Someone to Watch me Run

And that someone is Mr Garmin or maybe it’s Mrs or Ms maybe he is a lord, or a master. Either way Garmin is not a real person and I do apologise now if there is someone called Mike and Norma Garmin who live with their two children in Droylsden on a quite little terraced street. But the Garmin who I am referring is a GPS smart watch.

Now for the past couple of runs and posts I have been banging on about my GPS system and trying to pace myself, well tonight I took my phone with me and I ran. I ran like Forest Gump (the bit where his legs are better) and I carried on running, not really looking at my phone at tall and I managed a whole 7 mile. For me that is the furthest I have run and looking back at the stats I was doing between 7 and 8 minute a Mile. I say between as I started and ended with 7, and the 4 miles in the middle were 8 minute miles. The trouble is the graph showed that my pace was all over the place. So how does a watch help I can hear you cry. What’s that? Your not bothered! you would rather just read the Beano? Well I’m going to tell you anyway.

The Garmin Forerunners do a fantastic line in GPS watches that also measure Heart Beat, Pace, calories, Distance etc all that helps and allows you to keep track of your run. The best thing about it is, it’s a watch so it fits on your wrist and every so often you can give your wrist a quick fluid motion into your eye line, or listen to the beeps when you go over or under your heart rate to keep your pace. The true question is I am unsure which when to buy. So the question my humble 3 readers is which one do I get.




I will of course let you know what I decide, but any advice then please let me know.



Friends can Help you Train!!!

Its true, and I will be able to prove it, in fact I already kind of have. When I did Manchester 10K I went training with my friends who to be fair were also running in the race but were not as eager as I was, by this I think the full bug had not bitten them. They helped me to pace myself and to carry on striding forward.

Now for the next race which is if you’re new to the blog is the wonderful Great North Run all 13.1 miles of it treading the roads of Newcastle and Gateshead hopefully my training will be using the same bunch of friends. They know there limits and I need to do some short runs and limit the bigger runs to once a week. By using my friends who are not in training they are more likely to put a halt on the proceedings as they have no goal apart from to enjoy themselves, which in turn will cause me to call it a day as long as we have done at least 5K.

So I get to do lots of short runs with my friends who I love. But what about the bigger runs. Apart from going down to the gym with a couple of albums on my Ipod to run away the time I need another plan, another friend, a friend with a bike and a canal not that he owns the canal, but has access to one. A friend who lives a long way away. Well lucky old me, I have a friend who lives 16 miles away, and there is a route along a canal to his house from mine, he also has a bike. The plan is he rides behind me, shouting words of encouragement, and I run. The long run completed, I achieve my target, my mate gets to ride his bike, and we all go to the pub. Well not me as I am in training.

Last night was supposed to be a rest night, but the urge was too strong and I went out for a run. With my GPS system, but I only looked at it to keep track of my time. I ran 8K, and did it more or less in my usual 4.30 per K mark. the run felt good, and it felt smooth. I had to pause at 8, as my legs were feeling it, which is why I’m defiantly having a rest day tonight. I won’t! I know I won’t I will be down the gym doing some treadmill stuff, or cross training.

But there we have it, with little less than 8 weeks to go, I have to get up to 13.1 miles. This is where friends come in useful. They all enjoy a run, and they can keep me going, those who don’t like to run more than 5K can ride with me, and hopefully within 4 weeks I will be up to 10 miles. I’m not following any precise plan, just taking a mix, of doing runs and slowly building up my distance. The only true advice I’m taking on board, is doing plenty of short runs and only doing one or two long runs a week. I’m not bothered about time on this race, as it will be the first marathon I’ve run, but I would love to do it in the 2 hour mark. 1hr 40 would be fantastic.

But at the end of the day we will see. At the moment the raising money is the hard part. But that is another post for another time.

The news after the run

Well my post a little bit ago, was talking about a run. As I predicted I did go for a run, and I feel fine afterwards. The question is was it a good run or not. Well for many months now since I got into this running lark I have forever grown an interest in the sport and the activity. By this I mean I started watching it on telly, started reading forums and blogs. The real hook line and sinker was when I started to buy magazines and now I often buy two or three each month. In one of these mags there was an article about a good run and being chained to the runners GPS system with the heart rate monitors and such like. Within the article the runner talked about always trying to shave off those few seconds or running that extra mile and if completed then he would gauge his run from the system that lit up on his LCD screen. The enlightenment for him came when he entered a race and forgot to strap his little gadget onto his wrist. Thoughts of pulling out of the race hit him but he eventually decided that he should go through with it. Once at the finish line he found he’d completed the course in his quickest time getting a new PB and enjoying the race for the first time. He went on to explain that he was no longer chained to the GPS informing him about pace, distance etc and therefore all his thoughts and energy could go into the running style.

While out running tonight I was; as I am constantly looking at my Endomondo on my Blackberry to see how quick I am. The trouble is for the past several months I have never been able to beat my PB and I always run a 5K within a minute or two of my normal time. I too judge the nature of the run on the speed and distance, and how alive I feel at the end, not whether if my technique is correct or not.

Maybe when I go out for a run later in the week I will leave my phone at home to see if I run any faster, and just use a standard watch to help me pace myself. The thing is that I do love looking at my run afterwards, and compare it with other runs. Have I ran the same speed at the same check points etc the trouble is you can become bogged down in all of this. Until the article and tonight I had not really noticed how glued to my hand my blackberry with the application has been and has this affected my running. Should I be using other bars to measure if the run was good. Coming back feeling like I could do it again, noticing how fluid my arms swing through the air or how bouncy or how I spring from stride to stride. Is it a mix of the two. Being that I am a solo runner, and not a member of a club maybe I could perfect a style and maybe by reading several articles that will in the end contradict the other I will be changing the technique to suit what I find easier or more believable. But at the end of the day I whole heartily see where this runner comes from a GPS can be a good aid, but that is all it is at the end of a day is an aid. It should not be the be all. You should use is as part of your training but most certainly should not rely on the results it shows you.

I do love running, and I love running against myself, but I feel my injury may have been result in a poor technique as I was to busy moving my eyes off the goal and focusing them on my lit screen that stared back at me relaying that I had only done 3.23K in 11 mins. ‘Push yourself harder’ I would hear myself say, the other day you had done .2K more in this time. I remember on the Manchester 10K while I had paced myself well and with the rest of the pack my eyes drifted to my phone to see that I was covering a kilometre in around 6m 30 secs. Far too slow as in all my training and runs I would normally complete this in 4m 30s.

So for keeping pace, watching your progress I could not argue more for their use. The trouble is you don’t want to be a victim. They can become very addictive and a little like scale watchers when people lose weight they end up becoming a distraction and drawing you away from the real goal.

If you are a runner then I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I would also like to hear what blogs and magazines you read.

Right I’m off to read what I should be eating as a runner.

Night all