Running – Get out the door!

In a recent post, I stated that one of my goals this year is to run more races.

It’s the start of the year and the likelihood is that you’ve set some running goals. It maybe to do your first 5km, achieve a Boston Marathon qualifying time or even complete an ultramarathon. It could just be to be out the door more often. Continue reading “Running – Get out the door!”

Race Plans for 2017 – Lace ’em up!

As Blue Monday rolls past, you may be thinking of signing up for a race to kick start your training and banish the January blues.

In my New Year post, I mentioned that in 2017 I want to take part in more races. I love the community atmosphere of races. The feeling that we’re all in it together. That 1000s of people get up early on a Sunday morning to test and challenge themselves. Here’s a list or races that I’ve booked or I’m planning on doing this year.

Dash for Splash 10km – Wimbledon Common – 26/02/17

Wimbledon Common

This is very local to me and Wimbledon Common is one of my favourite places so running this is a no brainer. Continue reading “Race Plans for 2017 – Lace ’em up!”

The Andy Files – How to exercise more!

Andy and Iain a long time ago

I wrote this post a few months ago, but it seems like a good time to post it, seeing as it’s the New Year.

I recently shared my blog with my brother and he set me the challenge of how I can to help him with simple fitness and eating habits with the aim of losing one stone. If you have missed the previous 3 posts of The Andy Files you can find them here and here and here.

As I have previously mentioned, Andy works long hours, has a lengthy commute and has 2 children. Time is his big problem. He has since moved back to Dubai, but everything still stands.

In my previous post, I wrote about how to improve your diet. In this one, I’m writing about how you can exercise more.

I think there can be a million studies done, but the consensus will always be – to lose weight, you need to put a little less in and burn a few more calories through exercise. You can try and cheat and hack your way to do it, but to be successful your very likely going to have to do these two things.

Here are some ideas on how to exercise more with time constraints – Continue reading “The Andy Files – How to exercise more!”

Why do you run? What’s the reward?

Bushy Park

I am currently reading Busy – How to thrive in a world of too much by Tony Crabbe. Good book. Worth reading.

In it, he refers to a study in 1973 by Mark R Lepper and David Greene from Stanford University and Richard Nisbitt from the University of Michigan who ran an experiment with children you loved drawing.

Some were told they would be rewarded for drawing, and the others were not. Continue reading “Why do you run? What’s the reward?”

The Streets of London – VLM 2017 Results

2008 London Marathon

The 2017 London Marathon ballot results were out last week.

I won’t build the tension. I didn’t get a place (the sixth time in a row). Actually, I don’t know anyone who got a place (in real life or online life). Maybe the people who are in, keep it quiet as there are so many peeved off people grumping about the ballot system.

The email arrived (I am yet to find my magazine) and I was not too crushed; I knew the chances of a place were slim. (1 in 16 I believe).

2017 VLM Email
My “You’re not in” email

I have also had the privilege of running the London Marathon twice (one back in 2008 via the NSPCC and then 2010 via the ballot), so I can’t be too down about it.  Continue reading “The Streets of London – VLM 2017 Results”

Ealing Half Marathon 2016 – Race Review

Ealing Half Start 2016

I ran the Ealing Half Marathon last Sunday (25/09/16). I have been building up to the race for 12 weeks. You can see my training plan here.

I had heard good things about the Ealing Half Marathon. It is the winner of the best half marathon at the Running Awards for the last 3 years.

So with all this training and preparation, I should have spent Saturday night on the sofa with my feet in the air casting my critical eye over the beautiful voices showcased on The X Factor.

Stuff that, I am off to a birthday party! A pretty chilled birthday party that very conveniently happen to be in Ealing and I had also been offered a bed for the night. So no faffing with trains in the morning! Continue reading “Ealing Half Marathon 2016 – Race Review”

How to enjoy running – Run with a smile!

Running can be hard. It can hurt. It can be raining. Motivation can wane and you feel like opening a massive bag of chocolate chip cookies and binge watching Netflix. (Aside – What did Netflix do to anyone? It’s getting a hard time at the moment for all the western world’s motivation and procrastination issues)

It can also be great. It can be “effortless”. The sun can be shining. You just can’t wait to go and do that run. If you are falling into the first group, here are a few ideas on how to get back enjoying your running. Continue reading “How to enjoy running – Run with a smile!”

Running preparation and recovery

In my post How to run faster, I started and finished the post with preparation and recovery. Injury and fatigue are the downfall of many a training plan and many runners seem to be injured, are returning from injury or are carrying an injury.

Below are some ways to help keep you on the road or trail.

Water

Glass of water

I have previously posted about the benefits of drinking water  and seem to bang on about it a lot. It has a huge impact on your performance. Make sure you are well hydrated. Drink water throughout the day to maintain your fluids. If you are dehydrated before a run, it is likely going to be difficult and suck! Continue reading “Running preparation and recovery”

How to run faster – Pick up the pace

cropped-IMG_2766.jpgI am now in Week 8 of my Ealing Half Marathon training plan  and I only have 3 weeks to go. I have been building up the miles and tried to be consistent in following my plan. At times, motivation has been difficult, but I am starting to feel and see some gains and feel faster. As the long runs build up, I am not having trouble adding the extra miles and the speed and hill runs are adding strength for maintaining my speed on tempo runs.

Below are some of the points I have noticed over the past weeks and how I have come to feel faster. Continue reading “How to run faster – Pick up the pace”

Compression Socks – Do they work?

If you even have just a passing interest in running or athletics, you will have seen the odd runner in long compression socks.

I recently watching the Men’s 5000m Heats at the Rio Olympics in the kitchen at work during a tea break and one guy was wearing long socks in temperatures of 30 degrees. Someone else made a comment – Why was he wearing long socks in that heat?

I have a pair of these long socks but have not worn them very often because of comments like this. I am not sure if they are gimmicky or what people will think of me. I am very much down with my standard black kit.

I bought the socks, because like many people I am looking for an advantage and also wanted to know what they were all about and whether they did or improved anything. I planned to do a bit of experimentation. Continue reading “Compression Socks – Do they work?”