Parkrun Fun

Circle HopToday is parkrun day, but instead of doing my usual marshalling duties, I decided to run instead… well, run/walk at least.

It has been a while since I’ve done a 5K, so I decided to use a 3:1 run/walk ratio in the knowledge that I’d probably have to adjust it at some point during the run. It was going to be slow, but I didn’t mind and figured that I’d be happy if I could complete the course in under 35 minutes.

It had been raining overnight so it was still quite cool when I headed to the promenade. There was a good breeze (but not too strong) and the sun was out, so the conditions were pretty good for running on the seafront.

The Hove Prom parkrun is a lot quieter than the other two in the city, which meant a pretty quick start. Usually I find myself walking a bit to let the crowd thin out a bit, but today I was off and running right away.

As is often the case when running in a group, I started off faster than I should have. Even though I stuck to the 3:1 ratio, I completed the first kilometre in 6:03, which I knew wasn’t sustainable. The payback came shortly after 2K, when I found myself dropping the ratio and picking up walk breaks every 60 to 90 seconds. This helped me get back on track for the final 2 kilometres and, even though I never quite got back to running 3:1, I did manage to get back on pace again and finished in just under 34 minutes.

According to the Garmin, I completed the course in 33:55; but parkrun says 33:53, so there’s not much in it. Either way, I’m happy with the result and am looking forward to being able to get back to parkrunning again on a more regular basis.

How’s your running going? Did you do parkrun today? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

I’m On It!

2015-07-22I didn’t manage to make it out for my 2nd run of C25K yesterday, but don’t worry, I’m on it. I went out this morning instead.

Part of me was thinking that I might just move on to Week 3, but I decided against it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’ve only completed two sessions so far (one from Week 1 and one from Week 2), so I didn’t want to push too hard too soon; and secondly, I didn’t want to delay the run by thinking too much about it beforehand, so it made sense to just switch off the brain and get going.

I headed to Hove Rec again, mostly because it’s a bit closer than the seafront, but also because it has some gentle inclines which I figure is probably good for strengthening the old achilles – thankfully that’s one thing that hasn’t given me too many problems recently. I still have to be careful with it, but so far it’s doing ok.

The run itself was slow and steady. I used the same 90 second intervals as before and it felt pretty good, so I’ll probably step up to Week 3 next time.

In saying that though, my next run is most likely going to be parkrun on Saturday. I know I said I would just be volunteering  throughout the summer, but a local running group have offered to cover all the roles this week so it would be rude not to take advantage of the opportunity to try out the new course.

I’m not sure yet what my strategy will be for parkrun as I know my leg won’t cope with running the full 5K without walk breaks. Perhaps I’ll go back to my favourite 3:1 ratio, or maybe I’ll just play it by ear? Who knows? But it will be nice to take part in an event again.

How’s your training going? Are you following a training plan or just running for fun? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


C25K Week 2 Garmin Fail

As promised, I managed to haul my ass out of bed this morning for my Couch To 5K Week 2 run. Unfortunately, my Garmin had other ideas so I had to make do with my GymBoss and work out my time and distance afterwards.

2015-07-19 07.51.08

I decided to head to Hove Rec as each lap is about one kilometre, which would make it easier to keep track of how I was doing without the Garmin. It had been raining over night so it was nice and cool when I set out – a perfect morning for a run!

Although I’d only done one run of Week 1, I figured I would be ok to move on to Week 2. The session called for 20 minutes of run/walk with 90 second reps, which confused me a bit as that doesn’t add up to 20 minutes! Still, I wasn’t going to be too anal about it and figured I would aim to cover around 3K, finishing on a run segment.

In the end, I managed to do 3.2K in 22:30, which is slow for me, but given that the ratios were equal for running and walking I’m pretty happy with that.

The leg doesn’t feel too bad either. I still have a bit of numbness but it feels ok on the whole, so hopefully I’ll get another run in on Tuesday.

How’s your running going? Did you get out for a run today? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Parkrun Day

Circle HopToday is Saturday, which for me means volunteering at the new Hove Prom parkrun. As I won’t be running 5K again for a while, I’ve signed up for marshalling duty for the next few weeks, which is always good fun.

After last week’s inaugural run on Hove Promenade, today was a bit quieter with 164 runners compared to last week’s 294.

In some ways, it’s better that it was a bit quieter as the promenade can be pretty busy with people out for an early morning stroll in the sunshine. Fortunately though, no one seemed to mind that there were a few more runners than usual  out and about. After all, it’s only really busy for about 30 minutes or so.

As for my own running, well, that’s another story.

Last week I decided to go back to Couch to 5K and had a really good first run. But for the next few days I was really suffering. Shin splints were the main problem, but I’ve also got that post marathon pain in my left leg again, which isn’t good. So, needless to say, I haven’t run since.

Still, it’s not as bad as it was, so I’m hoping to have another go tomorrow morning.

While all of this stopping and starting is pretty frustrating, I know that I need to be careful. Rule #1 – Listen to your body. Or that’s what I keep reminding myself anyway.

How’s your running going? Did you do parkrun today? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Re-Doing Couch to 5K

Yesterday I made a promise to myself that I would get back to running by re-doing Couch to 5K, so that’s what I did.

I woke up early(ish) and headed to Hove Rec a little before 8:00 am. The temperature was cool and there was a bit of drizzle in the air – a complete contrast to yesterday, but perfect for getting my first C25K re-run done.

According to my app, the first session (Week 1 Day 1) is eight reps of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. I remembered how tough I found this when I first did the program two years ago. I could barely run for 30 seconds back then and kept looking at my phone to see how much longer I had to go before I could have a walk break. But this time was different.

This time, I knew that I would be able to complete the sessions without too much difficultly, so I decided to try to pick up the pace on the running sections. Of course, I went too fast on the first one, but I soon figured out a pace that worked and managed to keep it below 5:15 per kilometre for the final running section – not sustainable for 5K, I know, but it was nice to get moving!

With all of the walk breaks, my average pace was much slower and, even though I stopped the Garmin after the final running section, I only managed to cover 2.5K in 18:34. But that doesn’t really matter too much. The goal for this morning was to get out and get running again, which is what I did, so I’m happy with that.

How’s your training going? How do you get yourself back on track after a break from running? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Back To Basics

My running has slumped quite a bit over the last couple of months, so I’ve made a decision. Instead of pushing myself to get back to where I left off (and then feeling frustrated at my decline in fitness) I’ve decided to take it back to basics and re-do Couch To 5K.

I know I probably don’t need to go right the way back to the start, but I’m going to anyway for a couple of reasons. Firstly, starting at a point that I know I can achieve fairly easily will help to build up my confidence again; secondly, it will give me a routine that I know I can stick to without worrying about over training or injuring myself again; and thirdly, doing the shorter faster sessions in the first few weeks will help with building up my pace so that (hopefully) I’ll be able to achieve that elusive sub-30 that I’ve been dreaming of for so long.

I plan to run on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday each week so that I can volunteer for parkrun on Saturday mornings, which will be another great motivator to help keep me on track.

Talking of parkrun, this morning was the inaugural Hove Prom parkrun, which means that we now have three parkrun events in our little city. I used to go to parkrun fairly regularly but haven’t been in over a year, so when I heard that there was going to be a new event on my favourite route I figured it would be rude not to get involved.

Hove Prom 01

Although I wasn’t running this morning, I signed up to volunteer. My job for today was marshalling, which is really easy and a lot of fun as you get to clap and cheer and encourage all of the runners as they pass – although sometimes it is difficult to differentiate between the parkrunners and people who just happen to be out running along the seafront. Still, I don’t think anyone minded being clapped and cheered on their morning run.

Hove Prom 02

The weather was great too, which probably contributed to the high turnout – 294 runners, which is pretty amazing for an inaugural run! It will be interesting to see how the numbers pan out over the next few weeks. I’m sure there were a lot of people from our other local parkruns who came along to support, but if it stays as warm and sunny as it is now, this could prove to be a popular event for the summer at least.

While I am excited about running the route, I’ll probably stick to marshalling for the first few weeks at least until I get back to running 5K again. And, as I said, volunteering is a lot of fun and it’s a nice way to give something back to the community.

How’s your running going? What strategies do you used to bring yourself out of a slump? Please share your thoughts in the comments.