Category Archives: Accelerate Performance Centre
Team Accelerate Blog. Flamingos Round up
Well, well. Lots has happened since our last team blog. We have new faces to introduce, and our old and new members have all been very busy.
Let’s begin with Matt’s super performance at the Windermere marathon. The marathon can be a tricky distance, even with specific training. But even hard with ultra marathon training in your legs. However, team member Matt didn’t let this slow him down absolutely smashed the Windermere marathon, running a 20-minute PB in a time of 2hrs 53 minutes for a superb 9th place finish. A few months later Matt found himself in the Lake District once again, this time competing in the Keswick Mountain Festival 25k trail race. Matt has been training hard over the past 12 months, following sound principles, joining the rest of the team for sessions when he can; and the hard work is definitely paying off, keep it up Matt!
Next, we have the second half of the dynamic duo, Chris. Thanks to a late entry into the Alderley Edge 10k, Chris managed a 34:05 10k to finish 26th overall and 3rd V40. A quality run after a “steady start” and horrid conditions. Chris has been juggling parenting and running over the last year making the most of his training, running with the team when he can, and supporting Matt throughout his Ultra-running journey.
Following on, we have the next old’un, Harvey. Over the past couple of months, Harvey has been race mad; running two 5ks at Loxely Lash after a period of little niggles, marking his return to form. Two weeks later he was back with a bang, completing Jane Tomlinson’s Leeds 10k. His sensational time of 32:54 placed him 3rd and was a PB by nearly 2 minutes. This was a credit to all his hard work, and we are all very proud of him.
Next up we have new member Summer who ran in the Derbyshire schools championship. An awesome race by summer placed her 1st in the race, crowning her the new Derbyshire schools champion, a great achievement. Summer has come on leaps and bounds since joining the team and we look forward to seeing her progress this winter.
The other newest member Hugh has also been busy, racing in the English fell running championships. This compiled of four races over 5 months, with Hugh progressively getting higher up throughout the races. During the series, Hugh and fellow flamingo Izzy-Mai picked up Yorkshire vest and represented the best county on the fells. What an achievement for them both! The final round of the FRA Juniors race took place at Ilam. Hugh ran his best race in the championships here, finishing 4t. Nothing like saving the best to last. All that hard work is paying off, nice one Hugh.
Last but not least we have the youngest flamingo on the team, Izzy-Mai. Over lockdown and 2021 Izzy-Mai has been working hard and this is certainly paying dividends during her racing over the summer. The superstar has placed 1st, 3rd and 4th in three of her races this season, finally placing joint 2nd overall in the under 15 girls category even though she is currently only 12. What an achievement! All the fun and hard work from the athletes and coaches seem to be paying off, with Team Accelerate’s reputation growing by the races. This is down to the generosity of the Teams coaches, Stuart and Julie, who give up their precious time and put on a smiley face even when the weather isn’t playing ball. So, from all the athletes, a massive thanks to them and we look forward to some more flamingo-based fun in the near future.
If you want to keep up with the team follow along @teamacceleraterunning on Instagram and Facebook
Accelerate Performance Centre’s Kate Southall shares her top tips for running as the seasons start to change.
We’ve all noticed the days getting shorter since the equinox. Today sunrise was at 0750 and sunset will be at 1751. Be sure to stay visible, wear your head torch and follow the Highway Code if you’re running around traffic.
There’s always a temptation to stay in shorts and vest as long as possible but make sure you have your windproof at least. There are specific dangers that lurk in the cold dark mornings and evenings that mean you’re more likely to be injured.
1/ leaves and sticks on pavements and paths
2/ uneven road or pavement surfaces- grates included
3/ drivers not reacting in time
5/ muscle pulls running cold muscles
Warm up, wear enough, keep your phone charged, wear your lights and high vis, make sure someone knows where you’re going. Enable strava beacon, Garmin emergency, or other brand of safety tracking. Get straight into warm dry clothes when you’re done. Hydrate and fuel well. Spend time a varied strength and conditioning plan.
And if you do fall over a grate or a stick, come see me! I have experience treating all the joints in the body that we can get at from the temporomandibular joint in the jaw to the big toe and everything in between. If you’re unlucky enough to be hit in the arm by a wing mirror you slip and bang your shoulder I can help you with your rehab.
And if you just fancy a massage, I can help you with that too.
To book into see Kate or another one of APC’s great team follow the link here >>
Stay safe and happy running.
Harry who regularly runs with running past 50 on a friday and attends parkruns every saturday shares how he has stayed fit when all of his normal outings are gone.
Week 8 and have not been outside the gate. This not because of Coronavirus phobia but because my wife is on the government extremely vulnerable list for the virus.
I do not have dumbbells or a yoga mat but what I do have is a furnished house and a garden. You do not need a gym to keep fit. So how have I managed?
Daily routine consists of 10-minute workout in private in the bedroom. Starts with spinal stretches. Can nearly touch my toes. Hamstrings are held taut and stretched by placing a foot on a chair. Hips are swung without shoulders moving. Shoulders swung with hips held firm. Dressing table is pressed into action for bicep and triceps dips. Even though it is only 08.30 am out comes the gin bottle. A litre bottle of Tanqueray Gin weighs 1.602kg. (at the start of the week.) Useful for developing upper body strength, mainly bicep curls. The bedroom rug doubles up as a yoga mat for sit ups.
Walking around the garden I can resist re-enacting a scene from John Cleese the Ministry of Funny Walks sketches. High kick walk. Then opening and closing the hip gate as I progress down the path. Amuses the neighbours whom I am sure wonder if I am losing sanity as isolation continues. To add to their entertainment, I run a mile around the garden each night. 30 to 40 m of ascent depending on route. So many twists and turns that it takes at least 22 minutes of strenuous effort. PB 20.05 all comers welcome after lockdown is over.
Add to this routine Sunday I act as house fairy. Hoovering is a brilliant exercise. Use those Abdominal muscles. Move furniture, Weight lift on the stairs. Put in the occasional star jump. Bee bop to music whatever but the job gets done. Windows are washed, requiring step aerobics as well as upper body work out. Even watching TV or working at the computer induces the odd chair squat
Twice weekly 2 kg of bread dough are kneaded. Shoulder ache after this 20-minute workout.
The outdoor gym AKA the Garden then becomes my focus of activity most days. A wealth of equipment here. Electric mower that needs pushing. Hedge cutter waiting to be used. Barrows of compost to be shovelled and lifted. Land drains to be dug up, unblocked, and then relayed. Essential tree surgery using hand saw and loppers from the top of a ladder. Seemed as if every muscle group was used as I soaked my aching body in the bath.
I just have strength left for the final exercise of the day. To lift and then extract cork from 1.134kg bottle of Chardonnay.
Hopefully, lockdown will finish soon, and I can resume my normal restful exercise routine namely a daily 2-mile walk, The Over Fifties Running Group on Fridays, and Park Runs Saturday. Despite all the above or perhaps because of it time flies past and I feel FIT and EXHAUSTED
The second installment from Harry Smith in our Reasons to run series, a retired GP and keen runner who regularly attends Running Past 50 on a Friday morning here at the Accelerate store. Harry shares the medical benefits of exercise and how it can keep you healthy and strong whatever your age.
Thomas Edison 1847 – 1931 said “The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will involve the patient in the proper use of food, fresh air and exercise.”
Running is one of the best ways to keep fit and boost your overall health. It is a social activity enjoyed in an outdoor environment by thousands.
The Health benefits are numerous.
1. Cardiovascular System ‘A runner must run with dreams in his heart.’ – Emil Zatopek
The heart is a muscle and like any other muscle in the body benefits from regular exercise. Exercise lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major causative factor in heart attacks. Good HDL cholesterol transports fat away from the arteries and back to the liver for processing is increased by exercise which may also reduce levels of bad LDL cholesterol which causes arteriosclerosis, Arteries therefore retain their elasticity.
This increase in cardiovascular health is asso ciated with a decrease in the incidence of strokes, heart attacks and coronary heart disease
2. Respiratory System “Just breath.” Author unknown
Our lung capacity naturally declines with age. Exercise can increase lung capacity by 5 -15% (lung capacity is the amount of air your lungs can hold after one inhalation). Running thus leads to increased efficiency of the lungs better facilitating transport of oxygen to all body cells leading to better stamina and more work for less cardiorespiratory effort.
3. Muscular Skeletal system. “Be fluid and elegant in your movements.” Anonymous
Running and running coaching especially can improve joint strength, mobility, and function. Muscles are strengthened and bone loss reduced. Core exercises train muscles in the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony, leading to better balance and stability in daily activities.
Sufferers from arthritis also benefit from appropriate exercise reducing pain and increasing range of movement. The incidence of falls is reduced.
4. Weight Loss. “Sweat is just fat crying” anonymous.
Exercise is the key to weight control. Running for one hour can burn 400 calories. Running is the second-best exercise for burning calories, only second to cross country sking. However, for losing or maintaining a constant weight a balanced diet is also required. Exercise also lowers the incidence of diabetes by 50% by allowing muscles to better process glycogen, afuel for energy. Impaired processing of glycogen leads to excessive blood sugar and thus Diabetes
5. Psychological “Exercise equals endorphins. Endorphins make you happy” Anonymous
Beta-endorphin is released into the circulation from the pituitary gland during exercise,This improves mood and promotes a feeling of wellbeing thus boosting confidence and self-esteem.
Setting and achieving goals can give a sense of empowerment that leaves one feeling happier so fighting depression and stress.
Running is good at increasing social interaction since the running community has many supportive individuals and clubs.Aging is delayed as brain cognitive functions are maintained and decline prevented. New brain cells (Neurogenesis) are also created. There is an increase in vocabulary retention. with better decision making and learning.Miscellany Exercise has also been shown to have the following effects
- The immune system is boosted.
- Reduction in risk of breast cancer.
- Better sleep pattern
- Increase production of growth Hormone which is required for cell regeneration and growth and maintenance of healthy body tissues.
In summary. Running is incredibly beneficial to the body and the mind. It can leave you feeling more energised, fitter, more focused and better able to enjoy all life has to offer.
Promoting regular running will bring us nearer to Thomas Edison’s prediction.
Thanks to Laura Hogg for this amazing buzz post, she is a sports therapist for the Accelerate Performance Centre and a keen runner and cyclist. Hear some of her thoughts on the benafits of regular movement.
Like most at the moment, I am incredibly grateful that outdoor exercise is considered essential activity. It’s hard to imagine life without it. But even while we have this luxury, movement matters the rest of the time for the health of our mind, joints, muscles and cells.
Personally, I’m hoping not to slip into sedentary habits whilst working and living from home – even whilst we can run. It’s tempting to think an hour or so of exercise is enough to offset 8 hours of loafing around, but unfortunately not.
Movement Matters is the name of a book by my favourite biomechanist-writer Katy Bowman (I don’t actually know any others). I’ve enjoyed her writing for a while – it’s fascinating and entertaining. Bowman is best known for her book Move Your DNA and her online blog Nutritious Movement.
We might be used to going out of the house for our exercise, and be starting to feel frustrated with a lack of it. But movement more, and more important, than exercise. In Move Your DNA, Bowman explains why your heart and cells needs your body to keep moving in a variety of ways:
- Blood isn’t only pumped round the body by the heart. Muscles have an important role to play too. The heart pumps blood into arteries, but it is working muscle that draws it into the capillaries through the opened walls of the arterioles (also muscle). By moving, our muscles deliver blood to the tissue that needs it.
- This blood doesn’t go everywhere in the body though, just where it is needed for the activity. Regular exercise doesn’t guarantee good blood flow to the cells in all of your muscles, only those that are working. For our blood to nourish all of our tissues, we must move often and in varied ways.
- When we are sedentary, our muscles don’t help our heart. The heart must do all of the pumping by itself – possibly for hours at a time. So by jumping up from a sedentary afternoon at the laptop and heading out for a run, we are asking the heart to work harder than we might realise.
- Our cells adapt to the way we use our body. Our body responds to the load created by our movement (or lack of it) to create tiny changes in our cells. By standing, walking or running, we create load on our body as it carries our weight. That’s why the bone density of runners tends to be higher than that of cyclists, because runners bodies support their own weight, creating more of a load on the body than sitting on a bike.
I’ve seen lots of ideas recently about how those with spare time in isolation could use it to paint the spare room and read all of the books. But this is an anxious time, made harder for lots of us because our outside hours are limited. Who needs pressure to emerge from isolation with a headstand, a massive brain and a shiny house?
There is loads of moving to do at home, such as standing up from the sofa (that’s a squat, right?!), following pets round the house for attention, hunting for the remote control…
Personally, I’m just trying to not sit for too long, especially on a chair. If I sit on the floor I end up in loads of different and awkward positions, but at least I’m moving! This article about why we sit like we do in the West has a cool image showing different resting postures of the world: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/your-position-in-life/.
Stay safe everyone!
Harry Smith is an Accelerate Community member and a regular at Running past 50, he shares his reason behind getting out the door for a run and its positive effect on his mental and physical health.
‘Pain is inevitable, Suffering is optional ‘The words of Haruki Murakami when talking about running.
I started to run just 2 months short of my 72nd birthday. Dragooned into accompanying my 7-yearold Granddaughter on a park run As a fairly fit twice a week Derbyshire fell walker and numerous long-distance paths completed, i.e. Pennine Way and Coast to Coast, the thought of a 5-kilometre stroll in beautiful Devonian park land sounded appealing. Little did I know this was the start of an addiction. Dressed in old tennis shorts an aertex vest and non pc trainers I was surprised that among the fit, and to my mind young lycra clad who stretch and tried to push trees over, that I did not feel out of place. Walk and jogged. Experiencing euphoria ( or was I hyperventilating) as I was encouraged by other runners and clapped by marshalls as I plodded on. What a triumph not to finish last in a field of 90. Coffee and abacon buttie to follow. So, it all began.
Starting to get hooked
Home to Sheffield and Saturday Park Runs became the norm. I stormed past 50 runs and proudly wear the red T shirt. Sub 30 became the target rain shine and even snow.
Then Accelerate in June 2018 started Running for the Over Fifties, affectionately known as The Wrinklies. The nucleus of the group quickly gelled thanks to coaches Sarah and Stuart. A whole new vocabulary with accompanying action had to be learnt. High Knees, Flamingos in Hot water, Fast feet, Cadence, the dreaded Hill reps and my nemesis Hopscotch. Harry take a breath! When Stuart’s elite young athletes train with us they seem amazed at our stamina and ability to do most of the exercises and drills almost correctly.
Training with the youngsters
All this has a price with strained shoulders, hamstrings and lateral ligaments. Trips to Physio Pete soon put one straight as his fingers prob and manipulate tendons and muscles putting joints into positions mine have not been into in years. Still have to find a use for the black elasticated rubber strap he supplied!
I progressed and with the Wrinklies support entered the Longshaw 10k. My Everest. The Canal Canter had me winning my first and only running medal.
The finish line of Longshaw 10k with the whole of the Running past 50 group
I feel have become part of the running fraternity now ensconced in Patagonia tops, silky shorts, skintight leggings, socks with L and R stamped on them and of course high-end running shoes from Inov-8. Move over Superman.
Back to the original question why I endure this self-inflicted physical torture?
Firstly- the problems of the world disappear as aches, breathlessness and sweat take over one’s life. Keep head up, stay upright, swing arms and place feet underneath become the mantra.
Secondly- To find that after running 5k, although well down the field, you have a respectable time and often first in age group is a boost to one’s ego. Amazed I could complete a 10k.
Thirdly and most important the camaraderie of runners, especially the Wrinklies. Humour is always in the air when we meet.
Finally, one feels fitter, weight is controlled, joints more flexible and muscles relaxed. The mind is clearer.
I long for my next fix as a true running junkie.
So farewell friends, I hope to see you soon
A massive thank you to Harry for putting this together, we look Forward to seeing you out running again soon.