After the success of the Spring Marathon Sponsored Athlete Programme in 2018, Rudi from the Treatment Lab and I decided to do the same again for 2019.
We also approached Up & Running, Milton Keynes to see if they would like to be involved and they jumped at the chance and said YES!
Applications opened for a period of two weeks and we had over 60 runners apply for the two positions.
The Athletes would be able to benefit from the following as part of the programme:
Monthly Sport Massages with Rudi with extra sessions leading up to race day
Monthly PT sessions, weekly core classes and a training plan from Clean Coach Katie
Gait analysis and a free pair of trainers up to the value of £120. Nutritional advice and race day nutrition from Up & Running.
Ongoing support from all three to achieve the best on race day including training advice, nutrition support and coaching throughout the process
The selection process was a tough one with the calibre and sheer volume of applications we had received. As a team we wanted to work with a female and male athlete and also one runner taking on their first marathon and one trying to improve on a previous experience.
The lucky winners have recently been notified and both gladly accepted their places onto the programme.
We are very excited to announce our athletes to you…
Target Race – London Marathon 2019
My names Katie Elmer, I’m 33 (soon enough) and mum to Emily & Jake. I live with my partner Ben & we’ve been together for 13 years.
I joined Redway Runners in January 2017 as a beginner not being able to run for 30 seconds, my aim was a 10K race in August which I completed.
Fast forward to this time last year & I felt like running wasn’t for me, I didn’t feel like I was improving & in fact felt slower.
On the 1st January this year after park run I saw a photo of myself that changed the way I was thinking, I decided to concentrate on running more & eating healthy, before I knew it I was absolutely loving running & everything about it.
I completed the same 10K race this year & knocked 17 minutes off my time set the year before. I completed my first half marathon in May 2018 & I enjoyed every single step!
I had always said I would only ever consider running one marathon & that would be London.
After the 4th year of applying the charity I founded in memory of my daughter Emily won a place in the ballot & everything pointed at me to take that place & run it for her…
When I saw the applications open for the sponsored athlete program open I knew I had to apply, after seeing the help & support Sally got last year through the program I knew it was something that too could help me.
When I opened up the “congratulations email” I burst into tears…
Having their belief that I can do this means so much, it’s going to be hard work but also enjoyable to complete a dream for myself in memory of my daughter
Watch out London, I’m coming for you!!
Target Race – Manchester Marathon 2019
I am 38, married with a 6 year old daughter. My running journey began in 2014 when myself and around 100 others ran the MK Half & Full Marathon on behalf of a charity called Team George, which was set up by our 2 friends who lost their newborn son.
As many have done before, I did everything wrong in the build up, too much too soon, pushing through pain and ended up getting myself injured. The 2 months before the run I never got further than 5 miles, I considered pulling out but am too stubborn for that. I made it round on the day but knew I could do better. I then stopped running and went back to playing football, I did the MK half again in 2015 and was happy with my time, I again stopped running and went back to playing football and didn’t run for 18 months.
2017 – my aging years and poor fitness meant that football was coming to an end, so again I thought the MK half would help. I put in the same training as 2015, but it didn’t come as easy this time, I struggled, I hated it. Instead of stopping after this, I thought ‘I’m going to up the training!’ – again I got injured! I visited Rudi and he helped me sort the problem, he also recommended Katie’s core class.
This is when things changed. I always had the motivation to get myself out the door but lacked knowledge on keeping myself fit. I joined the Redway Runners, I made friends, it made the runs easier and more enjoyable. Running became a happy habit. Consistency, intervals and core work, all three of these together helped me get fitter. I decided that it was now or never and entered myself into the London Marathon for 2018. It had always been a dream, but I always thought it would stay a dream.
Training went better than I could have hoped, I stayed injury free, I enjoyed my long runs, I made more friends, I PB’d at every distance. I finally felt like a runner rather than a retired footballer trying to lose weight!. Race day came, along with the sun! I was naive with how much it would effect me. I struggled, it was painful but I got round and had an amazing day. I wanted to do it again!
So we come to now, I’ve kept up my running after London, I entered Manchester marathon as my target race, it’s my chance to get a time I could be proud of. Then I got the news that I would be the CCK/Treatment Lab/Up and Running sponsored athlete. I am honestly so excited by this, to have the support and knowledge of the team can only help me. I watched Sally and Ben’s journey last year, I was in awe of Ben’s times, he seemed to get quicker with every run, I read his blogs trying to find his secret! I then started reading Sally’s blog, her struggles with injury resonated with me, her stubbornness to not give up and mental strength throughout made me wish I could be that strong!
I am so excited by what 2019 can bring, Manchester I am coming for you!
Two very inspiring stories and one thing they have in common is determination! Rudi, Dionne and I can’t wait to begin our work with the athletes and kickstart the process. Each athlete will be documenting their journey through a blog. When we have more details we will share these with you.
Day 29 – Monday 29th January
45 minutes easy on the plan today as my ‘recovery run’ followed by a Sports Massage with Rudi @ The Treatment Lab. This was much needed as my calves were very tight! I only managed to squeeze in 4 miles before my appointment, but I wasn’t going to worry I didn’t fit in a full 45 mins as I knew I would be running later with the Need for Speed group.
I then went off to Sweat Studios for an hour of Hot Yoga. A great day of recovery I feel.
Finished off with Week 4 of Need for Speed. We did hill repeats tonight. I waited at the bottom of the hill playing the Rocky song whilst the group had to squats, lunges, tricep dips etc. in between their reps.
Weekly Mileage Total – 5.8 miles
Day 30 – Tuesday 30th January
I looked at the plan for today and laughed. 3 x 2 miles @ 13 minutes. That’s 6:30 pace, ARE YOU SERIOUS? Today I felt super tired as well. I think it was the weekend catching up with me and the early start this morning.
I headed up to Caldecotte Lake, my new location for speed sessions for a 1 mile warm up. I then went into Rep 1 and went by feel. It was tough, but I managed mile 1 in 6:38 and mile 2 in 6:22. I took my 1 minute recovery and set off for rep 2. During this rep I felt like stopping after the 2 miles and not completing the third rep. But once I’d done 2, I was committed. Rep 3 was done and I averaged at 6:31. WOW! I actually did it.
One more mile cool down and I quickly text James to tell him of my achievement. Maybe I should believe in myself a little bit more?? 8 miles banked today!
Weekly Mileage Total – 13.8 miles
Day 31 – Wednesday 31st January
1 hour easy run. This was effort.
I felt OK as I headed out but my body did not like me on this run. I felt drained and empty. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast so may have been lack of fuel or fatigue from the BIGGGGG session on Tuesday. 7.3 miles done at a pace of 8:16. So although I felt tired, the pace was decent. This will help on Marathon day… If I felt rubbish running 8:16 per mile, I will take that for the last 10K of London.
James and I then completed a Strength session at the gym. Both of us were feeling the miles in our legs so opted for a mix of lower and upper body exercises today.
Another fabulous set of core classes. A great 80s playlist and the rapport and energy in the class got me through!
Weekly Mileage Total – 21.1 miles
Day 32 – Thursday 1st February
Pinch, punch, first day of the month.
A packed day full of PT clients, but a double run day on the plan. Morning clients followed by a 5K easy run, 3 more clients and then a 45 minute run, then back to the studio for the evening.
Today was tough, mentally. But, this was the point today. Building mental toughness and resilience. By the second run, it was the first time on the plan I didn’t want to lace up my trainers. I’ve been scared of tempo runs, but always wanted to complete them because I know their benefits, but today, I COULDN’T BE ARSED!!!! (excuse my French).
If I run solo I usually listen to music, but for the second run I thought I would listen to a podcast to switch things up. It worked wonders actually, as I could focus on what the presenters were talking about. My pace was a little slower than the normal run. It could have been due to not having music and the tempo to motivate me, but I was running at a pace my body wanted to.
I was also able to experience ‘Flotation Life’ which I will be reviewing in a separate blog post. It’s a big tank full of water and lots of epsom salts, which is good for recovery. I actually napped during the hour treatment and it certainly helped my body!
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.5 miles
Day 33 – Friday 2nd February
Rest Day – my favourite day of the week 😉
Another packed out day in the PT studio. This is why Friday is my rest day, I average 7 – 10 clients on Friday’s so fitting in my running isn’t ideal. I want to ensure my clients get the most from me!
I had some really good sessions today so left the ‘office’ feeling really pleased. All clients were seeing their physical progress in the gym and saying this to me, which pleases me so much. Knowing I can help others is a very special gift.
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.5 miles
Day 34 – Saturday 3rd February
Parkrun! My brother is back for the weekend so joined me at Willen Lake for Milton Keynes Park Run. We met up before doing a 1 mile warm up.
The aim was to get a course PB today and possibly sub 20. I’ve only cracked sub 20 twice, at Northampton park run, which is a very flat course.
I managed park run in 20:02. I was gutted. Strava says I went through 5K in 19:46 which is a PB and my watch registered 3.15 miles so a little over 5K. It is a course PB so I accomplished what I set out to do. Could I have found those few seconds elsewhere, I’m not sure??
On reflection, I’ve decided to focus on the positives, rather than it being a failure.
- It’s a course PB
- Strava said I did 19:46 for 5K, so it is within my capabilities
- I’ve had a TOUGH week so far, so this is a great performance following that
- I gained a new 2 mile PB during the run too
- I achieved lots of PRs on the course
- This time last year I would have dreamed of 20:02
Therefore I am a lot Stronger, Fitter and Faster than before. HELLL YEAAAAAHAHHH!!
Weekly Mileage Total – 34.3 miles
Day 35 – Sunday 4th February
Long Run today. Mission – 90mins easy, 30 mins tempo.
The first few miles were legs felt heavy, guess that’s following yesterday’s parkrun, but after I warmed up and the main club run started I was going. The easy miles were great and then the clock went quick as I neared towards the 30 mins tempo. The tempo was quite hard as part of the club run with 100+ people but all miles were low 7s so I was really pleased. I felt strong. The strength & core work is really benefiting me and keeping good form. Another great week. Definitely in need of foam rolling and stretching tonight!!
Weekly Mileage Total – 50.3 miles
Training Total Mileage – 217 miles
YouTube recap of Week 5 here – https://youtu.be/HqC0W0mlEiY
Day 15 – Monday 15th January
After a tough weekend of Cross Country and a long run yesterday my body was happy for a rest day.
I had some day time PT sessions, carried out some of my own foam rolling and stretching, before teaching my Monday night circuit class and leading week 2 of my #NeedforSpeed Course. During the evening session I managed to cover 2.5 miles and recorded for Strava purposes 😉 So, although a rest day, I still was keeping active.
Weekly Mileage Total – 2.5 miles
Day 16 – Tuesday 16th January
Tuesdays are known by now for speed sessions.
12 x 400m reps was on the plan. In yesterday’s need for speed course I made the attendees do between 4 – 6 so knew they would be laughing at me now if they knew what I was up to.
After morning PT clients I ran 2.5 miles up (as a warm up) to a local lake where I know I could find flat ground. (Recently I’ve been setting out from home and struggling to find anywhere really flat to do these kind of sessions which makes it harder).
On the plan it said to aim for the reps at 5K target pace, which is now for me 6 minutes per mile eeeeek. I was really shocked at the fact I was able to go under 6 min mile pace for quite a few and none were slower than dead on 6 min miles. Super chuffed with this session and it didn’t feel ‘brutal’ like some sessions do. Maybe 0.25 mile reps are for me!
Another 2.5 miles back to the studio to shower, change before the rest of the days PT clients.
Weekly Mileage Total – 10.5 miles
Day 17 – Wednesday 17th January
Easy run on the plan for today, but my legs felt quite heavy. Despite this, I averaged just over 8 min/miles which is incredible that this is now an ‘easy’ pace. Shows the training is really paying off.
5.5 miles covered. No strength training this week so far – with a race on Sunday and 2 core classes to teach this evening, I thought it was a good idea to limit my gym work.
2 hours of back to back teaching core class is a workout in itself!! I had 2 fully booked sessions which was fantastic. I was tired by the end, but full of endorphins. James and I refuelled with one of our favourite meals of chicken salad, hummus and pitta – YUM!
Weekly Mileage Total – 16 miles
Day 18 – Thursday 18th January
#ThursdayTempos – urgh. Can you tell I dislike these by now?
I was actually dreading this run on Wednesday, 24 hours before I even had to run.
Tempos now make me feel anxious!! This isn’t good and something I need to shake off and quite quick.
James came out with me after work for this session. I do feel for the guy as I put him through hell sometimes. I almost had a hissy fit before we started as I was worried for time to fit the run in and get to the studio in time. I guess my worry for the session took over and I took it out on him. It was a rush to get showered and to the studio, but I did well this week. 6:53 min per mile average for 4 miles and although it felt hard, I felt stronger this week than last. A 1 mile warm up and 0.8 mile cool down took this run up to 5.8 miles.
Weekly Mileage Total – 21.8 miles
Day 19 – Friday 19th January
Friday was due to be a rest day and Saturday was meant to be a 30 minute shake out run before the race. Due to a busy day on Saturday I swapped the two around and did my 30 minutes today. I averaged at sub 8’s which was probably quite quick for an easy run, but it felt good. 4 miles done and another nice tick off of the training plan.
Another busy day with PT clients left me feeling EXHAUSTED. I hope I’m not overdoing it with everything at the moment. I went home and ate as much food as I could get my hands on!
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.8 miles
Saturday – 20th January
REST DAY! And The National Running Show wooohooooo.
It was a great day out and a very inspiring one. Lovely to meet lots of fellow runners from the community and also have a meet up with Baze187, Run Guru Run and Andy FOD Runner. YouTube vide to come soon.
A relaxed evening ahead of Sunday’s race did me well.
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.8 miles
Sunday – 21st January
Fred Hughes 10 mile race. My second race over this distance. The last time I covered this distance in a race environment was at Brighton 10 and I shocked myself with going sub 70! This course is known to be ‘undulating’ so I didn’t know what to expect ahead of this.
The weather was not ‘ideal’ race conditions, but the show must go on.
I admit, I went into this race unsure on how I would do. I felt tired from the week and as everyone knows, I DISLIKE TEMPO RUNS, this was going to be a 10 mile long tempo run.
I positioned myself too close to the start – oops and set off, not getting caught up in the early rush. I soon found my rhythm and the miles ticked by. First few were around 6:45 which I thought was too quick, but today I tried to run on feel. Push up the hills and enjoy the recovery on the down. Mile 5 – 6 was really tough and some of the course goes through the St Albans half route so recognisable. I passed 10K with a new PB woooo! (only a few seconds) and this really motivated me to carry on. I got to mile 7 and thought, only a park run to go! Mile 8 wiped my legs and as I hit mile 9 I was worried that I would fade. But I talked myself into pushing hard for 1 last mile. I think back to all my previous training and try to remember this is where it pays off.
I finished in a time of 1 hour 8 minutes and 14 seconds – another 10 mile PB and I was buzzing!!!!! Average pace of 6:50 and means that a Sub 90 half marathon is definitely achievable at the start of March if I focus in the next few weeks! Maybe this self-belief thing really pays off?
Until next week….
p.s. I now see the benefits of tempo runs 😉 please remind me of this next week if I moan!!!
Weekly Mileage Total – 37.3 miles
Training Total Mileage – 121.1 miles
YouTube recap of Week 2 here – https://youtu.be/TCI3qf0WH8A
Week 1 – COMPLETE. Great feeling to have a full 7 days done and done well. If you missed week 1’s recap you can read it here: The Road To London – Week 1 of Marathon Training.
Day 8 – Monday 8th January
At a glance, looking at my diary, today should have been a relatively quiet day… how different could it have been!
7am – Easy run – 6.3 miles
8am – breakfast, emails, client training plans, finalising info for the Need for Speed Course
12.30pm – Yoga at Sweat Studios followed by being treated to lunch by Mum
4pm – quick drink (soda and lime) with Lynn & Freya to celebrate Lynn’s birthday
5.30pm – arrive to set up and teach Circuits Class
7.30pm – My first experience as a Run Lead for the Redway Runners – taking 30 people under my wing to help improve their 5K times. 3.1 miles covered here too.
8.45pm – home to scoff down dinner before getting ready for morning PT clients
23,000 steps, 13.6 miles covered, 9.4 of them running. PHEW!
On Sunday of Week 1 I also took James through the foam rolling and stretching routine we went through at the workshop last week – it did wonders for me today!
Weekly Mileage Total – 9.4 miles
Day 9 – Tuesday 9th January
Early morning PT clients meant my run ‘session’ had to be done just before lunch. I had a great morning in the studio so I was in a good mood. I made sure I quickly changed and got out as soon as I could. If I sat down that would have been game over, distractions would have got in the way and hours would have passed by without me knowing.
A mile warm up and 1.2 miles cool down including 4 miles of different speed work left me with another 6.2 miles for the day.
Pretty happy I was able to hit the relevant paces for each interval too and found the pace of sub 7s much easier than last weeks tempo. Funny how the mindset can play games with you. More evening PT sessions to finish off the day – #StrongerFitterFaster
Weekly Mileage Total – 15.6 miles
Day 10 – Wednesday 10th January
Today’s plan – a leg and glute work out, 30 mins easy run and teaching core class, all in between PT clients.
My workout was higher reps and lighter weights, saving myself for this weekends Cross Country. 4.1 miles done in 32 minutes and a jam packed class finished the day well. A record breaking 32 attendees in total. I’m lucky enough to be able to host another session at 7pm next week too. Allowing more people access to these classes. Spaces still available for the 7pm class – booking link here – http://bit.ly/2ml893n
I was pleased to sit down once the day was done!
Weekly Mileage Total – 19.7 miles
Day 11 – Thursday 11th January
Tempo Thursday’s – UGH.
I think I have a mental block with these runs now.
5.1 miles completed in 6:56 min/per mile average with 0.5 mile cool down.
I finished the run and felt deflated. 6:52 is meant to be my half marathon pace in 7-8 weeks time and I do not feel ready or anywhere in shape for it. But my coach reminded me that 6 months ago I would have not been able to complete a run like that.
‘Remember how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go!’
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.4 miles
Day 12 – Friday 12th January
Rest Day – Yipppeeee! And a record day for me in the PT studio. 9 clients in total BOOM!
Some great sessions but a long day. I hoped that all the squat demo’s wouldn’t affect tomorrow’s XC haha.
Weekly Mileage Total – 25.4 miles
Day 13 – Saturday 13th January
Today was the 4th match of the Chiltern League Cross Country.
This race was in Keysoe in Bedford and is known for the famous ‘water splash’.
James and I made our way over to Bedford and arrived around 45 minutes before the women’s race. We went to check out said ‘water splash’ and I was immediately filled with fear. I’m not keen on being in water, getting wet or muddy – such a girl (rolls eyes).
(Photo credit, Ben Munns)
With the limited time I had, I did a short warm up (which in hindsight was probably not enough as it felt soooo cold) and lined up ready to race.
Today’s game plan was to just run, no pace expectations. I didn’t look at my watch during the race, which I’m usually quite bad for, but only glanced down when each mile ticked over. I ran at effort and tried to drive up the uphills and push at effort on any flat parts. The course was pretty muddy and boggy and with the various races throughout the day, the mud was pretty churned through by the time we raced.
I was pleased with Lap 1, but by the time Lap 2 came around, the course was taking it out of my legs and they became heavier and heavier. I finished in 26:27 over 3.75 miles (avg pace 7:04) and 23rd position overall.
Really happy with that and hope that I can start not being such a girl and recognise cross country is meant to be challenging.
(Left picture, photo credit to Barry Cornelius (oxonraces.com). Right picture, photo credit to James Down)
Weekly Mileage Total – 29.6 miles
Day 14 – Sunday 14th January
Sundays = Long Run
A 7am start and anything 90+ mins was on the plan. I met up with Ben, Stu and ET and we completed a 10 mile route that Stuart took us on. The route was slightly undulating but it was really chatty and the miles did tick through nicely.
My legs felt sooooo heavy in the first few miles after yesterdays Cross Country but the pace felt comfortable. Running to the meeting point and back home again meant I clocked up 12.4 miles and took my weekly mileage up to 42, another record week for me.
A good stretching session is due later as I definitely feel achey now! But YAY to another week of marathon training complete.
Weekly Mileage Total – 42 miles
Training Total Mileage – 83.8 miles
YouTube recap of Week 2 here – https://youtu.be/TCI3qf0WH8A
Thanks for reading and catch you all next week. xx
So here we are, the day we’ve been waiting for… London Marathon training has officially begun.
My plan is set, I am ready to go, and so we begin.
I’ve recently filmed a video on what my plans are for my running in 2018, so if you’ve yet to watch it and are curious about what races I have lined up and how I plan to train for this marathon, then you can watch it here… https://youtu.be/MSL2fe0bJbo
Each week I plan on putting together a video of my training to document the process and also write a weekly summary on what I’ve been up to…
Monday – 1st January – New Years Day
In previous years, I’ve spent the 1st of January in bed, with a hangover. However, this year was different. My training plan started off with 13.1 miles – yes that’s correct, a half marathon.
As it was New Years Day, I was eager to do the double park run and my coach therefore suggested a half marathon distance.
The plan was to meet a group of people from the club at Willen Lake, run to Linford Wood, do that park run, run back to Willen and do the Willen Parkrun. Once I had got back to Willen I was up to 9 miles. I had taken the previous 9 quite steady and the idea was to go ‘all out’ for the second park run. I managed a time of 21 minutes which isn’t too bad on heavy legs. I think the thought of running effort after running for 1 hour 15 already played with my head.
A mile cool down helped to round up to the 13.1 needed for the day. Average pace of 8 minutes per miles – happy days!
Weekly Mileage Total – 13.1 miles
Tuesday – 2nd January
Today’s run was a speed session. My legs were quite heavy last night so foam rolled, stretched and was very glad to wake up feeling a lot less tighter.
Although, I did wake up with a blocked nose and sore throat. I’d been pretty chuffed I had not caught anything over the festive period, but was not going to let this stop me. I like to head out early and get these types of workouts done, so I did an hour or so of work first thing, and headed out the door.
During my 1 mile warm up, I quickly remembered I had not done a session like this in quite a while. I wasn’t sure if I should feel excited or nervous.
This session was, 6 x 800m reps. The idea was to find a pace I could keep up for all 6 repetitions. I had around 1 minute recovery in between and was able to average at 6.07 min/per mile pace which I was over the moon with. Because I paused my watch in between, my watch bleeped a new 5K PB after the session – oops! Will need to make sure I can run that time in the not so distance future for a continuous 5K.
A mile cool down saw me up to 5 miles for the day.
Later in the afternoon I took myself to the gym for a strength session. The focus was on hamstrings and glutes, squats, deadlifts etc. You get the idea!
I then headed off to the PT studio for the first lot of 121 clients sessions for 2018 woooo.
Weekly Mileage Total – 18.1 miles
Wednesday – 3rd January
Today was an easy run – 5.6 miles banked. At first I was reluctant to head out due to Storm Eleanor, but once I was out there I actually really enjoyed it. Just me, myself and my playlist booming through my Aftershockz.
After a busy morning in the PT studio this was just what I needed for a bit of me time.
A 30 minute Sports Massage with Rudi at The Treatment Lab followed by an epic Core Class – great first class of 2018.
More information on classes here – Fitness Classes
Weekly Mileage Total – 23.7 miles
Thursday – 4th January
After an early start in the studio and clients up until lunch time, not one part of me wanted to do today’s run.
On the plan was a Tempo run, for any of those unsure on what this is, all I can say is that these runs HURT. You have to put yourself in a state of running comfortably uncomfortable which is quite a difficult thing to get your ahead around.
My tempo runs should just under 7 minute mile pace. Ask me to run at 6.30s or 8’s, fine, but 7s, hell no, I struggle!
Before I left the house, I tried to come up with every excuse possible:
It’s windy outside (it really was!)
My shin hurts
I’ve not had lunch yet
I’ve got work to do
Excuses don’t run marathons, so off I went. I picked a route I knew was 4 miles and then remembered the elevation is not too kind in parts, and paired with the wind, made this run challenging. It was a mental battle towards the end and I felt a little deflated that I was still a few seconds off of Half Marathon target pace. If I could barely hold this pace for 4 miles, how could I do it for another 9.1??
But, then I have to remember, this is training and this is why I’m doing it.
Run put behind me, I continued with my day.
Rudi from the Treatment Lab and I put on two workshops this evening on Foam Rolling and Stretching. It was great to go through the correct techniques of rolling and talk through the various stretches we all should be doing as runners. A lovely evening and what makes what I do so enjoyable 🙂
Weekly Mileage Total – 27.7 miles
Friday – 5th January
REST – wooo!
Friday is usually my busiest day with 121 PT clients so I usually keep this as my rest day.
I was tired and therefore hungry for most of the day! But some awesome PT sessions kept my mood uplifted 🙂
Weekly Mileage Total – 27.7 miles
Saturday – 6th January
Originally I was down to race the County Champs Cross Country in Biggleswade. But it was my nephew’s first birthday yesterday and his party was today (which meant there was a clash!). Family over XC and it also meant CAKE!! Plus I’d bought him some super cool vans which I wanted to give to him. After all the toys he got over Christmas, my sister was relieved, I’d opted for a sensible present.
In the morning I went out to parkrun instead. Milton Keynes has two so we are spoilt for choice. I opted for Linford Wood today, which a course I have only done three times before. My Course PB was 24 minutes as I’ve never run it at full effort. I fancied a change of scenery over Willen for some reason. I find you can get too familiar with one course and I wanted to challenge myself.
I did a short warm up. Which wasn’t as long as I wanted, only due to the fact that when I arrived and parked my car, I had pulled up next to a lady who was doing her first ever park run. So I walked down to the start with her as she had no clue where she was going. I’d love to how she got on but didn’t get to catch her name. I hope she enjoyed it and returns again soon. It was lovely to meet someone doing their first one! We all were that person at one point.
I was super chuffed with my time today – 20:43, a new course PB, 1st Lady and 9th place overall. I’ve never come in the top 10 – WOW.
It felt tough in parts and the cold/cough I caught earlier in the week was making my breathing harder. But pleased with that pace once I had finished. Another session boxed off, and a day off for me ahead.
Weekly Mileage Total – 32.3 miles
Sunday 7th January
Long Sunday runs begin.
I went out with the club for some easy enjoyable miles and the only option was 80 minutes today from the MK Dons Stadium.
Today was a really chatty run, talking to various people on the way round. It was a frosty but clear morning and the sunshine made an appearance.
I finished on 9.5 miles and felt great. It was lovely to see so many other people doing so well and I walked away full of endorphins and with a huge smile on my face.
Thank you to Redway Runners for creating such a brilliant community and support network.
I stopped for coffee with the Boothbys, Steph and many others before running a few errands and to refuel.
Finishing the week on 41.8 miles and possibly my highest mileage week ever.
Week 1 – DONE AND DUSTED, BOOM!
Weekly Mileage Total – 41.8 miles
(Coach informed me after that 40 miles will be my staple week of training – eeeeekk!)
I’ve also put together a short video of my week in training for those interested. You can watch it here.
YouTube Link – https://youtu.be/oP09kivg_SE
Thanks for reading and will catch up with you all next week.
Clean Coach Katie xx
At the end of September I completed the Leadership in Running Fitness Course hosted by British Athletics. I recorded my thoughts on my iPhone about this course and am currently using the voice note I made to write this blog. I’m pleased I did so, as it would have captured the true feelings and emotions of what I experienced on this day.
From my recording (slightly edited, of course)…
I arrived in Cambridge in good time to register, sign in and I was greeted by walking into a room of fellow runners. I can only describe it as feeling like it was my first day of school.
I walked in, smiled at a few people that made eye contact and found myself a seat at the end of the front row #TeachersPet.
One of the first things we were asked to do was to write down the reason as to why we had joined this course and what we were wanting to get from the day.
A common theme that from the attendees was that we wanted to give back to the running community and that was one also a personal reason as to why I wanted to do the course.
- Think about the number of volunteers at parkrun each week, giving up their Saturday morning to allow other people to run
- The vast number of run leads at multiple running clubs up and down the country, giving runner the opportunity to be a part of a club, including my own, the Redway Runners.
All of the volunteers do this for free and give up their time to benefit others, which is my eyes is a very honourable deed. So thank you, if you are one of these awesome people!!
My own personal running journey began back in 2012 when I completed the Run to the Beat half marathon in a time of 2 hours 3 minutes. I then went on to run the London Marathon for Children with Cancer UK in 2014 in a time of 3 hours and 54 minutes. For both races I did the training on my own without being a part of a running club. Looking back I made a lot of common running errors and mistakes, but also admit this has contributed to making me a better runner today.
After my first London Marathon I shamefully lost my mojo with running as I did not have anything else to focus on. I had a holiday booked that summer so spent more time in the gym using weights and resistance training. It was on this holiday that I read Mo Farah’s autobiography and it instilled my passion for running once again.
I spent the rest of the holiday searching for local running clubs in Milton Keynes. Fortunately, Redway Runners came top of my Google search and I decided pretty quickly, that RR was the club I wanted to join when I got home.
There were a huge variety of runs on offer (which is far more extensive now) and looked easily accessible. The next step was to fill out a form and on my first run take £5 to join. A FIVER! My monthly gym membership costs quadruple that (and I use a budget gym)!
It was quite daunting turning up for my first run on my own, however, the director of the club, Martin Lawrence made me feel at ease quite quickly. Thinking back to the day, it was a Monday evening and Martin advised me to join the ‘Club Run’ which was a lap of the local area where you ran at a certain pace. I advised him of what I had run London in and he put me straight in a group which looked full of super quick runners – I hoped I was going to be able to keep up and not embarrass myself.
I must admit I do remember it being tough, after having not run for a while, I was trying to keep up with the group, chat away to them, answer questions as they were trying to get to know me, whilst trying to compose my cool as well. I was always scared that before I joined a club I would be the slowest one there!!
Two inspirational members of the club were in this paced group on that day and they probably won’t remember it being my first run. However, Jen Sangster and Kevin Orchard were very friendly and always checking that I was OK. Jen, has represented England in the Chester Marathon, has run multiple marathons close to 3 hours, an ultramarathon and is a general running machine. I could list off all of her recent achievements, but I feel like I’d be here all day! A very heroic runner within our club. The second, Kevin, who has also represented Great Britain around the world in various triathlons. Scary to think now that I had no idea of what great athletes they both were as we ran together that Monday evening.
That was how my running club journey started, but back to why I completed the LIRF course, as being a runner and part of a club:
- It gave me the confidence to get back into running and has continually built my confidence as a runner
- It’s given me self-belief that I can run and also become better
- It’s helped me find new friends and also my now boyfriend, James
- Being a part of an incredible community, words can’t really describe that feeling. The sense of belonging and being a part of a special family.
Back to the course:
As most of wanted to give back to the running community to replicate what it had given us, we also wanted to be able to support other runners on their own personal development journey.
Being a run lead is a lot more than just being able to run, it’s about building someone’s character, self-esteem and confidence. I also like to believe that I can help people with these things through my job as a Personal Trainer and Coach.
A lot of the course content and style of leadership, I have covered before in my Personal Training Course, but it was good to be able to reinforce that what I already know and practice is correct.
But, one of the main takeaway things that I got from the day that as Run Leads we are role models. We are there to inspire, motivate, give advice, support and the most important thing is hopefully become a new friend to someone else. Running is such a social sport and to have the opportunity to be able to do this is sometimes overwhelming but very touching.
All in all, I am now very excited to be able to use this qualification to allow others to get into running or help current members within my club improve.
We learnt that there are a lot of barriers to running and negative perceptions about running such as ‘I can’t run’, ‘I’m too slow to be a part of a club’, but that’s never the case. One of the motto’s my club has is that no-one gets left behind. The Redway Runners caters for all abilities and ages and running is free – that’s the beauty of it (apart from the small £5), but that’s pretty cheap in my opinion to be able to a part of something special. #GreenArmy
So, if you’re reading this and unsure on whether to join your local running club, then I would urge you to do so today.
Like me, all of the other members on this course today are going to go into their local communities and set up lots of opportunities for others to run.
I’m now very excited to be able to give back to my running club and am excited to announce that starting on January 8th, I will be leading a ‘Need for Speed’ course aimed at helping others to improve their 5K PB.
It will be a 10 week course with a parkrun graduation on 17th March.
You can sign up for your spot (providing you are a Redway Runner) via the link that will be sent out in the Club Mail on Thursday.
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You may have seen me in a lot of race photos recently with fancy socks/sleeves on my legs?
Are they a fashion statement? Hell NO!
I’ve worn compression socks for a number of years to help with the prevention of injury.
As a previous sufferer of shin splints and tight calves, they have worked wonders for me.
A bit about compression and blood flow and why I wear them..
The sciency bit
Our arteries transport oxygenated blood around the body to our muscles. Once this oxygen has been used, the deoxygenated blood and other waste products i.e. lactic acid get transported back to the heart. Once it reaches the heart, it then gets passed through to the lungs to be oxygenated once again, and the cycle continues.
Oxygen is vital for our muscles to work and perform efficiently and effectively.
So what does Compression have to do with this all?
Compression socks and sleeves provide graduated compression, meaning the compression is tighter at the foot and ankle and looser as it moves up the calf and lower leg. This type of compression helps to fight the effects of gravity and assist the body in getting the deoxygenated blood flow back to the heart.
During exercise our muscles also become fatigued through muscular vibration. As runners, pounding the streets and especially the Redways of Milton Keynes means there can be a lot of muscular vibration going on! I’ve also been advised in the past to complete some of my runs on softer ground to help with this. Trail routes and woodland areas for this are ideal! I must admit I don’t incorporate this enough into my routine, due to lack of known routes. But having the compression sleeves helps instead.
Recently, I’ve had the privilege of being able to test out the Rymora Sports Compression Sleeves and Socks.
They both fit well and I’ve had zero pain whilst wearing them during or after training. I think my old sleeves were losing their compression, so I would strongly advise buying a new pair every so often, just like we do with running trainers. Once they’ve done their miles, we buy a fresh new pair.
I prefer wearing the calf sleeves to the full socks, but that’s just a personal preference. Sometimes compression socks reach just over my knees (long legs) and can sometimes slide down slightly during a run, whereas, the sleeves sit just underneath the knee with no movement at all. I forget they’re there half the time!
I would highly recommend these to anyone who has had any problems with lower legs in the past or currently does.
I haven’t had many issues recently with my lower legs and have been completing some training runs without them. I always wear them for races, to help with recovery and due to the increased speed and pressure through my legs. But for me, I think it’s more of a preventative thing nowadays and also a habitual part of my kit.
You can order your very own pair here: Rymora Sports on Amazon
And before you question, no this was not a paid review 😉 all opinions my own.
Thanks for reading.
Clean Coach Katie
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