The monthly magazine, written by runners for runners. Issue 67 â€“ August 2017
Featuring articles on or by... Katie Bates Andy Galbraith Yiannis Christodoulou Donna Carroll Charlie Spedding Steve Bonthrone Michelle Mortimer Mimi Anderson Sophie Taylor Jane Wilby-Palmer Melissa Kahn Amy Gilbert Marie Glennon Andy Preston and Jess... ÂŁ2.50
Contents of this month’s
Cover picture (below) Dawn Annett in action at Lullingstone parkrun (credit Brian Page)
Above: North Downs Way 50 – Centurion Grand Slam... - See page 5
Page 4: Katie’s Column, featuring the musings of Katie Bates, our illustrious monthly columnist... Pages 5-11: North Downs Way 50 – Centurion Grand Slam... Jaz Sandalli
Pages 12-13: Can Genetics Explain the Success of East African Distance Runners? Andy Galbraith Pages 14-16: How Not to be Hard on Yourself... Yiannis Christodoulou Pages 17-18: Bromley Mid-summer Run – Marshalling... Donna Carroll Pages 19-20: Do You Want Salt on That? Charlie Spedding Pages 21-22: Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh – Done! Steve Bonthrone Pages 23-24: Can Running Affect Your Periods? Jess Pages 25-26: The Seven deadly Sins of Poor Running Etiquette... Michelle Mortimer Pages 27-28: A Few Tips on Running with Asthma... Mimi Anderson Page 29-30: Meet Sophie Taylor – Blogger, Runner, Prosecco Drinker...
Page 43 Forthcoming Events for August 2017. Sponsored by Nice Work
Pages 31-32: Running to Live... Jane Wilby-Palmer Pages 33-34: What Kind of Runner Are You? Melissa Kahn Pages 35-36: Just Because I Run... Amy Gilbert Pages 37-38: From Tea-bags to Treadmills - The ‘Booband’ - reviewed by Donna Carroll & Marie Glennon Page 39: A Positive Boost to the Runner’s Mindset... Andy Preston
Performance Physiotherapy – 01634 817116 2
Editor’s Letter… Issue 67 – August 2017
Hi runners, Welcome to what we personally think is another fantastic and jam-packed issue of „So Let‟s Go Running...‟ where we have yet another great mix of articles from contributors both old and new. With very few events taking place at the moment, it is paramount to stay fit and hydrated when out running and training for the autumn marathons and half-marathons, which will soon be with us. Don‟t forget that some forms of cross-training can help in the heat; maybe try cycling or swimming, where there is still an air of cardio-work, less impact on the joints and the benefits of being air-cooled or water-cooled... Have you tried beach-running or running in sand? Despite all beaches being different and the sand having various textures depending on the last tide and how far out you dare to venture, it is less impactive on your joints. Meanwhile, enjoy the read, and keep on running... Dawn & Brian
The editors of
are Dawn Annett (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brian Page (email@example.com) Plus we are now also at firstname.lastname@example.org and @soletsgorunning on Twitter and www.slgr.co.uk
Katie‟s Column... the monthly musings of Katie Bates As the summer months are passing by, it seems that this year we are getting all types of weather. There have been days of scorching heat, when sunscreen and plenty of water have been essential for outside running. There have also been other days when it has rained relentlessly. I went out one day with my usual running buddy and came back the wettest I have ever been and literally had to pour water out of my trainers! I will always try and run whatever the weather, making sure I prepare appropriately as I have always believed you can never predict what the weather may be like on a race day. Unless of course you decide to take part in a new and different type of event that seems to be rapidly growing in popularity, the virtual run. There are already several companies offering virtual events. The format is simple, you sign up and pay your entry fee, and then when you have completed the required challenge, your medal is posted to you. The challenges vary from running (or walking) for 20 minutes, right up to marathons or completing 100 miles in a particular month. Once the challenge has been completed within the designated timeframe, you upload evidence of your run, for example a screenshot from a phone app, or a picture of your result on your Garmin. Not only does this event format offer a safe, no pressure environment for completing races, you can complete the challenge at a time of your choosing, meaning you can indeed pick the weather. Another nice feature is that a portion of the entry fee is usually given to a chosen charity. I recently completed my first virtual event, which raised money for the emergency services and victims of the Manchester arena terror attack. I was impressed with the medal, service, and the encouragement and support of others involved with the challenge online, and have now signed up for another event later in the year which offers a medal I am really excited about. Enjoy your running and racing, whether or not you can choose the weather,
Katie...xxx Medal of the Month...
Things I’m liking this month...
This may not be the biggest or brightest medal I have ever chosen for this accolade, but I love the simplicity of the design, the union jack being incorporated and perhaps more importantly I really did enjoy taking part in the event itself, which offers a rare opportunity to run through some very famous London streets.
This medal is from the first virtual run I have ever taken part in, the Forever Manchester run. As mentioned above I love the idea that you can choose the time and place (and weather conditions) of your run, earn yourself a lovely medal and contribute towards a worthwhile cause.
Running Quote of the Month... “The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don‟t train so that it doesn‟t hurt. You train so you can tolerate it.” Original source unknown
North Downs Way 50 – Centurion Grand Slam (part 2) Jaz Sandalli is back! For someone who values the sociable nature of ultra-running and never fails to make friends on the trails, there‟s something very appealing about staying on my own the night before a race. I often stay in a random little pub or B&B if I can, find the nearest Italian restaurant/supplier of obscene quantities of carbs and red wine, tuck myself away in a corner with a book and just be. I love it. It‟s worth being apart from my fish and my budgies and my Andy and our castle, much as I hate to leave them, for the meditative solitude of the pointless traveller. Bonus points if there‟s no signal or Wi-Fi. Having started three ultras from beautiful Farnham I‟m well-acquainted with its charms, and so apparently were many of the other „North Downs Way 50‟ competitors. So when I finally got my arse into gear to book my pre-race accommodation, obviously all the nearby hotels were full or obscenely expensive. Fair enough. Good opportunity to get even further away for some peace and quiet and grumpy time, where the options were plentiful and much cheaper, even including the cab to Farnham. I ended up with a B&B in nearby Ash, The Lion Brewery, which turned out to be a pub and music venue as well, and almost literally the only thing in Ash Parish apart from cottages. Doom Bar on tap, copper pans on the walls, fried egg sandwich waiting for me at 6:15 the next morning. Yep, this‟ll do. The route for the Centurion North Downs 50 is the first half of the 100-mile version, starting at the head of the trail in Farnham and following it as far as Knockholt; having attempted that twice before I was pretty confident about my knowledge of the route. Probably a little too confident – let‟s be honest, any amount of confidence before an ultra is too much confidence. As with the „100‟, we started at St. Polycarp‟s School for the race briefing and registration, in a hall that smelled of floor varnish and sugar paper; I felt like I was nine years old again. Just like nine-year olds we walked in a crocodile formation down to the start, comparing packed lunches and buzzing with excitement. As usual, I had pretty good company for the run. A lot of familiar faces from previous Centurion races, almost half the field prospective grand slammers. And a little bit of glamour thrown in – the perennially sunny Susie Chan was running with broadcaster and keen long distance runner Sophie Raworth, taking on the distance for the first time. Sydnee Watlow (half Chaser and half Fulham Runner) and her club-mate Henri were also running in what would be their first 50-mile race, as well as Lovely Sam (stalwart of XNRG races) aiming for an improvement on last year‟s eight and a half hours. Sam started at the business end of the pack, obviously, but I ran with Sydnee and Henri at a steady ten-
minute mile pace for as long as I could hang on – at least while we had the runnable and friendly North West Surrey terrain. I hadn‟t seen much of Sydnee since last August when she volunteered to pace me in the later stages of the „100‟, but since I quit at Mile 66 we never got the chance for a good old gossip. We more than made up for it over the first three hours, enjoying a sociable pace and the perfect running conditions: dry but not hot, overcast but not muggy, bright but not blistering. Henri stayed just a few paces ahead of us all the way like a bodyguard. The first checkpoint at Puttenham around Mile 7 passed in the blink of an eye, and shortly afterwards Sydnee‟s dad popped up at the bottom of St Martha‟s for a check in and a bit of gratuitous photo taking. What else are parents for, eh? Before long we reached the River Wye at Guildford and the legendary bacon butty barge, manned (obviously) by two chaps in inflatable sumo suits. Never mind not being able to eat on the run – these cold bacon butties saved my life last August and there was no way we could pass without grabbing some, even if it meant walking briefly while we digested them. Sydnee even suggested that we take photos of ourselves with the butties… just as I was retrieving the plastic wrap from halfway down my throat, having inhaled mine. Ahem. I mean as food tourism opportunities go this is up there with wagyu beef and caviar, but I‟ve either got time to eat or Instagram, not both. I did manage to get a snap of the barge as we marched away with our swag though. Maybe I could just go back for one more…
Newlands Corner was the next station; by this point Sydnee had had a couple of impromptu comfort breaks where I‟d preferred to hold off for the relative luxury of the café facilities so I took a few minutes to refresh before taking off again. It turned out there was another Chaser, Alice, who was also tackling her first 50-miler that day and we bumped into each other (almost literally) in the ladies, happy to see even more friendly faces. Perhaps it was to do with the fact that I was running with three people new to the distance but there was an air of caution, or perhaps patience, and so instead of my usual MO of smash and grab I took my time filling up
water bottles, getting fruit and cookies (now I know that‟s the only thing I can keep down during a race). Actually I might have been dawdling a little too much; when I was done Sydnee and Henri were raring to go to avoid seizing up so off we took. Almost immediately, a leaden feeling settled into my legs. It didn‟t feel like cramp or muscles getting cold – this was a very definite “are we done yet” feeling. Ah. I mean, I wasn‟t expecting to break any records since once again (load up the broken record) I was in between two insanely busy periods of work and running on fumes to begin with, but 16 miles isn‟t quite where I‟d expected to flag. Alice had stayed back at the aid station for a few moments and Sydnee and Henri were on a roll so I let them go and trotted on for a bit on my own; a blessing in disguise as it also gave my stomach time to settle. The pointless traveller was on another pilgrimage to nowhere. I was being super conscious of salts and hydration after the fiasco that was the „South Downs 50‟ five weeks before – not that I needed to be so vigilant since it wasn‟t anywhere near as hot or exposed, but it paid off. Besides the bacon butty I‟d also crammed the Lion Brewery‟s fried egg sandwich down about half an hour before the race start which in turn was chasing half a packet of peanut cookies, so I was slightly uncomfortable but in no immediate danger of bonking. Look at that, a lesson learned. It also meant that I could more confidently rely on the aid station food and carry as little as possible, another huge improvement on the last two attempts at this course when every extra gram seems to have double gravity on the hill climbs. Alice caught up with me somewhere around Ranmore Common and we ran together for a little while – perfect timing really, I was starting to feel sociable again and missed the company that had made those first few miles fly. She was a fascinating person to talk to and not as new to the club as I had originally assumed, just to trail running; I was reminded of just how many Chasers there are marauding around the south west of London that I haven‟t got to know yet. A couple of years ago we had a solid little group of social trail runners but that generation – myself very much included – either seemed to have moved away or moved on. I can‟t tell you how important those people were in shaping my athletic career, such as it is, but more crucially in helping me build my confidence. These last few months I‟d cut myself off from the club, pleading a busy work schedule for not being at training but also avoiding contact on Facebook because I felt like I just couldn‟t keep up; the idea of logging in just to see how much fun everyone was having depressed me, and knowing what a shitty attitude that was made me feel even worse. I love sharing my friends‟ achievements; it‟s not competition that made me feel inadequate, more my lack of involvement. Enough selfish moping; it was time for me to pay it forward and start being more involved in the club again. The more that newcomers like Alice are given the support to take on a challenge of this magnitude with such grace as she did, the stronger our sport becomes and the further away those unbreakable boundaries are pushed. Before long she was also too fast for my lumpy legs and took off into the distance, on the way to smashing her first 50-miler with a sub-11 hour finish. Everyone tackling the North Downs for the first time speaks of Box Hill with fear; I had actually been looking forward to it all day. Familiarity helps, knowing that once you‟ve got past it there aren‟t all that many lung-busters to go helps, warming up to it by freewheeling down past the Denbies vineyards definitely helps, and the hug from Lorraine – into whom I nearly crashed at the bottom of the Denbies estate, as I launched myself into her arms with a war cry – was like having rockets strapped to my arse. The Stepping Stones aid station is positioned at the foot of Box Hill so that runners can grab a boost of energy before the climb; it‟s also a good opportunity to use a new set of muscles and refresh the calves and ankles that have been taking a pounding on the road leading downhill from the vineyard. My stomach was surprisingly fine, I‟d been getting through a good amount of water and a sip or two of Tailwind, and I was letting my mind wander free as I ran alone,
giving the grey matter a bit of exercise too. But my legs were far from happy. They weren‟t particularly stiff, nor in pain apart from a slight niggle in my right IT band exacerbated by the relentless camber. They were just dog tired. I wasn‟t worried about the hill since all I had to do was grind it out, but I was worried about what would come after it. Namely, another marathon over undulating terrain with little opportunity to get into a rhythm. This was going to be a slog. A couple of young families out for a hike – by which I mean two three-year-olds and a granddad with a babe in arms – overtook me on the climb up the Box Hill steps, but even if I‟d had the motivation to speed up there was nothing in the tank. I took my time and enjoyed the perfect weather conditions – by now there was gorgeous late spring sunshine making the leaves above us glow. At the second incline after the peak I realised I would need some help, especially with Reigate Hill on the way as well, and kept an eye out for a good sturdy stick. There were lots of fallen trees and hundreds of willowy switches or stumpy branches, but nothing that would quite do the job. It would need to be long enough to be able to lean on, strong enough to take my weight and light enough not to be a burden. As I scanned the side of the track looking for this perfect stick two runners passed me wielding proper collapsible walking poles, as if to taunt me. I‟ve resisted trying walking poles partly because simplicity is important to me when I‟m running – after all, I like this sport specifically because it needs minimal kit – and partly because I‟ve nearly lost an eye to them before, and I don‟t want to cause a nuisance. But the more I run, or rather the older I get, the more I see the advantages to using them. I watched the two runners pass me with ease, advancing up the hill as if it had an escalator. Just as I dropped my gaze back to the floor in despair I spotted something that looked like it might be perfect, if only it wasn‟t part of a tree. I nudged it with my foot, then began to unearth it. My perfect stick was stuck in a bit of mulch but otherwise totally loose, and exactly what I was looking for. It even had a little notch from an old branch at exactly the right height for holding it, as if designed to take the crook of my thumb. If I‟d hand carved the thing I could hardly have improved it. Stick in my right hand, I dug into the ground on every fourth step and immediately felt the benefit in my quads. This was much easier. By the time I was at the top my stick had my eternal gratitude and a name. Meet Woody.
As I always do, I reached the top of the incline bracing myself for Bastard Reigate Hill directly afterwards, and finding more single track winding for miles through the glade. I don‟t know why but every time I somehow forget that there‟s a three mile stretch between Box and Reigate and so what is meant to be a lovely runnable little section is spent worrying about the hands and knees crawl coming up, conserving energy for it instead of making up time. When we‟re out on a social run or training it‟s one of my favourite bits. When I‟m racing through it – this would be the fifth time I‟d covered it in a race – it is my Achilles heel. The irony is that bracing yourself for three miles is slightly more exhausting than just running. As I grumbled my way through the wood a couple of ladies drew level with me, admired Woody, my white sleeves and my wild hair, and told me I looked like Gandalf. In retrospect I missed a damn good opportunity to shout YOU SHALL NOT PASS but that might have been taking it a bit too far. Part of my obsession with Bastard Reigate Hill is that no-one ever talks about it but is a proper bona fide bastard of a hill. I mean, it‟s cruel and relentless and twisty and really fucking steep, and it has a convex profile so you can‟t see the top until you‟re actually on it. I‟m not exaggerating here. As soon as we started the race I just wanted that bit to be over and done with, so naturally, it took a lifetime and a half to get there. But once we were there, the climb itself seemed to pass in only a minute or two. Was this what I‟d been bitching about for miles? Either my memory was trolling me again or Woody was making a massive difference – Jesus, I really need to give walking poles more of a chance. I even had time and energy to appreciate the carpet of bluebells that seemed to personify the North Downs in spring. Once at the top it‟s a short trot to the next aid station, and I knew this one would offer another toilet stop and a cracking view as well as the usual treats. Just like that, my legs started to come back to me.
Meanwhile though my watch was having another tantrum – usually so reliable, for some reason the signal between Denbies and Merstham seems to be just a bit too sketchy to sustain accurate measurement and it read at least a mile and a half behind where I knew we were. Oh well, back to the good old fashioned mental arithmetic method. After making sure my number had been registered at the checkpoint I took my time to have a good old stretch and cool down on the grass, as well as stock up on watermelon and cookies and go to the loo; needing the loo twice in one race is definitely unprecedented for me, so despite my lethargy my hydration was obviously still on track. When I finally got going though I knew that there wasn‟t anything left in the tank and consigned myself to a nineteen-mile death march to the finish. My crap maths told me that even a walking pace would get me to the finish within the cut-offs as long as I didn‟t dawdle and the occasional trot would afford the me luxury of pausing at checkpoints, so that would be my tactic from now on. Andy got his usual whinging phone-call while I hobbled off down the track and I gritted my teeth for the finish. We weren‟t finished yet though, not by a long way. The familiar scoreboard of the Merstham Cricket Club popped up shortly afterwards to mark 33 miles in followed by a beautiful little church and a good mile of flat runnable tarmac on the way. Not for me though – every few paces I tried to run became agonising shuffles that eventually devolved to a walk again. I couldn‟t run up hills, I couldn‟t run on the flat, I couldn‟t go fast downhill because my thighs were shredded. I just had to accept the suffering and trust the maths, and hope to quell the panic that was rising. The Caterham aid station at mile 38 (or mile 36 according to my Suunto) was a welcome opportunity to sit and stretch again, admiring yet more stunning views over the valley and get my nerves under control. The next stop would be mile 43, the other side of a long exposed stretch across Oxted Downs and a bitch of a climb up Botley Hill both of which have knocked me for six in the past. I was struggling just to keep moving forward by this point – if I could only get past the aid station the only cut-off I‟d be chasing would be the finish time and I could pretty much hike the rest after then. If I‟ve learned anything running ultras it‟s that suffering is temporary but failure is permanent. And this had become a suffer-fest like I‟ve never experienced. Woody and I had gritted our teeth through the last agonisingly slow five miles, and finding a smiley face at the top of Botley Hill tipped me over the edge – for the first time in a long time I burst into tears. The lovely volunteer who was registering runners‟ numbers was kind enough to ask me if I needed sympathy or just a minute to get over it, and even this little gesture, the last opportunity for me to regain my dignity, sent me into floods of tears again. I looked back down the hill I‟d just climbed, to remind myself that I‟d done it now – another milestone passed. The amazing food offerings – including homemade rocky road – tantalised my mind but turned my stomach. There wouldn‟t be enough in the tank for me to run the last seven miles but I could walk it in two hours and be within the cut-offs, and the calories I had on board would just about last that far. All I had to do was keep moving. Once we passed across the border from Surrey to Kent the landscape changed from woodland to jungle, and the terrain from hills to ruts and vicious cambers. The well tilled farmland creates ankle threatening channels wide enough for half a foot, like running through a half pipe, and the other foot is forced to land on the raised ground beside it. I persisted with a lopsided little hobble as long as I could but my left hip started to scream and I was forced back to a hike. This meant the farmlands seemed to go on forever – even more „foreverer‟ than they do when I run them. The race had
become an exercise in extreme patience. I would get to the end in time now even if I crawled, but the key would be continuing to move – any amount of moving would be faster than stopping. Every now and again I forgot that I wasn‟t aiming for 11 hours any more, did my mental calculations, had a bit of a panic, and then remembered I was aiming for 13 now. Oddly enough the same thing happened to me at the South Downs Way 50, except then I had the excuse of a bonk. Now I was just knucking fackered. Another lady caught up with me as I trudged through the first of many cow-fields; she didn‟t have a GPS watch, just a normal timepiece, and asked how much further I thought we had to go. I gave up following the mileage on my watch but was pretty sure that we‟d only have three or four farms to get through and then we‟d be done. She kept me company for those three or four farms, but when we got to the end of the fourth one and saw only miles and miles of farmland in front of us she realised I was not a reliable source of course information and ran on ahead. The next couple of miles, and that‟s all it could have been, felt like Groundhog Day. The fields just kept coming. Did I misremember? I‟m sure the last time I ran this the turnoff for Knockholt was after this gate. Problem was, they all looked the fucking same. Every new field inspired a new stream of expletives and a fresh temper tantrum, another feeble attempt to trot and another defeat. Woody really came into his own here. He turned out to be the perfect weight for carrying while I ran as well as the perfect support pole for my death march. I started to worry about what would happen to him at the end – I would HAVE to take him home, I‟d get him onto the train somehow and walk from the station instead of getting a lift in the car. He was too important to leave behind, more important than a comfortable journey home. I know it sounds silly to become attached to a bit of stick, but he‟d stuck with me through more of the race than anyone else. As I worked feverishly through the logistics of getting my stick home, I realised that I had finally found the last gate out of the last field and directions to the finish line. Woody, you bloody genius. Gripping him in my right hand I freewheeled down the road which would eventually double back to the village hall – only then did I realise the reason the last couple of miles seemed so unfamiliar is because they were. In the „100‟ you turn off the NDW about a mile and a half from Knockholt Pound and divert through a number of roads to enter from the west, and leave the aid station moving in the same direction. We had continued to run along the trail north of the road and gone past it before turning off to reach the finish, which presumably accounts for the extra mileage needed to make it a proper 50. It also means, however, that having run DOWNHILL to the road you then have to run back up again to get to the arch in the land behind the hall – probably a few feet of uphill, but a cruel final twist in a slog of a race. As I turned onto the road I saw Sydnee, who despite having finished over an hour earlier had waited for me to show me the way to the finish. The very last drop of effort in me spent climbing the hill to the finish arch, I managed as much of a leap over the finish line as my leaden legs would manage and fell to the floor, cuddling Woody and sobbing. I‟d spent almost an hour planning my logistics so as to make sure Woody would come home with me; then, when Sydnee and her dad offered me a lift almost all the way I realised it would be both rude and unspeakably stupid to refuse just so I could keep my stick. I did spend a long time thinking it over though –
Knockholt station is just over a mile away to walk, three trains to get me home then another mile from Mitcham, not impossible… Eventually though I had to concede that Woody was not coming home with me so I gave him a kiss and left him by the side of the finish area, hoping that he would be able to help another runner one day. Of all the emotional struggled I went through that day, parting with Woody was absolutely the worst. But, I thought on the drive home, I had a real live human being who had put her own comfort and recovery in jeopardy (again) to see me home safe. Once more Sydnee had come to my rescue, thinking nothing of it after smashing her first ever 50-miler in under 11 hours, and I couldn‟t even think of the words to tell her how grateful I was. This is the spirit of trail runners and this is the thing I miss most of all when I can‟t run. It‟s taken a while to recover from this race, in comparison with the South Downs – nearly a month on I still have a niggle in my right leg that probably needs medical attention, and a constant need for sleep. I‟ll take that though, trade in a niggle-free life just to get to the end. I still think of that day – mostly lonely, painful, and frustrating – with fondness because I finished it; if anything it means more to have gone through hell to get to the end than it would have if I‟d had a textbook race and come out clean as a whistle. I‟ve found a new depth that I can go to and still come back from. What a dangerous thing to know. On reflection, and after browsing the comments on the Centurion Facebook page, I realise that I massively underestimated the race. Being familiar with it gave me confidence, but I neglected to confront just how tough a course it is; whichever way you look at it, it chewed me up and spit me out. Once again I have to admit I wasn‟t fit enough for it, nor rested enough, and that‟s something that needs to change before the next two in autumn. I know now what the consequences of ill preparation feel like, and that simply trading in preparation for lower expectations is not a long term strategy. I think I‟d quite like to get a bit better at this running lark and not just scramble to the finish every time. Baby steps. Cover photo (C) Dan Milton – thank you for allowing me to use it and for not making me look like a mess…
Find out more and enter online at www.bournemouthmarathon.com 11
Can Genetics Explain the Success of East African Distance Runners? by Andy Galbraith Andy Galbraith is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology, University of East London More than 10,000 athletes from 206 different nations will compete for glory in this year‟s Olympic Games in Rio. But when it comes to distance running it‟s likely that, as in previous years, the finals will be dominated by athletes from East African countries or those of East African heritage. Why do athletes from this one region of the world tend to have such extraordinary success in one sport? It‟s often suggested that it must be down to genetic factors. This would seem a logical assumption, based on the number of Olympic medals won by athletes from a relatively localised geographical area with relatively limited resources to spend on training. As a result, it‟s not surprising that a number of scientific studies over the past 15 years have attempted to answer this question. There is some evidence that the typical body type of East African distance runners – with long, slender legs – may contribute to an increased efficiency in these athletes, particularly at race pace. Yet the overall findings of these research studies have not identified genetic traits that could conclusively explain the success of East African distance runners. As elite sports performance is a complicated phenomenon, it is unlikely that athletic success will be the result of a single genetic factor. But it is possible that the success of these athletes could be down to a combination of interacting genes, which the latest genetic research is trying to discover. If genetic research alone cannot explain the dominance of East African distance runners, then what other factors might be behind their success? One factor often suggested is the extensive walking and running these athletes undertake from an early age – a total distance run to and from school is often cited at between 5km and 20km. However, this early introduction to endurance training does not appear to result in a higher maximal aerobic capacity (a key determinant of endurance performance) than that seen in elite European distance runners.
Such great heights... What about altitude? Many of the elite Kenyan and Ethiopian distance runners were born and raised at altitudes of around 2,000-2,500 metres. This may lead to superior levels of haemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body) and haematocrit (the volume of red blood cells in the blood). In turn, this leads to an increased ability to transport oxygen to the working muscles While just living at such altitudes may not alone explain the success, it appears that East African athletes also have the ability to train at high-intensity while at altitude. This is something that athletes without continual altitude exposure would find difficult to replicate. Iten and Addis Ababa – key training sites for Kenyan and Ethiopian distance runners respectively – both sit at around 2,400 metres above sea level. So it seems logical to assume that prolonged altitude exposure and the ability to train at a high-intensity while at altitude, may contribute in part to the success of East African distance runners. A final reason often suggested for the East African dominance of distance running is the motivation to achieve economic success. In relatively poor countries, success in lucrative distance running events can considerably advance an athlete‟s position in society. We still can‟t say conclusively what is behind the phenomenal success of the East African distance runners. But research suggests it is unlikely that there is a single genetic factor that can explain their success. But an optimal body type leading to excellent biomechanical efficiency may well play a part alongside the runners' prolonged exposure to altitude and psychological motivation to succeed.
Above: The camera‟s this way - Robert Ghement/EPA
We would like to thank Andy Galbraith and The Conversation for giving us the th permission to produce this article, which was first published on Friday 12 August 2016.
How to NOT be Hard on Yourself... Yiannis Christodoulou
How not to be hard on yourself... Well I came across this photo the other week when Gobinder, my psychology coach, posted it on Twitter. I found it very interesting and decided as it received a lot of attention on my Social media account to write a blog about my experience – this was a great insight of people‟s minds by Anna Vital. Your mistakes are part of learning... Everyone makes mistakes but it depends if you learn from them. I certainly have, I now know my limits in training and it is a fine line between injuries. When I took up running nearly five years ago, my mistake was that I kept coming back too soon and getting injured. Looking back now I think what on earth was I thinking, but it‟s all learning. I would go out as fast as I could in every session; well that road led me to injuries all the time. When I got injured I would rest until it didn‟t hurt and then come back and do the same. This was a huge learning curve for me and once I learnt and my knowledge was much better I was able to go years with just minor niggles and was able to improve as a result. It‟s ok to have a bad race or training session, look at it as a positive and set targets to improve next time. Don‟t compare yourself to others because you are not them... A lot of people make the mistake of comparing others with themselves. Well don‟t because that‟s not a good idea, just because someone runs 100 miles a week and improves hugely it doesn‟t mean you will. Everyone has different bodies and your body may not cope. For me if I do that kind of mileage that will break my body. So my advice is just stick to your own training and plans and work out what works best for you.
There is no right way to do anything... With running technique it is very important and even more important with swimming. However people have different techniques that work for them. In regards to training we all follow plans and sometimes they do make you improve, again it‟s important to find out what works best for you. If a coach tells you to do something and you find it is not working, don‟t be afraid to say it doesn‟t work and want to do what you think is best. Stand up for what you believe. Even if it‟s unpopular... It‟s important you stand up for what you believe in and what works for you. I am at the stage of life that if someone finds something I do unpopular let them get on with it. I found since I got the two bronze medals in the Nationals and the European Aquathlon championships last year, some people started changing towards me. It has been a huge learning experience how people can change and yes at the time it hurt. But I now allow it to go over the top of my head and let them get on with talking about me and being jealous. Training hard and working hard pays off and it inspires others so don‟t let this ever get to you. Let them talk and prove them wrong in your races. Learn from people who criticise you... I like this one, I am no pro I am just a full time working guy who trains after work and not elite. I love it when people criticise me and I love it even more when they criticise me behind my back. When people talk about you, you always find out in the end. I use this as fuel to make me more determined and motivated to push harder in training and races in order to succeed. This season has been successful so far for me and it is mainly down to working hard and getting on with it. Accept your weakness as your features... I know I am not the quickest runner or swimmer but I give it all my best and train to the best I can be. When I got injured a lot in the past I decided to do strength training to help keep injuries away. I accept my weaknesses, but work hard to improve them without being too hard on myself. Look at your past as an adventurous biography... Use you past races/training etc to help you improve and be successful in reaching your targets and goals. I always look back to day one of running and how far I have come. This motivates me to improve and reach my targets; most people I compete against have been racing all their life so knowing that I am still going to improve helps. When I go into a race I always look back on how I had to sprint the last 400m at the European Championships in 2016 to claim a Bronze medal in my Age group. So this makes me think I can sprint the last bit of a race. Don‟t underestimate your talent until you apply it 100 times... As mentioned before I didn‟t know I could sprint the last 400m of a race and every race is different you get to learn something new. The mind is hugely important and if you have the right frame of mind you can achieve something you didn‟t expect. Every single problem is not unique... Don‟t get hooked on a problem, try to just blank it or forget about it. Injuries are a part of training and sport and it‟s the way you deal with it. I struggled with injuries this year leading up to the European Championships and I was very worried I couldn‟t compete. However I bounced back at the Nationals while dealing with another injury as well. Intelligence is relative self-esteem is not... Be intelligent with your training and races. Don‟t change things up if changes do not work for you. Keep positive in order to be motivated. Most people change things up on race day like taking a different gel in a marathon but not using it in training and wonder why they struggle in that race. Express your anger in a creative way... I think being creative is a great way, if you struggle in a race take it out on your training session and don‟t dwell on it.
Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed... For me I don‟t want to be around people who are negative against me. You don‟t need to train with them etc. I like to surround myself with people who have similar interests and where we are able to train together and push each other. I like to train with people who are much better so that I can push myself that much harder. Having people around you who are positive will bring the best out of you and them. My conclusion is to enjoy what you do, as there is no point in doing your hobby if you are not enjoying it. Sometimes the pain and other factors can be tough on you but there is no point in being hard on yourself.
Don‟t worry about what others think, just let them get on with it, it‟s not worth stressing about something so silly. I like to use every negative and flip it around to a positive and use as fuel to improve and keep me motivated.
Bromley Mid-summer Run - Marshalling! Donna â€žMooshâ€&#x; Carroll Another article from the 'other side' of the race. I was on the marshalling team for the Bromley Mid-summer 10k! I love marshalling; it's one of the ways that I can give back to the running community what they have given me! I arrived at the Norman Park Track, that is where registration and the baggage drop-off were set up. I was on registration along with Ali, Tracy, Carole and Michael, and DiscoRich's daughter was on baggage; for the life of me her I can't recall her name! I must do more brain exercises! My first job was handling the 'On the Dayâ€&#x; registrations while the others were on the other desk handing out the race numbers. There were only 316 runners registered this year; it's still a very new race, only the second time it's been held, so it takes time to get word out. Being mid-summer too, there are always people that think "Actually, I fancy a nice 10k run, and a bit of bling at the end of it will be good." Bling is always good to get. Most of us mere mortals would never be getting running-related medals any other way but by joining in these lovely local races. You can imagine there were a few people that did show up for 'on the day' registration, so I was kept quite busy! Registration was going brilliantly, people were turning up, collecting their numbers and more importantly signing the back of the numbers. On Wednesday 21st June, the date of the race was, I think we must have had the hottest day ever! I guess being mid-summer might have something to do with that! Mind you, last year it was a bit drizzly. The comments that I was hearing as they signed the back of their bib numbers were "I think I should definitely sign this, it's so hot out, not sure if I am going run really fast" "Best sign this, in case I keel over" I was hot just sitting at the desk, and I was in the shade too! We kept registration open as long as possible, and it was just as well, we had one chap turn up just as we were packing away, around 7:30 pm, the time the race was due to start. Thank goodness it was all chiptiming! We packed up the rest of the numbers, and walked over to the start which was in Norman Park. The next job was to set up the water and the medals tables, and also we had post-run snacks of jelly babies and salted crisps, just for those that needed to put back the salt into themselves. I think we had extra water as well, that sun was relentless, I would think that the runners would need to replace a ton of water in that heat! Once the tables where all set up, the trophies all set out, we could relax a little. The picture of me doing the 'Imran Ali' jump, was seen by my fellow PWR's, Imran Ali is a chap from a Facebook group I am a member of, and he does these magnificent jumps in the air on his races whenever he sees a camera! So we decided to try it as a group! Enough relaxing, it was time for my next duty, which was screeching down the microphone! I know what you are all thinking, and don't worry, I was thinking the same thing! How can this shy retiring person possibly be responsible for getting the crowds cheering! The first runner came in, speeding, how on earth he did it in such hot sticky conditions is beyond me, but there he was, a chap called Alex Money, in a time of 36:21 chip time! Incredible! He is an Orpington Road Runner; he also comes along on a Thursday evening to run with us at the track. The second chap was one of our own PWR's Roger Vilardell, Nick Wright and Sam Agnew came in 3rd and 4th with our next PWR's coming in 8th and 9th Stephen Pond and Oliver Hitch! The first three females to come in was from Beckenham Running club, Ruth Aylward. she came in 46:38, closely by Lucy Shepherd with a time of 46:53 and then Kate Marchent also from BRC, with a time of 46:59. It was all very exciting. We had some sprint finishing, with some racing to beat the person in front!
We had some great finishing photos too from Brian Page of So Letâ€&#x;s Go Running and SLGR, who was there with co-founder Dawn Annett. Here she is (left) looking lovely in her marshalling vest! So that was it....or was it! I still had one more duty to do, and that was to be the lovely assistant (stop that laughing at the back) that hands out the trophies as DiscoRich called them out! What a brilliant day! Loved every second of it!
Do You Want Salt On That? Charlie Spedding Do you follow the dietary guideline about drinking lots of water? Do you follow the advice to reduce your salt intake? If you do both of these things you are probably risking your health and reducing your strength and fitness. We are constantly told to reduce salt and we see „low salt‟ foods advertised everywhere. Why do they do this; what is wrong with salt? Experiments conducted in the 1950s suggested that an excess of salt caused high blood pressure and high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease. When the National Dietary Guidelines were put together in the 1970s, heart diseases were everybody‟s greatest fear. A low-salt diet only reduces blood pressure by a fairly insignificant three or four points and it does so by reducing blood volume, which is not a particularly good thing. But the fear of heart disease was so great at the time that this research was accepted and recommendations to eat a maximum of six grams of salt per day were introduced. Like so many things in the dietary guidelines, there had been no trials to test the recommendation being made. They just thought they should go for the opposite of what they thought was bad. This is the same mistake they made when they demonised fat and had no alternative other than to recommend carbohydrate instead. The world-wide obesity epidemic is the result of that mistake. Salt (sodium chloride) is an essential micronutrient. We have to eat it or we die. Recent research is showing that far too many people have inadequate levels and they are suffering from a deficiency. We lose salt in our sweat and in our urine. The more water and caffeine we drink the more urine we produce and the more salt (and other minerals) we excrete. An athlete who sweats a lot and is constantly drinking water to replace it will be salt deficient if they follow the official low salt diet. What does a lack of salt do? 1.
Low salt increases insulin production and insulin resistance, which leads to poor energy levels, weight gain and, eventually, Type 2 Diabetes.
2. Natural salt contains other essential minerals including iodine. A lack of iodine leads to hypothyroidism which makes you feel tired all the time. Some athletes have „therapeutic use exemptions‟ for thyroid hormones. Their problems might disappear if they took more iodised salt. 3. Low levels of sodium trigger the over production of adrenal hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones are valuable when you are just about to run or fight but they have very negative effects when you are producing them over long periods of time. They will increase your levels of anxiety, sleep disturbance, digestive problems, headaches and heart problems. They will reduce your memory and concentration. Cortisol in particular breaks down muscle tissues, which is the last thing you want. 4. A lack of salt slows down your metabolism. It increases the release of lactic acid rather than carbon dioxide during the production of energy. Perhaps, the second to last thing you want. 5. Sodium is anti-microbial. The more sodium you have stored in your skin, the better you are at preventing cuts from becoming infected. 6. A lack of salt and drinking too much water can cause Hyponatremia; a condition in which the sodium levels of the blood are too diluted. Mild symptoms include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance. Severe symptoms include confusion, seizures, and coma, which occasionally leads to death. Oh no, this is the last thing you want.
Our bodies function brilliantly because of our incredibly complex feedback loops and homeostasis. The idea that we can greatly reduce an essential mineral to target one particular disease without other grave consequences is totally deluded. We should all remember that the original Dietary Guidelines were put together by an American Committee of Senators with no scientific background. They were under pressure to reduce heart disease and they listened to the scientists who shouted the loudest while ignoring the advice that urged more caution. (ref. The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teischolz.) A study published by the Canadian Population Health Research Institute in 2014 has interesting results. They followed 150,000 people from a wide variety of countries over several years. They measured the amount of sodium in their urine, which gave an accurate indication of salt in their diet. The results of their study showed that the lowest death rates came from people eating between 10 and 17 grams of salt per day. There were higher death rates for those who consumed both higher and lower intakes. On average, those who consumed less than 8g of salt per day had a death rate 38% higher than those consuming 10 to 17g per day. Eating far too much salt is bad for you, but far too little salt is just as bad. The latest research suggests that the recommended maximum of 6g per day is far too low. The author of a new book on this topic (The Salt Fix) claims that his training sessions are far better when he takes salt beforehand rather than just replace it afterwards. We should all add salt to our food to the point of taste preference. The only exceptions are people with kidney disease, diagnosed hypertension and people who eat nothing but processed food. If you are in the latter group you probably have far more health problems than just a sodium imbalance. Reproduced with kind permission from Charlie Spedding‟s www.loseamillionpounds.com website Charles "Charlie" Spedding is an English former long-distance runner. His first marathon was the Houston Marathon in 1984, which he won by "the thickness of a vest". Spedding followed this by winning the London Marathon in 1984.
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Wanted… Your Club‟s Race Adverts Why not advertise your 2017 & 2018 races in „So Let‟s Go Running…‟? You may have noticed over recent issues of „So Let‟s Go Running…‟ that we have been including race adverts from a few clubs, which is proving popular with our readers and our own #TeamSLGR club members who use these races to fill up their own personal race calendars. We have very reasonable rates especially from your print-ready A6 (quarter page), A5 (half page) or A4 (full page) race advert artwork, which can be available on request from Brian Page by e-mailing email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . Discounts apply for entries of two months or more.
Ironman 70.3 Edinburgh – Done! Steve Bonthrone Wow! What a day! I was expecting today to be tough but I didn‟t imagine the way it all turned out. As if the course, the 3.30am rise and the distance weren‟t hard enough, the Scottish summer weather added a twist to the proceedings. Yesterday was full of its own challenges between getting to registration, setting up at both transitions (they were in different places) and remembering what needed to be where and then finished off the day being bitten by the Prestonpans shark! Left: Had to put the tattoo on! Swim... One way to describe this was like swimming in a washing machine! In the days leading up to the event, I learned that the sea was a bit choppy and started to think that it could work in my favour as I had only done a couple of open water swims, not enough to get used to and I might be better adapting to the conditions than others and so it turned out. Rough conditions in any activity becomes a great leveller and the ability to adapt to the conditions can easily make up for the difference in speed etc. The waves were a fair challenge right from the start and I found myself switching to breaststroke as I couldn‟t get into any rhythm in the crawl. It was nuts, you‟d find yourself at the top of a wave and the person next to you was about two-foot below! Doing breaststroke allowed me to go past a few people around me and catch swimmers ahead of me who were trying to persist with the crawl. I was very happy with the swim and it probably went much better than I had anticipated. T1... As soon as we got out of the water, there were plenty of people on hand to assist with pulling the zip down on the back of the wetsuit, which was a nice touch. The set up was great and easy to follow. Run in, wetsuit off, cycle gear on, wetsuit in bag, drop bag in the drop zone on the way to get the bike. I hear my friend Joe‟s name being called out and saw him pass me as he shot out while I had a bit of bike maintenance to do. Cycle... My ride got off to a bad start as my chain came off as I was running out of transition. There were plenty of people to help by holding the bike while I got the chain back on. There was also a van going around the course to assist the athletes with any bike problems and this was nice to see. I didn‟t study the bike route that much but I knew the section between mile 23 and mile 30 was to be the most challenging. There were steep inclines and also steep descents but the biggest challenge was that the majority of the ride was cycling into either a headwind or crosswind! The ride was frustrating for me and I know I could‟ve done better. In last week‟s ride, my front wheel started wobbling on a steep descent, turns out it wasn‟t as tight as I thought and had come loose during the ride. This spooked me when we came to the steepest descents, even though I knew the wheel was secure, and I became over-cautious. This lost me time but then I made up for it by passing lots of people on many uphill sections by simply focusing on pulling my knees up. This made it so much easier and I got the impression that I was the only person doing this so this was good! They made a point of saying littering with energy gel wrappers would result in disqualification and this worked well as the roads were clear and plenty of bins at the feed stations to discard them. It seemed for ages that Arthur‟s Seat was a good distance away and then suddenly we were right there. I had seen people commenting on the anti-clockwise loop around it to get to T2 and had thought it was a wind up but it turned out to be true. Even when we were heading into Holyrood Park and passed those on the run section on the other side of the road, I still hadn‟t figured out how we would get to T2 until we turned the corner and started the climb. Going round anti-clockwise certainly wasn‟t as bad as it would‟ve been if we had to go the other way as that would‟ve been a longer climb as opposed to the short, steep one we were faced with. Once we got to the top, a couple of mouthfuls of drink, then it was downhill to transition. The wobble from the downhills had gone and so I was able to use the speed here. Not my best ride but a useful learning. T2... I was glad to get the bike racked then it was a simple case of getting into the tent, change my shoes, take my helmet off then go. I sat down to change shoes to avoid cramp and downed the bottle of Cherry Active I had put in my bag as I knew that would help avoid cramping. With that, bag was hung up again then out for the run. Run... I got a boost when I came out of the transition tent to see Allison standing by the runway. Towards the end of the cycle, I started thinking about where I might see her as we never arranged a specific place where she
should be so it was nice to see her at that point and it helped me start the run just right. The Cherry Active was a masterstroke as I felt a bit tight towards the end of the cycle and this allowed me to run as I normally would. I came out of transition with a tempo in my head, stuck to it and used the people in front of me to pull me along. I‟ve done a few races in Holyrood Park before so knew what to expect and this course would present a great challenge as a stand-alone event never mind at the end of an Ironman 70.3. It was very undulating with a few sharp turns and a couple of steep inclines/descents that would sap the energy from the legs. I settled into my usual race tactics of feeling comfortable with the pace knowing that I could speed up towards the end. Towards the end of the cycle leg, I could spot a few people walking and running slowly and wondered if I could catch them. I didn‟t want to do anything crazy and decided to stick to what I was doing and see what happened. I‟m not normally a fan of multiple laps in a race but I rather enjoyed this as you could see who was where and try to guess which lap they were on and whether I could pass them. Having that distraction made the miles fly in and certainly made it feel easier than many Half Marathons I‟ve done! There were four points on the course where we had to run round the marker and double back on ourselves. In the past I‟ve practiced a couple of drills to help with sharp turns in races and I was able to switch between them when I got to the markers so I didn‟t need to slow down as everyone else had. There were three feed stations on this course with water, electrolytes, cola and more water. I had stopped at each one to take water on board and also took some cola as that felt like it was a change to the gels. I would take a mouthful of water, pour the rest down my neck, move on to the cola, drink that, then go to the last table for another cup of water, rinse my mouth then pour the rest down my neck then carried on running. The support was amazing all the way round, especially towards the finish and end of each lap. There was always a boost at the end of each lap, especially at the end of Lap 2 knowing that I was on my final lap. I was getting excited as it was nearly over but had to switch off and focus as I still had another four miles or so to go although it didn‟t seem that far when you know all the parts of the course! By this point I had become aware that the only people who had passed me were those on their final lap heading to the finish and so I needed to focus on the mile I was in to preserve that status. There was one point on the course when we came out of the tunnel (which seemed to get longer on every lap), followed by a steep winding uphill climb that became more challenging to run, not because it was steep but because the people in front were walking and it needed a bit of weaving to get through. I saw a few people from Perth Tri Club on the course and was good to be able to give each other support as we went round. It was also great to see Ella on the course and I seemed to see her at almost exactly the same point on each lap as she was passing one of the feed stations. I always think seeing people you know gives you a boost regardless of whether they‟re ahead or behind you. I rarely checked my watch but at the point I did look at it, I could see I was past the 12 mile mark and just had a mile to go. I didn‟t get overly carried away as I still had a couple of steepish inclines to go but I enjoyed the downhill stretch I was on then turned to go uphill to the second last feed station. I decided that this would be the last time I would take on some cola, turned at the top and was greeted by a friend, Emma, I know from UKRunChat on Twitter, got a hug then carried on my way to the finish. I had one more feed station to pass, just poured the water down the back of my neck and kept running. I only had a couple of hundred yards to go, saw the signs directing us to the finish, turned onto the big red mat, dug out my sprint finish and crossed the line. What a buzz! Above: The red carpet to the finish Right: The obligatory t-shirt and medal pic
When you cross the finish line of a marathon, you normally get a wave of every emotion coming across you in the space of a minute and this was no different. I got my medal, got my photo taken, chip removed then went into the marquee to get my bag with clothing to change into, my finishers t-shirt then made a bee line to the table with food! There were pies, slices of cake, watermelon and various drinks and so I took some of them all! Watermelon is always the best thing after a race as it rehydrates you, perfect for when you‟re mostly dehydrated and consumed small amounts of water and energy gels for the last few hours! Would I do it again? Yes I would but I‟ll leave it a bit before I sign up for another one. Ironman events are pretty expensive but they do put more into them that you don‟t get in other races apart from the big city marathons. Certainly, there are things they could improve on themselves for next year but for any race organiser, you have to go through the event to learn from it and know how to do better next time just the same as the athletes.
Can Running Affect Your Periods? Jess There's no doubt that exercise is good for you. From maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure to boosting your self- esteem and mental health, the positive aspects of keeping fit are endless. As with most things, there can be too much of a good thing, and excessive exercise can have a detrimental effect on your health also. It's hard to quantify exactly how much exercise is "excessive" or how much weight loss is significant - as with most things, it will vary with the individual. Despite this, I think it's safe to say that marathon training could easily fall into the excessive category, and for some people, have a negative impact on their health. A relatively common complaint among female marathon runners is amenorrhoea, which is the medical term used to describe the absence of regular periods for six months or longer. There's a long list of reasons why your periods may stop, so it always needs to be investigated by a doctor to look for a more serious underlying cause. In this article I'm just going to discuss the affect of exercise and weight on your periods. WHY DOES EXERCISE STOP YOUR PERIODS? In the brain thereâ€&#x;s an almond- sized gland called the hypothalamus, which plays an important role in the body's internal balance, or homeostasis. It releases a host of hormones, which help maintain your normal body processes, such as body temperature, metabolism, sleep cycles, and your menstrual cycle. It's not clearly understood, but under certain conditions, such as when you exercise excessively or your body weight drops, the hypothalamus can stop functioning normally and stops producing the hormones which control your menstrual cycle, and hence, your periods stop. SO, WHY DOES THIS MATTER? A lack of periods can cause problems for both your mental and physical health, so itâ€&#x;s important to address it early. Here are a few of the common problems related to amenorrhoea... First up is bone health. Osteoporosis is a bone disease which causes low bone mass and a breakdown in the structure of the bone. These changes make the bones more fragile and more likely to suffer a fracture. There aren't usually any symptoms of osteoporosis, so it's often not diagnosed until you've broken a bone. There are various factors which make osteoporosis more likely- some of these you can't control, such as being female or older age. Studies, however, have shown that women with amenorrhoea related to oestrogen deficiency, such as those I described above, are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Unfortunately, it's also been shown that even if periods return to normal, the increased risk of osteoporosis is still there. Teenage girls are especially at risk because they may never have reached their full bone mass in the first place.
Next up, are fertility problems. If you're not having periods, you're probably not ovulating which makes it hard to conceive a pregnancy. This isn‟t necessarily a problem if you‟re not planning a family, but for those who are it can have a huge impact. Reassuringly, once your periods (and ovulation) return, you shouldn‟t have any lasting problems trying to conceive. For some women, it‟s often the impact on their mental health which is more profound. It‟s shown that women can feel a loss of femininity, anxiety, and loss of self- esteem when they‟re not having periods. WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? Once the cause of amenorrhoea has been identified there are various things you can do to help your periods return. Reduce exercise... First of all, don‟t panic! It's not a case of stopping exercise or running all together, but perhaps reducing your mileage or high- intensity sessions. If you're an elite athlete or just really serious about your sport, it may be worth seeing a sports doctor for better guidance on this. Increase calorie intake... It's easy to forget how many calories you burn while training for a marathon or training regularly. Try and increase your calorie intake to ensure you're making up for the calories burned during exercise, as well eating your recommended daily allowance (1,500-2,000 for women, 2,000-2,500 for men). Increase your weight... By the nature of the sport, long distance runners often have a low body weight. By increasing your weight, you may find your periods return. I know for many people, this can be a struggle, so your GP should be able to refer you to a registered dietician to help you do this in a healthy way. I hope this has been a useful read for the female readers out there. As I mentioned before, please see your GP if you think this problem applies to you and you'd like some help. REFERENCES: NICE Guidelines for Amenorrhoea, last revised July 2014 Warren, M.P. and Stiehl, A.L. (1999) Exercise and female adolescents: effects on the reproductive and skeletal systems. Journal of the American Medical Women's Association 54(3), 115-120 Davies, M.C., Hall, M.L. and Jacobs, H.S. (1990) Bone mineral loss in young women with amenorrhoea. British Medical Journal301(6755), 790-793 Baird, D.T. (1997) Amenorrhoea. Lancet 350(9073), 275-279
The Seven Deadly Sins of Poor Running Etiquette... by Michelle Mortimer I was lucky enough to be paced around parkrun by a friend to a course PB on Saturday, and during our long run afterwards, we were chatting about the „lady‟ who I overtook near the end with an impressive gear change. “It was because she was spitting,” I complained. “It makes me feel sick”. No matter how much I‟m hurting during a run, if somebody near me is making that awful guttural hacking noise to clear spit out of their throat, and then makes that “ffthwur” sound to spit it out nearby, I can find another gear to get the hell out of their way. That of course got us discussing poor running etiquette, so I‟ve done my best to come up with the lowdown of the worst sins you can commit while running. Completely biased, and with the help of the UKRunChat community, here are our Seven Deadly Sins, in reverse order: The Blanker... Ever seen a fellow runner out, given them a wave or a “Hello”, and they‟ve completely ignored you? If you‟re a Blanker, come on, we‟re all in this together. I know you‟re probably trying to concentrate hard on your technique so that when we pass, you look as though you‟re running much faster than I am, but just give me a head nod in recognition. “I‟m always irked when fellow runners don‟t say hello when I‟m out running. I always make an effort to say hi. Even when my jaw is hanging off and I‟m barking up a lung I still manage a wave.” @TWWhittaker The Jangler... Could be keys, could be loose change. It‟s EXTREMELY annoying when a Jangler is running next to you. It really throws me out of my rhythm. Have a look at securing loose change in a money bag, or pack notes! Secure your car key in a FlipBelt. Silence is golden. “People with jingly pockets drive me mad!! How on earth do you run with all that going on?!” @sophie_runs The Stopper... Who hasn‟t encountered somebody who stops suddenly in front of them during a race or parkrun to tie a shoelace or walk? Sometimes, the Stopper is wearing headphones, and isn‟t aware that they need to mirror, signal, manoeuvre because they can‟t hear anything around them. I‟ve run into a few Stoppers‟ ankles with the running buggy before. These are often spotted closest to water stations at races. Can be dangerous, so beware. “I got very close to a stranger‟s bottom recently due to an unexpected stop!!” @The LouMary Stoppers may also masquerade as a „rolling roadblock‟ too.
“The rolling roadblocks chatting away that should never have been anywhere near your start pen.” @teef2 Be considerate folk and start in the right pen, and leave a little room for people to pass. This may sound elitist, but I‟m not trying to offend or belittle those who want to complete a race slower. There is room for all of us, it just makes sense to let quicker runners out first so we can all enjoy a race at our own pace. Tip: a shout of “buggy runner coming through!” can really help with dispersing a Rolling Roadblock. You could also try being a Jangler or a Heavy Footer to encourage people to move aside. The Spitter... Now escaping this particular individual has actually made me run faster in races, so could be seen as help rather than hindrance, but it‟s still disgusting. It‟s the noise more than anything: that deep hacking guttural noise, before the “thwump” of a big gob of spit flying out. I‟ve had it land on my shoe before. Come on people – IT‟S NOT NICE! (Although in that particular race I did PB after a gear shift to escape the Spitter.) The Space-Invader... These people take a few forms. There are those who run close behind you, invading your personal space, sometimes so close that they occasionally do catch your ankles. This person may be slipstreaming, benefiting from your hard work and waiting to overtake you on sprint finish (not cool), or they may just have no idea of how much personal space is acceptable (my bubble is a large one). Mostly, at the start of races, Space Invaders like to cut in front of you without warning, risking tripping you up. Usually spotted at water stations, and around kids wanting hi-fives. Beware. “The runners you just can‟t shake – constantly beside you, speeding up, slowing down, and inside my personal space bubble” @NamelessWitness The Snot Rocketer... Hands up, I am totally guilty here, but am I seriously meant to carry tissues when I run? Where would I keep them? They‟d get sweaty and then I‟d have to carry a snotty tissue around for the rest of my run. Seriously, what do other runners do? There is some etiquette to good snot-rocketing, and that is always check on wind direction before you aim (!!), and always look around you to make sure nobody‟s in the firing line. I suffer with rhinitis when I run, coupled with Hay Fever during the summer months, so have a constantly streaming nose. I will make no apologies for my snot rocketing, but do always try to do it in private, apart from when I accidentally did it in front of my mum on a dog walk a few weeks ago – sorry mum! Gloves do come in particularly useful in winter, as do buffs. “Snot rockets are filthy and disgusting. No excuses. Just don‟t” @LufcColin The Litterer... Usually seen at races, but not unique to them. I‟ll ask a question which I want you to answer honestly: if you run with gels, where do you keep them while running, before you use them? In a gel belt, or a waist belt, or a pocket? Then put the empty wrapper back there until you can find a bin to dispose of it later, rather than throwing it on the floor for somebody else to pick up. Also be really careful when disposing of bottles at water stations, as flying bottles can trip other runners up. Many races now provide bins near water and fuel stations, so there really is no excuse. And if you‟re on a training run, carry your litter home with you. Please. “If you can carry it full, you can carry it empty!” @Kev_Running “Littering … could impact on the organiser‟s ability to get permissions to hold the race, especially relevant to trail races.” @BrianRunFar So there are my seven deadly sins. Have you ever committed any? Go on, own up, we‟re all friends here. Have I missed any that you think worthy of this list? Just a bit of fun from my observations while running and racing, and not intended to offend anyone, but littering is something that there really is no excuse for.
A Few Tips on Running with Asthma… Written by Mimi Anderson Over the past week I have been suffering badly with my asthma, which is extremely frustrating as it obviously has a huge impact on my training. I was first diagnosed with asthma at the age of eight when we lived in Norway, it was discovered that I was allergic to feathers! Our family had Duvets well before they were introduced to the UK and of course they were feather, even my pillow was feather. My poor parents couldn‟t work out why I would wake up night after night not being able to breath! It was a huge relief for everyone especially me when I was handed my first “spin haler” what a difference this little gadget made to my life. More than 5.2 million people are being treated for asthma in the UK of which 1.1 million are children. That means that there is a person with asthma in one in five households in the UK. There are no boundaries for this disease, it can affect anyone at any age but tends to be worse in children and young adults. Asthma is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways (an asthma trigger), the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Sometimes, sticky mucus or phlegm builds up, which can further narrow the airways. These reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated – making it difficult to breath. The signs to look out for are, tight chest, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. You may not get all of these symptoms; I for example don‟t usually wheeze but will have the others and my neck area feels itchy. Some people have what is called exercised induced asthma (EIA) and will have difficulty breathing approximately 5-20 minutes from starting to exercise. People with EIB are very sensitive to both low temperatures and dry air. Air is usually warmed and humidified by the nose, but during demanding activity such as running people breathe more through their mouths. This allows cold, dry air to reach your lower airways and your lungs without passing through your nose, triggering asthma symptoms. However with the right treatment someone with EIA can participate and excel in any sport. Everyone who suffers with asthma needs a personal asthma plan. Your doctor and asthma nurse will put this together for you after looking at your symptoms and fine the correct dosage and combination of inhalers to keep you asthma free. I have two inhalers my Seretide inhaler (purple) that has to be taken on a regular basis, even when I‟m feeling well as it helps to keep my asthma under control and reduce the risk of getting an asthma attack (which I promise you is very unpleasant and extremely frightening, not only for me but the friends/family watching you). My second inhaler “Salbutamol” (blue) is my reliever. This is taken immediately to relieve any symptoms. They quickly relax the muscles surrounding the narrow airways, allowing them to open wider and making it easier to breathe again. This inhaler is essential in treating an asthma attack.
Over the years I have had a few bad asthma attacks that have meant being blue lighted to hospital where I spent a week being treated with steroids; very scary and not something that I would recommend which is why it‟s important to make sure you are doing everything possible to prevent one. Everyone has different triggers that set off their asthma, these may be pollen, smoke, dust feathers the list is endless. My trigger is cold/damp weather and smoky fires. Running with asthma is possible if you have good asthma management and know what your trigger is. In January/February I usually have to increase my dosage of my preventer inhaler from two puffs twice a day to two puffs four times a day in an attempt to keep everything under control when the weather gets very cold. Although it may not stop it completely it does lessen the likely hood of getting asthma, imagine what it would be like if I didn‟t have my inhalers!
Here are a few tips that may help with your asthma. (PLEASE make sure you have checked with your doctor that he is happy for you to run)
ALWAYS CARRY YOUR RELIEVER INHALER
If you have EIA use your reliever inhaler about 5-10 minutes before starting exercising.
Make sure you warm up and cool down properly. Don‟t just walk out of your front door and go straight into a run, make sure you warm up for a minimum of 10 minutes and when you have finished your run bring the pace down for a period of time before stopping.
If the weather is cold then wear a buff around your neck that can be pulled up to cover your mouth and nose, so the moist air you exhale will help humidify the air you inhale.
If your trigger is pollen, try running in the early morning and if the pollen count is particularly high perhaps run on a Treadmill (at least it gets the session done!)
Run after it rains as the rain washes away many triggers such as pollen and pollen counts are lowest following a rainstorm. The best time for running with asthma is rainy, wet, cloudy and windless days.
I have found if my asthma is worse than usual a black coffee seems to work well, I can only presume it‟s something to do with the caffeine.
There are many successful athletes who have EIA but control it with the correct combination of medication and knowing their triggers, we can do the same and enjoy running to our full potential. Happy Running!
Meet Sophie Taylor – Blogger, Runner, Prosecco Drinker... I‟m Sophie, I‟m 30 years old, from Cardiff, and during the first half of 2017 I ran three marathons in three months to raise money for charity. Over on my blog, Running on Prosecco, I share my experiences of running, both good and bad, but most importantly, real. My page is not a glossy aspirational lifestyle blog, it‟s blisters, tears, black toenails, days off, „accidental‟ Prosecco, and chafing… hopefully not all at the same time. What do to when it all goes wrong... I‟ve written a lot of articles about why I run, about how much better running makes me feel, and how great it all is. Better sleep, weight loss, better mental health…. all great things right? So what happens when, all of a sudden, you just don‟t want to run anymore? I‟ve seen a lot of posts on Twitter lately about this very issuepeople saying that they haven‟t really got back into the swing of things since London, that they‟ve had time off injured and the idea of starting again is just too hard- that they just feel like they‟re stuck in a rut and don‟t know how to get out. It‟s completely natural to fall into a slump after a big event; for months you‟ve had all your training laid out for you, and the excitement of the big day to keep you motivated, then all of a sudden that reason to run is gone. I think it‟s particularly bad at this time of year as most people will have so long to wait before their next big race in the autumn. There are many reasons why people fall out of love with running, but (I think!) even more reasons why you should try and rekindle that love and get the trainers back on!
The first thing that I would always say if you‟re struggling to find motivation, particularly after a big race, is to give yourself a break. Running is obviously physically exhausting, but I do also think it can take a mental toll on us as well; having to retain focus and self-motivation over a prolonged period of time, pushing ourselves to get up early, leave our families to dedicate time to training, missing out on social events…. sometimes a complete break can be the right thing for both our bodies and our minds. After running Edinburgh in May, I allowed myself as much time off as felt „right‟, and thoroughly enjoyed myself during that five-week period. Sure, it‟s made it slightly harder getting back into training now, but I have regained my desire to run and my energy for training, two things which were seriously lacking before!
When training for a race, we can get obsessed with stats- pace, elevation and cadence. If you fail to meet whatever target you‟ve set for yourself on a training session, you feel rubbish, and having a device strapped to your arm constantly reinforcing this message doesn‟t help! For anyone feeling a bit disillusioned with running, I would always say, go out without a watch, or Strava, or whatever else you use (it will still count, I promise!). Run at a pace that feels comfortable, for however long you feel like it. Listen to your body. You might be surprised by how long you end up running for!
While training for the marathon, my primary goal was getting the miles in. It didn‟t really matter what form that took, and inevitably, it would result in a long slow plod around the same circuit every Sunday. Now I‟m getting back into training, I‟m making a conscious effort not to be lazy with planning sessions. Tempo runs, hill work, speed sessions, fartleks… these are all things that are now becoming part of my vocabulary. If you don‟t know what these things mean - go and find out! I had no idea what a fartlek was until recently, but there really is a huge amount of accessible free training resource on the internet if you go and look for it…. and if you really can‟t be bothered to devise your own training schedule.
Join a club - the idea of this was terrifying to me. I‟ve always been a very anti-social runner, mainly because I‟m scared I‟ll slow other people down. As part of my new drive to push myself outside of my comfort zone I‟ve started training with a local club, and I can‟t recommend it enough. Loads of knowledge and experience at your fingertips, support, someone to swear at when things hurt and increased socialising opportunities- what‟s not to like?!
Make sure that you don‟t just run; I was starting to find that I really missed my previous methods of training (mainly HIIT sessions and weights), so I now make sure that I use these to supplement my
running. Being stronger and more flexible can only ever be a good thing, and will help prevent injury, so don‟t feel bad about replacing one or two runs a week with some time in the gym or at a Pilates class.
A lot of people run so that they can eat and drink whatever they want- if that works for you then great (also, I hate you). However, I find that if I push myself to train when I‟m eating junk and drinking booze, I feel even worse afterwards. I now try and make a conscious effort to fuel my body well, get a decent amount of sleep and stay hydrated.
One of my favourite things to do if I‟m feeling low is to look back at how far my running journey has taken me; this might be in speed, distance, or pounds lost. I keep a picture on my phone of my first ever run back in 2012 - I managed 2.1 miles at 13:10 minutes per mile, and I honestly felt like I was going to die afterwards. In comparison, my first run back after five weeks off training, eating and drinking heavily, my pace was 11:19 minutes per mile over a similar distance, without the about-to-die feeling. It helps to know that even when I‟m not where I should be, I‟m still so much further on than where I started.
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you if you‟ve lost your running mojo- if you‟d like to know more about how I‟m digging my way out of my rut, you can follow my journey over on my blog, https://runningonprosecco.wordpress.com/.
Sarah Cook in Decathlon 5k action... 30
Running to Live... Jane Wilby-Palmer How many of you woke at 6am on Sunday, drove to a hill so high, it sat on top of another hill and watched the sun rise above the clouds? I did. Suffocating wind assaulted every crevice of my running vest and threatened to bash the car door into my legs. I could barely muster the willpower to lock the car. My key glimpsed sunlight before being put out of mind, and out of sight into a little bag that contained nothing more than a phone, wine gums and some loose change. The thought struck me as I began my descent down the stony, muddy terrain that running is like life. I‟d originally planned to run from Tegg‟s Nose to Disley along the Gritstone Trail, but when it became evident that the closest thing to a footpath was a narrow road 10 miles long through sketchy mist, my plans changed. Some risks are worth taking. Not that one. Spotting a lake in the distance which looked appealing, I continued down slope after slope, aiming for that serene quietness one only gets at 7am in the middle of the British countryside. Plans change, but the compromise was worth it. From there, I ran into Macclesfield, onto the main streets, picking my way around the faces of people I didn‟t know. Seeing other runners, dressed in similar garish colours, I waved a friendly weekend hello. Some smiled, and some didn‟t. As the roads curved and leaned from side to side, soon I arrived at a place I remembered very well – Macclesfield Hospital. I remembered the time when my daughter had been admitted there for a week several years ago and the thought – the reminiscing – ruined my rhythm. The memory infiltrated my mind and wouldn‟t go away. I stopped waving at the other runners and smiling at shoppers. I selfishly escaped to my own dark world. Stopping for water, I sipped it angrily, knowing that despite all the miles along the pavements of Macclesfield, all the memories left behind, I could not change them. At the end of everything, I, everyone, has to deal with the past, and move on. My ending sat on top of that hill. Tegg‟s Nose. A hill on top of another hill. I procrastinated. I delayed the start. I tried every tactic to avoid going to the bottom of that hill. But everyone has to start somewhere. And the longer I procrastinated, the harder it would be. Part of me wanted to get it over and done with. A big part of me wanted to get a taxi. wasn‟t as bad I expected. It never is.
Funnily enough, it
The song „O Verona‟ kicked in on my mp3. If you don‟t know it, it‟s the song from the movie Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio. If you don‟t know the movie, I‟ve heard (!) it‟s also a song used in the XFactor. A little bit of drama in running and life is never a bad thing.
As the concrete rose above me, I grew stronger. I had seen a documentary about Pantani, the cyclist, only the previous day, and took his strength, his inspiration, his courage, to get up that hill. I wanted people to watch me tackling that hill and be inspired by it, just as I have been inspired by watching runners in the final stages of marathons. My reward at the end? One whole litre of diluted Vimto in the front passenger seat of my car. I had to have it. It called to me. Who knew that diluted sugary kids juice could have so much appeal? But you know what? It‟s never EVER about the end. It‟s about how you get there. To get to Tegg‟s Nose off Buxton Road, you have to turn right. But I had something to prove. That it wasn‟t as bad as I envisioned. I ran. I ran and I ran and I ran. Past the turn off for Tegg‟s Nose. And all the way up Buxton New Road. Then I stopped. And looked back. In the distance, I could make out the faint outline of buildings, hospitals and imagined all the people I had seen. And from my viewpoint, it felt like I had conquered the world. Back then it had been hard. But look at me now. But the challenge wasn‟t over. Why should I be content with just that? Running back down Buxton New Road, to the turn off to Tegg‟s Nose, even steeper hills awaited. Part of me wondered if I could make it. Part of me said “Just bloody try.” As I inched upwards, wondering if crawling was allowed, my running watch charting my progress decided at that very moment to abandon ship. The screen froze, refusing to continue along with me. That‟s fine, I thought. It‟s not ideal, but I can go on without it. I‟d envisioned a Rocky style jump at the top of the hill, or a shout of something adrenaline-fuelled, but everything hurt so much. All I wanted was my Vimto. I‟d like to say that my run stopped just there, but I had a goal I wanted to reach before returning home and even though most people would think I was crazy, I continued running around Tegg‟s Nose for another hour. I ran past dog walkers, munching a sugary nutty snack bar, willing my body and my mind to just keep going. The final stages of my run saw me lapping the car park several times over, anything to avoid the unforgiving rocky steep terrain. I stopped after four hours. What did I achieve? There‟s a question. Truth is, I don‟t know. I run because I like it. I live because I like it. I‟m lucky that I can do both. Check me out on Twitter @JWilbyPalmer
Chris Domoney (07739 765587) Sports Massage Therapist UK Athletics Endurance Coach and experienced Professional Sports Team Practitioner
Offering elite and amateur support, Sports Massage, Acupuncture, Running Guidance, KT-taping and Muscle Energy Technique
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What Type Of Runner Are You? Melissa Kahn Quiz: Do Know Your Running Type? So, runners, since we‟ve established the truest truth – that if you run, you‟re a runner – now it‟s time to think about what kind of runner you are. I know…the universe is full of probing questions. Since I‟ve been running now for a good few years, I‟ve come across all kinds of runners. Below is a list of the types I see most often. Do you recognise yourself? Do you self-identify as one type or another? Because if you‟re not self-identifying these days, what are you doing? Let‟s see…… Do you prefer to pound a quiet wooded path instead of a hard, paved road? Would you rather die than gut out seven miles on a treadmill? Do you need the soothing sound of birdsong to lull you into hitting your stride? If you said yes to any of the above….you‟re a Nature Runner. You prefer to run in the wild, without a playlist piped in through ear buds or the company of a running pack. You prefer the solitude of a dirt path and find your Zen when your shoes hit the earth. You may or may not have served in the Peace Corps and you definitely wear natural deodorant. Do you stop every few blocks, miles or songs to snap a pic of yourself in your new swank running pants? Did you just post to Instagram a sweet pic of your shoes, neon laces and matching swoosh? Do you end a workout with a group text complete with an image of your sweaty brow and a caption reading: WHEW!!! Seven miles DOWN! Yeah, you‟re a Selfie Runner. You like to work social media to your advantage, posting inspirational pics and letting the world hold you accountable for all of your fabulousness. You probably spend more on your workout gear than you do on a house payment and you won‟t admit this, but you wear make-up and probably cologne before you hit the streets. You occasionally wander into Nature Runner territory so you can post a shot of ending your run just as the sun sets or having run to the top of a steep incline. It‟s all good. We get it and are totally inspired! We‟re sending thumbs-up and fist-bump emojis your way. Do you keep it simple but significant? Do you lace up a pair of retro sneakers and maybe break out a sweat band, no other gear needed? Are you flying streamlined: no fancy watch, no trackers, no apps, no phone, not even an old-school Walkman to keep you company? If you keep it simple and streamlined, you‟re a Minimalist Runner. You don‟t have time (or money) for fancy gear because you‟re totally over working for the man and struggling up a ladder you didn‟t build. You‟re a classic, and you know what matters. You‟re in it to get your heart pumping, clear your mind and move your body. Everything else is just…..noise. Also, you wear only neutrals. It‟s an unspoken rule. Do you run only in groups, hitting up Starbucks later and taking up at least the biggest group table available? Maybe you run with The Hash in foreign cities all over the world, pounding the pavement in Bangkok before settling into a dive bar and kicking back tequila, telling war (travel) stories with your new buddies? Do you spend five miles debating your newest love interest with a few side-kicks beside you, grateful you can still keep a conversation going past the quarter-mile mark? If running is your form of group therapy, you‟re a Social Runner. You‟ll use any excuse to hang with your crew. Running for you is just a healthy way to socialise, killing two birds with one stone. Exercise isn‟t a lonely endeavour of isolation, and you don‟t need privacy and a secluded path to fit in a workout. You believe, and live, the motto that more is, in fact, better.
Do you track your steps, time your miles and set your distance in your head before you even take your first step? Do you have a set warm-up and cool-down routine that involves, maybe, some Olympic training? Do you visualise your run before you hit the pavement, a mental image of your shoe hitting the ground, rolling through a pace and then lifting off again….one fluid motion? If you lie in bed at night and calculate, prepare and envision your running success, you‟re a Goal-Orientated Runner. You don‟t just run; you train. This isn‟t child‟s play. You‟re not half-assing it. You‟re full-assing it. Damn right. So…what kind of runner am I? I‟ve been all of these runners at one point or another in my running life. I started out a minimalist runner, no fancy gear or even the best pair of sneakers. I have gone through times as a nature runner, really wanting to run outside, in the quiet, to process thoughts or just be alone. Having four kids does that to a person. I‟ve trained hard for races with the seriousness of a goalorientated runner, timing myself and stretching with what can only be described as precision. I‟m still a social runner, always looking for a buddy (or a few) to run a race with, hit the neighbourhood streets with or hang out with after we‟ve slogged seven miles. And since I have a blog and website and whole group of fellow runners who run with me in spirit all over the world, I can‟t escape being a selfie runner…not that I‟d want to. In all seriousness though, the key is to just keeping on running….no matter how, when or where we do it!
Melissa Kahn, a Jenny Craig brand ambassador, half-marathon runner and mother of four, founded the online community called Run, Heifer, Run! as a way to connect with and encourage others who are on the journey to healthier and happier lives, one step or mile at a time. Five years ago, Melissa cut the bull and got serious about her health. Starting with a few steps, she lost over 110 pounds, worked her way up to running races and even completed a triathlon. She cleaned up her diet, shed weight and ultimately found a fitness enthusiast underneath her extra baggage. Melissa does all of this from her „heiferhood‟ in sunny Phoenix, where her husband, teenagers and two crazy puppies remind her that we're all a little happier in a herd.
Just Because I Run… Amy Gilbert Just because I run does not mean I always enjoy it... There are runs which I hate – I can‟t wait for them to end. I remember one run where my legs actually started trying to drag me back to my house after a mile. My last parkrun was not a fun one – I hated the whole run and spent the whole time counting down the minutes until it was over. But that‟s ok… I seem to be having less bad runs now I run more frequently and the fact I still finish the run shows how mentally strong I‟m getting. Just because I run, does not mean that I like peanut butter... I actually think I‟m the only person in the world who cannot stand peanut butter. I don‟t like any nuts and peanuts are probably the worse. Sorry guys! Just because I run, does not mean I‟m on some crazy ass diet... Runners come in all shapes and sizes, just head to a race or parkrun and you will see that. People run for all different reasons, whether it be to achieve a goal, help their mental or physical health etc. It does not mean that they are looking to lose weight. Likewise I don‟t sit and eat salad all day! I‟d much rather eat a cream cake and spend half an hour running it off then not have the cream cake. It‟s all about having my cake and eating it!! Just because I run, does not mean I‟m constantly training... I can‟t decide what I think about races, I do like the atmosphere but I do get really nervous before. I start worrying about how many toilets are there and whether I‟ll do something stupid. I only have one race booked this year at the moment and that‟s in October so I‟m just doing what I fancy at the moment. Run-wise this is typically parkrun on a Saturday then one or two treadmill sessions in the week (either intervals/hills etc). I found when I started running I needed my two races to keep me motivated – I don‟t think I would have got to 5k or even 10k without having those races booked. However I‟m really enjoying not having to worry about mileage or certain training and just doing what I fancy and learning to really like running. My favourite runs so far have definitely been the parkrun meet ups and they‟ve all been quite slow as I‟ve spent the whole time chatting away. Another thing I enjoy is the smug feeling when people are having to do their LSR and I‟m in bed or baking (sorry!). I think not having the pressure of sticking to a set routine has really helped me enjoy running. I‟m sure it will help me in life as I normally like a lot of control and routine! Just because I run, doesn‟t mean I‟m going to do London Marathon... Or any marathon. I feel like everyone that doesn‟t run seems to think you‟re going to do London Marathon without realising: 1. It‟s hard to get in 2. It‟s soooooo far To be honest I think I‟m too lazy to run a marathon and stick to the training schedule. The thought of at least four hours running really doesn‟t interest me. Saying that I‟d love to say I‟ve completed one but for now it‟s a long way away (if it ever happens). I do have so much respect for all the people that I follow that are currently in marathon training.
Just because I run, doesn‟t mean that every workout is training for runs... As mentioned before I much prefer swimming to running. In a typical week I will do 1 x 1-mile swim, body balance, parkrun and then maybe one or two gym sessions. I don‟t do all this to get better at running – I do it because I like to exercise and I like variety and if it helps me achieve some of my goals then that‟s great. I must say however due to my „swimrage‟ and „gymrage‟, I do find running the least stressful sport! Just because I run, doesn‟t mean I get nervous when I don‟t... I‟ve missed parkrun this morning because I‟m a bit of a wimp and it‟s been snowing. I don‟t go out running when it‟s dark and I‟ve not ran in the rain (I‟m not sure how I‟ve managed that one!) – maybe it‟s because I know if the weather is bad I can just go to the gym. I don‟t feel the need to get a run in and I seriously don‟t understand how people can get up at 5/6am for their run! I have to get up at 6am for work and it kills me (to be honest waking up at 7.30am for parkrun isn‟t my fave thing). If I miss a run then it doesn‟t really bother me (other than the fact I can‟t eat as much crap!). I went a month without running at Christmas and didn‟t miss it – but I did suffer on my first parkrun back! Just because I run doesn‟t mean I think/talk about it all the time... I actually don‟t talk about it that much… maybe a bit on twitter due to who I follow but not a lot in real life. I have a few people at work that talk about running and to be honest I tend to zone out. I find it strange that as an analyst I don‟t really care too much about figures. Typically all I want to know is how far I went, and the pace splits. I don‟t do anything with heart-rate zones; I don‟t look at cadence or the elevation. It just doesn‟t bother me! Just because I run doesn‟t mean my room is full of running stuff... Okay so I do have a bit of stuff… I have one pair of running trainers, my Garmin, my buff, my water bottle, my bum-bag and my jacket. Everything else is typical gym stuff so that‟s my excuse for this one. I have three medals so far and they aren‟t hung up – I‟m not sure my thoughts on bling. It‟s fun to get medals but I don‟t really know what to do with them! I also don‟t have an attachment with any of my things (which is weird as I‟m a hoarder). I won‟t be keeping my first pair of running shoes – although at the price I paid for them I‟m hoping they last forever! And finally….
Just because I run, DOES make me a runner! Okay so I‟m no Paula Radcliffe or Mo Farah. I don‟t love running but I don‟t hate it anymore either. I don‟t run a lot and I don‟t run far. I‟m certainly not the fastest but I run. Therefore I‟m a runner. And that‟s why I enjoy running. It‟s so inclusive and there are so many different people that enjoy it. It doesn‟t matter that some of my points above are different to a lot of people‟s views because we all have one thing linking us….
“We run, therefore we are all runners!” 36
From Tea-bags to Treadmills... „From Tea-bags to Treadmills‟ is our new regular product testing review service, where we will be sampling and reviewing a multitude of products, hoping we can secure promotional discount codes for our readers.
The „boobuddy‟ ... reviewed by Donna Carroll The „boobuddy‟ is a great idea, anything that can help keep 'the girls' under control, safe, has to be a good idea! Back before I knew about sports bras I used to run in my everyday bras, and let me assure you, that was not a good sight! I tried the „boobuddy‟ with my favourite bra, a Shock Absorber! To be fair I didn't notice I had it on, but I also didn't notice much difference in 'bounce' either. So my next time running, I put on an old sports bra, from Marks and Spencer, which has been banished to the bottom of my sports drawer. This time it didn't feel comfortable but I needed to give it a testing.
I was at a park with my run club buddies; we were doing speed sessions and core training sessions. So a good testing ground. The band stayed in place for the running sections, although I could feel it, which I didn't like. But then it came to the core training. Mountain climbers, planks, spotty dogs, push-ups and burpees! After that session I found the „boobuddy‟ around my waist! Keeping nothing in place apart from my midriff! So on the whole I wouldn't use this again, maybe use it as a tension band for doing exercises to strengthen legs and arms! The „Poplaces‟ are a good concept. I think once you have found the right tension in the laces but if you have different thickness of socks then I don't think it will work for trainers. I couldn't find any muddy puddles to see if it would keep my shoes on my feet, but I can only imagine that it would need a pair of non elastic laces to keep your shoes securely on your feet! Maybe keep the „Poplaces‟ for your hanging out shoes only.
From Tea-bags to Treadmills... „From Tea-bags to Treadmills‟ is our new regular product testing review service, where we will be sampling and reviewing a multitude of products, hoping we can secure promotional discount codes for our readers.
The „BOOBAND‟ ... reviewed by Marie Glennon So when I was asked to review the "BOOBAND" I was a little apprehensive and thought "it looks a bit silly". However I have recently started a new fitness class and found that my “double D's” were starting to bounce more than they usually did (40 is near approaching) and when your using your arms to stop them bouncing up and down, something had to be done! So I thought I'd give it a go and took the elastic Velcro band (BOOBAND) to my next class. I fitted it around my sports bra but under my vest top (as I felt a little self conscious) and I was ready to go. The Velcro makes it adjustable and I fitted it quite tight to the point it felt restrictive but as soon as I started my warm-up I felt the results immediately!
Throughout the workout I'd forgotten about the band and also my boobs (very happy indeed)! The BOOBAND promotes "asset protection" and prevents the "damage caused by vertical and lateral movement during physical activity." Besides testing the BOOBAND inside first, I took it out to road-test it on a two-mile run which also went well; it was very comfortable to run in and kept everything under control! I found it did what it said on the tin and now the BOOBAND is "must have kit essential" for me.
A Positive Boost to the Runner‟s Mindset… by Andy Preston I was asked to write a series of articles in the build up to the 2015 London Marathon that might help you with the long winter of training ahead, and with the race itself next spring. So I think the first thing is to say that your mental approach to running a marathon can be „trained‟ as much as your endurance, as your running pace, and your diet/nutrition, for example. And secondly, chances are, you are already doing plenty of things mentally that will make you successful come that Sunday in April. Sports Psychology, in my opinion, suffers from an illusion of it being a „dark art‟, of it being just for the elite/professional sportsperson, or that it‟s a bunch of „Jedi mind tricks‟. Well, those things are simply not true. Your mental strategies, when you train or compete, evolve based on your default mindset, and on the experiences you encounter when you are out there working and training hard. Let me give you an example. It‟s raining. You planned a long run. A thousand and one complications in your day mean you sack off the planned run, and reach for the wine rack and sweet cupboard. Now conventional wisdom suggests you‟ve just put a huge black cross in the „fail‟ column. The „all or nothing‟ mindset, and the slave-like adherence to whatever training plan you are following, will now potentially create a negative mindset, crank up a bit of pressure on you, or have you sitting in front of Downton Abbey on the telly, convincing yourself you are weak. But rewind - Why did you reach for the crutch? Why did the long run not happen? Probably because the hour you needed for that run was too impractical. And the effect? No run. New pressures. Another day closer to your marathon. So what‟s to stop you turning tonight into a shorter, interval session? Nothing mind-blowing? Maybe even something without your GPS watch? Net benefit? The feel-good of getting out of the door. The extra credits in the wine/chocolate bank when you finally watch „Downton‟. And a positive and flexible mindset to cope with the inflexibility your busy life sometimes chucks your way. The point here - Every day, we set a bunch of targets and goals; in our running, in our lives. Then instead of using them to inspire and elate us, we let them suffocate and choke us. And our mindset becomes one of slavish adherence to false or inflexible judgement. So - Every time you go out for a run, either planned, or unplanned. Every time you hit the gym, or class. Or when you make a positive nutritional choice. Take a moment to remind yourself why you are a runner. Take the time while you absent-mindedly push out the miles, or when you unlace your shoes or hit the shower to recognise your strengths. Take the opportunity to be thankful for the positives in your training. This positive mindset is infectious. It slowly trains you to seek out the pleasure in your training. It helps you overcome the unexpected setbacks, or the slower-than-expected training runs or the parkrun numbers that didn‟t meet your ambition. Because these rigid, unbending goals we set ourselves ignore one of the fundamental truths about life. We get one shot, so we ought to try our best to enjoy the ride! If you are brave enough to let it, this positive mindset will overlap into other areas of your life. And it all starts with you. So if you keep a training log, or use Garmin Connect, start with this idea. Note down one (or more!) reason to be grateful for that training session/run. It can be as obscure or detailed as you wish. It should contain positive language. And it should relate to the quality of your experience, rather than the quantity of it. You can choose whether or not you go public with these moments of gratitude (my Facebook timeline has provided a mixed audience for such pronouncements!) Over time, an interesting thing will start to happen. In the coming weeks and months, you‟ll find yourself consciously contemplating these moments of gratitude while you run. And maybe even before you run. You may even find yourself reflecting on other areas of your daily life, and seeking out the positives from there too. Thinking positively is as easy as thinking negatively. It just takes a bit more discipline during times of stress. So between now and the next issue of SLGR, explore the positive mindset before, during and after your training! These features were written by Andy Preston. Andy is a keen marathon runner, a freelance Psychological Skills trainer, and Senior Lecturer in Sports Science at University of East London.
Please contact Brian on 07833 640800 or on email@example.com for advertising rates in future issues of „So Let‟s Go Running‟. 40
Cyclorun Records â€“ July 2017 Standings July was an another exceptional month with several new runners, several Age Group Records tumbling and a new course record in the clockwise 7.5k, with Becky Nkoane (F40-44) being the first runner to break sub30 minutes, with an awesome 00:28:56, whilst going through 5k in 00:19:03! Age-group leaders after July 2017 events are... Anti-clockwise 5k
F5-9 F15-19 F20-24 F25-29 F30-34 F35-39 F40-44 F45-49 F50-54 F55-59 F60-64
Fleur B-Williams Megan Davis Allisha Coulson Charlotte Harper Laura Lee Cara Rennie Beccy Connor Dawn Annett Debbie Percy Gillian Calliste Joyce Bell
00:22:57 00:24:14 00:25:56 00:24:08 00:23:58 00:22:02 00:24:53 00:25:51 00:29:10 00:29:25 00:27:36
Molly Dovey Cassie Benson Allisha Coulson Kyrrie Rostek Tessa Hales Natalie Watson Becky Nkoane Lynne Hill Chris Campany Gillian Calliste Joyce Bell
M10-14 M15-19 M20-24 M25-29 M30-34 M35-39 M40-44 M45-49 M50-54 M55-59 M60-64 M65-69 M70-74
Korede Fasina Bertie Granger Jack Hargreaves Simon Apps Dan Bates Stephen Poole Steve Mitchell Colin Whitely Steve Cable Kevan Wilkinson Barry Smith Barry Bell Paul Gould
00:20:06 00:22:14 00:21:50 00:20:34 00:19:16 00:17:46 00:19:30 00:18:53 00:19:27 00:22:42 00:25:30 00:24:41 00:28:26
George Crawford 00:41:31 n/a n/a n/a n/a Daniel Doyle 00:48:12 Nathan Bergin 00:39:43 Andy Galbraith 00:30:28 Kristian Gould 00:32:30 Tony Johnson 00:31:03 Steve Goldsmith 00:30:10 Chris Benson 00:33:24 Shaun Firmin 00:41:26 Barry Bell 00:36:05 Paul Gould 00:44:44
n/a n/a n/a n/a Ian Harvey 00:39:32 n/a n/a James McHattie 00:40:21 Stephen Poole 00:37:33 Robert White 00:37:15 Tim Bell 00:38:44 Steve Goldsmith 00:42:00 Chris Benson 00:45:06 Shaun Firmin 00:58:55 Barry Bell 00:49:01 Paul Gould 01:01:08
Clockwise 10k 00:44:30 00:36:48 00:43:14 00:44:33 00:38:42 00:32:10 00:28:56 00:38:53 00:37:24 00:46:43 00:42:45
Molly Dovey Megan Davies Chloe Smyth Helen Graves Laura Lee Laura Lee Sally Kyle Andrea Green n/a n/a Joyce Bell
F5-9 F10-14 F15-19 F20-24 F25-29 F30-34 F35-39 F40-44 F45-49 F50-54 F55-59 F60-64
Amelia Boyling Bethany Panton Alex Croxford Maddy Laurence Emilie Kent Jenny Howland Natalie Watson Nicky Mooney Andrea Green Margaret Fuller Gillian Calliste Joyce Bell
00:28:08 00:22:55 00:24:15 00:24:42 00:22:46 00:19:49 00:21:48 00:24:17 00:19:06 00:27:01 00:29:20 00:27:46
Amelia Boyling Molly Dovey Megan Davis n/a Kyrrie Rostek Laura Lee Natalie Watson Phillipa Veitch Lynne Hill Hilary Jones Susan Holland Joyce Bell
00:42:03 00:41:35 00:37:48 n/a 00:44:33 00:37:30 00:33:11 00:40:46 00:40:47 00:40:11 00:44:46 00:44:18
n/a n/a n/a Allisha Coulson Helen Graves Alison Flynn Laura Lee Maria Macnab Andrea Green Chris Campany n/a Joyce Bell
M5-9 M10-14 M15-19 M20-24 M25-29 M30-34 M35-39 M40-44 M45-49 M50-54 M55-59 M60-64 M65-69 M70-74
George Peters Charlie Tomkins n/a Matt Reeves Max Oldfield Dan Bates Stephen Poole Stephen Poole Tim Bell Steve Goldsmith Nigel Kent John Setford Barry Bell Paul Gould
00:32:33 00:20:35 n/a 00:20:03 00:21:45 00:19:37 00:18:14 00:18:07 00:18:06 00:19:37 00:23:03 00:24:36 00:24:11 00:28:48
n/a n/a n/a n/a Daniel Doyle Nathan Bergin Phil Sweeting Steve Mitchell Mark Simmonds Phil Batchelor Chris Benson Ron Hook Barry Bell Paul Gould
n/a n/a n/a n/a 00:45:28 00:37:41 00:32:11 00:30:27 00:31:41 00:36:49 00:35.44 00:41:31 00:36:52 00:44:33
n/a Connor Boyling n/a Ian Harvey Simon Apps Philip Powell Dan Mace Iain Love Rob White Steve Cable Peter Griffiths Shaun Firmin Barry Bell Paul Gould
00:51:28 00:55:15 00:56:32 00:53:05 00:48:54 00:49:49 00:47:42 00:38:46 n/a n/a 00:58:57
n/a n/a n/a 00:54:02 00:56:22 00:47:44 00:49:49 00:51:18 00:39:11 00:53:48 n/a 00:59:22 n/a 00:50:05 n/a 00:43:35 00:43:32 00:40:30 00:38:40 00:38:05 00:39:24 00:39:29 00:44:53 00:56:23 00:50:24 01:01:31
And when the circuit is in use, we switch to the offsite course, where we offer 5k and 10k options. 5k records to date F5-9
10k records to date F20-24 F25-29 F30-34 F35-39 F40-44 F45-49 F50-54 F55-59 F60-64 M20-24 M30-34 M35-39 M40-44 M45-49 M50-54 M55-59 M60-64 M65-69
Allisha Coulson Charlotte Harper Leigh Koscan Laura Lee Caroline Judge Dawn Annett Christine Campany Gillian Calliste Joyce Bell Sam Nason James McHattie Dan Mace Phil Carpenter Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds Chris Benson Paul Hooper Barry Bell
00:54:19 00:52:17 00:53:08 00:49:13 00:54:29 00:54:58 00:49:44 01:00:32 00:59:43 00:54:18 00:43:33 00:38:59 00:38:37 00:40:44 00:39:41 00:46:22 00:54:30 00:49:37
Just a reminder, that Cyclorun is a free weekly event and happens at 8am every Sunday morning down at Cyclopark in Gravesend, Kent, offering FREE 5k, 7.5k and 10k time-trials on a purpose-built traffic-free circuit, with 5k and 10k off-site options when the circuit is in use.
Forthcoming Events… The „Forthcoming Events‟ page is sponsored by Nice Work, a long established family business – started in 1989 - that has grown to become one of the country‟s leading race management companies, whose race portfolio now features in excess of 140 races nationwide.
Forthcoming Nice Work events for August 2017 include… The Gravesend Summer 10k and 5k Series Race 5 Date: 4th August 2017 Distance: 10K. 5K. Location: Cyclopark, The Tollgate, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 7NP The Mount Ephraim 10k Date: 6th August 2017 Distance: 10K. Location: Mount Ephraim Gardens, Hernhill, Faversham, ME13 9TX The Rye Summer Classic Series 10k - August Date: 11th August 2017 Distance: 10K. Location: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7TU London Summer 10k Date: 13th August 2017 Distance: 10K. Location: The Hub, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RU The Podplus Ashford Summer 10k & 5k Series - Race 4 Date: 18th August 2017 Distance: 10K. 5K. Location: Victoria Park, Jemmett Road, Ashford, Kent, TN23 4QD The Canterbury Half Marathon Date: 28th August 2017 Distance: Children's Race. Half Marathon. Location: Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7BA The Gravesend Summer 10k and 5k Series Race 6 Date: 1st September 2017 Distance: 10K. 5K. Location: Cyclopark, The Tollgate, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 7NP The BBB10k Date: 3rd September 2017 Distance: 10K. 3k. Location: The Abbey Green, High Street, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0AD
For further details on all events http://www.nice-work.org.uk
The Canterbury Half-marathon - August 2017 Location: Merton Farm, Canterbury, Kent CT4 7BA Date: Monday 28th August 2017 Time: 10:00 am A popular part of the Kent sporting calendar, the Canterbury Half Marathon returns again in 2017. Organised to support Pilgrims Hospices by Nice Work, the race attracts a large Bank Holiday Monday entry to confirm its position as one of Kent's favourite half marathons. The course is challenging and covers the quiet country lanes on the outskirts of the city. For further details on all events http://www.nice-work.org.uk/
Coming Next Month in Issue 68 (September 2017)… Race to the Stones... Why Running Keeps Me Sane... Snowdonia Trail Half Marathon... Nice Work’s ‘Forthcoming Events’ for September 2017… Hashtag 01 T-shirt Review... Are You Resting or Recovering? August 2017’s Cyclorun Standings... Plus much, much more...
- is published monthly (printed and electronic) - is produced by Dawn Annett and Brian Page - is printed at Marstan Press, Bexleyheath, Kent
Club owner Jane features again in So Let's Go Running magazine