What benefits will I get of taking part in the programme?
The top 3 benefits that have been identified by current and past members (according to the 2009 and 2010 end of season surveys) are:
- Increased stamina
- Increased motivation to exercise
- Running with others
Other benefits that have been identified by members include weight loss, muscular toning, increased energy levels, increased speed, increased knowledge, improved sleep, personal best time.
Is it going to be hard?
I'm not going to lie to you. You are going to have to go through periods of discomfort (increased depth/rate of breathing, muscle tiredness and sweating) if you want to feel the benefits listed above. The good news is that when you first start it is all about encouragement and not about creating a sergeant major environment. As you get better you will be pushed a little more. This is so you are always improving.
What should I wear and bring with me?
The most important item is your trainers. I'd always advise against fashion trainers with a flat sole for running or exercising in as you're likely to develop joint pain as a result. Most sports shops have their trainers split into different categories. Make sure you choose a pair from the running category.
If you would like more specialist advice visit the Run4it store in Glasgow They can match a trainer to your individual foot strike pattern and you will find the staff to be very knowledgeable. I would certainly advise going to Run4it if you have ever suffered from foot, ankle, knee, hip or lower back pain to make sure you are getting the trainer that helps protect against these injuries. Plus you get a 10% with your jogscotland membership
Of great importance for the girls is a supportive sports bra. I have no experience in this area but from what I've been told they are an absolute must.
As we are sometimes training in the dark, the wearing of light coloured/fluorescent clothing is a must.
Shorts/joggers, t-shirts/jumpers are the obvious things. (Killie Striders branded t-shirts and fluorescent jackets will be made available to order on a regular basis)
I'd recommend bringing a dry layer of clothing and towel for the nights that we have to brave the elements.
Finally make sure you bring a bottle of still water with you.
What if the weather is rubbish?
It's possible that at some sessions we will be faced with wind and rain. These are the sessions to focus on your goals to motivate you to get out the house and down to the park – once you get there, I'll take care of the rest. Sessions will only be called off due to ice or snow and I will let you know by email (before 12pm on the day of the session)
When and what should I eat before training?
When you begin a run, you should feel neither starved nor stuffed. You don't want to eat immediately before running because it may lead to cramping. Running on an empty stomach may cause you to run out of energy. Your best bet is to eat a light snack or small meal about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before you start running. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Some examples of good pre-workout fuel include: a bagel with peanut butter; a banana and an energy bar or a bowl of cold cereal with a cup of milk. Stay away from rich, very fatty, or high-fiber foods, as they may cause gastrointestinal distress
What does a typical session consist of?
The first thing we'll do is get you warmed up. This will consist of some mobilisation exercises followed by a brisk walk warm up for beginners and a light jog for improvers. Technique drills will also be introduced at this stage. For beginners the main part of the session will involve short periods of jogging followed by periods of walking. As the weeks go on the jogging periods will become longer and walking periods will become shorter. Improvers will be a mixture of intervals, where the focus will be on increasing intensity as well as distance, and continuous jogging sessions of 20 minutes plus. We finish off with a cool down jog/walk, designed to gradually decrease your heart rate back to a resting level, and a stretching session designed to lengthened your working muscles back to their original length.
How big will the running groups be?
Group sizes will be limited to a maximum of 20 people of similar ability.
What if I'm the slowest and hold everyone back?
Nobody gets left behind! Many of the sessions will take place within a confined area i.e going round in a loop. Therefore the closest person will never be far away.
But what about the sessions that aren't done in a loop? Will I be left to find my own way?
Absolutely not. When we leave the park we will have specially appointed MOTIVATORS positioned at the front, middle and back of the group to help keep you going.
How often will I have to jog to improve my level of fitness?
3 times per week. Each programme consists of 2 instructor lead sessions and one homework sessions. So there's your 3 sessions. Jogging more than 3 times per week will dramatically increase your chances of getting injured.
What if I feel an injury coming on? Should I just run through the pain because the programme says I should be running 3 times per week?
NO. Crazy as it sounds a lot of people keep quiet about their injuries and end up having to miss 3 weeks of training because they didn't listen to their bodies. If they had listened they would have only missed one session. Always keep one eye on the long term benefits of developing a running habit and don't get caught up in chasing short term gains.
Follow the RICE protocol if you start to develop a niggle...
1) Rest is often the easiest and most effective treatment for common running injuries. Take a couple of days off from running -- it may be all you need to heal your injury.
2) Ice the trouble spot with an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies for 20 minutes, every 4 to 6 hours. Try to ice the affected area as soon as possible once you feel pain, and immediately after a run if you are running with an injury. Heat should only be applied to an injury after the inflammation is gone, usually after about 72 hours. If your swelling has gone down significantly, but there's still some inflammation, try alternating heat and ice after a few days of ice-only treatment.
3) Compression limits swelling and can provide minor pain relief. You can wrap the affected area with a bandage, but don't make it too tight. If you feel throbbing or excessive pressure, loosen the bandage.
4) Elevate the injured body part -- try to get it higher than your heart, if possible. In most cases, you can do this by lying down and propping the injury up on pillows.
What is your cancellation policy?
No refund can be given if a group member decides to leave the training programme once it has commenced. Therefore you MUST consult your doctor if you have any existing health concerns (see PARQ) before starting the programme. If you are starting the programme after a period of inactivity it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you consult your doctor first.
Should the training programme be ceased by the instructor at any point then all group members will receive a refund to the value of the training sessions still to be undertaken within the programme.