Blog

"The more that you read,

The more things you will know, 

The more that you learn, 

The more places you'll go..."

Dr. Suess 

The blog posts below pull together ideas from reading and listening to some world renown experts and linking with my thoughts, observations and experiences. These combine elements of the business world, general life and competing as an endurance athlete.  The human brain doesn't exist as an isolated entity and operates within a larger biological context. The wider effects of performance coaching are intrinsically linked to our nutrition, exercise, mindset, hormones and neurological health.

11 Dec 2018

At the end of August each year UTMB fever grips Chamonix Mont Blanc; my mountain escape for the last eighteen years. The race series holds a personal soft spot after I narrowly scrapped through every checkpoint of the CCC in 2008; I then returned nine years later to place 7th lady in the full UTMB.  Something I never dreamed possible. 

Every year as the mid-December entry point approaches, end of season races are crammed with ultra-runners on the hunt for UTMB points to ensure they can...

23 Oct 2018

A warm Turkish welcome immediately engulfed me upon arrival at Kayseri airport. I was swept into an awaiting mini bus with a number of other runners as the call to prayer echoed across the city and lightening flashed across the dark sky. I breathed an extended sigh of relief. I’d finally made it and could leave the travel dramas of the past eighteen hours behind. The late-night puncture heading north on the M25 to Stansted Airport, the pre-dawn start and the super tight flight transfer navigatin...

15 Oct 2018

Looking back over the seven-month period from September 2017 through to the spring of 2018, I’d crammed a catalogue of mammoth races back to back alongside work and life:

  • Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc 

  • Half Marathon des Sables Fureteventura 

  • Trans Gran Canaria 

  • Marathon des Sables 

These races were arguably four of the toughest mountain and multi-stage events on the International Ultra-Running calendar*.  By the end of April, I was physically, mentally and emotionally tired. My “...

Utter the infamous words the “Marathon des Sables” amongst the running community and it’s likely you’ll receive a mix of responses…

a) OMG that race sounds insane. Why would anyone want to do that?! 

b) That sounds amazing but I’d never be able to do something like that.

c) What a challenge. Maybe once in a lifetime…cue little glint in eye ;-)

The concept originated from a solo traverse across the Sahara Desert by Patrick Bauer, a French concert promoter in 1984; two years later the Marathon des Sab...

14 Sep 2017

223,000 steps; 169.5 km or 105.3 miles; over 9,414m or 30,885 ft of climbing.  Whichever way you look at it, the Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc (UTMB) is a long way! Throw in frosty sub-zero temperatures with icy wind, damp low cloud, relentless rain and endless muddy trails and the 2017 edition definitely pulled out all the stops to test each and every participant to the max.

Even having now completed it, the sheer magnitude of the UTMB is hard to comprehend. I look at my little legs raised on the cu...

29 Aug 2017

Dear Runner (and anyone who runs, even a tiny weeny bit, but daren’t call themselves runners),

How do you describe the pleasure running brings? Were you like me and struggled to articulate the joy running provides within your life beyond the simple four words “Because I like it”?

Having really thought about it, I am getting better at describing that sense of fulfilment as body and mind combine dedicated to the pursuit of one challenge, the flow of blood through my body, dialling into a seemingly i...

20 Jul 2017

“Congratulations, you won again!!  How do you do it?”

“Er..”

“How come you’ve never written about your running performances?”

“Um…”

These questions have now cropped up a couple of times since I raced the Gran Trail Courmayeur (GTC 105) last week …and my answers haven’t got any clearer.  I mumble something about how I’m sure no-one would be vaguely interested and change the subject.

Both situations played on my mind and it looked like a pattern was beginning to form. Eager to break the trend I sat dow...

20 Aug 2016

For those who have yet to complete a marathon this may sound odd, but a whole new world beckons beyond the revered 26.2 miles (or 42.2km if you’re fully metric like myself). The lure of “going long” frequently arises after successfully crossing the marathon finish line and the mind automatically questions “what next?” Sometimes that might be chasing your marathon PB or completing a marathon on every Continent or in every European country or in cities beginning with every letter of the alphabet o...

17 Sep 2015

Last weekend I had one of those moments…that perfect moment when the body and mind are intricately balanced and truly in the zone together. Everything falls into place as time adopts an alternate reality and there is a true appreciation of the present. Given the choice I honestly won’t have chosen to be anywhere else in the world. It’s pretty special.

The positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, described as “A man obsessed by happiness.” by Richard Flaste, New York Times (Csikszentmihalyi,...

26 Aug 2015

Taken at face value a resort holiday in the Canary Islands is potentially my worst nightmare come true. My encompassing conscious belief and associated image of this holiday destination was initially generated and regularly reinforced from an early age. The word "Lanzarote" immediately conjures up visions of lobster red badly behaved Brits on tour with endless banging tunes on a beer fuelled 18-30 package holiday staying in a non descript concrete jungle. 

Personal impressions asid...

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