto você pensa, e perder peso nem sempre é sinônimo de estar fazendo o certo, afinal de contas a perda rápida pode estar relacionada à desidratação e à perda de massa magra, sendo que a busca sempre é pelo aumento de massa magra e não a redução, e isso só é possível com a dieta certa você. Mas dieta certa não é dieta de revista ou a dieta do amigo por que cada pessoa tem seu organismo e seu metabolismo por isso nós do 360 Extremes contamos com a ajuda de uma nutricionista. Com a Dra. Isabella Alencar nós aprendemos a escolher melhor o que comer no dia-a-dia e durante os treinos e com isso ganhamos muito: perda de peso gordo e aumento de peso magro, maior disposição, melhor desempenho em dias longos, recuperação de músculos mais rápida e diminuição de cansaço nas horas seguintes a prática.