With only two weeks to go until our big Race for Life event in May, Jane Wake and Linda Barker are back to give more tips on getting ready to walk or run!
Here's some masterclass tips from Jane Wake to keep you running and walking!
As you get nearer to your 5K challenge you may well be moving into new exercise territory! The following tips are designed to help you stay there and continue to move onwards and upwards .
Reaching and staying at the top!
Getting your balance of fitness right is really important - especially when you have a goal such as running or walking. Whilst running and walking are excellent forms of fitness and provide you with so many benefits, it's also really important that you balance these out – this is what can keep you going, get you even fitter and get even better results
TIP 1 DO YOGA/PILATES
Running and walking works primarily the lower body and whilst we can get you to focus on your core and posture, you really do need to do other forms of exercise to ensure you stay well balanced. An important point to note is that 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will gain a fracture, due to onset of osteoporosis.
Walking and running is perfect for strengthening legs and hips but wont have an effect on the upper body. Perfect forms of exercise are yoga and pilates which not only address strength to help increase bone and muscle mass but will also work on lengthening you out – Without the right exercise our muscles can shorten and lose more than 50% of the flexibility by the time we are 75.
Look at any Yoga or Pilates devotee and their bodies exhibit those of some one half their age. There are yoga and pilates classes every where – also ones designed for specific age groups and needs such as chair based exercise or back care. Find a class near you by looking at reputable organisations – Yoga is governed by The British Wheel of Yoga and Pilates by REPs - The Register for Exercise Professionals. You can find both of these organisations online.
TIP 2 – TREAT YOURSELF TO A MASSAGE!
Massage is a wonderful way to release tired and tight muscles that can hamper your training
And – you don’t have to pay for expensive massages – all you need is a tennis ball! It's actually better to go for one that’s a bit old, as it's less hard and bit more pleasant to use. Or you can buy a massage ball.
Safety points – only roll a ball on thick muscular areas - stay away from the lower ribs and particularly the cocyxx (tail bone) areas. If you have any health concerns, particularly joint problems or skin issues, or are pregnant, go to a qualified professional only. This is only intended for light muscular release and does not substitute for any specific massage techniques. If you have any pain or injury concerns, always seek advice from your GP first.
Roll the ball in little circles or up and down longer areas such as the side of your leg. You can use a wall to roll the ball against for massaging the back and chest. Never massage into pain or over broken skin. The effect is similar to that of tenderising a piece of meat! It helps to release fibres in and over the muscle, removing tension and tightness.
Focus on; Lower leg, Feet, Bum, Side of leg, Back, Chest.
TIP 3 – MIND OVER MATTER
As you start to increase your distance and time on your feet, you often get periods where you can start to get bored or so tired that you just feel an overwhelming desire to give up. WELL DON’T!
Follow my mantra and you will ALWAYS WIN!
1 – slow down but keep moving
2 – shake your arms out and relax your upper body as much as you can
3 – take some deep breaths and really relax and shake it out as you breathe out
4 – start to focus your mind on your feet, rolling through the foot, pushing off from the ball
5 – now increase your stride a little, keeping the upper body relaxed, arms in a gentle swing
6 – now focus on the kick back of your leg behind you and squeezing your bum!
7 - look dead ahead and draw in through your core (pelvic floor – close the door and tummy in)
8 – feel your waist tighten as your arms gently swing
9 – draw your shoulder blades back and down the back of your rib cage
10 – see your end goal in your mind – whether it’s the race finish line, you looking slimmer or perhaps doing something you have yet to achieve… SEE IT, BELIVE IT and KEEP GOING!
TIP 4 ENERGY IN = ENERGY OUT
What you eat is just as important as what exercise you do. When you eat is also important and something we often get wrong. Research tells us that people who start to focus on one healthy habit often find it easier to pick up another – so the time is right to focus NOW on your eating as well as your exercise!
Aim to eat 3 small meals a day. If you haven’t had time for a meal before a long run/walk, eat a small snack containing protein and carbohydrates to keep you going, within 20 minutes of your training session, e.g. a yoghurt smoothie, banana and handful of almonds, small fruit yoghurt, apple and tablespoon of low fat cheese, carrot sticks and tablespoon of humus.
Aim to eat a meal as soon as you can after you have been training - this helps to replenish energy stores and mean you won't run out of energy on your next session.
Look at each plate of food - it should be a medium to small plate and consist of 1/4 protein, e.g. small chicken breast, ¼ whole grains e.g. 2-30 tbl spoons brown rice and ½ fruit or veg e.g. ½ plate of salad with dessertspoon of dressing or 4-5 tbl spoons of lightly cooked vegetables. This is the ideal balance for this level of exercise. You don’t need to eat any more than this!
Drink water – LOADS ... 2/3 litres daily. For 5k training you shouldn’t need to consume sports drinks – water is all you need. If you are however doing more than an hour of vigorous exercise and feel your energy levels are on the low side then you can ingest a sports drink but make sure it is a specific sports drink which contains carbohydrate but no more than 6- 8% (drinks high in sugar can not be quickly absorbed so wont rehydrate you).
The rest should be water and some electrolytes – Electrolytes are the things you ‘sweat out’! Like salt. Avoid drinks containing caffeine as these can make you pee more (not what you want!). You also don’t have to buy expensive sports drinks – Skimmed milk make the perfect sports drink, containing the right balance of nutrients to help you rehydrate after a very long session, alternatively mix half a glass of natural orange juice with half glass water and add a pinch of salt!
TIP 5 REST UP!
Start to decrease your exercise, 3 days, up until your 5K day. Do a short run/walk 3 days before, warm up and stretch 2 days before and gentle stretch and massage the day before. Eat healthily (you don’t need to carb load!) and you will be chomping at the bit come race day! See our 4 week planner for how to taper off your final week.
For more information training tips and advice, go to www.Janewake.co.uk or follow her on twitter @janewake