Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

Event Review: Bright10

October 23, 2016 at 4:12
Posted by Rachael Woolston

Wind and torrential rain greeted runners taking on the Bright10 this year. But it didn’t deter Laura Marshall who ran her first 10 mile race…

I am not  sure what persuaded me to enter the Bright10 mile race as previously, I had always set 10km as my upper distance saying I’d never run longer. A lot came down to the fact that it was not a half marathon (too big a leap from 10km in my mind), it was local which meant that I could walk to the event and the encouragement from the fellow Fitbitch community.

As the event neared and I was juggling commuting to London for work, setting up my own business and raising a toddler, I wondered how I was going to manage it. Then, the Fitbitch Learn to Run 10 miles course came along, that included trails, road, hilly and flat runs to help build mileage which also helped me keep to a plan and stay focused.

On the night before the race, I was feeling quite calm but then I awoke to the windows being thrashed with rain, and the wind whistling around the house. Not the weather conditions I really had in mind, cue the nerves. However, I stuck to my morning run plan; breakfast, running outfit,   foam rolling, and it totally helped me to calm down. And thankfully, by the time I arrived at the race start, the rain had stopped.


The wind had not alas, and the first two miles were hard as we ran into the wind and it gusted sideways. But then the wind dropped and the sun came out! I ran with a fellow runner which worked well as we both had someone to chat to, which was needed when supporters petered out passed Kemp Town just when you needed them on the climb up to Roedean. Having said, that the coaching tips  of “stand tall”, “shoulders back”, “small steps” and “use your arms” had been drummed into us and it helped me get up the hill.


At this point, I should say that it is an entirely road race and at times pretty unattractive if you looked the wrong way – coaches park one way but beautiful sea the other. But the marshals were great and cheering loudly as were the volunteers at the water stations (three in total).

As we headed west from Black Rock, I was familiar with the route and was counting down to the end. The crowds picked up again from the Pier to the finish, with one final double backing by Hove Lawns. “Sprint finish?” said Ness, my running partner. “SPRINT? I’ll go a bit faster,” was my response, although then I went a bit faster still when I saw familiar faces at the end.

It was a great race and I felt amazing to have achieved my ten mile race goal, even with poor weather. And the strangest thing is, that half marathon now doesn’t seem such a big leap!

If you wish to join our community in training for the Brighton or Worthing Half Marathon, our beginners training starts November 6th. Details here.

Race Goody Bag: Haul it or Hoard it?

Well, neither, as there wasn’t one. The medal is a beaut though and we were handed water at the end – I didn’t go for the sports drink on offer or the Clif Bar.

The Good

  • Even with the road closures, it was easy to get to and with the Race Village on Hove Lawns, nothing felt cramped.
  • Three water stations were ample.
  • I thought the double-backing would frustrate me but I enjoyed seeing familiar faces a couple of times.

The Bad

I am glad I didn’t need the toilet as those queues were huge even with a few minutes until the start time.

The Ugly

There was nothing ugly. The day before, someone did mention to me that they no longer to pay to run in their home town/city. I can see their point as a lot of this was very familiar to me but it was the mileage that was my goal.



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February Flexibility Challenge 2016

February 29, 2016 at 7:07
Posted by Rachael Woolston

What happens if you commit to completing a number of sun salutations and continue every day of the month? That’s the challenge that we set ourselves and our challenge community this month

We have all read how bad sitting can be for us. Add to that a regime of regular running and/or exercise as well as the ageing process, which can contribute to shortened muscles and we ALL know how useful yoga or stretching is for us. But with most yoga classes stretching to 75 – 90 minutes, plus the time to and from the studio and most of us give up thinking that we can’t fit it in and don’t do any stretching at all.

So at the beginning of February, we set our Fitbitch Challenge Community (which is free and open to enter for anyone at anytime) the goal of doing three sun salutations on Feb 1st and to add one every day until Feb 29th, finishing on a total of 31.

And because I am currently training for the London Marathon and spend a lot of my day sitting writing, I decided to take part too. And this is what I learned.

Mornings are the hardest

Your muscles become shortened while you are inactive in sleep mode and so it feels harder to stretch when you have just woken up.

Morning is also the best time

Despite it feeling harder, it’s far easier to do them in the morning. Your mind hasn’t woken up yet and began to whirl with all the tasks you simply MUST get done. Plus, wait until later in the day and you can often find yourself doing them while watching American Horror Story on Netflix after a glass of wine. Which is clearly not the goal.

Diagnostic Check

If you are a runner, even doing 10 sun salutations, which takes less than five minutes, helps to provide a daily diagnostic spot check on where your muscles are tight and what *may* flare into an injury if  you don’t keep stretching, or get a massage. This has helped see me sail through my marathon training injury-free.

To stay in the moment

Most  of all, the challenge has helped me stay in the present. Admittedly, at the beginning of the challenge, I’d be half way through the sun salutations and thinking, ‘Oh, I don’t have time for this. I’ve got to write X, email Y, and cook Z.’ Not to mention looking at the carpet while in downward dog thinking it needed a vacuum. But then this curious thing happened.

Once I got to 20 salutations and beyond, I began to switch off from all the tasks piling up in my head and the sun salutations became a little retreat all of their own (except after Brighton Half Marathon day when they were a bit creaky). It meant that I still got all the really important things done AND I had a break from working that was far more beneficial than a coffee break.

So, will I be continuing? I’m not going to carry adding on one per day but I will be sticking to 10-20 salutations a day from now on.

If you want to take part and become a member of our FREE Challenge Community where you can win rewards for completing fitness goals for beginners and beyond, click here.

To view a video of the sun salutations, click here.

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