Hypnosis for Weight Loss Reviews

In the list of reasons why people run, weight loss comes near the top.

Running is obviously a very effective way to reduce and control weight. Indeed, many runners who started when overweight have long since left behind any concerns they had about their weight.

Of course it’s not as simple as that.
Consciously focusing on weight loss means being focused on being overweight, which in turn negatively affects self esteem.
Thoughts about being overweight are coupled with negative self-image, lack of confidence in actually doing something about it, and many other feelings that block the motivation to change. 

This is why having weight loss as a goal isn’t a very effective way to lose weight.

So, how do you address the behaviours that cause weight gain without thinking too much about being overweight.

You need a bypass, a short-cut to the triggers that can facilitate the life changes that are necessary for effective weight management.

Hypnosis can provide that short cut. It tackles the problem at the very root of its existence: in the unconscious mind.

But not all hypnosis treatments or practitioners are equally effective. If you are lucky enough to find a hypnotherapist who really connects with you and and your own particular needs then great, because that can literally set you off on the road to a new you. An expertly personalised hypnosis session will utilise your own, unique personality, thoughts and experiences for great effect.

But it can prove to be quite expensive though, and not everyone lives conveniently close enough to someone who is good.

What about the alternative, self hypnosis? Yes, if you have the knowledge and experience to create an effective strategy. Not everyone does though. You need to understand the structure of a well-formed hypnosis script. The correct use of induction and deepening techniques and how to apply hypnotic suggestion. High quality recording facility will help immensely too, as will a professional voice artist or even better a qualified hypnotherapist. This all costs time (and money too) if you are to create something very worthwhile.

The self-help answer

There is a middle ground, between the one-to-one hypnosis session and self hypnosis.

Professionally written and voiced hypnosis downloads for weight loss.

I qualified as a hypnotherapist under the expert guidance of Uncommon Knowledge. The same company produce downloadable hypnosis sessions for a huge variety of conditions. Each download is professionally recorded and covered by a customer satisfaction guarantee. We use their recordings for running applications and heartily recommend them.


lose weight with hypnosisFor more info about effective weight loss, visit our sister site: Run Slim


Jo Pavey 10k Training Session

stopwatch running track

Jo Pavey’s extraordinary run in the European Championships 10000m has certainly made more than a few runners think again about what they can achieve.

In a recent issue of Runner’s World Jo detailed an ideal session for sharpening up before a 5k or 10k.

Unusually, it includes both interval and threshold training.

The session

  1. 3 x 800m with 2 min recoveries
  2. 3 mins rest
  3. 3 x 400m with 90 sec recoveries
  4. 5 mins rest
  5. 10 mins at tempo pace
  6. 5 mins rest
  7. 4 x 200m with 60 sec recoveries

The reps should be run at 5k pace or even slightly quicker.

We ran this session on the track yesterday, but altered it slightly — why?

Our runners have quite a wide range of abilities, and running to distance means that the slower runners have a comparatively harder session.
A 15-min 5k runner would be running their first 3 x 800 in just over 7 minutes. A 25 minute 5k runner would be taking 12 minutes; that’s quite a workload at 5k pace and our nearly exhausted runner is not even half-way through their session.

A more personalised application uses time rather than distance.

Here’s what we did.

Revised session

  1. 3 x 4 mins with 1 min recoveries
  2. 2 mins rest
  3. 3 x 2 mins with 1 min recoveries
  4. 2 mins rest
  5. 10 mins at tempo
  6. 3 mins rest
  7. 2 x 200m with 200 rolling recovery between

Why is this important? Well, it makes a session with a large group of mixed ability runners much easier to manage. Also, it is not disheartening for the slower runners because they don’t get the feeling that others are hanging around waiting for them to finish.

Running to time is especially important when running longer intervals, for instance 5 x 1k. This isn’t ideal for slower runners because the rep time can become disproportionately long; they cannot sustain the ideal interval pace for the 1k distance. So it’s more workable to run for time such as 5 x 5 mins. Pushing interval reps much beyond 5 mins means the rep becomes more like a mini-tempo session because the pace is slower; importantly, it’s altered the intended type of training.

In the example above, running 800m reps at 5k pace could be too demanding for some runners and the resulting fatigue could mean that the tempo part cannot be run at the most effective pace. The whole session falls apart and has a quite negative effect on the athlete — not what’s intended at all.

There’s also another practical benefit of running to time: we don’t need the track, so the session can be run out on the road.

What else contributed to Jo Pavey’s Euro Gold?

Jo’s lifestyle has changed somewhat in recent years; two children (one just ten months old) has meant that life revolves around her family rather than her running. She says she is much more relaxed about her running now. Yes she’s busier — much — but her training has become much less regimented. e.g. her morning session might actually be run in the afternoon (after the kids have been sorted out). Maybe this results in more focused session or a more laid back approach, whatever, it seems to work for Jo and becoming more flexible in your training could work for you too. She seems much happier too, and that is one factor that can have a massive effect on athletic performance.

Another factor that Jo values is getting enough sleep; vital for all of us but even more so for anyone with a demanding training regime.

As far as the actual the actual schedule is concerned. Not surprisingly Jo suggests that endurance runners should include the four staples: interval training, long run, threshold run and recovery runs.

Jo Pavey seems to be a perfect example of older doesn’t have to mean slower; older = wiser = faster.


Go Away Rain


I’ve been running for quite a few years now, and been coaching for a few too.

I always endeavour to be the optimistic trainer. By this I mean that when in doubt about running or training (and I don’t mean due to health reasons), just go. Get out there, engage with nature — whatever it throws at you — relish the challenge, the invigoration, and the sense of being alive. We always seem to feel better after a good training session (or any exercise) than we do if we bale-out and do something we thought we might enjoy more instead (like lounging around eating toast and drinking tea).

So what happened today?
We had a track session scheduled, but I cancelled it.

Why? Because this damn weather finally got the better of me.
A moment of weakness perhaps, or maybe we need these reminders occasionally to tell us that when we take the lazy option, we really do feel worse, not better.

I should add that nobody complained.

2 ways to reduce the risk of running injuries

Don’t run in the same shoes all the time

running shoes

We see quite a few runners who have favourite running shoes; they won’t buy or wear anything else. I used to be like that. Once I’d found a particular type of shoe, I’d be very cautious about changing it for fear of increasing the risk of developing a running injury.

Nowadays, I’m a little more relaxed about my running shoes. A while ago I moved very firmly away from the structured anti-pronation shoes that I thought were correcting and protecting me from getting injured. It seemed to make sense: if overuse injuries are caused by over-stressing the tissues in the body, then shifting things around a little might actually reduce the risks. Simply, running in different shoes alters the loads on the stress points in our bodies.

It’s always nice to have these personal observations confirmed by some science and the people who are at the sharp end of research. In his excellent book, Tread Lightly, Peter Larson suggests that rotating or mixing the shoes we run in could reduce our risks of developing running injuries. Now we have a recent scientific study that adds weight to the idea.

Can parallel use of different running shoes decrease running-related injury risk?

The study examined 264 recreational runners over a 22-week period. 116 of the subjects ran in the same shoes, whilst the other 148 ran in an average of 3.6 shoes throughout the period. The startling result (although not so startling to some) was that the multiple shoe wearers had a 39% lower risk of developing injury compared to the single shoe wearers. Scott Douglas in his Runners World article about rotating shoes commented. ‘The researchers wrote that this could well be because different shoes distribute the impact forces of running differently, thereby lessening the strain on any given tissue.’
That statement (even without the science to back it up) seems like common sense. So why isn’t it a more common practice amongst runners to vary their shoes?  Perhaps it illustrates how entrenched some runners are in the belief that they need very specific types of shoe to remain free of running injuries.

The paper was summed up nicely by Peter Larson who said, ‘It’s OK to experiment with footwear, and in fact it may be a good thing.’

Some have suggested that the research could be funded by shoe manufacturers to encourage people to buy more shoes (yes, it can happen). However, I believe it is an independent study. Furthermore, in my experience, although we might have more shoes on the shelves, they last much longer, and being less choosey we tend to pick up many more bargains.

Get a few differing pairs of running shoes on the go at the same time and rotate them frequently. This will allow your body’s tissues to take a break from grinding along in exactly the same way, step after step, mile after mile. 

Here is another way to cut your injury risk.

Strength training for runners to reduce risk of running injuries

Planche exercise

There are plenty of research studies relating to the efficacy of strength training and other exercise regimes on reducing injury risk for runners. The problem is, some conflicts exist and it is hard to determine what actually works and what doesn’t. Now we have a review of a large quantity of research papers that gives us some very firm recommendations.

The effectiveness of exercise interventions to prevent sports injuries: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

This review included 25 trials, involving 26,610 participants with 3,464 injuries. The objective of the review was to determine whether physical activity exercises can reduce sports injuries and to analyse the effect of strength training, stretching, proprioception and combinations of these, and provide separate acute and overuse injury estimates.

When we work with our athletes on the track we always include some strength work as part of the session. But this is only really a taster for them; we simply don’t work with them frequently enough for these short periods of exercise to have optimum benefit. Although we stress the importance of the exercises, it is often apparent that many runners are simply not doing them outside of a formal training session. Why? Probably, because as runners we like to run and don’t perhaps see any immediate benefit.

So are there any benefits regarding injury risk for runners who perform exercises aside from running? The results are quite staggering really, ‘consistently favourable estimates were obtained for all injury prevention measures except for stretching. Strength training reduced sports injuries to less than 1/3 and overuse injuries could be almost halved‘. I’ll repeat that last part: ‘overuse injuries could be almost halved’. When we consider that overuse injuries account for most running injuries these figures cannot be ignored by runners wishing to remain injury-free — that’s all of them I suspect.

The irony is that for many runners, the only other exercise they do apart from running is stretching. Yet this was the one form of exercise that was shown to have no benefit to injury risk reduction.

If we could sell a pill that would reduce running injuries by a half I don’t think we could make them quick enough. Yet, the evidence is there: if you want to injury-proof your body, allocate some of your training time to strength training — a great place to start is on our body conditioning for runners page.

What do you think? What are your experiences of shoe rotating and strength training?

Bekele, Gebrselassie, Farah Stride Length Comparison

How do the stride lengths of the elite compare?

The video below captured Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Mo Farah, at mile 12 at the BUPA Great North Run in 2013. At this point, the 3 runners are running at the same speed as they had done for most of the race; shortly after this point Bekele broke away.

We can see a very real differences in the stride lengths. If the speed is the same and stride lengths are different, then the cadence — or stride rates — must also be different. This obviously questions the often-recommended 180 stride rate; these guys are after all three of the very best distance runners on the planet.

For many runners though (especially the slower ones), the 180 guide is a good one. We find a large proportion of the runners we start to coach are way below this and we are constantly giving drills to encourage them to reduce the tendency to over-reach on their stride (we find that counting strides and focusing on picking the feet up can have a profound effect on over-striding form).

However, the vast majority of runners shouldn’t get too carried away by analysing and particularly trying to copy the form of elite runners. Form is a product of speed and not necessarily the other way round. The runners in the video would be lapping a 400m track in about 68 seconds. Most recreational and club runners would have some difficulty in running just one lap at that speed, and if they did, their form would be looking very different to the way it looks when they run at their more normal 6-8 minute miles over 10k.

There’s a more detailed discussion on stride length in Steve Magness’ article ‘180 isn’t a magic number — Stride Rate and what it means‘ on his excellent Science of Running site.

Tight calves running — time to stretch the calf muscles?

Most runners have experienced tight calves. Running obviously places a heavy load on the calf muscles so we must be careful not to increase the load on these important muscles. But is the reason for our tight calves the same as what we think it is? Maybe not.

So why do we have tight calves? Usually, we’ll look at what we’ve been doing lately; the type of running. Perhaps more uphill running than normal, or maybe we’ve recently switched to a shoe with lower heel, or maybe an increase in faster training could have put an increase load on the calves.

But tightness in the calf muscles might not be that simple

So what do most people do when the feel tight calves, or even worse, a pull in the calf? Stretch the muscle to near breaking point, which is likely the last thing it needs. Often tightness in one muscle is a result of tightness in another. In this case, the calf is overworking because of a limited range of movement in another; most likely the quads. The problem with tight quads is that they don’t usually feel that tight. Unlike the hamstrings or calves, shortened quadricep muscles are not always apparent.

Quad stretch for runners

Quad stretch for runners

Even that knowledge is not enough though. What’s the typical quad stretch that we see runners do? Yes, the standing quad stretch with knees together. But they might need more than that. Here is an excellent article in Athletics Weekly on how best to stretch the quads.


Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, Mo Farah in slow motion

A dream come true for the organisers of the Great North Run 2013: to have Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie and Mo Farah in the same race.

For a spectator, waiting in anticipation at mile 12 was exciting too. Who would be leading?

The press and the camera cars passed to reveal a truly magical moment: all 3 athletes so close together you could throw a blanket over them. And, to add icing to the cake, I managed to grab them in slow motion as they ran past; poetry in motion!


Running to lose weight?


Until now, we’ve not produced a weight loss training plan because the personal requirements are so diverse.
However, we’ve now devised a plan that is suitable for most people, regardless of their fitness level, and one that can be tailored according to those abilities.

It’s on our other site: Run-Slim, which is written specifically for those who want to start running to lose weight.
There’s also a facebook page where runners can share there experiences and aims. 

Make the most of your recovery run

Make your recovery run a vital part of your running training.

Most runners know the value of the recovery run. They know it helps their body and muscles recover from the pounding of the harder training or racing. But do they really know?

There is in fact very little evidence that recovery runs between training sessions actually help with recovery. They certainly don’t flush out waste products which have long since been dispersed shortly after exercise. Nor do they reduce the severity of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), nor speed up the repair process of damaged muscles.

So, what is a recovery run if it doesn’t really aid recovery? A recovery run is a run that does not add further stress to the body while it repairs itself, i.e. an easy run; it’s training but with emphasis on damage limitation.

But, it can be so much more than that; used effectively your recovery runs — or should we say easy runs — can add another dimension to your training and enable you to become a stronger, faster, more durable and less injury prone runner.

Answer this simple question: what do you think about during your recovery runs?
Probably anything and everything.
But, if you focus on certain aspects of your running, while you run, you can turn your easy runs into extremely valuable training runs.

What to focus on

If we look at some of the determinants of faster and more efficient running we’ll get some clues, in particular:

  • cadence (the stride rate)
  • stride length
  • foot position on foot strike (in relation to body position)
  • direction of travel of foot (in relation to the ground)
  • stiffness (compliance of the muscles), stiffer = better

We’ll look at these individually over the coming weeks and how you can use your mind to make improvements in your running whilst still having an easy run.

For now though, use your next run to focus on your cadence. The research seems to suggest a turn-over of 90 strides (180 steps), per minute is optimal for most people. Check yours out, count your strides for a minute. If you much slower than this, say 80-85, it might be worth gradually quickening things up a little. A faster stride is more efficient and produces less impact to the body. In short, you could speed up your running and reduce your risk of injury by addressing this one factor alone.

It will seem strange at first, like your steps are unnaturally short, but persevere and it will make a difference.

How to increase cadence

It does take effort, mental effort, and you might not be able to focus on this for long to begin with, maybe just a few minutes at a time, but keep at it and you’ll develop your ability to remain undistracted. Focus on picking the feet up as soon as they hit the ground and have the muscles in the legs primed, ready to fire, just before impact. Now, here’s a trick: it’s much easier to imagine doing something that would produce this action, than it is to consciously think of the movements you need to make. How would you run over red-hot coals, quickly I’d guess. Or, what about running over quicksand without sinking in — you have to be quick.
Focus on these things and monitor your cadence occasionally, notice how it’s increased.

We’ll explore some other mind games you can play during your recovery (easy) runs soon.