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Wear decent socks when running or pay the price with blisters as I discovered!

11 Feb

I made another running mistake at the weekend.

I wore old running socks.

Lightfeet socks I was running 10km and by the end I was in agony where my socks had rubbed the inner section of the foot. I had raced out of the door as I was late getting up and I hadn’t got my kit ready properly and forgot socks. It was very early so I didn’t want to disturb the family so I grabbed some old socks!

That little mistake has led to my wearing Compeed all week on the area that rubbed to ensure I could still run so I won’t be making that mistake again.

There are some great socks on the market starting at a fairly cheap $10 per pair for Brooks right up to performance socks by the likes of Injinji, Balega and 2XU as well as Lightfeet which are in the middle and what I currently wear. (I did write a previous product review a year or two ago about Lightfeet socks with some tips to avoid blisters!).

It’s easy to forget about the importance of a decent sock when running as we often focus more on the shoe, but without a good sock as I found at the weekend it can result in pain and under performing in your training.

Anyway I hope you are having a great week of running, it has certainly been warm here in Brisbane. I’m steadily getting into my marathon training and the pain is starting to kick in now as the training runs get harder and harder – but loving every minute!

Happy Running!

First Marathon after having my baby!

8 Feb

Its been 9.5 months now since my son was born and all I could think of whilst I was pregnant was how I was going to get back into my training and what I wanted to achieve as I missed running. Don’t get me wrong I was delighted being pregnant but I’d always run and not being able to was harder than I thought it would be!

Running the Gold Coast Marathon in 2015 - The Girl That Runs

This photo of Nadia and I was taken just before we were about to run a race a while back.

So I decided that in order to give myself a goal to get back into running I set myself the goal of running another marathon once my son was born – and that chance has arisen and I’m going to run it with my lovely and most awesome friend Nadia :-)

RunStopShop invited me to be an Ambassador which has been an awesome opportunity, and they have given me the opportunity to run a marathon of my choice in Australia which is very cool. This will be my fifth marathon and I was intending on running the Perth but decided that this year I would do the Gold Coast Marathon as it’s a well organised race and on a nice flat route with plenty of entrants – as my other fear when looking at some of the races such as the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane was that I might actually be last as I am coming back from not running for a while!

So since the beginning of January I have been following a schedule done by my professional runner friend back in the UK to get me to marathon ready by the beginning of July! It’s been tough as whilst I started training again after my baby was born I hadn’t really pushed myself until I decided I was going to go for the marathon.

I’m excited but scared at the same time. I’ve already clocked up 55km last week (Thursday – Wednesday) and I know it’s going to go up and up! I ran 16k yesterday and 11.5km today – and whilst it hurt it was so good to be back into the two figure numbers in distance :-) I have been doing a fair bit at the gym but also training with friends who are also training for races this year and my one friend that I am slowly convincing that running is fun :-) which is great to have someone to chat to whilst running the long distances.marathon-number-5

RunStopShop will be providing me with lots of kit for the race day which I will review and I’ll be writing some blog posts for them too which is exciting and fun! So it has given me the motivation I needed to get back into shape. I have already seen progress just in the 4+ weeks of training where my heart rate has lowered and also I could hardly run 5k at the beginning of January and like I said – this weekend I have run a total of 27.5km :-) Anyway watch this space. I’ll be writing more about my journey back to the marathon. I’m really excited as it’s a ‘special birthday’ year too so I’m hoping it will be a great year of achieving and having fun running :-)

Have a great weekend (what’s left of it and as always – happy running :-)

8 Tips for safety whilst running

1 Feb

When I lived in London safety was always an issue when I used to run outside. When I talk about safety I mean being careful when running alone and always having good measure in place for if there was an accident or something happened.

Running in some parts of London was a bit scary and I had a few near misses with being hassled by guys or being in remote places and hurting myself as well as knowing people who were actually attacked whilst running – so safety is something I take seriously.

I used to run with an awesome rape alarm which when I activated it – i would hold it and run with it clenched in my hand, if someone then pulled me from behind the alarm would go nuts and this bright Batman type light would shine in the sky (not quite as bright as the one in Batman or as long!). Thankfully I never had it go off but it made me feel safer having something like that to carry.

Brisbane is safer but I am still cautious when running. As runners we go running all over the place and we never once think we will get into difficulty but things like injuries or getting sun stroke can be just as hazardous. So here are some tips from my experience as well as tips that have been given to me that might help.

1. Run with someone

Running with someone can solve a lot of issues i.e. you are not running on your own and if you do get into difficulty there is someone there to help. There are lots of running clubs around and a lot of gyms even have running groups if you don’t like running alone. Running with friends has helped me out of a lot of scrapes at time such as when I rolled my ankle running in Brisbane – thankfully I was with friends and I had someone to limp back home with :-)

2. Take your mobile and some money 

I always take my mobile phone when on a long run as well as a small amount of cash in case I need to get a bus/cab or something or all failing that want a coffee at the end of the run! I got stuck whilst out on a long run back in the UK in Richmond Park and ended up having to hobble miles back to civilisation. After that I always took some money with me!

3. Tell someone where you are going

If I am running alone I tell my husband where I am going just so if I am late home he knows at least roughly where I have gone and where to go and look if I don’t come home! When I first got married I never realised that my husband might actually worry about where I was and if I was late home so for his sake now I always tell him where I will be and what time roughly I should be done to keep his nerves in tact!Small headphones with mobile phone

4. Use a Tracking app 

A number of my friends track their spouses lol! But there are some good tracking apps out there that can be used so that someone can see where you are and if you get in trouble they can easily locate you! They are easily found on iTunes or Google Play.  I also found this safety app which looks quite good for those of you that carry your phones whilst running. I haven’t tried it out but it looks like it might be a good one.

5. Stick to the roads and open areas

If you are unsure of an area you are running in then stick to areas that are open and the main roads rather than really closed off remote areas.

6. Be cautious about running with headphones

I have mixed feelings on this one as I used to run with my music on so loud I couldn’t hear traffic or people shouting me. I am really motivated by music and it pushes me to finish but now I am far more conservative about the loudness because of not wanting to damage my ears but also being aware of surroundings and people around me. A friend of mine got pulled from behind by a guy when running and she had her headphones on and didn’t hear him coming and also the number of accidents involving runners being run over – quite a few of those are from not hearing a car/bike. It certainly made me think twice about wearing mine. I tend to have one in and one out.

7. Wear fluros at nightFuel Belt

If running in the dark wear a fluro vest so you can be seen at night and run against the traffic so that drivers can see you easier.

8. Carry water 

In a previous post about running in the heat I listed a few tips to take into consideration –  but my main one would be carry water or make sure on your route you have a water stop. The number of times I have had heat stroke is not funny and it was actually worse when I was in the UK believe it or not! I’ve learned now and actually have my little Fuel Belt that I bought recently so I don’t have to worry about where I will get water from.

Anyway hope these tips help you and this post was not meant to alarm you just to keep you aware when on your runs.

As always Happy (and safe) running :-)

Tips for staying motivated in your running

25 Jan

It’s been a good couple of weeks with my training dare I say it and I’ve been running 5 days a week following the schedule given to me by my trainer and I’m slowly getting there. It’s amazing how quickly you lose your fitness but great that thanks to muscle memory the body gets back into things fairly well. My distances have ranged from 5k-12k this week and in the next few weeks the numbers really start to creep up so I’m a bit nervous but equally feeling good that 5k doesn’t feel so long anymore and whilst I am running slowly I can feel myself getting fitter again.

I mix my training between the gym and outside and its hard at the gym to not put my speed up when the adrenalin of having other people around kicks in but I’ve tried to be sensible and I think the fastest I’ve got up to was 10kph – I try not to think about the fact I used to be able to run starting at 13 and get up to 16kph+. But the upside is that I feel good and confident rather than pushing those numbers up and failing because i push too hard too soon.

I’ve been having up and down moments with staying focussed and motivated but have done a few things that have helped which I’m sharing below. Here are a few tips I thought of whilst out running today for if you are struggling with your training right now. They are things that I have found work for me anyway :-)

Tips for staying motivated

Remember the goal Try to remember the end goal. Mine is to do a marathon in my 40th year (eek there I said it out loud!) and when you feel down or wanting to push harder quicker remember that end goal and this is just training for the real race day. If you don’t have a goal – it’s good to have one. Even if it is just to run 2km that is still a goal and a great one at that!

Monitor your progress  Write each training session down as you will be amazed how much you improve. I wear my GPS HRM watch all the time and log everything so I can see how I am improving on my running splits, heart rate and overall distance and time. I was only training a few times a week last year and now I train 5 days so I have to give myself a pat on the back and look through stats when I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. I am not running as fast as I used to but I am running and I am running a lot and that’s good enough for me right now :-)

Running buddy  Find someone to run with you in some or all of your runs if you find more motivation that way. I run with my lovely friend on Sundays and will be running with another lovely friend on my longer Saturday runs as the mileage goes up along with my fitness – running and chatting is such a liberating thing and the time flies by.

Be held accountable 

I have found the best thing to keep me motivated was to use a trainer to coach me to my next goal. He follows up and does my program as well as encourages and keeps me focussed. It makes me much more motivated to train as I know I will have to answer to him if I don’t train!

Plan a shopping trip or treat at a certain point

Have you been eyeing off those lovely running pants? Well give yourself some motivation by setting a goal to treat yourself when you do something in your training. It might be running that race, running that extra km per week – something that will motivate you to push that bit harder. I love shopping so that’s a perfect one for me. Yesterday I bought new shoes :-D

Anyway just a few thoughts as I chill after my Sunday run :-) Have a great weekend and as usual – Happy running :-)

Take the boredom out of treadmill training with these tips

21 Jan

Wow how time flies. I didn’t realise it had been 10+ days since my last post.

Training is going well and I am slowly getting the mileage up. I ran 8k yesterday and am due to do 10k today/tomorrow so that will be the longest distance I have done in a while but I am so enjoying being back training. I am following my training plan to the letter and trying not to get injured! It’s going to go up and up distance wise so bring on the hard work!Running on treadmill

I’m finding I am getting bored with the treadmill now the distances are going up. One training session which continually puts the pace up keeps me entertained but the other ones where I am just running the same pace have started to bore me so I will need to be thinking about getting outside more I think!

Here are a few tips to take the boredom out of your treadmill running:

Mix things up

Try doing what you might do outside inside by doing some sort of fartlek or speed session so you are not doing the same pace all the time. I find it hard when I am plodding away and literally going nowhere so am thankful for the runs that involve changing pace and incline.

Running buddy 

I was on the treadmill the other week and a girl got onto the treadmill next to me, she was of a similar running ability and she started hammering the treadmill and it actually pushed me to keep going and I felt like I had someone training with me. I thanked her when she finished for keeping me going. It can often help to train with someone to keep the boredom factor at bay.


If you are a music fan which I am music can work very well to alleviate the boredom. I have certain tracks that push me further than others. Some I have already used as my running song of the month – have a look at my running song posts for ideas. Put together a good playlist and see how it works for you.

Vary distances

Don’t do the same distance at the same speed all the time, thats enough to bore anyone. have some days that are maybe shorter and faster and others that are slower and longer.

Anyway – more to come soon – hopefully next time I write I will have confirmed my marathon :-D

Happy running!

* please note that I am not a qualified personal trainer or physician. These are just my opinions and experiences so always check with a GP or qualified trainer before embarking on any exercise.

Silly running mistakes I made this morning!

10 Jan

After this mornings run you’d never guess I had been running for 12 years! I was all set to go and had my kit ready the night before, my iPod charged, and my new TomTom GPS watch to try out which I was very excited about.

So the alarm went off and my husband politely shoved me out of bed and I was up and ready to go! Half way through my run I was exhausted and I was only meant to be running 5.5k and I couldn’t understand why a) it was taking me so long, and b) it felt so tough. Then I realised – Zoe you are such an idiot – you’ve forgotten some simple running 101 rules! I can just see my trainers face – head in hands right now!


I was so eager to get out of the house that I raced out and realised I hadn’t had anything to eat. I figured it was only a 5.5k run so I didn’t need to eat – WRONG of course and I should know this having religiously observed eating right before a run since I started running!

Queensland heat

I always under estimate the heat here in Queensland. In the UK on those rare boiling hot days (one of which I collapsed and ended up in hospital) I would run early, run slower and run in the shade. It felt ok this morning but I became very sluggish very quickly.

Take water on your run 

Take water when you run - the girl that runs

I can’t believe I didn’t take any water on my run with me!

Yeah running 101 again – I didn’t take water on. In the UK I never used to and the people I ran with would always say what a hindrance it was to carry water so we would ensure there was water on the route at fountains and toilets etc. But today again I figured I’d have some water around the lake – but then realised as I was running oops I changed my route and the run doesn’t include that section of the lake – I just wasn’t thinking.

But the biggest mistake I made this morning was very silly! 

TomTom Cardio watch

Silly me had my new TomTom watch on miles instead of km!

My brand new TomTom Running Cardio watch arrived yesterday from my friends at RunStopShop (review coming soon!) so naturally I could not wait to try it out today after retiring my faithful Garmin 405 cx so last night I sat and set everything up online but I forgot to pay too much attention to the watch and when I was out running this morning I struggled so much with motivation and it seemed every time I looked at my watch I was getting nowhere.

The negative thoughts came into my mind and I thought – what am I trying to prove running a marathon this year and why is this so hard!? Then at about what I thought was 4k – I looked at the time and my brain suddenly kicked into awake mode and I realise I was running in miles mode not km! so by the end of the run I had actually done 7.24km instead of what I thought was around 4.5km as it was in miles!  Silly me!!!

I got home and was exhausted, drank lots of water, had some breakfast and the day began! I won’t be making these mistakes again I hope….

Have a great weekend and happy running :-)

It’s ok to change your goals – here are a few tips

12 Dec

Before I gave birth I was all set to pop the baby out and get straight back into training to then run the Marathon Du Medoc 5-6 months later and then the New York Marathon in 2015. But do you know I changed my mind – surprisingly ;-) !!

Trying to run a marathon so soon after having my first baby would have been nuts and as it happened we couldn’t get over to France which was a shame as my friend got married half way round whilst running it! But for a good few months in the lead up I punished myself for not being able to do it. It was only when my physio said I couldn’t train anyway running wise in her opinion until I had passed the 3-4 month mark that I thought ok – Zoe once again you are trying to run before you can walk on this one. I asked my running friend in the UK whether he could help with a program and I think he thought I was bonkers!

There are some women out there that publicise how quickly they have gotten back into shape after having their baby but I figure they were firstly probably very fit and secondly probably trained throughout their pregnancy which I did not as I was not allowed to. Ho Hum…

When I finally got back into running it was hard, harder than I thought it would be – I’m back running almost properly now but it is hard and I have no desire to run a marathon at the moment. I am thinking I prefer my shorter distances again and would be happy to stick with them for the moment. I wonder how I ever did it before and sometimes when having to train on the treadmill I think – gosh this is boring just thud thud thud on the treadmill. Every day I train it feels easier and like I said in one of my previous posts I have my running mojo back – finally but yes sometimes it bores me but I think that’s probably normal as with doing anything over and over again.

the girl that runs - it's ok to change your goals

So I figured it’s ok to change goals without you or other people judging – at the end of the day running is something I do and love but I fear sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to achieve and to bounce back like a battery bunny! I’m sure I will be back training for longer distances soon as I know what I’m like and always like to go further and further – but right now I’m happy just running as for so long I couldn’t!

In my work environment I am always telling people they have to have SMART objectives (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) I think for me in my running the Achievable and Realistic areas I need to work on :-D!

So I had a couple of thoughts/tips about training goals and changing them etc:

1. It’s ok. 

No-one has the right to be hard on you (unless you are a professional runner and are being coached!) and we are often our worst critic. Think about your goal and whether it is really something that you can achieve or will it end in you punishing yourself – i.e. trying to run a marathon 5 months after having your first baby having done no major training for a year before! – nuts

2. You can always try another time

Just because you can’t do it now doesn’t mean you can’t do it another time. I know I have at least a couple more marathons in me I am just trying to relax and build up to ten slowly and not pressure myself as I’d be more likely to quit than achieve my goal knowing the way I am.

3. Work out a plan if it helps

If you are like me and need objectives and targets to work towards then why not sit down and make a revised plan. Plan the races you’d like to do and can do in the next 12 months and work out how you will get to your goal which might be running a first/another marathon, running faster etc. Put the plan in place and work towards it with no pressure (easier said than done!)


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