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Kate Staples: The Boot Camp - Getting back in shape

PUBLISHED: 16:18 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:59 20 February 2013

Kate Staples shares her top running tips in time for the London Marathon

Kate Staples shares her top running tips in time for the London Marathon

A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2009

A former athlete and Gladiator and now all-round fitness guru, Esher resident Kate Staples shares her top tips with us for getting into shape

Find out more about Kate Staples and her Adventure Boot Camps

Don't beat yourself up if you've taken a break from keeping fit. Let's be positive, make a plan and focus on the ways to bounce ourselves back into shape.

Getting back into a fitness routine after a break can be scary, especially when you consider that such breaks can cause you to lose 50 per cent of your lean muscle mass and cardiovascular strength.

I had my third caesarean in October, in my early forties, and it has surprised me how long it has taken this time round for me to be able to exercise. However, if you were fairly fit in the first place you will be surprised how quickly you will bounce back.

This week, I shared with the ladies at my boot camp that I had dropped over an inch-and-a-half off my waist in one week! Fantastic. It's all about mindset and a positive attitude. Set yourself a goal - a realistic one! Then put it into your diary and get a friend to train with you or try training in a group environment: seriously, it works.

A Marathon effort

The London Marathon is coming up this month and I'm sure some of you have been training hard for the big event. However, for those who fancy training for a marathon but have been out of action for some time, you might like to start with a short-term goal such as a 5k run.

At our camp, we run a timed mile and over the four weeks many ladies drop up to two minutes off their times. The 5k is a lovely distance and there are so many wonderful charities to run for. There is no better feeling than completing your first race, even more so if you do it for a good cause.

Remember, though, returning to training you will be more prone to shin splints and a sore back because of possible muscle imbalances. So, I would suggest doing a two-mile walk three times a week for three to four weeks plus some strength training first. Or, why not try alternating between walking and running? Many clients of mine come to adventure bootcamp not able to run to any level. But, by alternating running and walking your fitness will increase very quickly. After a few weeks, you will be able to start adding mileage to your runs - but avoid the hard roads if you can. You don't have to put in high mileage; the focus should be on quality rather than quantity.

Make sure that you invest in a pair of good running shoes, and don't forget, when you do enter that first race, to do a thorough warm up beforehand. Go off at a comfortable pace and if you feel good, pick the speed up and try to pass runners ahead of you. Keep well-hydrated and remember to let your body recover. It's really important to have some rest periods with your training and to keep your training varied.

At the top of my list of things to do? Have fun and continue to embrace life. To your health!

Kate Staples' 5km beginners running programme

Find out more about Kate Staples and her Adventure Bootcamps

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