Wednesday November 28, 1-2pm
Whether you're already a runner or thinking about taking it up - maybe as a New Year's resolution? - this week's expert clinic is YOUR chance to put your questions to personal trainer, running coach, oh and Holby City actress too, Phoebe Thomas.
Phoebe is a Saucony Training Ambassador and Running With Us Coach. She found running six years ago and has never looked back - now combining her acting career with an impressive fitness portfolio.
She specialises in coaching beginners, as well as helping existing runners to improve and aim for goals right up to marathon level. So whatever your running issues, Phoebe can help - speedwork, nutrition, weightloss, endurance, motivation, getting started.
Find out more about Phoebe Thomas here.
Post your questions now or join Phoebe for the live clinic 1-2pm on Wednesday November 28.
I'm very over weight (about 5 stone) but I am relatively fit, I swim between 6 and 8 miles per week and I do aerobics once a week too.
I'd like to start running, as it's free and I can do it from my front door rather than having to drive for 7 miles (village living!). However... I've never been any good at running even when I was a svelt teenager.
It's the breathing I find a problem..any tips on how to regulate it? I also drink a lot when I'm exercising as my throat gets dry which also hinders my breathing. I'veseen those little bottles with the hand holes...but they wouldn't hold enough for me!
Hope you can help
(I'll be at work tomorrow pm...will the answers be available somewhere? or emailed?)
Hi I'm very much in the same position as Jan as I'm looking to start running and making this a new venture. I have signed up with a friend to do a half marathon at the end of the year as well as looking to do some shorter courses along the way. I've been wondering about the breathing too as well as the essentials of running in this cold weather and tips for building up my distance. Should I just be concentrating upon running or mixing up my routing with things like spin and body pump?
Any tips you can pass on will be great Thanks
Jan Stevens wrote (see)
I'm very over weight (about 5 stone) but I am relatively fit, I swim between 6 and 8 miles per week and I do aerobics once a week too. I'd like to start running, as it's free and I can do it from my front door rather than having to drive for 7 miles (village living!). However... I've never been any good at running even when I was a svelt teenager. It's the breathing I find a problem..any tips on how to regulate it? I also drink a lot when I'm exercising as my throat gets dry which also hinders my breathing. I'veseen those little bottles with the hand holes...but they wouldn't hold enough for me! Hope you can help (I'll be at work tomorrow pm...will the answers be available somewhere? or emailed?)
HI Jan : the answers will appear here in this forum, so you can look back at them whenever you want to come online.
I ran the London Marathon last year and a few half marathons but still think of myself as a beginner runner because I am so slow. Ideally I'd like to speed up my half marathon times, what is the best speed training I should do? and should I do hill training too to increase my stamina? I've heard I should run some 5k and 10ks to increase my speed over 13.1 too?
Any advice would be great.
Glad to hear you are taking up running! You are concentrating too much on the breathing and should be thinking more about the effort level at which you are running. Keep the effort level very manageable, however slow it feels I want you, at present, to 'run at the speed of chat'... fully conversational pace. This will in turn control the breathing. If you focus too much on a specific contrived breathing pattern it will go against the natural breathing pattern the body wants to do. Just run at conversational pace and breath in and out naturally as required.
As for the drinking, just ensure you are hydrated throughout the day and leading into your run. I suggest drinking more squash rather than just water as this hydrates more effectively or things such as High5 hydration tablets. If urine is pale in colour you know you are hydrated and ready to rock! You definitely don't need to be taking a vast amount of liquid with you for any run less than a 45-60minutes in length as you just won't get dehydrated enough to need it, Especially running in these cold conditions. Maybe the drinking is becoming a bit of a comfort??? Ditch the bottle for now until runs are going over the 60 minute mark. I suggest your follow my free beginners schedule on RunLounge.com in order to progress your training successfully.
I am currently writing a blog about women's running You can view it here: http://solesoftheearth.wordpress.com/
I want to speak directly to the female running community & would like to know if there were any issues/areas of discussion you would like me to write about?
Great that you have set a realistic goal of a half marathon at the end of next year. This is realistic and spot on. I suggest along the way you get a few 5k or Parkruns in and definitely a couple of 10ks over the summer.
The breathing has been mentioned in Jan's answer above. Remember the harder you work in terms of effort level, the more strained the breathing becomes.... this is normal! At this point you have to ensure you just get the air in! Breath hard, breath loudly, snort.... whatever it takes.... just get the air in!
Top tip for winter running is, get kit that deals with the cold weather. Technical running base later, windproof light weight running gillet, running gloves etc. Saucony Vizipro gillet in bright pink is awesome and has flashing lights on it! No chance of being missed in the dark! Zests Nicols Davenport has her eye on one!
Build up the distance gradually and my top tip is run to TIME NOT MILES. ie 45mins, 60 mins etc. Your long run each week should never increase by more than 10-15minutes and every 3 to 4 weeks should be an easier week where the long run grop backs.
Concentrate on different paces throughout the week, particularly threshold in order to build your fitness for those last few miles in your half marathon. All my schedules have this type of work in and build people up safely and gradually. Again check out RunLounge.com.
Can we talk FOOD? I run in my lunch hrs but never know whether 2 eat be4hand or after - by the time I get back Im always starving but hate that feeling of food clumking around in my tummy. Yuck! What should I eat and when. please?
This is a very common problem. Threshold running needs to become your best friend! I did this with Zests Niclola the other day in Hyde Park with Saucony. Threshold effort is running at what we call 3 to 4 word answer pace or 'controlled discomfort'. It is NOT flat out. A perceived effort of about 8-8.5/10.
Threshold running is the bedrock of all training and the worls greatest include this in every single week of their training. A session may be 4 x 5mins at threshold effort with a 2 minute jog recovery inbetween built into a 45minute run. These blocks will gradually increase in length as you get fitter.
It works on your running economy and literally teaches you to run faster for longer and sustain a faster pace.
Once you have a good threshold base you need to consider slotting some 10k paced work into the last 6 weeks of your training schedule. If you don't practice your target 10k pace in training, how will you run in on race day??
Follow one of my Improvers 10k schedules and I am sure that sub 58 will become a reality. Good Luck!
Hi Claire, Like Phoebe says, we did some threshold training together the other day. Hard but worth it - I am already improving having been out to try it again. Recommend!
Hi Miss Motiv8R,
A common problem. Lunchtime running. You need to ensure that throughout the day you are eating little and often and having regular healthy snacks between meals so that you are not letting the body get hungry and go into 'starvation' mode. The minute this happens your body will store more of what it eats as fat and you will have no energy when you run. I suggest you have a good breakfast like toast, banana, fruit or porridge etc and then mid morning you need to have a carby snack that will fuel your lunctime run. Something like a toasted bagel or malt loaf or oatcakes or an energy bar (I like the High5 energy bars, quick and easy). Have this about 2hrs before you run and you should feel fuelled and ready to rock but without feeling heavy.
Ensure you eat something within 20 minutes of finishing your run (protein and carbs) to aid the recovery process. Hope that helps!
I love running but feel like it makes my body quite stiff. What exercises should I do to make sure I don't end up achey, stiff and potentially injured?
I've done lots of 5Ks, a few 10Ks and two half marathions. I want a new challenge so I thought trail running might be good. What are the benefits, apart from getting off the road, what specialist kit would I need, how can I get my body ready for it (I have weak ankles so worry I'd twist it on the uneven terrain) and are there any races you recommend?
This is great question and an area that too many runners ignore!
First off you need to get into a regular stretching routine. Concentrate on glutes, piriformis, hamstrings, quads, hips and calf muscles. Im sure Zest have covered all these stretches in various issues! Do this daily and certainly after every run.
Secondly you should definitely be doing some running specific strength and conditioning. I give all of my clients a small 20-30 minute routine that can be done at home or in the gym, activating core stability and exercises that activate glutes and the full chain movement you use when you run so things like walking lunges and the one leg squat (performed safely, check out RunLounge.com for videos).
Top Tip is do your conditioning work in a more natural trainer such as the Kinvara3 found at Saucony.co.uk. Using a trainer like this challenges and strengthens more as you are lower to the ground and there is less built up support than there is a typical everyday running trainer. Not to mention they look amazing... i love them and do all my conditioning workouts in them!
They are also super light and perfect in your gym bag!
Do your running specific conditioning 2 to 3 times per week to aid injury prevention.
Hope you feel less stiff soon!
Phoebe - @PhoebeTThomas
Thanks, Phoebe. Any partic good post-run protein snacks you'd recommend?
Yes trail running is fantastic it helps to strengthen the lower limbs when stabalising your foot plant and you have to work harder in the softer ground. You also get the benefits of a more exciting view in the countryside or parks.
Best exercises to prepare are the same, if honest as any running event. Please refer to the answer to LJ above for ideas.
I would definitely advise trail running shoes as these have a firmer and more aggressive tread pattern giving you greater grip. They are also more rigid supporting the foot as it twists and turns. Shoes such as the Saucony Pereguin, Kinvara trail and Guide trail are excellent choices. Saucony.co.uk.
Best Events might include the Saucony Trail Blazer, the Hell Runner any of the Salomon series and any local club cross country events which can be friendly and great fun.
Enjoy those trails!
Depends upon your time really... if you are short on time and looking to use sports nutrition drinks or bars then I suggest you check out www.highfive.co.uk. Ensure youchoose a recovery product that is protein PLUS carbs.
If you want have time to prepare food then toast with peanut butter, oactcakes with peanut butter, oatcakes with low fat cottage cheese, smoothies with bannana, yogurt, fruit, oats etc, The list is endless really! Try different recipes and find what works for you!
Hope that helps!
I broke my back 4 years ago and am doing my first marathon in April. I've started training and should be able to do a 5k in about 2 weeks, but Im very worried about my technique. My natural reaction to everything is to hunch my shoulders and protect my back, this is starting to get really painful, plus I don't feel I'm allowing myself to run naturally.
Is there a book or video which can help with my technique?
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