Local healthclub offers training tips to Chariots of Fire runners

With Chariots of Fire just round the corner, winners of last year’s event, The Glassworks Healthclub, say it is not too late to start getting in shape for the race. 

The Glassworks Healthclub is Cambridge’s only city centre health club, incorporating a gym with state of the art facilities and a health and beauty spa. Teams from the club have taken part in the charity relay race for the last four years and won it in a record 48 minutes and 25 seconds in 2008. 

James Robertson, Manager of Glassworks said, “We are really looking forward to competing in this year’s event. A few months before the race takes place we have staff and members training together in the gym, which creates a wonderful sense of team spirit.” “It is great to be part of such a fantastic event, with the hundreds of teams showing the fullest ranges of age, experience and ability that I can recall for what is, simply, a running race! This is no doubt boosted enormously by the lure of helping charities out by raising sponsorship money.” James has the following pearls of wisdom for this year’s budding runners: 

• Firstly, get a pair of running specific trainers. Your 12 year old squash shoes will just not do, and won’t give you the support and cushioning that a running shoe will. 

• Start gently. Start by running as far as you can and then walk when you feel too tired to keep going, repeat this, run/walk/run/walk for a set amount of time and you find will find that the runs get longer as the walks get shorter. Use markers like lamps posts of trees to run/walk between to gauge your progress as you get fitter. You’ll be surprised how you improve in just a few weeks. 

• Have rest days. Aim to run 3 days per week but certainly not on successive days. Vary your route and distance to keep it interesting. The Chariots of Fire course is 1.7 miles so no need to go too far! 

• Warm down and stretch. A warm down could be a leisurely jog back home or even a walk, just to wind down the body and help you recover. Follow this by some gentle stretches. 

• If it hurts – stop. Don’t be tempted to run through an injury thinking it will do you good. Stop, and seek medical advice as you may make it worse. And come the 20th of September, you don’t want to be watching from the sidelines with a nice cup of tea as everyone gears up to run... Do you? Of course you don’t!! 

• Taper down & prepare. Don’t run at least 48 hours before the event. This gives your body time to rest and recover. And, keep hydrated by drinking water, little and often over the 24 before the event. 

• Have fun. There will be some serious runners out there, but most of us just want to give it a go and that is what makes this day such a success. 

The race takes place on Sunday 20 September, starting from Queens’ Green in Cambridge, with teams of six running the scenic course in relay format through the city centre and Kings, Clare and Trinity colleges. 

Charles Hewitson, race director and senior partner at sponsors Hewitsons added, “All the effort runners put into training for and running in the race will not be in vain, as teams will be raising money to fund the vital work of a fantastic local charity, Cam-mind, which reaches out to those experiencing a wide range of mental health problems in the region.” 

To register your teams for the event, visit the Enter page of the website. Please contact Hazel Kraus for further details at hazelkraus@hewitsons.com or on 01223 461155. Photo: Glassworks Gym staff Back row: Matthew Bell (Fitness Instructor) Front row left to right: James Robertson (Manager), Alex Carlow (Personal Trainer)