Posts Tagged ‘running’

Armley Parkrun

Monday, October 22nd, 2018 | Sport

Earlier this month I went up to Armley to do the Parkrun there. It’s about three kilometres away from the city centre, so just a little further than Woodhouse Moor.

Armley Parkrun launched over the summer, albeit with a “soft launch”. When I mentioned it on my blog I volunteer contacted me and asked me to remove the reference and when I asked about it in running club everyone spoke in hushed tones. Apparently, when a new Parkrun launches there is an unwritten rule about not telling anyone. It’s one of the weird rules that makes me a little uncomfortable at how Parkrun operates as an organisation.

Nevertheless, having been running for over four months, it is now a well established and welcoming run. They seem to have an army of volunteers, based on the sample size of one event.

The course is a mix of tarmac and grass. Having run past Gotts Park many times I assumed the course would be very hilly. However, Armley Park itself is really flat: probably flatter than Woodhouse Moor. It’s three loops with a bit of a crossover between the start and finish. It seems a good option to go for if you’re looking for a PB.

Brownlee triathlon centre launch

Thursday, October 18th, 2018 | Sport

After my first visit to the Brownlee cycle circuit I found myself back there for the launch of the triathlon centre. It’s not really clear what that was. It looks the same. But, in any case, British Triathlon was providing some free training.

There were three sessions: transition, run and bike. I will be changing the way I do things based on the transition session but it was the bike session that was most useful. It was led by Coach Morg, who runs Blue Lagooners and the Evolve triathlons and really helped me build some confidence with leaning the bike over and taking more speed through the corners.

Yorkshire Marathon

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 | Sport

I’m a marathon runner. I have a medal to prove it. And it was a hard-earned one because running it was quite possibly one of the most miserable days of running I have ever had.

Last year I ran the Yorkshire 10 Mile and it was cool and dry. Great running conditions. This year it was cold and wet. Last year there was no queue for the shuttle bus. This year there was a 25-minute queue. On the plus side, this removed waiting around before the race as I only made it to the start line with five minutes to go.

The first 13km was pretty miserable as the idea of four hours of running in the rain soaked through. The next 7km was occupied by trying to find a toilet, which finally turned up 7km later. And the last 42km was mostly occupied by pain.

By 35km I was ready to walk. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I was only just ahead of the pace required to finish in under four hours. In the end, I promised myself I could walk up the hill on the finishing straight (what a terrible place to put a hill, right?). But, by the time I got there, I decided I could keep going and kept putting one foot in front of another until I reached the line.

My final time was:

3:57:17

My goal was just to complete it, with a stretch goal of sub-four hours, so I’m pleased with that time.

People tell you that it is an amazing feeling to finish a marathon. But it’s not. I knew it wasn’t going to be because I’ve spent all summer racing triathlon. But, what I wasn’t prepared for was the dramatic increase in pain after I crossed the line. I was limping in both legs and my ankles were screaming. They continued to hurt even after I swallowed the two ibuprofen I had with me.

The rain fell all morning and continued for the entire run. I was absolutely soaked through by the finish. I brought a full change of clothes, except for pants, so even after I got changed, my wet pants just soaked through my jogging bottoms again. Even with my two t-shirts and winter jacket on, I was so cold that I kept biting myself.

Thankfully, by the next morning, the pain had faded and I felt a little better. I was feeling sore and stiff, but not injured. And I was able to walk down stairs.

Would I do it again? Probably. I haven’t been bitten by the bug: I’m not looking forward to signing up for more races. But I could be tempted by a few of the famous ones.

Looooooong training run

Saturday, September 29th, 2018 | Sport

Technically, I’ve now run a marathon. I’ve been gradually pushing up the distance on my training runs over August and September, and gone as far as 36 km. But, last weekend, I went for the granddaddy of distances: 42.2 km (26.2 miles).

I took the photo about 13 km into the run. My face didn’t look that happy by the end. And no, I have no idea what was going on with my hair.

I started by going down the towpath of the Aire & Calder navigation. There were rowers practising all along the waterway, right up to whether I turned around somewhere near Rothwell. I then headed home, with a quick stop to pick up a new bidon and more gels, before heading up the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath in the opposite direction to complete the second half. In the end, I completed 42.4 km.

I did the whole thing in 4:06:25, but I paused for Garmin for the few minutes I was re-supplying in the middle, so my actual time is longer than that. I feel okay having done it. Recently, I’ve been feeling pretty ill at the end of these long runs but I felt good after this one, perhaps because I had drunk a little more than usual. The day after I had a little soreness in my toes and my calves were aching but otherwise, I felt good.

Having reached this milestone, I’m now looking forward to moving my training runs back down to sensible distances.

Parkrun 100 t-shirt

Friday, September 28th, 2018 | Sport

It’s been three years since I earnt my Parkrun 50 t-shirt, and, at the very start of 2017, I completed my 100th Parkrun. Since then I’ve been waiting for my t-shirt. Well, that days has finally come.

I’m pretty annoyed at Parkrun, as an organisation, over the whole affair. 21 months I’ve been waiting for my t-shirt to turn up. I feel a little lied to and let down. Arguably, they are a charity and the t-shirt only costs £4 (which is a delivery charge). But if anything, their charitable status only means they should hold themselves to a higher level of integrity and if they promise a t-shirt, they should deliver on that.

Of course, now they have. And it’s a pretty nice t-shirt, too. It is more of a mesh than the previous ones: if you hold it up to your eye you can see through it. I took it for a spin at Parkrun #169 it it felt good (inspired me to a PB no less!).

I’m really pleased to finally have it. The next stop is 250, which I will hopefully hit sometime in 2020.

Parkrun #169

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 | Sport

Surprise Parkrun PBs (personal bests) are the worst PBs. It’s like drafting Tom Brady in the sixth round. Sure, you’ve accidentally drafted the greatest quarterback in the history of American football, and you’ve done it for an almost-worthless draft pick. But it shouldn’t be an accident. An accident suggests you got your planning wrong.

So it is with Parkrun PBs. My existing PB of 22:39, which I set in May, felt like my best effort. I had gone out to set a PB and I had achieved that, and now I could die happy knowing that the time reflected my best performance.

When I started Parkrun #169, I had no intention of beating it. I didn’t think I could. But I did know that my training schedule said I had to go hard. So, I did. And my time was:

22:06

A good 33 seconds faster than my previous time and giving me a 58.67% on the age grading.

Having said all of that, I’m pleased with the result. I spent the summer doing a lot of training and in the past few weeks I have been focussing on my running, so maybe that is paying off.

Here’s an updated graph because everyone loves a graph:

Berlin marathon 2018

Monday, September 24th, 2018 | Sport

Last week the Berlin marathon took place and at the event, Eliud Kipchoge smashed the world record. The event got little media courage, which is a shame because it was so no small achievement.

Berlin has been a favourite place to break world records. Since Khalid Khannouchi set a new record in London in 2002, the subsequent seven improvements have all be done in the streets of Berlin. It’s flat and takes place in September so the temperature is usually mild.

Kipchoge set a time of 2:01:39. That’s 1:18 faster than Dennis Kimetto’s 2014 time. To put that in perspective, the last time someone made such a large dent in the existing record was Derek Clayton in 1967.

Kipchoge is the same guy that ran the 2:00:26 in Nike’s #breaking2 event. However, that isn’t considered a world record because of the amount of cheating going on in the race design. This time, however, there is no doubt about the result.

Thanks to C.Suthorn for the photo.

Early morning run

Monday, September 17th, 2018 | Sport

When did it start getting light so late and dark so early? It’s only September.

Getting back into the swing of things now my MSc is over has been a challenge. University was flexible; clients are less so. So, the only time I could fit one of my training runs in last week was at 6 am in the morning before Elina gets up.

I assumed it would be getting light at that time. But I was wrong. So, my planned route had to be changed to a jaunt around the city instead.

Announcing Resilient Running

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 | News

In June, I launched my Running For Beginners course. It quickly became the most popular online course I have ever taught, with nearly 2,000 people signing up in the first two months alone.

The course has received great ratings, but some students wanted to take it further. Some were existing runners and found the course content too basic. As it was a beginners course, I didn’t want to make it too advanced. So, I started work on a new course for existing runners looking to take their game to the next level.

The result is my new course, Resilient Running. It will teach you to run faster, longer, and stay injury free. It covers technique, training, injury prevention, nutrition, psychology and more. It’s targetted at people who already run on a regular basis, so we get straight down to business. There are no beginners steps because that’s all covered in my first course.

Will it prove as popular? I certainly hope so. Over 1,000 people have signed up in the first 48 hours.

Here’s the trailer:

Pride Parkrun 2018

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Sport

Every year, the Pride team turn up to Parkrun to cheer people on and hand out free goodies. Last year, I got a pair of rainbow laces, which I was wearing at this year’s Pride Parkrun.

I had a triathlon to so the day after, but I also felt like I was losing fitness. So, I decided to forgo the “take it easy” approach that would involve resting my legs and instead, go hard and hopefully give myself a confidence boost that I was still performing well.

I did and I got it. Thanks to a sprint finish when I realised I might just make it within the minute, I managed to run:

22:58

This is 19 seconds off my personal best, but it is only the second time I have managed to go sub-23 so I was very pleased with it. Did it give me the confidence to smash it at the Allerthorpe Classic triathlon? Find out soon…