These are tips that I’ve found work very well and help you improve – both speeds and distances covered and they help to keep injuries at bay.
One extra one not mentioned – let’s put in as number 0 – so right at the top, get good shoes! So so so important and it makes a huge difference. Go to a specialist running shop – like Sweatshop – and get professional advice. Try the shoes out, test a few pairs and see which suit you best. And the blog post about the good shoes tip is here.
After a month or so running with the new shoes and new in-soles, painful feet and blisters forced me to re-assess. A quick trip back to the physio, who just said the shoes are too loose and then a few more runs with them tied up better, but still not good. Back to good old Sweatshop in Teddington today and with their fantastic 30 day returns on shoes (after you’ve tried them as much as you want). A long chat with one of the guys there and trying on new shoes, and back to Brooks, that just feel far far better on my feet – it’s so comfortable when you put your feet in them. And then a chat about marathons and the guy serving me (Tim) being very modest about his own one-time marathon run of 2 hours 35 minutes! Awesomeness right in front of me. That’s 26.2 miles at less than 6 minutes per mile. Unbelievable. Now I’m listening even more to this guy – some good training tips as well from him (including doing speed running as I’ve been doing). Then a suggestion from Tim on looking at lighter shoes – as well – to use for actually running the marathon in. Something I’d never thought of. Tried on a pair of bright yellow Adidas Adizero ones – and you can’t feel these shoes on your feet. So nice. Plan is to do the longer pace runs in these ones.
A very productive trip to Sweatshop and thanks to their 30 day guarantee and great service, I got better shoes, another pair (some more socks) and paid more money but all happy.
4 good runs this week. 8 miles to start and then 9 miles the next day (at a faster pace) and then 10 the next (slightly slower). Really enjoying the 10 mile distance as well. And then a 4.5 miler on Saturday with first 5km fast (not as fast as recently though – being about -5 degrees C didn’t help). 3 planned this week with an 18 miler long one.
It’s getting to that time of year again when running gloves are a must-have accessory, if you like to be able to use your hands after running! Starting a run and then after 2 miles having completely numb hands (plus the rest) is not fun. I’ve managed to collect a nice all-weather set of running clothes over the last few years – for sun, rain, wind and snow (all thicknesses and all lengths). And got a nice pair of Nike running gloves from my little sister for Christmas last year. Running hats also very important – particularly when running into wind. Cold wind on your forehead also not fun.
3 good runs this week, with interval training yesterday over 5 miles. 6 sets of 400 metres at 80-90 seconds faster than planned marathon pace, with 6 sets of 400 metres 80-90 seconds slower (plus 1.5 mile warm-up and the same cool down at the end). Great run – really enjoying the speed work.
The next piece of running kit that comes out soon is the high-visibility jacket – bright luminous yellow, for late runs in the day.
The vast majority of my running kit over the last few years has come care of the guys at Sweatshop in Teddington. And no doubt a few more visits coming over the next few months – new shoes next on the list (and some more decent multi-layered running socks).
Weekend resting from running – with karate for the cross training tomorrow. Calf now back in order (and not hurting) after last Sunday’s training session!