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Running in the rain – do you or don’t you?

24 Nov

I woke up this morning at 4.45am and was meant to run outside with my friends but I saw that it was raining, rolled over and went back to sleep  and then went to the gym later in the morning. Does that horrify you? Am I a wimpy runner for not running in the rain?

I used to run whatever the weather and did for a long time when I lived in London. I remember running with my running partner across Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park in the sleet, the snow and heavy rain although the latter was not by choice – it started pouring half way through the run.

But now I kind of feel that I like my comfort too much and don’t want to chafe and potentially catch a cold all from running in the rain, and more importantly I do not want to be slipping on leaves and rolling my ankle that has happened on more than a number of occasions and then has set me back a few frustrating weeks of physio.

I found this nerdy site that shows you what happens to you when you run in the rain. Haven’t a clue what it all means but for those number crunchers of you out there enjoy!

If you are an all weather runner a few tips for running in the rain below just for you that I have found over the years, more from running in the cold but still apply to running in the rain too:

Cover your vitals 

Wear layers and maybe a windproof lightweight top. I have a gilet that I wear that is awesome for when its cold/damp – as it has no sleeves it means I don’t overheat but I keep my chest warm. Also if raining a good number of layers helps and don’t forget to cover up your gadgets i.e. iPod unless they are waterproof of course!

Hat

Wearing a hat will keep your head warm which in my experience has helped to prevent me from getting sick. I tend to go for a beanie but if you wear a cap you get the added bonus of the water not falling onto your face!

Be seen 

If it’s really raining hard and you really want to run I’d advise wearing bight close or a high visibility vest or top. I know when I am driving that when it’s raining hard I find it hard to see, so make sure you are seen to make sure no accidents happen.

Spare clothes for when you finish

If you have a long drive home and won’t have the opportunity to shower I would seriously recommend you making sure you have a change of clothes in the car as the last thing you want when finishing a run soaking wet is to then have to sit in them and risk getting a chill or sick as a result. I have a bag that I keep in my car full of all sorts of gym things like towels, plasters, spare shoes and clothes just in case but generally I look at the weather forecast and head to the gym if it rains.

Listen to your heart ….. rate

19 Apr

So I think I really need to change my alarm tune on my iPhone as it is currently Bruno Mars – ‘The Lazy Song’ which the first line sings “today  I don’t feel like doing anything, I just wanna lay in my bed..” That was me this morning. I had a bit of a chesty wheeze and wasn’t sure whether I should be running but decided to get up and go for it and keep it a slow but steady run.

I put my Garmin on and got ready and started running. It was so dark and cold I really didn’t want to go but I know that once I get started I always feel better. I looked down at my Garmin which thankfully has an awesome light and my heart rate said 203!!! Boy did I get the shock of my life. I was 500m into my run and wondered whether I should turn back and felt ok so figured it must have been my Garmin deciding it too wanted to stay in bed. As I got into 1500m my heart rate was pretty much back into my normal numbers and I decided to keep things relaxed this morning and ran a good 1 minute km slower as I wasnt feeling great anyway and wanted to make sure I kept my HR down.

I was always told by one of the guys at my London running club that you should take your resting heart rate every morning and if you wake up and it is higher then don’t push it as it could mean you are getting sick. So that’s exactly what I do now.

It was depressing running a really slow pace but sometimes I guess our bodies need that recovery and to just run steadily rather than running hell for leather each time we put our trainers on.

Keep running even when you think you aren’t getting anywhere…

19 Nov

Haven’t written in a while as have been adjusting to a life as a lady of leisure after finishing my job. I decided to put a positive spin on things and have been at the gym or running every day this week and it’s been great. My rest day will be Sunday for anyone wondering if I am going to rest!

I never thought I would be a real gym bunny but I have enjoyed the classes this week. I have done Body Balance, Body Attack, Body Step and Body Pump – clearly a Les Mills fan!

Anyway I just had a quick look at my Garmin Connect account as I have been feeling a bit despondent with my running this week but you know what I didn’t realise but I have improved my average pace time vastly in the last 6 months and I didn’t even realise it until looking at the stats – the watch doesn’t lie (I sometimes wish it did!).  But according to my Garmin my average min/km pace at the beginning of June when I got the watch was 6.30 min/km and now it is 5.41 min/km on average! Thats almost a whole minute faster per km in 6 months! and the last race I did which was the Cool Night Classic in the city my quickest km was 4.37 min/km which is really good for me!!

So if you are feeling a bit fed up with your running at the moment and feeling that you are not getting anywhere – you probably are wrong! If you are a consistent runner and have been running a couple of times a week for a while you may not realise it but you are probably much faster than you were to begin with.

Tips for motivation

1. Repetition

Do a race that you did this year next year and see how your times compare – you might be pleasantly surprised. I plan to do at least the Townsville and possible the Gold Coast Half Marathon’s again as I would like to have a crack at improving my time to prove to myself that all these early mornings, hill sessions, p90x and speed sessions have helped!

2. Challenges

If you use a watch like the Garmin 405 cx or a Nike Plus (although see my notes on Nike Plus in a previous post) – set yourself challenges and compare and see how you improve. I’ve set myself a couple of different challenges on my watch such as times for distances and also improving distance over  a month period in order to motivate myself. The Nike Plus has some good challenge options. But if you don’t have either of these kinds of devices you could just do it manually – set up a running log and record times and distances.

3. Train with friends

If you find training alone is hard work then train with friends and work towards some sort of challenge be it a race or just times together – motivate one another to keep going and to improve. When I first started running 10 years ago I trained with a friend at work and we pushed one another and she actually got me into the running circuit and I never looked back – I was hooked!

4. Rest up

For those over-trainers out there have a rest. I found when I had a week off a few months ago when I was tired that when I came back to training I came back with a vengeance and was faster than before. I was sluggish before and couldn’t be bothered to train, so I decided no – I am going to have a week off and not train and it did me the world of good, and towards the end of the week I was dying to get back to training and my motivation had returned!

Hope these tips help. If you have any – please share!

Have a great weekend!

What should you pack for race day?

25 Aug

It’s the Bridge to Brisbane 10k on Sunday, my last race for a little while.

I think I am ready although I haven’t trained this week. Going to do a speed session tomorrow morning and that should do me to be honest as I still have the half marathon training on my legs.

So I just need to get my stuff ready for race day now. I have certain things that I take with me on race day :

Race number and timing chip – These are the first things that go into my bag!!! So far I have never forgotten my race number but I know people that have!

Clothes ready - I never run in new clothes that I haven’t run a good distance in before – always ones that I know are comfortable and suitable for the race.

Shoes – I never wear brand new shoes, although I broke that rule a couple of races ago as my old shoes were giving me real hassle and I had no alternative but to wear new shoes – as it was I was very lucky and didn’t have any problems.

Safety pins – if you don’t get them provided with the race kit safety pins are a staple on the race list for the race number

Water – For before and after the race

Watch and Heart Rate Monitor – I can’t race without my Garmin 405 cx – it’s my lifeline for knowing my pace during the race and keeping an eye on my heart rate

iPod – I know some people disagree with running races with music but I need mine to pump me up when I feel tired during the race. In one of my earlier blogs I have listed the kind of music I listen to – it works for me.

Gels – For longer races like half and full marathons I take my energy gels, but for the 10k on Sunday I won’t bother too much.

Energy bar or banana – I find after races I am exhausted and hungry! so I always take something with me for after the race to munch on in case I can’t eat straight the way.

Have I missed anything? What do you take with you on race day?

Finding your way…

22 Aug

I went for a run today with the girls and ended up running on my own for the last 11k following a map and directions that had been kindly out together by one of the girls – and I got lost!  I’m not too good with directions and around where I live is like a rabbit warren.Unfortunately I hadn’t entered my run into my Garmin 405 cx watch so I was really lost.

Have you ever had that problem?

Do you have an iPhone? :-)

If so there are some awesome apps available now to save you from doing what I did which was try and keep running with no idea where I was going and ended up running over what I was meant to run!

I downloaded a couple of programs onto my iPhone which to be honest I have inly used a couple of times as I bought my Garmin GPS watch but for those of you interested I found two apps quite useful:

iMap my run – this GPS app enables you to map out your routes and runs and then if you get lost like I did you can physically look on your phone and see where you are and get back on track again!!

You can invite friends who are also on map my run and share workout information , see where you ran on Google Maps and if you are a social media freak like me you can have it all feed into an activity feed to let people know how well you trained :-)

There is a free version and a paid version available.

Run Keeper – this app is awesome too – it basically a gps program that maps how far you have run in total when running. You switch it on when you start your run and if you want it will even speak to you on the way round telling you how far you’ve gone and tell you what pace you are running at.

At the end of the workout you can see on Google Maps where you have run and how far you have run. It will even give you your split times which is really helpful. The girls I run with used it one morning when we were training for our half marathon for our 1km speed sessions around the lake.

There is a free app and a paid for app and the paid for one has many bells and whistles such as music and more features.

Any others that you have used or find work?

Running is like drinking, you should drink at your own pace as it can end up disastrous if you try and do more….

25 Jul

So yesterday I got up ready for my 20k run. My stomach was not great but I decided to go for it and run anyway. It was great to finally meet a new runner in our group that found out about us through this blog and self publicity through our fabulous hot pink running vests at the recent Gold Coast Marathon !

It was our final 20k before my friend and I run the Townsville Half in a  couple of weeks. I felt really strong at the beginning of the run and really pushed it and ran with the ‘fast’ girls. I got to about 3k and felt my body just heave and my energy went.

I ended up dropping back and going at my normal pace but feeling pretty defeated not being able to keep up. I think however that running is like drinking alcohol – you shouldn’t try and drink with those people that are seasoned drinkers when you aren’t – and with running, you should stick at your own pace as, as with both you pay for it later…I did that’s for sure and had to really slow down.

I then had real problems with my orthotics again so I think it’s a trip to the podiatrist as it isn’t long until Townsville, and whilst I am not really intending to push it, it would be good to know I don’t end up having to stop.

I did something I haven’t done for ages and I put my headphones on to pull me round and I managed to run my 20k and felt good, so good that I decided to do a Zumba class afterwards, but that’s another story.

Once I settled into my pace and trotted along I enjoyed my run a lot more. I got slightly lost so decided to do my own thing and thanks to my fabulous Garmin I knew how far I was running so it really didn’t matter.

Anyway nothing really else to report today.

Have a great Sunday!

and the beat goes on….

14 Jul

I don’t know about you but music really motivates me when exercising.

I have found in some races that often music has been the only thing that has stopped me from full on giving up especially in marathons, and in the gym it’s the music that has helped me to hit that faster speed or run that extra kilometre on the treadmill. I only tend to listen to music when in the gym or in a race though as running at the times that I do – early in the morning or in the evening I like to know what’s going on around me and feel safer that way from moving vehicles and anything else that I may need to be aware of.

An article in MX newspaper today that I was reading on my home from work said that according to University of Southern Queensland psychology professor Peter Terry – listening to music whilst you train could actually make you train harder, better, faster and stronger. His findings went on to say that that elite athletes who listened to music whilst they ran had measurably lower oxygen requirements than those who did not and that music influences physiologically by regulating the heart rate and enhancing oxygen. Interesting stuff hey!

The research showed that elite athletes could run for an extra 1.5 minutes just by listening to their preferred music. One and a half minutes doesnt sound much I guess but at the paces that elite athletes run that is probably considerable.

So is at all about the tempo? I know for me I like a good beat and something that is pumping and pushes me along but I have friends who will listen to audio cds (as in spoken word) and classical music to motivate them so I guess it depends on the individual. That’s certainly what the article went on to say today too.

So on my iPod at the moment my top training tunes  on my ‘running tunes’ playlist are:

  • Boys and Girls – Pixie Lott
  • I Like it like that – Guy Sebastian
  • Now you’re gone – Basshunter
  • Celebration (Benny Benassi mix) – Madonna
  • Fight for this love (club mix) – Cheryl Cole
  • Insomnia (monster mix) – Faithless
  • Someday – RezonanceQ – this is my race finisher song too :-) I always like to have one that pushes me that extra mile/km to cross that finish line!

These are just some of the tunes that are motivating me at the moment. What motivates you? Do you listen to music when you run? Are you against it?

I’d love to hear from anyone that has an opinion…

Bye for now

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