Last Sunday, once again, the streets of Ealing filled up with over 7000 runners and fitness enthusiasts who took part in the 8th Ealing Half Marathon to celebrate running and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Even though the weather was not great (with showers and strong winds), neither runners nor the amazing supporters got discouraged from turning up on the day.
Ealing Fitness Clinic has joined in the “Ealing Feeling” too as one of the sponsors and official training partner once again for 2019. We not only provided you with weekly running related articles with plenty of training advice and injury prevention tips,we also offered a comprehensive 3 month preparation package for those runners who wished to get some professional support with their training.
We were there on the race day with Roy, owner of Ealing Fitness Clinic and Personal Trainer taking on the warm up and our sports massage therapists helping tired runners with their stretches afterwards!
Our receptionist, Eliza completed the race for the third time this year and she wanted to share her experience with you…
…So over to Eliza….
“September is my favourite month. It is like a beginning of the year to me actually….even more than January…. with kids back to school and everyone back to their routines, life seems to be more organised and in order. It is also when autumn starts gracefully and beautifully making our parks and gardens more colourful than during any other season.
There is also one more reason I like September and especially the last weekend. It is the time when Ealing half marathon comes around and the streets of Ealing once again get filled with thousands of runners and supporters cheering on keen participants of this award-winning race.
I have taken part in Ealing Half Marathon every year since I arrived in Ealing and loved it every single time! This year was my third and definitely won’t be the last one!
Having said that, I have to admit this year was neither the fastest nor the most enjoyable 21 km run I have ever done in my life; it was, however, the one that gave me an important lesson about running long distance races.
We all know starting proper training months prior to the race is essential. Sometimes though, that may not be enough to guarantee you a new PB come the race day; there are several other conditions that influence your performance, pretty obvious, in fact, but still worth mentioning!
Proper hydration, good amounts of sleep, well balanced nutrition all play a role in making you capable of completing a long distance run. However, life does get in the way and unless you are a professional athlete, whose only job is training and competing in races, that might not always be achievable. And that is exactly what happened to me this year…..
I started my training 4 months in advance adding in longer runs to my fitness routine plus making sure I ran at least 3 times a week on top of that. I also took part in organised interval training sessions with a local running group called Pitshanger Park Runners when we worked on our running technique, learned to warm up and stretch properly to avoid injury and of course worked on our pace so that we can run faster.
In addition to this I regularly did hill runs, especially during my holidays that I spent in my home town in Poland, which is a rather hilly area! What is more, I made sure I crossed trained, throwing in a bike ride here and there and doing weekly body conditioning sessions. Also, I regularly did my stretches and paid more attention than usual to my diet, making sure it is balanced and provides me with enough energy I need to fuel my training.
So, all was going well until two weeks prior to the race, however, I got an injury and could not run….Even though Lisa, our resident osteopath came to rescue and gave me a treatment after which I felt much better….I still had to take some time off from training… On top of that, during that time my husband had to go away for 10 days, which meant for me much more workload at home…..less sleep and much less energy for running!
Nevertheless, I did not let all that stop me from taking part in such an amazing event.
I got up early on Sunday and headed down to Lammas park, standing there at the start line though, I remembered I hadn’t drink any water and started to feel thirsty and tired….and this was when I realised it was not a good beginning of a 13 mile run! I lined up with under 1.40 pacers and listened nervously to the count down…..and then we were off!
I kept up a good pace for 15 km, sipping water that was offered to us by teams of amazing volunteers, kept my head down and worked my way through the route…… It wasn’t until I got to 15 km though when I started to feel I am running out of “juice”. I felt like I hit the wall and just couldn’t go any more…..
And like they say, the rest was history. I did finish the race but not in the time I was aiming for…. I had to slow down considerably for the last 6 km which made me waste all the hard work I did in the first 15 km….
To sum up, I am still happy that I ran in the Ealing Half Marathon for the third time. Even though I did not get a PB I still enjoyed the amazing atmosphere and the support from the local people was absolutely fantastic. I also learnt a lesson, that no matter how much training you do if you start a race tired and dehydrated you wont get the desired result so I will keep that in mind when I join in the Ealing Feeling for the 4th time in September 2020!”
Thank You for sharing your experience from this year’s Ealing Half Eliza, it was a interesting read!
For us here at the clinic, Eliza’s experience this year, sums up our approach to training clients for half marathons or, indeed, any race distance; we believe that it’s much more than running the miles (although that bit is essential of course!) and you have to give as much consideration to conditioning, core, food, hydration and getting the right amounts of rest.