Top 4 Breathing Tips Whilst Running!

The right breathing techniques whilst running will help your body deliver oxygen to your muscles more efficiently, and this will in turn make you feel more comfortable when you are running.

Tip 1- Breathe Through the Mouth

Under normal circumstances, it is natural for you to breathe through your nose. However, when you are running, you should use your mouth to breathe instead. If you breathe through your mouth, you can take in more oxygen as well as release more carbon dioxide. This is the best way to supply adequate amounts of oxygen to your muscles.


Tip 2- Breathe from the Belly

When you are running you should not be breathing from your chest. To get more oxygen into your system, you have to breathe from your belly. You can lie down and practice breathing from the belly when you are at home and then apply the same breathing technique when you are running.


Tip 3- Short and Shallow Breaths

The best way to breathe while you are running is to take short and shallow breaths. You will not be able to run far if you are constantly taking long and deep breaths. However, if you have difficulty breathing while you are running up a steep slope, a few long breaths can help you regain your breathing rhythm.


Tip 4- Breathe in Rhythm

It is important to breathe in rhythm while you are running. You should inhale and exhale at a consistent rate, no matter how fast or slow you are running. One way to check whether you are breathing in rhythm is to count your steps when you are running. You can inhale or exhale once every 2 steps or once every 3 steps.



Books every runner should read…

There is nothing better when motivation is flagging and you are lacking in inspiration than a good running book.

Huffington Post recently posted their top 9 running books which they consider every runner should read.

Have you read them? What did you think? and are there any missing from the list?

In our opinion Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run and Adharanand Finn’s Running with the Kenyans should be added!

Post your comments below!

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Top tips for Race Day!

So as the Spring Marathons get closer focus starts to shift from training to the actual day itself.

This is a great video with some top tips for race day – and I think that they work for any race not just marathons – but I am interested to know what are your top tips? Leave your comments below!

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What’s your motivation?

We all start running for different reasons and signing up to challenges can help us to keep focused on those motivations.

Meet Alex who ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2013 and had lots of special reasons for wanting to get into running:

“My name is Alex and I am excited to be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon for the Bromley by Bow Centre in October 2013.

I signed up for the challenge in March when my dad was taken to hospital with angina. I decided then that I needed to make big changes to improve my health and fitness.

Giving myself a goal to work towards has been really motivating. I have started with the Bupa 10k training programme and am currently 5 weeks in. Not long ago I couldn’t run down the street; now I can run continuously for 4 miles. Each run is ticked off and the sense of achievement after each really helps to build confidence and motivation. The plan is to move on to the 16 week half marathon programme once I complete the 10k.

I recently visited the Bromley by Bow Centre for a FREE running workshop with Ade from Fit City. We talked about the importance of diet, training and building core strength. The warm up and cool down exercises were really helpful and have already made a difference to the aches and pains I was initially experiencing in my joints.

Most importantly I am really proud to be running for the Bromley by Bow Centre. They are a really positive force for good in the community and I hope friends and family will dig deep to help reach my target of £500.”

Alex went on to complete the Royal Parks Half Marathon – her first ever Half Marathon! And she raised over £800 on behalf of the Bromley by Bow Centre!

What are were your motivations for starting to run? Have you taken on a challenge for a special reason?

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Marathon Training – avoiding injury!

Marathon training requires a lot of commitment and as the miles increase so does the risk of injury.

Here are some simple tips to help you to avoid injury:

  • Avoid over training – I get it, we are excited to get going on our marathon training but it is important to take it easy. Allow for rest days – yes, sometimes they can feel infuriating but learn to enjoy them. Increase your mileage gradually – the 10 mile run last weekend might have felt great but don’t be tempted to jump straight to 15 miles in your next long run! Your body needs to get used to the mileage and have time to adapt.
  • Feet – They are going to be put through hell over the next few months and the way you treat them can be the difference between a PB and a DNF! Make sure you wear good running socks to avoid blisters and rubbing. Make sure you wear clean socks and wash and dry your feet after a run. Keep your toe nails trimmed to avoid them hitting the front of your trainer and getting damaged. And if you have a friend who is willing then indulge in the odd foot massage!
  • Trainers – The wrong trainers can cause injuries all over your body if they are not supporting you properly. Get your gait analysed at a good sports shop (many offer this for free) and take their advice!
  • Mix it up – Although your marathon is likely to be mostly on the road this can be hard on the knees so do try to do a bit of off road to mix it up.
  • Add core and strength work to your training – This could be a weekly Pilates, Yoga or Abs session or adding in some hill training. Your legs need to be strong and your core will carry you when your legs get tired.
  • Listen to your body – This is the most important of all the tips! If you are feeling too tired to go out for a session then maybe it would be better to rest. If you have any sharp pains you need to address these before they get worse.

This is your journey to the start line – enjoy it! Don’t let it get spoilt by injuries.

What are you top tips for Marathon Training?

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Wednesday Inspiration – Parkrun

Parkruns are amazing – taking place across the UK, and spreading throughout the world, these weekly, 5k, timed runs happen every Saturday morning supported by teams of fab volunteers.

It can be hard to drag yourself out of bed for the 9am start each week but this video makes you realise just how much it’s worth it!

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Fundraising Top Tips – Make it FUN!

The beginning of the year can be a tough time to kick start your fundraising but if you are taking on a Spring Marathon for a charity close to your heart now is the time to get fundraising.

The best way to start your fundraising is to set up a Virgin Money Giving page – it means that your sponsors can make a donation quickly, easily and safely.

But with Christmas just behind us many will be feeling the pinch so lets make fundraising fun and try to offer something different. Ideas can include:

  • Present Swap Shop – It is lovely to receive presents but sometimes they just aren’t quite right. Rather than letting them gather dust on a shelf somewhere why not arrange a Swap Shop where colleagues/friends can bring their unwanted presents, pay a donation and have the chance to swap them for other people’s unwanted presents. Anything left over you can Ebay to raise extra money.
  • Movie Night – with all of us trying to spend a little less after Christmas you could arrange a movie night with popcorn and snacks for friends/colleagues. You could set a ticket price or ask for a donation and everyone will get a night out at the movies for less than the cinema!
  • Loose Change Box – Could you ask your office if this could be displayed somewhere prominent such as next to the coffee machine or in the canteen? Perhaps you could put it in your house and ask your housemates to put their change in it? If you put a sign behind it with details about your challenge and the charity it will encourage people to give a little more.
  • Forbidden Words Box – You could do this for a day or a week – choose some words which are forbidden (this could be saying people’s first names, talking about the weather or swear words) everytime someone says one of these forbidden words they have to put some money in the pot. This could work particularly well in an office or even on a Friday night in the pub!
  • Scalectrix Competition – Competitions are a great way to raise money! You could set up a Scalectrix Track and race cars keeping a scoreboard. Players have to pay to enter each time (so the super competitive might have multiple goes and donate multiple times) and the fastest lap wins a prize (you could get a bottle of champagne donated from your local supermarket or pub).

These are just a few ideas and work really well with friends or in an office situation.

What are your top fundraising ideas?

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Minimising Injuries – Dynamic Stretches

We all know the importance of stretching but many of us just don’t make time for it.

But it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be like the start of a school PE lesson. In fact it has been proven that static (still) stretches before a run can cause injuries and impact performance.

So instead we should be doing Dynamic (active) warm ups like the ones featured in this video. This video is ideal if you are bit shy and want to warm up in the privacy of your own home before heading out but you can easily turn these into stretches to do whilst moving such as;

– Jogging with high knees
– Jogging with high heels
– Walking lunges
– Walking on tip toes
– Gentle jogging

There are lots of great YouTube Dynamic Warm Up videos out there. Enjoy!

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Wednesday Inspiration – Time spent running is “free”

English Author, Neil Gaiman, recently wrote a journal post about running and the benefits he finds in it – namely the good post run vibes and the way it can help declutter the mind leaving room for inspiration.

But what really struck a chord, and will do with many especially if Marathon training at the moment, is the idea that time spent running is “Free” – “it doesn’t come out of the hours of my life, but it adds to them”. In that it actually adds to the hours you have to live… according to studies an hour spent exercising can add two hours to your life.

So, in essence, that time on a Sunday you spend out on your long run is really just giving you more hours to spend on future Sundays!

Read Neil Gaiman’s journal post here:

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How to keep your New Year Resolutions

Many of us will have made New Year resolutions… by now 50% of us will have broken these and within six months 1 in 11 of us still sticking to them will have given up.

We start the year with good intentions whether this is to lose weight, get fitter, take on a challenge, do something amazing for charity but January is a bleak month and it is easy to slip into old habits.

So how can we make New Year resolutions that stick? 

Life coach Jude Boardman from Yellow Life Coaching gave us some top tips: 

Think about the language you use when setting your goal:

“As a Coach I explore the language people use to talk to themselves – selftalk.  I explain that the brain accepts everything as a fact and looks for evidence to back up those facts therefore when we say we are “giving something up” our brain will look for evidence that we are depriving ourselves and that doesn’t make us feel good.  Once we stop feeling good we then tend to look for reasons to stop that action hence giving up on our resolutions.

When we set goals they need to be goals that are positive for us and framed positively so giving up smoking becomes “being kind to my lungs – being healthier” or “living to dance at my child’s wedding” – whatever the motivation is which brings me neatly to motivation!  Motivation is the key – what are the reasons we are making that change or looking to achieve that goal, then that motivation needs to be framed in a positive way.” 

Reward yourself positively: 

“I firmly believe in rewarding, breaking down the goals into smaller achievable goals, once they have been achieved then small, positive rewards can be given without any guilt e.g. big bubble bath after the gym, watching a favourite film after not smoking for the day.

Rewarding ourselves positively and giving ourselves an opportunity to enjoy our success before we move onto the next goal.”

Don’t try and do it all at once:

“Most people have good intentions though they can be a tad unrealistic e.g. lose weight, stop smoking all by the end of Jan! I actually believe we should be setting realistic goals all through the year.

I personally am all for building on our strengths rather than focusing on what we are not doing, focusing on what makes us feel good and being healthy and supporting others tend to be the goals that we then achieve – we are all a work in progress and all on a learning journey so we should be gentle on ourselves.”

You can find out more from Jude and Yellow Life Coaching here.

Have you set any New Year Resolutions? Will you be using Jude’s tips when goal setting in the future?

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