This week I have mostly been running…

So here’s the thing – I have been a total running slacker for the last few months having dropped out of the Brighton half and full marathon. I’ve not been keeping up with blogs or twitter, but I’m happy to say I am back in the running fold again.

The prospect of running in the alpine trail running camp that I signed up for (in a moment of madness) in June may have something to do with my return! When the reality of what I have signed up for kicked in around about March though, I decided I ought to start training again.

I started out doing a few 5ks every other evening and gradually built up to 8 miles and then 10 miles quite easily (obviously I’ve still got the endurance), but I’ve never really done much running back to back. This is something I am going to have to get used to though as there won’t be much rest in Chamonix! From the sounds of it I’m going to be running at least 8 miles daily at altitude up maahoosive hills (I do love a good hill though – yes I know I am bonkers!).

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Last weekend was a bit of an experiment – on Friday (above) I managed a reasonably quick (for me) 5k around my usual route.

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Saturday was an absolutely glorious day and I met up with a friend of mine for a run around the South Oxfordshire countryside. We managed a nice easy 7k run followed by a leisurely walk (probably about 5 miles tops).

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Sunday I clocked up another 5k, this time much slower due to a horrendous stitch.

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Yesterday I also squeezed in another 5k (with another stitch!).

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Today is my rest day and my legs are feeling really good. In fact I’ve felt so inspired I’ve even updated my running events page!

The bit I am really struggling with though is getting my nutrition right. I can’t eat less than 3 hours before a run, but I have to eat quite frequently or I lack energy. Any tips for how to keep your energy levels up without eating something too stodgy that’s going to give me a stitch? My post run routine is working well and I love my protein shake (Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey double chocolate).

I think my metabolism has gone through the roof again as I am always hungry and cold at the moment!

sian

 

Sports bras for running: A review

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying out different sports bras on my runs. Having lost the weight last year and the year before, I’ve had to change all my sports bras. I still need a lot of support, especially for running – a crop top isn’t going to cut it!

The first bra I’ve been trying out is the Active Underwired sports bra by Freya from The Dublin Lingerie Company. If, like me, you have a big cup size or large back measurement, then I find the underwired bras provide the best support without restricting breathing. This sports bra from Freya is really comfortable to wear whilst providing high impact support. It is lined with ‘Coolmax’ fabric that removes moisture and feels soft against the skin. The design incorporates mesh panels for cool comfort, an inner sling which extends to the shoulder strap to enhance support and reduce bounce. The straps are also padded so they don’t rub on longer runs. The bra is available in nude (shown above), black and white. My rating = 9/10.

The next bra I’ve been testing is the Ultimate Run bra by Shock Absorber. I love the look of this bra and criss cross back looks great underneath my running vests. It certainly does provide maximum support whilst running. Unlike other bras I’ve tried in this style, it also opens at the back making it much easier to get on and off. The bra is made from a moisture-wicking, breathable fabric, sports performance fabrics so it draws the sweat away from your skin. My only slight negative is that I find the back strap quite tight around my rib cage, but it doesn’t seem to impact on my breathing too much. My rating = 8.5/10.

Which sports bras have you tried out? Any that you’d recommend?

sian

2013: The year of the trail runner

So what have I been up to? As always there have been lots of changes and lots going on, hence my absence again. I will be back here more frequently soon, promise!

Last year I did a lot of road races and collected a LOT of race bling, but this year it’s all about trail running with a few new road races mixed in for good measure. I am in love with my Saucony Peregrine trail running shoes – they are really comfy and I don’t get any foot pain with them.

So what have I been up to and what have I got planned?

1 and 2. I’ve been back running again – clocking up some fast (for me) 5ks in the week and longer runs at the weekend. Last weekend I did 10 miles and today I’m off running over the Oxfordshire countryside (5k) and a long run tomorrow (11+ miles). Running is feeling good again and not a chore.

3. I’m having a photo shoot done in London for my blog with a friend of mine who’s an amazing photographer. Should be fun!

4. Looks like I’ll be running my own beginner’s running club as Cherwell council have kindly funded a space for me to do my Leadership in Running training. If you live in Oxfordshire and want to start running do get in touch. It’s for complete beginners with no running experience.

5. I am off on holiday to Crete in May – hoping to get some running in too. Should be a good challenge as Crete is extremely hilly. I am so looking forward to a break at the moment as work has been pretty busy.

6. My next race is the Nike ‘We own the night‘ 10k on 18th May. I’m hoping for a PB – under 57 minutes would be wonderful.

7. I’m off to Chamonix for a week’s trail running camp with Icicle in June. The camp involves running (at altitude) every day over half marathon distances. It should be challenging, but a lot of fun!

8. In September, I’m running in the Shere 40k challenge – that’s 40k over the surrey hills! I’ve done a lot of walking around there, but this will be a huge challenge. If you fancy joining in, you can enter here.

9. This year I’ve also decided to run in the Oxford half marathon. I love 10 miles and half marathon distance (probably my favourite), and it should be a good course to run around. Certainly lots to look at!

I am planning to get in a few other smaller races too, but nothing else confirmed. I need to re-stock the bling rack. 😉

Happy running people! What has everyone else got planned for the rest of the year?

Coming up on zi blog:

– Sports bra review

Fitbug review

sian