Parview

Parkview – Runner’s Knee


Check out the new blog from Parkview, Run Reigate’s on the day physiotherapists, all about Runner’s Knee, a problem that some runners may suffer from.  

If you do need some new trainers, Simply Sports in Reigate have professional fitters and on Thursday 8th September (10.00-15.30), Brooks will be there with their Experience Run Signature equipment to analyse your gait.

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is probably the most common injury suffered by recreational runners. It is also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome as the pain comes on due to issues around the knee-cap (Patella).

Unfortunately, those most likely to suffer are young women due to a wider pelvis that in turn creates a greater angle at the knee during running, however, it is still very common in male runners too.

Runner’s knee will usually present as a dull ache around or behind the knee-cap, sometimes with swelling or cracking noises. Running through the pain will not help and only make it worse, as will hills, uneven ground or steps.

There are number of identified causes of this syndrome, the most common include:

  • Deformities to the Patella
  • Worn Cartilage surfaces
  • Flat feet creating incorrect angles of the knee
  • Weak medial Quadriceps allowing mal-tracking of the Patella
  • Simple overuse or poor shock absorbency

Getting rid of Runner’s Knee whilst maintaining a training program can be tricky, but not impossible. If you feel this coming on it is important to do the right things straight away. Cutting back your mileage will allow less load on the knee and speed up healing. Using ice regularly to get rid of any inflammation is vital. However, you must address the cause. This might mean a visit to a Physiotherapist and a specialist running shop to get your biomechanics assessed.

A sports orientated Physio can give you the advice and treatment you need to calm down the pain and begin the rehab process. Treatment can include Kinesio Taping for Patella tracking and swelling, Ultrasound, Acupuncture, Massage and rehab exercises to correct the problem. Orthotics and corrective running shoes may also be advised as part of the solution.

Remember, early intervention leads to the best outcomes, so if you think you might be suffering then please give one of the team at Parkview Clinic Reigate a call to see what can be done to get you back on track as fast as possible.

www.parkviewclinic.co.uk

01737 247555

Runners_panting

Every breath you take, every muscle that aches…or maybe not


Catherine Jaschinski from Illuminate Consulting, is a Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher.  Her blog for Run Reigate examines the benefits of diaphragm breathing for runners.

 

Sorry if the headline of this article is a bad play on the Police song ‘Every breath you take’ but hopefully my verbal karaoke has got your attention.

About the only time we pay any attention to our breathing is when we are out of breath.  In running it’s usually on the home stretch of a long run and if we are unlucky it’s going up a hill as well. Does anyone remember that from last year’s Run Reigate Half-Marathon?

Our breathing is such a critical part of anything we do and yet we take it for granted.  In running it can play a number of important roles, one of them being a ‘barometer’ for how we are feeling during a run.  Sometimes when we run, our breathing is heavy, sluggish and a real struggle to draw into the body, other times it’s is light, smooth and up-lifting.  Paying attention to the nature of our breathing can guide us to how our body is handling this run and with this information we can decide how to ‘pace’ our run, i.e. whether to push through the tough patches or whether in this particular instance it may be better to ease up a bit.  Your breath can be a great tool to help inform this type of decision especially if you are the kind of person who tends to push your body to breaking point and get injuries.

Another great way you can use your breath is to improve your endurance and recovery.  Yes, that’s right.  Not only is the breath helping you to get up and down those hills, but also if you actively breathe using your diaphragm rather than your chest, you can improve your endurance and will be less likely to become fatigued.  Now wouldn’t that be nice – not to have such aches and pains after a long run.

The evidence for this comes from research from the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Brunei University.  They measured fatigue levels of marathoner’s respiratory muscles and leg muscles and found a direct link between them – runners whose breathing was the most strained showed the most leg weakness.  They concluded that the harder the respiratory muscles had to work, the more the legs would struggle in a race.  So the key to preventing lung and leg fatigue is breathing more fully which is exactly what happens when you breathe using the diaphragm.

This is all very interesting but how on earth do I actively use my diaphragm to breathe when I don’t know where it is!  Your diaphragm is a big muscle that sits underneath your rib cage and is responsible for 80% of the effort involved in breathing.  If your tuck your fingers under your ribcage and gently push upward you will feel it there.

The easiest way to learn how to diaphragm or ‘belly breathe’ is to do the following….

  1. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent
  2. As you breathe in allow / encourage your stomach to gently inflate and rise upwards (this movement gets your diaphragm working)
  3. As you exhale allow your stomach to deflate and lower downwards
  4. Practice this for 5-10 minutes and then you can try it standing for a few minutes

Once you’ve started to train the diaphragm breathing in a stationary position (lying or standing) you can try to use it while walking and then eventually bring it into your running.

This type of breathing is also very good to relax the body and mind so can be used outside of running to manage stress, build resilience and balance in other aspects of your life.

Just as we would train our hamstrings and quads to improve our leg strength we can improve our respiratory muscles for better breathing and ultimately better endurance.  

So when you next head out for a run, take a moment to notice your breath, use your diaphragm (at the start of the run at least) and thank it for helping you to enjoy those longer runs a little bit more.

Catherine Jaschinski

Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher

Illuminate Consulting Ltd

Mobile: 07801 045 905

Illuminate Colour on Clear copy

The next Yoga for Runners workshop will be on Wednesday 5th October 7.30 – 9.30pm in Reigate. Call Cath on mobile number 07801 045 905 or email illumin8te@btinternet.com if interested.

Sweethaven Computers

5 Ways Wearable Tech Can Enhance Your Workout


Run Reigate is delighted that Sweethaven have joined us as a new partner this year.  Check out their blog on wearable tech – including your chance to win a FREE Pulsense wristband.

Sweethaven Computers (1)

Technology is fast becoming an integral part of people’s fitness plans. Wearable fitness tech is constantly advancing to improve the quality of our training and results, enabling us to better create and meet both short-term and long-term fitness goals.

With so many features now available via wearable tech, which are the most useful for enhancing your workout? The technology team at Sweethaven has a few top tips…

Track Your Heart Rate

Of course your heart rate is going to go up during exercise! What many people don’t know is that heart rate can also be used to monitor dehydration; the symptoms of which are often overlooked by athletes during exercise. The wireless sensor tracking of heart rate can therefore be used to help you track when you need to be taking that extra sip of water.

Sleep Tracking

Tough workouts require solid sleep for muscle recovery! Use your wearable tech to track the number of hours and quality of sleep you’re getting to help make sure you’re giving your body the best opportunity for regeneration.

Target Tracker

All athletes know that progress is about goals. Use your wearable tech to set your targets and then track your progress towards achievement for positive reinforcement. Determine your daily goal and then see what your average result against it is. You can adjust your daily targets accordingly, just be sure that your goal positively impacts your fitness level – and that, over time, you see progress.

For the more competitive ones amongst us, buddy up with a training partner with similar goals to track who reaches their goal the quickest!

Calorie Counting

Because what’s more motivational than visibly eating away at the calories gained from that last pack of biscuits!

Discover all the Apps

With a whole world of apps now available, there will be a host of apps capable of accompanying and complimenting your wearable tech tracking. Apps for monitoring food intake, for example, can be a particularly beneficial when used alongside your fitness tracking to ensure you’re fuelling your body correctly. There are also apps out there that allow you to connect with online communities of fellow fitness enthusiasts for even more support and encouragement.

Sweethaven is proud to be supporting the Run Reigate half marathon this September. To celebrate this important calendar date, we’ll be giving away one FREE Pulsense wristband to one lucky runner. To be in with a chance of winning, enter your details via our website: http://www.sweethaven.co.uk/run-reigate

Sweethaven Computers

Jennie Platt Blog

On the home straight (through Reigate)…


It’s late July and it seems summer has finally joined us (cue random torrential downpour while the sun is still shining). I’m actually a bit gutted…I much prefer running in the colder winter weather, so it’s going to be hard work for the next couple of months to keep active. I know from my day job (at Women in Sport) that this actually bucks the trend as research shows that there is a drop off of female runners in the autumn and winter months – I always try to be different.

So as I said we are now 7 months into the year, this year isn’t an ordinary one for me, this year I get married. It’s a very exciting and busy time…wedmin is my life. When I got engaged (September 2015) and once the date had been set (December 2016) I decided to add to the chaos and set myself a challenge. Upon awkwardly purchasing my first bridal magazine, I realised that in addition to endless advice on overpriced cakes, photo booths and colour schemes, most offered a plan of how to get fit and healthy for your wedding. Some of the plans looked complex and crazy and really did reflect an uphill run at Greenwich Park! So I thought that rather than panicking 3 months out that my dress might not fit, I would commit to some sort of activity across the year – a slow and steady way to tone up and most importantly feel good for the big day. So…I invented the Wedding 10k Series…it has a nice ring to it don’t you think? In essence I committed myself, oh yes and my future husband, to run one 10k a month for 12 months in the lead up to our wedding. So a total of 12 10ks, 120k total.

I do love a challenge. I have completed so many over the past 10 years – Yorkshire 3 peaks, Run to the Beat Half Marathon, Thames Bridges Bike ride to name a few, but these have all been one off events, this would be different.

Oh and before I explain our journey so far it’s imperative to mention that I wouldn’t class myself as a ‘runner’. I’m a Netballer by trade, team sport enthusiast. Yes, I have dabbled in running, probably more that I care to admit, but I am not particularly fast or elegant (in fact definitely not the latter). My mind-set has shifted slightly, but I’m pretty sure when December rolls around I will still refer to myself as a Netballer.

So why 10k? 5k is easy right? Well, not quite, but for me it’s not too unpleasant, it’s kind of over just as you get into it and it’s less of an event. So 10k seemed a bit more of a challenge, not anything like a half (never doing one of those again by the way) but just the right mix of pushing yourself and getting knackered! Interestingly, for two very competitive people, it’s not been about the times for us – we have improved our PBs massively, but we are pleased to just get round some of the courses.

So in December last year I officially entered the world of running – trawling websites to sign up to local runs. We have always had two events booked in advance and found it relatively easy to find runs nearby. The Wedding 10k Series started in Windsor, around Dorney Lake. It wasn’t quite how I pictured our first event to go – picture the scene, two weary runners set off having just returned from a 3-week trip in Asia, it was a struggle and 8k was not our friend, but we managed it and were pretty chuffed at the end. Since then we have done Richmond, Maidstone, Battersea Park, Windsor Trails, Greenwich Park and Clapham Common. We are officially half way – for August we are running at the Olympic Park and September we are taking part in Run Reigate!

Jennie - Winter

September was a tricky one, but when we stumbled across Run Reigate we booked it straight away. We live in South West London and have probably exhausted all of the key ones in our area so are pleased to be going a bit further afield. The website was great and although slightly more expensive than other runs we have done, I like the vibe and it seems worth it. The process to book was probably one of the easiest we have gone – as let me tell you some are hard work as you have to book separately for each individual.

I already like the feel of Run Reigate – I have been following them on Twitter and saw last week that they have made some improvements from their inaugural event last year, I like that approach. All of the feedback from last year seems really positive too and this morning it was announced that Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes is starting the race. I have to say I am impressed…fingers crossed she will present us with our 9th medal (hint, hint)!

As I mentioned before I work for Women in Sport, we are the UK’s leading charity aiming to transform sport for the benefit of every woman and girl. Wo do lots of research and lobbying for more women and girls to be involved in sport, whether it be playing, working or watching. As a result, it means I look at running events differently – I look from a personal perspective as an active woman, but I also look with a deep understanding of women’s perceptions and values that drive their decisions to start and continue running. Run Reigate has done well on both fronts, the communications denote a friendly run with a community atmosphere, while still offering a good challenge. The website is also great too, showing ‘real women’ and not just sporting runners in lycra taking part!

We have been roping in friends to run with us throughout the journey and hope to have a few with us as Reigate. So if you are taking part in Run Reigate, look out for us and give us a cheer, we will definitely need the encouragement!  

@jennielplatt

Run Reigate would like to wish Jennie and her husband-to-be, good luck in their Wedding 10K series and all the best for the big day!

Running to great beats!

Running – The Beat Goes On…


You’re running laps round Priory Park lake as part of your interval training.   The last couple of sprints have worn you out and your legs have no more to give.  But wait, the intro to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ starts on your phone and you’re off, running like you’ve never run before (apart from the last time it came on) and you’ve cut 2 seconds off your PB – job done!

Training whilst listening to headphones is a contentious issue in the running community, polarising people in parks, tracks and towpaths up and down the country.  Apparently there are two types of runners, those who are “associators” who like to have inward focus when running and “dissociators” who need to focus outwards and be distracted by what how they might be feeling.  Let’s have a look at both sides of the debate:

FOR – The Budmeisters

Runners, especially those who are new to long distance, find music to be an excellent distraction when they are a few miles in and feeling weary.  

Studies have shown that external stimuli can block out fatigue, increase your concentration and leave you feeling positive.  

It can be particularly useful in fartlek/interval training, with pumping songs helping you to keep the short sprint sessions going.  

For those training for longer races on their own, it can also be nice company when you’re out for 2 hours on a Sunday morning, pounding the Surrey streets.

AGAINST – El Silencios

Many purists believe that you are better able to listen to your breathing and be attuned to your body and rhythm, when not distracted by music.  

One of the joys of running can also be that chance to clear your thoughts and empty your mind of the day’s issues, returning home in a much more peaceful state of mind.  

At times music can result in you running too fast – think Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough’ (or pass out) versus too slow such as Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ (running and crying don’t mix).  

You can also enjoy the beautiful nature that we have in Reigate, birds singing, squirrels leaping, leaves crunching and passers by shouting out warnings of dog poo ahead.   

IN-BETWEENERS

There are some runners who straddle these stereotypes choosing to have just one ear phone in, so they can listen to music and the outside world.  I personally am not able to multi-task in such a way and those people will only receive half of the wonder that is Kylie and Jason’s ‘Especially for You’.

Each to their own I say!  As long as you’re safe, watch out for small children and zombies …

SiS Runner

Run Reigate – The SiS Guide to Training


As well as producing some of the Run Reigate team’s favourite gels and recovery drinks, Science in Sport (SiS) also provide a wealth of training and nutrition advice which we’re really happy to share with you.  There are a variety of factors which can make the difference between you making it to the start line of your first half-marathon or 10K, or not!  First up is the most important element in any race preparation – training.  

RUN

There are three golden rules you should adhere to, to ensure you give yourself the best chance of starting, finishing and achieving your running dream:

R – Rest and recovery

These are two of the most underrated aspects of training.  DO NOT forget to rest and recover after hard-training.

U – Understand your limits

When it comes to endurance running, there are many things which are beyond your control.  Your “genetic potential” being one of them.

N – Never run on an injury

As tempting as it might be to try and ignore a muscle or tendon niggle, you are likely to make it far worse by running on it.

Training Intensity

Knowing how hard to push yourself is one of the hardest things to do when training for a race.  Your weekly training regime is a tricky balance between slow/steady sessions to build endurance and higher intensity sessions to increase your resistance to fatigue and increase your threshold.  

The question is how hard should you push?

Too Easy

Although slow and steady sessions are an important part of training, if performed too frequently, low intensity sessions can lead to a training plateau.

Too Hard

If you push yourself too hard, either by running too fast, too often or too far, then you are at risk of overloading your body and over stressing it – resulting in injury.

So, how do you gauge what intensity you should train at?

A heart rate monitor is an excellent way to ensure you are training at the right intensity.  If you don’t own one or need a guide, then check out the table below to get familiar with your “rate of perceived exertion”.

Rate of Perceived Exertion

R.P.E SCALE HOW YOU FEEL % HR MAX
1 Chilling, sitting down, feet up watching a movie 30-40%
2 A walk to the shops to get more popcorn 45-55%
3 A light jog 60-70%
4 A sociable pace, quicker than a job but able to chat 70-75%
5 Comfortable.  Got a good sweat on and you feel great 75-80%
6 Comfortable-ish.  You feel like it’s a good paced run 80-85%
7 Talking getting difficult.  Possible – but not very easy 85-90%
8 Only short answers to important questions possible 90-95%
9 Talking all but impossible 95% +
10 Talking is impossible.  You can only keep this intensity up for 10-15 seconds N/A

Approximate method to work out HRmax – true HRmax vary significantly from runner to runner.

Steady Paced Run (R.P.E. 3-5 or 70-80% HRmax)

A steady pace is just that – a pace which you can maintain for a long time  Steady paced runs will form a large part of your training.  This is the pace you should stick to for all your long weekend runs, as well as a good chunk of your mid-week runs too.  It helps build endurance and encourages the nervous and muscular systems to tolerate long distance running.

As you get fitter, you’ll find that not only will your “steady pace” get faster, but you’ll also be able to maintain that pace for longer without fatigue.

Tempo Paced Run (RPE 5-7 or 80-85% HRmax)

A tempo run is a pace which is a notch or two quicker than a steady pace.  At this intensity, talking is just about possible but you should only be able to manage “short-ish” sentences before need to take a breath.  

Beginners may initially find that a one or two mile tempo run is tough but a conditioned runner may be able to maintain tempo pace for a good eight miles and beyond.  Tempo session are excellent at increasing your tolerance to fatigue and should feature at least once a week in your training schedule.

Fartlek (RPE 6-8 or 85-90+% HRmax)

Fartlek is brilliant training but often underused by marathon runners.  It is based on a steady paced run but interspersed with periods of faster running at random times of your choice.  Vary the distance/time of the fast paced sections of these sessions to mix up the training stimulus and keep you interested.  Suggested times for fast sections can vary from 30 secs at RPE 8-9 to 5 mins at RPE 6-8.

Intervals (RPE 7-9 or 85+% HRmax)

Intervals are very similar to fartlek training. The key difference between them is that they are far more structured.  Interval sessions are excellent at increasing your threshold, thereby teaching the body to tolerate running at faster speeds.

E.g.

Distance/Time No. of intervals Rest between RPE % Max HR
1 mile 3-5 5-3 mins 6-8 80-90
5 minutes 4-8 1 min 6-7 80-90
800 meters 6-8 3-2 mins 7-8 85-95

As fitness improves – increase intervals, reduce rest time.  RPE will increase towards end of session.

By incorporating all of these training runs into your weekly regime you should be fully prepared for the Run Reigate Half-Marathon or 10K on Sunday 18th September.  To view the full SiS guide, please see http://www.scienceinsport.com/marathon-training-guide.

Good luck with your training!

 

Running Apps

Are You ‘App’y Now?


In the old days people used to pop their trainers on, limber up and head out for a run they’d mapped out.  Many people, like me, will have accidentally run a few extra miles or have included some accidental fartlek training whilst being lost in a dodgy estate with a group of youths watching on in amusement.  Now we have technology.  Clever apps and watches that can track your route through GPS, telling you how fast, far and high you’ve climbed at each mile and offer you coaching advice whilst you do it. We’ve compiled a list of some running apps on the market and what they can do for you: including building post-apocalyptic communities.

 

New Runner

For those of you who are new to running, there are some great apps that take you from zero to hero.  5K Runner and Couch to 10K, respectively provide 8 and 14 week plans, blending running with walking to help you build up to your first race.  They have integrated Facebook and Twitter communities so you can meet fellow beginners, share your experiences and motivate each other in the first few tough weeks.

In Your Stride is designed to help you prepare for a race.  It creates a training plan based on your current fitness, event distance and target time.  It also adapts as you progress through the plan depending on whether you are exceeding or not meeting your targets.

 

Experienced Runner

If you are looking for state of the art, there are some great options on the market many of which have features such as GPS, speed and elevation tracking, heart rate monitors, time pacing, friend racing, disco options…  

On Nike+ & Nike Coach it’s easy to see your pace variation throughout and it is compatible with various running watches, meaning you don’t need to take a phone out with you, just synchronise when you get home.  

Map My Run and Runtastic are very similar apps as they both owned by Under Armour.  Runtastic is Google Play’s editor’s choice and features a real voice coach whilst running, personal workout diary, custom made dashboard and training plans.

 

Community Focused

Strava, originally for cyclists, is now a favourite of runners too, winning the best app at the 2016 Running Awards.  It’s well known for its community feel, as you can join existing challenges and compare your stats with your friends.  It also has personalised coaching, live performance feedback and detailed analysis post run.

RunKeeper has 45 million users worldwide and all the features you would expect.  It’s intuitive, requiring you to input your goals, whether it be to build fitness/stamina, lose weight or increase your speed.  Renowned running coaches then provide advice on how to achieve these goals.  Links with big brands means potential to win kit too – who doesn’t want a free pair of trainers?  

 

Bored Runner

Zombies, Run!  Am I the only person who had never heard of this app.  Running missions whilst fleeing groaning zombies.  You are always the hero, the faster you run the quieter they become: slow down and you’ll hear them breathing down your neck.  As you run you collect virtual supplies which can then be used at home to build your own post apocalyptic community.  The audio drama feeds in between your own playlist.  That’s a whole new kind of fartlek training.  Imagine the variations you could have: whinging kids, your in-laws, that terrible one-night stand…

If you don’t believe us, check it out here.   You have been warned…

Spotify has introduced a running feature where it reacts to you, matching the speed of your pace to a beat tempo.  Rock My Run also matches your movement to the music it selects for you and has some great playlists to keep you motivated on those longer runs.

So which one are you going to chose to help your Run Reigate half-marathon/10K training?    If you see any of the team sprinting through Reigate High Street screaming that there are zombies chasing them, don’t panic … yet!


  

Run Reigate Flags

“I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul”


What does it take to become a ‘Marathon Man’?  And no, I don’t mean Dustin Hoffman enduring some rogue dentistry.  Just as some of us mere mortals work up to running our first 10K, half or full marathon, Rob Young and Eddie Izzard have completed amazing mental and physical feats that take endurance running to a new elevation, earning themselves the title of Marathon Man.

Extreme races are springing up all over the world, as some runners look for the next level of fortitude.  The legendary Marathon Des Sables started on Friday, in its 28th year and is according to many “The Toughest Race on Earth”.  It’s an ultra, run over 6 days on a course of around 150 miles, in nearly 50C degree heat. The website claims, “Any idiot can run an Ultra marathon, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run the Marathon Des Sables”.  The athletes who run these distances are able to tap into an inner tenacity, that many of us don’t feel we have.

Rob Young had that inner belief.  He also had a very unusual start.  After watching the London Marathon in 2014, his girlfriend bet him 20p that he couldn’t run 26.2 miles.  With an offer like that, what Scot could say no (as a fellow Scot, I am allowed to make that joke).  So Rob got up early the next morning and ran a marathon before work.  He didn’t stop there though – Rob then ran marathons or ultras consecutively for 420 days, covering the same distance as 476 marathons and 11,700 miles in one year.  He won 96 of the races and set some world records on the way.  In January 2015, he set off on a 3,100 mile race across America from LA to Washington DC, which he won by 30 hours, even though in the middle of it he flew back to compete in the London Marathon, an homage to the start of his personal journey.    

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Although Rob had been an athlete when he was young, competing for GB as a triathlete in the 20-24 age group, he hadn’t been running regularly before commencing this amazing feat.  Rob has carried on competing in marathons and ultras.  Studies have shown that his ability to run marathon day after day is extraordinary and that his pain threshold must be very high.  However, athleticism and the ability to tolerate pain do not necessarily make an extreme athlete and he has created purpose from his running that drives him on.  He has raised thousands of pounds for worthy charities that support kids.  He’s a man who clearly believes you are master of your own destiny, deciding to push himself to unparalleled goals and smashing them.    

‘Marathon Men’ don’t have to be athletes.  Eddie Izzard is a hero in our house, ever since my brother introduced me to the ‘Definite Article’ when I was a student.  I know he’s a man of mind over matter.  He has chosen to perform his shows in French, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, languages he didn’t even speak, just to challenge himself.  He took this fabulous mindset to endurance running, when in the UK in 2009 and with only 5 weeks training he ran 43 marathons in 51 days, covering 1,100 miles for Sports Relief.  After a foiled attempt in 2012, due to serious medical issues, to run 27 marathons in 27 days in honour of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment on Robben Island, Eddie came back in 2016 to complete the challenge.  For many people, the weight of such a massive previous disappointment might pull them down, but determinedly he forced his way through, promising to himself and the millions of viewers following him that he would run, walk or crawl his way through the blazing 30C degree heat to complete the challenge and help raise over £2 million for Sports Relief.  In his BBC3 documentary, he reads William Ernest Henley’s ‘Invictus’, a poem that inspired the resilience of Nelson Mandela and clearly at times a mantra for Eddie has he fought his way along mile after mile.  Not a natural athlete, but a man whose mental strength allows him to achieve amazing physical feats.  His great recovery tips of how you can have a beer after a marathon as it has carbohydrates and water in it, show he is a man after my own heart.  Yes, I do love him!

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Being a ‘Marathon Man’ is not about gender.  Let us not forget some of the amazing women who have also been an inspiration to us and no, I’m not talking about myself here.  Apparently women in general are 3 x more likely to complete an ultra than men, not because of fitness, but rather because they are less likely to give up.  Ellie Greenwood is a two-time 100K World Champion and holds course records for a variety of ultra races.   She was the first Britain to win South Africa’s 90 km Comrades Marathon (the oldest ultra-marathon in the world)  in 2014, with a time of 6 hours and 18 minutes.  That’s averaging at 14.3 km per hour in sweltering heat.  We also of course have the wonderful Paula Radcliffe, a marathon legend who retired last year, still holding the women’s world marathon record which she made after just a year of marathon running.  She holds 9 other world records and has asthma!  These ladies have given their all.

When I trained for my first marathon a few years ago, I was dreading my big training runs.  The day I ran 20 miles, it was blowing a gale, snowing with sub-zero conditions.  I had to stop various times (which was the first time that had happened in a training run) and came home with a frozen mono-brow and zero belief that I could run 26.2 miles.  Then the weather turned and I galloped round my next long training run, feeling invincible (clearly this was only in my head and I have no doubt that I was actually shuffling along, being overtaken by sprightly pensioners).  Finishing the race a few weeks later, was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I’m not really a runner, but I had said I was going to do it, people had sponsored me, I was being tracked, pac-man style round the route and I didn’t want to let myself down – so I did it!  I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul…

These Marathon Men are amazing and so are you.  The first step on any journey is deciding you’re going to do it.  So go on, sign up at www.runreigate.com and we’ll be there to cheer you on every step of the way.

 

Invictus, William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

 

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

 

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate,

I am the captain of my soul.

Genieve Poultney

5 achievable Half Marathon running tips from a non-pro


I am not a professional runner. Sure, I go to the gym and do a bit of military fitness every now and then, but I did the Half Marathon for the first time last year in 2:05 and beat my time this year by 15 minutes!

As a result, I wanted to share some of the things that keep me striving as a ‘normal’ person that runs.

Don’t expect any science or Olympian insights – just potential considerations for Runing Reigate in 2016:

Getting over the hump

Like with a 10k, or any long run, the first twenty minutes is the hardest. After that you should have found a pace you can settle into. That’s when I get the most joy out of running and it becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. Don’t give up before it gets good!

Helpful habits

Routine really helps my training. I like to stick to the days and times I run, for example. But essentially anything you can do to take the ‘thinking’ out of training and be psychologically prepared.

I drink water but also got into a habit of having a cup of coffee before a long run (if I was happy I was hydrated enough). It may not be the most advisable option but I felt like it gave me a smidgen more energy! It may even be a placebo! But this was just another thing that gets me feeling ready in body and mind.

Pace vs. duration

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I run at a slower pace on longer runs, there’s a natural correlation, and in turn it helps to balance out my heart rate BPM (beats per minute).

If my heart rate increased by more than ten BPM during training I would be inclined to slow down in order to ensure I was training within a healthy parameter.

It’s all common sense, but using a Fitbit or other running tracker (like the Strava app) makes you a health-aware runner who can look after yourself in good time, if the data shows you may need to.

Mix up your route

What will the route terrain be like on the day? You can’t predict the weather but you can get a feel for the land by trialling the course!

The route changed this year and there was a much steeper hill at the end (bosh hill). I would highly recommend running the course beforehand if you’ve not already to get a sense of the challenge ahead.

If it’s too far just take a more varied route once in a while so you know you can handle a change in terrain.

Comfort kit all the way!

I bought some adidas ultra-boost running shoes at this years’ Run Reigate post-race.

I wish I’d had them beforehand now, they are a dream. I’d liken it to feeling like you are running on marshmallows! They feel like they are really good for your knees too and the overall ergonomics of running.

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My Half Marathon Running Diary 2015

For each run I had a goal in mind, something to aim towards, as a result I often exceeded it!

(On August 21st I was running with a friend – so this was more of a social than anything! Luckily she is a fitty and was happy with the pace I set.)

Date Kilometres Miles Pace Time Heart BPM
17th August 19.59 12.17 5”49 1:54:12 153
19th August 13.71 8.52 5”39 1:17:35 158
21st August 7.09 4.41 6”03 42:59 156
9th September 19.13 11.88 5”26 1:44:05 161

 

I still went to the gym and did military fitness in between runs, if I hadn’t I would have run more.

Mixing it up used different muscle groups though and made me feel stronger for when I did run.

So that’s it, from one non-pro runner to another. Maybe I’ll see you there next year!

Genevieve Poultney

(Part of the Jellyfish running team)

Jellyfish Running Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have any unusual running habits? We’d love to know…

 

Angie Stewart  |  Beverly Hills Ambassador

How can yoga benefit runners?


“If I were given £1 for every time someone has told me ‘I’m not flexible enough to do yoga’ I would be a millionaire by now”, says Catherine Jaschinski, a Reigate-based yoga and mindfulness teacher. Here she explains how yoga can help runners. 

Honestly, as a yoga teacher I find it totally perplexing when I hear this [‘I’m not flexible enough to do yoga’] because it is so much more than flexibility. And for runners, yoga offers a vast range of benefits that can be accessed as and when they are needed.

I have run pretty much all my life, in fact, my mother said that as soon as I could walk, I ran!  And I still love running; whether it be as part of a sport or just for the pure joy of getting out of the house and exploring my surrounds or challenging myself to run crazily long distances… it makes me feel alive and free (most of the time!).

For most of the years that I have been running, I have also practiced yoga, and I am not naturally flexible.  There is no doubt that the stretching element of yoga has helped to keep my body more mobile than it would ordinarily have been, but I have discovered that it is surprisingly good in other areas. Let’s have a look at just a few of them.

Strengthening benefits

Yoga does include stretching, but we also need to contract supportive muscles to create balance. Many of the muscles that are not used in running can be strengthened by yoga.

Take, for example, the upper body.  Research is starting to show that the optimal arm position is with the elbows bent 90 degrees, close to your ribs with your arms swinging back and forth along the sides of your body (this may sound obvious but not everyone runs like this!).  It takes strong arm, shoulder and back muscles to swing the arms in this fashion and yoga postures such as ‘downward dog’, ‘plank’ and ‘dolphin’ strengthen the whole upper body.

Core strength is also improved with yoga. A strong, stable core doesn’t come from doing thousands of sit-ups; it comes from positioning the body so that it develops balance and stability by challenging all of the torso muscles. Standing balances such as ‘tree pose’ and ‘eagle pose’ are great at this, as well as many balancing lunges where the arms are raised above the head, or are twisting to the side of the body.

Taking out injury insurance

One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of runners who are totally passionate about yoga are those people who have been running for many years, have incurred a lot of injuries and have then realised they need to look after their body better if they want to continue to run. Yoga can be seen as an insurance policy for runners – you may still have injuries but you are less likely to get them, and, if you do, you are more likely to recover more speedily. I have certainly found this to be the case in the limited times I have been injured.

On my Yoga for Runners workshop I cover the most common injuries and identify which postures will help to prevent these injuries.

Body awareness

When running, we are used to persevering and pushing through to a longer distance or faster time. Sometimes we do this at the expense of our body and, if we do it often enough, we may injure ourselves.

Yoga can teach us how to listen to our body, and this may mean going a bit slower or being gentler. This ability to know when to pull back, as well as when to push through, can help us to respect our bodies and, ultimately, be a better runner.

Catherine’s next Yoga for Runners workshop is on Wednesday 9 September 7.30–9.30pm in Reigate.

If you’re interested in taking part, please contact Catherine Jaschinski, Illuminate Consulting Ltd, on 07801 045 905 or email jaschinski@btinternet.com