For the next 13 weeks we will be following the progress of Team Vhi & Herald as they prepare for the 2017 Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon.
Mothers and daughters, Rachel and Isabel Brown from Blackrock in Dublin and Mary and Sarah Jane Allen from Mountrath Co Laois will share their goals, track their progress and fill us in on their experience training for this unique event.
This will be the second time Rachel and Isabel take part in the 10km event, they both ran together in 2015 just two days before Isobel sat her Leaving Certificate exams! At the time they really wanted to cross the line in under an hour in order to qualify for the joggers section of the event. They ended up finishing in an impressive time of 59 minutes and 30 seconds and both agreed it was an uplifting experience. The ladies plan on running again this year but for Rachel, the focus is to finish the race in a manageable time and injury-free as she has recently been feeling some pain in her joints after running.
Fitness isn’t a problem for the pair who are already both very active. Isabel who is in her second year of Business and Law in Trinity College, is a member of the college gym and has taken a keen interest in strength training of late. She has completed a few half marathons in the past so commitment certainly won’t be a problem but, as she has been concentrating on resistance and weight training recently, Isabel now plans to get back into cardio to prepare for the 10km run. The good news is that strength training, particularly focusing on legs and glutes, will be of tremendous benefit for anyone planning on running the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon as strong legs will help with endurance and speed and will also help prevent injury.
Mum, Rachel, is also back at college – she’s studying to be a fitness instructor and personal trainer in UCD. She’s not too worried about her cardio fitness as she is very active and is a member of a cycling group that meet every weekend and complete long spins of up to 100km! Her only concern is pain in her joints/ lower back after running so for the moment, Rachel is going to concentrate on following the joggers programme and interval training so she will run for short periods and recover by walking until she has built up to a comfortable jog. I’ve advised her to keep up the cycling as it’s a great way of non impact training and she’s getting plenty of flexibility and stretching in too with regular Pilates classes.
Mary and Sarah Jane Allen will be walking the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon. It’s also the second time they’ve taken part having completed the course last year. The ladies, who are from Mountrath in Co Laois, will be raising money for the Cuisle Centre, a cancer support centre in Portlaoise.
Sarah Jane, who is 23, is in her final year of college studying New Media & English in UL. She’s currently completing her thesis and finds exercising and walking a great release to help relieve stress during exam time. Aside from walking, Sarah Jane isn’t doing any other forms of training at the moment. She used to be part of Dance UL and did hip hop dancing which involved intense training but had to give it up due to a knee injury she picked up last year.
Her mum Mary suffers from Osteoporosis and lower back pain so although walking really is a great exercise for people with low bone density, she will be taking it easy and aiming to get through the 10km route at a comfortable pace.
Both mother and daughter are really looking forward to taking part and were so glad they finally bit the bullet last year as they had both been meaning to do it for years. For the moment both ladies will follow the walkers plan and continue with their regular training. As we get closer to the 35th Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon on June 5th they can concentrate on increasing their distance to ensure they complete the 10km course with ease.