Running Survey

As I can’t blog about any current running, I can do a running survey instead! This is stolen from Mary’s blog and I love the questions so thought I’d steal it…

Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail? I’d much prefer a mountain trail. This is probably because I live by the sea at the moment so I’m quite used to running along beach paths. Also I detest running against wind and it can get very windy along the coast. It just feels so demoralising to be putting in so much effort and not getting anywhere fast. You could argue that mountains are, well, hilly but at least you can get to the top and feel like superman/woman. And the views are amazing.

Cheddar Gorge marathon


If you could choose the flavour of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be? I’ve never had Gatorade. I’m really not a fan of the sugary sports drinks. I know they work for some people, especially for those who don’t want to take gels, but they make me feel a bit sick and I don’t feel they quench my thirst. I love plain water or nuun/High5 water.

If I gave you a £100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it? Where do I start?? I could be sensible like Mary and say trainers…but I just love fitness clothes. For running I tend to go with more sensible gear in terms of fabric, technical spec, fit and survival in different weathers.

When it comes to the gym I like to spruce things up a bit with colours and style as I have a bit more freedom as weather doesn’t matter. But back to running, I would probably buy a couple of Nike or Adidas items as they’re such good quality and last forever. Though you wouldn’t get much from the price! Ka-ching!


Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run? I don’t follow a strict plan per se, but I do plan out the weeks in terms of what I want to achieve. It depends if I have a marathon coming up or a race of course but I will never go out on a run without knowing how far I’m going to go. But if the run goes awfully (niggles, illness, tiredness) I’ll cut it short, I’ll never force myself to finish a set of miles purely for the sake of ticking a box. Though I’m quite neurotic and like to plan ahead. I use a spreadsheet to track things. When it comes to marathons I tend to look at online plans and see where the long runs fall and then do my own thing for the other runs.

Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill? Definitely get the uphill done and dusted first. That way I can run it when I’m fresh and then focus on the rest of the course afterwards without dreading the oncoming hill. That said, I don’t really mind as long as I know where the hill is so at least I’m mentally prepared. For Bournemouth I was well aware of two significant hills (miles 12 & 18) so IN THEORY I could have adjusted my strategy accordingly. Well, we all know how that turned out in reality.

When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do? I like Mary’s answer of sulking. I’m getting an A* for that at the moment 😉 But, like I said in my previous post, I’m focused on building strength at the gym. I had previously been following the New Rules of Lifting For Women but I’ve put it on hold at the moment as Stage 2 requires a lot of lunges which I’m avoiding for the moment as I want to give my knee some TLC.


Cardio-wise…*sighs* I suppose spinning and rowing. Boring and purely for the purpose of keeping fit.

What is your preference—> Out and back, point to point or loop runs? Oooh I’m just not sure. I like an out and back because you get to know the course and nothing’s a surprise in the second half of the race. I also like that you can think you’re running back to the finish. But I like loops as well (Cheddar Gorge marathon was great for this, mentally I could segment the two halves). Again, the course is no surprise in the second loop. I’m not a big fan of point to points as it feels like one big trek to the finish. Mentally I find that a lot harder. Hello, Boston 😉

If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a—> BodyGlide. Chafing is a bitch. It takes two seconds to put on but days of pain if forgotten. It’s small to pack in your pre-race bag and I personally find it lasts a bit longer than good old Vaseline. That said, it’s better than nothing!

Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs? I love how random this question is. Not really as I tend to run around residential areas. This is such a boring answer sorry!

Ever gotten lost while out on a run? Surprisingly not as much as I probably should do considering how little of a sense of direction I have. I’ve run in quite a few places that I’ve never run before and just made the route up as I went, but most of the time when I do that I play it safe and do an out and back. It also helps doing that when I have a set distance I want to hit. I hate having to think too much about my route when running which is why, unless I’m running with others, I’ll always do the same routes.

If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days… what would that meal be? As much as I love planning what to have when I’ve finished a race or a long run, the reality is it takes me quite a while before I actually fancy eating anything. I have got better though with protein shakes to make sure I’m not a quivering wreck later in the day. My KFC after Cheddar Gorge marathon was pretty damn tasty but I wouldn’t want that all the time. Dream world it’d be ribs (like I did after the Southampton half marathon that I made into 18 miles), but reality porridge is one of my standards. Then cake.


Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often? Shorts. My lower body doesn’t tend to get that cold when I run. It’s more my hands and arms. I much prefer the freedom of shorts and during a marathon I like to wear compression socks and capris and compression socks aren’t a great combo (weird naked knee syndrome).


At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go? Probably 5 miles in, which is why 5ks royally suck for me. I think my perfect distance is 10 miles (which ironically is my worst race distance so far). I absolutely don’t understand how people can do races less than one mile. We’re all different though and I have a huge amount of respect for short distance runners. My body doesn’t just doesn’t like short speedy stuff.

What do you do with your key when you run? This is terrible but when I’m at the club I used to put it on the wheel of my car…until I realised you could leave it in a locked room. If I run from home I take the key off the keyring and then pop it down my sports bra if I don’t have any pockets.

If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be? Like Mary said, I’m not sure I’d want to relive any races. Races are hard and generally if you got a PB it was really hard so I wouldn’t want to go back there. After getting my 10k PB in the summer I swore I’d only run one 10k a year!

If I could re-do a race to improve on it then I would definitely re-do Bournemouth.

Bournemouth marathon 5

Or at least the weeks leading up to it. I don’t want to live in regret but I can’t help feel so bitter about a marathon that was supposed to be run just for fun. As many people have said though, I was pushing it with two marathons so close to each other (and three marathons in less than 6 months) and not really recovering properly between them. I don’t regret doing Cheddar Gorge as I loved it so much…but if I hadn’t have done it and Bournemouth went well? I don’t know if I could choose between them. I do wish now that I hadn’t forced myself to finish Bournemouth. Initially I said I didn’t regret it, but now I realise that one race isn’t worth so much time off for an injury. No medal is that good. But lessons have been learnt.

What has been your biggest motivation lately to get out the door to get your run on? Generally that it will mean I have to rearrange my week’s plan if I miss a run! I’m that anal about these things. If I say I’m going to do something I will do it unless something legitimate stops me. Even if I feel really demotivated about a run I know as soon as I start going I’ll be fine. I’d rather push myself to go then spend the rest of the day annoyed that I didn’t.

When you go for a run, do you leave right from your front door or do you drive somewhere to start? Either I’ll run straight from my office, straight from my front door, or I’ll run from my club or parkrun. Depends what day it is!

When running in daylight—> are sunglasses a must or an annoyance? I have a really good pair of (cheap) sunglasses that just sit really nicely when I run. I hate getting blinded by the sun.


When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting? Fear of failure! If I have a goal in mind I will really push myself to reach it. If I don’t hit it it’s because the goal was unrealistic (I’ve set myself stupid goals many a time!) or something out of my control happened (illness, injury, weather, etc.). I’m a very driven person. Of course I have demons in my head and self-doubt but if the goal is achievable from the training I’ve put it then I will do everything I can to get there. A killer playlist as well is a great motivator for me, or crowds. Something like that can suddenly flick a switch inside me to GO GO GO despite how I might have felt 30 seconds before.

Pick a few questions and answer – I’d love to know your responses!

11 Replies to “Running Survey”

  1. Am with you on the mountain trail, the views would be amazing.
    Its not a meal as such but after a really hard run my go to food is salt and vinegar squares and a bottle of coke, I have them in my bag so I can eat them as soon as I finish a race.
    I cannot wear sunglasses to run as them just seem to slip off, I can only wear sunglasses when out on my bike.

  2. Hi Anna
    just passing by and liked the look of your survey…. so here goes…
    Definitely run along a mountain path- like a crazed goat- Beach runs are nice for kids.
    Never had gatorade- but a sip of passion fruit lucozade is ok after an hour or so
    £100 spend- yep- trainers (on line) keep any change for cake
    I hate rules! but I have to follow my own monthly training plan- if it says run, i’ll run- regardless..ish.
    We live in a rural area at the top of a hill surrounded by hills (unless you come from up North where they would be classified as gentle slopes!)- so it always ends uphill for me.
    cross train- cycling
    Loop runs for training- and point to point for Marathon runs (detest switchbacks)
    Recommend- 2toms blistershield
    Wildlife- My best runs are when i see no people- wildlife is crazy here, plenty of badgers/foxes/deer/birds/farm creatures etc… I often race against hares-and this tortoise always wins.
    Lost?-Yep- went to visit in-laws in Pembrokshire 3 weeks ago- popped out for an hours run- returned almost 3 hours later- knackered- scenery was great tho.
    Lately I cant get the thought out of my head of wanting chocolate cake after a run, sets in after about 45 mins of a run. My daughter makes great vegetarian/vegan cakes/brownies etc when she’s home from uni..
    The first 5 miles generally feel like hard work- then I’m off in my own world and all is sweet.
    Where to leave the key.. are you a burglar? – I leave the door unlocked…or rarely in a shed.
    I’ve never raced the same place twice- but really liked the atmosphere at London, Athens and recently Venice Marathons.
    Motivation… mmm tricky this one. Loud rock music- I’m a drummer….Some days the running mojo has gone. A tv programme or write up of someone overcoming or battling against a life challenging event normally fires me up big time. There are some awesome people out there!
    Run from the door
    No glasses- eye sight is fading already- I need all the light I can get!
    I hate quitting- thats probably why I started running Marathons-that and a warped state of mind.

    oops that was 20 minutes where I should have been concentrating on something else!!
    ps I recommend the Venice Marathon (October)- great support, scenery, flat, warm, lots of international runners, 14 bridge finish on the island and a floating pontoon bridge over the grand canal. The 5k bridge from the mainland to the Island is a bit of a slog and the Italian organized chaos is…erm….organized..

    1. Thanks Richard for answering those questions! Love your responses. It’s so interesting to hear what other people think.
      3 hours for a run after you got lost! Hehe sounds rather epic!
      Home-made chocolate cake <--- YES PLEASE 😀 Ahh Venice, on my bucket list for definite. What a cool race to do. I've been to Venice before a few times (I used to go to Lake Garda every year with my parents when I was younger and it's not too far away). But to run round it? Oh wow that would be amazing. AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #23My Profile

  3. one more thing on motivation- I’m impressed by your qualification time at Liverpool for Boston 2016. It gave me a push to aim for Boston 2017..(if a girl can do it and all that- ha ha) so need to hit sub 3:24 for my age in the next 12 months- or wait 10 years for my current time to qualify!
    All the very best in your recovery. Look forward to your Boston review.
    cheeeers Rich

  4. I do love your Nike outfits. I have a couple of pairs of Nike tights that I got with a running shop voucher I won a while back and the fit of them is so nice. They’re a teal colour, which stands out from the rest of my pretty boring running gear. I really like the bright colours of your Nike vests. I might have to put together a little wish list for Christmas actually…
    Mary recently posted…A soggy tourist!My Profile

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