Sunday 24 April 2016

Race for Life Training With Active Norfolk

I go to the gym a few times a week but my fitness levels are not great. I tend to warm up on the treadmill with a walk, head over to the weights or go on the spinning bikes. When I was contacted by Cancer Research UK to take part in the Race For Life, I knew it would be a challenge but I couldn’t turn down such a great cause. I decided that I would run the 5k race which takes place in Norwich on Sunday 15th May. Before accepting this, I had never even ran 1k let alone 5 and I had no idea where to even begin with my training.

Race for life Norwich have teamed up with Active Norfolk who carry out work on encouraging women to get into sport and fitness and tailor sessions for complete beginners. I was invited along to a beginners running programme which was free of charge and the sessions are run by Paul Evans, former Olympian alongside Steve who is great at motivating the group. So with less than a month to go until the race I thought I would share with you how the sessions have been going and how I have progressed.

I have been using my Apple Watch and Strava to track my own personal training sessions and I have been running on the treadmill in the gym and trying to recreate what we do in the sessions. The first week I decided to use the treadmill and try and hit 5k, mostly walking. I did this in 42 minutes and 50 seconds which was my starting point, and something to improve on.

The difference between doing this alone and doing the training alongside Paul and the rest of the group was very noticeable. I felt more motivated in the Active Norfolk training sessions and more determined to succeed. I turned up alone and met some lovely friendly ladies all in the same position as me. The first week we did 1 minute of running followed by 1 minute of walking, 10 times. We then did some fun relay games to get our heart rate going. We were then given homework to jog for 5 minutes without stopping, walk for 2, then jog for 5 again. I liked getting these little tasks and tried to do them a couple of times between sessions.

Week 2 was slightly harder but I was so excited for my session. Our overall running time increased to 12 minutes and it was great fun. I really pushed myself this week and could tell. There were less people at this session and I would say I was in the top 5 this week! I was really impressed with my progression even so early on. That week in the gym I then tried doing a 5k walk/run again and noticed already I had shaved nearly 3 minutes off my time hitting that 5k at 39 minutes and 1 second. My homework was to jog for 7.5 minutes, walk for 2 then jog for another 7.5 which I did on the treadmill.

The following weeks intensity increased and I have only a couple of sessions left before the race. I can't wait to try the 5k again a few times before I go to see if I have improved further.

I originally was only going to go to a couple of the sessions but I enjoyed them so much I am continuing to go! I have 3 more sessions until the race and my confidence is already increasing which is fantastic. I have created a JustGiving page and I would really appreciate if anyone wants to sponsor  me for such a worthy cause, just click here. All money raised goes to Cancer Research UK. We will beat cancer sooner.

I look forward to updating you all with the results from the race day and if you have any running tips feel free to share them with me in the comments.


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