With the cost of living crisis affecting virtually every household in the UK, Mental Health Awareness Week couldn’t come at a better time. Although not everyone recognises the importance of being mentally healthy. Especially those that already consider themselves to be in top form. Because we all know how important it is to keep ourselves physically healthy but how many of us give the same attention to our mental health? Which is really odd because most people will experience mental health issues at some point in their lives or at the very least know someone else who has. And although there is now far greater acceptance and awareness of mental health issues it doesn’t mean that we are any better at knowing how to safeguard our mental wellbeing. Fortunately, there are 3 key steps that you can take that will help build your resilience and will ensure your mental health continues to stay in top shape.Continue reading
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The strange truth about the ‘dead-zone’ of a marathon
If you read any running magazine or book about how to run a marathon, you will find out that it is pretty basic. You spend several weeks training and building up your mileage while practicing your nutrition and hydration strategy until you taper off in time for the big day. Next you show up for your event on the start line totally focused and prepared as you wait for the claxon to go off. Then you run past the start line, start your smartwatch and keep going while drinking and eating as required until you reach the finish, stop your watch and relax. That about covers it, right? Well…Continue reading
Outrun your race day nerves
For many people the commencement of Spring has been readily greeted with open arms because it marks the start of other good things to come. First, the changeover to daylight savings time means there are now more hours of daylight to enjoy, in weather that has mostly improved. With Spring temperatures now occasionally dipping into the double digits we can also spend more time outside without having to be swaddled in heavy winter woollies. Then there’s an abundance of seasonal produce now available on supermarket shelves which is welcome in most kitchens. Even though this new Spring veg has to compete for the appetites of those with too many leftover chocolate eggs. And lastly, the start of Spring also means that the Summer is not so distant in the future and so we are just a little bit closer to long summer holidays and lazy days ahead.
But not everyone is quite at ease as we begin a new season. There is another group of people who will are feeling slightly more nervous and even a bit anxious about the Spring. Some of them even wish that time had stood still for little longer. Because these people are now having to face up to something they did many, many moons ago. And just like Brexit, it was totally unnecessary. Alas, it was also self-inflicted. This group of people is made up of runners who intentionally signed up to run in a Spring event. And they all have the appearance of deer caught in the headlights of a double-decker bus, while the countdown to their race day rushes towards them at breakneck speed.Continue reading
Cross training for a marathon can lead you down a slippery slope
I was fortunate enough to visit the National Running Show recently where I grabbed a seat and heard one of the top Canadian ultra-runners, Gary Robbins, giving his fireside chat. But as I leaned in to listen to him expand on gnarly tales of training and competing in some of the toughest races around he made a shocking admission. Despite reaching a countless number of podiums and still holding the current record for the HURT Hawaii 100 miler for more than a decade he said that he didn’t consider himself to be only an ultra-runner. Because unlike many other world-class ultra-runners who sleep, eat and breathe running, Gary was happy to share that running is just one of the many sports he routinely does.Continue reading
Let them eat cake?
When it comes to foods that people hold dear to them, it doesn’t take much more than an imagined threat to strike a media storm. Which is why the recent comments made by Food Standards Agency chairwoman Prof Susan Jebb comparing the harm of having cake in the office to that of passive smoking could only be interpreted as a full-scale attack on cake. The fact that she made clear that her comments were made in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the FSA doesn’t seem to have carried any weight with the public. Neither did it matter that she was simply illustrating how an obesogenic environment directly influences our behaviour including her own. It’s no secret that the UK has a very high rate of obesity and overweight. But it’s too late. She has already been found guilty of the grievous crime of attempting to ban cake at work. It doesn’t matter that she never actually proposed a ban despite the false accusations being spread widely in the media. It’s already case closed. But should it be?Continue reading