Category Archives: Running

London Marathon- I’m in!


Around this time of year a magazine drops through the door of runners that is either greeted with great joy or despair.  I am talking about The Virgin London Marathon acceptance or rejection magazine.


If you don’t know what I am talking about here is the gen:

Every year tens of thousands of people apply for a place at the London Marathon.  And there is an anxious wait to find out of you are one of the chosen few.  That news comes via a magazine.  You will either receive a magazine that effectively says “hard lines, better luck next year” (I have had that a couple of times) or “congratulations, you are in” (joyfully received!).

In October 2012 I received that wonderful “you’re in” magazine.  And I trained and trained.  But I never seemed to get any faster, long runs were not getting easier, my diet was not good and a half marathon broke me mentally and physically.  Fortunately my brother persuaded me to defer entry until 2014, so it wasn’t a surprise that I received my “you’re in” magazine.

So this time I am determined to start and finish it.  I have loved the London Marathon ever since I watched the first one in 1981.  I have been up to watch it several times including see my brother complete it.  I know how lucky I am to get a place and this year I am determined to make full use of it.

So I will be documenting my training, all my highs and lows and my journey towards what I hope will be a fantastic experience of completing a long held dream.

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon

Food costs…paying in running terms


There is a very simple equation to weight loss which is you need to burn more calories than you eat.  If you eat more calories than you burn you will put on weight. Very straightforward in writing, but in practice…not so much.

So burning even more calories than usual will help to lose more weight.  This is why exercise is encouraged so much, as it is an excellent way to burn those calories.  However it can for some people be counterproductive as after their run or exercise class they reward themselves with food, thus sabotaging all their good work.  So I thought it would be interesting to see how much certain foods ‘cost’ in running terms.

I have worked out the calories burned using the Runner’s World calorie calculator based on an 11stone runner running at 6mph.  Heavier runners will burn more calories, as will faster runners.


A small glass of wine: 10 minutes.

A Cadbury crunchie bar: 16 minutes

Starbucks tall classic hot chocolate with whipped cream whole milk: 24 minutes

Greggs Triple chocolate muffin: 49 minutes

Dominos chicken feast personal pizza (all of pizza): 53 minutes

1x chocolate hobnob: 8 minutes!! Yes one really  is 8 minutes running!

So next time you are tempted to reach for a snack, just think how much running it would take to burn it off.  Then maybe you would think twice! I certainly will!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon




Overtaking everyone on the couch…


Let’s get running!

Well it’s easy, right?  I mean we run as children, and we’ve all watched the London Marathon when you have people of all ages and sizes running, including people run dressed as rhino’s and giraffes, and they manage.  But when you’ve finally decided to start running, it can seem a little overwhelming.

The good news is there are lots of magazine, books, websites and blogs about running and many of them give fantastic advice.  But the bad news is, only you know how you feel, and sometimes that is not covered, especially if you are nervous or anxious about being seen in public running.

For what it is worth I have had very few negative comments when running.  And remember you are running faster than everyone on the couch!  That really is important to remember-if you step out and start running, you are doing something that many people don’t have the confidence or guts to try.

So here are a few quick tips for the nervous beginner:

  • If you have any Health concerns at all pre-running, get yourself checked out with your GP or a physiotherapist.
  • You don’t need expensive kit to start off.  That can come later! It’s important to feel comfortable.  Two provisos would be a good sports bra for women, and decent sports shoes.  This will reduce the risk of injury.
  • Start slowly, especially if you haven’t exercised in some time.  Don’t worry about walking at first, and build it up slowly.  There are many beginner plans around, but for the complete beginner it might be a good idea to try one of the many couch to 5k plans.
  • Choose a time that suits you and fits in with your lifestyle.  It might be early morning or late evening if you prefer not to be seen.
  • Try to keep it fun.  If you start doing too much too quickly you run the risk of getting injured or losing your enthusiasm.


Good luck and enjoy!

All the best,

Woodyrunning spoon




In the beginning

The first step is the hardest so they say.  And I have taken many first steps.  But I want these to be the last first steps I take.  Comprende?  Let me explain…

I am overweight.  I have been as long as I can remember.  Occasionally I lose weight but inevitably I put it all on.  I can’t say weight has blighted my life.  I have not been bullied because of my size, I am married to a lovely man and have three beautiful children, have wonderful friends and a job, but I also wonder…what would it be like to be thin? To go to any shop and buy clothes because I want to not because it fits?  To not worry about fitting into chairs or seats?

I also love sports.  And I do like taking part in sport.  And to be honest I would love to take part in events and not check the slowest time from last year and wonder if I will come last (I have on several occasions come last and actually don’t worry about it too much.) and by how much.  I would like to be a mid-packer not a back-of-the-packer.

So for the 2356th time of asking I am on a healthy eating programme (Slimming World) and have the London Marathon entry looming large.  I want this time to be different, because I want you to come on this journey with me.  And maybe together we can inspire each other to achieve.

All the Best,

The Wooden Spoonrunning spoon