Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Endurance - more than a Japanese game show

Now for some of you the idea of Endurance may conjure up the idea of some Japanese game show but for others such as marathon runners they are familiar with the realism of endurance and exactly how much the body can be pushed to its limits.I spoke to two of my students who have both completed marathons in the last year and was amazed at what they had chosen to put themselves through. Take Nicole Burns, a busy 30-year-old mother and university student, despite the challenges of having a six-year-old daughter she still decided to run the New York marathon. She is quoted as saying "When I eventually stopped running (I had run the entire 26.2 with no walking apart from drink stations) I could barely walk - a very bizarre experience! My socks were blood red, I lost both my big toe nails and had blisters/sores which took 4 weeks to heel." And then to Viv Richards, 40 year old mother of two, who says that she has no idea why she decided to do the Paris marathon but can assure me that at the time you swear it will be your last! What seemed to come from both these ladies was a sense of great physical and psychological achievement despite the pain, dehydration, heat etc. Both ladies mentioned the point at which they wanted to give up but carried on regardless. I have stated in previous blogs the idea of overcoming your own personal expectations but both Nicole and Viv had taken it to the extreme and how proud they must feel. I think all of us can take on a new challenge but most of choose to make excuses instead. We should take a leaf out of their book, we don't have to run a marathon or swim the channel but we can always do more! Another thing that these ladies have proved is that keeping fit is not only important for us as individuals but we also need to be role models for the next generation and Nicole and Viv have done exactly that. Their kids must be inspired by their actions. You only have to read the news at present to look at the disturbing statistics of obese and generally unhealthy children who survive on poor diets, and complete lack of exercise. These children are going to suffer physically and mentally and that can only have a negative impact on the rest of society let alone the impact that this will have on the NHS. So no more excuses, no more saying I haven't got time, if two mothers with young children can do it then the rest of us have no excuse. Oh and don't try the bad back excuse either, generally exercise helps strengthen the core muscles which in turn will protect the back. If you do have a serious back condition then always consult your GP before taking on any new challenges. Oh and don't think that I am suggesting that you have to run a marathon - quite the opposite, I can assure you that I have no intention of running a marathon this year or next, I do however like to keep setting myself new goals no matter how big or small and it is these goals that will keep us fit both physically and mentally. Thank you to Nicole and Viv for their comments and help in writing this blog Stay Healthy, Sam x http://exercise.about.com/cs/abs/l/blabworkout.htm - exercises to boost core strength http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/ a great source of training advise for any of you considering running a marathon http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/endurancetraining.html - advice on endurance training

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