how to run 5K

Best App To Keep You Fit & Healthy | Endomondo

Like many people, what I  expect from a personal trainer is quite a lot; tailored workouts, training plans, encouragement, support and of course results. But  all of that comes at a cost. That's why I was pleased to hear about the Endomondo app which promises all those things and more. But does it deliver? I put it to the test at the Energy Lab, London and here's what I found out.

Endomondo Founder

Getting started was easy. It took  just two minutes to download and sign up. The interface is clean and fairly straightforward. There's an enormous play button begging to be tapped and so I jumped into my running gear and gave it a whirl.

Running AJ Odudu

Before you start, the app allows you to set a goal (e.g. your first 5)k. Then it creates a plan to help you get there. It even gives you the option to make a commitment (a feature that let's you make a public declaration to achieving a goal) which is great for socialising or if you're akin to a bit of mild peer pressure. 

Endomondo App

During my run there were lots of notifications and words of encouragement and after the run there was a clear display of my statistics/results, with the option to share my activity on social media. Brilliant but there are loads of fitness apps on the market so what makes this one so unique? 

Rowing Machine

Well, for a start they have a long list of sports you can track and the calorie calculations adjust accordingly. "I wanted to make the app fun for all, regardless of their chosen sport or activity" says founder of Endomondo and former competitive horseback rider, Mette Lykke. "We're continually developing the app thanks to the daily feedback that we get from our 4 million users and I'm so inspired and motivated by their fitness journeys. This app has changed lives and will continue to do so." 

Spin class

There's also an  inbuilt audio coach that tells you how well you are doing while you're tracking and the GPS function not only tracks your regular running route but also introduces you to other routes  nearby that you may like to try, enabling you to keep your workouts varied and fun. 

Bike riding

To me however, the most impressive feature about this app is the fact that it has the ability to  consider all the factors that may affect your workout; from the weather to the altitude, duration to distance, this app even considers how hydrated you are when creating your results. What's more is that it's completely free of  charge with the option of upgrading to Premium at any time (which offers even more advanced statistics, interval training programs and is advert free).

So there you have it. One easy fitness app for the data loving, activity seeking people out there. Go forth and download. 

AJ

XOXO

Endomondo is FREE of charge.

Endomondo Premium is £3.99 per month OR £22.99 per year. 

Sign up to Endomondo by clicking here



Half Marathon Race Plan with Barry's Bootcamp

Over the last three weeks I have been training with Barry's Bootcamp in preparation for the Royal Park's Half Marathon, which took place over the weekend. Here's a little bit about my journey.

Barry's Bootcamp AJ Odudu

I've only ever ran one half marathon before. I'd trained for months by simply running for miles on pavements, usually carrying a bag containing my laptop and spare clothing, as I'd journey from A to B. All I did was run and needless to say I was bored.

Admittedly I found this dull routine to be very effective (running a time of 1 hour and 37 minutes on race day) but in fact, all of that running was too strenuous for my body. I was constantly exhausted and often injured my knees. My back was sore, I was limping for a week after the half marathon and all in all it took quite a while for me to recover.  

What possessed me to sign up for another half marathon a year later after feeling so shoddy the last time was the charity I ran for, Tommy's. But when I signed up for the Royal Parks Half his year, I wanted to remain injury free by taking on a different training approach, regardless of the great cause.

AJ Odudu Tommy's Charity

I wanted to focus on strength and weight training (something I'd skipped the previous year) whilst incorporating short but fast runs to increase my cardiovascular strength and improve my stamina whilst maintaining my energy levels throughout the days.

Whilst I do maintain my fitness levels all year round I've been out of the country a lot, skipping training sessions and so when it came to race focused preparation, I had less than a month to train. I was so nervous but in this dilemma was born a challenge; How To Get Race Ready in 4 Weeks with Barry's Bootcamp.

I'd done Barry's Bootcamp before, picking up classes here and there and knew that Barry's master trainer Anya Lahiri sessions where brutal but brilliant. She knows exactly how to push her clients so I took all of my training advice from her.

AJ Odudu Instagram

How many training sessions did I do?

Although Anya had advised me to take 4 classes a week for 6 consecutive weeks, because of work commitments abroad I could only attend 4 classes a week for 3 weeks, and they weren't consecutive.

Who did I train with?

Anya mainly. She is Barry's Bootcamp master trainer in London and does the 8:20am slot at Barry's Central in addition to numerous slots at Barry's East. When I couldn't attend her classes I took Taylor's class (he has hardcore treadmill sessions too) and Sandy's class (with challenging leg sessions).

How fast did I run half marathon last year?

Last year it took 97 minutes for me to run the 13.1 mile half marathon course with a few injuries and 2 weeks recovery needed.

How fast did I run the half marathon this year?

I ran it in exactly the same time of 97 minutes despite less race preparation. This time I ran injury free and with no need for 2 weeks off exercise. 

Royal Parks Half AJ Odudu

Why did Barry's Bootcamp work?

During the 30 minutes of high intensity treadmill series in each Barry's Bootcamp class you move through sections of intervals, hill work and sprints which challenge both your endurance and your speed. The treadmills are specifically designed to absorb impact when you run on them. Much safer than pounding the ground and thus preventing injuries caused by big impact.

Barry's Bootcamp Treadmill

There was also the addition of strength training, which is the key to remaining injury free. The 30 minute strength sections would include compound movements (such as dead-lifts, squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press, and step-ups. These exercises target functional movement) bodyweight exercises (such as lunges, planks and push-ups which build the core strength you need to prevent injuries and get stronger) and hip straighteners (exercises focusing on the glutes and hips; two of the most important stabilising muscles that are used while running).

Barry's Bootcamp Resistance Training

So there you have it, proof that runners need to do more than just run, that reducing injury rate isn't that difficult and that Barry's Bootcamp is both a safe and effective workout.

Barry's Bootcamp East London

Here marks my next challenge with Barry's Bootcamp: Six Weeks To A Six Minute Mile. Stay tuned!

xoxo

How Much? £20 per individual class but prices vary between £14-20 depending on the class package

How long? Each class is one hour long

Where? Barry's Central is a 2 minute walk from Euston Station and located at 163 Euston Road
London, UK NW1 2BH
 

Barry's East is located at 2 Worship Street (entrance on City Road) London, UK EC2A 2AH | It's a 5 minute walk from Moorgate Station and 10 minutes from Liverpool St and Bank underground stations

Would I recommend it? 100% YES.  You can book a class by clicking here.

Running Tips for Beginners

Tomorrow I'll be taking to Finsbury Park, London to run 5K as part of the Race For Life Series. To get me in the mood I'm going to the Anniversary Games  to watch the likes of Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah at the Olympic Stadium which I'm super excited about. Who could forget that in 2012, in that very stadium, Mo Farah won the 5000M race in a time of 13 minutes and 41 seconds. WOW!

Screen shot 2015-07-24 at 15.24.28.png

I won't be going for Olympic Gold, but I will be running for a fantastic cause, Cancer Research. It's a charity close to my heart and one that I have actively supported before during London's Winter Run.   

Running Tips for Beginners

Over this 5K trail, I'm envisioning a muddy obstacle course where I (and thousands of women of any ability) can run, walk, climb or crawl to the finish line, all while dressed in Race for Life's signature colour pink, making it the prettiest event ever! 

To some 5K doesn't seem like much, for many it'll be a huge achievement, especially for such a great cause. So here are some running tips for beginners.

Good luck to everyone running, walking and crawling in pink tomorrow. See you at the finish line!

AJ

XOXO

 

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