Running the BostonUK Marathon 31 May 2021 – the flattest marathon in the UK.

It would come up 0.05 short on Strava!

I had got into a good routine over lockdown and had decided to do a Run Streak for a month I got hooked and carried on my Run Streak which eventually lasted 261 days. I had a cake when I’d done 200 days. It stopped because I picked up an injury 5 weeks before this marathon. Doing a Run Streak made running easier for me as it was not a question of “shall I go for a run, or shall I leave it for today?” It was “I’m a run streaker, of course I run today,” I only need to do 2-3km slowly”. It became like having a shower, something I just did everyday.

Boston

I was finding things tough in the last couple of years and running is the one thing that improves my mood, so its my coping mechanism for when times are hard.

Before Lockdown I always struggled to go running outside, I didn’t go if it was wet, windy, too cold, too hot unless it was a race or a parkrun. Previously, I did most of my running on the treadmill at my gym.I never did strength training and for years always would say “I should start doing sit ups, press ups etc.”, but never ended up doing them. I couldn’t even do one full press up! But, under lockdown when the gyms closed I started doing YouTube workouts and Indoor Rowing everyday. I finally had a stronger core and should have done it years ago. I also lost a lot of weight so that made running easier.

All alone!!!😂😂😂

Anyway, I was so excited coming to Boston, I had been very stressed at home and didn’t have very high self-esteem so I needed something to make me feel good about myself and feel accomplished. This was also one of the few times I had come to a running event on my own. Over the years I had come to rely on my husband but this time I would do the marathon by myself.

I was a little bit anxious at the start only because I hadn’t really run properly for the past 5 weeks but I was fit and I had done all my long runs. I was just hoping my injury wouldn’t stop me. In the end, my leg hurt more and more the further I when but I was able to finish it although I was running very slowly for the last 6-8 miles but really those miles signs seem to just fly by. I’m a little bit injured again because I ran it but I’m taking care to rest a bit from running.

View while running….very flat!

Book Review: Run Through Barriers by Clint Adam Lovell

This is a book that will inspire you to run and it’s such easy reading. Any runner or even someone who is thinking of giving running a try would enjoy reading it. I know I need all the inspiration on offer because running isn’t alway easy for me. I’ve been running for years, BUT even though running makes me feel good, gives me a sense of achievement, keeps my body strong and lean enough to eat cake and ice cream without any guilt I still really, really have a battle with myself to get out the door for EVERY RUN, not just some runs. I don’t ever really feel like going for a run, but based on thousands of previous experiences I know it will be fine, I just have to get through the initial 5 minutes of discomfort. That is how it is for me and it probably will always be like that, but after every run I feel I have achieve something no matter how far or fast I’ve run. I loved reading about inspiring people in this book, they are people who have obstacles like all of us and have overcome them.

The first part of book will fill you with inspiration to get started and continue running. It is full of inspirational stories from people who overcome their own barriers to run and who are achieving some amazing challenges. Among them are Ais North who despite being in her 70’s hasn’t let Heart Attack’s or Cancer get in the way of doing Ultra marathons; Eileen Noble one of Britain’s oldest marathon runners, who took up running at the age of 50; Roger Wright who has battled obesity and run over 66 marathons in 11 years. The book shows that most barriers can be overcome, by exploring simple methods to challenge, remove and replace common barriers with positive actions and make running a sustainable part of everyone’s everyday lives.

The second part of the book gives you the knowledge to continue running and achieve your goals. It focuses on training the body, ad includes running plans that will take you from a beginner to achieving your goals to a 5, 10, half and further. The book sets out 7 rules or guidelines which help create a lasting running training program so you place into a routine which will fit into your lifestyle with a flexible structure that can move and adapt. I’ve integrated all these rules/guidelines into my training and they have helped me maintain a run streak. I’ve run 240+days plus at the moment and I’m still going. I have never found it easier to enjoy running than at the moment.

I brought the Kindle version of the book which cost less than a coffee and cake. Well worth it.

Clint Adam Lovell: Author of Run Through Barriers

Good parkrun blogs.

Good parkrun reviewers. I’ve taken this list of really good blogs off ‘The parkrun journey’ Facebook site.

Robert Skedgell the moderator wrote:

“There are quite a few excellent blogs by parkrun tourists. As there are so many that it’s hard to keep track of them, I’ll keep a list in this post. Where the author is a member of this group, I’ll tag them next to the entry.”

I’ll try to update this site as well.

parkruns by Steve Stockwell

http://www.blog7t.com/

Get Down, Shep! by Ali Sheppard

https://getdownshep.com/

Monday running by Gail Seal

https://mondayrunning.com/

Paul-Jeffrey.com by Paul Jeffrey

http://paul-jeffrey.com/

parkrun reviews by Chis Jeanes

https://crajeanes.wixsite.com/parkrun/home

Running to stand still by Toria Richards

https://mrsbridgewater.blogspot.com/

Running Scared by Lucy Marris.

https://runningscaredsite.wordpress.com/

The buggy runners diary by Jessica Sanderson

https://www.facebook.com/thebuggyrunnersdiary/

allscottishparkruns (allba) by Scott MacMichael

https://allscottishparkruns.wordpress.com/

Parkrun Poet by Tim Gardiner https://twitter.com/parkrunpoetry

@parkrunpoetry

November: How can a Sport Psychologist help you perform better? An insight into what they do.

See Website in Menu winninglane.com

Psychological and Physiological assessments can help you perform better

1 Get an accurate assessment of performance at baseline.

2 Learn how to use psychological skills.

3 Re-test whether you have improved.

4 Reflect on whether the intervention worked or not? Was it your beliefs that made it work?

N.B: If any of the Peak Performance links don’t you there directly, then type Lane in the search box.

Read More

Using sport psychology to perform faster?

What mindset do I need if I want to go faster? Should I just work harder in training? How do I train smarter? More from Andy Lane… Read More

Keep finding a winning edge

Examining psychological states associated with ageing and offers practical suggestions on how to keep achieving… Read More

How can I perform consistently well under pressure?

Explaining strategies to perform consistently under pressure… Read More

Sports equipment: how music and video can improve performance?

Athletes value technology and coaches can build upon this by demonstrating how it can be used effectively to enhance performance… Read More

Cycling training: how to approach multi stage cycling events

The physiological and psychological demands of riding in a cycling tour… Read More

Game, set, and match – developing resilient self-confidence in tennis

Mental qualities needed to be an elite tennis player, and offers practical suggestions on how tennis players can improve their mental game… Read More

Sports Psychology – Eating behaviours: New Ways to Develop and Assess an Athlete’s Diet

Endurance Training and Mental Toughness for Long Distance Swimming.

Systematic endurance training strategies are presented to help long-distance and open-water swimmers to develop physical and mental toughness, set goals and manage their emotions… Read More

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zwr2mnb

Next month there will be a piece on how a Sports Psychologist helped a women run her first marathon using weekly Skype Sessions.

Saturday 18th August: Free Talk by Susan Partridge and Rebecca Robinson

This was the second talk in a series of free talks, organised by Professor Andy Lane and Dan Robinson.

The day started with a get together of some runners at the Walsall Arboretum parkrun.

Photo: Susan Partridge, Rebecca Robinson, Dan Robinson (no relationship to Rebecca), Andy Lane.

This was followed by a drill session on the running track at the University of Wolverhampton (Walsall Campus). The drills focus on improving running technique and were led by Mark Nietz, a Strength and Conditioning Expert for the English Institute of Sport.

Dr Rebecca Robinson

The first speaker was Rebecca Robinson, an International Mountain Runner and Road Runner. Her dedication and strong mental aptitude propelled her to 5th fastest on the British Ranking list last year. She has a P.B. Marathon time of 2.36 and a 5km P.B., of 15.48.

If being a runner at this level isn’t enough, Rebecca works as a Physician at the Centre Health and Human Performance in Harley Street, London, specialising in Sport & Exercise Medicine. Rebecca is also Clinical researcher in physical activity at Sheffield Teaching Hospital and a Consultant in SEM in Musculoskeletal medicine at Moor and Ilcley Medical Practice.

The list doesn’t end there, Rebecca is also a consultant for the English Institute of Sport with the GB Boxing Team & British Athletics.

Today her talk was focused on her applied practitioner experience with runners athletes with Relative Energy Deficiency, due to dieting or the pressure of keeping at a very low body weight.

Rebecca explained that more awareness and education is needed both for the athlete and the coach to prevent underperforming due to extremely low calorie diets and dysfunctional eating. Training on a low calorie diets prevents the growth of muscles, she explained. It was a fascinating talk and its became clear that there are so many sides to Rebecca as she has so much running experiences.

Susan Partridge

Susan Partridge is a middle distance and long distance runner who has represented Great Britain at the World Athletic Championships and the European Athletic Championships. She also represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. Susan has a 2.30 marathon PB, and she has won the Reading & Cardiff Half Marathon and The Great Birmingham Run Twice.

Susan shared her experiences of running from when she was young to becoming an elite runner. There was some very interesting experiences and she explained how she kept a balance between running and the rest of her life.

After they both spoke there was plenty of time to ask questions to both Susan and Rebecca. It was lovely, to hear and see two such down to earth, modest and interesting people. They both downplayed their abilities and performance.

There will be more free talks to come so keep following Twitter @RunHelenLane @andylane27 or Facebook to see when the next one is.

Monday 23rd July: Talk and Q & A by Dr Martin Yelling

This was the first of a series of free talks that are taking place at the University of Wolverhampton. Walsall Campus. Organised by Professor Andy Lane and Dan Robinson.

Dr Martin Yelling has won the Elite British Duathlon twice, completed the Hawaii Ironman, the Comrades Ultra and ran 260 miles of the South East Coast Path.

This only scratches the surfaces of Martin’s running achievements. n

Martin is one of the Official Experts at the Virgin Money London Marathon. He gives advice on training for the marathon on a series of live Q & A’s on the internet.

Martin is the Co-Founder of Marathontalk podcast and Marathontalk Runcamp alongside Tom Williams.

Martin has his own coaching business with his wife Liz Yelling who was a 2 x Olympic GB Marathon Runner and a Commonwealth Medalist. Yelling performance.com

Martin organise a number of running experiences including one in Austria.

Along with juggling his business, family and running, Martin still works as an academic. He has produced a number of Sport Science articles and works with PhD students.

The talk was fascinating, not what I expected. Martin explored the emotions of running. Highlighting, why do we Run? How does our family and friends fit into a running life? You didn’t have to be fast to enjoy the talk. Martin explained that he started running when he was very young at school. He said that he didn’t think too much into why, however he knew it felt good, especially afterward he went for a run. Martin said for him it was not just the winning. Running made him feel like he could do almost anything.

The talk focus a little on strategies to control emotions, e.g., when nervous or anxious think about your previous success, sets many goals not just one so you can stay positive and not put too much pressure on yourself. When coaching he said one of the most important things is to listen and supports their athletes, observes them and reminds the of their previous successes.

After the talk finished there was the opportunity to ask many questions. One that made me laugh was the answer given to a question on “what advice would you give to encourage young girls and boys to run”. Martin said, make it fun and don’t push them if they really, really don’t want to do it, but he made us all laugh when he said, “I’m amazed at just how many parents are so serious. I went down to a training session on an athletic track and the parents bring out gels, sports drinks, energy bars, even though their running distance maybe quite short.” It was a great evening on a very hot evening.

The Derby Half Marathon: Sunday 3rd June 2018

This event used to be called the Ramathon. It’s now called the Derby Half Marathon. It’s a big event with lots of support. A latte from Costa, collect number, get to the start area and off I go. Very, very well organised. Impossible to go wrong. Water and sports drinks available quite often. For the first mile it is a little crowded but after a mile it’s fine. I got hotter and hotter the further I ran, I thought to myself “I seem slower and find this a lot harder than I used to”. I plod on thinking of the medal and get to the end. At the end I get a nice medal and running top and walk down the river to meet my husband at the Dave Lloyd Centre to shower and have lunch. Easy.

Burton 10: Sunday 20th June 2018

A really good thing about this event is it starts late, a 10.45am start. A hot day again. My husband and I decided to cycle to this event as it was only about 14 miles away. My husband knee was sore so he watched. It was a very hot day again but this is another lovely race and good value for money as you get a running top included. It’s a two lap course with one big uphill on each lap. I’ve always liked this course because of the distance, start time and two lap course. When all the runners had finished we cycled home. We got home at about 4pm and all I had all day was a banana.

The Bosworth Half Marathon: Sunday 13th May 2018

Again, another hot sunny day. This event had the most beautiful scenery. We warmed up around the lovely lake and then headed over to the start. It was a struggle on some of the hills but there enough drinks stations and on the whole very well organised. Unfortunately the results took a few days to come out and I felt sorry for the organiser who seemed to get a bit of abuse from a few runners. At the finish we got a nice medal.

Lichfield Half Marathon: Sunday 6th May

The Lichfield Half Marathon starts near our house so it’s easy to jog to the start. It was two weeks after the Virgin London Marathon and hot. I don’t know how it’s described in race reports but I would describe as mostly flat with a few ups and downs. The start is at King Edward School and the finish is about a mile apart in town by the Lichfield Cathedral in town, but the 1 mile walk is worth it for the lovely atmosphere at the end and the walk through Lichfield City back to the start. You could park at the start in the school car park or a car park in town. We have done this event three times and we wouldn’t be coming back year after year if we didn’t enjoy it