run the river: may 2-5, 2014


click below and amazon will support caspa - running total £188

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Amazon supports Autism

Amazon has a superb Affiliate scheme that gives rewards of 5% for all business that goes through the affiliate link. There are two this site (at the top of the page and to the side) and the money is going to CASPA - supporting young people with Autism.

If you would like to support CASPA but don't have money to spare, then become an Amazon clicker!! Every time you use Amazon, click through the link and THEY will give 5% to CASPA - it's a wonderful way to become a supporter - for free!!

"Fourdaysrunning" has given over £44,000 to CASPA over 5 years, Amazon has now contributed over £200 BUT THIS COULD BE SO MUCH MORE!! and it's free, so JUST CLICK!! 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Cornwall 2013 - Day 2: Hayle to a Layby in the middle of nowhere!!

Day Two 21K
St Ives lay resplendent in its early summer best. The cafes full, the beaches adorned with happy holidaymakers, the art galleries and flat whites spilling onto the narrow cobbled streets. The sun shone for the beautiful people and the beautiful people shone for CASPA, filling our buckets, not with sand, but with coins of all colours. The day was sweet indeed.

Leaving behind a clutch of men with bowls and laundered turf, we set ourselves for cliffs and rugged coast, a trail leading to hidden coves, desolate paths where humans rarely ventured. Burning legs and minds on fire as steeply we descended in Dante-esque country. It took its toll, the boulder strewn inferno, until hours later the call went up: the cars, I can see the cars!! The journey done, the battle won, we lived to fight another day.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Cornwall 2013 - Day 1: Portreath to Hayle

Day One 26.2K

The car park in Portreath was our starting point, and after a mere seven minutes it was just a speck, barely visible from the lofty cliff top. Sixteen runners, gasping for breath, legs held in a lactic grip and still 25K to go!! Hundreds of feet down and then up, glorious views from the top, gorse blazing yellow and dunes like a nightmare gym session!!

Godrevy Lighthouse still warns the errant sailor and Hell's Mouth reminds us of smugglers sucked to their death in pursuit of riches. Hayle, the World Heritage site with lofty claims of changing the world and an old man in his nineties, still changing his world, defiantly walking despite the crippling effects of old age.

The day was an inspiration, a wonderful reminder that nothing beats a rumble.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Four days to go...!!

Only four days to go and the last minute worries are beginning to kick in. There are transport worries, accommodation worries, weather worries, injury worries, logistics, safety, fundraising, packing and all manner of other details.

Injuries are always a fear this close to an event. Firstly, there's no time to recover, secondly, a niggle can play on the mind as the run starts. I move very slowly in the morning after getting out of bed. Knees, ankles and hips are very stiff. Even getting out of the car can be a trial. Every step is potential to pull something, tear something or tweak something.

And all the rest? Well, it'll be all right on the night!! Probably sit down tonight and make a plan, make a list and make a deal with myself not to worry. Yes, we want it right but actually everyone will muck in and it will indeed be alright on the night.

Cornwall here we come. Four days to go until "fourdaysrunning".

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Four runners, four PBs

The place: Paddock Wood, the event: the annual half marathon, the result: multiple PBs!!

It was a beautiful day. Cold and crisp, sunny and warm, and still, very still. The scene was set for personal best times. Mine was a feeble 2:24 and needed sorting. I was aiming for 2:15 or better. Jim was ready for sub 1:40, Matt had just done a very hilly 2:08 so could go sub 2 and Marianne was improving all the time with a 2:37 recently.

The best part about Paddock Wood is that it is flat. Very flat. Apart from the normal issues of minimal muscle use compared to hilly trails, most people would take "flat" any day!! The crowds were out in force, especially around some noisy pubs and the plentiful water stations. It was set to be a day to remember.

What of the times? Jim came in at 1:37, Matt 1:46, Marianne 2:32 and I achieved my aim with a 2:10 to make it a proud day for us all. Thank you Paddock Wood Half Marathon.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Longest run of the year so far...

The time had come to step up the distance. Monday nights of around 7K are all very well, but with the Cornish Hills only five weeks away it was time to move up over 20K. The cold was all around us as we stepped off the train at Victoria Station. The run to Chislehurst would top up at 24K - long, tough but very necessary.

Victoria Street, Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, London Eye, OXO Tower, The Globe, Golden Hind, Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge Station, Hays Galleria, Bermondsey Wall, Southwark Park, Surrey Quays, Deptford Creek, Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park, Blackheath, Lee Green, Horn Park, Mottingham Village, Elmstead Woods, Chislehurst Rec and the finish in Empress Drive!!

The next five weeks will be full of long runs, hilly runs and back to back runs. All the ingredients for a successful attempt on the Cornish Coast Path.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Forty days to go...!!

That day has arrived - it's forty days to go. Reality strikes, that first vertical trail is approaching and Cornwall 2013 is closer to being a reality. So what needs to happen now it's only forty days to go?

1) Need fitness? Now's the time to get fit. Run longer rumbles, steeper trails and back to back days. Join our pre Cornwall training runs including a back to back weekender on the 20/21 April.

2) Need kit? Now is the time to get kit. Running shoes can be bought and comfortably inducted to muddy trails. Make sure you have kit for all weathers, we don't know what Cornwall will throw at us!!

3) Need sponsors? Now is the time to get hit. Facebook, email, letters and even twitter are all ways to get hits on your justgiving account. Start to rev up you fundraising effort so that it's all done before you start the run.

Finally, forty soon becomes thirty, twenty and ten!! See you on the trails!!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Five tips for hill running

There is something about hill running that both strikes fear into the runner but at the same time gives massive motivation and incentive. It is to do with the pleasure/pain principle!! Yes it is painful at times, but the reward of achievement, views and fitness all give great pleasure.

So here are five tips for getting it right:
1) Run in the cylinder: take small steps within the shape of your body. Avoid striding and putting pressure on the body.
2) It's a mental game: Tell yourself it's flat and grind your way up. Don't imagine the hill, imagine the flat!!
3) Counting counts: Look at the top. Think what number you would get to by slow counting to the top. Halve it and then count up and then down. You will keep going until zero, no problem.
4) Four wheel drive: Use the arms as well as legs. It's time for the power muscles: thighs and shoulders.
5) Kill the hill: Take it on and feel the victory when you reach the top.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Back to St James' Park

February is a month for reflection. Looking back at last year's Hadrian's Wall run to draw inspiration for the challenge of the Cornish Coast Path later on this year in May. There were so many highs, but the start took some beating!!

Just a few days before the event we heard the news that Peter Beardsley, the legend from days gone by, was going to start our run. He was an amazing host. He thrilled the youngsters with a run round the stadium, he gave a pep talk to all the running team and he did it all with a wonderful attitude. It is moments like this that make you ready to give your all to charity. As Peter himself said: "You are doing all the hard work, all I've had to do is leave my office for an hour". What a great hour!!

Follow the story of last year's run for the next four weeks on Facebook... 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

100 days to go

This year's challenge in deepest Cornwall is now under 100 days away. This means that training, preparations and ideas for fund raising and sponsorship should be in all of our minds. What should we be concentrating on?

Firstly, there is a simple rule for someone planning to run 25K a day for four days - get plenty of miles under your belt. Every mile run in training is stored in the physical bank and will be needed in May.

Secondly, plan in some longer runs. Get used to running 20-25K at a time. Mentally it's important to know that you can keep going for 2-4 hours of running.

Finally, plan to run on consecutive days. These "back to back" runs get you used to running without the normal recovery. Try two 10K runs back to back and then extend the length or run three shorter days in a row.

Keep calm, though, and keep training.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Five tips for snow running

Snow running is a highlight of any runner's year. The crunch, the cold, the first foosteps on a pure white canvas. Some of my favourite running memories are in the snow. But what are the keys to doing it well?

1) Dress right - not too much!! It's tempting to overdo it with layer after layer and then after ten minutes you overheat. So, pick two key layers and a thin jacket, lyrca longs and gloves till halfway.

2) Shoes - and tread!! Your best trail shoes are required. No slippery treadless old favourites!! Get out the top shoes with your best grip and stability.

3) Stay within the cylinder. Take shorter steps and not long strides. Keep within the cylinder that your body makes and avoid "Bambi on Ice" - you don't want to fall.

4) Watch the breathing. Some runners have trouble with sharp intakes of icy cold breath. So, if you want to keep going for an hour or so, take it easy. If your breath catches, just slow down!!

5) Enjoy the moment!! Running in the snow is an opportunity to see the same old run in a new light. A brilliant white light!! You may need shades!! But don't forget the camera and enjoy the moment forever.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Bottle of Rattler, please!!

It's a great feeling sitting in bed on a quiet, Cornwall morning having spent 48 hours doing a detailed recce of the Cornish Coast Path ready for the May charity run. Many miles of running, many hours of chatting and a few bottles of the local cyder consumed. Rattler is the name of said "cyder" and it has enough "bite" to pick you up after a hard days running!!

The variety of coast path running will challenge the body, test the mind and lift the spirit. Every headland reveals a hidden treasure, every cove tells a secret story and every glorious sandy beach reminds you that the best things in life are free - oh, except for a bottle of rattler...please?!