Wednesday, 22 December 2010

One run, two countries - in the snow

I'm posting from Germany, which just 48 hours ago I never would have thought possible (snow + eurostar = chaos), anyway, it turns out that having a 4 month old baby gets you fast-tracked when arriving to chaotic scenes at St. Pancras Station - Thanks Matilda.

There was a moment when I considered leaving my running gear at home - I am glad I pushed that silly thought out of my head.

My first run - An 'easy' run through a combination of cleared pavements (apparently the law says you must clear a path through the snow on the pavement outside your house in Germany), ice, deep snow, slushy snow, roads with no pavements where I had to jump into even deeper snow in order to avoid the traffic, and so on.....

As far as the weather goes, it must have been a degree or two above freezing but with no wind - It was amazing!

I've never been to this small town on the outskirts of Aachen before so I decided to head west along the main road that leads into Belgium. I knew that the border was only 1km from my start point, after 23 minutes or so I checked my GPS and I had done 4km - I was well inside Belgium. At this point I thought I'd turn back and retrace my steps and round off with a nice 8km run. As I was nearing my finish point I decided that I could easily squeeze in another 2km so I took a detour and managed to finish with a distance of 10.3km, the total time was 1 hour and 1 minute.

It was my first ever run in the snow, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and intend to do it again as soon as possible. In a few days we'll be moving on to the town of Mücka (on the other side of Germany), I hope to do some runs over there. There is no way of me connecting to the internet once I am there so I'll post an update when the opportunity presents itself.

The photo above was taken by my wife, of me running along the road outside her Mum's house - Thanks bby.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Putting in the miles

One thing I have trouble with is finding the time to put in the miles, what with work, a new baby and other commitments, my fitness regime has been pushed down my list of priorities.

In an attempt increase my weekly mileage I'm going to get off of my evening train one stop earlier and run the rest of the way home, which is 5km. I have no plans to do this daily until the weather improves. I can start with a couple of runs per week and then increase this gradually. By the summer it could add up to 25km + a bonus 5km (As I'm already in my kit I can squeeze in 5 x 1k runs between work and Charing X). Adding my longer weekend session should bump me up to 40km per week, which is around 160km per month (That's 100 miles!). A massive improvement on my current 60km-ish per month.

Another positive is that this leaves my mornings free to concentrate on gym work or to sleep or eat or change nappies or, well you get the picture.

I'm not a fan of running whilst wearing my backpack, but it is a necessary evil. I have one that has waist and chest straps, I tend to have lots of red marks across my body after using it during a run, as long as these don't get sore it's something I can live with.

At the moment (winter) the first 1km is pitch black due to a lack of street lighting (they are country lanes) and then when I hit the main road the fumes from the traffic can be quite strong. By the time I reach 4km the uphill slog begins.


Sunday, 12 December 2010


I've just signed up with parkrun, which is a series of free, timed, 5k runs across the whole of the UK. They give you a barcode which you print out and take with you to any of their weekly runs, it gets scanned along with a finishing token after your run and you get a result a few hours later - couldn't be simpler.

Unfortunately I won't have a free Saturday until mid-January so I can't start just yet, but I am looking forward to getting stuck in, there are 3 parkruns that are within a reasonable driving distance. I'll try them all out and see how I feel about the courses, then probably stick with my favourite. I hope the wife is ok about being dragged out of bed at the crack of dawn every Saturday!


My 5k Races so far.. No.2 Battersea Park 21 November 2010

My second 5k race was at the Battersea Park Movember 5k. I got caught up behind the masses at the beginning so I missed out on my target time of around 21:30 and crossed the finish line with a time of 22:07.


My 5k Races so far.. No.1 Maidstone 10 October 2010

The first 5k run that I entered was the big fun run in Maidstone. The course, in Mote Park, was very nice slightly undulating course. I finished in a time of 23.05. I'm pictured here with my brother, who ran the 5k in around 32 minutes - he's not a big fan of running. (I am 275 btw).

EDIT: My wife set up a fund raising page for 'Count the Kicks' charity and we raised £60. Thanks to everyone who contributed.


Sunday 12 December 2010 10k Run

Due to a breakout of shingles and then a nasty infection under a wisdom tooth I've had a 2 week break from all things fitness.

This morning I felt well enough to go out and put in a few miles so I left home with the intention of doing maybe 5 or 6km, well, 10k later I arrived back at home.

According to the Macmillan training calculator my 'easy' runs should be paced between 5.19 - 5.38 per km. I almost managed to stick to the pace, in the end I ran at an overall 5.14 per km pace.

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