It was great to see your photos and read all your VE75 day stories, both about what you did on Friday to celebrate the day, and about how your families were affected during the war. I know there has been a lot of comparisons between the situation we are in now and the war; I really can’t imagine what it would have been like to go through years of conflict, plus all the rationing and hardship that continued for years afterwards, but I know which I’d choose, and it ain’t the war.

2020 Handicap Competition

A reminder that our handicap competition starts virtually this week. Just run your best 5k on any course by midnight on Saturday, and send your result through to Trevor Cooper. Trevor will do all the clever stuff with the handicaps (if he can drag himself away from his new bike) and post the results on Sunday – the earlier you send Trevor your time, the earlier he can process the results. No entry fee, no £10 prize, but we plan to still award trophies for the overall competition, so this is serious business! Please try and get a photo of yourself after your run and post online. The winner gets their photo in the next BBR blog.

Fitness Test

This week’s fitness test is of your flexibility. A flexible body is more efficient and enjoys a great range of motion. Long and pliable muscles help blood to flow more freely, meaning you recover more quickly after your runs. And we all want to be able to bend down and tie our own running shoes as we get older.

The test – You’ll need a belt (or skipping rope, fitness band or something similar). Lie on your back on the floor. Bend you left leg towards you and loop the belt around the arch of your foot, holding both ends of the belt in your hands. Straighten your leg up in the air, with your heel towards the ceiling, then see how far you can – gently – pull your leg towards your head, keeping it straight all the time. Keep the other leg flat on the floor. Note the angle of your leg compared to the one on the floor – you might need someone to check for you, or use a mirror. If the angle is:

  • Greater than 90 degrees with the leg straight – great, you are very flexible.
  • Greater than 90 degrees but with a slight bend in the leg – good, but room for improvement.
  • Equal or less than 90 degrees – fair, but you could be a lot more bendy.

To improve your flexibility, try the runner’s stretch. Those of you who have been doing Debbie’s HIIT sessions will now the drill: making sure you’re warmed up first, stand with your feet together and gradually bend forwards and try and place your palms on the floor in front of you. To make it easier, use your fingertips, to make it harder, stand with your feet against a wall. Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds then gradually roll up. Repeat three times. You could also do the exercise sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Use the belt to pull yourself further towards your feet. The more you practice, the bendier you will be!

Virtual training plan

Week 7 of the virtual training plan is here. The focus of the week is to practice a slight forward lean when you run. It works for Kipchoge, so it might work for you!  A slight forward lean stops you from ‘over-striding’ which is when your foot lands too far in front of you which effectively acts as a brake. If your foot lands more underneath you, you will get the maximum propulsion as you push off for your next stride forward. Make sure you lean from the ankles – leaning from your waist will put pressure on your hips and have the same braking effect as leaning backwards.

Give it a go. Try running for one minute leaning back as much as you can and then lean forward for another minute and feel the difference. But perhaps don’t try this on your 5k handicap run!

Take care, and remember to let Trevor C know your 5k result before Midnight on Saturday.



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