Tuesday 23 July 2019

Sonia O'Sullivan’s top tips for the Great Pink Run


* You have more than three months to prepare so whatever distance you choose is achievable.

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* Your current fitness dictates where you can start and the realistic goals you can set yourself.

* If you’re starting from scratch then it is a good idea to mix some walking with your jogging to build up your fitness and not do too much too soon.

* Ultimately you will be out there for 50 minutes or less for the 5km, 100 minutes or less for the 10km.

* This is a run but you can walk and get just as much enjoyment — but you will enjoy it best if you prepare and know what you are capable of.

* It’s a good idea once you make the commitment to write down a plan, tell your friends and family so you are accountable.

* You will need to set aside some time at least three days per week where you can take time to prepare and feel yourself improve each week.

* The same time on the same days each week will help build a routine that will help you get used to and look forward to the challenge each week.

* Make use of the weekends, get out for an hour on one day of the weekend, run, walk or do a combination.

* Start with 20 minutes: Run a minute, walk a minute, etc.

* Week two: Run two minutes, walk a minute for the 20 minutes.

* Week three: Run three minutes, walk a minute; run two minutes, walk a minute; run a minute walk a minute. Then repeat.

* This is a good starting point and after three weeks you will be ready to increase and start running and walking for up to 30 minutes.

* When getting up early to run the first two steps are the hardest but once you step outside you will never regret the decision to get active.

* Link up with friends and family. Just arranging to meet to run puts some discipline to your day and ensures you will turn up and enjoy the process.

* A drink before you head out and when you come back in is essential.

* Water is good but when it is really warm some electrolyte drinks with some sugar and salt helps rehydrate after exercise.

* Homemade electrolyte is as good as any shop bought drink. Lemon juice, water, a pinch of salt and some maple syrup to taste is perfect.

* Make sure your shoes are comfortable. They may feel tighter in the warm weather so keep your laces a bit looser or wear thinner socks.

* If you get blisters or sore feet it can often be your socks that are the main problem. Find socks that are not too thick and don’t slip in your shoes. Try different types and decide which is best for you.

* Light, loose fitting clothes will ensure you don’t overheat.

* Once you start to build your running routine you will also want to improve your diet and eat healthy foods so that you feel good from the inside out.

* Make an effort to eat more fruit and vegetables and a balanced meal. Just because you are running doesn’t mean you need to eat bigger meals. Keep eating the same as normal — it’s just a 5km or 10km not a marathon.

* One way to get better at anything is to keep practising. It may not feel easy to start but the more you run and walk regularly the better you will feel.

* Practice always makes you better — when you see improvement you become more motivated to continue and focus on your goal

* Don’t think too much — just pick up your feet and run or walk. Just keep moving and set yourself achievable goals each week.

* Start slowly and finish strong. Save some energy. It’s always more fun passing people than being passed as you approach the finish line.

* It’s always great to get a good night’s sleep the night before!

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