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Welcome to Week 5

Running is a great way to burn calories but sometimes we can get caught up in a trap, we may start thinking that because we have run we can eat what we want (which we can't) or we may be so keen to loose weight that we don't eat enough.  And it is a fine balance between eating healthily but also wanting to eat more as you are using up energy when you run so more likely to be hungry.  The reality is if you don’t have enough fuel in your body you will feel like you are running through treacle and end up having a rubbish run. Lack of fuel prior to running can cause mental tiredness as well as dehydration which can make you feel rubbish when you run.  My advice is to throw the bathroom scales away and don’t reward yourself too much for a run with food, yes you are burning calories but not as many as you think, I run over 40 miles a week and I still have to watch what I eat.  I put weight on when training for my first marathon as I thought I could eat what I wanted, and I found to my cost that I couldn’t.  Here are some tips for fuelling now you are a runner

As a runner your body needs carbohydrates and these are stored as energy in the muscles and liver as glycogen, they are then quickly and efficiently released when you are active or exercising.  You also need good fats as these are an essential source of fuel and energy but they are released more slowly. Protein is essential in running as you need it for repairing of the muscles.  To make your body work more efficiently you need water for effective storage of glycogen, basically the water keeps the glycogen in your muscles until you need it.

The following foods are nutrient-dense carbs that should form the base of your diet.

Breads, cereals and wholegrains (eg oats, pasta and rice), fruit, starchy vegetables (eg potato, butternut squash) legumes (eg lentils, beans, peas and peanuts) low fat dairy products (eg milk Greek yoghurt).

Nutrient poor carbohydrate

Foods and fluids that contain carbohydrate but minimal or no other nutrients

All sugars (eg dextrose, sucrose, honey, molasses) soft drinks, energy drinks, lollies, carb gels, sports drinks and cordials and any type of white bread.

This shouldn’t be a major part of your everyday diet.

High-fat carbohydrate

Foods that contain carbohydrate but are also high in fat

Pastries, cakes, chips, crisps and chocolate.

Occasional foods that are best not consumed when training/biking to work/running

Getting your food right can be quite tricky , basically food has a GI (Glycemic Index) number which measures how quickly foods containing Carbs can boost your blood glucose levels after eating, ie give us energy.  High GI foods- 0ver 70 fill you quickly and give a fast burst of energy however they leave you hungry again a short time later, for example you may have toast for breakfast and by 11am you are starving hungry. This is an example of a food that fills you up but not for long. Low GI foods below 50 fill you up but they raise blood glucose slowly giving a more continuous energy release which means that you don't get that hungry feeling so quickly after eating.

The majority of fruits and vegetables fall in low to medium GI foods whilst some processed foods eg cornflakes, white bread are high in GI.  Look at improving your quality of food and eat small and oftern so that  you can maximise storage.

I suggest that you optimise how much nutrition you have in one day, make sure you have foods that are high in nutrients, so fruit, nuts, porridge, wholemeal pitta, hummous, cooked meats etc and vary what you eat day by day. You could have stewed fruit for breakfast with some Greek yoghurt and a bit of honey or black pudding or ham and eggs.  Try to have porridge or a smoothie for breakfast this will release energy slowly.  Snack on fruit and nuts, banana nut butter sandwich and try to cut down on your sugar content in your food.  My rule of thumb is to aim for food that has no more sugar content than 6/7g per 100g.  You will find that low fat foods have more sugar so go for full fat and have Greek yoghurt (Total 0% fat is best for low sugar and then throw in some blueberries or raspberries, add a bit of honey or maple syrup).

Try different things and see what works for you, eat at least 2 hours before you run and if you are really hungry before your run you can have a banana to keep you going.  Try to be balanced in your food intake and then the odd burger at the weekend won’t do you any harm and if you have any questions just ask.

My aim is to help you learn how to run, help you improve, to give you advice and show you where you may be going wrong. Running correctly enables you to run more efficiently and therefore the idea is that it becomes easier and less of a chore.

A little bit extra

Having run with women for a number of years, I get to hear about all sorts of problems that a lot of people don’t talk about, as you know I am a very open book and I’m happy to talk about things that other people may be a little bit embarrassed about. So I’m putting it out there…..leaking wee when exercising! Yep loosing control of your bladder when taking part in high impact exercise, this can be running, jumping or lifting heavy weights, all of these are considered high impact on the pelvic floor. Most of us may not have heard of our pelvic floor until we had children and sure enough we know about it now.

High impact sports lead to increased intra-abdominal pressure and this can lead to the symptoms of pelvic floor disorders, so basically any time a person engages in such high impact activity, the pelvic floor muscles are activated as part of the core muscle group. So vigorous training puts the pelvic floor muscles at risk of fatigue, making them weaker and vulnerable to involuntary leakage of urine when running or jumping. And even though it is quite common it isn’t normal as the symptoms are unpleasant to experience much less discus so therefore women tend not to seek help and just put it down to having children or getting older.

There is help though, you can seek medical help so that you can be fully assessed on the weakness of your pelvic floor but you can also help yourself.

Tiny moves make a big difference

There is a debate on how effective Kegel exercises are but I think they are worth a go as this small movement may make a big difference. This movement is the repetitive contracting and relaxing of your pelvic floor muscles, in other words the muscles responsible for controlling your bladder. To do them, squeeze your pelvic muscles like you’re stopping the flow of urning and try not to tense up your abs or glues at the same time. Hold for a few seconds, release and work up to a set of 10….you can do these anywhere, anytime.

Start Pilates

This will help you activate and strengthen your pelvic floor, movements like bridges, squats and planks all engage the core muscles, which is very different from just sucking your tummy in, and these in turn will strengthen your pelvic floor.

Cut out Caffeine

Caffeine is a diuretic, stimulant and a bladder’s worst enemy, stick to water or herbal tea and forget the Costa’s for a while.

Pelvic floor disorders are easily treatable as any other muscle weakness so see what works for you and don’t be embarrassed about seeking medical help.


Homework Week 5

RunVerity Session 5 was 1 min of running to start off with then 60 secs walking.  We increased to 2 mins running with 60 secs walking.  Then we went up to 5 mins with 1 min recovery then another 6 mins then another 5 mins before cooling down. 

To warm up walk briskly then go out for a run for 35 mins, warm up with a 2 min run to help you ease into the run then aim for running 6 mins continuously.  Recover for 1 min and go again and aim for 8 mins.  Recover for 1 min then turn around and go back the way you came and repeat.