This photo has absolutely nothing to do with running, but it made me smile. 

Latest EA Guidance

Well, it’s not going to be the normal Christmas, and that’s for sure. To misquote the Smiths, this joke isn’t funny anymore. I can’t be the only person who feels like this year has been a mental rollercoaster: lockdown, ease off, lockdown, ease off, track closed, track open, track closed etc etc etc. Now we’re in Tier 4 with a load of new rules to try and figure out. Here is the latest update from England Athletics on what Tier 4 means for athletes like us,  as agreed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England, and published on 20 December:

  • Organised outdoor sport for under-18s (including those who were under-18 on 31 August 2020) and disabled people is allowed. Indoor sport for under-18s is only permitted for education or to facilitate childcare that enables parents or carers to work, seek work or take part in education.
  • Organised outdoor and indoor sport for over-18s is not permitted.
  • People can exercise outdoors or visit some public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities. They can continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with their household, support bubble, or one other person.
  • Outdoor sports facilities are allowed to open and can be used by individual households, bubbles or two people from different households. This applies to outdoor track and field provision where it is open locally (our track is closed).
  • There are no exceptions for disabled people taking part in sport or physical activity indoors.
  • Competition licences within Tier 4 areas are suspended.

Track Tuesday

Who knew that last week’s track session would be the last one for who knows how long?  We were lucky to have nice, mild, weather to accompany Rob’s 12 x 300m session. I think the warm-up proved a little over-ambitious; you didn’t know if you were hopping, skipping or shuffling, though most of you were okay with the gentle jogs in between!

Unfortunately, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday, track will be closed until further notice, and the sessions we had planned for the rest of the month have been postponed. But the good news is…

Debbie has volunteered to do a Christmas Special Instalive HIIT session – see below for details. Captain Rob swears by Debbie’s sessions, and he’s very rarely wrong.

Planned BRR activities

I’m so sorry that the real activities we had planned leading up to the New Year have had to be cancelled. We can only hope that the Tier 4 restrictions bring the infection rate down and rules can be relaxed.

Tuesday 22 December – Debbie’s Christmas HIIT session. 5.30pm start. Just look for comradesincoaching on instagram.

We had planned to do a DEFINITELY NOT Christmas Park run in Barking Park at 9.30am on Christmas Day. Obviously, we can’t organise that now. If you do go to the park to run on Christmas Day, please avoid normal parkrun time (let’s not give Chalk Man anything to complain about) and stick to running with one other person, waving to everyone else from a distance.

To keep me motivated I’ve signed up for the Witham Virtual Boxing Day 5. Entry is £10.60 and you have between 21 and 31 December to log your 5-mile run. All entrants receive a medal. More details at

BRR in action

At least we still have Barking (not)parkrun, and it’s good to see lots of Road Runners logging their times. Woo! Woo! Woo! Belinda was first over the virtual line this week in 23:55 and also achieved the highest age grading of the week (69.27%). Belinda was also first woman at Virtual Park Run. Also running NPR were Jason 27:24; Helen 27:47; Alison 33:36 (new NPR PB).

Do Trevor and Cristina ever stop? Having just received their medals for their last Virtual Iron Man competition, they’ve now started another one. Well done guys!

Breaking News

A lorry load of German Christmas cake has gone missing on the A13.

Police think it may have been stollen.

Boom! Boom!

Recipe Corner

This week’s recipe is from the NHS One You website, so it must be healthy! Well, it’s 299 calories per portion so maybe not quite healthy, but not bad compared to lots of shop-bought desserts and it’s a good way of using up leftover bread that’s going a bit dry (drier bread soaks up the liquid better).

Make Humanity Great Again

Have you seen that Eddie Izzard plans to run 31 marathons in 31 days – that’s a marathon every day of the month – in January, as part of his ‘Make Humanity Great Again’ campaign, raising money for charities supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Each treadmill marathon will be followed by an hour-long stand-up gig.

Each run will take the ‘theme’ of a different city – a nod to Izzard’s past challenges, which have seen him run marathons in various international locations. Viewers are encouraged to join in virtually over  Zwift or Zoom as he runs the marathons.

I know that running on a treadmill isn’t as stressful physically as road running, but 31 runs in 31 days is going to be pretty tough, and I can’t think of anything more mind-numbingly boring than running for hours on a treadmill, so the mental challenge will be massive. More details on his website

Simple moves for stronger and more injury-resistant joints

Move #02: IT band foam rolling

This week’s move helps the knees and the side of the thigh. Sitting a lot and a lack of flexibility affect how well the kneecap moves. Tightness along the side of the thigh – the iliotibial (IT) band – pulls the kneecap outwards and affects how it aligns on top of the thigh bone. Thus, IT band foam-rolling work is essential – do it for two minutes, twice a day. If you haven’t got a foam roller, anything firm and cylindrical  – like a tin of beans – will do. A Pringles tube probably won’t do the trick.

And finally…

I was rather bemused by Captain Rob’s postings about his running shoes last week. It wasn’t that he has loads of shoes; we’re all equally guilty of that. It was the fact that he keeps the laces when he eventually throws the shoes away. It can’t be in case the laces break in another pair of shoes; I can’t remember the laces in my trainers ever breaking. I have the suspicion that Rob is a bit like a serial killer who keeps a trophy from their victims. Criminologists explain that the trophy is a way for the killer to relive his crimes over and over again, long after the excitement of the kill is over. Rob obviously keeps the laces to relive the excitement of all those runs!

Have as Merry a Christmas as you can


BRR Chair


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