Archive January 2018

UK Run Events launches The Running Festival at Goodwood

UK Run Events, the organisers of the Shrewsbury Half Marathon powered by UKRunChat and Breathe Unity, have announced the launch of The Running Festival at Goodwood, an exciting new event for runners at the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit in Sussex.

The Running Festival at Goodwood was launched at The National Running Show on 20th January, and runners were quick to snap up entries to secure their place on the start line of an event that is believed to become one of the most iconic running events in the sporting calendar.

The event will take place on Sunday 14th October 2018 and is set to welcome 5,000 runners to what will be the first ever running festival at Goodwood. An event aimed at younger runners will also be announced shortly, making this a celebratory day of running for runners of all ages and abilities.

Goodwood is a spectacular estate in the heart of West Sussex and home to the world-famous Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Qatar Goodwood Festival. Nestled at the foot of the South Downs just outside Chichester, it is an extremely picturesque location for this thrilling new event on the UK running scene.

A total of 3,000 places are available for the 10K which covers two and a half laps, and 2,000 places are available for the Half Marathon which will see runners complete five and a half laps. The 10K starts at 10am and the Half Marathon starts at 12 noon, allowing individuals and families to enjoy a full day of fun at this iconic venue.

Discounted early bird fees are up for grabs until the end of February, and anyone wishing to enter this professional and friendly event in the autumn is encouraged to secure their place now. Tickets for events at Goodwood traditionally sell out quickly and The Running Festival at Goodwood is expected to be eagerly embraced by the running community.

Race Director Joe Williams commented, “We are delighted to launch The Running Festival at Goodwood. It has been a long time in the planning and we are thrilled to be able to host our first running festival at such a beautiful and memorable venue. The facilities at Goodwood are second-to-none and we hope that many runners will take the opportunity to race at one of the UK’s best-known estates. With the option of a 10K and a Half Marathon, we are looking forward to welcoming runners of all abilities to the event in October. Discounted early bird entries are available so now is the perfect time to sign up and have a fantastic new event to look forward to.”

The Running Festival at Goodwood is open for entries. Early bird entries cost £18 (affiliated) / £20 (non-affiliated) for the 10K, and £26 (affiliated) / £28 (non-affiliated) for the Half Marathon. Prices will rise by £2 respectively on 1st March.

All finishers receive a unique medal, technical souvenir t-shirt, free pre and post race massage, free event photography (worth £19.99), a goody bag, plus a fantastic grandstand-themed finish!

UK Run Events is a professional running events company delivering high calibre events in beautiful surroundings combined with strong community spirit and immense runner support. UK Run Events for 2018 include The Running Festival at Goodwood and Shrewsbury Half Marathon.

Go to www.ukrunevents.co.uk for further details and to register. You can also follow @ukrunevents on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news.

Author: Julie Bassett
Posted:
Categories: News

Guest Blog: Allie Bailey’s 100-mile challenge in Mongolia (part 3)

Allie Bailey is about to set off on an adventure of a lifetime. She will attempt to run 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia – something that has never been done before. This third part of her blog for Run Deep is the last one before she sets off! We wish her the best of luck and can’t wait to hear how she gets on.

So tomorrow I head to Heathrow to meet my fellow suggestible idiots. We fly out on Sunday.

I’m pretty sure I have everything sorted now and the nerves have turned into massive amounts of excitement for what proves to be an epic adventure. Our itinerary looks a bit like this.

We arrive on Monday morning and will meet our guide Hishgue at the airport where we will go for breakfast. I’m pretty excited about what this breakfast will be if I’m honest. We will then get on a mini charter plane from Ulan Bator to Murun. This will take around 2 hours and will be over the forested mountains and remote Mongolian countryside, home to some of the oldest tribes in the world. Once we get there we will meet our vehicles that will take us to the get camp at Khatgal – we’ve been told to look out for wolves, elks, reindeer (so ‘dinner’) and other beasts on the way. I’m just upset the bears are hibernating! A slap up dinner and drinks awaits us at our toasty Gers. I am imagining its like the last night in the posh hotel before people enter the ‘I’m A Celebrity’ camp…

After breakfast on the 23rd, and about a thousand outfit changes, we will make our way up North to start the first day of running at Khankh. We will be running for 3 days, staying the the Gers at night and hopefully completely traversing the lake running around 33 miles a day. Once we are done (and haven’t died or been mauled by wolves) we have been invited, as guests of the Mongolian Government, to the annual Burns Night supper in Ulan Bator. So I have to pack something fancy to wear too. God knows what the Mongolian ambassadors are going to make of us but I am very much looking forward to celebrating with them!

The thing about this event is we are all going in blind, and it’s going to be trial and error on every level, but that is what makes it exciting. All I want from my running is to see and experience the world and to inspire others to do the same. Anyone can do something awesome; it just takes practice, patience, a thirst for adventure and a bit of attitude. This is the first in a long list of races for me this year, including almost all the White Star Running events, the Jurassic Coast Challenge, the SDW100 and the Thames Path 184. I’m also planning on another ridiculous adventure in somewhere weird at some at the end of the year – all suggestions welcome. Running had bought me some of the best friends I have ever met, has helped me overcome depression and has made me believe in myself. If I can inspire just one person to do the same then that’s awesome.

Thanks for reading this and don’t worry, I will tell you ALL about it when I get back. If I get back…

Author: Julie Bassett
Posted:
Categories: News, Stories

Guest Blog: Allie Bailey’s 100-mile challenge in Mongolia (part 2)

Allie Bailey is about to set off on an adventure of a lifetime. She will attempt to run 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia – something that has never been done before. In the second part of her exclusive blog for Run Deep, she shares a few things she has learned in advance of her trip when it comes to cultural etiquette, plus she shows us some amazing brand-new images from Mongolia. 

One of the things I am particularly nervous about re: Mongolia is not the cold or the distance, but remembering all the customs and ‘Ger Etiquette’. People who have met me may know I have quite a gob on me, and am particularly partial to saying things out loud that really should stay in my brain hole.

For this trip we have a very experienced guide, David Scott, who has been out working in Mongolia for the last 30 years. We met with him back in December for a chat about the lake, route and to look at his lovely map.

There are a few things to note here. Just a few.

  • Say “hello” (Sain Bainu) when you arrive at a Ger, but don’t repeat it to the same person later. And don’t use platitudes. They’re not into platitudes. 
  • Avoid stepping on or leaning over the threshold or knocking your head on the doorframe. Not a problem for me. I am shortish. 
  • Don’t ever lean against the support columns of a Ger. A problem for me; I am a leaner. 
  • Guests go to the back of the Ger in a clockwise direction.  Try not to turn your back to the altar or religious objects. I don’t know my left from my right. Or my clockwise from my anti-clockwise. Or my religious objects from my non-religious ones. 
  • Pick up everything with an open hand, with your palm facing upwards.  Never take food from a communal plate with your left hand. As I said. I don’t know my left from my right. I might have to write L and R on my hands. 
  • Try not to point your feet at the hearth, the altar or at another person. What if my feet are cold? Where do I actually point my feet? HELP!
  • If you have stepped on someone, or kicked their feet, immediately shake their hand. So are we stamping on people’s feet or are we not? HELP!
  • Keep your sleeves rolled down so as to avoid exposing your wrists. I am going to be freezing – this won’t be a problem. 
  • Leave weapons outside.  Don’t point a knife in any way at anyone.  Pass a knife handle first and always use the knife to cut towards you. Not sure a knife is on my kit list. *Buys a massive knife
  • Hold a cup by the bottom and not by the top rim. WELL, OBVIOUSLY!
  • Always receive gifts with your right hand supported at the elbow by your left arm.
  • Avoid touching another person’s hat. This is apparently the WORST way to offend. 
  • Try never to refuse what is offered to you.  If you don’t like what you have been given, take a small sip or bite (or pretend to) and leave the rest on the table.  An empty plate is seen as a signal that you are still hungry and your plate or bowl will be refilled. It’s likely that what you are offered to drink will be fermented horse milk. Or vodka. I know what I am hoping for. 
  • It is not rude to come and go as you please in a Ger.  Even taking a short nap is considered perfectly acceptable. YES! 
  • Sleep with your feet pointing towards the door. More feet pointing. Maybe I will just cut them off? 
  • Avoid stamping out or putting water or rubbish on a fire – fire is sacred to the Mongolians. I really hope I don’t catch on fire. 

That’s quite a lot to remember. Would it be wrong to print it out and laminate it? David is currently out on the ice with the inspection team measuring the thickness to make sure we’re all good to run on it. Judging from these pictures (below) of the team out on the ice and the massive support vehicles, I think we should be okay.

I’m now in the final stage of preparation and it’s becoming very real indeed. I have one more 20-mile run to do this week and I’m set. Friday will be my final blog for Run Deep before I hit the ice – should be interesting to see how every bit of my kit is going to fit in my bag, plus I will give you all an update on the itinerary for the week!

Author: Julie Bassett
Posted:
Categories: News, Stories

Guest Blog: Allie Bailey’s 100-mile challenge in Mongolia (part 1)

Allie Bailey is about to set off on an adventure of a lifetime. She will attempt to run 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia – something that has never been done before. Here is the first of three blogs for Run Deep in the build up to her epic challenge.  

This time next week, I will be standing in the middle of a frozen lake in temperatures of -40, wearing a coat made of wolfskin, probably wondering what on earth I am doing. What I am actually doing, is attempting to run 100 miles across Lake Khovsgol – the second largest body of freshwater in the world, located slap bang in the middle of Mongolia. As you do…

The race is basically a recede organised by Rat Race Adventures. It will form part of their Bucket List races that go on sale in 2019, the races being a very cold one, one in the jungle and one in the desert. I will be part of a team of 7 hand picked ultra-runners (for hand picked read “highly suggestible idiots”) and we will navigate the lake over 3 or 4 days, sleeping in Gers at the side of the lake at night. The best bit about this is none of us have had any experience of doing anything like this before, so we are basically going into it blind.

So, first things first – kit. We have a guide with us who has 30 years’ experience in Mongolia and has mapped the route, telling us to dress like it’s “a very cold day in the highlands”. Yeah. A VERY cold day. The temperature is a dry rather than wet like we see in the UK, which brings its own dangers in that you have to keep an eye on yourself to avoid frostbite. I tend to run hot but I’m not taking any chances here, and overpacking gear will be something that is definitely happening. I’m a girl. I can’t help myself. I wonder where I will be able to plug in my hair straighteners?

It’s going to be trial and error on the ice when it comes to finding an outfit that is warm and comfortable, but also allows me to run. After a few panic shopping incidents, I think I’ve nailed it. I’m going for a 2XU compression layer, top and bottom, and then merino wool layer, plus winter dri-fit running tights on top of that. I’ve also got some ski-style salopettes to go over the top and gaiters to insulate my feet and calves if it comes to that. Top half will be a mixture of 2XU compression and North Face base layers with a small puffa, wolf pelt or windproof jacket over the top. I’ve opted for Salomon ski mitts with a merino wool inner for gloves and have invested in a pretty snazzy merino wool balaclava that I can re-use when I decide to finally embark on my career as a night stalker. Add to that 3 buffs, a hat and ski goggles and I look ridiculous – but dammit I will be warm!

Feet are obviously quite important, so I am sticking with my trusty Altra Lone peaks in a size bigger than normal to cope with at least 2 pairs of socks – Hilly twin skins then Sealskinz waterproof socks over the top. I’ve also got another pair of merino ski socks just in case to stick on top of them. My Altras and Hillys got me through the Autumn 100 in October with no blisters at all and I didn’t need to take them off once. They might look like clown shoes, but they’re the best ultra shoes I’ve ever worn. I’m going to attach spikes to the bottom and see how we go with that. I am also taking my ice skates. Just because I can.  It’s been recommended I get some trekking poles, or ‘cheat sticks’ as I like to call them. I just had a look at how expensive they were and nearly threw up.

Training wise, I’m match fit, apart from what I think might be a touch of tendonitis in my Achilles. (Ignore it and it will go away, right?) I ran over 2,500 miles last year in various races and through training, so I am hoping the distance won’t be an issue. We’re looking to cover around 33 miles a day at an ultra pace, so as long as I am eating and rehydrating properly, it should be fine. Our gear will be carried by local ‘sherpas’ on horse pulled sleds, but I will be taking my Ultimate Direction Fastback 25 to store snacks because I love snacks and I don’t think there is a 24-hour shop on the ice. One of things I am worried about is water because I drink A LOT of it and it tends to go all weird and hard in -40. I am going to use a bladder that I will carry close to my body for heat, so I have water as and when I need it. I imagine this will get quite annoying after about 5 minutes.

So the final preparations are underway and it’s all looking good. One of the things I am slightly worried about is the culture shock (for the Mongolians, not us!), so I need to brush up on my Ger etiquette. But more about that in part two…

Follow Allie’s journey on her Facebook page and Instagram.

Author: Julie Bassett
Posted:
Categories: News, Stories

How to improve your running in 2018

Fancy making 2018 your best running year yet? No matter where you are on your running journey, there are ways that you can improve your speed, endurance, distance and stamina. Here are our top tips

Vary your pace

The best way to improve your running, at any level, is to mix up your pace a bit. While most of your running is done at a steady, comfortable effort, adding in some faster-paced work will build your endurance and stamina over any distance. This can be anything from structured intervals (based on a set distance or time), or a more casual approach like fartlek, where you add in random bursts of speed to your run. Run hard, so that you couldn’t possibly hold a conversation and give yourself time to recover fully between reps.

Hill work

Hills are your friend, honestly! They are really hard work and not the most pleasant, but you will reap the rewards. You can do hills in conjunction with intervals, powering up them and recovering down (make sure you are properly warmed up first!). Or you can simply add hills into your usual, day-to-day route and aim to keep a steady pace as you go up them, which will naturally increase your effort level. Hills will build fitness, stamina and leg strength, so it’s worth learning to tolerate them, if not love them.

Try a new terrain

If you always run on the road, then it’s time to hit the trails! No matter where you are in the UK or the world, there will be somewhere you can run off-road: think river paths, footpaths, country parks, green spaces, birdleways… Trails can give you a softer surface to run on, but it also introduces instability, which will build your core strength as you navigate tree roots, mud, hills and rocks. You’ll also get so wrapped up in your surroundings, you won’t even notice the miles go by (maybe)!

Change your cadence

You won’t run faster by lengthening your stride; you’re more likely to end up with an injury due to overstriding. Your stride turnover, or cadence, can improve your efficiency as a runner. Cadence is simply the number of steps that you take over one minute of running. You can work out your cadence by running for a minute and count how many times your right foot hits the floor, then multiply by two. Some GPS watches will also work out your cadence for you.

There is often much talk of the ‘perfect’ cadence being 180 strides per minute, but this is based on research of elite athletes… which most of us are not! Rather, you can look at increasing your own personal cadence by a small amount to increase your speed – by no more than 5-50%. Your cadence is also likely to change depending on the distance and the intensity that you are running at. There are advances to increasing your step rate by a small margin; short, fast steps can reduce the impact on your hips and knees, reducing your injury risk.

You don’t have to change it all in one go or count your steps constantly. Try using some of your interval sessions to hit target cadence and you will soon start to feel the difference, and be able to apply it in races and events.

Try the treadmill

The ‘dreadmill’ is not many people’s idea of fun, but if you are looking for a way to increase your speed, then it can actually help a bit. It assists you with your leg turnover and therefore it feels easier to run faster, but you are still getting the benefit from the session. It’s good for intervals as you can just dial in your chosen speed setting and run fast, then turn it down again. You could try a pyramid session: run fast for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 minutes, with a 2-minute recovery walk/jog in between. Make sure you use a slight incline on the treadmill setting as well.

Crosstraining

You can improve your running by mixing up the exercise that you do. Doing some core work, resistance exercise, plyometric or strength work can help to build a strong, healthy body that is capable of running faster and further. Also, by switching up what you do, you are reducing the constant impact of pounding on the pavements, which can help to prevent injury in the long run. Check out your local gym for classes, speak to a personal trainer about good exercises you can do in the gym or just hop on your bike for a commute to work – whatever works for you!

Stretch it out

Don’t stretch at your own peril! After a run, spend some time stretching through your major muscle groups. But also, think about improving your overall flexibility outside of just running. Going to a regular yoga, Pilates or other stretch class (some gyms run athletic stretch or similar) will increase your core strength, flexibility and, again, help to reduce your injury risk. You can even just incorporate a simple stretching routine at home; there are plenty of YouTube videos or DVDs to give you some tips.

Be consistent

The very best thing you can do to improve your running is to be consistent. Mark your runs in your diary – whether it’s twice a week or almost every day – you need to give them the same priority as other things in your life. It’s good for your mental wellbeing, as much as your physical fitness, so it’s worth putting the time aside. Keep running regularly and you will improve over time, or at least maintain a good level of fitness and that’s important for your current and future health.

This article appears in issue 4 of Run Deep magazine. Download now for just 99p to get more great training advice and read inspirational stories from real runners of all levels. 

Author: Julie Bassett
Posted:
Categories: Stories, Training