Stitch be gone!! 5 k update

A few days ago I did my first official 5 k since I started the challenge, I am only 4% of the way through! EEK! The time of the 5k was 32.21 minutes so 2 and a half-minute off my sub 30 min 5k goal. I have added some interval training in the training plan and upping my mileage bit by bit every week, so I hope in a few weeks I will be able to bring that down, which works out to around to shaving off just over a minute per mile. Also I will be totting up more miles as I go along so for now at least I am not so worried about hitting my weekly mile average for the challenge.

More importantly on the run there was no stitch. I did run a 3k yesterday and got a stitch when I was way past the one mile mark, usually I get one before it. I figured out that on the day I did the 5k the preceding 4 hours before I didn’t not eat or drink, which made the run feel much much more comfortable and I was able to keep going. Another way I found to manage a stitch is to try and run through it and I breath out, blowing all the air out hard, this seems to work but does require a lot of control and effort while running. It is working. Also by slowing down and then picking my pace back up when it has gone, rather that stopping and starting again. I am able to jog with it more and more.

I logged the run on Strava and then manually logged it on Runkeeper. I am leaning towards Strava more and more, it appears to be a bit smoother and there are more personal tid bits like you best effort for a one mile and it has segment searches of your local area and you can see how everyone else who has run the same parts as you have are doing, this is very encouraging and a fun way to benchmark yourself. I find the desktop dashboard much nicer to use. Although the major draw back is that you cannot set your own goals on Strava on the free version, you need to go premium here. On Runkeeper you can set your own goal, yet I still find the app more sluggish than its predecessor and more annoying to set up and change setting etc, even at home on the wifi network! The strava app has a big fat record button, which you cannot miss. This is great when you are warming up, with your phone in your armband already, to quickly press when you start running. I have also stopped using Spotify during my runs and set up my own running play lists. This uses less battery and no interruptions from adverts! Although I am still a serial song skipper!!


Runkeeper premium costs:
Monthly £7.99
Yearly £29.99

Runkeeper free benefits:

  • Goal setting
  • Some free training plans which can be added to you calendar

Most annoying thing:

  • Sluggish to use

Strava premium costs:
Monthly £4.49
Yearly £44.99

Strava free benefits:

  • Segments comparisons with league tables
  • Showing your best efforts and personal bests

Most annoying thing:

  • No goal setting for free version

Running with the Salomon media armband. First run of spring.

Back to running now. Sunday was my first day out with the armband. I haven’t used any other arms bands so I wouldn’t be able to compare. What I can say was that it was much easier to run with that, than holding my phone! It felt a bit weird to have something strapped to my arm but it stayed put and was comfortable and not too constricting. I think this will be something I will get used to. The other option was to wear a belt. The plastic cover at the front lets you tap and work the phone, which was great. I still have to get used to it. And maybe position it so I can still check my progress when looking at my arm as I run quickly.

It was lovely and sunny, still in my leggings, but do not need full on winter gear anymore. I think a good way of telling what gear to wear if you don’t know is to obviously follow online and medical advice. But also to go out and take note of how well you do after you get past the one-mile mark. I tend to find that after a mile I will maintain the same level of temperature more or less if I am running at a steady pace. I always check the wind speed to see if I need another layer, especially if it is chilly! You can get a good indication on the things you might need to wear here on the runners world website.

Sunday run average around 10.23 mpm. I am getting a little bit faster and steady, learning to slow down and enjoy the run for longer.

I am still tempted to save for a run watch but do like the idea of having a phone on me when I run and there doesn’t seem to be a point of having a phone and a watch that can do the same task, with the exception of battery life!

Life style changes over short-term diets

Today is rest day meaning no exercise! I love exercise but not 7 days a week, I also love to eat and watch mad men, eating the most, I’ve eaten more sausage rolls than I should today…I hope the January revolutionists/heroes are still at it with their fitness/diet goals whatever they may be!

I have to get this out: I am a big non-believer in short-term diet plans/detox juicing session the kind where you have to cut something out of your diet or just eat one thing. In my mind it’s rather simple, whatever your food habit/lifestyle was, it wasn’t working in helping you to be at your desired weight or physique. Any radical change, as is with a lot of diet plans, will get you to loose the weight.

Going off the diet isn’t the thing that is making you put back on the weight, it’s the slipping back into the bad routine that does it. Instead of going back on [insert diet plan], you need a new plan of action, one that you will stick to FOR LIFE, that you are going to like to do, there is no short cut.

In 2014 I became very depressed, for numerous reasons and factors. I gained 9 kgs unknowingly. It wasn’t until I couldn’t button my “big” jeans up, that I realised what had happened. Something had to change, and some things had changed, I was eating more than I needed, not exercising enough. I wasn’t running like I used to, knee problems put me off.

I started my work slowly but determined in the gym on the treadmill, limiting myself to 30 mins to avoid any knee pains, then RICE as a preventative measure. It worked I was getting fitter building a good base. But that wasn’t enough either; with the advice from a personal trainer I changed my diet too. Not too radically, I am constantly making changes and tweaks. It was hard at first and I have “cheat days”. I keep track of myself by using a spreadsheet writing down everything I eat and the nutrition values, and then I add them up at the end of the day. With that I am able to tell if I am eating too much of something and as a result I find myself eating more veg and getting my 5 a day!

I eat what I want in moderation. I eat full fat sausages on rare occasion; I actually prefer the low fat kind after a year of eating them. It is a trade off; I don’t see what’s so bad about it.

First miles in the challenge done!

2.88 miles (It was suppose to be a 5 k but I turned in a road to early!!)

First miles clocked not sure how to gage it; I kept jogging at a slow pace, non-stop. Developed a stitch but just kept on going even if I was probably more close to walking pace at its worst. This is probably one of the hardest things to do keep running with a stitch, which can get painful. It has taken me a very very long time to push through it. Many more stitches to come, and it isn’t so bad, I have no idea if this will ever go away though?! We will see.

I did a full body work-out yesterday which left my triceps, lats and glutes aching- a sign of a good work out, didn’t hinder my run too much today. Kept it as slow as possible. Tomorrow is rest day. I’ll probably invest in a nice bag of frozen peas.

Running under the stars

It’s cold, a little bit wet outside, the temperature is somewhere around zero degrees Celsius and I can hear the wind battering the house. I think of every excuse not to go out for a run. For a few days it works and then I start feeling weird, withdrawal sets in.

So I head out one evening. Throughout the first mile I’m cold, the wind cuts through my clothes and I can really feel it. I breathe out extra hard into my neck gaiter to keep my face warm. “SIGH why do I do this?!” is something that crosses my mind often in the beginning of my cold runs in the winter.

Somewhere around mile 2 my body starts to warm and I am settling into my natural stride. I stop skipping tunes on Spotify and just run with it. I look up and I remember why I run. There is just something spectacularly awesome running when the sky is covered in stars. There are not a lot of people around and hardly any cars, the world is my oyster and I can run to wherever I want. There is no pressure, I don’t have to be anywhere, do anything, I just need to run.