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 

Muscle_Kitchen

Bosh that hill!


Both the half marathon and 10K course is fairly flat with the exception of one challenging hill at the end… we’ve nicknamed this ‘Bosh Hill’.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 10.37.46

For half marathoners, the climb starts just after mile 12, and for 10Kers at about the 8K point on Littleton Lane.

For those of you who like to obsess about elevation stats you may want to crunch some data on MapMyRun or Strava but to keep things simple, the hill is about a fifth of a mile long and there’s a climb of 25 metres.

Don’t panic though – the hill will be lined with the ever enthusiastic and supportive volunteer crew from Bosh, the grassroots, online running club driven by a passion to share an all inclusive, fun approach to running.

And, as the saying goes, what goes up must come down… so get in there and go Bosh that hill, collect some high fives and look forward to a lovely, much longer, downhill recovery (a third of a mile) with the end of the race in sight. The descent drop of 21 metres will give you plenty of time to catch your breath for the grand finale.

There’s also an easier climb of 24 metres for a third of a mile as you leave Priory Park at the beginning of the race. But with fresh legs at the start, we think it’s only fair to point this one out! Again, there’s a nice, long recovery descent.

So don’t forget to build a little hill training into your running schedule. Check out this advice

You can learn more about Bosh at its Facebook group or website

 
Gary Maytham, Consultant Vascular Surgeon

North Downs Hospital Vascular Consultant takes up the Run Reigate challenge  


I’m Gary Maytham, and I am a Consultant Vascular Surgeon who offers a vascular service at North Downs Hospital. My NHS consultant practice is at St George’s Hospital in Tooting. I specialise in venous disorders, complex vascular access for renal dialysis patients, and peripheral vascular disease. My practice includes the management of varicose veins. I am also a regular officer in HM Armed Forces.

Why have I signed up for the RunReigate half-marathon? Well, quite unexpectedly, Nicola, the Marketing Manager at North Downs Hospital, asked if I was a runner. She was looking for one of the consultants to take part. I replied I was. And the past tense is probably correct… Read More

 

Shireen Bailey

Good luck to you all


It’s less than a week now which means all the hard training has been done (and if it hasn’t don’t try doing it this week!) It’s an easy week where rest and just a few easy runs are the best thing. Read More

Ultrasun

Be fully protected on race day!


You’ve slept well, are carbo-loaded and dressed for success. But are you protected from the sun? It’s just as important to keep your skin protected on a long distance run as it is when you are spending time on a sunny beach.
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TORQ

Fuelling your running


TORQ supplies fitness services to clients and a range of performance nutrition products. They have created this overview on how to adapt your diet to fuel your training.
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