Posts Tagged ‘running’

Farewell, Nike Zoom Span

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 | Photos

Non-runners can never understand how hard it is to get rid of your favourite pair of old running shoes. We’ve been through so much together.

Mindful Running

Monday, August 17th, 2020 | Books

Mindful Running: How Meditative Running can Improve Performance and Make you a Happier, More Fulfilled Person is a book by Mackenzie L. Havey.

It’s a nice read. Nothing suer-new or much I did not know, but if you don’t practice mindfulness already or use it in your running, this would be a recommended read.

It was also a good reminder of what Havey calls our “True North Goal”. The thing that keeps us going regardless of what races are coming up. For many of us, it will be to stay on top of our physical and mental health, to challenge ourselves, to show ourselves we are stronger than we thought. A timely reminder given almost all of the races in 2020 are cancelled.

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve

Monday, August 10th, 2020 | Life

The official map of Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve has about two paths on it and there are way more. So, I did my best to run most of them.

You can see a proper map on Strava.

GVRAT buckle

Friday, August 7th, 2020 | Sport

One of less good bits about virtual races is that it tackles a while for your medal to turn up. Or, in the case of the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee, your buckle.

Buckles are a common alternative to medals in ultramarathons it would seem. It’s nice. I don’t have any belts where I can change the buckle (I don’t have many belts, to be honest), but it’s no less useless than a medal and probably higher in sentimental value.

Salted potatoes for running

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 | Food

I’ve been testing out salted potatoes for running. They make a nice savoury snack when you are sick of gels.

To cook, I boiled them for 10 minutes, coated them in coarse sea salt, roasted them in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes, coated them in a bit more salt and declared them ready. They were pretty good, but I think their appeal will be much greater towards the end of a long run. They’re not bad cold, but not quite as good as warm.

I tested both Jersey royals and British gems. The skin is a bit looser on the Jersey royals and Elina felt they went a little rubbery, whereas the British gems held up a bit better.

Mountain Fuel review

Sunday, July 26th, 2020 | Reviews, Video

Mountain Fuel is a British endurance nutrition brand making products for runners, cyclists, triathletes and endurance racers at large. In this video, I’ll review their jellies (an alternative to energy gels), Extreme Energy drink, Ultimate Recovery drink and flapjacks to see how they stack up against Science In Sport, Torq, High5 and other brands.

Grand Canyon medal

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 | Sport

Last month I completed the Grand Canyon virtual ultra, a 450 km run in 28 days. It makes a bit of time for the medal to turn up, but it’s well worth it: Conquerer does the nicest medals of any race I’ve done.

EveryMayDay medal

Sunday, July 12th, 2020 | Sport

Back in March, I took part in the Every-May-Day 10k for the WHO’s COVID-19 relief fund. We ended up hitting our target of raising £10,000 and felt pretty good about ourselves. Especially with this awesome video put together to remember the event:

That was it, I assumed. But last week this dropped through my door:

A lovely surprise addition to my collection!

Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee

Saturday, July 11th, 2020 | Sport

When COVID-19 struck and everything started getting cancelled, Barklay Marathons organiser Laz Lake stepped up and announced a 1,000 km Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee. Of course, it was Laz, so the distance was actually 1,022 km, but then it would be somewhat unreasonable to expect Tennessee to be exactly 1,000 km from the south-west corner to the northeast corner.

I entered the race in order to get the t-shirt, intending to make it halfway. But then I signed up for the EveryMayDay 10k Challenge and by the time I had completed that I was 40% done and thought I might as well finish the thing.

Runners need to average 8.3 km per day to make it by the 31 August deadline. 10 km gets you there three weeks early, though, and I thought I better do that in case I got COVID-19 and couldn’t get out of bed for three weeks. Then I realised that one additional kilometre, 11 km per day, would get me there on 1 August, and a double run the day before would allow me to finish in July, within three months of the race start. Things spiralled out of control from here.

Days: 69
Average distance per day: 14.81 km
Position: 2,174 / 19,605 (provisional)
Biggest effort: 86 km at Endure24
Recovery days (sub-10k): 2
Calories burnt: 74,080
Weight lost: None

I ran most of the miles in my Nike Next% shoes, with some easier miles in my Hoka Clifton 6s when the Next%’s speed-over-comfort approach became too much for my poor feet to bear.

The elite runners managed to complete the course in less than two weeks, and have since done BAT (Back Across Tenessee) and Race That Never Ends (the 3x crossing), but I am perfectly content with a single. Especially with a surprise Ironman now less than seven weeks away.

Grand Canyon virtual ultra

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 | Sport

Just as my medal arrived for Hadrian’s Wall, yesterday I crossed the finish line on the Grand Canyon challenge. This one was somewhat longer: 450 km but with all the running I am doing for GVRAT, I managed to get through it in 28 days. Pretty happy with that.