10 lies women's health and fitness magazines tell you

Women’s magazines are lying to you!

In the run up to Christmas every year, health and fitness magazines go into overdrive with ridiculous headlines such as:

'How to lose two stone in two weeks'

'Get your 21 yr old body back'

and

'Get little black dress ready in a week'

Obviously these headlines are there to grab your attention to sell magazines. Let me be honest with you: some things just won't be achievable in a narrow time frame as these magazines would have you believe.

If you feel as though you’re not in great shape for Christmas party season, then please don’t fall for the stories in the glossy, photoshopped pages of health magazines.

These articles are not only false advertising but they can actually be quite damaging to your long-term health and body shape.

Ten lies the health and fitness magazine industry tells you

If it looks too good to be true, it's probably airbrushed!

Imagery

Take a look at the front cover of any of health and fitness magazine and inside artwork next time you're at the news stand. They are without fail, decorated with a man or woman in perfect, almost impossible, physical shape. It shouldn't come as a surprise to you that people don't actually look like that when the photograph is taken! These photos have been Photoshopped and the magazines are duping you into believing people actually look that good. It creates a false reality, don't be fooled. Even on Instagram, it's possible to nip and tuck with a finger swipe - so don't be fooled by flawless Instagram girls either.

One size fits all

The thing that frustrates me about these magazines is they offer 'one size fits all' solutions. Take a look back at the headlines I’ve written above. All of them are ludicrous as it is but they don't make any allowance for people being DIFFERENT. Just as we all look different on the outside, we all function differently on the inside. Just because Jennifer Aniston looks amazing on the cabbage soup diet, doesn’t mean that you will too!

Quick Fix

Let's assume 'Lose two stone in two weeks' really does work. What then? I’ll admit it is possible to lose a significant amount of weight in such a short period of time BUT there is a HUGE difference between weight loss and fat loss. Losing this much weight in such a short period of time often means losing a lot of body water and muscle mass. For a woman, losing muscle mass may sound like a good thing, but the reality is you need this muscle mass to give you shape and keep your metabolism high, without it you’re actually setting your body up to store more fat.

This is the reason why diets fail, you follow a massively restrictive diet for two weeks, and in doing so you put your body in a worse place, because your body is now less efficient at burning fat because you have less muscle mass as soon as you return to your normal eating pattern you’ll quickly put all of this weight back on and often a little bit more!

You need at least 30 days to make a lasting change. Don't settle for quick fixes - go for long term sustainability.

Long, steady state, low intensity cardio is the biggest lie you've been sold over the last 20 years - it doesn't work!

Cardio training

There are so many mixed messages out there about cardio training. My belief is that it can be good for you but only if performed correctly. The majority of health magazines will recommend 'steady state' cardio in which you perform the relevant exercise for long periods at a very low intensity. Put simply, this type of training doesn't work and who really has 90 minutes per day to find time to exercise?! It's best to go high intensity with your cardio for intervals, or, even better, try weights.

Spot training

Spot training is targeting very specific areas of your body. Sports scientists are in basic agreement that there is no such thing as spot fat reduction. And yet, these magazines continue to promote training protocols that offer to 'shed to belly fat' 'lose your bingo wings' or 'lose your flabby butt'.  Whilst you can strengthen and tone the underlying muscles, your body has a pre-determined order in which it loses body fat, and sadly, you can't play god. A long term plan with full body training and a continued healthy eating plan will always achieve the results that this type of training simply can’t.

Calorie restriction diets will just make you grumpy 

Calorie restriction diet 

Far too many diets in magazines are focussed on 'calorie restriction' rather than focussing on reducing inflammation and increasing 'good calories' such as quality proteins carbohydrates and fats. Obviously, you can't just consume as many good calories as you want. But strict, calorie counting, diets have been done to death. They'll leave you feeling tired and worn out and you'll eventually give in to cravings. Eat a diet of real clean food that energises you and follow a progressive training programme in order to change your body shape.

Easy

A lot of these magazines suggest their programmes are 'easy': such as 'try these 3 simple steps', 'learn the big secret to losing belly fat'. Nothing is 'easy' if it's worth having. It doesn't have to be crushingly difficult but let’s be honest, if you really want to make a change, it will not be easy.

'Fad' diets

The reason that magazines advertise fad diets is because they sell well. Usually, it's the same old diet with a few simple tweaks here and there - rebranded, perhaps with a celebrity endorsement to gain a few extra sales! Don’t believe the hype of a new fad diet.

Experts 

Be careful when these magazines talk about any kind of quote 'expert', sure: they're called a 'health and fitness expert' but what has this person actually done to get that title? Usually nothing, they just like the idea of getting their name in a magazine! Only trust people that can back up their claims with qualifications and give their real name.

With incremental, sustainable progress you'll get there.

No motivation to continue

A classic problem is starting a diet in a bubble of motivation and enthusiasm and then the bubble bursts, leaving the individual depleted and feeling like a failure. Most people think that motivation leads to action but it's the other way round. Do one thing first, get motivated by your own mini successes and pretty soon you'll have great momentum towards your goals.

I don't believe in the promises of health and fitness magazines, what I do believe in is steady progress towards your dream physique. If you want to discover a nutrition programme that guarantees results and works for your specific needs in a safe and effective manner whilst really looking after your body - check out the Can DO Plan.

If you want to find out more, you can contact me directly here.


Broccoli Sprouts - are you missing out?

Begin:

Day 5:

Day 8:

Broccoli Sprouts - anti-cancer, anti-ageing, anti-inflammatory, anti-fat. Are you missing out?

  • The mason jars to make broccoli sprouts that I use (Shown in the video) are these ones, I recommend buying a total of 4-8 jars to produce a big enough batch each month
  • The seeds I use (shown in the video) are these ones.

If you haven't heard already, Broccoli sprouts are *incredible* for your all-round health. I was told about them by an old friend a couple of months ago.

He raved about their benefits, and he was right. This isn't just another cool fitness fad, these are the real deal backed up by a whole library of scientific research.

How to make broccoli sprouts
Grow broccoli sprouts with the top of the mason jar facing down

Just after I take them I always feel an incredible boost of energy, strength and vitality.

I did a bit more research - it turns out that broccoli sprouts are scientifically proven to prevent and fight cancer, detoxify your body, reduce inflammation and super charge your overall health in every other respect. The superfood of all superfoods?

I don't think the amazing benefits are all too common knowledge in the health world (yet) (at least I haven't heard them mentioned once in face to face chats with fitness pros in the UK) so I thought i'd share what I've learned to date in a written guide on the subject, including how to incorporate them into your daily meal or diet plan.

Scientific papers supporting the amazing properties of broccoli sprouts

The days of 'bro-science' on the internet are over. I don't support or endorse anything that doesn't have a weighty amount of scientific literature behind it - thats why I am a big fan of time under tension training. Broccoli sprouts are no exception. Here are the papers I read before trying these things and incorporating them into my meal plans with clients:

Broccoli sprouts: An exceptionally rich source of inducers of enzymes that protect against chemical carcinogens

Broccoli Sprouts, cancer prevention and detoxification

Sulforaphane and Other Nutrigenomic Nrf2 Activators: Can the Clinician’s Expectation Be Matched by the Reality?

Antioxidant capacity of broccoli sprouts subjected to gastrointestinal digestion

Broccoli Sprouts Cheat Sheet

Sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts
Sulforaphane - where the magic happens
  • To get the science bit out of the way, the magic 'ingredient' in Broccoli sprouts is something called Sulforaphane.
  • In scientific study after scientific study Sulforaphane has been shown to have an incredible number of health benefits (including preventing and fighting many types of cancer and tumours).
  • The volume of scientific literature supporting Sulforaphane makes the health benefits of broccoli sprouts (which are very, very high in Sulforaphane) incredibly difficult to ignore or deny.
  • Broccoli sprouts are baby plants (i.e. not fully matured vegetables) that contain 100x more Sulforaphane (the good stuff that your body loves and that fights cancer) than normal broccoli.

Ready to give them a try?

How to make Broccoli Sprouts

 

You'll start to see proper signs of life in your broccoli sprouts after about two days - keep it up
Day 2 - You'll start to see signs of life after about two days

What will you need to make broccoli sprouts?

  • Mason jars x 4-8 (if you are preparing them for the entire family (highly recommended to help them all stay healthy - you will need more) - this will save you time.
  • Organic broccoli sprouting seeds - these are dirt cheap and probably the single best coniferous vegetable you can eat, worth every penny!
  • A cool, dark space to store them.
  • A little tender loving care ;)

Instructions - How do you make them? (It's easier than it sounds!)

  • These refrigerate well for about 2-3 weeks so make sure you prepare enough broccoli sprouts to maximise efficiency.
  • Start by taking a mason jar and filling it with two tablespoons of broccoli seeds, don't exceed this amount since the seeds grow and will be overcrowded if you use too much.
  • Put the sieve lid on the mason jar, make sure it is on tightly.
  • Rinse the seeds with a small amount of water by swilling the water around, make sure all the seeds are well rinsed;
  • Drain away all excess water;
  • Repeat this process 4-8 times with a new jar each time - depending on the amount you want to make (4 jars usually lasts me just over a fortnight but if you are cooking for a family you will need more).
  • Put all of the jars into a cool, dark place such as a kitchen cupboard.
  • It is very important to position the jars using the angled bracket around the lid so that the top is facing down to allow all excess water to drain - if you do not do this your seeds will mould and you'll lose the magic;
  • Put a waterproof tray like this one underneath the jars so you catch any excess water, clean this every now and then to remove any old water;
  • Each day you must rinse the seeds by topping up the jar with a little water and swilling and draining - twice a day else they will go mouldy (I set an alarm on my phone to do this at 6a.m. (when I wake up) and 8p.m. (just after I come home).
  • By day 8 you should rest the sprouted seeds in their jars in indirect sunlight on a window sill - this will give them a nice green apperance.
  • Day 9/10 - refrigerate them, they are good to use now for around two weeks!
  • The whole process takes about 10 days but boy, is it worth it.

 

Here is an update from day 5 of the process (half way!):If you have any questions about broccoli sprouts, please leave them in the comments below and i'll get back to you ASAP!

Cheers to your good health!

David


Failure is good

Is your job DESTROYING your body (Part 2)? - Sugar, Alcohol and Vitamins

In Part 1, I discussed the importance of aligning your job to your life’s mission and how the demands of a busy job can send your sleep cycles and caffeine intake spiralling out of control. I also suggested micro actions, 'Do One Thing' actions to take to address these issues.

In part two we move onto addressing sugar intake, alcohol consumption and nutritional deficiencies while holding down a busy job.

Fuelling yourself on sugar

Doughnuts and the vending machine are a constant temptation in the modern corporate office

Just as it's now common knowledge that weightlifting (even if you're a girl) is amazingly good for you, it's also received wisdom that refined sugar is bad, very bad.

With that being said, everyone’s human. We all bend the rules now and again and give in to the box of doughnuts that conveniently appear in the office. Fighting against this and trying to eliminate sugar and carbs in all forms just makes you, well, a little boring and for most people, it's unachievable.

Unless you are on a strict ketogenic or paleo diet for a specific nutritional or health reason, my general recommendation is to plan to have a moderate amount of carbs and naturally occurring sugars, especially if you are in a demanding job.

If you're too idealistic and do not accept that you WILL FAIL and ahead of a busy day, you'll need to refuel properly with at least some carbs, you're much more prone to cheating in a big way at the vending machine which is not good at all.

None of these will come as a surprise to you but my favourite ‘good’ carb sources are:

  • sweet potato
  • gluten free oats
  • brown rice
  • quiona

What works for some may not for others but the benefit of the above list of ‘good’ carb options is that they avoid triggering a state of inflammation in the body and causing problems with food allergies in the vast majority of people. Try to avoid pasta, bread and other carb sources containing gluten - they tend to cause problems for a number of my clients, especially if their jobs demand long periods of intense focus.

You should take your carbs in the evening with your evening meal, contrary to popular belief, there is no fat loss downside to eating carbs late in the day. You'll feel strong and alive the next day if you eat properly the night before and it gives you the option to have a relatively light breakfast such as a meal replacement shake (I am currently using this one which I highly recommend and gives me everything I need to start the day) which I find works well for many of my clients. A stodgy breakfast has the potential to slow you down all day as you digest it.

Protein in the morning, through a meal replacement shake or high protein foods such as organic eggs, really suppresses the appetite and dampens sugar cravings for the rest of the day.

Do One Thing Action item:

Aside from the other tips in this section, a good strategy if you regularly find yourself at the vending machine for a hit of sugar is to invest in some mini bars of high cacao dark chocolate and take a stock of these to work with you at the start of each week like these ones. Go for at least 70% cocoa solids. You'll get a sweet tasting hit and it will increase your alertness. If you try to eliminate all sugar as a busy person in a busy job you're setting yourself up for failure!

Alcohol

Switch to spirits instead of wine or beer to help your performance and sugar intake

Alcohol is bad for your body and performance in every single respect. But alcohol, like sugar, tends to be very difficult to avoid if you're in the corporate world, especially with obligatory work functions where bottomless champagne and beer are a feature.

Again, I acknowledge that a certain amount of alcohol consumption is inevitable. Punishing yourself with a spartan teetotal existence if you really enjoy a glass of wine a few times a week is actually likely to do more harm than good. It's controversial, but even the occasional binge boozing session can keep you sane and on the straight and narrow during office hours.

I recommend at a minimum you focus on completing a dry January every year, the peer pressure at this time to go out will be vastly reduced and you'll feel like this is quite achievable. Your body will thank you. If you're more committed to this, taking the first three months of the year ‘off’ the sauce when drinks invites in the corporate world are much more limited will set you up amazingly well for the year ahead.

Do One Thing Action Item

In terms of a quick action to take regarding your alcohol intake, if you currently drink wine or beer, switch to spirits like gin or tequila with a zero cal mixer and fresh lime if you fancy a drink of an evening. If you love the taste of wine, opt for a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Nutritional Deficiencies

When it comes to supplements - don't follow the written advice of health and fitness professionals - get tested by a doctor!

A lot of the items on this list are 'difficult to fix' but this one is much simpler to address. There are key nutrients our bodies need to have energy and to stay in shape. If you're feeling run down by your job and tired all the time there might be a wider cause than just 'too much work’ or ‘tiredness’'.

There are a few vitamins to monitor here (don't self medicate, get tested!):

Vitamin D3

D3, the vitamin you can only get naturally from the sun, is in short supply in your fluorescently-lit corporate building where there is no natural sunlight (especially if you live in the UK with its three days of sunlight a year!). D3 impacts on the expression of hundreds of genes in your body. If you're low, your doctor will recommend supplementation. In general it's a good idea to get out in the sun for as much time as you are able to.

Zinc and magnesium

In men, Zinc and Magnesium is critical for testosterone production and whilst women need a lower dose, is also important to regulate their sleep cycles and muscle recovery. Again, you should get tested to establish if you do have a deficiency and if you do, supplementation should be considered. It is a very common deficiency so don't be surprised if you're affected.

The B vitamins

B vitamins are key for energy production and a whole load of other health markers. If you feel tired, get tested. Sometimes, if you have a digestive complaint or your diet is not up to scratch, you can suffer from a depletion of vitamin B which can throw you off balance. Go to your doctor and get tested if you feel more than just a little tired after a day of work, if you've got a problem your doctor will prescribe either injections or tablet supplementation to get you feeling right again.

I have a bit of a problem with health and fitness professionals “prescribing” these type of supplements to clients without the medical data to back this up. As I have discussed, a large number of you reading this MAY be deficient in the above nutrients, but please get tested by your GP to make certain.

Conclusion

The truth is, keeping fit and most importantly healthy, whilst tackling the demands of work, life and family is a tough ask. Poor nutrition and sleep deprivation lead to a reliance on caffeine and sugar to pick us up and alcohol and prescription medication to bring us down. Our working environments deprive us of essential nutrients and place additional stress upon our bodies that promote illness not wellness.

The contents of this post and Part 1 describe a world in which we are effectively surviving, but not thriving. An idyllic world without the daily stresses of work and family, where a private chef can accommodate your every nutritional requirement and a live in trainer can sculpt the perfect body are not achievable for most!

However the simple actions outlined above performed consistently can take you away from a survival state and towards a life where you can thrive in all areas!

If you like what you’ve read so far then stay tuned as I’ll introduce you more to my concept of Do One Thing each day to achieve the health and fitness you’ve always dreamed of.

Cheers,

David


Is your job DESTROYING your body? And small changes to make to improve

 

Introduction; Do One Thing; Your Mission; Caffeine Intake and Sleep Deprivation

Juggling a demanding career and taking proper care of your health can be a real challenge. I have been in situations in my life where starting and running a fledgling business and staying fit and healthy has felt like an uphill battle. Often, this was down to a combination of reasons and not just a single thing I needed to fix.

In my new book, I talk about the early years when I had just started my new business. I am lucky enough to have some great support around me now but in those early days, I was doing everything: I was the personal trainer and the owner; I was also the accountant and the tea boy!!

It wasn't easy and I felt my health suffer with each 'all nighter' I pulled trying to keep all the plates spinning.

The good news is there *are* ways to fix this overwhelming situation. How? Set out below are a number of common problems people have when their job is getting the better of them and their bodies (some of which they may not already be aware of).

The secret to making progress? Do one thing.

At the end of each heading below is a micro action-item that can be completed in under an hour that will improve your health while holding down a busy job or running a business.

I appreciate more than most people that these problems are not easy fixes and can take a very long time; the key is to start small with concrete actions that move you along the curve towards progress. Do one thing in each area and things will improve.

Your Mission

Define your personal mission

This sounds like a grand topic but I've met hundreds of lawyers, bankers, accountants and other professionals who can no longer, hand on heart, say they enjoy what they are doing. They've lost the passion for their careers that they once had. They drag themselves into the office each day and just seem to have lost their purpose.

The emotional impact of this is not to be underestimated. If you're doing something you're not suited to, or is at odds with your personality, you'll feel like everyday is an uphill struggle. The result? Stress and frustration.

My strong recommendation is to write a list of everything you love doing (in career terms!) and everything you dislike doing. If you're stuck in a job you don't like and have the flexibility to move, find something that will involve more of the things you love.

If for whatever reason you are bound to your current employer, there are usually ways you can tweak your job to do more of what you love and delegate more of what you don't. It's all about pinpointing the source of your stress and frustration (see the action item below) by writing things down.

Do One Thing Action Item

Write a list of things you love doing in your career and a list of things you loathe - writing things down helps enormously and will help you delegate or distance yourself from the things you really dislike doing - a major source of stress. If you're considering a career move, take a side of paper and in one column write down all the benefits of staying in that role and all the benefits of leaving the role - this will really help in making an informed decision.

Caffeine

Legend has it that London was built on cups of tea. The performance enhancing effects of caffeine are no secret. I personally love a cup of coffee to start the day and I'm sure you've read plenty of press articles promoting coffee as a cancer fighting miracle.

Coffee is a great performance enhancing drug but don't overdo it

However, a number of people that I have met in demanding roles have far too much caffeine which sends their cortisol/stress levels spiralling out of control. The corporate world is on a constant drip feed of caffeine and, if you abuse it, caffeine can lead to some very undesirable side effects for your body.

Cortisol is the body's stress hormone. Your body produces a certain amount of this naturally, according to its natural rhythm but caffeine gives you an extra spike and provides energy and alertness. If you have too much, though, you'll crash. In the long term this will lead to burnout, throwing your hormones off balance and making you store unwanted body fat. Not good.

Do One Thing Action Item

Impose a total ban on caffeine in all its forms  past 2p.m. each day to help you sleep. Ideally limit yourself to two shots of espresso at 10am (your body naturally spikes cortisol first thing in the morning, so it makes more sense to have your cup of coffee after those levels have settled down in the morning).

Sleep and Sleep Deprivation

Sleep is vital to your all round health and ability to perform at work

Sleep is critical. It is well known that If you don't sleep, your body doesn't have time to repair and recover - this will make you fat, among many other health problems. If you work in the corporate world it can be incredibly difficult to get enough sleep. One of the the first places to look if you are feeling run down is sleep deprivation.

Did you know that this is the primary time when your body produces key hormones that keep you in shape? If you're a man that skips proper sleep, your testosterone production will be diminished (responsible for creating muscle mass and giving you a lean physique). If you're a woman, sleep deprivation can play havoc with your monthly cycle and disturb your hormonal balance. Add chronic stress to that equation and you'll never be able to lose that body fat.

Do One Thing Action Item

this is a tricky one (particularly if you have kids where sleep is a previous commodity). A key mindset to have if you can't sleep is not to try and 'force yourself to sleep' - just accept your situation and let you mind wander. Worrying about not sleeping is a stressor is itself!

If you have cut down on your caffeine intake, and followed the other steps in this article, your insomnia should improve. There are a host of other reasons for insomnia such as nutritional deficiencies (such as low magnesium and zinc) which need to be diagnosed by a doctor with a blood panel.

Once you've taken the bitesized item actions above in week one, you can move on to my Do One Thing advice to limiting your sugar intake, moderating alcohol, addressing nutritional deficiencies and improving gut health. That's all to come in Part 2.

Often, the above issues are interconnected and take time to get right. It's important to move yourself further along the curve towards success rather than attempt to solve everything at once. Some problems may be unsolvable (for example if you're the breadwinner in your family). That is why I recommend bite sized actions for you to take. A little incremental progress will go a long way.

If you have any questions please leave them below and I will answer them.

Check out Part 2 of this article here.

Don't work too hard.  :)

Cheers,

David


Running Advice and Red Bull Wings For Life Run

On Sunday, 7 May I am running alongside my colleagues and friends in the 'Wings For Life World Run' an incredibly innovative charity event sponsored by Red Bull (where I currently serve as Human Performance Coach to the Formula One Racing Team). The run is unique in the sense that every participant will finish the race. Why? Because there is no finish line! Oh, and there's also a car that chases all participants down to decide the winner.

I have to say, I'm excited because in previous years everyone has pushed themselves to the max and it's always great fun running alongside a couple of famous faces! The event is ideally aligned with my overall training philosophy: everyone comes to exercise from different starting points and it's about taking action and doing what is achievable for you.

I've been gearing up for this event for some time with my friends and co-workers and I thought I'd share a message I sent to Red Bull employees on Monday to prep them for race day.

If you're taking part good luck!

Here's the email I sent on Monday, enjoy and leave any questions in the comments below:

Wings For Life Run

It’s less than a week to go until race day and typically in the build up to a big event there is a huge amount of confusion over what to do or not to do. So before you head out for that one last big run, (again!) or load up on bowl after bowl of pasta, or simply wrap yourself in cotton wool and wait for Sunday to arrive, here are my top tips to get you through this week and really enjoy the race on Sunday…

Don’t Worry!

The biggest problem I see with so many runners, no matter how experienced they are is a fear of not finishing. The good news is this doesn’t apply with the wings for life event as there is no finish line and with it being such a positive charity event that so many of you from the factory have signed up to (125 and counting!) it’s an opportunity to just get out and enjoy a great event with so many great people. So put those fears aside and have fun.

Eat what works for you.

Please don’t start googling “pre run event meal suggestions” to try out new carb loading meals this week. We are all very different athletes and therefore what works for one may have a very bad effect on someone else. Loading up on very high carbohydrate based meals this week will give some of you a bit of a boost but may upset the stomachs of others! Just stick to whatever has worked for you in the past.

I would also recommend that rather than devouring a gigantic bowl of pasta the night before the race, which will probably sit very heavily on your and upset your digestion, try eating carbs in small increments throughout the day before the race.

With regards to your pre-race preparation, I would again advise that you don’t eat anything too heavy within two hours of the race. Have a good early morning breakfast and then my pre-race choice would be a smoothie containing fruit and yogurt as it gives a good balance of carbs and protein but not too much fibre.

Get ready the night before.

Make the whole day an enjoyable experience, don’t be stressing at the last minute. Make sure you lay out all of your race kit the night before and aim to get as close to eight hours of sleep as possible.

Don’t do anything new

The week of a race, or even race day itself isn’t the time to be trying out new trainers! Likewise with compression tights or any other fancy new training gear. No matter how cool you make look at the start line if you haven’t tried these things out in several previous runs, don’t try it on Sunday. Just stick to the routine that works for you.

Guarantee success

Remember this is a great charity event and therefore you want to make sure you have a positive experience. So I would advise that you set at least two goals for race day. Set one goal for a perfect race and another as a back-up, in case the weather has a big impact, you pick up an unexpected injury or it’s simply not your day.

Having spoken to a few of the guys that ran last year on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year, all of them fell short of their distance goal and as a result they left the event feeling a bit disappointed. If something makes your first goal impossible halfway through the race, you’ll need another goal to motivate you to finish strong.

Start slow, and stay even. 

One final piece of advice, I would strongly advise that if you’re relatively new to big race events then you should run the first 10 percent of the race a fraction slower than you normally would, with the idea that you’ll finish strong.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the event and pace yourself alongside other runners that head off a lot faster than your normal race pace. If you do this, you risk burning out early. Try to keep an even pace throughout the race, and save your extra energy for later on in the race.

I hope these little tips will allow you to relax, look after yourself this week and thoroughly enjoy yourself on Sunday.

I’ll follow up on Monday with some post-race tips to reduce any of those aches and pains and ensure you have a speedy recovery!