Standard Chartered Great City Race diary

JAMES FATTAL, 25

MEDIA AND COMMS WORKER

FOR ALL the hype around the London Olympics, you’d think everyone who has digested any news in recent times will have been inspired to become a health and fitness fanatic. I wasn’t one of them. That was, until I was offered the opportunity to run in the Standard Chartered Great City Race on the 12 July.

It’s the last major sports event to take place on the City of London’s streets before the Games start. With over 6,500 runners from nearly 400 companies across the City, you can be sure there will be the competitive set, while others will run to support a charity or simply to enjoy the novelty of running through the City’s streets without a car in sight. I saw this as the ideal opportunity to kick-start my eternal promise to get fit. As a lapsed exerciser, I probably represent a lot of City workers. Guided by Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centre in the City, I’m following a plan to become 5K-ready by race day and will be profiling my journey in City A.M. over the next three weeks. This week I followed Nuffield Health’s Health MOT: with little to no exercise for two years, I was pleased with my score of 88 (from 100). Could a 5K run really represent much of a challenge after all?

Onto the physiotherapist, who then checked my stability and flexibility by balancing on one foot while hopping on the spot. Simple stuff from which he determined that my stability was fairly weak and that I would need to do some weight bearing exercises on my hamstrings, gluteus quadriceps and calves. He suggested a few previous injuries could affect my running and I may need to learn running techniques. Finally, I had a metabolic test which established my efficiency when exercising. I’m now doing some interval training (short bursts followed by little rests in between) to improve it. Week one has removed any complacency and given me some focus. Next week, I’m stepping up a gear when I’ll have a training programme developed for me and be given an estimated race finish time based on the results of my various tests.

• If you’re also running the 2012 Standard Chartered Great City Race, post your reason for running at www.facebook.com/standardcharteredgreatcityrace where you can also get fitness tips and advice.