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Alison Canavan's Honda Wings for Life Running Blog

Alison Canavan's Honda Wings for Life Running Blog

29 April 2014


Wings for Life Running Blog with Alison Canavan and Honda


As official vehicle partner of the Wings for Life World Run in Killarney on May 4th, Honda will provide support cars and prize cars to the event, but the biggest challenge will be to field a team of runners in the race!


The Wings for Life World Run is a unique global event, where over 200,000 runners worldwide will run against each other, at the same time, in order to raise funds for spinal cord injury research. The Wings for Life World Run is also unique in that it has no 'finish line', instead, you are pursued by a Honda CR-V 'Catcher Car'. Runners set off across the start line, and 30 minutes later, the CR-V will pursue at a set speed, your race is over once the Catcher Car passes you. So whether a 5k fun runner, or an ultra marathon runner, the Wings for Life World Run has something for everyone! Sign-up to the Irish leg of the race and Honda are giving you the chance to win a New Honda Jazz Si!


At Honda, we've partnered with our Ambassador, well-known model and TV presenter Alison Canavan to write a running blog for Follow Alison's journey as she goes from 0 to 10k over just 6 weeks to run at the Wings for Life World Run in Killarney on May 4th as part of Team Honda. For more information on the race itself, visit



Alison's Running Blog



24th of March to 31st of March


I like a challenge but have always shied away from running as I have never found it easy or enjoyable. The Wings for Life World Run however seemed to come at the right time for a number of reasons. One of my resolutions for 2014 was to get fit both for professional and personal reasons. I’ve been modeling for 20 years now and have been truly blessed genetically that my weight was always easy to manage but things change as you get older and I knew something had to give. I’ve also struggled with depression for a long time and knew that exercise was a key part for me in staying well.


I started training with Scott Gilchrist from Damfit Personal Training in January and instantly noticed my moods and ability to work better improve. This was interesting as the first few months of 2014 have been very tough in other ways.


Scott says that “The key to training for any endurance event is good fitness levels, strong legs and good core strength! With Alison being a model her figure is that of a well established runner!! But we have to work on her endurance/fitness levels to build strength in her legs and to really concentrate on her core strength. If yoy have a spare hour and 15 minutes in your day, 3 days a week, you too can prepare yourself for such an event. Build your fitness levels up by setting a goal of a distance to complete then using that distance as a marker. For Alison, we set that at 5k. We now don't go lower than this at any training session. Teamed up with weighted squats, lunges and lots of core work, Alison is now on the home straight to being ready for her 10k. Training is all well and good but I can't emphasise enough just how important rest and stretching are during preparation for any sporting event. Allowing your body to recover will mean you can get more out of your training! Concentrate on stretching your glutes, quads and hamstrings as this will improve your running technique!! Following these simple rules will help all people of all fitness levels cross that line”


1st of April - 6th of April



Running for people that can’t!! That statement alone was enough for me to get involved in this race. We all need to push ourselves that bit further to achieve our goals and dreams and I’m a great believer in giving back, in fact I think every single person should in some way. If you can’t do it financially then give your time no matter how little because the saying 'every little helps' is so true. I’m running with Team Honda who have been supporting me around Ireland with my shows and it has been a fantastic honour to be their Ambassador. I have set myself a personal goal of running the 10K. Having never run before I knew this would be a challenge. It’s Monday the 7th of April today and I ran 5K this morning and it was really tough. That last 0.5 was so hard and I almost felt like the treadmill was tricking me and slowing down on purpose. However the feeling of euphoria (when I caught my breath and my beetroot face finally returned to normal) was worth it. My energy levels are incredible. My ability to deal with day-to-day problems has improved and I’m living a healthier life in general, and I don’t want to lose this feeling.


The past two weeks I have trained with Scott Monday, Wednesday and Friday and we are doing a mixture of strength training and cardio. A lot of ab work to strengthen my core as this will carry me through when I get tired. Some days are great and some of really tough. Thursday the 27th I ran 2km no problem, but Saturday the 29th I really struggled with a stich and general lethargy.


It was at this point I started to focus on what my body needed. I have a good diet but keeping sufficiently hydrated and having a good breakfast is something I skip sometimes simply because I’m either busy or like most Mums making sure my son gets his brekkie and then we’re out of time.


Porridge has now become a staple with banana and honey and cashews for snacks. I’ve eliminated coffee as I felt it was dehydrating me which could be the cause of my reccurring stich. I’m having proteins like fish and chicken and lots of salads and veg for dinner and lunch. I’m drinking matcha green tea because of the enormous health benefits and making a huge effort to get to bed earlier than usual. Being a working mum and self employed this has been the most challenging part. I usually stay up late working and writing and I’m currently starting two new businesses so there’s always a long list of things to do.


Training has taught me discipline, patience and helped me realize how important lifestyle is in our overall happiness and contentment.


I did my first 5K on Friday 4th of April with Scotts encouragement. It was tough but worth it. My body was so sore over the weekend so I took a rest and did a lot of stretching. I have less than a month to go now and I’m hoping this week it gets a little easier. Food, rest and mental focus is becoming important. I need to believe I can do it. The one thing that’s driving me forward is gratitude, as I know the people I’m running for would love to be in my position and be able to run.


7th of April



Ok, so I have four weeks to go and this morning I ran 5k with my trainer. Yes, I could probably do it on my own but I’m racked with injuries and a bad back and with my job it's important to have guidance to do it responsibly and healthy. Besides that there is actually no way I would push myself if Scott wasn’t watching me and pushing me. I found it really tough today but, as always, I felt great afterwards.


I’m eating well and had lots of fresh fruit and a delicious salad with chicken. Some homemade soup and a sandwich was my late afternoon snack and I plan on an early night as I’m just on my way back from the presscall in Killarney. What a beautiful part of the world. If you want to join me please do sign up, even if your fitness level is even quarter of mine, which is not hard! You will absolutely be able to run with me. I would love to get a big gang of mums together so go on push yourself and run with me!


 9th of April



I took yesterday off training as I had a lot on with work and I’m trying to find that delicate balance in case I over do it. Today, I ran 6k in about 36 minutes and I’m thrilled. I was much more comfortable today than previous sessions but I’m also getting more stiff so I need to be mindful to focus on stretching.


I had porridge with nuts and a banana for breakfast and stopped drinking water about 45 minutes before I trained and it’s the first day I didn’t get a stitch. Straight after training I had wholemeal toast, eggs and salmon. Eating well and often has benefitted me in so many ways. I’m more focused with work and through exercising I’m so much happier on a day-to-day basis.


Sleep is also key so I’m trying to get to bed by 10/11 every night. Having a toddler with an ear infection who’s up all night has been tough, but sure that’s all part of being a Mammy!


11th of April



Today was extremely tough and I keep getting stitches at the moment. I’ve cut out coffee, so going to cut out green tea too and make sure I’m properly dehydrated before I work out. I’m also taking O.R.S oral rehydration salts as they help to replenish the body’s water and salts, which helps maintain a healthy fluid balance.


I’m going to rest for the weekend and do a lot of stretching. Next week, I want to push my distance a bit further. Overall this has been a good lesson in discipline so far but I’m also learning that great art of balancing everything a bit better. Running has become a form of escapism, but in a good way.


14th of April


The sun is shining; spring is here so this week I’m running outdoors. My aim is to run Monday, Wednesday and Friday and do 6k each day. I’m going to load up on great food too. Its funny how even the smallest bit of sunshine helps us be a bit healthier without even trying.


If you want to join me on the 4th of May I’d love you to run with me. Follow me on twitter @alicanavan and we can train together!!



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