Running

Guest post: Paul Kenny

We’re lucky enough to have expert training advice from Personal Trainer, Paul Kenny

Panic! There’s only two weeks to go until Will of Iron… But really, don’t panic, there’s still time!

Fear not, you’ve signed up to help out an amazing charity and raise money to support a great cause. Plus, no matter what your overall time, you will get it done. But it’s probably time to fit in some final training before the real work starts.

When the panic and last minute training kicks into gear, there is definitely a greater risk of injury. You may push too hard desperately trying to get the body into gear and take it to a level that it’s just not ready or willing to get to.

Take a read of my top tips on warming up, stretching off and what you can get done as part of your main session…

Getting the body ready for exercise

It’s essential before any training or competitive session to get the joints moving, get blood flow to the muscles and gradually increase the heart rate.

Move all your major joints through all their normal movement patterns several times. Eg. Stand on one leg, lift the other leg and bend at the knee backwards and forwards / circle the arms at the shoulder joint backwards and forwards in a swim front crawl style.

Go through the following exercises 10 – 20 times

  • Perform 10 – 20 reverse step lunges, (see photo), raising the arms in the air to help movement in your legs and hips.
  • Jog on the spot for 30 seconds gradually increasing the pace
  • From a standing position, walk your hands into a press-up position, then walk your hand back towards your feet into a deep squat and stand up
  • Jog on the spot for 30 seconds gradually increasing the pace
  • Get into a plank position on your elbows and raise one leg in the air, pulsing your heel in the air. Repeat on both legs. If this is too hard, drop onto one knee
  • Jog on the spot for 30 seconds gradually increasing the pace
  • Side step 20 – 30 metres one direction and return to your starting position
  • Jog on the spot for 15 seconds as fast as you can

What next? 

  • Find a hill and either lay out some obvious points with cones, items of clothing or choose a line of trees or posts
  • Sprint to one point, jog to the next, sprint to the next, jog to the next etc
  • You’ll need to jog and sprint at least 5 times each
  • Repeat this process 10 – 15 times, depending on the severity of your hill and current fitness levels, but you should tired and out of breath (burning lungs) by the end of it

After, give yourself a five minute rest and go for a fast paced run for 20 minutes. You can do it!

Key Stretches: hold for at least 30 seconds and where applicable, repeat both sides:

  • Hips and legs – as you’ll see in the photo, drop onto one knee, take your other leg forwards and lean over it
  • Glutes (bum cheeks!) – a very important muscle group. Start on all fours. Stretch one leg over and behind the other stretching your arms out in front of you
  • Lower back and outside of thighs – lie on your back, stretch one leg straight out in front of you and hook the other leg over it, bending at the knee joint

If you’re lacking time, even going through the warm-up section will be a small win. Most people don’t warm up or stretch down. Make this a habit as part of your training and you’ll really start to see the benefit, even after a couple of weeks.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch at pk@paulkennyfitness.com or  find me on Twitter @FitnessPK.

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