New year, new plan

New year, new plan

First blog of the year and so far this year's running is going well.
I've had a visit to Cath Ferry to get a wee niggle sorted in my foot and it was nothing major, thankfully!

The year so far, all 14 days of it, have been full of running for me. I've been running 60 mile weeks and running doubles on a Monday and Wednesday. 4 nice and easy miles at 6:45am followed by 8 mile run home from the office.
My body seems to be coping with it without any complaints so I'll keep this up for another couple of weeks and then re-evaluate. Either push the miles up a bit more or stick at 60 for a couple more weeks. I'll see how I feel.

Cross training

I've started going back to R.P.M classes as well, for a bit of cross training and although I've only been to 2 classes so far, I'm really enjoying it. I'd forgotten how much of a work out it gives your legs and lungs! I've also been swimming once a week as well. I need to try and learn to swim better though. Breast stroke isn't really the best option and I'm getting a bit of a sore neck because of it.
Why am I doing all this? It started off with Jantastic. Last year I pulled together a small team for this 3 months of motivation.
It is organised by Martin Yelling and Tom Williams, from the postcast Marathon Talk (highly recommend it if you haven't tuned in before). 
The last couple of years it has just been running which counted, but this year they are also including swimming and cycling so I thought I'd sign up for 8 runs, 1 cycle and 1 swim each week of January. It has been going well. I'm managing my runs and my Saturday turns in to a bit of an epic day. I run to the gym, then do 45 mins in the RPM classes, then get changed and do 30 minutes in the pool followed by a run home. The run home is slow and depending on my weekly mileage I can get it down to 1/2 a mile from door to door, or if I need to get more miles, take it up to 3 miles each way. I've only done the 6 miles once and my legs were destroyed for the 16 mile Sunday run.

Long run on a Sunday

A couple of weekends ago I headed up to Craiglockhart for the Sunday run at 9am and as I mentioned, my legs were a mess. R.P.M had taken it's toll and the Balerno hill was tough. I slowed to almost a walk and in the end stopped half way up and took some photos! It was a lovely crisp morning and it would have been rude not to take a photo or 5!
It's always worth the climb up to the top of the route though. 

Christmas!

I know, it seems like it was ages ago now but one of the best Christmas presents I got this year was, a headtorch! Some may think this is a strange gift for a runner but stay with me on this. When running home from the office, it's dark. When running first thing in the morning, it's dark. I found myself trying to make up new route which were well lit so that I could see where I was going. I also found that when running along the cycle path, bikes were getting rather close behind me, even with reflective kit on. 

I put a quick message together on Twitter asking for recommendations from other runners. The headtorch that came highly recommended was the Unilite PS-H8

The specs: 

  • 250 Lumen White Luxeon Rebel LED
  • One handed speed focus slider
  • Impact resistant to 1 metre
  • 4 stage dimming electronic switch
  • 90° rotational head
  • Defence strobe
  • Red rear battery pack light for extra visibility
  • Rubberised non-slip headbands
  • 3M reflective strips for greater visibility
  • Protection Class: IPX4 water resistant 
  • Beam Range: 140 metres
  • Runtime: 10 – 160 hours
  • Battery Type: 3 x 1.5v AA Duracell batteries (included)
  • Weight: 198 grams with the batteries
  • Size: headlight – 73mm x 54mm x 38mm, battery pack – 82mm x 52mm x 28mm

I've been using mine almost every day since I got it and it's brilliant. It really is lightweight, I don't notice it at all on my long runs home. I haven't found a need to use the brightest setting yet and the rear red light does make me more visible from behind. I have noticed bikes take a wider berth around me and ding their bell before getting too close. The light is actually so bright that I ran up behind some pedestrians on the cycle path and they commented they thought I was a bike!

It might look like a bit OTT but it really is worth the money if you are running during this time of year. Still to head up and around Arthurs Seat with it but I'm waiting for the high winds to back off a bit! 

Cool running

Wrapped up warm

The past couple of nights it has been a tad on the cool side! I've been wearing 3 or 4 layers but still in shorts! I've only had one run in my tights and to be honest, it probably wasn't cold enough for them. I had just ran out of shorts! Running doubles and 6 days a week takes it's toll on the washing pile! 
I've found running in my Compression Advisory VR Compression sleeves is enough to keep the cold out of my legs. But last night at the track, it took 6 miles (3 as a warm up and then 3 at 5:50min/mi pace) to get warm enough to take off my jacket! 

I don't mind the cold, it's just the wind that really gets to me. 

Cross country

This weekend is the final East District XC race of the session at Broxburn, I'm looking forward to it but all I will say on the matter just now is, they have brought back Lungbuster hill! 

Race report will follow. 

 

Owain Williams

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