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Running Club

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I really have the urge to take up running a little more seriously as the weeks have progressed. I really cannot believe how far I have come in the last few months. If i think back to this time last year when I was 5 stone heavier and got out of breath at the thought of reaching for the TV remote it really does make me smile.

At the Parkrun I attend in Huntingdon I got to know of a local running and triathlon club. I approached the club through the membership secretary and arranged to meet on a club run. Of course i was mega apprehensive and wondered if I really was biting off more than I could chew. I really wanted to try this though to see if it was something that could stick.

I turned up and approached the meeting point feeling like the guy with ‘All the gear and no idea”. My nerves were soon settled as I was made to feel really welcome. There was two new starters that night as well so we kind of clung on to each other as things started to get explained about the route being taken etc.

I thought we might be running 5 mile or so which is why i had practiced a few 8k runs before attending the club training night. I thought that would put me in good stead for what i might face.

As we set off it felt really good to be running along as a group. Two distinct groups started to form and i found myself in the front group. This was not intention I can assure you. As the run progressed my inner self started to feel that i had run the 8k that i was used to and i started to struggle a little and the pack I was with started to pull away from me with ease. I found myself now somewhere between the two packs on my own and wondering if it was a left or a right that needed taking (after all this area was completely new to me). And then as if by magic my guardian angel turned up to run alongside me. Someone from the pack behind had clearly spotted the straggler and ran up alongside to check I was okay. This really pleased me and showed a great team spirit. I explained that I was quite new to running and had simply hit a wall and had not run more than 8k before. She then encouraged me and we ran right through to the end of the course. To my utter shock ( and pleasure) I had ran 11k….. that’s right 11k and I had done it in 1:05:19 and my 10k split time was under an hour at 59:12. I was on cloud nine and absolutely buzzing at this. What a first night.


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Quick Update – 8k

I decided to push my distance up to 8k and undertook two runs this week. Neither runs were very quick at all but for me it was just about getting a longer distance the 8k under my belt. The first run saw me cross the 8k mark in 49:07 and two days later I crossed over in 47:37.  I Went on the same run a few weeks later and recorded a 46:03.


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Zombie Evacuation Run

The Zombie run was amazing and will definitely be something that I will look to get involved with again next year. I wore my GoCheap to capture the event and I think they day gets summed up perfectly in my video without the need to elaborate any more with words…. Enjoy!

 


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Hinchingbrooke Parkrun #2

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I entered the Huntingdon Parkrun again last weekend and was really motivated to give it my best shot. I had run it in 28:56 the week before and that was my only my second sub29 and only 9 secs off my then PB. I was obviously extremely happy with that time and took that confidence into the week where I ran a new 5k route on the Tuesday at 28:40 and then reversed the route on the Thursday coming in at 28:26.

So I lined up on this Saturdays Parkrun determined to try and really push myself, I knew the route now after all and had got over my initial fear of running with others in public. The whistle went and I shot off I managed to get myself into a good stride and as I passed the 1k mark I had hit a PB for this time of 4:50. I just wanted to now keep the pace going and try to sustain it as best I can. Naturally I fell off the sub5 pace but as I passed through the 2k and 3k I knew I was quicker than normal. As I came through the 4k mark I knew if I could find one last push from somewhere I could be on for a good time. I ran as hard as my tired body would allow me and as the finish funnel came into site I found a little bit extra. As I crossed the line I actually thought I was going to embarrass myself and be sick but I managed to fill my lungs with air and somewhat compose myself. All I had to do now was wait for the official time.

This came through on my way home and I had run it in 27:17 and this smashed my PB. I was so very happy with that time and although I know that I’m only 3 months into my running programme and whilst I was not expecting miracles I have genuinely really surprised myself. A year ago I could barely walk up the stairs before getting out of breath so If you had asked me 3 months ago if I ever thought that I could run 5k I would have laughed in your face, let alone run it in 27:17.

here is a list of my PB times over certain distances:

1 km 4m:50s

3 km 16m:04s

5 km = 27m:17s

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1 mile 8m:11s

3 miles 26m:38s


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NEW Personal Best

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Went for a lunchtime run today and decided to run a new 5k route. Whilst there was nothing wrong with the old route I just felt that it was time that a new one was added to keep the everything fresh. The route was very different to all previous and had a lot more hills to deal with. I usually tire around the 4k mark and then settle into a rhythm that sees me through the 5k and then over the line. After I came through the 4k today my app told me the time and average pace of the run so far and I knew at this point if I could push hard I might stand a chance of getting close. I was only 9 seconds away from equalling my PB when I did the Parkrun last Saturday so was determined to try for it at least.

To my surprise I found some energy from somewhere to really push hard in that last 1k and I crossed the 5k mark in a new Personal Best Time of 28:40 and this also registered my quickest run over 3 miles that came in at 27:36.

All in all a great run!

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5k Split Times


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Hinchingbrooke Parkrun #1

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I decided that I would attend my local Parkrun on Saturday just gone. Parkrun organise weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and they encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; they welcome you all.

I really didn’t quite know what to expect or know if I was really fit enough to keep up with everyone. That said I set my alarm to go off bright and early and headed over to Hinchingbrooke Park in Huntingdon.

I arrived at my first ever Parkrun on a good day it seemed. They were celebrating a 10 year anniversary and people were in jubilant mood. I was one of the first to arrive, I was spotted looking a little apprehensive by a couple of other runners who enquired if I was there for the run. They were very welcoming and was very happy that I had decided to join them and were more than welcoming. They told me what to expect, how the course was laid out and the types of characters they had turn up every week. I was made to feel at ease straight away. As the time approached 9am there was an influx of people gathering. I had started at this point to feel a little self-aware. Some of these people were turning up in marathon tops and talking about their past weeks runs. This was actually turning into something bigger than I had anticipated.

After a brief talk from the Run Director everyone made their way down to the start line, the countdown began and we were off. People at the front screamed off and were into the distance before I barely took stride. Now I decided to settle into my pace that I had practiced for a few weeks now. I know that I can finish 5k and if I run at a controlled pace I know I can get sub30 most times. People continued to stream past me but I held strong as I all I wanted to do was finish this damn thing!

As the race progressed my strategy of starting out at my controlled pace started to pay dividends. I could start to see people in front of me running at a slower pace and I recognised some of these as people that had dashed past me in the first 2k like a zombie apocalypse was happening. This pleased me and I just started pick people off one by one.

I won’t lie and say that I was finding this course easy, far from it. I was for the first time running on grass and muddy bridleways. I had to circumnavigate tree roots and conkers galore. It brought a new dimension that’s for sure.

It felt good to be running with so many people and certainly helped spur me on through my difficult 4k mark. As the race neared the end and I could see the finish line I wanted to speed up but was more content with just getting over the line in one piece. A few people overtook me at the line as they found a burst of energy from somewhere and I myself was just happy to finish and get my first Parkrun under my belt.

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As I drove home I had a text through with confirmation of my time and placing. I came 103rd out of a field of 163 runners. I had come 9th in my Age Group and most importantly I had run my second fastest time over this distance crossing the line in 28:56.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will absolutely make an effort to attend again.


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Bupa 10K

What have I done!!!!!!

I have not even finished my Zombie run and have never run further than 5km….. and I’ve gone and signed up for next year’s Bupa 10k in London. I must of had a moment of inspiration from somewhere to think I could manage to do this. I guess 10k is the next natural step after achieving 5k. But still…. the London 10k…. the very same one that Mo Farah ran and won in 2013. The very Same route that was also used for the London Olympics in 2012.

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The BUPA London 10,000 will take place on Monday 25th May 2015. The Race starts on The Mall and finishes on Spur Road opposite Buckingham Palace. Runners follow a clockwise route around the City of Westminster and the City of London, passing many of London’s famous sights including, Admiralty Arch, Nelson’s Column, St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, Bank of England, Leadenhall Market, The Monument, Millennium Bridge, Tate Gallery, Cleopatra’s Needle, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

I now have 8 months to be able to run 10k. I need to work on a serious training plan. I am very excited if somewhat scared that I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Time will tell I guess…..


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Zombie Evacuation

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So I have signed up for the Zombie Evacuation race in Cambridge at the end of October. I really wanted to put in an event to keep my enthusiasm to train at a high. I chose this particular race for many reasons if I’m honest. It is 5k and that is what I have thus far been training to do, but mainly because who wouldn’t want to run for your life through a 5km course dodging the UNDEAD and navigating a multitude of challenging obstacles designed specifically to slow down your escape from relentless ZOMBIE horde who are hungry for fresh brains!

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This sounds like so much fun and I love the fact that it adds something different to just a normal 5k fun run. I have even purchased a t-shirt to wear on the run that I think is very apt.

I aim to do this for the charity Dreamdrops and raise some money whilst dodging the zombies and have so far raised over £150. I will hopefully be recording this on a headcam and if I manage to achieve this I will post the run for all to see.


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iSmoothRun App

iSmoothRun Pro is one of the most advanced run tracking apps you’re going to find for iPhone. It is in my opinion really amazing. Not only does it track your runs, it can track interval training and help you schedule a workout plan to meet your running goals. If you’re looking for the most advanced and feature packed running app then you should really look no further than this app.

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There are so many features though that it would take me an age to start listing them all. However one of the many features i really love is the fact that when you run a route it records it. Then when you run that route again you can run against your ghost. it will then give you updates on how far you are behind or in front of your ghost to allow you to adjust your pace accordingly to push for your PB time. I also particularly like the fact that you can export the results to other apps. Take Run Keeper for example if you wanted to record the results against friends from Android or export as file to upload and share your

stats on Endomondo. It’s very versatile and for me clearly is ahead of the game and is so feature rich it’s hard to find anything else that comes close.


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Gait Analysis and New Feet!

I have now been running just over two & half months and have managed to sustain several 5k runs without stopping. My personal best now stands at 28:42. I have put in consistent runs sub30 and have been really please with my progress. I honestly never thought that I would get this addicted to running. I have been relatively injury free and had only a couple of niggles. Longest was 10 days of rest whilst a recovered from a pulled calf muscle. That was difficult as i had become so used to going out running it actually annoyed me that I couldn’t.

The one thing that i really needed to do was to get decent footwear. Up till now i had been running in my squash trainers and I knew that this was not good for me. This was no doubt a major factor in a lot of my post-race niggles. With my birthday coming up i decided to treat myself so I headed off to a shop called Advanced Performance that specialise in this type of footwear. A this shop they were able to perform a gait test analysis on how I run. Their staff are trained to take many different variables into account to find the ideal shoe for you, including what they see when they look at your feet while standing and when you run on their in-store treadmill. They will also take into account your build, where you run and how far you run. Basically they will spend as long as it takes with you to find the right running shoe.

After spending some time at the store having my running style filmed and analysis done it showed that I over pronate and needed this type of shoe to correct my running style to minimise injury. I had several pairs to choose from and ended up trying them all on and going outside for a run. How good is that service, they actually let you put them on and take them for a spin. I settled on a pair of ASICS GT-2000 2. Amazingly good fit and it literally felt like I was running on air, well at least compared to running in my flat footed squash shoes. Now I can’t wait to take them on a real test run.

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