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Faisal Abdalla is named as one of London’s top Personal Trainers, and is a Official Trainer for Nike, a Men’s Health ambassador, and a senior master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp where he trains the likes of celebrities Ellie Goulding and Ella Eyre. Faisal is well known to the media, and has been featured in The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Men’s Health and Women’s Health, just to name a few! Faisal will be completing the full marathon distance on 14th July 2018.

Top Training Tips From Celebrity Coach, Faisal Abdalla

We were delighted to have the amazing Faisal Abdalla, top London fitness coach, Official Trainer for Nike and Personal Trainer to Ellie Goulding and other A-list celebs, join us for one a Dream Challenge in the past. Check out his top tips on how to train your mind and core for a charity trekking challenge. 

No matter which Dream Challenge you plan to conquer, it is going to require you to dig deep. It will probably start off feeling very fun and exciting, but you will be feeling it a few miles in, I’m afraid to say. No matter how hard it gets, this challenge is for an incredible cause and is a great chance to smash some personal goals, so make sure you prepare yourself over the next few months, so you can keep the good vibes flowing!

Training is key before any event like this, so don’t just turn up on the day and expect to breeze through it. Above absolutely anything else, get your mind in check and train that brain for the task ahead. 

Training your mind for a marathon

• Visualise the finish line and at any point where it gets hard, remind yourself why you’re doing it to power yourself on.

• If you need to take a moment to stop and recollect your thoughts, then do. Zone out from everything around you, take some deep breaths and go through all the reasons why you decided to sign up in the first place.

• Sometimes a little pep talk does you the world of good. Just imagine how incredible you will feel once you’ve done it.

• The harder something is, the more rewarding, so whatever you do, just don’t quit!

Strengthening your core for walking

In terms of training your body, you will probably think your legs are one of the most important areas to focus on when building strength because your legs are carrying you. However, you shouldn’t rely on just your legs to get you through or you will burn out.

A strong core will help with your posture as you walk and minimise the chance of back ache over the long distance. It will also help you while you walk if you engage your core, so that every part of your body, from your arms to your spine, is helping to push your legs forward.

Two of my favourite core strengthening exercises include:

Planks (on elbows or hands)
Hold a plank every other day for as long as you can and try to beat your time. Don’t strain your neck by looking up as you plank, keep your spine neutral and flat, and squeeze those butt cheeks in!

Planks

Planks

Dead Bugs

  • Lie flat on your back and raise your arms up towards the ceiling, shoulders flat on the ground.

  • Bend knees to a 90-degree angle and then slowly lower your right arm and left leg at the same time until they are just above the floor.

  • Return to the starting position and then switch sides to do the same with your opposite limbs.

  • Keep your back flat on the floor at all times, using your core to push it into the floor. If you can fit a hand under there, you’re not engaging your core enough or you’re bringing your limbs lower than the muscles can handle as they still need strengthening.

  • Try this 10 times, rest for a minute or two and then repeat two more rounds of 10. Try this two or three times a week leading up to your challenge.
Dead Bug starting position

Dead Bug starting position

Dead Bug ending position

Dead Bug ending position

Working on your Endurance

As well as strength training, working on your endurance is key; so use the months ahead to slowly build up how often you’re training and how long you’re training for. Don’t let your Dream Challenge be the first time you’ve ever walked over two miles, or you will struggle! Get started now with a weekly walk.

Begin with two or three miles and add another half or full mile on each week, depending on how you’re feeling. Make it a family event or borrow a friend’s dog and it won’t feel like “training”, but like a nice weekend activity in the fresh air.

On top of that, I’d recommend 40 minutes to an hour of low intensity cardio up to three times a week, to prepare your lungs and get you breathing effectively. Swimming, cycling or even gentle rowing are all great ways to get moving without putting too much strain on your joints.

So, to recap:

•Get your mind in check and start working on the PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)

•Start core strengthening exercises

•Get walking once a week, increasing the distance each week

•Work on building endurance with a low intensity training session two or three times a week

•Enjoy the journey!

About Faisal

Faisal Abdalla is named as one of London’s top Personal Trainers, and is a Official Trainer for Nike, a Men’s Health ambassador, and a senior master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp where he trains the likes of celebrities Ellie Goulding and Ella Eyre. Faisal is well known to the media, and has been featured in The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Men’s Health and Women’s Health, just to name a few! Faisal completed our epic Walk the Night charity walking marathon in London and helped to raise funds and awareness for CoppaFeel! and Prostate Cancer UK.

Visit Faisal's website.

Don't have a challenge to train for?

If you haven't signed up to one of our exciting challenges, why not give yourself even more reason to train and book today? We have all sorts of adventures that will change your life for the better, from trekking the Great Wall of China to tracking gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest in Uganda, to cycling from Mumbai to Goa.... and the list goes on!

You can trek for Mental Health, cycle for people affected by cancer or join our spectacular Big Heart Bike Ride for heart charities and cardiac wards.

Before you worry about fundraising, we've got you covered with seasonal fundraising ideas on our Dream Journal.

Whatever your dream and whatever your cause, we can practically guarantee we've got a challenge to get you moving. See our full range of adventures here and register today to secure your place.

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