Not sure whether I mentioned this, but I’m doing the Great North Run in September again for MS Society! This will be my third time running the iconic half marathon and I am so excited.
Here’s my JustGiving page if you’d like to donate!
As one of the world’s largest half marathons, the Great North Run is a date in everyone’s sporting calendar which captures the Northern Spirit perfectly with its charitable causes and the support of cheering locals. This will be the 38th Great North Run and it’s set to take place on Sunday, September 9, 2018.
I’m more motivated than ever at the minute and I’m out running whenever I can, weather prohibited. The sun has had a massive impact on my training as it is literally TOO hot. I’ve been doing a range of things to try and train for the run so I thought I’d share my top tips!
1. Signing Up To Other Runs
This month I took part in the Great North 10k. The Simplyhealth Great North 10K is the North East’s biggest 10K race, with 5,000 people running from Gateshead Stadium to the Quayside and back. I signed up as it was something to work towards sooner than the big run and it really spurred me on to keep on at it. Running isn’t natural to me, I’m not naturally athletic therefore I don’t find it very easy! It was amazing to run past the Sage, Baltic, Tyne Bridge and Millennium Bridge, the view was fantastic. The heat on the day was the biggest battle for me, I had to stop a few times to cool down as there was literally NO air. Despite the mid-walk, I still managed a decent time of 1 hour 11 minutes. I’ll definitely do it again next year!
2. Swimming As Much As I Can
Running is such a high impact sport, it puts a huge amount of pressure on the joints, which can lead to injury! Swimming, on the other hand, is a zero-impact sport, making it a great aerobic workout to carry out in-between your runs to maintain cardiovascular fitness, while giving your joints the chance to recover. Alongside injury prevention, swimming is a great way to burn calories, improve strength and also enhance flexibility.
3. Eating The Right Foods To Refuel
Running is making me so hungry, it’s definitely increased my appetite! During marathon training, I’m burning more calories than I was before, and I need to replace them. When running more often the body seems to want to maintain its weight homeostasis and will pump out hormones that prompt runners to want to eat. Taking all of this into consideration, I’m trying to get the right balance to feel energized on my runs and to stay injury-free. About 55% of my daily calories should come from carbohydrates, 25% should come from protein, and another 15 to 20 per cent should come from unsaturated fats. I’ve been trying a range of new protein snacks to curve my sugar cravings including these Nutreelife Chocolate Orange Protein cubes which are delicious and are gluten, wheat and soya free.
4. Battling The Blisters
I know, I know, I need to get a new pair of trainers! I just feel disheartened because I’ve tried so many different pairs and none are right for me. I just keep getting blisters, so annoying. To battle those blisters, I’ve been using Compeed. The Blister Plaster Medium absorbs moisture and forms a protective cushion, providing instant pain relief and optimum healing conditions for foot blisters. They’ve really been helping, thank god!
It’s tiring running miles and miles so I’ve been making an effort to look after myself by ensuring I try and get 8 hours sleep, pampering myself and knowing when to have a rest. I was lucky enough to be sent a running goody bag from the team at SimplyHealth and it was full of goodies including a foot mask, bubble bath, cooling spray and lots promoting their cash plans! I’ve made sure I’ve had some me time.
6. Drank More Water
I drink a hell of a lot of water anyway, but I’ve been making a conscious effort to drink more with training! Hydration is so important, and not just when you’re exercising. Fluids regulate body temperature, move waste from your body, ensure that your joints are lubricated, and help flush out the damaged cells that can lead to inflammation. And proper hydration can help control cravings, which is important because it’s often easy to mistake thirst for hunger. I was sent a fabulous new water bottle from the team at PrezzyBox, which is basically the same as the ones on Love Island! I’m a big Love Island fan so I was very excited about!
Wish me luck for the big day! Have you ran a half marathon before?