Fit for anything

TWO months ago, intrepid reporters Lizzy Seal and Hannah Gray challenged themselves to get fit for the May Stevenage charity fun-run in aid of Letchworth GC s Garden House Hospice. This week we catch up with them and also give two lucky readers the chance

TWO months ago, intrepid reporters Lizzy Seal and Hannah Gray challenged themselves to get fit for the May Stevenage charity fun-run in aid of Letchworth GC's Garden House Hospice. This week we catch up with them and also give two lucky readers the chance to join their fitness challenge.

Check out Lizzy and Hannah's fitness blogs online at

http://www. herts24.co.uk/flatfiles/weblogs/default.aspx

Hannah Gray


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Well, it's been a busy few weeks for me on our fitness challenge.

First of all, I took the bull by the horns and got myself some new trainers.

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When we began our fitness challenge, our coach Stormin' Norman at Odyssey Health Club, Knebworth, was horrified to discover that my very comfy Nike Airs were a whopping six years old (trainers, according to Norman, generally last six months on runners!).

He recommended getting a new pair to help me avoid injury but I'd been putting it off because I wasn't sure how to go about getting the right ones.

However, thanks to the experts at Aro Sports in Bancroft, Hitchin, I'm now the proud owner of a pair suited to my running style.

They got their ultimate test when we ran the 10k in Knebworth at the start of March and I'm pleased to say both runner and trainers withstood the strain.

Just a few days after the run, Lizzy and I met with Stormin' Norman to redo the tests we had at the start of the challenge.

I'm pleased to say that although I'd put on some fat, I'd also put on muscle and there were improvements in my flexibility, resting heart rate and VO2 max, which is linked to oxygen consumption and fitness in general.

Lizzie Seal

At my second body-MOT my mechanic, Norman, looked confused.

According to my onboard diagnostics, I am fatter and less fit than before.

This supposed result comes after weeks of regular gym visits, runs of at least 5km, pilates classes, a 10km charity fun-run and general amazingness.

Surely there has been an error, I have new-found muscles and feel so much stronger and healthier.

This news was, therefore, somewhat disappointing but coach Norman seemed to have a theory. He predicted that I was about to get ill and, as if by medical magic, I was feeling sick and sorry for myself within hours.

Being ill, it appears, does not produce top-notch fitness results. When exercising, heart-rates rise, core temperatures increase and extra stress is put on the respiratory and circulatory system. In a healthy body, such strains are no problem.

However, when the body is weakened by sickness, such activities become difficult. The body is already hot and working at full pelt fighting infection, so adding exercise to the equation is just cruel.

Begrudgingly I've since been taking it easy, realising that even a minor cold-like ailment shouldn't be ignored, (it could lead to dehydration, injury and a dangerous rise in core temperature).

I am eager to get back into it, but for the time-being I prescribe myself hot toddy.

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