Monday, 12 March 2012

Marathon Training - A set back and other running ramblings

In my last post I noted that I was 'right where I wanted to be with my marathon training'. Now of course if you say something like that, what's going to follow.....Yep, you talk to soon and a set back looms it's ugly head!
I've pushed my long runs to 20 miles and have run a couple of back to back 12 milers over the last few weeks. This weekend we were away so I decided that the Friday would be 'long run day'. Along with running buddy Brian, we would run from work to home on an extended 19 mile run.

To date all my long runs have taken place first thing in the morning (I prefer morning's and most races are run in the morning). Now whether it was because of the time of day being late afternoon, I will never know but the run was set to be a disaster in more ways than one!

Firstly my legs gave up on me at around mile 14/15, and secondly I got lost! Lost in an area that I've spent the last 40 years of my life. It's been because of running though that I've discovered so many new places around where I live and I'm sure that goes for a lot of other runners too.

I got myself lost due to 'Speedy Gonzalez' (Brian) shooting off and being left without a head torch to fend for myself (He's a good friend like that!) but having watched the last series of Bear Grylls, I was confident I would be OK alone in the woods in the dark :-)

The lost bit was not a problem it was a bit of an adventure, it was the hitting the wall at mile 14 that was the problem. I knew by about mile 7 that this was not going to be a good run, I've normally hit my stride by then, but today felt different. I guess it's just one of those days that you have to just write off and was probably down to a number of reasons (nutrition,tiredness,etc.) that hopefully will not come along again.

Thankfully I have not dwelt on it or let it get me down too long. After tweeting about this run on Twitter it wasn't long before the great running community picked me up with their words of support which helped a lot.

This week I'm going to run some easy paced lunchtime runs as I have a 20 mile race next Sunday which will hopefully get the confidence back.

I was keen to also make a point this week about recovery shakes. Now whether this is psychological or not, I've been using a certain well known brand of recovery shake (you know the one!) for a while and I believe I've noticed the difference in recovery after big runs. However steadily the price of this shake has risen and soon mounts up over the weeks especially if you believe the blurb on the bottle that states you'll recover even better with another shake 2 hours later (sucker!)

In these economic times we all need to sacrifice some of the luxuries so I've now been either buying a cheap milkshake off the shelf or using a good old pint of milk out the fridge after a tough workout....and hey presto I've noticed the same difference. Now I'm not saying that the top branded shake is a waste of time, but I think the benefits are probably felt at the more elite end of training rather than the amateur who can easily get all the benefits they need from good old Milk.

I've finally got around to reviewing a product I'd been sent a little while back.

The Cygnett armband is designed to be worn around the upper arm and take an iphone. I don't own an iphone but was pleased to find that my new smart phone (Samsung Galaxy W) fitted snugly in the pouch. The pouch has clear waterproof front to it allowing you to still operate the touch screen.

I downloaded a running App on my phone once this was done I got it set up ready to go out but the only trouble was that my phone has buttons along the side and when trying to push the phone into the pouch the buttons kept being activated. If you do have an iphone for what this product is meant , I guess this won't be a problem. After a few minutes I managed to get the phone in OK and set off.

I've never run with an armband before so this felt a little awkward but the strap was comfortable and with its adjustable Velcro strip I soon got used to the sensation of having the band on my arm. While on the move it was not really possible to view the screen unless I stopped and swung it around my arm or took the band off but also the phone's screen is on a power save anyway and goes of every minute, so it was a case of not being able to view the phone till I finished my run. 

I was out for near on 40 minutes and the strap never loosened once which was impressive, I had visions of  me stopping every 5 minutes to adjust. I don't run with music often and did not on this run but there is an additional Velcro flap on the armband where you can wrap the cord of your headphones around so it's not bouncing around whilst running which I thought was a nifty idea. A comfortable product that would be best suited to an iphone which it is designed for but held my similar size phone securely.

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