500 FOLLOWERS, 50 MILES!

I recently passed the 500 follower mark on Twitter and therefore asked myself the question “Why are all these people following me?” I almost feel guilty that I haven’t done anything special to deserve this many followers and so thought “What can I do to mark this occasion and show why I should be followed?” The first thing that came to mind was obviously running, the second thing was for every follower I could run a 10th of a mile and therefore do 50 miles in a few days. I would like to thank @UKrunchat for helping me reach this many followers and all of you that have followed, retweeted and interacted with me recently about our running.

Last week I didn’t run a huge amount due to other commitments and therefore wanted to get a fair few miles in on Saturday morning before work. This turned out to be at 3 o’clock because I just so happened to wake up then and felt ready to run (probably due to the two rest days prior). So because I decided to do 50 miles within the space of three days I set off on a bit of an adventure, I started on my normal route, so in to Tower Bridge and then thought why not head along the Thames Path for a while. This was amazing at 3 in the morning because I was there running along one of if not the biggest tourist spots in the UK all on my own in the “running zone”. I ran along the Thames Path for a fair while and ended up at Chelsea Bridge, I then ran back to London & Tower Bridge on the other side of the River past Westminster which was awesome. I felt good on this run and did the 23 miles in what I think is a reasonably good time, see pic below.

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Obviously not quite sub 3 pace but I was happy with this considering I only got about 5 hours sleep and this was one of only 3 or 4 runs i’ve been over 20 miles. I think this is a good base to work from in the next few weeks and after Reading Half on Sunday I will look to up the speed for the marathon distance.

To do the 50 mile challenge I set myself I split the miles up into three runs, I also decided that Sunday should be a rest day for injury prevention and recovery/rest reasons! ha The next part of the challenge I completed this morning. I did a similar route to Saturday but instead this time I did a couple laps of Battersea Park. This then also meant when I finished my run at 20 miles I was amongst some great places for food near the London Eye. I really enjoyed this mornings run, it was perfect weather, not too hot or too cold. The route is also a wicked route and to take in Tower Bridge, London Bridge, The London Eye, Westminster, Battersea Power station, Battersea Park all in one run is awesome. Running is definitely one of if not the best way to explore London and i’m aiming to get to Richmond Park, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath etc in the very near future.

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The third and final part of this mini challenge was to do the remaining 7 miles. I did this by running 3 or so miles in to Boxpark and then running with a group for the remaining 4 and a bit miles. This was a good run and has done the job in keeping my legs moving so that I wont seize up and my legs hopefully wont feel horrendous tomorrow. It’s always a great laugh running with these guys even if it did start raining, but then again as some of you that read my latest Ukrunchat blog http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/whats-your-excuse-2/ will know, that’s part of the challenge!

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I am pleased that I achieved this 50 mile challenge and would like to thank all my Twitter followers for inspiring me to do it!

I am now tapering for Reading Half and look forward to seeing some of you there hopefully. Good luck to all of you that are doing Halfs or various races in the next few weeks!

Happy running

Steve

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The RunThrough Greenwich Park 10k

Hi, hope everyone had a wicked weekend. Before I get into the nitty gritty of the 10k that I did yesterday I want to give everyone that I have been interacting with on Twitter and Facebook, about running, a big shoutout. Thanks for helping keep me motivated and giving me tips etc. I’m sure some of you have seen my participation in the UKRunChat #fastesthouroftheweek on Twitter and I have been thoroughly enjoying chatting to you all about yours and my running. I love the UKRunChat community and really like the fact that athletes such as Jo Pavey and Shona Thomson have been involved recently and offered advice.

Ok, so as some of you will have already seen and heard I did the RunThrough Greenwich Park 10k yesterday. I was incredibly lucky to get a place in this race as I had left it a tad late, but thankfully I managed to get entry on the Saturday night, thanks Matt. I was incredibly keen to do this 10k as I had ran around Greenwich Park once before and knew it was “hilly”. Some of you are probably thinking thats a good reason to stay clear but since moving up from Devon I have had limited resources in terms of hills and actually enjoy running them for some reason, bizarre I know. Also I know that I need to run a few hills because i’m pretty sure Reading Half and the Manchester Marathon aren’t “London pancake flat” and that doing hills can only make you stronger and fitter (unless you push it too far and get injured of course!) Image

(I’m Ryan Giggs no.11 in this pic by the way!!)

So I rocked up to Greenwich park, I was pretty buzzing because I knew about the hills and the “slight” wind which would be a good challenge, more so than the Regents Park and Brixton 10ks that I have done previously. Taking this into account I knew my time would be slower and therefore I was really relaxed. I was thinking of it as more of a training run than giving it 100% and knackering myself out for the rest of the week or even getting injured. The course around Greenwich Park was really good, it was two laps which I liked, as after doing the first lap I could gauge what I could give it in the second lap. Liking hills and running a few beasts down in Devon definitely came in handy on this one! Another really good thing about this race was the 5k or 10k options, so if you were training for various races you could pick one accordingly and just do the one lap but maybe faster etc.

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(This hill was so long and boring I fell asleep running it!! And yes my cheeks do match my shirt! And yes I do need a haircut!)

This race was nowhere near as exciting as my 3rd place finish in the Brixton 10k where I enjoyed a good sprint finish with a guy called Alex, who finished 2nd in this race. This race I paced myself on feel, so not too push it too much up the hills and get anywhere near having a chance of picking up an injury. I enjoyed the challenge of the hills and wind and managed to come in 4th with a time of 38:19. I’m reasonably happy with that and glad I now know what Greenwich Park is like so I can go there for some training runs and I also look forward to doing more races there in the future. Image

(I ran so fast my number almost came off! ha and I am not quite as good at pinning my number on my shirt as Mother!! ha also note the time clocked is 0! seriously quick ey!!?? ha)

After I had finished Billy Rayner (Trump Street Sweatshop) appeared out of nowhere, he completed the testing course and finished 15th so well done on that quality result mate! You definitely need to sign up to a few more races and I look forward to our London Marathon Store vs Trump Street races we are going to be planning in the near future which will most definitely include Sean Hodgesosaurus (Trump Street) and Amy Hughes (London Marathon Store and London Marathon runner).

A few of you are probably thinking “does this guy Steve just run and not do anything else!?” Well you’re pretty close if you’re thinking this but I am currently trying to keep things balanced and mix things up by doing various things in London. Last week I may have lost a table tennis match to the mighty Oli Sly Radio. I would like to add it was close but I cant! However, the loss was made bareable by the epic burger and curly fries from Adventure Club in Clapham and also the fact that I was better at table tennis than Aurie (Trump Street, LMS, Stratford etc)

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(Note: I’m not wearing running clothes in this picture!)

Right this post has been a bit of a beast again, sorry for stealing your time. Now get those trainers on and go for another run so that when you get to race day you end up celebrating in style, queue  epic finish line photo!!

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See you around

Steve

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Getting up to speed

Ok, so I would like to begin by apologising for my lack of activity on the blogging front in the last couple of weeks and therefore this blog is aimed to keep you guys up to speed. Not blogging much has mainly been due to being busy at work and also running a fair amount.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks really but one of the most important things for me, aiming for that sub 3 marathon in Manchester, is that I seem to be picking up speed. One of the reasons I believe this has happened is because I set challenges in January and February to do 300 miles in both months.Picture 21

Although that may seem a bit excessive it has worked well in giving me a really good, what I would call, base fitness to work off. Some of you may ask how have I had the time to do those miles and the simple answer is I tend to sleep a little less and run early in the mornings before work. The fact I can now run to and from work probably helps and I also take the run club for work, so ran 8 times last week through that and all the miles soon add up!

Another shift in my, run by feel, “training plan” is that I realised I was tending to run within my comfort zone, so around the 7.30-8 min/mile pace for 10 or so mile runs and this was becoming normal. I think I realised this after doing the Regents Park 10k which made me push myself to race and run at 6 min/mile pace. Doing 5k Parkruns and 10k races has also definitely helped me pick up pace so my speed endurance is definitely improving.

The biggest indication that my speed is improving was my latest race result from the RunThrough Brixton Brockwell Park 10k which was last Sunday. I signed up to this race on the Saturday evening off the back of a 12 mile run that morning and so wasn’t expecting much. Something seemed to click that day and for some reason I felt amazing. It was probably a combination of getting use to race days and feeling really relaxed and not really worrying about a certain time that helped me achieve my 3rd place finish in a time of 37:09 which I was incredibly proud of especially having run what is an up and down course around Brockwell Park.

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Something else that was incredibly enjoyable about this race was that I could see the guy in 3rd position throughout the race. This led me to try and out sprint him for 3rd place on the mud at the finish line. I got incredibly close but he took 3rd on place but I got it on time, pretty happy with that! Sure it was fun for the spectators to watch to!

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Finishing 3rd out of a field of 389 people has given me good confidence in my running and I am now really looking forward to see what I can do in future 5ks, 10ks, Halfs and Full Marathons etc. The training seems to be paying off and I want to keep this momentum going now for the next few months and beyond.

Another reason I believe my speed is increasing is because I am paying more attention to the quality/pace of the miles I do. Whereas before I was layed back about that and just doing the distance, I am now focusing on running at sub 7 min/mile pace for as long as I can. I will do a run one day at this pace for so many miles and then the next run or two will be more relaxed and more of a loosener, so could act as a slight rest day. Today I ran probably one of if not my best run. I decided to go out and run at around the 7 min/mile pace and do a good few miles.

I really enjoyed this run and running at that pace felt reasonably comfortable and as if I could have completed a marathon maintaining a speed there or thereabouts. Of course the sights I got to take in, so Regents Canal, Victoria Park, The London Eye, Westminster, Tower Bridge etc made the run more enjoyable and the weather was immense!

Something that inspired me to run this far and fast was that I got to go to a London Marathon Meet The Experts day yesterday, so I was truly inspired by what was said by Richard Whitehead, Sam Murphy, Sophie Raworth and Liz Yelling, to name a few. I will maybe have to post a separate blog about this either on here or on the UK Run Chat website which I blog for aswell. My first blog for them with the topic “The Inspirational Nature of a Runner” is now up so if you want to read that or check that out then please do.

http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/the-inspirational-nature-of-a-runner/

As always feedback, interactions, RTs, shares and such like are really appreciated!

Hope everyone is having a good Sunday Run Day!!

Steve

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