On Your Marks: Join me on a FREE run night at K2 Crawley

Me on one of my runs

As part of my current On Your Marks challenge, myself and the fitness team at K2 Crawley are looking forward to hosting two FREE exclusive running workshops just for readers of this newspaper.

They will be open to beginners, fun runners or those with a running goal in mind – such as myself. So if you are looking to get started with running, improve your Park Run time or complete a specific distance event such as a 10k or half Marathon, this is for you.

Simply come along (in trainers and workout gear) and meet myself and my running buddy/trainer Owen Callaghan – for some advice, fitness testing, top tips, basic nutritional advice, running drills, finishing with a run around the track together.

Session 1: Thursday March 1, 7pm @K2 Crawley

Session 2: Thursday April 5, 7pm @K2 Crawley

Maximum 20 people per session, first come first served, no booking. These sessions are free. Please arrive 10 minutes early to complete short contact form. The first 20 people to email mark.dunford@jpress.co.uk with the subject line K2 Crawley run night March 1 or April 5 will be in!

Now back to my normal column....

I am writing this at 9.30am on Tuesday and I am feeling a great sense of achievement already. Myself and my new best buddy (see last week’s column) Owen Callaghan, fitness manager at K2 Crawley, have already been round the running track at the Crawley leisure centre numerous times.

This was my second session with Owen. The first one, on Friday, was gym based, and this one was running based.

I met Owen at the gym at 7am and after a quick five minute warm up on the cross trainer, we were out on the track.

This is the first time since my school days (I was 400m champion at Brune Park School, 1993) on a proper running track. It really does motivate you!

At first we did the Cooper Test. This was designed by Kenneth H. Cooper in 1968 for US military use. In the original form, the point of the test is to run as far as possible within 12 minutes.

And that’s what I did.

On Sunday I ran two miles in 24 minutes around Tilgate Park - on this calculation Owen predicted I would do about four laps of the 400m track. But I beat Owen’s and my expectations to do six and half laps in that 12 minutes.

We will do this run again in the middle of March to see if I have improved.

That wasn’t the end of the session. After a warm down lap I then had to see what time I could do 800m (two laps, for those mathematicians out there) in.

The first lap I did was in 1min 58secs and the second was over two minutes so the 800 was done in just over four minutes.

The legs were struggling at this point. After another warm down lap I then had to do another 400m as quickly as I could.

Owen said he would be happy with 1min 55 secs and ecstatic at 1min 50secs. Somehow I hit the 1min 50secs mark. Tremendous scenes.

Then we did one walking lap as a warm down and then two more jogging laps. Overall I did 14 laps of the K2 Crawley running track, and all before 8am.

This was followed by some resistance training. On Friday I had my first gym session with Owen. This involved a warm up on the cross trainer, 25 minutes on the treadmill, some dynamic stretches, then some weights working the whole body. It was intense!

We again ended with some resistance stretching and this really exposed my inflexibility. I think Owen was a little shocked at how inflexible I was so he has given me some tips on stretches to do when I am at home.

I will certainly not be laid out on the sofa when I do my next Netflix boxset! Next up we are doing a run on Monday morning around Tilgate Park.

But please join us on the FREE run session on Thursday March 1. It would be great to see you there.

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