The shadow of cancer hangs over all of us. It hangs over you, me, my loved ones and your loved ones.
We’re hoping that it hasn’t directly affected you – but according to Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
Every year we make progress towards curing it for good, but we’re not there yet – 7.6 million people die every year, according to worldcancerday.org.
Tasting Britain always try to do our part to raising awareness and money where we can. It is quite obvious that what is being done in cancer research is far more important than what a certain restaurant in Manchester or London is serving up this month.
In the grand scheme, whats another food and drink website when people are suffering and dying every day?
Keeping with the theme of running for cancer research, we’ve got some running tips from Tom Craggs, of http://www.runningwithus.com/
Tom’s one of the UK’s most in demand young coaches and works as a coaching consultant to many of the UK’s biggest sports brands. He’s worked with several well known TV and media personalities and is coach to Elle Magazine, Vogue and Shortlist. Tom’s training advice can also be found in Runners World, Men’s and Women’s Running and in newspapers such as the Telegraph.
Tom’s 6 ways to improve your winter running:
Tom: The cold weather and dark runs of the winter months bring about a barrage of extra challenges and excuses for runners. Develop mental and physical resilience and stay consistent in these crucial training months by trying some of these tips…
1. Turn up the heat
Driving a cold engine hard is never a great option…yet with limited training time I often see runners heading out aiming to hit top speed straight away. In the cold weather, capillaries will stay constricted for longer and synovial fluid, which helps reduce friction on your joints, is more vicious. Warm up well and you’ll perform better…
Try this: Layers are the way to go in winter. Several thin layers of running specific, wicking fabrics will allow you strip down as you warm up. Focus on high-viz clothes too to keep you safe and seen. If it’s really cold outside aim to complete some of your active stretching and drills indoors.
2. Bust the excuses
Consistency is everything when it comes to endurance sport. If there is one time in the year when this really gets tested it is in the run up to Christmas. Office drinks, Christmas shopping, hitting deadlines before the holidays – as a runner you will need to stay strong and focused to hold your training routine.
Try this: There are two 5 o’clocks in every day! Aim to bank your training sessions early; time pressures will mount during the day so set the alarm clock if you want to continue your development.
3. Be target driven
Most of us find having a target sharpens the focus of your training yet those key spring races will seem a long way off in December and January. Stay on target by entering some races early in the year to keep on track.
Try this: The London Winter 10km takes place on closed roads on an iconic route in Central London, offering plenty of fun, it’s also a fantastic flat and fast route for those hunting PBs.
4. Conditioning: stronger, faster
The winter months will provide the foundation and platform on which you will build your fitness and PBs later on in 2017. Make a resolution with yourself to be a stronger and more resilient runner by the turn of the year.
Try this: Aim to include 2-3 conditioning sessions into your training mix each week focusing on exercises that focus on single leg stability and postural strength. If you are unsure a Pilates class can be a good starting point but also look to include single leg squats, deadlifts and basics such as press ups and chin ups as you get stronger.
5. Account for yourself
Endurance sport can be a lonely journey at times and never more so on those dark nights. Feeling accountable and like you have a support team around you can help you remain consistent – particularly with those tougher interval or tempo sessions.
Try this: A running coach can help support and guide you through the winter months keeping you on focus and ensuring your training is balanced with your lifestyle – helping you to avoid niggles or periods of sickness. Feel like you have a commitment to more than just yourself can help you stay focused.
6. Get immunity
Your immune system is low after hard interval sessions or long runs, this combined with long working hours and the odd drink or two can see you wide open to infection and illness.
Try this: Make sure you bring spare clothes with you to the gym, club or your own sessions, so you can quickly remove damp clothes immediately after your session and cool down in dry, warm garments. This will help to stop you picking up bugs and infections. Get indoors too for your post run stretching session.