Monthly Archives: January 2017

7 lessons I learned from running my first half marathon

Asma Running Half Marathon 

Well this came along quickly didn’t it? It feels like it was just yesterday that you signed up for the Dubai Marathon, and you promised yourself that you would run miles and miles whilst training in the gym every day turning yourself into a well oiled running machine. So… how did it go? If your answer is “not quite as planned” don’t worry, lots of first time runners feel exactly the same way.

Last October I ran my first half marathon in London, and before you hit the start line on Friday I wanted to share some of the lessons I took away from my experience of running in a race:

01 Stop comparing yourself to anyone else
Do not compare yourself, your endurance, your time, or your training to ANYONE else… and… Don’t Panic!! Trust me when I say that before any race everyone is a little bit nervous. I know I was!  It is normal because you are about to do something that is pretty amazing, probably harder than anything you have done before and these feelings of worry and fear will later translate into feelings of pride and achievement. 

02 Fuel and hydrate properly
Nutrition is really the foundation for performance and recovery, you can’t complete a marathon without fuelling your body correctly, and hydration is a careful balance of drinking the right amount and replacing what you need. Remember, your body is your home base for life. So fuel it properly by eating healthy, hydrating and supplementing wisely. One supplement that I take daily without fail is immune 360, it supports my immunity all year long and is a key to staying healthy.  I am always conscious of my diet and was even more so leading up to the day of the run. During my training I would regularly seek out advice from my team at The Hundred Wellness Centre and one of the best tips I was given was from Dr Sean Penny. Sean told me to prepare my favourite lean95 shake with one ripe avocado 1.5-2 hours before the race, preparing the shake this way meant I had a tremendous power boost of energy due to the shake being packed with lots of easily absorbed good stuff including healthy fats and amino acids ( I highly recommend doing this!)

03 Listen to your body
During my training I diversified how I prepared and moved my body, and my team at the centre emphasised the importance of stretching, warming up my muscles, as well as using a foam roller. I added Pilates into my training rotation to help balance things out in my legs and help with my alignment. Joint mobility, improved flexibility, body awareness, and of course a strong core, are just a few of the ways that Pilates can help with running.  

04 Mental strength is just as important as physical strength
During my rigorous training schedule I recognised the importance of mind over matter. I repeated to myself how strong I was, and how I’ve endured harder things in life than running.  I love the feeling of putting my mind to something and accomplishing it. We all do this on small and large scales every day, but it had been a while since I set out on such a major goal that was so outside my comfort zone, and I learned a lot from the experience and will carry forward the importance of consistently challenging myself. 

05 A good pair of shoes and watch your pace
Do not EVER run a race in new shoes! For the best fit and the most comfortable running, match your foot type (yes there are many types of arches) to the shape and components of your running shoes, and the best way to do this would be to go into a running store and have a proper fitting. When we come to the issue of “pace”.. Here are my thoughts: Don’t go out too fast. You will be tempted. Resist. Don’t do it! Setting the pace for your run is a process that starts in training. It depends on your race type, goal times, current fitness level… the list goes on. My best advice here? Aim for a steady rhythm the entire race. Wearing a watch really helps with keeping track of your pace, and for long distance races like the half marathon I find it is best to break down the race into manageable chunks. 

06 An AMAZING playlist is a must
I know that some people like to run without music to get “in the zone,” but not me. I feed off lyrics that are uplifting and empowering. Truth be told sometimes I run listening to one song on repeat! TrailMix Pro is an amazing app that actually syncs the music to match your steps seamlessly. It has other great features as well so I highly recommend giving it a try. 

07 Recovery time
You did it! The race was successful, but once you reach the finish line, it isn’t quite over yet…Recovering from a marathon is a critical step that runners often neglect. First off, grab some water and hydrate! Your body also needs fuel to repair your muscles right after your race, so that is when I take peac which provides easily absorbable amino acids without overloading or excess calories and Microhydrin to help boost the muscle repair! One other thing to try (I love this one!) is Epsom salt baths for their restorative benefits—soaking in the magnesium rich salts can reduce inflammation and helps restore electrolytes to your muscles.

In the end, I wouldn’t trade the experience I had training for and then running my first half marathon with anything! It truly feels like such an accomplishment to cross off my personal achievement list. Overall, I became more in-tune with myself on a new level, so if you’re getting ready to get out on Friday and run in the marathon I hope these tips help you! Good luck, and once you are done we would love to hear about your experience!

 

 

 

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how pilates has helped elena complete her dubai marathon journey – injury free!

Elena standing proudly at the finish line after completing her 10k Dubai Marathon journey | The Hundred Pilates Studio

Joseph Pilates created his exercises as a way to increase overall fitness for anyone. However, because graceful, flowing movements are part of the full Pilates exercises, and because they build strength without building bulky muscles, they were quickly adopted by dancers and gymnasts. Runners didn’t consider the benefits of Pilates until it was more widespread.

For example, Elena one of our expert teachers at the Hundred Pilates Studio in Dubai who has recently and proudly completed her 10K Dubai Marathon journey, reveals the benefits of cross-training Pilates with her running regime and how it has helped her reach the finish line:

“So I decided to run my first 10k after many years of completely ignoring and excluding running from my everyday routine. Online research and analyzing movement patterns of my clients who started doing Pilates to improve their running technique helped me to understand that my main goal is to prevent a possible injury and enjoy every mile of my 10k journey. Being a Pilates teacher and practitioner for years, I got spoiled by a variety of movements and amazing ranges that the contrology method can bring into your body during the practice. Hence getting into a quite repetitive routine like running was already a big challenge. I ran for a good cause starting my training with Pink 10k application (breast cancer awareness campaign ) that got me from a combination of 2 min jog with 2 min walk to my cherished 10k in 4 month.
I must admit it was HARD and so different from what my body got used to until the moment I relaxed and started enjoying the movements, the same way I enjoy it at the Pilates Studio. Thinking about the proper alignment, moving from the centre, breathing, engaging my core, feeling my limbs being extensions of my belly and my spine and being present in my body every single second with every single step I took.
I had to spend many hours in the studio working with Pilates foot corrector to strengthen my feet and ankles that helped me to distribute the impact and weight bearing more gradually in order to avoid knee/hip injury. I focused on a lot of core work and upper body to keep my posture perfectly supported while running. Not to mentioned how many stretches on different pieces of Pilates equipment I had to do in these 4 months pre-race. I still can’t understand how people jog and only spend only 5-10min doing very basic stretches. My advice is to warm up and STRETCH! And the more sophisticated and varied your stretches are THE BETTER and less chances of injury!” – Elena
Pilates Foot Corrector

Pilates Foot Corrector

While all runners should stretch before they run, some runners’ training programs don’t focus enough on stretching. Strength and endurance training alone won’t provide the progressive stretching that regular Pilates workouts will. Insufficiently stretched muscles can cause many problems for a runner, slowing them down at best, or leading to a serious injury at worst.

Just like stretching, Pilates helps runners focus on their breathing. This benefit is synergistic with the stretching because warming up the core helps the intercostal muscles that connect the ribs. This makes it easier to breathe smoothly using all available lung capacity.

Stretching - the key to injury prevention!

Stretching – the key to injury prevention!

And on a final encouraging advice and note from Elena….
“I always encourage my clients to stay active and cross-train (add new workout varieties) to their fitness routine as I truly believe that movement heels and keeps you young and fully alive. Dedicate yourself to the movement and you will start enjoying your life and appreciating your body so much more!”
Discover how Pilates can help you with your current fitness regime by visiting our website at : www.thehundred.ae

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