Can you believe this is my 100th blog post for Why Weight Ireland? Usually when I write a blog I don’t set out to write about a certain topic until I have my Microsoft Word open and I start typing! Even now I really don’t know what the next few lines are going to be about lol so every blog I write is in some way something new for me as well as for you. As I type this it is lashing rain, I’m just back from a 17 mile run and I am so glad it is done as I have a race in Carlow on Sunday – which several of the Why Weight Ireland members are also going to run. I suppose I’d better write about running. As most of you will already know, running has become a real passion of mine and since I began running for the first time a couple of years ago I just cant get enough of it. It keeps me healthy and keeps me in shape. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would end up being a runner – If someone had told me four years ago I would be running marathons, well running FULL STOP, I probably would have rolled over with laughter and thought they were completely bonkers! I know a lot of people say that they aren’t runners, or would never be able to run but take it from me, if you put time and effort into it, follow a good plan you WILL be able to run and you WILL be a RUNNER.
As we are now in March, a lot of people will be getting ready for different road races that will be organised. First of all, don’t be put off by the word ‘race’; most “races” accept runners, walkers and crawlers so just because you might not be able to run 5KM (or what ever distance it is) try walking it. They are great fun and a great way to get fit and stay healthy while at the same time meeting wonderful like-minded people. The one thing I have learnt since I started running is that runners or anyone who turns up to the races and competes are just the nicest and most helpful people and I am so pleased to be a part of such a wonderful sport. The thing about running is that it doesn’t matter if you can run a mile in five minutes or fifteen minutes, as long as you are taking part and enjoying yourself and if you have a competitive side, the only person you really have to beat is yourself. For me, if I won a race but won it at a slower pace than I would normally race then I would be disappointed, and if I came last in a race but got a new PB then I would be over the moon. The most important piece of information that I can offer to anyone starting is, follow a good plan. Don’t go all out in the first week as you will either end up injured or you will end up hating the sport because you burnt yourself out. Follow a plan, build up slowly, stick to it and you will be okay.
So with the up and coming races in mind, what better time to start setting yourself some goals and start improving your fitness and maybe even shed some pounds along the way too?! With the races spread over the year, there is plenty of time to gradually build up the distance and if you are feeling really brave you might even consider the Dublin Marathon in October! So many people dream of running a marathon, but what they don’t realise is that they CAN make that dream a reality! Two years ago I ran my first marathon as part of the Spar Spartan Challenge and completed a 16-week Marathon training schedule and from being a COMPLETE novice, I crossed the Dublin Marathon finish line in 3hrs 33 minutes! There were 23 other “spartans” who also were for the most part complete novices and all crossed that finish line! So I guess what I’m saying is – it IS possible if you set your mind to it! “If you never chase your dreams…you’ll never catch them!” In May I will be taking on the Kildare marathon again, in which I came 5th last year so I’m hoping to complete it in a better time than last year, which was 3hrs. 24 minutes. In the Why Weight Ireland Facebook Community Group I asked if any members would like to join me and train for one of the Kildare races and I’m happy to say that there are a lot of them attempting one of the races, 10km, half marathon and full marathon. I am so proud of them all and am really looking forward to the day and will hopefully get the chance to cheer some of them on. Their dedication and motivation to compete in the race is amazing and a lot of members are first timers who are trying to complete a dream they once had. I am just privileged that they are letting me be a part of their dream.
Top 3 Tips For Those Taking Up Running
1) Overtraining: Whatever distance you are training for be careful to avoid injury by making sure you are not over-training!
Don’t suddenly increase your mileage – even if you feel you can go further, if you’re not used to the distance don’t make huge jumps, increase gradually week after week!
Don’t run every run as a race! Keep your speed for speed sessions and races ONLY – and your other runs at conversational pace; if you can’t talk – you’re going TOO FAST!
2) Stretching! Post activity stretching is one of the most important things that so many of us neglect once we have finished our workout or run! Stretching helps to return the muscles to their pre-exercise length, and is a major factor in reducing and preventing injury!
Be sure to stretch well right after you run/workout has finished – taking special care to stretch any tight or niggly areas!
Hold each stretch for 15 – 30 seconds
You should NOT feel pain when you stretch – slowly ease the stretch to the point where you feel tension, but not pain and then hold the stretch.
Stretch after EVERY run, and especially remember to stretch after a race, where you would have put your body and your muscles under more intense pressure!
3) Positive mental attitude! Running, especially distance or marathon running, is all about mental power just as much as the physical. Having the self-belief to continue, and the mental power to keep going is all that will hold you back from achieving your goals! I truly believe that if you set your mind to it – you can do it! Get your plan together, stick it on your fridge – tick off each training day as you complete it! Have a bad day?? It happens, sweep it away and move on! Have a great day?! Bottle that feeling and keep the positivity flowing! 🙂
All members of Why Weight Ireland are entitled to their very own personal and tailored fitness plan which they can use and follow and help reach their goals. At Why Weight Ireland we believe in combining healthier food choices with regular exercise to get the best results possible and maintain an easily sustainable healthy lifestyle. Its all about everything in moderation – just small changes which all add up to a BIG difference 🙂
Remember there is a Special 10% Mother’s Day Discount for this week only before the small price increase on Monday 11th. All you need to do is add the word MOTHERS (all caps) to the coupon box at checkout. Discount ends Sunday 10th March.
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