Category Archives: Juneathon

Clambering back on the wagon

I never know whether its good or bad to be on or off the wagon. I guess you want to be on it, right? Unless it’s going to a bad place? Let’s say it’s going to a good place.

Regardless of the state of that metaphor, I’ve been in a post-Juneathon haze. Having injured myself midway through the month but not modified my eating habits, I’ve been feeling fat and unhealthy. The attempts at runs have been tentative – I’ve done four or so 5k runs in the last couple of weeks, but given that my caloric intake has been disproportionate these haven’t really figured in either the fitness/training or the weightloss efforts.

The mysterious “they” say that the hardest thing is getting out the door. That’s true – but when you’ve allowed yourself to lose the routine, each step on the way out the door gets harder. Waking up. Getting ready. Getting past the first 2k. Not turning around at 2.5k when it would be a nice “5k” round number. Keeping momentum. Even dialling in Runkeeper to act as a motivational partner. Pushing to meet the optimistic target pace. And going the full distance you intended.

This morning, I did it. A 10k, in 60 minutes flat – a pretty good time when you remember that my personal best for 10k is 59.06 and I’ve been off for some time. I was flagging from the 8k mark – a mysterious pain in my lower back which sometimes kicks in when I’m doing longer distances – but manage to exert will, apply thumbs to the afflicted spot, and dodge traffic on the final stretch to maintain the 6 minute/kilometer pace needed. And then I cycled into work. AND the knee is OK.

Feels good. Going to take tomorrow off and see if I can manage an LSR on Sunday, but am at a wedding this weekend so efforts may vary. But hey – it’s not Juneathon anymore so I won’t feel too bad about it.

Next week: we may have a guest post from Claire, a colleague who is running the British 10k on Sunday as she fulfils a New Year’s Resolution, we will hopefully see @jimbocoyle return as he comes back from vacation and settles in to his new job… and we may even get a mystery, triathlon related guest post!

Oh, and we didn’t win Juneathon, unsurprisingly, but had great fun doing it. Thanks to the organisers, was great fun and good motivation!

Juneathon 2010: Armand’s wrap up

Here are the final scores:

Runs    (14 days) – 59.8 miles
Cycles    (11 days) -  73.3 miles
Crunches   (11 sessions) – 1200
Push-ups    (3 sessions) -  45
Blog posts – at least 30 from me

Zero days with zero exercise, although my poorest effort was the 26th – which featured a pathetic 15-push-ups and amateur street-golf game – and few days had zero aerobic exercise except at the height of the injury.

The knee is still recovering, physio session pending, but a brief holiday is coming and am much looking forward to it. Happy Juneathon everyone – and here’s to a busy (but less injury-filled) July – and a calmer and more thought through series of posts on the LSR as we go forward.

George Wright; Giles Fraser

The cycling mileage is going up and up

Not having been able to do substantial running for the last couple of weeks has been infuriating and made it feel like I’m not doing any exercise; however I topped 1,000 sit-ups and 70 miles cycled for the month today, so I guess it all adds up. Juneathon has been a good motivating factor but if I’m honest the diet’s slipped off and I’m not feeling my best. It’s going to kick back in big style now, down with the biscuit tin of fatty, sugary death.

Oh- today – 11k cycle, 36ish minutes, and 110 sit-ups.

Why do long slow runs?

Joe writes a great post on this. Key takeaways:

Running long provides a lot of great benefits:
# Strengthens the heart – larger stroke volume.
# Strengthens the leg muscles – endurance is developed.
# Mind Work – mental toughness and coping skills are developed.
# Develops fat burning capacity
# Increases number and size of mitochondria
# Increases capillary growth into muscle fibers.
# Increases aerobic efficiency.
# Increase in Maximum VO2.

I can’t wait to get my knee sorted and get back to these. I’d add:

  • The LSR helps you develop an enjoyment for running. The LSR is more leisurely, so you can watch the world go by.
  • If you do it on a Sunday, you sleep well and are better braced for the week ahead…
  • It shifts your frame of reference for distance running. I don’t think of a 10k as a particularly long run anymore, which is pretty amazing given that 3 months ago I’d never run more than 5…

Do you do/enjoy a weekend LSR? Why?

Oh: Juneathon day 28 – 5.5k cycles x2 (35mins), 100 sit-ups.

Today’s Long Slow Run ended up being a short slow run

Knee not quite recovered. Think I need to see a physio (as per Sensei Paul’s and others’ advice), and after three late nights in a row and lots of bad hay fever (not to mention 28 degree heat) I wasn’t on great form today. Managed 6k in about 45 minutes, which is pretty lame by my standards. Hoping that I’ll improve soon and to do a run or two when I’m on vacation next weekend on the Isle of Wight…

Late night, late start, hayyyyyyyyfever

Broken today by hay fever and limited sleep caused by late night at B2L 10th birthday party, but totally worth it – a magical evening celebrating the 10th birthday of the company I’ve spent the last six years of my life working for. Very much fun.

Today’s Juneathon effort: cycle in and out (11k, 40 minutes ish), followed by curry and the commencement of BIL-to-be’s (my sister’s fiancé’s) pre-stag curry. Stagtastic.

Pounding the tarmac once more

After a week of doctor mandated non-running, two days of warm up work and back bike rides, and a large number of sit-ups, I was back out running this morning. A beautiful day, I took off at pace, feeling the warm rush of satisfaction at enjoying a form of physical exertion. The pace, needless to say, didn’t sustain itself the whole way through the run but my 5k circuit went OK, completed in about 31 minutes, a couple of minutes off my best time for the distance but by no means slow.

The knee feels OK – slightly tentative and I’m clearly going to need to take it a lot easier than I have been – but hopefully after a week or two of relatively gentle 5k routes I’ll be able to build up to a more substantial LSR. Juneathon stats all here.

The novelty wears thin

I was unequivocally enjoying Juneathon until my injury hit last week and since then I’ve been quietly fuming, doing my sit-ups (100 this morning) until I could get back into the rhythm of it. Cycling (standard 11k there and back today) has resumed, and am going to try a run again tomorrow, but the novelty of daily posts has started to wear thin.

My daily exercise isn’t particularly interesting at the moment – just routine – but that may change once I set my mind, feet and knees to breaking personal bests and ramping up the training for the New Forest half marathon.

That said, my blogging schedule is going to diminish post-Juneathon, you may be relieved to hear -  down from 7 to 3-4 max posts per week – and will actually be about stuff, like, y’know, barefoot running, running buggies, juggling running training, a commute and a baby (not literally), and the ongoing quest to cut my BMI down to size. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to keep it interesting and will think up as captivating headlines as possible on my early morning runs, I promise.

The gradual reintroduction of the knee

No run this morning, despite earlier hopes. The pollen count is literally dismantling me. However; day 21 of Juneathon has seen 80 sit-ups and the reintroduction of the (this morning, very gentle) cycle to work (so I’ve done 5.5k and it’ll be 5.3 on the return journey tonight). The knee, whilst slightly tentative, is not too bad, which is pleasing on a number of counts:

  1. One more day off – and I’ll try a run on Weds
  2. Cycling again!
  3. The doctor was right – despite the strictures of the 7 minute NHS diagnosis mandate, he saw, assessed, diagnosed and prescribed the appropriate course of action to lead to recovery

It’s less pleasing because…

  1. The doctor was right – meaning I need to take his advice and reduce my mileage. He said it should take six months of build up before I was doing the kind of distance I was doing (it’d been three) – and I only have 3 months left until the half-marathon, so need to work out an appropriate level of training

I think I’m going to aim for a post Juneathon regimen that involves merely 4 runs a week – three at three or so miles and one longer piece which I’ll vary, between 6.5 and 13 miles over the course of the build-up – my “LSR.” I’m not sure if this is sensible or not, but I hope so… Any Senseis out there with a view? I probably do need to get a running coach…