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 […]

Running with mindfulness

I’ve always been a sociable runner. I began running with a friend, joined a running club within six months, and would do whatever I could to avoid running on my own. Solo runs felt harder, hurt more, seemed to last twice as long. If I had to go it alone, I’d distract myself with a […]

How to stop the day job wrecking your running

What’s the biggest obstacle to my running? It’s not finding the time to run. It’s not motivation, although that can be a challenge sometimes. It’s not even my loathing for lycra or anything ‘figure hugging’. It’s the hours I spend hunched over a laptop in my office every day. Up against a deadline, losing track […]

The power of gradual progress

‘No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: you can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant’ – Warren Buffett ChiRunning’s taught me a great deal, about my running and myself. But the biggest lesson is the power of gradual progress: learning slowly day by day, baby […]