Maureen's Half MarathonOn 15th March, one of our acupuncturists, Maureen McCann, ran her first half marathon. The North London Vitality Half Marathon took Maureen through lots of well known landmarks, including Wembley Stadium!

A veteran of 5k and 10k runs, Maureen wanted to challenge herself to tackle something longer. Preparation for the half marathon forced her to be more regular with her training and up her mileage. She had been feeling a bit stuck with her fitness, too comfortable in the distances she was running and wanted to get fitter and the timing of the race meant that she had to train during the wintry months of January and February. While we can all find these long, cold, dark days a bit of a slog, the upcoming race gave Maureen a positive goal to pick up her energy and get training!

Long distance runs are as much about mental fitness as physical fitness and Maureen worked on both. Maureen focused on a programme to ease into the longer runs, this both helped her avoid injury and adapt to the distance, so that she was able to remain positive through the process. Throwing yourself straight in to long distances can really drain your enjoyment and your self-esteem if you struggle. Building up your distances allows your mind and body to adapt.

Maureen also broke the race itself down into 3 parts:

Don’t get caught up
In the first part of the race, she was was focused on not starting too fast. Getting caught up in the atmosphere and forgetting to pace yourself can lead to a difficult finish if you have no reserves of energy to call on.

The middle stage was all about performance and reaping the rewards of weeks of hard training.

Finish strong
Maureen’s plan was to allow her enough energy to finish the race feeling strong. Pacing herself throughout the race allowed her to really enjoy the triumph of finishing her first marathon in the excellent time of 2hrs 34secs!

Maureen felt that the race went brilliantly! Despite all the hills she enjoyed it physically and mentally. A highlight was running through Wembley Stadium as that was the mid way point – it was homeward bound from there on.

Maureen had support from her fellow practitioners at The Forge as she was suffering from back ache after her runs. Lead Physiotherapist David Silver gave her a gait analysis and was able to provide her with orthotics for her new running shoes. He also showed her a simple stretch to free up her right hip. Using the stretch before and after every run, she is now pain free!

The day after the race, despite the sore legs, Maureen signed up for the Hackney Half in May. While she doesn’t think her knees could handle a full marathon – she’s clearly addicted to halves!