Signed up to the London marathon? Then you'll be well aware you're about to hit the final countdown. With only two months to get ready, set and go, while some of you will have been slogging away on the mean streets since you signed up, others, might be slacking (we hear ya, it has been really cold out there). Enter Project Fit's new class, designed to put you through your paces so you can feel confident you'll actually make it across the finish line.
An hour class that differs from their usual HIIT style offerings that chop change between treadmill and mat work, these hour-long sessions are solely treadmill tailored. For non-runners (you don't have to be signed up to a marathon to do the class), 60 minutes on the treadmill sounds like a lifetime but everything is broken down into eight-minute chunks.
A combination of two minute sprints, hill climbs at a constant speed and up/down inclines to recreate the challenge of running outside, if you're struggling with motivation, just one class a week should help you reconnect with your stride – or at least find if you have one.
"We designed the class to strengthen all the key running muscles so participants can become as strong and conditioned as possible. It also helps people become more confident so they have the willpower to achieve their personal bests," co-founder of Project Fit, Joel Hilton told me.
It's true, having someone by your side to ensure you don't slow down or grind to a halt completely means the hour passes by pretty fast too. And the speed at which you run is all tailored to the individual so you don't end up over panting and under achieving.
Is it for you? Probably. Whether you just want to improve your fitness levels or like to run shorter distances, going to this class alone will see you through. For marathon-runners, there's no denying both the physical and mental benefits although they still suggest three to four good runs a week and sorry, at least one should be on the road.
Try not to panic if you've let your training fall by the wayside either. Just refocus and make sure you're doing the right things for your running. "Conditioning is so important," says Joel. " Start with 5km runs and work on speed and hill training – it makes running on the flat an awful lot easier and you'll be surprised at what a positive effect it has on your base speed."
Oh and FYI – it doesn't matter when you train, morning or night, just make sure you're fed and watered properly. What you wear does have an impact though, so while those Stella for adidas trainers look super cool, Ann Johansson, founder of BoomBoom Athletica and a woman who's run 12 marathons (so far!), can't stress how crucial having the right keep fit get-up is.
"Proper running shoes are key – go to a specialist running store and get your stride tested to see what shoe will be best for you. Then sort a snug sports bra (not too tight, you don't want it to affect your breathing!). For outdoor running, consider the unpredictable English weather – a breathable top and leggings is a failsafe option but don't overdress. It takes 5-10 minutes to warm up but you're better off feeling chilly for a few minutes than overcooking for the remainder of your run."
No longer just a lycra and cotton craze, think about the materials of what you're shimmying yourself into as well. Yoga pants aren't going to have you performing at your peak. Yep, a decent pair of running leggings will support your muscles enough to reduce fatigue so you can run harder and faster for longer. And the less work your poor legs have to put in, the better!
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