If the Olympics has left you itching to bask in your own bit of athletic glory but without putting in the hours, there’s still time to enter Bloomberg’s Square Mile Relay this Thursday. And with 10 miles per ten-man team, you only have to go flat out for a mile in your attempt to win the title. Last year saw Macquarie Bank win with an impressive team time of 48 mins, 50 seconds with Legal and General coming a close second in 49 minutes and 2 seconds. This really is a chance to outshine the competition, whittle waistline and hone and tone heart and lungs at the same time.
If you’re already entered or you’re now putting together a team as we speak, here are my top tips for running a good relay on the day:
• Practise in advance with your team
• Make sure each runner is assigned a section of the relay before the race
• Do some relay-specific training - there’s still time. Virgin Active Aldersgate (www.virginactive.co.uk) are running classes for all runners (including non-members) on Mondays and Wednesdays with drills that specifically target runners’ speed and agility to help negotiate windier parts of the route, along with plyometric exercises (more explosive movements) to help with speed and power.
• Practise the baton bit. That includes running just before you receive it, knowing which hand to take it in, achieving the right grip, and so on.
• Don’t be afraid of adjusting your grip on the baton as you run – better to have a firm hold on it than to risk dropping it.
• If you feel like it’s all over and another team’s going to win, keep giving it your all. They could get disqualified or drop the baton and the glory could be all yours.
• Make sure you warm up before your mile and stretch well afterwards. It’s easy to get carried away with post-race adrenaline and free champagne and forget to cool down, but your muscles won’t thank you for it later.