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Running for effect… and charity

If there’s one thing us gamers are good at, it’s sitting down and playing games. So how about celebrating this by getting up and going outside for some exercise? Even better: how about helping people with physical disabilities to play video games while you’re doing it?

Kim has spoken many times about her impressive volunteering work with SpecialEffect and, while I haven’t given even a fraction of that time myself, I do find myself very moved by how their efforts level the playing field. So there was no way I could turn it down when told me about the ASICS London 10k.

British 10K, race, runners, London, Kim, SpecialEffect

I’m not the slimmest of people to say the least, but I’ve recently put full focus on improving my health and losing weight. This was the perfect opportunity to do more of that and contribute to the amazing work of SpecialEffect. I’ve volunteered on their stands at expos to help people use an eye-tracker to play racing games and helped organise a pub quiz at work to raise money. The people that work for the charity are a fantastic group.

We’ve put together our own plan for the next 46 weeks based on the run taking place in July 2020, so the training will start on Monday. The plan is to gradually work up to a 5K run, complete that and then push the training up to 45-minutes of running comfortably. A 10K run will typically take around an hour, which would be 20-30 minutes of additional running and will no doubt be possible with the tremendous motivation from running with others for charity. Here are some details about our 46-week plan and any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Week one to 23 is our training for the couch-to-5K run with an actual 5K being set at week 24. The weeks leading up to this will consist of three training sessions each, small runs for a set number of minutes followed by one minute of walking repeated a certain number of times during the session. To keep them a consistent length, the 15-minute run would be repeated only twice and be roughly the expected length of a 5k. If that is all too easy, then we can ramp up those minutes per session or even add in more repetitions.

As an example, the first five weeks look like this:

Week Run Walk Repeat Sessions
1 1 minute 1 minute 10 times 3 times a week
2 2 minutes 1 minute 7 times 3 times a week
3 3 minutes 1 minute 6 times 3 times a week
4 4 minutes 1 minute 5 times 3 times a week
5 5 minutes 1 minute 4 times 3 times a week

The repeats are adjusted to keep the session between 20 and 30 minutes, and we can increase those should it become too comfortable. It’s essential to start and end each workout with a five-minute as a warm-up before and cool-down afterwards to avoid any injuries.

British 10K, race, runners, London

We hope that by week 24, it will become an easy thing to do and no more intensive than a boss battle in a tutorial, like Kingpin in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Moving onto weeks 25 to 46 is the real challenge with the sessions turning into long-running sessions, again three times a week. Starting with a 25-minute session in week 25, we’ll increase that run by one minute each week all the way up to a 45-minute run in the second to last week before the 10K event. That final week before the event will be a cool-off with rest and only very light sessions.

These last seven days are crucial. It’s also important to drink plenty of water! Finally, the most important day before the event itself will be spent playing video games and wondering why the hell did we sign up for this in the first place? SpecialEffect, that’s why!

If you’re also interested in taking part, then head over to the ASICS London 10k website to register your interest. You’ll receive more information once the event date has been confirmed.

Phil View All

Often found in front of YouTube watching videos of cats if not playing video games. Loves sprawling open-world games with a soft spot for the Fallout series.

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