Category Archives: iSmoothRun
I set out tonight to do a new routine based on the plan I got from the British Heart Foundation and Full Potential. The timings are much the same but the effort and plan is slightly different.
Tonight was a run of threshold work and I was very pleased with myself that I managed to set up the Garmin without the need for the instructions.
I started the Garmin and got into a jog, all was going well. I finished the 15 minute warm up jog but the Garmin didn’t start the intervals. I stopped. Fiddled with the watch but couldn’t seem to get it to move to the next interval.
I decided to stop and reset the watch. I did this and started on the interval sections. It was only when I came out of the interval sections to the cool down that I saw the instructions on-screen to press lap button at end of interval session. This is guess is what I should have done at the end of the warm up session! You live and learn.
Of course this means my Garmin stats are screwed tonight as I have two sets. I did also track the run with Nike just to get some cheers (sadly I didn’t receive any ). I am glad I did track with Nike as at least I have an overall pace and a complete distance.
I am a little perplexed though as the Nike app drained my battery tonight. I carry my iPhone in case of emergencies and only put the Nike on Saturday and tonight for some emotional boost with regards to the cheering (thanks again for not giving me any tonight I am not bitter honest!). Anyway for some reason my phone had only 8% battery left and with all the running I have done with iSmoothRun etc I have never experienced that.
My friend Enda had the same thing happen when he ran at the Olympic Park on Sunday (yes you heard that right!). I am not sure he used Nike to run with but his battery gave up the ghost before he finished his run. I wonder if it is anything to do with the heat?
I am sure I could merge the two Garmin routes together somehow – anyone got any bright ideas how I can do that via Garmin Connect?
I must have been mad to do threshold work in this heat but to be honest I’d have been mad to do any running in this heat. The trees did offer lots of protection though and as I am now permanently running with no music, I can spend more time listening to my body and my breathing.
It was a hard run tonight and the intervals were very tough – I managed them though and am happy I got them out-of-the-way. I think I may stick with this new plan and see how I get along.
I felt the old plan simply had me plodding along and I know with half marathon training it’s about getting the miles in but I do want to try to speed up and improve my pace. The coach said he reckoned I could run the half marathon in 2 hours which I am sure is achievable but with the heat and my current route I am not sure how this is possible. I guess I need the weather to cool down and to switch back to road running as the even surface may put me in a better position to improve.
I have received some more sponsorship over the past coupe of days. Some from friends, some from colleagues and some from complete strangers online and readers of my blog. Thank you all so much for supporting me and the British Heart Foundation.
If you have not done so already please be so kind as to reward all this effort and sponsor me British Heart Foundation. I will be running ing the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. Thank you.
So tonight I decided to do as planned and ditched the earphones and the music. Apart from races this is very rare for me to do but I was determined to run, listen to my body, my breathing and see how if got on.
I did have the audio instruction on iSmoothRun just to guide me with my pacing but I could hardly hear it and it didn't distract me.
Considering the colour of my trail route today I am happy that its fairly consistent as this was my first decent distance run by feel.
I ran the first easy 30 minutes training run of this half marathon plan back on the 3rd of June and given that I haven't really run much over the past week, I am very pleased that I have increased the distance by nearly half a kilometre.
A different route and a different type of run for me tonight but I am at ease with this pace. I didn't struggle to keep the pace, I was able to concentrate on my breathing and I didn't need much fluid either.
Run one for the week complete.
Now I can concentrate on enjoying the Pet Shop Boys concert tomorrow in London
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…
Starting the half marathon training a week early may sound mad but this is probably the only time this week or next I'd get in the long run which this time is 4 miles.
In an attempt to mix it up again I've extended my route and this time made my way into Highwoods Country Park. Richard and I have only been there once and it is on our doorstep so I'd be mad not to include it in my runs and explore it.
As you can see I made it into the country park and turned around at the half way marker. From the satellite image above you can see exactly how big the park is. I am sure it'll be a great commodity as I increase my mileage. Of course running the park will be even more enjoyable if its as beautiful and sunny as it is today.
I really found my rhythm today and just got on with it. I think the new route was a bit of a distraction and running through the fields of buttercups was lovely.
Running with Paul last week has given me confidence too. Finishing the 10K and running a steady 5K Wednesday has woken me up and getting through the 5k and into 6 was good going today. I didn't worry about it. I simply got on with it.
I'm glad I took Paul's advice and reverted back to kilometres instead of miles as I can gauge my efforts based on each km. I've also reduced the amount of information iSmoothRun provides mid run so I am not swamped with stats.
Busy day at work but the run has really helped me switch off and start my weekend with a great boost.
I started to read Zen and the Art of Running today and its given me some ideas of how to further boost my mental attitude to my runs. Most importantly it will help me balance my doubts about my abilities and the voices in my head that stress me when I worry about juggling all my training with my time at home and work commitments.
Fastest track today (giggles) was Runaway by Janet Jackson.
Have a great weekend everyone!
It was glorious day and as they say mad dogs and English men… Well it was certainly warm and we seemed to have joined all the office workers and as many tourists as possible during the run.
We didn’t quite make it to midday as we’d planned as work threw in a few spammers but I was determined to get out there and Paul and I started half an hour later.
We ran along Victoria Embankment, snaked our way around to the Tower of London before heading up onto the bridge, across and then back down the South Bank passing HMS Belfast, More London and the Tate Modern.
It was tremendously busy and in places we had to do a lot of ducking and weaving about to avoid everyone out enjoying the sun.
I ran in my new shoes again and was a little worried as my right foot was really sore yesterday. Thankfully apart from an odd niggle I managed to carry on ok and feel a bit tight now but nothing major.
I honestly believe that the Brooks Green Silence I wore to work yesterday didn’t provide any support and were too tight which cause my right foot to Theo’s throughout the day.
Paul had already cycled 40 km in the morning but had boundless energy on the run (he actually managed to run 10K in total).
Cause of the crowds, his ability and his experience he did charge ahead in a couple spots and I had to concentrate not to run into anyone or lose him. At one stage I nearly went up onto one of the bridges when he had run under it.
I have walked these routes many times before but never actually run them. It’s good to run with someone who knows the routes as Paul was confidently pounding the pavements and cobbles on sections I would have been inside about.
I found some of the running a little tough. The combination of the heat and keeping up with Paul was a challenge in places. I am happy that I didn’t actually stop at all though and even though my pace was slower than his, I did keep going.
I did run in miles again but on mentioning this to Paul I am going to revert back to KMs as its a unit I am familiar with and it makes sense to me.
I knew we’d covered some distance but it wasn’t till I converted the run for miles that I realise how far I had gone.
This was a lovely route to run though. We saw so many sights and it was lovely running along the river and taking in all the famous London landmarks. I’m sure the tourists think we are nuts but we are very lucky we get to see all of this every day.
For another follow up run from a race I am happy with my progress. I now want to do the first long run of 4 miles. I just have to decide whether to do it Friday or Saturday.
I am happy with the progress in my new shoes. Two runs in and they are breaking in nicely.
And such a glorious day for it too! Long may this lovely weather continue.
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 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