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Welcome To The Start Fitness Blog

Jenny Meadows – Questions and Answers (part two)

In the second part of our question and answer session with Jenny Meadows and Trevor Painter they talk cross country, diet and possible plans for a marathon? Its refreshing to see a world class athlete support their running club (Northern Road Relays etc) – How good of a club is Wigan? With that in mind when will we see you race in the North East? I’m really proud of my roots and I actually joined Wigan Harrriers on my 8th birthday (17th April 1989) and got the track suit and my membership fees as my present. I still compete for them when I can like in the Northern Road relays as you mentioned and in the UK Women’s League. We have always been a good junior club and particularly strong on the women’s side. I do usually compete in the Great City Games on the quayside in Newc [...]

Jenny Meadows – Questions and Answers (part one)

It seems strange to think that at just 33 years old, Jenny Meadows is one of the most senior athletes in the current Great Britain middle distance setup. We are thrilled that Jenny and her husband (and coach) Trevor Painter, have taken time out of their hectic training schedule to answer a few questions about her training. Firstly congratulations on reaching a major final and being in the medal hunt that must be a huge confidence boost for you leading into 2015 – Do you believe you can get into PB shape next season? It was great to be back in a major championship final after being out of the sport for over 2 years with injury. Initially however I was very disappointed not to finish in a medal position after being so accustomed to it between 2009-2011. I did stand on the [...]

Advice – Harness Your Energy

We have all had that feeling of not having enough energy to get out and do a session. So how do we get out of a slump and get our energy levels up? Here at North East Runner we give advice on why rest is such an important part of any training program. Sometimes, when energy levels are low and you don’t want to train, there is no harm in taking a step back and admitting that you may need a rest. One of the myths or misconceptions of exercise is the ‘no pain, no gain’ concept. The very last thing you want to feel when you are exercising is pain! Yes, you should feel exertion and fatigue in the muscles, but this shouldn’t be misinterpreted as pain. Remember, the body gets stronger at rest, not while exercising…. We exercise to stimulate the correct systematic and hormon [...]

Training Advice – Periodisation

So you want to run well in a 10k race which is taking place in a few months time. You lace up your trainers and you head out the door for a run. You run pretty hard and think that you are in good enough shape for a session in a few days. Sure enough, a few days later you take a trip to the local track, it’s a nice day but it’s windy down the back straight so you do some 200s with the wind on your back. You want to keep things varied so you plan a long run a couple of days later. This race is a few months in going to be a piece of cake…. Many people reading this will know that this is not the most effective way to train for a race but what is? Different methods suit different athletes but one popular way to train for a long term target is to use a periodised training programme. [...]

Advice – Post Exercise Nutrition

It goes without saying that after a hard training run or race it’s essential that we replace the energy and fluid we have lost. The initial 45 after finishing can be seen as the most important period with regards to nutrition……but what are the best foods to have? Whilst there are a lot of areas to running nutrition, the one which is the easiest to fix and will repay you the most is your approach to your post exercise nutrition. Indeed, the bottom line is that the body doesn’t get fitter through exercise, it gets fitter through recovering from exercise. You can run all the miles you want, but ignore what you do around them and you won’t reach your potential. In an ideal world we would all finish a long run or hard session and sit down to a home cooked meal full protein an [...]

Focus on Training – Sand Dunes

Sand Dune training has been the backbone to the success of many athletes over the years. This form of training offers resistance, encourages good form and technique and makes the body work harder, despite running at a slower speed. Of course, accessibility can prove to be the main stumbling block for many who want to try this form of training but for those who can make it to the beach then a whole new form of training can be opened up. Although used by many athletes over the years, some would say that the pioneer of this kind of training was the Australian coach Percy Cerutty. Among the many successful athletes in his stable was 1960 Olympic 1500m champion Herb Elliot, along with another former mile world record holder John Landy. Cerutty was famous for making his athletes run up and do [...]

Start Fitness Puma Great North Run Store

The Start Fitness Puma Great North Run store is NOW OPEN!   Our triathlon store has had a temporary makeover and is decked out with Puma Great North Run merchandise. Although we may say so ourselves, the shop looks great!   On display is the Road to One Million board which displays videos and memorabilia of past Great North Runs. There is also a countdown clock which will reach zero at the start of the race itself. Pop in and check out the Great North Run Hall of Fame which lists every male and female winner of the race. The current course records stand at 58.56, set in 2011 by Martin Mathathil and 65.40 by Priscah Jeptoo when winning last year, will these be broken this year? We are also thrilled to announce that Great Britain Olympian Susan Partridge will be poppi [...]

Carbo vs Fat – The Start Fitness questionnaire

Its a well known fact that carbohydrate is the substance that the body uses as energy. As runners we need a diet that contains carbohydrate but also have to keep an eye on our fat intake at the same time. So how do we get the balance right? Well it comes with experience, experiment and knowledge but we have put together the below questionnaire to give you a rough idea of whether your diet contains too much fat, too much carbohydrate or whether you get the balance correct. 1. Do you eat sausages and burgers? a) More than four times a week   –   4 b) Once to three times a week   –   3 c) Yes – but low fat ones   –   2 d) No   –   1 2. Do you eat fish/chicken/turkey? a) Six or more times a week   –   1 b) Two to five times a week   –   2 c) Less t [...]

Advice – The Principle of Overload

Competitive runners, whether serious athlete or club runner want to run faster. All runners, no matter what their level or ability, carry their own personal battle with the clock. Whether you are Mo Farah trying to win major championships or a fun runner trying to break 2 and a half hours for a half marathon, the art of running faster is facilitated by the principle of training overload. The main object of overload is to progressively increase your general fitness by conditioning your body to the stress of increased training demands. The overall aim of this conditioning can be summed up as: to take in more oxygen to utilise that oxygen more efficiently to acquire a greater tolerance to oxygen deficiency to increase heart output and thus enlarge heart, lung and muscle size [...]