10K Chris

Beacon Medical Practice running teamFollowing on the heels of my determined decision to become fit, slim and healthy a couple of years ago, I’ve been running pretty regularly. Since then, I’ve clocked up roughly 700km of sweaty boring hours, and have even begun to find it less boring, if no less sweaty.

Last year I completed my first Triathlon, and yesterday I managed my first proper 10K road race, running with some of my colleagues from The Beacon Medical Practice. I thought I would share a little about it below…

Location

City Of Lincoln 10K Route MapMy friendly local medical practice, as part of encouraging holistic healthy living, offered to book anyone who wanted to run onto the Lincoln 10K. Nine of us ran it, ranging from an ultramarathon runner to first timers, so the pressure was nice and low.

The City of Lincoln 10K is a very flat course, running two squares around the Cathedral quarter slap-bang in the centre of historic Lincoln. Click the route on the right for a nice big version.

Training

I… didn’t do any. I meant to, but this year has been pretty rough so far. I’ve been ill quite a few times, had a scary exam to prepare for, and suffered from a fair bit of stress/tiredness. Looking back over my fitness log, I’ve been managing around 2-4 shortish runs a month since the new year. Probably enough to maintain fitness, but definitely not improve.

I’d hoped to put in some serious practice, but instead, a week before the race I found myself texting my sports performance specialist friend Jon, asking “How do I knock 5minutes off my personal best for 10K in a week”. I settled on the following plan

Monday 10K at race pace
Tuesday 5K at race pace
Wednesday Rest day
Thursday Long walk
Friday 10K at pace
Saturday Rest day

Regarding nutrition, I ignored this in the days leading up to the race, but on the morning of, I had a quorn and halloumi omelette, plenty of protein and fat, with some carbs in the form of a pack of mints.

I had planned to eat a slice of toast with jam as well, but felt a bit full following the omelette, and felt longer acting carbs vs running whilst overfull was a difficult call. Should have got up earlier, and kicked off with some porridge…

Experience

On the starting line, waiting for kick-off...I had a great time. I slotted myself into the sub 45 minute group at the start line, more to avoid the crush of people slowing me down further back.

It was a great race overall, and my first real experience of the need to pace more carefully.

The first kilometre, I got much too excited by the atmosphere, and the people around me to overtake, and pushed a bit too hard. My earphones fed back to me that I’d managed a 4 minute 11 km, so I made a conscious effort to slow down over the next 2km, picking slightly slower people in the field and keeping pace with them.

I settled into a rhythm, and generally just found 3-5km great. However, I hit the halfway mark, and hit a mental wall, struggling to keep my pace, which was apparent by around 7km, where I’d started to drop from 4:30-4:40s to nearly 5min per kilometre.

Talking myself out of the doldrums, I was able to pick up the pace again at 8km, but then hit more of a physical wall – I’d been pushing pretty hard for 35 minutes by now, and there weren’t any reserves left in my legs. Over the final 2k, I didn’t get my usual burst of energy with the end being in sight, and clocked up my slowest times, at 5:08 and 5:16.

It was a great race overall, and my first real experience of the need to pace more carefully. I think that if I hadn’t had a pacing reminder early on, I’d have carried on pushing a bit too hard, and really crashed later on around 6-7k, almost certainly harming my time overall. As it was, I probably ran it a bit too much as a 5K, with a PB for my 5K time too!

I wonder if fitting in some complex carbs in the morning would have sustained me a little better – difficult to say, I suspect it wouldn’t have made much difference either way.

Results

I was aiming for a sub 50 minute time, solely to beat my brother’s time from his 10K last year. On Monday, 6 days before, I ran a practice run in 55 minutes, which was not terribly encouraging.

What did I manage? Not just one, but two personal bests! New PB for 5K at 22 min 44 seconds and for 10k at 46 minutes 46 seconds. I came 717th out of 4,682 (15th centile).

Even more importantly, we bonded as a team, and I got to eat 2.5 pizzas in the 7 hours following the race. All in all, a total win.Having a well deserved pint to celebrate a combined 90 kilometres of running

Review: Snood

Me in a snood, looking excitedIt’s reached that point in the year where its getting horribly cold. Pretty enough on a Christmas card, much less appetising when its 1 degree outside, and you are heading off to work on the bike at 7am.

This year, I treated myself to a snood. I would recommend it.

It feels like still having the duvet wrapped around you, even as you brave the icy streets. The one I have even has airholes for your mouth, so you can breath through it without feeling like you are suffocating.

I do whole-heartedly advise you to splash out on one, if you do any winter cycling. However, I have a long history of complaining about cycling, so it would be remiss of me not to complain just a little bit…

Problems with a snood:

Reduced peripheral vision

It hardly seems much, but the snood overlaps the edge of my face by around 1cm. It’s amazing how much this affects my view of cars, especially when peering over my shoulder for overtakers.

If possible, try to peel back the edges just parallel with your eyes, since the feeling of being cosy is definitely diminished a bit by being run over by a lorry.

The terrors of snood condensationCondensation

As soon as you stop moving, the warmth of your body and the steam from your breathing rapidly cloud your vision.

Once you set off again, the flow of cold air sorts it out, but I have gone almost completely blind at traffic lights a few times!

Looking like a serial killer.

I have not problem with looking like an idiot – see lycra trousers – but there’s something a little bit bank-robber-esque about covering ones mouth and nose. More than a few people have commented on my sinister appearance.

 

Problems aside, I love my snood, and I wish you all well in your snooding over the rest of this winter!
Have an emotional snood story? Why not share it below…

 

Six kilos in six weeks: the difficult second album

horizontal-162952_1280Read the first post in this series here – Six kilos in six weeks: finishing what I started.
Just a warning, I’m going to be talking about weight loss, dieting and body image. If you struggle with your relationship with food, or have any self image difficulties, you may find it hard to read.

How am I doing?

After a very principled and well behaved week one, I did less well, but still acceptably this week.

  • I have overshot on every single day…
  • …including one day where I managed an extra 1423 kcal!

Despite how bad that sounds, I only overshot by an average of 73kcal on the weekdays. I could see my weights were on track, so allowed myself a rest day on Saturday.

Depressingly, although I had been aiming for 2000kcal, I managed to exceed this by over 800. Its a clear warning that learning to balance my appetite in a controlled manner after this diet is going to be a big challenge.

Overall, In the last week, based on a basal metabolic requirement of 2400 kcal per day, I’ve averaged a daily deficit of 701kcal, leaving me just a smidge under 5000kcal down for the week.

WhaLibra_2015-10-12t is my weight?

Apparently in the last week, I’ve gone from 70.6kg on the scales to… 69.0kg. In reality, things aren’t as simple as weighing daily, that’s why I use a rolling average (see the red line) to confirm things are moving in the right direction.

Still, I weighed 71.1kg 2 weeks ago, and I currently weigh 69.0kg, so there’s no doubt I’m on target.

What’s been hard?

The temptation to snack has definitely increased a little in the evenings.

This week I’ve had a sore throat, and generally felt pretty exhausted. I’ve not been super hungry, although the temptation to snack has definitely increased a little in the evenings.

Mostly I’ve just been bored of my normal day time food – I usually have a Joylent/Queal/soylent style shake for my combined breakfast and lunch over the day. There have been several days where this has lost out to an equivalent calorie amount of curly fries, or veggie sandwich.

I’ve struggled a little to motivate myself for exercise. Last week I managed 1157 kcal of exercise – not much short of an extra day’s calories. This week I managed 945 kcal, around 20% less. Not managed a proper run since starting the diet. I did, however, stop finding the NYT 7 minute exercise so hard, and am noticing an improvement in my press up ability!

 

Changes, changes, changes.

weightlossweek2aI’m happy about progress. If this carries on, I should hit 65kg as planned, hopefully all from fat loss. This week I’m going to:

  1. Stick with a 1400 kcal target. Although I’m missing it a little, I know myself – if I set it at 1500, I’d just miss that a little instead!
  2. Slightly increase my exercise. Aiming to beat the total calorie burn from week 1. Aiming to fit in the following workouts:
    – 2x a NYT workout twice a week
    – 2x cycling day
    – 2x running day (working on bleep test)
  3. Keep an eye on macros. Still haven’t thought about macros much. May look at this this week, or just review it at the end.

Shout out thanks to Jon Smith for keeping me accountable, and texting me daily to tell me to “put down the butter dish and walk away”. Check out his ace 5K running app at RunwithKick.com

Results

These are all updated live from a central database, so feel free to check back daily for updates…