Ewan Bulger – Diary of a Scholarship Winner (Week 2)
Ewan Bulger won the 2013 Rugby Scholarship to attend the Inside Running Academy in NZ. Ewan will train for a month under the tutelage of Academy Manager and former England International player Dan Ward-Smith and Dr Nic Gill who is the lead Strength and Conditioning coach for the All Blacks.
Week 2 – Scaling Mountains and Meeting Legends
My first week at the Inside Running Academy went extremely quickly. I think this was due to how much I was enjoying my time with the coaches and the boys. However the next 20 minutes was going to feel like forever….
Unfortunately, Monday is ‘Mount Run’ day at Mt. Maunganui and this week the harder track had been re-opened. The harder track consists of a constant stream of steep steps leading to the summit. Nonetheless, it is shorter than the easier track that I had scaled the previous week, which I had managed in 16 minutes 21 seconds.
It was still pretty warm but a light dusting of rain helped to cool us down on our ascension that took me around 16 minutes and 32 seconds. At least next week I will be able to compare my time to see if I am progressing.
A normal gym session took place at 9am that morning but was followed by meeting legend no1 as the Bay of Plenty head coach and former All Black Kevin Schuler took us through an analysis session. What a fantastic experience! Much of the session was spent analysing the defensive play from the Bays pre-season game against North Harbour. The session was very helpful in understanding the defensive structure that has been adopted by the Bay of Plenty and seems to be incredibly effective.
A well deserved rest day for the boys at the Academy.
Today we had a very intense session at the gym in which I chose to do conditioning to improve my cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. The session was very tough as it included rowing, for a long period of time, and prowler pushes.
That afternoon a guest coach had been invited to our afternoon session. To our surprise it was Auckland Blues legend Luke Braid!!
The session Luke ran included a number of high skill based decision making drills which were played at a very high pace. The session ended with a game of ruck touch, which was also played at a high intensity.
As I mentioned in last weeks post, Friday is ‘primer’ day, but this week it was not at the hanger due to the Steamers training at that facility. So we journeyed not far down the road to the local Cross fit gym.
There were a lot of personal best achieved by all of the players. I managed to achieve a personal best of 120 kgs on my bench but failed to get a PB on my clean which I was disappointed about.
The rest of Friday and most of the weekend was spent resting except from our excursion to the local bar to watch the All Blacks versus Australia in the opening game of the 2013 Rugby Championship. It was great to see the game from a different perspective after a week of analysis and developing my understanding.
Hopefully I’ll get some sightseeing done over the weekend after the poor weather that must have followed me from Arran limited last weekends activities.