Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Run, run, as fast as you can

Today's guest post is from Jennifer who is mum to Harry (3) and Mia (nearly 1).

Jennifer's been blogging for almost a year about the things she gets up to with her family, and the things that go around in her head.

What I particularly like about her blog, which is simply but aptly named Jennifer's Little World, are the posts about the craft activities she does with her children. For example: how to turn a cardboard box into a vehicle, how to make pebble monsters and how to make a cardboard postbox and letters. There are lots more ideas of things to make and do and I can actually see me recreating some of them at home with my toddler; in fact, we've just started making a cardboard box bed for his favourite cuddly toy, Applecat.

Jennifer's maternity leave is quickly drawing to a close - something I can empathise with - and she'll soon be returning to her part-time, non-patient-facing job in the NHS. But she says she'll still have plenty of time to do fun things with her little ones (and blog about them of course!).

You can follow Jennifer on twitter, visit her facebook page and follow her on pinterest.

And now for her post...

I love pondering the aftermath of an apocalyptic scenario. I'm not obsessed about it, and I haven't made any particular preparations myself, but I love reading about stockpiling food and medicine, emergency grab bags, storing drinking water and so on. However it strikes me that the very best way to survive a disaster, once you've survived any initial catastrophe of course, is to be fit and healthy. If you are able to survive without a reliance upon medication, and you have the physical stamina to walk or run long distances, then you will be well ahead of a great deal of the population. I'm not even necessarily talking about a major disaster here, there are many scenarios where you will be in a better position to survive if you are fit and healthy, especially if you are also responsible for others, such as small, heavy children.

I try to keep fit by running, and this is often in the back of my mind as I'm pounding the streets. If I was running away from a predator, how long could I keep going for, and could I outrun them over a distance? I compare myself to people that I'm passing, and try and decide who would be an easier target, them or me. Of course I am really running to keep fit and to try and lose this last bit of baby weight, but I do feel secure in the knowledge that I am probably fitter than many others.

I really enjoy running as exercise, and the great thing about it (apart from the fact that it is virtually free and requires little equipment) is that you can really see your progress. A few years back I decided that I wanted to add running to my exercise regime, and I loved watching my time and speed increase week by week. I've followed a similar routine after the birth of each of my children, and each time have seen myself go from managing only a few minutes to being able to keep running for half an hour, covering 5 kilometres at a reasonable pace.

My method of building up to this was just to keep moving for 30 minutes. At the beginning you will need to alternate walking and running, perhaps doing just a couple of minutes of each until you've filled the full half hour. Gradually build up the amount of running you are doing, with shorter and shorter breaks for brisk walking. After a few months you will find that you are running for the full half hour. This is easier to manage on a treadmill because you can adjust your speed, but if you are out and about and end up a little way from home, the extra walking to get you back won't do any harm. There's no need or sense in rushing it, because ultimately each time you run you are closer to your goal.

This method has worked for me, both when I first started running and when I came back to it after long breaks during pregnancy and post-delivery. I'd really recommend running as a great way to improve fitness and to help prepare yourself in the best possible way for whatever you might encounter!


Jennifer Jain said...

Thank you for hosting my post, and I'm glad that we have inspired you with our cardboard box creations!

The Last Slayer said...

You're very welcome Jennifer. Lovely to have you and to have the opportunity to get to know your blog x

Anna said...

Have been very, very vaguely thinking about Couch to 5K for months now. Now that spring is here (ha) maybe I should actually do it? Hmm.

teapeasea said...

Playing computer games counting as zombie-apocalypse training, right?

The Last Slayer said...

Hi Anna. Thanks for visiting :-) I don't regret starting the Couch to 5k at all but I'm glad I started when my head was in a place where it was saying "I want to do this - I have a reason for getting started now" otherwise I don't think I'd have got this far! Maybe when it gets a bit warmer, you'll feel a bit more tempted :-)

The Last Slayer said...

Absolutely! My training - before starting my Couch to 5k Grr Argh Challenge - was all based on watching Resident Evil films and The Walking Dead tv series ;-)

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