Personal Trainer Eddie Johnson is offering helpful weekly advice in the run up to the Pharmalink 2014 Maidenhead Half Marathon on Sunday, September 7.
The 40-year-old hopes to help beginner and inexperienced runners with the basics of fitness, nutrition and maintenance to keep them motivated and get them ready for the race.
Eddie was overweight - weighing 18 stone with a 40 inch waist - until he was 21, but shed the pounds and discovered a career in fitness when he realised he wanted to help other people do the same.
So, we have five full weeks to go until the Maidenhead Half Marathon. Are we feeling ready? It's been a very hot summer so far and I don't know about anyone else, but I have found it hard at times to run in the heat. Assuming that this weather will carry on, how do we make the best of it?
On a positive note, from a physiological point of view it should be easier because the heat makes the blood less viscous and it therefore flows quicker which should make training and/or racing easier. However, a few precautions can help protect us from dehydration and heat stroke.
Just drinking water on the runs isn't the most effective way to stay hydrated. Limit alcohol and caffeine as these can act as diuretics, stripping the body of water. Drink water regularly throughout the day before your run. Check the colour of your urine before and after a run. Ideally, it should be clear and a pale straw-like colour. If it's very yellow, or even worse, orange, then you are suffering from dehydration and performance will suffer.
Take a salt tablet or an electrolyte replacement tablet with water. Dehydration isn't just about losing water from the body. It also upsets the correct balance of salts in the body too. These can be bought from all good running shops. One of the best is in Marlow.
Wear some sun cream (don't forget your legs!), a run hat and sunglasses to protect you from the sun. Dash in a pub (don't carry money or you may be tempted!!) on your way round and ask nicely if they could give you some ice cubes to stick under your run hat to reduce your core temperature. Your head will get hotter than any other part of the body.
Finally, cool down as quickly as possible after your run. A cold shower or a dip in an ice bath for a short time will help to reduce your core temperature.
Enjoy your running as safely as possible in the beautiful areas around Maidenhead!
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