10 things I Love about the London Marathon

10 things I love about the London Marathon

Having never run any other marathon, other than London, here are the 10 things I love about the London Marathon, although I am sure some of these would apply to any marathon experience.

  1. The Hype

London is special and the hype in the lead up to the event is amazing. The butterflies certainly set in, the first time the BBC plays their London Marathon advert. Social media goes mad with marathon tips, supporters tips, facts about the marathon and the general buzz is awesome.

2. The Expo

You have to collect your number prior to the race, and I LOVE the expo. (Read here) All the big running brands are there, lots have competitions for you to get involved with and win prizes. VirginMoney has a section which is always a lot of fun, with lots of photo opportunities. I am like a kid in a candy shop at the Expo!

Ruth London Expo 2016

3. The organisation

This is always spot on! You have all the information about the race about a month before, and on the day, from the moment you get off the train, there are people to help you and guide you to the start. Once in the starting pens, baggage is excellent and even toilet queues were not bad this year. At the end collecting bags and receiving the medal is always hassle-free.

4. Running a marathon changes your life.

I dare you to train for a marathon and not have it change your life”  is what Susan Sidoriak said and this is so true. It’s not just the grit and determination you need on the day, but the ability to train for one, to start one is pretty impressive. A marathon makes you realise how strong you are, and that you CAN achieve things that you originally thought were impossible.

5. The route

I have always loved London, ever since I went as a kid, and running it is always exciting. The sites are incredible; Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, The Tower of London, The Embankment, The London Eye, Big Ben, and then finally Buckingham Palace, what is there not to love!

6. The Crowds

The crowd support is immense. The constant cheering, the calling of your name, the music, the jelly babies offered, the banners made. The crowds are just epic.

RunMND supporting London Marathon

7. The Volunteers

As I mentioned earlier, there are so many volunteers and they are so supportive. They cheer you on, they hold you up, they help you wrap up at the end; they make everything easy for you. As you approach baggage after the race, they have already located your bag, and hand it to you with a smile on their face and congratulations. Thank you, volunteers.

8. The Community

The marathon brings out the best in people. You read the amazing stories of people running, and the money raised for charity is phenomenal. Everyone supports each other around the course and congratulates each other at the end. You run with people you have never met before, and you probably with never see again, but they experience a life-changing experience with you.

9. The Costumes

Running a marathon is hard, so how people do it in costumes I do not know. I am in awe. It always makes me laugh too when I am slowing down, and I get overtaken by a man carrying a boat, or a rhino!

10. The Medal

It is such a nice feeling having the medal put around your neck: For a short moment that can be your Olympic moment that your dreamt about when you were younger!

Comment below and let me know your top things about running a marathon (It doesn’t have to be London)

#VMLM2016 training – Week 11

Monday – I went to club and my group were doing mile reps! My legs told me, I was NOT doing mile reps, so I joined the group below and chatted my way around a recovery run. My legs were tired and at times this run felt hard, and I was averaging 11:45 pace! I completed 3.5 miles and it was just what I needed.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 10 miles. I met 2 of the ladies from club to complete our usually 5 mile loop. My legs still felt quite heavy, and about 2 miles in I thought I was going to be lucky to make it to 10! For my second 5 miles, I was running with one of the men from club, and during mile 3 I was really worried that I was going to slow him down too much and struggle. Then, just after 5 mile mark, my legs seemed to switch on. It was as though they had warmed up and realised that they needed to run. The second 5 miles was really nice; we picked up the pace and I actually felt quite comfortable. The route finished almost right outside my house, yet I felt I could have kept going easily!



Thursday – 400 reps. Everyone at club was pushing the pace, but our coach suggested myself and a few others that were racing this weekend, should just jog the reps. We ended up running for around 2/3 minutes and resting for the same amount of time. Even though I was running very easy, my shoulders were very tight. I was told to run, imaging that I was holding a crisp between my thumb and finger, that I was not to break. As soon as I adopted this position, my shoulders did relax, so I need to remember this.

Friday – Sports massage – I was lucky to get an extra appointment in this morning, to work on my shoulders, ready for tomorrow!

Saturday – 20 MILES! My amazing team mates at club helped me organise a route, and then come out to run with me. It was a bit of a tag team. I ran 5.5 miles with Rachel and Tracie, then 0.5 of a mile on my own, to meet Sam, Keith and Andy. They then took me on their normal 10 mile route, which was a little undulating, but I felt pretty strong throughout, and the hills that had previously annoyed me on this route, didn’t feel too bad. Finally, Tina met me to run my last 4 miles. It was amazing, they were all so supportive, all could have run much quicker than I was running, but stuck with my pace to help me. I had planned to run around 10:30 pace, but I ended up averaging a 10:21 pace. The only negative was that when my watch flashed up 20 miles, I stopped and saved it straight away. I don’t usually do this, but for some reason, I was worried that I would delete it. Once it was saved, I noticed the watch said 19.9 miles!! WHAT….. As I had saved it, I couldn’t just add it on the last 0.1 of a mile!!

Sunday – Rest day – although I have to report that I am so surprised how good my legs feel today, I think the football my daughter made me play yesterday afternoon, and the game of tag this morning, really helped my legs recover! Let’s see how they are tomorrow!

This time in FIVE weeks it will all be over!!!! I can’t believe how close it is!

Rula Runs is now on Facebook :-)

So, I’ve finally got round to setting up a Facebook page for this blog. It just means I can keep everyone updated a little bit quicker,  if I don’t have a time to write a full blog post. Also, I think it might save my none running friends on FB, from all my running posts!

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 09.50.12

So, if you have a Facebook account and want to follow, click the like button, and please feel free to share. As I was told recently, ‘sharing is caring 😉

#VMLM2016 training – Week 10

Monday – 1200’s – these were hard tonight. The 18 miles were still in my legs, and I could feel it towards the end of this session.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – A ridiculous long day at work, meant that I had to have another rest day today! I was grumpy, as I would have rather been running!

Thursday – Hills, hills and more hills. That is all!

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Silverstone Half Marathon – Not my finest performance, but I will write a race report and give you the full story in the week.

Overall not the best week of training, but I’m now putting that behind me and next week will be better!

Anyone else race this weekend? How did you get on?

#VMLM2016 training – Week 9

Monday – 400’s with club. My legs were still pretty heavy from Brighton Half so this was not going to be much of a speed session for me! Luckily, one of our club members is coming back from injury, so we stuck together and chatted throughout our 400 metre lap. I think I managed 5 in total.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 8 miles. My legs still felt very heavy and tired, and I really had to work hard on this run, so I was shocked when I looked down at my watch and I was doing 10:15 pace. I really felt as though it should have at least started with a 9:xx! Another 8 miles banked, so happy with that.

Thursday -800’s tonight and it felt like I was running in treacle. My legs felt like they did not belong to me and this was hard. I even gave up and missed the final lap. Dare I say it, I am actually looking forward to my 18 miles this weekend, so I can plod. Everything in this last week has been about running as fast as I could, and I’m hoping I am going to feel the difference on Saturday!

Friday – Sports Massage – glad to report, no injuries, just tired legs that have now been renewed (I hope).

Friday night was our club awards night, and I only went and won an award!

Saturday – 18 miles – This was a tough one. The logistics of this run meant that I was going solo! Considering I haven’t run on my own for AGES, I was not sure how I felt about 18 miles solo. I procrastinated all morning, but knew I just had to get out! The first few miles went ok, although I knew I was going too fast. At mile 7, the heavens opened, but I was feeling ok. From mile 10, the pace dropped and I was over it, but I did complete the full 18 miles. I took some walk breaks, as I knew today wasn’t about pace, it was just time on my feet. My quads felt heavy, but I know marathon training is about learning to run on tired legs, so today was mission accomplished. I have 18 again next week and I’m hoping I will have learnt from this, and pace it much better!

I used my Torq gels again today. I love that they are so easy to open, the whole top comes off easily, without it going all over my hands. The flavour is nice, I did worry that it was too sweet, but today I had three and I didn’t really notice the sweetness. I will definitely buying more, and using these for London.



Sunday – Rest

This week I have felt really tired. Marathon training is tough, and I think I need to up my game with nutrition and hydration this week. I think these were not good last week and that contributed to my tiredness.

Next week I am running Silverstone Half as part of my long run. Anyone else running Silverstone?





Tips to help you become an Early Morning Runner

Why would you want to be an Early Morning Runner?

5.30 AM!!!!!!

Do you want to become an Early Morning Runner? If you have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I have been running 2 mornings a week at 5.30 AM. Many people, especially those that don’t have children will be thinking WHY WOULD YOU!!!

I know exactly where you are coming from, many years ago I remember been by told by a colleague (with children) that she gets up ridiculously early to run as it’s the only time she has to herself!! I laughed and walked away thinking crazy! So here I am, numerous years later + 1 child and about to share my tips on how to be an early morning runner!!

  1. Find a running buddy. I started running very early as I run with my sister (she has twins, so this really is her only time to run!) If I have a sluggish day, knowing that she’ll be waiting at the top of the road, is enough to make me roll out of bed!
    Running with my Sister

    Me and my sister

  2. Lay your kit out the night before. If it’s all there next to your bed, it makes the morning easier and you more like to run first thing. (I have known people go to bed in their kit 🙂
    Running kit

    Ok, you might not have a number for training…..

  3. Eat a good meal the night before, maybe including a few extra carbs if needed.
  4. Make sure you hydrate well the day before. I also have a glass of water before I leave the house in the morning.Water-Drinking
  5. Don’t expect too much of yourself when you first try early morning running. Run walk if you need, just get used to getting up and going out.
  6. Lastly, enjoy the smug feeling you get all day for having already completed your run!

I’m sure there are plenty of other tips to help, so please comment below with any tips you might have.