South Downs- Run Fast Training weekend February 2015

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the weekend away with Run Fast team, in fact I was a bit scared that I might not be good enough or fast enough. I didn’t have to worry at all.

The weekend was organised fantastically well. Tom, one of the managers and fantastic runner not only shared his running tips with everyone, but also cooked traditional Kenyan dinner for us all…..and it was good! He was always happy to answer never ending questions about running, gear, training, nutrition and being fast, really fast. Peter the founder of Run Fast team was very supportive and made sure each one of our needs were met and accommodated.

On Saturday morning we woke up at 6am and headed for the downs. It was glorious morning, sun was shining and the crisp fresh air was all around us. Slow jog of about 3km took us to lovely hills just at the bottom of seven sisters. The hills didn’t look too bad, but soon I realized that those were not to be underestimated. We had hard hill session on beautiful South Downs hills. Pete took plenty of time to teach us the best way to run up and down the hills and those tips I use ever since. I learnt not to be scared of the hills and if I only approach them with an open mind I will learn to love them. I am still waiting for this day to come…..but lose no hope, it will, eventually!

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We run back taking the Beachy Head marathon route. It was tough after the hill session, but stunning views kept us all going….and the thought of breakfast kept us going even faster. Food was great, and as Tom says you can eat peanut butter with everything….porridge, shake, toast! And boy it was good!

After our bellies got full we had some time for ourselves and we just talked, laughed and started to get to know each other.

In the afternoon we had a visit from Noel Thatcher and Scott Newton. Both great runners and physiotherapists gave  a great presentation on why we get injured and how to deal with injuries. Something I think every runner had to deal with at some point. Their input was fantastic and we had plenty of time to ask them any questions that we normally wouldn’t have a chance to.

In the evening we went for another run, to loosen up our legs…..well it felt more like another hill session but with the views to die for it was 100% worth it. Running to the sunset on the Downs was amazing experience. We all kept together, waiting for one another and by this point I knew I made some great friends for more than just a weekend.

On Sunday morning we all headed for Seven Sister’s route. We could run as much or as little depending on our own abilities. The route even though tough was very pretty. English countryside steals your heart. You cannot help but keep going. Every time I thought I can’t run any more, my soul was screaming, few more steps, just look how wonderful this is, don’t stop, keep going. And I did, just a little bit more.

The South Downs is amazing place with breath taking views and I could not be happier than spending whole weekend there. But it wasn’t only about running. I met lovely people, who are equally passionate about the sport and trails. We talked for hours about our experiences, races and future goals. We discussed the challenges of work commitments and running schedules, we shared our thoughts on nutrition and cross training. We were like little family and months later I am still keeping in touch with most of them. The weekend taught me that running is not a lonely sport, we are great community where one looks out for another. This was one of the best running weekends I’ve ever been too. I met amazing people and I run on one of the most beautiful English trails. I look forward to other weekends away, with more running, more food and more fabulous runners.

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