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Surrey Life Magazine’s ‘Chef of the Year’ Steve Drake is running the Mercer Surrey Half Marathon on 11 March 2018.

Regularly featured in both national and local press, Steve has consistently featured in the UK’s leading ‘Top 100’ lists including The Sunday Times, Restaurant Magazine and Square Meal. He previously held Michelin stars at Drake’s on the Pond in Abinger Hamer and Drake’s in Ripley (recently renamed The Clock House). In October 2017, Steve opened his new modern fine dining restaurant Sorrel in the heart of Dorking, and is also an owner of the award-winning Anchor Pub in Ripley.

Steve has entered his local half marathon to get back into running – a hobby which (in his own words) “went out the window” whilst opening his new Restaurant, Sorrel. At this time of year it is quite common for people fall out of their usual routines, so Steve has offered some excellent advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle at the busiest time of year.

What advice can you offer to people who lead busy lifestyles, but who want to kick-start a healthier routine?

Make it part of your routine. At the beginning of the week, plan ahead and fit in some runs. I plot these in my weekly diary so mentally it’s in there which means I stick to it. But be flexible; it can be hard to fit everything in when you’re so busy balancing work and family. Even if you can only get out for a short run in the week, plan for a longer one on Saturday or Sunday. If you have no motivation whatsoever, do a golden mile. Then if you feel like it you can run further – take it bit by bit. 

Always keep your running kit in the car or at work so it’s easy to pop out when the opportunity arises. I also like to keep my kit near to the bed at home so I can just get up and go. It’s a good mental trick and once you have your kit on, that’s half the battle. Some other good advice is to plan your meal, and prepare in advance if possible, for after your run.

What were the easiest changes you made to achieve this yourself?

  • Not being too rigid with the training plan and not being too disappointed when it doesn’t go according to plan. Not all is lost, you can quickly pick up where you left off.
  • The long runs are key and you should really try to do one once a week. Then speed work or hill work. As long as you tick those boxes then anything else you can fit in is a bonus.
  • Always have something to look forward to afterwards – like something nice to eat.
  • On a Monday, I usually work from home, go for a run and then enjoy my lunch on the sofa.

How has entering the Mercer Surrey Half Marathon helped you maintain your healthier lifestyle?

With the opening of my new restaurant Sorrel this year, all the running went out the window so I needed a goal in the diary. After the inevitable overindulgence of Christmas, March is perfect timing. You can get straight in to a routine in the new year; focus on being healthy and getting fit. Spring is on its way and every day you go out running after Christmas you see the seasons change. Things brighten up and the birds are singing. Spring is in the air. It’s great to have a goal in the diary and a real focus in January; when to train, how to train, and what to eat.


Join Steve on 11 March 2018 and enter The Mercer Surrey Half Marathon here.


Find out more about Steve here.

Find out more about Steve’s new restaurant – Sorrel – here.