Wednesday 22 November 2017

Make Race Day the start of a better life

If you've reached your goal of completing the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon - congratulations! Now it's time to maintain the fitness routine, says our fitness expert

Siobhan Byrne: running is a great way to get out, clear your head and help keep your heart healthy.
Siobhan Byrne: running is a great way to get out, clear your head and help keep your heart healthy.
Glute kick back 1.
Glute kick back 2.
In out squat 1
In out squat 2
In out squat 3
In out squat 4
Lying superman 2

Siobhan Byrne

Well done! Race Day is here and all that hard work has paid off. Whether you have decided to complete this challenge for personal reasons, or to raise money for your favourite charity, a big congratulations is in order to you. Also, a big shout out to all of you who have achieved your first 10k challenge. Hopefully you have got the running bug and all your training should not go to waste after such hard work.

Remember, running is a great way to get out, clear your head and help keep your heart healthy, as well as being a social activity too.

It's one of my favourite things to do, especially when away on holiday - getting out for an early morning run can be a great way to suss out the area you are staying in for interesting things to do or great restaurants to take the family to, that may be a little off the beaten track.

Just because this challenge of the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon has come to a close, it doesn't mean you have to stop your running and strength-training goals.

A lack of motivation can be one of the key reasons people do not continue their running, and this is perfectly normal, but it means they fail to progress in their fitness training. Ensure this does not happen to you by setting your next goals and challenges.

Plan out your next run day with friends or family and stick with it. Don't allow one week to slip into the next without getting back into training and remind yourself how much you have achieved - and remember how good you feel at the moment.

Progressing on from this challenge is not so daunting now that you have come this far. Whether you want to increase your distance or hit a better time for your 10k run, anything is possible.

Interval training is one of the best ways to do this. If you are a beginner, progress from the walk/run ratio up to run/sprint.

Remember that when you are developing your running form it is extremely important you don't compromise on form just for extra speed or distance. I have selected three sets of exercises this week to help you continue to maintain your fitness:

In-out squat jump: This is a great plyometric move which involves using multiple muscles while also using a jump to help shock the muscles.

Lying superman: This is more of an isolation exercise - it is great for working the lower back, which can often be neglected yet overworked. It also works the glutes and hamstrings, making it ideal for runners.

Glute kickback: A great exercise to really help target and strengthen the glute area. Weak glutes can lead to problems with the lower back.

For video of exercises and more go to

VHI Women's mini marathon

Lying superman

1/ Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and your arms stretched out overhead.

2/ Raise your upper body and legs at the same time, about 15 inches off the floor. Hold this position briefly, then return to start position by lowering yourself back to the floor.

Glute  kickback

1/ Start on your knees and hands, keeping your back straight.

2/ Raise one leg up with foot pointing towards the ceiling and leg bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring the leg back down towards start position, then repeat. Return to start position

In-out jump squat

1/ Start in a semi-squat position with feet wider than shoulder-width apart.

2/ Jump into the air, and

3/ change your foot direction to split squat before landing,

4/ then dipping towards the floor before jumping back to squat position and completing a squat, repeating as you go.

Do each exercise 12-15 times before moving on to the next one. For intermediate and advanced levels increase to 15-20 reps. When you have completed each exercises, that is one set, Rest briefly before repeating the set twice more, for a total of three sets.

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