Is Guinness good for training?

Only one week in and already I am on holiday.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 12:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 10:43 am
Laura Kay's Great North Run training shoes are getting in the St Patrick's Day spirit.

After living in Ireland for a few years during my 20s, I now use St Patrick’s Day as the perfect excuse to go back to visit friends and re-familiarise myself with a selection of the local drinking establishments. It is therefore safe to say that whilst you are reading this in Berwick, I am raising a glass in Cork – sláinte!

Fitting in training around such excursions is, of course, rather difficult. However, commencing writing this column has brought into sharp focus the fact that I have indeed signed up to run the Great North Run in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Coupled with finding out from the official website that the race is less than 200 days away, I am now terrified.

But there is no getting away from the fact that life will continue to happen around me, and I am determined not to let a week away derail my plans.

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I am not unfit, but then again I’m not fit either. I walk a lot and swim every week, but running is a new level of fitness I am yet to feel comfortable with.

Having previously embarked on the Couch to 5K app, I am pleased to say I can currently run (slowly) for around 30 minutes. I am using this as a starting point to get back to basics, and with this in mind, my next mini task is to aim for consistency – but in a week where my plans mainly consist of sitting in a pub, even this small goal may be beyond me.

It is a week such as this that I am glad to have the services of Morag Smith, of Step-bi-Step Fitness, based in Pier Red.

There are now a number of reputable personal trainers available in Berwick and the surrounding area, and it is important to find someone that you feel comfortable working with.

For me, however, Morag employs the perfect motivational combination of carrot and stick – cajoling me as required to get out there and move, and reminding me along the way how much better I feel for sticking with it.

Committing to a session in advance, which I’m not then allowed to back out of, helps to keep me on track.

Exercising with a friend also helps the time to pass quickly without you noticing that you’ve even had a work out. Whilst I enjoy running alone, as the distances increase I know I will find comfort in having a friend alongside me, both to chivvy me along and to simply keep me company. If you think you would like to join me too, then get in touch.

For now it is farewell from Cork.

I will be back pounding the pavements of Berwick next week, but in the meantime raise a glass yourselves, and don’t forget you can show your support by donating online at