With eight weeks to go until the first George Eliot Hospital 5k fun run, there’s still more than enough time for you to get your trainers on and get in to shape. In the latest health column from George Eliot Hospital Health Trainer, David Hazel, he offers some tips for those taking up the challenge.
What to wear?
The most important piece of kit is a pair of running shoes. Try to shop around and find sales staff with some technical knowledge. A decent pair of running shoes can cost as little as £30. A good pair of running socks can also help to reduce blisters.
If you’re just starting out, don’t worry too much about specialist running clothing, just wear something loose and comfortable made from a breathable material such as cotton. Women will also benefit from wearing a sports bra.
Warming up and down
Don’t just go out the front door and start running; make sure you complete a preparatory brisk walk for a few minutes to loosen up. As for stretching, opinion is divided on whether this is necessary or even helpful.
Once you have finished your run, make sure you don’t just sit down; keep walking until you have fully recovered. Stretches will help your muscles to gradually relax. You may want to put on an extra layer of clothing while cooling down to stop you from getting cold.
How to run
Good running technique will help make your runs less tiring and reduce the risk of injury. Avoid striking the ground with your heel or your forefoot first. Landing on the middle of your foot is the safest way to land. Your foot should land below your hips – not right in front of you.
Eating and drinking
Getting the right balance of food is important. You’ll need enough to give you the energy to run, but too much can leave you feeling heavy and bloated. Avoid large meals within two hours of a run. A light snack, such as a banana before running is fine.
Try to drink water regularly throughout the day; this will leave you hydrated enough for running. Drinking a lot prior to running can also leave you feeling bloated. Carry a drink with you on your run but try not to drink too much.
The first George Eliot Hospital Fun Run takes place on Sunday 15 September, starting and finishing on the hospital site, with all money raised going towards the Trust’s charitable funds. Everyone aged 11 and over is welcome to take part in the event. Registration forms are available from the Trust website (www.geh.nhs.uk/run).
If you would like some more advice on getting fit for the run or just some general advice on getting fit and healthy, then why not pop into one of the health clinics being run by the George Eliot Hospital Health Trainers. They will also offer you a free health check that will measure your weight, height, blood sugar level, body fat index and blood pressure. These clinics will take place on the following dates:
Anyone living in Nuneaton or Bedworth can make an appointment to see a health trainer for advice on training to complete the 5km run or for general health enquiries. Visit the Trust website (www.geh.nhs.uk) or call 024 7639 0008.
All profits from the run will be put towards the purchase of equipment for the Trust's cancer team. If you would like to help us raise more money or raise money for your favourite charity through sponsorship, why not set up your own page at www.justgiving.com/geh Your friends and family can donate securely on your JustGiving or Facebook page, or by text message.