Saturday, 23 October 2010

With or without Music? That is the Question

OK we've all done it...There's no-one around...Earplugs in, Volume up, and you pound the streets to the Theme of Rocky or the Eye of the Tiger!!! Yes? No? Please don't say it's just me?

Whether it be Rocky or your own favourite tunes, there's no doubt about it (and scientific research backs it up) that running with Music can improve your performance and lift your mood. But are you blocking out listening to your body? Sports Psychologists call this 'dissociation' distracting yourself from what you are doing. Is that what we want when running, to distract ourselves?

What about the flip side. What about running listening to the birds singing, the wind rustling through the trees and listening to the tune of your body. A chance to think about things, to listen to the crowds encouragement at a race.

There are pro's and con's to both sides of the debate, Running can be a lonely sport and listening to Music or Podcast's can be a great comfort, but then again you can't hear traffic around you and could suffer an accident. So many positives and negatives to both options.

So I'm going to put it out to the great public vote. You are going out for a solo run. Do you put on the headphones or leave them at home?

Please vote below and feel welcome to leave a comment. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Parkrun - Frimley

Parkrun started in Bushy Park, London in 2004 with just 13 runners turning up. Now in 2010 it has grown nationwide even crossing the waters to Denmark!

What is Parkrun? Well basically you register online, download your own individual barcode, turn up at your local event and run 5K or 2.5K. It's open to anyone and everyone and is totally FREE!

My Local event is the Frimley Lodge Parkrun. I turned up on Saturday morning at 8.30am (All events start at 9am), I was myself expecting maybe a dozen bleary runners who had pulled themselves out of bed for a run at the weekend. The official turn out on the results page; 132!

Parkrun is run entirely by Volunteers, and I have to say the organisation here gets full marks. New runners are called over to have a brief on the course, and then the race director (with his bugle!!!) ran through some event news and weekly winners who recieve prices from one of the events sponsers, Sweatshop.

We then all headed to the start line and with a blast from the Bugle set off on our way.

The course firstly takes in the parks fields, moving on to the Basinstoke Canal Towpath, and finally on trails through the woods. A beautiful course, which you run 2 loops.
At the end of the race I filtered into the finish collected a token and headed over to the results table. Here you hand in your token, scan in your Barcode and Voila, all done, a bit of stretching and then head off home, although you can meet up for a coffee and cake at the nearby Canal centre after the event.

I was using this event as part of my comeback from injury, but will certainly now be turning up weekly to take part. I cannot rate this event highly enough. Great atmosphere and organisation, for a free event surpasses some of the events I've been to and paid a fortune. When you have run 50 runs you get a T-Shirt (10 runs for the Junior T-Shirt) and after 100, an exclusive Jacket.

The other brilliant thing is, you get home, log into the website and your results are there waiting to be viewed. 69th place out of 132 runners with a time of 25:26 for me.