Natasha Fanshawe joined BMF six years ago and loved it as it was the first fitness programme she had found that kept her coming back for more than just a month or two. Now she runs ultra-marathons - something she said wouldn’t have been possible without BMF giving her a kick-start. Here she tells her story – and invites you to try an ultra too:
“I'd joined several gyms before I tried BMF but never got further than a few personal training sessions. BMF got me outdoors, loving running on Clapham Common and getting up close and personal with the mud and puddles in the winter. I didn't mind doing sit ups so much in the mud but press ups were harder as I'm scared of worms and some days, in some places they couldn't be avoided. Through BMF I learned to embrace the burpee and I'd only hesitate slightly when I say they're now my favourite exercise!
In 2011, my sister Sam, who organises ultra-marathon races throughout the world with 4 Deserts asked me if I'd like to volunteer on a race. She said the Atacama Crossing would be a good one as it's in Chile, next to Peru, and I'm half Peruvian. My biography as a race volunteer said: 'I'll never be able to run one of these races but I've always wanted to be involved.' But as the race came to an end, and I made dozens of new friends from around the globe, we hatched a plan for me to compete in their upcoming race in Jordan the following year, 2012.
To train, I committed to BMF in earnest. Every squat got me closer to entering the race and each squat thrust meant I might even finish it. Which I did, amazingly! My time was really slow but it started an addiction and I've now volunteered at four 4 Deserts races, and competed in two. I'm no longer a member of BMF, but I feel nostalgia every time I see groups of red bibs doing ridiculous exercises on the Common!”
Sam said: “I know that Natasha went to British Military Fitness religiously to prepare her for races. I am sure that there are other 4 Deserts alumni who have benefited from BMF to prepare for the races and, perhaps, some people training for our races who could benefit from BMF. People underestimate how important core and strength is in a multi-stage desert race."
As a result, Sam has a special offer for BMF members: If you’re interested in taking part in a 4 Deserts ultra, put “BMF” in the 'how you heard about' box when you register and you’ll get a free t-shirt and discount from RacingThePlanet where you can buy all the equipment you need for outdoor activities.
To find out more about British Military Fitness, please visit: www.britishmilitaryfitness.com or simply join us for a free trial class.