I started the Optifit programme last week, which is a 12-week programme culminating in a 10-km race in December.
The Sports Science Institute of SA runs the programme, and I am one of six people joining the programme as Two Oceans “Superstars”, where we will be helped and trained to develop as runners, in order to achieve the goal of running 21km in the Two Oceans half marathon in April next year.
1. A 2.4km fitness assessment
2. 15 mins walking, then 1 min run/jog 2 mins walk, repeated six times
We started last week on Wednesday by doing a 2.4km fitness assessment. I ran (jogged) the 2.4km in 14.46 mins, and various things were deduced about my fitness based on that. They told me that my VO2 Max was 36.2, which is a bit above average for my age group. VO2Max is an estimation of your body’s ability to expend energy compared to resting values, measured by volume of oxygen per body weight per time (mL/kg/min). That does not mean a whole lot to me, but we will re-do this test after the 12 weeks and it will be interesting to see if there’s an improvement.
My lifestyle is good. My BMI is 27.5, which is not ideal – it means I am moderately overweight.
I hope to lose 4kg in the 12 weeks, although measuring things like the waistline and noting the muscle tone improvements are such important indicators – the scale can be very misleading.
I have been running 5 - 7km three times a week, and this programme starts us off at a much “lower” level, about which initially I felt despondent, not wanting to lose the fitness I have gained on my own. But doing the programme is a great opportunity so I will go back to basics and learn how to run properly, and develop stamina and endurance (I think) by building up slowly.
The first couple of weeks we are meeting at the field three times a week, and we will be doing a combination of walking/running. Thursday last week we did 15 minutes of walking, then 1 minute running with 2 minutes walking in between, repeated six times. Not a very heavy workout, but for some people on the programme it is 15 minutes of walking more than what they were doing! - (Maryann Shaw)
Follow our programme to run 10km in 11 weeks. Click here for Week 1.