Bright Virtual Running festival

Normally this race is held in Bright Melbourne and it attracts many trail runners.

Due to the Coronavirus the Bright running festival race has gone virutal. And due to Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne they have panned it out over two weeks (100km in 10 days given that a person can only do a maximum of 10km in one hour). There are other races like the 50km and the 25km. I picked the 25km knowing that that’s what I can do given that I trained for that distance pre stage 4.

It costs $20 to enter and like other virtual races you can do this anywhere.

On Day One I ran up some hills and explored a new area known as the Afton st park. It was fun but a hard climb. Once the restrictions are eased I’d like to try for a longer run.

Day two saw me run to Lincoln park and back. It was a lovely 20C day and there were quite a few people around.

Day 3 saw me do a run around the park and up on Maribynong road and Mt Alexander Road. My fellow runners have said that the road was quite good. This road did not disappoint as it had a few walkers and runners there.

Day four saw me do another postcode run around Moonee Ponds with a very short stop in Ascot Vale at the Happy Groccer. I love to support small business as this time they are losing a lot of money due to COVID. If they lose too much money they cannot survive. They need customers to survive.

It was so much fun and I’d do it again


Running during the pandemic

Running during the pandemic is a bit harder as you can only go to certain areas. Many races have gone virtual. Many countries have their own rules on running and where you can run, due to the COVID19. They don’t want the disease to spread.

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Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

And yes running during the pandemic is fine so long as you stay 1.5meters from people. Make sure that you are not sick. Running is good for mental health as is any form of exercise and with the gyms closed in many parts of the world running is the way to go

Coping strategies

Runners will have to find ways to cope with this. One way of coping with it is to join a Facebook group. There are many Facebook groups and there they have online running challenges.

How do you cope?

You just go with the flow and explore what’s in your local neighbourhood. I live in Essendon so I am allowed to go there. There are many places to explore around there. I am in postcode 3040.

I just did one 14km run and it was all fine. Am training for a half marathon in October. I love exploring new places so I joined a group called Essendon Good Karma network on Facebook and here they provided me with some good tips, mainly in the name of pictures of places.

I have to avoid large gatherings which always happen in the park.

Wearing a mask during a run is not mandatory but make sure to carry one for after your run. Or wear a scarf or buff as one.

You’ll get fined if you run outside of your boundary.


Exercise Right Week

This week is Exercise Right Week and its more important than ever before due to the Covid19. Mental health is going through the roof. Everyone should be doing some form of exercise to protect their immune system.

Monday

Today I went for a walk and did Body Combat which was awesome. It was a really nice sunny day for it and I enjoyed the sunshine.

Body Combat was good. It went for 45 minutes in my own living room.

Tuesday

Today I went for a run and did really well in Body Combat. Some days I do well and some days I don’t do so well.

Wednesday

I did a really good short run and got my heart pumping. The older you get the more exercise you should do

Thursday

Today I went for a walk in the city and it relieved me of some of the stress of coming back and not knowing what has changed. Nothing much has changed except there is a lot less people. And a lot more hand sanitizing.

Did Body Combat and was a little bit uncoordinated

Friday

I did Body Combat and running but I felt good. It took a while to warm up and I really didn’t want to go, but I just did it anyway.

Saturday

Went for another run and felt good. I love running in the sunshine. Today I visited North Essendon Village and it was awesome, albeit a bit quiet.

Sunday

I went for a walk in the sunshine and I also did Body Combat. I also did the last of my push ups for the Push up challenge.


The May 50k

The May 50km challenge is a free walk/run challenge that take place in May for Mental Health. It is a virtual challenge that you can do anywhere that you like. I signed up for this challenge because I really wanted to encourage you guys out there to get back to your gym when the pandemic finishes and to keep on exercising.

It is vital that we look after our mental health right now by going out each day for some fresh air if you can.

I signed up for it and it was easy. They are trying to raise money for MS and research surrounding MS

You record your trip details via Strava or Garmin if you have. 50km would work out to be 31 miles if you are from the US and the UK and other places of the world.

It was really easy to do as I did three to four times a week of runs of about 5-10km each. I explored lots of places during that time. Of course I practiced social distancing by not running in populated places. There were lots of lovely sunny days outside. Being in autumn we had such lovely weather. And lovely weather makes me happy to run. But on the rainy and cold days I walked.

Doing these runs made me feel good and during this pandemic we all need to look after our mental health and stay sane.


Heart Health as you get older

We write this article as part of the Baker Heart and Health institute.

My Dad says that “you are too old to go running!” I say “no, I can never be too old”. And actually Run to the Finish writes about running and exercise in old Age. Runners World also talks about people doing marathons in their old age.

So I wondered how I can convince the older generation to take up running as a sport. My Dad says that “running is such a high impact exercise” and he worries that when I get older I would get knee problems. I see a lot of the older guys out on the marathon race and some of them at my gym. Lately I saw a lot of older guys out on my running trails, running really hard.

The benefits of this are:

  • reduced rate of heart disease
  • reduced rate of diabetes and a stroke.
  • keeps us happy and productive
  • decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • we can live longer lives as we are not so sedentary.

So how do you change the focus?

One of the things that the American College of Sports Medicine recommends is mixing up the exercises a bit and doing some cross training such as yoga and pilates. And we just have to eat better which is 70-100 g of protein. Also Fitness Australia recommends that older people do some exercise each day.

So go on and get that run in and don’t worry about what others say! So long as you’re eating enough and doing some strength work, that’s all that matters. And if you are new to running it would be a good idea to get a personal trainer that specialises in running. You can find them on the Fitness Australia website. Or you can visit the gyms when they reopen


Virtual Running

This year due to Covid19 many of the major races are now doing it virtual which means that it is online. There are no mass gatherings allowed.

What is virtual running?

You sign up for a race online and you do it on the day from wherever you are in the world. And then you post your time and wella, the medal is sent in the mail. Like normal races you have to finish it within the time limit to be allowed to get your medal.

It normally costs a fee to run the race and sometimes its free. Its a whole lot of fun to enter. You take lots of photos of the track that you ran. You have to keep to your Government’s rules for social distancing and the laws about where you can run or otherwise you can be fined for this.

Problems with it?

One of it is cheating. Because you are doing it by yourself it means that you could make up the time on your Garmin/Strava. The organisers would not know unless you tell them.

But with the pandemic sticking around for a while it looks like its here to stay.


A movers guide to Melbourne

Thanks to MoveGB and City of Melbourne we put together a movers guide to fitness around Melbourne.

Runs

I enjoy lots of runs around Melbourne, Toorak and St Kilda. I love seeing nature. Sometimes I’ll do the Main Yarra Trail which is also quite beautiful to look at. It is quite hilly and there are some parts which are quite steep.

I also enjoy seeing some of the shops along Brunswick st as they are quite quirky.

Beaches

In the summer I enjoy going to the beach and seeing all the dogs. Here it is so relaxing and meditating. You can also swim in St Kilda Beach and Elwood Beach. Beaconsfield Parade is a nice place to run or ride during the Spring and Summer

Further out afield

Geelong is a nice place to run, swim and bike during the summer. You can bike along Bellarine Hwy and enjoy all that the country has to offer. You can bike to Queenscliff and make it a day out there. You can take your bike on the train from Melbourne to Geelong and its about $14 for an adult one way ticket (myki money).

You can explore the Old Rail trail near South Geelong station.

You can explore Hanging Rock Winery and explore the hills.

What if I want just in?

There are many gyms and outdoor fitness clubs around Melbourne in which you can check out. Fitness first is all over Melbourne and their members can access all the clubs. And there is also Anytime Fitness and other boutique clubs. Some of them have a casual fee.

Your hotel might have their own gym in which you can use


Running Etiquette in Australia

Guys here are some tips on how to run well in Australia. It’s surprising how many people don’t share the pathways among other things whilst running. 

We run on all sorts of different terrains but for many occasions, we run on shared paths or streets.

Do not chat to your fellow runner

Sometimes they just don’t want it and want to be left alone. Or they may be trying to do a new PB.

Stop for cars

Yes, and there are just some people that don’t do that at the lights. But if there’s no car coming and the light is green it’s usually ok.

At races, there are things known as slip lanes to allow residents to go in out of their houses and it is up to the runners to watch out for cars

Give way to bikes and other pedestrians

If the other people are walking too slow you can overtake them. It is perfectly alright. Most people shouldn’t be walking on the streets listening to their iPod or being distracted. They should be able to hear you coming and move.

Most walkers should stay on the left and runners should be able to pass them without saying “Excuse me”.

Give way to bikes as we share the path with bikes. And bikes usually have the right of way.

Don’t listen to your iPod or other listening devices

Instead, just enjoy nature and its surroundings. When you listen to your iPod or phone you can’t hear what is going on. You can’t hear the sirens when it’s an emergency. You cannot hear if there is a car coming.

More importantly, many races don’t allow participants to listen to music for that reason.

Listen and obey race marshalls

Race marshalls are there at every race for participants safety and are there to enforce the rules. If you don’t listen to the marshall you can be disqualified.

Give way to emergency vehicles

And when they are there, just walk around them. Don’t try and run, as that could be disrespectful and they are there to help someone out. You never know what is going on.

It’s one of the pet peeves of mine that people keep running when there is an emergency vehicle approaching.

Do not litter

It is one thing in a race to dump your trash everywhere but not in a training run. In training, run and find a bin. No one wants to clean up after you and keep Australia beautiful.


Five supplements that runners need

We explain the five supplements that novice and beginner runners need! More advanced runners might need more stuff but they can see a sports nutritionist for this stuff.

Runners need some supplements to keep them running at their best. It is race season here in Australia.

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These are:

BCAA

Branched-chain amino acids are found in protein building foods. So we really don’t need those pre-workout supplements that are sold at the gym unless you are really deficient in them.

You might need to see a sports nutritionist if you are really deficient in it. But you can usually get them from your protein shakes, meats, dairy, seafood. Most protein shakes are made with whey which has the BCAA supplement.

Most protein snack foods already have them.

Too much BCAA is bad for you as is too much of everything.

Iron

This is especially for women who would need a bit more iron than men. We need iron because we lose it from menstruating as well as sweat. And the foot strike is another reason why.

You can find most iron in most meats and some nonheme iron in most other foods. You can find it in most beans, legumes, lentils, tofu, spinach, fish, prunes, dried apricots, fortified cereals, etc.

But if you’re really low on iron, you might benefit from a supplement. These supplements are found in your pharmacy and health food stores.

Caffeine for longer runs

This is good for an energy boost for long runs from 2 to 5 hours. But I wouldn’t have too much of this substance because otherwise you can’t sleep and for some people, they have anxiety problems.

You can find this in coffee and some gels.

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Electrolyte

We lose water and salt via sweat and electrolyte helps to replenish salt and water. Or otherwise, we may get those dreaded runner trots.

There are many electrolyte tablets which dissolve in water that you can take and you can get them at the chemist or at a supermarket. Hydrolyte is one of them.

You can also buy coconut water or the powder at the supermarket

Potassium

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We lose this mineral when we sweat. For a healthy runner, we need about 4700 mg. Most people don’t get enough of this daily. For the average person they get about 2000mg- 3000mg on average.

We can get these from our fruits and vegetables as well as our dairy products. Many runners love their beans.

Now this list is just a few of the supplements that you need to be running well. Of course, you should see your doctor if you are not feeling well. For some people, you may need to see a sports nutritionist.

 

 


Week 8 of Precision Nutrition

This week we talk about water and why it is so important for your body.

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Water is essential for our body. Our body is made up of 70% water which helps transport nutrients and oxygen to our cells and brain as well as getting rid of the toxins. Our cells are made up of water. For every gram of carbohydrate, we consume we store 3-4g of water.

Fluid balance is essential for many of us. It is the relationship between input (food and drinks) and output (sweat, breath, and excretion).

Water is an essential nutrient and not many of us are drinking enough. We should drink about 2-6L of water each day depending on our weight and our lifestyle goals. For me, I’m an athlete who needs water. I’m a marathoner so I’d be more at the 6L end.

For bodybuilders competing they would need to drop their water levels a few days before and then rehydrate afterward.

There are three types of fluid imbalance: dehydration, too much water (hyponatremia) and edema (fluid building up where it shouldn’t). Edema can be a sign of malnutrition or extreme dieting. Dehydration is when you don’t consume enough water and we can get headaches and dizziness. We lose water when we sweat and exercise. As an athlete, our performance can suffer. In the heat, we need more water as we can suffer from heat exhaustion.  A good way to see if you are hydrated properly is to have a look at your pee every time you go to the bathroom. A brown pee means that you are dehydrated whereas white or clear means that you have enough water in your body.

Symptoms of Hyponatremia include GI issues, headache, confusion, and swollen hands and feet. Athletes such as marathoners are at risk of this issue because they want to replace lost fluids.

Symptoms of edema can include kidney failure or heart failure. Edema is outside our scope of practice so we will not touch on this.

For people that don’t exercise about 2L of water and some fruits and vegetables is fine for them. We should have sports drinks if we are an endurance athlete such as a marathoner

Changes in women’s hormones during their cycle can affect their water levels. During the luteal phase, we need more water as the body keeps all the water for making the lining for the uterus.

We should be reminding our clients to drink enough water each day. When we drink alcohol, we should have more water. This is because alcohol makes us go to the bathroom a lot and it also dehydrates us.

This week I have been trying as many different varieties of water from Infuse teas to Asha- Kenyan morning teas. I love my green tea as it is always hydrating.