Monday 4th June 2012 – Improving my 5K time

Getting quicker

You may recall a few weeks ago at the running club we all took part in 5K time trials. This was on a reasonably flat course and I should of put in a time that was quicker than I did, but shot off out of the blocks far too eager and tired too quickly.

One of the goals I have now set myself is improving my 5K time, the aim is to get it well under 24 minutes, and nearer to 22 minutes. In fact, 20 minutes would be amazing, but let’s take this one step at a time.

A little help.

One of the reasons I invested in a GPS watch was to help with my pace, to help to maintain it, and ideally improve it. To get quicker.

Today was Bank Holiday Monday, Wifey was at work, the boys were at the in-laws, I had some time to myself and was scratching about indoors, I decided to get out for a run. I haven’t run early afternoon for ages, and it had been reasonably warm this morning.

I set out with a target of about 25 to 27 minutes, I wanted to see if I could maintain a pace before I started to increase it.

Mile 1 was 7m 45s, mile 2 was 7m 54s and the 3rd mile was 8m 15s.

I think perhaps I set off too quick again, although not as quick as previously, and slowed up again. I think my target pace for the near future should be nearer the 8m to 8m 05s per mile. This should give me a similar average – in theory.

The run

It was good to be able to monitor my pace as I ran, and helped quite considerably, but it can be a distraction looking at it every 20 seconds!

Here’s the quick 5K

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Saturday 2nd June 2012 – The Garmin 110 Forerunner

Upping things a little

As you know I’ve been trying to improve my running a bit, I’ve been seeking more motivation and I have been taking my running a little more seriously.

I have got back into a running routine, I am plotting and running different courses and routes. I have joined a running club and I have entered races. I have even entered the Amsterdam Marathon.

All of these things are good and I am feeling better about my running, the main thing that is getting on my nerves and leaving me frustrated about my running is the fact that I seem to set off far too quickly and flag majorly towards the end of the run or race.

I need help with my pace.

The Garmin 110 forerunner

I recall a year or so ago talking to a guy about running, he was all excited about a new GPS watch he had just bought. He was a very serious runner, he’d completed a few marathons and he said that if I was serious about my running I should get one, I would need one.

I remember thinking it was a) a bit geeky and b) far above my level of running, after all at the time I was only running to keep fit.

Little did I know that it would become so addictive, and I would find myself where I am with it today. He was right, I needed a GPS watch. Mainly to keep track of my pace, something I could look at and measure how fast I was going and whether I needed to increase or decrease my pace.

I have done some research, and all GPS watches seem to do the same sort of thing, prices ranging from £100 to £300 – £400. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, but wanted something practical that would offer me the basic information I needed; mainly distance, pace set and current pace.

The Garmin 110 Forerunner seemed to be the most suitable, and upon reading reviews from others who had purchased it, it was quickly looking the likely choice.

Using the Garmin 110 Forerunner

Ok, so when my shiny new toy arrived yesterday I couldn’t wait to try it out.

I found it easy to set up, the small easy guide manual did what it said on the cover. I put it straight on charge ready for using it today.

I was going to try a new country lane route today, I was up early and heading out the door, ready to test the Garmin 110 Forerunner out.

Two minutes later I was still standing outside the front door as the watch searched for satellites….still waiting…

It finally connected, I pressed start and set off at a fairly rapid pace, a quick glance at the watch told me I was running sub 8 minute mile, so I eased off a little. After half a mile or so I turned right off of the main road and headed for the back lanes, towards Utling, fortunately there was little traffic, the air was cool and I was smiling.

A gentle run down hill (this could only mean one thing…time for a hill), and across a ford, a gentle right hand bend and then up hill. A bugger of a hill too. But I was ok, I felt good, I had paced myself for a change.

I ran through Utling and then onwards and through Hatfield Peveral, then downhill alongside the A12 and up towards Boreham. The 3/4 mile run up hill towards Boreham. It was tough going, but enjoyable.

I managed to clock 6.08 miles in about 51 minutes.

Here’s the new route with the shiny new watch!