Tag Archives: cycling

Cycling with baby on board

Cycling rural pathI cycled Emily home on Saturday after we’d been out for a family cycle around the village. I usually cycle alongside Amanda and her so can watch a she looks around at the world, gripping onto the handles of the bike seat and wearing her little flowery cycle helmet.

It was unnerving cycling with her behind me. I kept checking with Amanda that she was alright – the sensory input of looking around the place on the back of a bike must be pretty overwhelming as she tends to go from extreme chattiness to quiet, observational introspection when in her bike seat.

I think next time I might have to stick a mirror on Amanda’s bike, if she’ll let me!!

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…

Running is like golf

So Heather tells me. And I see it – after a mediocre weekend of running, this morning’s 5k on day 2 of Juneathon was a relative joy – I’m afraid Runkeeper is struggling, so don’t trust the data – but the 10 minute mile pace I maintained was invigorating. I’m still not sure if its possible that I’ll be able to work it up to 9 minute miles for the 13.1 miles of the New Forest half, but I’ll work on it.

It is odd to me that despite mostly the same warm-ups, prep, conditions, etc. something in me reacts differently on different days and the difference to my run is tremendous. How do I make sure that I’m on top race form when I come to do the New Forest half? Current thoughts:

  • Careful diet in the weeks preceding
  • Gentle tapering off of training, low impact only in the weeks immediately prior
  • Lots of gentle pre-stretching in the days before

Any other tips? I still need a training schedule (and probably a running coach…). Recommendations appreciated.

Also today: 2x 5.5km cycles, in and out of work – another 40 minutes of exercise on top of the 30 minute run. And probably more stretching tonight. Bring it.

More running technology – iPhone sports armband & SprintGPS

Ok, so technically I tried these whilst cycling this morning rather than on an actual run, but quick initial assessment…

This iPhone sports armband works pretty well – other than the fact that with the extended strap you need guns the size of a small redwood to have it fit snugly, it holds the iPhone secure, gives good access to the iPhone screen and  generally does the job. You can fiddle the strap so it fits comfortably on more modest guns. The lack of a fitted screenguard will make it less useful in the rain, but I’d rather have unimpeded access to mess around with the interface the rest of the time… Downside for me is that the iPhone needs to be out of its regular case to fit in it, but I guess any armband that didn’t require that would be pretty bulky.

SprintGPS is a competing app with Runkeeper (which I’ve mentioned before) which I decided to give a try because it a) supports cycling as well as running & walking and b) they followed me on Twitter and left a comment here, so was impressed by their social media prowess ;-). Like Runkeeper, it uses a GPS lock on your iPhone to track pace, location, etc., over a timed workout (giving you splits, average speeds, estimated calorie burn etc.) – unlike Runkeeper it also has music controls in the free version (vital until multi-tasking with iPhone OS4.0 kicks in, as I discovered when a phone call during my half-marathon training run on Sunday interrupted my playlist, never to be resumed) and a few other cute features. Social media sharing via Twitter and Facebook is pretty seamless (although not quite as pretty as Runkeeper, which gives you a thumbnail map in your share) and GPS lock was quick and effective. The online route map and analytics are pretty good too, although again this doesn’t feel quite as slick as Runkeeper’s.

Tempted to try this on my next long run… What does anybody else think?

Update: SprintGPS free only lets you save a couple of activities, rendering it pointless. I’m back with Runkeeper, and considering RunKeeper Pro (but will wait for iPhone OS 4.0 before I do that…) The armband, however, works brilliantly when running too.