Mind Over Matter – Marathon Running.

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In 2018 I got a spot in the ballot for the London Marathon, I was just in the process of recovering from ACL and Meniscus surgery so I deferred for a year. My training was going well till the end of Feb when I gone an ache in my left hip which just got worse and worse every time I ran.

Off I went to the Physio who diagnosed me with a small tear in my TFL (a hip flexor). I had to stop running for 3-4 weeks and then gradually re-load the muscle. This was not ideal given it was the end of February and the Marathon was on the 28th April. I following the advice and 4 weeks later I was heading out for a 21 KM run. I got about 500 meters into the run and there was a searing pain in my right hip! (The un-injured side).

 I walk back home and was off to the physio again, this injury was very hard to diagnose and it only hurt when I ran and it was a sharp shooting pain at the front of my hip. No pain doing anything else and no pain when it was poked or manipulated. The physio thought it could be nerve or very a deep tendinopathy, it turned out it was a tendinopathy at the top of my quads so another setback.

I had to keep running or the Marathon was out. So with some help from pain killers, I learnt to run through it (not great advice but I was on a deadline). I made it through some long runs but did not get up to the magic 20 mile run before the big day, I only managed 18 miles and that would have to do. 

Nine days to go before the big day and my youngest son was sick in the night. I was hoping that had just eaten something and it’s not a bug. I bleached to house just to be sure.  Twenty four hours later and none else had been sick so I felt confident it was just something he ate. Forty Two hours later (7 days to go) my husband is sick in the night, with that I knew it was a tummy bug.

I bleached the house again and I think it has worked as my other son is fine and so am I, for the next 42 hours. However 3 days before the marathon, my other son is sick in the night. This, I thought was the most disastrous thing that could happen to a person before a marathon as I felt pretty sure I would be the next person to get the bug.  I spent the next 3 days keeping my distance and feeling sick with anxiety about being sick…

Saturday came around and I had not been ill so we decided to have a relaxed day at home. (so what is the worst that could happen???) 

My son decided to just drop his coat on the floor by the peg he was supposed to hang it on. I walked around the corner and stepped over the coat, in the process of swinging my foot over the coat I caught the corner of the wall with my foot and cracked my toe on the edge of the wall. I hit the floor screaming as Searing pain increased in my toe. At first I thought I had just stubbed my toe and the pain would go off.

Over the course of the next few hours the pain did not subside and my toe started to go black and swollen, it became obvious that I had broken it…

I could not believe I have broken my toe THE DAY BEOFOR the London Marathon. I spent the rest of the day with my toe on ice, taking and spraying anti-inflammatory on it.  I was also still wondering if I would get through Saturday night without being sick..

Sunday day Moring, I was awake at 6am, had peanut butter on toast, lots of pain killers and porridge. It would soon be time to see if I could get my trainer on my foot with a broken toe. Success as the trainer went on and I was not in too much pain. I would also walk which was another small win, along with the fact I had not come down with a tummy bug in the night. So I set of for Black Heath.

I soon got chatting to the other runners on their way to the start and remembered what a fantastic event it was and the camaraderie between runners was unique to this event. I used the loo, dropped my bag off and made my way to the start.  I actually took a moment as I thought to myself ‘I’ve actually got here, I’ve had a hip injury, still have a quad injury, I have a broken toe and avoided a house tummy bug. I can’t believe I’ve actually made it to the start.’ That alone had felt like a marathon, all I needed to do now was get round.

The race was long and tough, I had to be very careful about how I planted my foot as when I did it wrong and put too much weight through my toe, is was extremely painful.  I ran all the way but had to stop at the 20 mile mark to apply more anti-inflammatory spray to my toe.  St John ambulance came over to see if I was okay. They took one look at my toe and told me I should probably stop or at least walk the rest of the way. I thought NO WAY, I had run 20 miles with this toe and I was not going to stop now with only 6.5 miles to go.  The last 6.5 miles were a bit of a blur but I got there and got a time of 4.53 not too shabby considering all the injuries.

My Advice to this year’s prospective marathon runners…

  • Build up slowly
  • Learn to eat and run
  • Strength train your legs
  • Don’t break your toe the day before
  • If your family becomes ill, move out!

For help and advise with training from a personal trainer please visit

Winter Exercise Tips. How to stay motivated in February

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Winter Exercise Tips.

February can be a hard month to keep up the momentum created by the Christmas binge but the important thing is to keep going, especially if you want to be fit for the summer! The most difficult part of staying in shape for many people is motivation.  Staring the gym is the easy part, especially in the New Year but when the fresh exercise routine gets boring, many people start dropping their attendance.

Below are a few tips to keep you going through the winter blues..


  • Get a personal trainer.
  • Make time for your exercise the same way you make time for eating and sleeping.
  • Stay inside (remember workouts can be done in your own home)
  • Learn a new sport.
  • Remember, summer is coming!
  • Get a workout buddy. Friends can be a great motivation.
  • Create new healthy habits.
  • Buy some new winter active workout gear. There’s nothing worse than being cold when exercising
  • Book a holiday so you have a date in your head to work towards.

For real help with motivation please contact Arbrook PT we cover Esher, Claygate, Walton on Thames, Sunbury, Hampton and surrounding areas of Surrey.  We have mobile male and female personal trainers who can motivate and encourage you not to stop when the going gets tough.

Burpees are great for HIIT exercises

Burpees are great for HIIT exercises