Monday, 30 December 2013

Why I run, I finally get it

I finally get it.

The non runner asks why? "I can't think of anything more dull than running".

Sure running can sometimes be boring and a chore to get done, running on a dark cold winters morning, where's the fun in that? Where's the fun when your thighs are burning running up a long hill?

But I finally get it, after 8 years of running and wondering why I run. It's after the run is done that I reap the benefits.

It's later that day when my thinking is somehow clearer.

It's at the end of the day when I'm so tired and I sleep like a baby.

It's later when I'm feeling chilled and I don't care that my neighbour drives a better car, has a better house or a better job.

It's after a lunchtime run I can work better.

It's after a lunchtime run I don't get stressed out by work.

It's after the run I want eat more healthy.

It's after the run when I feel more positive about myself.

The non runner says "It's bad for the joints"

The weight of an obese body is bad for the joints.

Yes I finally get it.

Friday, 27 December 2013

5 reasons trail running is better for you

Trail running is becoming more popular than ever. Below are 5 reasons you should hit the trails rather than the road of the treadmill:

Less pollution - Away from the traffic fumes, you're left to run how Mother Nature intended.

Less impact on your joints - Running on soft ground rather than Tarmac. It's a no brainer!

Better work out for your body - As your body continually adapts to the uneven surfaces, this will strengthen your ankles and your core muscles.

Get away from it all - Most the time on the trails you'll be alone, at best you'll see the odd dog walker or a like minded trail runner!

It's an adventure - More often of not, you'll take a wrong turn which we cause you to run new routes. Going out at night with a headtorch on the trails is also great fun.

Everyone will have some form of trails around them even if you live in a city; whether it's a park,canal path or woodlands. So what are you waiting for, ditch the Tarmac and Gym and go hit the trails!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Sole insulated response footbed

Although out of sight, the insole in the running trainer is one of the most important components of the shoe. From experience simply changing the insole in my trainers a few years ago to an off the shelf orphapedic type, gave me relief and help solve an achillies injury that had plagued me a while.

I was interested and curious in reviewing the Sole insulated footbed. An insulated orthapedic insole would be perfect especially as we are in the middle of Winter and I benefit from all the support I can get with my running.

The orphapedic qualities of the insole become very much personal to the user, because after popping them in the oven for a couple of minutes (yes in the oven!) putting them in place of your old insole, and then standing in your trainers, the footbed cools down and moulds specifically to your foot....Genius!

And it felt really comfortable, but how would it respond on the run?.....the result was excellent, I went out for a speedy 6 mile road run and I have to admit I noticed how comfortable my feet were feeling ( a lot more comfortable than my breathing!!)

I'm guessing that I won't really feel the benefits of the insulation until I'm running either on a cold wet trail run or when out in the snow.

The RRP for these may seem pricey at £45 but if you've been suffering any foot injuries, especially plantar fascia strain then these may be of benefit and you can pay way above this for specialist orthapedics.

I'm a size 8.5, the footbeds only come in whole sizes, so I received a 9 which I had to cut down to size. It's important that you only cut the toe piece and not the heel when resizing. This was an easy exercise.

Definitely a thumbs up from me, and they will be staying in my trainers, especially through the winter months.

For more information, you can visit the manufacturers website here:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Running Funnies

Once upon a time I used to want to be a cartoonist.....

Since I started my blog in 2010, I've posted the odd cartoon I've drawn relating to the post. Here's my favourites from the last 3 years:

Barefoot running

Did cavemen taper?

That's Yoga, not Yoda!

Sobering thought!

After a tempo run!

Runners battle with food #1

Runners battle with food #2

All about the numbers!

Core training.

Fed up of sports drinks!

The big journey!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

From zero to hero

I haven't really done anything heroic as the title of this post may suggest. The 'zero' part is from last week where I ran no miles, whereas this week I ran 5 days in a row! (Hero) a mini runstreak was forming only for it to come to an end after a very late night Friday (little alcohol was consumed, I would like to add, just little sleep) I didn't want to become run down so enjoyed a rest day on Saturday.

All hail those who are run streakers, I know of a few on Twitter, but it's not for me. I love my running but I also love my rest days and I think if I ran everyday it would become a chore rather than a pleasure and it's a lot of pressure on the body.

Every run this week was done on the Basingstoke canal. Monday to Thursday I ran 4.12miles everyday (yes the 0.12 miles is worth mentioning!!!) with my usual 13 miles to work on Friday.

I ran with running partner and work colleague Brian at lunchtime something we hadn't done for a while. It was good fun, no pressure running although the pace was half decent, clocking up averages of 8:00, 8:02, 7:55 and 8:05. Consistent good tempo running.

I've been doing all my training the last couple of months based around my heart rate and using my Polar watch on each run. The Polar personal trainer website that you upload your workouts to is great. I've mentioned it before in an earlier post when I was reviewing the watch. The Star program which I use on the site sets a goal with how long you should spend in each of the 3 zones. Zone 1 being light training up to Zone 3 which is training at the top end of your heart rate.

The four lunchtime runs had me pretty much in zone 3 for most of the time, not good which makes heart rate training the best way to train at a personal level.

I managed to rectify this a little on Fridays run to work by going nice and slow and keeping the heart rate in zone 2 for most the way. It was a slow run and difficult sometimes not to want to speed up but I will run whatever is best for my heart.

I can't get into zone 1 for any length of time, I think I would have to record myself sleeping in that zone to keep my heart rate low enough to record in this zone.

I'm writing this post Sunday morning, I've already clocked up 30 miles this week, the intention is to get out for 6 miles today but family commitments and putting up the Christmas tree, might put pay to that. It depends how long it takes to unravel the lights and check every bulb is working!'s now Sunday evening as I finish this post, I didn't get out for the run, but we did get the tree up! 

I'd also like to give a couple of mentions. 

One to Maya from Happy Running Feet, who listed me in their best running sites: 

The other to Jody Raynsford (Writer, Ultrarunner, Men's Running Contributor) who used my blog as an example in a recent talk he did. Thank you both.