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Scrib’s 2014 New Years message

1 Jan

Its been a while, but one of my 2014 resolutions is to get blogging again!

So its 2014 and I bet a few of you have New Years resolutions to get fit, lose a few pounds, stop smoking and be healthier. But like so many previous years you are wondering if this new spark will last much past March. I’ve been there myself, and people often ask me how I broke the cycle and went from fat Scrib’s to not fat Scrib’s. So heres Scrib’s top tips based on my experience:


1. Money doesn’t do the work – YOU DO!

Buying sports stuff or paying for the gym doesn’t make you fit! Really? Yes really! We’ve all done it, including myself. You start out and buy all the latest gear or sign up for a year to the local gym. After a few months, after giving up, you are left out of pocket and feeling beaten and you still haven’t done what you set out to do. That then makes you feel more deflated than you were when you started.


I’ll let you in on a little secret: Spending your money might give you an initial mental boost, everyone likes a bit of retail therapy, but its YOU that does the work, not the gear or the membership card. Rather than spending your hard earned cash on the best kit why don’t you simply try going for a run/or walk with what you have to hand. Just put on the trainers, T-Shirt , etc you already have.


Gym’s are a good way of getting fit, but personally I’ve never used one. I don’t see the point as you can get fit by just using your own body and the great outdoors. One obvious advantage a gym has, of course, is weather protection, especially in the UK!. Personally I love running/walking in the elements, maybe you should try it? Do what feels right for you, but remember a 12 month gym membership alone is not going to get you fit. Its YOU and YOU alone!


You could do what I did and tell yourself you’ll treat yourself to that snazzy gear or the gym membership once you’ve proven yourself by achieving a goal (see tip 2 first though).



2. The most expensive isn’t always the best.

So now you’ve proven to yourself you can do this. You’ve been running, cycling or walking and the miles are racking up. You’ve used stuff you already had (trainers, etc) and it hasn’t cost you a penny. Now you may – although this isn’t a necessity – want to treat yourself as a reward by replacing those dogeared trainers with some shiny new ones. So you go onto the sports store website and buy the most expensive pair of trainers you can find, within your budget. I did this a number of times but I found that the most expensive isn’t always the best and I actually ended up getting injuries from trainers claiming all sorts of ‘high tech’ wizardry. Keep it simple.



3. Don’t listen to that little negative voice.

You know the one….. “you haven’t got the time”, “Its too cold outside”, “I’ll go tomorrow”. If I had a pound for every time I hear people say “I just haven’t got the time” but then spend the next hour playing on their favourite smart phone app or watching TV.


Tell the little voice to “shut the f*** up!” and get out there! Don’t let it win, take control. I still fight with the little voice sometimes, but I realised that I get a much better feeling of achievement when I’ve finished a run and know that I beat it!



4. Don’t do too much – No quick fixes – Baby steps.

A BIG mistake people often make is to slap on their trainers a few days after New Year and try and do too much. On my first trip out I was aiming to run for miles and miles and I ended up almost collapsing at the end of my street, literally yards from my front door. It put me straight off and I didn’t attempt to exercise again for weeks!


Give yourself a realistic aim. Even if its a slow 5 – 10 minute run at first. Be realistic and build up SLOWLY! Nothing is easy in life especially getting out of a rut. Getting fit is one thing that money can’t fix. YOU have to do it yourself. You’re probably not going to be running a 10k, or cycling 50k, on your first trip out so don’t discourage yourself by assuming you can.


Start slowly and work up. We live in a society that demands instant results, but you have to face facts its not going to happen over night. If anyone told me I could run a marathon when I stumbled down my street, carrying my 14 stone, all those years ago I would have laughed in their face. But now I have, but it took time, effort and determination. But the rewards were worth it! Well worth it!


Achieving your REALISTIC goals gives you an amazing sense of satisfaction.



5. Yummy treats are good, but as treats.

OK, we all like food treats (cakes and curry are mine – but not at the same time), but if that becomes a daily event its no longer a treat, its the norm. I’ll treat myself at the weekends (Friday night nosh up for example). At first it can be hard, but you’ll certainly enjoy the treat more when you’ve waited and earned it. Remember a treat isn’t a treat if you have it often. Also keep in mind that drinks also contain calories. Think of food as anything you consume that is used as energy by your body. If you think about that for a second it may change your thinking somewhat. If you stick to this and exercise, you’ll soon find your whole attitude to food changes.


At first you may have to be more strict, but as you build your fitness you can sometime afford to have the odd extra midweek treat  (birthday cakes at work for example), but I always make sure I run a few extra miles to counter it.


Remember food (remembering drink) is fuel – pure and simple. You have to balance it. Too much and your body stores it.



6. Motivation – You don’t have to do it alone.

I started getting fit pretty much on my own, but thats just me. If you want a bit of encouragement, motivation or company why not join a running club, perhaps with a friend. They are free to inexpensive (perhaps a couple of quid a session) and you’ll be running with lots of different people of all abilities, including beginners.


Most towns (UK) now also do a ‘Park run’. This is a 5k run around the local park on a Saturday morning. Theres a great sense of community at these events and well worth a try.


You can do an internet search for such events in your area.



7. Apps.

If you already have a smart phone there are a variety of free fitness Apps that can help motivate you. Personally I use Runkeeper, but there are many others. These are useful for seeing your miles build and your pace drop. This can then have the effect of motivating you to do better – works for me. You can also use many of these Apps to monitor your gym activities, swimming etc, some will even interface with some of the more modern Gym equipment.



Well thats my round up of what worked for me. Good luck!


New running shoes – get the correct size.

1 Sep

I blogged yesterday about replacing my old worn out Newtons with some brand new Brooks ADRENALINE GTS 11 trainers.


One thing I forgot to mention was show sizes. Now I normally take a size 7 (UK), however I’ve read lots of articles over the years suggesting you should always go a half or full size bigger.

Why? Well when you run your feet can slightly swell. Things might get a bit tight using your normal size trainer.

Personnally I only go a half size larger for my running shoes, up to a 7.5 (UK) and in the end is all down to your particlar build and how your body reacts to exercise.

Always ask advice from whoever you are buying new running shoes from,  and go from past experience, to choose the ideal size for you.

New running trainers time – Brooks ADRENALINE GTS 11 review

31 Aug

The one thing I hate about running is the time when your old faithful trainers have had their day and its time for them to say “good bye!” and go to the trainer place in the sky (or the back of the shoe cupboard). When you find a good pair of running shoes that are comfortable, light and do what you want them to do its great! The downside is that you can also find and buy trainers that appear OK on first impressions, but don’t work with you at all!

I’ve had a couple of bad experiences with new trainers not fitting correctly or giving me blisters which can pretty much make them an expensive (in some cases) mistake. I’ve even had this happen to me after having my run analyzed on a treadmill at a shop ‘specializing’ in running equipment. Unfortunately, once you’ve been out on your new toys for a few miles, and discover they’re not suited to you, divorcing them and taking them back for a refund or exchange isn’t so simple. Many shops will not accept trainers back if you’ve been outside on them and the soles are scuffed. You see my dilemma.

Newton 00309 Trainers

So a month or so ago I slipped on my much loved Newton‘s and released that I could hear air coming out of them as I put weight on my foot. Not a good sign! After examining the bottoms I realised that they were completely worn out.

I originally bought the Newton (model 00309) trainers because they promote a more natural more efficient run. They are also very light (270g) and the most comfortable running shoes I have worn to date, so it was with some trepidation that I started to browse around for replacements.

I did consider buying another pair of Newtons and I would have been totally happy to do this, but I also wanted to see what else was out there and I didn’t want to limit my options.

I have little demands on a running shoe, but the main boxes that a new shoe would have to tick are:

  • Support – I over pronate so I needed a shoe with some support.
  • Weight – As light weight as possible.
  • Comfort – Obviously
  • Price – I don’t mind spending money on a well made, light, comfortable running shoe, but it has to be a realistic price. I’m not one who buys simply for a brand name.

So I started to look around as was amazed at the choice there is nowadays for running footwear! Choice is good for consumers, but can be a little frustrating and overwhelming, especially if you’re like me and just want an item to do a very simple and straight forward task – like allow you to run, with no bells and whistles.

After some research on the internet and running websites I discovered a pair of trainers that looked to be perfect for me, these were the Brooks ADRENALINE GTS 11. They had very strong reviews on a number of sites and very little negative feedback. The deal was clinched when I wondered over to my favorite running website ( and they were highly recommended their also, both by the sites reviewers and readers. To see the Runnersworld review click here and to see the Brooks ADRENALINE GTS 11 site click here.


The purchase was delayed for a couple of weeks as I had a holiday to the USA and I wanted to see if I could get them cheaper over there. It would also give me a chance to try a pair on. A long way to go to try on a pair of trainers (or sneakers) I know, but living where I do no local sports shops stocked them. I tried a pair on and loved them, although it turned out, after visiting a number of shops that I couldn’t get them cheaper in the US.

Once returned safely to the UK shores I ordered a pair and have been using them for a few weeks now.

First impressions are good. No blisters, reasonably light (although heavier than my old Newtons by about 50g), responsive and well made. I always reserve final judgement until I’ve done at least 100-150 miles on them as I’ve had trainers in the past that appear OK at first, but then start giving blisters on the arch of the foot.

All in all I’m happy with my purchase and would recommend the Brooks to anyone considering buying a pair. Although always remember to pick a shoe that’s right for you and read the reviews. People have many different foot falls, over pronation to under pronation, etc so pick a shoe that’s right for you.

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