Winchester Half Marathon 2019: Training Update

12 Sep 2019

A lot of hard work and training in the lead up to the Winchester Half Marathon on 22 September 2019, involving over 2,000 runners. With the marathon date approaching, the University of Winchester contacted the ten students and staff members preparing to take their mark. Read on to see how the runners are progressing.

Dr Sarah Bayless, Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Training miles run
135km since July, plus a few bike rides.

Solo or with a friend
Solo runs.

Running highlight
Slowly improving.

Running low point
A week off due to illness.

Aches and pains
Lower back and neck.

Playlist
None, I often run on lanes, so I don't wear headphones to be aware of traffic.

Secret to keeping motivated
The personal challenge.

Three words to describe your training
Room for improvement.

Kelly Chesterman, Admissions Officer

Marathon blog 2

Kelly provided a beautiful photo of the start and warming up point of her runs.

Training miles run
Eeek! Can only get out once a week, so I've been building up my long weekend run over the last few weeks and have just done a 10 miler. I'd say I've clocked up about 65 miles since July. I am working Arrivals weekend so I'm not going out running again until the actual event now. I know I can get round, just don't know how long it will take.

Solo or with a friend
Running solo.

Running highlight
Discovering loads of new trails as I have moved out to the countryside recently.

Running low point
Getting my tired body out of the front door in the morning.

Aches and pains
Lots, and all over. (I've been renovating a derelict house for 7 months alongside this which has broken me!)

Playlist
Currently Led Zeppelin. Though favourite song to run to as we head into autumn is River Man by Nick Drake.

Secret to keeping motivated
Remembering how good it feels at the end of each run.

Three words to describe your training
Limited, lonely, (strangely) fulfilling.

Vanessa Corbett, Wellbeing Administrator

Marathon blog 2

Image of Vanessa's beach cliff route in Nevez, France - capturing the stunning view.

Training miles run
At the moment I have not run nearly as many miles as I had hoped for, life has gotten busy in the lead up to this half marathon which has not been ideal.

Solo or with a friend
Wish I had a running partner to keep me motivated, however it's just me pounding the pavements.

Running highlight
Running along the beach cliff in Nevez, France while on holiday with my family recently. Stunning views and beautiful weather. Nothing makes me happier.

Running low point
Not getting the miles I had hoped to have done by now! Feeling unprepared however still time to put in some big miles down.

Aches and pains
I am consistently getting blisters on the inside of my right foot near my big toe.

Playlist
Running Hits and Podcasts. My favourite song to run to is Beyonce's Run the World.

Secret to keeping motivated
My pride to finish and this blog.

Three words to describe your training
Hot, painful, forced.

Elis Thomas (Ba Hons) Ancient, Classical and Medieval Studies

Marathon blog 2

Elis provided a fittingly magestic photo of his pre-run protein stop.

Training miles run
On average probably 4-8ish, I aim to consistently be running 10 miles in the last few weeks which should *hopefully* provide a good foundation for the actual day.

Solo or with a friend
Solo with my headphones.

Running highlight
The top of a hill.

Running low point
The bottom of a hill.

Aches and pains
Touch-wood I have been relatively injury free, although my feet were pretty rough to begin with. The absolute godsend of training this time around has been the use of a foam roller on my legs. Whilst training for a 10K in 2018, my calves would sometimes seize up and my ankles always felt so tight and inflexible, hopefully my newfound elasticity will help with my pacing.

Playlist
The same four or five motivational theme tunes on shuffle, maybe an occasional podcast if I'm feeling adventurous.The best one to run to is Crocodile Rock by Elton John!

Secret to keeping motivated
As I have never run this far, each session turns into the furthest I've ever jogged. After a gruelling and exhausting hour or two, reading my Strava or Fitbit stats and seeing that I have gone further and faster than the session before is incredibly rewarding and motivating.

Three words to describe your training
Scary, exciting, fun.

Chris Try, BA (Hons) Global History and Politics

Training miles run
I am not sure of the total miles run, but it is nice to feel the miles building up and longer distances feeling more comfortable and natural, trying to replicate the conditions of the actual half-marathon on the day.

Solo or with a friend
So far, all my runs have been solo, I've been unable to find anyone willing to go with me! I would prefer to have a training partner, although running alone can be a good escape allowing you to focus better on technique and enjoying the outdoors without distraction.

Running highlight
I can think of a few runs that could be considered 'highlights', runs where I have felt strong and motivated to go fast and most important of all can feel an improvement from runs in previous weeks! I would therefore not say that in my training I don't have a specific highlight but instead believe that all runs where I can see an improvement in a certain area can be considered in this category.

Running low point
I think it is important to remember that when in training for any event or race, you must bear in mind that not every training session is going to be great, and this can range from not great to pretty awful! I have been on a number of runs where I have seen no improvement and have felt flat and demotivated as a result. However, despite these runs being obvious low points I believe it is part of the process, and there are so many factors that affect how fast or slow you can and unfortunately not every run is going to be as good as you would hope!

Aches and pains
Despite having a generally good fitness level from other activities, I have found that being relatively inexperienced in long distance running has led to the occurrence of various different 'aches' that can be a tad annoying and demotivating. However, I have found that these have largely been down to poor technique, and one of the most important points I have learn in training is technique is perhaps the single most important factor in running fast, and there is always room for improvement. Therefore, in trying to improve in technique and being able to 'relax' during running, I am trying to avoid as many pains as possible, although of course it is going to hurt a bit!

Playlist
Going to have to be boring and say I never listen to music whilst running, this is mainly down to the fact I can't be bothered to carry a phone/other music device, and like to run as 'free' as possible without anything to 'weigh down' or inhibit movement.

Secret to keeping motivated
I like to visualise what the day is going to be like, and I think the thought of being able to run with everyone else and join in such a great event is motivation enough. However, being competitive I like to think of my potential time going down the more I train, moreover the feeling of getting fitter and fitter every day.

Three words to describe your training
Focussed, relaxed, and variable!

Unfortunately, Piotr Laba, Second Chef is no longer available to take part in the marathon this year. He was keen to run and contribute to charity, so is looking forward to potentially being a part of events like this in future.

To catch up on our previous blog post where we met the runners, click here.

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