Winter Running

I love a gym buddy. The thought of going to the gym on my own brings me out in all types of dread. Going with a friend means its ‘sort’ of a social event and as well as burning those 500 plus calories (yay!) you get to catch up on a friend’s life too. It’s Win, Win!
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Before and after shot with my friends Sophia and Abi
Running buddies are probably the most important. I love running, but I need a little push, I’ve done numerous 10K’s and half marathons and the ones I’ve enjoyed the most (and got PB’s in) are when I’ve been with friends and we’ve had a good old natter on the way round.
That’s why I’m ‘sort’ of looking forward to doing the 10K CancerResearch UK Winter Run with friends. As well as sharing the pain of running that far so early on a Sunday, its meant we can talk about how our training is going and most of all celebrate together at the end  – with a champagne brunch! Well it’s important to celebrate these triumphs properly!!
One other big important thing when running is warming up, especially in winter. Fitness First have kindly provided some tips on how to warm up in these sometimes zero temperatures. Enjoy – and wish me luck for the Cancer Research UK Winter Run – hoping for a PB, but will be happy just to get to the finish line.
·         Start by imagining you’re in the centre of a clock face. With your hands on your hips, lunge forward with your right foot to 12 o’clock, keeping your body upright and your tummy tight, and then coming back to the centre. Now lunge to your side, to 3 o’clock, then 9 o’clock in a sort of ‘curtsey’ fashion where your right foot lunges behind your stationary left foot. Finally, lunge backwards to 9 o’clock, before swapping to move the left foot around the clock.
After completing this set, progress with the next sets by:
·         Raising the opposite (straight) arm into the air above your head as you lunge around the clock. Raising both arms into the air as you lunge around the clock
·         Finally performing the last set again (both arms in the air) but this time, twice around the clock, and a little faster
This hip mobiliser will engage the muscles that perform a vital role in most large, whole body movements, i.e the glutes and quads. These muscles also play a big role in supporting your spine and pelvis. Raising the arms will also help mobilise the shoulder joint and girdle, vital in most upper body exercises, and allowing for proper posture to be maintained through the upper spine.
Simply by moving in three planes of motion (forwards/backwards; side to side; and rotation) your will be engaging in most muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs, and the core, allowing you to perform at your best and remain injury free.

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