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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Tuesday 3rd July 2012 – Running at the same pace

Running at the same pace

This was the beginning of my last week of ‘solo’ running for a while. As of next week I would be working to a marathon training plan, 16 weeks of tempo, easy and long runs in the build up to running the Amsterdam marathon at the end of October.

Today I wanted to cover 5 miles running at the same pace. This may sound easy and probably is for some people, but it’s something I tend to struggle with, so this morning I was going to practice it.

A simple route around the village at a manageable pace was the plan.

Setting off too quick

As per normal I set off a little too quickly, this is becoming a very annoying habit I have, and something I need to work on.

My pace slowed down after a mile or so, my target pace of 8m 20s to 8m 30s per mile, seemed manageable. I set out and headed down toward the village.

A quick right at The Cock, up and over the A12 and back not only adds distance to my route but throws a short sharp hill in both the beginning of my run and at the end too.

Back down to the main road, left at Plantation Road and then around the back of the village to the top of Church Road.

On Target

I turned left then, past The Lion, down hill then up to the A12 junction, over that and back on myself for the 2 mile run home.

So far so good with the pace, although I had slowed a little, something which I expected to do, I hadn’t gone over the 8m 30s per mile mark, I felt pretty good too, the legs were holding up nicely and my breathing was steady.

The last two miles were good, the uphill run back toward The Lion was easier today (I’m sure that’s just a mental thing). I tried pick pace up a little once I’d come back down the hill by The Cock and started the last half mile home.

All in all a good run this morning, happy with it.

Here’s a good 5 mile route

Tuesday 26th June 2012 – Taking it easy

Making the wrong decision

When I woke up this morning and turned my alarm off, I had that “can’t be arsed” feeling, I was tired and in no mood to haul my ass out of bed, even though the sun was shining through the window and it looked like it was going to be a lovely day.

I decided there and then to stay in bed and get an extra hour sleep, or at least try to.

This, as it happened, turned out to be very much the wrong decision to make, for the rest of the day I had the hump. I was annoyed with myself for not getting up and going for a run. A run wakes me up and sets me up for the day…I know that, yet felt it would be better to stay in bed.

Making the right decision

I stewed all day. I regretted not running this morning. I was snappy with people when I could be bothered to speak to anyone.

I didn’t like it. I decided to go for a run this evening instead, and to make up for being such a lazy arsed git this morning I’d run 10k instead of the 5k I was going to run. I’d managed to cheer myself up a bit, and was now looking forward to a nice steady run on a summers evening. Assuming the rain holds off, I’d be able to get a good pace going and be taking it easy, nothing too manic.

Slow and steady

So once the boys were bathed and in bed, and wifey was settling down to read them stories with Gruffalos and diggers, I was throwing my running kit on and heading out.

I’d planned a simple, slightly undulated route that took me around the village and headed over the A12 down passed the BMW dealership, up to the Sainsbury’s roundabout and then head back over the A12 and the 2 mile straight through the village home again.

The temperature was nice, the roads weren’t too busy, and I soon settled into a good stride and pace. I wanted to take it steady and try to maintain an even pace throughout. I needed to work on this in preparation for the half marathon and marathon I had entered.

Happy again

I ran just over 10k (6.65 miles), in just over an hour. Not a record breaking run by any means, but I had managed to run steadily. I was happy again.

Taking it easy.

Saturday 23rd June 2012 – New routes

A new route

With boredom comes complacency.

I’ve been running the same router variables of it for ages now. Sometimes adding a bit, sometimes running a little less. New routes are needed.

Today was time for a change. It’s Saturday so that’s long run day, minimum of 10 miles required for today.

I had planned a new route along county lanes in peace and quiet (for the most part anyway).

The early bird and all that

I woke up earlier than expected this morning, I was up and about, running kit on and doing stretches way before our cockerel had even thought of addressing the world with his cocka doodle doo.

I had a new route to try out. Out the door and raring to go (waited a while for the bloody satellites to align with the GPS), a sprightly chirp from the watch meant we were all ready to go.

The route took me along the main road into Boreham, I turned left at The 6 Bells, down Plantation Road, left again at the end of the road onto Church Road, and down hill for a few hundred yards towards the river. Over the bridge and beyond…

Running alone

This was new running territory to me, I’d ran as fas as the bridge before and then ran alongside the river. I’d just passed the 2 mile marker before the bridge, and I knew that at the end of this road was a roundabout at junction 18 of the A12.

This was the back route. This was the scenic route. This was lovely.

I was running along the road, listening to the semi hypnotic sound of my footsteps hitting the Tarmac and the steady rhythm of my breathing. A tapping noise to my right caught my attention, there about 50 yards away clinging to a tree was a woodpecker, merrily pecking away.

The road was quite flight, a few very slight hills which were only 100 or so yards long, enough to make me breath and push a bit harder. I reached the roundabout at about 4.5 miles, ran around it (keeping to the verges) over the A12 and then back on myself, heading back along the country lane, retracing my steps back towards the river and the bridge…and then the hill.

I reached the bridge and stopped for a few seconds as I took an energy gel and washed it down, preparing myself for this new never before challenged hill. I took a steady run up and tried to maintain my pace as I conquered the winding hill step by step. This was so much easier on the way down…

Back through the village

At the top of the hill the road bends round to the left, I could of gone right, back up Plantation Road, but kept running ahead, past the church and up towards the main road where I turned right.

I felt great, the fresh morning air filling my lungs, the peace and tranquility and all at a good pace. I turned right onto the main road, about a mile and a half to go. I took a cheeky left at The Cock Inn and ran up and over the bridge across the A12 and back to the main road – nice to work the legs a bit before the final half mile home.

I managed to complete 10.1 miles in about 1 hour 27 minutes. Happy and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Here’s the route and the splits

Thursday 21st June 2012 – Riverside running

Thursday – Running club

Thursday already, it rolls around so quickly.

Today’s run was with the running club, I’d checked the website to see which route we would be running this evening, it seems we would be running the river route. I’d not run this one before, it looked about 6 miles. I was looking forward to it.

Running conditions

We’ve had a bit of rain recently, but this evening was warm with a slight breeze, nice conditions to run in.

We headed out of the running club HQ and over the bridge, down past the Audi garage to the roundabout, straight across and turned left. A public footpath through trees and thickets past a few houses and down to the river.

With all the sun and heavy rain we had been experiencing lately the bushes, grass and nettles had grown thick and luscious, which was nice, except they intruded across the foot path at the side of the river, that mixed with the slippery muddy conditions underfoot made for an interesting, careful and steady trot.

Slip sliding away

We ran single file along the river for a mile or so, through Sandford Mill and onwards towards the bypass. A small group of us eked our way through the grass, skipping over muddy puddles and dodging nettles.

Why is it there are always nettles crossing the path where there is lots of mud? You either get stung or go ankle deep in the brown stuff!

The chap behind me was quiet, I guessed he was concentrating as hard as I was on balance and not getting stung. “I’m angry!” he suddenly said. I shouted over my shoulder “what’s the matter?”. It turns out he had slipped over (that’s why he was quiet). I felt for him a bit, the last thing I wanted to do was to slip and injure myself.

Suddenly the lady in front of me went over. Her left foot caught a very slippery patch and down she went. Luckily I was some 15-20ft behind her otherwise there may have been a pile of bodies laying in the mud and nettles!

Home stretch

We reached the bypass, by now it was just me and the guy that had fallen over behind me earlier, we crossed a small bridge and ran across a field towards the under pass. It was so much nicer to have some more solid ground underfoot. Through the under pass and back up onto the pavement. The last three quarters of a mile up to club HQ.

We were caked in mud, him more so than me. Our legs were red and stinging. It felt brilliant. What a great route!! I’d thoroughly enjoyed it, we’d completed about 5.5 miles in about 48 minutes.

Riverside running; it takes concentration, it’s muddy and full of nettles – I loved it!

Can’t wait to see what happens next week!

Slippery and packed with stinging nettles, here’s the route!

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!

Tuesday 29th May 2012 – Running routine

Tuesday mornings

To be honest I haven’t been up early for a run on a Tuesday for ages. Tuesday’s used to be part of my stringent routine, then my running routine somehow broke down and was replaced with going out for a run as and when I could, then as and when I could be bothered.

I knew I had races planned, but the more I thought about them, the less I could be arsed to get up and go out for a run, this then led me to getting annoyed, angry and frustrated, mainly with myself for not going for a run.

A running routine

I am slowly getting back into a routine, Saturday morning’s have always been my long run, and I usually get up two mornings a week before work, and I’d go out for 5 – 10K on a Sunday afternoon, depending on how my legs were after Saturday’s long run.

I found that having a routine wasn’t quite enough, you need self motivation too. You have to want to go for a run. I think that if you go out for a run when you aren’t in the mood or right frame of mind hinders you and your performance.

Sometimes I have gone out in completely with the completely wrong mood, but found that as I started to run I got into it. Although the majority of the time that wasn’t always the case.

I use Map My Run to log all of my workouts, I also have the app on my iPhone which tells me how far and fast I am running during a run, and gives me splits and graphs etc. I find that keeping a log of my runs helps with motivation, and enables me to see how much I am progressing.

Joining a running club

I find that buying new running attire or accessories also helps me to get motivated, which helps to maintain my running routine. It’s amazing how shopping can help with your running.

Most recently I have found that by joining a running club, I not only have my motivation back, but I have some kind of a routine back in place. I know that the club meets on a Thursday evening for a run, therefore I plan to run on Tuesday mornings, long and / or run on Saturday or Sunday.

My routine is back, because there is a constant in my runs, namely the running club, I have been able to get a running routine back.

All I need to do now is stick to it, as I have the Southend Half Marathon next week, and the Felsted 10K a few weeks after. Long term of course is the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

So, back in the routine then, happy to get up and out this morning, aiming for about 5 miles. Slightly warm already but the air was fresh, I really enjoyed it a 5.2 mile run in 42m 40s.

Here’s the run.