West Deane Way ultra

The Ultra that wasn’t – part 1

2014 was meant to be all about the ultramarathon. Partly to find a new challenge. After seven road marathons, it felt like a good time to try something different. Partly to learn more about my running, and improve technique. It’s when you stretch the mileage that you discover where your weak links are. But it […]

Runners vs joggers: what's in a name?

I don’t usually get too hung up on labels, but last week a piece by Stuart Heritage that appeared on the Guardian runners blog had me pondering. Stuart hates running. He does it so that he can eat cake. And for this reason, he feels that calling himself a ‘runner’ is an undeserved promotion. He’s […]

Taunton Marathon: A race of two halves

Marathons mess with your head. Seriously. Preparations for Taunton have gone almost perfectly. I’ve run longer. Felt stronger. So you’d think I’d be brimming with confidence as race day approached. Guess again. This is my seventh marathon, and only my second since becoming a Chi Runner. After so many years of chronic injury, it’s hard […]

Marathon tapering: lessons learned

  With Brighton, Manchester and Taunton marathons in just 10 days, and London a week later, it feels as if the whole world is on a taper. I’ll ‘fess up. I used to do it all wrong during those last few weeks before the big day. To me, it was my reward for all the […]

Marathon training: working on the 'effortless' long run

Just under five weeks to go until the Taunton marathon, and the long runs are getting…. well…long. Last year’s Edinburgh marathon was my first for 12 years, and it was really a test of faith. I’d long ago accepted that my marathon days were over, and I didn’t quite believe I could still do it. […]

2014: Time to go ultra

I still remember my first run. Well, not literally my first, but my first ‘recreational run’. Done through choice, with no PE teacher at my back and no train to catch. Still high on inspiration after being part of the finish team at the London Marathon and experiencing the heroics, guts and glory of the […]

Do real men run 'Chi'?

  A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to introduce Somerset Gazette reporter Daniel Milligan to Chi Running. During the session, Daniel posed an interesting question. With its talk of ‘Chi’, relaxation and mindfulness, would male runners find the idea of Chi Running off-putting? A bit too… well…. airy fairy? Just not ‘manly’ […]

5 reasons to love parkrun

Early last Saturday, along with thousands of runners all over the country – and all over the world – I hauled myself out of bed to take part in my first parkrun, the free weekly 5K timed run that’s quietly becoming a running phenomenon. I’m lucky enough to live within easy reach of Longrun Meadow, […]

Running inspiration: the first 10K

My favourite racing distance is probably the 10K. Not as frantic as a 5K, not as daunting as a half-marathon, the 10K demands speed, stamina and strategy. And getting 10K-fit is a great foundation for longer distances. This year, Katherine Taylor and friend Andrea Yates, students at my ChiRunning workshop in July, ran the Taunton […]

Running safely

There are some wonderful off-road routes around Taunton – along the canal, over the Quantocks, through the Blackdown hills. Yet more and more often, I find myself hitting pavements and tarmac. I wrote recently about the joys of running alone. But a downside of solo running as a woman is a tendency to stick to […]