Marathon memory lane part 2

3. London, April 2016 Time:  2:51:29 Halfway: 1:26:57 With: John Conditions: Freakishly perfect. Sunny and cold again Fresh from breaking 3 in Rotterdam, I waited eagerly for the London Marathon Good for Age entries to open in August 2015, and secured my place for 2016. I’d been living in London for 8 or 9 years by that point, had been in the marathon crowd most years, and half-heartedly applied (unsuccessfully) for a ballot place a couple of times too. So, this definitely felt like my home race, and a big moment. I was working in central London by this point […]

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Marathon memory lane

I struggle to accept the fact that this week marks two years since my last marathon, but that’s what my phone has been telling me, so accept it I must. And while I don’t have any 2021 races inked into my diary just yet, I am starting to consider options for a winter marathon PB push…and in the process, I’ve found myself having a good old reminisce of the five previous times I’ve covered the 26.2. I have full respect for ultrarunners, sprinters and middle-distance runners, but for me, the marathon is the holy grail. The ultimate test. The perfect […]

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Veganuary 2021

Veganuary is back, and more popular than ever, with over 500,000 people signing up in 2021. Inevitably this also means more backlash than ever from the closed-minded meat-chompers who feel threatened by plant-based diets, but I find it’s best not to rise to the red-faced haters! If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it is hopefully that we should never take our environment, wildlife, or health for granted. OK, so those are three things really, but nevertheless, they are also the three main reasons that people choose to go plant-based. And unlike Dry January, which, although important, only serves […]

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2020: An unforgettable year as a runner…and ICU Dietitian (part 2/2)

July and August The second half of the year started in a similar fashion to June – just enjoying being in good shape and the very gradual easing of lockdown restrictions and return to some semblance of normality across the UK. This included our ‘Last Man Stands’ cricket season belatedly getting underway, albeit with lots of hand gel, elbow bump wicket celebrations and socially distanced team photos. I developed and delivered ‘introduction to running nutrition’ webinars to local running clubs and had a great response. We were also able to escape London and get a proper change of scenery for […]

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2020: An unforgettable year as a runner…and ICU dietitian (part 1/2)

Perhaps a little self-indulgent, but this year has been unforgettable for all the right and mostly wrong reasons, so here’s my month-by-month recap. I’m lucky that running is a constant in my life, and something I can turn to on even the hardest of days, so I’ve based this blog around that. January: Starting the year buzzing with optimism but still burdened by my terrible sense of direction, I got lost and missed the start of Whitstable parkrun, but caught up from the back and swore this year was definitely going to be the year I got to my first […]

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Running in 2020 / virtual races

are virtual races worth it

So virtual races are now a thing, and they’ve certainly stirred up some strong opinions out there in the running community. Here are mine! (Apologies for the London bias of this piece) Overall, I think it’s a positive move. It’s all well and good using running for routine, relaxation and to stay sane (and I can say with some certainty that I would have struggled to achieve any of those 3 in 2020 without it), but competition is important. For some people, keeping fit, pushing themselves in training or following a strict schedule are sufficient running goals in themselves, but […]

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Five lessons from London Marathon 2019 (including how not to run it)

It’s now been a week or so since I staggered over the finish line on The Mall, and I’ve been enjoying not breaking out of walking pace since then (I couldn’t have if I’d tried for the first three days). But while I’m just starting to think about lacing up the trainers again and getting going on the next challenge (nailing my 5K PB this summer), I think it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the big day and what I learned from it. Setting off too fast Training had gone well, tapering had been sensible, and the weather was […]

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Marathon blues

I’ve got the marathon blues. Last year’s final few weeks of long training runs were so punishing that I’d made up my mind long before race day that I’d be taking the following year off. More importantly, I then stubbornly stuck to that decision despite the euphoria that followed. So, I won’t be running London on Sunday, and it will mark my first year in six without a marathon. With my usual home town half in Bath also cancelled this year due to that (first) ridiculous week of spring snow, the only organised runs I’ve been doing are Park Runs. […]

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London Marathon 2017

Reflecting on my time in South America, I mentioned that the unhealthy diet and scorching heat would probably end any hopes of beating my marathon PB this year. Despite my best efforts of catching up on return to the UK, this proved to be the case, although I was still chuffed to come in at 2h 53m, just a couple of minutes over last year’s time. Most people are familiar with the phrase ‘carb-loading’, and I always take this pursuit almost as seriously as the training itself, particularly in the days leading up to the race. Food basically becomes just fuel during […]

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Blue Monday

Once upon a time, ‘Blue Monday’ was just a legendary 80s dance track (the highest selling 12 inch single of all time, no less). These days, however, it has come to mean the point in January that apparently marks the most depressing day of the year. Originally coined by Sky Travel as part of a PR campaign, the ‘formula’ for Blue Monday factors in debt, weather, time since Christmas, motivation levels (or lack of) and failing new year’s resolutions, with the perfect storm deemed to be the Monday of the last full week in January. However, clearly it is just […]

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