Welcome to the website of Belle Vue Racers






We all know how difficult it can sometimes be to motivate yourself to training during the week. This page is dedicated to bringing a selection of training tips and programmes. Make sure you talk to Lynda, Carl or James before you get going to make sure you only do what is best for you. Our aim is to make you fitter and stronger, not injure you!






Cross Training



Cross training is a wonderful thing - giving your legs chance to recover from pounding the streets for mile after mile, as well as reinvigorating the soul. Below, Carl has put together some tips for hill work, off road running, gym sessions, exercising at home, hill walking, swimming and cycling. Have fun!






Hill Reps



Hill work basically improves your knee lift and drive whilst running. This will improve your lead leg drive in a sprint finish and help you power up hills during races. The most important point when finding a good area to do your session, is preferably a flat bit at the top to allow you to run off the top of a hill and improve your racing technique. Don’t forget to run tall and drive your arms - your legs only move as fast as your arms.
As with any session have a very good warm up before the sets and a good cool down and stretch afterwards. One hill rep session a week is plenty. Two tried & tested sessions for you to give a go.






Running Off Road



Think of the knees! People who just run on road will do mainly two things: cause repetitive strain injuries on your poor old knees, and develop a specific economical running style. Running off road will surprise your body by ensuring you run at different paces, different strides, and on downhill stretches, improve your balance and coordination.
Plus, it could lead to an infectious disease called fellrunneritus (for a good example see Kev Egerton). This disease will drive you to run in all sorts of strange places in crazy conditions, such as in snow on New Year’s Eve. For extra encouragement most fell races start and finish at a pub (unlike most road races pie, peas and a pint are all part of the day out!). Just make sure you seek out decent footwear for off road running. Enjoy!






Gym Work



Most people I used to train had a picture in their mind of all gyms being full of meatheads lifting girders over their heads. Although these gyms do exist, most sports centre gyms are nice places with lovely machines. The benefits of gym work is to work on muscles that you neglect in your efficient road running style, for example your quadriceps femoris (front thigh muscle). This can lead to a muscle imbalance and increases the chance of injury. If you do fancy joining a gym you will have to have an induction by the gym staff: nine out of ten times they will give you a programme that involves lifting weights for three sets of ten repetitions, which I feel doesn’t help us endurance runners. So, if you fancy joining a gym and want a programme which will suit you and support your running, just let me know and I will put together a programme for you (saving you a few quid at the gym in the process). If the gym isn’t for you, but you still would like a workout, then book yourself in a circuit class at your sports centre: this will improve your all round fitness.






Swimming & Cycling



If you haven’t already noticed, some of the fittest people on the planet are triathletes. But you don’t need to be thinking about the Ironman to enjoy the benefits. Swimming will benefit you by improving your breathing and using muscles you don’t use when running. Cycling will help your legs greatly by working the front of your thighs ensuring your muscles are more balanced. Plus with some injuries, such as a sprained ankle, swimming will keep you fit while you recover: giving you that all important exercise fix.






Exercising At Home



If you don’t fancy the gym, doing exercises at home after a run (so you are properly warmed up) will be just as beneficial. Plus it will help you with your 12 minute test for the club. Press ups, sit ups, burpees, squat thrusts and squats will improve your physique and running style. Ensure that you keep good technique and form throughout the exercises and cool down, and stretch thoroughly. Hula-hooping (a favourite with Carmen) will improve your coordination, strengthen your torso and give you slinky hips (so I’m told, but I can’t do it!).






Hill Walking



As an outdoor instructor I obviously love the outdoors: from mountaineering, hill walking, canoeing and mountain biking, to climbing and caving (not so outdoors!). I find that doing something different to running, not only uses different muscles, but also invigorates me (getting away from the madness of towns and cities helps me to relax). Don’t feel guilty about substituting one of your long weekend runs with a walk in the Lakes or Wales. Just make sure you can read a map and have the right kit. If you aren’t too confident with grid references or want to try something new you can always hire a professional instructor to make sure there is as little risk involved as possible.




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