Parkview – Runner’s Knee

Check out the new blog from Parkview, Run Reigate’s on the day physiotherapists, all about Runner’s Knee, a problem that some runners may suffer from.  

If you do need some new trainers, Simply Sports in Reigate have professional fitters and on Thursday 8th September (10.00-15.30), Brooks will be there with their Experience Run Signature equipment to analyse your gait.

Runner’s Knee

Runner’s knee is probably the most common injury suffered by recreational runners. It is also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome as the pain comes on due to issues around the knee-cap (Patella).

Unfortunately, those most likely to suffer are young women due to a wider pelvis that in turn creates a greater angle at the knee during running, however, it is still very common in male runners too.

Runner’s knee will usually present as a dull ache around or behind the knee-cap, sometimes with swelling or cracking noises. Running through the pain will not help and only make it worse, as will hills, uneven ground or steps.

There are number of identified causes of this syndrome, the most common include:

  • Deformities to the Patella
  • Worn Cartilage surfaces
  • Flat feet creating incorrect angles of the knee
  • Weak medial Quadriceps allowing mal-tracking of the Patella
  • Simple overuse or poor shock absorbency

Getting rid of Runner’s Knee whilst maintaining a training program can be tricky, but not impossible. If you feel this coming on it is important to do the right things straight away. Cutting back your mileage will allow less load on the knee and speed up healing. Using ice regularly to get rid of any inflammation is vital. However, you must address the cause. This might mean a visit to a Physiotherapist and a specialist running shop to get your biomechanics assessed.

A sports orientated Physio can give you the advice and treatment you need to calm down the pain and begin the rehab process. Treatment can include Kinesio Taping for Patella tracking and swelling, Ultrasound, Acupuncture, Massage and rehab exercises to correct the problem. Orthotics and corrective running shoes may also be advised as part of the solution.

Remember, early intervention leads to the best outcomes, so if you think you might be suffering then please give one of the team at Parkview Clinic Reigate a call to see what can be done to get you back on track as fast as possible.

01737 247555

Running man illustration

Advice on Shin Splints from Parkview Clinic

Run Reigate are delighted that Parkview Clinic in Reigate are joining us at this year’s event.  Check out their blog on Shin Splints and how their clinic can help if you’re suffering…


Shin Splints, also known as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome is a condition commonly suffered by long distance runners and affects the front of the lower leg. It will often begin as a dull ache along the shin bone, but can build up to be quite an acute pain that will stop you exercising.

There are a number of reasons Shin Splints can happen, however, you are most at risk due to the following factors:

  • You’ve recently taken up running or increased your distance
  • You run on hard surfaces
  • You’re carrying too much weight
  • Poor fitting running shoes
  • Your feet roll inwards
  • The muscles of your lower leg are too tight

The pain is caused by inflammation to the connective tissue that joins your muscles to the bone. If you feel these symptoms it is vital that you do not run through the pain as this will only make it worse and keep you of sport for a longer time. A minimum of 2 weeks rest, ice and anti-inflammatory work is advised. However, if you have not addressed the reason it has come on then it may repeat once you start running again.

A quick accurate diagnosis is important to confirm that it is Shin Splints and not other conditions such as Compartment Syndrome, Radiculopathy, Stress Fractures or Muscle tear.

An early visit to a physiotherapist is the best solution  to confirm this and assess the reasons behind the pain. Physios will look at the angles of your feet, the integrity of the foot arch, the bio-mechanical chains between your feet, knees and hips and examine your stride pattern during running.

As mentioned, rest is vital, but calming down the inflammation and muscle tension can be sped up by using treatment techniques such as Ultrasound, Acupuncture, Facia release, Massage and exercise rehab. You may also be advised on changing footwear or using Orthotics and importantly making sure your running technique is correct.

Often through a desire for speed and exhaustion runners will over-reach in their stride pattern creating a more acute impact angle when the foot hits the ground, usually with the knee locked out in extension, thus reducing shock absorbance. This exaggerated impact that sends a force through the shin bone is a common reason for Shin Splints to begin. Don’t worry though, changing your running pattern doesn’t mean slower times as your “Cadence” or strides per minute can easily be maintained!

If you are concerned about such pain and it is affecting your training routine for the forthcoming Run Reigate event then please do give the team at Parkview Clinic Reigate a call and come down for an expert assessment. You’ll be pleased to know they are currently offering all entrants 10% off treatments up to the 18th September!

Visit: 01737 247555


St Catherine's Hospice Runner

St. Catherine’s Hospice – Charity Partner

Many people think a hospice is a place where people spend their final moments, but at St Catherine’s Hospice the focus is on helping people make the most of the time they have left.

The local hospice encourages patients to live well and recognises that people are more than their illness; it’s not their diagnosis, but their individual wishes and needs that matter most to the people at St Catherine’s.

Committed to providing the local community with the best possible end of life care, the local hospice has been providing free, expert care to people across Sussex and Surrey for the last 30 years. Last year, more than 2,000 patients were cared for at the hospice and in the comfort of their own homes, including 175 patients from Reigate*.

As well as tailored practical care, St Catherine’s also offers people: emotional support, welfare advice, spiritual care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, complementary therapies and creative activities such as music and art. The hospice recognises that, at such a challenging time, emotional support is just as important as the physical care they provide, and are also there to offer support and advice to families, friends and carers.

Although their services are free, each day it costs St Catherine’s more than £17,000 to provide their care. Receiving less than a third of their running costs from the NHS, for the rest, the hospice relies on the generosity and support of the local community. By supporting Run Reigate, you’re helping ensure St Catherine’s can be there for people in future, when and where they are needed most – there can be no better motivation to run.

If you would like to find out more about how you can help support St Catherine’s, please visit: or call 01293 447361.

*Town figures from 2014/2015

One of our runners…

Joelle is just one runner taking part in Run Reigate and raising money for St Catherine’s Hospice.  Joelle was kind enough to give her thoughts about running for St Catherine’s this year.

“I ran last year and although it was tough I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the satisfaction of running my first half marathon. I knew a couple of my friends, (Kate and Romy) were keen and so once I saw we could run for St Catherine’s, the decision was made.  We all agreed it was a great reason to sign up!

I work at Reigate Manor and St Catherine’s is our chosen charity because it does wonderful things for people in our local community, we’ve also got our General and Assistant Managers to sign up to take part.

We each have a target of £250 but would ideally like to raise more.  We will have a JustGiving page which we will put all over Facebook and Twitter and just generally pester our friends and families to give as generously as they can!

Training is the hardest part, between us we have six children aged two to six and are juggling work and various other commitments.  We have to try and run in the evenings and weekends but we all have different schedules so we just get out for a run whenever we can.

It’s much more fun running together!

Running 13.1 miles and raising money for such a worthy charity gives you the biggest sense of achievement.  If you’re thinking about doing it in future years, just do it!”


If you would like to raise money for St. Catherine’s Hospice whilst running this year’s Run Reigate, please get in touch.

Dave Kelly & Daren Elliott


Run Reigate is well and truly up and running!

Well I have spent the morning with David Kelly the Race Director of the Reigate Half Marathon, 10K and New Kids Race.

With 8am on a Wednesday morning in July planned for our meeting in Reigate’s Priory Park I jog over to our meeting place and shake the hand of the person I have arranged to meet, smiles all round.

About me, well nothing out of the ordinary really. I have been a runner for many years, I have coached athletics and running with my local Athletics club, tried my hand at pace making over half Marathon and Marathon distance and am an Ambassador with the Brighton based Run Brighton Group.

So the meeting was about the purposed route change or tweak of the hilly section in the last couple of miles of the Reigate Half Marathon, the hilly section in question had received a bit of negative feedback and when brought to David’s attention to his credit he set out to do something about this.

How is it that you can run with a person you have just met and you can feel totally at ease, the conversation flows and the miles slip by, yet stand in a lift or on a train and there is complete silence.

Well, David introduced me to the Reigate 10k course which has a cracking first fast section and ample room to stretch your legs if you’re looking for a fast time, then we had reached the tweaked and improved section of the Reigate Half, yes it’s still a hill but nowhere near the incline from last September. In fact it was a very nice and shady climb not too heavy on the legs or lungs at all.

Within no time at all we were at the top of the now “not so hilly section” and were turning the corner to the side entrance of the Majestic Priory Park, this is where it all happens, this is when you know you have almost completed a half marathon because on the day you will be greeted by hundreds of cheering people all urging you on the last few balloon and ticker tape filled yards to the finish line.

Well we talked and ran, David told me about a fantastic new children’s race which is also taking place and will help to get kids fit and have fun…………Yes I had a very pleasant morning starting out running with a stranger and finishing with a friend.

Daren Elliott, Husband, Father, Runner…………in that order!

Simply Sports Socks

Simply Sports – Planning your run, wholesale.

With every running event you get a build up in excitement and the nearer the day of the run the more the nerves are jangling and the greater need to address those last minute details. Do I need new socks, have I got enough Gels, checking what time must I leave for the tenth time! It’s what we all go through as runners every time. It is the same for us at Simply Sports, with every event we get to enjoy our customer’s feelings and it is a great buzz for all the staff.

However, our preparations start over 9 months earlier when we plan and place orders for the following season. Yes it is that far ahead, 2016 is done and dusted and we are now working on 2017!

Even something as simple as socks are ordered well in advance and might involve a meeting in Munich at the Sports Trade fair, trips to London and Birmingham to see various suppliers, we go through the same process of choosing our socks except that the numbers are slightly bigger and we have to travel a bit further. Oh and once we sign on the dotted line there is no changing our mind, we are committed so have to get it right.

As race day nears, whether it is a local Parkrun or the London Marathon we make sure we monitor on a daily basis our stock of the essentials and with the Run Reigate Half marathon and 10K we have even more focus with the race packs. For Run Reigate the excitement is fantastic, we feel every nerve, every twinge that our customers tell us about and the wonderful community spirit that this event creates, our staff love it and always ask months ahead if they can work during the lead up and on the day of the event.

Afterwards, we take stock, are we happy with our performance, did we enjoy it as much as last year and most importantly how did our customers get on. For weeks afterwards we hear tales of the day, the tough bits the atmosphere and then it is on to the next event.  There is nothing like a great local event and Run Reigate is one of the best in the country, officially one of the best!

Then the phone rings and it is Alex Wilson of Hilly Socks asking to book an appointment to go through our sock requirements for 2017! Now where did I leave that crystal ball?

Adrian Pointer – Simply Sports, Reigate


Angie Stewart  |  Beverly Hills Ambassador

How can yoga benefit runners?

“If I were given £1 for every time someone has told me ‘I’m not flexible enough to do yoga’ I would be a millionaire by now”, says Catherine Jaschinski, a Reigate-based yoga and mindfulness teacher. Here she explains how yoga can help runners. 

Honestly, as a yoga teacher I find it totally perplexing when I hear this [‘I’m not flexible enough to do yoga’] because it is so much more than flexibility. And for runners, yoga offers a vast range of benefits that can be accessed as and when they are needed.

I have run pretty much all my life, in fact, my mother said that as soon as I could walk, I ran!  And I still love running; whether it be as part of a sport or just for the pure joy of getting out of the house and exploring my surrounds or challenging myself to run crazily long distances… it makes me feel alive and free (most of the time!).

For most of the years that I have been running, I have also practiced yoga, and I am not naturally flexible.  There is no doubt that the stretching element of yoga has helped to keep my body more mobile than it would ordinarily have been, but I have discovered that it is surprisingly good in other areas. Let’s have a look at just a few of them.

Strengthening benefits

Yoga does include stretching, but we also need to contract supportive muscles to create balance. Many of the muscles that are not used in running can be strengthened by yoga.

Take, for example, the upper body.  Research is starting to show that the optimal arm position is with the elbows bent 90 degrees, close to your ribs with your arms swinging back and forth along the sides of your body (this may sound obvious but not everyone runs like this!).  It takes strong arm, shoulder and back muscles to swing the arms in this fashion and yoga postures such as ‘downward dog’, ‘plank’ and ‘dolphin’ strengthen the whole upper body.

Core strength is also improved with yoga. A strong, stable core doesn’t come from doing thousands of sit-ups; it comes from positioning the body so that it develops balance and stability by challenging all of the torso muscles. Standing balances such as ‘tree pose’ and ‘eagle pose’ are great at this, as well as many balancing lunges where the arms are raised above the head, or are twisting to the side of the body.

Taking out injury insurance

One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of runners who are totally passionate about yoga are those people who have been running for many years, have incurred a lot of injuries and have then realised they need to look after their body better if they want to continue to run. Yoga can be seen as an insurance policy for runners – you may still have injuries but you are less likely to get them, and, if you do, you are more likely to recover more speedily. I have certainly found this to be the case in the limited times I have been injured.

On my Yoga for Runners workshop I cover the most common injuries and identify which postures will help to prevent these injuries.

Body awareness

When running, we are used to persevering and pushing through to a longer distance or faster time. Sometimes we do this at the expense of our body and, if we do it often enough, we may injure ourselves.

Yoga can teach us how to listen to our body, and this may mean going a bit slower or being gentler. This ability to know when to pull back, as well as when to push through, can help us to respect our bodies and, ultimately, be a better runner.

Catherine’s next Yoga for Runners workshop is on Wednesday 9 September 7.30–9.30pm in Reigate.

If you’re interested in taking part, please contact Catherine Jaschinski, Illuminate Consulting Ltd, on 07801 045 905 or email 

Jo Davies sport psychologist

Mind over matter: Sport psychology for runners

How can mindset improve your running performance? Sport psychologist Jo Davies explains how to channel your brain power to optimise your final weeks of training and race-day focus.

As you are reading this, you have probably already dedicated hours of physical training for the Reigate half marathon or 10k races. Following a training schedule, improving your technique and stamina, and consulting nutritional and/or medical advice have likely been key ingredients in your race build-up in order to achieve optimal physical fitness. But have you considered your ‘mental fitness’?

In recent years, a major shift has occurred in the application of sport psychology to achieve peak performance. Considering how your mindset can affect – and indeed improve – performance, can make all the difference to your confidence, emotions, motivation, and focus on race day.

Here’s 10 ways to channel your brain power to optimise your final weeks of training and race day performance:

  1. Identify why you’re running. When the going gets tough, either in training or in that last mile on race day, remembering why you’re running can provide an extra boost. Consider your key motivation – be that a special person or cause, to make your family proud, or simply that self-satisfaction when you cross the finish line. Know the reason you are there, and use this reason to spur you on.
  2. Select a range of goals for race day. Some common goals to consider are your race time and your finishing position. However, these goals can seem awfully far away at the start line. To improve motivation and focus throughout the race, it can be helpful to break these larger goals into smaller stepping stones or ‘process goals’. For example, you might aim to hit the three-mile mark feeling a certain way or within a specified time, or have goals around your splits, technique, breathing, or staying with the pacer. One goal might simply be to enjoy the scenery! These process goals will increase your chances of enjoying the race and being satisfied with your performance.
  3. Don’t try to control the ‘uncontrollables’. There are a number of training or race-day elements that are outside of your control. Perhaps the weather will be wet and windy (it will be September after all!), an old injury raises its ugly head, or a busy work schedule gets in the way of a couple of training runs. If you cannot control or change these elements, it is best to simply accept the situation for what it is, and focus on something you can control (another reason why having several goals can be useful). Perfection is not needed to complete the run, and is an unrealistic aim in any case!
  4. But do plan your ‘controllables’! That old adage ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ rings true here. Having a plan in the build up to your race and on the day itself will help you feel in control and confident. From organising your dinner the night before the race, packing your kit, checking the course, to strategising the race itself; these are all areas that you can plan so that you arrive at the start line feeling ready to run.
  5. Recognise your sources of confidence. Think back to previous training runs and competitions… What has helped you to feel confident? The confidence sources that you identify might be anything from great training runs or warming up well, to eating a good breakfast or surrounding yourself with helpful people. Once you have identified these sources, you can put them in place for race day and, in doing so, take ownership of your confidence.
  6. Rehearse your ideal performance. Imagery is a brilliant way to mentally rehearse how you want to approach and react to various challenges within the race. When we imagine performing a specific activity (such as running up a hill), scientists have identified that very similar brain activity occurs as when we physically perform that same activity. Essentially, imagery creates a ‘mental blueprint’ that primes our reaction to a real-life situation. For instance, imagining the senses associated with a hill climb (eg, seeing the hilltop, hearing your feet meet the ground, feeling fatigued) and your ideal reaction to that situation (eg, gritting your teeth, keeping your head up and digging deep) will prime this reaction when you encounter a hill on race day. You can also use imagery to form strategies. For example, imagine how you will react if you find yourself at the front, middle, or the back of the field at various points in the race.
  7. Reframe the pain. Negative thoughts (such as “this is too hard!”) can make your shoes feel heavy! What’s more, wishing pain or fatigue away will only draw attention to it. Build your awareness of your ideal race pace and how your body responds to it in training. It is likely that you will feel discomfort at times. You can then acknowledge these physical sensations during the race as helpful feedback such as: “This is my body’s way of telling me that I am running at my race pace.” Once these physical sensations are reframed as feedback, you can disconnect from them and shift your focus to other things such as your race plan or helpful head chatter (see number 9). Of course, I refer here to the normal sensation of discomfort that comes with prolonged exertion, which should be distinguished from injury pain that needs attending to.
  8. Break the race down. If fatigue takes over, it can be useful to break down the miles ahead into much smaller chunks. Just focus on the kilometre or mile you’re in, or pick a landmark to aim for. However tired you are, you can be confident of running a single mile, and those miles and landmarks will soon add up, bringing the finish line closer.
  9. Encourage yourself. Consider what encouragement you respond best to. Would you rather have a friendly, cajoling ‘inner voice’ praising your progress, or take a straight-talking taskmaster approach? This preference can influence what self-dialogue you use throughout the race to motivate yourself, also known as your ‘helpful head chatter’. During your training runs, experiment with different words or phrases to keep you in a motivated and focused mindset, such as ‘Yes I can”, “What goes up must come down”, or power words such as ‘tough’ or ‘strong’. Gradually, you will find various helpful phrases or words that you can plan into your race.
  10. Debrief. Chances are, the positives of the race will outweigh the negatives and you’ll be back for more! An essential part of debriefing – in both training and competitions – is to recognise: (a) what went well, and importantly why (what were your ingredients for success); (b) what your improvement points are, and; (c) an action plan for your next training session or race (what do you want to repeat or change in order to improve). These reflection points help you to recognise successes, are great motivators and, importantly, can fast track improvement.

Jo Davies BSc MSc MBPsS is a Sport Psychologist based in Reigate. Jo works with athletes across a broad spectrum of sports, ages and levels. Individual and group sessions are available on topics such as building confidence, dealing with nerves, performing under pressure, developing motivation, improving focus and endurance, and recovering from injury.

For more information, visit or on her stand in Run Reigate’s Event Village on 20 September.

Here’s Dave Moorcroft, Director of Sport at Join In talking about Run Reigate, which was voted the second best half marathon in the country at The Running Awards. For more info on the marathon or to sign up to volunteer visit

Posted by INTERSPORT UK on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dave Moorcroft appeals for Run Reigate volunteers

As Run Reigate is set to be bigger than last year, we need even more people to volunteer a little of their time to be Racemakers on the day of the event (20 September).

It’s a fun and rewarding experience with a great sense of camaraderie and a great way of giving something back… but don’t just take our word for it – this interview with running legend Dave Moorcroft in Running Fitness credits the thousands of volunteers “all of whom played more than a little bit of a part in my career” and talks about Intersport’s Run Reigate event.


Race Ambassadors Dave Moorcroft and Shireen Bailey

You can also catch him on video here talking about Run Reigate at Reigate’s Simply Sports shop appealing for you to lend a hand on Race Day.

Moorcroft, who is on a mission to get Britain more active, is also Director of Sport at Join In, the nation’s charity for local sports volunteering (and a London 2012 legacy programme) who we’ve partnered with to help recruit new volunteers.

Research shows that volunteering in sport by sharing our time and experience makes us happier, gives us more self-esteem, a sense of purpose and helps us learn new skills and make friendships.

So what does volunteering at Run Reigate involve and who are we looking for to help us? You can opt to become one of 3 levels of volunteer:
  • Racemaker – We need lots of these – more than 300 volunteers. From handing out medals and bananas to being a route marshal responsible for guiding and encouraging runners, there’s a role for everyone. You can opt to volunteer in groups, request to be with family members or marshal certain parts of the route.
  • Team Leader – We’re looking for 20 – you’ll be responsible for managing up to 12 Racemakers and you’ll need to be available for training on the morning of 19 September. This will involve first aid and radio training and you will be taken around the route by your Zone Supervisor.
  • Zone Supervisor – We need 6 in total, ideally with previous events management experience. You’ll be confident enough to manage 40 people and a dedicated section of the race route. You will be fully trained on the morning of 5 September.

As a thank you to all our volunteers, you’ll qualify for a free place for next year’s 10K or half marathon for yourself or a friend.

Each new volunteer makes a huge difference and you’ll be benefitting the community by supporting our runners and promoting active, healthier lives. So please show you care about your local area by investing your time – in return you’ll feel pride and build trust in our community.

Sign up now or encourage a friend or family member!

Former Olympic runner Shireen Bailey with her family and Steve Cram at the Olympian’s Westminster mile earlier this year where Cram won the race and Shireen came 2nd

Shireen Bailey: Why I love Run Reigate!

“Just fabulous!” are the words Shireen Bailey, the former Olympic runner, uses to describe Reigate’s first half marathon event last year.

She believes last September’s inaugural race, which attracted 4000 runners and raised £150,000 for charity has been great for inspiring locals to start running or up their game. “It gave everyone a goal and focus,” she explains. If people weren’t running it, they were volunteering or talking about it! So many people took part. And everyone who’d previously thought they couldn’t run were suddenly coming out to try.”

Clearly very passionate about the event, Bailey describes 2014’s Race Day as “lovely with an amazing carnival, festival-like atmosphere, a local and family-feel”. “I started the event up on stage and I was buzzing! The atmosphere was contagious! I remember talking to a guy working near me who said: ‘Oh my god, I just feel like getting my tracksuit on now too and running!’”

A local resident for many years, Bailey says Reigate and the surrounding areas are so good for running and perfect for a half marathon. Her favourite, regular routes tend to take in Priory Park and Reigate Heath. “Reigate is so pretty – especially around the park at the start and end of the race – and there’s so many nice restaurants to choose from to go to afterwards!”

Bailey, who now runs individual and group coaching sessions at Nutfield Priory’s Running Club, says she has seen a growth in local running clubs and this has helped running to become more fun and sociable.

“When I started coaching 20 or so years ago, I was the only one in the area doing it but now there’s several,” she notes. And she’s pleased that running is appealing more to older people than before: “More people than ever are realising that you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to run!”

Former Olympic runner Shireen Bailey with family and Steve Cram at the recent Westminster Olympian's Mile - Cram won the race and Shireen came 2nd
SIMPLY THE BEST… Shireen Bailey with family and fellow Olympic runner Steve Cram at the recent Westminster Olympian’s Mile – Cram won the race and Bailey came second

So what inspired Bailey to start running? She credits her PE teacher following a ‘brilliant’ report at her school open evening. “I was just glad to be good at something, she jokes!” She was just 12 at the time and shortly afterwards joined Croydon Athletics Running Club where she tried out for an 800m race.

“My parents knew nothing about running”, she laughs “and gave me a huge roast dinner and syrup sponge pudding before the race. My dad’s only advice was: ‘Never let a leader get a few metres in front of you!’ So, during the race when he shouted out: ‘There’s a leader too far in front of you!’, I quickly responded by sprinting to catch up but then threw up my whole dinner!” Fortunately, Bailey managed to put her embarrassment to one side, went back to the club and then went on to become an Olympian.

Olympic success

Making the Olympic team was “as amazing as you can imagine” and the proudest moment in her running career. “And so of course was running my fastest time in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea having gone through all the heats to get there,” she adds, bursting with pride. She reached the 800m semi-finals, running 1:59.94, before reaching the final of the 1500 metres, running a lifetime best of 4:02.32. Bailey’s 800 metres best of 1.58.97, ranks ninth on the UK all-time list.

Four years prior to that was her biggest race disappointment when she failed to earn selection for the Los Angeles Olympic Games. “It was the worst moment of my life!” she confesses. “I was ranked No.1 but messed up at my Olympic trials then had to wait four whole years to qualify. I was absolutely terrified in that race; the pressure was so intense. My mum had her head down the whole time and couldn’t watch me but luckily I made the first two. I learned that you can’t let a bad experience put you off.”

She now transfers those experiences as an athlete into her work coaching runners. “A lot of it is mental – I know what they are feeling – I’ve been there… I know what it feels like to work yourself so hard you feel sick. And I’ve learned from silly things I’ve done like overtraining and burning out and can make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Bailey is not a fan of generic plans – only tailored plans designed to push the individual. “I’m not working from a textbook! I know when they are ready or not ready to work harder.”

Although famed for being a middle distance runner, Bailey points out that she regularly ran 10 miles as part of her training sessions to help with stamina and averages a 6-minute mile at longer distances. “At 55, I’m more careful now and tend to run shorter distances, given the level of training I’ve done over the years, plus I’m running and exercising while working.”

So which runner does Bailey most admire most? “It has to be Kelly Holmes – she ran my distances too – for her sheer guts and determination and all the hard work she put in.”

Reigate’s 2nd half marathon and new 10K race takes place on 20 September 2015 – sign up here 

Training advice from an Olympian 

Shireen Bailey answers your questions…

What’s your general training advice for 10Kers/half marathoners?

It obviously depends what you’ve done up to that point. Learning about pace is critical so you don’t burn out in a race; that’s what really makes the difference.

What words of encouragement would you give to a first-timer?

It’s great to try! Take your time, don’t rush and don’t worry about using a watch. I think people are too obsessed with their Garmin watches etc these days anyway. Time yourself but once you do know your pace, go and run and let your body get fitter gradually, don’t push too hard. The first six weeks are the worst for beginners – every step can hurt. Train with someone to keep you motivated and make it more fun.

How can having a running coach help?

Obviously not everyone wants a coach but they are great for the bad times and getting you through disappointments, not just for getting you brilliant! They know whether you are doing too much or not enough, help you get to know your body and listen to your breathing. It’s not about standard training programmes.

What does a coaching session involve?

Training is specific and tailored to the individual or group. Typically, I’ll take someone who has been running the same pace and same route. I’ll introduce fartlek training and interval training – a watered down version of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – which I’ve been doing for about 30 years! There’s always a proper warm up and cool down. They dread and love it all at the same time. I work them hard!

What advice would you give to more experienced runners looking to smash their PB?

First, I’d ask whether they are doing enough training. It needs to be a mixed bag of strength, hill and fartlek training – working at 70% or 90% of maximum heart rate. Make sure you’re not overtraining. Having enough rest days to recover is really important too as you are doing microscopic damage.

How important is speed training?

Very important as you need to push your lactate threshold (the exercise intensity at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood stream). Less mileage is needed if you do a mix of training – that’s what my coach believed and so do I.

How can you stay focused?

The race does that for you, it gives you a goal.

How can you fit runs into busy schedules?

Obviously it depends on your working patterns and days off but going for longer runs early in the morning or on days off and squeezing in interval training in the evenings is usually more manageable.

Tips for a great finish?

Think of the camera, looking good, and all your friends and family smiling as you sprint to the finish!

Gary Maytham, Consultant Vascular Surgeon

North Downs Hospital Vascular Consultant takes up the Run Reigate challenge  

I’m Gary Maytham, and I am a Consultant Vascular Surgeon who offers a vascular service at North Downs Hospital. My NHS consultant practice is at St George’s Hospital in Tooting. I specialise in venous disorders, complex vascular access for renal dialysis patients, and peripheral vascular disease. My practice includes the management of varicose veins. I am also a regular officer in HM Armed Forces.

Why have I signed up for the RunReigate half-marathon? Well, quite unexpectedly, Nicola, the Marketing Manager at North Downs Hospital, asked if I was a runner. She was looking for one of the consultants to take part. I replied I was. And the past tense is probably correct… Read More