Friday, 20 September 2013

Run forest run

I am not a great runner, i just took up running to give me head space and for general fitness. Yet since I have started I have caught the bug. I love it but now I am hitting the point where I am looking at ways of improving my running by tracking what I do and getting comfortable in my running.

  • You can learn from my mistakes!

So it is a case of spending lots of money? 

Well no, I started with an ordinary pair of trainers with a pair of trainer socks.

This brought a painful problem, blisters, but since then I have brought a better fitting pair of running trainers and 3 pairs of anti blister socks. Not a massive outlay, less than £10 for the socks and £40 for the trainers. No more blisters!

I started with a couple of pairs of old shorts, one I still run in but I had to buy a second pair as I needed one with a secure pocket. Again no need to spend a lot of money just find a pair which are comfortable.

As we have had an amazingly warm summer I needed a running vest as it was too hot/ Again run in what's comfortable for you, cotton t shirts don't work for me as I sweat a lot!  Short sleeve means you will need a sweat band especially if you are like me.

  • Join a club or run with a friend

Running on my own lost its appeal. As I tracked my running I found that I had improved by around 5 minutes  for 5km, but plateaued, I was also getting bored. The same routes after 5 months were getting dull. So I went running with a better runner than me and ran another 5 minutes quicker for the 5km and gained a new route too. It felt great. But I can usually only run first thing so not easy to arrange a running buddy for then. So a running club seems the way forward, for two reasons. 1/ Membership brings membership to SPORT ENGLAND and reduced entry to running events but 2/ More importantly people to run with. This has been the biggest boast. Talking to others who run, which is inspiring. One of the runners is on his 18th Great North Run!

  • Tracking:

So far I have tried Nike+IPod & Mapmy Run using the GPS on my phone.

Neither option has been seamless.

I don't have Nike trainers, I have odd feet and find they are not very comfortable, so I have the nike trainer wallet with the Nike+ sensor in it. This is fine plugging in...
However, I have stopped running with music or podcasts for two reasons, running hazards-plenty of them around from people reversing out of drives to uneven surfaces. Most races and the running club have a no headphones rule, so need to run without!

MapMy Run has been great for logging my runs providing the GPS works properly on my phone and the 3G can connect, this isn't always possible, two of the local villages have poor 3G reception. However, once you have established a few training runs and map them providing you time the run on a stop watch you can deal with any issues this throws up.

Yet it is becoming a pain for training. ie circuits or club training. This is because of introducing laps, cool down periods, and not knowing the routes well. This isn't a long term solution.

So watch this space I have two options I am looking at GPS watches to deal with this issue...

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