A Poem for the Dymchurch Marathoners

After being hideously slow during the Folkestone Half a few weeks ago, I knew I wouldn’t make the cut-off for Dymchurch Marathon tomorrow so, to do my bit, instead I wrote a poem for those who are.

Good luck to Helen, Cassie, Louise, Rachel and anyone else doing Dymchurch tomorrow. You’ll have earnt those medals!

A Poem for the Dymchurch Marathoners

A marathon is a lot of miles
and I hope you’ve done your training,
because a marathon still goes ahead
even if it’s raining.

It’s not due to rain tomorrow,
although you should expect a gale,
and it’s probably best to cross your fingers
you don’t get caught in hail.

I’m sure you’ll think I don’t give a fuck
when I’m not there to say good luck,
it’s just that I’m extremely sad
I won’t be getting a goody bag.

The medal is so very cool,
you’ll all have deffo earnt it,
by running in the wind and cold
knackered, feeling shit.

I hope you like my little poem,
it only took a minute.
So go and run the race tomorrow,
and I’ll stay in the warm, innit.

The JogBlog Guide To Training For Your First 10k

Rainforest Regents Park 10

Me on my first 10k. My gadgets have got smaller since then.

If you followed my guide to training for your first 5k, you undoubtedly would have a) won it; and then b) got home and immediately started looking for your first 10k. So, here’s my guide to training for your first 10k.

Get a training plan

You may think, ‘I can run 5k, I don’t need a training plan, I just need to run a bit further’. Which, yes, is true to an extent but a proper training plan will get you running further and faster better than if you just tag a couple of extra miles onto your long runs now and again.

Personally, I’m old-school and like something I can print off so I can cross out the days I’ve done with a pen; my favourite plans being those from Hal Higdon but, if you’re not quite that old school, you can also generate an iCal file to import Hal Higdon plans into your calendar.

If importing a plan into your calendar is still too old-school for you, there are loads of apps you can use, such as the 10k Run Ready app from Kiqplan. This app contains everything you need to train for your first 10k, including advice on snacking, meal planning and how to get more sleep.

Stick to the training plan

Let’s face it – 10k (6.2 miles) is a long way to walk, let alone run, so do stick to your training plan if you don’t want to hurt too much on race day. And, while we’re on the subject of hurting on race day, when you’re running the actual race, try not to fall over a football, like I did during my first ever 10k.

On race day

Don’t worry about any special breakfasts or anything – just have what you normally have, whether that’s a massive bowl of porridge or just a cigarette and a cup of coffee. It’s only 6 and a bit miles and if Mahatma Ghandi can go three weeks without food, you can go without for an hour or so. But, although there should be a water stop during the race, you might want to take some water with you, as a 10k can make you thirsty, especially if it’s a hot day.

There are always massive queues for the toilet at races, so get there early enough for a wee, unless you’re a bloke, then you can just do it in the bushes (don’t tell anyone I said that). And if you’re a Billy-no-mates with no one to look after your bag, get there early enough to put your bag in the baggage drop too.

So, there you go then. There’s my guide for training for your first 10k. Good luck!

The JogBlog Guide To Gear and Gadgety Gifts


Just kidding, come back, I have things to show you! Pretty things! Please?

You’re still here, hurrah. Good, because below are a few things you might want to put on your list for Santa, or buy for yourself.

 College Custom Sports Clothing

College Custom Sport Clothing

Embrace your inner (or not so inner) narcissist with customised clothing. College Custom are a Brighton-based company that designs and creates custom made hoodies and sports-wear for schools, colleges, and universities; as well as sports teams and societies. Luckily, they’ll customise sportswear for bloggers too, as you can see from my fab bag. Nice, innit?

As well as looking great, as you can see, it’s made by Nike but what you can’t see because of the crappy lighting conditions what with it being November and that, is its functionality.

This is a large bag – ignore what it says on the College Custom website about it being 14cm long – it’s approximately 18″ x 9″ x 10″, which means you can fit a ton of stuff in it to take to the gym.

As well as the spacious main compartment, it’s got a zipped front pocket and in that zipped front pocket are two more zipped pockets, and a clippy thing for, um, clipping things onto. There’s also a zipped shoe pocket on the side into which you can put shoes and/or sweaty gym kit to stop your shopping getting minging if you nip into the supermarket on your way home.

I can’t fault College Custom’s service. After I chose my bag, they sent my logo off to their design team and then sent me back a pdf with a mock up of my bag with the logo in yellow, red, and white. I liked the yellow one but couldn’t quite decide between that and the white one. I showed the mock-up to Shaun and he said the yellow one was best.

But, because I’m indecisive I asked if I could be a pain in the arse and see another mock-up showing the bag in pink and purple, and they were happy to oblige. Then I still couldn’t decide and apologised once again for being a pain in the arse and asked if I could see it in orange and a new mock-up was sent to me without even a hint that I was being a pain in the arse (which I totally was).

And as you can see from the photo, I went for yellow. Yes, the first colour I looked at. Yes, the colour I liked first. Yes, the colour Shaun liked. Yes, the colour in which I got the bag that I’m very happy with. I’m sorry yellow for doubting you. Yes, I am a div.

If you’d like a bag – or other sports apparel – like mine (you don’t have to get JogBlog printed on it but if you want to give me free advertising, I’m not going to complain), visit the College Custom website to obtain a quote.

Epson Pulsense Heart Rate Monitor

Epson Pulsense Heart Rate Monitor

There’s so many heart rate monitors around, aren’t there? And they all do the same sort of thing don’t they? They all measure heart rate, anyway.

The Epson Pulsense Heart Rate Monitor is, yes, yet another heart rate monitor but unlike other heart rate monitors I’ve owned in the past, I’ve actually been using this one.

The reason I’ve been using the Pulsense and not others I have is because it’s so easy to use. For a start it doesn’t have a chest strap or an armband; it has a sensor on the underside and you simply wear it as a watch.


Epson Pulsense Heart Rate Monitor

Sensor means there’s no need for a chest strap

As well as measuring your heart rate, the Pulsense also acts as a normal watch and it’s small and comfortable enough to wear all day, which is just as well as it counts your steps too. It looks so nice, one of the instructors at the gym stopped me and asked me about it.

You might be able to pair it bluetoothly with your phone. I couldn’t, as I’ve only got an iPhone 4 and no recent apps seem to support the iPhone 4 because it’s obviously so antiquated and should be consigned to history along with the Nokia 3210.

You can look at all the pretty graphs and stuff online though.

Epson Pulsense Heart Rate MonitorEpson Pulsense Heart Rate MonitorEpson Pulsense Heart Rate MonitorAnd you thought Epson only made printers, eh?

For more information on the Epson Pulsense Heart Rate Monitor, visit the Epson website.

Miiego AL3 Freedom Wireless Headphones

Miiego AL3 Freedom Wireless Headphones

One thing my stoneage iPhone 4 can connect to is the Miiego AL3 Freedom Wireless Headphones. I don’t know how many times my headphone wires have been ripped from my ears when I’ve been on the rowing machine but it’s more than once. It’s probably more like fifty, and each time it’s a) bloody annoying; and b) embarrassing, because when it happens it makes me jump and everyone turns and stares at me (they don’t really).

So, wireless headphones are ‘yay’ for when I’m on the rowing machine. They’re also ‘yay’ for any other time you don’t want wires in the way when you’re listening to music. I wouldn’t advise wearing them on the train though, as there’s quite a bit of noise leakage and people who wear leaking headphones on the train need booting off the train at the next station, if not before.

The Miiego AL3 Freedom Wireless Headphones are easy to pair with your phone and easy to control using the buttons on the headphones themselves. They also come with a cute little carry case.

For more information on the Miiego wireless headphones, visit the Miiego website.

Chaffree Underwear
Chaffree underwear

Not the kind of undies for *that* sort of hot date

Chaffree Underwear is something you’ll probably want to buy for yourself, should you need it. That is, unless you don’t mind letting people know you’re a sweaty chub-rub sufferer.

Personally, I don’t suffer from chub-rub but I’m not going to pretend I don’t sweat when I go to the gym. If you’re not sweating at the gym, you’re either a) not putting enough effort in; or b) you’ve had all your sweat glands removed and if you fall under category b) you probably have some kind of medical condition that means you shouldn’t be in the gym in the first place.

Chaffree Underwear is seamless underwear that relieves chafing and sweating. These are Bridget Jones-esque big pants but, let’s face it, no one goes to the gym in sexy underwear, do they? Or do they? Wouldn’t that be taking a ‘hot’ date a bit far?

Chaffree underwear is available in women’s knickerboxers, women’s briefs (as pictured) and men’s boxers. For more information, visit the Chaffree website.

Cellulite Crusher Leggings

Cellulite Crusher leggings

Now here’s a weird thing. Leggings with 1200-1600 little wooden beads sewn into them to massage your thighs, improve your circulation and eliminate cellulite, while you’re working out.

You can wear them while cycling, running, walking, yoga, pilates or just doing the housework and while any physical activity happens, the pressure of the beads increases as your muscles contract against them.

They’re heavier than usual leggings but you don’t notice the heaviness once they’re on and they’re comfy and fit well. I did briefly (okay, for quite a long time) wonder if I looked stupid and if people would stare at me but I decided to be brave and wore them to the gym. No one stared at them or even gave them a second glance, so yay. They were slightly uncomfortable at first as I used the rowing machine but I soon stopped noticing them and I didn’t notice them at all in the spin class. In fact, I forgot I was wearing 1200 little wooden beads until I took the Cellulite Crushers off and saw my legs covered in little round indentations.

The washing instructions say to handwash only, but I’m not handwashing anything – let alone sweating gym kit – so I put them in the washing machine and they seem to have survived.

For more information, visit the Cellulite Crusher website.

I’ll be giving away a pair of Cellulite Crushers soon (and also a pair of (unworn, don’t panic) Chaffree knickers), so keep a look out for more news on that.

Thanks go to all the above companies for sending me their products to review. All opinions my own and honest, blah blah blah. 



Infographic: Sleep Like An Athlete

If I ever get a phase of sleepness nights, I know exactly the reason why – it’s because I haven’t been exercising enough (unless it’s a Friday night and then I can’t sleep because I’ve stuffed myself full of battered halloumi, onion rings and chippy chips, all covered in curry sauce from Tesco).

If you want to know how to sleep like an athlete (hint: it doesn’t involve eating battered halloumi, onion rings and chippy chips), then this infographic will be of interest to you.

Infographic supplied by www.mattressnextday.com

Infographic supplied by www.mattressnextday.co.uk

The JogBlog Guide To Why You Should Use Fitness Apps

6 reasons to use fitness apps

Although I’m always downloading apps and trying new ones out, I keep forgetting to use them. They’re a great fitness tool though, and here are six reasons why:

1. You can unleash your inner (or not so inner) geek

Fitness apps are great for geeks. You’ll get hours and hours of fun from all those lovely charts and stats and graphs and stuff and, if all those lovely charts and stats and graphs and stuff start showing you’ve been slacking, that should shame you enough to unslack yourself.

2. You can unleash your inner (or not so inner) competitive streak

Most apps let you hook up with your friends who are also using the same app so you can spy on how they’re doing and silently set yourself up in competition with them and overtake them. Or, if you want to be less sly, a lot of apps will let you set up challenges with other users of the app, whether that’s by way of a leaderboard or as a one-to-one challenge (such as this one Warriorwoman and I undertook last year).

3. Accountability

Accountability. Now there’s a word that makes my teeth itch but apps do keep you accountable, it must be said. Miss a day’s training and there’ll be a little gap in the calendar to remind you that YOU ARE A SLACKER. And you wouldn’t want an app calling you a slacker, would you?

4. They’re convenient

Smartphones are great, aren’t they? No longer do we need to carry round a Garmin, a phone and an iPod; we can just take our phones out with us and have our GPS device, our making-phone-calls device and our music device all in one handy shiny black rectangle. And, as an added bonus, you don’t even need to look like a dick by having it on your arm in one of those armbands, you can get a handy pouch for them, like this Roosport Fitness Pouch.

5. They’re fun

The main reason for using a fitness app. They’re fun. Some let other people join in the fun by allowing you to link the app to Facebook, then when someone ‘likes’ the post that appears automatically once you start the app, you get a cheer through the headphones. Make sure you turn it off though if all you’re doing is walking the dog and don’t particularly feel the need to have people cheering you every five seconds.

There are apps that are also games, like the Zombies, Run! app. I have tried this and am rubbish at it. You’ll probably be better than me.

6. They’re free

Okay, that’s a bit of a fib. Most are free, although some don’t give you all the features you’d get if you paid for the premium version, while others have lots of features and are totally free, like the Superbody app, which is a personal nutritionist and workout coach.

So, there are a few of my reasons for using apps. Feel free to let me know which your favourite apps are.

High 5 Marathon Training Pack – Winner Announced!

High 5 marathon race pack

Look what you could have won

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway of a High 5 Marathon Training Pack. I’m pleased to announce, in haiku form:

John Gunn, yay, you’ve won!
A very worthy winner.
I will email you. 

And John does, indeed, sound a very worthy winner. Here was his entry which I picked out at random using random.org.

Winner of High 5 Marathon Training pack

If you didn’t win, never mind, I’ll be having another giveaway soon.

The JogBlog Guide to Hydration

I’m not one of those runners who can’t run even a 5k without clutching a drink and neither do I take a sports drink to the gym with me. But, I’ve got to say, my methods of hydration on a long run/walk/bike ride are a bit rubbish. Okay, a lot rubbish. So rubbish in fact, I didn’t take enough water out with me on a twenty-mile cross-country walk a few weeks ago on the second hottest day of the year and ran out of water at eleven miles. So, guess what? Yes, I fainted at the end of it. Yes, properly fainted, as in passed-out-unconscious-woke-up-thinking-where-the-fuck-am-I fainted.

Not good.

My excuse was that I didn’t want to fill my Camelbak up completely because I didn’t want to walk twenty-miles cross-country on the second hottest day of the year carrying 3 litres of water; because a) it was heavy; and b) I didn’t think I’d drink it all, but, obviously a) I would drink it all because b) I was walking twenty-miles cross-country on the second hottest day of the year.


Still, I learnt my lesson and when I had a long marathon-training run come up, I not only took water with me but also took money out with me so I could buy a sports drink while I was out.  Unfortunately, the running shop I’d planned to buy a sports drink from didn’t sell any (eh?) and although the reception of the stadium in which the running shop lives did sell a sports drink, it was Lucozade, and I don’t buy Lucozade because they’re vivisectionist scum. I had been hoping they’d sell Powerade because Powerade has given me a massive boost both times I’ve run the Great South Run but, alas, I had to make do with water.

I’ve currently got a Tesco own brand sports drink in the fridge that I’d planned to take out with me on my next long marathon-training run but as I’m no longer doing Dymchurch Marathon because I won’t make the cut-off time, it looks like it’s going to stay in the fridge for ever.

You may be the kind of person who prefers an energy drink to a sports drink but I have no knowledge of energy drinks except I used to have a boyfriend who drank them and it stank. Some people swear by energy drinks though, as opposed to swearing at them, so if you’d like to read up about the ingredients, effects and risks of energy drinks, here’s a pretty infographic for you.


Kinesio Tape Giveaway – Winner Announced!

Kinesio Tex Gold Tape

Kinesio Tape

After announcing the winners of a previous giveaway where I incorporated a haiku into the post, I foolishly told Facebook that from now on I would announce all giveaway winners in haiku form.


Me and my big mouth

So, thank you to everyone who entered the Kinesio Tex Gold Tape giveaway and so:

Who won the tape, eh?
Lauren, @poweredbypb:
I believe it’s you!

Well done, Lauren, I’ll email you.

More stuff to win

If you didn’t win the tape but the postie’s just delivered a mag with a bee on the front, you should check out my marathon race pack giveaway. You should check it out anyway if you regularly run further than a parkrun.

Giveaway: Win a High 5 Marathon Race Pack!

The less said about my marathon training the better. Despite having a plan, and planning to stick to my plan, my plan so far hasn’t really gone to plan.

I did, however, sort-of successfully complete a 12 mile run a week or so ago, with ‘sort-of successfully’ meaning I managed to do the twelve miles within the minimum 13 minute miles I need to do to finish Dymchurch Marathon within the six-hour cut-off time and claim my medal and goody bag before everyone’s packed up and gone home, a-la London Duathlon 2013.

But since that twelve mile run, I’ve done what I believe the technical term for is ‘fuck all’. I haven’t even been to the gym or gone on a walk. I cycled to the station on Saturday but although I would count that as a valid form of exercise during an ‘athon, I’m not sure I can call it cross-training for a marathon.

Despite all this slacking though, I’ve entered the Folkestone Half Marathon which is taking place this Sunday. If I run it this time as badly as I ran it last time (limping over the finish line in about 3 hours) then I’ll probably decide the marathon isn’t for me and hope Helen, Cassie and Rachel don’t find out I’ve wimped out and never talk to me again.

Don’t be a loser like me – enter my giveaway and win stuff

Anyway, just because I’m a loser who has lost the ability to run quicker than I can walk, doesn’t mean everyone else is and so, if you’re training for a marathon and would like to win some stuff to help you fuel before, during and after training and the race itself, then I’ve got just the giveaway for you.

High 5 marathon race pack

Win all these things

High 5 marathon race pack

High 5 marathon race pack

What’s in the box

High 5 marathon race pack

Suitable for vegetarians, yay

Maxi Milk Maxi Nutrition Recovery Protein Shake

The winner will also receive a case of 6 chocolate protein shakes

With thanks to Discount Supplements, one winner will receive:

  • an XL Nutrition High Protein Flapjack Jumbo Bar;
  • a case of 6 Maxi Milk Maxi Nutrition Recovery Protein Shakes; and
  • a High 5 Marathon Race Pack containing:
    • Iso gel plus x 1
      • Iso gel x 2
      • Energygel plus x 4
      • Energygel x 8
      • Protein Sachet x 1
      • Energybar x 1
      • 10 tube zero x 1
      • 3 x sachet zero X’treme
      • Run Bottle
      • Run Lounge membership (3 month membership FOC)
      • Marathon Nutrition Guide

So, that’s everything you see in the photos (don’t worry, you’ll get a nice new one sent directly to you; you won’t be getting my battered and opened one).

How to enter

To be in with a chance of winning the High 5 Marathon Race Pack, just leave a comment below letting me know which marathon you would love to do if time, money, family commitments, etc., were no problem.

I’ll draw a winner at random after the closing date of Saturday, 24 October 2015.

UK entries only, sorry.

HardCore Fitness Foam Roller Giveaway: Winners Announced and Bonus Haiku

HardCore Fitness Foam Roller

HardCore Fitness Foam Roller

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for a foam roller from HardCore Fitness. The random number generator has spoken and the winners are:

Samantha Atherton

Leona S Fisher

Veronica Butt

Well done, you three – I’ve emailed you, so check your inboxes.

If you didn’t win but still want a foam roller, you can buy one here.

If you didn’t win but still want to try and win things, you can enter my giveaway for a roll of Kinesio tape here.

I can’t think of any more ‘if you didn’t win’ things, so I’m going to stop now but I’ve just noticed the first one makes a haiku, look:

If you didn’t win
but still want a foam roller,
you can buy one here.

This pleases me more than it probably should.

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