Niamh has had a busy few weeks but has not let her hectic schedule have too much of an impact on preparation for her first Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon on Monday June 6th.
“Training is going well, I haven’t been running as often as I was rehearsing for my school play and was exhausted”.
The 16 year old Transition Year Student was practicing for her school’s performance of ‘Hairspray the Musical’. It’s a high energy show with plenty of dancing so it certainly kept Niamh on her toes and helped keep her fitness level up. It’s great to hear about teenagers getting involved in musicals and dancing and proves that even if running is not your thing there are many other fun ways to keep fit!
Other commitments often tend to get in the way of training but the important thing to remember is that if you have been consistent over the past couple of months and have kept up regular exercise – a few missed days is not going to undo all of the good work. Muscle memory will stand to you and you can still aim high and expect a good result on race day.
Niamh used the Park Run events as a training tool and along with a group of ladies, has continued to take part in the free 5km race across different parks in Dublin. “I finished the Malahide Park Run in 30 minutes so was delighted with that time”.
I encouraged Niamh to make sure to gradually increase her distance as although the Park Run is a great way to train it’s necessary to get as close to the 10km in training before the Mini Marathon. She has covered 7km so far and will be up to 10km shortly (when along with the other Team Herald members will do a practice run of the Mini Marathon route).
Obviously it’s not possible for people living outside of Dublin to experience the route before the day itself but it would be a good idea for you to pick a route in your area that’s approx 9 or 10km and run/walk or jog it before the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. Not only will you experience how it feels to cover the distance, it will also help confidence knowing that you can complete it.
Luckily for Niamh she hasn’t experienced any injuries since commencing training and her calf pain has eased significantly. This is down to her stretching exercises post work out and of course the Yoga class she has been attending.
In addition to the Yoga and running, Niamh has kept up her spinning classes and really feels her overall fitness has improved. With the big event just around the corner though she admits that it has crept up on her “It feels a bit unreal that the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon is so soon, it really has snuck up on me but I do feel ready to do it. I’ll be quite nervous at the starting line but can’t wait to get it over!”.
Niamh’s goal is to finish the race in just over an hour and although she has no specific plans for celebrations she might go for lunch with her family afterwards.
The 3 week countdown to the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon:
Decide now what you are going to wear on the day. Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in while training. Do not buy new gear to wear for the first time as it may cause chafing or discomfort.
Prepare for different weather conditions, layering is the best way to approach it. I would go for a light t-shirt or singlet, light running pants or shorts and the option of a rain jacket or extra top that can be discarded or tied around your waist.
Don’t drastically up the distance if you are feeling panicked about lack of preparation. The hard work is done; if you suddenly start increasing you could cause injury. Be confident in what you have achieved so far and the training will pay off on the day.
Spend extra time stretching out your leg muscles, we often neglect the most important part of training – stretching. Each stretch should be held for 30-60 seconds on your quads (front of upper leg) hamstrings (back of upper leg) calves (back of lower leg).