BOOTCAMP BLOG MUMS on the RUN, part 4
Due to my rather late posting, I am going to give you a schedule of the whole thing so far plus an insight into the next two weeks so that you can see where you are going. That means if you are looking at MUMS on the RUN for the first time, you will have all the info you need to start, right here. For more background info, please go back and read previous posts.
WEEK 1 - Preparation week, find three times to exercise, 20 minutes minimum and start doing something, e.g. walk, in these slots this week.
WEEK 2 - In your scheduled three slots, start doing bouts of 4 mins walking, followed by 1 minute running and repeat at least 3 - 4 times. For info on warming up and stretching out, please see part 2
WEEK 3 - In your scheduled three slots, increase your level of running so that you are walking for 3 minutes and running for 2 and repeating at least 3 - 4 times. Also lengthen one of your run/walks this week to at least 25 minutes. Focus on pelvic floor exercises - see part 3 post.
WEEK 4 - THIS POST! You should now be officially running more than you are walking. In your scheduled 3 slots, walk 2 minutes and run 3 minutes and repeat, at least 3 - 4 times with one run consisting of at least 30 minutes. This week is also about 'looking good' whilst you run - see below!
WEEK 5 - You should now be up to running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute x 4 including one long session of at least 30 minutes. We will also be looking at ABDOMINALS this week.
WEEK 6 - You should now be running continuously! 20 - 30 minutes, 3 x week. Enough to get you through (just) a 5K Race! If you want to do more than just get through, it's time to now up the pace.
Now I have a confession to make, I am a compulsive running watcher, I can't help myself, If I see some one running I may as well be dropping my jaw and gawping uncontrollably in a potentially illegal manner. The thing is I just can't stand it if I see some one running poorly. I don't mean it in a bad way, in fact I worry about the potential damage they could be doing to themselves and it takes huge strength of will not to run up to them in a desperate attempt to help. If I did they would definitely mistake me for some sort of lunatic and probably want to knock me sideways, but honestly, my intentions are good.
After a rather pathetic athletics career at school I fell victim to the 'toe runner'. A toe runner is someone who never puts their heels down as they run. This results in rather tight calf muscles. You get the same effect if you are permanently ensconced in high heels. It took me 5 years to get over a nasty bout of Achilles tendinitus - sore heels that feel a bit like they are going to snap - not nice. This is therefore my attempt to reach out to all those runners who run a bit...well,...like they shouldn’t...
Adopting good running technique can not only save you precious energy but also the odd hip, knee, back or, as in my case, Achilles heel. Follow these rules, memorise them and use them like a mantra as you run. Start from your feet and work up. Focus on each body part as you go through the mantra...
- As you take a step, aim to strike down with your heel first in a heel to toe, rolling action – don’t force it, it should feel comfortable. Ideally you should feel a push off on the toe from the inside of the ball of your foot. There should be little or no sound coming from your feet.
- Aim to lengthen your stride slightly and think about creating more movement at your hip joint. Do this by extending your leg behind you and squeezing your big bum muscle - the gluteus maximus.
- Now aim to lift your torso up high. Do this by pulling and lifting your tummy muscles in and up, NOT by lifting your chest up.
- Now shake your arms out by your side and gently bring them back into a natural swing - your arms should be working in opposition to your legs, i.e. right arm forward, left leg forward.
- The above creates a wind up feeling in your waist (that’s if you are contracting in with your tummy - try it NOW at your desk – pull your tummy in and swing your arms in a running action).
- Draw your shoulders back and down to create length from your ears to you shoulders.
- Look straight ahead and dead central, relax your face, relax your jaw and breathe deep and slow.
Follow this and you will not only run better but you will look better too . You are also less likely to be gawped at. Well by me that is - Can't account for the abusive drivers but who gives a sh-t about them anyway!
MUMS on the RUN has been created and written by Jane Wake, the UK’s leading authority in exercise for mums and mums to be. Check out her recently released ,Baby A-Wake Complete Antenatal and Postnatal Exercise and Wellbeing DVD.