Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon April 2017 newsletter12/04/2017
Well fancy that!
Everyone who has the dedication, discipline and determination to take on a marathon is a hero – but some are superheroes.
From Spiderman to Superman, Teletubbies to Tarzan and Batman to the Blues Brothers, thousands of runners will this year take part in events wearing their favourite fancy dress costume.
Leaving aside that it’s perhaps no laughing matter for someone in conventional running kit to be beaten to the finish line by Coco the Clown, running in fancy dress certainly has its merits – assuming you’re not chasing a PB.
As a fancy dress runner you can look forward to increased support from the crowds. Spectators appreciate the effort being made by a participant in fancy dress. You stand out from the rest of the field, contribute to the colour of the event and put a smile on people’s faces.
And if your race day target is to raise money for your favourite charity, running in fancy dress is a great way to boost your fundraising.
But choose your costume carefully. Make sure it’s easy to take on fluids and that you can get rid of them just as easily should you have to answer a call of nature.
Test run your costume. Giving it an outing at a shorter event before marathon day will help identify any chafing hot-spots. On race day, don’t forget to apply plenty of Vaseline – other anti-chafing products are available – to guard against sore patches.
Wear an efficient wicking layer beneath your costume – it can get very hot dressed as a gorilla.
Perhaps choose a big race in which to take part in fancy dress as you’re more likely to encounter the camaraderie of like-minded and like-attired runners.
Good luck, and may the force be with you!
Ready to up the distance? Then it’s half time
Consistently voted the UK’s favourite race distance, a half marathon is a great way to bridge up from a 10km to a full marathon. However, it is a distance with its own unique characteristics that will both challenge your endurance whilst still giving you room to work on your speed and strength.
HIGH5’s Running Experts, RunningWithUs, cover some of the key sessions so that you can feel confident to take on 13.1 miles if you are new to this distance and help you grab that new PB if you are an experienced runner!
The foundations of your half marathon campaign require planning and patience.
Ask most runners what they found hardest in a half and they will mention how their legs felt in the final few miles. As you race fast your heart rate will creep up and you’ll have to work hard to maintain your pace. This is where your physical strength will have a critical role. A stronger frame will help you carry the engine you are building up through the weeks of running. We can do this by adding strength and conditioning into your training mix, ideally twice a week.
Try this: Focus on specific strength exercises that support your ability to transfer weight one leg at a time. Single leg squats, walking lunges, rowing exercises and pilates can all be great options to consider.
Building a periodic plan over the course of 12 weeks involves laying foundations in the early stages on which you will build the walls and roof of your half marathon performance. Including hill sessions into the first 4-6 weeks of your training plan is a great way to do this.
Try this: ‘Continuous hills’ sometimes also called ‘Kenyan Hills’ can be a top session to include once a week in your early training weeks. Find a hill with a gradient of around 6-8%. Run up the hill at an effort where you can only speak 4 words, but don’t sprint. After 60 seconds, run back down at the same 4 word answer effort and repeat: 4 x 6 minutes in week one, 3 x 10 minutes in week two and 4 x 8 minutes in week three. Include a short 90-120 second recovery between each block.
Included in the right way, sessions that add more intensity into your running week will make you fitter, stronger and faster. However, ensure that your sessions are as specific and relevant to the half marathon distance as possible by adding a weekly threshold run into your training. ‘Threshold’ refers to your anaerobic threshold, around 80-85% of your maximum heart rate. By training in this area you will learn to run faster, whilst still principally training your aerobic fitness, developing your ability to hold a faster pace for longer.
Top tip: Include a weekly session running longer ‘repetitions’ at a threshold effort. Use a heart rate monitor to run at 80-85% of your maximum HR or simply run to 4 word answer pace, a controlled discomfort taking care not to push too hard. In the early weeks this might be 4-5 x 5 minutes at this effort, with 75-90 seconds recovery inbetween. Over a period of 6-8 weeks this can build up to 4-5 x 2km, still from a short recovery as you get fitter and stronger.
As motivated as you may be, running is a high impact sport and must be integrated progressively into your exercise routine. Starting with 3 times per week or every other day, is generally a safe place to start and this can be progressed, as the body gets stronger.
Try this: Be prepared to walk/run if you’re building up your fitness and gradually reduce the amounts of walking in the weeks ahead. 20 minutes might be 1 minute easy run/ 1 minute brisk walk in week one, but by week 4 it could be 20 minutes continuous or 4 minutes run/ 1 minute walk. If you are more experienced, recognise that easy and conversational paced running has a huge benefit to your cardiovascular system. Don’t be tempted to push too hard on your easy runs in the early weeks – these should be at the speed of chat. That means you can still hold a conversation with your running partner.
High 5 is the official energy gel provider of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon.
Countdown is on to Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon
There’s just four weeks to go to one of the highlights on Yorkshire’s running calendar.
On Sunday 14th May thousands of runners will line up for the Plusnet Leeds Half Marathon, attracted by the event’s challenging course, supportive crowds and fantastic atmosphere.
But don’t take our word for it, experience it for yourself. Click here to enter.
Over 7,000 runners take on the Sheffield Half Marathon
Thousands of runners took to the streets of Sheffield last Sunday on what was a sensational day out. Watch the video for a taste of what awaits you on Sunday 8th October!