Category Archives: Marathon Training

Why is the First Ten Minutes of Exercise Always the Hardest?

The title says it all really. Plus, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. I have spoken to many people who run or take part in football, tennis, personal training or any form of exercise really. The answer always comes back the same.

Take running for example. As I’m following a 16 week marathon training programme, I thought that week by week the first ten minutes would begin to get easier. But no, it’s still as hellish as ever! It’s always in the first ten minutes when I want to give up and very nearly do.

So I got to thinking there must be something scientific behind this feeling. There is.

It seems that according to research the body is basically crying out in pain at the beginning of exercise. All of the nerve endings are saying “Woooooooaaah! Why are you waking me up?”

In reality what is happening is that the *senovial fluids are taking their time lubricate your joints.  Your breathing seems irregular and difficult and talking to a running partner is just a no-no.

Other factors such as that feeling of early fatigue during exercise is actually quite normal. In fact, it happens to even highly trained athletes. But rather than feeling demoralised and psyched out by your heavy breathing and burning legs, use this knowledge as a reminder of the importance of the warm up, and remember what’s happening in your body in the first few minutes of exercise.

Have a read of this great article from Elizabeth Quinn which goes into more depth about the scientific reasons for this problem. It tells you all you need to know and how to combat the worst effects so that when minute 11 kicks in; you are really in the zone! Elizabeth concludes “that If you want to take a gentler approach when you head out for a workout, use the first 5 minutes as an easy warm up, the next 5 minutes to ramp up the pace and then settle into your workout as usual”. So no great revelations, just good practical advice.

If you feel suitably relieved having read this blog and you are training for an event or just coming back to fitness, why not get extra help with personal training in Bedfordshire, North Buckinghamshire or Northamptonshire. Just call Jules now for more expert advice and support.

And remember, even Mo Farrah and the Brownlee Brothers feel exactly the same as you do in the first ten minutes. Now that’s a comforting thought!

*The senovial fluids are the bodies way of lubricating the joints and so once this happens you tend to get into a groove after the ten minutes.


Happy New Year From Fitbiznow – Some Great Tips to Get Back to Fitness

A happy new year to all our friends and customers! 

You are probably feeling a little down after all the festive excitement and also a little guilty after indulging in all that food and drink?. Well fear not, so are we! 

January is a hard enough month as it is without feeling bad over this stuff. The best way to ease yourself into the new year is to just make small changes each week as you get back to full fitness.

So maybe just have a drink every couple of days or just weekends. Give up the mince pies, but still have a little treat every few days so that you aren’t going completely cold turkey.

In addition to this, if you haven’t visited the gym or had a run for a good few weeks, then again slowly return to your normal routine rather than trying to do it all at once.

A good idea (if you are a runner) might be to sign up for a 10k or half marathon in February and gradually work towards it with some short runs. For gym work, just do 30 minutes rather than your usual 40 or longer.

By the third week of January, you will be feeling so much better and on track to reach your fitness goals for 2018.

Of course, if you need help in getting back to fitness and reaching your goals, then Jules is ready and waiting to make it happen for you!

If you live in Bedfordshire, north Bucks or Northamptonshire, just contact us and we can get cracking!

Start Spreading the News – Final Marathon Update

On a cold damp morning we crossed the East River on the ferry to Staten Island. Just us and 55,000 other runners!

Our moods were swinging between total excitement at the day ahead and complete fear of the unknown. As you know,  we had done all the training and had pounded the streets from Bedford to Milton Keynes and even achieved some impressive distances, but nothing prepares you for the first time.

Jules’s reaction to being in this situation is to be very quiet, just like her charity sky dive a couple of years ago.  Mine is to babble on and on nervously about nothing!

Finally we reached the start line and our first big challenge – the 1.8 mile Verrazano Bridge which joins the island to Brooklyn. Get over this and the crowds would embrace us and carry us  the remaining 24.4 miles we told ourselves. Well,  as it was very wet and windy that was easier said that done. We were also wearing just about everything item of clothing we had in our suitcases as recommended in all of the blogs we had read.

After a couple of minutes running,  you have basically stripped off all the woollen hats, gloves, jogging bottoms and extra layers you are wearing because you warm up so quickly and we added to the mountains of clothing at roadside (we were told on good authority that these are donated to the homeless, so all good)

The bridge was awful. I almost gave up after a mile as it felt like I was running at altitude and looking around at my fellow runners – a lot of them seemed to feel the same way. However, nothing prepares you for the wall of noise which greets you as you come off the bridge and run into Brooklyn. Everyone shouts your name (we had stencilled these on ready for this) and the union jacks on our backs certainly went down well with the New Yorkers.

After that it was a breeze. Every time we felt that we were flagging, we just drew on the support of the crowd and our nutrition and water intake went like a dream. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard, it was in fact very tough, but the love coming from behind the barriers actually made it my most pleasurable run in the whole 16 week programme.

Around mile 20 we hit the dreaded wall that we had been told about, but by digging in and getting to the outskirts of Central Park three miles out we scented the finish line.  Jules posted a brilliant time but I was just happy with finishing. To be honest, I was enjoying myself too much to run too fast, leading singing in the crowd, enjoying the regular bands and even holding up some of the witty banners for selfies! Nothing prepares you for the experience, but the thought that complete strangers have given up their day to cheer on people they have never met was very life affirming.

We were on a high the next day,  walking around Manhattan bumping into our fellow runners all wearing medals. The legs were stiff but the glow of a fantastic achievement would last a very long time.

Postscript: Jules was quoted at the finish line saying “I am in pain, that was so tough, I will never do that again.”

All I can say is watch this space, the bug may have bitten!

If you are training for a marathon and need a specialist running coach, contact Fitbiznow for personal training in Bedfordshire, North Buckinghamshire or Northamptonshire. Just call Jules now for more expert advice and support.

Marathon Training Update – September 2017

So, we have now reached the half way stage of our marathon training programme with the start line in New York only seven short weeks away! Scary and exhilarating in equal measure.

The half-way point was met full on last week when we participated in the Two Arms on Two Legs half marathon course in Aylesbury. It was a tough course, less because of the 13.1 miles and more because of the tough terrain. Running along canal banks and narrow tracks is very different to the tarmac of New York’s streets, but all practice is good.

The good news is that we didn’t struggle with the distance and the hydration and nutrition seemed pretty much spot on in Jules’s capable hands. (I was allowed a carefully controlled stream of jelly babies on route!)

I was disappointed with my speed but have the time to work on that, now I know the distances don’t intimidate me. Jules is now concentrating on the length of my stride and making sure my heels come up properly so that I avoid the “Martin shuffle”. Well, as she says, if you double the length of your stride then essentially your time on the streets of New York will be halved., It’s a simple but effective mantra that I am trying to drill into my head.

It was also great to have her running next to me to “coax” me on to a better performance for the whole race. On November 5th, I will be alone apart from 2 million fans as I race through 5 boroughs of the Big Apple. I have heard that the roar form the crowd can literally get you round the course. I will be allowing for this extra lift as I am sure every runner is on the day.

Jules has somehow turned me into a potential marathon runner in a matter of weeks and so if you live in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire or Northamptonshire and are considering your own long distance event, (whether it’s running, a triathlon or a tough muddder) give her a call and she’ll transform your form too!

Marathon Training Update – August 2017

I think it was the very large fish and chips the night before that did it for me!

Run 4/week 6 of the marathon training programme and I am feeling tired and heavy,  half an hour into the two hour run. No wonder – given my bad dinner choice the night before, but I was at the seaside and that’s what you eat, right?

Turn the clock back a week and it had all been going so well. I wouldn’t say that I’m actually enjoying the programme,  but I was finding my stride and it’s amazing what some pretty scenery can do to help the time go by. I have found the best way of doing this is to run in as many different locations in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire as possible. There are beautiful parks and public spaces in all of these and some of the highlights have included Harrold Park, just north of Bedford and Stanwick Lakes near Rushden.

Then midweek and the rains came, followed by hailstones and then the force ten gales and I was beginning to imagine that New York in November could actually be like this. Lucky it’s summer now (ha-ha) but the autumn will be hard.

Another great tip I have discovered is to try to get out early in the morning to complete your run. That way, it’s done and doesn’t hang over you all day. This way I don’t hate Jules quite so much all day,  but as she keeps reminding me – it was my decision to run a marathon!

Earlier on in the programme, we both went to see those fine folk at No Limitz where we had our gait and running technique analysed on video.  I was diagnosed as having overpronation which means that I tend to run with my heels facing in and so the shoes I chose adjust this to make my running style more balanced. All clever stuff and I have definitely seen the benefit over the weeks.

So as we leave week 6 behind, my longest run has been 8 miles. Just 18.2 short of the distance I will need to go in November! Wish me luck!

If you’d like to run a marathon and need extra guidance, why not train with Jules and Fitbiznow? She offers personal training in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire – call 01234 964047 to book a session.

New York Marathon: Training with Jules

So, somehow hubby Martin, got me into running the New York Marathon! I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I think it was something to do with his amazing return to fitness after a health scare a couple of years ago.

Now he’s in top notch condition at the age of 56, he keeps wanting to tick off more and more of his bucket list items. “Life is short” he always tells me and when you have had a brush with mortality it adds urgency to your plans and schemes. So recently having returned from bucket list item number 1 (cycling in Cambodia and Vietnam); we are now planning his training for the New York Marathon in November. Martin got lucky in the ballot, although I think he was secretly hoping his number never come up!

Naturally, as his nearest and dearest and his personal trainer, I felt duty bound to sign up too. The 16 week programme starts now.

First up was a visit to those fantastic people at No Limitz, the sports shop in Bedford. It was here that they videoed Martin’s running style and gait and came to the conclusion that he needed trainers that sorted out his uneven gait, caused by his arthritic hip and knees! These should straighten him out and enable him to run for longer with less pain.

Next day, we were out beating the streets of Bedford on run number one – a short distance to begin with in the early summer sun. The longer stuff comes later with runs of up to 16 and 18 miles. In addition, the bad weather will be with us for the latter stages, but this is probably a good thing as November in the Big Apple is not always hospitable.

We’ll keep you up to date with Martin’s progress, right up until 5th November (date of the marathon) and give a really honest view of training.

Don’t forget, that if you have your own challenge or event coming up later this year, I would be only too pleased to put together a programme for you too. It doesn’t need to be a marathon either; 10kms and mud runs all need planning for too.

So, if you are looking for the best personal training in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire or north Buckinghamshire, I would love to help you reach your own personal goals. Call 01234 964047 to book a personal training session or learn more about our corporate wellness and fitness programmes. For further help and advice, please check out more of our health and fitness blogs.