BRR Blog – 26 May

Well, lockdown is well and truly loosening, but parkrun HQ has just confirmed that parkrun is suspended until the end of June and it doesn’t seem like we are going to be racing or meeting up at track for the next month or so at least. Until we can all get together again, there is still loads of stuff you can be doing to make sure you come back to Club sessions even fitter than before.

Handicap #02

First and foremost, it’s handicap week again. Just complete your 5k on any course and send Cristina or Trevor Cooper your time by early Sunday morning at the latest. We want to see photos of you too – who knows, your picture could end up in the Barking and Dagenham Post, or – even better – as the cover photo for this blog. I know a lot of you have also signed up for the Chelmsford AC virtual mile team challenge. It’s only £2.50 to enter and any money left over after the cost of trophies has been met will be donated to the NHS Run for Heroes Appeal. You have until noon on the 28th May to sign up and your mile must be run by noon on 29th May. Go to for details of how to take part.

Online training

Debbie is continuing her high intensity interval training sessions four days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday). If you haven’t tried one yet, what are you waiting for? The sessions are tough but you always go at your own pace, and there are adaptations if you need them. If Debbie’s HIIT sessions are a bit full-on for you, or you just want something a bit gentler for the in-between days, you can find some home workout sessions on the NHS website. They look deceptively easy… running hub also has a number of workouts, including a yoga session you can try. You can find them on their website and also on their Instagram page.

Fitness Test

This week’s fitness test is of your upper body strength. A strong, stable upper body makes it easier for you to hold your form while running, which makes you run better. Test how strong your upper body is by doing standard press-ups; the more you can do, the stronger your upper body. More detail in the picture below – shout if you can’t read it.

Checkout the following YouTube clip for seven upper body strength exercises for runners. Some of them will look familiar to you if you do Debbie’s HIIT sessions.

Easy listening

If you’re looking for something to keep you entertained while running solo, listen to ‘Running with Lopez’ on the Nike Running Club app. In three, half-hour, episodes Lopez Lomong tells the story of his life starting with being kidnapped from his village in the Sudan by rebels and taken to be trained as a child soldier. I’m not giving anything away by saying there’s a happy ending but he had to overcome terrible deprivations and obstacles to get there.


According to research from McMaster University in Canada, white potato is an excellent source of high-quality protein that helps to build muscle. This comes after research last year that mashed potato is as effective as sports drink in boosting energy in endurance athletes (lots of ultra-marathoners use it during races instead of gels). Fat free Greek yoghurt, eggs, nut butters, cottage cheese, tofu and Quorn were also given the thumbs up. Just remember, moderation in everything, and don’t laden that mashed potato with lashings of butter or cream!

Final thoughts

A lot of you have been saying on WhatsApp how much you are missing track and other Club events. I couldn’t agree more. But the Club’s loss is my garden’s gain. It has never looked so tidy. However, it’s meant battles with cats, foxes, squirrels, pigeons, slugs, snails, lily beetles, not to mention annoying noisy neighbours. On balance, running is a whole lot more relaxing.

Still waiting for the next instalment of the virtual training plan. Will hopefully post it, and the minutes from the May Committee meeting, in the next few days.

Take care everyone


BRR Chair


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