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Olympic Gold Challenge Update: A Physics-Defying Run

August 15, 2011

Hi everybody (I always want to follow that up with “I’m Doctor Nick”). I hope you all had fantastic weekends and are tackling Monday with zeal. I always try and be extra positive on a Monday because it could so easily be a downer of a day. Good things about today include a mega health food shopping trip (involving two health food shops and Leeds’ awesome market) and enjoying a glorious rest day from exercise.

You might remember that I’m participating in the Olympic Gold Challenge to raise money for Cancer Research UK by completing 2012 km (mainly by running and walking) before the start of the London Olympic Games in July 2012.


You can read the first post I wrote on the challenge here and visit my Gold Challenge page to track my progress. I thought that it would be fun to give a regular update on my progress on the blog, with some of the difficulties and triumphs that I have along the way.

Completing 2012 km in a year is quite a challenging target – it is called the “Gold Challenge” after all! I worked out that I would have to average nearly 39km per week in order to meet my target – that’s just over 24 miles a week. In just under 3 weeks I’ve managed nearly 110km and I should do at least another 7km tomorrow, so I am on track so far.

I have been trying to consistently walk 2km every day, mostly during my lunch break. It’s forced me to get out of the office, which is fantastic because I’d got into the habit of eating at my desk and surfing the web. The rest of the mileage is from my half marathon training.

Not every run has been easy though. Last Thursday I did an 8 mile run with my running group which I’m sure defied the laws of physics. It was all up hill! Or it sure felt that way anyway! There were two long and steep hills on the route. The first one was about a mile long and the second one was a tortuous 2 miles long. To make it worse there were lots of turns in the road where it looked as if the route levelled out, but each time I turned the corner the road kept going upwards.

I’m a sensible woman, so I know that I circular route can’t all be uphill, but the descents were shorter and less frequent than the ascents. If I had been on my own, without a doubt I would have given in and walked at least part of the route, but being with other people kept me going. My cardiovascular fitness is fairly good and my legs seemed to cope OK, but my backside was screaming at me! The podiatrist noted that my glutes were weak compared to the other muscles involved in running and walking.

I felt an amazing runner’s high when I finished. In the end we did 8.25 miles in 1 hour, 17 minutes. Not bad, not bad at all considering the terrain.

Does anyone have any tips for strengthening my glutes? I guess more hill running will help, but I would like to be in less pain.

What good things have happened to you today?

Remember, you don’t have to do 2012km to get involved in the Gold Challenge. You can do it as part of a team, choose a more manageable distance or participate in the other challenges that are available.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2011 7:24 pm

    I’ve had a good rest day today 🙂

    I’m not going to join in the challenge but its a fantastic idea, don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.

  2. August 15, 2011 7:27 pm

    You’re doing great! Getting out of work at lunch time makes the day go so much faster doesn’t it? I always try to go for a walk on my lunch or sit in the Cathedral gardens and the afternoon seems to fly by then.
    What goodies did you buy on your shopping trip?

  3. August 15, 2011 7:29 pm

    You’re doing great! Getting out of work at lunch time makes the day go so much faster doesn’t it? I always try to go for a walk on my lunch or sit in the Cathedral gardens and the afternoon flies by then.
    What goodies did you get on your shopping trip?

  4. August 15, 2011 7:36 pm

    I do like your Monday attitude! You are doing so amazing with your exercise program.

  5. August 15, 2011 8:10 pm

    that gold challenge is such a good idea, I don’t think I will have the time come september as will be starting uni. I met a friend for lunch at nandos today which was nice!

  6. August 16, 2011 7:00 am

    Your running is coming on so well, you must feel great, and I agree that runners high is just awesome. As for strengthing glutes, I’ve seen a real difference since I started body pump – I think its the squats and lunges with a heavy weight that has done it!

  7. August 16, 2011 8:49 am

    Well done on your progress. You are doing so well with your running. I think just simple strength training for the legs would work like squat and lunge variations.


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