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Team A Wooler Review – Continued

After a wicked weekend in Wooler, the team have rested, recovered and put together their own experience on paper after such a successful weekend!!

Harvey

The trail outlaws Wooler half has become a bit of an annual event for me over the last few years. It’s a great event, in a stunning place with some lovely people who run it. Well, this year I fancied something a bit different and opted for the marathon. This is significantly longer than I have ever raced before, bar once but I do well to block out that memory…

Like any trail race it started with a very unassuming feel but with a nervous excitement and energy of what’s to come.

10k in and everything was going very smoothly, over the cheviot and all still going well. This is where the first hints of danger came, only halfway in and a twinge of cramp. Part of me saying stay calm it’s okay, the other half s******g myself I wouldn’t make it round.

Fast forward another 20k that past in a blur of too many gels, some stunning views, knee deeps bogs and the odd cramp and I’m done.

A week on and I have already blocked out the mud, sore legs and walking down the stairs backwards and only remember the views, great memories and cheering the rest of the team around on Sunday. Did I have fun, definitely, will I go back, probably.

Eddie

The Wooler Trail Half Marathon is a 14 mile trail run through the heart of the Northumberland National Park, starting and finishing in Wooler, with 741 metres of climbing! The race is organised by Trail Outlaws who put on various trail events in the North of England and Southern Scotland and was sponsored by Scott Sports UK.

6 Members of Team A- the performance running group overseen and personally coached by Head Coach Stuart Hale of Accelerate entered into the race with 5 of us doing the half and the other doing the marathon

As someone who much prefers to stick to good old reliable road running (and preferably flat) this was certainly out of my usual comfort zone and a bit of shock to the system; the route covered features a mix of undulating terrain through forests, fields with livestock, streams, through/over several gates and stiles and across heathered moorland with a single checkpoint and water station at the halfway mark. Weather permitting the route offers splendid and often breath taking and uninterrupted views of the horizon. Thankfully apart from some rain in the hour leading up the start, it remained dry with good visibility allowing the views to be taken in, although this was often when struggling up the inclines or looking ahead to see how bad the next climb looked!  Some of the climbs were pretty brutal- none more so than having to reascend the at times very steep mile incline you have just descended to get to the checkpoint. The majority of the inclines are tackled within the first 14KM but there is still some undulation to be tackled before you get to the finish line however overall the inclines and declines themselves aren’t very technical and would be considered reasonably beginner friendly, a group I would certainly put myself in for this type of terrain. With a great pair of trail shoes (Scott Supertrac RC 2) I found grip to be in abundance and would often find myself overtaking people on the descents, I really did feel confident with my footing that I wasn’t suddenly going to slip or end up with a nasty injury and when I was able to turn up the pace the shoes felt lightweight and responsive.

Overall it was an extremely well organised event, with facilities to leave bags at the start/ finish area, the entire route was obviously marked throughout (and dare I say even I would have struggled to have gotten lost) and  plenty of supportive marshals along the way with  finishers awarded a medal and a quality t-shirt at the end.

Whilst im still not a fully fledged convert to trails I do look forward to hopefully doing it again next year with the team and looking to improve on my time. I can certainly see how doing more trails and off road running can benefit a self confessed “road runner specialist” and will try to incorporate this a bit more into my training. For anyone looking to get into this themselves Accelerate offer ATR groups (Accelerate trail run), a twice weekly friendly and sociable off road run at a steady  sustained pace with plenty of stops and regrouping, more information can be found instore if interested.

Will

The Wooler trail half marathon was my first time racing this distance and my first trail race in over two years. I had no idea what to expect from the race but was excited to put on my trail shoes and head up north with the team. The sky was grey as we arrived in race HQ but started to clear as we toed the line with everyone excited to set off. I felt strong as the race began, conserving my energy but taking the race out at a strong pace with Jonah beside me. I pushed on solo as we got into the hills and the mud, aiming to keep Chris in sight as we raced further away from civilisation.

The long climb at the turning point halfway round the course was the hardest part of the race for me. My legs started to tire as did my morale, but a strawberry yoghurt gel (much nicer than it sounds!) and a few sips of water perked me up as I reached the top of the climb. I was able to pick up the pace as I descended back into Wooler and hold onto second place. Overall, I was very pleased with how the race went. I felt strong over the half marathon distance and feel like the longer efforts in training, and strength and conditioning work in recent months, has made me able to compete over longer distance events. I’m looking forward to the Percy Pud 10K in December and potentially some cross country races in the new year.

Jonah

After a long training block and a tiresome first few weeks of sixth form, I felt happy in the knowledge that I would be back racing at the weekend of the Wooler Trail Half Marathon. So on Friday, two days before the race, Chris, Harvey and I embarked on the long drive up to Northumberland, a pleasant journey where we talked about race plans and Harvey’s preparation for the marathon, which was on Saturday.
When we arrived, Harvey knocked up a delicious mushroom dahl, which must’ve been good seeing as I don’t normally like mushrooms. It was then time to relax, settling down for the evening to watch a film, after discovering the local Co-op.
On Saturday, after Harvey had set off on his marathon, Chris, Michelle and I – one of the Scott reps- went to support Harvey at the first checkpoint in the marathon at 10k, where he came through in a brilliant 2nd. After this, we drove back to the finish to see Harvey come in, taking the win and smashing the course record by over ten minutes! Well done to Harvey!
Back at the house, with Harvey sprawled on the sofa, the rest of the team arrived, with Eddie, Hugh and Will completing the group. It was now time to get down to business and talk team tactics and start to gather our kit ready for the race the next day. While Eddie, Hugh and Will went for a shakeout run (me and Chris had already been earlier), I helped Chris make lasagne for tea ready for when the others got back.
After eating the delicious lasagne while watching a film about the spine race, it was time to kip down for the night, to get some well needed rest, ready for the day ahead.

It was race day- I woke up around 6:30 in the morning and made porridge for the team, then it was time to pack our gear, and off we went to the start.
After collecting numbers, it was time for a short warm up to get the legs going and to mobilise. As a new member to the team, mobilisation was a newer thing to me, but it really does make a world of difference.

By now, it was absolutely tipping it down, and on the start line, I went over the race plan that I’d made with coach Stuart to go fairly easy, wind up the pace in the second half, and most of all, enjoy the experience.
It’s safe to say that after one kilometre of running, that plan was positively out of the window; I’d set off at a relatively conservative pace and just thought, “this is boring, let’s go faster.”
Throughout the race, I constantly enjoyed the magnificent scenery of the Cheviots, an area I was not previously familiar with. I had settled into a good rhythm and was holding third place, with Chris in first, and Will a couple of hundred metres ahead in second.
A sense of pride filled me as I rounded the top of the last major hill at 12k, and my inner 10k runner was unleashed for the final part of the race. For in my opinion the most enjoyable part of the race, I cruised along the last few kilometres, back down towards Wooler, and back down to the road. I rounded the corner to the sight of Chris and Michelle cheering me on with a little less than one kilometre to go.
As I crossed the line in 3rd place, I was greeted by Chris, Will and Harvey and the Team Accelerate podium clean sweep was complete.

A huge thank you to Chris and Michelle from Scott, and Scott for supporting the team and making the whole experience possible by gaining me special permission to enter.

What an experience overall, I definitely will be coming back and would certainly recommend this to anyone who is considering a longer trail race!

Round the Houses 10k by Dot Kesterton

Team Accelerate Runner and local legend Dot Kesterton traveled up to Grangemouth for the British Masters 10km Road Championships. Spoiler Alert, Dot smashed the out of the water. Find out how she got on below!

Grangemouth, 16th April 2023.

Named after Jim Dingwall (1949-2005), one of the finest Scottish runners of his generation*, the Round the Houses 10k road race in Grangemouth was the setting for the British Masters Championships for the second successive year.

A weekend in Edinburgh in glorious spring sunshine, a walk up Calton Hill and a tour of the Botanic Gardens provided a splendid preparation for the BMAF 10k road race. A short journey up the Firth of Forth towards Falkirk on Sunday morning brought us to Grangemouth for a lunchtime race organised by the redoubtable Falkirk Victoria Harriers. Everything you might hope for in a race, a stadium start and finish, large sports hall for meeting organisers and friends and a fast, flat course round the houses to enjoy in pursuit of a good finishing time, nice T shirt, chocolate egg and if at all possible a British Masters medal.

Margo Duncan, Sheffield Tri Club and I, the Sheffield contingent, met athletes from all parts of Scotland and the north of England to catch up on news of achievements, injury and illness and then, with our age group printed on card and pinned to our backs so we could view our competition on the line, tipped out onto the track for a warm up lap or three in mild Spring conditions.

The race took us round and out of the stadium and directly onto the road for an anti clockwise circuit round a housing estate finishing with a run through an adjoining park before re entering the stadium for an 80 metre dash on the track to the finish.

The usual jitters about pre race nutrition and hydration were played out. Too little and you’d be gasping; too much and you’d have the lead stomach to contend with. In the event I relied on a jam sandwich and water an hour before the lunchtime race. It seemed to do the trick. I started with a steady pace resisting the temptation to chase Margo who was way ahead almost immediately. One by one I focused on runners with similar pace to try and pick them off. Eventually I saw Margo ahead so put all my energy into levelling up and even briefly overtaking her at 8k. She urged me on but clearly saw the chance to chase me down in the final stages and came haring past at 9k as we returned for the final push to the finish. It’s great to have a friend to race against. We used each other for motivation and finished the race with Margo, V50, slightly ahead on the line in 47.14. I kept the elastic as short as I could to finish in 47.20. That gave me first V70 by a good five minutes and BMAF V70 Champion 2023. That chocolate egg tasted very good once I’d recovered from the post race nausea.

 

The race was won by Daniel Bradford, Shettleston Harriers in 31:03.

First woman was Jennifer Wetton, Central AC in 35:48.

Dot Kesterton was first V70 in 47:20 chip.

*Jim Dingwall achievements: 5000m -13:48. 1975.10,000m- 28.45. 1978.10 miles- 48:05. 1985. Marathon- 2:11:44. 1983.

Treadmills, the Saviour of Winter Training.

Love them or hate them, come the cold mornings and long and dark nights of winter they can be incredible in keeping your running mojo going. As the age-old saying goes, winter miles = summer smiles. Here at Accelerate, we are lucky enough to work with Noble Pro and have both the Elite 8.0 and Elite E8I, If you are looking into getting a treadmill this winter pop down to the store where you can try both out!

We have put together a top 5 list of the best reasons to hop on a treadmill this winter.

  1. Running in the Warmth: In my opinion, the worst parts of running in the winter has to be the cold. With a treadmill though, you never have to leave the warmth of your home. When everyone else is piling on tights and jackets while you can be happily trotting along in shorts and a vest. No fear of the cold creeping in and a reduced risk of pulling a muscle due to the cold.
  2. Consistent footing: If you are, like me, a fan of getting out early for your run, then you may have noticed frost and ice creeping across the pavements turning smooth tarmac into an ice-rink. Jumping on the treadmill and there is no chance of slipping on ice.
  3. Lighting: Night’s drawing in, and many runs in the cover of darkness. Running at night is a valid safety concern. The opportunity to run with others isn’t always an option. No longer do you have to worry, the treadmill is the answer and much safer than running alone at night.
  4. Training benefit: Let’s not forget the training benefit you can have from training on the treadmill. Program in the speed you want to run at and no longer do you need to worry about having to slow for other pavement users or stop at traffic lights. Broken intervals and stop/start runs are a thing of the past.
  5. Entertainment: Boredom, this certainly isn’t the upside to treadmills. With the great Noble Pro Treadmills and their built in TV’s. Why not make the most of it and catch up on your favourite TV show, film or podcast, even pop on an album you have been meaning to listen to. Checking your watch to see if you are almost done is a thing of the past, and runs getting longer is the new norm.

And finally, hop off and you are already home, winner!

Don’t be mistaken, on a sunny winter’s day I love getting outside to run, but come wind and rain the treadmill is the place to go.

After reading this do you think a treadmill will help take your winter training to the next level? Pop down to the store and try one of the Noble Pro treadmills.

The Accelerate Running Store is working in collaboration with Noble Pro Treadmills, acting as a local showroom.  You can get in touch to make an appointment to see, try and find out more about their range.  Call 0114 242 2569 or you can start your research Here >>

 

Maximum Heart Rate? Forget It…

It keeps on coming up on social media. Plus, I am continually asked about maximum heart rate and how to calculate it.
The reason it would appear is to calculate those all important training zones that help maximise folks training, yet the question should be asked if there is a better way?
I hear about some new amazing formula all of the time, yet the truth is they do not work for that many people.

Formulae Do Not Work, OK!

There is no one size fits all here, merely normal ranges of what we would expect.
It all started with this:
Men – 220 – Age = MHR.  Women – 226 – Age = MHR.
So popping that in reverse against my known max I am 22 years old. Yay!!  I wish…
The roots of this formula lie in a study carried out on people recovering from open heart surgery of one sort or another. The age range was teenagers through to the elderly, with around a total of 60 participants.

Clearly this has no relevance on fit runner types.  It is however a very safe way of getting very poorly folk back into exercise. So this does have some relevance. Just not for us.
No formula I have seen works for everyone. Nothing I have ever seen on a sports watch works for everyone.  There are just too many physiological differences between us all.  Yes, there are ‘mean’ parameters that we would expect for where training zones fall.

So What Does Work?

I have always been reliant on a couple of methods. Both are very reliable and I have years of practice looking at heart rate, graphs and lab results The key to these results is also extremely reliant on the athlete being in a recovered state when the race graph is reviewed or the test undertaken.

  1. Get a Lactate Test…
    Well, that may not be so easy right now. We would normally offer them here at the Accelerate Performance Centre. If you are less local, when you can, find somewhere with plenty of experience. Universities, with a sports lab can usually oblige.
    Simply you run on a treadmill. Thankfully, you do not go to your maximum heart rate. That would be daft as you’ll probably fall over and fly off the back, plus there is no need.
    Every 3-minutes, sometimes four, a blood sample is taken from either your finger or your ear. Each time the speed is then increased and the process repeated around 6 times.  From here the blood sample is analysed to determine the amount of lactate that is present. This will rise as your put more effort into the test.
    The results are then plotted onto a graph alongside heart rate and it is from this that your training zones can be determined.  The lactate volumes will be different per person, and again no one size fits all. Too often I hear that 4mmols of lactate was used to determine the top  training zone.  Wrong again as we are all different; it’s a little like saying we all have brown hair.
  2. Study and Analyse Those Race Graphs.
    You’ll need to find someone who knows what they are doing. Yet it is possible to determine that top L4 Heart Rate Zone from good consistent race graphs. From there you can work backwards for the other zones.  I have done this loads of times and have preceded to predict the zones pre lactate test and to everyone’s surprise…
    5 mile and 10k graphs, or any sustained hard effort over no more than 45 minutes max should do it.

All of this has to be so much easier and safer than a ‘Bucket Test’ – so called as you may need a bucket following a maximum effort to achieve a max heart rate.
I have been using heart rate for over 30 years. As a coach it is my preferred weapon of choice, even with the arrival of ‘power’ for runners, I still believe it is the better option. Track, road and even mountain runners have all benefited from heart rate training weather to help develop lactate tolerance and buffering or to ensure adequate recovery. I have worked with runners from newcomers through to the very fast, triathletes and duathletes too.  The results these athletes have achieved using heart rate as a training tool speak for themselves.

Heart rate training, “it’s the best thing since sliced bread”.

It is unfortunate that there is no ‘one size fits all’ to heart rate training zone calculation. There is however a very clear opportunity to maximise training outcomes using heart rate and one that for many is just being missed. Too many times heart rate monitors end up as an add on to a GPS ‘requirement’ and something I have often referred to as the ‘bottom draw syndrome’ once people have struggled to get a handle on their heart rate. In my humble opinion, it’s a missed opportunity.

On CloudBoom review – Tried and Tested

Team Accelerate member and On athlete Andy Shelton has been putting the new On Running Cloudboom through its paces.

Heel-toe drop: 9mm

Weight: 225g

Best use: Road Racing

Price: £170

The CloudBoom is On running’s adventure into the world of carbon infused running shoes, The CloudBoom has been engineered for fast marathons and road races.

Straight out of the box

When you pick up the shoe, you immediately feel how light it is compared to On’s other long-distance, race based CloudFlow and CloudSurfer running shoes.

The CloudBoom is very distinctive. Many design hours and fine-tuned running tech have gone into creating an absolutely gorgeous shoe. As On say – this is definitely “Swiss engineering at its finest”

You will be pleased to know that the CloudBoom retain On’s signature cloud shaped sole. However, it is certainly fair to say that aesthetically they are rather different to On’s regular shoes. It is the only time I have seen a shoe and said “it looks fast”

When you push off for your first run, you appreciate Ons carbon infused speedboard. This flexible, but not pure carbon, speedboard offers a good balance of both rigidity and robustness, so every

step feels light, fast, and responsive.

The materials used in the CloudsBoom tick every box. The upper consists of super quality, ultra-thin and breathable engineered mesh to keep the weight down. The forefoot is reinforced so it can handle all types of turns.

The CloudBoom is well cushioned yet very different mainly due to the exciting set-up of the sole. Side on you can clearly see the different structural layers. In between the top section of the sole, (which incorporates On’s Helion™ foam to aid comfort), and On’s fabled CloudTech™, sits the carbon infused speedboard.

The rubber sole is noticeably different from On’s normal road shoe models. This is to offer you, the runner, enhanced traction and grip in the wet – which could provide increased acceleration and confidence. On have also made some other tiny changes such as the shorter tongue, which minimises weight and shows how On are trying to maximise the efficiency of this shoe.

Compared to the other carbon shoes on the market, the On CloudBoom is considerably more subtle, definitely not shouting out to everyone that you are out to PB, more like running in stealth mode.

After 3 weeks of testing (70 miles)

the new On CloudBoom I have noticed a few things; they are comfortable and super smooth to run in, the shoe is really snappy and provides a quick return for maximum cadence, and definitely has been easier on my legs, calves and achilles, which, for long distance runners, is a must. These shoes basically worked with my body and responded to the amount of effort I put into them. I tried them over a long distance, intervals and mixed pace runs. They responded superbly and I got the extra kick when I needed it. They are definitely now my favorite On running shoe, and most certainly a game changer!

Pros

Shoe looks good

Responsive

Comfortable

Well Made

Surprisingly hardwearing

Refined

Carbon infused

*cost

Cons

They seem to be a bit unstable in lateral motion

Pick up stones

Not for the weekend warrior ( casual runner )

Small toe box

*cost

My opinion

the CloudBoom is best suited to the road running for a decent amount of training miles. A superfast, comfy shoe to take on road races from 5km to Marathon distance and to get your desired PB’s.

Fantastic new On running shoe added to the On shoe family.

*I have put the cost in both categories as a carbon infused shoe it’s relatively cheap compared to others, but for the casual runner, it’s expensive and may not be for them.

The Saucony Endorphin Pro

I have been lucky enough to get my hand on a pair of the Endorphin Pro’s. The latest entry from Saucony in the carbon shoe battle happening right now. If you head to any busy running area you are bound to see at least a couple of people wearing carbon plated shoes.

Ever since the first few companies released carbon plated shoes and amassed a cult following, PB’s and world records started dropping like flies. Until now I haven’t had a pair, so when the Endorphins bounced through the door I was very interested to see if the hype they had built up was really worth it.

The first thing that hit me out the box was “WOW, these are a flippin good looking shoe”. Bright and bold colors just catching your eye. Yet still maintaining the same look of current running shoes unlike some of the carbon shoes out there.

Slipping your foot into them, they are comfy but not plush. They use Saucony’s FormFit to wrap around and hold your foot firmly in place. The upper is lightweight with no added extras to

maintain a racey feel. Its made with a single-layer engineered mesh upper which is highly breathable to keep your foot cool and drain any water or sweat with ease.

The midsole is Saucony’s latest and greatest PWRRUNPB foam a peba based foam. It claims to be super responsive and cushioned but with the longevity of a standard midsole (500 miles). Sandwiched in between is an S-shaped carbon fiber plate, there to fire you forward with every step. Couple this with Saucony’s new Speedroll meta-rocker and it has the potential to be a very fast shoe. It comes in a whopping 35.5mm stack height in the heel and 27.5 in the forefoot for an 8mm drop. Not quite your traditional racing flat.

To finish it off the outsole use a minimal amount of high carbon rubber compound and exposed midsole to keep them down to a featherweight 213g (UK size 9)

Just jogging up and down in them is a very odd sensation. They feel very soft however, you can feel the plate sandwiched in them as if you are running through mud then hit firm ground. Then roll onto the toe and snap forward. Very strange. But not bad at the same time just very different from anything I have used before.

The first proper opportunity I got to use them was a 3k time trial with some of Team Accelerate. I was excited, to say the least, after hearing all the stats that have been thrown about the Endorphin and other shoes like it. Were they really 4% more efficient than a standard trainer? Well…….

They are bouncy, very bouncy. The combination of soft and springy foam along with the carbon plate results in a shoe with a lot of pop. They feel fast, one of the biggest changes I noticed was how much longer I felt like I was in the air after each stride, almost floating. Now I know they are meant to be a marathon shoe but after 3k my legs felt as if they hadn’t done much not sore or tight even when coming down the small hill in the course it didn’t feel as if they were pounding my legs, still just bouncing along.

I know this was only 3k but still for longer races they certainly could come I handy to keep you feeling fresher even in the later stages of a race.

In short, if you can get hold of a pair then 100% go for it, they are an amazing shoe. They make you feel fast and want to run faster! For anything from 10k and above they are an incredible shoe. The one you pull out on race day when you want to rip it and break PB’s. Get a pair here >> today, alternatively take a look at the Endorphin Speed, a more forgiving racer/ quick trainer, here >>

My personal fitness regime in lock down.

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

Reasons to run, The Health Benefits of Running

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.

Movement Matters, A reason to run

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!