Get ready for the Fun Run

Team Brockley Central is planning to take on the 5km Hilly Fields (April 27th) Fun Run and we've been given a training plan by Erin Essex, written by no-less an authority than Mike Gratton, who apparently won the London Marathon 25 years ago.

Here's Part One for those of you currently mulling it over. Part Two contains some useful advice on how to avoid dying, so if you're not a seasoned runner, perhaps you should wait for the next episode before stepping out. Brockley Central accepts no liability for any injuries you may suffer as a result of this training plan, nor any dog muck you may accidentally run through:

All people have different levels of ‘trainability’ and natural potential. It is possible for complete beginners to make very rapid progress and move up the targets, while others find initially that they can’t achieve the early training levels. There are two golden rules whichever level of improver you find yourself: a) Build-up very gradually, and b) You must rest and recover before training becomes beneficial.

Building-up: Even if you come from a good level of fitness, trying to build-up too quickly will certainly get you injured. Running is a repetitive activity that involves your foot hitting the floor repeatedly with considerable force being transmitted up through the legs and into the lower back. The reason that experienced runners can handle such high levels of training is because they have taken years to get there. Your body adapts slowly to new stresses and a product of regular running is that your bones will harden and become more resilient to the new forces. So fit people beware: your engine (heart & lungs) may find it easy – but after a while your legs won’t.

Rest & Recover: The natural thought is that you get better when you train hard. While that is not altogether untrue, the reality is that your body actually gets fitter while you are resting. Here’s how it works: during hard exercise your body gets tired, waste products build up and energy levels fall as you have used up fuel - you are technically less able than before you started training! If you continued the same level of activity over several days you would become progressively more tired and eventually you will breakdown – either with injury or illness. However, when you stop and rest your body starts to repair the damage, which it will do to a higher level than before as the body recognises a need to adapt to the new stresses that you’re subjecting it to.

Frequency: A regular training pattern is more important than any one session. There is a cumulative effect from training regularly which is not achieved by doing all your training on one or two days each week.

Going the Distance: For 5km races it is usual to train up to and over the race distance.
Your training is done to encourage physiological changes in your body – one of these is the ability to use different forms of energy. The most efficient energy source is glycogen – basically a sugar stored in the muscles. This will last for about 1 ½ hrs of fairly rigorous exercise – like running. Therefore this will be your prime energy source during the event. After that has gone the body learns to use fat for energy – which we all have a big supply of. The faster you run the more your body uses glycogen as an energy source, when you are running slowly you will be in the fat burning zone – although this does not mean you will loose loads of weight, which is more a balance between calories in and calories used.

Don't forget to collect your application forms from the Broca.


Amanda said...


Headhunter said...

I can atest to the fact that you can build up running distances too quickly. As you say the heart and lungs were up to it but my shin bone fractured under the constant pounding, I'm only just getting back to the running again after 3 months lay off

Brockley Nick said...

I hope this doesn't contradict the "it's great, anyone can take part" message.

Tom said...

Or you can enter online.

max said...

Many training programs also advise to have at least one gym or swimming session a week to both balance the legs work and build muscle around the knee to helps prevent injury.

jon s said...

A couple of other points.

1. Carb up after each run it replenishes the glycogen and ATP.

2. A rapid results programme that works for almost anyone is a simple form of interval training. For average fitness, walk 5 minutes, run 5 minutes for 1 hour monday/wednesday/friday split. Each week, drop 1 minute from the walk and add 1 minute to the run.

The important thing is not to jog, but run gently with a good stride. If that means interval training starts at walk 9 minutes and run 1, do that. You are training your body to run with a good stride.

@HH To avoid getting shin splints (ouch, I sympathise) when rehabbing try swimming in the third week.

Amanda said...

How many times round Hilly Fields is 5k? I take about 4 mins to get round, I never time myself. I've only managed to get around twice in row without stopping once and that was when, I was running 3 times a week, this time last year.

I think I'll have to make this the Brockley Fun Walk. :)

Pete said...

I only think it's about two and half to three times round.

Headhunter said...

Amanda, if you're getting round HF in 4 mins and 5k=3x round, then you'd be doing 5k in 12 mins which is super fast! I did a 5k last summer and the top 10 senior men were doing it in 12 minutes

Pete said...

I worked the distance out on the google pedometer thing using the exact perimeter of the park. I think it depends which route you take.

Tom said...

The loop that I run round the park takes me about 6-7 mins to do, depending on how much I murder myself on the upward bit. I look forward to meeting someone that can do it in four!

Amanda said...

I go round the central part of HF only. So that's up past the seats, (on I think, Tressilian road) past the tennis courts, the outdoor gym, then turn left and down (where the farmer's market is held) and up, the route the 484 takes.

I do think it takes about 4 mins, but maybe I underestimated. I will have get a stopwatch now!

Bobblekin said...

I've plotted a run on Nike + - so any of you who still do that should be able to find it on teh Nike website. Basically, my 5K run starts on Tressillian Rd (junc with teh Crescent) up to the park, along past the tennis courts and keep going down the gradient past the stones. Don't go all teh way to teh steps but come back on yourself thro the woody path and past teh bowling club. Keep on along teh perimetre of teh park back to the entrance on Tressillian. 4x of them plus the jog back down Tressillian is 5K.

20 Mins is a good 5K but there'll be someone there doing it sub 15!!

Amanda said...

I'm worried about this fun run. It's less than 2 weeks away and I haven't started training. I think I might up end up doing a Jade Goody.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

You can walk it around maybe? If its a pleasant day, could be quite enjoyable!

Anonymous said...

On my thrice weekly trot around Hilly fields I noticed that the path had been dug up, presumably for resurfacing.

No bad thing as it needed it but is that going to cause an issue for the run?

Amanda said...

Thank you Andy, I must try to remember the fun element of all this.
And at the very least it's helping the Brockley Common project.

I feel much better now :D

Please support BC by clicking here when you shop with Amazon

Brockley Central Label Cloud