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.