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Blogs and reviews of my two favourite hobbies: Running and Football


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Recent and Planned Runs

Event Reviews

Halstead & Essex Marathon - Sunday 8th May 2016

Two words: Hot and Hilly.  I'm not making excuses, but these were two big factors in me not achieving my aim of a sub 3 hour, 30 minutes time. Although there was a good turnout of spectators, they were bunched into certain sections of the course, so for long periods of time there were just the runners (and even running in isolation on occasions), so there wasn't the constant spurring on to be had, that can shave a few minutes off your time. I breezed through the first half, but it was as if a switch had been flicked for the second half, maybe when I started covering the same route. I suddenly started thinking about my fluid strategy too much and lost my relaxed rhythm.

That said, I absolutely loved this event. The organisation was great, with use of parts of the leisure centre and the marshalls were absolutely top class. I can't wait for the 2017 one! Highly recommended. Not one for a PB, but a rewarding, challenging event, with a medal, nice technical t-shirt and a great goody bag with food and drink. Big shout out to the Halstead Road Runners!  Here's a link to their website. I was part of the Cancer Research 'cheering team' at the London Marathon a couple of weeks previously, and it was good to get out there running my own marathon - a great day.

Colchester Parkruns - any Parkrun, for that matter!

I love my local Colchester Parkrun events. They're absolutely free, and you get a text and email with your time and placing, and you can trend your progress through the weeks. I would urge anyone to turn up and give it a go, whatever your ability. As they say, you can walk, jog or run!  I know some folks go for a coffee afterwards too.  I'm thinking of getting a 'Post-Parkrun run' thing going, where a few of us go for a run after the main event. Some people rock up, do the run, and then drift away, after all of hour an hour! - which seems a shame.  So I wondered if other like-minded people would be up for a run afterwards for a few miles. Anyway, head over to the Parkrun website, and find your nearest one, and turn up Saturday morning - you won't regret it!  If you are out and about away from home, maybe drop in on a different Parkrun event. They often shout out for visitors!

Gear Reviews

Nike FlyKnit Lunar 3

For the last couple of years I've been wearing Nike Air Pegasus running shoes, with Adidas Supernova Glides for a firmer, faster run. I have been hankering for a lighter pair of running shoes that still offer good cushioning and picked up a part of Flyknit Lunar 3s at a Nike outlet shop for half price. They're my "special occasion" shoes!  I'd also looked at the LunarTempo 2 and LunaRacer shoes too.  The LunarTempo 2 toe box just didn't seem right to me and the LunaRacer were a little firmer.  I suppose I'm looking for a cushioned, lightweight, fast shoe for all runs, whether fast 5K or plodding marathons.  Fact of the matter is that such a shoe doesn't exist and you tend to need different types for different runs. For a fast 5K I think the LunaRacer is ideal. My problem is that in the weekly 5K Parkrun I attend, I run 3 miles to get there, and go for a 10 mile run afterwards - so would need two pairs with me! ;-)  I initially wasn't sure but I love my Lunar 3s, and ran the aforementioned Halstead & Essex Marathon wearing them. If money was no object I'd probably buy a pair of LunaRacers and maybe even give the LunarTempo's a go (and see how my toe box grips plays out).

Run Blogs

Half marathon on Sunday 22nd May 2016

Having clocked up 18.8 miles the day before via a combination of run \ ParkRun\ run (followed by a long bike ride), I was surprised to find myself keen for a run at all. My wife and daughter were out, my son was studying, the sun was shining, so I thought, why not! I did a nice local 13.1 'something mile local route of my own devising, and was pretty pleased to average out under 8 minutes per mile, which is always my target when running on my own, and not in a rush to go particularly fast. My Pegasus 32s developed a habit I'd never experienced before, whereby my right lace kept going loose (never needed to double knot them before). Nothing major I know! - was just such an easy, uneventful run, that's the only anomaly of note I can recall :-)

10K on Tuesday 24th May 2016

I have a 10K race coming up - the Hatfield Broad Oak 10K to be precise, next Monday 30th May.  This distance isn't one I often run, so I'm not totally sure what sort of time I should be aiming for and how to plan my run. In a 5K I just go for it and hold nothing back. In a 10 mile, half marathon or above I don't go crazy from the start and hold something back in reserve. A 10K though, smack bang in the middle - how would I approach this?! I don't like finishing a run still feeling fresh, as I figure I could have channelled more effort into my run. Weird, I know. So I set for my own 10K run after work to see how I felt with varying speeds deployed. I did it in 48 minutes, so in a race scenario I'll aim for 46-47 minutes I think :-) I'm looking forward to Monday.  Going to bring my son along as my support crew (well, hold my bag). I've promised him a hot dog and ice cream in return! My race number and chip arrived in the post today (woo-hoo!) - number 1295, so maybe a sizeable field. I will post a review of the event and my run on Monday. Looks a great course - picturesque!  Bet we run past some great houses and country pubs!

Some Good Sites

Finding events

Runners World  Find a Race  The Running Bug  Run Britain  Time Outdoors  Marathon Runners Diary  100 Marathon Club  Running Diary  Good Run Guide  Half Marathon List

Shoes and gear reviews

Run Repeat  Running Shoes Guru  Sole Review  Runners World   Run Blogger  Believe in the Run