I have a four week exercise planner that will help you get in tip-top shape in time for our event in May. But before you look at the schedule, take a look at these important points to think about...
- Check with your doctor before starting this running or walking schedule. You must rule out any health or physical issues that may mean running is not for you – this includes anyone who is pregnant or recently had a baby.
- Find two routes – one shorter one that will take you around 20 – 30 minutes or is around 2 -3 km in distance and another which takes you around 40 – 50 minutes to walk very briskly or run very slowly. If you are not sure simply go out in one direction for half the time on your schedule and then turn around and come back. Most parks will have routes that are easily measured or you can look at a route using GPS or running or map route websites.
- If you currently don’t do any activity at all and have never exercised before, start with small walks daily and build up to being able to walk briskly for 20 minutes, 3-5 times a week. Aim to do this over 2-4 weeks. You will then be ready to start this schedule.
- During the shows I will be doing masterclasses on how to perfect your technique and improve your running. This is important for safety as well as better performance so make sure you tune in regularly to the show!
- Eat a healthy sensible diet and DO NOT skip meals – if you over restrict your calories you won't be able to run/walk. If you're aiming to lose weight, eat a minimum of 1,500 per day.
- Drink plenty of water - 2–3 litres a day is ideal - and drink water before, during and after your runs.
- Do not run if you are unwell and if you feel PAIN. Stop what you are doing and only continue if you can run pain free. Always consult a doctor if you have any concerns about your health.
- Wear comfortable clothing that allows your skin to breathe and make sure you have a proper pair of running shoes. We will be giving you further advice on this on the show.
- Be safe at all times. Never run in the dark or in unpopulated areas on your own. Another reason to find a running buddy!
- It’s important to stick to the right intensity – this is where you can say 1–3 sentences but not much more! If you feel yourself gasping for air and unable to talk at all, slow down. If you can chat nonstop hear my voice, politely screaming at you to MOVE FASTER!
Quick tips on running/walking technique:
- Relax your upper body and aim to move through the foot, striking your foot down around the mid point of your foot and pushing off from the ball of your foot.
- Let your arms swing naturally, side to side and most important of all - connect to your core muscles – that means drawing up through your pelvic floor (think of your tail bone and your pubic bone squeezing together and drawing up inside you).
- Bring your belly button back to your spine and draw your shoulders back and down. Always run/walk looking straight ahead with chin drawn in - imagine a piece of string pulling you up from the top of your head.
- Focus on slow, deep breaths and if you feel your breath getting short, slow down, take some bigger breaths and try to relax by shaking your arms out.
- Aim to walk in as straight a line as you can – imagine you are on a very narrow path and have to take each step with care!
Always warm up before you start and cool down afterwards.