Running: Your Kick Start

14 Jan

One of the many ways that we can get fit is to take up a sport like running, or cycling. Long-time runner Lelia Henry, of Athlone Co.Westmeath, tells us more about taking up this sport. It’s one of the easiest and safest ways to get fit, as we all can do it. All you need is a pair of decent runners and away you go!


Transferred from Flickr by User:Fæ

Q: So how long have you been running Lelia?
A: Oh, since primary school. And all through school, still now. I can’t really ever remember not running? I did cross country, but I’d mostly run on road

Q: Does it take you long to train for an event?
A: Really it depends on what you’re training for. If you wanted to do a 10k run, you could do it in 6-8 weeks. But that would be, as in, not your best run, that would be basic. It would be like writing the basic structure of an essay, you know? You’d do it, but not really well. In order to do your best (for a 10k) you’d need 3 months. For a half-marathon you’d need about 3 months. 6 months for a full marathon.

Q: Would you find these events very competitive?
A: Not all. Some people are very competitive. I had a friend who was determined that she had to beat the boys in a race. But then she would train all wrong. She would push herself as hard as she could [in the race], and be throwing up. I’d come in a minute behind her, pottering along and chattering away to someone. It used to make her really angry. But you would get all sorts at these events. There are people who just want to finish.

Q: So there are right and wrong ways to train? How would you advise someone to begin training for a 10k or half-marathon, with no experience?
Get a program and follow it. You can get them on the internet, at a gym, or Runner’s World magazine used to do some good programs. Be careful of which ones you pick though- beware of crash programs. Find a good reputable program and follow it. Always train at a level you are comfortable at and don’t push yourself too hard. And wear good shoes, get properly fitted for them.

Q: At these events, is it mostly young people you see running? Or more of a mixture?
A: You’ll have anything. Colleges have running clubs, so you’ll see students, but you’ll have age groups right across the board. There was one woman I knew, she had to be in her 70’s, and she started running, she was doing the running sections of triathlons.

Q: Do you eat certain foods when you’re in training, or during a run?
A: I eat generally healthily. Make sure you get enough protein and carbohydrates. You will lose weight very quickly when you start running, so eat enough proper food. Eat at least an hour before you run, to avoid cramps.

Q: How many times a week should a new runner be training?
A: Starting from a zero level, go about 3 times a week. I’d say don’t start off running. Walk for 5 minutes, then jog for one, etc. Build it up. It’s better to look at the time you’re spending on your feet, as opposed to what speed you’re going at. There’s no need for extreme pain, there’s no point in that.

For upcoming running events in Ireland, click here


Catherine Collins


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