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And how was it? #SouthCoastChallenge

Week ago I was walking from Eastbourne to Arundel raising money for Sussex charity Rise (finished just around 9 am on the Sunday)

This blog is how the walk went, my experiences & any advice for anyone taking part in the future

The first thing is I have wanted a week after the walk, wanted a bit of distance looking back at it, but not too much distance that the memory plays tricks on you 

A week where the legs are recovered (sort of, still feel heavy & feet ache)... So let's start at the beginning  

Got dropped off at Prince's Park in Eastbourne, the start line. I was nervous as had no idea what to expect & losing my travel cup before did throw me off a bit. But didn't have to long to stress before called to start line, our group given a briefing & a warmup then it was off 


Walking along the Eastbourne coast line reminded me of when we stayed there for Beachy Head Marathon, and then hill climb right at the start of Beachy Hill really brought home how hilly this start will be. I was happy with my podcasts, enjoying the sunshine (though had to change to shorts after 1st rest stop as it was so hot!)  

The scenery was amazing, and seeing lines of walks in the distance made you realise how many people were taking place


Having done Beachy Head Marathon I knew how step Seven Sisters was going to be, I know the route to Alfriston (remember the places where I walked with Claire during the marathon, and also the memory of the tea and cake stop at Alfriston during the marathon)

Then walking along the South Downs, I could see Newhaven to one side, and River Ouse / Lewes on the other side, the weird thing about being high up, you can see so far away, and you think it can't be too far away but much further than you think. See the Ouse, remembering my training walk from Lewes to Newhaven, but took ages to get there on this walk. Still nice weather, not as hot as the morning sun at Beachy Head, and have a bit of a breeze helped.

This part of the South Downs walk I was helped along the way by Moore, Roger Moore. Listening to his autobiography My Word is My Bond was a nice way to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Getting near towards Kingston Near Lewes, gave me hope and I had done that walk to Brighton several times, and such a nice feeling walking down into Brighton, my home town. Knowing where I was going. And had a welcome sight before the 50km sign. Claire was there to walk from Brighton Pier to Hove Park with me, 


Felt this was a hard part for me, just done over 50km, and was tired. Hove Park seemed to be moving further and further away, so was glad I could sit down, have some pasta. Check on my feet, change into dry clothes where Claire brought with her.

As it was now dark, we had to wait until groups were ready to go out every 15 minutes. So with glow sticks, head torches on I set off to go back onto the South Downs. 


The section from Hove Park to the next rest stop Botolphs a 14km leg was the hardest of the lot for me. I think it was a combination of tiredness, the dark, needing the toilet only a few K's after the rest stop, being both hot and cold, the floor surface which is probably okay when you can see where you going, but in dark you can't see where to put your foot. 

I was hoping to see amazing night sky but as it was quite cloudy, you didn't get the views I hoped for, but was still amazing. 


Luckily for me sometime after the Botolphs stop I meet up with another Nick, and it really did help walking with someone else. So can't say how much it helped me. Thanks Nick


Sorry the above photo was a bit blurred as camera was a bit smeared, but I think it gives it a bit of atmosphere. Was great seeing the dawn break. Bacon Rolls at one of the next stops was a welcome addition. 

Every time we saw a KM marker we counted down distance to either the next rest stop or to the finish. Once we did the last rest stop it was amazing, knowing we were getting closer and closer to the finish. Sometime during the night I knew my plan for doing the walk in around 20 hours wasn't going to happen, but towards the end knowing this was going to take me over 24 hours made it felt more worthwhile. Knowing I have walked for a day sounded very cool to me.

Then arriving at Arundel was the most refreshing sight, especially as my parents and Claire were there. Completing it with Nick was good as well, 


So would I ever do this again?

No, though doesn't mean I wouldn't do another challenge. I thought Action Challenge did a great job, the route was marked out and all the rest stops were well stocked with snacks and drinks. They did a great job, so the reason I wouldn't do this is the route, having done it once I am not sure how much would a challenge it be. So glad I have done this, it is one of the biggest achievements I have done. 

What would I have done differently?

Would have done some night training, taken less stuff in my backbag and maybe some more longer walks. But overall not sure what else I could do (apart from booking the day off beforehand, and booking days off afterwards - going back to work on Tuesday was tough!!!)


My Live Trail Stats - click here


And finally - you can still sponsor me, I was doing this walk for Rise

Last Post Before The Walk #SouthCoastChallenge

This time tomorrow I will be walking from Eastbourne to Arundel, 60 miles along the coast & South Downs. Hopefully on my way to the halfway point at Brighton 

Wanted to do one last post before the walk, talking about how I felt training went, what I could have done better, and more importantly how I feel about tomorrow 

Scared is the first response. Scared is the Unknown, scared about not knowing how my body will react  

But I'm also trying to use this as a positive thing as well, as someone who is a bit of a control freak, going into the unknown like this & being able to cope with it is great therapy  

I started off this journey as a challenge after the last couple of bad years I have had. 3 surgeries in two years for three different things, has affected my fitness, also the way I felt about my health & life. At times in dark places. So deciding to take on this challenge, which when I signed up felt unreal like it was an event which was so far away, I didn't have to think about the reality  

I also like training, and the routine of training. I can use my organiser to work out what I have to do when (I use Wunderlist) & also my spreadsheets charting how far I have walked, how many mins I have spent on rower or what weights lifting in gym. 

My training has been mix of gym working on aerobic  & muscles, and long walks. I enjoy the long walks, listening to music, podcasts etc, chance to think and come up with ideas on how to save the planet (nothing on that quite yet but have thought of a cool cycling card game which I want to think more about)

I have been doing my weekly training blogs, and have no idea if anyone reads them (or even reading this) but it helps me feel better.

Want to thank everyone who sponsored me. I have found the fundraising harder than I thought. Back in 2007 & 2008 when I was doing London Marathon found it easier. I think it is the fact more people are doing charity events nowadays & it is hard to support everything.  

What would I have done differently? Would have got walking boots / walking sticks earlier, walking boots was about half way into training & walking sticks towards the end. Would have done more stair training 

But overall I am happy with my training, I fear I haven't done enough but I feared that when doing the London Marathons, the Moonwalk, London to Brighton Night Ride, Beachy Head Marathon & they all worked out. I know I have put the hours in. Could they have been harder, of course but that is always the answer. You can always go harder but that is next time 

I started running in 2006, to loose weight but it was the mental health benefits which carried me on. The feeling after a good run, and I get that after a good walk now. I'm looking forward to the feeling of finishing, the feeling of walking at night with just headtorches & moonlight to guide us.

Want to say a massive thank you to Claire, who I couldn't have done this without her support. She is amazing & love her so much.  

Will try to tweet / Facebook update when I can tomorrow but will write a blog saying how it went on Sunday/Monday


Final Weeks of #SouthCoastChallenge

The race is near, so near in fact in a weeks time it is all over. 

So in the tampering down stage of my training. So here are some of my highlights 

Wednesday 17th Aug - 55 min walk

Friday 19th Aug - 45 mins walk

Saturday 20th Aug - 1 Hour Row & then a 2 & half hour walk

And training for this week

Mon 22nd - 30 mins Aerobic  

Tue 23rd - Rest

Wed 24th - 30 min Walk

Thur 25th - Rest

Fri 26th - 30 min Walk

Sat 27th - The Race



Results of Week 12 & 13 Training #SouthCoastChallenge

Due to the 10 hour walk I did last Sunday was too knackered to do my training blog, so here is the blog of the last two weeks training.

If you not aware I am doing a 100km walk on the August Bank Holiday weekend, raising money for Sussex based charity RISE

Sponsor me at

Week 12 - Training
Mon 1st - Rest
Tue 2nd - 52 mins on the mini indoor bike at home
Wed 3rd - Rest
Thur 4th - 30 min walk outside
Fri 5th - Rest
Sat 6th - Rest
Sun 7th - 10 hour 4 mins Walk covering 32.19 miles. Walking from Brighton to Lewes to Newhaven and back to Brighton. Bit misty and suffered quite a bit. 

Week 13 - Training
Mon 8th - Rest
Tue 9th - Rest
Wed 10th - Gym - 10 mins indoor bike, 20 mins rowing, and then couple of weights machines
Thur 11th - Gym - 21 mins indoor bike, 10 mins rowing, some weights and finished off with a 5 min 55 sec run outside covering 0.66 miles
Fri 12th - Rest
Sat 13th  - 4 hour 15 miles Walk covering 13.80 miles. Walked from Hassocks to Brighton
Sun 14th  - 2 hour 5 mins Walk covering 6.22 miles. Walked with Claire along the seafront past the marina

And here is what I am planning to do next week

Week 14th - Training Plan
Mon 15th - Rest
Tue 16th - 30 mins Aerobic
Wed 17th - Rest
Thur 18th - Cross Training
Fri 19th - Rest
Sat 20th - 2 Hour Walk
Sun 21st - Rest

Less than 2 weeks to go now, so tapering down. Though as doing a rowing challenge in October, I am making sure I don't rest too much. Will be concentrating on rowing machine. This week's long walks went well, showing me the 10 mile was just a one off. Feeling confident again.

Feels unreal this is going to happen. That will be walking 60 miles, will be walking for under 24 hours (hopefully)

Results of Week 11 Training #SouthCoastChallenge

The results of Week 11 of my training plan for the South Coast Challenge, a 100km walk I am doing for charity in August

Sponsor me at

 Below is what I was meant to do this week

Week 11 - Training Plan
Mon 25th - 30 mins Aerobic
Tue 26th - Rest
Wed 27th - 45 mins Aerobic
Thur 28th - Cross Training
Fri 29th - Rest & Party night.
Sat 30th - 7 Hour Walk
Sun 31st - 5 Hour Walk

And here is what I did

Mon 25th - 30 mins Aerobic
10 mins Rower
5 mins Step Machine
15 mins Indoor Bike (5 mins at L10, then 5 at L1, final 5 at L10)

Tue 26th - Rest

Wed 27th - 45 mins Aerobic
40 mins Rower covering 5598m
5 mins Step Machine

Thur 28th - Cross Training
Legs felt tiring so just did a 40 min walk covering 2.16 miles

Fri 29th - Rest & Party night.

Sat 30th - 7 Hour Walk
Did a 7hrs 15 mins walk from Brighton to Lewes and back, first from Woodingdean to Lewes then back via South Downs. Covering 24.24 miles. Again my GPS watch lasts 6 and half hours.

And here is the manual part I added afterwards

Sun 31st - 5 Hour Walk
Did a 5hrs 35 mins walk from Brighton to Shoreham and back. Covering 18.62 miles

Enjoy the long walks, the being alone listening to podcasts while walking in the countryside. Amazing stuff I learn, and also the laughter of the comedy helps pass the time.

Podcasts like
No Such Thing As a Fish
Cycling Podcast
Freakonomics Radio
The Infinite Monkey Cage
Revisionist History
This American Life

Week 12 - Training Plan
Mon 1st - Cross Training
Tue 2nd - 50 mins Aerobic
Wed 3rd - Rest
Thur 4th - 30 mins Aerobic
Fri 5th - Rest
Sat 6th - Rest
Sun 7th - 10 Hour Walk



Result of Week 10 Training #SouthCoastChallenge

The results of Week 10 of my training plan for the South Coast Challenge, 1 00km walk I am doing for charity in August

Sponsor me at

 Below is what I was meant to do this week

Mon 18th - 40 mins Aerobic
Tue 19th - 1 Hour Interval
Wed 20th - 30 mins Aerobic
Thur 21st - Cross Training
Fri 22nd - Rest
Sat 23rd - 4 Hour Walk
Sun 24th - 4 Hour Walk

And here is what I did

Mon 18th - Rest

Tue 19th - 45 mins Aerobic
Indoor Bike - 30 mins Interval Setting covering 7.41 miles
10 mins on 5 weight machines, doing 2 mins on each. Aiming to do more reps than previously, which I achieved on 3 of the 5.
5 mins on the step machine doing 318 steps

Wed 20th - Rest

Thur 21st - 34 mins Aerobic
10 mins up and down the stairs at home, going up and down 61 times
24 mins on my mini indoor bike at home

Fri 22nd - Rest

Sat 23rd - 4 Hour Walk
Ended up doing 4hrs 27 mins covering 15.27 miles at a pace of 17.32. I went up and down a lot of hills, and tried to do most of the walking in the South Downs

Sun 24th - 4 Hour Walk
I ended up only having time for a 3 hour walk today, so decided to do a fast one. So stuck to mostly roads, still did hills and stuff. So good speed walk, except when facing the onslaught of tourists when walking around town. Did 11.05 miles in 3hrs at a pace of 16.18

Mention last week how people in the countryside are friendly, everyone says hi. When I walk in town you never get any of this communication. Again didn't do as much gym as possible, but the combination of feeling so tired and life getting in the way. But will try to get there a few times this week

This Friday is my Lip Sync Challenge, a night of fun helping me raise money for RISE
See the event here on Facebook

Week 11 - Training Plan
Mon 25th - 30 mins Aerobic
Tue 26th - Rest
Wed 27th - 45 mins Aerobic
Thur 28th - Cross Training
Fri 29th - Rest & Party night.
Sat 30th - 7 Hour Walk
Sun 31st - 5 Hour Walk

Result of Week 7 Training #SouthCoastChallenge

The results of Week 7 of my training plan for the South Coast Challenge, 1 00km walk I am doing for charity in August

Sponsor me at

 Below is what I was meant to do this week

Mon 27th - 30 mins Walk
Tue 28th - 1 Hour Walk
Wed 29th - Rest
Thur 30th - 45 mins Walk
Fri 1st July - 30 mins Aerobic
Sat 2nd July - 3.5 Hour Walk
Sun 3rd July - 2.5 Hour Walk

Mon 27th June
Did a 2.78 mile walk in 46m 1s at a pace of 16.32

Tue 28th June
Did a 3.63 mile walk in 1hr 53s at a pace of 16.47

Wed 29th June
Rest day

Thur 30th June
Rest day

Fri 1st July
Did a 3.70 mile walk in 1hr 1s at a pace of 16.14

Sat 2nd July
Did a 17 mile walk in 4 hours 37 mins 22 seconds at a pace of 16.19. This was a walk from Goring On Sea to Brighton, with a slightly detour at Shoreham where I ended up doing a couple more miles than needed. Really nice walk along the sea front. I have been enjoying these long walks as it lets me listen to my podcasts such as The Cycling Podcast, Fighting Talk and Serial

Sun 3rd July
Was planning to do indoor bike, but ended up a rest day

So overall happy with training so far, especially as still getting over the chesty cough I have been having for the last two weeks. 

So my Week 8 Training Schedule is as follows

Mon 4th - Rest
Tue 5th - 35 mins Aerobic
Wed 6th - 50 mins Aerobic
Thur 7th - 1 Hour Walk
Fri 8th - Rest
Sat 9th - Rest
Sun 10th - 5 Hour Walk

Result of Week 4 Training #SouthCoastChallenge

Have now done a month's training for August's South Coast Challenge, and the results of week 4 are

Mon 6th June - Rest

Tue 7th June - 45 mins Aerobic
Rowing Machine - 20.07 mins covering 3543 metres
Indoor Bike - 25 mins covering 6.48 miles. Every 2 mins I went up a Level to Level 8 and then back down

Wed 8th June - 40 mins Aerobic
Rowing Machine - 20.07 mins covering 3859 metres
Indoor Bike - 20.02 mins covering 5.01 miles on Rolling Hills setting

Thur 9th June - 1 Hour Walk
Got off the train at Preston Park and did an hour walk

Fri 10th June - Rest

Sat 11th June - 3 Hour Walk
After last week's walk in the countryside up and down hills. This time did a nice walk from home to Hove Park to Portslade and then along the seafront, and back home via Kemptown. In total 3 hours 5 mins covering 11.05 miles. Felt fine, had a good pace and legs were tired but not tired where I couldn't go on for longer.

Sun 12th June - Rest
Well needed rest

Week 5 Training Plan
13/6 - Cross-Training
14/6 - Rest
15/6 - 30 mins Aerobic
16/6 - 45 mins Aerobic
17/6 - Rest
18/6 - 3 Hour Walk
19/6 - 1.5 Hour Walk

Don't forget you can sponsor me at

Result of Week 3 Training - South Coast Challenge

Completed week three of my training plan, and my results are 

Mon 30th May - Rest
Instead of a rest day went for a walk with Claire from Brighton Marina to Rottingdean and back again via a cafe at Rottingdean Total 5.05 miles.

Tue 31st May - 30 mins Interval
30 mins on the Indoor Bike covering 7.50 miles on the Interval Training setting

Wed 1st June - Cross Training
7 machines working on my upper body, calf & hip muscles. 

Thur 2nd June - Rest
Was meant to do Aerobic workout, but calf was feeling sore from yesterday workout

Fri 3rd June - 50 Mins Aerobic
Did 1 Hour on the indoor bike at home, little machine, so I can sit on a chair, watch TV and cycle at same time.

Sat 4th June - 2.5 Hour Walk
Walk from Hassocks to Brighton, covering 10 miles in 3 hours 2 mins. Really enjoyable walk through the Sussex countryside, though the climb up to Jack & Jill shows me I need more hill work.

Sun 5th June - 1 Hour Walk
Nice walk along Devils Dyke with Claire, in total covering 4.41 miles and 1 hour 40 mins. Nice sunny weather, and of course we had ice cream up there.

Week 4 Training Plan
Mon 6th June - Rest
Tue 7th June - 45 mins Aerobic
Wed 8th June - 40 mins Aerobic
Thur 9th June - 1 Hour Walk
Fri 10th June - Rest
Sat 11th June - 3 Hour Walk
Sun 12th June - Rest

Don't forget you can sponsor me at

Result of Week 2 Training Plan

Finished week 2 of my training plan, and here is how it went

Monday 23rd May - 30 mins Aerobic
Rowing Machine - 10.06 mins and 2062 meters
Indoor Bike - 20.02 mins and 5.01 miles
Both personal bests

Tuesday 24th May - Rest

Wednesday 25th May - Cross Training
Weights day doing 7 machines, focusing on upper body

Thursday 26th May - 40 mins Aerobic
Rowing Machine - 10.08 mins and 1947 meters
Indoor Bike - 20 mins and 4.86 miles
Treadmill - 10.03 mins 0.61 miles Walking on speed L6 and up to Incline L14

Fri 27th May - Rest

Sat 29th May - 2 Hour Walk
Instead of doing a 2 Hour Walk, I ended up building wardrobes, and then did a 40 min on my mini indoor bike (while watching The Giro D'Italia) and then a 10 min run covering 1.04 miles

Sun 29th May - 1 Hour Walk
Not doing the 2 Hour Walk yesterday, so I decided to do it today after coming back from Guildford. Made sure I did a few hills, and covered 7.83 miles in 2 hrs 11 mins

My week 3 training plan is

Mon 30th May - Rest
Tue 31st May - 30 mins Interval
Wed 1st June - Cross Training
Thur 2nd June - 50 mins Aerobic
Fri 3rd June - Rest
Sat 4th June - 2.5 Hour Walk
Sun 5th June - 1 Hour Walk

Don't forget you can sponsor me at

93 Days To Go: Injuries & Mental Toughness

93 Days to Go & aim focuses on this challenge. One of my motivations is recovering from all the injuries & illness I had over the years. 

The surgies of the last two years has pushed my fitness back to zero. Well I say zero, the lung capacity went back to zero but my legs still had some sort of muscle memory, even though I hadn't run for quite a few months. So it was always a challenge as legs wanted to go faster than the lungs!  

And recovering from my lung surgery back in Jan 2014, I maybe pushed myself bit too hard as I ended up getting a hernia after completing the Brighton Half Marathon in 2015, which meant pulling out of Brighton Marathon 

So this year I'm making sure I take it careful. Though the biggest difference is I'm now doing gym work as well as the aerobic training. Using weights to build up my muscles, so hopefully less likely to get injury 

My biggest running injury has to be when I got a stress fracture in my leg while running the Nice to Cannes Marathon in 2009, not that we knew it was fractured at the time. I was running with a friend, Michelle & we both thought I must have pulled a muscle in my knee and tied to stretch it out. This happened at mile 13 & thought at first I can run it off, but it got worse & worse until by the very end I was running on one leg. I was run / walk / run (using telegraph poles or other markers to work out how far I could run before stopping). It was only when I got back home from France, and my physio saying they didn't think it was muscle damage that I got an X-Ray to discover the stress fracture.

This injury taught me one thing, I know where the going gets tough, I will still go for it. The mental toughness to say I will finish this race, is the lasting impression. Knowing this, and knowing mental toughness will be the thing I need the most for this 100km walk. Knowing I have to walk through the night  

Luckily having done the Moonwalk, 26 mile walk through London at night, and the night version of the London to Brighton Bike Ride has given me good idea of how my body reacts to this. So feel confident with a few practice night time walks this won't be a problem. 

If you want to sponsor me you can do so. See below for Just Giving link  

Walking 100km from Eastbourne to Arundel for Rise because they such an important & great charity


Result of Week 1 Training Plan

Here is the results of my Week 1 training plan, my first official week even though had been going to the gym for the last few months, as well as doing the 5k Heroes Run last weekend.

Just a reminder I am walking the South Coast Challenge, a 100km walk from Eastbourne to Arundel, raising money for Brighton charity RISE

Monday 16th - Rest Day

Tuesday 17th - 20 mins Aerobic
I did 20.13 mins on the Indoor Bike covering 5.01 miles on the rolling hills setting

Wed 18th - 30 mins Aerobic
I did 10.05 mins on the rowing machine completing 1897 metres
Then 20.30 mins on the Indoor Bike covering 5 miles on the rolling hills setting

Thur 19th - Cross Training
A weights day doing 13 machines, covering arm, legs, chest, shoulder etc

Fri 20th - Rest

Sat 21st - 2 Hour Walk
I did a 2 hour 3 min walk along Brighton seafront, up to Ovindean and back covering 7.35 miles. This has given me a good idea of my walking speed, so I can plan future long walks
See my walk on Garmin Connect

Sun - Rest

So here is my week 2 training plan

Mon 23rd - 30 mins Aerobic
Tue 24th - Cross Training
Wed 25th - Rest
Thur 26th - 40 mins Aerobic
Fri 27th - Rest
Sat 28th - 2 Hour Walk
Sun 29th - 1 Hour Walk

Will update next Sunday, how Week 2 has gone.

Why South Coast Challenge?

Why South Coast Challenge

I used to be fit.

Well I used to be unfit, and not very sporty then in 2006 I took up running. At first it was just an attempt to reverse the weight gain of my 20s, but then it became an addiction. A good addiction though, a challenge which I enjoyed, it was something I could see myself improving in, and there wasn't many things I was good at. 

I ended up running various races, including London Marathon twice, Nice to Cannes Marathon (completed it with a stress fracture in my leg), and the Beachy Head Marathon (nice and hilly). I also did the Moonwalk (26 mile walk around London at night), London to Brighton cycle ride at night, and lots of other races and adventures.

Then came December 2013, and I ended up in hospital for three weeks with a serious lung infection, off work for several months recovering from the surgery. When I started running again late 2014 I had to start from scratch,  Roll onto February 2015 and I completed the Brighton Half Marathon and discovered I caused myself a hernia. By September 2015 I had the surgery for the hernia (and emergency appendix surgery in May 2015). Rest of 2015 was recovering from the surgery (still get pain post-surgery, I even named the pain - Herman)

So now I am going to the gym, and decided I wanted a challenge to get myself fit again.... and I choose The South Coast Challenge

What is the South Coast Challenge?

It is a 100km trek from Eastbourne, up Beachy Head, along Seven Sisters and through Brighton at the midpoint. Then up Devil's Dyke and end up at Arundel. People can run, walk or jog this event, I will be very much walking, though may jog the event if I still have the energy! Walking it will take me between 24-34 hours

Who For?

So part of me doing this is the challenge of getting fit again, challenge of having a goal and achieving it. The other reason I am wanting to do this event, is to raise money for a very important charity. I am supporting the charity RISE UK, a charity which helps people affected by domestic abuse. Offering practical solutions, shelter and support in Brighton, Hove and Sussex


So I have a few ideas so far for fundraising but if anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how I can raise money let me know... I will be setting up a justgiving page (or do people have a better suggestion for fundraising)