A Nice Little 5K Run

Two mid week runs? Yup, that’s right, I managed to haul myself out the door again tonight for another little 5K run. Well, when I say run, it was more of a shuffle, but it was a good shuffle.

The plan was to try to keep going for as long as possible without a walk break, so I started off nice and slowly, with the  1K loop at Hove Rec. Even with my slow pace, I found it hard to keep going though. I was tired and my breathing wasn’t great, but I kept running for the first kilometre and soon started to get into my stride.

However, the more I ran, the more I realised that I really needed to get to a toilet. I reckoned I would be ok for another kilometre or so though, so I decided to head down to Hove Park and run the long way round to the public toilets.

Despite the bladder issue, I managed to keep running for almost 3 kilometres, and could probably have reached the 3K if I hadn’t reached the facilities first. But needs must, so I paused the Garmin and did what had to be done before returning to the path for another loop of the park.

In the end, I completed the 5K in 35:17 (excluding the pause) and only had one short walk break, so it feels like progress.

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How’s your running going? Have you run this week? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing – I love getting comments. 🙂

Blogiversary

Can you believe it has been three years since I started this blog? Three years since I made the decision to embark on a journey from Couch to 5K and then… well, I had no idea where it was going to take me.

At first, it didn’t even take me to the end of the road, but slowly, run by run, week by week and month by month, the distance started to build up and I ended up running (and sometimes walking) much further than I ever thought possible – 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons, a Marathon and even a 100K ultra marathon.

OK, so the marathon and the ultra involved much more walking than running, but the point is, I never thought that covering that kind of distance on foot was possible – not for me anyway.

Of course, there have been a lot of ups and downs along the way. The past year hasn’t been great for running and it’s hard not to feel that you’re back to square one again when returning from injury. But with just over 10 weeks to go until my next big race (the South Coast Challenge 50K), I’m not going to let that put me off.

So, this evening, in celebration of my Blogiversay (which is also the day before my Runiversary), I decided to get my backside out the door for a nice little 5K around Hove Park. It was slow, and there were walk breaks, but I managed to complete the distance in bang on 35 minutes, which is an improvement on my recent efforts, so I’m happy with that.

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I plan to get a couple 5Ks in this week, maybe a longer one too, but I also need to get a long walk in this weekend to build up my distance for the 50K. My recovery time isn’t what it used to be, so we’ll see how it goes. The important thing is just to keep moving.

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

Progress

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.40.58This morning’s run was an early one. I left the house just after 7:30 and headed for the seafront for a nice slow 5K.

The plan was to take it easy with the running so that I could take fewer walk breaks and try to build up my endurance a bit more. I figured that, after Tuesday’s improvements, if I could keep going for 1.5 to 2K without walking, I’d be happy. But the main thing was to be out running.

It was pretty quiet down on the seafront. There were a few runners out and about as usual and some people setting up some kind of event. I’ve no idea what it was, but they were sectioning off a small area of the promenade with blocks of wood and there was a small container with what looked like surf boards inside. I guess I’ll pop down later and see what’s going on.

But back to the run itself. I headed East as usual, but when I completed the first kilometre, instead of turning round and heading West,  decided to keep going towards the pier. From what I remembered from running that part of the seafront before, it was about 2.5K from my starting point to the pier, so it would make a good ‘out and back’ while things were still relatively quiet along that stretch.

Before I knew it, the Garmin beeped at 2K and the pier was well within reach. My pace was slow, of course, but I knew I could keep running and get to 2.5K without walking, so that’s what I did.

I took about a minute of walking to catch my breath and then headed off on the return journey along the seafront, past the bars and up towards Hove Lawns.

It would have been nice to have completed the rest of the run without walking, but at 4K I decided to give myself another short break. There was no point in pushing too hard, especially as I plan to do a longer, hillier run/walk tomorrow, so I took the walk break and then upped the pace a little bit for a stronger finish.

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Overall, I completed the 5K in 35:46, which is slower than when I use a shorter run/walk ratio, but that doesn’t matter. The plan was to reduce walk breaks and build up endurance for continuous running, so progress was made, even if it was slower.

How’s your training going? Are you running or racing this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Cutting Back On Walk Breaks

I was supposed to run yesterday, but decided against it as I’d gone for a 12K walk on Sunday and my legs were feeling a bit lazy. Or maybe I was just feeling lazy in general? That’s probably more like it. But with less than 13 weeks to go until the South Coast Challenge, I knew I had to make up for it this evening.

The plan was to do 4K on the treadmill, but I didn’t really fancy it. So I procrastinated on the inter web for a few hours until I eventually realised (at 8pm) that the only way I was going to get a run in was if I went outside.

It was quite windy and a bit damp and chilly, so instead of heading for the seafront, I opted for a few laps of Hove Rec. I don’t normally run there at night, what with the narrow path, bushes and vague possibility of being killed by an axe murderer, but as it was quite light outside I figured I’d take my chances. At least there wouldn’t be any toddlers on scooters to trip me up.

There weren’t many people around, which was nice as it meant I didn’t have to dodge anyone on the path, but it wasn’t deserted either – a couple of dog walkers and an old man doing laps on his bike, who I was sure would fend off any potential villains.

The other good thing about there not being many people around was that I felt comfortable taking things nice and slowly. Not that I’m ever fast these days, but I do sometimes try to go a bit faster than I should when there are a lot of other people around.

Anyway, going slowly felt really good, so much so that I went for a full 10 minutes before taking my first walk break – something I haven’t done (except on the treadmill) for a very long time. In fact, throughout the whole session I only stopped to walk four times, and for no more than a minute each time, which gave me another much needed confidence boost!

The over all time, however, was a bit slower than my run at the weekend, but not by much and I did manage to achieve negative splits for the first time in ages too!

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All in all, I think I’m starting to feel a pretty good about running again, so hopefully I’ll be back to running 5K without walk breaks within the next few weeks – well, that’s the plan anyway.

How’s your training going? How do you feel about running in the evening? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Confidence Boost

This past week’s training has been pretty good. After last Sunday’s slow 3K on the treadmill, I topped up my training with a 11K walk along the seafront. It’s not the same as running, I know, but I figure that if I can’t run the distance then walking it is the next best thing. And, let’s face it, chances are that I’m going to do a fair bit of walking in August’s South Coast Challenge 50K.

I also managed to get a mid-week run in last week – another slow 3K on the treadmill, but slightly faster than Sunday’s effort and with fewer walk breaks, so again, it’s all good progress.

Today, I planned to do another treadmill run, but as I was getting ready I changed my mind and decided to head outside instead. For some reason, I’ve become a bit self-conscious about running outside again. I’m not sure why. Probably because I’ve slowed down a lot over the last year, but my slow treadmill runs had been getting me down a bit and I wanted needed to prove to myself that I’m not as slow as the treadmill would have me believe.

In order to get a better idea of how slow/quick I really am, I decided to head for the seafront. It’s nice and flat along the promenade, so any walk breaks would be because I needed recovery time, not because there was a great big hill in front of me.

I didn’t have any fixed plan about how to approach the run, but once I got going I decided to try a 3:1 run/walk ratio. This worked really well for the first 3K, which I completed in 20:35 (Take that Mr Treadmill!), but as the run went on I found that I was tiring and had to reduce the ratios. By the final kilometre I was down to a 1:1 ratio, but still managed to complete 5K in 35:29, which is pretty much what I was hoping for at this stage.

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As far as the treadmill goes, I’m still not sure. Maybe I am just slower on the treadmill and, if that’s the case, then it’s no bad thing as running slowly is good for endurance. However, getting outside in the sunshine really did boost my confidence and I’m finally starting to feel that I’m making some progress again.

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

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.

Sun, Sea, BBQs and Buskers…

This weekend I had planned to either go to parkrun on Saturday or get out early for a 5K this morning, but it didn’t happen. This was partly due to being a bit tired after launching myself back into training this week, and partly due to the fact that it’s getting a bit too hot to run after 9:00 am.

However, I did manage to get out this evening once the temperature dropped a little bit. My plan was to run/walk the 5K to try to get used to the distance again, but also to up the ratio to 4:1 instead of 3:1, which went much better than I’d expected.

Although it was still very sunny down on the promenade, the temperature felt just about right and there was a bit of a breeze to keep things comfortable. As soon as I hit the seafront though, I realised why I prefer running in the morning to running in the evening – fewer people around!

Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing a people out and about while I’m running, but it can get busy down there in the summer which can be a bit annoying when you have to negotiate other pedestrians and small children with wheels. And don’t get me started on running through the smoke from the BBQ bins!

This evening though, it wasn’t too bad. In fact, the atmosphere was kind of fun. There were plenty of runners out as usual, but it was also nice to see a small group of adults learning to roller blade and a even a grown woman learning how to ride a bike.

The best part though, was at the end of the first kilometre when I had to run past some buskers. It was really nice hearing music that wasn’t coming through headphones and, for a brief moment, it reminded me of the live music at the Brighton Marathon.

Just a brief moment though. I’m not ready to sign up for another race just yet!

How’s your training going? How does the change in weather affect your favourite running routes? Please share your thoughts in the comments.