Today is my 41st birthday and to celebrate the occasion I had planned on running a half marathon as practice for next month’s Brighton Half Marathon. However, as the weather has turned yet again, bringing more wind and rain to the south coast, I decided to postpone and go for a quick 5K around Hove park instead.
It has been a while since I’ve run in the park. This is because I don’t really want to run in the park at night, and on the weekends I prefer to get a long run in along the seafront. But since I’ve taken a few days off work, the park seemed like a good option for a rare mid-week morning run.
As I was doing a shorter distance than planned, I decided to try out my new GymBoss Mini Max. I’ve had my eye on these for a while now and, since I had some Birthday money to spend, decided to treat myself.
The GymBoss is basically an interval timer that you can use to pre-program your run/walk ratios, which will be useful for my longer runs as my maths brain tends to go to pot after an hour or so! Also, it’s good for trying out different ratios that aren’t as easy to keep an eye on while you’re running – if your running and walking segments don’t add up to whole minutes, for example.
Anyway, I wasn’t going to try anything too complicated today, but thought it would be interesting to try out a shorter ratio of 2:30 running and 0:30 walking. Apparently shorter ratios can help you to go faster, although I didn’t quite manage that this morning.
I started off by running my usual pace for a 3:1 ratio, thinking that it would be easy because I wasn’t running for as long, but I soon found that the shorter walk breaks meant that I wasn’t recovering as well as I usually do. By the third kilometre I was really starting to struggle, so I decided ad lib and take some longer walk breaks just to get the distance in.
In the end, I completed the 5K in 31:52, which isn’t too bad all things considered.
In terms of the half marathon, I will stick to the ratio that I have trained for, and will hopefully get my birthday run in later in the week; but for my 5K runs, I plan to try out the shorter ratio a few more times just to see how it goes once I’ve figured out how to pace things a bit better.
How’s your training going? What apps and gadgets do you use to help your training? Please share your thoughts in the comments.