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A TRULY international event it may be, but there was a real flavour of Poole at this year’s London Marathon. Leading from the front was Poole resident and Olympic hopeful Liz Yelling. Aiming to run herself into the British team for this summer’s Beijing Games, Liz, 33, who lives in Parkstone with husband Martin, scored a ninth place finish, ahead of rival Hayley Haining, in a personal best of 2:28.44, to book her place in the GB squad for Beijing alongside Paula Radcliffe.

©Peter Adams. Photograph of The Daily Echo.

Previously a bronze medallist at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Beijing could prove Liz’s last shot at glory and she goes into the summer on top form. Before London, she came close to her personal best at the Reading Half Marathon in March and the smashed the course record in winning the Wokingham Half Marathon.

“Poole is the lifestyle capital of the UK – it’s got the weather, the beaches, the forests, the heaths,” said Liz Yelling.

“It’s just made for being active and outdoors.” THERE’S never been a better opportunity to hit the parks and promenades of Poole and get running. While all it really takes is a pair of trainers and a bit of enthusiasm, the Borough of Poole is offering several ways to get started. One of the most exciting ways is to sign up for this year’s Poole Festival of Running. As the largest running celebration on the south coast, the event offers distances and races for runners of all abilities. There are minithons for children aged eight to 17, along with a 5km charity fun-run, the Jog For Julia’s, where all the money raised goes to children’s hospice Julia’s House. The famous Poole 10K forms the centrepiece of the event and attracts some of the country’s finest athletes. As ever, the Festival is supported by the Borough of Poole and takes place in Poole Park on 1 June. If the thought of entering one of these races is a bit too much for now, why not sign up for the Borough of Poole’s Active 3x30 initiative? Launched in April, the aim is to encourage residents to take part in at least three halfhour sessions of exercise a week. Running is an ideal sport to include in the programme as it’s cheap to get kitted out and easy to get started – the Borough is your oyster!

For those looking to develop their running, however, Poole is home to two top-class clubs. Poole Runners, organisers of the Festival of Running, recently won the Best British Running Club ward by Runner’s World magazine. Based at Broadstone Leisure Centre, they specialise in long-distance road and cross-country running. Poole Athletic Club uses Ashdown Leisure Centre as their base and they also embrace road running and cross-country, as well as track and field leagues. Both clubs have thriving senior and junior sections, and are in action throughout the year. And if you’re still not convinced, the last word goes to Olympic hopeful, Liz Yelling (pictured above). “Poole is the lifestyle capital of the UK – it’s got the weather, the beaches, the forests, the heaths,” she said. “It’s just made for being active and outdoors.”

Peter admitted running with Don presented a whole new set of challenges. He said: “It was quite stressful as you are only used to looking ahead at what is in your way. You tend to talk all the way around, which I also had to get used to.” The dynamic duo finished the race in a time of 6:49.59. They also raised around £4,000 for their chosen charity St Dunstans, who support ex-servicemen and women who have suffered significant loss of sight. For further information on running in Poole: Active3x30 – www.active3x30.co.uk or contact Richard Woodrow, Recreational Development Officer e-mail: r.Woodrow@poole.gov.uk or Tel. 261312. Poole AC – www.pooleac.co.uk Poole Runners and Poole Festival of Running entry forms - www.poolerunners.com

Poole News Publication Details Purpose of Poole News To keep residents of Poole informed about Council news and developments Production Team - Content, Advertising & Circulation: Julie Snow - Editor - Design: Hierographics.co.uk - Print: Newsquest - Distribution: NDS, Poole/ BJ Mailing Services Number Printed 67,000

9095 Poole News June July 08.indd 1

Slightly further back in the London field, but no less dedicated, was Borough of Poole councillor Peter Adams, (pictured right above). Peter is no stranger to the course, having run seven London Marathons previously. But there was something very different about this one for Cllr Adams, 69. Acting as the lead for blind runner Don Planner, 60, the pair tackled the gruelling course in tandem.

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13/5/08 15:47:07


in focus WELLBEING

Stress relief on-site The government’s Foresight Tackling Obesities: Future Choices project has predicted that, if current trends continue, by 2050 60% of adult men and 50% of adult women will be obese – putting themselves at risk of a range of chronic diseases, including diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease, cancer and arthritis. The costs to society and business will reach an estimated £49.9bn a year, at today’s prices. The impact of the UK’s low fitness levels has already hit the workplace. According to a survey released by the CBI and insurance providers Axa, absence from work cost the UK economy £13.2bn last year, employees taking an average of 6.7 days off sick. Long-term absence continues to be a serious concern, accounting for 40% of time lost, a nd costing employers £5.3bn in 2007. And while more than twothirds (69%) of organisations surveyed said they had a wellbeing policy – aimed at encouraging staff to lead healthier, happier lives – are these schemes actua lly working? Individual responsibility

It was once up to the individual to manage their own health and fitness. But today, as we spend more and more time at work, and have further to commute, it’s becoming harder to find time for

Pfizer, where he built on his experiences at Scottish Power, developing what he calls “the perfect triangle of good health – the physiotherapist, the psychologist and the gym”. Reducing absence

Corporate gyms may seem like a mammoth investment while budgets are tight, but on-site exercise facilities can have a positive impact on the wellbeing and performance of your workforce. Tara Craig reports. exercise. That’s why an increasing number of companies are providing on-site, subsidised, exercise facilities for their staff. According to corporate fitness experts Nuffield Proactive Health, employers will see improved performance and productivity from a fitter, sharper team, while employees will benefit from greater integration as well as an improved level of fitness. Dr Les Smith, of Health and Well-being UK, was a pioneer of the on-site gym, establishing one of the UK’s first for Scottish Power in the early 1990s, when the fitness industry was non-existent and even high-street gyms were “no more than a twinkle in [gym chain owner] Duncan Bannantyne’s eye.” Smith feels strongly that corporate gyms should not exist in isolation, but instead be part of a holistic wellness

programme, and helped set up the Scottish Power gym as the result of 7,000 staff being screened for potential health problems. The scheme involved running tests that are par for the course today, but were unusual then, including cholesterol and blood pressure checks. Yelling: important to invest in health.

Change in behaviour

The resulting data told Smith and his team that a large number of staff were not exercising, but wanted to. Seeing the need for a change in behaviour, Smith talked Scottish Power into providing gyms on several of its main sites. These became part of a wellness programme. St a f f who had been screened and found to have health problems would be referred to the gym, and employees who had to see the company physiotherapist – rather than taking

away exercises to do on their own – were referred to the gym’s fitness trainers, who could then ensure the necessary exercises were done regularly and correctly. Smith says: “It’s a daft idea to give someone free membership of an external gym as a corporate perk – they have no real motivation to go. This on-site gym was part of an integrated, holistic wellness programme, where physical activity was just one part of the system.” Smith later moved to

ML ACTIVE

■ Gym provider and new owner of high-street gym chain Cannons Group, Nuffield Proactive manages the leisure facilities at one of the best known investment banks in the City. Staff planning to join the centre, known as ML Active, have to undertake a comprehensive health check and a 45-minute session with a fitness and lifestyle adviser beforehand. The centre is open from 6am to 8.45pm, Monday to Friday, and

situated next to the canteen, rather than tucked away, as is so often the case. And in addition to the standard gym equipment, it offers a huge range of classes, such as Taekwondo. Fitness coaches are on hand throughout the gym’s opening hours, and members are encouraged to use the Technogym key system, which records their workouts and allows them to monitor their own progress. Coaches take groups outside on runs – 500 of the bank’s employees ran this

year’s JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge – and the studios are used by exercise clubs. The facilities are popular. The bank’s head of corporate access uses the gym at least three times a week, and admits he wouldn’t visit an off-site facility to the same extent. He says an hour away from his desk, spent exercising, gives him higher energy levels. While 10 years ago on-site gyms were rare, they are now almost a standard benefit, he adds.

“Do gyms work? Well of course they’re a nice thing to have from the perspective of somebody joining or considering leaving a company,” says Smith. “The cost savings around recruitment and retention will be considerable, but the biggest savings around having a gym on-site are in the reduction of sickness absenteeism – that’s the holy grail,” adds Smith. Another expert convinced of the positive impact of exercise on absenteeism is Liz Yelling, marathon runner and Beijing Olympics marathon contender. She says we should take investing in our health as seriously as any other investment – if not more so – and emphasises the importance of finding a space for exercise within the daily grind. She suggests staff specifically ‘ringfence’ time for activity. As an elite athlete, Yelling is an obvious advocate for exercise, believing in its ability to build confidence and reduce stress. And physical activity is one of only three key methods recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for the treatment of depression. Given the evidence, the only mystery about corporate gyms is that there aren’t more of them – even the bean counters have to admit that they make sound financial sense, and the health benefits – mental as well as physical – are undeniable. ➜ tara.craig@rbi.co.uk

…this month in Occupational Health Setting the

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Liz Yelling was a member of the Athens Olympic team and is a very successful marathon runner winning an outstanding bronze medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

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1. Ring fence your run time. You won’t get to the finish line without protecting your time to walk/run. Prioritise your exercise time during the week and stick to it. 2. Reward yourself. Get some short and mid term goals to provide you with drive and commitment. Reward yourself when you reach these. 3. Plan your attack. Your plan should be progressive, structured and appropriate to your exercise history, level of fitness and 5km goals. 4. Variation is the spice of running life. Don’t just do the same run every day. Mix it up and try different things like varying the pace, terrain and time you run for. 5. Rest! It shouldn’t be all hard work. Avoid packing all your runs together. As a rule of thumb, for every day of ‘hard’ running, take two days rest or easy running. 6. Fuel yourself. Running is a great calorie burner but you still need to replace the energy you’ve used. Carbohydrate is the body’s fuel for exercise so eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself optimally hydrated.

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7. Get some support. Running with friends is social and builds togetherness. Getting a coach can help you get the right advice from an experienced specialist. 8. Get the right kit. Specialist running shoes are a must for injury prevention. Choose a running wardrobe that is functional, comfortable and you enjoy wearing. 9. Be patient. Don’t expect immediate results. The more you do the easier it gets. You will experience highs and lows on your journey, that’s natural - enjoy the highs, and roll through the lows! 10. Enjoy it and have fun. Most importantly, your running shouldn’t be a chore. It’s something you do to boost your health, wellness and vitality. Liz Yelling. www.lizyelling.com

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22/06/2007 17:43:26


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THE

BIG

RF INTERVIEW

Marathons& motherhood THIS MONTH WE CATCH UP WITH OLYMPIC MARATHON RUNNER AND RUNNING FITNESS’S WOMEN’S EDITOR LIZ YELLING AND FIND OUT ABOUT HER RETURN TO RUNNING SINCE THE BIRTH OF HER DAUGHTER RUBY WORDS AND PICS: MARTIN YELLING

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December 2009


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RUNNING FITNESS. WHAT RUNNING ARE YOU DOING NOW? HOW HAVE YOU BUILT UP TO THIS? LIZ YELLING. When Ruby was

born, I had two weeks of complete rest. I really needed it! The birth was a bit of a marathon effort in itself. I’d have gone totally stir crazy staying in the house when we did get home though. So I took the occasional light walk (hobble: Mums will understand!) with the pushchair. I then did two weeks gradually building up the time spent walking. This helped me to start putting time aside for exercise and gave me some time on my own. I’d nip out of the house for a few minutes while Ruby was asleep leaving Martin to look after her. I then introduced two weeks of jog/walking every other day. To start with, I certainly did much more walking than jogging. I wouldn’t really call it running as much as shuffling. I did feel a little different when I first started to run again; my body felt heavy and clumsy. That has improved loads and each week I feel more like my old self. The fatigue I had when I was pregnant has gone only to be replaced by another kind, made up from breast-feeding, broken sleep, and running. Getting the balance right is an ongoing juggling act and stability is harder to find. I was quite surprised how my body responded when I did resume some light running. I was taking it very, very easy but fitness quickly picked up and by the end of the second week, I was able to run for nearly 30 minutes without stopping. I then did a month of easy running for 30 minutes at a time. I built up during the month to 4-5 times a week. I have since been able to progress my running time and now I am currently getting out of the door five times a week and covering about 40 miles a week. My runs are all at a controlled steady pace as I am focusing on building time on my feet and my strong foundation. I’m really not in a hurry to get back to racing. I’m enjoying the time running relaxed without the competitive pressure.

exercised for more than an hour so I had to make sure any exercise I did while pregnant was less than this and make sure I ate well before and after I ran. At my 20 week scan I was diagnosed with placenta previa. I was advised not to do any running from this point. I was a little disappointed at the prospect of no running for the next 5-6 months but it was a total no-brainer to not run. This was the longest period in my life without running! It was worth it though. RF. WHAT ELSE DO YOU FEEL YOU STILL HAVE TO DO TO REACH YOUR ‘PRE BABY’ FITNESS LEVELS? WHAT IS YOUR PLAN TO PROGRESS YOUR TRAINING? LY. I feel I still have a long way to go. My last race before Ruby was the Olympics and I was in pretty good condition for that one. It feels like I’m miles away from there right now. I have had my longest break from running in the 25 years I have been training and competing. When I started running again after having Ruby I had not ran for eight months. No wonder it felt really hard! My plan is to just build a really solid base of easy/steady running and progress the duration a week at a time over many months. I am in no rush. I really want an injury-free come back. I want to build up to running six times a week and then gradually introduce double day running back into my weeks. When I can

RF. WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST BARRIERS YOU FACED RUN-WISE DURING YOUR PREGNANCY AND WHAT DID YOU DO TO OVERCOME THESE? LY. I would say I had a few barriers that affected the way I could exercise while I was pregnant. The fatigue I sometimes experienced during my pregnancy meant that I had to listen to my body and exercise on the days when I felt I had the energy to do so. That often meant I didn’t do much! I’m a real believer in listening closely to your body and what it’s telling you. If I felt tired, I rested from exercise. I also experienced huge drops in my blood sugar if I December 2009

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THE

BIG

RF INTERVIEW

run five double days a week with a long run and a rest day I will start to think about introducing some pace into my runs again. There’s quite a lot of uncertainty really about how my body will respond as I increase the workload. I really don’t want to hurry it along though. It’s better to get the return to fitness right and be patient than try to rush it and it all go pear-shaped down the line. RF. HAVE YOU TAKEN ANY ADVICE FROM ANYONE ABOUT YOUR COMEBACK? WHO SAID WHAT AND WHAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE? DID YOU ASK PAULA RADCLIFFE? ANY LESSONS THERE? LY. I have spoken to Paula. It’s always nice to check what you are feeling is normal. I know she came back from having a baby fairly quickly and maybe pushed it too much too soon. She has advised I don’t do the same thing. I want to make sure that each step is forwards rather than backwards. I have also spoken to Mark Buckingham a physio in Northampton who has treated me for over ten years. He reminded me that it always takes longer than ‘Hello’ magazine would have you believe! Mark gave me some great advice [see box].

Top physio MARK BUCKINGHAM on returning to running after pregnancy “The hormone relaxin and its effects are poorly understood and there are many conflicting studies. Collagen is the tissue which holds us all together, especially around the sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis. Relaxin has the effect of softening this tissue to allow the pelvis to open more easily during birth. The levels of this hormone vary during pregnancy and birth with its highest levels being seen in the first trimester. This would seem quite early but collagen has a turn over rate of around 100 days so to get the tissue softened sufficiently it has to start early. The converse of this is that it takes collagen some time to harden again after birth and it is this time that the pelvis is at its most vulnerable to movement and dysfunction caused by the stress and impact of running. The time it takes for the collagen to return to its pre pregnancy state is unclear and the role of breastfeeding is also unclear. Some studies say it reduces the level and some say it prolongs it. Certainly regardless of relaxin collagen takes at least six to ten weeks for remodeling and consolidation to return it to its previous level of strength to withstand the strain of running. This is especially relevant to those athletes who have suffered pelvic dysfunction previously as they have a less than congruent sacroiliac joint to start with, so therefore need as much soft tissue stability as possible. A sensible baseline is to not run for the first six weeks after giving birth and to then build it up very slowly, say up to 30 minutes in the next three weeks. Pain is the factor that you need to watch for and possibly the assessment of a therapist with knowledge of sacroiliac joint dysfunction could be useful. Cross training in the first six weeks and walking are fine, as long as not taken to excess, as there is much less impact. Further returning the core muscles to their former glory is essential in reducing the stress on the pelvis as they stabilize the joints and control the impact.” For me the old wives adage of nine months to get there and nine months to get over it is closer to reality, I think. I have chosen to listen to my body and progress my running very gradually. I have also decided to enjoy the precious moments with my daughter and getting the balance of running, work and home life right. After all, these moments will be gone too soon and Ruby keeps growing – fast!

26 Running fitness

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December 2009

RF. HAS YOUR DIET HAD TO CHANGE TO MEET YOURS AND YOUR BABY’S NEEDS? LY. Yes, I have to eat more! This is tricky to get my head around as I‘m running much less and eating at least as much as when in full training. I am trying to eat well but the fatigue makes me crave sweet things like cake and chocolate. I’d say my diet isn’t as disciplined as when I’m training for a big race. But, you know what, I’m totally fine with it and really quite enjoying it. I feel like I am eating for Ruby now as I am breastfeeding so I ensure that I have a balanced diet as everything I eat ultimately goes through to her. I have also been caffeine and alcohol free since falling pregnant (crikey!). I will continue this until I stop breastfeeding. I don’t need a wired baby but I do miss my morning caffeine kick!

RF. HAS HAVING RUBY CHANGED YOUR OUTLOOK ON RUNNING AND RACING OR ARE YOU STILL AS COMMITTED AND DEDICATED AS BEFORE? LY. Having Ruby means more to me than all of my running achievements. If I sensed my running was causing me to

neglect Ruby in any way then I would not continue with it. I think having Ruby has made me more chilled about my running but not less driven. I still have a burning desire to get back in shape and try for 2012. I just love the feeling of training hard and running fast and I miss that. RF. WHAT THINGS HAVE YOU DEVELOPED TO FIT YOUR RUNNING BACK INTO WHAT IS NOW A VERY DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE ROUTINE? HAVE YOU FOUND IT HARD TO JUGGLE A NEW HOME LIFE AND MOTIVATE YOUR RUNNING? LY. I think initially I found it very hard. Having a little person rely on you as their source of food made me feel very tied to her and made me feel anxious about leaving her in case she needed me. To start with, I could only get out the door for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. As Ruby has become more predictable, I have found the confidence to run for longer. I have to run after one of Ruby’s feeds, and this is normally mid morning. I have found the use of a running buggy very liberating. It enables Martin and myself to exercise together and still be with our daughter. Ruby loves it and often just sleeps! The pushchair slows Martin down so I can keep up. Planning time to run and having the support of Martin has been essential in enabling me to get out and run. I have to be patient and flexible if I want to go for a run, as I know have to fit in with my husband’s exercise and work; I also have to fit in with Ruby’s feeds. We don’t have a routine yet and I guess being chilled and going with the flow is key right now. Motivation has only been a problem when I am tired and then I’ve always knocked the run on the head and rested instead.


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RF. YOUR LAST RACE WAS REALLY AT THE BEIJING OLYMPICS – WHAT HAPPENED THERE? HAS HAVING A BABY MADE YOU DETERMINED TO MAKE AMENDS? LY. I was so fit then! My preparation for Beijing was perfect and I knew I was in great shape. Being tripped at ten miles and breaking a rib was so frustrating. I struggled for 16 miles to just finish. I knew I was capable of much better than

26th but on the day there was nothing I could have done. I know I still have a faster race in me. I now know what works for me as an athlete and I hope I can get back in that shape again and do it justice. RF. WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE HITTING THE RACING SCENE AGAIN? LY. Spring 2010. I feel this is realistic and gives me time to build on my fitness without the pressure of racing. This means I can do a sensible and proper job of getting back into my running again while taking time to enjoy Ruby. I have to be patient and think about long-term goals not short-term satisfaction. I’ve always been a focused and disciplined runner and don’t see this phase as being any different. RF

Liz TOP RUNNING TIPS for new mums

1 2

Do your pelvic floor exercises!

Get support and plan ahead: Ask family, husband to look after your children so you can create time to run in your week.

3

Just take your time: Start with some walk running and run how you feel. Starting with a nice slow pace and just think about running for more time rather than running faster. Be very patient.

4

Consistency is key: Getting out the door regularly (3-5

times per week) even if it is just for 15 minutes helps you to establish a routine for your running. Regular running means you are more likely to see improvements in your fitness.

5

Be flexible and adaptable: As a mum, you will encounter many barriers to your running making it easy to not run. Go with the flow and be creative about creating opportunities to run.

6

Leave healthy snacks to hand: Being a mum

means you are often rushed off your feet and feeling hungry. Sweets and chocolate are quick fixes. Buy plenty of fruit that you will eat, seeds, raw nuts, cereal bars and the occasional treat so you can grab and go!

7

Everyone is different. We’ll all have different pregnancy journeys and recovery stories and it’s really important to do what you feel is right for you and not follow what someone else did. Trial and retrial until you find what works for you.

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December 2009

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Running fitness 27


happiness P

S

S•H A

S•H A

S

Great Britain teams and eventually the Olympic Games. Lottery funding, which I received aged 26, allowed me to give up my part-time teaching job (I used to teach art, cookery and PE) and pursue running full-time. Compared to some other sports, running isn’t a well paid career. I make my living from doing lots of things associated with running, like coaching and writing – as well as running itself! It’s always been about my passion for the sport, and my desire to be the best that I can, rather than seeing it as a way to earn a living. With commitment and dedication to my passion I’ve been fortunate to make it my career.

P

P I N E

happiness P I N E

“ Marathon runner Liz Yelling talks about how she found something that made her happy and now pursues it as a career

What motivates you? I could easily still be a teacher but being a runner is something I’ve chosen to do. To be as good as my competitors I have to do at least as much training as them, and do it better – and that keeps me motivated. Like everyone, sometimes I have ‘off ’ days but I remind myself how lucky I am to have a body that’s able to run and to have something I love doing. I think about my goals, too, and how every run I do makes me one step closer to achieving these.

How did you find something you loved so much? My mum was a club runner and I remember watching her race when I was about eight, standing at the side of the road with my brother and cheering her on. I’d beg her to take me out on her training runs and she eventually let me join her. I loved it and kept asking to go again, so she took me to Bedford and County Athletics Club, where I could run with other girls my age. There, I met my coach Alex Stanton and my childhood training partner, Paula Radcliffe and developed friendships and a social life – I had such fun!

Tell us about your training routine

How did you make a living out of a hobby?

When I’m running I’m very focused – I enter another world. Sometimes I imagine I’m in a race: it gives me the purpose to push my boundaries. I break my runs into sections and just focus on running one section at a time. I usually run alone – the times that I like to run often don’t fit in with other people, and I also enjoy my own company when I run. I always run with a clear head on my own. I don’t listen to music either – it would make me feel detached from myself. I want to listen to my body and feel in tune with it and my surroundings. I love running in the country and the open

I was just one of many talented kids who enjoyed training and racing – I never thought I would be able to make a living from running (actually, it’s still quite hard to make a living!). The social element at my local running club, plus getting to compete in international events, were what kept me motivated as a teenager. Then, as I got older, many of my peers dropped out and the years of training started to pay off. I started to believe in myself more and started aiming higher and higher. My dreams slowly started to become a reality and I qualified for major world championships,

40

M Y

v i r g i n

m o n e y

m a g a z i n e

S P R I N G

2 0 1 0

M Y

v i r g i n

m o n e y

m a g a z i n e

S P R I N G

air, exploring different terrain and seeing parts of the world you can only get access to by foot. I get a great sense of freedom from that and I like to hear the birds and the wind in the trees. My favourite places to run are coast paths, off-road trails, forests and lake paths. Running has enabled me to see far more nature and countryside than many people. I feel tired after a hard training session – but exhilarated too. I get a real buzz from knowing I’ve completed something difficult. I get a sense of satisfaction from every run – I think that’s why, once people get into running, they really start to enjoy it and the feeling it gives them. I gave up running for much of 2009 as my daughter Ruby (pictured here with my husband Martin) was born in June. I’m almost right back into the swings of things now though, having built my running up last autumn. Before my pregnancy, when I was training for the Beijing Olympics, I ran twice a day, six times a week: around 100 miles every week.

What are your goals? I plan to be back racing well, after having Ruby, this spring in time for the Virgin London Marathon on 25 April. Looking further ahead, I need to run a fast marathon in 2011 as my sights are fixed on qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics. Preparing for a great marathon really is a journey that takes time and I don’t want to jeopardize my long term opportunity by hastily rushing into a speedy comeback. Patience now will hopefully reward me with a crack at my third See o Olympics in London. happi ur ness heme The London Olympics d arti tcles p ages X will be an amazing X-XX on h o w for spectacle that the you the m can make entire nation will get ost of life behind. I’d love to be on the start line!

2 0 1 0

Liz’s top running tips

1 2 3 4 5

Set aside time every week to run – otherwise it’s easy to let other things eat into your time! Start slowly – this allows you to build your fitness base and be realistic rather than setting unattainable goals. Buy the right shoes – a specialist-running store can advise you what is suited to your running style to help to stay injury-free. Be patient – running is a great calorie-burner and it’s brilliant for your health, but benefits take time. Have a reason to run! Your motivation may be a race, dropping a dress size, raising money for charity or running non-stop for 30 minutes. Whatever it is, remember it each time you step out of the door and it’ll help you run with purpose. n Liz Yelling is a two-time Olympic marathon runner and Commonwealth marathon bronze medalist with a marathon personal best of two hours and 28 minutes. She is the author of The Woman’s Guide To Running. n lizyelling.com

41


happiness P

S

S•H A

S•H A

S

Great Britain teams and eventually the Olympic Games. Lottery funding, which I received aged 26, allowed me to give up my part-time teaching job (I used to teach art, cookery and PE) and pursue running full-time. Compared to some other sports, running isn’t a well paid career. I make my living from doing lots of things associated with running, like coaching and writing – as well as running itself! It’s always been about my passion for the sport, and my desire to be the best that I can, rather than seeing it as a way to earn a living. With commitment and dedication to my passion I’ve been fortunate to make it my career.

P

P I N E

happiness P I N E

“ Marathon runner Liz Yelling talks about how she found something that made her happy and now pursues it as a career

What motivates you? I could easily still be a teacher but being a runner is something I’ve chosen to do. To be as good as my competitors I have to do at least as much training as them, and do it better – and that keeps me motivated. Like everyone, sometimes I have ‘off ’ days but I remind myself how lucky I am to have a body that’s able to run and to have something I love doing. I think about my goals, too, and how every run I do makes me one step closer to achieving these.

How did you find something you loved so much? My mum was a club runner and I remember watching her race when I was about eight, standing at the side of the road with my brother and cheering her on. I’d beg her to take me out on her training runs and she eventually let me join her. I loved it and kept asking to go again, so she took me to Bedford and County Athletics Club, where I could run with other girls my age. There, I met my coach Alex Stanton and my childhood training partner, Paula Radcliffe and developed friendships and a social life – I had such fun!

Tell us about your training routine

How did you make a living out of a hobby?

When I’m running I’m very focused – I enter another world. Sometimes I imagine I’m in a race: it gives me the purpose to push my boundaries. I break my runs into sections and just focus on running one section at a time. I usually run alone – the times that I like to run often don’t fit in with other people, and I also enjoy my own company when I run. I always run with a clear head on my own. I don’t listen to music either – it would make me feel detached from myself. I want to listen to my body and feel in tune with it and my surroundings. I love running in the country and the open

I was just one of many talented kids who enjoyed training and racing – I never thought I would be able to make a living from running (actually, it’s still quite hard to make a living!). The social element at my local running club, plus getting to compete in international events, were what kept me motivated as a teenager. Then, as I got older, many of my peers dropped out and the years of training started to pay off. I started to believe in myself more and started aiming higher and higher. My dreams slowly started to become a reality and I qualified for major world championships,

40

M Y

v i r g i n

m o n e y

m a g a z i n e

S P R I N G

2 0 1 0

M Y

v i r g i n

m o n e y

m a g a z i n e

S P R I N G

air, exploring different terrain and seeing parts of the world you can only get access to by foot. I get a great sense of freedom from that and I like to hear the birds and the wind in the trees. My favourite places to run are coast paths, off-road trails, forests and lake paths. Running has enabled me to see far more nature and countryside than many people. I feel tired after a hard training session – but exhilarated too. I get a real buzz from knowing I’ve completed something difficult. I get a sense of satisfaction from every run – I think that’s why, once people get into running, they really start to enjoy it and the feeling it gives them. I gave up running for much of 2009 as my daughter Ruby (pictured here with my husband Martin) was born in June. I’m almost right back into the swings of things now though, having built my running up last autumn. Before my pregnancy, when I was training for the Beijing Olympics, I ran twice a day, six times a week: around 100 miles every week.

What are your goals? I plan to be back racing well, after having Ruby, this spring in time for the Virgin London Marathon on 25 April. Looking further ahead, I need to run a fast marathon in 2011 as my sights are fixed on qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics. Preparing for a great marathon really is a journey that takes time and I don’t want to jeopardize my long term opportunity by hastily rushing into a speedy comeback. Patience now will hopefully reward me with a crack at my third See o Olympics in London. happi ur ness heme The London Olympics d arti tcles p ages X will be an amazing X-XX on h o w for spectacle that the you the m can make entire nation will get ost of life behind. I’d love to be on the start line!

2 0 1 0

Liz’s top running tips

1 2 3 4 5

Set aside time every week to run – otherwise it’s easy to let other things eat into your time! Start slowly – this allows you to build your fitness base and be realistic rather than setting unattainable goals. Buy the right shoes – a specialist-running store can advise you what is suited to your running style to help to stay injury-free. Be patient – running is a great calorie-burner and it’s brilliant for your health, but benefits take time. Have a reason to run! Your motivation may be a race, dropping a dress size, raising money for charity or running non-stop for 30 minutes. Whatever it is, remember it each time you step out of the door and it’ll help you run with purpose. n Liz Yelling is a two-time Olympic marathon runner and Commonwealth marathon bronze medalist with a marathon personal best of two hours and 28 minutes. She is the author of The Woman’s Guide To Running. n lizyelling.com

41


ing “Hav was w o n e by a ba or m f e m ti le ight e ab b d the r l hou nd eIs s u a ing a c a bec r back in pete to be m o c to ” able 2012 n o d Lon

LIZ YELLING

PREPARES FOR 2012

An inspiration to any mum, British marathon ace Liz Yelling talks to Rebecca Wain about her return to competitive action.

W

hile many British stars are considering retirement at the ripe old age of 34, Liz has announced a brief sabbatical from international marathon running after her first child is born in June. The Commonwealth marathon bronze medallist is not calling time on her illustrious career just yet, but instead eyeing one last shot at the big time at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

despite suffering a nasty fall at the 10-mile mark where she fractured a rib, is convinced even more women could complete 26.2 miles around London. The British international, who has published a book called The Real Woman’s Guide to Running, is convinced a simple technique will make all the difference: “No two runners have an identical style of running – some have a long stride, others a short one.” added Liz, who warned correct equipment, realistic goals, ample rest, keeping training fun and identifying a training partner are crucial to success.

After consulting with her fellow British international and Bedford AC club-mate Paula Radcliffe, who won the New York marathon in 2007 less than ten months after giving birth to baby Isla, Yelling is adamant she can bounce back fitter and stronger than ever before for London 2012. “Paula has given me a lot of advice but the one overriding thing she has told me is not to rush back,” said Liz. “Having a baby now was the right time for me because I should be able to be back racing and able to compete in London 2012. “We are great mates and Paula has told me a lot about what it was like going back to running after she had her baby and so I have got some great advice. Research suggests that female athletes can come back stronger after having a baby but I don’t think Paula has had her best race yet since coming back. “The human body is great for telling you exactly how you are feeling and when my body tells me I’m ready, I will come back and start pounding the pavements again. The chance that I might come back stronger after having a baby is certainly not why I did it, but it would be a wonderful consequence if it did come about.” Yelling’s first target will be the 2010 London Marathon and the veteran Brit, who finished 26th at the Beijing Olympics last summer

“What good runners have in common is the ability to run efficiently, with good balance, rhythm and posture. If you are to be the best runner you can be, it is essential that you get the basics of good form right. Remember, your overall direction of travel is forward, so don’t waste energy on bouncing up and down or on movements that don’t contribute to your forward motion, such as allowing your arms to swing across the front of your body.” fn

Liz’s marathon tips 1.

Make sure you have the right equipment. Go to a specialist shoe shop and get fitted for the right shoes.

2.

Set realistic goals in your training.

3.

Ensure you use rest days as an effective weapon in your training.

4.

Train as a group where you can; it will help you train harder.

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