Ask Us Anything - Edition 001

From gear recommendations, to running hacks or event recommendations, we’ll answer all your event-related questions.

Here is what our community have been asking this month.

p.s. please click here if you want to submit your own question.

Question | 1

What’s a good running backpack for commuting? i.e. can carry a laptop, looks relatively smart, enough space for clothes / valuables etc. Sam, [Manchester]

Answer | 1

The North Face Borealis backpack is great as it has so many different pockets to store (and easily find!) all your possessions. It has a padded laptop section plus enough space to put a change of clothes, shower supplies and x2 Tupperwares. There are also two hefty straps across your waist and shoulders to ensure it doesn't bounce around while you're running. I use it every day!

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner | triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 2

Do running socks actually make a difference? Luke, [Derby]

Answer | 2

Running socks are made of specialist fabric that wicks sweat away, preventing blisters from forming while running. They are designed to be seamless, which eliminates any uncomfortable rubbing or chafing. Avoid any sock that is 100% cotton as these hold moisture from sweat & water which can cause discomfort plus some rubbing & chafing which will instantly ruin your run.

It's all really up to the individual on this one. Some people can get away with just a plain padded sports sock from your local sports shop. However if you're prone to blisters on your arch or Achilles, then running socks may be a great option.

From Rob, Let's Do This team member and epic ultra marathon runner

Question | 3

What are your best day cycling routes from London?, Dom [London]

Answer | 3

Great question! Here are some of my favourites: 

Bike there, get the train back

London to Whitstable - (120km)

London to Cambridge - (93km)

London to Brighton - (86km)

London loops

London to Windsor loop (79miles) - make sure you stop off at the Cinnamon Cafe for the BEST cinnamon buns.

The Surrey Hills and Box Hill are a classic - though warning these are very hilly so not recommended for beginners.

Richmond Park is great for beginners to get your bike legs as there are far fewer cars (deers and bikes rule the road here). And there are plenty of coffee shops in and around the park to fuel up on some post-ride baked goods and caffeine.

For those who want a challenge...

You can cycle the 325km loop of the M25

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner / triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 4

Can you share some tips for when you’re training for an event but struggling on the motivation front. What can I do to make starting easier? Sara, [Essex]

Answer | 4

Here are some tips that our team swear by to help with you wake up feeling a bit lacklustre:

1) Lay out your kit the night before so it's right there ready for you when you wake up.

2) Get your curtains open and light in ASAP - this will really help wake you up.

3) End your run / cycle at a cafe or somewhere nice as a training session treat.

4) Get a running buddy / join a run club - it's far harder to get out of a plan you've committed to with someone else than yourself!

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner | triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 5

What are the best ultramarathons for beginners? Something more than a marathon but not +120k at this stage! Katie [Nottingham]

Answer | 5

For me, ultramarathons have always been a positive experience, especially on trails or in the mountains. If you're interested in trying an ultra marathon, I recommend starting with a 50k trail race. Trail ultras simplify running by providing varied terrain where personal bests and splits are less important. Instead, you'll have the opportunity to travel through stunning scenery, connect with nature, and challenge yourself. Walking is also an important part of the process since few people can run an entire ultramarathon on the trails. Don't worry about needing to run up hills; that's something left to the pros. Here are some great races to consider for your first ultra marathon:

  • Any of the The Maverick Race X Series would be a fantastic introduction to trail and ultramarathons. They offer events within some really beautiful locations within the UK from the Jurassic coast to the Lake District and everything in between. Maverick events are always well-supported and even offer shoe rentals if you don't have any trail shoes.
  • Race to the King, organised by Threshold Sports, is an excellent choice for those looking to participate in their first ultramarathon. Set in the rolling hills of the South Downs, this race offers a challenging course and a fantastic atmosphere. Ultra marathons can be likened to eating contests, with aid stations traditionally stocked with a wide selection of food options, meaning you won't have to carry much yourself.

The terrain for these races is typically challenging, but not too difficult for anyone to attempt. Similarly, the elevation profile can be challenging, but it is not insurmountable and can be trained for and prepared for in any area of the UK.

From Rob, Let's Do This team member and epic ultramarathon runner

Question | 6

Can you recommend a good road bike? Nothing crazy expensive but a good entry-mid level bike that I can adapt as I get more into the sport, Charlotte [Cheshire]

Answer | 6

I bought an entry level road bike at the end of last year, and so I have some experience here. You definitely don't want to invest too much money too early, but getting a very cheap bike is not a good idea either. I'd aim for something within the £800-1000 range, as this gets you a bike that is pretty good out of the box, but also has lots of room for upgrades.

Things to look for:

  • Endurance vs Racing geometry: endurance geometry is great if you're just getting into cycling, as it is more comfortable. Racing geometry is faster, but not as comfortable. Geometry of a bike can't be changed, so be sure of your choice when you buy it.
  • Width of the tyres: entry level road bikes usually support a wide range of tyres for flexibility. A good place to start would be a thicker tyre that's comfortable to ride for beginner, something between the 28-32c range. Tyres can be changed easily, and are possibly the best value-for-money upgrade you can make to your bike.
  • Groupset: manufacturers typically ship entry level groupsets at this price point, so Shimano Claris or Sora are commonly found on such bikes. They are cheap, reliable, and get the job done. You will definitely feel the difference in performance and smoothness as you move up to higher quality groupsets in the future, though. They can be upgraded, but it's not as easy as changing tyres.
  • Brakes: some bikes come with conventional brake pads, while others have disc brakes. Disc brakes have more stopping power, but require more maintenance over time.
  • Frame material: Most entry level road bikes are made of aluminium, not carbon fibre. While aluminium is heavier, it is much easier to maintain.

I personally went with the Trek Domane AL 2 Disc, but there's many other options out there.

  • Always ride with a helmet and lights. If you don't have them already, buy them with your bike. Use the cycle to work scheme if available.
  • Clipless pedals are a great upgrade.
  • The best upgrade you can make to your bike is yourself: more time in the saddle makes for a faster rider. 🚴

From, Kshitij, Let's Do This team member and road cycling enthusiast

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Train Like a Pro with GB Running World Champion, Josh Kerr

Who better to help with our event training prep than GB’s 1500m world champion, Josh Kerr? The Let’s Do This team caught up with him to chat about everything from his top tips, to ‘that’ gold medal-winning moment – plus, the science behind why he pees on a pen every morning. Want to know how to train like a pro? Join us to get race day ready with the champion himself.

Who better to help with our event training prep than GB’s 1500m world champion, Josh Kerr? The Let’s Do This team caught up with him to chat about everything from his top tips, to ‘that’ gold medal-winning moment – plus, the science behind why he pees on a pen every morning. Want to know how to train like a pro? Join us to get race day ready with the champion himself.

Josh Kerr on his gold medal-winning mindset

“If you trust that it’s going to be there, it’ll be there”, Josh Kerr wrote in his journal before the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest. This was the memorable race that would see him scoop the gold medal. “That means that I trust that my legs are going to feel good. I trust that my mind’s going to be making the right decisions and I’m going to be sharp on the day”, Kerr explains. His positive mindset has clearly played a role in his route to running success.  

Josh’s competitive nature appears to be another winning factor. We were curious to know what went through his mind in that final 200 metres. “It was all about putting pressure on”, he says, “I needed to make sure that Ingebrigtsen felt my presence. He kept looking over at me every 100 to 200m or so in that last 600, so I was like ‘Okay, I know he’s definitely not having an easy time of it’. My goal was to make sure that he was feeling pressure on that top bend so he was as tired as possible on that home stretch. Clearly, it worked. What else can we learn from Kerr’s success? We asked Josh to share his top training tips.  

Josh Kerr’s top three training tips

1.   Don’t compare yourself. “I run probably 50 to 60 miles less than some people I’m racing against […] I look at some people’s sessions and think ‘I can’t do that’. I’m still a world champion, but I can’t do those sessions. So don’t worry about what you can’t do – worry about what you can do”.

2.   Embrace your nerves. “When you’re in an individual sport and you look left and right and everyone’s trying to beat you, it’s a very difficult sport. There’s a reason you’re nervous and it’s because you care, but if you care too much and you get too nervous, you’re not going to do well. Just take a deep breath and go out and do what you do every day”.

3.   Prioritise rest.  “When I was in college, I got invited to run in New York in the murals mile and I spent the whole day walking around because I’d never been there. I got to the event and I was absolutely knackered. Staying off your feet and priming your body the day before is smart”.

Kerr’s nutritional recipe for success

Of course, nutrition plays a key role in any athlete’s training plan. Kerr advises against calorie counting and focussing on nutrition, instead. “I haven’t missed a single training day through illness or injury for two years”, he says. “Just make sure your body’s getting what it needs. That’s why I feel I’m hitting the peak right now. Because I fuel myself with the right amount of veg, protein, carbs and fat so my body can hit the tarmac every day and feel fine”. So, what does a gold medallist’s meal plan look like? 

Josh gave us the lowdown on his nutritional routine. “Monday night, Thursday night and Saturday night before sessions, we hit carbs pretty hard. Then we lower them the days after a session. So for example, Tuesday morning we’ll work out and then it’ll be a protein day for the rest of the day – pretty low on carbs. That’s the way we work things”.

Getting to know the real Josh Kerr

Off the track, Josh has one daily ritual that we weren’t expecting. “Err, yeah I can talk about it”, he grins, before divulging: “Every morning, I pee on a pen”. There’s a handy reason for it. “It tells me my hydration status so I can change my water/ sodium intake before training”, he says. “It’s a reasonably disgusting device. You pee in a cup every morning and it doesn’t look great, but it helps in making sure that I’m hydrated enough in the sessions”.

Once that’s been taken care of, Josh enjoys journalling and morning runs, where his training is often underscored by hard electronic dance music. “Every single time I put them on, my headphones tell me to turn down the music”, he says. On rest days, his go-to ritual is to get up early and have an ice bath, before napping for the rest of the day”. Josh also looks forward to spending time with his loved ones. It’s clear from our chat that he’s very much a family man. When asked who his biggest fan is, Josh replied “My family and my Mrs. My family as a whole”.

That rounds-off our chat with Josh Kerr. We left feeling inspired and ready to take on our next challenge. Though, we might leave the pee pen ritual – for now.

Ask Us Anything

Think of us as your active-lifestyle agony aunt. From gear recommendations to running hacks, we’ll answer all your event-related questions. Our favourites will feature across our social pages and in these newsletters.

Think of us as your active-lifestyle agony aunt. From gear recommendations to running hacks, we’ll answer all your event-related questions. Our favourites will feature across our social pages and in these newsletters.

To get your questions answered, either DM us at @letsdothis_ or email in at

The best ones we’ll share here on our blog, in our newsletters and across social media to help others in our community. 

To view the latest questions and answers from our community, click here.

A few things to bear in mind:

  • While we will endeavour to get back to as many questions as possible, we sadly can’t commit to answering every question submitted.
  • By submitting the question you give us permission to publish your question alongside your first name + city.. If you would prefer for us to anonymise your question please let us know.
  • As none of us are trained physios or medics, we can’t offer any advice relating to injury (preventing or rehab) and/or health
  • The responses and recommendations shared are on behalf of our team members who are passionate participants in the various sports we offer on the platform - they don’t necessarily reflect the views of Let’s Do This.
  • We are not paid for any of the recommendations we provide
  • Let’s Do This are not responsible for any action(s) taken in light of the answers received.
  • We reserve the right to block / remove comment and posts that are not in keeping with the tone of our channel and that we or others may find offensive
  • Please limit your questions to only running / cycling / triathlon events, equipment or training- related questions. As much as we want to be there for you, we’re not qualified to answer questions beyond this scope

Community Spotlight - Edition #01

Shining a light on you – our incredible community members. We’re sharing your amazing stories, training tips, hacks and more. These inspire us all to keep showing up on the track, road, bike, or in the water.

Shining a light on you – our incredible community members. We’re sharing your amazing stories, training tips, hacks and more. These inspire us all to keep showing up on the track, road, bike, or in the water.

This month we're talking to Jennifer Chambers - a running enthusiast from Melbourne, now living in London. She discovered running when she moved to Europe and has used it as a way to discover more of the UK and Europe - and herself - ever since.

A bit about you:

What’s your story? How did you start running?

My background is swimming and rowing, and I used to do Pilates a lot when I lived in Melbourne. However, when I moved to London, I got into running as it was an accessible way to see the city (and far more affordable than Pilates!) so I've been running for about eight years now. I started out going to the free community events that Nike ran, and eventually started going to all their different events across Europe. It gave me the bug for using running as a vehicle to travel and see different parts of the world. I now always try to plan trips around the runs I do.

What’s your favourite thing about running?

Running is a great way to explore places and get to know the cities more, whether that's where you live or new places you visit – especially at different times of the day to everyone else. It's a great opportunity to find a moment of zen in a hectic city. For example, having Hampstead Heath to yourself at 6 a.m. on a Monday vs. going for a run with everyone at 9am on a Saturday.

A lot of running for me is really about learning about my personality and respecting my body. It helps with being less impatient and learning to have the quiet confidence to trust the process or the plan my coach made for me. It's okay to fail or have setbacks; you've just got to keep trying, pick yourself back up and take the next step. You don't have to be a perfectionist.

What’s your favourite running route? (We’re always looking for new recommendations!)

There's a great loop around the Serpentine from Covent Garden. It's about five miles: head down to Trafalgar Square and run down Pall Mall to Buckingham Palace, up through Green Park to Hyde Park corner and towards Serpentine and then loop back. Great to do in your lunch break or with your team.

Other favourite routes:
Camden to Hampstead Heath and back – that's about 10km.

From Camden, along the canal to Victoria Park is great.

What’s your best piece of advice for anyone starting out?

Listen to the your body, don't go too fast too quickly and never run through an injury!

Best running/cycling hack?

Buy a running belt! (I've broken 2 iPhones by putting them in my sports bra from sweat damage! True story!)

What’s in your running belt / backpack?

iPhone and keys. For longer runs I use a Camelbag backpack to carry water and snacks.

Any pre or post-training rituals?

Post-run foam rolling, if I'm being very good ;)

You and events:

What event(s) are you most looking forward to doing next?

I've just signed up for the TTP Cambridge Half Marathon - I've never been to Cambridge so I'm really excited to use this race as an excuse to see the city - I've heard great things!

If money and distance were no object, what event would you love to take part in?

In the UK, I would really love to do Race to the Stones - it's a 100km ultra marathon paved in English history from Roman river crossings to Bronze Age forts. It's 100km so something that I'd need to work up day!

Further afield, I saw this documentary about a Belgian dentist called Karel Sabbe who did the Via Alpina. It's a 2,650km trail through the Alps from Muggia in Italy to Monaco, which looks amazing. I'd also like to do the GR20 in Corsica; it's 112 miles of hiking and/or running. I attempted it a few years ago but sadly got injured. I'd like another attempt at completing it.

Best event you’ve done?

I did Vitality London 10,000 when I'd just moved to London. It was a great way to see all the sites, with the route running right through the city centre.

I also loved the Madeira Sky Race (not-so-surprisingly, in Madeira). It was a real mental and physical battle, but the energy from my fellow race participants and at the fuel stations was so incredible, it helped motivate me to the finish line. It ended up being as much an out-of-body experience, as much as it was a physical one.

Quick-fire round:

Best running song?

I love some SoundCloud mixes, especially 'Decade Mix' by Flight Facilities. One song that I love right now would be 'I Want Your Soul' by Armand Van Helden. Also, my coach recommended 'Running Up That Hill' by Kate Bush (the Stranger Things remix, obvs).

Favourite pre or post-run snack?

I only run on coffee.

Morning or evening run?

Ideally, I chase the sunset runs; but usually, morning runs wake me up for work.

Trainer of choice?

I'm very brand loyal to Asics

Best running product or accessory?

Obvs the Ciele hat

Music, podcasts, or nothing at all?

Music for short runs and podcasts for the long ones. Podcasts-wise, I'm constantly lolling to The Imperfects, or getting confused by Huberman [Lab], or fawning over Rich Roll. I'm not quite at the 'nothing at all' stage of running yet.

Favourite supporting exercise for running?

The [boring] rehab exercises my physio gave me, side planks and death-by-glute exercises.

Favourite running app?

Strava. My average daily time on it is shockingly high.

Describe your ideal rest day in emojis… 3,2,1, go!


In one word, what motivates you?


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