Palermo

A track repeat pace chart.

Simon Lamb

We have developed this chart to help you find the desired interval pace for your training. If you want to know how fast your 400m training repeats need to be when training for a 10K race, locate your goal pace in the 10K column and follow it left to the 400m column. For example, if your have a 10K goal 40:00, your 400m interval time should be 01:36.

Download the high resolution version here. To reference the original resources and to discover other pace charts please visit our bookmarks page.

Pick that weight up and lift it above your head. And repeat.

Simon Lamb

By now you have probably realised that when it comes to building strength around our training we prefer to situate it in our everyday lives. From wearing no shoes to balancing on one leg, we find we get more done if it becomes part of our daily routine.

What follows is one simple exercise that can easily fit into your daily life but at the same time works just about all the important muscles you need to keep you strong and mobile. So, find yourself a clear space and follow…

Find a heavy object and place it at your feet.

Squat down and lift that object in one continuous movement upwards until it is above your head.

Reverse that movement and place the heavy object back on the floor.

Repeat as many times as you wish.

You will notice in this movement that everything is getting worked on. Legs, Trunk and Back. Shoulders and Arms. A full body work out from one simple movement.

As with everything we suggest, start off slow and build up the weight, you can use a medicine ball or a kettle bell but you could quite as easily use a bag of rice or whatever you wish.

Remember there is no right or wrong way to move or lift just make sure you are doing it comfortably.

Become strong through everyday movements.

Simon Lamb

Last week we wrote about how to strengthen your feet. We encouraged you to take off your shoes, whenever you can, to let your feet naturally find their own strong and flexible condition, something they often don’t get when trapped in shoes for most of the day. 

Here is an exercise to build on that and to develop our idea further.

Next time you are cleaning your teeth. Stand up straight, level your hips and stand just on one leg. Sounds easy doesn’t it?

Good, now try holding it for the few minutes you clean your teeth and then again on the following leg the next time. Not quite so easy is it, maybe one leg is stronger than the other and needs more practice. Don’t worry, if you have to put your foot down, just start again.

Hopefully you will begin to notice all those tiny muscles in your feet and lower legs that rarely get conditioned, these are vital muscles in the chain of stability you need when your foot hits the floor as you run. 

Practice this each day. Twice a day at least. When cleaning you teeth, waiting for the bus, waiting for anything really. Practice and make a habit. Become strong through everyday movements.

Take off your shoes.

Simon Lamb

This isn’t a post about barefoot running, or minimalist footwear. At Palermo we don’t mind what shoes you run in, other than that they are comfortable, as that is all that really matters. This post is about the health and strength of your feet. 

Consider doing this, next time you are sat at a computer, go to Youtube and watch some climbing videos. You will notice that a climber’s hands are strong. Very Strong. So strong in fact that a climber can hang from vertical or over-hanging cliffs using just a few fingers. 

A climber’s fingers are her main tool for staying on the wall. A runner’s feet should be her main tool. However since the 70’s runners have cast their feet in soft bouncy rubber. Could you imagine a climber climbing in boxing gloves to protect her hands? No we can’t either. But, somewhere along the line, predominately due to myth and clever marketing we have been taught to protect our feet rather than strengthen them.

The body adapts by being strong, not be being protected. 

We are not saying to throw out all your shoes and run naked down the road! What we are saying is when you aren’t outside take off your shoes and be barefoot. Indoors, outdoors whenever you can, as often as possible. Being bare foot will allow your feet to find their natural position and strength again in an everyday way. 

If you find this uncomfortable and maybe even painful then that is a sure sign that your feet need strengthening. So take it carefully and add to your capacity slowly.



We are made of plastic.

Simon Lamb

No not that horrid stuff that is clogging up our seas. We mean that our bodies have plasticity. They have evolved over millions of years to be strong flexible and resilient eco systems. We often hear in clinic “I’ve got a bad back”, or “I can’t do that, that is my bad knee.” Stop letting people tell you this. 

Whatever state you find yourself in, either physically and mentally, you can change it. The ability of the human body to repair and remodel itself is endless and humbling. All you need is belief that it is possible and a plan to work towards regrowth with consistent movement and strength. Movement is the key to life and strength is the key to keeping us moving throughout life.

Pace Chart for Marathon and Half Marathon Training

Simon Lamb

This pace chart was developed with marathon training in mind. Locate your goal pace in the Marathon or Half Marathon column and follow it straight over to see the varying training paces for each type of run. For example, if your Marathon goal time is 3:30:00, your recovery runs should be run at 10:19min/mi and your tempo runs should be 8:01min/mi. Following this chart to vary your training intensities can help you avoid burn out and over training.

The Push Up. The Sit Up. The Plank. The Squat.

Simon Lamb

There are a million and one ways to strengthen your body. At Palermo we believe in one way -
as simply as possible. 

There are hundreds of muscles in the human body. Do you need that many exercises to build a strong body? 

No.

We want you to focus on just four simple body-weight exercises.

The Push Up.

The Sit Up.

The Plank.

The Squat.

Why these four?

Because put together they cover most of the muscles needed to maintain a strong and healthy body.

Because you don’t need any expensive equipment to do them (remember we only want you to use your body-weight as resistance).   

So, take a sheet of paper and write the four exercises at the top. 

See how many you can do now and write that down under each exercise.

Remember there is no right or wrong way to move your body, do each exercise how you think you should do them and in a way that doesn’t cause you pain.

The next day repeat it and try and beat the number you did the previous day.

Do that every day for a month. 

Why a month? A month is roughly how long it takes to form a habit, and a month is long enough to notice a significant difference in your strength and ability. 

You don’t need to keep adding and adding but after a month's practice you will be in a position to decide how many you need to do each day to stay strong, stable and mobile.

There is no right or wrong way to move.

Simon Lamb

Human movement is a unique display of our evolution. It is characteristic of and variable to the athlete, the movement they are performing and the particular environment they are performing in.

There is endless literature from people that insist that they know the best or most economical bio-mechanics to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.

This is what we believe: There is no right or wrong way to move.

An athlete is often prone to injury or a drop in performance when they lack the tolerance or strength to deal with the stress they are under when performing the movement, rather than the athlete moving incorrectly.

So instead of worrying “Am I doing this right?” Concentrate on building a strong, mobile and stable body capable of supporting the movement you are asking it to perform.

Coming next in this series are the simple exercises you can introduce to help achieve this goal.

Treat your body like a plant. Not like a machine.

Simon Lamb

At Palermo we encourage the athlete to slow down and take control of their recovery. We also understand that not everyone has the resources or the knowledge to know where to begin. So we are starting a new series of short articles where we give simple recommendations that can be added to your daily routine to support your body, muscles and mind. 

Some are common sense, some may be brand new and some will hopefully make you think about how you treat your body in a different way. Our aim is that every single one will bring a little relief to the body that carries you through each day. 

To start the series, a fundamental Palermo belief:

Treat your body like a plant. Not like a machine.

We have developed a culture in which when something breaks we throw it away and buy a new one. This disposable culture has infiltrated most of our thinking, even of ourselves and our ‘self’.

Athletes, professional and amateur alike, push their bodies to breaking point, caught in the misconception that pain is the only path to progression, without looking at the consequences of injury. We have become our own throw away culture. We expect our bodies to perform and when they don’t we look to have someone else fix it for us like a mechanic fixes a car. 

At Palermo we view the body differently. To us, the human body is a plant, not a machine. We as therapists are gardeners not mechanics. 

For the human body to thrive it needs to be nurtured into a position of strength, mobility and stability and never forced, ignored or taken for granted. 

You can’t force a flower to grow or demand that a tree recovers from being blown over in a storm. Nature takes time to heal and gain strength, and so, as part of nature, the human body takes time to recover. When we don't allow the body time, the damage can be scarring and permanent.

So, during periods of injury or stagnation consider this. The way to truly heal a body is to understand this need for time, and use it to build a stronger more tolerant body capable of withstanding the stress we expose it to in our racing and training.