Sport Relief 2014

8 Jan

So, its been a brutal few weeks for the Grit Doctor. I am still recovering from a bout of flu so severe it had me crying out in my delirium that I’d rather re-birth the twins than suffer like this. Those who know the horror of my birthing story will find this most amusing…

I have been thinking about running and particularly about my Sport Relief 6 miler in March, but as with all illness you have a keen instinct for knowing when your body needs rest and when it will respond and benefit from a gentle run: when exercise will heal rather than hinder your recovery. That day for me was today, 10 days after I got sick, and I went out ever so slowly. A very slow 5ker. The only other two people out there braving the cold this morning were clearly pros, there is this one female runner who looks like she eats marathons for breaksfast and I always see her whenever I go running, she runs whatever the weather, and she runs hard and long and has a Paula-Radcliffesque frame to show for it. The other was a bloke so ripped and tanned he looked like he had just returned from some winter Olympic skiing scenario. And middle-aged mum of twins – me. He smiled at me – making the entire outing more than worthwhile, probs on account of having RUN FAT BITCH RUN emblazoned on my tee? Who knows. Returned home spattered in mud and water and filthy to the very core, yet cleansed in a way I haven’t been since before this flu took hold…

So the point here is this: the only people out there clearly have races on their Winter agendas – myself included. So, incentivise yourself into sticking to any resolutions you may have foolishly made to get or stay fit/fitter for 2014 by entering a race. It is the surest way to succeed as you really do need bucketloads of grit to choose running outdoors over hibernation on the sofa to get you out there in January.

Hannah Cockcroft, one of Britain’s most successful Paralympians, Helen Glover, gold medal winning Olympic rower, and Denise Van Outen give their top tips for those training for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games below:

HANNAH: Choose the event that you are really going to enjoy doing, because you’re not going to finish it if you don’t enjoy training for it and doing it. You’re obviously doing it for a fantastic cause so that should be your driving force throughout, but just remember to go out there and have fun! Warm up properly so you don’t get injured, and keep smiling because it will go so much quicker!

HELEN: Find a friend to train with – I think it’s always fun if you’re in groups, or if you’ve got a friend you can get the up out of bed early and go for a run.

DENISE: First of all make sure you stick to it because it’s really easy to find an excuse not to do it and then you’re always proud with yourself afterwards. Build it up gently, don’t go in and go crazy because you could cause yourself an injury or seek some professional advice to learn how to train for something properly. Find a buddy to work out with or train with as it just makes it more fun.

Why set goals when training for the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games?

HELEN: It’s really important, because no matter what your own goal is you’ve got to work up to doing it. Think of what you want to do come race day or come the day that you’re doing your Sport Relief challenges and how you’re going to get there. So if you maybe start with a 10 minute jog and then you work up doing the distance before the day.

HANNAH: Goal setting is really important because it makes you feel good about yourself when you achieve them. It also gives you something to motivate you along, so if you miss one days training then you know you’ll behind on the next day and that means you might just not finish that mile, and it is really important that you finish. You don’t want to leave something half-finished because then you feel like you haven’t achieved your goal.

How can people make training fun?

HELEN: Circuits are really fun, when it’s cold outside and you’re looking for motivation just put on your favourite music and have five friends round and just do a circuit, that’s just a really good way of motivating yourself to do something.

HANNAH: Mix it up a little bit, my most hated session is when I just have to jog for ages and just jog and there’s nothing else to do. So mix it up – do short little sprints, play games with yourself, stick some music on and you can just run to the beat and it’s all good.

DENISE: I put my iPod on shuffle and it could be anything from Dolly Parton 9to5, to a little bit of Calvin Harris or Jessie J, just a mix really.

Hannah, Helen, and Denise are supporting the first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. You can make every mile count by running, swimming or cycling your way to raising cash at over a thousand venues, including our landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Join the fun and games today and sign up at

The Grit Doctor says:

Challenge yourself, challenge your partner, challenge me. Go on I dare you!


2 Responses to “Sport Relief 2014”

  1. Rachel January 8, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    I love the idea of a RUN FAT BITCH RUN t-shirt. Where do I get one? xxx

    • gritdoctor January 8, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      you can buy one on this blog just scroll down the home page and its on the right hand side to buy the teeshirt!!

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