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My Race for Life Diary

In our second instalment of our ‘My Race for Life Dairy’ we check in with Sophie and Karen to see how their journeys are going so far.

Name: SOPHIE

How is your training going?
So far so good. I haven't come across any obstacles, though my main challenge has been making time for exercise and training. This is because I have spent most of April completing my final projects for my final year of my Building Surveying degree. This is all whilst working full time. I am so glad that is all over with!

Can you describe a typical training day?
My typical training day starts with turning on my running app to track how I am doing and checking if I am improving. After 5 minutes into my run, I stretch as this is when my muscles are warm. I never do static stretches when warming up, only when warming down. At the moment I am averaging about 6-7km, with a big hill run on the weekend. My furthest distance since I started training for the race for life is 12 miles!

Have you changed your diet to train and if so what are you doing differently?
Yes I have changed my diet, I am eating a lot less bread and more protein, and I am eating 5-8 portions of fruit and veg a day. It has given me so much energy and I feel more ready to get up and train!

Do you have any tips for people who have just joined up for Race for Life?
My tips would be if you are thinking about entering is to sign up straight away. It is an opportunity to be part of something amazing and share an experience with thousands of women both raising money and awareness for beating cancer!

Have you inspired anybody else to join up?
I have some friends and family who are going to join my ‘Miss Cheltenham Team’! If anyone else would like to join I would love to have as many people involved as possible. Please email misscheltenham@gmail.com and I can give you the details of how to register with my team. I am sharing my journey through The Cheltonian and would love for this to encourage others to join in!

Name:KAREN

How is your training going?
My training is going really well so far. I do run all year round to keep my fitness levels up. But from February, once I'd signed up for the Race for Life, I started to train seriously again. At the moment I am running 2-3 times a week alongside my Zumba. I started running 6km then have been gradually increasing my distance and I am now starting to run the full 10km. In the next few weeks I aim to increase my training by an extra day a week.

Can you describe a typical training day?
I tend to train first thing in the morning once I've taken the children to school. This is when I feel more energetic. I always make sure I've had plenty of water before I start to keep me hydrated, especially in hot weather and I'll do a few stretches to warm up. Before I start I set myself a target of how far to run. I run on a variety of surfaces: flat, uphill, downhill and grass, in preparation for the ‘Race For Life’ course. Once I have finished my run I end with a few stretches and more water.

Have you changed your diet to train and if so what are you doing differently?
I haven't really made any big changes to my diet as I do tend to make sure it is healthy and balanced. I have increased my daily fruit and vegetable intake and I make sure I eat plenty of carbs to give me lots of energy to run. I have cut out all fizzy, sugary drinks and drink extra water instead. I have also cut down on alcohol too.

Do you have any tips for people who have just joined up for Race for Life?
My advice to anybody who has just signed up for the ‘Race For Life’, especially those doing it for the first time, is to go at your own pace. It doesn't matter how fast you do it, or whether you run or walk. The main thing is to finish the race, raise lots of money and have fun. If people do plan to run the course then some training is advisable to build up fitness. On the morning of the race have a good breakfast and lots of water. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to take part in the pre-race warm up and soak up the atmosphere.

Have you inspired anybody else to join up?
Over the past three years I have inspired other people to take part. Family and friends have taken part either with me in the 10km or the 5km. This year I know a couple of people who are keen to sign up as, like me, Cancer Research is a charity close their hearts.

To donate towards this fantastic cause and support the girls visit their ‘Just Giving’ pages here: www.justgiving.com/TeamMissCheltenham and www.justgiving.com/karencookes8