Great North Run 2013

Come one, come all; everyone welcome on this year long build up to the GNR

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18/02/2013 at 22:19

Hello all!

What a great thread, I have really enjoyed reading the stories on here - so much so that I've decided I must try this for myself.  I was originally aiming to focus on improving my 10K times this year but the wonderful stories motivated me to not be such a baby and go for it! I'm aiming for 1:50 - 2:10 anything in that bracket will suit me fine, but it would be extra nice to get under that 2 hour mark!

I got my place courtesy of the RNLI - a charity that I like to support due to being a frequent sea user (but thankfully never needed their assistance).

I have a question for you regulars - I'm looking for accommodation, somewhere nice so I can stay with the family (Wife, 6yo daughter and currently gender unknown baby no2  )Friday to Monday and make a proper weekend of it, ideally with easy access to the race.  I heard from a friend that getting back to Newcastle after the race can be a nightmare - so would getting a hotel closer to South Shields be a good option? I've never been to the Newcastle area so any advice for hotels and other activities would be more than welcome! Budget is not too much of an issue as long as the quality of the hotel justifies the price

Thank you all and three cheers for white noise!

19/02/2013 at 07:19
Bearsted Plodder wrote (see)
Decided against the run session tonight as not fully over head cold - did an hour of Core Exercises instead and glad I did as feel good for it

Do you ever do the Plank as part of your core exercises, BP?  I've heard it's really good for you, and seems really simple, but it's so flipping hard!  I get to just over a minute and a half and then collapse on the floor.

Welcome, SoreCalf (I hope you don't still have a sore calf ).  Where are you from?  What are your 10k times at the moment and do you have any races coming up?

All the very best luck with getting accommodation. Being a local, I'm probably not the best person to advise on how to secure somewhere to stay on GNR weekend, but hopefully there'll be others along soon with some suggestions. I think that places fill up very quickly but there'll still be places out there *fingers crossed*.

Yes, getting back into Newcastle after the race can be a pain (unless you're prepared to just spend the afternoon in Shields and wait for the queues to die down) so staying in South Shields might be preferable.  No matter where you stay though, the area is well served with a good metro line which runs all the way from S Shields to Newcastle (and another metro line from Sunderland to Newcastle so you could consider Sunderland if you're struggling).

The question of getting a place to stay is one of the most common questions on here.  Good luck, and feel free to ask anything.

19/02/2013 at 08:02

Shielsy - yes I do use the plank - I do 10 reps of 1 min with 1 min recoveries. I also do 5 reps of 45 seconds with one leg held out straight in plank position. So I am not trying to hold for longer than 1 minute but still holding the position long enough to benefit. I have found it has helped my balance. I think my recent issues with ITB have been of a consequence of neglecting my cores recently.

19/02/2013 at 08:03

Welcome Sorecalf - you will really enjoy the race. I am also not one to speak to about accomodation as we have relatives we stay with but remember the metro syatem and you can stay further out than you think

19/02/2013 at 11:18

Thanks for the welcome

Shielsy - I'm from North Wales, just outside Chester.  I've been running for just under a year.  Running has helped me transition from a 17.5 stone pile of lard who's idea of excercise was lifting pints to a slightly smaller figure of just under 14 Stone. I still have more weight to lose (about 10kg more should do it), but now my motivation is more about getting faster times than anyhting else.

I've done about 7 10K events so far with times ranging from 0:55 to 1:08, all of the events have been resaonably hilly they don't seem to do flat races around here! I also did my first fell race on new year's day, it was crazy, 9.5km through mud, rocks, ice cold streams and very slippery grass banks, in my road shoes (a mistake I've now rectified with the awesome inov8 roclites) it took me 1:23 which sounds slow but considering my friend who does sub 35 min 10k took 55 minutes, I was quite pleased. 

I'm aiming to do a minimum of 1 race per month this year, more if I can - I've discovered that racing is really where it's at for me I love doing them and it keeps me focused with my training.

I entered the Cardiff half last year but had to pull out because I stupidly damaged my right calf muscle by increasing my training distance too quickly, I jumped from training runs of 5-10K to runs of 10-16K and because the 15k runs felt quite good at the time, I ignored the gradual build up of stiffness in my right calf until one night, walking down stairs at home, there was an audible pop and excrutiating pain.  It took me three months to fully recover, a mistake I really don't want to repeat.

On a more positive note, I did enjoy the longer runs and after my longest run of 16k I still felt that I had plenty more left in the tank so I'm quite confident that I can do the distance, but not so confident of reaching my target of sub 2 hours, but I feel that I must aim high though - otherwise I'm prone to lazieness!  If I had to do a half tomorrow, I think I'd probably come in at around 2:15 so I need to shave off around 15 mins in 7 months.

My next event will probably be the postponed Blymhill 10K on 2nd March, also on the calendar are Wrexham 10K. Vale of Clwyd 10K, Bangor 10K and Abersoch 10K - I'm always on the look out for more races so suggestions are very welcome!

19/02/2013 at 11:24

Sorecalf - well done on the weight loss that is tremendous. Keep up the hard work in training and you will get that sub 2 hour half time. training on slightly longer distances than the 1/2 distance say 2 months out from race will help - it will train your body to get used to the feling of the full distance. Good luck

19/02/2013 at 13:18

Well done on your weightloss, SoreCalf, and the training.

It sounds like you should be in with a good chance of going sub 2 hours in a half marathon, given your hilly 10k times ... and there's still plenty of time to go yet.  I agree with BP - as well as your racing, which is excellent training in itself, try if you possibly can (injuries notwithstanding) to train over the distance, so that you get used to running tired and improve your endurance.  It's not necessary for finishing a half marathon, but if you're after a certain time it can help.

BP - that sounds a tough core session.  I've never tried plank reps, but I'll give them a go.  God knows what I look like.  I've seen people do them with one leg and one arm outstretched and frankly I think I'd just topple over.

19/02/2013 at 13:19

Meant to add:  this thread is very quiet at the moment, but does get a lot busier as the GNR approaches.


19/02/2013 at 13:39

Hi, in September I asked for advice on how to get my time down and hills and speedwork were suggested. I've been out all winter running up all the hills in Newcastle that I can find and sprinting(ish) along the Quayside. Ran in to Newcastle from East Boldon this morning for my first longer run of the year - 4 mins slower than last year! More hills, more sprinting, more long runs - yippee.

Seriously, fantastic run in this morning, blue sky, little wind and just a bit nippy - not looking forward to the Metro ride home tonight, as I've just realised I have no coat - so it's a choice of damp, smelly running kit or being a bit cold!

I am signed up for the Half Marathon of the North, Blaydon Race and GNR. Will do the Pier to Pier and Gateshead 10k as well.

Sore Calf - I'd move quickly on accommodation, I just had a quick look for the usual Newcastle hotels and they're all showing as full. I live local, so have never tried any of the local hotels. The Metro system is good for getting to the start of the race and away at the end, I think that you can pre-purchase a ticket for race day. The Metro gives you a wider range of places to stay and if you and your family are driving up, then you have flexibility to visit places during the week. It's a great county.

19/02/2013 at 16:30

Sore Calf - welcome to the thread and well done on your weight-loss. Re Accommodation....expect to pay the earth then you won't be too shocked. As you are travelling with your family, I'd be tempted to secure something where you don't have to pay up front and can cancel at the last minute ( do that, I believe) then keep your eye on here in the weeks leading up to the day, as there are usually a couple of people who offer their rooms out as if they get injured and can't run. There is also the option of Nirvana who cater for familes and offer race transfers, but again - you will pay the earth. Good luck.

Hello to everyone else, I've only skimmed back and can see loads of cracking efforts from everyone which is really putting me to shame. I did think about running today but ended up doing a load of gardening instead as its so lovely outside. Oh well, there's always tomorrow!

19/02/2013 at 19:28
Hi all,

Thought I'd join this thread, got a place through the ballot, this will be my 5th great north run. Can't wait.
19/02/2013 at 19:36
Hi brummie
19/02/2013 at 20:00

Evening all - hi Mandie.  Great to hear you were able to get out to work in your garden today.  I can't wait for the weather to improve enough so I can cut the grass - I like to see a nice mown lawn when I open the curtains in the morning.

Club session tonight was 1 mile reps with 2 minute recoveries (x 4).  I was totally shattered afterwards, and can't believe I ran that pace for 2.22 miles continuously on Saturday.  I also can't comprehend how people can run at the pace I was running for a whole marathon or half marathon.

But I'm only little .

19/02/2013 at 20:07
My treadmill has a max pace of 10 mile/hr which is slower than Paula Radcliffe runs a Marathon - how is that possible.for me tonight it was a 12 x 1 min at max speed on treadmill with 1 min recoveries with a 10 min warm up mile and a 10 min warm down mile. Then a 30 min core session. Feel good now but at the time well!!
19/02/2013 at 23:53
Sorecalf, I've done this run a few times now and always make a weekend of it at the centre parcs whinfell forest. Nirvana do coach transfers on the day to the start and from the finish. The Mrs and kids not bothered about watching me run so spend the day swimming etc. Great to chill out and relax with a swim and meal out when you get back.
20/02/2013 at 00:49

That's a good idea Richard, we were at Whinfell just before Christmas, my daughter really enjoyed it.  

I'm now not sure if it will be a family weekend or not, so I've gone ahead and booked a hotel in the center of Newcastle - the reservation is cancellable so if I change my mind and go for the center parcs option it shouldn't be too much bother to change it.  I managed to get 2 nights at a place called "Staybridge suites" it seems to have good reviews on tripadvisor - when I checked the booking websites many of the hotels were already full so I had to go for it and hope for the best, I think that waiting any longer would have led to disapointment!

I heard today that I will be working in Edinburgh for a few months, I've never been there before but it seems like there are some nice places to run over there so I'm looking forwards to going out exploring and finding some scenic training routes.

Thank you all for the warm welcome and happy running!


20/02/2013 at 17:45

I've just taken a look at Staybride Suites, SoreCalf ... it looks very swanky.

I'm beginning to wonder if no-one else is running these days apart from me,  OS and BP?

Anyway, after last night's mile intervals, it was 10 miles for me this afternoon after work.  It was supposed to be no quicker than 9.30m/m pace, but after 5 miles I took a look at my Garmin and noticed I was running at 9.08 pace so tried to slow it down but still finished averaging 9.15m/miles.  I need to slow it down, as I'm worried I'm going to wear myself out.

20/02/2013 at 17:50
Afternoon everyone, sorry havent been around for afew days, been a bit busy !

Some good running been taking place, club session for me last night, we did 5 x 1k reps in times ranging from 3:58 to 4:02 with 30sec recoveries, felt really good and certainly feel a little speed is creepinginto my running.

Rest day today and backto club thursday, tempted with parkrun on sat but out boozing on friday nighht so might not happen !
20/02/2013 at 18:14

Good running there, mr sj.

I'm resting up now until the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday (never ever did I think I'd ever be typing that sentence, lol)  which I am dreading, but looking forward to at the same time, just thinking about being a little part of it.

20/02/2013 at 18:24

mr sj and Shielsy good running. Just got back in from a 7 miler. Just like you Shielsy I was supposed to go at 9:24 pace but oh no not me as usual can't keep at that pace and end up with an average of 8:55. Like you I need to slow it down or come Manchester I will be gone.

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