REPORTER Series journalists Georgina Morris, Lauren Ballinger and Claire Armstrong are taking part in this year’s Great North Run in aid of Action for Children.
They are sharing their progress with readers along the way as the team at Kirklees Active Leisure help them to get ready for their half marathon challenge.
“A week or so on from our fitness tests, we were back at Dewsbury Sports Centre to get the results along with a specially designed programme from personal trainer Danny Missin.
“I’d finished the mile on the treadmill slightly quicker than Claire and a little less out of breath, while Claire had managed almost twice as many press-ups as I had before my arms gave up on me.
“We both had a fair idea of what the results might say, but it was still a relief when neither of us was declared physically incapable of running a half marathon.
“While my muscle endurance was considered utterly average, Claire’s was rated as excellent. In the general fitness stakes, I had made it into the ‘very good’ category with Claire falling just half a point short of the mark.
“Using the results, Danny had carried out calculations that I can’t even begin to understand and drawn up tailor-made running regimes for our gym visits.
“Armed with heart rate monitors, Claire and I were each given a rate of beats per minute to aim for while running on the treadmill twice a week. As the weeks went by, we’d be upping the amount of time spent running or the heart rate goal.
“And if we were going out on the road or joining Dewsbury Road Runners for a session, Danny’s instructions were a little simpler to follow: ‘Give it everything you’ve got. Just go for it.’
“We’re now three weeks into the training programme and we’ve got to grips with the heart rate monitors at last. It’s still a struggle sometimes to find the right pace to keep our heart rates at the target level, but at least the constant adjustment of the treadmill keeps us distracted from counting by the seconds!
“There’s definitely something in taking such a focused approach too. Both Claire and I have noticed a considerable improvement in the last few weeks. It seems there’s hope for us yet.”