So… lots of people keep asking me questions about the specifics of the running side of things.  I have the answers, but I’m just not very good at expressing the answers so people probably think I don’t have a plan.  I do have a plan.  I’m just keeping it all a secret.  Only joking.  I’ll try and give you a little insight…

My running speed used to be approximately 7:30 minutes per mile.  This included training for my run across South Africa in 2011.  This was mostly because I didn’t have the time to run slower as I was too busy.  I have recently come to the conclusion that running faster is not good for me, it makes my muscles tight and causes me injuries.  The outcome: I now do all of my running at least a minute per mile slower.  I aim to always keep between 8:30 and 9:30 per mile.  This is just for my training; I am currently running between 10 and 15 miles per day.

When I am in Africa my aim is to break my day into 3 x 10 mile runs.  When things are going well and I am feeling fit (or running downhill) I want to be running at 10:30 minutes per mile, therefore each 10 mile section will take me 1 hr 35 minutes.  When things are not so great, when I’m stiff first thing in the morning, running up hill, generally feeling rubbish, I will aim to run at around 12 minutes per mile meaning that 10 miles will take me 2 hours.  If I am hoping to travel 30 miles a day then I should have a maximum of six hours running per day.  And if I take one day off of running per week then I will be running 180 miles per week.  A marathon a day adds up to 183.4 miles per week, so if I just run a few extra miles one day per week then my trip should hopefully equate to running a marathon a day.

I have spent many many hours studying the maps of the route and I have got the entire route distance to add up to 2584 miles (obviously this is probably not going to be the exact distance I will run, as I’m sure I’ll get lost at least once!).  2584 miles is equal to 98.6 marathons.  If 10 miles takes me a maximum of 2 hours to run then the whole run across Africa should take 516.8 hours of running!  According to Runners World, if I run 10 miles in 2 hours I will burn 950 calories, so I will need to take in 2850 calories per day just to cover the energy used running!  Over the distance from Namibia to Mozambique this would equate to 245,480 calories I will burn.  This is the equivalent of 1,014 bowls of white rice, 2,337 bananas or 4,909 lollipops!!!!


Wow, I got a little bit carried away writing this.  I really didn’t intend for it to go off on a tangent like that but hey ho!!  Bring on the lollipops.




Team HOH became unbelievably excited a couple of days ago when a huge brown box arrived filled with shiny new Berghaus kit.  We are exceptionally lucky to have been supported by Berghaus who have given each member of our team a waterproof jacket to be worn in Africa.  This has been a massive help to us as all the kit needed to complete a trip like ours adds up to a big expense.  This is possibly more exciting to me (Emma) than to the rest of the team as Berghaus have made a jacket specifically designed for running.  Im sure that most runners out there will agree with me that finding a jacket to keep you warm and dry, and comfortable while running long distance is not easy.  Thankfully, I haven’t put the jacket to the test yet as the sun has been out, but as soon as I get the chance I will put a review up for you to see my thoughts.

IMG_1173My first thoughts about the kit we received are that Berghaus are onto a winner with the colours of their womens clothes.  I imagine that most women into outdoor sports will agree with me that we don’t all want to wear pink, red or purple!!!  I hear lots of women regularly complaining about the colour options available to us, and unfortunately we can’t just choose XS mens, its just doesn’t work like that.  The colours and style of the Berghaus jackets are gorgeous.  Really shapely and great choice of colours.  Well done Berghaus!!!!



10 tips for your first marathon

On June 28th, myself and Mike completed our first ever marathon.  As with most things that I do, I decided not to choose a nice, gentle, flat, road race but to enter a gruelling, rocky, mountainous, trail marathon!  And I loved it!!  After this incredible experience, between the two of us we have put together a list of our top ten tips for your first marathon.

1. Drag a friend along with you. There’s nothing better than having someone you know to share the pain with you. Great moral support and someone to congratulate you immediately as you cross the line.  And throw energy gels at you when you are looking weary!

2. Its all in the mind. If you have done the necessary training and you whole-heartedly believe you can get to the end there’ll be no stopping you.  Feeling positive and holding your body tall, with a positive posture will make you feel less tired and more confident.

3. Carry enough water. If you enter a marathon that doesn’t have a constant stream of water stations then don’t underestimate how much water you will need to carry. It’s better to have too much than too little.  Even if it’s not hot you will be sweating a lot!

4. Make sure you take plenty of energy gels or whatever type of energy product you like.  You don’t want to run out at the end when you are feeling your worst.

5. Test out your kit before the big day.  Preferably quite a while before the race so that if you find out that something isn’t right it can be corrected or changed.

6. Understand the pain your body experiences. Know what is the kind of pain you can push through and what is the kind of pain thats leading to an injury. It will hurt, its a marathon. You will need to continue through pain if you want to finish. But don’t push on through pain that is going to leave you seriously injured.

7. Be prepared. Have all your kit organised the night before so you know where everything is and you aren’t running around getting stressed trying to find things before the race when you should be relaxing.  If you are carrying a pack make sure that you know where each item is in your bag and the things that could be needed quickly are easily accessible. For example, snacks in waist pockets, blister patches near the top.


8. Don’t go sprinting off at the beginning.  Its a long race!  In fact, it’s probably best to go really slow at the beginning, you will have plenty of time to pick up the pace later if you are feeling fresh.

9. Do the training! If you haven’t put in the time and mileage then its all going to be way tougher for you than the other competitors, and you could be risking getting injuries that won’t be pleasant.

10. Enjoy it!  You have more than likely paid to enter this event so make the most of it. Unless you are Paula Ratcliffe you probably aren’t going to be breaking any world records so just enjoy the experience.