Sunday Morning Shuffle

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I didn’t quite manage to stick to the schedule this week, so I’m a little bit behind with my adapted C25K plan. Instead of doing the End of Week Five 20 minute run today, I ended up doing the midweek run instead.

According to C25K, this should have been two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute walk break in the middle. For me though, 5 minutes seemed a bit too long to walk, so I decided to cut it down to three minutes instead.

As usual, I chose the seafront for this morning’s run but, as the wind from the east was coming in pretty strong, I decided to adapt my usual route, going west for the first running section, east into the wind for the walk break, and then west again to finish. This would mean a slightly longer walk home, but I figured a bit of extra walking wouldn’t do any harm.

The run itself was surprisingly easy. I had been a bit worried about adding 3 minutes to my continuous run, but it wasn’t a problem, and I even managed to add another 44 seconds to the final running section, finishing on a nice even 3K in 19:44.

Pace wise, things are looking pretty good too. Because the running sections were longer than usual, I didn’t have any walk breaks in the first and third kilometres, which meant that I could get a more accurate indication of my running pace than I’ve had for a while.

The first kilometre was fairly slow at around 6:30, but by the third I had managed to pick it up to around 6:00. Ideally, I’d like to finish the program with a sub-30 5K, so it’s all looking good so far.

Unfortunately though, my Garmin doesn’t seem to be getting along very well with my laptop at the moment so I’ll have to sort that out to be sure, but all being well I’m hoping that my next run (20 minutes non-stop) will get me past the 3K mark. Watch this space…

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


The Training Plan Shuffle

Despite having signed up for a race to keep myself motivated with the old training plan, I seem to fallen behind again. Yesterday should have been Week 5 Day 1 of my modified C25K plan, but it all went to pot when I got distracted after work and didn’t leave myself enough time to get a run in.

With a 20 minute session on the exercise bike planned for this evening, that meant I would have to make a choice: do the exercise bike session and put myself one run behind; or do the run and skip the bike altogether. It was a tough decision, not helped by the fact that it was raining when I got home.

Deep down though, I knew that there really was only one option. The whole point of the exercise bike is to compliment the running, not the other way round, so I pushed myself out the door and into the drizzle for a 25 minute session using a 5:2 run/walk ratio. And I was glad that I did.

I found the ratio fairly challenging, particularly for the first two segments, but once I got into the second half of the session I started to really enjoy it and remembered how much I love to run in the rain! Seriously, give me cool damp drizzle over blue skies and sunshine any day of the week – well, any training day of the week at least.

In terms of the rest of this week, I am supposed to be running tomorrow and Saturday. However, I could probably get away with adapting things so that I do the exercise bike tomorrow and then run on Friday and Sunday instead. That would mean that I have to skip park run again this week, but that might not be a bad thing.

My weekend run will be my first non-stop 20 minutes in I don’t know how long, so pacing will be crucial and, let’s face it, I usually get carried away with myself at parkrun and end up going too fast. Not great when you’re trying to run slowly!

I guess I’ll see how it goes, but it could turn out that missing yesterday’s session and re-shuffling the schedule might not be such a bad thing. These things happen for a reason, so maybe that’s it. We shall see…

How’s your training going? Are you getting your sessions in this week? Please share your thoughts in the comments

Oops! I Possibly Shouldn’t Have Done That

ultrachallengeboot2It has been a while since I’ve signed up for any races – partly because I have been recovering for the last couple of months, but mostly because I just can’t afford the entry fee.

At first, I kind of liked the idea of not having the pressure of a race to train for. It meant that I could just run for fun and not worry too much about getting faster or going further. It was nice. It was easy. But it also started to feel a bit pointless after a while.

So, when I heard about a little race being held in my local area next year, with an entry fee of only £15 and a free t-shirt for the first 500 entrants, I figured it would be rude not to sign up. And let’s face it, after my last post, I really do need to start working on my manners.

The race, The South Coast Challenge, follows a scenic 50K route along the South Coast of England, from Eastbourne to Brighton and, if you want to do the 100K option, you keep going after Brighton and end up  in Arundel.

Unlike last time, I’ve decided to settle for the 50K option – having to run past my street during the Brighton Marathon when I only had another 15K to go was bad enough, so I don’t think I would cope well with having another 50K to go when my bed is only a couple of miles away.

And yes, I know, that 50K is still quite far for a race, but if it’s anything like the London 2 Brighton Challenge, then it will basically be a 50K buffet with free massages, blister care and a bit of jogging in between. Not bad for £15!

How’s your training going? What races have you got coming up? How do you feel about having to run past your home during a race? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Phantom Poop

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Is it just me or does anyone else suffer from the Phantom Poop when you are out for a run? It hasn’t happened to me for a long time, but then I haven’t really been doing that much running recently, but today the Phantom Poop decided to rear it’s little head while I was out for my morning run.

According to my training plan, I should have run yesterday, and had every intention of doing so, with some slight C25K tweaking for the purposes of parkrun. But it didn’t happen. I woke up with a bit of a dodgy stomach on account of eating too much fruit on Friday – not that I’m particularly into healthy eating, but fruit takes zero preparation and I couldn’t be bothered to cook.

Anyway, this morning my stomach seemed to be back to normal so I headed down to the seafront for the session that I should have done yesterday. I wasn’t going to worry about doing 5K though. As long as I got four five minute running segments in with my 5:2 ratio, I would be happy – I also needed to do an Insanity workout today to stay on track so I didn’t want to over do it this morning.

So, I headed off at a nice slow pace, enjoying the early morning peace, quiet and sunshine of the promenade. But after about three minutes I started to feel the need to go to the toilet. It wasn’t urgent but it was definitely there, so I decided I’d hold on and see how it went. I pass the public toilets twice on my route so I could pop in then if I had to. It wouldn’t be a problem.

After the first five minutes of running, the need to go seemed to pass, but once I started running again it came back. Fortunately, I finished my second running section just as I was approaching the toilets so I decided to pause the Garmin and sort it out.

Needless to say, however, now that I wasn’t running I didn’t feel the need to go any more so I decided to carry on and ignore it.

Thankfully, other than a bit of minor discomfort, the run itself was fairly uneventful and I finished the final running section at 3.6K in just over 25 minutes. And I made it home without incident for a nice strong post-run coffee in my favourite morning coffee mug – Turtle Power indeed!*


*Sorry, but I couldn’t resist that one.

How’s your training going? Have you encountered the Phantom Poop on your morning run… or is it really just me? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Learn To Walk Before You Can Run

I didn’t really feel much like running this evening. I started a new job today and, as is often the case with starting a new job, I was a bit bored. It’s not that work isn’t interesting; it’s just that I didn’t get to do very much other than watch other people, which isn’t much fun.

Needless to say, when I got home this evening I was feeling a bit deflated. I know, it will get better and I just need to be patient and learn to… what’s that thing they say… walk before I can run? Hmm… funny how the whole experience of running and training can put things into perspective, isn’t it?

So, even though I was in a bit of a downer, I decided that I would go out for an evening plod along the promenade. According to my self-styled C25K plan, I’m on Week 4 Day 2, which for me meant doing about 3.5K using a 4:1.5 run walk ratio. So that’s what I did, and you know what? I felt much better for it.

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

Getting Back To A Routine

My routine has been all over the place recently, not just with running but with life in general. I’m not complaining though. It has been good to change things up a bit, but when it comes down to it, I guess I like to have a plan – particularly when it comes to training.

So, last week I decided to re-write my training plan, starting from C25K Week 4, or thereabouts.

The problem I find with the middle part of C25K is that the run/walk segments can vary in a single session. For example, today’s session was walk 90 seconds, jog 5 mins, walk 2.5 mins, jog 3 mins, walk 90 seconds, jog 5 mins, which is fine if you want to use the app as it tells you when to run and when to walk. However, I prefer to use my GymBoss as I don’t like having my iPod strapped to my arm when I’m running, which makes programming the segments a bit trickier.

In the end, I decided to just adapt the workout and use a 3.5:1.5 ratio – 3.5 minutes running and 1.5 minutes walking. I realise that I should be able to run for 5 minutes this week, so I’m going to up the ratio slightly so that I use a 4:1.5 ratio on Thursday and a 5:2 ratio for parkrun on Saturday, which should get me to where I need to be.

In terms of this evening’s run, I felt pretty good. The ratio was fine and having the extra 30 seconds of walking probably helped a bit too, In the end, I completed 3.4K is 23:30, which is pretty slow but I felt good at the end of it so I’m happy with that for now.

How’s your training going? Do you stick to your training plan or adapt and tweak things as you go. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Cure For Lazyitis

I seem to have been suffering from a particularly debilitating strain of Lazyitis over the last week or so, although it had been coming on for a while. I’d been making the usual excuses for delaying my training… it’s too hot… it’s too windy… it’s too much hassle to program the GymBoss for those weird C25K intervals and I really don’t want to strap my iPod to my arm…

Fortunately, someone from the Virtual Running community reminded me that there is a very simple cure for this particular affliction – a firm kick up the backside twice a day, preferably before meals.

So, straight after work and just before tea time, I decided to head out for what can only be described as a bit of a run – although I do take some poetic licence with the use of the word ‘run’.

As I really did mean the whole thing about the GymBoss and strapping the iPod to my arm, I decided to adapt Week 3 of Couch to 5K and run for 20 minutes using a 3:1 ratio. To be fair, this was a bit more challenging than the C25K workout, so I was fairly pleased that I managed to stick to it until the final running segment. By that point, the wind was killing my lungs so I took an early walk break and improvised the rest in order to complete the 20 minutes.

In the end, I managed to cover 2.82 kilometres, which isn’t much (I know) but it’s better than nothing. And, more importantly, it puts me back on track to get back up to running 5K again.

How’s your training going? Do you suffer from lazyitis or other debilitating run avoidance conditions? Please share your thoughts in the comments.