An Eventful Treadmill Run

Who said treadmill running was boring? Well, I have, because they generally are, but today’s treadmill run was a bit more eventful than usual.

I was supposed to do a Half Marathon distance run/walk this morning, but when I remembered that ‘Paddle Round The Pier’ was going on I figured that by the time I would be heading back, the seafront would probably be mobbed, so I opted for a treadmill run instead.

Knowing that the hardest part running for over 2 hours on the treadmill would be sheer and utter boredom, I decided to watch one of my favourite YouTube documentaries on the run – it’s the one where a guy runs Badwater for the first time and almost wins it, which is about 2 hours long.

The only way I could watch it while running though, was to put my laptop on the ironing board, put the ironing board in front of the treadmill and hope that the cat wouldn’t do her usual trick of sitting on the keyboard whenever I try to watch something on the computer – luckily she was otherwise occupied with the window for most of the morning.

So, that being done, I grabbed my Garmin (so that I could upload my workout time), and hopped on to the treadmill for a bit of a warm up walk. I’m still not certain about whether the treadmill is in miles or kilometres – the manual says kilometres but since I’ve been running outside more, I’ve been comparing the two and I reckon it has to be miles.

This does mean that the running on the treadmill is a bit faster than running outside, but without wind, hills and other humans to contend with, that might make sense. Anyway, I figured I’d assume it is miles and see what happened on today’s run.

Of course, pretty much as soon as I started the run, my stomach started complaining. I think I managed about half a mile before I had to give up and sort myself out.

The second attempt was slightly better. I decided on a ratio where I would run for 0.9 of a mile at 6 mph and then walk 0.1 at 3.5. This was working quite well for the first 23 minutes, until my bottle decided to launch itself from from the drink holder and I accidentally stopped the treadmill trying to retrieve it, setting everything back to zero again.

I was a bit miffed to say the least, but the guy on the Badwater documentary gave me some hope, so I reset the Garmin (again), found a better place for the bottle, and hopped back on for round three. Third time lucky, right?

Even though my legs had already covered 2.5 miles (or thereabouts) I was feeling pretty good and continued with my ratio for the first half of the run. By half way though, my legs were getting tired, so I started reducing the running sections and increasing the walk breaks. This seemed to be working, but as I watched the timer on the treadmill pass the 9 minute mark, I realised that there was no space on the console for anything over 99 minutes and 59 seconds.

I kind of hoped that nothing would happen other than that the clock would continue from zero again. That would be fine. My brain could deal with that. What I didn’t expect though, was that the treadmill would slow down to a stop and the distance I had already covered would disappear!

Luckily, I clocked the distance as 9.04 miles just before everything stopped, so I knew how much further I had to go. My legs were drained of energy by this point and I was running less that half a mile for each run segment, but I was getting there. I just needed to get in another 4.06 miles and I’d be done.

In the end, I completed the 13.1 miles in 2:29:54, which is slower than most of my previous Half Marathons, but a bit faster than I expected. Taking into account how I felt at the end, and the fact that running on the treadmill ought to be a bit quicker than running outside, I’m pretty much convinced that miles win over kilometres where the treadmill is concerned.

Either way though, a two and a half hour run/walk should help to get the training back on track.

How’s your training going? Have you had an eventful run recently? Do you plan your training runs according to distance or time on your feet? Please share your thought in the comments.

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Post Flu Test Run

It has been over a week since my last post and my last run. I had planned to get a couple of runs in last weekend and early this week in preparation for Sunday’s Brighton Half Marathon, but unfortunately my immune system had different ideas.

I wasn’t overly concerned when I woke up last Friday morning with a bit of a sniffle, but by lunchtime I knew it wasn’t good, and by the time I left work all I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep for a week – which is pretty much what I did, give or take a couple of days.

Thankfully, I was feeling a lot better today but I was a bit worried about how I would cope with Sunday’s race, so I decided to go for a short easy run to test out my legs and lungs.

I ran on the seafront as usual and couldn’t help but notice that everyone else who was out for a run seemed to be taking it easy too – I like to think that they were also preparing for Sunday’s race, but it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, the run was fine. My legs still feel a bit stiff and my cough was a bit annoying, but my breathing was fine so I’m feeling pretty good about Sunday’s race.

How’s your training going? When’s your next race? How do you deal with winter colds and sniffles? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Look What Arrived In The Post!

For the past week, I’d been starting to get a bit nervous about the Half Marathon. It’s only a few weeks away and, although I’m feeling pretty good about my training, I was starting to wonder why everyone else on Facebook, Twitter and the entire world seemed to have their race bib and I was still patiently waiting. But then, yesterday when I came home from work, there it was. My first ever Half Marathon race bib! How exciting! 🙂

HM Race Bib

I’d been feeling a bit low over the weekend and decided to skip my Saturday run, but getting my race bib yesterday seemed to give me the lift that I needed to get out the door again. Well, not right away, as I had other things that I needed to do on Monday evening; but tonight I got it done!

My plan was to have a nice easy run along the seafront. At least 5K. Maybe a bit more. I wasn’t going to over-think it though. I just needed to get out into the cold and get my run in.

I headed out just after 7pm and decided to start running en-route to the promenade. I don’t usually run on those streets, but there was a clear sky and a bright moon, which made it easier to see where I was going in the darker sections where the street lights are deemed useless by the trees growing up through the pavements.

There wasn’t much activity on the seafront tonight. I guess the cold temperatures are keeping a lot of people indoors, but there were still a few other runners around – enough to feel safe in the knowledge that, even though I was running alone, there was always someone else in sight.

I also used the opportunity to try out some of my new running gear that I got for my birthday last week. My sister bought me a pair of running gloves, which I was badly in need of. They are nice and thin so that I can easily press the buttons on the Garmin and the GymBoss that I use to time my intervals; but warm enough to stop my fingers from feeling cold and numb.

gloves

They also have a waterproof mitten that goes over the fingers to stop them from getting wet in the rain, and can be neatly tucked away when you don’t need them. I haven’t tested the waterproof part yet, but I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity soon enough.

All in all, the run was fairly uneventful, but very satisfying. I kept the pace comfortable, made sure the walk breaks remained brisk, and managed to complete 6.5 kilometres in 42:50. Not bad for a chilly Tuesday evening in February.

How’s your running going? Do you get excited about new gadgets, running gear or the arrival of your next race bib? Please share your thought in the comments.

 

 

Not Every Run Has To End With A PB

The weather was looking quite good this morning, so I decided to do a slightly belated Birthday Half-Marathon – well, it’s only two days late and I’m still on holiday, so I reckon it still counts.

I’d scheduled this run into my training program for two reasons: firstly, I thought it would be a good way to spend my Birthday/ day off; and secondly, I wanted to make sure I could cope with the distance for the Brighton Half Marathon in February.

Of course, I had some goals for this run too. I wanted to see if I could improve my time of 2:28:02 from the Jeff Galloway Virtual 13.1 that I ran in December, but I also wanted to see if I could get under 2:25:00 – a bit of a long shot, I know, but it’s good to have something challenging to aim for.

I figured that I would have to average around 6:50 – 6:55 per kilometre to be in with a chance and was pretty much on track for the first half of the run.

I used my usual route (only slightly altered so that I could start and finish by the public toilets), heading East along Hove lawns to Brighton Marina and along the Undercliff Path towards Saltdean, and then back again. I had considered taking the hilly option on the road above the cliffs, but decided against it as the weather is still very changeable at the moment.

2015-01-30_Map

Once I reached the wall at Saltdean (an actual wall, where the path stops, not the runners wall that makes your legs turn to lead and your brain to mush) I turned around and started making my way back. The wind was strong enough to give a bit of resistance but nothing to cause too many problems and, when I checked the Garmin at half way I was pleased to see that I was on track to achieve my goal time of 02:25:00.

2015-01-30_Splits 1-11

And then it happened. At 12 kilometres I felt that familiar shooting pain in my left knee. It wasn’t the full on kitchen knife to the outer knee cap pain that I had before; it didn’t go that deep and lasted for less than a second. But it was the same pain, a warning shot, and I knew that I would be in trouble if I didn’t back off.

So, for the next few kilometres I eased off and allowed my pace to drop until I felt that I was out of the danger zone. I wasn’t happy about it and made a mental note to myself to remember to do my ITB stretches every day between now and the Brighton Half, but I kept going and reminded myself that it’s better to slow down now than to create an injury I would be sure to regret later.

At around 16K, however, I realised that I could still be in with a chance of achieving 02:25:00 if I could pick up the pace again and keep it just under 7:00 minutes per kilometre. So I allowed myself to push a little harder on the running sections and reminded myself to walk a bit faster on the walk breaks. But it wasn’t enough. My pace dropped again and, as I approached the final kilometre, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

2015-01-30_Splits 12-20

But then something else happened. Something good this time. I realised that, even at the reduced pace that I was currently running, not only would I be under 2:30:00, but I could still get a PB! This gave me a much needed boost, so I picked up the pace (still mindful of my ITB of course) and pushed for home, finishing in 02:27:18.

2015-01-30_Splits 21-Finish

Although I was delighted to achieve a new PB, I also realised that PBs aren’t everything. The important thing is to finish the run without injury and, looking back, I realise that I’m pretty lucky that I got a warning signal before my ITB seized up on me.

So, from now on, I promise that I will find time to do my stretches every day, whether I think I need to or not. Prevention is better than a cure, right?

How’s your running going? What injury prevention measures do you take as part of your training program? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Virtual Jeff Galloway 13.1

2014-12-21_SummaryAfter months of training using run-walk-run, today was the day to put Jeff Galloway’s training method to the test. And what better way to do it than by taking part in Jeff Galloway’s own virtual half-marathon?

I set out early-ish and headed for the seafront to revisit the half-marathon route that I had used back in April. Back then, I hadn’t been training for a half-marathon but just wanted to see if I could go the distance. It had been a bit of a struggle but I’d tried to run as much of it as possible and ended up with a time of 2:33:36. Not too bad considering I hadn’t been training for it, but I wanted to see if I could improve on that time having now trained using run-walk-run.

I was hoping for a time of under 2:30:00 so I figured that I needed to try to hit an average pace of 7:00 mins per kilometre. However, one of the problems with run-walk-run is that it can be difficult to gauge your average pace – depending on the ratio that you are using, some of the splits are going to have more walking than running, which will slow things down a bit. So, with that in mind, I decided to try to keep each split under 7:00 minutes where possible.

The first half of the run went really well. Despite the cold and drizzle, I felt pretty comfortable and was surprised to see that I had managed to keep my pace well below the 7 minute target. Which is just as well really, because when I reached the end of the path at Saltdean and had to turn around, I was confronted by a 19 kph headwind (according to my Garmin). This probably explains why I had found the first half so easy, but now it was time to redress the balance.

As I was running on the undercliff path, there was no protection at all from the wind, but I plugged on, sticking to my 3 minutes running and one minute walking ratio, and trying to run as close to the cliff wall as possible to avoid the waves that were starting to crash over the sea wall, soaking the path and anyone on it. Luckily, I didn’t get drenched by any waves, but I did get pretty soaked from the spray. I think it was probably raining too, but it was hard to tell at that point.

Pushing against the wind, it was pretty much impossible for me to sustain my sub-7 minute pace. Even walking was tough! But I decided not to worry about it and just focus on completing each running section. This really helped as I wasn’t thinking about the distance at all. All I had to do was run for three minutes, walk for a minute, wipe the rain/spray from my glasses and then start running again.

Once I was off the undercliff path, things seemed a little easier. The route was still pretty exposed, but being a little bit further from the waves meant I wasn’t getting quite as wet and I knew I would soon be back on the familiar ground of Hove promenade.

As I approached Hove seafront, the wind was starting to get pretty strong again – the kind of strong winds that usually send me back up to the more sheltered streets around central Hove. But with only a couple of kilometres to go, that wasn’t an option. Besides, I knew that when I reached my starting point I would be a little short of the 21.1 kilometres that I needed, which meant I could allow myself to turn around again and take advantage of the wind behind me.

With or without the tailwind for the final half kilometre or so, however, I knew that I was on target to achieve my sub 2:30:00 goal. I even allowed myself to keep going for a bit longer than 21.1K, just to make sure the Garmin hadn’t gone wrong anywhere, and finally crossed the virtual finish line with a PB of 2:28:02.

Ok, so I know it’s not a very fast time by a lot of people’s standards, but by my standards it’s exactly where I wanted to be at this stage in my training. I guess it goes to show that run-walk-run can work after all.

This post is part of the Virtual Running UK weekly blog hop. Have you taken part in a virtual race? Click here to find out more about virtual running or join the blog hop to connect and share your racing adventures with other running bloggers.

Jeff Galloway Virtual 13.1

Circle HopAs today is Virtual Running UK blog hop day, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a virtual race.

I’ve been using Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run method to get back to training after injury and, now that I’m back to running again regularly, I figured it would be interesting to see how close I can get to my goal half-marathon time using run-walk-run.

JG131It just so happens that Jeff Galloway himself is hosting a Virtual Half Marathon, so joining his race seemed like a good way of giving pay back for the help that his training strategy has given me over the last few months – that, and the fact that you get a medal and a t-shirt for taking part!

I plan to run the virtual half-marathon in December, which should be do-able if I stick to my current training plan, and of course I will submit my time to Virtual Running UK as well, just for good measure. I don’t expect it to be particularly fast, but it will give me an idea about how fast I can run using run-walk-run.

In other news, Virtual Running UK are hosting their first annual Blog Awards next month. Of course, I’m exempt from this as Virtual Running UK is my website, but if you want to nominate your own or someone else’s blog you can do so by clicking this link; or you can click here to join the weekly blog hop. Either way, it’s a great way to connect with more running bloggers and who knows, you may even win a prize!

So, that’s it for today’s post. No run for me today as I ran last night, but hopefully I’ll get one in tomorrow.

Have a great weekend!

Back To Continuous Running

Circle HopUsually on a Saturday morning I’m pretty keen to get out the door and get my run in, but this morning I just wasn’t feeling it. However, as Saturday is now VRUK Blog Hop Day, I decided to spend the day getting my head together and eating well so that I could run this evening and get a blog post in for this week’s blog hop. And I was so glad that I did.

It has taken me a while to get back into a regular running routine and to be able to run without taking walk breaks, but this evening I managed to run my first non-stop 5K in months! It wasn’t particularly fast and I’m still a long way from my Sub 30 5K goal, but that didn’t matter. The important thing was to get the distance in.

Once I had completed the 5K, I was still feeling pretty good so I decided to continue back to my starting point, which would take me up to a bit over 6K. Of course, I had to take a short walk break to get that far, but I still did it and it felt really good.

2014-11-22_Overview

As far as run-walk-run is concerned, I’m still going to use the 3:1 ratio for my long Sunday runs as part of my marathon training, but in between I’m hoping to gradually build up my continuous running in the hope that I might be able to run the distance for February’s half-marathon.

I’m also thinking of taking part in the Virtual Jeff Galloway 3.1 in December. According to my training plan, I should be able to complete a half-marathon run-walk-run by the end of the year, so it would be a good benchmark to start from as well as a great opportunity to earn some bling!

How’s your training going? What do you think of run-walk-run? Have you taken part in any virtual races recently? Please share your thoughts in the comments and pop over to Virtual Running UK if you fancy signing up for a weekly running blog hop.