| 12.1°C Dublin

Week 13: Good core strength means the race, and turning 40, will be no bother to Helena


Helena Goss of Team Vhi and Louise Hegarty

Helena Goss of Team Vhi and Louise Hegarty

Helena Goss of Team Vhi and Louise Hegarty

This week, Louise Heraghty, Vhi's training support, caught up with Team Vhi-Herald's volunteer, Helena Goss, to find out how her training preparation is going, and what progress she has made since their last catch up in Week 7.

"Whenever we set a fitness goal, whether it's to complete a 5km run, a triathlon or to participate in the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon, we rarely factor in the possibility of injury. Helena Goss has faced a few obstacles on her training journey for her first 10km on June 1, but hasn't let them stand in her way.

Helena, who started out as a complete beginner, had reached up to a 20-minute run the last time we spoke. Unfortunately, she was hit with Achilles pain a few weeks ago, so took a week off training.

After some rest and recovery, she got back out there and completed her first 25-minute run followed by a 10-minute run in one session and was delighted with her achievement. Then, another setback (pain in her hip) forced her to rest for another few days.

Helena decided to try her next run on Portmarnock beach as she figured running on sand would have much less impact on her joints than running on hard ground - and she was right.

She did two 25-minute runs that week, bringing her total to an amazing 50-minutes for the first time and I reminded her that running on sand is actually more difficult than road running, so it makes her effort even more impressive.

Luckily, Helena had no hip or heel soreness afterwards but was a little stiff. We mainly put this down to not enough stretching and the fact that she had been out of training for a week.


She is back on track now and still doing her strength training once a week, which includes plenty of leg exercises like squats and lunges.

Her core strength is gradually increasing with planks and ab exercises, and all of this additional training will help her complete her first 10km and celebrate her 40th birthday in style on race day.

Helena will be up to a 35-minute jog next week and, in the coming weeks, we plan to do a trial run of the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon route together.

Even if we don't run the whole course, it will familiarise Helena with the route and will give her the confidence that she won't be facing into the unknown on race day."

Each week, training and nutrition support will be provided by the Vhi Support Team - David Gillick and Louise Heraghty. Download the Vhi WMM 2015 App and join us on the journey to the start line on June 1