South Downs Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K

Getting to Queen Elizabeth Country Park

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13/06/2012 at 10:13

Daisy - drop me a pm or your email address and I'll reply - don't want to bore everyone else here with my's been a journey.......and not finished yet. I'm by no means an expert but can explain what I've done, what has worked, what hasn't worked and the huge benefits I've seen......

13/06/2012 at 14:46

Daisy, the answer is then for you just to stick with someone who can follow instructions or has done the event before - like me, possibly?

I can vouch for what OG says - we used to run at a similar pace, but now he finishes marathons half an hour or more ahead. Still find it hard to accept it's all down to Chi running - I think it's also partly down to his new lithe shape!

Edited: 13/06/2012 at 14:46
13/06/2012 at 18:17

SDM - its the injury avoidance through Chi that's the big thing for me - I've had one tiny running-induced niggle in almost a year, rather than a torn muscle or an ITB issue or bad knee every 2/3 months.....I'm not even that bothered about the times (although clearly it's pleasing). The lack of injury also means I can train harder for longer, and don't have many breaks of several weeks when I have to rebuild afterwards. The other aspect it's helped enormously with is cramping, which in turn ruined a lot of my times (chi coach believes my problems with this were caused by overactive leg muscles - of course with Chi they are barely used)

13/06/2012 at 19:09
Chi running sounds interesting. Can you point me to any web articles or book titles on the topic?
13/06/2012 at 19:16 is the best place to start, then read the book........then try it........then go on a course........then spend 6-12 months perfecting it and Robert is your mums husbands brother !
13/06/2012 at 21:40

I noticed a few comments regarding the medal for the half, I did the half marathon and am a user with 9:02 events, feedback from them was that they were going to design half marathon medals for next year as they werent sure on what the turn out would be!! I had a mega day, ran in 2 hour 2 mins so chuffed, loved the hills and the atmosphere, anyone taking part in Surrey Slog??

14/06/2012 at 09:25

OG, seems incredible to talk about rarely using leg muscles in a running context but, having read the book, I know this is so.

Rachael, well done and no, although I've done quite a lot of runs over the Surrey hills, incl the Punchbowl and Winter Tanners marathons. Btw I didn't know Mike Gratton was that slow!

14/06/2012 at 09:39

SDM - would be interested to know what you think (of the logic) now you've read the book........

14/06/2012 at 09:40

Interesting comments regarding Chi Running. I too try my hardest to practice Chi in my running. Don`t think I`ll ever be barefoot thou.

I have been twice to Michelle`s workshop in Twickenham - worth the money. I have the CD on the ipod & often refer to the sections of the book. I think the DVD is a guide too as so visual.



14/06/2012 at 09:46
daisydoodoo wrote (see)

Southdownsman - I get lost in a supermarket, I've embraced the fact that I have this amazing gift and enjoy the journeys, unfortunately those with me don't.

I'm trying to go down the chirunning route, as I was getting injured and told to stop heel striking. Would be interested to hear how you've done it, OG. I'm even thinking about going the whole hog and go barefoot. Was going to try and do it very slowly and build it up. But was worried, is it all ruined if I then put on my heavy trainers, as I don't want to decrease the mileage? Just beginning to look into it and still very green about it all. Was impressed to see vibrams and sandals on Saturday - think it is the future 

I've been running in my luna sandals since January (having gradually become a front/mid-foot lander through wearing Newtons then merrel trailgloves).  I've not learnt chi-running or pose running but I think my form is probably not far off those.  I'm a firm believer in  what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another (technique/diet etc), so I try not to ram my views down people's throats.  But saying that I now run up to 90km a week without injury and as a result my running has improved a lot in the last few months.  So worth trying it, but don't over-do it at the start, its a gradual process...

14/06/2012 at 10:22

Absolutely agree 100% MM (I've pm'd DD separately about how long it's taken etc). I also think technique comes before footwear - going minimalist with the 'wrong' technique could end in disaster and even more injury, but getting the technique right in stability shoes doesn't have a downside - can gradually change footwear as you progress (gradually being the operative word)

I've done my first couple of runs in the vibrams this week on the treadmill (to some odd looks from others in the gym, obviously !) - the sensory perception/feedback you get is amazing isn't it ? 

I've stuck to intervals (10x400m then 7x800m the following day, at increasing speeds) to allow me to keep focused on form and think about what I'm doing, but so far feels great (which hopefully means I'm holding the Chi technique OK). Not sure when I'll brave the great outdoors though, or if I'll even move totally to them ever. We'll see.

Mr K - I've only done the workshop once, but did have a 1:1 refresher a few weeks back with Michelle which really focused on 2 or 3 key things I need to work on a lot - already making a big difference

Apologies - probably boring a lot of people with these posts - running simply and naturally shouldn't be so complicated !


14/06/2012 at 10:44
Hhmmm, I tend to run on the army training areas, deepcut, barosa. How do these other races vary in hills to the southdowns? I managed to hills well on the southdowns and have pretty good up hill technique and great recovery. may go over to box hill for a run to try them out. :0)
14/06/2012 at 15:58

Although I have never been a heelstriker, I did try some Chi running on Saturday - when I remembered - although this seemed to entail looking at my feet or the ground just in front. I guess it needs lots of practice until it becomes automatic. I certainly intend to attend a workshop or have a 1-2-1 session with a trainer.

25/11/2012 at 04:36


New here, just thought I'd say hello. I've not run in several years, and not done much exercise over the past couple of years due to unfavourable health problems, but now I'm fighting "fit" and have signed up for the South Downs Half Marathon next June. It will be the longest I have ever run, so will be an interesting few months building myself up to the challenge. I ran a mile and a half a day or two ago and I am still hobbling around.

I needed something to aim for otherwise I would have never got into running, and I will be raising money for the Alzheimer's Society, a charity I feel doesn't get enough coverage.

Anyway, this seems to be a nice forum with encouraging and interesting members, I'll be checking in now and again to update and beg for advice/ guidance.



12/04/2013 at 13:58


Does anyone know what the winning and average times were for last year's race. Thanks.

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