Preparation for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon is going well for mother and daughter Rachel and Isabel Brown from Dublin. Isabel, who is a student in Trinity College, is currently training to take part in a powerlifting competition at The Student Intervarsities in two weeks’ time.
This involves training four days a week with very heavy weights and movements, including squats and dead lifts. After the competition, Isabel intends to concentrate on her running and cardio as she hasn’t done so in a while.
In saying that, the type of strength training she is doing is keeping her fitness up and more importantly creating and building lean muscle in her legs which can really only have a positive impact on her running. She took a notion to run home from college recently and was able to manage the 7k route in a reasonable time, without stopping. Previous to that it had been around six months since Isabel ran that distance so she was happy to discover her pace hadn’t slowed down.
Isabel and Rachel completed their debut Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon together two years ago and crossed the line in just under an hour, an impressive achievement for the first timers. Isabel reckons she could aim for a 55 minute race this year but she is happy to run at whatever pace mum Rachel is comfortable with.
Although she is really enjoying the weight training, she caught the running bug two years ago and, after the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, went on to complete some half marathons the following year when she says she was at peak fitness. “I love running so much and honestly missed it when I moved the focus to the gym. Being outside certainly beats running on a treadmill.”
As both ladies are very busy they don’t get to train together much so perhaps will aim to train for once a week going forward. They first ran together at the Darkness into Light event and that kicked off a shared love of running. Isabel said “The atmosphere was amazing at both the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and Darkness Into Light and running with my mum is a great way for us to spend some quality time together”.
For Rachel, her aim when we last spoke was to overcome the pain in her hips, knee and down her right side that she had been experiencing whilst running. She decided to have her technique screened at Run 360 in Dublin (a special assessment designed to help avoid injury and maximise movement). Rachel was surprised to discover that her left leg is slightly shorter than her right leg and her pain was due to putting extra pressure on her right leg to compensate for the discrepancy of her left leg! Having been fitted with orthotics and the right trainers she is now all set to go!
Rachel has been making up for the run training she has been missing out on so far by keeping her cardio fitness up in the gym and I have no doubt she will be back into regular running in no time. Between studying to become a personal trainer, cycling and Pilates- she is already very active! She’s also an avid cyclist and the long weekend spins will help increase her endurance whilst minimising impact on her muscles and joints.
So with just over eleven weeks to go until June 5th, Rachel and Isabel Brown already have a strong fitness base. They can be confident that with regular training between now and then they should cross the line comfortably together on the big day.
Rachel has been exercising for years but rediscovered her love of fitness after the birth of her youngest son (Isabel is the eldest of 3 boys and 2 girls) and even brought Isabel to her first fitness class when she was 16.
I firmly believe that love of exercise and fitness is passed down through families. With many mothers, daughters and even granddaughters taking part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon it’s an ideal way to enjoy fitness together and set a great example for the younger generations.