Tuesday, 25 January 2011


One of the things often said about running is its low barriers to entry. All you need is a pair of trainers and off you go. This may well be the case, but there are a lot of other things out there that make running a lot more comfortable.

The first thing is you are female is a decent sports bra. It really is worth spending some money on the right one, and my new favourite is the Shock Absorber Run bra. It's specially designed for running, and doesn't move or rub (so far). I particularly like the padded straps.

Next up is outer layers tailored to the weather. In the winter I favour long running tights. Both pairs I have at the moment are Nike, but that is mostly because I got them in the sale. They are comfortable to run in, have a useful pocket just under the waistband at the back, and have zips at the ankles. My only problem with them is that when it is really cold (e.g. around Christmas) I needed cycling shorts underneath to keep my thighs warm enough.

I have a variety of tops and layer them depending on the weather. Usually this time of year I am wearing two layers, generally a short-sleeved top with a long-sleeved one over it. I particularly like this Gap top

and this one has a lovely fleecy lining, so it is very toasty.

Good socks are also important, and for long runs I like ones with a double layer, as they are very comfortable. When it is cold I also like to wear a headband that covers my ears, or if it really cold a hat, and gloves.

Best run: 12 miles along the river, from Hammersmith to Barnes, then to Wandsworth and back to Hammersmith. Pace felt good, it went past v quickly, and the last mile was speedy!

Worst run: 6 miles pace, to Wandsworth Bridge and back. A theme is developing here, with the pace runs being the worst. I guess this means I am working hard, which is the point.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Fundraising Event No.1

One of the most difficult things about fundraising has been thinking of events to do that target different groups of people. For the first event we thought we would keep it fairly low key, and so we had a drinks party for my parents village in the run up to Christmas.

Luckily it wasn't too snowy, and their very talented neighbour Juliet Howland agreed to sing.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the mulled wine and the singing, and we raised nearly £300, which is a brilliant start!

Don't forget if you want to sponsor me you can click on the link on the right.

Best run: 7 miles to Westminster Bridge and back. Weather was decent if a little windy, and it felt pretty easy

Worst run: 5 miles pace. This felt like hard work the whole way round, but I guess that is the point! Managed to average 8 minute miles though, so not too shabby.

Monday, 10 January 2011

New Shoes

All being well, these are the shoes that I will run the marathon in. It's a bit sad, but when I first thought of that it made me a bit emotional. These are an updated version of the trainers that I have been running in for a couple of years, so I know that they suit me. I also managed to find them in the sale, so that is a bonus. Thank you Sweatshop for having the elusive 7.5!
In other news I have been pushing on with the training plan. I actually ran more than I meant to this week, as I ran with a group of people on Saturday, and the loop that we thought was going to be 6 miles actually turned out more like 8.
Best run: 8 miles in Richmond Park on Saturday with Rich, Daisy, Adam and Gemma. Bit hilly, but so much nicer running with other people due to the chat, and it got us all out there in the first place without being able to wimp out.
Worst run: 8 miles to Waterloo Bridge and back in the pouring rain. It wasn't raining when I left. By 2 miles in I had to abandon my iPod as the headphones were being washed out of my ears. Vans on the Embankment kept soaking me. It wasn't at all fun, but I kept on trucking and at least it felt good at the end.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Training Plan

Working out a training plan for the marathon can be pretty tricky. For a start I have no experience of any of this, and so I am relying on other people's knowledge, which always makes me nervous. Then there is the fact that there seem to be an infinite number of different plans, and everyone has different ideas about how you should go about things.

I therefore decided to base the plan around the half marathon plan that I used last year. I will be doing speed work (intervals or fartleks) in the running club sessions on Mondays. I have therefore moved my long runs to Saturdays (social life permitting) so that I don't have two tough sessions in a row. I have also put in some tempo (pace) runs so that I can get used to running at my hoped-for marathon pace.

So this is what it looks like at the moment:

Obviously it is subject to change, and will have to be adapted a bit to fit around normal life.

In other news it is now pouring with rain, which is at least better than snow. My foot is a bit better having had some time off, but there is still a little pain there. I am going to try icing after running, and taking an ibuprofen after tough sessions to try and reduce the inflammation.