How to stay motivated to run

Whatever your goal, to complete GRTW Runuary, to train for a marathon to reach your first 5km, read these tips from these four inspiring, every day female runners who took part in GRTW Runnual – to run every day of the year – in 2017…

 

Hildi Mitchell, 47, teacher 
Why did you decide to do it? 
It was New Year’s Day when my friend, Emma told me about Girls Run the World Runuary 2017. I’d been ill all holiday and was feeling despondent but she persuaded me that it would be a great way to get back to running (I’d had to take 2 months out of my training for Brighton marathon due to injury and illness), on top of which we were at La Santa, it was sunny and there was a running track on my door step. By February, I was loving the challenge and decided to carry on.
I almost gave up when…never although there were hard days when I was ill and super busy. I had to run on a morning of my sister’s wedding after a gruelling two day interview, and  once at 5am in the morning before packing all the kids suitcases to dash to the airport to fly home from holiday. Only once did I nearly not run and that was in January when I went out in my pyjamas, coat and wellies to walk the dog because I wasn’t feeling the running vibe. Then I thought,  ‘What the hell!’ and ran a kilometre holding my hands over my boobs because I wasn’t wearing a running bra! It was then I realised I’d probably been making too much fuss about the effort required in ‘going for a run’ in the past.
The biggest surprise was…that I didn’t get injured because I learned to listen to my body in new ways. I adjusted my route, distance and time of day to reduce grumbles. Plus I got a 5km PB after five years, which I think came from the discipline of running every day.
My friends and family …were really supportive although my husband thought I’d get injured or make myself seriously ill. I did most of my runs with my cockerpoo, Pippin, but it also meant I ran with my sister and my daughter who did her first park run with me. We all ended up running the Edinburgh marathon relay with my daughter doing the final leg which was really special.
The best thing… about it has been all the amazing sunrises and sunsets, and the experience of the changing seasons, the light, the weather and the world around me, a special gift which I’ll never forget.
If you’re considering doing it in 2018 here’s my three best tips…
1. Commit to a minimum distance and route: it’s 1 km from my door, round the half of the field over the road that is lit by street lights, and back again. That was my go to run on bad or busy days – and it doubled as a quick dog walk too.
2. Stop washing your hair after every run. Anything you can do to reduce the time it takes means it’s more likely it will happen. Get some dry shampoo and an attitude instead.
3. Get another challenge ready for After You Finish. You’ll be setting yourself the expectation that you WILL do this, but you’ll also have something ready to keep you motivated once you’ve achieved it. I’ve signed up for a 12 mile relay swim – better get in back in the pool!

Ruth Farnell, 56 IT Project Manager


Why did you decide to do it?

I didn’t I just found myself carrying on after runuary. After a few months, people started asking me “when are you going to stop” and I had to have an answer so I said “after a year”

I almost gave up when…. I got back from a  long day at work and had to go out for a short run at 11.30pm. I’ll be forever grateful to my partner for sticking my trainers on and pushing me out the door because he knew the streak was very important to me.

The biggest surprise was… finding some beautiful running routes in parts of the country and in cities where you would least expect to and the joy of running in the rain.

My friends and family…were really supportive, my four adult kids are really proud of my running in general but particularly with runnual and completing my first 2 marathons. My partner has thought me barking mad but has also been quietly very supportive.

The best thing about it has been…

1. Meeting lots of new people, especially Anne-Marie D,  a quiet dignified lady who let me share her runs in a beautiful part of  Belgium, South of Brussels who i met through GRTW Runuary.

2. The sunrises, which set me up for my day and helped get everything into perspective.  We are tiny specs in the universe with such a short time on the planet so enjoy your running and as many sunrises as possible.
3. introducing me to a community that stretches across generations and brings you together with people you wouldn’t normally meet.
If you’re considering doing it in 2018, here’s my three best tips…
1.  Use the internet and find out where people run in places you might be visiting.
2. Plan when you are going to run and do not be put off by the weather – get out there at the time you said.

3.  Keep kit at work so you can nip out at lunch time if possible and to generally give you some flexibility.

Runuary has changed my running – or me – …..I’ve have developed muscles running 1300 miles this year – little and often suits me and all my times have improved and I’m much braver. Statistically women are relatively safe going out at night (women are more likely to be attacked in their own home). I’ve run places I wouldn’t have considered before and found them perfectly OK. I have also dealt with my phobia of big dogs.

Jenny, 46, project officer

Why did you decide to do it?

I split up with my husband in autumn 2016 and was looking for a new challenge to kickstart my health. Being part of Girls Run the World Runuary gave me a good reason to get out of the house every day, to run off some of the stressful emotions and to have a little time focusing on me.

 

I almost gave up …. on day 282, it was October, the days were getting shorter and I was working on a deadline at work so time was limited. The year was a long way in and I was feeling tired and it just felt pointless to run a joyless 1mile but fortunately my kids pushed me out the door and I’m glad I went.

The biggest surprise was… how much of a difference running every day has made. I no longer negotiate about whether I’m going to run, I just find the time slot each day that will be most convenient.

My friends and family …have all been very encouraging.

The best thing about it has been…the stress-relief, just one mile per day and the fun of discovering new places and sights to enjoy.

If you’re considering doing it in 2018, here’s my three best tips…

1. embrace those 1-mile runs – they are basically a rest day and help you stay injury-free and stop the injury risk of increasing your mileage too quickly

2. Find new timeslots in your week to run (I now run in the 30 minutes between dropping off and picking up my daughter from her flute lesson; also I drive past a park on my way home from work so once a week or  I change into my running gear and get in a couple of miles before I get home.
3. I’m now a massive fan of taking running pics. They’ve helped distract me from thinking about the actual running and it has been really useful to look out for new/interesting/photo-worthy things, particularly on those local 1-mile runs that would have become very monotonous otherwise.
Runuary has changed my running – running every day means that each run matters less, so when you have one of those runs where you feel like a tortoise trudging through treacle happen, I don’t worry about it any more. Tomorrow is another day and will be different.

 

Wendy Davidson, Administrative exectutive 


Why did you decide to try and run all year? I’d had a terrible 2016 and the idea of runnual inspired me. I thought that running was unlikely to make me feel worse, and would probably help.


I almost gave up when…. Believe it or not, apart from the odd day when I thought “Oh no I’ve got to run”, I never thought of giving up. I’ve run in rain, snow, ice, with hangovers, once I make my mind up I rarely give up.

The biggest surprise was… how much I enjoyed it and how much better it made me feel, so quickly.

My friends and family thought …I was crazy but they were really supportive.

The best thing about it has been…running with some lovely people, especially my partner in crime, Liz Shand, who was the one who suggested we do runuary and who also did runual. We’ve both lost our mojos at different times but we’ve been able to get the other one back into it We only run together 2-3 times per month but following each other on Strava has given us that support.

Runuary has changed my running – in that now I enjoy it, so much that sometimes I’d go out and run twice. IT’s also made me a much happier person and stopped me spiralling into depression. It’s lifted me further up than I’ve been in a very long time.

Your Year in Sport, 2017

For any of you who started using Strava back in January 2017, as part of #grtwrunuary and have kept on using it, now you can see your entire year of sport…

 

Want to see  what your year looked like? Visit http://2017.strava.com

Event Review: Valencia Half Marathon

Sunshine, a bag of oranges in the finish bag and a beach on which to recover after the race, this is half marathon is hard to beat for the route, the support and the fantastic goodie bag…

Sunshine and race shorts in October. No wonder we’re smiling!

In October, we took a group of women to the Valencia Half Marathon for the tenth of our Girls Run the World Run Away trips  (we’ve taken groups to Istanbul, Lake Garda, Palma Half, Berlin, Paris and many more) and what an amazing race it was.

Valencia is a city that is made for running (although perhaps not in the heat of mid-summer!) with beautiful wide boulevards shaded by trees, the beach and the fantastic Jurida Del Turia, a landscaped park that has been created in the bank carved out by the old river that once flowed through the city and which means you can run or cycle right the way around the outside of the city.  Add to that, fantastic food, a beach and incredible support from those lining the roads and this is one international race that we shall be returning to for future trips.

The day of the race dawned a little cloudy but still warm enough to allow us to adopt the novel approach of hiring the hotel’s bikes to roll sedately and anxiety-free down to the start line (hurrah, no panic about trains not running on time or taxis not getting through the roads). After dropping our bags, we each headed to our respective pens and then, we were off.

Parking up the bikes

Thankfully, the morning was cloudy so it was a little cooler than the previous two mornings as we ran down the Aveniguda Del Port to the Jurida Del Turia and then headed back to the start line on the first 9km of the race. The route then heads out on the final loop in a different direction which sees taking runners through the centre of the city. I usually don’t like having to run past a finish line before I’ve finished but this time, it didn’t matter. The side of the road had been set up with grandstand type seating and the Spanish were all cheering loud, ‘Vamos’ ‘Go Chico, go,’ so it added to the atmosphere and buoyed me up for the second part.

This section of the route is more interesting because of the sights,  winding it’s way over the stunning 16th century, Puente del Real, which once connected the Palacio del Real to the walled city, (Real comes from the Arabic word, ‘Rahal’, which means orchard or garden). From there, we ran through the city centre with it’s designer stores and funky tapas bars.

The route sticks to the main avenues so there is plenty of space to run, as well as navigate in and out of the plentiful water stops. You can catch glimpses of the more traditional Valencian city down the narrow side alleyways, deliberately built this way to help keep residents shaded and cooler in the summer. Then it was time to head back to the port area and the finish line with the crowds of supporters getting bigger and louder the nearer I got. Then came the countdown road markers, 800m, 700m, every 100 metres marked off as I sped over the finish line.

I’ve raced in many different countries in the world and on big name races, but this finish line was very well organised as I was directed out of the immediate finish area with a big goodie bag, around to a finish recovery area where you could line up to get your big gold medal engraved or grab an lemon flavoured beer (delicious). At the race expo, I’d already picked up a fantastic complimentary race vest and a bag of useful products and the finishing bag was just as good.

Best thing of all about the finish area is that you can see the finish line, so I was able to cheer in my fellow Girls Run the World runners, then it was off to the beach for paella, beer and a swim in the  sea.

We ran, we drank delicious cocktails and enjoyed a few cervezas with some amazing tapas and food.Valencia as a city escape is fantastic. As a race destination, it truly rocks.

Post race beer and paella

The Race in Brief

The Good

  • Flat, wide, route excellent for a PB (although I didn’t!)
  • Excellent goodie bags
  • Fantastic organisation
  • the warmth – cycling to a race in October in shorts?!!

The Bag

  • Not enough toilets. But when have you ever been to a race with enough?

The Bad

  • Nothing

Our next Girls Run the World Run Away Trip will be to the Lisbon Half Marathon in March 2018. Our next Valencia trip will be in December 2018 for the 10km and marathon.

 

Even the race expo is worth going to – lots of great brands

 

Race bag included a race vest, skin cream, beer, snacks, chewing gum….

 

 

Join our summer series for some beautiful off-road run adventures

Inspired by the marathon or simply by lighter mornings, warmer weather and the desire to get fit and explore? If so, why not join our Brighton summer series of off-road running suitable for all levels and speeds…

If you love the Downs, and love running but want to get fit(ter), without the pressure of necessarily aiming for a race, then join our summer series.

It is being designed with YOU in mind. Once you book, you receive an email confirmation asking you to outline what your goals are for the summer series.

It could simply be, ‘I want to feel and become fitter,’ or ‘I am training for a half marathon and want to build endurance/speed.’ Whatever it is, tell us and then we will build the programme around everyone’s combined goals.

All our runs will be off-road but it could mean that we will do some interval laps in the middle of nowhere to build up stamina. Or do a six mile loop that can be repeated if building distance so you can stay to do as many as is suitable for your training.

This means that, if you can’t make every single session, it’s not the end of the world (check the details on our booking page for the event to see all the dates which are a mixture of Sat and Sunday, all starting 8.30am). And it enables us to provide the kind of training that suits every level of runner from the ‘eek, I need to get fit,’ runner to the ‘I’m focused on reaching my half ironman goal,’ to those who are aiming for an autumn marathon or our Girls Run the World Run Away trip to Valencia this October.

So, sign up to get our early bird deal of £60 before April 30th and fill out your goals questionnaire so we can get planning.

And if you’re worrying about these kinds of things, ‘ooh, I’m not fast enough, what if I hold everyone up?’ OR ‘I’m not a runner like those women I see in the pictures,’ or even, ‘I want to get faster, will it be fast enough,’ don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, we’ve been doing this for eight years.

All we ask is that you can run 5km** without stopping when joining the summer series. If you can do that, don’t let your fear of the ‘what if’s,’ prevent you from the taking on the opportunity to explore the what could be.

BOOK NOW by visiting our Weekend Running Link on our BOOKING page here

Can’t run 5km and want to learn?

Our beginners courses to 5km or 10km start Weds 3rd May, 7pm

Smash Your PB for those wanting to get faster, start the same day, 7pm.

RunFit, for all levels incorporating running and body weight starts Monday 8th, 7pm Yellowave

 

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.