A tootle along the coast?

Posted: 19/03/2012 in Uncategorized

I don’t normally run on Mondays, not because I’ve got anything against them, unlike The Boomtown Rats, just that I’ve always run Tuesday, Thursday and either Saturday or Sunday.

However, the weather was looking nice this morning, I was feeling (mildly) energetic and there seemed little excuse. A word about my high-fallutin’ training programme, perhaps?

The Programme

See, it’s so good it’s gets capitals and bold – that’s a proper training programme right there.

As I’ve stupidly entered myself for the Kielder Marathon in October, I thought I’d better take this running lark a bit more seriously now – so I’m planning on a longer, slower run at the weekend, and maybe a bit of pushing my pace on shorter runs during the week. The idea being that this two-pronged approach will make me a leaner, meaner running machine. Apparently.

Today was faster run #1, and I set off, complete with my shiny Soleus 2.0 GPS watch – the review is coming, but enough to say I’m pretty chuffed with it – I can see my pace a marvel at how fast (or slow) I’m going at any given moment.

It was colder than I thought, and I suddenly doubted the sense of my shorts-and-vest combination – perhaps a long top would have made more sense – the Met Office fooled me with the promise of it being 12 degrees outside – think it was nearer freezing with the coastal wind-chill. Suffice to say I saw a few patches of frost on the route, so it can’t have been 12.

Straight off the blocks, and I was caning it at 8:40/mile – that’s some pretty fast speed, sportsfans. I usually tank around 9:50/mile, so it was “a bit of a push”, but could I keep it up for more than ten feet?

Well, yes, as it turned out, I ran a brisk sub-9 all the way up the Links and to the turn off to the lighthouse. It’s a bit of an incline, though only a gentle one there, and my pace dipped above the nine minute mile. I was also feeling a bit pooped, and my left hip was starting to ache. This is a new ache, only had it a couple of weeks, and it the post-run deep bone ache of my hip has invaded my sleep, working day and all the bits in between. I reckon, like all the other aches and pains, it will fade if I push through it, but there’s a niggling doubt in my mind that my whole leg might just grind to a halt.

It’s been interesting to notice that the aches and pains have gradually moved up my legs from the early days of shin splints, to the agony of wonky knee and the masochistic pleasure of treating my iliotibial band (it’s in the thigh) with a foam roller. I reckon after I get the hip sorted it’s pretty much run out of areas to inflame, unless it moves to my back – god don’t let it move to my back – I’ve been gloriously free of frequent back pain since I took up the crackers sport in November, and long may it remain so.

Back to the run, and I turned back along the cliff-tops, running a bit slower on the undulating grass of the mini golf course. Down the side of the stream, up a hill and onto the promenade that runs along the top of the beach. Quick breather and a drink here, and on I went, back up the hill at the dome and along the top path to the finish. Genius.

With the advent of the new watch, I’ve migrated from lovely, friendly Runmeter with it’s to-the-blog automated routes and stats, and now funnel my runs through MapMyRun, which I’m coming to terms with and am not sure how to set up so people can see. You don’t mind, do you? I pretty much run the same routes all the time, so it’s not like I’m innovating something special…

A word about arms

I realised today that rather than my usual lacklustre arm action, if I move ’em in a pendulum type affair in time with my legs, I go faster. That’s brill, but I also can’t do it while thinking about it, so it just has to happen. Once I realised it, I tried to synchronise my arms with my legs and nearly tied myself in a knot. Maybe I should try to synchronise my legs with my arms instead, but the ol’ legs seem to be getting the hang of running, so I don’t want to put ’em off. Felt right athletic, it did.


  • Time: 31:54
  • Distance: 3.58 miles
  • Av. pace: 8:54 min/mile (woo-hoo, a sub nine average!)
  • Calories burned: 472 (howay, Runmeter would easily have reached 800 here – grr!)
  • Ascent: 95 ft

Post-run, and the ol’ hip is playing up – a bit of wonkiness in the knees, but I reckon it will all play out. Got me a plan for a longer trail run one day soon – watch and see…


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