Category Archives: Gipis
Runkeeper (un)helpfully indicates the Royal Parks Half Marathon is 111 days away.
I think I will be in a good space and good shape for the race even though my training has only just started.
I have chosen a plan from Walk Jog Run which has me running 3 times a week (increasing to 4 in August) and running easy or conversational runs followed by distance work on the weekends.
So far it’s been going well and even though other commitments got in the way this week, I am very happy with how I tackled the 4 Mile run on Thursday evening.
My head is in a clearer space now and I have plenty of guidance from Richard, my running friends. Especially Paul who is doing a great job at coaching me. Not just with the runs but also with any doubts or questions I have (and I have a lot of questions (sorry Paul!)).
Zen and the Art of Running is a really interesting and inspiring read (it must be as I finished it in little over a week). I’m not sure if it’s all stuck in my head but the basics are there.
I need to practice the zen methods both running and when not running but I can see clearly how this approach can help. I can see how I must work to not let myself get hindered by my own doubts or worries. To squash my fears and lack of confidence and just go for it.
I will read it again to repeat the exercises now I should be back to my normal routine but I already tried to apply some of it I Thursday and felt great as a result.
When I mentioned to Janice last week (in amongst a mammoth week at work – and she could see the stress on my face and how tired I was)… I mentioned on the busiest day I was going home that evening to run the 4 miles part of the training – she smiled. She stated how proud she was of me and that 12 months prior I was worried about running just a couple of k let alone being at ease with 4 miles.
That, the book and the advice from Paul and Enda (and others online etc) have all added up to prove I am a runner. I try not to talk about it constantly but I love running, I miss it when I’m not doing it and (most bizarrely) I am now giving friends and colleagues advice. Advice they are actively seeking from me as they too want to start running.
I could regret not doing any of this sooner and I could be angry my PE teachers didn’t pick up on this ability when I was at school but there’s no point dwelling on the past.
I did enjoy athletics (I was Athletics Captain one year for our house), short distance sprinting, badminton and swimming, so there was some sports interest there.
Anyway I have found running now and am extremely happy I did.
I have decided to remove Gipis from my iPhone. It did a great job at monitoring and training me to run faster for the 10K but at the end of the day it’s another app and something else to update.
I am going to get myself a Garmin Forerunner 210 and use that to train and pace myself. It comes with a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) and lots of other features and I want to use this seriously to get my training right.
I don’t plan on winning the half marathon but want to ensure I am well prepared ahead of the race and have the best information and knowledge before the 6th October.
Nearly a year ago I wrote about running with tech and I find it interesting how things (for me) have progressed.
I’ve enjoyed running with my iPhone and my Fuel Band has been useful too. In fact without the music and coaching from the iPhone I am sure I may have not gotten where I am now.
I was already running when I got my Fuel Band but it does help motivate you when you see you’re not going to reach your daily fuel target.
I’m now about to reach 2 million Nike fuel points (Nike I think I deserve a prize) and I will then stop wearing the Fuel Band (and probably put it on eBay). I don’t look at it that often and syncing and charging it is a pain.
It’s great to use as a watch mid run as its very bright but I don’t like that I have to switch it on to see it and if I achieve a goal mid run that gets in the way (I know I can switch this off but don’t as it only annoys me when I run).
Anyway the plan is to continue to run with my phone (in case I am stuck in a sticky situation) but use the Garmin to track and to train me.
I’m planning to use the HRM to monitor my effort as I am sure there’s more power in my legs than I give myself credit for. Both the Richmond 10K and this weeks 4 mile run were great but I had energy spare to sprint the last kilometre!
I believe the half marathon cannot be run with music and am going to ween myself off the music and see how I get on.
It’s all about what I’ve been used to but I do believe that running with the watch tracking me and nothing else should help.
I’ve found a rhythm now and have stopped looking at iSmoothRun for an update on distance etc. I am sure I can cope with just the km beep from the watch as a guide.
I’d never imagined I’d be talking about such things or with such confidence but I am and I am now pretty clear on my goals.
This seems like such a different place from where I was in the middle of that cold, dark, icy winter.
I do not know what time I want to achieve for the half marathon but I simply want to complete it.
I’ve had a weekend (or rather a day and a bit) at home and seeing my mum has reinforced my need to complete the race and raise as much as I can for the British Heart Foundation. That’s my true goal. A good time would be great but completing my first half marathon by running the whole course and being of sound mind and body would be my ultimate achievement.
I have considered (and looked long and hard) other 10K races to participate in before October. Trouble is they’re either too far away or clash with other plans.
I have considered the Humpty Dumpty run in Norwich in a couple of weeks but am not sure I could drive myself there (about 90 mins), run the race then drive home (Richards at the cricket that day).
I am therefore delighted to hear that Colchester now has a Park Run which is about 15 minutes from the house in Castle Park.
My plan is to attend a couple of these (they are 5K and free to enter). Then run home or add any extra mileage I need to do following the race.
This will get me running with other people, should build my confidence and help me get used to race conditions. And the best part is it’s free!
Once I purchase the Forerunner hopefully I can integrate the Garmin runs into my other apps but its not a problem if I cannot as the Garmin site gives me everything I need.
I do however like the recent updates to Runkeeper and may sign up for the months subscription in October so that people can see my live progress during the run (sets calendar reminder to set this up).
Anyway I am amazed how things are progressing and thanks to all the points mentioned I can recognise myself as a runner (updates status on running sites from “beginner” to “runner”) and that I have grown a lot in the last year.
I’m also very pleased with my physical abilities too. I am probably the most fit and toned I have ever been and have reduced the amount I use my inhaler.
Richard has been a tremendous support throughout this journey and I’m not sure whose more surprised that I have continued to run, him or me!
He’ll of course pull my leg about it but I know he’s proud of my achievements and lets be honest, he gets some benefits from my running too…
My first run following Saturdays 10K and its all change tonight…
New trainers – my old Lunarglides were starting to hurt my feet but I decided to wait until I completed the race to change them (I did clock up 318km/198 miles in them).
I can certainly feel the difference. There is definitely more bounce and obviously more cushioning as a few times I scuffed the floor whilst running.
I have a pain in the ball of my right foot which is where I am getting support I wasn't with the old pair. It'll be a matter of time but I am sure I will get used to them.
They are a bit bright though, I may need to get them a bit dirty!
This will probably be my last pair of LunarGlides as Nike seem to be discontinuing them. Looks like I will be moving to Flyknits after all!
I don't actually start my half marathon training until next week but have a week of crap and upheaval in work so have decided to start from tonight.
It wasn't an intense run tonight as I had to do 30 minutes at a steady pace. This seemed ideal for the new shoes and was just about right to run following the 10K.
Given the shoes and the fact I only had a days break I am feeling remarkably well except for a minor niggle here or there. After the Mo Run I was in discomfort. Just shows how much I have grown since November.
I think I may try to find some more 10Ks before the half marathon though to give me as much experience as possible before race day.
Although (above) Nike is reporting in KM I have made the switch to miles to ensure that I am running at a measure that makes sense for the half marathon. As the first set of runs are based on time rather than distance it'll give me chance to get used to not running in KMs and mentally waiting for my usual distance markers to come up during the run.
I am also running different routes to shake things up a bit. By August I'll be running 10 miles so I'll need to get some new routes sorted otherwise I'll go mad. There's plenty to do around here, I just need to branch out and forget my old loop methodology. I'm not sure I will branch out as far as Paul did when he ran here but then again 10 miles is some distance!
The training with Gipis did ok but I am going to move to a half marathon training plan I have seen on Walk Jog Run. This allows me three runs a week and up to four when it gets full on in August.
I can tell that something triggered in me on Saturday and I kept on my feet today, ignoring any doubts or concerns. In fact to be fair I didn't have any. I just got out there, managed to program iSmoothRun to the right pace and apart from a couple points where it told me to go faster (mainly as I went under the railway bridge) I was on pace throughout the run and enjoyed it.
As I wasn't held back by concerns over the distance etc I was free to just feel my way around the run and enjoy myself. It was a lovely evening and I was really glad I got out and running.
I think juggling all my running around work is going to be tough but I am determined to crack the training and complete the half marathon in a time I will be proud of.
Fastest track this run was When a Fire Starts to Burn by Disclosure. If you want a great album for running you cannot go wrong with this English Deep House gem. It certainly kept me motivated!
Roll on the next run (which will be in London with Paul).
Another sunny (but breezy) day makes this the perfect bank holiday Monday to go out and explore.
Richard and I sorted the house then decided to head out on foot for a walk to the local supermarket for provisions before heading off for a picnic.
We were going to Castle Park in Colchester but as we were near Mylands I suggested we walked to High Woods Country Park. When Paul (yes Guru Paul as hes become to be known on the blog), stayed at the house he discovered a route whilst out running, into the park from close by the house which means we can walk there in around 20 minutes.
There's loads of fields, farmland and paths to explore and we picked a sheltered spot amongst the buttercups to enjoy our alfresco dining.
It was lovely to see lots of other people out and about enjoying the weather and equally nice to see children out running around and riding their bikes – this seems like a lost art to some children these days.
When we got back I headed out for today's run and Gipis had me running a short run with fast splits. I thought today's run would be ok and was expecting to just go out there and do it but unfortunately I found it a little hard going.
I did the splits ok and ran the fast sections as advised but the main general pace sections were difficult and I found I had pain in the soles of my feet. I guess it was just one of those runs.
On the way back yesterday I read through the plan I have opted to do for the half marathon and it talks about running at a rate scale of comfort and ability. This can also be measured in percentage of heart rate which lead me to consider getting a heart rate monitor.
I'm not sure if I will get one or not as today's run has me thinking about how I measure my activity or comfort. To be honest today was a challenge but when I get home I felt a little better. I wonder if the monitor will help me realise my potential and not to listen to my head or certain aches and pains. I'm not sure…
I did consult Guru Paul about this and he suggested maybe not getting one as its more tech to wory about. As the GPS failed Friday he has a point as it did put me off.
I think I will start the training and see how I go but I am not sure how to measure the difference between a steady run and a conversational pace… Maybe I need to get running with Paul a bit more to gauge exactly what that's like. Maybe this weekends 10k may help me pace myself better.
I am happy I have a running schedule for the Half Marathon now, this kicks off the week of the 10 June which is possibly one of the busiest weeks at work but I am determined not to let work get in the way.
Gipis has me running Wednesday with a fast 15 minute and slow 5 minute split which I am going to avoid as its the final work out run before the 10k on Saturday so again, at Guru Paul's advice I am going to go for a steady run on Wednesday and that will be it until race day.
I'm looking forward to this weekends race. I am not sure how I am going to keep up with Paul but I am sure we'll have a fun day.
So tonight was back on the Gipis 10K plan and it was a fast night of steady 5 min, very fast 15 min, slow 8 min and steady 5 min.
I think I did really well considering all of the fast bits I seemed to be running head long into gale force gusts of wind. It was difficult and I stopped briefly at 13 minutes as I had to have a drink and catch my breath. I continued soon after and enjoyed the run, continuing the steady section until I got past 5K.
Again I only recorded the physical run and not the warm up cool down and it's interesting how I have this red section at the beginning where I believe I am doing ok but am obviously working up to speed.
I did ache a bit at the end of the run and am almost certain it's cause I am not so used to the speed work and my wearing shoes. That said I did alright.
When I got in I made sure I did more than enough stretching and massaged my IT Band with my foam roller. Boy it hurt in some places but at least I feel much better now. Just a tip for the boys – don't try to do IT Band exercises on a foam roller when you are naked! Things get in the way!
Mid way around the run I got a text message from Paul and I used Siri to dictate it. We had a conversation prior to my run so it was relevant to that. Siri simply read out “Man on bicycle, eyes open looking surprised with tongue out”. I kind of understood what Paul was on about but it seemed like a very odd thing to text someone. It wasn't until I got home I realised Paul had messaged me this:
Of course Siri being extra helpful was explain what the emoticons were. This made more sense when I saw the message but it did make me laugh along my run.
Fastest track tonight was Because I'm Worth It by Mint Royale. A break from my normal running tracks but I was listening to the album following a conversation with im on Twitter about Random Access Memories. I had to add this track as it's fun and it obviously got me motivated to complete the run (and obviously run faster).
My pace is up cause of the speed work and I am feeling much stronger as a result. There's not much running left to do or the 10K – I simply need to persevere and I am sure I will be in good shape for Saturday week.
Paul and I met for dinner last night and we had discussed my half marathon strategy. I was worried as Richard and I are away in Canada right before the race but it works out quite well. My intention is to train so I am ready by the time I get to Canada, we will have fairly active holiday anyway and I can run a long race when I get back which is the week before the actual race.
My intention tonight was to look at some Half Marathon plans but I think I have run out of time. Some i have found are quite scary and Guru Paul believes I can train in plenty of time, running three times week with a combination of a steady run, speed work and then a long run on the weekends – building up time and distance as I go… Wish me luck.
Please help me raise my sponsorship target for British Heart Foundation.
So it wasn’t a brilliant day today and the Gipis plan had me running an easy 15 minutes as an “easy recovery day”.
I decided that I wanted to keep the pace that Gipis recommended but keep going.
I also decided that I would stop counting my warm up and cool down sections in my work out. This has been skewing my results for a bit and I was pleased that the run with Paul on Friday was a true reflection of what I am possible of.
I have been running long enough that I now know how long I need to walk to warm up and the same goes for cooling down so that will no longer be added or counted into my running plans.
This means I find tonight’s map really interesting as I was to run a regular pace for the duration of the run and can clearly see that I started off slow and got into my stride as I went.
I am very happy that the rest of the run is much the same shade which means I managed to keep a good pace throughout the run. This is especially good as the coaching ran out at 15 minutes and I simply carried on until I reached 5K, trying to make sure I maintained a regular rhythm – which it looks like I did.
I wasn’t as fast as I was running with Paul on Friday but I am pleased that I just kept going and I didn’t think about pausing.
I also managed to reduce the amount of water I drank and subsequently reduced the amount of crap I felt the need to clear from my chest. It was quite humid tonight so I thought it would be worse (and I hasn’t had my inhaler) – yet all seemed to go well.
Fastest track tonight was Alive by Empire of the Sun although oddly that does also include the slow section.
I’ve noticed since Friday that the soles of my trainers are starting to wear so I have had to hunt around for a new pair of Nike LunarGlide +4′s. This is not as easy as it sounds as it seems that Nike are starting to stop stocking them (probably to get us all purchasing Flyknits). I did manage to get a pair online (the exact same colouring I have now) – I won’t wear them until after the Richmond 10K on the 1st. I am sure that my current trainers will last until then.
I had a minor pain in the top of my left knee following Fridays run and this is possibly due to my trainers – my knee feels ok tonight. Thankfully a couple of minutes Saturday and Sunday on the foam roller seemed to set everything right.
Paul and I are meeting for dinner tomorrow so that I can plan how I can going to train for the half marathon. A fortnight before the run Richard and I are off to Canada so I need to work out whether I train for the race date of until Canada. I am sure we’ll work it out.
I wanted to thank all of those who have already sponsored me for my Half Marathon on the 6th October – you guys are the best
I went on another lunchtime time run with Paul today and we extended our route to Lambeth Bridge. This added about 1.5K onto the run we completed last Friday.
We learnt from last weeks experience though and stuck to back roads as much as we could.
That said we had to stop to cross Westminster Bridge at Westminster Palace due to the crowds, government vehicles and traffic lights.
I was happy to run close to Paul’s pace (even though he was on a go slow due to a lively night out on the beer!)
Conditions were ok although it was quite windy in places.
I felt a few twinges here and there but persisted as I was determined to keep up with Paul as much as I could. As you can see we managed a pace of 5:07 at one point so we were certainly motoring along.
Next week we are going to change tactic and do some speed work instead – this will be more like the work I have been doing with the Gipis training.
Not long to go until the Richmond 10K and the more I run with Paul the more confidence I get and the more enthusiastic I am about race day
Coming back into work and carrying on working does seem to astound my colleagues but I like to think it’s testament to what I have achieved
Well the mid section of tonight's training was fairly long and fast. I had a tough central 15 minute section where I had to run quickly and I managed to maintain my pace for most of the run.
Of course electronics coaches such as Gipis cannot keep calculate for hills and wind but I think I managed pretty well considering.
As you can see from the map it's very warm with plenty of green streaks in there. I am really happy with tonight's achievement especially as I had a few nagging doubts about a pain in my knee/back of my leg. It feels fine now. I am sure it's a result of last nights activities…
I was unsure how I would cope on tonight's run as I was at the Woodkid concert last night jumping and dancing around all night. I think I managed about 5 hours sleep to so I was tired and achy today.
I did adjust my playlist so that the Woodkid tracks were closer to the start of the run and in the fast section and it worked. Believe me once you have been in a concert where there are massive drums thundering out the beat and you see his enthusiam – it's nothing short of infectious.
I did chuckle today as I walked past St Paul's and the bells started to chime, I was immediately transported to last night, th eglantine white statue of the boy and the opening bars of Run Boy Run. This brought a huge smile to my face.
In fact we enjoyed last night so much we have already booked for his next show in London in November as he will be accompanied by a full orchestra.
I have now told everyone about my half marathon ambitions and am very pleased with the positive response I have had from friends, family and colleagues. I have already raised £150 which is brilliant – thank you. Some people are confused and think I am running a marathon, I'm not. This is a daunting enough challenge for me!
The Richmond Park 10k is a couple weeks away and I am confident that I will be in good shape for it. I plan another run with Paul during Friday lunch break so that should give us more opportunity to time into one another's running rhythm.
Today's fastest track was The Conquest of Space by Woodkid
I didn't think I would get to do a run tonight as I left work late and had some things to do which I imagined would take up some time.
Luckily the Gipis training was fairly short today as it consisted of a regular run followed by two fast/slow sessions of repeating 2 minutes. I was out for just over 25 minutes and managed to get to nearly 4k (that's including warm up and cool down).
As you can see there are two sharp green patches in the run which is where I ran as fast as I could.
It was a good run and quite exhilarating this evening as it was very windy. I think my mental state of getting home to do stuff probably made me go even faster!
A day after telling everyone about my half marathon plans and I have already raised £115. I am continually surprised and humbled by how generous people are. I am running for the British Heart Foundation in the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 6th of October (so I have plenty of time to train). If you can please sponsor me 😃
Fastest track today was Throb (Peter Rauhofer 2013 remix) by Janet Jackson. In fact I only ran to two tracks his evening as my iPhone was quite saddistic and picked two very long and very fast dance tracks for me to run to. Sowing to the slow sections was a bit of a challenge!
Tonight’s run was more training from Gipis to get me ready for the 10K race I am running on the 1st June in Richmond Park.
It was an intensive session which saw me start at a steady pace then run pretty fast for 15 minutes before slowing for 3 minutes and then returning to the steady pace.
It was quite hard work and after the second loop of New Braiswick Park I did find my stride but dreaded hearing iSmoothRun tell me to run faster. That said I kept going and managed the whole of the 15 minutes stretch and as you can see the colour is consistent on the run.
I started at a different point this evening because our neighbours are looking after our car as the road outside our house is finally being finished this week. This made for an interesting run and I am glad I had a warm up walk as it gave me chance to work out which roads and paths were closed. Running back past the house was a challenge too as I had to go onto the road and run on fresh tarmac – it wasn’t hot but it was still a little sticky, I don’t think that did very much for my pace.
I won’t have to worry about the roads here when I run on Friday as I am going to run in my lunch break with a very good friend of mine. If you want to do like I did yesterday and partake in a bit of Runner Watching then pop down to the Embankment in London around mid day as that’s when we are setting off.I have only run in a group at night in London so a mid day run with a friend when its busy will be interesting. It’ll also be interesting to see how I manage running in the middle of my working day.
Paul is super fit so it’ll be interesting to see how much I slow him down when we run!
We are running together as we are both participating in the Richmond 10K and thought it would be good to get one another motivated and run as a pair. He’s promised to run at my pace for Richmond but I know he can do so much better than me…
It was a little breezy this evening but the focus on the interval training and the coaching really helped to concentrate my mind. I knew pretty much what I had left to run and was surprised how quickly the KMs tripped away. For a training session I am also surprised that I broke through 5K as I hadn’t imagined that would be the case given the time I am out running.
Fastest track again was Alive by Empire of the Sun – that seems to be a really motivating track. Mind you I have gotten used to my playlist but surprisingly not to a point where it annoys me. I think I have mentally struck the right balance between listening to my body, using the music to motivate me and having the coach guide me through my runs which is great.
Remember if you are in London on Friday, please don’t laugh as you see me struggle past!
Fast intense run first think on bank holiday morning. And why not? It's sunny, it's warm and I was awake. It also means I am done for the day and have a great run behind me.
This was a run of very short intensive fast sections and I found it hard work. I kept going though and am happy with what I achieved.
I set up the run in iSmoothRun but used the plan from Gipis. Fumbling with both apps didn't help my run and I made a further stumble today when I got a bit worried about what section was what and how it would work in iSmoothRun run. I had a slow red section in the run and this is where I was messing about with my bloody phone. I got it sorted though and soon got going.
The interval coaching is different from Gipis and it had me a little confused at first (running the first two fast sections too fast and too early), but once I realised what was going on I got into it.
I will definitely plug all of my coaching into iSmoothRun run and simply keep Gipis updated, using it as the training tool. Seems a little backward but this way I get to use my favourite, familiar app and not have to worry about messing about swapping apps etc.
This morning was lovely and sunny with a nice cool breeze, the hard spots of the run had me gasping for breath but that's the general idea.
The odd tabby nodded hello on the run as did an old gent out walking his dog but apart from that and the birds it was a very nice quiet route today.
Now to enjoy the remainder of our bank holiday Monday (and I get most of my friends haven't even got up yet).
Fastest track today was Get Lucky by Daft Punk.