We are thrilled to introduce our first GUEST BLOGGER to Reset this week with the wonderfully inspiring Liz Yelling, not one but TWO time Olympic marathon runner, Commonwealth medalist, coach, mentor, wife and mum to a beautiful girl and twin boys. Liz has helped runners of all abilities achieve their own personal running goals and gives some great advice which we're sure will inspire and motivate you. A big thanks to Liz.
1. Obvious first question - how did you find lockdown?
I have actually enjoyed lockdown in many ways. I know I am fortunate to have a lovely caring family in my household, and I actually get on really well with my husband which helps. I understand this is not the same for everyone, and I know it must have been hard for others living on their own. I have enjoyed the pause in life, time to reconnect as a family, to focus on the important things in life. As I am a ‘ doer', I have enjoyed the time to do lots of jobs around the house and have also started to grow some veggies. I am a complete novice at gardening and although my veggie patch looks great, I am not sure when I should harvest anything, so it could prove fruitless if I am not careful!
2. Has there been anything during the last 100 odd days that you've discovered about yourself?
Haha, I have found out that I quite like a jigsaw, or rather I need to complete it once I have started. My daughter brought a vintage dolls house with her birthday money and I have discovered a whole new world of miniature interior design, which I love too much!
3. Key advice you would give someone who wants to start running, but is a bit hesitant?
Believe it or not anyone can run if they want to. You don’t have to be a certain body type, and the biggest excuse I hear is that "I am not built to run”. People of all shapes and sizes run. The first thing to do is to get a good pair of running shoes, go to a reputable running shop like Running Free in Ashley Cross, Poole where experienced staff will fit you in a great pair of running shoes suitable for your running style. The couch to 5k is a very good way of building up your running mixed up with plenty of walking. Run so your breathing is in control, if you don’t feel in-control of your breathing just slow down. Don’t over commit to your running but rather commit to a realistic amount of running that you can sustain week after week and month after month.
4. What's the weekly mileage someone should be covering if they have entered half marathon or marathon?
Mileage is very personal and depends on your running history. I would say that you need to run a minimum of 3 times a week and your longest run can be anything between 8-15 miles, again this depends on how much you have run before.
5. How should we stay motivated when we may not be in the mood to run? Or similarly if we've started a run and not feeling it, what do you say to yourself to keep going?!
A way to stay motivated is to weave your running into your weekly routine, so just like you might go food shopping on a certain day, make sure your runs become ingrained into your weekly routine. Find times that work for you and fit into all your other commitments. Meeting up with a friend to run together (or they can cycle next to you) can be a great motivator.
Sometimes if you start a run and you are not feeling good, ask yourself why? It could be that you are ill and therefore need to go home and rest, or maybe you are just feeling sluggish, if this is the case it is normal to have days like this and it might be a good idea to walk- run and make it easier for yourself, or shorten your run.
6. Favourite thing to listen to when out running?
I actually do not like running to music, but much prefer podcasts. I love the fact that I can lose myself in the discussion and not notice how hard I am breathing!
7. What's one bit of advice you would pass on to those who are running already and want to step it up a bit?
There are many ways to step up the running - you can run longer, faster, join a running group, or get a coach. Mixing up your running is a great way of adding interest and getting more fitness for the time you spend running. Hill repeats are a fab way to boost your cardiovascular system and build strength in the legs. Find a steep hill, run up it as fast as you can and walk down. You can repeat this from anything from 4 times to 12 times. Speed play is another way to add to your runs - mix up the paces you run at, choosing landmarks you can see in the distance can be a great idea. Choose lamp posts for example and run at different speeds between them. Just make sure before you do any faster running that you have done a warm up jog for 10-15mins before you start.
8. How do you fuel your run? (What do you eat before and after a run - anything that provides you with loads of energy?)
When I was an elite athlete I was running so many miles I would feast on carbohydrates, but these days my mileage is much lower (30miles per week) and so I just make sure that I eat a non-processed diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. I try and think if I was to lay all my food out for the day, how many colours would I see! Eating post run is important to replace the energy you have used so you can recover faster, and if I run in the morning I would typically have a coffee and a glass of water before I run and a bowl of muesli post run with a chopped banana, or a fruit smoothie.
9. What do you do to relax / what do you do on rest days and how important are these to your overall running performance?
When I was running 2 times a day and covering 110 miles a week, resting was very important. I would have 1 day off a week and would watch movies, or visit friends. Now I run for fitness and life with 3 kids doesn't allow for the luxury of good quality rest but I typically do DIY or something crafty to relax my mind.
10. Our ethos at Reset is Nourish, Rest, Move - what's your one piece of advice around these three words that you would give?
I would say that all these words in harmony mean you can function optimally. If any one of these is dominant or neglected then you may start to feel unsettled with stress, anxiety or fatigue. Life is about balance and working to your strengths. Now as a mother, I know that if I did more running miles, I would be too tired to parent well. So a reduced running volume has taken on the role to refresh me physically and mentally, rather than training so hard which would mean I need to sleep all the time.
For more info on Liz please go to www.yellingperformance.com
Twitter @girlwhatruns Insta @lizyelling