Zero to Hero beginner running training plans

Who do you know who's about to start training for their very first 5K or 10K run? Perhaps it's your partner, a friend or colleague - or you!

WhittleFit have joined forces with Training Peaks to give beginner runners access to our exclusive "Zero to Hero" 5K and 10K training plans, specifically designed with beginners in mind.

Each online training plan is clearly structured to offer just the right balance of challenging and achievable, taking a new runner from 0 to 5K in 10 weeks or 0 to 10K in 14 weeks - safely and with confidence.

The plan builds progressively, starting with walk/run and finishing with the 5K or 10K run itself. Building from "baby steps" and progressing through "build phase" and "endurance", making sure to include "recovery" phases, it covers the crucial "peaking" and "race week" too. We've even included a guide to the best kit for a novice runner, and given useful nutritional advice to support your training.

Read more: Zero to Hero beginner running training plans

Testimonial: Marathon Runner

I received this amazing feedback this week from one of my coached runners. Jennifer ran Bournemouth marathon a few weekends ago, here's what she had to say about her training and racing: 

I attempted a marathon in 2010, but was bitterly disappointed by my performance. I took 4 hours and 50 minutes and hit wall after wall. There was none of the 'high' or sense of achievement I had experienced with successful half marathons. I thought the full marathon was beyond me
However, I watched my brother run a marathon and I knew I wanted to prove that I could do it. This time I didn't just try to clock up miles; instead I worked with Mark from WhittleFit. I completed a range of training and really benefited from very focused speed and hill work. Plus I worked on my core. The plan was built around me and accommodated a very demanding job and family life.
The end result: a marathon in 3 hours and 52 minutes and a 'High' that lasted a week! I am really proud of my achievement but do owe it to personalised coaching and support.

A huge thanks to WhittleFit.

Congratulations on your amazing race and thank you Jennifer for your kind words!


Fast functional exercise routine!

Are you time-crunched? Never have time to fit in a workout?

If this applies to you, then this fast functional workout is perfect for you! Take 10 minutes out of the day when you have a break to do these simple exercises:

Perform the exercises in a circuit, moving from one to the next:
1. Prisoner Lunge - 30 sec
2. Front Plank - 30 sec
3. Clamshell - 30 sec left leg; 30 sec right leg
4. Side Plank - 30 sec left; 30 sec right
5. Mountain Climbers - 30 sec in total

Complete the circuit 2 times for a 10 minute workout. You can increase the number of times through the circuit (or the time spent on each exercise) to lengthen the workout should you decide you want more of a challenge! 

If you're unsure of any of the exercises, Google them or message us at WhittleFit. Enjoy!


The Truth About Sugar: Part 1

After posting the Snack Attack article a few weeks ago, there has been a great deal of interest in what Nutritional Therapist Caren Richards wrote about snacking and healthy alternatives; so we spoke again, this time about one of the biggest hidden toxins in our diet and something that can be as addictive as cocaine - sugar

The negative effects that sugar can have on our health have been prolific in the media over the past few months. Here is a quick reminder of why we shouldn’t eat too many sweet foods:-

  • Sugar is an empty calorie, it doesn’t contain any vitamins or minerals and has no nutritional value
  • Sugar can induce weight gain
  • High blood sugar decreases the immune system's ability to fight bacterial infections.
  • Sugar can cause tooth decay
  • Too much sugar causes a blood glucose spike followed by a crash and a then a desire for more sugar – a sugar craving cycle
  • The sugar craving cycle can lead to anxiety, fatigue, irritability and mood swings
  • Sugar can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage cells and tissues
  • Sugar can interfere with the absorption of minerals and cause some nutrients to be lost
  • Sugar can make our skin age by changing the structure of collagen

When we eat sugar, it increases the levels of our feel good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, so not only does it taste good but it makes us feel good too. The problem is that we end up needing more and more sugar to give us the same intensity of sugar ‘high’ and if we try to cut out the sugar foods can initially taste bland and uninteresting. It is these facts together with clinical trials that have led some scientists to conclude that sugar is addictive; some suggest that it is more addictive than cocaine! 

Read more: The Truth About Sugar: Part 1

3 quick fixes to reinvigorate your running training

Cardiff running coachIf you need to reinvigorate your running training and give your running a boost, try these 3 quick fixes to make an instant difference! 
To break out of a running rut you need to change up your training and add in some different types of running. If you always run long and slow, you’ll become very proficient at running long and slow; which means when you try to run faster your body is simply not used to it, which results in fatigue and potential injury. Here are my 3 quick fixes to turn around your running fortunes: 

1. Interval training: 
Ditch some of your long slow runs for faster interval sessions. These interval sessions involve adding in some faster efforts into your longer slower paced runs, 30 to 60 seconds works really well. Some studies have shown that runners can improve their speed by up to 7 percent by cutting their running distance in half and adding in 50 to 100m faster efforts into their running program. 

2. Progression runs
A progression run, or a build run, starts off at a slower pace and then continually picks up the speed of the run until you finish your chosen route. So you may run 10 minutes really easy, then 10 minutes easy, then 10 minutes steady, then 10 minutes hard, etc, etc. This is a really good way of adding in some faster running without absolutely killing yourself in the process!