CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

The best Surrey running events to train for in 2016

PUBLISHED: 12:07 09 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:19 10 May 2016

Never a dull moment on the Bacchus Marathon at Dembies in Dorking (Photo TBC)

Never a dull moment on the Bacchus Marathon at Dembies in Dorking (Photo TBC)

TBC

With such beautiful countryside on our doorstep, Surrey is the perfect place to take up running. Here, Christina Macdonald, author of the new book Run Yourself Fit, looks at some of the many health benefits – and brings us a few of the best local events to consider training for…

Run Reigate takes place against the spectacular backdrop of Priory Park (Photo Tim Cantrell)Run Reigate takes place against the spectacular backdrop of Priory Park (Photo Tim Cantrell)

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2016

***

Anyone can run. Provided you’re healthy and mobile, it’s never too late to start. You don’t need to be thin, and you don’t need to be young.

What is more, running is one of the best ways to burn fat and improve your health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), regular cardiovascular exercise like running can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent, reduce your risk of dementia by 30 per cent and decrease your risk of coronary heart disease by 40 per cent.

It’s beneficial for older people too. A study at Stanford University in California that looked at runners’ heart health found that older runners were at less risk of heart disease than their peers.

It’s also convenient. You don’t have to join a gym or learn a new skill, and you can start at your own pace. What is more, there are some beautiful scenic routes across Surrey, which definitely helps when it comes to motivation!

In addition, there are plenty of great running clubs if you fancy some company, as well as a number of fantastic, fun, family-friendly events suitable for all abilities. So if you want to boost your motivation, it could be worth signing up for a summer or autumn 5K or 10K race and giving yourself a compelling reason to get fit – we’ve listed a few of the best local events for you just over the page.

Even if you’re a complete beginner, so long as you stick to a regular schedule, your fitness will improve swiftly.

Get the right kit

Before you start, though, it’s essential to get fitted for a pair of running shoes that suit your running style and provide adequate cushioning where you need it most. For women, it’s also important to ensure you have a supportive, high-impact, running sports bra.

It’s worth visiting a specialist running shop where trained staff can advise you on what you require. Runners Need has stores in Chertsey and Kingston, and there’s also Alton Sports in Farnham, Fitstuff in Guildford, Simply Sports in Oxted and Reigate, and Sporting Feet in Richmond, to name but a few. You should try out several pairs of shoes before making a choice and it’s worth investing in a wicking top and pair of bottoms, which draw moisture away from the body, keeping you comfortable when you run. A high-visibility top is also a good idea if you intend to run in the dark.

How to start

Many people think they can’t run because they tried it in the past and found it too difficult, but it’s often because the person went off too fast. Running as if you’re sprinting for a bus isn’t the right pace. Even professional sprinters can’t sprint for long!

When you first start, begin with a five-minute warm-up of brisk walking, then jog or run at the speed of chat. This means being able to have a full conversation if you had someone next to you. On a scale of one to 10, with 10 out of 10 being a flat-out sprint and 4 out of 10 being a gentle warm-up, aim to be at a 6 or 7.

Mix running intervals with walking. After your warm-up, run for 30 seconds or one minute, then walk for one minute and then repeat. Gradually build up to running non¬stop for five minutes. As you get fitter, the walking breaks can decrease and you can begin to run for longer. Eventually, you won’t need the walking breaks.

Finish your run/walk session with a cool¬down, where you gradually bring your pace down over a three¬to¬five minute period, giving your heart rate a chance to come down gradually. Afterwards, stretch your legs and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.

Resting up

The next day, either rest or do some low¬impact exercise like yoga, Pilates or swimming. Running is a high¬impact activity, which means your bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments need time to get used to it. So don’t run on consecutive days – three times a week with a rest day in¬between is perfect.

On each run, add another walk/run block, but build the distance up gradually. Don’t jump from running for 15 minutes to trying to run for 30 minutes. Always follow the 10 per cent rule – which basically means not increasing the total volume per week by more than 10 per cent.

Once you start feeling fitter, you may want to set yourself a challenge of taking part in a race. A 5K or 10K distance is ideal for newer runners, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t build up to running a half¬marathon one day.

Setting a goal

As mentioned earlier, there are some excellent local events coming up in Surrey this year, so on the following pages we’ve compiled a few of the best. Find a friend or partner who fancies a challenge and sign up. There’s nothing like the focus of a deadline to help get you fit…

 

***

Christina Macdonald is the author of Run Yourself Fit (Summersdale, £6.99), available now online and in all good bookstores, as well as editor-at-Large of Women’s Running and a Level 3 personal trainer. She’s also a keen runner herself, and has completed ten half-marathons and two marathons. She lives and runs in Surrey. Follow her on Twitter : @writefitchris

***

Dates for your diary

Colour 5K

Date: Sunday May 22

Location: Pippbrook Meadows, Milton Court Lane, Westcott Road, Dorking RH4 3EQ

A great one to do with family and friends, the Colour 5K includes a colour zone at every kilometre, where ‘Colour Bandits’ shower you with powder. Each zone has a different colour. The £20 entry fee includes a free white T-shirt.

Find out more: colour5k.co.uk

 

Polesden Lacey 10k

Date: Sunday June 12

Location: Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham RH5 6BD

Enjoy a 10k run across this beautiful 1,400-acre estate with stunning views across the Surrey Hills. There is also a 2k fun run for those who don’t want to tackle the whole thing. Entry fee: £16.

Find out more: eventstolive.co.uk

 

North Downs Way Marathon and Half¬Marathon

Date: Sunday July 10

Location: Reigate Golf Club, Gatton Bottom, Reigate RH2 0TU

A scenic summer run starting from the Reigate Golf Club and following the North Downs Way trail on an out-and-back course. This route will be a mixture of steep, downhill/uphill trail running, so one for the more advanced runner. All finishers get a race medal. Entry fee starts from £26.

Find out more: hermesrunning.com

 

Thames Meander Marathon and Half¬Marathon

Date: Saturday August 13

Location: YMCA Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road, Kingston KT2 5BH

A flat, scenic, riverside trail along the Thames path with spectacular views and all finishers get a race medal. Entry fee starts from £31.

Find out more: hermesrunning.com

 

Dash of Colour 2016

Date: Saturday September 3

Location: Frimley Lodge Park, Frimley Green GU16 7HY

Another powder-paint 5K race that’s lots of fun and also raises money for the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Entry fee from £18.

Find out more: pth.org.uk/events/dash-of-colour

 

Surrey Bacchus Marathon, Half¬Marathon and 2.5k Fun Run

Date: Sunday September 11

Location: Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking RH5 6AA

We kid you not, this is a wine-tasting marathon and half-marathon with six wine-tasting stations, a post-race barbecue, fancy dress and stunning off-road views. For those new to running, a 2.5K fun run is also available. Entry fee is £46 for the main races and £5 for the fun run.

Find out more: eventstolive.co.uk

 

Run Reigate Half- Marathon and 10K

Date: Sunday September 18

Location: Priory Park, Bell Street, Reigate RH2 7RL

Starting in the stunning Priory Park, this is a closed-roads race of either a half-marathon or 10K. With a warm-up led by British Military Fitness, there is live music on the course along with water stations and a T-shirt for finishers. Entry fee from £27.

Find out more: jellyfish.co.uk/runreigate

 

Surrey Hills Challenge

Date: Sunday September 25

Location: The Greensand Way, Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

People of all ages and fitness will be able to participate in four different running and walking challenges, ranging from an easy 5k to a super-tough 60k, with all funds being ploughed back into supporting this spectacular stretch of countryside through the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.

Find out more: surreyhillschallenge.com

 

 

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 16:06

Education expert Dr Ryan Hinchey, Coordinator of College Counselling at ACS International School, with campuses in Cobham, Egham and Hillingdon, answers your questions

Read more
Yesterday, 11:34

Surrounded by reservoirs and located on the banks of the famous river from which it takes its name, Staines-upon-Thames (as it is now called) is a town working to reshape its future and celebrate its picturesque riverside setting

Read more
Mon, 16:30

She may have recently moved to the seaside, but Surrey still holds a uniquely “precious” place in the heart of legendary children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson – not to mention the crucial role the county played in bringing everyone’s favourite and newly-returning feisty foster-kid to life

Read more
Mon, 11:59

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (23, 24 and 25 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Surrey is full of secret hideaways and hidden gems. Slades Farm on the Wintershall Estate is definitely one of them

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The new hotel is set to open in spring 2019 and will be located in the heart of the vineyard, offering sweeping views over the North Downs Way.

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Having bloomed in Brighton’s restaurant scene over the past decade, The Chilli Pickle opened its second site in Guildford this summer

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019. Here’s how you can get tickets

Read more
Monday, November 12, 2018

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search