On the 2nd June 2018 I was lucky enough to win a competition to attend the Adidas & Wiggle SolarBoost Training Camp down at the Olympic Stadium in London, to help celebrate the launch of the new SolarBoost trainer & to spend the day getting hints & tips about all things running – including nutrition, training techniques & hydration! It sounded like it was going to be a fantastic day, and not only that I was going to be spending it with some of my Instagram running chums – win win!
It was an early start, and by 7.45am crowds of runners were waiting around outside the Olympic Park, ready for a full on day all about our favourite thing – running! I love these events, it’s the one time that I can talk about running until my little heart is content and not worry about boring anyone or getting on anyones nerves (I have learnt to control this somewhat around the ‘muggles’ in my life, ha!) Soon enough we were being welcomed into the stadium, and headed to the first event of the day – Breakfast!
This was a great opportunity to speak to other runners and it was really great to finally meet Ben (@benparkes) his better half Sarah (@sarahplace1) and the most colourful woman I have ever met Hannah (@hannbeam)!
After breakfast we headed to the stands for the first event of the day, a talk all about the brand new SolarBoost trainers & finding out more about the technology they used in the shoes and what the benefits are. (Just a side note – I do not usually run in Adidas trainers, and I have not been paid or sponsored to give a review on the shoes – so this is a completely honest account!) My first impressions of the shoes were that they felt quite heavy, weighing in at 270g (this is for a UK 5.5) they are just over 100g heavier than the shoes I normally run in, and whilst that might not sound like a lot, when it comes to trainers that is a big difference! So I was intrigued to see how they would feel when we got the chance to run in them later on in the day.
Nutrition with Angelique Panagos
After our warm up session, it was back in our seats to hear all about a runners second favourite subject – FOOD! Now after the last few months, nutrition is something I have started to take a lot more seriously, and I made some big changes to my diet on the lead up to the London Marathon, but it is always interesting to learn and I was keen to hear more tips & tricks that could help me to improve as an athlete.
Our meals for the day were also specially selected by Angelique and we got to enjoy lots of delicious food – I may have put a little bit too much on my plate, but there was so much good food it was hard to resist!
Core Stability Training with Lynsey Sharp
Now how often do you get to take part in a Core session with a GB Athlete?! I don’t know about you, but this isn’t something I do very often!
I get asked quite a lot what I do to work out my core, and if I am completely honest it is the one area I tend to neglect, the only time I really do specific ‘ab’ work is during my weekly Circuit class – and thats only because the instructor tells me to do it!
As a runner, core is extremely important, and not even talking aesthetically! Having a strong core can help to keep you to maintain a good posture whilst running, which can make you more efficient, and less chance of you wasting precious energy – whether you are running 400m or a marathon!
Lynsey led two different core routines, and although short – my stomach was definitely feeling it by the end of the session! I have had requests to follow on my Upper & Lower body training posts with a Core routine… so, watch this space!
After the session Lynsey led a short Q&A session. I jumped at the chance to ask questions about her training & how she was feeling about the upcoming season! She was really down to earth & friendly.. another reminder that at the end of the day, even Elite athletes are just people that love running, like all of us!
Sweat Testing with Precision Hydration
As I have mentioned many times before, running, or at least running well is more than just about running. There are many different factors that can make all the difference on race day, and hydration is one of them.
Living in the United Kingdom we aren’t exactly blessed with the best weather all year round, but recently it just so happens that the hottest days of the year have fallen on some pretty important races (London Marathon, Vitality 10000) for me, so getting my hydration nailed is something I am keen to do so that I don’t struggle again (damn you paper cups!)
The technology behind what Precision Hydration do is fascinating, and I was really interested to learn how sweaty, and how salty I was! Click here to watch a short video explaining how the sweat test works – this explains it a lot better than I would be able to!
After the tests, all of our results were downloaded and we were each given a personalised goodie bag full of Precision Hydration products that were best suited to our salt & sweat levels!
I am definitely going to use all of the advice I was given during my training for the Berlin Marathon, and for the day itself! As I will be doing the majority of my training sessions over the warmer summer months, making sure I stay hydrated is going to be key so it’s going to be interesting to see how much difference this makes! I will talk about this in more detail in future blog posts and letting you all know how I get on.
Customised Sole Creations with Solutions4Feet
I hate people touching my feet, so having a random stranger have hold of my foot and putting it in a plastic bag wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but it was totally worth it!
On the day we were all lucky enough to receive a pair of heat moulded, custom made insoles. As I have always been a neutral runner, and never had any issues with footwear I have never really found the need to wear special insoles, but ones that are fitted perfectly to my feet can’t be a bad thing, can they?!
The process was simple, my foot was placed onto an insole, popped into a plastic bag, which was then heat moulded around my foot! Now whilst this wasn’t painful at all, it was definitely a strange sensation – and I felt like my foot was being shrink wrapped like a piece of meat!
The whole process took no time at all, and within 10 minutes I had a brand new pair of insoles that were 100% customised to my feet! The great thing about them is that they are suitable for any shoe, you just need to cut them down to size (you can use the original insole as a guide)
I have been using them in my trainers since I got back, and although I never had any issues before, I have noticed it feels like I have more support in my inner arch as my insoles now go higher and offer that extra support.
If you have thought about getting customised insoles for your running shoes, I highly recommend Solutions4Feet!
Running Techniques with the Nielsen Sisters
As the day was coming to an end, it was finally time for me to lace up and try out the new SolarBoost trainers as we were taking part in a running technique session led by two amazing GB athletes – Lina & Laviai Nielsen!
Once I had (finally!) found some trainers in my size, I was pleasantly surprised that although they felt quite heavy to hold, to run and walk in they felt very light & bouncy. Plus, they look pretty which is always a plus!
I was really looking forward to this session. I love track work and although I am a long distance runner, it is a staple in my marathon training, so I was excited to learn some tips & tricks from the pros! One thing that I have learnt recently is the importance of warming up properly before doing any speed or interval work – and this includes a mix of easy running, strides & dynamic stretching.. all of which we went through during our session.
After we did a full warm up, the fun really started.. and we got to try out some sprinting, and we were encouraged to try and think of all the techniques we used during our warm up – staying light on your feet, keeping upright and trying not to heel strike. The girls also explained how important it is to try and ‘relax’ when you are running – which is a lot harder than it sounds when you are trying to sprint down the 100m finish straight!
Unfortunately we only had time to do a few reps, which was a real shame as once we got started I was raring to go and would have loved to have done a full session! I was also told by the girls that I had a good sprinting form, so I will definitely take that!! Maybe once I am finished with marathons I will give track a proper go 😉
Thank you once again to Adidas & Wiggle for letting me be a part of such a fantastic day!