What do you really need from a training plan?

I’m running the Boudavida Windsor Women’s 10k on the 23rd September, along with my mum (more on that in another post!) and thought it was time we talked about training and how it should be done (in theory) Unfortunately Kate isn’t able to join, which I know she is GUTTED about as she loves running! 😏

Whether it’s your first 10k or your 40th (I’ve just realised I haven’t raced a 10k since January 2015!) or you’re doing any distance – there are some things that really should be core part of any plan. OBVIOUSLY, you don’t have to do these all in a week because I’ve tried that and it’s really hard. If you’re pretty new to running still, you might want to give yourself more time before bringing in some of the faster paced work.

Still spaces available for the run if you fancy a blast round Windsor Great Park! (Disclaimer here in that my place is a provided press place – my mum entered all of her own accord. Continue reading

Race report – Herts summer tri, Stanborough Lakes

So, time to fess up – I actually haven’t done a triathlon in nearly two years. Not since Hever Castle. I mean, I’ve done duathlons a plenty, runs a plenty, lots of open water swimming and lots of cycling. But not so much “putting them together” – so, I decided I wanted to get a couple in this season, and the first was last weekend.

The Herts triathlon is run by Active Training World (who organise a lot of races in my local area) – it’s held at Stanborough Park in Welwyn, which was a peachy 32 minute drive from home. Which is nice when you have to leave before 6am. YAWN. Did the usual night before “frantically googling triathlon packing lists to check I don’t forget anything” and set my alarm for 5.30. Obviously then spent the drive there worrying I had forgotten something vital, plagued by stories of people who forget things like cycling shoes and helmets. Continue reading

Top tips for winter training aka how to survive the cold and rain

Ugh. It’s dark by the time I leave work. In fact it’s dark WAY before I leave work. It’s dark when I run before work. It’s dark when I run after work. My bike has had a puncture since last week and I haven’t had the enthusiasm to fix it to commute because it’s cold and dark and rainy (I mean I have another bike, but that is by the by)

Ok, so enough moaning – pretty sure every single person reading this is thinking ‘yup, tell me something I don’t know’. I feel like I do a pretty decent job of training over winter because it just has to get done and I do it, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t sometimes hard, or that I don’t sometimes forego a session for a night on the sofa…

So here goes  – some bonafide tips and tricks to help you out over the coming months. Tested by yours truly.

Continue reading

Review: Run or Dye – The World’s Most Colourful 5k!

We’re on a bit of a review rampage this week, here’s another one for you folks! This time it’s all to do with fun, fitness and flinging paint…

When we were emailed by the lovely people at Run or Dye to ask if we would like to run their crazy, paint-filled 5k in North London last week, we jumped at the chance! Given I’m not much of a runner at all, I was surprised that that was my reaction, but the thought of prancing around a 5k course to some bangin’ tunes whilst hurling powdered paint at K-Ferg just sounded like good, clean (or not so clean) fun, and a great way to kick-start my half-marathon training. So off we trotted to Cockfosters on a breezy but dry Saturday morning to join the throngs of other runners for some fun!

We were treated on arrival to some face-painting to get us in the party mood – courtesy of the ladies at Artyful, who had come to support the event – it certainly worked! Then we changed into our very own Run or Dye T-shirts; just by entering the race, every runner is given a free t-shirt, a wristband, some snazzy transfer tattoos and some powdered paint to get messy!Pre-Race painted faces

Soon enough it was time to get going. As we took our place at the starting hold, we were struck by the variety of people who were in attendance – from those who were there to try and knock a few seconds off their PB, to whole families including small children in buggies or being carried on shoulders – Run or Dye really is for everyone! We loved the fact that the staggered start was not done by predicted finish times. There is no elitism here, it’s truly inclusive and has a great family, party atmosphere as a result. The tunes were blaring (Katie did a lot of singing to Taylor Swift… gutted I didn’t manage to catch it on video), and as we waited to reach the start line the DJ almost caused a riot (I’m obviously massively exaggerating, but people did get very excited…) as he threw free gifts of sunglasses, tutus and packets of paint into the crowd, and then we were off!

The course was set out around some parkland, taking us over fields, pavements, mud tracks, through woodland and most importantly through the ‘Colour Zones’ where paint is hurled at you by some very enthusiastic volunteers! It was pretty windy on the day, so the paint had a tendency to just float away rather than stick to the t-shirts, but just running through a big blue cloud full of squealing people was good fun in and of itself.

Katie paint selfie

We made it to the end with big old grins on our faces, and a fair bit of paint in our mouths (it’s not the best tasting, but it’s totally harmless, and frankly you’re having so much fun you barely care!). I was so pleased to have actually run it without dying, but I was so distracted by the music, cheering and paint, I barely had time to think about the actual running. Runners, joggers and walkers alike, cheered each other on as we went, and there was plenty of support from the side-lines too.

Post-run paint

To top it off, you finish with a party – hooray! The DJ gets spinning and everyone bops away in a final flourish of a paint-throwing bonanza!

paint party time

For anyone who wants to run their first 5k in a fun and friendly way, this really is the race for you – and for all you seasoned runners, RoD is a fun morning out, and something a bit different to do with your Saturday, for £25 we think it’s a bit of a bargain!

More upcoming events from Run or Dye:

30 May – Exeter, Great Fulford
6 June – Liverpool, Aintree Racecourse
27 June – Cheshire, Cholmondeley Castle
5 July – Kent, Penshurst Place
11 July – Bournemouth, Kings Park
18 July – Perth, Scone Palace
25 July – Ipswich, Chantry Park
1 August – North Yorkshire, Castle Howard
5 September – Paris, l’Hippodrome de Chantilly
12 September – Galway, Ireland, Lough Cutra Castle
26 September – Oxford, Cornbury Park
3 October – South London, Hever Castle
10 October – Derbyshire, Chatsworth House
18 October – Edinburgh, Hopetoun House

Tips and tricks for commuting and exercising before work

Cycling to work actually takes less time than commuting like a normal person, I don’t faff around so much whilst getting ready (Candy Crush, Buzzfeed and enthralling stories on BBC Breakfast can really take up more time than you think they do) and I actually find getting the train/tube incredibly stressful (I sort of dislike people at that time in the morning, plus I always seem to end up as hot and flustered as I would cycling) . It also gets me somewhere I need to be, makes me feel less guilty if I don’t go to the gym and saves me around £40 a week.

….which unfortunately seems to magically disappear.

Having cycled to work regularly since I first moved to London (alternating with running depending on my current training plan) I’ve had my fair share of forgotten items and have learnt a few shortcuts, hints and tips that I HAD to share with you to make things that little bit easier.

Continue reading