The 5km Run Fun for RTÉ’s Operation Transformation takes place this weekend. Leader Deirdre Hosford talks to Maria Tracey about how signing up for a goal race can help you lose weight and make a vast improvement to your health.
Cork’s own Operation Transformation leader has a confession. She hates running. “It’s true,” laughs Deirdre Hosford, “that’s why I need a goal to work towards. So those days that I might not feel like getting out there and exercising I can say to myself, ‘go out and do it, you have a 5km run to work towards'.”
For the Whitechurch mother-of-two, that goal has been the Operation Transformation 5k Fun Run, which takes place in the Phoenix Park in Dublin and Cork City tomorrow, Saturday. Although registration has reached capacity for both races, Deirdre outlines that those who missed out on the opportunity to sign up for this weekend’s runs should consider entering an alternative event in the coming weeks.
First-timers have been using trainer Karl Henry’s seven-week walk-to-jog programme (available for free at rte.ie). According to Henry, the key is to start with small goals, walking initially for three minutes, then running for one minute and 30 seconds and repeating up to six times. By week seven, those participating in the training plan are walking for one minute and running for five.
“Karl has this plan in place that means this Saturday's 5km will be the first time most of us have ever run 5km straight. There is no doubt it will be a challenge but it will also be amazing as I never could have imagined running a 1km before, never mind 5km,” says Deirdre.
To keep the motivation going, Deirdre is planning to sign up for another 5km after this weekend. “I need to have a goal to work towards,” she says, adding that although she dislikes running, the feeling of satisfaction after achieving a 30-minute workout is hard to beat.
That's because the benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise are numerous. A session of moderate cardiovascular exercise reduces stress and the risk of circulatory illness, while health resource website NutriStrategy reports that an average-sized person burns between 280 and 310 calories during a half an hour of jogging. At 3,500 calories per pound of fat, that means 12 or 13 sessions of jogging will blitz 1lb of weight, more if combined with a healthy eating plan.
Deirdre adds: “Working with Dr Eddie Murphy (Principal Clinical Psychologist) has been great for me, as it has helped me change my mindset. I needed to stop being so hard on myself about going out for a run and having time to myself. Now I actually enjoy that half hour that I can call my own,” says Deirdre.
Having lost 2lbs this week, and 1st 8lbs over the course of the series to date, Deirdre is deservedly over the moon. “I never thought I would get to this stage in seven weeks,” she says. “That’s what Operation Transformation is all about, healthy eating and exercising. It is something that everyone can do to change their lives if they want to.”
Sunday 24th: The Matehy Four-Mile Run at Inniscarra from 11am.
Saturday 2nd: Doneraile Park 5k Trail Run at 11am.
Sunday 10th: Cork BHAA Bord Gais 5k road race in Mahon at 11am.
Sunday 17th: Ballydehob 10k road race at 10.30am.
Sunday 17th: Ballinhassig four-mile road race at 11am.
Monday, 18th: Mallow 10-mile road race at 12.30pm.
See corkrunning.blogspot.com for more information.