Blog by @_jen_mo
I saw UkRunChat& Howard advertise the inaugural training weekend and I was quite up for it but was a bit worried I wasn’t a serious enough runner for a running weekend. I messaged Howard & he told me that the weekend catered for all abilities which put my mind at ease so I signed up.
The build up to the weekend on Twitter was quite exciting. I’d met a couple of people before at the Winter Run meet up in London in February. That was such a great day and in that short time we all became such good friends so I couldn’t wait for a whole weekend of that.
The weekend rolled around & I got the train to Manchester and met up with Charly (@chugrunner) & we headed straight to the pub for a pint & some lunch & set up the table so people for the ‘Anglesey Fun Bus’ wouldn’t miss us. Everyone arrived & we were all full of chatter & excitement It was great to meet people in real life after chatting to them on twitter for so long. Mrs. C arrived & took us all to the bus to meet Howard. We loaded up our bags & then we piled on & set off on the drive to Anglesey.
The ‘Fun Bus’ arrived in Anglesey around 4pm, exactly as predicted by Howard. Jeff (@cre8it) was already there, it was great to hang out with him for a couple of hours before he headed home to his new baby, Jessica. We unloaded the bus and got to see our accommodation for the weekend.
It was beautiful & was quite large as it sleeps 40 but there were 30 of us so we had plenty of room. A couple of us helped put names on doors and then we moved in for the weekend. We were soon back to the communal area for a cup of tea before we all took a walk down to the beach that was close by. It was gorgeous. We headed back and a few people went out for a run, I was eager to join them but hadn’t been running for 2 weeks due to an injury so I wanted to save it for the Saturday run.
We settled in & through the evening more & more people arrived. It was a great evening meeting everyone. We had booked a meal at the local pub & Howard was kind enough to do two trips in the bus. The pub was lovely & the food was lovely too. Howard drove us all back and we all enjoyed more chatting & getting to know each other in the communal area. Howard told us the plan for Saturday so we all knew what time to set our alarms for. 7.30 breakfast & then we’d all go out for a run together.
It was a great night, some people headed off for an early night whilst some us enjoyed some gin drinking & getting to know each other better with some games, chat & a lot of laughter. I haven’t had a night laughing that much for a long time.
We were all up for 7.30 breakfast & got ourselves together for a run. There was an option of a shorter run but once we got to the point to split up everyone decided to go for the longer 10k run. It was such an exhilarating and brilliant run. We ran a bit on road at first, & we had clear running leaders who gave us points to do some Fartleks if we fancied it. I was quite happy without the fartleks as I was a bit nervous about it being my first run post injury. Once we got off the road & hit the coast it was awesome! It was the first time I’d done fell running & it was the 1st time I’d worn my trail trainers & they certainly got a good christening.
It was very windy, which made the run more fun. Bubbles were blowing off the sea and we leant into the wind for a picture. I wasn’t the only one to think it made me feel like a kid again. All levels of runners were catered for, some people sped ahead & Howard ran at the back to make sure everyone was ok. I took it steady & stopped for the odd photo. It felt like we all stuck together in a group despite the different speeds.
We got back to the house where Mrs. C & Charly presented us with a sausage sandwich.
Then it was #UkRunChat Bake Off time. Several people had brought baked goodies with them, including me. The judges were picked by Howard & they got stuck in, trying each one then they locked themselves in a room to discuss who the winners were while the rest of us dug in. My Gin & Tonic cake came a joint 3rd with Christina, Shell Mobys fabulous Banana, Walnut & White Chocolate Tea Loaf came 2nd & the 1st prize went to Erica Spellman.
After the excitement of the bake off I snuck off for a cheeky afternoon snooze. I got up just in time for the Yoga & Pilates session with Guy Newbury. Loads of people gave it a try. It was good fun. The instructor gave us options to make it harder & we all gave it a good go but we weren’t quite as flexible as him- he pulled some moves that had all of our jaws hanging wide in awe.
We went down to the beach for a barefoot running session, which was a great taster for barefoot running and how you run differently without trainers on. We ran through the sea & only 1 person braved it in the sea for a full on swim.
On the Saturday evening we had a lovely meal cooked for us by Mrs. C, many of us went back for seconds. The meal was followed by a talk from Dr. Juliet McGrattan. This was a great & informative Q&A session. Joe Williams told us about how him & Jeff Weigh started #ukrunchat (The link to these 2 talks are below). The talks finished off with a word from Dan Mortimer, a running coach & co-founder of Witham Runners, with some great tips about running form (see notes below).
After the talks some got an early night, whilst some of us didn’t. We laughed & chatted & drank the night away. With the clock change we lost an hour so the clock was reading 5am when the last of us went to bed. We were just having too much fun.
Despite a lack of sleep on my part I woke up just before 9am, got my running kit on & went down to join the boys for a 10k run on the route we’d done the day before. Some people had headed out early for a 20 miler, and some had gone for a shorter run with Howard, plus a few that had hired bikes & gone for a cycle. I was barely awake before I was out running but I loved it. Jeff & Ian were taking it easy too so the 3 of us had an awesome run in the pouring rain. Who knew running in the rain could be so much fun?
When we got back we were once again welcomed with a sausage sandwich, which was fabulous. There was another Yoga & Pilates session but I sat that one out so I could pack up my stuff & get ready to go.
I was so sad when people started leaving- I’ve always been rubbish at goodbyes. Although we were there for a short time I felt like I had known some of them for years. We will definitely be friends for years to come and I’m looking forward to the Eastbourne weekend where we can do it all over again (perhaps with a bit less gin?).
I would definitely recommend joining in on one of the future #ukrunchat weekends.
I hope to see you all soon.
More Information on the talks at Anglesey
A Q & A with Dr. Juliet McGrattan: http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/ask-the-doctor-with-dr-juliet-mcgrattan/
How #ukrunchat started: http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/how-did-ukrunchat-start/
A word from Dan about Running:
Dan is a running coach with a Leadership in Running Fitnees qualification. He has been running since high school. Dan & Shell started a run club and Dan likes to observe the way people run and lives to help people with how they run as most training just focuses on distance and don’t get into efficiency.
Focus on what you achieve with the 6 S’s:
2 things to focus on:
- Dan encourages off road running. You work harder than road running and have to concentrate throughout your run without zoning out. It builds up your fitness so much more than a road run.
- Hills are a great session, almost a speed session they are one of the best ways to improve fitness.
- Stride: Over-stride often leads to more injury.
- Cadence: Aim for 3 steps/second.
- Head: Your head weighs 10/12 pounds. It can cause you problems if it is too far forward or back. Think about where your head is and aim to look 10/15 metres in front of you.
- Hips: A Powerhouse! “Try & fire a cannon from a canoe”. Stretch your hips.
- Hands: Your arms dictate how fast you run. Trace an imaginary line from your nipple to waist with your thumb whilst running.
- Heels: Think about heel lift as you run.
How you hold yourself changes with fatigue, such as Paula Radcliffe’s head wobble in a marathon so when you’re feeling fatigued concentrate on these things to help you continue.