I’ve been pondering the fine balance between being inspiring and being intimidating recently. The thing is, I think as we improve and smash our targets, as we progress in our health and fitness journeys, we often become intimidating and unrelatable without really meaning to. What we need is more and more people sharing their successes at all levels.
Changing your behaviour is a very difficult thing to do. How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution only to break it before the end of January? I’ve done this countless times. You have good intentions and even when you think you’ve set a pretty realistic goal you just don’t seem to be able to sustain it for any length of time.
I’m delighted to welcome Alexandra Merisoiu to the blog today. Alexandra has a background in Martial Arts (she still competes at international level) and a fascination with how the body moves. She is a Running Coach, specialising in running form and technique. She works with runners of all abilities to help them run faster, further, more efficiently and most importantly, with fewer injuries. I still frequently hear, “Running hurts my knees” so I thought it would be helpful to have Alexandra share some of her wisdom about minimising the impact of running. Head to the Merisoiu Technique Institute to find out more but in the meantime I will hand over to Alexandra to share some of her top tips for healthy running.
Reaching the 5k target is a huge accomplishment so congratulations on your achievement! Perhaps you’ve done a 5k race or a parkrun to mark the occasion and are still basking in the glory of success. What do you do now though? Has running become a regular part of your life that you can’t do without out or more commonly, are you still wondering what all the fuss is about and dreading putting yourself through another run? Deciding what step to take next can be tricky. It’s very easy to find yourself not running at all and quickly losing all that fitness you’ve gained. Take a few minutes to consider which way to go now. Here are some ideas and options.
I thought I’d put together some very basic Dos and Don’ts for people who are considering running or for beginners just starting out on their running journey.
We’re all so busy. We try to cram as much as we can into every day. Our to-do lists are never ending. Work, children, family. It’s no wonder that one of the biggest reported barriers to exercise is simply, time. There’s a risk that we feel guilt. Guilt that we aren’t looking after ourselves. Guilt that we don’t seem to manage our time as well as our fitness-mad friends. If only we could add an extra hour to every day, then we’d be fine. Well, good news! It IS possible to exercise when you never have time. Here are some simple ways to fit exercise into a busy life:
My son said to me, ” I don’t understand why people don’t exercise when it’s so much fun. Why would you not want to do it?” He has a really good point. Exercise is often seen as boring, a chore, as something you SHOULD do. A bitter pill that has to be swallowed in the quest for good health. If something is fun however, then you go back for more, you make time for it and it enriches your life. The need for constant motivation, inspiration and encouragement diminishes and the whole ‘keeping fit thing’ becomes so much easier. So, how can you make exercise fun?
Did you know, there is a single, very simple resolution that you can make this year that will improve your health? It doesn’t need a vision board. It doesn’t need breaking down into chunks to be achievable. It won’t take up any of your time and it doesn’t require sweaty selfies on social media to prove you’re doing it. What is it?
So many people start new fitness regimes with gusto and enthusiasm only to be struck down with illness or injury early on. New habits and routines go out of the window and it’s so hard to find the momentum to start over again. This is what happened to Tracy Barwell who has been writing a diary for the BBC about her efforts to improve her health. They asked me to advise her on how to get back into the swing of things after a nasty virus. Read my advice to Tracy.
I recently posted a silly photo of me on Twitter wearing a surgical mask and bubble wrap as protection against germs and knocks during the week before my marathon. I won’t actually be sporting that outfit (!) but I will be taking some extra care of myself. You spend weeks religiously following a training programme, pushing yourself, making sacrifices and it’s a real shame if it all goes wrong at the final hurdle. I always say the hardest part of running a marathon is getting to the start line healthy, uninjured and ready to run. Here’s my advice for what to do in those last few days.