Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey

October 2013 newsletter

Hi everyone,Newsletter

Apologies for the delay in releasing this month's newsletter. Better late than never! Hope you enjoy the read.


Improving your 5k time

If your 5k running times are starting to plateau, then try out the following tips to try and help you improve on your personal best,

*Add speed work. Aim to do two speed sessions per week where you are doing anything between 50-100metre sprints and repeat 4-6 times. These can be done outside or on the treadmill, but make sure you do them after a good warm up. You can take a 60-90 second rest between sprints.

*Add short uphills to your training routes. Hills require strength and endurance so if you practice them during your training, then you'll develop speed and muscle power and just as with plyometrics, hills will increase your flexibility in muscles and tendons, which reduces your risk of injury. In your training, tackle shorter steep hills (about 6-10% incline). Sprint up to 10 seconds and then walk back downhill to avoid pressure on the knees. Repeat and build up to eight 10 second sprints. This is a surefire way to stronger, faster legs. This training can also be done on the treadmill.

*Incorporate strength training that target your shins, calves, quads, glutes and core. Running alone will not increase your speed. You need to strengthen the muscles that make you move so that your actions will be more powerful and efficient. Incorporate variations of squats, lunges, step-ups, calf raises and bent over rows.


On race day....

*Nourish and hydrate. Eat a low fibre meal that contains protein and easily digestible carbs (a banana with peanut butter is an example). Something under 200 calories and eaten at least 90 minutes before you run is ideal and make sure you hydrate with plenty of water.

*A good warm up with brisk walking or light jogging is important as this will help prevent injury and also make sure your muscles are ready to go once the race begins.

*Recent research suggests that starting out stronger than your normal pace and attacking the first part of the race will lead to a shorter overall time.

*For uphills, proper form is key. Keep your head and chest upright and your shoulders and hands relaxed (no clenched fists). Take shorter strides and push off and up, not into the hill to add spring to your movements, while keeping your feet close to the ground. Don't make your legs do all the work. Pump your arms to add power to each step. Gaze up the hill to where you are going, rather than looking at the ground as this helps you see the progress you are making and is a good motivational tool. Tackle the first two thirds of the hill at a slower, more relaxed pace and accelerate for the last third.

*For downhills, use gravity and allow your body to take a longer stride with each step. Relax your leg muscles and focus on leaning forward into the hill and landing softly to prevent jarring of your joints.

*For flats, focus on moving efficiently and with minimal effort. You can achieve this by shifting your shoulders slightly in front of your hips, allowing gravity to naturally pull you forward. Capitalize on this forward momentum to conserve energy while increasing your pace on flat sections of the race without much muscular effort.

*For curves, pay attention to turns in the course and move over as soon as possible to hug the curves, shortening the distance.

*Finishing strong, once you hit the halfway mark, begin to pick up the pace (passing runners will give you an added boost of confidence). For the last quarter of a mile, go for the gold and sprint to the finish line.


Weight management

Bread won't make you gain weight, but a drip feed of anti bread propaganda has convinced us even a few crumbs will show up on the scales. However there is no evidence to prove carb rich foods make us gain weight. Eating an excess of calories is what makes you put on weight wherever they come from. Whether from carbs, protein or fat, it's calories that determine your dress size. In fact, a gram of fat contains nine calories, whereas the same amount of carbs is equal to just four calories!



Eating a handful of walnuts every day may boost your HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) fastest whilst lowering your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).



Don't take for granted what exercise machines say you have burnt off in calories. A recent study found that they overestimate calories burnt by 19%. For a more accurate reading, experts suggest entering a slightly lower weight.


Quote of the month

"You can have results or you can have cannot have both."



Client funny moment of the month

Rohit Ghosh being surprised by a dog whilst training in the morning darkness at 6.30am (doing his Russian twists on the cricket green) and nearly jumping out of his skin as a consequence. 


Interesting fact

75% of Brits are constantly dehydrated. Make sure you drink at least six glasses per day and more when you work out.


Client of the month

This goes to Chris Leighton-Davies who ran one of his best 5k times this month. Great effort Chris!


Other client mentions

Caroline Richards is making really good progress with her running since coming back from a knee injury. Distance and pace are both improving steadily.

Another well done to Melissa Varley who is steadily dropping the pounds and getting closer to her goal weight.

Finally a big welcome to new client, Karen Dunstan. Karen has made a great start and is a pleasure to work with.


See you in November!