Sunday, 29 March 2009

A bit more about... what we've learned

The next stages
Well, that’s it for the Beginners Programme –and WELL DONE!!!! As of next week, you’ll be the intermediate group. My new objective will be to bring you all up to 5K of running – not too much more than what you are all currently capable of. I will still aim to write up something each week on the blog and for those of you who like a hard copy, I’ll bring some along.

A bit more ..... about what we’ve learned over the last few weeks

1. We can all run!

2. The best structure
to a training session is:
a. Warm Up
b. Train
c. Cool Down
d. Stretch

3. Our voices are our in-built heart rate monitors – if we can chat, we’re within aerobic activity rates and our bodies are not being overloaded.

4. Interval training builds speed. That’s exactly what we have been doing with run/walking. We’ll be doing more of this for the next stages.

5. The right pace is the one that you are comfortable with – never worry about being slower or faster than the others as looping back means we can still run together.

6. Don’t aim for too much too soon. Gradual, little by little is a better approach and runs less risk of injury.

7. Kit – the essentials are trainers, sports bra & something reflective at night (OK, most of us would probably add a few more items of clothing to this list!).

8. Gin is incapable of checking time when chatting – obviously lacking in female multi tasking abilities!

9. Food – having something to eat about 2-1 hour before we run (small snack rather than 4 course meal!) & something when we get home is good practise.

10. Cross training is great. Mixing up activities builds overall fitness. Horse riding, walking, cycling and netball seem to be the favourites.

11. Rest days are important – it’s when your body recovers that it strengthens.

12. Think about your posture. Don’t stare at the floor, keep upright & try not to clench your hands – or your toes!

13. And it’s worth mentioning again, we can all run! Many congratulations – you’ve worked really hard.

Week 11 Beginners Programme

Very simple tonight - you can take a walk break if necessary!
· Warm up
· Run 30mins
· Cool down
· Stretching

Sunday, 22 March 2009

A bit more about... races

Week 10's schedule has already been posted here (see 2 blogs down).

All of you are now capable of doing a 5K race!
Race for Life is a great first race – beginner friendly & inclusive - we could all aim to do Southampton this year? It’s on Sunday 12th July at 11am:

What you need to do:
1. Enter
Some races fill up quicker than others.

2. Train
Be clear with yourself what your goal is. For any first time distance, a good aim is to get around, not worrying about speed. Your training should reflect your goal.
Reflect the race’s time of day in your training – if it’s a summer morning start, include some summer morning runs in training.
Build up a race plan – what time do you want to pass 1k/2k/3K/4K/5K in? Most races have signs up at each kilometre mark – which is great for checking your pace.
If you will be running the race with a friend, agree between you what the plan will be.
Don’t run at all in the days before the race. If it’s on a Sunday, do your final training run on Tuesday or Wednesday for a 5K.

3. Race Day!
On the night before, lay out your normal kit. Now is not the time to try out new stuff! Ensure you have the following ready:
· Race Number (complete the back with emergency contact info)
· Safety Pins for affixing race number
· Tissues –in case you need the loo when you get to the start
· A watch so you can stick to your race plan
· Supporters are fabulous! Plus they can hold spare kit for you (e.g. warm top)
· Read the race pack to check on start time & place
Organisers like to get you to the start an hour before – but this can feel like an age. Look at parking provision, assume heavy traffic & base your decision on that. If you do need to park some distance away, it’s not a bad thing – good warm up/cool down opportunity.

At the start line, hanging back is good - you will be overtaken less and your pace will be less influenced by others.

Check the time as you go over the start line and then STICK TO YOUR PLAN! Treat the race as a training session – warm up before the start, check your breathing, take a walking break if needed and don’t forget to stretch afterwards.
If you’ve stuck to your plan, you may have the energy for a crowd pleasing sprint at the end!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Taken from email from Ellen at WRN:
"We are at an exciting time in the WRN as we are about to embark on a partnership with England Athletics with the launch of Run in England. In order for us to expand and facilitate the setup of Run in England we are seeking to employ 2 Area Development Officers, one for the North and one for the South and East of the country. The Area Development Officers will be responsible for overall leadership and management of the Run in England programme along with promotion and expansion of the WRN in the Region. More information can be obtained from our website by logging onto The closing date for applications is Monday23rd March at 12pm. Please could you inform your group members of the positions. There will also be County Activator roles available which will be phased in over the next 6 months. We will inform you as and when these posts become available."

Monday, 16 March 2009

Change to Week 10's Beginners Programme

Just to confirm what we agreed tonight - next Monday (23rd March) we'll be running 15 mins, taking a 1 min walking break, then running another 15 minutes. Then on the 30th, we'll try 30 mins without a break.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Beginners Programme – Week 9

2 walk breaks tonight. We will be focusing on pace – ensuring we start off at a sustainable speed.
· Warm up
· Run 9 mins, Walk 1 min
· Run 10 mins, Walk 1 min - repeat to 31 minsCool down
· Stretching
I also want to emphasise (again!) that taking more walk breaks than I'm showing here is completely acceptable.

A bit more about... shoes

Like most people, I started running wearing my (only) trainers – not running ones. As my distances went up, I found that at 3km, my toes went numb – and at 5km, I was getting blisters on the inside of my arches. So after my first Race for Life, I went to a proper running store, discovered that I overpronate, and was bought my first running shoes as a birthday present – no more blisters!

The right kind of shoes can increase comfort levels – making your run more pleasant. They can also help to prevent injury.

There are 3 types of running gait:
· Normal: your heel rolls a little when it hits the ground. Look for “stability” shoes.
· Overpronating: your heel rolls excessively when it hits the ground. Look for “motion control” shoes that can help to control this.
· Supinated/Underpronating: your heel doesn’t roll enough when it hits the ground. Look for “cushioned” or “neutral” shoes with lots of flexibility to encourage your heels to roll more.

Specialist running store staff will be able to check your gait for you on a treadmill in store, looking at your worn trainers or by simply watching you run a little! Try to visit at a quiet trading time so you get plenty of attention.

Wet Footprint Test
This article on the Runners World website explains how you can work out what kind of running gait you have – from looking at wet footprints – but I still recommend going to a specialist store.

Women-specific trainers are designed for narrower feet – as we tend to have narrower feet than men.

Break you new shoes in gently. It will be a couple of runs before they reach maximum comfort. Replace your shoes after approx 100miles of running.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Week 8 Beginners Programme

Just 3 walk breaks tonight – but I’m confident we’ll all be OK! You can take more walk breaks if necessary.

  • Warm up
  • Run 7 mins, Walk 1 min
  • Run 8 mins, Walk 1 min - repeat to 34 mins
  • Cool down
  • Stretching

A bit more about... things we may not always feel comfortable talking about!

That’s not to say that talking about going to the loo, periods and bras is off limits – just that you might prefer to have this information in written rather than spoken form!

A supportive sports bra is a must-have piece of kit! Too much movement may result in more problems than discomfort and pain – it has been linked to neck and back problems.
Replace regularly – worn sports bras may chafe as well as lack support. Try on the bra before purchasing to ensure that it fits well, minimising bounce. Cupped bras (encapsulating) have been shown to be much more supportive than compression bras.

Stress Incontinence
Many people find that a small amount of urine escapes when they are running – if this happens to you, you’re not alone! It’s not exclusive to women who’ve had children. If you do experience this problem, try to ensure that you go to the loo just before running. Wearing black running shorts or running tights may help your confidence as may wearing a pantyliner. However, it’s worth talking to your GP – especially if it’s a frequent problem – as they will be able to suggest some exercises and remedies to help.

Apparently, it’s the week before your period when you may notice that your running performance dips the most. You may find that running actually alleviates period pain as endorphins are released.

If you already run, you may be able to continue running through the first trimester – and possibly into the second. Talk to your GP and midwife.
After giving birth, talk to your GP and midwife about when it will be OK to start running again.

Eastleigh Group Survey - Times

I've had a few requests to review the times of the Monday Training Sessions as some of the Beginners are finding that the later start time suits them better. This won't be an issue for a while because even after the Beginners Programme completes in a couple of weeks, I intend to keep it going as an intermediate group for a bit.

However, I'd like to consolidate the 2 groups into one at some point because I'd like to get another Beginners Group underway - probably in July.

Can you complete the linked survey (click here to get to it)? This way, I can ensure that I reflect your views and requirements on timing?