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Welcome To The Start Fitness Blog

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 [...]

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Race Report – Northumberland Coastal Run

The last thing you will probably want when attempting to run 14 miles over varied surfaces is searing temperatures. However, that is what greeted the 850 hardy soles that took part in the 2014 Coastal Run, organised by Alnwick Harriers. The temptation these days is to chase PBs over the flat fast courses but the Coastal Run is certainly an exception to the rule. First ran in 1979 the race starts in Beadnell and finishes in Alnmouth. In the early years of the race competitors were left to their own devices to figure out the most economical route. Although this is still the case to a certain degree, the best route is normally along the public footpaths and bridleways but the course is always subject to some adjustments, depending on if the tide is out. As well as being incredibly sceni [...]