I took to Pilates like a duck to a motorbike. Each week from here on, as part of my Operation Reformation, I’m off to me Pilates with or without a couple of avocado and prawn butties for lunch. Floor exercises is what I need to strengthen my core or the big bulgy bit around the middle. It wobbles like a dish of ambrosia creamed rice on a lilo and let me down disgracefully whilst doing my workout after our run last Saturday morning. I was glad everyone was facing the ceiling so they couldn’t see me wince as I rolled onto my back and inhaled (when I should have been exhaling). Strengthen. Flex. Stretch. Tone! Swinging limbs and buttocks all over the place. Poetic. 2 classes down, about 7 million to go. Thank you Mr Pilates for inventing exercise on the floor. Hell knows I couldn’t do this standing up!!! (yes, I know, some people can, but I bet they cant eat a custard slice whilst doing it.)
Our first meeting of Operation Reformation last Sunday morning was one of high spirits, a few nervous laughs and the anticipation of pain, sweat and failure. Anna and Andrea, our intrepid leaders, talked us through stretching exercises, running/walking methods, practicals on eating before running, sports bras and a host of good advice, all in the snug comfort of the Pilates studio. But, alas, we had to face it. Runners – check, track suit – check, game face hiding a multitude of fears – check. So out to the wilds of Blackrock Park for our first learn to run session. The goal – to run for 1 minute, walk for 1.5 mins then repeat 8 times. Sounds easy? Yeah right!!! Kill me now. OUCH! Learning to run is hard. My chest wheezed, my joints wobbled, but off I went pounding up and down the park. If nothing else I’m wearing a bikini this summer, flab be gone! And guess what? I did it. I ran for 8 mins (with 1.5 minutes walking in between to catch my breath) but none the less I did it. My very first attempt at running in about 10 years and I managed. Can’t believe it!!!! was this beginners luck or am I ready to do it all again three times a week till I can run 5km without the aid of an ambulance. Crikey, what have I let myself in for…..
A chocoholics blog about learning to run – again
Keep fit experts have a lot to learn when it comes to motivating curvy middle aged girls like myself. Dangle a toblerone at the end of a stick and I would give Mo Farrah a run for his money. And running, whats that all about? I’m a sucker for New Years resolutions and this years was to remove, by what ever means possible, my spare tyre, my spare spare tyre plus the spare tyre in the boot. So here goes. This is me doing the Reform Dublin – Operation Reformation challenge with Anna Frankland. God help her, she has her work cut out getting me fit and running, but now that I think of it, I do too!! Will keep you informed of how I get on.
Operation reformation is a twenty week program starting on January 13th 2013 designed to show you how to lead a healthier lifestyle. This is not a bootcamp or a crazy exercise + diet regime, it is a sustainable way to get fit and healthy and stay fit and healthy. More importantly it will make you feel great, help you lose weight and give you more energy to get through the demands of daily life.
It is NOT for experienced runners. Everyone will take it at their own pace based on their fitness levels.
The short term goal for all participants is the completion of a 5km run after week 10 and the long term goal is a 10km run after week 20 (e.g. Women’s Mini Marathon on Mon 3rd June). The program will focus on three areas:
1. Healthy eating through realistic nutritional advice
2. Fitness through running
3. Flexibility and toning through Pilates
No one can know it all so we bring a team approach to helping people attain their goals. Each member of our team has been there, done that and has the t-shirt to prove it. Take Beth McCluskey, the food scientist. Beth has presented Ireland in both mountain biking and cross-country running and in her spare time picked up a MSc in Food Science and Nutrition from DIT. Anna Frankland and Catherina McKiernan plus some guest speakers will keep you motivated and, fingers crossed, injury free on the road to 10km.
Kick Start: 10 weeks to 5km program (initial training program + 1 Pilates mat class per week + nutrition and running workshops + all organised runs) – €180 (€18 per week)
Home Stretch: 20 weeks to 10km program (initial training program + 1 Pilates mat class + nutrition and running workshops + all organised runs) – €320 (€16 per week)
All sessions will be run out of Reform’s custom studio in Blackrock.
INTERESTED? READ ON FOR THE WHYs/WHATs/WHO…
Running is the easiest and most effective way of getting fit. It challenges your cardiovascular system as well as both your upper and lower body. You can do it anytime anywhere and it costs nothing. It is not always fun but it works! We will be starting with a combination of walking interspersed with short runs and building up to running 5km over 10 weeks and 10km over the 20 weeks.
As you may already know from experience, Pilates is a brilliant way to make you strong, toned and flexible while at the same time improving your posture. Running and core exercises are made for each other as Pilates gives you the strength you need to run efficiently and injury free.
Everyone knows that proper nutrition is the key to your health. What most people do not know is how to adapt their current diets with minimal dispuption (and gimmicks) so that they are fueling their body to achieve both their performance and weight goals.
Week 1: An initial training session with Anna. For most people this will involve a brisk walk followed by some key core exercises and stretching. Anna will also take you through the training program and prep for the nutritional workshop.
1. You will be given a one week food and activity diary to complete and return to Beth in advance of her nutrition workshop.
2. All participants will be expected to exercise 4 times p/wk (according to the program), this will involve 3 sessions of walking/running for up to 45 mins plus 15 mins of core exercises + stretching. The 4th session will be a 1 hr Pilates class at Reform Dublin.
Week 2 and Every Week: There will be two (optional) organised sessions from the studio led by Anna followed by core exercises and stretching. These sessions will take place on Thursday evenings at 6.15pm and Saturday mornings at 8.30am.
Week 3: Beth will workshop with you how to fuel yourself for your new lifestyle. Controlled weight loss, meal modifications/suggestions, review of the food diaries will be covered and much more.
Week 10: We will hold a 5km run followed by a workshop with Catherina McKiernan.
Week 20: Complete Womens Mini Marathon Monday 3rd of June.
“Operation reformation is based on what I have learnt over the past 10 years as both a semi-pro triathlete and now as a mother of twins, Pilates instructor and busy business owner. Exercise and healthy eating is not rocket science, does not have to be expensive and even though it sometimes is the last thing you want to do, you always feel the better for it. ”
– Anna Frankland, Director Reform Dublin
www.reformdublin.ie or call 087 671 9670 or email email@example.com
Looking for something to look forward to in January? A chance to perfect your running style for an injury free running season?
Marathon legend Catherina McKiernan will be returning to Reform to hold another Chi Running Workshop on Sunday 27th January.
- Chi Running Gurus
The day is all about learning to run efficiently, to reduce impact on the body and to prevent or clear up running related injuries. It is suitable for anyone who wishes to learn to run with an easy efficient style. It also ties in very well with Pilates as it emphasises the correct use of the core when running. If you would like more information please check out www.catherinamckiernan.com or scroll down to read a description of the workshop provided by Catherina.
The workshop will start at 10am and finish at 5pm and the cost is €110 per person, which can be paid on the day. If you are interested please let me know ASAP (email firstname.lastname@example.org) as there are not many places available and they will fill up fast.
Chi Running Information from Catherina
I video tape everyone at the start of the workshop to see their style of running. Then we go inside and practice the Chirunning form focuses through a series of drills and exercises. Posture is the most important part of good running form. The beauty of learning Chirunning is that you can practice the focuses in everyday life so that they become familiar.
Then we do another drill of learning to lean the whole body forward from the ankles so that we are working with gravity in our favour as opposed to using our legs to push us forward while we run. This takes an immense amount of pressure of your legs. The next drill is to learn to keep our lower legs nice and relaxed to prevent all lower leg injuries like shin splints, calf strains etc. Then I show the group the correct arm swing and explain the best mechanics for running up and down hills.
After we have practiced the drills which takes about two hours, we go out for a nice easy relaxed 20 minute practice run, where I talk the group thorugh one focus at a time and this gives people the opportunity to get the feel of running more efficiently and with good mechanics.
The next part of the workshop is to analysis the video-tape. This is a great learning tool. Everyone has a good understanding of the whole concept at this stage and I advise what people need to practice to improve their running form. One or two changes can make a big difference and help people greatly with their running. We have a questions and answers session, where I answer a wide variety of running related questions about training, diet, footwear, breathing technique etc.