Week 2 & 3 Feature Photo

5K Weekly Training Update – Week 2 & 3

I love that I originally started this blog saying that the week hadn’t gone to plan. Well, that certainly was true as I didn’t even post it, so you have week 2 & 3 training together. If you haven’t read week 1, click here to read.

It’s only week 2 and all did not go to plan! I really like ticking off runs in a plan and nailing everyone, so it frustrates me that I haven’t done this during the week. But, life is not perfect and I just have to put this week behind me and work hard in week 3.

Rularuns Action shot

Week 2 of Training.

Monday: It was bitter cold, with the remnants of snow on the ground and I very nearly jumped on the treadmill for this 40 minute run. But I decided to add a poll to my Instagram stories. When the 1st three people to reply all said run outside, I thought what horrible people!

I layered up and headed out. It was VERY fresh and the wind was FREEZING, but I actually enjoyed being outside. There were not too many people about, I think they were all sensible to stay in the warm!

Tuesday: I always reschedule my Tuesday run to a Wednesday so that I run with Christine. Last week I used this day to do a strength workout, this week nothing! I know that strength will make all the difference yet still don’t prioritise them!! 🤷🏼‍♀️

Wednesday: Session time. The plan had set a Steady State run. Basically a tempo ish run. It prescribed the pace and consisted of a 10 minute warm up, 15 minute steady state 8:52- 9:12 and then a 10 minute cool down.

As I left the house to meet Christine, it started to snow! After 5 minutes it was snowing quite hard. I contemplated turning around and heading back home.

As we started our run, the sun was shinning and it was blue skies. We headed for an area that was flat, still anticipating doing the speed work. There was a thin layer of snow on the floor, but it wasn’t too bad.

As we were nearing the end of our warm up, we were stopped by a few walkers and warned about how the snow was covering a layer of ice up ahead! I knew then that the session was a no go! With the session abandoned we just went and explored the snowy area and enjoyed the pretty views.

Thursday: This should have been a rest day, but after a failed session yesterday I felt I wanted to complete the session. My daughter had felt poorly during the night, so I had been up with her and then ended up sleeping in her bed. That meant a very poor nights sleep. I decided that the session would take place in the afternoon.

As the day progressed I kept talking myself out of the session. This sounds really silly and writing it down makes me realise just how silly it is, but I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to hit the pace. Also, every direction from my house is a hill and the thought of tackling a hill and speed just didn’t appeal!

As it got later and darker, I resigned myself to running on the treadmill. At 8pm I was still sat on the sofa! I was so ready to sack it off, but my husband said “You will feel better after” and he was correct!

Frustratingly, my tread and watch are always SO out. I did a 10 minute warm up, then set the tread to 11 kph. According to conversions this is around 8:50 pace. I completed 15 minutes at 11kph. It felt tough at the start but I managed to get in to the rhythm. 10 minutes cool down and I was done. When I checked my watch, it said my pace didn’t dip below 10 minute/miles. I think the watch estimates pace from arm swing, but I can’t help worry that my tread is not running at the correct speed!??

Has anyone got the footpod? Does this help read the correct speed on the treadmill? Is there an easy way to check the speed on a treadmill?

Friday: After my poor sleep the previous night, I thought I nice lie in would be good. Instead I didn’t sleep too well and woke up with a head ache. I tried to stay in bed, but it made me feel worse. I contemplated running again today, but actually I didn’t feel that great for most go the day. So I took another rest day!

Saturday: I still didn’t feel great. I felt like I had a hang over. Craving all the junk food and not wanting to move off the sofa. So that’s what I did!

Sunday: Feeling better, but still not 100% I hit the treadmill for my long run. That way I knew I could stop if I didn’t feel it. Instead, I stuck on a podcast and just got it done!

Week 3 of Training.

Even though it was half term, I was determine to get this week nailed! The weather was kinder too, so no excuses and all sessions were completed!

Monday: It was exactly a year ago to the day that my mum died. Grieving for my mum has been quite hard, the usual connections you would have with family has just not been their due to lockdown! I will feeling a little sad, but I headed out for a run with my mum’s playlist on. As soon as I set off the tears started. Running and tears just do not go! But I slowed down, smiled and kept going. The sun was out and it was actually a really nice way to remember her. It was as though she was with me on my run! 40 minutes easy completed.

Me & Mum

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: Steady State Run – 10 minutes warm up, 15 minutes between 8:52-9:12 pace, cool down. For some reason when I have a set pace, I can often run faster or slower than the pace, but never keep in that range!!🤷🏼‍♀️ It meant that my watch beeped at me a lot during this run!

My 15 minute section averaged 8:45 min/miles. Trying to find some speed in my legs is not easy. I am feeling very heavy, sluggish and unfit. But I just have to stick with it and hope that this feeling improves.

Thursday: Wow, a run in a t-shirt! I headed out later in the day, but had seen everyone had been running in t-shirt and shorts, so ditched the base layer. I wasn’t brave enough for shorts, but it was the least number of layers I had run in for a very long while.

The plan said 40 minutes easy, so I took a familiar route now, but had to have a little stop for this photo.

Friday: Rest day.

Saturday: Plan said 60 minutes, but I did a little extra. I miss my long ‘long’ runs with my friends. 78 minutes of dodging the mud and puddles. I really should learn not to wear light coloured trainers when I run with Christine!

Sunday: Rest day.

So I good week 3, but I can’t say that I feel like I am improving. Going from running everyday in January makes me feel like I am actually being a little lazy at the moment. My milage has dropped and the frequency of my runs, so this should be the perfect time to think about the other elements like strength, stretching, foam rolling etc. Why can’t I motivate myself to get this sorted.

Considering I am good at following a plan I have considered getting a strength coach/plan. Any experience of this? Please comment below and let me know.

Feature Photo

Weekly Training Update

Well it’s been a very long time since I have written a post like this! Like most runners at present, I have no immediate races to look forward too. February/March is usually my half marathon months. Brighton Half marathon at the end of February usually kicks off back to back weekends of half marathons. But current times are very different from ‘normal’.

Action Photo

January saw me take part in RED (Run Every Day) January. It was good as I know I could have become very lazy and skipped lots of sessions during the month. My body was tired at the end, but it was nice being part of an event and running each day.

So as we approached February I kept thinking about needing a plan or challenge to help me stay consistent. It has been a very long time since I have completed any structured sessions. Lots of my runs had me plodding along at the same speed. So trying to increase my pace kept appealing to me. I looked at many different plans, considered paying for a coach but then decided to try one of the Garmin Training Plans.

Entering a fairly ambitious 5K time to achieve, I realised it was only slightly faster than my current PB, but the truth is I am probably a fair way off that PB time! Watching Run With interview with Kim, where herself and Kelly talked about setting yourself big goals and work hard, I decided to stick with it. What’s the worst that can happen?

So, now is the time to work hard and I am 1 week in. I thought I would document my training as even if no one else reads about it, I like looking back on my training.

Garmin Training Plans

Firstly, just incase anyone is reading this, I thought I would share where the training plans can be found. I access Garmin Connect through the app.

  1. When you are in my day screen (Homepage), click on the three dots along the bottom (Bottom left corner)
  2. Click the section that says training.
  3. There you should find the section that says training plans.
  4. Lastly there is a section that says Find A Plan.
  5. Currently there seems to be plans for 5K up to half marathons.

(Let me know if you would like a video showing the above)

Week 1 of Training.

Monday: I had planned to rest as Monday was the 1st of February and I had run 31 consecutive days prior. But the plan said that I had to do a Benchmark run. As it was only a total of 9 minutes, the run streak continued.

  • Warm Up: 2 minutes
  • Run: 5 minutes
  • Cool Down: 2 minutes

It said to run strong and to be honest I cheated a little. The road behind my house is pretty much down hill, so I opted for that route!

Tuesday: It originally said for this day to be a session, but I moved it to Wednesday. Wednesday is run with Christine day and when I saw that the new plan said rest day my response was NOOOOOOOO! But actually it was really easy to reschedule the session so it fits with my lifestyle. To rescheduled you just click on the session. Three dots appear in the top right corner. Click these and they give you the option to reschedule or remove.

So, no running, but I did do a Peloton Strength Session for Runners. I was SHOCKING! My balance is poor, I am weak but I got through it! I need to make strength training a priority. As I get older this is important, but also if I want to improve this will help. It’s just so hard being so bad at something and I hate that it makes me ache for DAYS after. Surely, this will improve.

Wednesday: Session time. As stated above, it has been a VERY long time since I have attempted a session so I was a little nervous. The plan was WU, 6 x 400m with 200m recovery, CD and I think the plan had set the pace between 8:02 and 8:42. I had no idea if I could hold this pace.

Scrolling back through my Garmin to look at my 400 attempts during Chicago Marathon training, I wanted to check the pace and reps. 12 x 400 at low 7 minute/mile pace 😱😱😱

Christine was on fire and so fast, so I just chased her down for the entire session. The first 3 reps were around 8:30 and then the last 3 were low 8’s. I felt sluggish and unfit. But, as we everything if I keep putting in the work, hopefully these will become easier and feel better.

Christine and Ruth

Thursday: 40 minutes easy. All the podcast I have been listening too, the articles I have read have all been talking about running easy miles EASY. Again, a pace was set and I tried to stick to the slowest pace. Pacing is not my strength and I wasn’t a slow as I wanted to be. When I check my HR at the end of the session, it suggested that the session wasn’t as easy as I would have liked it to be! Mostly in Zone 4. Not ideal, but as MissPondRuns pointed out, HR is linked to many other factors: Hydration, stress etc. So maybe I need to take into account the other factors too.

Friday: Rest day! I did start the day with a 20 minute stretch session with my daughter, just a Peloton one as I thought my body needed it.

Saturday: Long Run. It felt a little weird calling it a long run when I had 105 minutes to run. The pace was again set, but the route we picked meant that this didn’t happen. Undulating, muddy and puddle jumping meant that I hardly looked at my watch. The final average pace was much slower than the plan said. Not ideal. Considering I am trying to get faster, I maybe need to select better routes to ensure the paces are met.

Sunday: Rest day.

One of the things that I found hardest this week is my weekly mileage dropping by SOO much. It is easy to get caught up with the comparison and numbers game, but I am going to try and trust the process.

Week 2 looks to consist of 2 x easy runs, 1 tempo run and 1 long run. I need to concentrate on hitting all the paces this week. It looks like lots of snow maybe falling, so I may be heading back on the treadmill for some of these sessions.

How are you keeping motivated? Are you following a plan?

RED January Logo

RED January Part 1

I have always been in AWE of those people that do Run Streaks. Before we go on, I think I need to explain that a run streak is running everyday, not running naked😱!! Anyway, who wouldn’t be impressed with someone that doesn’t take any rest days? Doesn’t just opt out of a run because they can’t be bothered? Avoid a run because it’s cold outside? Just writing some of these excuses makes me feel lazy!

There are so many people that are currently on run streaks or have completed run streaks recently. My friend Rav immediately springs to mind. She has been running every day for over 1000 days now. Not only does she run every day she ran her first marathon in October 2020 and already has 7 under her belt 4 months later!

Then Kevin Sinfield completed his run streak at the start of December raising money for MNDA. He ran 7 marathons in 7 days. I can hardly walk the day after a marathon let alone run another one! My friends Mike and Christine completed their own 7in7 run streak prior to Christmas. They ran 7 miles a day for 7 days, finishing on Christmas day. Eddie Izzard is currently running 31 marathon in 31 days on a TREADMILL! Now I am strange in that I don’t mind running on a treadmill, but marathons on one I am not so sure! 

These people truly inspire me, yet I know their are many more that are doing streaks and are just as amazing. 

I have thought about doing a run streak before, many times. But then I just talk myself out of them! I thought about doing it for December 2020 as I just needed something to help with me motivation. But can you believe it that I didn’t do it, as I didn’t think I had enough sports bras and they were all in the wash when I needed one!!

So I am not totally sure what made me sign up to RED January.(Run Every Day January) What finally made me commit? 🤷🏼‍♀️ But something did and I am now 7 days in. I’m not totally sure I’ll be able to complete it, but maybe 2021 has to be the year I just say yes to things and give them a go!

So I have decided to write this blog post to document my day 1-7. I know that running 7 days in a row is not a huge thing, but if 2020 taught us anything it was to celebrate the small wins. I have not run 7 days consecutively before, so I’m celebrating that! Go me! 

5 Things I have learnt so far:

Your brain is often what needs training.

On day 4, I was convinced that I was tired and I wouldn’t be able to run that well. If I wasn’t doing the run streak I know I would have skipped this day normally. But once on the treadmill and warm up, I realised my legs were not heavy or aching at all. I ran 5K and felt so much better after.

Organisation is needed.

I know I made a joke about it above, but I really don’t have enough sports bras to run everyday or kit to be honest. So I have to make sure that the washing is up to date!

Involve your run buddies.

I know that it is very difficult at present with the pandemic restrictions, but running with another person makes running so much easier.

Treadmill.

I am so fortunate to have a treadmill. I know that it is not everyones cup of tea, but I actually don’t mind running on one. I am sure that I would find this challenge 100x harder if I didn’t have one. Not having to navigate the ice is certainly a bonus. But also for the shorter run, just being able to get them done without it taking up most of my day is brilliant.

It's more than just running.

Running every day has made me take care of the other things that are important for running. Trying to ensure I fuel slightly better than normal. Hydrating more (although I am still shocking at this) I am remembering to do mobility after each run. If you haven’t already, make sure you listen to The Runner Beans Podcast with Ben. I have used one of Ben’s Youtube videos. I’ll link it below incase you want to try it too.

I have also found that Peloton have foam rolling classes. I did one for the first time yesterday and found moves on there I had never seem before. Instead of lying on the foam roller, I stood with it between my legs, to release tensions above the knee but on the inner thigh. If you have the Peloton app, look under the stretches section and Instructor Hannah Corbin. Thanks to @MissPondRuns for this little gem.

Are you taking part in RED January? Have you completed a run streak? Let me know your thoughts below.

InstaSays - Feature Post

InstaSays – Funniest moments linked to running

This year has been one like no other, so I thought we could all do with a little laugh! The responses to this question certainly put a smile on my face. I’ve been trying to rack my brain to share some of mine too. Even this morning myself and Christine had giggles when we tried to navigate around a huge puddle. Let’s just say that my light blue trainers are very brown now!

I think I shared in my Getting to know post, that my s*#t shuffle last summer was highly amusing for Christine, just not so much for me!! I always find the day after a marathon, watching the runners bring to walk around quite funny. It can be like the walking dead! Attempting stairs is just not funny! (Well, for the person attempting them, everyone watching it’s funny!)

If you didn’t manage to put your answer in my Instagram stories, but you have one that we make people smile, please leave in the comments below. Some of the replies I got, I have had to add a little more detail, so that they makes sense to the reader too!

Santa Run
Santa Run in which Katie was asked to pose with a banana

Two shaggers on front seat in car I ran past. They thought they had found a secluded lane🤣

@lari.williams

Can I take a photo of you holding that banana?

We had just finished a santa run, dressed in santa suits. We were sat chatting and then a man came up to Katie and asked to take a photo of her and her banana – very strange! FYI she said NO!

@kteeea

When I got lost & had to get a lift off a bin man in his lorry 🤦🏼‍♀️

@_hales_j

Name mishap at Silverstone half marathon.

We had a team RunMND meet up at Silverstone Half Marathon. Many of us had not met in person before, but had spoke online. One of the runners had her name as Ra Chael on her FB page. I remember not actually saying her name, as I assumed that her name was Rachael but wasn’t sure. Then a friend of ours walked up to her and called her Ra Chael. She looked confused and said her name was Rachael! 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

@amyjaynetaylor9

Someone I run with, went for a 💩 once on a run and he leant against what he thought was a stable tree. Nope, fell arse over tit into mud and all sorts. He came out of the bushes to catch up with me and was covered in branches and mud marks 😂 😂 😂

@wife_mum_runner_

Any 💩 stories!

@ellie1132

You mean like the time my sanitary towel fell out my shorts 20 miles into a 26.2?!😱😂

@lexielovestorun

InstaSays - Feature Post

InstaSays – Who is your running hero and why?

When I asked this question last week, little did I know that when I sat to write this post, I would have a new running hero. Choosing one is very difficult and I know that different answers would have been put at different times of the year.

To be honest, I don’t think that I had ever heard of Kevin Sinfield prior to this week. But what a man!

If you are not sure what I am talking about, Kevin was a team mate of Rob Burrows at Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club. Rob was diagnosed with MND last year. Kevin has obviously had the horrible experiencing of seeing this devastating disease destroying his friend. So, he decided to do something to help. I know exactly how that feels.

Luckily for Kevin, he is famous and got the media behind him. He set himself the challenge of running a marathon 7 days consecutively to raise money for MNDA. At the time of writing this, he has raised just over 2 million pounds. That is amazing. I really hope these funds mean that we can get even closer to finding a cure for MND. If you would still like to donate, you can here.

I know that I am unlikely to be able to raise that amount of money for MND, but I would imagine Kevins reasons for taking on the challenge were not too different to mine and my MumNDad@70 Challenge. And, yes before you think it, running raffles isn’t quite a physically demanding as running 7 marathons back to back, but they do demand a fair bit of time and effort.

I know I have said this before, but I am just putting it out their again in the hope that someone takes this on board. I am not fotunate enough to have the media promoting my raffles, to be honest MNDA aren’t sharing them either. So, any help that you could give, commenting on the posts, liking, sharing them, tagging friends, giving feedback would be really appreciated. I know that not everyone of my followers will want to enter all raffles, but if lots of people share with friends it means we have a chance of reaching people that want to enter.

Also, the Instagram algorithm seems to share the posts more when people are interacting with it. So your like, save, comment etc could help the post to be shown to more people.

Anyhow, I have digressed lots, but I am quite passionate about these raffles and it does become a little frustrating when I share them and they have the least engagement and very few people entering. It would be really nice to raise money for both MNDA and The BHF.

So, if there is a prize that you would really like to see, please please please get in touch and let me know, so I can see if I can get hold of it.

So, back to the question. Let’s see what others had to write:

Kevin SInfield
Everybody needs a friend like Kev

I don’t have a particular hero but I admire anyone who laces up and gets out there. Showing up day after day and being the best they can be!!

@mrsbrems

Gary Skerratt – He’s my run motivator and always in good spirits and makes me smile.

@nessie76180203

You are Ruth😆 Inspirational💗

@lari.williams

Think Lari may have been on the wine for this answer, but I’m going with it!!😉 🤣

Lisa Jackson, who wrote ‘Your pace or Mine?’ Completely changed the way I looked at marathon running.

@kteeea

Just one!?!?!?! Tough one! Paula Radcliffe for the ladies. To break a WR that long ago and for it to stand until last year is just amazing! And without cheat shoes too. Technology and nutrition etc has come on so much since she won… would love for her to make a come back. Usian Bolt for the men, what he brought to Athletics was awesome.

@sophieshealth&fitness

Such a tough question, I can think of all of the greats of course, but someone who I admire, whose positivity is infectious, and whose running talent is amazing – 2.37 NYC marathon last year ( I think she was first non elite female and first GBR runner over the line too) – it’s got to be Brit girl stateside Bec Gentry . That said, everyone who laces up and ‘gets it done’ – however far that may be – is pretty heroic to me 🥰

@sarahatthebarn

Anyone who laces up their trainers and gets out there

@christine.l.baker.7

My Mummy – from Leo

@wife_mum_runner_

I kind of bullied Vic into the above answer as I have seen how Leo looks at her when they are running together 🥰.