As runners start gearing up for Spring marathon training, many will find that the long run features as part of their traditional marathon training programme. As the distance increases and the time that it takes week-on-week, it's easy to fear the long run. The long run shouldn't be feared, I was re-acquainted with the "Long Run" over the Summer through my training for September's Berlin marathon and tried a few things to keep it fresh, interesting and most of all to help me enjoy it. Here's a few tips and suggestions from my experience of the long run and the hours that I've spent marathon training. Hopefully there might be something to help you with yours

The second to last weekend in July is always set firmly in the diary as the Thunder Run weekend. The 24 hour endurance event, in the grounds of Catton Park in South Derbyshire, sees teams (6-8 or 5 per team), solo runners and pairs aim to do as many laps as they can from midday Saturday until midday Sunday. The route is completely off-road and is a technical lap of 10k, on trails, fields and through woodland, taking in a few ups and downs as it weaves around the picturesque Derbyshire countryside. The 2016 event was to be the third year that we'd taken part in the Thunder Run as a mixed team of 6-8. Our social team, the Rushmere Trail Runners, is made up of runners of all abilities who enjoy running, getting out on the trails and are up for a social laugh too. We have previously only had one team, however

The late May Bank Holiday is when one of London's most iconic 10k races takes place. This year, with the headline sponsor changing over from BUPA to Vitality, the now Vitality London 10,000 took place on Monday 30th May and saw over 12,000 runners crossing the finish line outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall. This was to be my fourth year of running in the London 10,000. There's something about this 10k that keeps me coming back year after year. It's a well-organised race with a large charity element to it, well supported and the route passes some of London's best-known landmarks, as it heads away from the start on The Mall next to Green Park, past Trafalgar Square and along the Strand, before looping around the Bank of England and heading back to the finish along Birdcage Walk and The Mall. Due to the number of runners taking part, the race starts in

Saturday night saw Highgate Harriers host their annual Night of the 10,000 PBs at Parliament Hill Athletics Track, London. This year the races included the England Athletics 10,000m Championships and also saw athletes battling for places in the Rio Olympics 2016 by attempting to achieve the qualifying standard. Over the last four years, Race Organiser Ben Pochee of Highgate Harriers has worked hard to create an event that isn't your conventional track meeting. Crowds are immersed in the action, spectating from lane three where there are live DJs, bars providing beer for the "beer and cheer" and a host of other entertainment including samba bands, dancers and fire jugglers. I've previously heard a lot of excellent things about the event and thought that we should go down and check it out. Running magazine Like the Wind were on the look out for people to help sell event programmes, so we went along to help

Featured image from I first heard about the Wings for Life World Run last year in 2015. I religiously listen to the Marathon Talk podcast and in Episode 278 they featured an interview with Kate Carter, Lifestyle editor at The Guardian and editor of their Running Blog, who finished first UK female last year. It sounded like a brilliant event and after I saw that the 2016 edition was coming to Cambridge, just an hour down the road, it wasn't long before I signed up and had my place. It's a unique concept for a running race, whereby all runners and wheelchair competitors set off at the same time, 11am UTC (12pm BST) across 34 countries around the world. Half an hour later, a catcher car sets off and gradually increases it's speed. As soon as the catcher car overtakes you, you're out of the race and the concept is to run as far as you

For the first time in four years I found myself going into 2016 without a Spring marathon booked, so I decided to set my sights on another challenge - an ultra marathon. I've fancied having a go at an ultra for a while now, since completing a few marathons, and originally had my eyes set on the Stort 30 back in October. Unfortunately this didn't happen for a few reasons, so instead I decided to slowly increase my training in the same way that I would for a Spring marathon and started looking for an event that I could sign up for. I'd heard of the EnduranceLife Coast Trail Series events, as there is a CTS Suffolk event that takes place slightly further North along the coast from where I live. I know people who have taken part in the half marathon and ultra races and they've only ever had good things to say about the events,

During the last weekend of January I finally achieved my first parkrun milestone and joined the ever-growing 50 club. That's taking part in 50 parkruns and every runner who reaches this milestone is rewarded with a red 50 t-shirt. It's taken me a while to get there, since going along to my first parkrun at the end of 2012 (I wrote a short blog about it at the time), working out at only an average of 1.25 parkruns per month. 2013 and 2014 were slightly quieter with my marathon training long runs taking over on Saturday mornings and our closest parkrun being a little drive away. Fast forward to September 2014 and we have a new parkrun almost on the doorstep (I can run there in less than 8 mins), say hello to the awesome Kesgrave parkrun. As long as we're around, I'll be there on Saturday morning, ready for the 9am