|Glowing and ready to rave run|
|Berlin's Brandenburg gate for the warm-up|
There was an added frisson to all this excitement because we were joined by Paula Radcliffe. At Brandenburg Gate, the women's marathon world record holder led us all in a warm-up and motivational talk before we set out for our rave run through the park. Radcliffe is still recovering from the foot surgery which forced her to pull out of running at the London Olympics this summer. She's still confined to jogging in the sea near her Monaco home so a rave run was out of the question. However, Paula was there to join us for a delicious sushi dinner and preview of Nike's brand new Flyknit One+ style which is launching for Spring/ Summer.
|Beautiful- the Flyknit One+|
|Me and Paula- just amazing|
I very often hear girls saying that exercise isn't for them because of the sweating and general lack of glamour involved. When exercise is your career I suppose it could become rather difficult to find excuses to get dressed up. Paula proves that there are so many ways that you can use those rituals you might usually reserve for "dressing up" to improve your sporting performance. "I always have to wear a nail varnish when I race with a name that sounds fast" she tells me, "one year, I remember being in the MAC shop before the New York marathon and I had to call my friend to decide whether Fluid or Jet Flash sounded faster". Similarly, whereas we might have lucky shoes for big meetings or special lingerie for first dates, Paula is superstitious about her kit, "You get about five uniforms for the racing year, but if I race well in one then I stick with that for every other race". She is lucky too that the career of a sporting star involves plenty of opportunities for serious dressing up. "You spend a lot of time in tracksuits so it's nice to dress up. My wardrobe is kind of divided between Nike kit and evening dresses and not much in-between" which really doesn't sound so bad, does it?
There's little more inspiring than the chance to speak to your hero, but Paula also had some practical advice for getting your running to work for you, and don't forget, there's always the rave run...
PAULA RADCLIFFE'S THREE TIPS FOR GETTING INTO RUNNING:
1. Join a run club, it's unlikely everyone will be having an off day so if you need motivation you'll find it
2. Set intermediate goals to take you up to your main goal so that you're feeling good on the way and realise what you're achieving all the time.
3. Don't feel like you have to do something, find what you enjoy- whether that's running on a track or doing hills. It's your running"