Take on the Challenge …

Are you a runner looking for a challenge?

Do you want a focus for your summer fitness training?

New Energy Runners are taking teams to two local events in the Autumn and it would be fantastic if you could join us.  You can be a seasoned runner or it could be your first 10k or Half marathon.  Either way this is your chance to be part of our TEAM!



The New Forest Marathon is on 10th SEPTEMBER 2017 and prides itself on being a family friendly event with a ‘flatish’ course and a range of events that will appeal to runners of all levels of experience.   Log on and book your place and let us know that you’ll be part of the team.

New Forest Marathon

New Forest Half Marathon

New Forest Advertiser & Times 10k

New Forest 5k

A PERFECT event for those of you wanting to try out a new distance and a good training run if you’re booked into the Clarendon Marathon/Half or the Great South Run.


New Energy Runners are looking to enter a number of relay teams in this year’s Clarendon Marathon on OCTOBER 1st 2017 Each runner runs around 10k, mostly on the trails, and it’s a FANTASTIC way of having the ‘marathon’ experience as part of a team.

For more details have a look at the website: http://www.clarendon-marathon.co.uk

Maybe you want to take on the half marathon or full marathon challenge? If so, log onto the Clarendon Marathon website and book your place – Put NEW ENERGY RUNNERS as your team name!

If you’re interested in being part of a team, mail Clare at clare@newenergyfitness.co.uk or leave your name and contact details at New Energy Fitness Reception and we’ll get back to you.

Happy Running!

The Hoppit ‘Tapering’ Week!

18893443_10155283448770930_8285603965683291800_n-1.jpgAs the Hampshire Hoppit approaches this weekend and the final race instructions have been sent out it’s time to start your ‘tapering’ to make sure that you’re raring to go on the start line on Sunday.  It’s important that if you want to give the race your best shot then you need to arrive feeling fresh and recovered from your training.

How do I taper?

Tapering doesn’t mean you should stop training altogether, just that you should cut back on the volume and intensity of your running and that you have good rest and nutrition for the week leading up to the event.

How will tapering help my body recover?

Your training will probably have caused some muscle damage and you will almost certainly have some creaks and aches that need to be dealt with.  Give them some time

Marathon (and first time half-marathon) runners often find their legs give out towards the end of the race – the risk of this happening is increased if you’ve got sore muscles and tired legs before you start. It’s important to cut down the training in the week leading up to the race particularly the long or hill sessions.

Carbohydrate stores  (The TECHNICAL BIT!)

Your body can only store a limited amount of energy in your muscles (around 600g of carbohydrate and a small amount of fat), and this store will have depleted during your training. So it’s important to maximise your intake of carbohydrate, and build your energy levels back up before the race. Usually food intake is relative to your training – the more you train, the more you need to eat. But, by tapering your training and keeping your food intake the same, you’ll replenish your carbohydrate stores.

Another good tip is to time your meals so you eat no later than 30 minutes after training – this will ensure you store less food as body fat and more as muscle glycogen.

It’s worth easing off the alcohol this week as it has no nutritional benefits in the lead-up to your race and the effects of dehydration are not pleasant during a long run.  The bonus of the Hoppit races are that you get beer at the end!

What else do I need to consider while I taper?

The Practical bit in summary:

  1.  Eat well, hydrate and get lots of sleep
  2. Get your kit out a few days in advance and check it’s all good.   Don’t try new kit for the first time on the day of the race – NEVER a good idea!
  3. If you like particular snacks/gels etc, make sure you take them with you.   SALT can be a problem if it’s a hot one so make sure you think about that as well.  (if you’ve not tried out salt tabs yet mini-cheddars  are a good and easy alternative!)
  4. If you’re prone to blisters then make sure you tape your feet and take a supply of blister plasters with you.
  5. Vaseline and Sudacrem = essential and nothing more needs to be said here!
  6. Sun cream likely to be needed and a sun cap & glasses may be a good option
  7. READ the race instructions – they’re good and detailed and good preparation is key for a successful run.

Here are some final things to keep in mind as you taper your training:

•Sometimes runners can start to feel ill when they taper their training, so it’s important to keep check of how you’re feeling. If you become lethargic, it could be a sign that you need to do some speed training to perk yourself up – running as little as 2 x 200m at your half marathon pace could be enough:  OR why not try an alternative such as a Spinning session or a swim?

•Many runners get a sports massage in the week before a race.  Contact Reception at NEF if this is something you’re interested in.  I can recommend!

•Don’t forget the importance of stretching as you taper.  YOGA is a perfect way of getting an active stretch into your routine.   Log on and book a class if you haven’t already …http://www.newenergyyoga.co.uk


You’ve done the work so enjoy the race :0)

Happy running

Trail Marathon Time!

So what do you do if you suddenly find that you’ve booked a trail marathon for your summer challenge?

THEN what do you do if you realise that it’s only 8 weeks away…   OPTIONS:
1.  Tell everybody then you can’t get out of it?
2.  Quickly book a holiday so you can get out of it without losing face?
3.  Convince yourself that you can always drop down to the half marathon on the day?
4.  Have a moment of common sense and re-book for the half marathon?
5.  Think – ‘I’m young, I’ll recover quickly’

If it’s any or none of those then you’ve always got the time to get a good and solid 8 week plan in place as it will minimise your chance of race-limiting injury and give some structure to your run training.   Saving TIME is your key priority with limited preparation.

The plan below comes from Brutal Running Events, and these guys know a thing or two about challenging runs and how to prepare for them in the most efficient and time-effective way.   Those of you that have just entered for the Hampshire Hoppit in June  need to go straight to week 9.   You’re looking at 3-4 runs per week now and the good news is that the New Energy Running session counts as one of your intervals/hills sessions.

Make sure you book some strength and flexibility work into your week and think about your nutrition as part of your training.   If you want to book a personal training session, a specific running session or sports massage – there are plenty of different options.

REMEMBER – look after your body and will look after you!

Happy running everybody!

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YOGA time!

YOGA for runners

In this month’s Runner’s World Diana Sotos talks about the benefits of Yoga for runners and as this coincides with the opening of the New Energy Yoga Studio in Winchester I thought worth looking at the points she has to make … taking up yoga meant that she dropped her 5k time from 20:16 to 17:11 and, in her words, believes ‘Yoga will help you run better and faster.’

So …. why IS yoga so good for you?


Yoga teaches you to breathe from your diaphragm loading your blood with more oxygen.   The deep breathing techniques also improve the function of stabilising muscles in your core and pelvic floor.   SO WHAT …?     It creates a much more efficient stride – what’s not to like!

Yoga’s meditative aspect combines a runner’s breathing with the training of the brain to focus on the present.  It’s said that this can actively lower blood pressure, ease tension and slow your breath.


The more yoga you do the more strength and control you’ll develop.  Standing one-legged poses and twists target the muscles on the sides of your hips and core.   Weaknesses here are common in runners and can result in IT band problems, knee pain and other associated injuries.

SO how can YOU make Yoga part of your life?

Begin with a sequence of one to three poses (see below) and the best time to do these is straight after a run when the muscles are warm.

See these exercises in ACTION at:

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So if you don’t do YOGA yet as part of your running routine … get to it at New Energy Fitness:   https://www.newenergyfitness.co.uk/classes/yoga

… and keep an eye out for the opening date for New Energy Yoga in Parchment Street Winchester.   Coming soon!


Happy running!


A training trail run NEF-style!

Having read the FABULOUS blog post from rara’s rules for living it’s time for us to put OUR slant on this trail running lark.

THIS is how to put together a training run for maximum success & enjoyment:

First plan your route well in advance and work out how far you want to run.  Ideally this should be part of a longer term running plan but it may be that you just fancy running a 10k or 15k one Sunday.   When looking at the trails – make sure you think about the profile of the hills as part of your planning!

‘one way’ runs are much more fun (especially if you have the wind behind you all the way!) so get a friendly car driver to meet you at the other end with the promise of cake

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Next … sort out your kit for the run.   A light backpack an essential then fill it, these are my top tips …


WATER if it’s a warm one and if you’re going to be running over 10k.  A good way to practise for race day.  Soft bottles; hard bottles or bladder: personal preference.

Some sort of sugar treat for the run – will keep you going if the going gets tough.  You can add caffeine to the mix but take care with that one!  REAL food is even better and worth experimenting with.

Cash in case it all goes terribly wrong and you need to phone for a taxi home – AND for coffee and cake when you get to the end.

Glasses to protect your eyes a good option for the trails.  Branches and brambles can be a real hazard.  Changeable lenses a treat:   red or yellow ones my favourite.

Your watch or phone app – a MUST for the geeks amongst us so you can track your run and revisit it later.  ALSO for safety you can set your phone to ‘find my friend’ so you’re never really alone.

A buff or similar – to use as hat, neck, scarf, sweat band etc etc.   LOOK at the new NEF ones – perfect to get you noticed.

Blister plasters in case of emergencies – ALWAYS cover up at the first sign of trouble – they may not save your toenails but they can reduce the damage.

NEXT choose your shoes … think terrain and conditions and you’ll soon realise that you need to have at least three pairs to choose from on any one day.


Next.. the obligatory short warm-up.  You’ll be running for over an hour and a half and five minutes spent mobilising the joints at the beginning will pay dividends 10k in.  And YES it’s sad but true that the older you are the more you need to remember this part of your run.  You want to stay injury free?  It’s worth every minute!


2k down the road time to iron out any sore bits … in this case Alice’s calves were suffering after her 20 mile walk the day before.  Bridges always a good stopping place!


Half way round and time for a drink stop … and if you spot a swing in a field miles from anywhere … there’s only one thing to do …


Highest part of the run and a panorama to show just HOW beautiful the Hampshire countryside is.  One of the many reasons to take to the trails and avoid the roads.photo4-2

Nearly there and time for a final stretch before the 2k climb up the hill from the Bush … perfectly situated bridge and local dog walkers to distract.


And THE END …the look of relief when you’ve rounded that last corner.


…then there’s the well earned cake.


…sporting the bandana look and amazing how quickly the spirits rise again.   ESSENTIAL to get fuelled up again after a good long run, it aids the recovery massively!  5C9694C8-7525-4F6E-8F1A-C9DC0E36B26F

And then there’s the data to look at and the realisation that we’ve just run the majority of the run going uphill.  This is where you can bore your friends and family senseless with tales of steep hills and mud


…and justify the coffee and cake …if we ever needed justification.


Here’s to the next one, all you trail runners out there.
Thanks to Matt and Alice for a great run.   Marathon anybody?? 🙂



Rules of Off Road Running

There are some blog posts out there which just resonate … and this is one of them!

rara's rules for living


Running on the roads is fab. You’ve got a proper surface underfoot, street lights and can stop at aSubway if you misjudge your fuelling. But, recently, I’ve found myself running off road more frequently and have even got a few races under my waist pack. Here are some of the things that I’ve learnt…

  • Accurate course measurements are for wimps.Do a road race and there’s a good chance that someone has been around the route with a trundle wheel or calibrated bike. There is an accepted level of tolerance apparently but, any significant deviation and the Garmin-wearing mafia will be in up arms. Organisers of off-road races use the terms “marathon” and “half-marathon” lightly. When entering a race off road, the distance advertised will bear absolutely no resemblance to what you will actually run.

  • Effort x 2. Every mile you run will require twice as much effort as those…

View original post 923 more words

Take 10

As it’s time for the annual Winchester 10k road race, it’s  the opportunity to look at how YOU can improve your personal best by looking back at 10k races you’ve done in the past and forward to see how you can get fitter and faster!

Firstly train as a team if you can … it makes it so much easier when you get to the start line


Secondly – Set yourself a REALISTIC target based on your current running.  There’s no point in setting yourself a 50 minute 10k target if your taking half an hour to run 5k.

Thirdly, find somebody to pace you around your first 10k – that way you’ll be less likely to fall into trap of running too fast at the start and you’ll run a more even race. TRUST your pacer!


Next, as soon as you book your race then start to put some work into your training to get your mind and body better equipped for the race.

So what are the best strategies you can use to smash that 10k target?   

Specific speed work

The only way of REALLY getting to grips with this it to take on some interval training into your running routine  These can be done on road, trail or even the treadmill and the aim is to start small and gradually build up the volume and intensity as your run fitness increases.

Some examples:

1.5 km reps: Start with 3 x 1.5km at 70% of your fastest with 2 minutes jog recovery and aim to build to 6 reps.

3 minute reps: Start with 6 x 3 minutes with 90 seconds jog recovery and aim to build to 8-10 reps.]

1 minute reps: Start with 12 x 1 minute with 1 minute jog recovery and aim to build to 15-20 reps.

400m with 200m recovery:  start with 4-5 reps and aim to build towards 8-10.  This is a good workout to do on the treadmill as you can measure the distances easily and increase the difficulty by adding gradient.  In this workout the recovery is WALK.

600m with 400m recovery: Start with 3-4 reps and aim to build towards 6-8. The idea of this workout is to run a faster segment followed by an active recovery, where you still maintain a good pace. This teaches your body to ‘recover’ and buffer any lactate in your blood at faster speeds because you don’t get any recovery during a race!

Focus on your endurance

Remember that with better endurance you’ll be able to hold your speed for longer and will finish faster and stronger. It’s no coincidence that many runners improve their 10k personal best while training for much longer races. Consistent training, both on the roads and in the gym, combined with  regular weekly long runs are the most effective ways to improve your endurance.

Get to know your PACE and work with it

Good pace judgement is essential if you want to run a fast 10k. It’s too long to run hard all the way and you can guarantee that if you go off to fast your finish will be slow and painful.  The smartest runners are those who spread their effort over the duration of the race by running even or negative splits.

Work out your splits then get used to running them in training runs so you can FEEL the speed.

Prime your energy stores

When it comes to 10k, carbohydrate is your body’s fuel of choice as it’s quick to break down and produces energy rapidly.   Aim to eat an easily digestible carb-based breakfast such as toast and honey or muesli and a banana and try taking a gel or or a small amount of sports drink such as 15-20 minutes before the start.

Pick your races carefully

If you’re serious about running a fast 10k then you need to think carefully about which race will maximise your chances of scorching to a personal best, so you might want to consider the profile of the course and avoid those with too many undulations!

Taper towards the end

If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of running a fast 10k then you will need to taper your training in the week before the race so that your legs are fresh and ready to roll. In the final week you should cut down the length of your runs and your last training session should be 4-5 days before the race.   It’s time to rest up and get yourself ready to run on the day: the last week is too late make any real difference as the work’s already been done!

And finally … enjoy the medals – you’ve earned them.  If it hasn’t been a great race for you, remember there’s always another one and you can learn something from EVERY race that you run.

Happy running!

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