Pick a role model

Who would you pick and why?

Ron Hill

The next day you think getting up for a run will be challenging, conjure up an image of Ron Hill still running well into his 70s and turning up for the odd local race.  You cant help being impressed with the guy who once held the fastest marathon time and whom still gets out for a local run with Barnsley Harriers.  Ron is renowned for running everyday, almost, and whatever the circumstances.  Apparently even in his day his training involved running to work. At a race in December 2011, Silkstone Shuffle, walking to the car I briefly had the chance to speak to Ron.  He was totally approachable and came over as a lovely down to earth guy, someone definitely to look up to.

Born 20th Sept 1938

In 1970 Ron Hill recorded the fastest undisputed marathon time 2hr 9min 28sec, at that juncture.

Hill also won the European title on the Marathon to Athens course in 1969 but never scaled the heights of the Olympic podium as a marathon runner, finishing 19th in Tokyo in 1964, being picked only for the 10,000m in Mexico in 1968 (crossing the line seventh in the final) and placing a distraught seventh in Munich in 1972 after an experiment with altitude training in St Moritz backfired.

Ellie Simmonds and Usain Bolt

Possibly the best athlete of in the world – certainly the best and most iconic swimmer.  

 There are some times when I ask myself why life has become so challenging and wonder why everything is so hard and tiring, then moments of inspiration are delivered from those who take on much bigger challenges. 

Sometimes you hear people suggesting that that you’ve no chance of success and you’re heading for failure and you’ve taken on too much.  If someone had ever suggested that Ellie Simmonds could have achieved what she did, I think we would have all doubted her.  I’m not referring to her achievement as a Para Olympian, but as an athlete.  I’m a UK age group triathlete and I don’t think I could beat Ellie in a swim… well I know at the moment I cant I’ve timed myself.  My guess is that this means Ellie is faster than 99% of the population over 400m.  She would beat most active swimmer and many competitive swimmers.  My guess is that if you challenged her to a race and part way through the race you were a little quicker than her, she would up the pace and stick you with another new world record.  Ellie is more than an athlete she is a true inspiration.  If ever we feel the challenge is too great – let’s look at those who face  challenges beyond the normal. Usain Bolt is a star, Ellie Simmonds is a true lead and inspiration.  I  suspect she is fast than most of us, who were born to swim… It would seem that we put more barriers to achievement than are really there.

Ellie Simmonds400m free style 5:19:14

Ellie swims and wins

What it means to win

Usain Bolt 100 m 2012 Olympics

Discussion question, Ellie Simmods and Usain Bolt – who’s the best?


Regular Training

The first step on any training programme should be to build in regular exercise, intensity is not necessarily important.  One of the best ways to maintain fitness is to build activity into normal tasks; wherever possible, drop the car, lift and escalator and put a little effort in.  If you are going to join a class, group or team to engage in sports and activity, pick groups that are welcoming where the people involved are supportive and helpful.  Always give clubs a few weeks so you can make a good assessment of how much you enjoyed the session and how you feel about it, but if it does not feel right after a month try another club – some clubs are exclusive and some inclusive, its best to find the clubs where you feel you fit in.

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