Race report: Manchester marathon sub 3:40

Well the last couple of days have been crazy!

Not only did I run a sub 3.40 marathon but I also passed my senior journalism exams! I am still on cloud nine and not quite sure it has fully sunk in yet so if I waffle in this post, that’s why!

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I won’t bore you with my journalism exams; I’ll just get right down to the marathon.  Months ago I decided against running it due to a knee injury. I was gutted but I kept training when I could but at the same time I wasn’t trying to catch up on missed long runs or workouts.

Two weeks out from the race I ran 18 miles in 2.28, an average pace of 8.14 min/mi. I felt great apart from a few aches and it was a huge confidence boost. That speed was a lot faster than my marathon pace but I felt confident that I’d got a solid long run in and decided that injury permitting, I would do the marathon.

Saturday came and Dane and I headed down to Manchester. I’d been a nervous wreck throughout the whole week and had had a really bad tummy which I thought was either food poisoning or a bit of a bug combined with excessive nerves.

I had a great day on Saturday though, I was feeling refreshed having slept for 12 hours on Friday night and got to catch up with some of my closest uni friends. However, my knee hurt ALL the time so to say I wasn’t feeling race ready would be an understatement.

The nerves almost got the better of me as well when I was nearly reduced to tears in Nandos when they told me they’d run out of sweet potato wedges – thank god for their sweet potato mash! #womanontheedge

Anyway, Sunday morning soon came and we drove to the race village along with my friend Jim who was also running.

Dane was a saint and taped up my knee and calves using the ever reliable Rock Tape and I was of course wearing my trusty CEP Compression socks.

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My best friend Liana and her dad were there as well as her mum was also running and I met them at the start line just a few minutes before the gun went off.

Garmin on and we were off! I went out a little bit too quickly on the first mile and vowed to slow down to about 8.35/8.30 pace. However I soon realised I felt comfortable averaging at around 8.25 pace so decided to stick to that.

I saw Dane, Liana and her dad at about the 10K mark and was feeling good. My knee started to hurt like hell at mile 15.5 though when I saw those guys again and I have to admit that it was all I could do not to cry.

The pain didn’t subside until mile 19/20 but by that point it was just time to push on.

The course was fast, flat and the crowds were amazing which definitely helped. The last 10k seemed to go on forever even though I was pretty much maintaining the same speed and I let out an audible sigh of relief when I finally saw the finish line and the huge throng of people surrounding it. Everyone was screaming so loudly for every single runner on that course and it was just amazing.

I put in a sprint finish and finished with my arms high above my head to see that my Garmin was telling me I’d come in at 3.38!

3.38!! I couldn’t believe it, it was a time I had never thought possible for this race! I saw Liana and Dane and thought, shit, I’m definitely going to cry. I toddled off to get my goodie bag (and later my medal which I forgot –oops!), found Liana and Dane and promptly burst in to tears.

Jim had come in at an incredible 3.18 and his brother-in-law Nic had also got a PB of 2.58!! Liana’s mum also got a PB so all in all it was an incredible day and some really well deserved times reflected the hard work people had put in.

I stayed for about another hour to cheer in the other runners and it is so emotional watching people cross that finish line, the pain and happiness etched on their face as well as disbelief of what they have just accomplished –I find it so inspiring!

The bit of bling we got is huge as well and the goodie bag is full of healthy treats as well as some naughty Cadbury ones.

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Here are my mile splits:
1- 8.10
2- 8.05
3- 8.14
4- 8.35
5 – 8.14
6- 8.15
7- 8.26
8- 8.23
9- 8.12
10- 8.27
11- 8.20
12- 8.23
13- 8.18
14- 8.22
15- 8.27
16- 8.25
17- 8.20
18- 8.23
19- 8.31
20- 8.22
21- 8.26
22- 8.32
23- 8.28
24- 8.35
25- 8.37
26- 8.19

Overall it was a great course, perfect for first timers or those who are after a PB and Manchester really does turn out to support the runners! There’s plenty of jelly babies on offer as well! I’ll be back again next year hopefully chasing a sub 3.20 after Berlin later this year!

 

Marathon race week tips

Just five days to go until the Manchester marathon!

Taking a break & getting my pose on during my last hill training session before the marathon

Taking a break & getting my pose on during my last hill training session before the marathon

So the marathon has come around very quickly and it’s that time again when maramania has set in and all you want to do is run yet your taper plan says it’s time to take it easy.

Race week can make people crazy – please don’t tell me it’s just me!? – so I’ve put together a top 10 list of tips for marathon race week.

1) Taper
Cutting back on running is frustrating but trust your plan and trust the taper. Stick to short and easy runs with some strides in or swap a run for yoga or swimming.

2) Rest
Get plenty of sleep in the build up to the marathon, especially if you usually don’t sleep well the night before a race.

3) Hand sanitizer
Am I the only one who goes crazy with the hand san in the run up to a marathon!? Sometimes it’s when you stop that you start to get run down or pick up a cold so I’m religious with my hand sanitizer.

4) Don’t panic train
I am nowhere near where I’d like to be for this race in terms of training but now isn’t the time to panic train. If you’ve missed long runs due to injury or other commitments don’t try and play catch up. Trust in the training you’ve done and focus on the taper now and ensuring you’re healthy for the race.

5) Look back over your plan
Trust in your training and look back over your plan to remind yourself of just how much work and effort you’ve put in to training. It’s natural to start doubting yourself in race week, everyone does but take this time to reflect and think of the positive elements and successes of the last few months.

6) Don’t try anything new
Now isn’t the time to buy a new pair of trainers, start using different energy gels or decide you’re going to try new foods. Save that for after the marathon. Stick to what you know. If you’ve got a routine and you always eat pizza the night before a race, do that. If you know what works for you then stick to it and you’ll prevent any avoidable mishaps.

7) Plan
Have a race day plan. If, like me, you’re staying overnight somewhere before the race make a list of what you need and tick it off as you pack that way nothing vital gets left behind! Know how you’re getting to the race village as well and allow for traffic and other unpredictable circumstances when thinking about time. It’s nerve-wracking enough on race day let alone having to deal with being late or not knowing where you’re going.

8) Nutrition & hydration
Similar to number 6, don’t try anything new, stick to what you would usually eat or drink although it is wise to cut back on certain things. I don’t drink alcohol in the lead up to a marathon or eat lots of rubbish food. That said, I know people who drink several beers the night before a race and people who eat whatever they want and still put in a good performance! Just be mindful and do what works for you. Don’t use the excuse of carb-loading to eat everything in sight otherwise you could end up feeling sluggish and heavy on race day.

9) Don’t lift heavy 
If your usual training routine features heavy lifting then give those sessions a miss this week. I usually do CrossFit about 3 times a week but have a break from it during the final taper week – you don’t want to risk any injuries or have DOMS on the day of the marathon.

 10) Positive thinking
Finally, think positively! Visualise crossing that finishing line and how amazing you’re going to feel. I also like to devise a race strategy and think about how I’m going to tackle it and at what pace. Let’s also not forget that we’re doing this for fun so enjoy it – that feeling with last a lifetime!

Are you running a  marathon soon? Or have you recently completed one? Let me know what your race week tips/strategy is! 🙂

Tag me in your marathon pictures on Twitter & Instagram using #hannahshappypace

 

Finding my happy pace: Easter weekend 18 miler

I can’t quite believe that it’s just 12 days until the Manchester Marathon!

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I’m finally allowing myself to get excited about the thought of reaching the start line now! After a couple of months of “should I or shouldn’t I” run the marathon I’ve settled on “maybe I can after all.”

If you’re familiar with my blog you might have read my posts on my sub 3.45 marathon goal for Manchester and then how an injury  threw a spanner in the works.

However, despite ruling it out for a while I’ve persevered and tried to get the miles in without getting too stressed that I was about a month behind where I should be in my training plan.

Anyway, this weekend, spurred on by the good weather and the lure of Easter eggs, I hit the roads to see if I could manage 18 miles.

I set out at about 7.50min/mi pace for the first couple of miles, trying to slow down to an 8.35 pace which would be my ideal marathon pace for Manchester. I soon settled in to a steady rhythm and despite feeling a twinge in my knee at mile 5 it wasn’t enough to quit so I carried on and it soon went.

Mile 9 came and it was time to turn around and run back. I took a bottle of water with me which had an orange flavour High5 Zero Electrolyte tablet in and I also had one tube of tropical punch flavour Shot Bloks.

In case you’re interested in how I fuel my long runs, I normally don’t take a drink or any energy gels with me unless I’m running more than 10-12 miles.

I had my first drink and Shot Blok at 9 miles and then every three miles after that, so another drink and Shot Blok at 12 and then my final one at mile 15. I didn’t end up drinking the whole bottle of water and had three Shot Bloks in total.

I felt good throughout the run and it was so nice to be running in the sunshine and without a jacket on for once! Hello spring!! 🙂

I managed 18 miles in 2 hours and 28 minutes which I was thrilled with! Last year when I was training for the Yorkshire Marathon I ran 20 miles in 3 hours and 3 minutes so I definitely feel as though I’ve improved which is a major confidence boost ahead of the marathon.

I finished with a victory dance in the street and a bemused look from a couple of dog walkers but I was so happy! I refuelled with an egg scramble and then some chocolate – not the best refuel I know –  before heading out for some shopping and amazing Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate with my mum. Later that evening Dane and I celebrated at Ambiente Tapas (he’d spent a good three hours mountain biking!) and it was delicious. Ambiente Tapas is my favourite restaurant so if you’re in Leeds or York it’s definitely worth a visit!

Heading out for tapas to celebrate.

Heading out for tapas to celebrate.

I’m now feeling much more confident about the marathon but will see how the next two weeks go and if there’s any sign of my injury flaring up I’ll re-think my plans.

Happy running! 🙂

Overcoming the fear

  The fear – that irrational feeling ahead of a run you just can’t shake for some reason.
Leads to excuses, skipping runs and being a general wimp! 

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Taking in the scenery on a weekend long run

I admit, I’ve had the fear recently but it’s about time I shook it off and got my legs moving again! I’ve still been running but one thing’s for sure is that at times I’ve definitely been wimping out of my long runs.

My knee hurt, my calf hasn’t been 100%, I’ve got too much work to do or it’s too late in the day to do it now. ALL excuses and all ridiculous ones. (Obviously don’t run if you’re injured but I’m not – touch wood!)

I’ve slowly been recovering from a knee injury which is why I think I’ve had the fear. It has made me reluctant to get back in to things and to really push myself. I fear that if I start, having told myself I’m going to do 11 miles and have to stop at 4, I’ll be gutted and grumpy for the rest of the day or worse still I’ll have to admit that I’m not recovered and have to rest!

So I’ve taken on the most illogical tactic ever of avoiding long runs and just sticking to shorter ones. But I pushed that to one side – finally!! – and headed out on a surprising 15 miler – see you later fear!!

Here’s how it went down:

Total  miles: 15.01mi
Total time:2hours 10 seconds
Av min mile pace: 8:00/mi
Mile splits:

1- 7.18 (oops started out too fast!)
2- 7.53
3- 8.06
4- 8.11
5- 7.48
6- 7.49
7- 8.07
8- 8.12
9 – 7.51
10 – 7.58
11 – 7.59
12- 8.12
13 – 8.08
14 – 8.24
15 – 8.05

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What I found, not surprisingly, was that my legs were fine, it was my mind that had been struggling and all I needed to do was pull myself together and get out there and enjoy it!

Whether it’s that you’re going to finish last, you’re too self-conscious to run in front of people or you’re worried that you’ll have to walk, there’s always an excuse you can find to get out of running.

There’s nothing wrong with a bad run though. If you do have to walk, don’t beat yourself up about it – you’re still out there moving and logging the miles! Letting go of bad runs is something I need to work on. If you have a bad one, take it in, think about what went wrong and why but only do this for five or ten minutes. Then, put it to one side and move on from it. Don’t give it a second thought or else the fear takes hold as it did with me and it made me annoyed at myself and my progress, or lack of it.

That said, I’m putting the fear behind me and I’m going to crack on and get on with it – starting with a lunch time run in the sun today. If I go slow, fine, if I have to walk, fine, at least I’m out there doing it and won’t get home tonight thinking “I should’ve gone for a run today.”

More self-loving and less self-loathing! Run because you love your body!

🙂 Go and find your happy pace!
#hannahshappypace

The Major Series 10K

“KEEP moving those legs otherwise you’ll get stuck and I’m not coming in to get you” – British Military Fitness.

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There’s little I love more than a challenge, especially when it’s a muddy one!

Last weekend my top teammate Dane and I tackled The Major Series at Leeds Bramham Park, a British Military Fitness (BMF) trail race voted the best in the UK.

Dane and I were signed up to the 10K race which actually turned out to be 12K and after an early start we arrived in time to set off in the first wave of the day.

Over that 12K we tackled nature’s obstacles from hills, mud, water and ditches to ropes and even bright pink space hoppers! This wasn’t my first muddy trail race, I ran Tough Mudder last year so I was interested to see how this was going to compare.

In short the obstacles in The Major Series are, in my opinion, better for a trail race than Tough Mudder as they use the environment rather than manmade structures.

Keeping your trainers tied tight was VITAL as you tried to wade your way through the Stench Trenches. The smell of fresh mud hits you instantly and as the BMF volunteer said its best to keep moving otherwise you will definitely get stuck! My legs felt as though they were moving through thick treacle as I tried to drive my knee up through the mud. When you’re waist deep in a bog of black tar like mud trying to claw your way to the other side on tired legs it’s easy to get stuck and Dane had to pull me my leg free at one point.

Getting ready to set off!

Getting ready to set off!

There’s plenty of mud in Cooper’s Crawl too which requires you to showcase your best commando crawl – Dane takes first prize on that one – as you keep as low to the mud soaked ground as possible. There’s also Spike’s Mud Crawler (the picture at the top of this post) where you’ve got barbed wire to contend with.

You’ve got to get low again to avoid some dangling electric fencing wire on one of the obstacles where there’s actually an escape route! And yes they are on – my left buttock can testify to that!

Aside from the mud there are plenty of logs to jump over, ditches to crawl out of and amazing trail running over mixed terrain. Oh, and there’s LOTS of water as well. My legs and feet were numb from wading through streams, under bridges and through bogs.

Then came the obstacle I was dreading most. Since Tough Mudder, Arctic Enema has haunted me so I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy Martin Marine’s Zone. There are two barriers you have to swim under and with the volunteers urging you to do it in one that’s probably what I should’ve done. Instead I swam under the first one before coming up for air and tackling the second one – it’s like a giant brain freeze!

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My favourite obstacle by far though was Sander’s Slide where Corporal Sander is ready to give you a good soaking before you take a run up and slide down the hill on your stomach much to the joy of spectators.

Last but not least, remember space hopping when you were younger? Well the last obstacle before you run over the finish line is the Breast Cancer Campaigns pink space hoppers.

Waiting for us at the end was a well deserved goodie bag full of a Moma! porridge sachet, a Coco Pro protein coconut water (which was AMAZING), a Beet It bar, dog tag medal and a £25 voucher for a health food website.

All in the entire race was so much fun and Dane and I finished with a massive smile on our face which we’d pretty much had the whole way round and we both said how much we enjoyed it.

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The only thing I would’ve like to have seen was foil blankets waiting for us at the end as it was FREEZING and maybe some power hoses to rinse off afterwards as it made getting changed a bit of a nightmare.

To find out more visit majorseries.com.

Lady Garmin Forerunner 220

Meet Lady Garmin, I rarely go anywhere without her. She’s the timekeeper of my happy pace, she pushes me when I’m not going fast enough and she sings happily to me when I get a new PB. I love her.

garmin

I was given this watch as a present as I embarked on a new marathon training plan and even though I’ve only ever had one Garmin before I have been super impressed with everything this watch can do.

To start with, the Garmin Forerunner 220 lets your friends/family/coach see where you are during a training run or a race, providing you’ve got your phone with you and are using the Garmin Connect app. I don’t run with my phone often as I like time out from it on my runs but I do take it with me on particularly long/rural runs and this feature is great if you’re racing or for worried parents/significant others!

Let’s start from the minute you put the watch on shall we. The lightweight design makes it feel as though you’re barely wearing a watch and the strap is comfortable and does not rub.

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There’s absolutely no delay in connecting to GPS to get going – just press the run button and you’re off.

Once you’re running Lady Garmin automatically pauses when you stop and starts again when you continue on your run – this means there’s no need to keep clicking stop/start if you have to stop at traffic lights.

You can also set her up so that you get vibration alerts if you’re going too fast/too slow compared to your goal pace. Although if you don’t want that feature on make sure you turn it off as she will keep buzzing away at you if you’re too slow!

You can customise the display shown when you’re running and this can include distance, pace, time, average pace, heart race zones (comes with a very comfortable heart rate monitor), calories etc or you can set up two screens and switch between the two. You can switch between them manually or set it up so that the display switches between the two automatically. 

After your run you’ll be told your distance, average pace, cadence, calories burnt and can then see your mile/km split times.

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If you’ve managed a new personal best your Garmin will sing and beep happily at you to say congratulations on the new PB and this will be stored on there for you to have a look at and remind yourself of how fab you are at any time.

Lady Garmin also programmes interval workouts and there are free training plans and support on Garmin Connect which you can download and load on to your watch for coaching as you run!

If you’re looking for a new watch I’d highly recommend taking a look at the Garmin Forerunner 220 for not only a reliable and accurate watch but one that’s going to push you too!

Check them out here – Garmin Forerunner 220

When I start my 24 week Berlin marathon training plan (more on that to come soon!) in a few weeks I’m going to start wearing my heart rate monitor a lot more so that I can learn more about my body and how to perfect my pace.

Avocado & sundried tomato stuffed burgers

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I’m a massive fan of home made beef burgers because they’re so easy to make and you know exactly what you’re getting.

If you use lean minced beef it cuts down on that fatty content as well which is always good. Now on to the best bit, sundried tomato and avocado! Who wouldn’t want that stuffed in a burger!? It’s a match made in heaven in my opinion and the result was a taste sensation.

If you make a big batch of these you can keep them in the fridge and take some for lunch the next day as well.

You will need:

– Pack of lean minced beef
– Two ripe avocados
– 1 small tub of sun-dried tomatoes (from deli counter so no oil if possible)
– Juice of one lemon
– Coriander (chopped, to taste)
– Salt & pepper to season
– Garlic (one/two cloves chopped depending on how much you like)
– One egg
– Coconut oil

To make: 

– In a large mixing bowl add the beef, egg, chopped garlic, coriander and salt and pepper and combine well.

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– In a separate bowl mash the avocado, chopped sundried tomatoes and lemon juice.

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– Using your hands, make two thin-ish burger halves (these are going to make one burger). It is easier to shape them on a surface lightly dusted with flour to stop them from sticking.

– Put one heaped tsp of avocado mixture in to the middle of one burger half and then add the other burger half on top, pinching the sides to form the burger and to keep the avocado in. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used.

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– Add a tsp of coconut oil to a frying pan and fry the burgers on each side for about 10 minutes/until thoroughly cooked. Alternatively you can grill the burgers. I wouldn’t advise cooking them in the oven though as that will dry them out.

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– Serve with sweet potato wedges, crispy kale and corn on the cob.

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Enjoy and don’t forget to tag #hannahshappypace in your creations! 🙂

 

Thursday night training run

11 miler

It will be six weeks on Sunday until the Manchester Marathon and I think it’s fair to say that my training has not gone to plan at all due a knee injury.

However Thursday nights training run was a success so I thought I’d share with you where I’m at right now.

This was my longest run since the Yorkshire Marathon back in October, yes, OCTOBER! I can’t quite believe it has taken me this long but like anything else where injury is involved these things take time and it’s best to do it right.

Anyway, I was going to try either 10k or 10 miles on Thursday night; there was literally no plan other than go out and run and see how I felt.

I mapped a route out in my head, strapped on lady Garmin and off I went in to the night! I got to 10k and felt good so thought I may as well carry on to 10.

However I’d misjudged the route and ended up doing 11 and even though I had done 10 miles on Sunday that extra 1 mile was HARD.

It felt great to get the miles in my legs and it’s also a confidence boost too knowing that I am still capable of running far and it’s just a case of building it back up.

I also managed to beat my 10 mile time from Sunday by a minute as well, happy days.

Here’s a breakdown of my timings & mile splits:

Total time: 1.30.11
Distance: 11.01 miles
Average pace: 8.11/mi
Calories: 1087

Mile splits:
1- 8.35
2 – 8.17
3 – 8.07
4 – 8.17
5 – 7.37
6 – 8.14
7 – 8.10
8 – 7.38
9 – 8.13
10 – 8.13
11 – 8.41

If I averaged 8.11/mi pace for a marathon I’d be finishing in 3.34.

Looking forward to pushing myself harder as I get back to track soon and start doing some shorter, faster runs at half-marathon pace/quicker than half-marathon pace with Dane. 

Hope you all go out and find your happy pace this weekend! Tag me in your pictures @hannahbryan91 or #hannahshappypace on Instagram. 🙂

14 reasons to love your long runs

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It’s early Sunday morning and your eyes are barely open as the microwave whirs.  When it pings you’re still on autopilot, chopping up a banana and slowly munching on breakfast. It’s long run day.

Sacrificing your Sunday lie in can be hard and when it’s still pretty cold outside it’s even harder to get out and enjoy that long run. Spring is fast approaching though and as the weather picks up I’ve found myself enjoying my long runs more and more.

Here is my top 14 list of reasons to love long runs and embrace your Sunday Funday.

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1- Second breakfast – Trust me to think of food first but that breakfast after is just SO good. When I ran the Yorkshire Marathon I spent a sizeable chunk of the race thinking about where to go for food afterwards. Not only does it pass the time but you get to eat a delicious and nutritious meal afterwards. Who doesn’t love a second breakfast?

2- Endorphins – It’s impossible to not feel great after going for a run. Sure you might feel tired and achey but those endorphins coursing through your veins will have you feeling psyched and ready for the day ahead, which leads me nicely to my next point.

3- Rest of the day – Getting up early to get that long run in means it’s out of the way and you’re free to enjoy the rest of your day. You can embrace Sunday Funday without having that long run feeling hanging over you all day.

4- Miles in the legs – Embrace the fact that this long run is getting the miles in your legs. Whether you’re training for a marathon, half-marathon or a 10k it’s all miles in the legs and that kind of confidence is invaluable when it comes to race day.

5- Time to think – Long runs are the perfect time to think about things whether it’s clearing your head, thinking about race day if you’re training for an event or simply thinking about your week ahead. Not to mention it’s the perfect time to…

6- De-stress – If you’re hitting the road and feeling agitated by something, I guarantee that by the time you hit four miles you’ll be feeling better. Running is the perfect way to de-stress and take that anger out on the roads/trails as those endorphins start to hit.

7- See nice places – When you’re running you become an aerobic tourist. Drive somewhere different and run from there or simply try a new route at home to see different places and take in some amazing views.

8- Spend time with a friend – If you prefer running with someone then this is the perfect way to spend time with a friend, providing they love running too of course! When you’re doing lots of long runs it can be hard to fit social commitments around that so if it’s a fellow runner you want to catch up with then invite them along one Sunday.

9- Practice fuelling – It might not be the most exciting reason to embrace the long run but come race day you’ll be happy you tried out those different gels and found out what works best for you.

10- Perfect your pace – Same as above. It can also show you just what you’re capable of and where you’re currently at with your training.

11- New running gear – Putting in more miles? Then it’s definitely time to reward yourself and buy those new leggings/trainers you’ve had your eye on.

12- Push yourself – There’s something so satisfying about pushing yourself and seeing what you’re capable of. Even if it doesn’t go to plan you’ll have an idea of what you need to do next time to improve.

13- Never be bored on a Sunday – No weekend plans? No problem! Sunday Funday long runs mean you’ll always have something to do on a weekend.

14-End to a great week – What could be better than rounding off a week with a good, solid long run? Not only that but you’ll start the next week off on a high knowing that you’ve had a great week and ended with a fantastic training run.

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Enjoying the nicer weather & running with the dog!

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View along the river one Sunday Funday

 

 

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A serious long run….!

 

Nutella cheesecake bites

WARNING: if you’re counting calories look away now!  

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You may have noticed that most of my recipes posted on this site are paleo or have low sugar content but not these. Hannah’s Happy Pace is all about finding that balance and trust me, these are the perfect solution for when you crave a sweet treat.

You will need:

For the base:                                                                                                            `
300g biscuits – we used chocolate chip Hobnobs
100g butter

For the topping:
4 heaped tablespoons of Nutella
100g Icing sugar
400g Cream cheese

To make:

-Put the biscuits into a sandwich bag and tie tightly making sure you’ve squeezed the air out. Then take a rolling pin or something similar and bash the biscuits up until they’re really crumbly.
– Melt the butter either in a pan on the hob or in the microwave and tip in to a mixing bowl along with the biscuits and stir until well combined.
– Get a cupcake baking tray and line with cake cases. Put about 1 tbsp of the biscuit and butter base into each case, pressing down to form a firm cheesecake base.
– Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm.
– To make the Nutella topping combine the cream cheese, Nutella and icing sugar in to a mixing bowl and stir well. (It was at this point that I almost forgot about the biscuit base entirely and just began spooning the mixture in to my mouth! If you thought Nutella was good, wait until cream cheese is added to it!!)
– Add about 1 heaped tsp on to the biscuit base and then pop back into the fridge for about 40 minutes to set. Once set, remove from the cake cases and voila – mini Nutella cheesecake bites, it’s as simple as that!

To make it different, why not use Oreos as the base? Or even crumble some Reese’s peanut butter cups in to it as well. Or add some Nutella to the base mixture if you’re really a chocolate fan.

Tag #Hannahshappypace on Twitter and Instagram if you make them – I want to see your creations! 🙂

Enjoy.