Monday, 30 March 2015

Carry on Blogging

Note to self: Must blog more!

I've gone a bit quiet on the social media front, I don't do Facebook and I've gone right off Twitter where I would regularly tweet about my running and my football team Newcastle United......I checked in the other day after a couple of months away....I havent been missed..ha ha. Anyway it's nice in the real world not worrying if I got a retweet or a favourite! But hey, we all want to feel loved...right?

But I do enjoy my blog, and need to get back to regular posting. It's a great personal scrapbook to look back on, and once in a while I may post something that someone else out there may find a bit interesting (not just my Mum!)

Right now I'm in a great place with my running. I'm really enjoying it, being relaxed about when and how far to run and not beating myself up if I have a couple days off and enjoy the odd beer and slice of cheesecake!

That's not to say that I'm taking things easy when I do siree! I'm running regular at work and mixing up how I run my lunchtime 4 miles. I'm now throwing in progressive runs, fartleks, hills and tempo runs.

Hills, kill; fartleks and tempos hurt, but the one I enjoy the most is the progressive session. Progression runs steadily increase in pace, so I will usually start at 9:00 min/mile pace, the next mile hit 8:30, then 8:00 and then finish with the last mile at 7:30 min/mile pace. If I'm particularly feeling like I want to smash myself, then I will run 8:30, 8:00, 7:30, and 7:00.....but my God...that hurts!

I think this is a great session as it warms you up with starting out slow, and also gets you used to judging how your pace feels.

One evening a week I run with friend Brian on the trails. We're running around 8 miles but quite a tough hilly route that we hope will help build the strength in our legs for our 3 peaks challenge in July with our other work colleagues. 

After the run, we then change into our walking boots, put on our headtorches and rucksacks and head out for a hilly hour walk so we get used to walking whilst feeling tired. To be honest though walking hills is a hell of a lot easier than running up them and the walk has become quite a nice warm down after the run.

....and that's about it. Im really looking forward to the walking challenge in July and happy to keep the running where it is at the moment. If I can get back to my 13 mile to work every Friday in April, keep up the midweek trail run and the lunchtime running, then I think I've found my perfect running formula.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Walking OK in the UK

New kit time as thoughts turn to walking and the 3 peaks challenge. I've never had a pair of walking boots before and was hoping I could have used a pair of my trail trainers but I'm required to have footwear with some ankle protection. Although the challenge is not until July, I wanted to get my boots early to allow 'wearing them in' time.

So without any knowledge of walking boots I went straight in and ordered a pair of Hi-tec V-lite Sphike hiking boots from Amazon (£43.99). As luck would have it the fit was perfect (I went a size bigger to allow for walking socks) and after 2 x 2 hour dog walks on multiple terrain this weekend....all appears good. Comfortable and lightweight. I'm not sure how waterproof yet as conditions have been dry of late.

Success with the boots, and I appear to have been just as lucky with my other Craghopper Kiwi walking trousers, again from Amazon (£19.99). Loose fitting, part elasticated waist, plenty of pockets (9 in total) lightweight and water repellent. Like the boots, really comfortable, so I seem to have struck lucky with these two important parts of the kit. 

Obviously 2 hours of walking isn't quite the same as 24 hours walking the UK's highest mountains, but you've got to start somewhere, and so far so good.

I'm still running 5 days a week, which includes a hilly 7 mile trail run in the dark,with head torch once a week with friend Brian, whom is also doing the 3 peaks challenge. 

The running will obviously be beneficial training for the walking challenge, but we've also got some big walks planned to complement the running training which will hopefully make the 3 peaks as enjoyable as it is challenging.