Katharine Merry's top training tips
Olympic 400 meter Bronze medallist and one of Britain’s most outstanding female athletes of all time, Katharine Merry, is proud to support The Children's Society’s running team.
'What better way to support The Children's Society’s inspirational work than by lacing up your trainers, getting fit, having fun and raising sponsorship to help make childhood better for all children in the UK.
'Below, I have listed my top five training tips to help you reach your goal, stay healthy and enjoy your training ahead of the race! The Children's Society also has a range of training plans which will help to keep you on track and prepare you for your big day.'
- Vary your workouts. It benefits your body to adapt to different training techniques and to varying heart rates. Long runs teach endurance. Short, high-intensity sessions train fast-twitch muscles and hill running builds strength. Interval training will boost your aerobic capacity so that you can tolerate a higher intensity for longer periods. Exactly what you want for long distance running.
- Eat to run. The most essential part of training is nutrition. A low-fat, low-sugar balanced diet will give you the energy to keep your body working at peak condition and aid recovery. On your dinner/lunch plate, the more colours you have, the more vitamins you are getting. Prepare your own food and think about what you are putting into it. Balance the meal with all nutrients. Also, drink lots of water and drink it frequently and eat little and often, rather than three big meals. This will stabilise the body’s insulin levels, meaning your energy levels remain steady and your metabolism levels continue to rise, resulting in a higher calorie burn throughout the day. You will feel hungrier but make sure you're eating the right things.
- Arrange to run with someone. It really is so much more motivational and will make you put your trainers on when you are tempted to sit back down.
- Remember, skin is waterproof. You are likely to be training in wind and rain, grey and cold, rather than the opposite. If you let that stop you, you will never progress. Think: fresh air, movement, blood pumping, clear head, and instant stress relief. You know you will feel better afterwards. Put your head in that space first and you're flying. Remember this throughout your training and your race, that if your mind leads, your body will follow.
- Chart your progress and keep a structure to your training. It makes all the difference to set short-term, realistic goals and it’s really motivating to reach them, record it and see how far you have advanced. When you get to the end of your schedule, you might easily count up to 500 miles in just a number of weeks.