Should you pace your next run with a GPS watch/ app?

When I was preparing for the Edinburgh Marathon I lived by my Garmin – I used it on every run and kept track of ALL my stats. I was borderline obsessive about my pace and my progress.

After the marathon, I stopped training for a couple months and by the time I decided to get back into a training regime, it felt like I had lost so much fitness. All of the sudden, I hated my stats. I was slower; it was harder; and it was annoying how quickly I lost fitness after working so hard to build it up. As a result, I started to dread going for runs. Something I loved turned into something I avoided… I quickly realised that if I want to keep running, I needed to leave the watch behind.

There are many benefits to tracking your runs though and I’ve recently tried to get back into the routine of it.

If you’re wondering whether you should start tracking your runs, or if you should step back from obsessing over your running data, check out my list of pros and cons below…

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Preparing for the British 10k + Adopt this racing mindset

Vitality British 10K London run

I am officially a race ambassador for the Vitality British 10k this year! Having run in this race before, I’m more than happy to sponsor the event.

With 15,000 runners, the course is a bit crowded at first but the atmosphere and the iconic landmarks that we pass along the way make up for the slow start.

Actually, regardless of the slow start, last year I managed to finish the Vitality British 10k with a personal best! I was completely over the moon about breaking into the ’45 minute club’ with a finish time of 45:30. My personal best prior to that was 46:26, which I had been trying to beat for some time (over two years).

I’ve now realised that I haven’t raced 10km since… which is a little scary. Knowing that I will be on the same course – doing the same distance – at the same time of year… There is no reason I shouldn’t be at least the same speed as last year right? Wrong!

Whether your personal best is on a 5k course, 10k course or longer distances, there are so many factors to consider during a race and you should never start a race with an expectation to perform the same, feel the same or realise the same results that you had in the past.

Here’s how I intend to approach the Vitality British 10k in July this year. A good mindset to have for any race…

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British 10k – Running for Charity

IMG_4669This Sunday my colleagues and I will be racing the British 10k in support of Macmillan Cancer Support. A group of us at work have been training since May in preparation for the event.

In previous years, we’d often sign up for 5k charity runs. This year we decided to double our distance! For many in the group, this will be the longest distance they’ve ever run.

I felt slightly responsible for convincing my colleagues to race a 10k so I started a run club at work to get everyone trained up for the race! We train every Monday and it has been amazing seeing individuals improve. I used to coach novice and corporate rowers in University and I forgot how good it feels to pass on knowledge and help others work towards their fitness goals.

We train in a park near work where we are surrounded by green – a good reminder of why we’re doing all this hard work: Macmillan.

With work, training, the blog and MBA Run Club my time often feels stretched… I created the run club as my contribution to the 10k challenge.

If you’d like to support all our efforts and donate towards Macmillan Cancer Support, you can do so at our Just Giving page. All donations gratefully received.

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5k and 10k Running Events in London UK

handrawn-london-map02 2With the world famous London Marathon coming up over the weekend, let’s get inspired and check out what other races are available here in London.

With a population of over 8 million… we can’t be too surprised that once an event gets featured in our Tuesday Timeout mag that there’ll be a queue for DAYZ or it’ll be completely sold out. For this reason, I’ll avoid the highly publicized one-off races so that by the time you read this and think, ‘hey, I might sign up for that one…’ that there will actually be spaces available for you to do so.

Here are two amazing options for 5k and 10k running series in London — these are trusted events you can count on and which are suited for runners of all levels.

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Reflecting on my first 10k of the year

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Quite quickly, I went from being grateful and excited to cold and worried… hence my expression above! It was a cold and windy morning but all-and-all I really enjoyed the Regents Park 10k. This was a true test of my winter fitness and I was so pleased with the result… 10k in 46:45! Woot! Very close to my personal best at this distance and I walked away without shin pain!

RACE REPORT: The start was delayed slightly which threw a curve-ball in my warmup plans. I was starting to get nervous at the start line that my shins would play up after going from cold and stationery to high intensity running.

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Grateful and Excited

After suffering from shin splints last year, a few things were put into perspective… Going out for a quick 30-minute run was no longer an option. Instead, I’d have to pack up and walk to the gym to find some low-impact cardio. It became a chore being so restricted.

The shin splits lasted six months… I wasn’t able to run from March – November 2014. They’ve since settled down and I have been able to enjoy some beautiful runs around London again. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated going for a run as much as I do now.

Tomorrow, I’ll be racing my first 10k in ages!! I’m not going to bring my Garmin and instead I’ll just run by feel. If I leave with a sub 50-minute finish time and no shin pain, I’ll be a very happy camper!

To avoid any injuries tomorrow I plan to:

  • Do a long easy warm-up
  • Roll out my calves tonight and after the race
  • Take Monday off to recover

Enjoy your training. Enjoy the freedom of it. And take care of your body!

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