Friday, July 29, 2016

Watch out - he's got all the gear!

I liked the way the salesperson in the shop said "this GPS watch is for runners who want to take their training to the next level" in a way that at the same time seemed to imply "ha ha ha, all the gear no idea, eh?". The comment followed on from "have you had a look and compared this to other GPS watches"... really I do walk into shops and on a whim buy an expensive GPS device for the sake of it?!?!

Truth be told my current watch is old now, the strap is coming adrift, the battery is going, the charging / computer connecting rig was always a pain, it doesn't seem to want to find a satellite unless it is charged to the brim (and even then only managing a signal about half the time), and I have been thinking about a replacement for at least the last 18 months.

It be fair the salesperson was probably just going through a thorough sales room checklist so that sometime later I don't come back to the shop or write a review to the effect "bought this watch, it's over priced, and I don't know what half of it does!", in other words risking me saying that I wasted my money in their shop. Happily in the end all the salesperson really succeeded in doing was make me more keen to get it out of the box and try it on a run.

I'm only sensitive because once in a race start pen another runner turned and said "blimey, you sure you've got enough stuff!". They probably had a point but I am hardly a speedy runner I am normally out there a long time so being prepared for eating nutrition I know won't make me throw up, prepared to phone my family to let them know I've stopped or am walking, or simply needing something to wipe the copious quantity of salt build up from my face, are all things that either actually or psychological help me. Over recent times I have rationalised my kit a bit as I learn more and more about what gets me around a course the best but having a watch that works, that I'm happier won't switch off around a long run, that gives me tonnes of useful feedback - that will do for me thanks.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

One down, around 28 to go

Run one of the plan was logged on Tuesday, it was a slow walk / run affair underscoring my current lack of fitness. I enjoyed it, I tried to focus on relaxed flow, and finishing in a state that would not generate a huge recovery burden. All in all I was quite pleased with my 5km, and I am now a little more up beat about the roughly 28 or so workouts / runs to come in the 10 week plan.

Monday, July 25, 2016

10 weeks to go

So I got an email in my inbox this morning that is essentially from myself - it is from a training plan I started with Strava weeks ago for the Cardiff Half marathon this autumn. The email tells me that I have 10 weeks until the race and that I have a 10 week training block to follow... given I have been running so sporadically and have been laid up with a viral throat infection for the best part of 2 weeks my initial thought was "Ah!!?!?". On second thought I mused "Well maybe this will get me back on track?". I have ditched my initial reaction, although they are often accurate, and gone with the more optimistic one.

The best part is the email told me that day one of training is a... rest day! So I am throwing myself absolutely whole heartedly into day one, and not training... that is one day ticked off as 'complete' 70-odd days to go :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

3 runs in 5 days!

You might well wonder what is going on when I report that I have run 3 times in the last five days given my recent terrible posts of fitness woes. Well firstly it wasn't planned, secondly they weren't very long, and thirdly they hardly mark a complete 'return to form'. Of course I am very happy to reflect on three runs and look to build from here. In fact there are now 13 weeks until my autumn 'target' race and so I have 3 weeks until I have a crack at a 10 week Strava training plan. I have my fingers crossed as the last three runs have demonstrated some areas of weakness...

  • lack of strength - stride length / running action is awful - my calves have been complaining a lot
  • I am way way way too heavy - well, yes, we knew this a few weeks back
  • I can't run in my 'old' shoes (they cause almost instance knee pain) and I can't complete the distance in my 'new' lighter shoes (they don't support me as fatigue sets in) - gait analysis and another set of shoes is required
  • there will be a need to actually follow advice and follow the plan properly for a change and not think I know better
  • realistic goal setting will be critical to my enjoyment not only of the training but of the event itself
  • regular parkrun events with my kids will be useful in making sure I don't do too much tempo work (I have a habit of attacking parkrun like a race and wrecking myself for the rest of the training week)
... I will do my best to let you know how this all goes!