Whilst there are still occasional reminders of summer, it is certainly feeling more autumnal as September draws to a close: the mornings are cooler and the evenings are shorter... but the runs aren't!

Having clocked up some reasonable runs during the summer holidays, I was keen not to let things slip with the return to our normal work/school routines. I have tried to maintain a decent weekend run plus at least one midweek, and some weeks I have managed two. In total, I've covered 115km (over 70 miles), with my two longest runs in September both being over 20km (about 12.5 miles).

I don't have a clever watch to help me manage my pace so it can be somewhat erratic, but it is improving! The trick is not to start off full pelt as fast as you can, but rather to aim for a pace that can be maintained - or even increased. That discipline is obviously particularly important for any longer distance, with an increased risk of exhaustion leading to a disappointing and embarrassing 'DNF' (Did Not Finish) label at an organised event - something no-one wants!

Most people advise taking part in a number of practice races prior to any big goal, so I intend to take part in a few half marathons before London Marathon 2020. Living on the south coast, the Chichester Half Marathon on 6th October seems a good one to go for: it is very local, and is actually a fundraiser for another local charity called 'Children on the Edge'. The course will include a rather daunting hill climb called 'The Trundle' and I therefore tried to build-in some appropriate training through September. We'll see how things go at the weekend!

Incidentally, the banner photo was taken during an evening run along the top of Highdown Hill - just on the northern edge of Worthing. I do like a good sunset and we've had some spectacular displays recently, but running after dark is something I will have to get used to.

Water and nutrition become more of an issue with longer distances too. Thankfully there are refreshment stations along the route for most events, but it's very different when training; working out what to carry - and how - is something I've yet to master, but I know I should make sure I have at least some liquids if running for two hours or more. Jelly Babies are apparently a popular snack for a quick sugar burst and they're easy to carry. [Your favourite colour? Think mine's probably either yellow or black :)  ]

I'm very thankful that I've had no serious injuries or illness to date, but I don't take that for granted and would therefore welcome prayers for continued health and safety. Increased training and winter bugs do present heightened risk, and it would be great to stay generally fit and able to press on.

Some would say it is inevitable that your feet will suffer to some degree as result of running, and legs too. I have to confess that the trainers I started out with were fairly cheap and perhaps a bit on the small side, and my toenails did complain after a while! More recently, I have purchased a pair of proper running trainers in larger size and am pleased to report that things seem to be returning to normal, albeit slowly.

WARNING: Please skip this photo if you're squeamish about feet!

Thank you once again for your interest and support - I do appreciate it. Running can be a solitary endeavour, but doing this for Feba and with people's support makes a tremendous difference. Thank you.

If you would like to sponsor me, please see my fundraising page.

To read more about my marathon efforts, please click here.

Thank you!

Photos: Sunset on Highdown Hill; Unhappy toes! © Bob Chambers.