September 27, 2017

Beach running in Elwood

One of my favourite runs is a traffic free, flat run in Elwood, Victoria.

Elwood is situated between St Kilda and Brighton and a hidden gem, in my opinion. There is a car park just south of Point Ormond and that is where this run starts from. The run I describe here is 10km there and back but you can run any distance along the beach path. The beauty of this run is that there’s no traffic other than other runners and the occasional stroller.

Running along beach run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting from the car park at Point Ormond run south, keeping the beach on your right hand side. After about 5 minutes you’ll pass Sails on the Bay and Elwood Sailing Club (watch out for the little nippers in dinghies). Just as a quick note Sails on the Bay does some fantastic food and dinner here is wonderful. Keep running and you’ll see some majestic houses on the left. Three km from starting you’ll hit Middle Brighton Baths; there’s a great outdoor ‘pool’ here (the sea), there’s also a good café and restaurant. Keep going for another km along the beautiful wide beach just south of Middle Brighton; this is very popular with kite boarders. When you reach the toilets at the end of the beach you could turn round and that makes a good 8km run. However you can keep going along the bike path and you’ll pass the brightly coloured beach huts of Brighton. At the 5km mark turn around and head back.

Running along Elwood beach

If you are feeling particularly energetic at the end of the run Point Ormond is ideal for some hill sprints. Run as quick as you can up the hill to the top and recovery run down giving yourself a good minute break. Do 3 to 5 times. Once done take in the wonderful views of Melbourne and Port Philip from the top of Point Ormond.

You can view the run on this link http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/83627163

Let us know of any other good beach runs; we’d love to hear about them and try them out.

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.

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/82565581/?new_route=1

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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...]

But I’m a walker!

Scenery when walkingSome people just don’t want to run, or coming at it from a different angle, prefer to walk.  Walking is fantastic and below are a few reasons why it is so good for you.

Personally I love walking; I combine this with running to mix up what I do, get some variety and work my muscles slightly differently. I find it is also very sociable which I don’t get from running,  when running I put my music on and go.  One of the best feelings is being tired and slightly weathered after a long walk; a great feeling.

 

 

Keeping you mobile

Walking is good for working your muscles without putting too much pressure on your joints which can be problematic with running. Walking also enables you to tackle some routes you might not want to run. For example we walked a 21km circuit in Mt Hotham recently. If you were a seasoned off road runner you could run it but I had far more fun walking it. One of the great ways to keep your bones strong and help prevent bone deterioration is exercise. This combined with the right diet helps promote bone health.

Seeing the sights and sounds

Take a camera, load up a backpack, leave the ipod at home and get close to nature. Walking is perfect for this and you can find some fantastic spots off the beaten track. Very recently I was walking in Cape Schanck and an echidna pottered out right in front of me. I find walking relaxing and it is as much about the mental break as it is the physical exercise.

Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic ParkNow you don’t need to be Cathy Freeman to run at Sydney Olympic Park but it definitely inspires you knowing she won gold here. I’m convinced I was quicker than normal!

Sydney Olympic Park is based in Homebush, about 15km from Sydney CBD, and a short train ride away. It’s a great place to visit to get site of the stadiums and sporting grandeur of Australia. There are some fantastic runs, walks and bike paths around the park and you take in the stadiums, bushland and parks. It’s very flat with the odd, very small, hill so you feel fast and a little bit like Cathy…perhaps.

I ran a mixture of the Olympic Circuit and Parklands Circuit so approximately 11km in total. I started near the hotels on Olympic Boulevard and headed north to the park; then ran towards Wentworth Park and cut in to Badu Mangroves. This part of the run is beautiful and quite remote but beware depending on the time of day you run. I ran at dusk and paid the price after being eaten alive by the local mosquito population.

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The Huts Walk, Mount Hotham

Huts WalkOne of our favourite walks is the Huts Walk in the alpine ranges around Mount Hotham. This is a fantastic 21km walk to undertake on a beautiful sunny day (definitely don’t try this in the snow!).

The walk circumnavigates many of the ski fields in Hotham and visits some of the historic huts so, along with pushing your fitness, it also enables you to take in some of the history of the area.

The walk starts from the Loch Car Park just outside of the main Hotham village. Walk along the Great Alpine Road until you drop in to the ranges at the Davenport Access Track. It’s well worth taking the detour to visit the Silver Brumby hut near the Blue Ribbon chair, a great example of a mountain hut.

The walk generally is undulating but the 1.4km up to Spargo’s hut really gets the heart racing and you get some great views. Walk from the river in the valley floor right up to the peak. If you’re a keen skier you’ll be very familiar with the Orchard and Gotcha lifts so it’s great to see these as you wander by.

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