I’ve always been one for throwing myself in to a challenge and Sunday 18th August was no exception. I took place in Relish Running’s Two Tunnels Mini Challenge (mini is a bit unfair I think!) in Bath. 45 other people took on this challenge with others opting to take part in one of the events. The challenge involved running a 5k, followed by a 10k and then finally finishing off with a half marathon around Bath and the canal. Possibly the biggest challenge of the day was running the 10k in time so I didn’t miss the start of the half marathon but without going too fast that I was completely burnt out for the half marathon.
I managed to do it but safe to say as soon as I started the half marathon my legs felt absolutely spent but I knew I could do more because I often seem to find that sprint finish. In-fact research shows much of our fatigue is emotional. This known as the Central Governing Theory of fatigue (Dr Tim Noakes). It suggests the brain can prevent us from pushing past fatigue and override your physical ability to exercise and shut the body down. It is not uncommon for runners to experience this at every race. I am not by any means suggesting the racing doesn’t put a huge physical demand on your body, but often we can push the boundaries and achieve more than we ever thought. Introducing interval workouts in to a runners training routine can help with this.
The amazing food stations were also great and had an array of fruits, sweets, crisps, cereal bars and cakes. To drink there was either water, flat coke or an electrolytes drink. It was great to have all the fruits as they great source of vitamins and minerals which aid healing muscles and keeping me hydrated, while being an easily digested carbohydrate. The electrolytes also help prevent muscle fatigue and cramping. Obviously you can’t stop and have a picnic. See what works for you and experiment with quantities. I have found that some jelly sweets, oranges, water and flat coke work really well for me on long runs.
Finishing gave me a massive sense of achievement and I was presented with 3 medals and my first glass trophy.
On Sunday 25th August I ran Severn Bridge Half Marathon and it was a hot one! Special care needs to be taken when running in the heat as it can be dangerous as it becomes harder for your body to cool down. This can lead to dehydration, cramps and heat stroke. I facilitated hydration by wearing a cap, making sure I was hydrated before the race and taking on water at every drinks station (also tipping water over my head!)
On the 7th September I will be walking 26.2 miles raising money for Macmillan Cancer. Walking a marathon will be an interesting change to running one and I hope I haven’t underestimated it!
If you would like any help or advice in relation to running, please pop in to Renaissance Fitness and I’ll be very happy to help.