Jul
15

Calne Clock Change Challenge Review

Calne Clock Change Challenge Review

Guest Blog Post by Sarah Nunn

Eight months ago I struggled to run a kilometre round the block, to run 10 of them was certainly out of the question…..or so I thought! I had previously completed the Couch to 5k with Run JB and decided to join the running club so I had people to run with. I had totally underestimated the effect it would have on my running and my self-belief. I started to build up my distance slowly on the continuous runs and even started to enjoy interval / fartlek training once I could see it was making me faster! I needed something to work towards so with a lot persuasion from Shona I entered the Calne 10k Clock Change Challenge.

Eeek the day of my first 10k race had arrived, Sunday 25th October. I woke early to ensure I had time to eat and digest my fuel for the race (porridge), but also because I was filled with nervous excitement and couldn’t sleep! It was a beautiful autumn day and the sun was shining. Bianca and I arrived in at Calne leisure centre an hour before the event where we met up with the rest of the gang; Shona, Manda, Emma W, Barbara, Emma H, and Amanda who guided us through the pre-race events of registering, fixing your number to your vest, warming up and the extremely important bathroom stop!

There was a real feeling of team spirit and excitement as the several hundred runners gathered at the start line. I placed myself at the back as my goal for this race was not time driven but to complete it. The horn sounded and we were off. Shona had insisted that it was a nice out and back route and as I got near the half-way point heading back to the finish line were Shona closely followed by Manda and Emma W; this was a great opportunity to cheer on others. What Shona had omitted when describing the course was the upcoming hill (or rather slight incline)!! However I was determined to run the whole 10k so the hill training technique kicked in and before I knew it I was coming down the other side having run past some runners who had stopped to walk!

I did not find this race easy and have never been so grateful to receive the jelly babies at 7K. The support from the marshals and organisers was great, but as I turned the corner into the field and approached the finish line I could hear the cheers from the crowd drowned out by the screams from Shona “go Sarah, fantastic running, you can do it”. At that point I knew I could complete it and the time suddenly became important, I could actually get under 1 hour 10 mins if I dug deep and sprinted....

....after the race I collected my medal with pride and joined the rest of the Run JB gang. Our post-race debrief took place in Costa where we could re-fuel and await the official times………I did it 1 hour 9 mins and 56 seconds, what a great feeling. I had achieved what I thought was impossible, not only I had survived I had actually enjoyed it. I now have a 10K PB to beat and have entered the Reading Half in April next year!

Thanks to the amazing support of Shona, Jules and our Run JB community I had turned “I can’t” into “I can” and “I will” and you can too!

 

 
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May
20

Do YOU Fartlek?

fartlek Fartlek training will make you faster

I was originally introduced to Fartlek training by highly-respected Swindon Supermarine rugby coach, Steve Bartlett.  It was very much in keeping with his no-nonsense approach to fitness training.  The beauty of Fartlek training lies in its simplicity and intensity. If you are looking for a straightforward but highly effective way of improving your running speed, then look no further. The name "Fartlek" literally translates from the Swedish as "speed play".  It is deliberately less structured than sprint interval training.  You can Fartlek anywhere, with no equipment - you don't even need a stopwatch. 

In Fartlek training, the key is intensity variation and interval randomisation.  Sessions use different paces - e.g. sprint, jog and walk, to complete a series of relatively short and varying distances. For example, you could jog 20m, then sprint 50m, then walk 30m etc.  But you don't need a tape measure - you can use any objects to segment the intervals.  Lamp posts make excellent markers as they are a suitable distance apart.  For example, you could jog from the first to the third lamp post, sprint to the forth and then walk to the fifth - turn around and repeat the pattern in the opposite direction.  Alternatively, on a rugby pitch, you might start at one try line, jog to the 22, walk to halfway line, sprint to the next 22 and then jog the remaining distance to the opposite try line.

Fartlek training is popular amongst sports coaches as it mimics the demands of many sports in which short sharp bursts of activity are separated by periods of slower running.  However, it also has huge fitness benefits for anyone wanting to improve their running speed of simply looking to lose weight. To run faster in a race you have to train faster - and Fartlek training is a great way of improving speed endurance - the ability to maintain a faster pace for longer. By taking you to the limits of your anaerobic threshold, it develops superior lung capacity. This positively impacts our health in a myriad of ways, including- enhanced metabolic function- decreased risk of heart attack and stroke- greater energy and reduced fatigue- improvements in general focus, concentration and memory- decreased inflammation Indeed, lung capacity is considered to an extremely important general indicator of health and longevity. 

Like other forms of high-intensity interval training, such as our Metafit™ bodyweight training group fitness classes, Fartlek forces the body to use not just the aerobic system (where muscles are supplied energy by burning glucose with oxygen) but also the anaerobic system, a faster but less efficient way of producing ATP (the form of energy used by muscles).  This inefficiency is a great thing as far as weight loss is concerned, as triggers a state known as "oxygen debt", forcing the body to complete additional internal processes to replenish its energy stores for several hours after exercise has finished.  This raises the metabolism and means that you will be burning additional fat long after your workout is complete. JB Personal Training's running group, Run JB, offer incorporate Fartlek training into their club sessions throughout the year.  For details, please see our website.

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