Sunday, 28 April 2013

Splashing back to the pool and a little long run

I went swimming on Friday!  It has been about 3 months since I last went and I wanted to test the water, to see how much swimming fitness I have lost through not going regularly and to see if I am still capable of swimming close to 1 mile.  I wanted to try and decide if the Great Manchester Swim in Salford Quays will feature in our lives this July!

So I managed to swim the mile, 40 lengths crawl and the rest breaststroke in 46 minutes.  My average time when I was swimming twice per week was 45 minutes.  I am pretty pleased and can only conclude that running fitness transfers quite well to the pool!  I realised I have missed it.  It was nice stretching out in the water and feeling it carry me forward.  So, yeah, I think I need to enter the Salford Quays event. 

I am considering joining a triathlon club based near me who host open water sessions, so I can get a few open water swims in this season too.  I don't transfer well from pool to lake, so a bit of practise won't go amiss. 

And I spent yesterday supporting my eldest daughter who swam in her first swimming gala :-)  She was swimming in the 50 metre freestyle and she took 24 seconds off her entry time, so I left feeling pretty proud!

And so to running.  I went for a run this morning after easing off in the last week or so, to give my aching calves time to recover.  I felt pretty good actually and aimed to run 8 miles.  I chose a flattish road route and hoped for an easy run, which I did get, although I forgot to take my water with me and it was pretty warm out there, even though I left the house at 8am.  By the time I got to 6 miles my hips were aching and I wasn't really enjoying it as much.  I did a smaller final loop than originally intended and stopped running at 7.7 miles.  So close, but I really felt I had pushed as much as I could distance-wise for today.  Getting above 6 miles (approximately 10km) is proving difficult!    I still have my sights set on 10 miles though and I am slowly but surely heading towards it!

I re-hydrated with some electrolytes in water when I got back and stayed away from thee coffee and I seem to have not suffered too much today!

These are to be my next purchase (click the link):  huaraches sandals.

I have been after some for a while but they were not easily available in the UK and those that are (they tend to be the similar Luna sandals) are expensive.  But they have landed and they not only allow natural foot movement, they look pretty good too.  I have yet to decide if I will actually run in them or just use them for every day wear, I guess I will need to experiment when they arrive!  I seem to be shedding more and more physical barriers in the shoe department :-) 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

April sprints passed

Not sure how it suddenly got to be 21 April, and three weeks without a blog post, but here we are. 

It has been a busy month so far with family birthdays, holiday planning and working!  Running has had its ups and downs for me this month.  I managed a second 7 mile run and have upped my shorter run from 3.5 miles to 5 miles.  I have also been more consistent in getting out three times per week. 

But the last few runs I have been plagued by stiff muscles in my calves which although isn't particularly painful, it is making me enjoy my running far less.  My lovely wise running friends have come to my aid with a few suggestions and I will be changing tactics this week after having a few days leg rest.  I am going to have at least one very short run, (approximately 3 miles?) where I will aim to try and up my pace.  Speed isn't something I have worked on yet, as I have not really felt capable of upping my pace, but maybe this is because I am always pushing the distance.

I had vague plans to try and get to the 10 mile mark by July because there is a 10 mile event not too far away.  But I think now that is probably a little unrealistic and although I still have a 10 mile goal, I will reach is more slowly.  In the shorter term I had hoped to do an 8 mile run by the end of this month, but I shall shift that goal to the end of May now!

I watched parts of the London Marathon today - first time I have viewed this event as a runner!  I still have no idea how people run for 3 hours+ (for many, far longer!) and I can't begin to imagine how stiff you must feel afterwards.  Would I ever contemplate a marathon?  Doubt it!  I can see myself training up to a half maybe in a year or two though. 

I plan to get back into the pool this week too (I know I have said this before!) and I am looking forward to supporting my eldest daughter at her first swimming gala next weekend. 

I found a few blogs/websites which have been educational and enjoyable in terms of barefoot running (or rather running with minimalist-style shoes!).. I will leave you with the links for you perusal!

Run Blogger - blog with reviews of minimalist footwear, science-based theories about barefoot running and several very useful videos of techniques used in natural running.

Americaspodiatrist - blog from Dr Nirenberg on his professional view of all things barefoot.

Hot, tired and happy after a sunny Spring run this week!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Spring Running

Well the clocks have sprung forward an hour and although it is still extremely cold out there, Spring is most definitely in the air!  March was a great month for my personal fitness and I had a great month of running.  In total I ran 48.78 miles in March which is the most I have ever done in a month.  I am a little bit peeved that I didn't quite make 50 miles, but it was Easter Sunday yesterday, the last day of the month, and I was busy cooking most of the day, and feeling the effects of a rubbish night's sleep, so running wasn't really on the cards. 

But the clocks have changed and that means lighter evenings and more time to run.  It is usually about now that I get my bike out though it is still a bit too cold for me to want to do this!  I am setting myself a challenge of running 60 miles in April, meaning I need to aim for between 10 and 15 miles each week. 

I started my month's runs today with a short run with my 7 year old son and despite feeling like we had eaten far too much chocolate (we both had a stitch!) we had a fun run, off road.  We played music through my phone, and we both share a silly and literal sense of humour, so running along to Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', making rocket shapes with our arms and exploding along through the forest... we had a great time :-) 

And I had a fabulous run on Friday morning; I managed a 7.2 mile road run which is my furthest distance to date.  I had a personal best 'hour' in that run too and it felt really good to stretch out my distance as I have been stuck at 6 miles since mid-January. 

One of my running buddies has set herself a goal of reaching 10 miles before too long.  I am tentatively joining her.....