July 25, 2017

Beach running in Elwood

One of my favourite runs is a traffic free, flat run in Elwood, Victoria.

Elwood is situated between St Kilda and Brighton and a hidden gem, in my opinion. There is a car park just south of Point Ormond and that is where this run starts from. The run I describe here is 10km there and back but you can run any distance along the beach path. The beauty of this run is that there’s no traffic other than other runners and the occasional stroller.

Running along beach run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting from the car park at Point Ormond run south, keeping the beach on your right hand side. After about 5 minutes you’ll pass Sails on the Bay and Elwood Sailing Club (watch out for the little nippers in dinghies). Just as a quick note Sails on the Bay does some fantastic food and dinner here is wonderful. Keep running and you’ll see some majestic houses on the left. Three km from starting you’ll hit Middle Brighton Baths; there’s a great outdoor ‘pool’ here (the sea), there’s also a good café and restaurant. Keep going for another km along the beautiful wide beach just south of Middle Brighton; this is very popular with kite boarders. When you reach the toilets at the end of the beach you could turn round and that makes a good 8km run. However you can keep going along the bike path and you’ll pass the brightly coloured beach huts of Brighton. At the 5km mark turn around and head back.

Running along Elwood beach

If you are feeling particularly energetic at the end of the run Point Ormond is ideal for some hill sprints. Run as quick as you can up the hill to the top and recovery run down giving yourself a good minute break. Do 3 to 5 times. Once done take in the wonderful views of Melbourne and Port Philip from the top of Point Ormond.

You can view the run on this link http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/83627163

Let us know of any other good beach runs; we’d love to hear about them and try them out.

Run Melbourne – First Timer!

This week we are talking to Andrea.

Running your first 10k

Andrea is a bit of a newbie to running. However Andrea does enjoy yoga, bike riding, keeping fit and is a big fan of eating healthily. Andrea also has a personal trainer to help her build her strength; she tends to focus on resistance and weight training. This will be Andrea’s first Run Melbourne 10km having run her first 4km run in February this year. Last year she took the 5km Run Melbourne race on but did walk quite a lot of it. This year she’s serious about it!

Andrea is keen to run this year’s race in under 70 minutes. Well really she is keen to run the whole thing so a time is a bonus.

Her current training plan focuses on getting out there and running. For Andrea the real barrier to running is time, motivation and self talk. Andrea plans to do three short twenty minute runs a week and combine that with yoga and cycling to and from work.

We’ll keep track of how Andrea is doing up to race day.

Top tip: Don’t talk yourself out of training; get out there and be positive.

Enter Run Melbourne here

Ten reasons I run

We all have different passions, hobbies and things we love. I’ve run for 18 years in one way or another and still love it now as much as the day I started. So why do I run?

  • The feeling after a great run; there’s nothing like it. I feel alive and pumped and de-stressed; running is a great time for thinking or zoning out
  • Fitness – no doubt about it; you burn about 600 calories in a 10km run (depending on speed, weight etc.)
  • Strength – after I have done an interval session I feel strong and I am training my heart to work harder
  • The itch/ buzz I feel  edgy if I miss my run; I need to go and smash out some km’s
  • Legs – yes you might have slightly larger calves and quads but boy are they toned! And as for your butt!

chocolate - great running food

  • Metabolism – again interval sessions help with this but you can increase your metabolism for 4 to 6 hours following a run. That means I can eat…chocolate, and experts say it’s good for you (ok dark chocolate and perhaps not a whole 200g bar in one sitting)
  •  Flexibility. I can run when I want and where I want; no gyms needed. Just put on your kit and you’re away
  • Bragging rights – I have pub and dinner party stories from my marathons. Endless stories!
  • Technical stuff. I can spend money on heart rate monitors, download my times and be a little bit geeky
  • Lycra and running kit – running means I get to laze about in my running kit a lot which is wonderfully comfortable
  • Ok so this is my 11th point but it’s a really important one. Races and fun runs. They are brilliant and motivating. You get to see other runners and push yourself; if you’re lucky you also get a goody bag and shiny medal at the end!

What other reasons do people have for running?

Run Melbourne – another contender

This week we are talking to Pete, a keen triathlete. Pete is a pretty good swimmer and as such has developed his running so that he can compete in triathlons. Next year he is aiming to complete Ironman Melbourne. So we think Pete’s pretty good despite his protests.

Suffering a lack of aerodynamics with a mo in tow

Pete (on the right) ran this year’s Run 4 the kids in an excellent time of  61 minutes. Over the last year he has improved his average pace by over 30 seconds per km. Pete puts this down to, losing weight,  changing his training slightly, incorporating some interval training and also having a coach to help him focus on his goals and targets on a wek to week basis.

The target this year for Pete is to beat his PB of 1hr 34min and go as close to 1hr 30min as possible. But the real goal is the Melbourne marathon in October and the Iron Man race next March.

 

Pete’s training plan up to the race consists of 3-4 runs per week (as well as swimming and riding). An average week consists of an interval session (10-12km), 1 or 2 easy runs (7-10km) and a long run currently around 100 minutes (17-20+km)

Top tip: Don’t get ahead of yourself; build up slowly to avoid injuries. 

Enter Run Melbourne here.

 

 

To warm up or not to warm up….

You could ask 100 people if they warm up before they run and I am sure it would be fairly split as to whether people do or don’t.

Some people just dive straight into running and others do a bit of a warm up before they do.

I would always recommend warming up for five minutes before you launch into a full blown run. So why do we warm up and what’s a good way to warm up quickly?

5 reasons to warm up

  • warm the muscles up gradually to prevent injury
  • reduce muscle stiffness
  • more efficient blood flow and oxygen use when the muscles are warmed up
  • get the heart rate up gradually
  • prepares you mentally for exercise

The best way to warm up

Dynamic stretching is the best way, in my opinion, to warm up. This should be sport specific so focused on running. Dynamic stretching is a controlled movement which improves the range of motion and warms up muscles and raises the heart rate. This differs to static stretching which aims to hold a muscle in an elongated position for a period of time; this is perfect to cool down but isn’t shown to have good effects on a warm up; in fact some studies show it can cause injury.

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Run Melbourne – the training starts

Run Melbourne is a fantastic run that is taking place on Sunday July 15th through the streets of Australia’s food capital….. Melbourne.

There is a 5km, 10km and half marathon course; last year I completed the half marathon and it was a great event, well organised, plenty of water and a good route. It was still hard work though!

I’ll be doing this year’s half marathon again and for the next few weeks we’ll profile someone different whether they be an experienced runner, a first timer, after a PB or simply want to get round. We’ll keep track of their training and see how they actually did when the race is done!

So this week it’s Julie, also known as Chief Bunny!

Julie, runs lots but wants to get quicker

Chief Bunny

I haven’t run a half marathon for a while so this is my journey back into it. I’m really after doing a 1hr 50 time so I need to start revving up my training. At the moment I focus on 4 or 5 runs a week and some of those will incorporate interval training.

Three months out from the race I’ve started to get a bit more serious about my training; I have a plan which incorporates shorter runs during the week and longer runs on the weekend. I also make sure I keep the interval training going but I’m more planned about it. In addition I try and get some shorter races in so I have the Mother Day Classic planned for May 13th and a 10km race around Albert Park in June. I find it helps you pace yourself and get used to race conditions again (I am always quite nervous before a race and my experience is that your stomach can play havoc with you).

Following on from Run Melbourne I’ll be running the Melbourne marathon in October so then the really tough work begins!

Top tip: if you are using gels or sports drink incorporate in your training; don’t use what’s provided on the day. Your stomach won’t thank you for it!

So if you want to get involved log on to www.runmelbourne.com.au and enter today.

Next week we’ll be talking to Pete, a triathlete, runner and soon to be Iron Man contender!

 

Running routes – Plan them, map them, share them!

I tend to run the same route most of the time and extend it/ shorten it as necessary. However sometimes I just want a change or I’m travelling and want to find a good running route. So map my run is a great website and app that helps with this.  The main things I use it for are planning routes and finding new routes in an area I’m not familiar with however there are loads of things you can use it for as below:

  • Planning and measuring your routes in terms of distance and elevation
  • Sharing these routes with your friends via facebook/ twitter
  • Log workouts
  • Download training plans
  • Keep a food diary and record calories and fat consumed
Map my run route

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking or running through the parks of London

When visiting London I love to go running; I find it’s the best way to see the city and all of its flora and fauna. There are many places to go running and I think it’s one of the best cities for it. From Hyde Park and Regents Park to running along the Thames there is something for everyone. Here are two different running options around the parks which you might like.

 

Regents Park – 6.2km run

running routes in Regents ParkThis particular run is around the outskirts of Regents Park, is relatively flat and takes in some of London’s finest scenery. It’s 6.2km around the outer circle with a shoot in to the inner circle but you can lengthen or shorten that as you choose. I started at Hanover Gate to the West of the park, near St John’s Wood. I actually came into the park and ran by the side of the lake then headed out into the outer circle. This is a beautiful lake with plenty of birds but gets very busy so pick your time wisely – early morning is fantastic as it is very quiet. Depending on what deviation you take you can try and take a sneaky peak into the zoo and might spot the odd animal or too. I saw an emu, or it may have been an ostrich, it was a big bird nevertheless.

 

If you want to head out of the park the streets of Camden are nearby as is St John’s Wood and Lords cricket ground.

Regents Park run

 

 

 

 

The map is above and link to the run below.

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/82565581/?new_route=1

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5 bits of kit to help you start running

Running is not a gear/ kit intense sport, however you do need a few bits and pieces. Here is a quick list of 5 items I think you need to start running….

 

Choosing the right running shoes is important

1)      Runners/ trainers/ sneakers – probably the most important item in your running wardrobe. Without them you may as well go all Zola Budd; with poor fitting ones you’ll get blisters, shin splints and sore feet. All in all it’s enough to put you off running and your budding running career will be short-lived. Get them properly fitted at a specialised running store and ideally get gait analysis done. One tip is to take an old pair of running shoes with you so they can get a look at how your foot pronates.

 

2)      Running shorts/ leggings – for me these are very important. Pick too short a short and you have Rafael Nadal’s problem; wear tracksuit bottoms and they can be too heavy. Make sure whatever you pick is comfortable and relatively lightweight. Key things to watch out for is chafing (shorty shorts can cause this), length (think about the cold winters and hot summers),  pockets (really useful for keys),  material – lycra I find fits well and washes well. My favourite brands are Nike, 2XU and Skins. I’ll talk about compression in another blog.

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic ParkNow you don’t need to be Cathy Freeman to run at Sydney Olympic Park but it definitely inspires you knowing she won gold here. I’m convinced I was quicker than normal!

Sydney Olympic Park is based in Homebush, about 15km from Sydney CBD, and a short train ride away. It’s a great place to visit to get site of the stadiums and sporting grandeur of Australia. There are some fantastic runs, walks and bike paths around the park and you take in the stadiums, bushland and parks. It’s very flat with the odd, very small, hill so you feel fast and a little bit like Cathy…perhaps.

I ran a mixture of the Olympic Circuit and Parklands Circuit so approximately 11km in total. I started near the hotels on Olympic Boulevard and headed north to the park; then ran towards Wentworth Park and cut in to Badu Mangroves. This part of the run is beautiful and quite remote but beware depending on the time of day you run. I ran at dusk and paid the price after being eaten alive by the local mosquito population.

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