I met Paul today for a lunch time run (although a bit later than planned due to an overrunning meeting).
We headed out into London and made our way along the Thames to Tower Bridge, across and back.
It was very humid out and I ended up drinking a bit mid run to keep me going.
The WalkJogRun plan was for 4 miles tomorrow but I ran 3.22 at lunch (just over 5K) and am happy with that.
The run as mentioned was very humid and it was quote tricky in places as there were so many tourists out and about.
I enjoy running this route around the Thames but you do have to hop and dodge around the crowds to get where you need to go. Thankfully most people hear or see us coming and get out of our way (most).
I have to learn how to run up and down narrow stairs though. Paul does it like a pro but I’m convinced I’m going to go ass over tip so I slow down (which I believe is wise).
We were both amused when we reached the bottom of one flight of stairs and some woman tried to hand is fliers!
This was my first run with my new Garmin Forerunner 210 and it was interesting to not use anything other than the watch to guide me.
I will run with my phone on my arm when running along – purely for safety. I will however track and plan everything now on the watch.
I am amazed how easy it is to use and how clear the display/tones are when running.
I missed the 2nd km marker but that may have been me thinking Paul’s watch beeped when it was mine.
Uploading content to the site it easy and there is a lot of facts and figures to read to help me train better.
I have managed to extract all my old runs from iSmoothRun too. Rather handily they allow you to export into your Garmin Connect account. It’s so easy I did it in the train this morning.
Now all of my training is in one place and I can compare runs, save courses and dissect all the information easily.
I’m connected as trunkguy, if you have a Garmin Connect account why not connect accounts?
There are a few quirks to the Garmin site I have to get used to but to be honest it’s far better than the likes of Nike etc!
I have managed to sync my Garmin runs into Runkeeper although I note this is a little buggy. Today’s run however went in with no problems.
I’ll keep iSmoothRun on my iPhone as its a great alternative to the Garmin. I’ll also keep Run Keeper as I like its social features. Nike Running, Gipis and Daily Miles (Electric Miles app) have all been removed.
All apps serve a purpose and all have helped me get where I am and have given me a record of nearly a hundred runs which is great. I am how ere simplifying and going to leverage the power of Garmin.
I am keeping WalkJogRun too as it includes my plan for the half marathon. I could add this to the Garmin site but I’ve already invested time doing this in my iCloud account so for now it can stay as is.
I tried the heart rate monitor last night and was amazed how quickly the two sync up. As soon as I snapped the monitor on the belt the watch beeped and I was ready to go.
I need to find a way of working out all my heart rates. If you have any ideas please email or leave a comment.
It’s safe to say we were both a hot sweaty mess when we finished the run.
I pushed myself fairly hard today and although I didn’t do the prescribed distance I did run faster so am happy with this progress.
Paul (who ran a 10k in 41:32 minutes last weekend!) did have to pause for me a few times but he’s great at pacing and encouraging me. In fact even though I pushed myself and struggled with the humid conditions I did manage to have some short conversations with him mid run.
So that’s this weeks runs. Monday I aim to try and see how I get on with the HRM. I’m sure it’ll all be fine.
And yes once again no music, no distractions (except the odd thousand tourist!) and I finished feeling happy with a sense of achievement.
I realise I was at Tower Bridge with Paul (and Enda) on Tuesday as we caught the Thames Clipper there to the Millennium Dome.
We were very lucky to see an original Thames Clipper sail under the bridge. This was the first time Enda had seen the bridge raised.
As you can see it was a lovely evening to be on the river.
Update: I’ve actually had a second run this evening as I got caught in a torrential storm. I got soaked through (I was wearing my Adidas running rain coat) but decided to run to simply get home. Not the best idea in flay canvas trainers etc but I am happy I can simply turn it on and run like the clappers when I need to.
Now I simply need to dry off!
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!
Paul and I met up at lunch for a run and planned some speed work. We picked Blackfriars Bridge as our target and started with a normal jog across the bridge and back.
We then increased this to run fast for half the length of the bridge and jog the rest – we did this in several loops before increasing this to a full high speed run across the bridge for the full length and then jog the whole length back.
This was good fun and interesting to run with Paul especially as I thought I had a bit of an advantage at first running ahead of him for the first few sprint sessions. Of course he is much much fitter than me and soon over took me.
It was absolutely belting it down with rain and blowing a gale so my chest was feeling the pressure of the extra work. At least I didn’t feel the force of someones umbrella which ome poor runner did when it blew inside out and took him out!
I looked at iSmoothRun once in the run as I was unclear how long or how far I had gone – it was only when Paul raised the question about the length of bridge that I realised my tracking had stopped. I am not sure if I knocked it, stopped it or whether rain had gotten in a trigged the pause but it meant I have not accurately tracked todays run which is so annoying.
Luckily Paul was tracking through his Garmin so I know I was running for 24 minutes and ran just over 4Km. Not bad considering the conditions and the mind games I had started to play on myself with regards to doubts about how well I was doing as I had no idea how far or long I had gone.
This is the revised route with the correct data but of course this doesn’t include all the pace data etc :(
That said it was a good run and I did enjoy it. I need to work on pacing without music etc and have to ensure I am on top of this for the 10K on the 1st. I am sure it’ll all be fine.
I was very happy all I had to do was come back across the bridge, stretch and then head straight into a hot shower at the gym. Poor Paul had to run home in the rain before he could have such luxury.
Still a good run regardless of the conditions and the tech issues – looking forward to the race. Cannot believe it’s just over a week away!
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 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!
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