So how was it for you?

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 11/09/11]

I hope your experience of today’s Bristol Half was a positive one – that you got to the finish line in one piece and with a smile on your face. If you were aiming for a time then I hope you hit your target.

It was great to see so many people of all ages, sizes and shapes out there pounding the streets. First timers mingling with those who’ve had a lifetime of distance running. The guys with the bagpipes probably deserve some sort of special award. Read more of this post


Ready for the off?

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 29/08/11]

We’re now less than two weeks away from the Bristol Half Marathon. If you’re running then I hope your training has gone well and you’ve managed to stay injury free. As Ben mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, the conventional wisdom is that if you can run 10 miles then you should be able to manage to get around a Half. I think that’s right, although the last mile or so may present your quads with an interesting challenge.

If your preparations have fallen a bit short of what you had hoped for then it’s a good idea not to try to catch up by cramming in a lot of extra training at the last minute. That’s a good way to get injured. And it’s not really a hugely effective way to increase your fitness – the rest periods between runs are integral to improving endurance. Even if you avoid injury, the chances are you’ll be knackered when race day arrives. Read more of this post

Doing things by halves

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 15/07/11]

It’s happened again. After last year’s experience I promised I’d get organised earlier and build up over a longer period. But, exactly like last year, I’ve only managed to enter the Bristol Half in the second week in July. So I’ve got eight weeks to get my long run from 3.5miles to 13.1miles. It can certainly be done (Well, I managed it last year!). But it’s hardly ideal. Read more of this post

Back on the ‘path

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 04/06/11]

Yesterday’s Towpath 10k was my first outing at 10k for more than three years. Having missed the Bristol 10k last month I thought I’d enter the next local race that I could get to, if only as a target to keep the training moving forward. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve run the Towpath 10k since I ran for GWR in the 2005 Inter-club Mob Match.

So how did it go? Read more of this post

Getting in the swing

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 19/05/11]

What are your arms up to when you run? You may not have given it much thought. Surely running’s all about putting one foot in front the other? If you want to run faster then the key is to move those legs quicker. Well, yes, but what you’re doing with your arms can make a big difference as well.

I’m rebuilding my running after injury at the moment. Speed and distance aren’t top of the list. So I thought I’d work a bit on my running style. Read more of this post

Back to Square 1 – or perhaps Square 1.5

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 01/05/11]

Well that didn’t go too badly. Friday evening saw me head out on my first run for three weeks. As predicted on Thursday, it wasn’t going to be quick. I managed 29m30s, for an out and back training run that I’ve done in a lifetime best under 22m. But that wasn’t the main concern. My foot problem didn’t get any worse. And today I took it a bit further and did a 34m run. Good news. But best not to push too far too soon.

These couple of runs were a bit of a struggle in other ways. Read more of this post

The frustrations of the armchair runner

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 28/04/11]

The early burst of warm weather we’re experiencing this year will no doubt be welcomed by many runners. But it is deeply frustrating for those of us sidelined to the armchair. It would be great to be putting in a few miles in the sunshine. I’d been planning to make the Bristol 10k my first race for six months, but that isn’t going to happen.

I’ve had a problem with the ball of left foot, under my big toe, on and off for months now. It comes and goes. It quietens down for a bit only to flare up all of a sudden. A flare up could follow a run, but it could equally appear apparently out of nowhere. Read more of this post

Off the clock

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 27/10/11]

Are you a runner who is a slave to the stopwatch? Tyrannised by the timer? I have to admit that I am. I don’t keep a proper training log to track my efforts, but I always run with a stopwatch. I’ve got a good enough memory to be able to place a run roughly in the league table of times for a particular route. And as the years pass there are rather more entries appearing in the lower reaches of the table than in the ‘getting towards a PB’ section. Be that as it may, timing’s been a key part of my whole running career.

So I was a bit put out when I went away this weekend and left my running watch on the shelf at home. I was faced with heading out for a 10k and having absolutely no idea how long I was gone for. Read more of this post

Zen and the art of treadmill running

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 13/02/11]

I don’t know many runners who like the treadmill. Most people who have experienced the joys of running outside, either on- or off-road, tend to find the treadmill a little bit tedious. And if you’re training involves long runs it can be worse than that.

I’ve a friend who once did all his training for the Bristol Half on a treadmill. It required regularly spending two hours or more staring at the same wall. The degree of commitment required to keep that up week after week is, to me at least, mind-boggling. Much easier to pull on your trainers and head out the door for a change of scenery. Each to their own I guess.

But on days when the weather is pretty manky all but the hardiest souls are tempted to take the indoor option. I succumbed today. And that got me thinking. Read more of this post

Giving some shape to the running year

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 29/01/11]

It used to be so simple. For several years my running year had a clear shape. It was a tale of two cities. The Bath Half at Easter; the Bristol Half in September. Twin Peaks. Finish one Half and have a few weeks relatively easy running to recover. Then restart the process of building up for the next Half. A few shorter races sprinkled around helped to leaven the mix.

Then it all lost its shape, partly as a result of injury and partly because, if I’m honest, I decided I’d run Bath as many times as I wanted to.

Having trundled around Bristol last September, for the first time in three years, I took a while to recover. I’ve spent the last couple of months running quite a few miles and kept the long run at about 8 miles. But I’ve realised that it’s all gone a bit shapeless. Read more of this post