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?”

Rosliston parkrun – 3rd September 2016

Rosliston Parkrun

Sadly my brother and his family are moving back to Dubai. In a trip home to say “bon voyage” I managed to slip in a bit of parkrun tourism at the Rosliston Forestry Centre.

It has been a while since I have run a parkrun “fresh”. I normally do it after a BMF session, so I was excited to see where I was with my training.

This was the 25th event at Rosliston and around 150 runners turned out. The race director provided me with a very thorough brief on the course, which was useful as it  turned out to be a tricky one! Continue reading “Rosliston parkrun – 3rd September 2016”

Long Run – Half Marathon Training

Cannon Hill Common Lake

I went for my first long run on Sunday. I have not been on a long run for a while as I have not seriously trained for an event or had a training plan for some time.

The long run was supposed to be my fourth run of the week, but it was actually my first. It was 32 degrees on Tuesday so I gave BMF Running club a miss, which I think was sensible. Thursday I was out with a friend for dinner, so missed my tempo/hill/sprints session. Saturday’s 8am BMF session was very tough and by 9am the temperatures were already soaring, so I did not do parkrun afterwards. I did cycle to work 5 days in a row, but cycling does now make you a good runner! Unless you are Chris Froome! Continue reading “Long Run – Half Marathon Training”

Half Marathon Training Plan

London Marathon 2012

Inspired by Lazy Girl Running I have decide to put a Training Plan together for an Autumn Half Marathon.

I have a place for the Great North Run, (which has been on my list of things to do for a long time), but am going to have to pull out or hopefully defer to next year as I have a wedding of a good friend to attend the same weekend, that unfortunately doesn’t happen to be in Newcastle.

I still want to do a half marathon this Autumn so have selected the award winning Ealing Half Marathon at the end of September.

I have not had an “official” training plan since I ran the London marathon many years ago. I have just been muddling through with the odd run here and there and staying in fair good shape.

I ran the Adidas Half Marathon in March and achieved a PB by a whopping 12 or so minutes. As I mentioned in my post about the race, the PB and excitement to be racing masked the fact that I did not have the longer distance base fitness and I was really cheating myself that I was ready because I had run a few quick 10kms.

The new plan pretty much breaks down to – Continue reading “Half Marathon Training Plan”

Why am I not better? (Than I think I am)

Can I run like The Flash?
Can I run like The Flash?

I have been thinking about writing this post for some time, I consider it regularly. I was thinking about saving it for later, but I just can’t get it out of my head. Why am I not better?

As I alluded to in first post, I was a fairly successful athlete and sportsman in younger years and teens. I always won my school sports day. I won managers and player’s player of the year with my double winning Sunday league football team. I was captain of my local rugby team and a county medal winning swimmer.

“I still think I can win a sprint. I still think I can effortlessly bend a free kick into the top corner of the goal”.

I am not bragging or looking back fondly on my athletic glory years. The point of the post is – I still think I can win a sprint. I still think I can effortlessly bend a free kick into the top corner of the goal. I still think I can turn out for a local rugby club and give it a good go. I still think I can take most people on in a 25m swimming race!

The other point of the post is that I have plenty of experience to know that I can’t do any of those things and that consistent training and practice is required to do them well. That does not stop me trying to play 5 a side football once every 2 years like I play week in week out (and actually realising I can’t change direction or that if I kick this ball to hard, I am going to pull my groin!) or racing my friends whenever I see a swimming pool, ‘cause once upon a time I was a really good swimmer.

OK, poor me! Yes, I am not as young as I used to be and I can’t run as fast. Continue reading “Why am I not better? (Than I think I am)”

Podcasts you should be listening to

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 21.56.47I have been an avid listener of podcasts for going on 10 years. One of the reasons I started listening was that I began to take the bus to work and need something to listen to. The other reason was that I had started running again and I needed something to listen to.

There maybe some people who still don’t know what a podcast is. I have just looked it up on Wikipedia and it does not make a lot of sense to me!

The way I would describe it is. It’s like a radio show that you can download via iTunes or directly to your phone and you can listen to it any time you like. Some podcasts are just that, a recorded live radio show that is then downloadable at a later time. Some are recorded and then put on the web to be downloaded and were never played out live. You subscribe to the podcast and when a new episode is available, it automatically downloads to your iTunes or your phone.

If you have an iPhone, then you already have an app on your phone (that you can’t delete) to download podcasts. I am told that this is not the greatest podcast app and that the Overcast app is better (also available on Android). I have not used this app, but it has been recommended to me a number of times.

I am pretty old school when it comes to podcast downloading. I have an old and battered, but highly loved iPod Nano 3rd generation. I load the podcasts into iTunes on my laptop, then plug my iPod in and manually select the podcasts I want to listen to.

IMG_3237
My poor old battered iPod nano!

I absolutely love podcasts. It surprises me that more people do not listen to them. There is amazing free content out there that you can listen to at your leisure. There is a podcast for whatever you are interested in. Sport, Business, Comedy, Economics, History, Philosophy, Music, Science, Meditation, The Archers. There are also a lot about health, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing. These can help you on your journey to a better, fitter more healthy life.

Below are a number of podcasts I highly recommend to you. Some are about health and nutrition and running and some are about other things, but there are all excellent and you should definitely give them a try. Continue reading “Podcasts you should be listening to”

A little more about me!

For my first blog post I could tell you about the training I did at the weekend or review the run I recently volunteered at. However, when I am reading blogs, what I really want to know is: a little bit about the person who is writing. Is this person like me? What’s their story? Can I identify with them? Are they super fit and talking about 2 hrs 45 min marathons or just surviving them? What value will I get from this blog?

I have written a little bio in the “About” page but I thought I would flesh it out a little to produce my first blog post. Continue reading “A little more about me!”