Tag Archives: Victoria Park

The Run Through Victoria Park Half Marathon 2019

On Saturday 5th January I took part in the Run Through Victoria Park Half Marathon. A group of us signed up because we have marathons etc lined up and we wanted to dust off the cobwebs after Christmas. With Victoria Park featuring heavily on my regular running routes I was looking forward to trying to hold a solid pace, making the most of the flat course. 

As we planned to go to our friends, Liv, Ben and Harrisons for lunch, Alex (Lorna’s brother) drove us to theirs. We then took the central line to Stratford and walked to the park helping to loosen the legs up a little. Ben joined us in taking part in the half marathon as he is building up for the London Marathon and we met Dean at the number collection point, chilling. 

We arrived at the race village nice and early so we could fit in a decent warm up. Number collection, toilets and the bag drop were all nicely spread out so everything was really efficient. It’s always important to be relaxed before a race so it was good not to have to stress about these things. Ben and I ran a few laps of the cinder track to try and warm up, before dropping off our bags and getting on the start line. With Run Through organising a 5k, 10k and Half with various start times there was a great atmosphere as friends cheered each other out of the start funnel. 

A couple of days before the event, James from Midnight Runners dropped me a message on Instagram asking if I was taking part to see what my strategy was going to be. We decided we would see how we felt on the morning but were both leaning towards running it around marathon pace. Due to Christmas and New Year I hadn’t ran much at the start of the week so I had done a few quicker 20ks on Thursday and Friday so was more than happy to try and work together around the 6.5 laps and hold a decent pace. Off the start line we settled into a pace around 3:50min/km, it felt harder than it should have due to recent mileage but I figured it would be a good test 6 or so weeks out from Seville marathon to hold it on tired legs. 

The first few laps went really quickly as James and I chatted about training and race plans for 2019. Passing the race village Matt Wood and others shouted words of encouragement to our little group; Markus and Sam had joined us. Sam was targeting a PB so we had an extra motivation to keep the pace consistent and get him across the line under 1:24. Throughout the run I had moments where I doubted I could hold the pace but the group was keeping me honest. It was tough but it was the sort of challenge my mind and body needed. 

Overall, we paced it really well. It reminded me that in the longer races you need to be persistent and work through the tough spells because your body can often handle more than you think. We crossed the line around 1:21:30 covering positions 14 through 17 and Sam clocked a minute and a half PB, result!

It was a great way to start the year and I feel I’m in good shape building towards Seville & London Marathons. 

Everyone else enjoyed the race; Alex smashed his PB, clocking a 5k PB as well on his way to 1:26:24. Lorna ran with Ben and Dean for the majority of the race, they clocked 1:39:11, 1:43:01 and a DNF respectively. Dean won’t mind me saying that, he planned a long run on Sunday so decided the laps weren’t worth the hassle. There were some other standout performances from friends including PBs for Michael Wiggins and Tony To to name a few, great work guys! 

It was the perfect start to the weekend and I can’t thank the Run Through team enough for braving the cold conditions to put on another superb event. I’ll be trying to fit in a few more Run Through races throughout 2019 for sure. 

Hope everyone’s running/training is going well. See a lot of you on the roads soon. 

Steve

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Review: Salomon X-scream 3D

A few weeks ago I received an email asking if I wanted to try out the Salomon X-scream 3D trainers and give them a review. Having wanted to run in some Salomon trainers for a while I jumped at the chance to get my feet in them. The reason I’ve wanted to try them is that since I’ve got into running more I’ve seen their amazing videos on YouTube. If you haven’t already seen them check out the Salomon Trail Running YouTube page. Personal favourites are “Why we run”, “The Original”, “The Ultimate Fan” and “Of Fells and Hills”.

Another reason I wanted to try the X-scream 3Ds was that I’ve been running around London including up to and around Hampstead Heath where a mild trail shoe has been required when the trails are dry and firm. I am also in training for Race to the Stones 100k so have been trying to run off road more often. I was excited to receive the trainers and my first impression was good as I think they look pretty cool. Working in a running specialist store I know it’s not about aesthetics but at the end of the day everyone wants something that has style and substance. This shoe definitely has style but would it have the substance.   I put them on straight away. These are the first trainers I’ve owned that have quicklace. I quite like this as it means you can get out the door quicker. I tend to run in the mornings, often straight after waking up. The fit for me feels a little generous due to the fact I normally wear an adidas size UK 12 and the shoes I have tested are also 12s. However I will continue to do some of my longer runs in these trainers so a little room is probably a good thing. Having ran in the Adidas adios and adios boosts for the last couple of years I have gotten use to quite a lightweight, reasonably narrow fitting shoe. Therefore at first the X-screams felt quite heavy but at 290g it’s not bad for a well cushioned longer distance trainer. 

I planned to take them out for just a few miles but due to them being really comfortable I ended up doing 10+ miles. These miles were all on road and the grip seemed good as I went round corners and changed direction.  In the last few weeks I have ran approximately 30-40 miles in the X-screams. I have done a few runs on firm trails and the grip has been good. In wetter conditions I will probably opt for a trail shoe with larger lugs but for long training runs along the canal, around Victoria Park and up to Hampstead Heath I will use these trainers a lot. One issue I have had with them is that the plastic cup in the heel is quite high and therefore has rubbed on occasions. Due to the weight and firmness of the shoe I will probably continue to do most of my mileage in my beloved adidas adios and adios boosts but there is definitely a place for these shoes in my training. 

I have been impressed with the X-screams and with just a few minor tweaks it would be a great shoe. I am incredibly tempted to buy some S-lab Sense 4 Ultras now as they have been receiving some good reviews but for now I will continue to hit the city trails.

I will be attending a Salomon community run in Fulham on the 27th May so it will be good to test some more of their kit then. Lookout for a post about that.

Has anyone else tried any Salomon trainers recently? How have you got on in them? Let me know by tweeting me or messaging on Instagram @StephenSkinner6.

See you on the city trails! 

Steve

New Year, New challenges, New blog!

I’ve always wanted some sort of way to document and keep track of my running progress and write about what I encounter on my everyday runs, so I have arrived here. I will mostly blog about my running, the races i’m signed up to, the challenges I set myself randomly, and other things such as food, sleep, football, art, films etc etc.

I have signed up for a few races and have a few challenges in mind, they include; running Reading Half Marathon on March 2nd, Greater Manchester Marathon 6th April and then hopefully one of if not a few of the London 100k challenges, amongst other things.

My first aim is to get a Half Marathon PB at the Reading Half, which means bettering my 1.22 from last year in the Bideford Half. Ideally I would like to get nearer 1.15 however this may prove one step too far (pun intended!) as I will also be training for the Greater Manchester Marathon at the same time and therefore don’t know whether to push myself at Reading for the PB or use it as a training run and run at target Marathon pace!? hmmm (help/tips appreciated!)

My next challenge is to try and go sub 3 hours at the Greater Manchester Marathon. I would love to do sub 3 because that is “the golden time” to achieve and to do that for my first full marathon would be great. I also want to beat this time so that I can get a “good for age” place for London in 2015, good motivating factor that! I’m in the middle of upping the miles, and did a 22 miler on Xmas day and a 23.5 miler today so will then try and go the full distance soon and then work on goal pace throughout the next few months. I don’t have a specific training plan at the moment but I will tend to do longer runs now, as was mainly doing 10 or so milers mixed in with a few 5k & 10ks in December. I will also be helping other people with their training plans and be taking part in the Adidas 26ers through working at the inspiring, one and only London Marathon Store.

I’m going into 2014 in probably the best shape i’ve been in after completing a little challenge I set myself for December. To keep myself motivated through the last month of the year I decided to attempt 300 miles running, so almost 10 miles a day on average. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge, mainly because it made running a big priority for me and also made me appreciate how important eating the right food and getting the right amount of sleep can be etc. Making running part of my everyday routine has been fun and meant that some days i’ve had to set my alarm for 5ish to get the miles in. Having that target of 300 miles to do drove me on and in the back of my head I knew that this would be beneficial in getting base miles/fitness in prep for Reading and Manchester in 2014. I’m pleased to say I completed this challenge on the 29th of December with no injuries and not feeling as if it was a massive struggle. Another factor that helped me motivate myself throughout this challenge was some of the views I got to take in whilst running around my new location of London.

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My regular route is along Regents Canal, Victoria Park and I now tend to mix it up more on longer runs, so to go over London Bridge and Tower Bridge etc to take in the sights. The challenge was also made easier by running with people and to and from work, so getting miles in when I could. I have met some awesome people in London aswell, mainly through run clubs and work. Image

Meeting people that are; training for Marathon des Sables, doing 100s of Marathons, doing the first 6 London Marathons and coming 6th in one of them and now walking 6000 miles has been truly inspiring. I tend to listen to people talk about their running and goals and think they are crazy but in the back of my head I know I will be doing those same races/events at some point in the future. I love the running community and the way everyone wants to help each other reach their goals and/or better themselves in any shape or form. On the other hand I also like to go for a run on my own at times, listen to some music (normally drum & bass courtesy of Hospital records/Med school etc) and go into my own little world. There’s a certain euphoria about running at a certain speed and for it to feel comfortable and relaxing, you have no worries apart from putting one foot in front the other. I probably have a number of reasons for why I run but I will get into those on another occasion.

I have probably covered quite alot in this first blog and may not even need to ever blog again! ha but I would like to finish by saying that today whilst I was out on my run in the cold, wind and rain I was running along Regents Canal when a “hobo” saw me. He started mimicking running and was smiling, I gave him the old thumbs up and he laughed and smiled. I carried on running with a smile on my face and these interactions with people are what make running amazing, it was his way of showing support and this carried me on for the rest of my run!

Till next time

Steve