Week 10: Strength training can help improve core and speed after giving birth
This week Louise Heraghty, Vhi's Fitness Support, caught up with Team Vhi-Herald's volunteer Helena Goss to find out how her training preparation is going and what progress she has made since their last catch-up a few weeks back.
With six weeks to go to the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon (and her 40th birthday) Helena is doing great. Her aim for the halfway mark was to get up to 20 minutes of continuous running and she has achieved that goal.
Helena is running three times a week on average and covered a distance of 8km in her recent session. Her next run will take her up to 25 minutes. Unfortunately she had to take a day off last week as she had some pain in her Achilles and was also feeling exhausted.
I assured Helena that it is normal to feel tired especially when you have taken on a new fitness regime. In fact, it is a good thing to listen to your body and if you need the recovery just take it! Don't worry, you won't undo the hard work by resting and your body will thank you for it.
In addition to the running Helena has been doing some strength exercises with a personal trainer and is working on improving her core strength which she feels has really weakened since having three children.
The leg strength exercises are helping with her running and will hopefully prevent further injury and her stomach muscles will get stronger.
Many women face the same problem after giving birth but gradual strengthening of the core muscles by doing exercises like ab crunches, planks and the bridge lift will help.
Helena's breathing and endurance have definitely improved and she is also swimming once a week - another great all over workout.
Motivation is one of the main things spurring Helena on. She doesn't think she could keep up the routine if it wasn't for the commitment to her charity Jobcare who also have a team taking part in the marathon.
Helena will continue with her training over the coming weeks and I'm hoping she'll reach up to 30 minutes by the next time we check. I've reminded Helena to take things gradually and make sure not to overdo it!
Each week training and nutrition support will be provided by the Vhi Support Team - David Gillick and Louise Heraghty. Don't forget to enter online today at www.Vhiwomensminimarathon.ie, download the Vhi WMM 2015 App and join us on the journey to the start line on June 1st.