Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Big Day

Today we run and we live the Intersport Run Reigate on Vicky´s Brooks Transcend. Our ambassador in the race Vicky Maher, who is recovering an injury, tell us kilometre by kilometre her experiences in her 10K. Thank you Vicky for your collaboration in this month. We are really proud of your job as our ambassador and we have enjoyed a lot with your stories!

"I was nervous. My physio signed me off Thursday as better which was encouraging but I have to keep up the exercises. The weather turned colder this week and I started sniffling. I knew I couldn't afford a cold and dosed myself daily with vitamins to try and get to Sunday. Saturday night wasn't a great nights sleep due to some unkind soul playing music till 2:30 am but I got enough to be raring to go this morning and abandoned my ideas of healthy porridge for a bacon and fried egg sandwich. Two cups of tea and I was set. I walked up to the park passing all the people setting up cones and deploying marshalls and arrived in the park just in time for the announcement that the holding pens were open. The weather was overcast and far cooler than my run of 2 years prior, perfect running conditions!

I am not sure what happened to the warm up but we were ushered past the stage where I caught a glimpse of the lovely Dame Kelly Holmes before waiting for the off. And off we went. I am not good at being slowed during the start of runs and like to find my pace quickly but I jogged along with everyone else until things thinned out. I quickly spotted some friendly faces marshalling and watching on the hill and remembered why I love Intersport Run Reigate, the atmosphere is fabulous! 1km in already and I my garmin recorded 6:04 Not a great start as I like to go off well under 6 min but hardly surprising given the crowd and the hill!

Vicky Maher takes a selfie after running her 10K.

2nd km, now this is more like it, a lovely long downhill stretch. My Garmin buzzed to record at 5:03, much more like it! 3rd km and more friendly faces, still a lovely gentle downhill slope and 5:32. Beginning to feel the push now though, have I gone off to fast? Can I keep this up? Don't forget that hill at the end!  Ooh mummy's house and there she is, quick wave and shout feeling very red in the face and we turn the bottom of the course and start heading back up the A217.

The 4km mark passes in a blur, I don't notice the Garmim buzz because I have water, then my house with my family taking pics and then the lovely St Catherines Hospice people handing out sweets... Mmmm jelly heart! That's enough to have me very happy turning onto the country roads at the 5km mark for the most enjoyable stretch of the race. Trying at this point not to do mental calculations about how much time O can afford to lose on THAT hill. (Losing time will be inevitable!) I love running where it's green and having closed roads means I can enjoy it safely. I'm in my stride now, my legs are doing their own thing and all I have to do it keep my head and my rhythm and hit 6km (5:53) and 7km (5:58). Shoutout here to Reigate Grammar who were on water stations. I had the pleasure of joining them in year one and we had a blast. Their encouragement again this year was epic.

Vicky during the Intersport Run Reigate (Sussex Sport Photography).

Oh no the hill is coming but it's okay, more friends! Simply Sports running club leader Steve (dad to gorgeous boys in my girls school years) runs out to give me a hug and then friends on Park Lane to take my mind off what's coming, I am at 8km and my watch is reading 47 minutes.... I actually do a double take, I could conceivably get a good time if only I don't lose too much time. I am proud of myself, I have run the whole way to this point and I have achieved my goals of enjoying myself and of thanking every Marshall who claps or shouts encouragement to the runners.

I start the hill and am determined to "just keep swimming" which goes well until I hit the very steepest part. I did slow to a brief walk as did everyone around me but there was no stopping me now. I thanked a lady who told her friend "that's the worst bit over" as she passed me and she gave me a big grin. I put everything I had into the run down toward the park at which point Dame Kelly Holmes who I am since told started AFTER the 1/2 marathoners over took us all and ran into the park.
Vicky with the Simply Sports team.

I pushed as hard as I could to the cheering of the Priory Park crowds, with no hope of spotting anyone I may know amongst them, aware that this could be make or break for a time I could be proud of and came across the line at an astounding 59:43.

Chuffed to pieces as my Garmin reported my sub an hour target pre injury had been achieved. My Results Base time then arrived very quickly via text to confirm what I could hardly believe.

I met up with my family and went to see the Simply Sports and Brooks folks and had a pic taken with the Simply Sports team.

Could not be happier. If it hadn't been for Simply Sports I may never have run today as I was feeling damaged and incapable of doing the run justice so thank you so much guys. You gave me a reason to run and now I wouldn't have missed it for the world".

(by Vicky Maher)

Monday, 11 September 2017

Training through the pain

In the text below our ambassador in the Intersport Run Reigate Vicky Maher tell us about her training programme to be ready for the 10K Run Reigate next Sunday. Many runners will be identify with her words because she is recovering from an injury which have not allowed her to train normally. Runners, does this sound familiar? Enjoy with her experience and tips. Just 5 days for the race!!!

"So if you read my last blog you know I am running the Intersport Run Reigate 10k this year. Having marshalled the course last year I got a free place (yey!) and I thought about running the half again but the training is HARD and I've actually never run an official 10k so I signed up for that. I run parkrun every week and my pb is 28:10 so I wanted to get under an hour. Great target and totally achievable, right? But my body had other plans. After running Reigate YMCA fun run in the spring my back started giving me pain until it got to a point where I could hardly move. I eventually went to see a physio (the lovely Wako at Reigate Park View Clinic) and my biggest fear was allayed. It wasn't caused by running. Hurray! No it was caused by much simpler things to give up... sitting at a desk for work all day, housework and gardening! So I was told I had a bulging disc and have been having regular physio and doing exercises to try and get the disc back where it should be.

All this means my running got abandoned for a while but, with my Physio's blessing, I am able to Intersport Run Reigate. I know I won't be aiming sub 60 anymore; but just getting round while I am not yet fully healed will be an achievement.

I was hoping to run the Reigate Athletics Summer 10k as part of my training but I was barely back running at that point so instead I joined the Intersport Run Reigate Team of volunteers. Getting to hand out medals was AWESOME plus I got one of this years very cool t-shirts to spur me on! 

Vicky (second right) with Run Reigate helpers in Priory Park.

My training programme has also been very cut short as until 6 weeks before the big race I had only just got back to parkrun and my back was getting sore by the end so my Physio gave me strengthening exercises including the dreaded plank. 😣 These are apparently helping my core... all I know is by 4 weeks before the race I can manage 8km pain free. But getting out to run when you hurt before you start? That's hard. And I seem to have developed a mental attitude that I can't do it....at least for the first half of my runs. I hit half way and I'm fine but for some reason I am being far more negative than usual so I need to work on turning that around. 

Vicky collecting her Brooks Transcend with Olivia and Adrian.

Three weeks to go I ran Reigate Priory parkrun this week. It's not my usual parkrun and I find it harder than Tilgate (my home run for the last four years) but as my best running buddy Laura has achilles tendon issues and my mum (who started running last year!) has plantar fascitiis, I decided to stay local.  So I got in at 32:25. Not bad but just not enjoying running. Later in the week I got out for a reasonable 8k. My time was only 4 minutes over my ymca fun run time from pre-back issues so that's positive.

Two weeks to go and I opted a solo Reigate parkrun again. ... why is it some weeks are hard and other are easy? This week I felt good, strong and enjoyed running for the first time in two weeks. Result? I equaled my course pb of 30:42. So chuffed. Typically it didn't last though 8.7km in the week took 61 minutes which I am not thrilled with but still determined just to enjoy it on the day. Highlight of the week was my trip to Simply Sports. Race pack collected, beautiful new Brooks Transcend collected, sport bra on order (both courtesy of Simply Sports for being their Intersport Run Reigate ambassador this year) and bought a new running vest too. I feel all set now and can't wait to try out my shoes on Saturdays parkrun :-)

Vicky and her running buddy Laura.
One week to go. Eeek!  Went back to my "homerun" of Tilgate parkrun today (last Saturday). I started running there before Reigate parkrun was started and it's still my favourite course. I was overtaken by the 30 minute pacer before chevron hill (the big one to the uninitiated) which is never a good sign but got a finish time of 30:05. Biggest news today though is I put my socks on standing up and didn't fall over! Sounds daft doesn't it? But I haven't been able to do that for months!

Another big thank you to Simply Sports today too. My running buddy Laura went to see the helpful team there and chose some Saucony trail shoes which should help with her Achilles issues so she was back at parkrun with me today ;-) (Saturday).

So I will sign off my blog today (Saturday), planning some restful runs this week and nothing too long with lots of strengthening exercises!

I wish you all a brilliant Intersport Run Reigate. See you next Sunday!"

(by Vicki Maher)

Thursday, 31 August 2017

"The Run Reigate was one of the best days of my life"

The Intersport Run Reigate is four years in September. We are proud of collaborating and sponsoring a race that is not only the Best Half Marathon 2017 (with fewer than 5,000 runners) in the country, is a 10K, Kids Race and an social event in Surrey that has helped raise in excess of £500,000 in 3 years for local charity partners and hundreds of UK charities. 

But the running races are your memories as well. That is the reason why we are compiling memories and feelings of the race on our social media in a section called "Your Intersport Run Reigate". We started with the article "Reigate Half Marathon recap" published by Anna Smith-James, known as Anna The Apple, in September of 2016. In that 'repost', Vicky Maher commented us her story, which is more than a comment is a life experience and an inspiration. Now, Vicky, who have lived the Run Reigate from different perspectives: runner, marshall..., has accepted our challenge and she will be the Simply Sports ambassador in this edition. Soon, she will tell us our blog how she is training for the 10K and her experience after the race. Thank you Vicky for sharing it with us and for being our ambassador. Below, we reproduce here her full text about her first Run Reigate:

"I ran Reigate half marathon in 2015 and I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life. I had never run a half marathon before and whilst I parkrun most Saturdays stepping up from 5k to a half was hard work. Finding time and determination to train was the hardest part but I am not someone who does things by halves and I'm quite competitive with myself so I wanted to give it my best shot. I told myself I should be able to complete it in 2.5 hours and signed up with that goal in mind. 

Vicky Maher, Simply Sports ambassador in the Run Reigate. 

I remember two of my training runs very clearly, both the only occasions where I have been out running and nearly given up. The first was a run through Reigate town and up to Redhill before looping back home. I was around the 7 mile mark and just thought, I can't do this. I was ready to call home and ask for a lift and then thought no, even if you just walk home you can do it. So I carried on. The second time was just two weeks before the big day and I was aiming for 13 miles. I had run down lonesome lane for the first time and when I got to Meath Green it started raining. Within a few minutes it was coming down really heavily (my Bluetooth earphones never recovered!) And I got my phone out to call my husband to collect me and then stopped myself. I realised I was soaked through and actually it couldn't get much worse. Plus it might rain on the day. I carried on and was so chuffed with myself. 

She was supported by her family an her neighbours during the Half 2015 .

So onto the big day. Wow. I remember crowning Cockshott hill on the way out. There were huge crowds and I saw several people I knew and missed many more. I was already going faster than I had intended swept along on the wave of excitement. I already knew the course quite well having been on a water station the first year and living in Sandcross Lane which is on the route. I loved running down lonesome lane, it's so picturesque. I have to say I was grateful for every gel and water station! Coming up the a217 got quite tough, it felt very warm in the full sun and interminably long. My parents live near sidlow bridge and it was lovely to wave to my mum. She said afterwards I looked very relaxed which amazed me, I felt like I was struggling by then. 

Vicky at the finish in 2015.

The water station by the Beehive was very necessary and as I came up Sandcross Lane my spirit was somewhere beneath my feet. Then I saw my neighbours. They had all come out, my family too and they had put a banner up on the house. To hear them all cheering me on sent my spirit soaring and I knew then I could finish it. Coming into Priory park to family and friends waiting for me was just the best. I had done it in 2 hours 13 minutes and won a bottle of prosecco from my lovely colleague who bet me I couldn't get 2 hours 20 mins :-) The prosecco was fab but the bet itself was a real spur for me to push myself. I will always remember the atmosphere on route. So many people out cheering and clapping, kids on driveways handing out jelly babies (lifesavers!). They all adsed to a superb atmosphere and made me proud to live in Reigate. Last year I marshalled and this year I will run the 10k for the first time. Unfortunately I am struggling with an injury so I am not pushing for a fast time but I am determined to be fit enough to get round. I can't wait to be part of Run Reigate again". 

by Vicky Maher (Twitter @VixThatRuns)

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Brooks Glycerin 15 or running with pillows under your feet

Brooks has decided to take another step forward in his particular search for the perfect cushioning in a running trainers. Cushioned, comfortable and soft could be the keywords for the Brooks Glycerin 15, released recently around the world and now available at Simply Sports.

Brooks has choosen “the ultimate super soft ride” as slogan for the new Glycerin 15. But, where is this supreme comfort on the shoe or, in another words, what's so special about this model?

The American running company inform that the “super soft cushioning” comes from the Super DNA midsole, which provides 25% more adaptable cushioning than the standard DNA midsole.

But it is not only more cushioning, the transition zone is smoother from heel to toe and the upper has the ability to move and expand with the stride thanks to 3D Fit Print technology. As additional benefits, Brooks highlights “Ideal Pressure Zones evenly disperse impact away from your body for an effortless ride. Air Mesh with four-way stretch expands with your foot and provides maximum ventilation”.


Support level: Neutral
Midsole drop: 10 mm.
Surface: Road
Weight: 300.5 gr. (Men) / 260.8 gr. (Women)
Midsole: Super DNA and full-length cushioning with Omega Flex Grooves
Outsole: Ideal pressure zones and blown rubber forefoots
Upper: 3D Stretch print, air mesh with 4-way stretch
Heel: Comfort collar


Running Shoes Guru: "A solid update to an already great line makes the Glycerin 15 a shoe that must be considered for high mileage daily running".
Contras: "None"

Sole Review: "The G-15 is a versatile neutral shoe in the true sense of the word, delivering a plush running experience which is deserving of the high price tag".
Cons: " The outsole durability is worst in class, and the SuperDNA midsole, while smooth, doesn’t deliver the engaging ride experience of other shoes featuring tech like Everun or Zoom".

JackRabbit: "The Brooks Glycerin is known for its premium cushioning and it still offers the same plush running experience with a lighter feel".

Runner Click: "The Glycerin 15 is a relatively lightweight and flexible shoe, despite the amount of cushioning Brooks manages to pack into it. It also provides good support for runners with medium to high arches".
Cons: "The Glycerin 15 is not the most expensive Brook shoe, but it is up there. But keep in mind, Brooks is known for quality shoes. I have already put enough miles in and haven't seen much in the way of wear and tear, so I expect that runners who purchase this shoe will more than get their money's worth".

Coach Mag: "It’s hard to imagine a more comfortable shoe than the Glycerin 15. Putting on them  is like slipping your feet into a warm bath".
Cons: "The grip on wet pavements was a bit lacking.

Running Warehouse: "Premium cushioning with plus comfort, the Glycerin 15 offers a few new updates while maintaining the soft, plush ride users have come to love".

Availability: The Glycerin 15 is available at Simply Sports (Reigate and Oxted) and Christopher Hull Sport (Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells) in Black/Electric Brooks blue (Men) and in Capri/Evening Blue and Evening Blue/Purple cactus (Ladies). The price is £134.99.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Your Running Swing

Is there really one right way to run? Is it better to be a forefoot or midfoot striker runner? Is it bad if  I use my heels when I land on the ground? There are common questions that runners ask us when they realize each elite athlete runs in a different way. Then, what is the best way to run?

Difficult question that Brooks has tried to answer in an interesting study just focused on that topic. Iain Hunter, a biomechanist at Brigham Young University, analysed different footprints to conclude that each runner strikes the ground in a unique way. Some land on their forefoot, others with their midfoot and more than half of these elite runners landed with heel strike. "Like a signature or fingerprint, each runner leaves his or her own personal mark of individuality on the track". But not only there are differences on the ground, each ankle, knee and hip joint react depending on the runner.

That is the reason why Brooks thinks that now the Running Gait assessment has to be faced from the another perspective. The idea is to go beyond Supination, Neutral or Over Pronation parameters. They call this concept of identifying the unique and highly individual characteristics of each runner “RunSignature".

Each runner strikes the ground in a unique way. (Brooks Glycerin 15).

Brooks remembers that the geometry of our bones, the strength of our soft tissues, and our adaptation skills are all different among us, consequently everyone has a unique and individualistic way to run. Basically, the structure or geometry of our body affects how we move (our bodies are a complex mechanical system: the foot alone has 26 bones, 33 joints, and hundreds of muscle tendons and ligaments).

At this point, Brooks suggests do not be obsessed with changing your running form and embrace who you are and enjoy your run: be confident in the knowledge that you are all running in your preferred, natural manners. “Runners who achieve this goal should see increased performance or efficiency, a reduced risk of injury, provide a healthy load to the body, and be able to stay fit and active”.

The Run Signature is more focused on matching the runner to the shoe, to matching the shoe to the runner. “It is not about correcting runners, but embracing who they are”. The American Running Company compares your singular Running Gait to golf swing. Basically, there is not a perfect swing in the world, the best way is adjust your natural characteristics to you.

Would you like to find out your unique running swing? We could help you. Matt Clark from Brooks will be doing free running gait analysis the 19th of July at Reigate store. There are still places available! Make an appointment calling 01737222781 or via email (simplysportsltd@gmail.com).

The information of this post is based on the Run Signature ebook.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Saucony Ride 10, the every day running shoe

When Saucony unveiled the 10th generation of Ride defined the Saucony Ride as a “story rooted in a rigorous dedication to innovation and endless refinement”.  A decade later, the spirit of Ride 10 is focused on “redefining  the dynamic connection between the runner and the road”. The 10th rendition of the brand’s neutral-cushioned icon, available now at Simply Sports shops, is once again engineered to reveal “a new interpretation of what is perhaps the perfect Ride”.
“The new Ride 10 is all about one thing: the runner,” said Doug Smiley, business unit manager for Saucony footwear. “In comparison to the last 9 models, we could’ve made this latest rendition either good, better or best. Instead, we aimed at perfection. In listening to runners every day, they continue to tell us that light is right and fit is fluid. The new Ride combines the runner-inspired innovations of a high-performance trainer with the highly responsive ride of a track-honed racing shoe. We know that every run will feel like a ‘perfect 10’ in the new Ride.”

The 10th generation of Saucony Ride in grey and black.

Shoe Category: Neutral
Cushion: Moderate
Surface: Road, Track
Offset: 8 mm
Weight: 9.5 oz. / 269 g. (Men)
            8.4 oz / 238 g. (Women)

- Engineered mesh upper for a dynamic, lightweight fit.
- Woven heel piece provides structure and support for a lockdown fit.
- Everun Topsole construction for enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning throughout the run.
- TRI-FLEX outsole design provides greater ground contact and optimal flexibility.

Cushioning and Responsiveness Redefined
The new Ride 10 features a reengineered outsole and midfoot configuration: The TRI-FLEX outsole has been reconfigured for the optimal blend of flexibility and protection. Not only did the designers remove the
SRC (Super Rebound Compound) landing zone, allowing for a smoother transition, they upgraded the midsole compound from SSL (Saucony Super Lite) EVA to PowerFoam. PowerFoam is an injected molded compound that is lighter and 50% more responsive than the SSL EVA, resulting in an extremely responsive feel. Additionally, the Ride 10 features Saucony’s EVERUN Topsole construction for enhanced energy return and continuous cushioning throughout the run.

Ride Dynamics: Adaptive and Fluid
The Ride 10 features a brand new engineered mesh upper that not only provides enhanced breathability, but is stronger and more flexible than standard mesh. Engineered mesh, both strong and flexible, helps to support the foot yet provide an incredibly dynamic, adaptive and fluid fit that moves with the runner’s every step. A woven wrap adds additional structure and support around the heel area.

The shoe’s 8mm heel-to-toe offset positions the foot during impact in a way that creates a greater range of motion for the Gastrocnemius-Soleus-Achilles tendon system, allowing for a more powerful running stride.

Runner's World: "The Ride 10 has a great combination of cushioning, flexibility, and is still light weight,” Bill Harris, a fast masters runner from Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

Road Trail Run: "The Ride 10 is a great choice for the runner who wants one shoe for many types of workouts from long easy miles to tempo and even longer races. I am predicting the Ride 10 will be one of the most popular trainers of 2017". Score: 9.85 out of 10.

Impact Magazine: "A great every day running shoe that will get you the mileage you're looking for on the roads"

Run and Become: Pro: Excellent cushioning, flexible, responsive.
                           Cons: Not great for speed work as the cushioning is soft.


The Ride 10 is available at Reigate, Oxted, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells shops in Lilac for women and Slime Green for men.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Don't celebrate before you win!

Slovenian cyclist Luka Pibernik has been one of the sports man of the week and probably his mistake will be on the top of the year. Poor Luka! When he raises his arms and crosses the finish line because he thinks he had just won the stage five of the Giro d'Italia. Unfortunately, there were another six kilometres of the course to go. Finally, Fernando Gaviria won this stage, but the real hero for everybody was The Bahrain Merida rider, at least on Facebook coments and Tweets.


But he has not been the only professional sportsman that had made monumental mistakes arriving the finish line throughout sports history. Here are another funny errors made, specially it happens in Athletic, when you feel winner too early. 

By just 9/100ths of a second

Runner Ben Payne dominated the Peachtree 10km race in Atlanta on USAS'S Independence Day and only a few metres before the line started to celebrate the victory. This error allowed British Olympian Scott Overall arrive in first position by just 9/100ths of a second.


"It was a learning experience"

I saw the crowd, and it was very loud. I just wanted to celebrate winning in front of our crowd. I was excited about it. But the race wasn’t over. … It wasn’t very smart. But it was a learning experience”, said runner Tanguy Pepiot after Meron Simon won in the last metres of a race at the Pepsi Team Invitational in Eugene (Oregon). Don't miss out his face in the below video.


Nearly wastes over 70 miles of had work

What a fright Ironman competitor Jérémy Jurkiewicz had when he was nearly lost the Ironman 70.3 Brazil in the last second! At the end of the line, the frenchman looked behind him and had to stop Igor Amorelli of Brazil to keep his deserved victory.

Don't forget the power of a backspin football! 

Goalkeeper Loris Angeli forgot the power of the backspin in football and now his performance is considered one of the the worst goalkeeper fails of all time. It happened in the seventh division of Italian football in a play-off match between Dro and Termeno to decide who would be promoted to  Eccellenza. Football player Palma threw the ball against the cross bar and Angeli started to celebrate the fail of his rival, but the football was in the air still. This video has been watched about 3 millions on YouTube:


The unluckiest goalkeeper in the world

Moroccan keeper Khaled Askri is nicknamed “the unluckiest goalkeeper in the world”. Why? Another premature celebration.


When a match is decided in 0,6 seconds

This type of situations happens in basketball as well. The summer of 2010. Croatian Club Cibona Zagreb vs Serbia's KK Partizan. The match was decided in 0,6 seconds. See the Coach's face.


An useless sprint of 80 metres

It is the U20 Vodaphone Junior Warriors against the U20 South Sydney side in Australia. Glen “The Flying Fish” collects the rugby ball and races away. It can be the scoring of his sports career. He is unstoppable. A perfect sprint of 80 metres to the glory, but he forgets to drop the rugby ball.    


Unfortunately for them, they are more popular for these particular mistakes than their sporting career. But they have given us hilarious moments and a life lesson: Don't celebrate a win until you cross the finish line. Ever.

Do you remember another premature celebrations in the sports world?