Friday, 22 April 2011

Holiday - and last week's runs

Hope all 7pm runners last week enjoyed the bluebells! I do love being able to get beyond the pavement as the evenings get lighter.
Holiday Disruption
I'm not running this Monday (25th) or Tuesday (26th) as I'm on holiday - so next runs will be on 2nd and 3rd May.
Southampton Running Sisters
Lizzie, Tory & I had a trial run with Southampton Running Sisters. If you'd like to give them a try, the Monday run on the 25th looks the easiest to find next week going from the Cowherds pub on the Common at 6pm (apologies, I can't make it). I've explained that we intend to pop along to their runs over the next couple of weeks. No session fee. I'd be very, very interested to hear how you get on.
Many thanks to Lizzie and Tory for joining me & sharing their views with me.
Coaching News
Good news - England Athletic have (finally) launched a level 2 coaching course focussed on road runners, so I'm hoping one will be organised within easy reach of here soon so I can do it. I hope that it will make me better able to support you in reaching your running goals.
Our Virtual Run Around the World
Runs last week
7pm 18th April 6.20km in 42:06 506 calories
8pm 18th April 5.77km in 44:51 420 calories
7pm 19th April 5.91km in 54:28 350 calories
8pm 19th April 3.54km in 31:04 198 calories
Beginners Programme
Final run won't be until Tuesday 3rd May at 8pm when we'll be tackling 30 minutes. Beginners should have had an email from me explaining the transition to the Improvers.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A bit more about.... dehydration

Very relevant this week – I found Monday’s runs hard work, not least because I hadn’t drunk much liquid at all during the day. An experiment I haven’t tried yet is to weigh yourself before & after a run to get an idea of just how much you are getting through!

Symptons can include:

· A run feeling much tougher than it should.

· Headaches afterwards.

· Dizziness or light headed feeling.

· Dark, concentrated urine.

Before you run

Make sure that you drink before you run.

· For morning runs, I try to drink water 1 hour before I run – earlier if possible. If I drink too much just before I run, it can be uncomfortable for me, leading to stitch.

· If you are running in the evening, try to drink much more during the day - little & often is a good approach.

· Little & often is also a really good method to adopt if you are worried about bladder control – you won’t then need to drink in the half hour before you run, so a quick last minute loo visit should be enough to ensure that you are comfortable but still well hydrated.

On the run

· For runs of less than 45 minutes, you don’t normally need to drink whilst running. Having said that, a sip of water gives many of us a quick boost when we’re starting to flag. If it is very warm, you might want to take a drink with you.

· For longer runs, drinking en route becomes necessary.

· Water, squash or a sports drink are all good. Hypotonic sports drinks are designed to be absorbed by your body even quicker than straight water – Lucozade and Powerade are brand leaders, but you can make your own (see the recipe at the end).

· When you run for more than 90 minutes, you’ll have depleted your glycogen stores. To avoid running out of fuel, you could go for a multi tasking liquid that will hydrate you and refuel you! Try the Refuel Recipe at the end of this article.

· Carrying your drink is always an issue! Loop shaped bottles are easier to carry, waist packs enable you to carry bottles or a water bladder without impacting your posture.

· Alternatively, plan your route to go past a shop, take a couple of quid & just buy & drink! This fabulously pragmatic tip came from Dawn.

After your run

· Drink as soon as you can after your run – water, soft drink or sports drink.

· Try to avoid alcohol until you’re sure you’ve fully rehydrated. Otherwise you may feel the effects a little too swiftly – I do have experience of this!

DIY Hypotonic Recipe: 1 part fruit juice, 3 parts water

Refuel Recipe: Hydrating and energy rich, this is something Anne R developed with her husband for long mountain bike rides – but is also good for long runs.

Mix 200ml fruit juice, 3-4 tsp glucose powder (available from Boots) with between a pinch and half a tsp of salt. Dilute up to about 750ml with water. Tweak the quantities if you don’t feel that the mix is quite right for you – we’re all different.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Running with your dog

Running with your dog could be a great way of giving you company on a run, a sense of safety - and by combining your exercise with your dog's, it could be an invaluable time saver.

There's some great advice on the Cani Cross website - with the emphasis on your dog's health. This is a race series for cross country running with dogs - but check the sections on getting started & your responsibilities as these would apply to any running with a dog. This article from the Guardian a couple of years ago also has some tips.

Cani Cross has also led to greater availability of running harnesses. Hands free harnesses will enable you to keep your dog under control without affecting your posture. I'm very intrigued by the Paw Wax on this website!

Many dogs participate in Parkrun, but I'm not keen to allow dogs to join our training sessions as I know that they can put off some runners even if the dog is perfectly behaved. If someone is put off, they may not be comfortable in letting me know and are likely to simply stop coming along. I think too many if us have had negative experiences of other people's dogs when we're out running!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Runs from this week 11th & 12th April & news

I've had some good communications with Southampton Running Sisters about us becoming their Eastleigh offshoot. I'd like to spend the next few weeks getting to know each other & we'll make a decision by the end of May. I'm planning to try a couple of their Wednesday "Social Runs" as part of this - starting next week (from Solent Uni). You're very welcome to join me. I've also suggested that they come over & run with us. Details are here.

Bit of disruption is about to happen - I'm on holiday Easter Monday 25th & Tuesday 26th. Runs next week (18th & 19th) will all go ahead OK.

On our virtual world tour, we're now in Serbia, our 10th country. According to the Lonely Planet, "Serbia is yet to come within most tourists' comfort zone", so I guess we are pioneers! I love looking at the map - it's so impressive to see how far we've run.

Mon 11th 7pm 6.84km in 43:22 568 calories
Mon 11th 8pm 7.18km in 48:27 592 calories
Tue 12th 7pm 6.20km in 51:51 388 calories
Tue 12th 8pm 3.56km in 32:22 203 calories

Beginners Programme
31 minutes with 1 running break at 15 minutes. If you try this alone, do start gently!

Monday, 11 April 2011


Here comes the sun – and with it, my running specs transform from science geek goggles to cool(ish) shades. So, stuff about running in shades.

Benefits of sunglasses

  1. They keep the sun out of your eyes, reducing need to squint (and hence help to prevent laughter lines). And keeping UV rays out of your eyes is better for them.
  2. They keep bugs & grit out of your eyes – especially appreciated by wearers of contacts.

Things to consider

  1. Check that the pair you choose do have UV protection.
  2. Big plastic will be better bug shields than small lenses. Wrap around styles give better peripheral vision – a good safety point and a novelty for me as my normal specs are much smaller.
  3. Polarised lenses can help prevent glare.
  4. Don’t go for too heavy a tint. If your run takes you through a darker area (e.g. under trees), you still need to be able to see. Mine are photochromatic, but can take a little while to adjust. Some sports sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses so you can select something appropriate for the conditions.
  5. If you do find you can't see as it's got darker, use them as a headband instead. Sunglasses in the dark doesn't make for good health & safety.
  6. Good running sunglasses stay put and don’t steam up. Do a bit of surfing to check how others have found different models before purchasing – and ask around your running buddies.
  7. Online is often a cheaper option – especially for those of us who need prescription specs. Check returns policies though.
  8. Check that your sunglasses/headphones/hat interface on your ears is comfortable before embarking on a run – you don’t want to get irritated en route!
  9. Regular specs wearers will already know to keep them clean and wipe with a proper cloth (never a tissue).
  10. The perfect sunglasses for you may not be specific for running. If you already run in a pair you love, don’t feel that you need to get a new pair just for running.

Last week's runs

Sorry for the delay again – I'm blaming my preoccupation with our future atm!  For now though, it's running as usual, all the normal sessions.  There will be a little disruption week after next (Easter Monday & the subsequent Tuesday.


With regards to our future, I've approached Southampton Running Sisters as we agreed to see if they would like us – but as a separate bit within their club, still carrying on where/when/how we currently do.  They are keen, which is good!  One of the next steps is for some of us to try their runs – a good chance to meet them & check that we feel OK about the change.  Looking at their schedule, Wednesdays from Southampton Uni are "social runs" – so how about trying the 20th?  Their website is 


Mon 7pm            5.87km in 38:27                 484 calories

Mon 8pm            6.16km in 46:43                 469 calories

Tue 7pm              5.85km in 42mins             514 calories

Tue 8pm              Beginners            34mins  3.6km    196 calories


It's week 8 for the beginners this week – 32 minutes in total with 2 walk breaks, 1 at 10mins, 1 at 21 mins.  Week 9 will go ahead OK, but I'm away on holiday for week 10.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Deciding our future

I've had clarification from England Athletics - WRN has indeed folded. I've booked Bishopstoke Community Centre for Thursday 7th April 7:30pm - 9pm so we can discuss our options. Map is here.

If you can't make it - or want to do some thinking beforehand, this summary shows the options as I see them (there are bound to be more I haven't thought of). Either email me with your preference or use this online survey before 6:45pm Thursday and I'll ensure that your views are taken into account.

I'm so sorry that this has happened - it's my aim to ensure that we carry on running, carry on enjoying running and that nobody is left out of pocket.