Stories inspired by running in Norfolk and beyond


April 2016

Dad, can I come for a run with you? Long running and watching the London Marathon


Sunday’s long run was to be a repeat of last week’s – up to Marriotts Way to Drayton and back, a chance to measure if I had got any better since last week – and use the useful Strava tool for the first time, where you can benchmark yourself against previous runs.

And then I was going to watch the London Marathon.

But my 10 year old daughter Josephine had other ideas.

“Dad, can I come for a run with you..?”

Continue reading “Dad, can I come for a run with you? Long running and watching the London Marathon”

Why running with a family is a series of compromises

In my perfect running world my weekly calendar would look something like this:

Monday – rest day (cross training, may be bike ride to or after work)

Tuesday – short run (intervals, fartlek, speed work) or evening run

Wednesday – rest day (lunch time swim?)

Thursday – mid run 45 mins to one hour

Friday – rest (may be a bike ride)

Saturday – cross train (swim/gym), or may be park run when tapering/cutting back the miles

Sunday – early morning  long run

I would feast on porridge, steamed fish and greens, freshly squeezed juice, and superfoods such as blueberries, and of course Greek Yoghurt and honey.

That is what I routinely find myself thinking about, as well as having the physique of an Olympic triathlete, and a proper racing bike; and a few years ago when I took up running, my routine was looking something like that – I even joined Tri-Anglia for a bit, but I couldn’t hack the midweek swimming sessions.

But then something changed.

Continue reading “Why running with a family is a series of compromises”

Guest blog: How running helped me feel like me again and not just a mum

Journalist Sophie Kendall, 28, from Sprowston in Norwich, explains how taking up running after having her first baby, Alex, in October 2015, helped her feel like herself again.

Sleepless nights, anxiety and extreme happiness are all emotions and experiences I expected from having a baby. But losing my identity to become a mum was something that took me by surprise.

Continue reading “Guest blog: How running helped me feel like me again and not just a mum”

Poll: What time of day do you prefer to go for a run?

Here is a beautiful view of my local park I captured on my phone when out running on Wednesday around Catton Park.

I’ve read that it’s best to mix up the times of day when you run for best effect. For me the reality is that with a busy job and young kids I tend to run in the mornings, and these days that means around 6.30am to 7am weekdays or around 8am weekends.

Having said that, whenever I’ve been training for a race I’ve tried mixing it up with evening runs or runs close to race time – so around 11am when preparing for the Norwich half marathon. One guy I know runs at 10pm after the kids have gone to bed – but that sort of time doesn’t work for me, though I’ve been tempted a couple of times. With the clocks going forward I’ve been really keen to go for an early evening run, if I could only finish work in time!

But what’s your favourite run time and why? Take part in the poll or feel free to leave a comment.

Guest blog – how the couch to 5k app is helping me get ready for Race for Life




Fiona Billings explains why the couch to 5k app is great for helping her get ready for Race for Life


I’m 29. I haven’t run more than about 10 metres in about 15 years. I hated cross country at school, and I could get out of breath going up three flights of stairs at work.

So when a few fellow members of Norwich All Saints WI said they were going to do Cancer Research’s 5k Race for Life this year, why on earth did I say I’d join in?!

Because I wanted to give something new a go – and prove to myself that I could actually stick with a goal and achieve it. Plus I’d heard of the ‘Couch to 5k’ app, and it sounded like it could work for a running novice like me.

For the uninitiated, the app aims to get you from non-runner to capable of doing 5k in nine weeks. It starts off nice and slowly – trying to ease you in to the unfamiliar notion of pounding the pavement for longer than it takes to run for the bus. There are a number of different apps for this plan on the market, each with a slightly different programme. Mine is called ‘RunDouble’, and in the sessions of the first week you have eight repetitions of 60 seconds of running, interspersed with 90 seconds of walking. Each is preceded and followed by a five minute warm up or cool down walk.

Now I know that to those who have run marathons or 10ks, that might sound ridiculous. You can’t run for more than a minute?! That’s absurd, how will you ever do 5k? And to be honest, that is how I felt after the first session. I was tired, my calves hurt, and I had no idea how I was going to get to the stage where I could run for more than a minute – which at the moment felt like an hour. Continue reading “Guest blog – how the couch to 5k app is helping me get ready for Race for Life”

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