Semi de Paris 2018

My first race in over 10 months! Such a relief to see that my fitness is coming back after only a few months of training. Since December I’ve been focusing on getting back into shape in preparation for Ironman training this year. This race was either going to be a reality check on how unfit I’ve gotten, or an encouraging “pat on the back”. I’m much better with positive reinforcement, so I’m thankful it was the latter!

The Summary

  • Fastest 5k, 1-5km: 23m 23s
  • Slowest 5k, 10-15k: 24m 13s
Total Time: 1h 39m 52s
Average Speed: 4:44 m/km
Gender Position: 414 of 12,498

I totally thought this result was a personal best but my post on the 2016 Kingston Half Marathon has reminded me otherwise… Either way, I’m within seconds of my PB and I’m pretty stoked about it!

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Brighton Marathon 2017

THE SUMMARY

I signed up for the Brighton Marathon with the intention to train for a “Good for Age” finish time so I could race the London Marathon in 2018. Good for Age is sub 3h 45m in my age group, so that was my target. I finished the Edinburgh Marathon in 2013 with a time of 3:55 so I knew that with some dedicated training, sub 3:45 was within reach.

I built out my training plan and in January I was ready to hit the ground running – literally. Unfortunately in week 2 of training I managed to fall down a set of stairs and sprain my ankle…. I tried walking it off but there was no walking this one off. My ankle took 6 weeks to fully recover. I got running again at the end of February and managed to develop runner’s knee (too much to quick). All this, and I am convinced I can qualify. I knew I was stronger and faster than I was four years ago, and I figured that if my fitness fails me I’d at least have the mental toughness to make it through.

The result? I TOTALLY miss judged how tough a 42km race is. To my surprise (and probably me only), I am disappointed to report back that I didn’t get sub 3:45 as planned. But all things considered, I am actually really happy with this race. Here’s the breakdown…

  • 10k split: 52m 56s
  • Half marathon: 1h 50m 37s
  • 30k split: 2h 41m 25s
Total Time: 3h  55m 02s 
Gender Position: 350 of 4825

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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Run London – Racing the 2016 British 10k

In preparation for the British 10k this year, I wrote a post about setting executable goals. Personally, I was worried that I would approach the race with an expectation to finish faster than last year, and for it to take just as much effort as I recalled it did last year (recalling effort is rarely accurate… a tough race always seems easier in hindsight).

But it turns out this was the least of my worries as there is one crucial thing this year that I didn’t do last year and which I totally underestimated… Crew the Race Across America. I was knackered for about two weeks after RAAM and only started feeling myself again by the weekend of the British 10k. So having an expectation to feel the same during the race as I did last year and finish in the same time or faster was no longer a concern. I do love racing though, so I approached the British 10k last weekend with an open mind and figured it’d be a good test to see how fit I am given the circumstances.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with my result! Only 30 seconds slower than last year I finished with a time of 45:41. I was pleasantly surprised that is, until I saw my potential…

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Thorpe Park Sprint Triathlon Race Report

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THE SUMMARY

I had a disappointing swim performance but because of it, I was really motivated to push myself on the bike and run. Overall, I am so pleased with the result — I finished third of all the women which is a major milestone for me, my first podium in triathlon!

Total Time: 01:21:07
Gender Position: 3 / 42
Category Position: 2 / 15
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More detail on my race below and on what’s coming up next!

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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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How to Execute an Active Holiday

I’ve always felt that exploring new surroundings is best done from ground-level.

If you’re a runner, put on your runners and run; If you’re a walker, walk; and if you’re a cyclist, grab your bike and ride.

As you may have seen on Instagram/ Facebook, Dan and I are currently in Mallorca!

Port (1)While Dan and Phil train for the Race Across America. Suzanne and I have been exploring the island.

I don’t want this post to spat out facts about the benefits of exercise, the mindfulness gained from travelling or the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.

We all know these are good things.

I hope this post helps to promote active traveling and that you walk away feeling excited to execute an active holiday.

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