Tag Archives: Events

Who has been your Olympic inspiration so far?

18 Aug


Well the Olympics have been and gone… but certainly not forgotten. In less than two weeks we have the Paralympics to look forward to which I have no doubt are going to be just as incredible.

There is still a huge buzz from the past two weeks, and I have already heard so many stories about how the games have inspired people to get out there and take part in sport, but will it last? I really hope so. For me, the Olympics demonstrated how ordinary people like you and me can achieve their dream with just a bit of dedication, determination and a goal.

My idol from the olympics so far has got to be Jessica Ennis and Charlotte Dujardin.

Above Inset: Jessica crossing the finish line.

Above inset: Charlotte and equally talented team mate Valegro

Two completely different sports, I know, but two sports I am personally very passionate about. I practice both sports and know how hard both sports are. At the level those two are at though, the hours of training and intensity involved must be unbelievable. Both athletes won gold. I am in complete admiration for both (and all of the other athletes too!) But for me, these two have given me a real focus and I know can help me achieve my own personal goals in both running and riding.

Its not easy to stay motivated though and there are times when our goals just seem so far away or almost impossible. If you stay focused and keep that goal in mind you CAN DO IT.

Here are some tips to make sure you stay focused:

1. Write down your goals. Put them up where you will see them everyday. I write my goals and stick them on our fridge at home. (I spend a lot of time in the fridge!) If you are having a bad day they can help keep you focused and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing them off once you have achieved them and planning the next one.

2. Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself goals that you aren’t going to achieve, start small and think big. If you just run for 10 minutes then it is 10 minutes you might otherwise have spent on the sofa. I often find by 10 minutes, Im warmed up and I carry on anyway.

3. Sign up for that race today. Sign up to a race, whatever the distance, its a race and its a goal. Then tell ‘everyone’ you know about it, that way you will have to do it or you you will just look silly!

4. Imagine yourself at the Olympics! So your running along and you feel like stopping, you’ve had a long day at work and you just want to turn back, go home and put your feet up. Instead, why don’t you push yourself. Imagine yourself on the Olympic track in front of the worlds media, your country are cheering you on, ‘Come On!’ you can feel the crowd moving you along… Just a bit of imagination can get you over that finish line and it could be a PB.

5. Keep a diary of your achievements. Use map my run or a programme that can track all of your runs. That way you can see your progress over time. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing just how far you have run. If you are having a bad day… just look at how far you have come. You know you can do it.

6. Remember how lucky you are. After my riding accident last year when I was unable to run for a while it has made me realise just how lucky I am to still be able to do what I love. I never take running for granted.

7. Put your kit on. Once you put your running gear on, theres no turning back. Can you imagine how guilty you would feel if you had to take it all off and hadn’t bothered going out for a run? … So theres no excuse. Get your trainers on a get out there!

Have you got any tips you can share that keep you motivated?

Miles so far 683. 1,329 to go

Yorkshire to celebrate Olympic success with a welcome fit for heroes
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Get ready, get steady… Go!

24 Jun

Today I successfully completed another Half Marathon as part of my 2012 miles in 2012; Malvern Half Marathon in aid of Acorn’s Children’s Hospice. It’s a race I have done before but this year the route was different. It was a disappointing route this year, and took us down some very long and mentally challenging roads, but was still a very well organised and enjoyable race. The marshals were fantastic.  Running in a race is such a different feeling to running a long weekend training run. Mainly because you are competing, and wanting to achieve a good time, but also for me personally it would be completely inconceivable to set out for a race and not complete the full distance.



So if you are thinking of running a race; whatever the distance, whether it is your first or 100th, here are ten useful tips to see you through.

1. Arrive in good time

Get everything ready the night before. From experience, there is nothing worse than arriving at a race and having to run to the start line, have no time to go the loo (nerves!) and adequately warm up.

2. Fill up on Fuel

You can’t run without fuel. This is a really important bit of advice, when I first started running I made this mistake too many times than I’d care to remember. I was lucky enough to always be in company, and luckily never fainted or anything but I have had to pay for it later. Feeling exhausted for the rest of the day.

You can’t run without fuel but eating too close to starting time can also make yourself poorly, causing cramps or stitch. Try to eat a carbohydrate-rich meal no later than one hour before your race.

3. Hydrate

For races over 10km many people will want to have a drink to stay hydrated. Do you prefer to run with a bottle? Or are you okay with taking drinks at water stations? Decide what you’re going to do, and train in the same way.

4. Check the weather

Check the weather for the day of your race. If its hot and sunny, make sure you will be wearing something cool. If it’s going to be cold or wet, make sure you have a waterproof. Wear something trusted, that’s comfortable and works for you,

5. Plan your race strategy

Its good to think first about how you are going to run your race. I would suggest starting off steady and then picking up the pace half way through. Negative splits. Always remember its your race and no one else’s.  Don’t run alongside someone’s else and try and keep up, they will have their own plan and it may not suit you and your training.

6. Don’t stress

Don’t stress. Its just a race, it’s the taking part that matters. You have got this far so why go and spoil your enjoyment by stressing. Easier said than done, I know. But seriously, try to see the bigger picture and enjoy it.

7. Use your fellow race goers to keep you going

No matter where you run your race at home or abroad, there is something about running in a race that seems to bring everyone together. Runners are friendly creatures! I have met so many people whilst running a race, and it can really help keep you going. When you’re feeling tired use the pace of other runners around you to keep going, you can also try encouraging each other. Another useful tactic is to pick out someone ahead of you and try to catch them, or just maintain the same distance between you.

8. Split the race

This really works for me. I try and imagine to race in sections. If I am running a half marathon I divide it into two 10k’s, for me this really works. Some may split it up even smaller, down to 5k’s. It somehow makes the distance feel less daunting. Try it.

9. Recruit some cheerleaders!

Run your race with a friend or ask friends or family to come along to support you. Having someone at the finish line or along the way will really give you a boost and is great encouragement if you start to feel tired.

10. Whether it’s your first race or your 100th enjoy it.

Whether you come first or last, you did it. Well done. If you didn’t finish in the time you wanted to, it doesn’t matter, isn’t it the taking part that matters? There’s always next time!