Getting pumped for the YMCA Father's Day Run!

Before Luke headed over to Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, he wrote this useful piece about how to prepare for a fun run. Enjoy – Alice

YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run

Parents’ Voice are taking part in the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run event on the 3rd of September this year around Melbourne’s tan track. We are recruiting a team of passionate Mums, Dads and Grandparents to join our fun run team.

The run will also have acitivties for the whole family to enjoy including bubble soccer, to YMCA kids programs, petting zoos, skateboarding, live music and more – there’s something for everyone to enjoy. For those that are running there will be a 5km and 10km option to choose from.

Convinced? Join Team PV here.

Alice and I had a conversation leading up the event about our fitness levels and what would happen if we did the run around the tan. We quickly decided that we need to organise some pre-training tips for Team PV to get us in the zone.

5 Pre-exercise tips

As well as being a communications officer for Parents’ Voice I am also a Registered Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer, so I thought I would share a few tips for our parents members to take advantage of if they were unable to join our Parents’ Voice training sessions.

Firsts things first before you begin any exercise training there is a list of things that we would recommend:

  1. If you have any pre-existing medical condition or injury it is recommended to go and speak to your health care professional before embarking.
  2. Find a good pair of runners that suits your running style and offers support and comfort, its amazing how many injuries can be prevented by wearing the right shoes.
  3. Make sure you have support from family and friends, parents are busy people, you’ll need support to meet your goals.
  4. Have a plan!  The ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ phase is very true when it comes to a new exercise routine. Busy parents struggling to fit in a 5 min cuppa will struggle to fit in a few training sessions every week without a plan. Talk with your family and try and find time slot to train and build on it.
  5. Buy or borrow a fitness tracking watch or pedometer. This is a great motivator, giving you an at a glance view of the kilometres you have covered and the calories you have burnt. Alternatively stick your phone in your pocket – most smart phones will track steps and distance.

5 Exercise tipsYMCA fun run

Every exercise routine will be different depending on your fitness level, muscle mass, time, but also your preference. Below we have included some key exercises and tips that can help with getting you to 5-10km.

  1. Start Slow and steady – you can lose your fitness levels after 2 weeks of not training. So if you haven’t exercised for many months/years then never start off from where you left off.  Start by setting a time period to train i.e. 30 mins or 45 mins.
  2. Always warm up! 5 mins is all you need, but this is so important to prevent injuries but still people forget to do so. Start by doing some high knee raises across your garden or at the park, this is a great way to warm up the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calf muscles. Followed by some arm circles and swing to warm up the shoulders and back muscles.
  3. Start at your own pace – if you have never exercised then it isn’t advised to get into a full on run. Start with a walk for 20 mins then build to a fast past walk for the last 10-20 mins of your exercise session. If you are a regular exerciser then increase your duration by 10% i.e. a 30 min training session into a 45 mins session.
  4. Advancing your walking/jogging time – after 2-3 sessions of fast paced walks in a week, increase to a gentle jog for 10mins and 20min fast pace walk.  Then the next week increase to a 20mins jog then 30 mins. A 5km run would roughly take a beginner between 35-50 mins to complete.
  5. Strength/resistance training – to enable your muscles to deal with a large load of exercise and increase your running duration then it is advised to start some resistant based exercises. Below is a training plan that is broken down into sets and repetition.

Resistant Training Plan (20 mins)

Leg exercises:

  • Body weight Squats 3 sets x 10 reps = 30 reps
    – The perfect squat is performed by slowly sitting into a chair.
    – Try not to let your knees move forward ahead of your toe line.
  • Body weight lunges 3 sets x 10 reps = 30 reps
    – The perfect lunge is performed by keeping an up right posture.
    – Try not to let your knees move forward ahead of your toe line.
  • Body weight calf raises 3 sets x 20 reps = 60 reps
    – Push yourself up contracting the calf muscle.

Arm and abs exercises:

  • Push ups (full or knee) 10 x 3 reps = 30 push ups
    – Make sure your wrists are inline with your shoulders.
  • Plank hold (full arm plank or knees on the ground) 30 min hold
    – Increase to 1 min hold after 2 sessions.

This exercise will take 15-20 mins to complete and would work well after a 10-15 min walk.  It is important to increase the sets and reps every 2-3 weeks as your muscle adapt to the exercise to continue to build muscular endurance, tone and size.

Now that you’re pumped up, come join Team PV at the YMCA Father’s Day Fun Run. We’ll see you there!

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