You’ve got to start somewhere

“Fall seven times, stand up eight”

Japanese proverb

As 2017 draws to a close it’s time to reflect upon another year of running.


  • Ran a self supported 53 miles from Horsham to Chichester in a day
  • Paced Zoe Norman for 25 miles up, down and along the Ridgeway at the Autumn 100
  • Gained valuable insights into running smarter and stronger at Ronnie Staton’s Train Like A Champion workshop
  • Explored some new trails with Phil Hall, the “I’m sure it’s this way” run from Droke to the South Downs Way and back in particular
  • Ran on the trails with my brother Greg for the first time
  • Stood on the start line of the North Downs Way 100 in August and got to 66 miles before being timed out, only 5 weeks after my Dad passed away
  • Met even more excellent people in the running community
  • Volunteered again and loved each and every moment of these races
  • Managed to avoid injury


  • Experienced my first DNF at the North Downs Way 100
  • Had to DNS the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon for the second time, this time around due to illness
  • Failed to run with any consistency, averaging 3 runs per week
  • Fell out of good habits after Ronnie Staton’s Train Like A Champion workshop, lacking focus
  • Continued to pile on the weight due to bad habits and ended the year 21lbs heavier than I was when I ran the South Downs Way 100 in 2015

Plans for 2018:

  • 2 x 50 mile races – Chiltern Wonderland 50 (September) and Wendover Woods 50 (November)
  • Marathons – Giants Head (June),  the Lunertic (July)
  • Half marathons – Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon (February)
  • Shorter distances – parkruns once a month or so, and one or two 10k races to build speed in the first half of the year

What will I do differently?

I almost wrote what I hoped to do differently but,  as Ronnie Staton rightly says, it’s time to commit.

  • Work with my personal trainer at work (free one hour session every fortnight) to build strength
  • Try Pilates sessions as an additional part of training 
  • Complete Train Like A Champion drills every week
  • Follow the TrainAsOne plan, which has been generated to meet my plans for the year and adapts as my fitness builds
  • Eat less, specifically cutting down  on the sweets, chocolate and cake that are my weakness
  • Move more, including lunchtime walks when at work and being more active generally (less sofa surfing)
  • Return to my practices from the first half of 2015, when I slept longer whole training for the South Downs Way 100
  • Focus on building my mental strength so I can suffer for longer in races – the shorter distances and interval runs in training should help here

Where am I now?

  • Current fitness – 26:58 parkrun on 30 December 2017 (PB 25:15, set in 2015)
  • Current weight – 14st7lbs (racing weight/ideal 12st7lbs)
  • Current state of mind – determined (grrrr)

Learn. Adapt. Improve. Repeat.