Month: March 2014

BHF Warwick Half Marathon

I did it…

Target Time : 01:42:00
Chip Time : 01:36:44
A new Half Marathon PB!

Results link – http://www.chipresults.co.uk/

Wow – that was a tough race.
I have never ran so many hills before in my life.
You can see the elevation in the below picture with my mile splits.

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I started off really well, hitting a 21 minute 5k and to be honest I was feeling really good at this point. Then my headphones stopped working. Not a big problem, but the music helps me to keep my cadence at 180bpm when my mind wanders throughout a race. Still – worse things could happen.

Towards the half way mark I started to struggle. The hill climbs weren’t too bad. I’m used to them. Running downhill was started to take its toll on my quads. I could feel the ache throughout each downhill segment.

I had one approx. target in my head for the race. I wanted to hit the 10 mile mark on roughly 71 minutes. I was about 600m off that point which was not too bad considering there were some long downhill stretches to come.
But again, they were wiping my quads out. After mile 12 it was a downhill sprint which flattened towards the finish. But I was spent, with no energy left to sprint the final hundred metres.

Despite the negatives above, I ran a PB and was incredibly pleased with my time. I also had a bit of a stomach bug so perhaps I could shave a little more off on another day.

BHF Half - smiley1

You might notice I have replaced my strained, agonizing expression for a smiley face. It would be nice if I could cross a finish line that smiley. But I can’t. It not physically possible!

I had my first coffee in a week to celebrate the PB – this is nearly as incredible as my PB. Coffee helps me live…

Did you race this weekend?

Do you have a favourite post run treat?

How photogenic are you race pictures?
I look like I am dying a slow agonizing death – and they are the pictures from the first 5k

Preparing for the BHF Warwick Half Marathon

As promised, here is my updated on the final week of training prior to a weeks minor taper before the BHF Warwick Half Marathon.

A couple of weeks ago, I ran 10 miles in 71 minutes (I think?). So I felt like my speedwork was in the right place, balanced nicely with my endurance training. I had also ran a 5k PB on 19:51 so I was quite confident going into this race.

I didn’t want to put too much on it as I definitely prefer the summer and will find training much more enjoyable when the sun is out. This race would be a good picture of where I currently am and what steps to take next.

Spin classes have become a staple of my training in recent weeks and I give them a lot of credit for improving my cadence and leg turnover. However, I may have been over doing it on the exercise slightly because the week before the race, I was unable to complete my local Parkrun due to hip pains.

I limped in through the front door and temporarily became a google doctor. Reading up about runners with similar pains I suspected I had Bursitis. An inflammation within the hip which was making each step a misery.
The only cure – rest. A runners nightmare.

I tried to look on the bright side… I needed a few days break as part of a taper before the Half Marathon and this could give me the motivation to resist going out for a cheeky 5k one evening.

Damn it’s tough not running. I’m pretty sure the sun came out every evening just to tease me. But I persevered. And ran the following weeks parkrun in 24:37. I felt like I had won the race. Not the shabbiest time and no hip pain.

I had also swallowed incredible amounts of anti inflammatory tablets throughout the week.

Also, I read avocados can help reduce inflamed areas. So I ate hundreds of them (well, kinda).

In summary:
I’m too young to get hip pain
I like avocados
Not running is harder than running

Have you ever struggled with an injury?

Do you know when to take a break or are you guilty of pushing through the pain too much?

1 last thing – I have started making protein pancakes. They taste amazing.

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1 more last thing – afternoon tea at Vinteas in Leamington.

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Warning – Blog Imminent

You may have noticed that I have been a bit quiet on the blog in the past couple of weeks. A small large part to that is laziness; the rest is down to actually running (ish).

As it has been a while since my last blog I have done two posts which will follow this. One which describes the two weeks prior to the half marathon, and one which describes the race and results.

I know there were a lot of races this weekend so let me know how you got on… Any PBs out there??

Also, I haven’t neglected the twitter machine, so if you missed me – follow me

Last Week in Pictures

I’ve been lazy this last week so here are some highlights… (must post more regularly)

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Eggs benedict

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Helping a local school out in their garden

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BBQ ribs at a mexican

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Mojito (my favourite cocktail)

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Chloe's new dress

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Chloe prefers my water bottle

I have my half marathon next week but more on that later…

Hill Repeats are your Friend…

It sounds incredibly obvious, but when runners find getting up those long hills a strain – they go out and practice running up and down hills. This is a favourite workout of mine and I try to incorporate hills into the majority of my runs. They are unavoidable periods of pain within a race, so it makes sense to prepare your body for these whenever possible.

Once a week I have a focussed hill repeat workout. This entails finding a hill approximately 5 km from my house and using the jog there as a warm up. I then proceed to look like maniac sprinting up the hill (normally for between 1-3 minutes) before jogging / walking back down to the bottom. After roughly 6-10 attempts (and several moments where I think passing out and rolling to the bottom would be easier) I will take a small break then use the jog home as recovery.

This workout would be specifically suited for improving my VO2max and increasing the amount of strength I have in my legs. In addition, running up hills forces you to lift your knees higher than when running on a flat course. This is very desirable for runners as we can pick up more strength / speed this way.

Not only have I found hill repeats to be of physical benefit, but there is a positive mental effect. Now when I run a race, I see each hill as a small challenge. I remember the times I ran up the same hill 10x in training and I know I have the power in my legs to take me up the hill as quickly as possible.

It is important to remember that when competing in a race, it would be very unusual to find a course which consists of ten equally sized hills. It is more likely that you will face several prolonged uphill segments which sap your energy. This is why I try to incorporate the odd hill into all my types of training. After all – variety is the spice of life… or something like that :s

Note : Remember not to push yourself too hard when trying out a new training method. Start with a lower amount of reps and build up slowly.

Also : I found this on another blog (Ive forgetten which blog – Im so sorry…)

Once in a blue moon

I thought it was brilliant – hope you can relate 😀