Sunday 21 January 2018

Week 4: Meet Team Vhi-Herald: train with us and be super fit by June 1st

Fitness expert Louise Heraghty meets Team Vhi/Herald's recruits in the walker and fast jogger categories for the race

Karla Bohan who is training for the mini-marathon
Karla Bohan who is training for the mini-marathon
Helena Goss who is training for the mini-marathon

We recently set out to find a walker and fast jogger to join Maeve Higgins on Team Vhi & Herald and to share their training journey each week in the Herald and on the Vhi WMM 2015 App.

We are delighted to announce that our search is now over and that Helena Goss and Karla Bohan are the newest recruits to the team.

Each week, expert coaching and nutrition / dietary advice will be provided by experts David Gillick and Louise Heraghty, who will support them every step towards the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon on June 1st.

You can join Team Vhi & Herald by following the walker, beginner or improver programmes which are available weekly in The Herald each Wednesday, on the Vhi WMM App or on www.vhiwomensminimarathon.ie.

Vhi's Fitness Expert Louise Heraghty caught up with our two newest team members to find out some more information about their hopes and goals for the 2015 Vhi Women's Mini Marathon.

Helena Goss: Fast Jogger

Helena describes her fitness levels as average and has previously walked the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon. This year her dream is to jog the entire 10km route.

Helena is determined to use the training as a kick start to a healthier and more active lifestyle and to set a good example for her three children.

The event also coincides with her 40th birthday so she has a really special goal and one that I have no doubt she will achieve as she seems very dedicated already.

In terms of training, Helena faced an obstacle almost imediately when she picked up a cold but having overcome it she is now rearing to go.

She has built up her fitness levels so that she can jog for periods of three minutes at this point and is covering distances of between 3.5km & 5km.

Helena is finding it tough to maintain regular breathing technique during her runs at the moment but this is one of the most common problems facing beginners and she understands that it will gradually get easier as she gets fitter.

While her goal is to fast jog the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon, I have advised Helena to follow the Beginner Programme for now.

She is currently training three times a week which is ideal. With a busy work and home life Helena has found it tough to commit to any exercise regime up until now but we both agreed that running is the ideal activity for her.

She can nip out in the evening while her kids are at a club or doing their homework, and she is back within half an hour.

Having had no experience with stretching I recommended that she make sure to stretch her legs after each session - i.e. quad, hamstring and calf stretches.

Helena's goal for this week is to continue with the plan but make sure she warms up and cools down properly. I will be joining Helena for a session soon so I'm looking forward to helping her progress.

Karla Bohan: Walker

Karla describes her current level of fitness as 'fair' but she is already well on her way to her goal of completing the 2015 Vhi Women's Mini Marathon for the first time on June 1st.

Karla, who has two young children aged 4 and 17 months, took up walking late last year having never really exercised previously.

She has lost three stone in the past six months by eating healthily and walking regularly. Karla is already seeing the positive effects of exercise and a clean diet! With this in mind, I am confident about her motivation and commitment to training.

Currently Karla walks up to 5km three times a week and it takes her around one hour. Her goal is to complete the 10km course on June 1st in a time of around 1 hr 30 which is a great goal for a brisk walker.

She is happy to stick with walking for now as she is prone to knee pain when she jogs, but her overall goal would be to some day run the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon.

Currently Karla isn't feeling too challenged by her 5km walks - she sweats a little but doesn't feel she is exerting herself.

I have explained to her that her body has now adapted to this distance and pace so her first goal is to increase her pace and then look at gradually increasing the distance that she walks.

So if she only has one hour to dedicate to her walks, she will aim to complete a 6km route in an hour, which would mean her pacewas 10 minutes per km.

Karla isn't doing any other form of exercise at the moment but I am happy that she is walking 3 days a week either at lunchtime or in the evenings.

She sometimes uses the treadmill at home if the weather is bad.

This is fine as an alternative now and again but my preference and recommendation is that she completes her walks outdoors as a treadmill can be slightly easier therefore is not as effective from a fitness perspective.

Karla's goal for this week is to keep up the good work and to complete a 5km walk in 55 minutes which will mean she will be maintaining an overall pace of11km per hour.

All going well, she will look at then increasing her walk to a 6km distance within an hour towards the end of the week.

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