A Sunny Evening Run

This evening I was supposed to do 2K on the treadmill. But, since it was warm and sunny outside, I decided to head outside for a bit of a run on the seafront.

When I say a ‘bit’ of a run, what I mean is that I ran a bit and walked a bit. I decided not to go for a strict run/walk ratio though and just see how I felt. After all, it has been a while since I’ve run along there, so I just wanted to see what I could do.

It went pretty well, despite the toddling baby cyclists and teenagers on skateboards wandering in front of me, and I managed to complete the first two kilometres in under 14 minutes – not great by my old standards, but much quicker than the treadmill!

As I was feeling pretty good, I decided to keep going for a while longer, running up past the King Alfred Centre to the corner of Hove Street and then back to my starting point. That took me to 3.5K, by which point I was starting to feel tired, so I headed for home – run walking to make it to a full 4K.

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My time wasn’t great, but I was still pleased as it was a heck of a lot faster than anything I’ve been doing on the treadmill. Plus, I was running outside again in the evening sunshine, which is something I haven’t done in a very long time!

How’s your training going? Are you getting out more now that the evenings are becoming lighter and warmer? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Objective: Get Outside

Training is still a bit of a struggle at the moment. A couple of weeks ago, I promised myself (again) that I would get into a regular routine with my running, and it was going quite well. I wasn’t running far or fast. Just a few slow kilometres on the treadmill every couple of days, but it felt ok. There was progress. I was building pace and stamina and, most importantly, confidence. But then I got sick.

Ok, I had a cold. It wasn’t even a bad cold. But it sat on my chest for about a week, which made doing anything beyond a short walk pretty exhausting.

Today though, I woke up feeling a lot better. I still didn’t have a huge amount of energy, but my chest and head felt clear enough to go for a walk. Not a long walk. Just 5K. But it was better than nothing.

So, at about 8:00 am I headed out into the drizzle for a short walk through the trail that runs behind Woodland Drive.

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 10.01.26My Garmin picked up a signal at Hove Park, so I started off with a bit of gentle running and and brisk walking. There was no pattern to it. I just ran when I felt like it and walked when I needed to.

As I expected, the first part of the trail (all up hill) was too much for me to run, so I reminded myself that my objective today was just to get outside, and walked pretty much all of it. It was ok though. I kept my pace as brisk as I could and, when I got to the top, turned round and ran all the way back down.

Despite the drizzle, the conditions underfoot weren’t too bad. There were some parts, where there is a bit of a path rather than just dirt and roots, that I had to be careful on as they were a bit slick under my trail shoes, but other than that it was pretty good.

I finished the session by run/walking back round Hove Park and then to the railway bridge to complete 5K in a very slow but still quite satisfying 41:33.

How’s your training going? Did you run this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments?

Don’t Give Up

I can hardly believe it has been a year since I ran the Brighton Marathon – a year since I have taken part in any race; or trained consistently.

With the exception of a few failed attempts at re-doing C25K and the odd run here and there, it seems that I’ve pretty much had a whole year off from running. To be fair though, I was a bit injured after the marathon and probably needed a proper break from training, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up.

On the contrary, after seeing all the happy finishers from this year’s Brighton Marathon, I’m more determined than ever to get back into training. And, with the South Coast Challenge 50K a whole 4 months away, I reckon I’ve got just about enough time to get myself ready.

Of course, I’m starting from scratch again, more or less, but frustrating as it is to not be able to run for long without a walk break, I’m determined to stick with it.

I’ve decided not to do C25K again though. Much as I like the structure of the whole thing, and even though I know it works, I need to start getting some long runs in as soon as possible – even if they do involve more walking than running.

Today though, was a short run on the treadmill. And yes, I had to have a couple of walk breaks, but that’s ok. It’s better than sitting on the couch and I know that I can build up fairly quickly again – the trick is to keep going and not to give up… not ever!

How’s your training going? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Sunday Run Fun

With five months to go until my next Ultra, I figured it was time I started getting some miles beneath my feet.

At the moment I am trying to get back into running again but it’s a slow process, so I figured that the least I could do was go for a nice long walk today, and maybe jog a bit if I felt like it – the key was to spend time outdoors and get the old legs moving again.

My plan for today was to go out for an hour and a half, using a route that included a variety of surfaces as well as some decent inclines. Running along the seafront is fine for most of what I do, but as the South Coast Challenge is going to involve some pretty varied terrain, I wanted to get as much variety in to these early runs and walks as possible.

The area that I live in is fairly urban and, although there are some nice parks, most of the paths aren’t that much different from the road or pavement surface. So, I decided to head for a small trail between Woodland Drive and Woodland Avenue that I had used before. It’s only about a kilometre or so, but it does have a nice incline and the surface of the path has a good mixture of mud, stone, shingle and exposed roots to keep things interesting.

Although my plan was to walk this section, I couldn’t resist breaking into a little jog here and there, just warm up the old leg muscles and get them used to running uphill again – well, the less steep sections anyway.

The trail ends at a main road, which is a bit annoying as it means having to stop before crossing the road, but I think my legs were happy for the rest to be fair.

As I headed across the road to the open field that would take me to the next trail, I noticed that the wind was picking up a bit and it was starting to rain. This was good. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed a bit of rain to cool me down mid run, although I was pleased that it didn’t come to much.

The run across the field was nice. I ran the downhill and some of the flat sections until I came to the gate that would take me into Coney Wood, which I had only ever ventured into once before, but remembered that it had some nice narrow trails and plenty of downhill sections to keep things interesting.

This part of the run was a lot of fun, with much more downhill than I remembered, and plenty of hazards like fallen trees and more exposed roots to keep me on my toes – literally! This was really good practice for downhill running and I tried to remember to land mid foot and avoid braking with my heels too much.

It was a bit disappointing when the trail came to an end and I emerged from the wood on to a residential street, but as I had completed over 4K, I decided to keep running and see what my 5K time would be. As it turned out it wasn’t bad at all, considering the uphills and walking, and I ended up with a time of 42:15 for the first half of my run.

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Of course, now I had to turn around and do the whole thing in reverse, which meant a lot of walking to get myself back up the hill. But I did run some of the flatter sections and a bit of the field, before running the whole downhill section of Woodland Ave/Drive. That took me back to the park, so I continued walking and jogging until I had completed my hour and a half, which took me to a bit over 10K.

By the end of it I felt pretty good and was tempted to turn into Hove Rec for an extra couple of kilometres, but in the end I decided just to keep going until I had finished the 11th kilometre and called it a day at that. My final time for 11K was 1:33:11, which was pretty good for what was originally just going to be a walk.

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I think that my 1K a day since Thursday might have helped a little bit as well – if not in terms of fitness, then at least in terms of feeling motivated and ready to get this training started.

Every K Counts

Yesterday I made a promise to myself to try to run at least one kilometre per day. It’s not much, I know, and hardly counts as proper training, but it does count nonetheless. It counts because for ten minutes or so when I would have been sitting around doing nothing, I was pounding away on the treadmill getting hot, sweaty and making my heart work harder than usual; it counts because even though I didn’t really feel like running this evening, I’d made a promise to myself and I kept it; and it counts because that’s two days in a row and when you go from one to two, that’s called counting.

So, yes, it was only one kilometre and it was slow and it was indoors, but if I can keep this up for a week or so then maybe it will help me to get back into a regular running routine again, which is the first step towards what any kind of proper training.

How’s your training going? How easy or difficult do you find it to get back into a proper routine again after a break from training? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

1K Each Day

Sports Relief 2016 - logoIf you are living in the UK, it’s hard not to be aware of and inspired by this year’s Sports Relief, with comedian Jo Brand’s 155 miles Hell Of A Walk from Hull to Liverpool in only seven days and Eddie Izzard’s 27 marathons in 27 days tribute to Nelson Mandela. But the one the really struck me this year was a small segment on BBC’s The One Show about primary a school in St Ninians.

Every day the children and teachers at this school have a Daily Mile walk, jog or run around their playground to burn off some energy and keep themselves fit and active. OK, so it doesn’t seem like much compared to the epic headline grabbing adventures of some of our favourite celebrities, but that’s not the point. The point is that these young people and their teachers are literally taking steps every day to improve their own wellbeing – something so simple that almost anyone can do it.

So, inspired by their energy and enthusiasm, I hopped on the treadmill this evening and made a promise to myself to run every day. Even if it’s only one mile or one kilometre each, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to get on and do it.

I couldn’t find a clip of program online to share with you, but do check out Jo Brand and Eddie Izzard on the videos below if you haven’t seen them already.

 

 

To find out more about this year’s Sport Relief, check out sportrelief.com.

The Return of the Mojo

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 19.17.34It’s amazing the difference a bit of sunshine can make. I had planned to run on the treadmill this evening but when I got home form work I realised that I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to run outside instead.

Without evening thinking about it, I headed straight to the bedroom, got changed into my running gear and headed to the seafront for my first outdoor run in over two months. And it was awesome!

Ok, so I only managed 3K and my pace was very slow, but it was just wonderful to be outside, running my favourite route on a cool, breezy evening.

Welcome back Mojo – I’ve missed this!

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