Welcome to the Runners Corner of this little blog of bits and bobs. Mostly this is a place for, you know, nerd stuff. Books, films, and games. But when I’m not sat on my skinny arse in-doors sucking up some hot fresh content, I’m out running. Because everyone needs something to keep them sane. Every couple of weeks I like to put out a little piece which focuses on the world of running at large, and on my own running adventures.
You might know this already because I’ve been doing this for a while now, but now that I only put the running posts out fortnightly I feel like it wouldn’t be amiss to put out a little introduction on this slightly out-of-sorts content, to explain it for anyone new.
Now. Enough of that. Let’s talk about running.
But more importantly, let’s talk about me.
Since the disappointment of the Great Eastern Run cancellation I have pivoted to focusing on 10k’s, working on developing my top end speed whilst also continuing to push my endurance above and beyond what it ever has been before through the simple magic of running further.
It’s a simple trick, but it’s worked well for me.
This became apparent when I competed in the Rutland Water Night Run 10k last week. Me and a friend drove down to the reserve in the night and with our glow-stick wristbands slapped to our arms and a wonderfully up-beat plethora of mixed ability runners around us on the start line, the heavens opened as we began and hardly let up on the dark out and back. The wind cut through us on the first 5k, and in general the conditions were atrocious, but the beauty of an out and back is what works against you one way, will work for you the other.
My target was to nail a sub-40 before the new year, but I didn’t think it would necessarily happen at Rutland, what with it being my first time running with a head torch, the conditions being terrible, and generally not being super confident in my ability to run a sub-40 at all just yet.
Well, I was wrong. I ran a 39:50.
I have been knocking out some decent tempo runs, and I get in a couple of speed sessions a week, but the key to my success has been simple mileage. I’ve been running more. Running consistently. To be a better runner I’ve just been…running . It seems simple, but in every aspect of life we like to take shortcuts when we can and I’ve seen plenty of articles out there talking about different exercises and techniques which will “make you a better runner” and maybe they will! If you are also running a lot as well. So there’s my big tip post my first sub-40 success.
Run more. Insightful, right?
Go back through the rest of my Runners Corner posts and you’ll see that I am a big advocate of cross-training, yoga especially, but when it comes to my experience there was one thing I had to nail before there was any point in me trying to do any of that cross-discipline training, and that was to be the most consistent runner that I could be.
BUT it’s not all about me, is it? There’s a wide world of running out there and plenty of inspirational stories and useful articles out there to help us be the best athletes we can be. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Barefoot Marathon Maniac
Woman Runs 90 Marathons Entirely Barefoot by Rachel Moss (Huffington Post)
How does running 2,352 miles of marathon across the UK sound? Good?
Weird, I was thinking that sounds fairly awful. But it’s inspirational nonetheless, which was the reason why Anna McNuff set out on her journey: she wanted to show young girls that they could get out in the world and have big adventures.
Also she did it all barefoot. (!)
Making the Most of the Dreadmill
What Incline Should I Use on my Treadmill? by Jenny Hadfield (Runners World)
It’s that time of the year where, like it or not, the treadmill may not be avoidable. I don’t mind it! But I can understand why some runners dread the experience. This article will help you make the most of your time on it by offering up some advice on how you can use the machines incline settings can help replicate the conditions of the real, windy, rolling world. Sure, it’s never going to be exactly the same, but why wouldn’t you want to make the most of all the runs you do, in or out?
Actually, Forget the Dreadmill Completely
6 Reasons Your Chilly-Weather Runs Are Better Than Scorching Summer Ones by Jordan Smith (Runners World)
OR you could simply forget the dreadmill completely and get out in the cold and embrace it. Here’s a few reasons to convince you that it’s not so bad!
RACE FOCUS: Desert Ultra
Okay this week we’re being a little aspirational. Or maybe not, even. Usually I like to keep things grounded and offer up races that you might actually be able to join up to last minute or might already be a part of…
But this week something else caught my eye and I’m drawing attention to it more in an attempt to provide some inspiration more than anything else.
The Namibia Desert Ultra is an ultra-marathon in the Namib Desert.
It’s a self-explanatory name I suppose.
But still, as if an ultra-marathon wasn’t already hard enough this one is plonked right in the middle of a brutal desert where the daytime temperatures are at least 35 degrees and at most an unbelievable 55(!).
It costs an eye watering £2500 but honestly that’s probably the best, to ensure that all the entrants are fully committed to doing something so absolutely bonkers.
Good luck to all involved, I’ll admire your dedication (and impressive level of madness) from afar.