Entries to the Brighton Half Marathon 2018 are now open – sign up to get savings on one of the UK’s favourite half marathons!
Race day for 2018 will be on Sunday 25th February so add the date to your calendar.
Ever considered running for charity? Here are 10 reasons to use your run for good.
1. Raise funds for a cause close to your heart
Using a personal challenge to raise funds for a good cause that you truly care about is an amazing thing. A few pounds from your family and friends can quickly mount up and help a good cause. You could be funding medical treatment for a person in need, a day out for a poorly child, a help line for vulnerable people, access to water for children without, animals who need protection, life-saving medical research, emotional support for people undergoing treatment or psychological support for people with mental health issues. If you are signing up to run an event, you have the opportunity to share your achievements with others who truly need it.
2. Raise awareness of the charity
Money is not all that is important for charities. Runners will often wear a charity vest provided by their chosen charity, many of you will set up a JustGiving page and a lot of you will share your journey on your multiple social media channels. For every person who sees your challenge, someone is learning about the charity and their cause. Raising awareness can be just as key as raising funds, and this awareness could have a long-term impact. You inspire new supporters and new fundraisers, and before you know it one action has triggered hundreds more just like yours. Pretty cool, huh?
3. Get motivated
Let’s be honest, running a half marathon is hard! There may be moments when you doubt yourself and reconsider whether the early morning winter runs, the slips on the ice and the pressure to get fitter are worth it. In fact, we see a huge drop-out rate of runners because they haven’t trained enough or couldn’t brave the brisk weather on race morning. But a charity runner is lacing up their running shoes for a cause, for their family and friends that have sponsored them, for the impact they know they will have on people who need help the most. They are running for those who can’t – what’s better motivation than that?
4. Gain a support network
When that motivation is slipping, we need people around us to support our goal and tell us to keep going. To provide us with advice, tips and opportunities to help us soldier on. Running for a charity means you are part of a team that is supporting each other to achieve a common goal. Many charities have team meet ups, Facebook groups, and regular email communications to ensure you never feel alone on your journey to the finish line.
5. Make new friends
Joining a charity team is a fantastic way to meet new people and make friends. You already have two things in common: you like running and you care about the same charity – that’s a good start! Runners often share training runs and arrange regular meet ups, you are sometimes invited to team events where you can ‘mingle’ with your team mates, and many charities offer access to a dedicated marquee on race day where you can meet other runners and start the race together.
6. Get added extras on race day
Not only do you have the support of your friends, family and fellow runners, but you also have the full support of the charity you are running for. All charities vary in the level of supportive benefits they can provide, but offerings can include a branded running vest, a fundraising pack, regular emails of encouragement, Christmas cards, branded merchandise, pre-event meet ups, race day hospitality, dedicated baggage area (The Sussex Beacon only at the Brighton Half), food and beverages, cheer teams along the course, post-race reception and free photography.
7. Tick off something from your life ‘bucket list’
For many, running a half marathon is an experience they have never felt before – the buzzing atmosphere as thousands of runners wait eagerly at the start line, the roaring cheers from the crowds, the emotional ups and downs of the course, the feeling of determination as you resist the urge to give up, the elation as you cross the finish line, the pride as you receive your medal, the gratitude of a goody bag and a massage at the end! Running for charity enhances every moment, starting with team mates on a common mission, crowds chanting the name on your charity running vest, the motivation to keep going for those who are relying on you to finish, the euphoria of knowing you have made a difference to more than one life when you crossed that finish line and receive that medal for every person, child or animal you fundraised to help.
8. Improve your health & wellbeing
Whether you are running to shift those few extra pounds you gained over Christmas from too much turkey and chocolate, boost your overall fitness levels, tone up ready for summer, clear your mind or just need a hobby, running The Grand Brighton Half Marathon is a great opportunity to reach your goal, whatever that may be. Motivation and support are key to achieving our goals, so run for charity to give you the best chance of succeeding!
9. Feel happier
Doing good makes you feel good, right? And that’s not the only reason running for charity can make you happier. It’s a social activity, and studies have shown that socialising can decrease feelings of depression and boost feelings of well-being. Running itself is fantastic for our mental health, it also combats depression, improves our capacity to learn new information, alleviates anxiety, helps us sleep and can even boost self-esteem. But you need to stick at it, so you need that motivation and support to reap the benefits.
10. Do something different
If we did the same things every day, life would get a bit dull. Fundraising for charity opens up a world of opportunities to do weird and wacky things, tackle new challenges, have new experiences and meet new people. Often winter can be a time we slip into mundane routines of staying indoors, watching tv and eating junk food. Why not make a change this year: register to run for a charity in The Grand Brighton Half Marathon – who knows what opportunities and experiences you will unlock!
By Rosie Hemming, Challenge Events Fundraiser, The Sussex Beacon
Running The Grand Brighton Half Marathon? Here’s the lowdown on how to make the most of your stay by the seaside.
Brighton does eclectic better than anywhere and the North Laines are home to vintage boutiques, cupcake shops and cafes galore. Snooper’s Paradise is a dusty curiosity shop packed to the rafters with memorabilia from childhood and well worth a mooch around if you have any time spare around race day.
Brighton’s seafront has had a bit of a makeover in recent years, with seaside-shabby now seaside-chic. New boutiques have popped up under the arches close to the beautiful Victorian Band Stand and new-ish landmark the British Airways i360 now stands majestic on the seafront, offering views to France on especially clear days. There’s a collection of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs on the seafront. And you can’t leave the seaside without a mosey on the Palace Pier, where you’ll find quintessential British seaside fodder: fish and chips, ice creams and candy floss.
Former Royal residence the Pavilion was a party palace, a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. The building is Brighton’s answer to the Taj Mahal, with opulent Indian architecture on the exterior and contrasting Chinese décor in the interior. It’s unlike any other building in Britain – and it epitomises this eclectic, vibrant city rather perfectly.
Eagle eyes won’t have to walk far to see the statue of local Olympian Ovett on race day of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon – the bronze statue erected ahead of the London 2012 Olympics lies in the race village, a fitting tribute to the Brighton-born runner who went on to break the world record for the 1,500m and mile run in 1980.
Independent coffee shops are thriving in Brighton and Hove and the locals have followed their noses and shunned the big chains in favour of indies producing great roasts. Small Batch has a number of outlets dotted throughout the city, then there’s Flour Pot Bakery, Café Coho, Marwoods, Bond St Coffee, plus plenty more.
You’ll need to put your feet up after the race and Brighton is home to four cinemas, all within walking range of the race village on the seafront. The Odeon on the seafront and Cineworld at the Marina are the places to watch blockbusters, while Komedia and the Duke of York tend to screen art house films. The latter also claims to be the oldest cinema in continuous use in Britain.
Hotels close to race village
The Grand Brighton – 4*
Premier Inn, North Street – 3*
MyHotel – 4*
Seattle Hotel – 3*
Blanche House – 3*
Hilton Brighton Metropole – 4*
Hotel du Vin – 4*
Royal Albion – 2.5*
Umi hotel – 3*
Queen’s hotel – 3*
Ibis – 2*
See more suggestions, including B&Bs, on our accommodation page.
Basketmakers Arms, the North Laines
The North Laine Brewhouse, the North Laines
Brighton Rocks, Rock Place, Kemptown
The Black Dove, Kemptown
The Fountain Head, North Road
Pub du Vin, Ship Street
Earth & Stars, Windsor St
British: Bill’s, Pub du Vin
French: Mange Tout, Plateau
Veggie: Food for Friends, Terre a Terre
Meat & fish: The Coal Shed, The Salt Rooms
Pizza: Pizzaface (takeaway)
Burgers: Burger Brothers (takeaway), MeatLiquor
Pub food: The North Laines, the Bristol Bar, the Basketmakers, The Dorset, Yeoman, Earth & Stars
Sports massage, physio & osteopathy
Sundial, Queen’s Road
Body Rehab, Hove
Back in Brighton, North Street
There are all sorts of nutrition tips out there – some good, some bad. Helping us to sort us the wheat from the chaff is sports nutritionist Renee McGregor, author of the book Training Food.
“There is some evidence that caffeine – rather than just coffee – can boost your metabolism a little. Is it significant enough to cause a huge amount of weight loss? Probably not. I use it with athletes when we’re looking at performance – there’s a lot of evidence to show that using caffeine in the correct manner and in the correct dose can improve performance because it will affect your perceived effort – so particularly at the end of a race when you’re feeling quite tired. Typically I’ll get people to take a caffeine gel in the final 5k at the end of a marathon or half marathon. It can really help you to feel like you’re not as tired and the effort you’re putting in is slightly easier. But in terms of weight loss, there’s very little evidence to show that the increase is enough.”
“This is a good old fashioned myth. There’s very little proof behind it and it really depends how sedentary you are. If you’re quite active then eating late won’t do you any harm – you don’t suddenly start storing fat overnight. If you look at the chemistry, overnight is when you’re fasting so that’s generally when you’re breaking down your stores to use for energy and to keep your blood sugar levels constant. The problem really is if you over-consume calories during the day – if you over-consume you’re going to end up putting weight on.”
This is definitely true. Chocolate milk rehydrates, it’s got the right combination of carbs and protein, and it’s also got the right combination of the right types of carbs and protein. After a workout you’re going to need to refuel glycogen stores and repair muscles. You’re going to need an easily digestible carbohydrate and the lactose and sugar from the chocolate does that. And you’ll need an easily digestible protein which you’ll get from the whey in the milk, so it’s a really good choice.”
“You can indeed use jelly sweets in replacement for gels; it’s very much an individual preference on what you like to take during a run. Most energy gels will provide you with 20-30g of carbohydrate, so you’d need about 5 or 6 jelly babies to get the same amount. I tend to use gels because I find them easier – I find it too difficult to chew while I’m running, but my friend prefers to eat a jelly baby every few minutes to keep her going. It’s really just preference.”
“Yes it can. I would never advocate a pure protein diet; I think you definitely need some carbohydrate in there but a high protein diet will help with satiety levels – so keeping you fuller for longer – and also help to maintain lean muscle mass while restricting your energy intake. Often when you restrict your calorie intake you’ll lose lean muscle and fat mass, but the more lean muscle mass you lose, the less metabolically active you are, so by having a high protein diet you’ll maintain your muscle, which means you’ll remain metabolically active and the weight loss will continue.”
“There used to be a belief that eggs increased your cholesterol level, but actually you make cholesterol within your own body so if you have a very high fat diet and you are prone to high cholesterol, you will make it anyway. Eggs themselves are not contributing to high cholesterol.”
“It can and I do help ultra runners with fat adaptation, but we never ever take carbs out entirely; we periodise their intake. So if they’re going to do a track session, they will still have carbs in their diet. Your body will always use carbohydrate preferentially as fuel and it will use it a lot quicker and lot easier so you’ll be able to maintain a higher pace. It’s the fuel you tend to need in a race or high intensity session. But if you’re going out for a long slow run where you’re not worried about the pace, by all means do it fasted or without carbs in your system – so for example rather than eggs on toast you’d have eggs and avocado, or something similar. Eating in this way makes you become better at utilising fat as fuel. We all have huge stores of fat within us, no matter how thin a person is, and we become better at using that fat as fuel. So when you go into a race situation where you are taking on carbs, although you will use carbs as fuel, your body will also be burning a higher percentage of fat than normal because it’s got used to using fat as fuel as well.
“As yet, however, there is no study to prove that a high protein or a high fat diet actually improves performance – they’ve done studies to show that you can use protein and fat as a source of fuel, but there hasn’t been a study so far which has tracked performance. So far, all the scientists have said that periodising your carb intake according to when you need it can help your body to learn to use fat stores for fuel. It can be hard at first for your body to get used to, but your body does adapt.”
“For some people a gluten-free diet is essential, but others eat gluten-free because they think it’s healthier. But recent studies have found that a gluten-free diet when you don’t need it doesn’t benefit you in any way so there’s really no point in doing it unless you need to. Some people say they feel bloated after a bowl of pasta or bread and they blame it on the gluten, but the thing that most people don’t realise is that for every gram of carbohydrate you have in your body, you tend to store 1-4 grams of fluid as well so you do tend to feel fuller. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got an intolerance to it – it can just mean you’re holding more water, and to a certain degree that’s good because it will make you feel fuller. And if you eliminate anything you don’t need to from your diet, your body will struggle a little when you introduce it in the future.”
Keen to join us on race day next year? Our early bird window will be closing very soon so don’t leave it too late to sign up.
The race date for 2019 is 24th February, so once again we’ll be one of the first half marathons on the running calendar and a perfect training run if you’re planning to run a Spring marathon.
We’re delighted to welcome back The Grand as our headline sponsor again for the 2019 race, and it promises to be another race to remember!
Get inspired with our 2018 race day video…
Congratulations on completing The Grand Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday – despite the chill!
You may be feeling a bit stiff today in which case further massage here at Sundial can improve your recovery. A long run can cause muscles to tighten and shorten and massage works to elongate the muscles, relieve muscle tightness and restore joint range of motion.
Another benefit of post-run massage is to improve circulation. This helps improve tissue healing as more blood circulation means more nutrients to the muscles which reduces soreness and fatigue. The effects are cumulative too, so several therapeutic massages spaced a few days a part brings big benefits.
Sometimes in spite of massage and other post-run activities like stretching and foam rolling the soreness persists. This can be a sign of a deeper injury in which case our physio, James, can help.
Although our laser is also great at reducing muscle soreness a sure sign that you might need a check with James might be if the pain is around a joint and worsens with weight bearing and movement. Normal post-run muscle soreness tends to improve through the day with gentle activity but this will tend to aggravate a more serious joint or muscle problem.
If you are having back pain or neck pain then a check up with one of our chiropractors might be worthwhile. Sometimes running can irritate and stiffen the spinal or pelvic joints especially if your back and core muscles aren’t as strong as they should be. Chiropractic can improve spinal flexibility with gentle joint techniques.
If you have post run aches and pains and some help, then give us a call – we will advise whether you need massage, physiotherapy or chiropractic. Everyone who ran on Sunday can claim a £10 discount off a session here at Sundial.
After months of training and staying clear of life’s indulgences, head to GB1 restaurant in The Grand for a treat you deserve!
When enjoying two courses in GB1, choose either a cocktail or dessert and it’s on us! Show your server a picture of you with your medal to qualify. See T&Cs below.
Terms & Conditions:
James Masterton, physiotherapist at Sundial Clinics, shares his three secrets to prevent running injuries – and explains how to save £50 off Sundial’s Runners Training Package for Brighton Half runners.
As a keen runner myself, I know that running injuries are extremely common. However, being a physio, I also know the best way to prevent these injuries and how to recover quickly if I do get injured. Here at Sundial we believe we have the secrets for staying injury free and we would love to share these with you…
Getting the basics right should be the starting point for any runner. Assessing your footwear and taking some video footage of your running style can help eliminate poor movement patterns and training error that may lead to injury.
Understanding past and present injuries, training plans and personal goals is a great way of preventing injury and helping you to stay on track with your training. A physio assessment will help to highlight range of movement, postural and strength issues that could have a negative effect on your running.
Massage is a great way to improve flexibility and avoid muscle fatigue. A regular massage will allow you to train more efficiently and help you to recover quicker.
Now that you know the secrets, here’s the Runners Training Package available at Sundial:
1 hour physiotherapy assessment including video gait analysis:
30 minute physiotherapy follow up session:
1 hour sports massage with the Sundial massage team:
The normal value of these combined treatments is £149. The Sundial Runners Training Package is a bargain at £99, saving you a massive £50! (All sessions included in this package can be used anytime between the 1st of January and the 30th of September 2018).
To enquire about this offer or make an appointment, please call Sundial Clinics on either 01273 774 114 or 01273 696 414.
Brighton Half 2018 is creeping up fast. From planning your travel arrangements to eating a runner-friendly diet, don’t leave it too late to get set for race day. Here are some pointers for getting race day ready.
Brighton is well connected but we advise you to get ahead and check your travel arrangements now. We recommend you arrive at race village for 8am: the race start is 9am. Trains to the city are often subject to engineering works at weekends, so please do check you can arrive on time to ensure you can drop off baggage and find your start pen in good time. We are aware that the London-Brighton line is subject to works on the weekend of the race, so please do check Southern Railway’s information on planned improvement works.
If you plan to drive by car, Brighton gets very busy on race day and parking in the city can prove difficult. We run a Park & Ride service, which this year has two locations. You can book this in our Shop. Note that in previous years, Park & Ride has sold out, so we recommend you book early.
With the high mileage weeks creeping up, take care and listen to your body. Try to get enough sleep and eat well, with a balanced diet geared for running. Maintenance sports massage will help to prevent any niggles getting worse and treat your body to a little TLC when it needs it most. Our physio and sports massage partner Sundial Clinics have locations in Brighton and London and often run deals for Brighton Half runners.
If you need a steer with your training as we head into the high mileage weeks, take a look at our training page. Our wonderful training partner RunBrighton organise weekly training runs, which can really help with motivation on cold weekend mornings when you need to put in some mileage (the group is also a great way to meet other runners). We also partner with Mbition, which create bespoke online training plans to help you train well for the half marathon distance.
Enjoy the final few weeks of training!
Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, and South East Hampshire and cares for 300 children and young adults.
Since opening in 2003, they have provided specialist palliative care to babies, children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions and support for their families – both at the hospice and in families’ own homes.
Chestnut Tree House helps families live For the Now. They are the hand that reassures, a hug that comforts, a safe port in a sea of life-changing diagnoses and round-the-clock care.
Now is precious moments that give a lifetime of memories, the chance to be a parent for a few hours, rather than a carer, and the opportunity for kids to just be kids, to do all the things that kids their age should do. Now is all about exploring, creating, enjoying and treasuring. And for supporters it’s all about the high of doing something important, something that they didn’t think they could do. It’s about making their own memories whilst making a difference.
Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, and they want to encourage people of all ages across Sussex and South East Hampshire to take on a challenge to mark the occasion, live For the Now and help them to continue caring for local life-limited children and families.
So make this a year for taking on a challenge. For crossing the finish line. For yourself. For local families. For living. For the Now.
Make your half marathon count – join the Chestnut Tree House 15th birthday team today!
Watch the video below to find out more about our work and read more on the Chestnut Tree House website: www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/brightonhalf
We don’t for a minute under-estimate the hard-work, sacrifice, chafing and blisters it takes to complete a 13 mile run… which is why we’re so grateful to each and every amazing person who chooses to run for us!
One of our runners in last year’s event said: “It made such a massive difference running for a charity that were really kind and felt like you valued our efforts. RISE takes on such an important role keeping the community safe from domestic abuse, but it was really admirable how much you also managed to take care of me and the other runners today. It was a privilege to run for you.”
In the lead up to the race another runner was given a £10 donation at a local community meeting in Brighton, by someone who said that RISE had helped her leave an abusive situation and start a new life. Our lovely runner decided to carry this £10 note in her pocket during the race, to give her motivation when she started feeling tired at mile 10!
Whether you’ve got your own place or are looking for a charity to run for we’d love you to join Team RISE. In return we’ll give you:
A staggering 1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime, but RISE believes that no-one should live in fear of abuse and violence. With the help of our supporters RISE is able to offer the following support to residents of Brighton & Hove:
Macmillan’s ambition is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer. It’s a big task and we can’t do it alone so join Team Macmillan now and help us help people affected by cancer.
Whether you’ve got your own place or are looking for a charity to run for we’d love you to join us. You’ll get the best support, have the greatest experience and most importantly every step you take will help support people affected by cancer.
In return we’ll support you every step of the way – our amazing runners receive:
Help us smash our £130,000 fundraising target which could:
Get in touch
We always love hearing from you. Please contact the Running Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 100 0200 if you have any questions at all.
You run the Brighton Half Marathon.
We’re in a race to beat dementia.
Dementia devastates lives. By 2021, 1 million people will be living with the condition. But dementia won’t win. Until the day we find a cure, Alzheimer’s Society will be here for anyone affected by dementia – wherever they are, whatever they’re going through. Everything we do is informed and inspired by them.
Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.
You decide to run for us.
We’re right behind you.
When you run for us, you run with the support of a dedicated team.
You’ll tackle the home straight like a pro.
We’ll take research in a new direction.
By running the Brighton Half for us, we can continue to deliver ground-breaking research. Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK charity funding dementia research into a cure, cause, prevention and care.
£50 could help us investigate how one type of dementia develops by paying to grow one day’s worth of nerve cells in a lab.
£250 could accelerate the search for an effective treatment for vascular dementia by paying for a year’s worth of clinical trial drugs.
£380 could allow a researcher find out more about a specific type of dementia and how we might treat it by studying a person’s genes for a day.
Let’s take on dementia together. Sign up to run the 2018 Brighton Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Society.
Get in touch
We always love hearing from you. Please contact the Events Team on email@example.com or call 0330 333 0804 if you have any questions at all. We hope to welcome you to the team soon!
Over the last two years of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon, Team Beacon has rapidly grown and over 460 runners have fundraised £66,000 for The Sussex Beacon! Thanks to their dedicated support and generosity, we have been able to give specialist care and support to many people living with HIV.
This incredible accomplishment deserves a celebration. That’s why we have listened to our runners, and have made exciting new plans to maximise the race day experience for Team Beacon. With a brand new substantially bigger team marquee for 2018, we can provide our runners with exclusive baggage area, separate toilets, massage facilities, catering, post-race reception and much more – all in one place in the race village! Thanks to our new sponsor Glencairn Consulting Ltd, our runners will also receive their superb technical Team Beacon running vest straight to their door, so they can train proudly in their team colours. Fundraising resources, competitions, training runs and race day information is just a few taps away with our Brighton Half Marathon Team Beacon Facebook Group, where runners can ask questions and share training tips. All runners will be supported by our Challenge Events Fundraiser, Rosie, from the moment they sign up, to the moment they receive their personalised celebratory certificate in March 2018.
Plans are underway for an unmissable cheer squad, to make some noise for our Team Beacon runners on the course. If you, your friends or family would like to be part of the fun, email our Challenge Events Fundraiser at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be in touch with further information closer to race day.
The Sussex Beacon needs you!
Over 100,000 people live with HIV in the UK, a number which increases every day. With daily medication people living with HIV can lead normal lives, however many suffer with psychological effects and HIV-related illnesses, such as cancer and dementia. The complex combination of HIV and related illnesses require specialist treatment. Brighton has the 2nd highest HIV prevalence in the UK, and access to specialist care and support is vital. With a 10-bed inpatient unit, The Sussex Beacon provides 24 hour medical and psychological care to people struggling with a new diagnosis, starting new medication, recovering from HIV-related cancer treatment and dementia, requiring family services and end of life care. Most of all, it provides a safe, comforting place for patients in their time of need. You can help us continue to offer support to those who need it most.
Situated on Brighton’s famous seafront (and on our course route), The Grand is one of the most famous buildings in the city, loved by locals and visitors alike. Built in 1864, it’s a luxury Victorian hotel featuring a day spa and its own seafood restaurant, GB1. It is also a fabulous venue for meetings and conferences in the city, with 13 meeting spaces and holding gold accreditation from the Meetings Industry Association.
As our new headline sponsor, The Grand Brighton will be able to give back to the Brighton community in supporting our runners and their fundraising efforts.
Andrew Mosley, General Manager at The Grand Brighton, says: “We are so excited to be the headline sponsor of The Brighton Half Marathon in 2018. As a business, it is so important that we give back to our local community and show support of fantastic and impactful local events such as the half marathon. It is such a popular race, enjoyed by so many residents of Brighton and beyond, and most importantly the funds raised each year make such a difference to so many people.”
The Brighton Half Marathon’s Race Director, Martin Harrigan, adds: “Our new partnership with The Grand is the culmination of a long-term working relationship and we are incredibly excited that they will be the new headline sponsor for the Brighton Half Marathon for the next three years.
“As a business, The Grand Brighton has a passion for running, and over the years they have shown their commitment to the city of Brighton & Hove and their support for community based events – values which we, as an event owned and delivered by a local charity, find incredibly important.
“For the race team, this partnership is a big vote of confidence in our plans for the race, and it provides a fantastic platform to enable us to continue to develop the event over the next three years.”
Whether you want to smash a track session or build your speed endurance for pacey runs like 5K and 10K, here are 14 speed sessions to get your heart pounding. Mix pure speed sessions with speed endurance sessions to unlock your running potential across all distances.
7 sessions for ultimate speed
If you want to boost your speed for track races or just for the love of sprinting, concentrate on shorter reps.
7 sessions for speed endurance
Longer intervals are the perfect grounding for running longer distances faster and getting your body primed to make adaptations (and get used to discomfort of speedwork) so you can go faster for longer.
Struck down with a streaming nose and itchy eyes? Here are ten tips to stay running when you have hayfever.
“If I don’t manage my hay fever carefully, it can seriously affect my performance on the track,” GB athlete Marlon Devonish says. Despite having symptoms on the more severe side of the scale, the sprinter explains how he hasn’t let hayfever rule his life and he highlights how, when managed carefully, sport can continue when the summer sniffles strike.
Hayfever is a type of allergic rhinitis caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to pollen. It causes inflammation inside the nose and it can affect the sinuses, eyes and throat too. Around 20-25% of us suffer from it in the UK, one of the highest prevalence rates in the world, and you’re more likely to suffer from it if you have a history of asthma or eczema in your family. While there are medications to alleviate the symptoms on the market, there are ways to help yourself too. Here are ten tips to keep symptoms under control.
1. Keep an eye on the pollen level
Make it part of your early morning routine to watch the pollen forecast on TV or check the pollen count online before you head outdoors. There are also pollen count apps which can warn you when it’s a particularly high pollen day in your area. Typically most people get symptoms when the pollen count is over 50, though it varies between individuals. The pollen forecast is typically calculated as:
Low: fewer than 30 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air
Moderate: 30-49 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air
High: 50-149 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air
Very high: 150 or more grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air
2. Work out which pollens you’re allergic to
Different plants release their pollen into the atmosphere at different times of the year so you can sometimes work out what triggers your symptoms and take steps to avoid your nasal nemesis. The vast majority of us – 95% – are allergic to grass pollen, and 25% to tree pollens such as ash, birch and oak. Take a look at the interactive pollen timeline on the Benadryl website to see what trees and grasses pollenate when. Typically:
Tree pollen is earlier in the year, starting in March
Grass pollen is June – August
Weed pollen is released any time from early spring to late autumn.
3. Avoid busy, built-up roads
With fewer green spaces, it might seem strange that hayfever is twice as common in cities than in the country but the answer lies in air pollution. Fumes from cars can trigger or aggravate symptoms so main roads are best avoided. Parks are potent with pollen too so give these a wide berth. So where can you run if your usual stomping ground is off limits? Research shows that air pollution drops significantly 300 metres away from main roads so plan your running routes wisely and choose less built up areas. If you live in London, try running along the Thames path where lower air pollution and reduced pollen will ease symptoms.
4. Make a beeline for the beach
If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, you’re in a perfect spot to beat streaming eyes. Coastal areas typically have lower levels of air pollution because sea breezes blow the pollen inland.
5. Wash away the pollen
Pollen is pesky. It gets everywhere, sticking to your skin and hair and clinging to clothing. Get into a habit of showering and washing your running gear after every run and avoid drying your washing on a clothes-line outside.
6. Run at lunchtime
Plants release pollen early in the morning and late in the afternoon yet these are often the most common times we choose to run, so you may have to shuffle your running schedule around to suit lower pollen levels. During the daytime pollen levels are usually at their lowest from roughly 11 – 4pm so try running at lunchtime.
7. Wear sports sunglasses
If you suffer from itchy eyes, sunglasses will be prove useful, helping to prevent pollen coming into contact with the eye area while you’re running. Wrap-around designs are especially effective.
8. Apply Vaseline to other areas
Besides combating chafing, runner’s best friend Vaseline has another use in the summer by helping to combat pollen. Apply petroleum jelly or an equivalent balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens from entering your nose and preventing a reaction. Be careful of sunburn though!
9. Invest in an air filter for indoors
If you find your sleep is affected, a good air filter can help. Choose a filter which is proven to trap small particles.
10. On high pollen days…
All is not lost: there’s always the indoor treadmill as a last resort.
Running on cool nights and refuelling on ice-cream is what summer running is all about. Stay comfortable on the run with our running tips for the season.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The higher the mercury level soars the more you’ll sweat, the more fluid you lose and the more you’ll need to drink to replace lost fluids. When you sweat you lose salts too and these are vital for muscle function so it’s important to hydrate with electrolytes and not just water. Electrolytes feature in isotonic sports drinks, or you can avoid extra calories from sugary carbohydrates if you choose electrolyte tabs, which you simply pop into water.
Heed overheating warning signs
Overheating can be dangerous. Be aware of the warning signs that tell you something is not right. If you feel ill with a headache or dizziness, have hot and cold flushes, feel confused or seem to be over-sweating more than you should be, stop running, find some shade, hydrate and get a lift home.
Always arm yourself with suncream
A summer essential but not an accessory we’re used to taking on runs in the UK. Buy sweat-resistant (labelled water resistant) sprays or creams to make sure it stays put and apply it liberally all over your body to avoid sun damage. The smaller sunblock sticks are great to pop into small pockets in running gear and you’ll be less likely to forget sunscreen if you keep it in there.
Watch for ticks on the trail
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infectious disease carried by animals such as mice and deer which live in woodland areas. If you run in forest, woodland or heath areas it’s wise to be cautious of areas of exposed skin where ticks could latch on. Public Health England estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year. If you love running through longer grasses and getting in the thick of the trail it’s easy to protect yourself by choosing long tights rather than shorts or capris.
Wear cooling gear
Avoiding clammy cotton tees and picking running gear made from technical fabric is even more important in summer when you sweat more. Look for moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics that are designed to stay cool as the temperature rises.
Entries to the Brighton Half Marathon 2018 are now open – sign up to get savings on one of the UK’s favourite half marathons!
Race day for 2018 will be on Sunday 25th February so add the date to your calendar.
For the next four weeks you can sign up for £35 affiliated (UK Athletics runners) and £37 unaffiilated, so be sure to take advantage of the early bird price.
Stuart Hawkes was close behind in 1:08:43, while Neil Boniface from Horsham Joggers followed to claim third place.
Course record holder and four times winner Paul Martelletti unfortunately had to withdraw from the race following a last minute injury but he joined the commentary team to report on the elite race. Sussex runner Kevin Rojas, also a regular on the podium in previous years, also had to sadly withdraw his entry in the race, leaving the race an open field this morning.
In the women’s elite race, Eleanor Davis from Newquay Road Runners stole the show, taking home a course record in a time of 1:14:26, while Emily Proto from Arena 80 followed in a time of 1:21:27 and Sarah Hill took third place in 1:21:32.
Brand-new for 2017, this year’s event included a Wheelchair Race, with eight entrants from around the UK. Rob Smith took first place in the inaugural men’s race, in a time of 1:14:23, while Yasmin Somers came first in the women’s race in a time of 1:49:05.
Despite the best efforts of Storm Doris midweek, race village is starting to take shape down on Madeira Drive. With more high winds forecast today (before settling down again for tomorrow), for safety reasons we have decided to go for the option of providing a baggage area that is not covered.
Baggage will be in the same location as it usually is (at the bottom of Duke’s Mound), enclosed and secure, but we suggest that you bring along a waterproof bag or bin liner just in case – and of course our normal advice remains on not carrying expensive personal items that might get lost around race village.
See you tomorrow!
To help you get set for race day – and recover afterwards – our brilliant physio partner Sundial Clinics are offering all VBHM 2017 runners a free 20 minute runner’s MOT and 20% off massage before and after Sunday’s race.
Simply show your race confirmation email, race number (or medal after the race) to take part in the offer.
Sundial Clinics have two chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics in Brighton – one on Queen’s Road close to Brighton train station and one in Kemp Town – plus one clinic in London. Find out more and book a treatment here.
Don’t forget too that you can book a massage on race day. Drop-ins will be available, subject to availability, and you can book ahead (up to Friday 24th Feb) in our Shop.
This race day, look out for the brilliant entertainment from our partner The Grand Brighton‘s Community Stage. Entertainment runs from 9.30am — 12pm in front of the hotel (which is close to miles 7 & 12 on the course – see map here). If you’re running the race you can’t miss the entertainment as you’ll run straight past, and it’s also an ideal place for any spectators. Here’s the line up:
9.30am – Introduction from Jennie Castell
9.45am – Traditional Charleston Dancing from Savoy Kicks
9.55am – Learn some moves with the Savoy Kicks with a Mini
10.15am – Bird Studios Stage School
10.40am – Popular music from Will Mavin
11am – Bird Studios Zumba Troupe / Street Dance Group
11.20am – Samba from Marta Scott Dance Company
11.50am – Finale performance from singer Jennie Castell
Please note that all entertainment is subject to weather conditions.
We’re very pleased to announce that Brighton local DJ Norman Cook – aka Fat Boy Slim – will be the official starter of the race this year.
Norman, one of the city’s most famous residents, will sound the starting claxon at 9am on race day to get the 13.1 mile race around the city underway.
A keen runner himself, Norman is very familiar with the 13.1 mile route, as he has run the race on numerous occasions. In 2016, Norman ran for the charity Young Epilepsy and this year he will once again run the race, after his official race starter duties have ended.
Norman commented: “As a keen runner, Brighton local and seasoned Brighton Half Marathoner, I’m hugely looking forward to starting the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon 2017. The race is renowned for its buzzing atmosphere and each and every year the crowd support throughout the route is just fantastic. The race really brings the city together. It’s great to see so many people – especially those new to running and those running for charities – taking on the challenge of 13.1 miles. Bring on 26th Feb!”
Our Race Director Martin commented: “We’re thrilled that Norman Cook will sound the starting claxon this year to get runners on their way around the city. He’s been a big supporter of the race for years, so it’s brilliant to have him waving runners on for their half marathon journey. We’ll make sure he conserves his energy though as he’ll be joining the crowds to run the race himself!”
Standard entries closed over the summer, but runners keen to enter can still sign up to run for charity. But you’ll need to be quick – charity places close on Sunday 29th January.
Rockinghorse are recruiting runners to take part in the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon in 2017 to celebrate their Golden Jubilee and help raise funds for their Sussex Giving for Sussex Children appeal.
2017 represents the Golden Jubilee for the charity – a time for celebration and continuing to make a real impact on the lives of local children.
Rockinghorse intend to allocate 10 centres and services in Sussex each with £50,000 to help them improve, refurbish, and develop their environment for the young people benefitting from their work. By supporting services across Sussex we can continue the legacy of the work of Rockinghorse, enabling them to support children and young people for the next 50 years.
By taking part in the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon and supporting Rockinghorse, we can continue to collectively ensure children’s services across Sussex are the best they possibly can be for our children now and in the future.
James Reilly took part in the Brighton Half Marathon in 2016 for Rockinghorse and raised just over £1,750. Here’s his story…
“Our Daughter Matilda arrived on 11th September 2015, nearly 8 weeks early. It was very sudden which meant that my wife Jenni was not able to get the full dose of steroid treatment to make sure Matilda’s lungs were fully matured before she gave birth. So Matilda had a pretty hard first six weeks in this world!
“Immediately after she was born, Matilda was treated by the Doctors and Nurses at the Special Care Baby Unit, in Haywards Heath, to make sure she was getting enough oxygen to stabilise her before being transferred to The Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton by the Neonatal Transport Team.
“Once at the TMBU, Matilda spent her first 3-4 days in Neonatal Intensive care having been classed as having Respiratory Distress Syndrome. She needed a ventilator and then an OptiFlow machine, both of which helped her little lungs inflate fully and allowed her to get the right amount of oxygen. She also needed phototherapy to treat some Jaundice and a feeding tube so she could grow.
“Later in the week she was downgraded and moved to the High Dependency Ward at The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. It was there that she had her first proper breaths in normal air and we began to think about taking her back to SCBU in Haywards Heath and hoped, soon, to take her home.
“Unfortunately, after settling in at the SCBU, Matilda caught a virus and had to go back on OptiFlow breathing support. She then spent a further 7 weeks at the SCBU as the virus really knocked her little lungs which were already pretty weak. Thankfully, a couple of months later, Matilda was given the all clear and is no longer on the oxygen at all.
“I know that must seem far more detail than necessary but I just wanted to mention all the major events in her life so far and the support she received are because the ventilator, the transport incubator, the phototherapy equipment, the drugs, the OptiFlow, the heated cot, the monitoring equipment, the staff, and all the other bits all cost money. Lots of it and, yes the NHS provide some of this, but lots of it is also provided by charities such as Rockinghorse.
“The whole team of Doctors, Nurses and support staff that work in the Alex, SCBU and TMBU do as close a thing to “God’s Work” as I have ever seen and are supported in doing this by this fantastic Charity.
“The equipment that they provide definitely saved Matilda’s life and made her, and us as parents, more comfortable and so I ask, if you can, please take part in the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon and give something back for what they have done for me, Jenni and our beautiful, strong, amazing little girl Matilda.
From James, Jenni and Matilda”
To sign up to run the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon for Team Rockinghorse, please contact their Events Fundraising Co-ordinator, Hannah Seltzer on 01273 330044 or email Hannah.email@example.com.
This Christmas morning, 124,000 children in Britain woke up homeless. Shocking, isn’t it? By running the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon for Shelter you could help make sure that this year, they have somewhere safe to call home.
Every year, Shelter supports millions of people facing bad housing or homelessness, giving them free and expert advice.
In the video below, you can hear from Kimberley, who talks about her family’s experience of spending Christmas without a home.
The support Shelter gives its runners is hard to beat. They’ll do everything they can to help you prepare for race day and to meet your fundraising target.
As a Shelter runner, you’ll receive:
Interested in running for Team Shelter in 2017? Sign up here today.
Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for Sussex and South East Hampshire. They provide specialist palliative care and support to babies, children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions and support for their families.
They offer a range of services which include pain control, symptom relief, skilled nursing care, counselling, spiritual care, physiotherapy, and bereavement support for families and relatives. They also have some fantastic facilities at the hospice, including a hydrotherapy pool, music room, cinema room, multi-sensory room and specially adapted computer equipment.
A respite stay at Chestnut Tree House not only provides palliative and physical care for the child, but also gives family members the opportunity to benefit from a break from care at home for a short while. If the family wishes to, they may stay at Chestnut Tree House in one of their specially equipped family rooms so that they may be close to their child, but at the same time allowing the nursing team to undertake the daily care. Being able to provide this facility is particularly important when a child is admitted to the hospice for end of life care. They also have a Community Team who provide care in the comfort of families’ own homes.
Families are never charged for the care they receive. It costs well over £3.5 million each year to provide all the care services both at the hospice and out in the community and less than 7% of their funding comes from central government. For the rest they rely on the generosity of the people of Sussex and fundraising events like the Brighton Half Marathon.
Make your half marathon count – join the Chestnut Tree House team today!
Watch the video below to find out more about our work and read more on the Chestnut Tree House website: www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/brightonhalf
Should you stretch before and after a run? Sundial Physiotherapist James Masterson explains.
If I don’t there will be trouble and if I do there could be double, so come on and let me know…should I stretch or should I go?
The great stretch debate has been going on for several years now with lots of conflicting views leaving the average weekend athlete confused and unsure what to do. It’s a question I get asked a lot as a physio;
“should I stretch before or after exercise and what type of stretching should I do”?
This is a quick and simple guide into the benefits of stretching for warming up and cooling down during your half marathon training. At this point it’s probably worth mentioning that there is no one-size-fits-all plan; every individual is different and because of the conflicting evidence on this subject this post is partly based on research and personal experience as a runner and physio.
A study by Simic et al (2012) concluded that static stretching as a sole activity during a warm up routine should generally be avoided, as it was found to reduce power, strength and explosive performance. However, the negative effects were only short term and generally returned to normal after 5 to 10 minutes, these negative effects were also unlikely to occur if the stretch was kept under 45 seconds.
Behm et al (2011) documented that dynamic stretching either has no effect on performance or may improve performance especially when the stretching duration is prolonged. However, the study also went on to say that static stretching used in a separate training session could actually improve range of movement and health.
Confused? Join the club.
Behm et al concluded that:
“Generally, a warm-up to minimize impairments and enhance performance should be composed of a submaximal intensity aerobic activity followed by large amplitude dynamic stretching and then completed with sport-specific dynamic activities. Sports that necessitate a high degree of static flexibility should use short duration static stretches with lower intensity stretches in a trained population to minimize the possibilities of impairments”.
In other words if you’re doing an activity that uses long drawn out movements such as martial arts or ballet then static stretches may be useful. However, if you’re a runner then short low intensity aerobic exercise, followed by dynamic stretches and finished off with a few running specific dynamic exercises is likely to be more important.
In my opinion, stretching is very much a personal thing. I tend to spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up with a combination of light aerobic work followed by dynamic stretches and sports specific exercises. When it comes to static stretches this is very much dependent on how much time I’ve already had away from my wife and kids – If I can get away with it I might spend 5 minutes doing short duration (under 45 seconds) static stretches on all the major lower limb muscle groups.
So to conclude, you can find lots of conflicting views and counter arguments for all types of stretches. If you want my advice, do what feels good for you but don’t spend all your none running time stretching! In my opinion a good balance between warm up, running, cool downs and strength work is the winning formula.
All the best and thanks for reading,
At Macmillan, we know how a cancer diagnosis can affect everything and we’re here to support cancer sufferers, their friends, families and carers from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. From help with money worries and advice about work, to someone who’ll listen – we’ll always be there.
With 2.5 million people currently living with cancer we need your support more than ever. By running and fundraising for Team Macmillan in the Brighton Half you will help ensure that none of these people face cancer alone. Our specific charity places in the race have now sold out, but if you already have a standard place, we’d love you to join us.
In return we’ll support you every step of the way – our amazing runners receive:
So help us make history and smash our £130,000 fundraising target which could:
What are you waiting for? – sign up now!
RockTape’s medical director explains how to apply tape to help banish those little running niggles we all get every now and again. On race day, RockTape will be in race village on hand to tape up any niggles you might have.
Simple RockTape Applications for common aches and pains
A lot of folk involved in kinesiology taping will tell you that tape should only be applied by a super-special, highly trained, jedi tape ninja. (Actual title may vary). They will discourage athletes and members of the public from even attempting to self-tape. I don’t really agree with any of that – and bear in mind I am physiotherapist, tape instructor, and tape company medical director!
I think that in many situations, many people can and should consider self-taping. However, there are some caveats and exceptions that I will mention. First and most important: if you have a pain that is any of the following you should see an experienced, competent therapist/medic.
Self-taping is best suited to those little niggles, aches and pains. The ones that don’t exactly stop you in your tracks but nonetheless stop you moving freely, playing your sport, standing at work. If you are anything like me, and 95% of the world, you know the kind of niggles I mean.
Now before you grab a roll of RockTape and get sticking there are a few things you need to know to ensure you get a safe, effective, lasting application.
This is our X marks the spot application: it’s a really easy, simple method that can be used to treat loads of aches and pains in just about every body part. It takes just 3 simple steps:
That’s it! Rub the whole thing thoroughly all over to make sure it’s well stuck. It takes about 20 minutes to reach full adhesion, so make sure you wait that long before you get too vigorous with your movement!
You can also find a bunch of ‘how to’ video clips here: http://rocktape.net/how-to-use.html
Here are some examples: