They see me rollin’

They see me rollin’

Ever been using a foam roller or trigger point ball, and you hit that teeth-clenching, groan-inducing sweet-spot? That’s trigger point therapy.

What are trigger points

Trigger points are knots in your muscles which form as a result of overuse, hence the reason runners are particularly susceptible to them! The muscle fibres in these knots can’t fully relax on their own.

The fact that these fibres are tightly wound up together, means that they can’t receive the correct amount of oxygen, thus causing pain and tenderness in the area.

Using a foam roller or similar, to dig in to these fibres and help straighten them out, helps to release these knots and nudge them back in to the right place. 

Why should runners try trigger point therapy?

It comes back to that age-old saying – prevention is better than cure. Incorporating trigger point therapy into your running routine, particularly when you’re ramping things up in your training, is going to massively benefit your body in the long run (pun intended).

The more demand you put on your body, the more TLC it needs. Trigger point therapy is a great way to maintain your muscles and tissue fibres.

In saying that, it’s no magical cure, and if you’re experiencing regular and painful trigger points, then you’ll need to properly address the issue, as this can often be down to faulty body mechanics or muscle weakness.

A good physical therapist will be able to help you identify, and rectify what’s causing the painful triggers in the first place.

What are the best foam rolling exercises for runners?

Not sure where to start? Runner’s World have put together this brilliant, comprehensive guide to foam rolling for runner, which you can find here

Make sure you incorporate foam rolling into your warm up/cool down routine,  your body will thank you for it!

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Running In The Heat

Running in the Heat

It’s not everyday we are privileged with the GORGEOUS weather we have had over the weekend but that doesn’t mean your running has to suffer. Here’s our top tips on how to deal with running in the heat:

  1. Stay hydrated
    Hydration is crucial for performing at your best in the hot conditions. It’s so difficult to know how much fluid is lost through sweat on your run, but that makes it even more important to pre-hydrate AND post-hydrate.
  2. Check the breeze
    When possible try and start your run by going with the wind, and running back with a headwind – apparently running into the wind has a cooling effect! Especially important for the second half of your run.
  3. Avoid midday heat
    Try and avoid the midday heatwave by running earlier in the day or later in the afternoon. Not only will it be cooler in the morning but it’s also a great way to start the day and give you that extra energy boost!
  4. Dress appropriately
    Don’t wear too much clothing, keep it lightweight that possibly has vents or mesh. Don’t forget to protect yourself properly from the sun too, make sure you’re wearing an SPF of 30 or higher.
  5. Be patient
    It takes a long time for our bodies to acclimatise to hot weather, so adjust your routes and pace and gradually increase the length and intensity of your training. Be patient with your body!
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Virtual Running Guide

Virtual Running Guide

A virtual running event is a concept that would have had many of us scratching our heads this time 18 months ago. However, virtual events have taken over the running scene in 2020 and 2021.

The great thing about running virtually is that it gives you a tangible goal during an uncertain time. What better way to spend time in lockdown than training towards doing something positive – and receiving a bunch of goodies in the process!

However, it’s totally normal to be unsure of the best method to undertake a virtual event. For many of you, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Virtual Challenge will be the first time you’ve dipped your feet into running an event solo! So to help out, we’ve put together our top 5 tips.

1) Safety First

Obviously, your safety during your run is the most important thing. This means being careful, letting someone else know your route, and picking quieter routes where social distancing can more easily be maintained if possible. This is your moment of glory, so best to avoid letting anything get in the way!

2) Create your Fan Club

Whether it’s a significant other, running buddies, family members, or the man next door, make sure they know about your virtual run. You have chosen to Join in Edinburgh and you deserved to be cheered on! Tell them when you’re running so that they can either support you during the run, or shower you with praise once you’re finished. Motivation can be difficult when running alone, so having a support network behind you is sure to fire you on to the finish line!

3) Plan Your Route

One of the benefits of a virtual race is that the route is entirely in your hands. When else could you take on EMF around your favourite circuit in your local area? You need to make sure you complete the distance, but the rest is up to you! So add flats, downhills, uphills as you see fit. If you can, adding makeshift fuelling and aid stations into your route will help keep you going.

4) Timing’s Everything

Another benefit of virtual running – you decide when you run! Nobody knows better than you when it comes to your running preferences. So whether you wake up and want to crack on first thing, or decide you fancy an afternoon canter, the decision is in your hands.

5) Enjoy It

Remember why you entered the event, spent so long training and are here now. This is your moment, so savour it and enjoy it as much as possible. Remember to stick to your pace, and the rest will follow. Good luck!

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Mental Health Benefits of Running

MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF RUNNING

Apart from the obvious health benefits that running can give you, it can provide many psychological advantages too. No matter your circumstance, running can help ease your mind and get you back on the right track. Here are some positive changes that running can bring to you:

1. Stress Reliever
Whatever you are stressing about, getting active can significantly reduce this. Lacing up your trainers can help with relaxation, anxiety and negative thinking cycles. Running can help your body control stress and deal with existing mental tension. Long distance runs can help you solve problems that have been nagging you. Whilst shorter speed runs can reduce aggression and tension. Make running your new friend.

2. Your new sleeping pill
Nobody wants to be tossing and turning in bed late at night. Indulging in physical exercise, whether that is running or another form, can be your new way of counting sheep at night. Moderate exercise can also significantly improve the sleep of insomnia sufferers.

3. Decreases depression
Running can be a fantastic way of combatting that sluggish and withdrawn feeling that is associated with depression. Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression. Running can take your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.

4. Self-esteem boost
If you’re suffering from low self-esteem in adulthood, go for a run and watch your confidence soar. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercising in the great outdoors can also result in lowered blood pressure and increased self-esteem. Get your running shoes on and watch your confidence soar.

5. Increased creativity
An invigorating run can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Next time you find yourself staring at a blank page waiting for a genius idea to pop into your head, get those legs moving and refresh your body and brain at the same time by going on a jog.

So the next time you’re having a bad day or you want that extra hour in bed, remember all the benefits your body will enjoy from getting active.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 116 123.
CALM, an anonymous helpline for men is open 7 days a week, 5pm to midnight. 0800 58 58 58.

It’s okay not to be okay. Let’s keep talking.

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Edinburgh Marathon announces exclusive offer for London Marathon ballot entrants

EDINBURGH MARATHON ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR LONDON MARATHON BALLOT ENTRANTS

ORGANISERS of the Edinburgh Marathon are calling on London Marathon ballot entrants to also enter the 2020 Edinburgh Marathon.

The event is part of the ever-growing Edinburgh Marathon Festival taking place in Scotland’s capital across the May Bank Holiday weekend on 23-24th May.

Runners who have entered the London Marathon ballot will anxiously anticipate whether they have been successful, with results not due to be announced until October. Thousands of disappointed runners who do not receive a place will seek an alternative spring marathon to enter.

The 2020 Edinburgh Marathon takes place on 24th May and is one of the biggest and best the UK has to offer, making it the ideal alternative to London.

The fast and flat route takes in the city’s iconic sights before heading east for the coastline, making Edinburgh the perfect marathon choice for first timers or marathon veterans alike who have set their sights on achieving a PB.

For a limited time, Edinburgh Marathon Festival organisers are offering to refund entrants who are successful in the London Marathon ballot, and decide they no longer wish to participate in the Edinburgh event. The offer will remain open until the end of August.

Annette Drummond, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Marketing Director, said: “Many runners set their sights on a number of marathons alongside London and wait until post-ballot announcement to make alternative arrangements if unsuccessful”.

“This offer is a fantastic way for runners to have peace of mind that they’ve secured a marathon place and can confidently begin a training schedule – with the added option of running London instead if the opportunity arises. Although many do choose to run both!”.

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival now annually attracts more than 36,000 runners each year, has had an economic impact of more than £40 million for Scotland’s capital and helped raise more than £60 million for hundreds of charities.

This offer is only available until the end of August. For more information and to enter CLICK HERE.

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Edinburgh Marathon Festival becomes a zero waste to landfill event

Edinburgh Marathon Festival becomes a zero waste to landfill event

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival have today announced a partnership with the team at Hamilton Waste & Recycling in its ambition to be one of the only events in the country which is a zero waste to landfill event.

Sandra Scott, Event Director said; “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the team at Hamilton Waste & Recycling to ensure that none of the waste generated at the event ends up in landfill.”

“Each of us understand the importance of making the event as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible, so while we investigate and develop products to allow us to eradicate plastics completely from our event, this interim step to ensure that zero waste goes to landfill is vital.”

Hamilton is one of Scotland’s leading independent recycling and resource management companies. Founded in 2002, the company provides services to customers across East Lothian and Edinburgh where it operates under its distinctive Tartan Waste brand. In addition to its fleet of modern collection vehicles, Hamilton recycles a wide range of commercial, construction and domestic waste through its award-winning materials recycling facility in Musselburgh.

“Every individual at the event has a personal responsibility to help do this by making sure that any rubbish they have is placed in the bins that will be provided around the start, finish and course areas of the event. This is important, particularly on course where the wind can catch empty bottles and gel wrappers and transport them miles away, so please help our teams in these areas by making sure that every last piece ends up in the bin.

“All waste will then be taken away by the team at Hamilton to their recycling facility where each piece will be sorted and recycled into useful products.” Sandra continued.

Recognised as one of the UK’s most sophisticated waste management sites, Hamilton is capable of recycling and recovering all of the waste it processes. Any waste that cannot be recycled is used in the production of a waste derived fuel which in turn, is used to generate sustainable energy and offset traditional fossil fuels.

Having recently invested over £10 million in new processing technology, the company is now able to recover and recycle an even wider range of materials including general waste, mixed recycling, food, glass and plastic. It also operates Scotland’s only mattress recycling facility and accredited plasterboard recycling service.

Hamilton is committed to ensuring that Scotland maintains its position at the forefront of developing the circular economy and helping its customers to realise the environmental and commercial value of the material that they throw away.

Ahead of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival event this weekend, Sandra said; “Good luck to all of our runners, and thank you in advance for supporting the event and the team as we all work together to ensure that this is a ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL event!”

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Broughton Primary School crowned EMF Junior School Champions 3rd year running

BROUGHTON PRIMARY SCHOOL CROWNED EMF JUNIOR SCHOOLS CHAMPIONS 3RD YEAR RUNNING

PUPILS from Edinburgh’s Broughton Primary School are celebrating after they were revealed as winners of the 2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival Junior Schools competition, defending their title for the third year running.

Over 1500 children from schools across Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife took part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Junior Races last May, marking the biggest year in the events’ history.

Young runners aged 6-8 took part in the 1.5K race and 9-12 year olds raced over 2K as part of a packed weekend of running last May which also included the 5K, 10K, Team Relay, Half Marathon and Marathon.

Due to the success of the events in recent years, two new junior races were introduced to the Festivals line up in 2017- the Junior 5K open to kids aged 11-18 and the Kids’ Kilometre accommodating ages 3-6.

EMF mascot, Mr Hairy Haggis, will make a special visit to Broughton Primary School during an upcoming school assembly and award the school with their winning trophy and £150 worth of sports equipment vouchers.

The Parent School Association (PSA) who organised training for the pupils in the lead up to the festival said: “The Broughton Primary runners are a very special group of children, so to be crowned the winners of the EMF schools competition for the 3rd year running is amazing.”

“The children put their all into training, running the races and having lots of fun. We are so proud of them and are delighted all their hard work is recognised and rewarded in this way.”

Broughton Primary School were first crowned EMF Junior Schools Competition winners in 2016 and have claimed the title each year since. The competition was launched with the main aim to recognise and reward the increased efforts of kids getting active throughout schools in Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife.

Neil Kilgour, Director of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival congratulated Broughton Primary for their efforts:

“Pupils and staff from Broughton Primary School are a brilliant example of why we do the Junior Races at EMF and we are really proud that these events help make real change.”

“Broughton’s dedication and commitment through organised training ‘fun runs’ prior to EMF weekend reflects how the school are determined to make the children more active. We realise it’s important to build on this momentum of keeping our children more active and by encouraging kids to get involved with the EMF Junior Races it provides a special occasion where they can celebrate a sense of achievement and inclusion as they cross the finish line.”

Four different Junior races will take place throughout the day on Saturday 25th May at the 2019 Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Entries are filling up fast, with the Junior 2K and 1.5K events already sold out – remaining events are expected to reach capacity in the next few weeks.

For more information and to enter, visit www.edinburghmarathon.com.

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Woman inspired to run for Alzheimer Scotland in Father’s memory

WOMAN INSPIRED TO RUN FOR ALZHEIMER SCOTLAND IN FATHER’S MEMORY

Ursula Hunter, 47 from Edinburgh, ran the Edinburgh Half Marathon in 2018 for Alzheimer Scotland.

She was inspired to fundraise for the charity after receiving the devastating news her Father was diagnosed with terminal Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia in January 2018, aged 71.

Whilst admitted to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow for tests for memory loss, Ursula’s Father suffered a serious seizure. Afterwards, he was left stripped of every day abilities he once had – including walking and many of his cognitive skills.

“He was unable to walk or feed himself. His speech did come back but he couldn’t understand what was going on around him anymore” Ursula explained.

“I felt like I had already lost my father, the man that I knew was hardly there anymore, just a flicker… perhaps only for a few moments when I visited”.

Sadly just eight months later, Ursula’s father passed away.

“He had been so inspirational, a hard-working artist with an academic mind, a great reader, thinker and teacher, who had a wonderful spirit and a creative mind. I couldn’t understand how this learned knowledge and bright personality could all go so quickly”.

After her Father’s death, Ursula wanted to do something meaningful that could help change the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

“I think as a society we need to spread awareness about Dementia, to show just how debilitating it is and how it can happen to anyone and not only when we are elderly, people in their 50’s have been diagnosed with it. If only more research could be done to help people with early onset Alzheimer’s, to find ways to slow the progression of this terrible illness”.

Alzheimer Scotland is the leading dementia organisation in Scotland, campaigning for the rights of people with dementia and their families as well as providing an extensive range of innovative and personalised support services.

By deciding to take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon in memory of her dad, Ursula raised over an incredible £1000 for Alzheimer Scotland.

“It was a great experience and such a sense of achievement! I’ve learned how much can be achieved when you put your mind to it. Especially when you are inspired by the memory of a loved one or a respected person in your community”.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

If you would like to follow in Ursula’s footsteps at this years’ Edinburgh Marathon Festival and run for Alzheimer Scotland, please click here.

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Running as Christmas: Dos and Donts
The festive period is always a challenging time for us runners. As the calendar fills up with work parties and social gatherings, and the kitchen cupboard fills up with mince pies and yule logs, you’d be forgiven for over-indulging and missing out on some running! 

But if you’re feeling extra determined this year, we’ve got some top tips to help you keep fit this Christmas, and some dangerous pitfalls to avoid!

Become an early riser
If your calendar is chock-a-block with parties, gatherings and family reunions, why not set an alarm and get your run done nice and early? It’s a great feeling having it under your belt and knowing the rest of the day is yours to relax! Will it be cold? Probably – but winter mornings can also be pretty beautiful things to behold.

Don’t be self-righteous 
You might be really enjoying the feeling of keeping fit while family members pour prosecco onto their cornflakes, but don’t go gloating! An endorphin-charged runner sitting on their high-horse is sure to ruffle some turkey feathers.

Get into the spirit
There are plenty of festive fun runs coming up in the next few weeks, so why not get yourself entered into one? Get some friends together, don your Santa hats and reindeer antlers and have a laugh with it!

Don’t expect any PBs
A few cheeky treats are inevitable and Christmas food is certainly more conducive to steady running than a max out effort! So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just go out and enjoy running for the sake of running!

Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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EMF 2018
Edinburgh Marathon Festival set to be the biggest on record

2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival set to be the biggest on record

Over 35,000 runners will take to the streets of Edinburgh and East Lothian for the 2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27 May.

The new city-centre marathon route, which starts on Potterrow, will see participants run past the National Museum, Scottish National Gallery and into Princes Street Gardens, with the iconic Edinburgh Castle as their backdrop.

The route then takes in the Scott Monument, before heading down the Royal Mile and towards Holyrood Park, The Scottish Parliament and Royal Palace before then east towards the beautiful coastline. The marathon finishes in Pinkie Playing fields, Musselburgh as per recent years. Both the Half Marathon and Team Relay routes have had similar changes.

For the first time in the event’s history, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is working alongside not-for-profit organisation ‘Project Africa Athletics’ to bring in developing athletes that may not otherwise get the opportunity to take part in a race with the status of the Edinburgh Marathon.

The project supports athletes from east Africa (predominantly Kenya) who do not have the required support structures in place to make use of their talents. The project focuses on supporting athletes who have the required talent to compete outside their country, but lack the support or backing in which to do so.

Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo and Caroline Jepchirchir, both from Kenya, are the Project Africa athletes taking part in this year’s event.. Kiptoo has finished in the top 10 in the Kass international Marathon, which is run between Kapsabat and Eldoret in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. The race, because of its altitude (9000ft in parts), undulating hills and talented athletes who take part, is considered the toughest marathon in the world by many.

Jepchirchir ran an impressive 1hr 14mins when winning the world class Family Bank Half Marathon in Eldoret in 2015. She is building towards a big personal best in Edinburgh.

The British contingent at this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival is also very strong, with lots of runners aiming for quick times along the new Edinburgh Marathon route.

Shona McIntosh of Hunters Bog Trotters set an impressive 2:45:09 time at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon back in April. She looks set to be challenged by Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC who ran 2:46:09 at the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon last October.

Carl Hardman is one to watch after running 2:19:35 in Berlin last September. He’s closely followed by James Bellward, an RAF Athletics runner who clocked a 2:30 in Brighton last month, and Phil Martin of Peterborough AC who grabbed a personal best in London last year.

The Half Marathon should also make for interesting viewing with last year’s female winner, Avril Mason of Shettleston Harriers, coming back to defend her title. She will be pushed all the way by local favourite Dianne Lauder who finished third in the marathon last year.

In the men’s half marathon race, last year’s second place finisher Patryk Gierjatowicz is looking to make it one better along the new route this year. He will face fierce competition from Spaniard Severino Felipe Gomez and Sam Stead of Keswick AC, who clocked an impressive 68:29 at the Brass Monkey Half Marathon back in January.

There will also be tens of thousands of runners, each with their own reason for taking part, and with an abundance incredible stories amongst them.

There are seven runners who are known to be ‘doing a hairy’ at this year’s event. This consists of running the 5K and 10K on the Saturday, then the half marathon and the full marathon on the Sunday. One of them, Luca Basso from Edinburgh is running for SAMH in memory of his brother who committed suicide at a young age.

Amuz Sandhu, age 32, is running the Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Official Charity of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Macmillan supported Amuz through difficult times after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January 2016. Now Amuz is determined to give something back through his fundraising efforts to help raise awareness of the disease.  

Broughton Primary School have the largest group of runners taking part with over 100 pupils, teachers and parents taking part in this year’s event. They have been going out on regular runs to train for their events ranging from the Kids’ Kilometre to the Junior 5K.

Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Race Director, added: “Scotland is preparing to welcome the world to this amazing city and we look forward to delivering another outstanding Edinburgh Marathon Festival that the nation will be proud of.  

We as a team are already proud of the effort put in by all of our runners as they work hard to prepare for the big day. In our eyes, every EMF runner is elite and we value every runner’s contribution to the Festival in equal measure.

This year is extra special with the combination of the new routes: we can’t wait!”

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is Scotland’s largest mass participation running event. There are nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to the charity fundraiser and beginners. The fun kicks off on Saturday 26th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 27th May, the Edinburgh marathon, half marathon and team relay start in the heart of Edinburgh and continue through East Lothian offering stunning views and an unforgettable running experience.

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