Training with Giraffes

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 18.34.52Unusually for a Saturday I got up just shy of my normal commuting time and headed onto the train into Liverpool Street at 7 am this morning.

I signed up for the British Heart Foundation Heart Runners training day run by Full Potential.


Today was forecast to be the hottest day of the year and they weren’t wrong. The commute in and across London was fine but the walk to Greater London House was very hot (and this was very early).

People attending were all training for different races but all racing for the same great cause.

There were people of all shapes and sizes and different abilities.

I sat on the roof terrace chatting to fellow runners and we had some tips and guidance to give one another on training

We then had out introduction which explained the day and the intention of the mornings practicable session.

When I set off I had problems with my Garmin connecting to the satellite signal but I was in a very built up part of London. It soon sorted itself out though and tried not to focus on it too much.

We jogged 15 minutes to Regents Park (past London Zoo and the Giraffes) before splitting into teams.

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 18.35.43

I haven’t run on track since my school athletics days and it brought back some memories (and dust as my trainers are filthy).  I enjoyed the loops though and soon got into my stride.  I’m just happy I wasn’t ne of the nut jobs in the middle lugging kettlebells over my head for fun!

Given the heat I was going to run in the 4 x 3 min group but decided I could manage the 4 x 5 min group and I did.

We ran four circuits of the track at threshold (80-85% of our ability) to see how we cope at that level, I learn to pace ourselves and to improve out form.

I was picked up for lifting my left hand too high and scrunching my shoulders but once I sorted that I did well.

Oddly my threshold pace was nearly the same as my easy and conversational paces which means I have to slow down when running those routes in the week.

I was complimented on my pace and my form and told to continue this on the fourth lap. I did and was proud that this pace I was unsure about seems to be a good fit for me.

I may have been quicker but the heat was unbearable and we all sheltered under the trees when we got the chance.

We were also asked to leave water bottles etc in the shade to really train with no distractions. Apart for not remembering how to start my Garmin properly I managed it.

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 18.35.09It was very liberating to only have fluid when we stopped in the gaps and it felt different to run without a bottle. Of course this isn’t a possibility for the half marathon in October.

I managed to have a chat with the course coach (another Keith) and he believes I can run the half marathon with a target of 2 hours. I am not sceptical of this but pleased someone has seen this potential in me.

This and the professional form feedback are great as I don’t have the opportunity to get this any other way.

I am being sent a plan to see if that helps my training and will receive this with interest.

We jogged back to BHF headquarters and I made it a hot, stop start of 7K so I am pretty much on plan for today.

I was lucky enough to arrive early that I was first to the showers and it’s probably one of the best showers I have ever had. It was very welcome.

That said the shower room was like a sauna when I stepped out..!

The afternoon we had talks about fundraising followed by talks on nutrition and injury prevention. The former being really interesting and the latter not so (the presenter didn’t look at us at all and kept putting down common knowledge and practice!).

The day concluded with race preparation and we were individually taken through where we should be with training and our approach and I believe I am on track (thanks Paul!).

The walk back to Euston was very hot but I’m now on an air-conditioned train back to my baby and an evening in the garden.

I am very pleased that the British Heart Foundation offer such a service and am very happy I attended.

If you have not done so already please sponsor me. It doesn’t matter how much but please make all this effort worthwhile and donate whatever you can for the British Heart Foundation.

Many thanks.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. “Training with Giraffes” – what a great title!
    Sounds like a good – but very hot run.

    In other news – I just sponsored you : )

    Event: Keith Tomlinson’s fundraising page

    Charity: British Heart Foundation

    Donation reference: IDN000008754761

    All the very best!! Michael

    1. Keith says:

      Hey there yes it’s a great title and a fun, hot run.

      Thank you so much for your very kind donation. That was really sweet of you. Thanks x

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