This week marks the beginning of a period of racing for which I haven’t really trained! I entered a number of races a couple of months ago, partly in hope that I would be training more regularly than I have, but mainly because they are all close to me and organised by local running clubs. I also really, really fancied racing again, for racing’s sake:
To run hard surrounded by other runners (I’m most certainly a mid-pack runner), to bump into people from my running club (who I miss since I cannot make training nights any more) and to try out new races; PBs I’d love, but I know they aren’t going to happen.
First up is a race I am very familiar with, having ran and marshalled it in the past; Huncote Harrier’s very own Joy Cann 5 tomorrow (1 August)! It’s handy, as I have ran it in various levels of fitness, so my time tomorrow will help me gauge my current fitness levels and adjust training zones and race paces for the following races accordingly.
The race distance increases from there, and up to 10 km for the Hermitage Harriers Carl Rutt Memorial 10k on 12 August, and to 10 miles for the Wigston Phoenix’ John Frazer 10 on 2nd Sep, before returning for another Leicester half on 14 October. Both the Carl Rutt Memorial and the John Frazer 10 will be new ones for me, and the latter will be the first time I take part in a 10 mile race, so pacing it will be an interesting experience! I wonder if my body will think I am going slow for a 10k or too fast for a half… Look out for the post-race review!
With any luck I will also be making an appearance at a few Parkruns as well, meaning that within a period of just over two months I will be taking part in 5 different race distances ranging from 5k to 21.1k! That too will be a new one for me.
In terms of training, given my current fitness level (poor!), I am concentrating on the October half marathon, as it is the race I have the most time to prepare for. And while I love creating my own custom training plans, this time round I felt like using something that was already available, ideally something that could dynamically adapt to my actual training. Unfortunately after the demise of Adidas’ micoach (following Adidas’ acquisition of Runtastic) and the imminent demise of Asics’ Myasics on 30 September (following Asics’ acquisition of Runkeeper – can you spot the pattern here? Shame the replacements fade in comparison with the originals…), the available choice of training apps has reduced dramatically and most now tends to be paid for, offer a significantly reduced level of customisation / adaptability or require the purchase of a particular brand of running watch.
The one exception which I came across (by all means offer any recommendations in the comments or by contacting me directly) is the Nike+ Run Club (NRC+). I am trying it out training for the Leicester half, and my initial impressions are generally positive: There are some features I really like about it (e.g. guided runs) and others where I think some more development is needed, but I will let my programme progress a bit more, speak to Nike in case I have overseen something and will then offer you a more meaningful review.
So there you have it: Holidays are well and truly over and off we go!