The series kicks off with the Cancer Research London Winter Run, a 10K race through the heart of the capital on the first weekend in February.
Still feeling the excesses of Christmas, it seemed like a great way to start the year. I convinced videographer Gavin to sign up with me so we could keep each other on track with training.
The marketing team at Wiggle are a pretty active bunch so we knew that we'd have a lot of support to keep us motivated.
10K is a popular race distance because it's short enough to feel achievable to novice runners but long enough to feel like a challenge. It would be a first time for Gavin and I, with only a few 5km events between us, but we felt ready to take the next step.
With only four weeks to prepare, we committed to lunchtime training sessions and we've had fun sharing our journey on Wiggle Instagram.
The responses from our Instagram followers have been overwhelmingly encouraging. We're lucky to have such an active audience and we've enjoyed reading all the responses on our Instagram stories whenever we've had a question about training.
We've heard from runners at all levels, from beginners like us right up to World Record Holder and double-gold medal winning Paralympian, Richard Whitehead MBE. His advice renewed our determination to dedicate two lunchtimes each week to training.
With the British winter in full swing, we were grateful that our friends at Asics surprised us with all the kit we'd need for the event. Science In Sport also offered their support with a detailed nutrition plan and a box of supplies, specifically tailored for the Cancer Research London Winter Run. Since 10K would be a totally new experience for us, we were grateful for all the help we could get.
To help us to manage any post-run aches and pains, Zone3 stepped in and sent us a pair of compression tights each - no excuses for missing any training sessions now!
If like us, you're stepping up from 5K to 10K this year, we hope you'll find our four-week training schedule useful. Also, be sure to check out the Science In Sport nutrition plan. Good luck!
The official charity partner of the London Winter Run is Cancer Research UK who fund scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer sooner. If you want to give us a bit more motivation, you can sponsor us at JustGiving.
- Tuesday - 5K
- Friday - 5K
- Wednesday - 6K
- Friday 7K
- Wednesday - 7K
- Friday - 8K
- Wednesday - 8k
- Sunday - London Winter Run 10k!
As we left the house nice and early to make the journey from Portsmouth to London, we couldn't help but notice the temperature gauge on the dashboard of the car stating '-3.5 degrees'. It was clear that the London Winter Run was going to live up to its name!
When we got to Charing Cross tube station, the platform was full of people in run kit, which we expected to a certain degree, but when we stepped out of the underground we were gobsmacked by the sheer volume of people around Trafalgar Square warming up, greeting each other, having selfies, dancing, and generally having a good time despite the freezing temperatures.
The first thing in our minds was to join those warming up, it was so cold but Nuffield Health put on a great show for the warm-up and it's fair to say we do love a little dance, or should we say 'Wiggle'!
Once we were warm, we had to take the opportunity to have a selfie taken with one of the polar bears. Oh, and penguins!
Just before we made our way to the start line, we fueled up with some Science In Sport GO Isotonic Energy Gels - The blackcurrent flavour was really tastey, highly recommended!
We actually jogged to the start until we found ourselves amongst hundreds of others within our wave, which helped create an incredible atmosphere with music and people wishing each other good luck.
The klaxon went off and after a quick high-five with the with one of the event marshals, we were on our way!
The first 4KM went so quickly, we were taking in the atmosphere and all the sights but didn't notice any heavy breathing or tired legs - It must have been the adrenaline.
As we approached the 5KM mark, which we knew was an average Park Run distance, we caught a glimpse of The Shard through other typically-tall London buildings. This was the perfect reminder of why the London Winter Run is such an iconic event.
The next London landmark was St. Paul's Cathedral. Wow, what a sight that was. We couldn't help but stop to take a photo as everything was in the shade except the building itself.
A boost from the Wiggle crowd cheering at 8KM really helped us get through the final quarter of the race and as we approached the finish we were blown away by the support from the sidelines as members of the public applauded and spurred us on to the finish line.
Crossing the line was a fantastic feeling as we were greeted with our medals and applause from the people watching. It truly was a great event and we've definitely got the running bug as we look ahead to our next challenge from the Wiggle events calendar!
A massive thanks to all at Human Race and all the event volunteers for making the London Winter Run such a smoothly-run event!