Run Away with Girls Run the World 2017-2018

Over the last six years, we’ve taken women to run and explore all over the world from Lake Garda to Istanbul, Paris to Palma. Our trips provide you with a goal, along with the reward of exploring a  new city or region – not to mention great cocktail bars!

We take care of all the organisation – the event entry, hotel, optional excursions (including spa visits) and the celebratory cocktails and dinner in some of the best places in our host city. What you will definitely NOT find in our itinerary is a pasta party.

If you love exploring, amazing food, delicious cocktails and running, then Run Away with Girls Run the World…

You can register for priority booking for the following trips NOW. If you register, you will be the first to receive the information for early bird booking before it opens to the general public.

Valencia, October 19th – 23rd 2017 – enjoy a final hurrah to balmy, warm weather running before the winter and establish the foundations for your autumn-winter season with the Girls Run the World trip to the beautiful southern Spanish city of Valencia. Choose from 10km, half marathon or marathon. Spaces are STRICTLY limited to just 18 people on this trip.

Lisbon Half Marathon, March 9 – 12th 2018, touted as one of the hottest cities in Europe to visit with it’s pop-up art and design studios, not to mention incredible food, bars and beaches where you may even be able to sunbathe, our trip to Portugal is not to be missed. This would also be perfect race preparation for a Spring Marathon 2018.

PRE-REGISTER FOR PRIORITY BOOKING

Courses for Brighton women runners

Inspired by this month’s marathon runners to lace up your trainers? Well, whether you’re a total novice, a new mum wanting to return to running or you’re over 50 and want to take it up for the first time we’ve got a course for you all starting in May

 

 

BEGINNERS Learn to Run

SAVE £15 off the 5km by booking before April 14th (£35 instead of £50) and £20 of the 10km course (£60 instead of £80)

We have two courses starting May 3rd for those wanting to reach their first 5 or 10km. Each course comes with a training plan and you do one session with us, and two either on your own or meet up with others in your group to run together. Depending on your fitness level, we work using either distance every week or time on your feet, so don’t worry if you think that you move at the pace of a snail and will hold people up. You won’t. We’ve spent over eight years now training women to run and we are experts at helping beginners. Many of the women we train at marathon distance now started out with us learning from scratch.

Whether you want to run for fitness, for feel-good hormones, for a goal or to  meet others, come and join us on May 3rd at 7pm. (Please note the course switches to Tuesday 23rd May/Tuesday 20th June and there is no half term session 31st May. All other sessions are Wednesday evenings.

BEGINNERS/IMPROVERS RunFit

Save £8 by booking before April 14th (£40 instead of £48 for eight weeks starting Monday May 8th-26th June. Please note, there is no session during the May half term)

Our RunFit courses are for those who want to get fit, strong and improve their confidence in running. We don’t aim to achieve a particular distance, each session involves body weight and core exercises to improve the muscles that you use for running (helping to prevent injury) with short interval based running of no more than four minutes at a time.

improve their running but don’t want to feel pressured about

INTERMEDIATE AND ABOVE SMASH YOUR PB

£48* for six weeks Wednesday 3rd May – 14 June (please note, no session Weds 24th June)

If you can already run 5km, then this course is suitable for you. Instead of working on improving your distance or endurance, this course is all about building strength and helping you to improve your pace and speed. They are the kind of sessions that you finish and get the best endorphin buzz and sense of achievement from. Challenging but fun, we have had 100% success rate for those looking to improve their race or parkrun times with these courses. (* 75% off for anyone FB Course Queen’s Park starting April 18th not on early bird deal/Free for Hove Lawns course attendees paying full course, no early bird).

TRAIL LOVERS

For anyone who can run 5km and would love to explore the Downs while running, our Summer Season kicks off in May. Book before April for 14 weeks of guided running, coaching and fun sessions for £60. Thereafter the cost is £80.

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – Oofos

If you’ve ever run a marathon,  you’ll appreciate how much your feet feel pummelled by the end. Which is why you’ll love Oofos recovery footwear

 

Even if you haven’t run 26.2 miles, chances are that you finish a run, perhaps stretch your legs on a good day while your feet barely get a look in.  But there are 34 muscles in your feet, and those muscles get tight just like everywhere else. Except when they get overused and tighten, it restricts ankle mobility, which affects your calf muscles, which affects you knees and so on, right the way up your body. (Or it starts from the top and travels down – but more about your biomechanics in our online course coming soon).

Suffice to say, you SHOULD be looking after your feet if you want to stay injury-free and running long into your old age. Which is why we LOVE Oofos footwear.

My feet have taken a massive battering of late; in 2017, I ran every day of the year, which included a half Ironman distance triathlon, marathons, off road triathlons, you get the picture. My feet had begun to feel as though someone was regularly taking a hammer to them. And that was even WITH all the massage and ball rolling under the feet that I do regularly.

But these sandals – I have been trying out the Ooriginal Sport Graphite, £48 have been so amazing (and really, I am pretty rigorous in my reviews – I won’t say something is good if it’s not) that I’m so relieved it’s summer, because I’m wearing them all the time. Well, other than when I’m running.

The footwear are part of a move by many sportswear manufacturers into recovery wear – products that can help you recover more quickly so that you can lead a full, active, athletic life no matter what level of runner you are.

They are super light and consist of a special foam that is engineered to absorb 37% more shock than traditional footwear, so helping your feet and calves recover after a run. They also have great arch support so, unlike flip-flops (and in the past, this is what I usually wear straight after a race in the summer) they really help to support the foot, helping to minimise ankle, knee and back pain.

Without any scientific studies to prove that these work, there is only anecdotal evidence to go on. And on the evidence so far from my feet, these are fantastic. I’ve run a tonne of races lately, have been cycling hard for a big ride in Majorca and have been pounding the trails uphill and down as part of training for a race across the South Downs Way. So, my feet need some care. And these have been amazing.

If you’ve ever got out of bed and walked a bit like a robot because your feet and calves are stiff, then pop these on the feet and they help to make you feel less Tin Man and more Darcey Bussell.  And they look good too, coming in a variety of pretty shades.

 

If you fancy trying a pair for yourself, then you’re in luck because we are giving away a FREE pair of your style choice. All you have to do to enter is click here to fill out the competition entry form.

 

Terms and Conditions

  • One entry per person.  Any repeat emails or email addresses that appear to be from the same person will be deleted.
  • Entry closes midnight April 21st 2017.
  • The winning entry will be chosen at random. The prize can not be exchanged, refunded or sold.
  • The competition is only open to residents of the UK.

Oofos footwear start from £40. Available from www.oofos.co.uk

5 Running Hacks

Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, sometimes it’s all to easy to allow your mind to talk yourself out of running and then staying the course when you finally are out there… Not with our clever running hacks that will help you reach your endorphin post run high

Barcode laces

So, how many times have you done this? It’s Saturday morning, you’ve got about ten minutes to spare before you absolutely HAVE to get out of the front door if you have any hope of making it to parkrun but you can’t find your barcode? Or even worse, you have to get online, find your login details, download it and print it out.

Sounds familiar? What’s worse is that deep down, you kind of now that you may have thought about this the night before but leaving it until the morning means you have a get out clause if you want to. It’s crazy isn’t it? You know that you LOVE parkrun when you do it and feel fantastic afterwards but still we sabotage it. Well, here’s a way you simply can’t.

Invest in a Parkrun barcode, which costs as little as £4.26 for three and thread one through your running shoe laces. That way, you have no excuse and you won’t spend ten minutes storming round the house in a flap getting even more anxious.

 

 

Work to Run Wear

If like most women you are always  having to rush to either pick up the kids or to work via a commute, chances are that fitting in a run before or after work/school drop-off can seem impossible. The whole thought of having to schlep in an entire change of wardrobe to work or going home, changing and then heading out is just a no-go. But nowadays, it’s so easy to wear something that will pass as office attire and all you need to do is to have a sports bra and trainers to hand so that you can run home from work, or at least be changed within 30 seconds when you get home so  you don’t give your brain enough time to self sabotage.  Check out the range of running leggings at www.hipandhealthy.com, which come in a range of great prints which could be teamed with funky pumps or boots and a plain top and jacket. Obviously, if you work in the financial sector then perhaps not so easy to get away with but there are options.

Make it playful 

We hear from so many women that they get out to run and just can’t seem to get past running for two minutes or that it never gets any easier. The trick is to switch up your workouts and don’t think of it as  ‘Oh, I’ve got to run for 10 minutes non-stop.’ It’s actually far more beneficial to your running development to have a mixture of running workouts, such as a long, slow steady run (and long can be whatever that is to you – one mile or ten) a short, sharp run where you try to run 3-5km as fast as you can at the same pace. And then you can also do Fartlek runs, which simply means choosing a landmark – it could be a lamppost or a bin, and sprinting as fast you can to it (warm up first!) and then recover and repeat 10 more times. In between, you can do bodyweight exercises like push ups or step ups on benches, anything to just make it a little bit more interesting.

Relive the Summer of Love

OK, we don’t mean that literally! But why not try listening to music with a 120 beats per minute or higher. Studies have shown that makes exercise seem easier and elevates your mood as you run. Use SongBPM to work out the BPM of your favourite tracks.

 

Start using Strava

Unlike other running apps, Strava is fantastic at adding extra motivation. It not only keeps track of your own personal records, providing a first, second or third best time notification on any routes or parts of routes that you run regularly but you can also compete for crowns (Queen of the mountain) or cups on parts of routes that everyone else on Strava has run. You may not think you are that competitive but you’ll be amazed at how motivating it becomes once you start using it. Plus, you’ll get to be part of the Girls Run the World UK 900 member club on Strava too where you could find more runners local to run with and some extra motivation from us.

What are your best tips to make running easier? Share them by commenting below.

Do you want to be a Girls Run the World contributor?

Do you love running and exploring the UK and the rest of the world as you run? We do, and we think that other women of GRTW do too. That’s why we’re looking for YOUR help

 

Watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat before the half marathon in Cambodia

We are working behind the scenes on creating a fantastic website and on that, we’d love to create a space for women to send in their reviews of the most amazing, awe-inspiring running events that they’ve taken part in, from 5km and 10kms to half marathons, marathons and even marathons.

We’re not just looking for the typical ones though – London Marathon, Royal Parks Half, Manchester…these events have been written about all over the internet. We want the unusual ones, the local trail ones that are stunning for their scenery or for the fact that they have a funny twist to the race, right through to the out of this world events on the other side of the globe in unusual cities or up mountains and along beaches.

Your article will feature on our website and be entered for a prize to be drawn at the end of every year, where we will ask our readers to vote for their favourite review, the one that made them think, ‘Right, I’m going to do that event, even if I have to save up for years.’

You can be someone who has always wanted to write or someone who already does, or on the flip-side, you’ve never thought about writing but have a great event that you’ve run that you want to tell other women about. It doesn’t matter where you live, the UK or the Far East, the further afield our contributors the more stunning events we will all get the opportunity to read about.

And don’t worry, we’ll give you questions to answer so you know what to write and what to include and not to.

Want to be a GRTW contributor? If you have a race that you have already run, or are about to run and think it would make a good review, please fill in this form. If you have already run it, please only fill in the form if you took pictures on the race or know that the event organisers will have some that will showcase the event.

Here’s to sharing the events that we have run and enjoyed with women around the world!

Become a contributor – click here

Girls Run the World Merchandise

 

**Please note, postage & package is £4 per order for UK addresses only.  For postage rates outside the UK, please email orders@girlsruntheworld.co.uk. For FAQ and our Returns Policy, please click here.


GRTW Run Vests Purple



GRTW L/S Tops, Black



 


GRTW Run T-Shirts Purple


 

 

 

Vest Sizing

MEASUREMENTS XS – 8 S – 10 M – 12 L -14 XL – 16
CHEST 39cm 42cm 45cm 48cm 51cm
BODY LENGTH (HPS) 62cm 63cm 64cm 65cm 66cm

T-shirt Sizing

MEASUREMENTS XS – 8 S – 10 M – 12 L – 14 XL- 16
 CHEST 44cm 46cm 48cm 50cm 52cm
BODY LENGTH (HPS) 65cm 67cm 69cm 71cm 73cm
SLEEVE LENGTH 60cm 61cm 62cm 63cm 64cm

 LONG SLEEVE (BLACK ONLY)

MEASUREMENTS XS – 8 S – 10 M – 12 L – 14 XL- 16
1/2 CHEST 44cm 46cm 48cm 50cm 52cm
BODY LENGTH (HPS) 65cm 67cm 69cm 71cm 73cm
SLEEVE LENGTH 60cm 61cm 62cm 63cm 64cm

Specifications 

Fabric weight: 140 gsm

Material: 100% polyester

  • Curved back hem for added comfort
  • AWDis’ own Neoteric™ textured fabric with inherent wickability
  • Self fabric binding around neckline and armholes
  • UPF 30+ UV protection
  • Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certified production

Race refreshments around the world

Salted cucumber, so Sweden
Salted cucumber, so Sweden

While picking up my Mumbai marathon race number a few years ago, I met a couple from Sweden and the wife told me that she has stood on the sidelines of the Stockholm Marathon for the last ten years, handing out refreshments.

And the refreshment of choice for Swedish runners?  Salted cucumber.

Genius, I thought.It begs the questions, just how different are race refreshments around the world?

In Paris, I’ve been given bananas and oranges, in England it’s all about sports drinks, while Mumbai was sweets and biscuits, as was Lake Garda  (sadly, as I was hoping for some genius pasta variant).

It begs the question, what would the refreshments be like at the Angkor Wat Half Marathon, or the Great Wall of China Marathon.

Have you eaten anything unusual during a race? Which country do you think provides the best enroute refreshments?

Girls Run the World Guide to…Strava

Channel your inner Jo Pavey when you hit a Strava segment

The list of running apps is endless but we champion the use of Strava. With its talk of leaderboards and course records, it may seem too competitive to some but it’s great for motivation and being part of a virtual community

Strava is super easy to use, open the app, tap the big record button, and off you go. When you finish, stop, press save and hey presto, you get a little outline of your route and it has recorded your data. So far, so like every other app but it is in the way that the data is presented which is the real key to Strava’s appeal.

Virtual Medals

I don’t know about you, but I can NEVER remember how fast or slow I ran a certain distance from one month to the next, let alone from last year (I even struggle to remember the ‘big’ races like marathons). Strava does it all for you, on every single run. So, if you’ve just started running and sticking to the same route, day by day, you’ll be able to see whether you’re getting faster. Just tap into the saved run and scroll down, where you’ll be able to see little medals, with 3, 2 or PR (personal record) depending on your run.

Community

One of the best things about Strava is it helps you to connect, share, and be motivated by other runners. You can follow others (if they accept your request) and see their routes, speed, distance they run and give them kudos by clicking the thumb button. Alternatively, click the speech bubble and write a message.  It’s so supportive when you get a comment from someone else, so don’t be afraid to do it.

This also means that, you can find others to run with in your area. It might sound strange contacting a total stranger, but you can soon build up a picture of someone from following their running and seeing the comments they post, to figure out whether you’d want to run with them and vice versa. I’ve increased the number of people I run with (I ALWAYS have days when I don’t want to run, so having a big pool of other women to go and run with is invaluable) means I’m never without a running buddy.

Segments

‘Segments’ are small sections (anything from 100metres upwards – see the first image) of popular routes, like parkrun, hilly sections or well known parts of races that have been created by other Strava users. When you run it, Strava automatically places you on a ‘leaderboard.’ If you place high on the leaderboard, you might even get a little golden cup with a number, to show your place. And, if you’re really fast, you could even get a course record, denoted by a crown. (Girls Run the World will soon be creating our segments for our runners around the UK – to find them, login on your computer, go to explore, find segments and search).

Leaderboards

‘Huh, who cares, I’d never place on a leaderboard?’ I hear you say.  But, even if you’re a beginner, seeing if you can move up the boards can help motivate you to run faster. Or, if you’re part of a Strava club (such as Girls Run The World) you will be able to see where you place amongst runners in your area from the club on certain sections.

Of course, sometimes, you just want to go out and run chat. But if you are running on your own and need some motivation, choosing one with a segment on it which you can try and run faster is a way of refreshing your running training.

That’s just a very brief background to why we love Strava at Girls Run the World and how it could help you. To set it up, we’ve created a brief video which highlights some of the other benefits and added extra that Strava provides.

And don’t forget, if you don’t want Strava to record your stopping time, turn Auto Pause on. Do this by pressing record, and then tapping the top left hand corner (1). Then choose Auto Pause (2) and toggle this on (3).

 

 

 

 

Chicken & Prawn Pho

Last winter (December 2015) I returned to the backpacking destination of my twenties, Cambodia and Thailand, to take part in the Angkor Wat Half Marathon. It reminded me once again how fantastic the food is; tasty, cheap and brilliant nutritionally for runners.

It combines lots of fresh spices and herbs to boost the immune system as well as protein to help the muscles repair and recover. This recipe is simple and very quick to make. If you’re vegetarian, you can replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock and just pack with vegetables instead.

Ingredients

Chicken stock

Thai chillies, chopped (I used 2 but I love spice!)

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 stick of lemongrass, chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

1 tbsp Nam pla (fish sauce)

Juice of one lime

Handful of cooked chicken

Handful of prawns

Wide rice noodles

Chopped spring onions

Roasted peanuts

Pour the stock into the pan with the chilli, ginger, garlic and lemon grass and boil briskly. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary and leave to simmer. Then add the chicken, prawns to heat, add fish sauce and lime juice and adjust seasoning again. Then pour over cooked rice noodles, top with spring onions and peanuts and serve.

This is delicious and takes literally five minutes if you already have the stock and chicken cooked. It’s great as recovery food but is also a great pre-race food containing lots of medium release carbohydrates in the form of the rice noodles as well as plenty of protein.

Race Review: Fort William Marathon

Kilts, killer single track and whiskey chasers mark this inaugural Scottish marathon in the highlands as one to try out

Kilts, midgie spray booths and downhill mountain bikers in full body armour. It’s not what you’d expect to see on a marathon start line, but it’s the scene that greeted me as I registered on the morning of the inaugural Fort William marathon.

With just 293 runners (the race is capped at 1000 due to restrictions on the route, so apply early for next year’s event on 31st July 2016 ) this was a small race. Yet the nationalities of runners milling around at the start beneath the Ben Nevis cable car was like a meeting of the UN; Bulgarian, American, Ukrainian, Australian, South African and of course Scottish. Not that the locals were wearing kilts, just the runners from Boston, US of A.


Registration was quick and easy in the cafe, perfect if there had been a rainy start although fortunately, the morning had dawned warm if a bit cloudy. And being at the chairlift meant that there were plenty of toilets and no need for portable toilets (although for once, there was a queue for the men’s toilets and not the women’s – hurrah!)

Other than a midgie spraying tent, there was little entertainment resulting in a subdued start to the race five minutes behind schedule. But what it lacked fanfare, the event made up for in terms of the beauty of it’s scenery.
The first six miles were stunning, along undulating fire roads, with Ben Nevis etched against the skyline, the last remaining patches of snow winking icily from the summit, while summer wildflowers nodded their heads below as I ran through the dark pine trees of Leanachan Forest.

Chatting to others as I ran, there was an American living in London who’d decided to run his first marathon in August and found a race to fit the date. ‘It means my family and I get the chance to visit Scotland too,’ he said.
Alongside him, a Bulgarian runner who’d lived in Edinburgh for the past ten years, was trialling a method of running for 8 minutes, walking for two. It seemed to work until mile 9 when I didn’t seem him again after playing tag with him for the first third of the race.

With a well sign posted route and cheerful marshals, I never had to worry I’d miss a turn while chatting. Just as well, as otherwise I may have thought I’d taken a wrong turn as we ran down a boggy, overgrown single track section.

After following a disused railway track through a flower strewn valley, the route veered towards the Commando Memorial, dedicated to men who fought in the Second World War for the British Commando Forces at mile 11, before hitting a quiet country road with a welcome downhill.

Over the Tolkien sounding Bridge of Mucomir, and past a few clapboard houses which would not have looked out of place in a Coloradan meadow, we hit the Caledonian Canal for the next seven miles.

A historic waterway which opened in 1822, allowing vessels to enter from the Atlantic Ocean in the North and exit into the North Sea at Inverness, the 60 mile canal which cuts through the Great Glen is now a major tourist attraction, where you can sail it’s length or cycle and walk along its towpath.

With the mountains reflected in its still waters, it was so quiet, it added to that marathon feeling of time slowing down as I eked out the miles. There was nothing to break the dreamy monotony except the wake of barges and boats that rippled the watery reflections, along with the occasional walker or cyclist who cheered their support.


I don’t like noisy marathons (to the point that London Marathon overwhelms me) but I couldn’t help wishing there was a bit more fanfare to keep me going along this stretch. Instead, I had to content myself with chatting to the runners I passed.

Finally, we left the canal, followed a main road before turning back into the forest back to the finish, a punishing final few miles, ascending by about 300 foot along rock strewn paths that saw many runners slow to a walk.

I’d started at the front and knew there were three women ahead of me, but had decided before I set off that I was going to run for fun rather than a place. So I was dismayed rather than happy to spy the third placed woman up ahead through the trees. Having seen her, I knew that couldn’t NOT try for third place. I also knew that it was going to hurt. I was right.

I passed her at the mile 24 mark and felt immediately stressed at the thought she now had the advantage of sticking close and sprinting past at the final hurdle.

Just a little bit of MTB single track to go
Just a little bit of MTB single track to go
As I ran under the high wires just near the Ben Nevis car park, I could hear the loud speakers hailing the finish. Expecting a left turn through the car park, I was horrified to discover the final 500 metres went up and a long a piece of single track MTB trail (thanks to the man on the corner who told me exactly how far was left of this track).

To sprint over that finish line to take third place in 3 hours 39 minutes was a relief. I didn’t care that the race ended short at 25.8miles, which may have been because the route was short or that I had just taken the inside of every bend.
A beautiful race in parts, this event is in it’s infancy and with a few tweaks to create more atmosphere at the start and finish, this can only add to what looks set to be a popular Scottish marathon which attracts running tourists from around the world.

Race footwear: Brooks Pure Cadence road shoes. It was dry and so there was no need to trail shoes. But even if it had been wet, most of the trails are rock strewn or it is tarmac road so road shoes are, in my opinion, the better choice.

Race Goody Bag: Haul It or Hoard It?

Loved the chunky medal with a runner etched against the mountains to make it look like we’d actually run up the mountain. Plus a Tunnock caramel wafer and an airline trolley-sized bottle of Ben Nevis whiskey gets my thumbs up. It also includes some jelly beans and a banana.

The only duff note? A technical race t-shirt in a man’s medium. Far too large.

Verdict: Hoard

The Good

Stunning scenery for a beautiful explore and run marathon

Seven well placed water stops, so there is no need to carry water

Friendly race where you can meet runners from all over the world

The Bad

Little atmosphere at the start or finish. A few bands, or even a Scottish bag pipe player, would have lent the event an incredibly atmospheric start

The canal slog. Both good and bad. Beautiful, meditative and flat, so great for increasing your pace. But if you’re hoping it’s all off-road trails, twists and turns, be prepared for a bit of monotony.

The Ugly

Pre-race pasta party. I usually NEVER go to these because I expect the food to be poor. This confirmed it. £20 for a plate of pasta (although it costs £12 to go up the Ben Nevis chairlift which is included in the ticket price), with the a celidh at the summit which was as flaccid and an unexciting as the pasta.

(This was a review of the inaugural race in 2015).