Tag: Running blog

How to keep fit during isolation

April 3rd, 2020


Although, much to my displeasure, gyms have been shut and the amount of exercise we are permitted to do has been limited, there are still simple and safe ways that you can keep your fitness levels up all ready for September (fingers crossed).

Whenever you are feeling a bit down or simply have nothing to do I find that any form of exercise can put that smile back on your face and keep you thinking positive. So I have devised a list of different ways you can keep that body energised and fighting fit!


Use that hour wisely

As we are allowed one hour of exercise you can utilise this by running as far as you can within that hour, think of it as a challenge. And if an hour simply doesn’t seem long enough then push yourself harder! To try and stay out of the way of people, try going of the track and maybe try a bit of running on the hills to spice things up.


Stay hydrated

Sounds simple enough, but some people forget how important it is, especially if your water bottle is no longer sitting on your desk staring at you. When you’re exercising, have a bottle with you as it  improves your endurance and your energy levels.

How many biscuits is that today?

It can be all to easy when in the house to eat less healthy foods as they are easy and convenient (and ALOT more appealing than salad) but if you keep eating well you will feel the benefits when you eventually go back to the gym (my one true love.)


Don’t make a cake, make muscle

Bags of flour? Bags of sugar? Maybe even tins of soup ? Anything that you can get your hands on in the kitchen cupboard, lift it, squat with it… heck, do the samba with it! Keeping your muscles active will make you feel miles better and sure, you won’t be Arnold Schwarzenegger after lifting a couple of tins of heinz beans, but every little helps.

Whatever you end up doing make sure you stay safe and remain positive. Don’t forget that you can now join the dragonfly running club on strava and we can have a competition to see who can run the furthest in an hour!
Join the Dragonfly Running Club on Strava here:


Why you should join the Dream Team in 2020

February 12th, 2020

Just as February has started, this year’s Great North Run ballot has been and gone and whether you have got a place in the run, or you have just missed out, there is a place for you on this year’s Dream Team.

Every year thousands of people have the decision to make, which charity do I run for? Seriously, this year there is no question as we are providing the best running experience for runners no matter your ability. Some people may already have ballot places which are great and you can still join our team and raise money for a great cause.

So what’s going to be different this year?


Dragonfly Running Team

This year’s big change is that we are going to introduce the dragonfly running team (how on earth did we come up with that name?!) This way if you are struggling with training, or simply want some company on those lonely late night 10km runs, the running team can be there for you.

We will also have a running leader board so we can all compete to see who has clocked the most miles and they will receive a special shout-out on the blog.

Training tops

Looking for some new colourful gear for your training run? Look no further than here! We will be offering training tops to our dragonfly runners so you can support the charity with pride when you hit the tarmac in the months leading up to the run.

Support along the way

That’s right, it’s not just your Auntie Julia who will be cheering you on along the way. We plan to have some volunteers along the route in order to keep you striding on, even when your toenail falls off (…speaking from experience, you will need all the help you can get at this point!)

Funky fundraising pack

This will include all the help you will need to reach this year’s goal of £350. The trick is to start early, get in there before everyone else… it will take the pressure off you so you can enjoy the lead up to the run. We will also include a dragonfly badge so you can show everyone that you are running for a fantastic cause this year.

This incredible blog!

Courtesy of yours truly, you will be receiving weekly articles all about running and everything Great North Run in order to keep you motivated and entertained …probably.

A tent

No, it’s not the sort of tent you went camping in the lakes in as a child, this tent will be full of support and smiles once you have finished your run. Plus there will be lots of treats to get your sugar levels back up.

Knowing you are making a big difference.

The money you raise will have an incredible effect on young people’s lives across the UK, and since we are a smaller charity, every pound and every penny will make such a difference.

Imagine you are a young person and you are told you have limited time left to spend time with your family and friends, and you don’t have the money to enjoy that one dream you have, whether it’s driving a fast car or having a ride in a helicopter. You can help these dreams come true. The fundraising you do will make priceless memories for young people and families across the UK. The sky’s the limit, keep running and try and raise as much as you possibly can.

My 2019 Great North Run

December 12th, 2019

This year’s great north run was my first half marathon and my first run for Dragonfly Cancer Trust.

Along with being one of the most painful experiences of my life, it was also one of the most rewarding. Personally this run meant a lot to me, because as a child I struggled with mobility and had to regain the ability to run, therefore completing this had always been a dream of mine.

Onto the day of the run. The day started for me at around 7:00am when I woke, had my breakfast and got on my dragonfly top, got a quick photo and left for the run.. Upon arriving in Newcastle, the atmosphere was electric, the sun was shining and everyone was glowing. We were all ready for the task in hand.

Like most of the runners, nature was calling, hence the one and a half hour wait for the world’s largest collection of portaloos. Whilst being a rather painful experience, it was also a great for meeting fellow runners and finding out other peoples stories. This took me until around 10:00am and gave me 40 minutes until start time. Eventually as the workout came to a close and final preparations were completed, it was 10:40 and we set off.

My first impressions were how alarmingly fast I started. My first mile came in at 6’32” and stayed around there for the first parts of the run. The atmosphere from the crowd was incredible and a real motivator to keep going at this pace. At points (in particular mile 8) it was  difficult to keep going, however, the thought of the cause I was running for kept me motivated and proved to be a great inspiration.

The last push of my run finished on a 7’23” mile and it was a great feeling to return to my home of South Shields. Finishing the run in the time I did was a great surprise to me as I was aiming for around 01:45 time therefore finishing in 01:36.06 was an amazing achievement.


The true challenge of the race, however, was finding the charity tent!

The labyrinth of charity tents proves to be quite difficult to navigate and it felt like running the race again trying to find it. After what felt like around 3 years, I discovered the tent where Jane and Sarah, as well as my family were waiting for me. I felt a surge of pride upon entering as it occurred to me how hard I worked towards this moment and how the money I had raised would help towards this fantastic cause.

From this day onwards I decided to continue volunteering for Dragonfly Cancer Trust and hence writing this blog ! For all those interested in running next year I hope this provides some insight into what the Great North Run will be like.




December 4th, 2019

Here is the blog devoted to all things dragonfly and running related as we prepare for the Great North Run 2020.

I am David and I volunteer on a weekly basis at the Dragonfly Cancer Trust office in Newcastle. Last year was my first Great North Run (only 2 months after my 17th birthday) and it’s safe to all the members of the Dream Team smashed it!

Unintentionally, I finished first for the Dream Team (do not ask me how because I still don’t know) which was a  huge success as I ran a personal best time of 01:36:06 finishing 1702nd overall, 31st for my age group and I managed to do that whilst raising money for this incredible cause.

Although it was painful at times (the rubbing and losing a toenail) and probably the hardest thing I have done, the feeling of elation as I crossed the finish line was like nothing else. Which is why I invite you to join the Dream Team for 2020.

This year is going to the biggest run yet for us and we are pulling out all the stops to make sure its your biggest run too, whether you’re a Great North Run veteran or a newbie like I was last year. This year for us is all about building a team so although we may start in different positions, together we are united, and we all have each other’s backs.

So, Sign up! What’s stopping you, you still have plenty of time! It doesn’t matter whether the longest you’ve run is to the bus stop on a Monday morning, together as a team this year we will help each other so we can all achieve our potential and help this great cause.