January is a great time for the endurance sports enthusiast, as the cost of over priced sporting goods comes tumbling down. Allowing us to justify our purchase of possibly needles but must have products at fantastic prices. Taking advantages of the sales, Ive added to my collection of 1000 mile socks, you really cant beat them, throwing away several worn out pairs and bringing in four brand new comfort filled pairs. I have already worn all four pairs and they are as good as you would expect, this is brand i trust to make a quality product.
After advice from a chap on twitter, who goes by the name of @and who has run over 200 marathons i splashed out on a pair of SealSkinz gloves, that claim to be waterproof , windproof and most importantly warm yet breathable. Which is exactly what i needed as the only feature of my karimoor gloves seems to be that they are gloves. And after two years of returning home from cold runs with frozen hands i decided its time to get proper gloves for the truly cold nights. So far i have warn these on two runs, they are certainly windproof and warm and as soon as i have warn them in rain, I’ll let you know how they stood up.
Finally, the big one……I have bought a Garmin Forerunner 10, which was going for a knock down price of £70 on Amazon, so i could not resist it and before one my friends could respond to my text questions about the product i have already bought it…..oh well. I have completed three runs with it and i find the virtual pacer an invaluable training feature that will no doubt improve my running, whilst ensuring that i do not slack off or over do it. A fantastic buy for the serious runner and if you can justify the price to yourself go for it. Three runs in, i already can already tell what a valuable tool this will prove to be.
In my last post i mentioned my fight with a bout of shin splint, well its still not 100% cleared up, despite this i have run every day for the last 20 days and picked up a knee niggle. A slight twinge about the right knee. I suspect, it because of how i have been running to compensate for the shin splint. In both cases, the discomfort and any pain vanishes after just 10-15 minutes of running, suggesting that neither injury is a serious injury. And the fact that i have completed runs of up to 22 miles over the past 20 days with any reaction or serious injury occurring backs this up. However, today (Tuesday 3rd February) i working from home and tomorrow i need my car for work, for a meeting out in Rising bridge, a middle of nowhere kind of place. So i have decided to give myself an easy week of running including taking these two days off running, moving this weeks planned running schedule over to next where it fits in with Wrexham Bakery half marathon i have signed up to.
The reason being, that this Sundays long run, is just 16 miles, which means if i complete all the runs scheduled for this week, next week, except on the Sunday where i will run the half marathon i will only loose 3 miles, as opposed to 11 miles i would loose if i stick the training plan , which has me down for 24 miles next week. So its time to cash in one of my weeks in hand and hope that it a) helps me recover from this niggles and b) leaves me fresher for next weeks half marathon where i really want to go sub 1:25 the first indication that a sub3 marathon is in sight.
As part of my quest to run all my local park runs, in a row, in 2015. Last weekend i head off out the door to Burnley, to run their parkrun……..I guess you saw that bit coming.
As per tradition , i set off late arriving at Towneley Park, Burnley, at 8:52. Luckily this is a parkrun with a massive car park and toilet facilities right near to where the parkrun starts. Which was fantastic for me, although you do need to pay to use the car park.
So i had arrived, i also had forgotten my watch and missed the pre-run talk…..two slightly disastrous things for newbie to the run. Also this run in corporates a few section of grass running and not owning any trail shoes, i knew i was in for a tough run. Finding myself having to slow down on the grassy sections was a pain, but better than falling over and without my watch or a real idea of the route, i prevented myself from over doing it. Which in hindsight was probably a good thing completing the run 20:35, which although is some way off a PB for me, is a fantastic tim.
The parkrun in Burnley is well set up and everybody seems friendly enough, the grass sections are a nice reminder of cross country running and the route is very flat so idea for first timers. On a sunny day, i imagine it would not matter if you wear trail shoes or not but park run is an event not a race, so i guess it does not matter too much either way.
So i am three weeks into mescocyle 2, i have completed 23 runs, covering 214 miles. Although i was supposed to cover 26 runs and 256 miles at this point. So niggles have cost me 42 miles. But i am without serious injury and there are still 10 weeks to go till the big day and i am using one of my weeks in hand.
In addition to pounding the streets i have completed 2 speed work outs and 14 core work outs during mescocycle 2, which i am fairly pleased about. I still need to be doing more speed work but i am pleased with the increase in core work, which has been aided by this 30 day core challenge here :
One other new product i have obtained, but not mentioned so far, is a Fitbit activity monitor, which i was given at Christmas. It is not the most sophisticated gizmo but as well as monitoring my activity and calories burned it is also monitoring my sleep. And it is proving a very handy tool to ensuring i get enough sleep and take on board enough food and water to compensate for the work outs i am doing. So it is proving to be a valuable little tool, each has seen more eating and drinking a lot more that i was. So i cannot really complain about that.
In other news
I found this great running watch comparator tool, courtesy of DC Rainmaker
And finally a great tool from Run England, allowing you to find running groups and clubs near you can be found here