Todays training called for 6 miles and I decided to do it when we got back from our day out at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire.
I’m glad I did as I desperately needed a lie in as was still dog tired following all the activity of last week.
I also got to enjoy the best of the weather at Anglesey with Richard as it started to rain when we returned.
I ran on my old Lunarglides today and I can feel how they are starting to wear down – buying and breaking in new ones now was a shrewd move on my part.
I kept repeating 9.65 in my head (that’s 6 miles in kilometers) but ended up going to 10 as I enjoyed todays run so much.
I was a bit worried about running following a huge roast dinner but I had an hour or so between eating and running and felt ok for the majority of the run.
I didn’t get too wet and played around with the route again today.
This is the tapering of my training now and it gets much less from here as I planned all the training to be over before we got to Canada (which is in 7 days ). I will take kit to Vancouver and plan to run a couple 10Ks whilst there. If you know of any great running routes in Vancouver or near Tofino please let me know.
I signed up for Elite membership in RunKeeper today which allows me to broadcast my activity on RunKeeper, Facebook and Twitter in real-time. If you follow me on any of these services then please login when I am running the Royal Parks Half Marathon (or any training if you like) and you can see my route in real-time.
You can bookmark my profile here: http://runkeeper.com/user/trunkguy/
Remember all this hard work and training is because I am running the Royal Parks on behalf of the British Heart Foundation and am aiming to raise £1000, I am only £125 from my target. Please help me reach my target!
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).
The Richmond Park 10k adventure started with Paul texting me to say he was not well yesterday. I must admit I worried a bit as I was mentally prepared to run with Paul but not on my own.
Thankfully a heaving dose of lemon, honey, Lemsip and Benadryl seemed to sort him out.
I stayed at Paul’s as Richmond is the other side of London from Colchester.
We walked to Clapham where we had a very nice and filling meal at a local Italian. This seemed to be enough to stock up my reserves but annoyingly I speared the top of my mouth with the caramel from my creme brûlée.
We had a relaxed evening, facetimed Richard and turned in.
I woke up at around 4 then 5 but managed to dose until the alarm went off at 6:45.
We had a fuelling breakfast of porridge, banana and juice before showering and heading to Richmond.
The park soon filled up and there were plenty of runners and supporters.
The races were split between 5K and 10k and were very well organised.
To ensure the runners didn’t take over the park we went in waves and Paul and I ended up in the first pack of the 10K.
It was a little over cast and a little chilly at first but the sun made an effort to break through and it warmed up quickly.
At 5K I was comfortable and Paul and I had found a pace I was happy with (he can go much faster than me).
At 6K I recalled the trouble I had on the Mo Run and had some phantom groin pain.
This passed and was replaced at 7K where the pins and needles attacked my right foot.
At 8K I was through all this mental stuff and talking to Paul about how my trainers definitely need changing.
I didn’t aim for a time but secretly was hoping for under 1 hour. At 7K I found a good rhythm after some initial breathing problems and thought I would make it.
Sadly at 9K this was obviously not going to be the case but I kept up the pace and found some last minute energy to cross the finish line just ahead of Paul.
I certainly need to pace better if I have that much energy left in the tanks at the end of a 10K.
I am very very pleased with today. My final time was 1:02:14 which is faster than Mo and was a consistent pace.
Mo I had to stop and walk several times. This time I did not.
The speed work has made me marginally quicker but it had helped my strength.
I ran the whole course and regardless of any doubt on a few parts I kept going and found a pace I was really happy with.
I am sure I can push myself further and will work on this as I start my next phase.
So I’ve done it. Another 10K and I have another medal to add to my collection 😃
Richmond Park is a beautiful setting and amongst all the running we managed to avoid running through any deer poo! Paul unfortunately caught his ankle on a nettle when he was walking to the start but he managed to not let it trouble him.
Richmond is so scenic. There’s acres of deer park and open wood land. It was amazing to come around the loop and see London way off in the distance.
When we completed the run we took our short thank you video and some finishing photos with our medals to capture the day.
We then headed back to Paul’s to shower and to have some lunch.
I’m now on my way back to Colchester to see my baby.
I cannot believe how well today has gone and how much I have learnt in this year of running.
Paul is a great coach and a true friend. He had helped me in so many ways.
Thanks to everyone who left such lovely messages on Flickr, Facebook, here and Twitter. Your support means the world (not sure about the comments about my nipples – naughty!). Thank you.
So what next? An easy week and then I start preparing for the half marathon..!
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.
According to Nike I ran a famous route which started at the office, across Blackfriars bridge, down the South Bank to the London Eye, across Westminster Bridge and back along the Embankment.
This was just a shade over 4K and appears to be my best 4K to date with a good pace.
Paul was very kind and held back when I needed it (he’s so super fit he ran home after we finished and had been to the gym this morning!).
It was a little busy around the Eye and Westminster with tourists. This is very unusual for me as I run in a rural spot at home and see very few people. Thankfully Paul was ahead some of the way so I followed the path he cut through the crowds.
I did take the lead on some of the run and found myself ducking and diving around the various two legged obstacles.
I definitely want to run London again as this was an exhilarating run and of course there are lots of sights on this route.
I enjoyed running with Paul too – made a change from the normal head space of music and electronic coaches that I am used to. With Paul I kept going and stopped worrying/focusing on my inner monologue of doubt.
He doesn’t know it yet but I’d like to squeeze in at least one run a week I. London as its pretty exhilarating, it’ll get me used to running with Paul and it’ll help me focus.
It was great to run midway through my day as I’d had a shit morning so this allowed me to switch off.
Now I’ve toned up I’m not so self conscious on the work showers either!
I hope we can get some more runs in together before the Richmond 10K on the 1st June and I am confident I will crack the 10K in good form.
Bring on the next run
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.
Tonight I started the main phase of training for my 10k which is at the beginning of June and this means speed work to get more oxygen into my system.
Today also marks a year since I started running. I cannot honestly believe it has been a year already and I cannot believe just how much I have enjoyed, hated, struggled, gained, grown, learnt and built as a runner.
I remember mulling the idea of running in my head, conversing with friends about a plan of attack. Harassing them for advice and support. Promising Richard I wouldn't spend a fortune on running gear or talking about running all the time (I think I've managed both rather well – the blog is the perfect outlet).
A year ago I started this on a whim and never considered I would achieve what I have, my first 10k, raising £1,600 for Alzheimer's, running a 5k for the local hospital raising £500 etc.
I've since learnt what a friendly and supportive community runners are, I've run in various places, seen and experienced things I wouldn't have done had I stayed at home. I'm probably the fittest I have ever been in my life and have an outlay for stress. I also have a nice toned body which I am proud of and I know Richard enjoys too
For tonights run Gipis suggested I run just over 3k with a split of fast and normal sections (ala Fartlek) to exhaust my body to reach maximum oxygen limits. I am not sure if I was exhausted but it was hard work.
I spent the run dreading the beeps that signified the start of each fast session but soon got into my stride and got on with it.
I did stupidly decide to continue running until I broke through 5k as this is a mental target I like to hit. At the time (at the end) that seemed like a foolish mistake but since the run I have made and ate dinner and although I am a little sore I feel ok considering…
The next run is scheduled to be similar with a long fast section. I'll see how I get on but I am sure I will be fine.
It's difficult running two apps at once though. I do like to track my complete runs on iSmoothRun but need to start Gipis mid way for the coaching and this proves tricky. Getting the iPhone in and out of the Y-fumble mid run isn't easy.
I could program iSmoothRun and may try that but I am not sure I like the coaching within that app.
Why can't all the apps be the same and excel at everything rather than one feature over another? If only I could build my perfect running app…
Tonight was possibly the warmest run I have completed in the UK this year and although windy I enjoyed pounding the streets and leaving the worries of work behind me.
I did sweat more than normal, probably due to the speed work. I had to remove my sunglasses mid run as the sweat on my lenses meant I could not see where I was going. Rubbing my eyes just put sweat in them which made them sting and again impaired my vision. Next time I'll take the baseball cap I bought in Spain!
Fastest track tonight was Axis by Pet Shop Boys which conveniently kicked in at the start of my first fast session.
I captured this short Vine video of tonight's run. Seems fitting to share it on my running anniversary! Why not take a look and join me on my run?
Be warned, it's not a pretty sight!
I'd like to say special thanks to Richard, Paul, Enda, Janice, Em, Sean, Dave, Ivan, Milly and countless others who have helped and supported me on this new adventure.
Long may the running continue and here's to the next challenge
I used Gipis today to coach me through this run and to get t the end of another 7k. The second this week.
I set everything up as I did on Wednesday but this time I must have hit workout instead of run and soon into the run I was being guided to slow down, keep my pace or speed up. I thought it would be annoying but it proved very helpful.
This was also my first run with a y-fumble. This is a Lycra pocket you wear anywhere on your arm which holds anything from keys, to iPhones and supplements. I purchased one (rather cheaply) for the holiday as the apartment has several keys and I didn't want to cram them all into the tiny pocket in my shorts.
I was surprised how light the y-fumble felt on my arm and given that it was carrying my iPhone it stayed in position.
I like my In Case armband but I am sure I must tie it too tightly as I barely noticed the y-fumble on my arm.
It has no window which meant that if could not keep looking at the screen to check my time and my pace. This was actually really useful as the audio cues of Gipis were enough to keep me concentrating and I didn't look at the iPhone once. ISmoothRun told me my time and distance and Gipis kept me on pace.
I had two minor stops for drinks but kept going, speeding up and slowing down as guided by Gipis. I ran a full 4K before I took my first drink and felt great. I in fact found myself arriving home smiling and singing to my music.
I am really really pleased with tonight's progress, the coaching and my general mood. It seems that the 7K target was what I needed to get me motivated and I was really happy to have cracked it.
Fastest track again was Alive by Empire of the Sun but as you can see by my heat map I did my usual and ran off too fast at the start. But what is great to see is that the rest of the run is a very similar colour, not slow but consistent. This is great as it proves I kept on pace and kept going.
I didn't suffer any pins and needles either.
If things keep up this I shall be well prepared for my next organised 10k at the beginning of June
This is my last running update before the holiday. I will probably only get two runs in whilst there but I am really looking forward to some new scenery and running along the sea front in the sun.