Race Report: Abingdon Marathon 2013 (2 Comments)

Earlier this year I took my first stab at a sub-3 hour marathon at the Milton Keynes marathon and completely misjudged things and in retrospect probably my abilities at the time, and completely blew it. On Sunday I took another stab at that elusive sub-3 marathon mark in my third ever marathon, the Abingdon Marathon, and smashed it out of the ballpark.

Following my disappointing run at the Milton Keynes marathon I decided I was going to create a properly structured training programme that would guide me to a great marathon time. After a little bit of research and reading I stumbled upon Marathoning The Hansons' Way. Intrigued by this approach and the relative simplicity (compared to The Daniels Runner Formula), I purchased their book - Hansons Marathon Method - in Kindle format, read it, and devised my four month training programme. This ended up being a great programme which I'll cover that in another post.

Continue reading →

Race Report: Maidenhead Half-Marathon 2012

On 16 September I ran my second half-marathon of the year: the Maidenhead Half-Marathon and whilst not my first choice of the type of race I like to do, it turned out pretty well.

Given the improvements I've seen in my 5k, 5 mile and 10k times, I wanted to do a nice flat half-marathon so I could see how I'd improved on my half-marathon time in the months since I ran the Reading half-marathon on 1 April

Continue reading →

Race Report: Reading Half Marathon 2012 (2 Comments)

Sunday saw me take part in my first half marathon in over 13 years, the Reading Half Marathon, and what a brilliant race it was.

As you may have read back in November, I took the plunge and entered the Reading Half Marathon and continued with the MAF training principals exclusively with the idea I'd going into my race with at least a great aerobic base and possibly missing some speed. This was a bit of a gamble as I'd never heard anyone train like this before and had certainly never taken this approach myself. Seeing as I hadn't done a half marathon in a while, I thought "What the heck. It'll be an interesting experiment. Worst case scenario, I blow it. Best case, I finish the race strong and get the sub-90 minute finish time I'd be aiming for".

Continue reading →

Race Report: Stoke Row 10k - 2011

On Sunday 22 May 2011, I ran the Stoke Row 10k for the first time. It's a relatively close race to home, but the thing that sold it for me was free music festival in the pub gardens afterwards. I thought this would be a great opportunity for my wife to have something to do whilst I run around the 'burbs and it would also make the run a bit of a "grand day out", which it proved to be, but we'll get onto the day's entertainment in a moment. First the race.

First, the race description...

The 10k route will start and finish at The Cherry Tree Inn, Stoke Row, taking you through some beautiful undulating Oxfordshire Countryside. Starting at 10.30 am, you will be chip timed, have water stops, plenty of clear route signage and marshalls.

This is pertinent as "undulating" is probably a little tame, but "hilly" is a bit too severe. This is quite a tough run as the elevation graph from my Garmin shows...

Profile of Stoke Row 10k

The greenline is the elevation - I've scaled the image a bit to give you an idea of how it felt to me.

As you can see, there's quite a bit of climbing involved. It is also mostly offroad which the race description doesn't mention. It would have been good to know this in advance as I would have liked to have tackled it in my Merrells.

Continue reading →

Race Report: Woodley 10k 2011

On Sunday 15 May 2011 I ran what I think I should start to call my local 10k race - the Woodley 10k. As with the Shinfield 10k race, this is also a fast and relatively flat race and I thought I may just be able to get the sub-40min 10k I just missed at Shinfield.

Following a request from a colleague, this and hopefully my future "first time" race reports, will be a bit more in depth.

Given Woodley is so close to home, and the fact that parking is limited to pretty much whatever Woodley town centre has, my wife and I cycled to the race. Bike racks are very limited too, but nothing a long chain and a firm fence post or tree couldn't solve.

The Woodley 10k starts and finishes at the town end of Memorial Recreation Ground on Headley Road in Woodley. When we got there the kiddies' 3k race was still underway and in it's final stages and quite a large crowd of runners and supporters building up around the start/finish area. For those concerned about these sort of things, there were plenty loos on offer: about 8 port-a-loos as well as those in the buildings at the recreation ground, and a fitness instructor gave a little aerobics type warm up routine just before the race started.

Continue reading →

Race Report: Yateley 10k Series 2010 - Race 2

Wednesday evening saw the running of the second of the three Yateley 10k races in the series, and like the first one, I ran it barefoot.

I'd had a bit of a sedentary two weeks building up to the race following the onset of the early signs of the dreaded top of foot pain (ToFP) that cropped up during my piggies hill training session on 22 June. With only a single tabata rowing session done between then and the race I went in the race very relaxed and rested with my foot feeling good too.

Continue reading →

Yateley 10k Series - Race 1 Completed Barefoot (6 Comments)

Wednesday evening saw me run my first road race in over 11 years, the first of 3 in the Yateley 10k series, and what a great run and evening it was.

The Yateley 10k series is a large, well organised series of races run on the first Wednesday in June, July and August every year and thanks to it's close proximity to work, has become a bit of a tradition with the runners at work. Each year, I hear the guys talking about the races so I thought this would be a great re-introduction to road running and my first official race in the UK (at the time I registered I hadn't planned on doing any of the Parkruns).

Continue reading →