Getting fit with Anthony Watson

ONCE again the time of year has arrived when we all squeeze into over-filled Metro trains to put ourselves through that arduous 13.1 miles known as the Great North Run.

Great North Run Preparation

ONCE again the time of year has arrived when we all squeeze into over-filled Metro trains to put ourselves through that arduous 13.1 miles known as the Great North Run.

How many of us can say we are guilty of not putting in enough training or even no training at all?

Who knows, maybe if there is sufficient preparation, then trotting past the beautiful northern scenery in an oversized tiger suit may actually be fun! Or not.

Preparation does not just have to consist of long-drawn-out runs – there are countless forms of exercise to improve the efficiency of your body’s aerobic system, making the run feel just that little bit more comfortable.

Interval training is a great way to prepare for continuous exercises such as running. This consists of a bout of high energy expenditure (work phase) followed by a bout of lower energy expenditure (recovery phase).

Exercising in this way not only lessens the tedium of exercise, it also reduces the time you have to spend pounding that treadmill.

I suggest running with a work to rest ratio of 1:2, so for every one minute spent working, two minutes are spent resting.

I know this may sound quite easy, but what I mean by work is 85% of maximum exertion followed by 60% for the rest phase for about 40 minutes. If there is not a treadmill available, use lamp posts to mark out work and rest bouts, so sprint to one lamp post and jog for two.

The perfect complement to aerobic training is resistance training. Many people believe the myth that resistance training hinders runners, but if performed properly, this could not be further than the truth.

Top sporting and scientific journals have published research papers which show that there is a positive correlation between resistance training and running economy.

So why not alternate days of aerobic exercise with days of resistance training?

By resistance training I don’t mean lifting huge weights until your head feels it’s going to pop, but 60% to 70% of your repetition max (the maximum weight which can be lifted once), with three sets of 12 on all major muscle groups.

Finally, I would suggest running in groups or with a partner.

Having the motivation of another person alongside you is shown to work, so why not join a local running club?

There are clubs all over the NorthEast, such as Morpeth Harriers and our own at Greens Health and Fitness, where all ages and abilities can fit in.

Anthony and his colleagues at Greens Health and Fitness can be contacted on (0191) 213-0070 or visit www.greens-fitness.com.

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