Thursday 5th July 2012 – 5K time trial

Running club

Thursday. Running club this evening.

I checked out the website this week to see what route we would be running (I remembered this time). According to the posting we would be doing 5k time trials. Brilliant, the last time we had done this I had crashed and burned half way through, far too quickly out of the blocks.

Subsequently I had finished in about 25 minutes, a gasping wheezing wreck.

Well that wasn’t about to happen again. This time I would pace it a bit more.

5k time trial

Before the run I did my usual stretches and took on some water.

We headed out, a mile or so run down to the park where we would be starting the time trials. I kept at the back, a steady jog to try and conserve some energy.

I knew the route of the trials, 2 laps starting along the riverside, over the bridge, back down through Chelmsford University, cut back through the side road, over another bridge – and repeat.

It was a nice, flat run, and good for setting decent times.

My time trial

I started off quickly and was kicking myself inside, I knew I’d do that, I wanted a slower pace to start and then increase and push for the last half mile. I was running under 8 minute mile pace.

I kept going, breathing hard but maintaining the pace. I looked at my GPS, a quick few calculations, I could beat 24 minutes at this rate.

I ploughed on, I slowed a little but nothing major. I came over the second bridge and headed for lap two, still feeling ok, still breathing hard, but all the while pushing hard. I had the 24 minute target in my head.

Half way around the second lap I could feel myself slowing, perhaps I hadn’t quite paced this out correctly.

A left turn after the Uni, across the bridge and then turn right, the last 100 yards or so to the finish line, where 80% of the rest had already finished. I stopped my watch 23m:59s….

Here’s my 5k time trial PB

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Wednesday 20th June 2012 – running a faster 5K

A quick 5K

This morning when I woke up I only had one objective.

That was running a faster 5K than I had ever run.

I’ve not done this for a while, the whole “I’ve got to beat my previous time” lark. In fact the the other week at running club when we did the 5K time trials was the last time I actually tried to run 5K as quick as I could, this morning I would attempt to beat my fastest time of 23 minutes and 53 seconds ,and that was probably 8 months ago, maybe longer.

Running a faster 5K

From the moment the GPS connected with the satellites (finally…) and I pressed start I ran at a pace I thought I could maintain for 25 minutes (this should be long enough for me to complete the 5K).

My aim was a pace of 7 minutes 40 seconds per mile. I started off OK, and the first mile was 7m 15s. I tried not to ease off, but I think I over egged it a bit again, the second mule was a bit slower at 7m 25s.

Too fast too quick

Annoyingly I dropped down to 7m 48s or the 3rd mile, I just wish that was how I had started the first mile, perhaps it would of been easier. Although to be fair, the splits were a lot closer than I thought they would be.

With more practice I will be able to maintain a pace, and hopefully get my 5K time down to 22 minutes.

For now though I had achieved my goal of running a faster 5K and clocked a time of 23 minutes 10 seconds – I was very happy.

My quickest 5K so far is here!

Saturday 9th June 2012 – Short run day before race

The Southend Half Marathon

Tomorrow I will be taking part in the Southend Half Marathon. I’m very much looking forward to it. I have completed 13 plus miles on numerous occasions so in theory I should do OK, but then again…the best laid plans and all that!!

My friend Rob arrived yesterday, he was due to run the race with me, along with Crispy, but due to an injury he has had to pull out, that hasn’t stopped him coming down and showing some support, a very typical selfless gesture of Rob to travel 180 miles to cheer a mate on!!

Although Rob had an injury and had hardly been out for a run over the past several weeks, we had arranged to go out for a short run day before race.

A steady 5K

Seeing as Rob hadn’t run for a while and I didn’t want to waste too much energy we just went out for a simple, steady 5K run, no hills, no pressure, no messing about, just a nice gentle run.

And to be honest it was really nice not to be competing with myself, not to be checking the watch all the time for pace, we settled at around the 9:00 min mile pace and chatted and joked our way around the route.

Getting something from it

Rob was happy with the run, he didn’t have any niggles and had managed to get through it unscathed, I had relieved a bit of tension and nervous energy that had been building up, and felt pretty good and relaxed now about the big one tomorrow!

Here’s the run!

Thursday 24th May 2012 – 5K time trials

British summertime

We had a good few days of lovely warm weather. I am not sure how long it is going to last, but it’s hot, people are happier (unless they are stuck in traffic or stuck on a packed train on the underground), the flowers are well in blossom, and everywhere around here is getting greener by the day.

This will probably be the only week or so of really good weather this year, so we should make the most of it. Although some of us will still be moaning because it is too hot.

5K time trials.

This was my second week at the running club, I had been looking forward to going all day. Having checked out the website earlier in the week, I noted that there would be 5K time trials this week.

5K? Simple. I had ran than time and time again. 5K time trials? I guessed that was a race. Run it as fast as you can…right?

I wasn’t overly concerned, I had ran 5K in under 24 minutes before, I thought that if I pushed myself I would be able to do it again.

We met at the club house and ran a mile or so to the parkland behind Chelmsford University. The 30 or so of us lined up, listened to directions of the route we were going to take. Two laps, along the river, under the underpass, keep on going, turn right, over the bridge, left again along the back of the Avenues, through the University car park, around the front of the University, around the back of what looked like the food hall, over the bridge on the left hand side, turn left for lap two.

Too fast too soon

As always, I got over cocky and over-confident, thinking I was going to breeze it. The competitive side of me came out instead of the sensible side.  I ran off at such a pace that when the app belted out my time at the first mile, it was it was 6 mins 57 secs. Probably the fastest first mile I had ever run. Foolishly I hadn’t taken into account the wonderfully warm evening, it must of been about 18-20 degrees, and it was humid, that didn’t help with my running. Not one little tiny bit!

No surprise then that my second mile was a lot slower at 7 mins 54 secs and the third mile was 8 mins 15 secs. I was properly shagged. I need to learn ‘less haste more speed’ theory a little more.

I may have worn myself out too quickly but I was happy to finish in 24 mins 45 secs, not last by any means but the first few to finish did it about 5 or 6 minutes quicker than me…that was quick!

I’ve set myself a marker now, and will be aiming to get under 24 minutes (in a sensible manner) next time. One day I want to get to 20 minutes. I bit more practice me thinks!

So, once we had all finished, and got our breath back, we all ran back to the clubhouse, a nice gentle up hill mile long run. Lovely.

Here’s the route and time.

Monday 7th May 2012 – Silence is golden

A gentle run

I had the whole day to myself today, initially I had planned to go out and run. To run wherever my legs took me and for as long as I could, perhaps I could of completed between 18 and 20 miles today. This was not going to happen.

My aim was to eke out a gentle 5k. I probably should have rested totally today but I had to run. If I don’t get out for run I feel agitated and narky, I get the same feeling when I’m hungry lol.

I’d ran over 20 miles the past two days, so over doing it today wouldn’t be a great idea. Plus my Virtual Running Partner, Rob Cameron (my mate and trainer / adviser who I am running the 2012 Amsterdam Marathon with) advised me not to run at all considering the last two days running distances.

He’s the boss!!

Silence is golden

Sometimes I am such an idiot.

I should of covered the blisters with some form of protection. I clean forgot. By the time I was half a mile up the road my right foot was throbbing, I should of stopped and turned around and walked the half mile back home, but no, clever me kept on going.

The numbness kicked in after a mile or so.

And besides I had other things to distract me, like my breathing and my footsteps. I could hear them clear as a bell. This may not sound odd to you, but it was quite new to me. I was out running without music. Without my iPhone. The iPhone was being repaired (cracked casing – common fault apparently).

This was probably a good thing, as the forth coming 10 mile race in 2 weeks in Great Baddow was a street race, and due to health and safety rules, iPods or other forms of music players with ear phones were not allowed. So to get out and run a few miles without music was all good preparation for that.

It was a little odd at first without the music, but what I really missed was not hearing the running app announce my pace and distance at each mile interval. I had to manually update my workout on the laptop when I got back, thankfully I’d worn a stopwatch to record my time.

A good time

I completed the 3.5 miles in about half an hour, my blisters were a mess again. I’m not going to run for a couple of days now. They need to heal a bit before I try to wreck them again.

Here’s the run.

Tuesday 17th April 2012 – Upping the ante.

Back in business

I was up and out early this morning, I had some miles to clock up.

I’d thought about doing a quick 5K, but seeing as I have an impending 10 mile race at the end of May, a half marathon mid June and a full marathon to run in October, plus what other runs that I can find that takes my fancy – I needed to do some marathon training, so I thought it best to try to run a little longer.

Practice makes perfect.

So I aimed for 5 – 6 miles. This is a manageable distance to complete before work, normally takes me about 40-45 minutes.

I also need to work on maintaining a good pace. Looking back at recent long runs of 12 – 15 miles, I average around 8m30s – 9m miles, I would like to get nearer the 8m30s miles and keep that as a constant. This pace would ensure I finish races in a respectable time. I need to get some more practice in.

Changing things up a bit.

Also this week I am going to do somethings a little differently;

  • take water with me to drink on the short runs (I don’t normally take anything with me on 3-5 mile runs. I am hoping more liquid intake may help with performance and recovery.
  • wear more layers – I always go out in a short sleeve running top and shorts. I want to see if layers affect my running performance.
  • Run Tuesday 5-6 miles, rest Wednesday, run Thursday 5-6 miles, rest Friday, long run Saturday 13-15 miles, run Sunday 3-5 miles.
My target is 25 – 30 miles per week, with the intention of slowly increasing to  35 – 40 miles per week within about 4 to 6 weeks, this should help towards my marathon training greatly.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012 – Quick. Brisk. Painless.

Quick, brisk, painless.

Three words I wanted this morning’s run to be.

After I had put some miles in at the weekend, and my calves were aching like mad, I knew that to try and do too much would be silly. So a quick, brisk and painless run is what I was aiming for. Well, two out of three ain’t bad!

Quick and brisk it was; painless it was not.

5K is easy

I have a 5k route around the village, it is the one I do probably 10 – 12 times a month, for me it is pretty easy, I must of run it over 150 times.

This morning would be no different. Apart from the pain searing through my calf muscles.

The weekend runs had taken their toll on my legs, I think it must have been running along the tow path that caused it. I need to test that route again to see what affect it has on my legs.

For now thought, here’s the run.

Wednesday 28th March 2012 – Enthusiasm

Wake up! Wake up!

I’m Knackered. Fact.

Don’t know why. I’m not doing anything majorly different. Struggled to get my arse out of bed this morning.

When I went to sleep I had all the enthusiasm in the world to get up in the morning, get my kit on, run down stairs and then run the streets for half an hour.

This morning’s enthusiasm levels were as low as a snakes belly.

I miss my bed.

That aside I got up and went downstairs. I looked out of the window, the clear dark sky gave a chilly impression and my thoughts immediately aimed themselves at my warm bed. Brilliant. Why couldn’t my thoughts aim themselves at the run? The fields? The roads? My pace?

I stretched slowly, paying more attention to stretching my calves out, I didn’t want that niggle in my right calf to come back, definitely didn’t want to get an injury this morning, having to walk home would be a royal pain in the butt!

Once out on the road, breathing in the crisp fresh air, blood pumping and listening to other runners inspirational stories on my ear phones the smile came back and so did the enthusiasm. It came back in bundles.

What creates enthusiasm for running?

It’s the feeling of freedom. No it’s not. It’s the sense of peace and quiet. No it’s not. It’s appreciating the elements. No it’s not. It’s the feeling of achievement when a run is completed. No it’s not.

To be honest it’s a mixture of all of the above.

When I run I sometimes think about running different routes, I wonder what it would be like to run in warmer or colder countries, run along beaches, up mountains and this helps to keep me going, it keeps my enthusiasm levels up and the inner drive alive.

Getting up in the morning, however, remains a struggle sometimes!

Here is today’s route and the run.

Tuesday 27th March 2012 – Done it!

155K Challenge

At the beginning of this month I set myself a little challenge; to run 155K in March. That was 5k per day. Obviously not running that each day, but to achieve it over the course of the month.

By the 14th March I was well on target, and even thought that I could reach 200K, I contemplated increasing the challenge, but I didn’t. Good job really, as I went 5 days without managing to get out and run at least twice, on a few occasions I never managed to run as far as I wanted to, and once or twice I gave in to the elements.

Crossing the line.

This morning’s run took me to exaclty 97 miles this month, that’s 156.106 km

I was half aware of how many miles I had ran so far this month, and figured that by around 6:30am I will have completed the challenge.

I managed between 4 and 5 miles, it was probably the 3rd mile that took me across the 155K line – challenge complete.

What’s next?

For what I thought would be a simple challenge it turned out to be more difficult than I imagined, mainly because of the reasons mentioned before.

I am going to set myself another challenge though, probably go for ’5 half marathons in 4 weeks’ or ’200K in a month’.

For now though I am very pleased to have completed this challenge.

Here’s the run!

Sunday 25th March 2012 – Getting back on track.

Best to take it easy

After the disappointing run yesterday, the distraction from the bouncing water bottle around my waist, and the niggling pain in my right calf, I knew I probably shouldn’t of gone out for a run today.

But my calf was feeling better, I had rested it for most of the day, and anyway, I always go for a run on a Sunday, difficult to break a routine.

I needed to run, yesterday had played on my mind quite a bit, I was annoyed with myself for allowing myself to become so bloody distracted, although part of me was thinking ‘sod it, I am not going to run for a while, I’ve had enough’, I knew that if I didn’t get off my arse and run today and sort my head out then I probably wouldn’t complete the challenge.

I had to get back out there.

And it’s not as if I was going to go hell for leather and crack out a 10-15 mile run, I was only going to go for a quick 5K to get the blood pumping.

To the roads…

I took it easy. I tried to hold myself back a bit, not wanting to put any unnecessary force or trauma on my right calf, I settled into a steady pace fairly soon and was quite content to just plod along.

I refrained from running that extra little bit further or increasing my pace too much, I needed to ensure my leg was ok, after all I had the 155K barrier to break through this week, and I wouldn’t be able to do that with a knackered calf muscle, or any other injury come to think of it.

Happily I managed to complete 5K in about 27 minutes, injury free!

This is the link to the run.