How was your weekend running?

Running can get you fit, help you meet new people and explore the world. But as #milesformatt has shown, it also has the power to do a whole lot of good and drive positive change and action…

Matt, right, with his father Martin and brother, Josh

Looking at our Strava club, this weekend was not about races or parkruns (although there were a fair few of those around too) but about running 3.7 miles in memory of the 2017 Masterchef finalist, Matt Campbell who collapsed 3.7 miles before the end of the finish line at last weekend’s London Marathon.

What most people already knew about the 29- year old from the TV show, was that he was a likeable and extremely talented chef and that he’d sadly lost his father, suddenly and unexpectedly in 2016. But then The Brathy Trust, a charity who work to help inspire disadvantaged children and whom Matt had been helping raise money for, released a press release.

It revealed that Matt was not only a fantastic chef and runner (he’d run the Manchester marathon two weeks before in under three hours) but a pretty amazing human being full stop, setting up the Martin Campbell Memorial Fund in memory of his father, which had raised £14,000 to help young people with mental health problems.  He’d been planning to run his third marathon, the Windermere Marathon next month to raise even more money.

So far, £250,000 has been raised in his memory but runners across the UK and beyond running the last 3.7 miles of his marathon. It doesn’t change the fact that a young man has lost his life, tragically leaving behind a family who will miss him terribly. But if anything positive can be drawn from this, it is the power of a running community coming together virtually.

 

 

 

South Downs Trail Run, Sunday 29th April

If you’ve been hibernating or pounding out the miles for marathon training, NOW is the time to get out and enjoy the beauty of the trails in early summer…

This week is the start of our Summer Trail Series in Brighton, £45 for the entire series which runs to the end of June or you can drop in per session to suit.

We have two distances, a shorter one for those who simply want to build their endurance and start running on trails but for fun, and a longer distance that will build week by week for those who are joining us in training for the Bewl 15, July 1st.

This week’s run meets at Ditchling Beacon for a beautiful run along the top of the ridge before heading down for a loop past a local farm and back to the return. The total distance on the start of this season is six miles but it is also open as a four mile route, with runners being able to turn and return on their own should they wish.

Get fit, meet new runners, explore new trails. It is the BEST time to be on the Downs.

For details of the full season, click here. To book visit our booking page and choose the full series or book per run. 

Plus don’t miss our once a month Running Adventures, starting in May. Details coming soon. If you’re not in our Brighton and Hove Facebook group, don’t forget to join. 

GRTW Recipes for Foodie Runners: Grilled peaches with mint, honey and roasted hazelnuts

The season is on the turn and with it comes lots of delicious fruit which can make for some great, quick healthy desserts…

Ingredients

Peach or nectarine, halved

Small handful of hazelnuts

Fresh mint

Honey

Squeeze of fresh orange and lime

Method

Add a teaspoon of honey to a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Warm through to help dilute the honey (some of the water should burn off) then add the orange juice and lime. Taste and adjust if it’s not sweet enough. Reserve the liquid.

Put the nuts on a roasting tray or a clean pan and toast for a few minutes until nice browned. Keep to one side.

Brush the peach halves with the honey liquor and then place flat side down on a hot clean griddle pan. It should only take a few minutes to chargrill. Serve immediately with the rest of the honey juice, hazelnuts and some chopped mint. Goes really well with Greek Yoghurt.

 

 

Review: Tribe Sports Performance Running

It is very rare for us here at Girls Run the World HQ to rave about any specific sports label. But the new range from TribeSport has got us hooked, combining both function and style in spades…

 

Remember those Parkrun t-shirts that you’d get for running your 50th or 100th park run? Well, they were provided by TribeSports not that you’d believe  this looking at their latest sports range as they’ve repositioned themselves in the stylish performance market. And their range really does tick both boxes.

First up is their Engineered Short Sleeve, £50 which has the softest feeling material and is designed with hi-breathe mesh zones at the chest and back. It is extremely flattering (long) and fitted without being restrictive so that it works for yoga without falling down and exposing an unflattering tyre while moving upside down. But more importantly, it is INCREDIBLE when running in the heat. We tried it on a hilly training session in 25 degree heat and it didn’t become soaked in sweat or start sticking and after the session, it was quick drying so it didn’t leave us shivering within seconds minutes of finishing. Seriously, one of my favourite pieces of running kit. EVER. At £50, it’s a mid-price range product but well worth it. Now I just have to get my hands on one of their Layered Race Vests, £60.

Running Tight, £75

Sculpting with a high waist band which makes them super flattering, these are a great Spring or Autumn tight. While it comes with a zipped pocket at the back, this is only big enough for keys or a bank card.

Our picks are definitely the tops in this range – they’re not cheap but if you run A LOT, and most Girls Run the World runners do, then they are well worth the investment.

 

 

And for cooler weather, there is also the Long Sleeve, £55 which is very flattering with hi-mesh breathe panels back and front, plus well thought out thumb hooks to keep the top fitted to the arms. Depends how you feel about logos but this is emblazoned with Tribe Sports right across the chest which we’re not mad keen on but overall, top marks for function and style (shame the same can’t be said for hair styling in the shot below!)

 

For more information, visit Tribe Sports.

 

 

 

 

Have you got the marathon blues?

You’ve probably spent the last two weeks thinking, ‘I can’t wait for this marathon to be over,’ and the last few days basking in the sense of achievement at finishing it. But now, is the marathon comedown beginning to creep in….

 

It happens every year, you finish the marathon and feel fantastic and then suddenly, a few days, a week or even two weeks later,  you start feeling withdrawal symptoms before hitting a huge comedown.  All that training that you’d begun to hate suddenly doesn’t seem that bad, and the lack of training and that huge, big target that you had on the horizon is suddenly no longer there, leaving a big void.

Sound familiar?

Perhaps not, perhaps you’re one of the few well organised, experienced runners that have already set yourself a new goal in running, fitness, life or work before the end of your marathon training and knew what your next step would be. Well done you.

If not, what’s the best way to get over the marathon blues?

  1. Find your next running focus … but make sure it’s one that gives you enough time to rest, recover and then build your training again. One of the worst mistakes you can do is get bitten by the marathon bug and sign up for another one in a few weeks. You need to give your body – and mind- the time to recover. Nowadays, so many people are doing charity 10 marathons in 10 day kind of events, that it’s easy to forget that running 26.2 miles is a BIG DEAL, and it’s not easy to juggle the training and be kind to your body if you attempt to do multiples. Be sensible, assess how much time you have, set yourself a periodised plan where your body has the time to rest and build back up again. (if you would like to join us in training – virtually – or in person, we are going to be creating plans and training for both the Maverick Snowdonia 17km or 22km in September and the Bewl 15 miles, July 1st as our BIG community wide get togethers).
  2. Set yourself a fitness goal – training for a marathon may have revealed areas of weakness in your training that you could focus on. Maybe you want to set yourself a month-long core challenge? Perhaps you would like a four week programme of yoga to help your body recover? It’s easy to stick to what you know and do another running event, but ask yourself, what do you REALLY want to do? Don’t just run because that’s what you always do.  If the thought of going out running doesn’t fill you with joy, try something else for a month, conditioning, setting a swimming challenge, it could be anything. (our new virtual hub will be holding opt-in month long core and flexibility challenges that you can choose to participate in which can run alongside some fun running rather than racing if you fancy still having a goal to keep you on track without the pressure of a race).
  3. Spend time with your friends and family –  has your entire social life, other than running based events and training fallen off the cliff? Now you don’t have to train long miles at the weekend, not go out on Friday because you’ve got the long run, and spend the rest of the week recovering, you have time for all those other things. Go to galleries, go out for dinner, go hiking instead of running. After spending so long feeling like you were forcing yourself to get out there and train, you will probably find yourself finding it almost impossible to NOT go out and run. But having balance in your life is important, so set aside some time for other things so that you don’t end up burnt out.

If you want to join our Virtual Members Training Hub, we launch in May. It’s a paid per month membership, and we’ll have an exclusive 24 hour special offer window. To pre-register click here. (If you’ve already done so, there is no need to do so again).

How was your weekend running?

One of the biggest running events in the UK calendar, the London Marathon took place this weekend in summer-like conditions. Were you there?

A quick look at Girls Run the World Strava group (you can join here ) shows there were a lot of you running the big 26.2 mile in London today in hot conditions. We’d love to hear from anyone who did their first marathon ever this weekend (London or elsewhere) with their top tips for something they discovered on their run which they’d wish they’d known before.

Whatever race you do, it’s always the afternoon or the day afterwards that you think of a really great tip or something that you’d do differently next time, which would be helpful to ALL GRTW runners. But as quickly as it pops into your head, those little gems usually disappear never to be remembered until midway through your next race when you think, ‘Oh, I’m doing it again, why didn’t I remember?!’

Kenyan, Vivian Cheruiyot who won this year’s London Marathon remembered her tip from last year and made sure she didn’t do it again by hanging back at the start.

“Today, the two ladies (Keitany and Dibaba) were trying for a world record and they made the mistake I made last year,’ she explains. ‘I was quick to start with last year and then I was nowhere. So I decided to stay behind this time. I didn’t go with the faster group because the faster group was quicker than I was at the start. Then I came slowly, slowly. I didn’t want to race against anybody, I wanted to race alone. So I raced like that. I felt comfortable throughout and when I caught Tirunesh and then I saw Mary, then I thought I’m going to be London Marathon champion!’

But outside of London, where did you run?

For Girls Run the World,  it was the first of our get together races, where we come together from wherever we live to meet and race. This was the Angmering Bluebell Trail Race, 10km or 10miles, a stunning off-road race woodlands carpeted in bluebells.  It was a stunner and fantastic to see women from the virtual community in real life! And one of our coaches, Tara got a third place on the podium so well done to her!

Our next GRTW Together is the Snowdownia Maverick Race in September – sign up and meet us there. If you want a training plan and coaching for it, you can access this via our Virtual Training Hub where we’ll deliver a training plan to an  app, along with that all important strength training. Because this is one race that’s gonna be hilly! But what better way to give your summer focus and to work on that all important conditioning. You can sign up to find out more via our website newsletter.

 

GRTW Recipes for Foodie Runners: The Brunch

This is the perfect brunch on a lazy Saturday morning after Parkrun, or a fantastic carb-loading breakfast for a long run on Sunday…

I’ve never been to Iran or the Middle East but I do love the flavours and tastes associated with that area, with pomegranate and mint, spices and delicious creamy cheeses. Some day, I’ d love to run in Iran and meet with the female runners who defied the ban to run the Tehran Marathon and ran their own. (read their story here). For now, I’ll have to be content with trying to imitate the flavours of their food.

The brunch is egg with flat bread, hummus and a pomegranate salad with feta cheese, mixed with pomegranate, and mint and dressed with olive oil. Also try some Greek yoghurt whipped with garlic as a side to serve.

If anyone has any experience of Persian breakfasts, do let us know. What’s your favourite post park run breakfast?

Marathon Mastery Series: Secrets from the Frontline

So, this weekend is the big one, the London Marathon. We asked for the top tips from the pacers to the sports photographers to help you to have your best marathon ever…

The Race Marker

Ever wondered why you can run the same race as a friend but they have run a shorter distance? It could all be due to the magic line. At the Virgin London Marathon, you will notice a line marked on the road which shows the exact 26.2 mile distance. Stick to this for the most direct route. But be aware, a lot of runners try to do the same so it can make for a busy line!

Portable loo provider 

No matter how many times you go to the toilet before a race, you always feel you need to go again just before the race when there’s a big line. The trip to skipping the queue? Get running.

‘If you are uncertain whether you really need to go, wait,’ advises Abi Sweetman, www.loosfordos.com, who supplies portable toilets for events including the Virgin London Marathon. ‘Most big races have toilets on the course, there won’t be a queue and they’ll be cleaner.’ Study the route map for toilet locations and making a mental note before the race. ‘They are often just before or after a water station, so it’s a natural place to slow or stop anyway.’

 

The Pacer

‘If you want to follow a pacer, begin at the start line,’ explains ultra-marathoner, Susie Chan, www.susie-chan.com who has paced at the Virgin London Marathon three times. ‘If you join a group later, their pace will be different as they may have started before or after you.’ Be particularly wary in London, which has multiple starts and different pacers for each start which will be denoted by a flag of the same colour as the colour of your start area.

The Physiotherapist

It’s every runner’s biggest worry, getting injured on race day. The best way to overcome this is to  see a physiotherapist before the race if you have a niggle so that you can prepare and make an informed decision about what you’re going to if it flares up. ‘If you have ITBS, a common runner’s knee injury or instance, running will hurt but it won’t damage your knee and so you can decide if you want to push through it on race day,’ says Dawn Buoys, founder of www.bodyrehabstudios.com. ‘If it’s something more complex, make a plan in your head before the race about where you’re going to stop enroute if it flares up. This will help you feel less anxious and enable you to focus on enjoying the race.’

The Race photographer

‘Marathon photographers use telephoto lenses so you need to be ten metres away and in direct eye line contact to give them the chance of getting the best shot,’ explains Bob James, www.bobjames.com official commercial photographer for the Virgin London Marathon.

If your friends are on the route, arrange a hand signal.

‘If you arrange a sign that you’re going to make at a certain landmark, friends or family can look out for this and be ready to get you for a perfect personal race day photo as you pass.’

The Race Finish Organiser

When all your focus is on getting to the start line and running 26.2 miles, organising the end is often neglected.

‘Finishing a marathon can be a disorientating experience,’ explains Andrew Smith, who has worked as the Finish Director at the London Marathon for the last 14 years. ‘I always recommend you print out where you have arranged to meet friends and family and put it in your race bag because it’s easy to get confused or forget when you’re tired.’

As for the London marathon itself, the finish funnel is half a mile long and  ‘At London we have meeting areas signposted with letters of the alphabet for your surname, but if you walk to XYZ, it will be less busy.’  

 

 

(this is an abbreviated version of an article that GRTW founder, Rachael Woolston wrote for Women’s Running magazine. click here for the full article)

How was your weekend running?

This weekend saw the second up in the weekend series of marathons with the Brighton marathon taking part in the HQ city of Girls Run the World. Were you there?

 

This weekend is a big one in the Brighton running calendar because of the Brighton Marathon. It’s now in it’s ninth year (expect something special next year for the 10th anniversary) and it has grown in popularity year on year, partly due to it’s proximity to London and the fact that it’s a draw for those who don’t get a London place.

Add to that the fact that there is also a 10km race at the same time, along with the Kid’s Mini Mile races the day before, and the entire city turns into a running metropolis for the weekend.

We had lots of runners taking part this weekend, as well as a few of our mentoring clients (well done Verona and Kellie!) and so we were out in force cheering and supporting. (Sorry if we didn’t spot you, it’s hard if we’ve not met personally – although I’m sure I saw Vix In Lewes from Instagram!)

Well done to every single one of you who ran the 10km or the marathon, but particularly to all the first time marathon runners. You learn a lot about yourself and your running when you do 26.2 miles for the first time (er, and the second, fifth and tenth time!) You may not realise those lessons the afternoon of the race or even the next day, but over the next week, things about your race will begin to sink in, what you executed brilliantly, what you realise in hindsight that you would do differently next time. (If, of course there is a next time).

If these lessons do filter through, don’t waste them. Write them down. Because after a week has passed, you’re likely to forget them and you don’t want your race day experience to go to waste.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned from doing marathons (I think my next one will be 10th or 11th) is that the race really doesn’t start until the last 10km. That’s when you need to dig deep and really focus mentally. Of course a marathon is tiring physically, but mentally, it’s exhausting!

But as so many of the runners out there showed today in the final stages, a smile goes a long way of lifting your spirits.

Well done to you ALL and particular kudos to our first timers out there today, Verona, Vanessa, Demi, Ellie and Verona, and to all the many 10km runners who took part too.

Of course, there was another big marathon taking place today too…Boston! Did any of you run? One more biggie go to next weekend …VLM!!

Whatever distance or wherever you ran this weekend, we’d love to hear about it. AND If you ran a marathon today, what is the single best piece of advice you would give to any runner who is about to take on London next weekend? Comment below.