Week 12: Pushing a buggy is Karla's secret training weapon ...
This week, Louise Heraghty, Vhi's training support, caught up with Team Vhi-Herald's volunteer Karla Bohan to find out how her training preparation is going and what progress she has made since their last catch up in Week 9.
"With four weeks to go, Karla is feeling fit and confident about walking the 2015 Vhi Women's Mini Marathon for the first time. Her training is going well but, as a busy mum, she can't always be as consistent as she would like.
A few weeks ago there was a period when she couldn't train at all as her daughter was off school.
She usually wheels a buggy with her son, so with the two kids, it was impossible to get out.
However when Karla went on a family holiday to County Leitrim, the grandparents kindly helped out with babysitting and she got two 5km walks in.
Karla had already completed a 10km walk as part of her training in one hour 38 minutes, so she tried for that time again recently and found that she did the first 5km at her fastest pace yet (9.5 minutes per km) but struggled to keep this up for the second 5km.
I advised her to use the audio pacer on her phone app or Garmin watch to help her keep a consistent time.
Considering that when we first spoke Karla's average pace was 11 minutes per kilometre, this is an area where we've seen a huge improvement.
Another point worth remembering is that she trains with a buggy, so no doubt will be quicker on race day.
Luckily, Karla has remained relatively injury-free, aside from a pain in the soles of her feet (which she puts down to doing a walk in the wrong shoes) last month.
She is doing her post-training sessions but says she doesn't always feel motivated to do a warm up. On the Walker Plan, the first few minutes of the walk can be enough to warm up, but it would be no harm to include some of the dynamic stretches I have previously detailed in the programmes, such as knee rotations, hip flexor stretches and arm swings.
Overall, Karla is really enjoying the whole experience of training for the 2015 Vhi Women's Mini Marathon and is most definitely getting fitter. Eight months ago, she was doing absolutely no exercise and, when she started this programme, a 15-minute walk tired her out.
Now she is training regularly, has more energy, is sleeping better and is in a better mood. She's even convincing some of her friends to join in (see below).
Karla's aim for the next few weeks is to keep a pace of 9.5 minutes per kilometre which is definitely achievable.
I can't wait to catch up with Karla again in a couple of weeks and see how much more progress she has made."
Each week training and nutrition support will be provided by the Vhi Support Team - David Gillick and Louise Heraghty. Download the Vhi WMM 2015 App and join us on the journey to the start line on June 1.