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Our medal winning Commonwealth Games and European Championship athlete Lynsey Sharp helped Radio DJ Greg James to step up training for his latest fitness challenge. His session comes as new research by Bupa shows that while a third of Brits will attempt a fitness challenge at some point in their lives, only 10% will actually prepare and stick to a clear plan, and around 30% admit fear of failure or lack of time stops them from achieving their goal. Greg is now midway through a strict training plan to prepare him for attempting a new personal best at the Bupa Great North Run on 7 September. To demonstrate that anyone can fit training into their daily routine, no matter how busy they are, Bupa enlisted PHAR Talent's Lynsey Sharp to put Greg through his paces and show him effective ways to fit in short and fast bursts of training that will improve speed and stamina.

Greg James said: I’ve been pretty good at sticking to the training plan for the Bupa Great North Run, however it is hard to balance training, work and seeing friends. Today’s session was something else, I’ve never worked so hard in my life, but Lynsey showed me that when I’m short on time, short internal sessions are a great way to boost my training. I feel like a changed man and I’ve never enjoyed running so much!”

The session was held after new research by Bupa examined how and why Brits set themselves challenges, and their feelings towards failure. The research was conducted as part of Bupa’s Your First Step campaign, which aims to inspire people of all ages to take on a new fitness goal they didn’t think would be possible. It found that:

  • Around 70% of Britons regularly set themselves challenges, with over 40% doing so to improve their health.
  • One in three Brits will take on a new fitness challenge at some point in their lives, but only one in ten will actually prepare and stick to a clear plan.
  • A quarter of 25-44 year olds say that a lack of time stops them from setting a challenge.

To prove that with the right support, anyone can take on a challenge and succeed – no matter how busy they are – Greg is looking to beat his previous half marathon time of two hours and eight minutes, and complete the course in less than two hours.

Lynsey is no stranger to adversity and overcoming the odds as an elite athlete. After smashing her personal best twice this year, she has provided her top tips on how to improve mental and physical strength that anyone can apply to help reach personal goals.

Lynsey Sharp said: “Interval training is the best way to improve fitness in a short space of time, although it isn’t for the faint hearted, and is incredibly intense and taxing on the body. This particular way to train has a reputation of being boring, but it’s just harder work that you can power through. I was really impressed with the way that Greg performed during our session, he has clearly been putting in the hours and sticking to the training plan. I’ve had to battle a lot of injury in my career to date, so I am well versed in the pressures of getting back into peak fitness with a clear goal in mind.”