Tag Archives: training

Heavier is harder



So my previous post I was just heading out the door to do the 3rd event in the Kindlington Mota-vation series!! A 4 mile run which I was supposed to be missing due to work! I was bloated, gained a few pounds with not a lot of training going on … but I SMASHED it …. Well as my standards allow!! I ran an average of 8:49 ….. Considering last year I struggled to do 1 mile in under 9 miles …. To now do 4 is pretty impressive!! I’m not saying I enjoyed it …. I could feel bits of me wobbling that have never wobbled before!! I was huffing and puffing (and maybe swearing) getting up the final hill (which felt like Everest) and I collapsed face down into the grass to try and cool myself down at the end ….. But I did it! It was hard …. But it was a job well done!!



I felt a bit blah!!! Ever since completing the marathon my training has just been ….. blah!!! I’ve done a few races here and there, dabbled in off road, flirted with the thought of a triathlon and added spinning to my weekly routine! But I’ve lacked motivation and drive that I had before! It just crept up on my and I realised I was missing my routine of training! I missed my long slow Sunday runs! So I decided on Saturday night ….. I was entering on the day to do the NSPCC half marathon in MILTON KEYNES on Sunday!!

Well after I made the decision I out it on Facebook and Twitter and told hubby! Great!! ….. No not great! I came across all doubtful that I could make it round 13.1 miles …. Blimey 5 miles in Thursday were hard and as the world knew …. There was no way of dropping out!!

but ….

It turns out! Running a marathon in May, doing an off road half in June followed by an off road 8 miles the week after …. Means that your legs still remember how to run!! It wasn’t a PB …. Heck I didn’t want a PB …. I just wanted to run!!

REVIEW … what a fantastic race! The organisation was exceptional, the marshals were great, the course was good (except for the bloody down and up of all the underpasses) and I even beat the camel that was going for a Guinness world record!




I’ve proved to myself that I don’t need to be “scared” about going the distance or getting the speed!! I’m a runner …. I run! however …..

My fridge looks kind of bare without a training plan and my mind is kind of bored without a goal to aim for!!

SO … the new plan is this …. I am going to do a sub 2 hour half at BOURNMOUTH!!! I am gonna get my programme up and smash my PB!!!

Standby for some hard core training updates!!!


Sandie xxxxx


Silverstone Half




I didn’t chose to run silverstone half – I promised I would run it with a friend who later dropped out! But I have to say that on race day I was glad I had! Some of my friends were up at the crack of dawn to get to reading but the late start (midday) and the fact that Silverstone is 15 minutes from my house meant I could have half of a lie in! Plenty of time to get up, porridged up, dressed and ready to rock!



When I woke up the day looked promising! I swear the birds were singing and it seemed the sun had its hat on!! Well…. as you can see from the photo above …. It all disappeared! It was FREEZING!! After this pic was taken I run off to get ready and hated taking my warm layer off! It was windy cold and threatening to rain! I then said to hubby “well the weather ain’t too great for a PB day but if I can get 2:05 ill be happy”!

The startline ….

I am a HUGE motorbike fan and couldn’t wait to get onto the track! I was a bit late getting ready so started a bit further back than I wanted … But I was right on the grid and felt excited. There was a great atmosphere and buzz – got chatting to a few people and my nerves started to disappear.



I can only really tolerate SiS gels (I will review them properly later) but I do t normally start my nutrition until about 60 minutes into a race! BUT …. in a recent runners world article I read about a nutrition strategy! So I decided to start with a gel at the start …. And then every 40 minutes! Im no expert but it worked a treat! I had the caffeine one at mile 10 and really felt the lift it gave me!


Many people told me “be prepared to be bored” …. but … I have to say bored was not an emotion I felt during the race! Like I said …. Big bike fan … Loved running through the pits, starting on the grid, blah blah blah I loved it!! Spectators were at approx miles 3, 7 and 11 … And I easily identified my gang cheering me on! When no spectators were around … The marshals stayed encouraging and kept my spirits up calling out my running club printed on my vest!

It includes 3 water stops and 2 lucazade stops (I didn’t have lucazade) which were perfectly placed! The bottles were small enough that I Could easily carry it on the go too!

Now one thing I have to say that chuckled me was ….. the racing line! this was the only down fall … Everyone followed the racing line … Which meant bunching up in the bends which meant slowing down a bit! It couldn’t be helped but when I tell you my finish time you can see where I could of made up those pesky few seconds!

Silverstone IS NOT FLAT!!! I agree it’s not undulating … But there are a couple of “steady inclines” ….. I wasn’t expecting them …. And coupled with the wind …. Another few seconds could of been Gained!!



Well at that finish line I actually felt like Mo Farah or Paula Radcliffe! I sprint like I’d never sprint before ….. Just hoping I had scraped a PB! I was not expecting what I saw on the garmin!! 2:01:20 ….. 9.5 minutes off my PB! I was jumping for joy … I wanted to cry … Couldn’t believe I’d just run 13.1 miles at an average pace just over 9 min miles!! I am now planning my next strategy though to get that peaky 1:20 off the end!!! I still can’t believe a sub 2 hour half marathon is within reach when 3.5 years ago I did 10 miles in 1:55 at the great south run! I still amaze myself with how far I’ve come!!!

I found the family just as it started bucketing down!



My runners high lasted all day! It lasted even longer when I clicked on the marathon photo link and noticed that I actually look half decent in my photos …. I didn’t look dead, old, in pain or wobbly!!! I might even buy one!!!


The goody bag was just as good as the race!! It included An energy breakfast bar, peppermint tea pig tea bags which I’m now addicted to) an AWESOME medal shaped like a tyre and a cool t-shirt!!


In summary …. a great race! Well organised, good fun, great atmosphere, great marshals, all in all … A great day!!

Happy running xxxx

Types of runners!!


WHAT ?????? Are you???

Recently all my social media feeds have been filled with quizzes to determine what personality you are!! “what friends character are you?? “what breed of dog are you??? “what should your perfect job be” (and to be honest I have been guilty in partaking in a quiz or two!

A running magazine recently published a “what type of runner are you”! AND I’ve seen blogs and twitter feeds about ….

Running types….

I don’t really know much about the subject but I do enjoy people watching “runner watching”

We all know the super lean, super dedicated, 5 minute miler, eating clean, gazelle type runners that just make the whole thing look painless and effortless! (Although I would love to be in this group …. I never will be)! What amazes me is the dedication of this group to normally wear shorts and t-shirts no matter the weather …. With maybe a hat if it rains!!

We all know the picture perfect, make up on, hair perfect, beautiful runner who also makes it look so easy and whose race pictures could be published in magazines for the right reasons (I refer you to my gallery … I am not one of these runners either)

There is the tracksuit bottom and hoody runner, the addicted to running clothing and every new pair of trainers runners (I am definately this one) the group of girls runner, the I want to lose weight runner! The fast runner, the slow bimble runner, the 5k focused runner, the madly in love with the marathon runner!

So many categories! But what I love about most runners … We all run! We all love it (I love it after its finished usually) and no matter whether we are a 5k slow, group of girls, tracksuit bottom
Runner or an elite athlete running 5 minute miles …. A run is a run!!!


So what’s my point???

I found a new type of runner today!! The I HATE RUNNING IN THE MORNING RUNNER!!!


I wish I could be dedicated to wake at 4am eat my porridge and go back to bed for an hour before rising at 0630 to pound the pavement! The truth is …. I hate mornings!

You wake up, everything is aches, your mouth is dry and your eyes won’t open! I struggle to walk downstairs never mind make my legs move faster than a shuffle!

I am up usually at 0530 most days to get out to work …. Why on earth would I want to do this on my days off! So today I slept in for parkrun and opted for a 5 miler at 0830! And once it was done I felt great and set me up for the day!

So …. THE PLAN!!

I don’t think ill ever be a 4am porridge eater – but I think I might make more of an effort to pull myself out of bed in the future! Whilst I’m lying in bed …. Someone else is out there running!

Love Sandie xxxxx

End of Week 7!!



I woke up this morning (after the best sleep I’ve had in forever) and thought where has this week gone??  I feel like I have not run very much …. and I realised that I dropped my usual Thursday run so feel like I’ve cheated a bit.

Rest days ….. think I’ve cheated a wee bit this week and had 3 (yes 3) rest days!  Monday saw a few squats and lunges – but nothing I can class as a workout!  Thursday was booked as pre valentines night with hubby and the hustle and bustle of life got in the way throughout the day so Thursday session was missed and I decided to keep my Friday rest!

Actual Runs ….. I Have to admit though that I have actually had a productive week considering i was so poorly last weekend that I asked hubby to watch i didn’t stop breathing in the middle of the night!  All my chest muscles hurt and I felt like breathing was such an effort!  But having not run at all last weekend … by Tuesday I was desperate to go out!  My common sense head said “stay away from speed training at club and do a nice sensible slow 3 miles” where as my heart said “just go to club and take it easy”!  THEN came a text from my good friend and running buddy Kirsty ….. “are you coming to club tonight, my legs are pretty tired so we can just take it really slow” so the heart won!  off i went to be told we were doing 1Km reps ….. I wasn’t letting my garmin beat me and just went for it!  Wasn’t as fast as previous weeks …. but wasn’t far off!  Chest didn’t feel to bad afterwards so was pretty pleased that Kirsty persuaded my heart rather than my head! Considering we both felt a bit rubbish … we both went for it and had a FAB session!

Wednesday ….. the plan said …. 9 miles!!!  Could I actually face 9 miles, post a day at uni, cough still lingering??  I met up with 2 more club mates and thought I would just see how I got on!!  9 Miles Smashed!  Felt great!  Could just keep going!!

Saturday …. I have already posted about it but need to mention it again!!  Milton Keynes park run …… best run in a while!  Everything clicked and that “running high” stayed all day!!

Long run SUNDAY …. Training for Bournmouth marathon I had a mind block at 15 miles …. most runs I ended up calling Hubby at 15 miles crying …. please come and pick me up!  Today i had 16 miles  …. i was dreading it.  2 miles alone, 10 with the girls and 4 miles alone!  16 miles done …. at 10:20 pace …. again I managed to do it at not much over my planned marathon pace of 10:15!!!  I am getting so edited about trying to get 4.5 hour marathon and at the minute it seems so achievable! I am getting excited!

What now???

I feel like the last few sundays have just been a diary of my week!  I am excited about the next few weeks!  I will actually have some races to review!  Next week …. Winslow 10k then Silverstone half (so excited about this one …. and would love 2 hours) followed by Banbury 15!

So for now … keep running!Image

End of Week 4!!!


One page down…..

So this is 4 weeks worth of my training programme for Milton Keynes …. It is one page out of 4.5!

As i crossed off that 12 miler – last square at the end I breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the sense if achievement – and then I looked at the other 3.5 pages I have still to get through! But that’s what I do it for …. The feeling I get when I have achieved so much … With the drive to continue in what is still to come!!

So week 4!!!

This week was an “easy” week! My programme was developed for me by a very good friend and my instruction for this week was … “only run the runs … Do no more” YES!!!! I get an extra days rest and BOY DID I LOVE IT!!

So Monday … recovery run!! 3.5 miles done at a nice easy 11:00 minutes per mile! As I set out thinking “how i love an easy run” this thought quickly changed to …. “Recovery runs are the hardest of the week”. Legs like lead!!

Tuesday speed training with my running club! It was PAINFULL! We did 1km laps! Up to 1km back for 1km – so I did 4 in total! When added onto the warm up and cool down it turned out around 4 miles at an average pace of 8:55! Which I was pretty happy with as my legs still felt heavy!

Wednesday .. REST REST REST! Although I did cheat a little bit from my orders and did some strength and core! Squat! squat! squat!

Thursday …. club night! Our normal 10km route and I planned to take it easy at a nice 10:00 min/mile! Well I got chatting checked the Garmin which displayed at nice 9:10! We finished in 9:30 average and I felt super pleased …. Proof I’m getting quicker!

Friday ….. Rest .. And Rest I did!

Saturday …. Oxford parkrun … My current nemesis! BUT I DID IT! It wasn’t a PB but I got it back under 29 minutes … At a nice …. 28:59! Ha ha! Considering the conditions are still mud bath central I was happy!


Pleased to say these are the old trainers … I couldn’t bare putting the new ones through it!

And finally …. Sunday … Long run day! All hyped up ready for 12 miles! Started off myself doing 2 miles before meeting the girls and doing 8 followed by 2 home! And in true English style at the minute … It was raining! Not just a drizzle … TORRENTIAL RAIN … And wind! My face was screwed up and I looked awful but the truth is …. I loved it! I couldn’t help run with my shoulders back and chest out with pride …. Knowing that even though the conditions were awful …. I was out there doing it! And all completed in a 10:20 average pace!

If I keep that pace up over training …. I am going to smash this 4 hour 30 minutes!!

Summary… I am loving training for this marathon! I feel like I have 1 under my belt so I know I can do the distance and I know the pain and emotion to come! I just feel like I am taking it in my stride and the miles will come! I feel relaxed about the whole thing!

Remind me if this is March/April – when it really kicks in!!

Happy running all!!


First week training

So marathon number 2 ….. Milton Keynes!!!! Training started Monday with a nice 3.5 miles in the rain, Tuesday interval training …. In the rain, Wednesday 6.5 miles ….. In torrential rain! But throughout the feeling of being constantly wet and drowning I still had a smile on my face!!!


Club night in Thursday saw me practically forced into joining the 9:30/mile group …. And I did it! The whole 6.2 miles completed at an average pace of 9:28 per mile! High fives all round, a collapsed Sandie at the end, feeling sick and sore quads for the remainder of the week!

I have examined my programme and reflected on Bournemouth and realised the biggest thing missing …. Strength! I have no glute strength and I’d quite like a 6 pack (ok ill settle for a tummy that doesn’t jog alongside me when I run)! I asked my darling husband for advice …. He told me dead lift, Olympic weights, squats beast the weight! I got a little Mardy with him (I hate weights) told him he was wrong and tweeted for advice!! What advice did I get …. “Squat, dead lift, weights and core training”! So here I say publicly ….. Darling husband Tim Farrow …. You were right!

So I downloaded an app called strong runner …. It’s not very complicated or fancy but just gives advice in different exercises! Also came across a yoga for runners …. Which looks nails but good! And I am pleased to say ….. It’s Saturday morning and I’ve completed abs and my squats already …. Now just for a wee tempo run to complete ….. In the rain!!!