Saturday, 29 January 2011

When to Run?

In terms of performance, the best time of day in a few books & articles is 4-7pm – late afternoon to early evening. This is supposed to fit in with your body’s natural daily cycle, hormones and energy levels.

Ironic really that most races seem to start at 10 or 11am! If you are training for a morning race, do try to fit in some training sessions in the morning. This will enable you to check on your day’s plan for the race – especially timing for breakfast! For example, I know from experience that if I am running at 10, I need to drink something other than my beloved expresso before 8:30am. I also know that I operate better on my normal bowl of lazy porridge than on a bigger breakfast. Everyone is different for food and liquid intake – use training timed at the same time as your race to get a routine planned that will work for you and your body.

However, the best time of day to run is whenever suits you best. If you are a morning person, try running before work or after you’ve dropped the kids at school. If you operate better later in the day – and can fit the run in easily – that’s when to run.

Integrating your running with your schedule is important – if this is difficult, you are less likely to make it out running. Some ideas on integrating:

1. If you walk the kids to school, try going in your running kit & run home, perhaps taking a slightly longer route. If you drive them, try going straight to a park afterwards for a run

2. If you have access to a shower at work and the distance works, try running for your commute. One way of doing this (inspired by my sister’s cycle commute plan!):

a. Monday morning– drive in with your running kit plus work clothes for Tuesday.

b. Monday evening – run home

c. Tuesday morning – run to work

d. Tuesday evening – drive home.

3. Make up a week’s plan to your running. Ensure that it actually works with your diary!

4. State of mind – Lucie, a former WRN-er, had a great way of describing a running session – “30 minutes is Eastenders”. Try to think of your run as “me” time – it can be a great opportunity to think through something.

5. Don’t dismiss running in the dark – later running can work well for people with small children – once kids are in bed & partner is home, go then. Ideally, buddy up with someone in a similar position to make it feel safer and more sociable.

6. Take the dog – combine walkies with a run.

7. Join a running club...

I’m sure all of you could add a few more to this list – it’s what we all do!

Friday, 28 January 2011

This week's running report

A mix of runs this week. The Advanced group tried Fartlek (not as rude as it sounds) and both Improver groups tackled the Old Bishopstoke hill route - 1 hill, 2 ascents. The Advanced group all out speeded me - and the time & calories are based on the GPS on my wrist - so treat with caution!
Our virtual circumnavigation is now into country number 3 - we're in Belgium. We've run past Ostend, Bruges, and have just gone past Ghent. Chocolate, moules frites, Belgian beer - my kind of famous Belgians!

If you haven't spotted the post below giving full details of holiday disruption, do have a quick read.

Mon 7pm 6.00km 39:06 mins 501 calories 42km total
Mon 8pm 5.22km 40:32 mins 381 calories 20.88km total
Tue 7pm 5.86km 40:35 mins 471 calories 11.72km total
Tue 8pm 3.34km 32:00 mins 179 calories 23.38km total

Fast Track Beginners on Tuesday get to do 31 minutes with a walk break at 15 minutes.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Holiday Disruption

I’m off on holiday in Feb & I’m afraid that it does mean disrupting runs. However, I am scheduling in a 10K on Saturday 5th on the Eastleigh 10K route

Monday 31st Jan – no disruption, normal runs, normal times, the Hub

Tuesday 1st Feb – no disruption, normal runs, normal times, the Hub

Saturday 5th Feb – Eastleigh 10K route at 9am, starting from Fleming Park lobby. There is an option to stop at 6km if necessary.

Monday 7th Feb - There will be just 1 session at 7pm starting from the Hub. This will be for both Advanced & Improvers.

· Tuesday 8th Feb - No sessions.

Monday 14th Feb - No sessions

· Tuesday 15th Feb – Normal as my flight gets into Gatwick at 3:15pm (outside chance of cancelling if I’m delayed badly – I will attempt to put something on this website by 6:30pm if that’s the case, but I think we are safe!).

o 7pm Improvers (Advanced welcome)

o 8pm Fast Track Beginners – running 30 minutes

Monday 21st Feb – back to normal. No disruption, normal runs, normal times, the Hub. Fast Track Beginners are welcome to join the 8pm Improvers group where they will be able to run within their ability!

· Tuesday 22nd Feb – back to normal. No disruption, normal runs, normal times, the Hub. Fast Track Beginners are welcome to join the 7pm Improvers group where they will be able to run within their ability! Absolute Beginners will start at 8pm.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Running Report 17th & 18th Jan

Got to running on Monday evening and it wasn't raining - but the heavens opened as soon as we started, and then stopped pretty much as we stopped - how unfair is that? All other 3 sessions were dry. We've been tackling hills with the Improvers - the thing to remember is that you need to concentrate running downhill as that's where problems can happen.
Good luck to all of you doing the Romsey 5 miler on Sunday - I am still planning to be there!

On our global challenge, nous sommes en France. We've run through the tunnel, past Calais & are now close to Dunkirk enjoying some smelly cheese and a glass of wine. Or calvados perhaps. So we'll fuel up with a metaphorical croissant on Monday as we head for the Belgian border!

Mon 7pm 6.43km in 42:16 534 cals Finished at the French tunnel entrance
Mon 8pm 6.0km in 47:12 428 cals Finished just beyond Calais
Tue 7pm 6.4km in 46:49 465 cals Finished at Loon- Plage near Dunkirk
Tue 8pm 3.58km in 33:36 197 cals Finished beyond Dunkirk at Meulhoeck

Beginners Programme
32 minute session with 2 walking breaks at 10mins and 21 mins

Monday, 17 January 2011

Running in the rain

The 7pm group got drenched tonight. Properly and comprehensively! What to wear when running in the rain was discussed - and here's the advice:

1. Not cotton!
Cotton soaks up the water and holds it there, becoming saggy, heavy & downright yucky in the rain. And it gets better - the seams can chafe more when wet.

2. Wickable, breathable, man made fibres
Kit made from fabrics designed to hold as little water as possible is a good thing for your legs and under your jacket on top. Look for words like "breathable" or "wickable". Running specific kit is often made from these fabrics - but so is much exercise and outdoor clothing.

3. Narrow legs
Bit of a personal preference, but I don't like soggy fabric flapping around my legs! Look for running tights that are fitted at the ankle, capris or even shorts (legs dry quickly).

4. Jacket
There are 2 options - a waterproof or a showerproof windproof. The former is better for staying dry in heavy rain - but you can get wetter on the inside. The latter won't stay dry in proper rain - but tends to be better for avoiding overheating. Look for "breathable" and as many vents as possible.
Many of us favour gilets - lack of sleeves makes for better ventilation and they keep the wind and some of the rain from your core.

5. Feet
Running shoes aren't waterproof. I do have waterproof socks (Sealskinz) for cycling but these are too bulky for running. Your feet will get wet. Sorry.

6. Head
Longer hair can get matted in the rain & wind. Tie it up & use a hat, headband or buff.

Two other things to mention about running in the rain - cold and dehydration.

Getting wet is unlikely to damage your health - but once wet, you will get cold very easily and quickly. Get warm & dry soon after your run - put a fleece in your car for afterwards for example.

Your body still requires extra water - but when its cold or wet, you may not be as aware of this as usual. Do make sure that you drink after your run!

So all I need now is for someone to invent specs with windscreen wipers & I'm sorted!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Service Stations - food & the miles they represent

Service Station food is something that impacts us on long journeys - so here's a guide to the mileage it represents.
I'm not talking about food miles - but rather running miles! It's how far you'd have to run to completely use up all the calories in these foods - useful to bear in mind if you are resorting to an extra snack to alleviate long drive boredom as opposed to having a "proper" meal.
The average runner burns about 100 extra calories per mile run. It's a bit more if you are larger than the ave runner, a bit less if you are older than the average runner. For example, for me, it's about 115 per mile.
Some examples of food found at service stations where the calorie count isn't handily printed on the packaging! All data is taken from the provider's own websites.

Burger King

Small Fries 200 calories 2 miles (3.2km)

Regular Fries 300 calories 3 miles (4.8km)

Whopper 634 calories 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Chicken Royale 606 calories 6 miles (9.7km)


Small Fries 230 calories 2.5 miles (4km)

Big Mac 490 calories 5 miles (8km)

McChicken sandwich 385 calories 4 miles (6.4km)


Skinny Blueberry Muffin 249 calories 2.5 miles (4km)

Almond Croissant 423 calories 4.5 miles (7.2km)

Costa Coffee

Medio Cappucino 101 calories 1 mile (1.6km)

Medio Latte 128 calories 1.5 miles (2.4km)

Medio Hot Chocolate 157 calories 1.5 miles (2.4km)

Carrot cake 514 calories 5.5 miles (8.9km)

Granola bar 317 calories 3.5 miles (3.6km)

The week's running - late!

Late seems to be my theme for the week! I normally get this blog published by end Friday - but I was tardy - and then the GPS had one of it's "I know I'm fully charged, but I'm going to crash now until you fully charge me again" moments!
I was also horribly late for Tuesday's new Beginners group - and am very grateful to Kelly and Jess for leading the stretching session for the Improvers.

Anyway, we ran 138km this week so are nearly at Dover - virtually! Advanced group took us onto the M25 & as far as the Gatwick turn off. The Monday Improvers got us close to Sevenoaks (home town of Eastleigh WRN-er Anne R) at Ightham, Tuesday Improvers past Ashford to Folkestone Racecourse. And the new Beginners got us to the top of the white cliffs of Dover at Capel-le-Fearne - where Eastleigh WRN-er Helen C did some fine seaside running earlier this year.
I need to know if you fancy the ferry or the tunnel.....

Mon 7pm - 5.9km in 41:35, 474 calories, 6 of us ran 35:46km
Mon 8pm - 5.6km in 43:47, 409 calories, 5 of us ran 28.05km
Tue 7pm - a run of 2 parts! Sarah F has recorded 5.8km on her iPhone (thanks Sarah!), I looped back a bit more and recorded 6.08km and the speedier runners looped back much more than I did! So I figure it's a group average of 6.08km in 46mins, 432 calories. Total of 60.8km for the 10 of us.
Tue 8pm - 3.4km in 34:00, 185 calories, 4 of us ran 13.6km.

Beginners Programme
Beginners next week is a 33 minute session with 3 walk breaks - at 8mins, 17mins and 26mins.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Runs - Mince Pie and Around the World

Welcome to a new year of running! It was great to finish off 2010 with some mulled wine and mince pies (don't we look fabulous, even after a muddy run?) - and I so need to now work off all the festive feasting!

Hence the new idea - we're going to see how far around the world we can get - but first, the runs for the last couple of weeks:

Please bear in mind that the GPS in on my wrist - if you looped back, add 15om per loop.
28th Dec Mince Pie Run: 5.07km in 44:09 321 calories

Monday 3rd Jan: 7pm 6.6km in 44:20 537 calories
Monday 3rd Jan: 8pm 5.72km in 44:32 404 calories
Tuesday 4th Jan: 7pm 5km and 6km - the 6km group completed in 44:02, approx 473 calories

Our circumnavigation attempt started yesterday from the Hub. Louise, Clare L and Pauline took us up the M3 to the A31 and as far as Ovington (6.6km X 3 runners = 19.8km). Claire G and Cari then took us another 11.4km to Four Marks. Jess, new Sarah and Kelly got us past Alton and Farnham to the Hogs Back. Finally, Lizzie and Sarah F zoomed past Guildford to finish at Burntcommon on the A3. So how's that for 2 night's running - 59.2km and we are well into Surrey!
Start point for Monday will be Tuesday's finish point (Burntcommon).

Hope that makes sense! I've excluded my distances as I was on the bike this week letting my lungs recover from a cold.