Tag Archives: GPS

Running in wind, rain and hail

What a fine start to 2012 – 3 good runs this week; 10 miles on Monday, 5.3 miles interval training on Wednesday and 12 miles today.

Good run on Monday at a good pace with loads and loads of people out in Bushy Park walking on the last day off for Christmas.  And yes some rather foolish people taking very close-up (i.e. getting physically close) photos of large stag with giant antlers – not a wise move.  Great run last night doing interval work – 1.5 mile warm-up, 6 sets of 1/4 fast and 1/4 back recovery and 1 mile cool down.  Today’s run not good though – changed the days around with the interval run and not enough recovery time between.  Legs heavy from the run last night but still got off to a good start.  Strong winds all over the UK right now (see BBC News) and they managed to be blowing against me for the full 12 miles – a pretty amazing feat given that I ran back along the same route.  Very very hard running into strong and cold wind.  Then to top it off it starting raining heavily and then came the hail stones – what fun.  Not big ones, but you could feel them.  About 5 solid minutes of them – not much fun.  Pace took a big hit with the wind and then once pace starts to drop off, I can’t pick it back up.  My good old Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS watch allows me to track average pace throughout the runs – and it’s amazing see it drop off like it did.  Today’s started at 7:45 per mile, then got up to about 7:52 per mile at 5 miles – so bang on my target pace.  Then the bad weather hit and dropped to 8:00 quickly and then 8:10 and then right down to 8:40 at one point – rubbish.  Managed to pick up again with the faster finishes I like doing.

Lessons learnt today…

  1. Don’t do an interval run the day before a long run.
  2. Leave at least one clear rest day between hard runs.
  3. Pray for a non-windy day (or move somewhere hot and sunny by the beach).

And yes a very good job I did decide – literally last minute – to take the waterproof running jacket with me today.

Time for a new playlist

Three runs done this week. With one long one – 15 miles – the longest I’ve done for a while. Went back to running without music this week. Does it make a difference? Difficult to say. Not normally a fan of running with music, I really enjoy the thinking time. But have recently been using the iPhone with music (and the genius that is the Nike+ GPS app) and yes it’s nice to listen to something. You do need a good playlist though – clicking shuffle when you’ve got pretty much your entire music library on your arm, complete with Christmas and children’s music, doesn’t help much (though it does bring a smile you your face).

So what makes a good playlist? Forget the technology – it’s a good assumption these days that we’re all digital fans when it comes to music and creating a playlist from any tracks we want (including new ones we want to buy) is a simple task and literally a few clicks away. Good old Virgin have a nice page on their marathon website that has playlists used by some of the professional athletes and winners from previous years and you can listen to them and buy them with a few more clicks – a very clever touch.

A bit more digging and you can find websites that analyse music by beats per minute (BPM) and show you tracks for the BPM you’re looking for. I’m told 160-180 BPM is good for marathons.

A bit of then seeing what I like that’s on these playlists and buying one or two tracks that I don’t have yet and we’re there. A new playlist ready to use in iTunes and syncing with the iPhone for live testing next week!

Gotta to love this new digital technology…!

Any recommendations or suggestions for good running tracks very welcome!