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Running – How To Get Started.

So, you want to start running as you’ve heard how great it is for you physically and mentally, and EVERYONE seems to be doing it, so how do you get started? If you are already running, and are thinking about joining a club, read here.

Let me first just put a disclaimer – I’m no expert, but these are just my ideas from my experience that I hope may help someone start running.

5 Sets of trainers, positioned in a circle.

Download a Coach to 5k (C25K) App

There are many available – I would look at the reviews to decide which is the one to download. Why am I saying to use the APP? Well, I think it’s easy to think that we can all put on our trainers and just run for 10 minutes. For most of us, we would think that we were about to die after 30 seconds and then be put off for life! The C25K apps help you to build up slowly, and when you walk it is part of the programme so you don’t beat yourself up about the walking!

Get Friends Involved.

Running with people always makes it easier and more fun. If you have arranged to meet someone to run, you are less likely to pull out, so it keeps you more accountable. Also, you can encourage each other when things are tough, and celebrate with each other when you have completed the session.

Training with a friend.
Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

Get involved With The Running Community

If you can’t find a friend to run with, use the online running community. For me, I love the motivation from the Instagram running community, Uk Run Chat is great on Twitter and on Facebook I am a fan of the Run Mummy Run community. (Just so you know, you DO NOT have to be a mummy to be part of it, but you do have to be female!) Conversing with other runners will allow you to realise that everything you are thinking and feeling is perfectly normal!

Kit

They say that running is a free sport, but you can soon break the bank buying new trainers, kit, running watches, fuel etc (read more about that here). But the truth is when you are starting out, find something comfortable to run in. This could be clothes you already have, or Decathlon has running clothes that are reasonably priced. There are also lots of second-hand pages on Facebook where you can pick up cheap running clothes. You don’t want to have to pay out lots of money if you then find running isn’t for you. When you are more committed to running and know that you are going to carry on, then you can get out a loan and buy it all!

Expectations

You see lots of photos of people running, bounding along and glowing. This is very unlikely to be you. You won’t go far and it won’t be fast, but it is a start. The great thing about running is that you can progress quite quickly. Most people look ahead in their training APP and think I will never be able to do that. But they work towards it, build up slowly and when it gets to that week when they have to run continuously, they surprise themselves.

I remember thinking after my first half marathon, I could never run that again i.e a marathon! And yes it was true, at THAT time, I couldn’t have run it again, but with the right training and progress, I could and I did!

Get Out The Door

Getting out is sometimes the hardest part of the run. Get yourself into a routine. I listened to Adrienne’s Podcast The Power Hour, and she talked about a Personal Trainer who started with clients by building routines. He said that every morning, they had to get up and get their trainers on and step outside the front door. Once they were outside the front door, they could do what they wanted; walk back in, walk around the block, run, it was entirely up to them. They had to do this for three weeks, to establish the routine. Once they were used to getting up and out, then he introduced the exercise. You could almost do this before you start the C25K. Just get into the routine of scheduling time for your runs.

Sometimes the hardest step is getting out the front door.

Set Yourself a Target

Parkrun is a great target to set yourself. Parkrun organise free weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. You have to sign up to get a barcode, but that’s it. Just beware, they can be addictive!

So, that’s it. I am sure I could carry on with lots more ideas, but for now, just try it. Today is Global Running Day, so if I have managed to encourage one more person to try running, it will make my day!

#ThisGirlCanRun Quote.
Photo Credit @thisgirlcanrunning

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let me know if you do try it, just comment below. Also, if you are already running and have other tips and advice, please add them below.

Happy Global Running Day x

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The Bath Half – Race Recap

So last year, my run club decided to all sign up to the same half marathon. Not wanting to miss out, I booked up and then realised that was going to be three half marathon in 4 weeks. I can do that, no worries I thought! Then at last week Vitality Big Half, I really didn’t enjoy it, my foot hurt, the weather was horrible (Read about it here) and it really doubted my ability to run another one so soon.

I have been put on medication recently and it has been making me very tired, and I really didn’t want to start another race, and just not enjoy it! Luckily, as it was a club event, the hotel room was booked and I was lucky enough to catch a ride with others, so I decided to just go with it.

Date: Sunday 17th March 2019

Time: 11:00am

Weather: A sunny and a little windy at time, but not anything like last week!

Course: I knew nothing about this race, but was told it was flat and two loops. I found out, it’s not totally flat, and it is a busy race.  When you look at the course map, it looks potentially like you run either side of the river, and you do, but apart from going over the bridge to turn back, you hardly see it.

Bath Half Route

There were a few sections that were very congested, and a pathway that you had to concentrate on as there was a curb in the middle, and there were a lot of cones on the course, which I saw a few people take a tumble over. The cones were to keep runners on first lap to left, second lap to right, I’m not totally sure that happened.

My race: I started in the green pen with two club mates, and we had all agreed to run our own races, but ran the first few miles together. Luckily it was quite congested at the start, so there was no way you could start too fast. There was a gentle decline at the start, and it was amazing to see the street ahead full of runners.

Pre-race smiles

Both my club mates are faster than me, and I just concentrated on trying to stick with them. I fell behind a few times and then caught up, repeat a number of times . The course was very congested and I got stuck behind people quite a lot.

I was still with them as we headed out for our second lap, but I could feel myself working harder than I thought I should be for that stage of the race. Around 8 miles, my foot started to hurt again, the exact same place as last week and at exactly the same part of the race. All in the mind I kept telling myself. Around 10 miles, the gap between myself and my team mates was increasing, I was all ready to admit defeat and walk, just as Dem came back to check I was ok. I said I wanted to walk, but he told me NO way. He wanted me to work and catch them up, but I knew I didn’t have it in me, so told him to go ahead.

From then onwards, it was a constant battle with myself to not walk! I was sure it was my mind that was failing not my legs! I took on water just after 10 miles and walked whilst drinking, but that was it. I knew club supporters were somewhere up ahead, so that kept me running, as I didn’t want them to see me walking!! hehe

As the start and finish are at the same point, the gentle decline at the start, is not appreciated too much at the end, as it turns into a gentle incline. As I turned the last corner, I didn’t know if I had a faster finish in me or not, but when I looked at the clock, I thought is was going to be very close too a sub 2:10 and that’s exactly what I had hoped for, so I pushed as hard as I could.

I crossed the line and stopped my watch on 2:09:00, official time was clocked at 2:08:58, so my last half marathon of my 3 in 4 weeks was my fastest – can’t complain about that really. This is still a long way off my PB, but I knew I was nowhere near that shape! Maybe it is time to try to get back into that shape!

Lesson learned: Marathon training for Chicago is not too long away, and if I want to improve, I have some hard work ahead of me!

Pros:

  • The crowds and support around the course was amazing. There are section where there isn’t any supporters, but in the centre of town the crowd is deep and very noisy.
  • A weekend of running with my club mates. I had SO much fun, and giggled for most of the weekend.
  • Booking our hotel a long time in advanced meant that we got a really reasonable rate, we had a lovely view and it was a perfect location. 

Cons:

  • It is a very congested course, so if you are wanting a PB, you have to make sure you start in the correct position, so that you don’t get stuck behind people.
  • It was sold as a flat course, but this isn’t true. There aren’t any big hills, but there are a few undulating sections.
  • Personally, I think the medal was a little disappointing, but as they gave you a nice finishers t-shirt, I’ll let them off!
T-shirt and Medal.

If you want a little insight into the weekend, I have added a highlight of my instastories on my instagram page, click here

What is your favourite half marathon?

Tribesports

For regular readers of this blog, you will know I am a fan of Tribesports kit. Last year, they generously donated a £50 voucher for me to raffle, to help raise funds for MNDA.

I first came across their kit, when they were link to Marathon Talk Jantastic programme. Katie and myself used to rival each other all the way through the programme, so when I needed to buy her a present, it was a no brainer to buy her a Jantastic top.

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Katie modelling her new top, and I managed to catch her with flying feet 🙂

I was very impressed with the quality of the top, and it was not long after I bought a couple of their long sleeve running tops, and to be honest, I have pretty much lived in them all winter. The are lightweight, comfortable, long and warm. They also come in some really pretty colours too!

They are now involved with the Parkrun community, and I know it’s not going to be long before I purchase one of their Parkrun t-shirts; you can even have them personalised to your home park run!

So, why am I telling you all this? They recently sent me a referral code through, so if anyone is looking for new kit and have not shopped at Tribesports before, you can get 20% off your first order and I get £10 gifted to me for introducing a new customer. Please feel free to share and happy shopping.
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#VMLM2016 training – Week 1

Week one down, FIFTEEN more to go! Wow, I’d forgotten how hard marathon training is. This week really was a shock to the system. Actually, I think I’ve just realised how lazy I have become. The consistency of my training has not really been there lately, and I really felt that during this last week. So here goes;

Sunday – Long run – 8 miles. My plan suggested a pace on 9.55, which I was very apprehensive about. I thought LR’s were supposed to be when you catch up on all the gossip with you mates. Let’s just say, there were some silences on this run. At the start it didn’t feel too comfortable, but once I had warmed up the pace was actually ok.


Monday – Club 10K time trial. My coach had originally set me a time of 55 minutes to finish in. I did tell him that this would require me getting a PB! His response was, ‘you should be able to run that time, looking at your 5K time. I interpreted  that as ‘Zip up your Mansuit’ So that’s what I did. I probably went out too fast and found that towards the end, I was just hanging on. My Strava suggests it was a PB in 56.44, but I know that back in 2009, I ran a 10K in 56:20, so no PB, but I was pleased to get so close.
Tuesday – Rest day – Phew! I really need to stretch, as my hamstrings were not my friend today!

Wednesday – 6 miles steady run. This was supposed to be at 9.30 pace, but I took the decision to wear my watch, but not look at it. I wanted to run on feel. My body was tired, and I don’t need to be pushing too hard, too soon. With the exception of the warm up, we generally stuck around the 10 – 10.15 pace and I found the last mile so hard. I really had to grit my teeth to get it done. I spent a long time after this run, stretching and foam rolling.

 

Check out my new provitz jacket! Can you see me?? 🙂

Thursday – Club speed session. I am pleased to say my legs felt better, but this was still tough. 1 minute fast, 1 minute recovery x 4, 3 minutes rest, 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds recovery x 4, then repeat it all!

Friday – Sports massage – Ouch. Enough said!

Saturday – Long run – 10 miles. One of the worse things about marathon training is the early weekend alarms. I was going away this weekend, so my run needed to be an early one – 8am. Now, this doesn’t sound too early, but having to eat breakfast 2 hours before I run, means my alarm was set for 6am (on a Saturday!!) I was lucky that a few of my friends were all crazy enough to run at that time too, so for 5 miles there were 3 of us, then 2 more joined us for the last 5. The weather was AWFUL, but I really enjoyed the run.

 

I really must learn how to take a decent Selfie!! ?

So, all in all not a bad first week. I just now need to keep up that intensity and consistency for another fifteen weeks. I am feeling positive about this marathon prep. Having joined a running club, and meeting so many like-minded runners, they are all so supportive and always willing to join me on a training run.

How is training going for you? Anyone else doing London?

Perkins Great Eastern Half

So, I finally ran another race. In short, I have been loving my runs with my club (If anyone is thinking of joining a club DO IT – best thing I’ve done!) and lots of people from the club were taking part in the Great Eastern Run, so I signed up too. 

With limited long run training, I knew I had to pace it sensibly. So here are the highs and lows;

Highs

  • Ran with my cousin Katie and one of my friends Vicki from Run Club

  

  • First outting in my club vest #TeamBalancise
  • Loved the FLAT course.
  • Paced it well, felt strong all the way round.

  

  • Got to meet up with some of Team RUN MND. 
  • Nice bling to add to the collection.  

Lows

  • Lack of toilets meant I was VERY close to going in a bush – instead started the race with full bladder.

That’s about it with lows, I really did enjoy the race. I wasn’t worried about time, I just wanted to get round and finish strong! I think my time was about 2.15, nowhere near a PB, but sometimes runs are not just about targeting PBs.

How’s everyone’s running going?

Tips to help you become an Early Morning Runner

Why would you want to be an Early Morning Runner?

5.30 AM!!!!!!

Do you want to become an Early Morning Runner? If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that I have been running 2 mornings a week at 5.30 AM. To many people, especially those that don’t have children will be thinking WHY WOULD YOU!!!

I know exactly where you are coming from, many years ago I remember been by told by a colleague (with children) that she gets up ridiculously early to run as it’s the only time she has to herself!! I laughed and walked away thinking crazy! So here I am, numerous years later + 1 child and about to share my tips on how to be an early morning runner!!

  1. Find a running buddy. I started running very early as I run with my sister (she has twins, so this really is her only time to run!) If I have a sluggish day, knowing that she’ll be waiting at the top of the road, is enough to make me roll out of bed!

    Running with my Sister

    Me and my sister

  2. Lay your kit out the night before. If it’s all there next to your bed, it makes the morning easier and you more like to run first thing. (I have known people go to bed in their kit 🙂

    Running kit

    Ok, you might not have a number for training…..

  3. Eat a good meal the night before, maybe including a few extra carbs if needed.
  4. Make sure you hydrate well the day before. I also have a glass of water before I leave the house in the morning.Water-Drinking
  5. Don’t expect too much of yourself when you first try early morning running. Run walk if you need, just get used to getting up and going out.
  6. Lastly, enjoy the smug feeling you get all day for having already completed your run!

I’m sure there are plenty of other tips to help, so please comment below with any tips you might have.