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Advice for First Time London Marathon Runners

London comes alive on the day of the marathon. The excitement in the air is palpable. It brings out the best in runners, in the fantastic marshals and volunteers and organisers, and those 10s and 100s of thousands of members of the public that line the route. Bands are playing

Marathon Tapering Tips – Getting to the Start LineImage result for marathon taper time

I went along to a pre-marathon workshop with Barry Crane at Run and Become in London. I wanted to share some of the advice given as taper time can be rough. It’s when all the niggles and concerns can get blown out of proportion.  I wonder if anyone ever truly thinks they’ve done enough?

Fuelling and Nutrition for Runners (Part 1)

We all know good nutrition is essential to performance. With this in mind, I was lucky enough to be invited to an event hosted by Science in Sport (SiS) on nutrition and fuelling for marathon day. In return, I was asked to write this post. I also wanted to share some of the key takeaway messages.

The Bad RunSnoopy Where Am I Going by Charles Schultz

Ever had a run that sucks? I mean, really sucks? One of those where you doubt your ability to run even one mile. Seven miles with heavy legs running slower than I have for a long time.  I wasn’t ill and I’m not injured. This run sent me into the dreaded downward thought spiral. Doubt. Fear. A bit of an existential crisis. Yep, it’s all there.

Runner Envy – When the Lurgy Strikes Autumn

Here in London, there’s been a sharpish change of seasons. The days are getting shorter, there’s a lovely crunch of leaves underfoot and the temperature’s dropping. And judging from the sneezing and coughing on the bus and at work, it’s that fun time of year when lurgies strike.



Thoughts on Running


Running off Stress: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly Stress and performance

Stress – we’re told it’s bad for us, our waistlines, our health. But is this always the case? And what does it do for your running?


Guest Blog  Finding Your Running Mojo []


Silencing the Blerch 

It’s time to meet the blerch – the fat little cherub who follows when I run, sleep, work and eat.  He’s a wretched lazy beast who represents all form of gluttony, apathy and nothingness. Thank you to The Oatmeal for giving this beasty a name and such apt descriptors…

3 tips for responding to the Blerch Running in the woods

Change is hard. Shifting from the habits of the last few months of not running, being a Netflix junky, drinking too much and not cooking – to running, cooking and engaging with the world a little more, is tricky.

But this week, while the Blerch hung about, the little voice was a little quieter…

When does running get easier?  From earlier in the year - Brisbane River running

It happens to the best of us – when running takes a dip, you mainline Netflix and your favourite pair of running shoes gravitate to the back of the wardrobe. You look on your scales…

Six tips for making running stick How to make running stick

The weather has gone from 30°c, sunny and humid to 20°c and grey in two days…

Good times, bad times and a picnic Knole Park

Let’s start with the bad…Have you ever felt your body out of whack when you’re running? You know what I mean – legs are heavy and there’s no rhythm to your stride …

Embracing the Blerch – the runner’s dilemma  Running in London

The Blerch is part of all of us – the fat little cherub who follows when we run, sleep, work and eat.  He’s a wretched lazy beast …

Ever heard of this one? The joys of bizarre injuries

It’s been hard to think about what to write when it comes to running over the last couple of weeks. Yep, I know, my blog is new. And starting it coincided with an injury I nor any other runner I know has ever heard of.

Giving a little something back PicMonkey Collage

On the 22nd June I was awoken by a buzzing alarm. Outside the sky was bright with a smattering of translucent cloud. It was the morning of the inaugural Hackney Half and I had agreed to marshal..

Decisions, decisions….

‘You know you’re a runner when…you get mad that an injury keeps you from running, not that it damaged your body.’

All weather running

It’s that time of year again, at least where I live, where the excuses for not running start to pile up. It’s cold, it’s raining, there’s sleet, it’s dark…

Berlin running (no, not the marathon but maybe one day…) Berlin

I love running in cities I’ve never been before – all those corners to turn, leading me into the heart of and off the edge of tourist maps. Berlin is one of those places…

Happy New Year to 2015! Blog - 2015

I’ve started the year off well. My second only parkrun, improving my time from mid-2012 by almost 8 minutes!  I’m not a fast runner and I certainly wasn’t when I started but I’m really happy to see how far I’ve come…



Race Review – Grand Union Canal Half

I’d decided to run this as a training run and my final 10 mile plus run before the London Marathon. And I’m so glad I did it as a training run rather than a race – the sun and heat were brutal.


Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run – Review and Lessons Learned

The Lidl Kingston Breakfast Run has a reputation as a good prep race for the London Marathon with four weeks to go. There are three options for distances, 8.2 miles, 16.2 miles or 20.1 miles – I’d signed up for the last of these. And for a race of this distance in London, it was a bargain at £32. I hadn’t run this distance since 2014 so this was going to be a test.

The Original Hampton Court Half – Review and Lessons Learned

I love seeing a rhino at a race. That way I know we’re getting close to London Marathon time. So here I was at the start line of the Original Hampton Court Half and a few thousands others, the rhino a little ahead in the pen.

Race Report – RunThrough at Battersea Park 

What is it about races that sends me into a tither? It’s the feeling the night before when you’ve got your kit sorted, you know what you’re eating in the morning, you’ve sorted out how you’re going to get there, you’ve checked the weather…

Where’s the Mud? The Joys of Cross-Country Racing 1

I hated cross-country running at school. While I didn’t have to deal with the mud that is a little more typical in the UK, I was not what you’d say sporty.

Tadworth 10 and theme tunes Tadworth 10

I felt like I should be galloping on a horse through the mist. Why, I asked myself, don’t races have theme tunes? Today I ran the Tadworth 10...I’ve heard it called the Hell 10, definitely not for the heat as it didn’t get much above 0°c, but the hills…

My first half – Paddock Wood My first half

Standing in a crowd of almost 3,000 runners, I shook my legs, felt the drizzle on my face and wondered how this would go…

My First Marathon – The Best of Times, The Worst of Times London marathon

Passing the mile 7 marker, I was starting to flag. This was my first marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014.  It was not looking good….



Training Recap – 2 Weeks to London MarathonImage result for grumpy runner

Tapering sucks! I’m so grateful it’s only 2 weeks to the London Marathon. While the miles are down, my legs feel heavy and unresponsive and I’ve got too much time on my hands and way too much energy to know what to do with…

3 Weeks to London Marathon

So folks, for those of you running the London Marathon, it’s very soon taper time and that time when all those doubts become magnified x 1,000. If my next few posts are full of maranoia (marathon + paranoia of losing all my fitness/getting ill/injury), you’ll know why.

4 Weeks to London Marathon 

It’s starting to feel real – an 18 mile run, arrival of the registration form, making arrangements to meet up with folks at the Expo, it’s all happening. I’m caught between excitement and paranoia.

5 Weeks to London Marathon 

Image result for soleus and gastrocnemius muscle

This has been a week of irritations, mainly in my left calf. With 5 weeks to go to London Marathon, this is not ideal timing. All I can do is to continue as instructed and hope it gets better. At least it will give me plenty of time for core work and rolling.

6 Weeks to London Marathon

It’s been a mixed week when it comes to running. There have been highs and there have been lows. But it’s spring so I’m slowly getting over the winter blues.

However, on Sunday, things did not go to plan. I apologise now to anyone who came across a very grumpy runner swearing very loudly…

7 Weeks to London Marathon

It’s been a week of highs and lows. My long run was slow and steady as planned and I ran part of the London Marathon route. It did give me shivers  – not long to go now!

But then things got tricky…

8 Weeks to London Marathon

Image result for cartoons hungry runners

Training for a marathon does bring in to sharp relief the tedious issue of one’s weight. I am well above that ‘magical’ number of the ‘ideal racing weight’. I’m not going to be anywhere near it for marathon day. Having said that, I would like to lose a few pounds and improve my diet. My slight challenge here is I don’t go on diets…


9 Weeks to London Marathon

It’s starting to feel real. But while the miles are building and my base fitness has improved, I’m getting lazy about everything else. The laziness has to do with core and rolling, life in general, my diet and all the other stuff I need to be doing to get me to start line of the London Marathon.

I blame February, or more specifically, the weather.

10 Weeks to London Marathon

Having the lurgy sucks. Having the lurgy while marathon training really sucks. To run or not to run, that is the question? I had to answer this on Sunday morning for which I’d planned a 12 miler.



11 Weeks to London Marathon

Injuries get very tedious very quickly so this year I’m doing something a little different. I’m taking on the advice that seems sensible … Yes, I’m talking about core, rolling and general strengthening. I’m never going to be a fast runner but I am working on being a less injury prone one.

12 Weeks to London Marathon 

It’s been a big week – 10k race on Saturday followed by my first run into double digits for almost a year in prep for the London Marathon. And it’s been cold, so cold this week…

13 Weeks to London Marathon 

The miles are starting to build and my confidence is growing, slowly. I’m sticking to the plan and adding in extras to build up strength.

Most importantly, I got through the worst of runs. One of those where I doubt my confidence to run a mile, let alone the London Marathon… I’ve been running for long enough to know that shitty runs make the good runs oh so much sweeter…

14 Weeks to London Marathon 

Yesterday hit the 100 day mark to the London Marathon. My panic about getting the training done and staying injury free has subsided … a little. Being injured sucks…

15 Weeks to London Marathon 

The panic has subsided a little and my training has begun in earnest. This week and the next month or so are about building a stronger running base…

Marathon Training Begins 

Sixteen weeks to go to Virgin London Marathon 2017 and I have my training plan at the ready. Shit. Shit. Oh shit!