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Welcome To The Start Fitness Blog

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 [...]

Advice – Get Serious About Your Running

Every runner has a different story about how they got into the sport. Some do a race for charity and end up taking it more seriously. Some may do a parkrun with a friend and realise that they actually enjoyed it and want to do more. Some may fall into it by accident, watching their kids running and get so inspired that they take it up themselves. Whatever the motivation, unless you have been running since you were a child, everyone has to start somewhere – and it’s usually at the bottom. There will always come a time though, when you have to change from being a fun runner / beginner and become a fully fledged ‘proper runner’. So how do you make the transition?   Set a goal All runners thrive on competition and the feeling of setting a target and beating it is on [...]

Advice – Plan Your Way to a PB

Running a personal best time doesn't just happen. Yes, sometimes PBs come along when we least expect them but more often or not they are the product of planning, hard training as well as having that bit of luck on the day. So how can you plan for a PB and make sure that every angle is covered? Here are some steps to planning your next PB….   Step 1- Review past achievements We like to encourage runners to record their training and keep training diaries – see our article to plan or not to plan. The first step when planning an assault on a best time is to see training you were doing last time and see where improvements can be made. Find the training diary where you ran your PB (the one you are trying to break) and consider the following: How long did you train for it [...]

Advice – The Importance of Tapering

Many of us would have heard people talk about the need to taper before a race but what does this actually mean? How do you do it? Tapering is the process of easing off the training workload before a race or competition. The question is, how much should you do and why should you actually do it anyway? At Start Fitness we want to give you a quick rundown of the benefits and importance of tapering. It seems common sense that if an athlete has been training hard over a period of time then before a targeted race they must ease off. Generally the amount that you ease off will depend on the individual and it may be a case of ‘trial and error’ but let us look at three different kinds of tapering – complete rest, slightly easing off and a massively reduced workload. Complete rest Re [...]

Advice – Find Your Running Mojo

We've all experienced it, that feeling you get when, no matter how well you are running, you get stale, you get tired, you lack enthusiasm and wonder what the point of it all is. In technical terms, you have lost your mojo. But how do you get it back? Running releases endorphins, a substance in the body that makes you feel good about yourself. How many times during a hard run or tough session do you feel like you cant go on and cant squeeze any more energy out, all you want to do is stop and collapse in a heap at the side of the road.Yet shortly afterwards you will be chatting to a friend talking about the next race or the next session - it's the feel good factor. What happens when you dont feel good though? What happens when you do a session and however hard you try you cant s [...]

Advice – Base Miles

Laying a strong foundation is vitally important in the success of anything, whether it's building a house or running a great half marathon! The big question is, how do you make sure that foundation is strong and sturdy? For us runners, builidng a base of solid mileage will improve strength, endurance which will hold you in good stead for months to come. A good level of aerobic fitness (endurance) is not built overnight. The process can take many months but once completed it will lay a foundation to which speedwork can be added at a later date. If you are targeting a race in the next 6 months or so, now is the time to get back to basics and put in some high mileage.   Why run base miles? A good starting point for any successful training programme is a fit, healthy and st [...]

Advice – Damage Limitation

We have all experienced that feeling of tightness and soreness in our muscles after a hard run or race. The more experienced we get the better we are able to cope with it. When you run you are placing stress on your muscles and making them stronger so they will tend to ache and be sore as they repair themselves. So what do you do? Sit on the coach until you feel better? Or put things in place to make things more bearable and help the healing process along.   Here are Start Fitness' top 10 tips on how to cope with muscle soreness after a hard run or a session.   1. Get on the grass As tough as it may seem, running on grass is so much better for our muscles than running on the roads. The surface is softer so there is less impact on your muscles which will reduce s [...]