Five Things Friday-6

Five Things Friday #6…

Five things Friday #6 is here! But before I share I need to just apologise to @thischapruns as I shared that he was running Manchester Marathon in my last post, but it is actually Southampton Marathon! I am blaming jetlag, but who knows…. sorry!

Here are the FIVE things that I have been doing/using/found this week that I think are worthy of sharing.

National Running Show

This weekend sees the running world take over Birmingham. I LOVE race expo’s read here and here. I have not been to the running show before, but I am expecting it to be like the London Marathon Expo. Are you going? Who are you most looking forward to seeing? I will be there on Sunday, probably not until the afternoon as my daughter will not miss Junior Parkrun!


Since coming back from Australia my sleep has been really erratic. I was also starting to get frustrated as I haven’t been getting up early to go to the gym as I was just so tired. So I started to read about sleep – I am now really keen to read the book by Matthew Walker, ‘Why We Sleep’.

Sleep is so important and all the broken sleep of recent weeks has just taken its toll on me. Hopefully, by next week I’ll be back in the gym, but for now, if you want to read more about sleep, I like this article from

Marathon Talk turns 10

I know I have mentioned this podcast previously, but it has just turned 10 I thought I would just give it another shout out. If you haven’t listened to an episode try the birthday episode now.

Instagram Post

I love this post from @simplysuzys on influencers.

View this post on Instagram

The brutal truth about ads. Gulp. Influencers get a lot of hate for doing them. And not a lot of love for how much freaking time they spend NOT doing them. If influencers wanted to, every single post and story could be an ad. They could go full Greys Anatomy and run and ad for every five minutes of content. But they don't, because they love and respect their communities more than the money. ⁣ ⁣ Most influencers got into Instagram and showed up for years, adding value day in and day out with zero expectation of ever getting a dime. Ads weren't even a thing when most started. Me, I've been doing this almost every day for seven years. In the real world if you saw a woman hustling full time to support her family and earn her children's tuition some may applaud her. But often some see that same work ethic in an influencer and are annoyed, possibly even resentful and maybe kinda bitter. ⁣ ⁣ Being and influencer didn't just "happen" to anyone. What you don't see is the hours. Thousands of them, spent building community, working hard to add value, to master a craft. Making friends, giving support of strangers. Hours spent getting better at writing, at photography, at learning how in the crappp to help those in our community. Worrying about members, pouring in to people they will never meet. Being on their phone more than a freaking iPhone tester. Anybody else work part time for free for years? ⁣ So, I hope when you see a #ad you won't be annoyed. That you'll appreciate it maybe like a well thought out commercial from a woman who has built trust offering up pieces of herself. And who has built something worth being paid for. ⁣ ⁣ I'd love to open up a discussion on what influencers can do to help change the stigma around ads?

A post shared by Suzy Holman (@simplysuzys) on

It is an interesting read, as people do seem to resent influencers or feel jealous etc. But if these people were in sales in an office no one would think anything of it. What is your take on this article? Let me know in the comments.


If you need a positive account to follow, I suggest you follow @runningmrjones. His poems are amazing and so inspiring.

So that’s it for Five things Friday #6. Any articles that you think need sharing, please send them my way.

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Missed other Five Things Friday, click here to have a read.

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Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 2

Manchester Marathon recap week 2 has been a fairly good one. The miles are creeping up and I actually enjoyed pushing the pace in the session this week. If you missed last week’s recap, click here. Make sure you are subscribed too so you don’t miss any other posts.


Last week at run-club it was so wet and so cold, I really didn’t know if I could face another session being freezing. I spent most of the early evening trying to decide if I was going to run club or not. The one thing that I am definitely going to try this cycle is to use Monday sessions as recovery sessions. I think in the past, I have worked too hard at these sessions, especially after long long runs and then wonder why I can’t hit the paces in the speed sessions. I need to give my body time to recover. Not every session has to be flat out.

So, as Storm Brendan raged, I hit the treadmill. Frustratingly my watch never records correctly on the treadmill, so I set the pace at 9.0 km/h and ran 4 miles. The pace should have been easy, but it felt far from easy. I wanted to give up many times but just got on and got it done.

Manchester Marathon training on a treadmill
All smiles once it was over!


Now that I am back to trying to work a bit more now, fitting in training is more challenging, obviously!

Friends were meeting at 4:30 pm and it was touch and go if I would make it home in time. With Storm Brendan blowing, I knew I would struggle to get out on my own, so I was home, upstairs change and out of the door in about 15 minutes!

We were lucky that it was only drizzling, but the winds were strong. At times you had to really work hard running into the wind and on occasions, it helped me along too! We kept the pace slow, yet it felt far from easy!

5 miles banked and I am looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

Finish selfie trying not to get blown away in Storm Brendan.


Rest day – yippee!


I genuinely loved this session. I had just completed my first full day of teaching for a while and was shattered. The weather was shocking as per! I really contemplated not going. But throughout this training cycle, I had decided that Thursday’s session would be my ‘hard’ session. Whether that be hills or speed, I had to attack full throttle.

The session was mile repeats. We were supposed to go at our 10k pace, which I thought was around the 9-minute mark. We set off and I was with Dem. I pushed the pace but was still able to talk intermittently. When we clicked the first mile at 8:38, I said ‘well that won’t continue.’

We set off on the second mile and I did feel this was a little harder – I could tell by my breathing, but I assumed that was due to going out too hard on the first rep. Well, that mile clocked in as 8:17 😱

I was convinced I didn’t have the third mile in me, but when we were told to go again I just kept working hard. I was definitely finding this rep the hardest, but I tried desperately to keep up with Dem. He pulled away at the end, but the mile still clocked in at 8:19. I was SO chuffed. I know that this isn’t my 10k pace, but it was nice to push the pace a bit and clock some miles with an 8 at the start. Even the rain and wind couldn’t take the smile off my face after that session.


Rest day!


What a beautiful morning! I am loving having a Parkrun so close to home now and it helps that it is such a pretty run. It was supposed to be a slow run and we started at the back so it started that way.

Girl gang prior to the start of Irchester Parkrun.

It was a little muddy, but it was a really lovely run. We got faster as we ticked off the miles and I did worry that I would regret pushing the pace during tomorrows long run.


The weather forecast was for it to be cold and icy. Trying to be smart, I suggested that we meet at the local park early so we could run on the trails. I thought it would be less slippery. Well, that was true, it wasn’t slippery. But it was flooded!

Just a little bit of flooding on our long run route

With a slightly adjusted route, we ticked off the miles. I felt remarkably good and we had to keep checking pace and slowing down. There was so much flooding, but some beautiful views.

We finished at Junior Parkrun. I ran the last mile with my daughter. It was bitter cold, but she did amazingly well, running the entire course. It was a great way to finish week 2 of marathon training.

Overview and Stats

I have still been rubbish with stretching and strength work! I am now back working more days than previous, so I need to keep consistent with train, even though I know I am going to be more tired.

Garmin showing weekly mileage from week 2 of Manchester Marathon.

26 miles banked for week 2

And on to week three, we go…

Five Things Friday-5

Five Things Friday #5…

Five things Friday #5. I am impressed that I am on number 5! I’m not always the best at keeping things going and I have had less time online this week. But here goes and I hope some of these are of interest to you. Let me know below.

Sharing FIVE things that I have been doing/using/found this week that I think are worthy of sharing.

MND Research

If you have been following me for a while, you will know that finding a cure for Motor Neurone Disease is something close to my heart. I run often to raise money and awareness for the MNDA in the hope that one day there will be a cure.

My Dad
My beautiful dad who died of MND back in 2010.

Read more about the trials here. If you would like to donate, you can here.

Virtual Run – Bushfire Relief Run

The fires that are happening in Australia are awful. The photos and videos that are being shared on Social Media are heart-breaking. As usual, the running community has come together to try and raise funds with a virtual run.

Five things Friday - Bushfire Relief Run photo

A runner in Australia had teamed up with Strava to host a virtual run. Find out more information here. Be quick as the challenge starts today.

Nike Vapourfly Next%

If you have watched any marathon in the last year, you are bound to have seen that the leading group are almost certainly wearing the record-breaking Nike shoes. Well, an article in runner world says that they are likely to be banned. Read here.

Five things Friday - Nike Vapourfly Next %

So what do you think? Do you think that these should be banned? Or should other brands be stepping up to compete with Nike? They do appear to be giving huge gains to those that are wearing them!


Another blog to follow if you are running the Manchester Marathon and would like to read about someone else’s journey. This Chap Runs (Jack) took part in the Berlin Marathon last year and is now tackling his 2nd marathon training cycle.

If you missed my weekly recap last week from Manchester you can find it here. Better still, add your email to the subscription box on the right and never miss another post.


Five things Friday - parkrun logo

Surely EVERYONE has heard about Parkrun? They organise, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. You can run or walk them.

I was lucky enough to take part in a club takeover at Irchester Parkrun last weekend. This is where my club provides nearly all the volunteering roles. My role was to write the run report. If you would like to read, click here.

Irchester parkrun 11.01.2020

So that’s it for Five things Friday #5. Any articles that you think need sharing, please send them my way.

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please add your email address to the box on the right of this page so that you never miss a post.

Missed other Five Things Friday, click here to have a read.

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Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 1

Here we go again. Marathon training cycle number six for the Manchester Marathon has now started. Each week I will recap my training, highlighting the highs and lows of training for a marathon. As this is cycle 6, you would think I would remember what I am letting myself in for, but as with childbirth, your memory erases the pain.

I like writing these weekly recaps, as it gives me something to look back over when I am having a wobble. I have also categorised these recaps so that I can just scroll the week 1 of marathon training and it will bring up week 1 from all my other cycles. Great way to compare where I am in comparison to previous cycles. You can look at all week 1 recaps here. You are probably not that interested, but I know I will look! hehe


Travelling so no running.


Arriving back from Australia at 6:35am this morning meant I had know idea what time zone I was in. I did think about running as I thought it would help stay awake longer and then sleep well, but I was so COLD, I couldn’t pull myself away from the fire!


Jet lagged and weary, I met with Christine to run today. A little apprehensive as I didn’t know how the run was going to feel. I knew I was tired and my previous runs had felt quite hard, so I had constantly said to Christine that the run had to be slow paced and not too far.

It was COLD. Well, Christine didn’t seem to think so and was in shorts, but I was certainly feeling the climate change. We ran and chatted, I chatted a LOT. Reliving my holiday stories and before I knew it we were at the turn around point. We stopped to discuss whether we should carry on for half a mile to make the run 5 miles in total. Even though I felt ok, I was worried that I would struggle towards the end of the run if I pushed to far too soon, so we stuck with the 4 miles. We chatted all the way back too and I am happy to report that I didn’t fade with pace.

With out actually intending too we run a progressive run, which was very pleasing when I looked at the stats after. After running solo for the last few weeks, it was so nice to run with Christine. It certainly makes the run much easier and I enjoyed it.

I like the look of those stats!


My first session back at my running club. I was hoping that I would be able to stay awake for session as I had been awake since 3:30am! I knew it was going to be cold, but then I had the added fun of it raining too. It had been a while since I had run in the rain and leaving the house was a struggle.

We were doing a short hill session and when the heavens open just as we finished the warm up, I did question my life choices! I actually felt quite strong running up the hills, but my lack of running certainly showed towards the end of the session as my pace dropped dramatically. As much as I moaned about being cold and soaked through, I know that these are the sessions that are going to make Manchester Marathon manageable. It would have been easy to stay in and blame jet lag, but marathons don’t run themselves. They also do a good job of making you pay for it on race day if you don’t put in the hard work.


Rest Day.


My running club were doing a parkrun take over at Irchester Country Park. I had originally thought about running there and back to get the miles in, but was fortunate to be given the role of writing the run report. This meant that I could still run.

Irchester is an undualting course, but VERY pretty. I ran with Christine again and didn’t once look at my watch. The course was very busy, so I knew we were going fairly slow at the start. We chatted all the way round, the hills didn’t feel all that bad at all. I loved seeing all of my club mates on the marshal points and they were giving lots of encouragement.

I had to stop to take my jumper off at one point. I have still been struggling with the cold since returning from Australia so I did have MANY layers on! When I stopped my watch at the end, I was pleasantly surprised by the average pace. I was expecting it the start with an 11!

The when I looked at the whole run it brought a smile to my face. Who doesn’t love negative splits!

Not fast, but very a very pleasing graph.


You always no when marathon training starts, as your weekend alarm becomes earlier than during the week! It was an early start, but jet lag has been kicking my ass this week, so I didn’t actually need an alarm!

I was running with Brems as we were due a well overdue catch up. It was still dark when we started the run and we had agreed to keep the run slow. We chatted the whole way and to be honest I looked at my watch very infrequently. We stopped occasionally to take photos and just really enjoyed the run.

We ran to meet my daughter at Junior Parkrun and ended up running it with her. 7.72 miles banked in total and a run that I really enjoyed. Our pace and stats were not too bad either.

Overview and Stats

So, it’s a start but there is SO much more hard work to come. I need to add in strength workouts and some stretching routine. I am not young anymore and additional things other than running become much more important. I am hoping that my sleeping will return to normal soon as well as training will need to ramp up.

Onwards and upwards!

18.38 miles banked for week 1

Asics Frontrunner Team

Five Things Friday #4…

Sharing FIVE things that I have been doing/using/found this week that I think are worthy of sharing.

So it’s back. I know I missed a few Fridays, but it was crazy season, so I’m letting myself off! Hopefully, I am back with some great things! Let me know what you think.

The Welsh Runner

Most people will know about The Welsh Runner from the London Marathon coverage a few years ago. Well, Matt is now posting a weekly training video on YouTube. His 1st video, with his son being born is quite emotional. Go check it out.

Instagram Hack

So I know I have featured Hannah on these posts before, but she has shared an amazing hack on how to get a version of the swipe up feature, even if you don’t have 10K followers. I tried it today and it worked. So if you want people to be able to swipe up to your links, take a look here.

New Running Blog

Anastasia (@murphyruns) has started a blog to document her training for the Manchester Marathon. She was recently awarded the sponsored athlete programme with @cleancoachkatie, Up and Running and The Treatment Lab so I think it will be awesome to follow her journey. Go check out her first month post.

Also fun fact, I started following Anastasia as one of her posts was in Dunstable and her handle was @murphyruns – I went to school in Dunstable and my maiden name was Murphy.

Asics Frontrunner Team

The application for the next round of Asics Frontrunners is next week. Following the team last year looked so much fun, they had many adventures and appeared to make some great friends. If you are interested in applying you should have a little read about what they do as a team here.

Asics Frontrunner Team

Just because…

Happy New Year 2020

There are lots of motivational quotes about New Year, New You, but my message is, enjoy being YOU. If that means New You, Good Luck! If that means Same You, then Good Luck too. Just wishing you a great 2020.

So that’s it for Five things Friday Number 4. Any articles that you think need sharing, please send them my way.

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please add your email address to the box on the right of this page so that you never miss a post.

Missed other Five Things Friday, click here to have a read.