Team Accelerate runner Dot Kesterson has been busy racing and training throughout 2021. Keep reading to find out how she got on and plans to move forward and up her game for 2022.
Rother Valley relays
1st F50 team
Round Sheffield Run
BMAF North T&F
12th of 12
1st F65 of 1
NMAC Preston Road race
Dig Deep Trail.
EA Rep race, Kew Gardens
1st F65 of 25
Sheffield Way Relay
England qualifier. 91.87%AG
BMAF CC relays,
1st F65 team
SYCC league, Penistone
Derby road race
1st F65 of 7
3rd UK ranked.
4th UK ranked
SYCC league, and SYCC Champs, Graves Park
SYCC F65 Champion.
Annual Review 2021.
This is my last year in the F65 age group. Coach John Rothwell and I agreed it could be a time to enjoy running for its own sake before beginning more focused work for the next age group in 2022.
The first half of the year followed the same pattern as much of 2020 with a solitary run program punctuated with virtual races of different distances and terrains from 1500m to half marathon. I used the time well to increase my long runs as planned. Speed and interval work suffered because of a lack of opportunity to run against others.
The first race with other competitors was the Steel City Striders inspired Rother Valley relays, 23rd June. Teams of 3 runners x 5K. After 15 months since any races with actual people, it was both exciting and daunting. As an F50 competitor with Kate Morris and Kate Scott, the pressure to perform well was as keen as any race. We each ran well to win the category, though it was clear my 5K time at 23:20mins was around a minute slower than before lockdown a year earlier.
Attending the England Athletics Representation 10K race in Kew Gardens gave me a chance to wear my England vest, last worn in Birmingham in May 2019. I had no expectation of winning the age group since I was six months from the end of it but trained and prepared according to my goals and was delighted to win the gold with a relatively slow 47:34mins, 93.03%AG, just four seconds ahead of my nearest rival. An autumn series of 10K races finished with Percy Pud in December. 10K times were regularly around 47-48 minutes so a time of 46:16mins, 95.64%AG was very pleasing.
The South Yorkshire Cross Country league resumed in October, a series of 4 club races in the county, finishing with the SYCC Championships at Graves Park in December. Despite being ill and unable to race at Campsall I won the age group and Championship for the second time, 2019 and 2020. The BMAF Cross Country relays at Long Eaton gave my team of Carol Beattie, Sheila Woodhead and myself victory over the two competing teams in the age group, our second BMAF Cross Country Gold medal.
With the resumption of Parkrun in 2021, I have used the opportunity to work on my 5K and 10K pacing.
Planning for 2022.
My main goal for the year is to attend the World Masters Track and Field Championships in Tampere, Finland in July. The pandemic is still rife with the Omicron variant affecting fixtures but if the WMA fixture goes ahead, I will enter the 10K road race and Cross Country. I will be 70 in April and will compete against a new group of women at an international level. To achieve success at Tampere I will
Train well over the next six months
Prepare well for races
Race smart, pace judgment
Aim for 95%AG in all races.
Raise distance of weekly long run-up to 23K
Raise weekly mileage over the winter up to 50K
Focus on recovery including active recovery
Attend two-speed sessions per week except in recovery weeks.
Revisit Mental Prep modules for stimulus.
Races entered to date.
06th Feb 22: Alsager 5mile race.
07th May 22: Lakeland 10K trail race, Stavely.
There will be an England Home International race in Bristol, but no date had been confirmed yet.
WMA Tampere Website is not yet active.
I will enter other races as the opportunities arise, all as part of my build up to WMA 2022.
On July 6th 2020 Accelerate community member Simon headed out what can only be described as a monumental challenge both physically and mentally. Keep reading to hear what crazy feat he attempted.
The alarm goes off and I rush to silence it because I don’t want to wake my wife up: not at this hour. I creep through to the bathroom where I find my running kit piled in the corner ready for me and then I make my way downstairs to grab a quick bite to eat. I unlock the front door and in the porch I pull on my trail shoes and look out at the weather that awaits me. It’s raining, not enough to need wet weather gear on a normal day… but this isn’t a normal day. I put a rain jacket on and dig out a pair of waterproof trousers that I’ve never even considered running in before. They are far too heavy for the job but the clock is ticking and I need to be on my way. Already, momentum is everything. I quickly add a pair of gloves and a fluorescent beanie hat to complete the look and at 04:54 I push the start button on my Polar watch as I head down the road on my way towards the Redmires reservoirs. I look at the sky and am amazed at how light it is already – despite the gloom of the weather – and I hope it is still light when I finish… whenever that may be. As I begin my journey down the lonely street, I have time to think about how I ended up here.
It was probably about a year before that I signed up to do the 2020 Race to the Castle, a 100km event from Kirkharle to Bamburgh Castle. I’d run a couple of marathons previously and managed
to run/walk the Dig Deeper 50km as the sweeper back in September 2019 but this was a chance to go beyond double figures! I convinced myself, as I often do, that it wasn’t as far as it sounded. ‘It’s only a 10km run done ten times, isn’t it?’, I would say to anyone who asked. I began training in earnest under Stu’s eye at the start of 2020 and everything was on course until Coronavirus hit. It was inevitable that an event involving over 1000 participants would be cancelled and so in early April we changed the plan and settled down to a more ‘routine’ form of training.
However, as lockdown continued and I ran my regular route round the reservoirs I kept hearing that voice in my head saying ‘It’s only this 10km run ten times, isn’t it?’ By late June it was no longer a question of IF I was going to try this, it was WHEN… and then Threshold Sports announced their Virtual Race to the Stones. The running stars had aligned and I had to break it to Stu what was going to happen. In fairness he took it well and within the week I was starting my first of what was planned to be ten laps of Redmires.
The first lap was uneventful, other than losing a glove on the way round, but I realised that the mix of a head wind, my height and the wet weather gear was going to be a problem… it was like running with a parachute on. On the second lap I decided a fast walk in to the wind was more efficient and used the wind to help me on the way back… I also found my glove! For each lap from then, it was always a fast walk out and as much running as I could manage on the way back… which was very little after about 60km!
My porch served as basecamp between each lap, with a box of provisions placed there the night before. The routine was to write up my time and distance on a backboard, take a photo to send out on social media, plug my watch and phone in to recharge and then eat and drink what I could. Bananas, apple juice and chocolate featured highly and I aimed to get through all this and back on the road in under 20 minutes, which I usually achieved.
I was out of the waterproof trousers after lap four (a marathon in those!!) and after lap six I had a change of socks, shoes and top. I also switched to my road shoes which were kinder on my tired feet when I hit the tarmac but I felt every stone through their softer sole on the off road sections of the route… ouch!
As time passed, so did the kilometres and before I knew it I was well beyond my previous experience. I felt worst on lap eight but by then I had a few running friends joining to keep me going and for laps nine and ten I had quite the posse along… all socially distanced of course. In the end lap ten didn’t need to be the full 10km, as each previous lap was actually 4-500m longer than planned leaving me only 6km to do, so I never made it round the reservoirs the tenth time.
I passed the 100km mark just before I got home, making it back at just after 21:30, 16 hours and 44 minutes after I started… and it was still light! I had done it.
Running and walking 100km on limited training may not be easy or even sensible but it isn’t impossible. It’s amazing what we can achieve if we put our minds to it… and have friends helping too. Fancy doing 100km? Want my advice? Go for it… it’s only doing a 10km run ten times after all!
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/.
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