Friday, 23 December 2011

Reasons to fit a run in over Christmas

Yes I know that there is so much to fit in at this time of year, but I’d like to push the benefits of going for a run or two over the festive season:

1. It doesn’t have to take long!

a. I reckon you can get a good run slotted into 1 hour. That’s including time to get changed into kit and showered afterwards! I wrote a piece a while back on running in your lunch hour that could help you to plan a great run.

b. Let’s face it, there are time when a bit of fresh air is needed to retain sanity – one hour isn’t much to find.

2. Great way to see more of an area.

a. If you are staying with family, running can help you get to know the area a bit better. I’ve got to know Torquay and Corbridge much better simply by running on my own from the house.  Use an online tool like Google Maps, GB.Mapometer or Map My Run to plot & plan a good route.

b. If it’s your childhood home, running can allow you to see what’s changed over the years.

3. New running buddy opportunities

a. Why not go out with any of your family who are into running? It might be a great way to get to know your brother-in-law a bit better.

b. If there’s a big speed/fitness difference, use the “it’ll be a special Christmas run” line. Agree to go at the speed of whoever is slowest – and if you are the slowest, ask for some tips/advice as you go as it could be a good opportunity to learn some new stuff.

4. Feel better.

a. I guarantee that the festive feasting will be more enjoyable if you’ve exercised before – build up a proper appetite!

b. A bit of space will do you the world of good - head space and body space!

5. Chance to try out any lovely new kit you’ve had for Christmas.

a. New smartphone? Use a quiet sofa moment to get it properly set up then get out to play! Runkeeper and Mapmyfitness are both great apps to get downloading.

b. Use a gentle solo run as a chance to sort out quite how the new headphones are going to work with the new running hat without dislodging the new shades…..

6. Unbeatable opportunity for smugness

Monday, 19 December 2011

Fancy giving ballet a try?

Fancy giving ballet a go? Tory has tracked down a beginners' adult ballet class that starts in 
Winchester on Tuesdays from Jan 10th. "Excellent for postural awareness and core stability" - which will certainly compliment running.  
1 term, 11 weeks, £66. Tory's really keen - so you'll have some company if you decide to give it a go!
More details here.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Runs on 12th & 13th Dec

I am immensely grateful to Louise - not only did she cover my Monday runs whilst I ate drank & made merry, but she did so in appalling weather - "the wettest we've run in" according to Claire D!  And it was lovely to see you guys plus Sisters from Southampton on a somewhat muddy mince pie run!

Running as per usual next week, cancelled on 26th & 27th Dec, back on 2nd and 3rd Jan.  On the 2nd, runs will start from my house (Hub is shut), but back to completely normal on the 3rd from the Hub.

Mon 7pm  6.58km in 42:50, 389 calories
Mon 8pm 6.00km in 47:30, 339 calories
Tue 7pm 5.64km in 38:34, 468 calories
Sunday's Mince Pie Run 5.58km in 45:16, 397 calories

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Running Report 5th & 6th Dec

On Wednesday, Pat from SRS is leading a track session at Southampton Outdoor Centre - running on a proper athletics track.  Pat is a really experienced running coach and this will be a session that will really help to get your speed up - whatever your current pace.  She's warming up at 6:50pm with the session starting at 7pm.  I can't make this one (I have a date with a mince pie in Winchester that night) - but I'm keen to get to her next one.

And whilst we're on mince pies, do please come along to the annual Mince Pie Run - starts from my house on Sunday 18th at 2:30pm.  It will be a very gentle run, followed by mince pies & mulled wine.  All very welcome - just let me know so I get the catering right....

Last Week's Runs
Mon 7pm  6.04km in 37:03, 500 calories
Mon 8pm  5.00km in 42:57, 285 calories
Tue 7pm    3.89km in 30:56, 273 calories

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Running in the cold

We are finally getting something resembling winter weather, so here are some ideas on how to enjoy running in the cold.
  • 1.        Extend your warm up – don’t skip it.  Your muscles and joints will take longer to warm up when it’s cold.
  • 2.       Do drink!  You are still losing water when you run – but you are less likely to notice it.
  • 3.       Choose your route with the conditions in mind.  Frost takes longer to disappear in the shade so stay on the sunny side of the street.  Leaves on the ground can form a slippery mush – best avoided! 
  • 4.       If you find the cold air going into your lungs very uncomfortable, try a Buff (microfibre tube) pulled up over your nose & mouth a la wild west outlaws!  This helps to warm and moisten the air a little – and keeps your nose warm.
  • 5.       Keep your cool down brief and if possible, leave stretching until you are inside in the warm.
  • 6.       Once you get inside, try to keep moving for at least 5 minutes before hitting the shower.
  • 7.       Keep a warm top in the car ready to put on straight after your run so you don’t get too cold on the way home. Dry socks and shoes are also sensible – damp means you’ll feel colder.

If there’s snow & ice, I tend to switch to the treadmill instead.  You can get yak tracks that fit over your trainers – and trail shoes have a little more grip than normal running shoes.  I don’t lead runs when there is snow on the ground – check the blog at about noon to confirm if we are going out.

Winter kit can make the difference between a good and miserable winter run.  We all seem to have different combinations of what works for us!  Don’t restrict your search to running shops – outdoor/walking/ski shops often have great kit.
  •   Layer – especially on top.  Several thin layers work better than 1 thick layer as air is trapped between each one and you can take off/put back on as required:

a.       Base Layer
                                                               i.      Thermal & breathable, ideally quite close fitting.
                                                             ii.      Merino wool is lovely!  Non itchy and doesn’t carry smells.
                                                            iii.      Might have long or short sleeves.
b.      Mid Layer
                                                               i.      Long sleeves, often has a higher neck.
                                                             ii.      Might still be thermal, but should be breathable.
                                                            iii.      Thin fleeces can work well.
c.       Top Layer
                                                               i.      Windproof (often waterproof too), this will keep the wind chill out.
                                                             ii.      Still needs to be breathable.
                                                            iii.      Pockets are great for gloves.
  • 2.       Bottom half doesn’t tend to get as cold – if your core is warm, your legs may be warm too even if only wearing 1 layer.  However, my backside gets cold, so I resort to wearing a lovely thick woolly pair of shorts over my running tights!  I love thermal running tights – look for ones with fleecy insides.
  • 3.       Head

a.       Beanie hats are sold for winter running – not too thick and breathable.
b.      I prefer a fleece band to keep my ears warm without over heating my head!
  • 4.       Neck - Buffs (microfibre tubes) are great for preventing draughts. 
  • 5.       Gloves – running gloves tend to be thin so easy to stow away in a pocket.
  • 6.       Something reflective – especially as light levels are often low even in the day.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Runs w/c 29th Nov

Me, Louise, Clare L, Jennifer, Pat, Tally and Hilary all did the CC6 run in the Forest today.  This was one of 6 cross country runs organised by local running clubs - Lordshill did this one with Santa marshals & cake at the end!
Free to join in, we felt very welcome and Pat accompanies whoever of of us is taking the gentlest pace.  This one was 8km.
We did spend chunks of the course teetering around quagmires & squealing like girls when we slid into the mud.  By 2K, Clare, Louise & me all had both feet drenched!
I'm really looking forward to the next one on 8th Jan in Winchester.  And please note our lovely SRS tops!

Claire D, Sian & Karen B both did Parkrun on Saturday - first time for Sian who's time was a most respectable 31:10.

I think the theme for the week is don't be afraid to take part in events.  Being part of a club means that we can buddy up beforehand - and there's always the chance that someone in the group has done the race before.  Events give you the chance to stretch your running - new places, new challenges.

Anyway, last week's runs:

  • Mon 7pm 6.1km in 40:14, 505 cals
  • Mon 8pm 6.9km in 54:49, 482 cals
  • Tue 7pm 5.29km in 40:11, 392 cals