September 27, 2017

Run Melbourne – the training starts

Run Melbourne is a fantastic run that is taking place on Sunday July 15th through the streets of Australia’s food capital….. Melbourne.

There is a 5km, 10km and half marathon course; last year I completed the half marathon and it was a great event, well organised, plenty of water and a good route. It was still hard work though!

I’ll be doing this year’s half marathon again and for the next few weeks we’ll profile someone different whether they be an experienced runner, a first timer, after a PB or simply want to get round. We’ll keep track of their training and see how they actually did when the race is done!

So this week it’s Julie, also known as Chief Bunny!

Julie, runs lots but wants to get quicker

Chief Bunny

I haven’t run a half marathon for a while so this is my journey back into it. I’m really after doing a 1hr 50 time so I need to start revving up my training. At the moment I focus on 4 or 5 runs a week and some of those will incorporate interval training.

Three months out from the race I’ve started to get a bit more serious about my training; I have a plan which incorporates shorter runs during the week and longer runs on the weekend. I also make sure I keep the interval training going but I’m more planned about it. In addition I try and get some shorter races in so I have the Mother Day Classic planned for May 13th and a 10km race around Albert Park in June. I find it helps you pace yourself and get used to race conditions again (I am always quite nervous before a race and my experience is that your stomach can play havoc with you).

Following on from Run Melbourne I’ll be running the Melbourne marathon in October so then the really tough work begins!

Top tip: if you are using gels or sports drink incorporate in your training; don’t use what’s provided on the day. Your stomach won’t thank you for it!

So if you want to get involved log on to and enter today.

Next week we’ll be talking to Pete, a triathlete, runner and soon to be Iron Man contender!


Running routes – Plan them, map them, share them!

I tend to run the same route most of the time and extend it/ shorten it as necessary. However sometimes I just want a change or I’m travelling and want to find a good running route. So map my run is a great website and app that helps with this.  The main things I use it for are planning routes and finding new routes in an area I’m not familiar with however there are loads of things you can use it for as below:

  • Planning and measuring your routes in terms of distance and elevation
  • Sharing these routes with your friends via facebook/ twitter
  • Log workouts
  • Download training plans
  • Keep a food diary and record calories and fat consumed
Map my run route






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Walking or running through the parks of London

When visiting London I love to go running; I find it’s the best way to see the city and all of its flora and fauna. There are many places to go running and I think it’s one of the best cities for it. From Hyde Park and Regents Park to running along the Thames there is something for everyone. Here are two different running options around the parks which you might like.


Regents Park – 6.2km run

running routes in Regents ParkThis particular run is around the outskirts of Regents Park, is relatively flat and takes in some of London’s finest scenery. It’s 6.2km around the outer circle with a shoot in to the inner circle but you can lengthen or shorten that as you choose. I started at Hanover Gate to the West of the park, near St John’s Wood. I actually came into the park and ran by the side of the lake then headed out into the outer circle. This is a beautiful lake with plenty of birds but gets very busy so pick your time wisely – early morning is fantastic as it is very quiet. Depending on what deviation you take you can try and take a sneaky peak into the zoo and might spot the odd animal or too. I saw an emu, or it may have been an ostrich, it was a big bird nevertheless.


If you want to head out of the park the streets of Camden are nearby as is St John’s Wood and Lords cricket ground.

Regents Park run





The map is above and link to the run below.

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5 simple post run stretches

Stretching is one of those subjects that people have different views on. Some people advocate stretching and others get away with never stretching. I guarantee the latter can’t touch their toes anymore though!

Stretching is important for a few reasons:

  • Increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Lengthens muscles after they are shortened during exercise
  • Decreases muscle soreness and reduces risk of iinjury
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Improves circulation

When you are running you are predominantly using your glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calf muscles; however you are also using your core, biceps and upper body to a lesser extent so you need to stretch these muscles out too.

5 simple stretches to do post run are below. These are designed to be easy to remember and stretch mostly the legs, glutes and back.


Calf stretch against wall

This exercise stretches the calf muscle (gastrocnemius to be exact) and also the Achilles.

  • Stand arms length from the wall
  • Front foot should be slightly bent and back leg straight
  • Press hips forward until stretch is felt in the back leg
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat
Calf stretch

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5 bits of kit to help you start running

Running is not a gear/ kit intense sport, however you do need a few bits and pieces. Here is a quick list of 5 items I think you need to start running….


Choosing the right running shoes is important

1)      Runners/ trainers/ sneakers – probably the most important item in your running wardrobe. Without them you may as well go all Zola Budd; with poor fitting ones you’ll get blisters, shin splints and sore feet. All in all it’s enough to put you off running and your budding running career will be short-lived. Get them properly fitted at a specialised running store and ideally get gait analysis done. One tip is to take an old pair of running shoes with you so they can get a look at how your foot pronates.


2)      Running shorts/ leggings – for me these are very important. Pick too short a short and you have Rafael Nadal’s problem; wear tracksuit bottoms and they can be too heavy. Make sure whatever you pick is comfortable and relatively lightweight. Key things to watch out for is chafing (shorty shorts can cause this), length (think about the cold winters and hot summers),  pockets (really useful for keys),  material – lycra I find fits well and washes well. My favourite brands are Nike, 2XU and Skins. I’ll talk about compression in another blog.

The Haute Route Ski Tour – possibly the hardest thing I have ever done

There is a phrase in the UK, ‘being fit as a butcher’s dog’. I have no idea where it comes from but at the end of the seven days of doing the Haute Route I reckon I’m that dog!

Skiing and Ski touring

The Haute Route isn’t a run and I didn’t walk it (although you can in the summer) so why am I writing about it? Mainly because I did it, it is an enormous feat, in my opinion, and is amazing training for anything you are doing whether it be running or walking.

The Haute Route is a route that takes you from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland, via the mountains. It covers approximately 120km to 140km of alpine terrain and you scale mountains, glaciers and cols via a mixture of skinning (walking on skis with sticky stuff attached), mountaineering with crampons and skiing (although there is far less down than up).  Pictures do this more justice than I can possibly explain. I would describe this as an endurance week and not something to be taken lightly; the first two days consisted of 12 hours of sheer slog and they ‘eased’ to 6 to 8 hours later in the week. It’s painful, there was plenty of blood, sweat, tears, altitude sickness, blisters and coughing and spluttering but the elation when you finish is second to none.

There are no luxuries on this expedition; you stay in huts up the mountains with no running water and you sleep between 8 and 40 to a dorm; bring earplugs! The food is hearty and plentiful and you need it. This is one of the few times I have eaten exactly what I wanted and still needed more. [Read more...]