Long runs: How to ensure you are drinking enough

September 13, 2012 at 3:39
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Do sweat the small stuff...

Whether you are running long distances (over 90mins) in hot or cold weather conditions, knowing how much water to drink is vital to your performance.


1. Most crucially because it helps to regulate your body temperature.

As you exercise, your body temperature rises and you sweat to help cool your body down. Lose the ability to sweat and you could risk heat exhaustion and even death.

2. Your joints, cells and organs also require water for joint lubrication and to digest and store the nutrients need to work efficiently and effectively.

What happens if you don’t drink enough? Headaches, cramping, nausea and lack of co-ordination and balance, all things you want to avoid if you are already mentally trying to cope with putting one foot in front of the other on a long run.

You should ensure you hydrate sufficiently on the week leading up to a long run, don’t just wake up and glug down two litres an hour. And ensure you have plenty of water when you are training long distances.

How to  know if you are drinking enough?

‘Weigh yourself before and after exercising,’ reccommends Jeni Pearce, Head of Performance Nutrition at The English Institute of Sport. ‘If your body weight has decreased by more than 2% you have not drunk enough.

‘If it has increased you are drinking too much and it is not clearing your gut.’

So, if you are about to start training for a marathon, get your hydration training in early on.

Our Brighton Marathon 2013 training starts the week commencing 29th October for total beginners. Later start dates for those more experienced. For details visit our running club site

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Foam Rollers for Running

August 5, 2011 at 3:52
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Foam rollers: opt for the full size

Ask most people whether they do enough stretching  after exericising and the answer is invariably no. Yet flexibility is a vital element of fitness and you neglect it at your peril.

If you only focus on strength and cardiovascular fitness, you are effectively building a good looking facade but on shaky foundations. And eventually, the cracks and strains will show.

Think this doesn’t apply to you. Do you suffer from aching knees after running? Pain at the side of the knee or behind? Sore thigh muscles? This is all down to a lack of flexibility which can easily be avoided.
But what do you do if you don’t have the time to spend hours doing yoga, and you can’t afford a regular sports massage? The solution is a simple, inexpensive piece of kit called a foam roller, which does the same work as a sport massage therapist but at a fraction of the cost.

So, what is a foam roller? It’s a small,  cylindrical piece of hard foam which  helps to lengthen and release muscle fibres, increase blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues and  myofascia.

This is the soft connective tissue that wraps and connects muscles, bones and blood vessels. When we exercise regularly without sufficient stretching, this tissue can get stuck together, a bit like a wad of chewing gum. This results in restricted movement and reduced range of movement in joints.
Moreover, if one muscle is affected, another will start overworking to compensate. The result is a dominio affect which severely affect’s the body’s natural movement pattern invariably resulting in injury.

When all this can be avoided with a simple piece of equipment costing £15, why would you not use it?

Foam rollers are available on Amazon.co.uk or to buy in Brighton and Hove at Nick Rivett Sport and SweatShop on Queen’s Road, Brighton. Please quote FitBitch for a discount.



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NEW! Beginner’s One Week Running Camp

August 4, 2011 at 10:47
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Don't miss it

It starts in less than four days! Our brand new one week running camp for

total beginners and those returning to running after a break. (Wel also have one for experienced runners, at 6am).

Running is the type of activity that many women want to be able to do. It is also the one group activity that makes most women feel more nervous than anything else.

‘What if I get left behind?’ ‘I can hardly breathe when I run, it will be so embarrassing?’ ‘What if I just can’t do it?’

If this sounds like you, then this is THE camp for you.

The five day camp will incorporate a little bit of running but mostly, the focus will be on technique and strenghtening the foundations of your running so you can develop and progress your running without injury and mostly importantly feel confident.

Above all of that, it is about making running enjoyable (yes, that really does happen!)

Broadly speaking the camp will run as follows:

Day one: Assessment of your biomechanics and technique

Day two: Running strengthening work and technique clinic

Day three: Strength & conditioning – with a few games!

Day four: Yoga for Runners – this is the type of running created for those who might consider themselves yoga school drop outs. No flowing work required but staying in postures that specifically work at opening those areas that become tight when running.

Day five: It’s a surprise – there’s always one with a FitBitch camp!

Some of you may think, ‘I’m just not a runner.’ But two thirds of the runners in the picture below started with us thinking the same (there were smokers, ex party girls, whiskey at 2am girls, you can imagine the rest) but ended up running not just a 5k with us, but eventually a half marathon!

If you want to learn how to run with a great bunch of women sign up soon! there’s just six spaces left.

The camp runs Monday to Friday, 7-8am and costs £65. There are just 6 spaces left in the beginners camp.

It will take place in different locations along the seafront, meeting on the first day at Hove Lawns. The yoga session will take place at Natural Bodies on Bond Street.

From zero to half marathon - FitBitch runners rock

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Run Club training: Building endurance & mental stamina

July 13, 2011 at 2:07
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Join the FB running crew

Join us for a beautiful run starting from Stanmer Park, this Sunday July 17th, at 8.30am.

Start building your stamina, endurance, as well as mental strength with our long runs in the country. Depending on your current running ability, there are three distances to choose from, each one of them lead by a FitBitch Running Coach or Ambassador.

On this run, you will get to experience a variety of terrains and beautiful scenery as you take trails through the woods and up to Ditchling Beacon – for those going the long route.

If you are training for Palma Half Marathon or the 10k on October 16th (if you are interested in joining us, get in touch NOW!), this is Week Three. Try to come to the run, or if not, fit this distance in on your own or with a fellow FitBitch Runner.

(If you need a running buddy during the week, or for a long run that you can’t make with the group, post a message on our FB Facebook site. Or contact our dedicated Twitter running list.)

Following the long run, founder Rachael Woolston, a trained yoga teacher will take a 10min yoga for runners warm down and stretch (weather permitting!) PLEASE let us know if you are coming by adding a comment to this post so we can get extra running coaches if needed.

The Routes are as follows:
Going Long (14.5-15kms or 9miles) – led by Rachael

Week Three Palma Long Distance 14.5-15kms
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Building up (9.5-10kms or 5.9miles) led by Katie

Week Three Palma Long Distance 14.5-15kms
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Starting out and 10K crew (8kms/4.9miles) led by Melissa

Starting out & 10k crew Week Three Palma
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Location: Stanmer Park, meeting car park to the right of entrance as you enter
Time: 8.30am
Main contact: Rachael 07855 742195
Date 17th July 2011
Drop in rate: £5


Building your distance, Sunday 10th, 8.30am

July 6, 2011 at 1:09
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Poppy, fields and sun

Running at this time of the year up the Downs is beautiful. The smell of sun soaked grass, fields of poppies and azure blue skies, it’s like being on holiday and certainly takes your mind off the hills.
Whatever, your level come and join us on this Sunday’s run (week two of Palma for those who are following a plan, although stick with the week you’re on if you’ve missed some runs).
It is a hilly run but we will stick with you to help you get through it. And honestly? You’ll feel fantastic afterwards and during because it is so nice up there. If you need to stop and walk so be it. You won’t be left behind.
Click here for the link

There are various options depending on which distance you are running so please comment below letting us know which you are going to do. If you are coming to Palma, please try and make this run.

1. New runners or those taking it gradually – 6kms (4miles)
Meet: Hove park on the corner of Woodside Drive and Goldstone Crescent by the mini roundabout
You will head up the same route with the rest of the group. But rather than turning left with the lead group you will continue up to the top of Devil’s Dyke Road and then turn to retrace your steps.

2. Intermediate – 8.5kms (5.5miles)
instead of meeting at Hove Park be ready at 8.45am to leave from the first car park on Devil’s Dyke Road (not Saddlescoombe!) when the rest of the group pass. Just make sure we know you are doing this option.

3. Going long – 13.3kms (8.3miles) – a beautiful but hilly run over the Downs with only a small part of the route where you will retrace your steps.

Those going long will stretch at the end with FitBitch inspired yoga with lead trainer, Rachael.
Lead Trainer: Rachael
Back Up: Melissa
Time: 8.30am
Location: corner of Goldstone Crescent and Woodland drive mini roundabout
Drop in: £5