Saturday, 12 January 2013

Running and me

Those who don't follow me on Twitter and are new to this blog may not realise how much I detest running.

A brief history about me and running.

I have never been a runner. I used to despise cross country at high school. I didn't see the point in punishing myself as I have always been a big lump of a lad and running hurt.

The only time I have enjoyed running was when there was a point to it such as when I was playing a team sport like football or ultimate frisbee.

I played football through school and ultimate through university.

I graduated from university in 2002 and have barely played ultimate since, which means I had barely run in 10 years before I started this quest.

Pre quest the last time I ran was in 2006.

Fast forward 6 years and I decided to take up triathlon after giving up smoking.

I always knew the running would be the hardest discipline in triathlon for me as it is something I have never enjoyed, but the challenge had been set.

Running and triathlon 

My triathlon running career hardly got off to the greatest of starts. I managed a full three runs before injury, which saw me unable to run between 7th Feb 2012 and 22nd April 2012 as I had achilles tendinitis.

So here I sit in January 2013 with my running career under 9 months old and I thought it prudent to compose this post.

Given my team sport background I was a forefoot striker but some bad advice that I received from numerous people told me transition to heel striking.

I persevered with this until after the London Triathlon after a running coach advised me to run how my body wanted to run which was forefoot striking.

It took me a long time to get my head into running and I was so unfit. I tried the usual couch to 5k programmes with no success. I used to run walk to different number of lampposts to assist me with running.

My team sport background means I was used to sprinting for short periods of time and then recovering by walking before sprinting again. When I started run training I couldn't get my head around lowering my pace to enable me to run longer and honestly it is only since September that I have learnt to pace myself.

If we compare two of my speed graphs there is a vast difference.

First we have a run from May 2012 where you can clearly see the run walk strategy I was used to using. The distance of this run was 2.08 miles at an average pace of 14:46/mile.

Then we have my run from today where I have learnt to pace myself, I manmaged to run for a total of 49 minutes with one minute of walking and shock horror I even started to enjoy some of the running today. My distance today was 4.72 miles at an average pace of 10:30/mile.

You can clearly see I have learnt to pace, the peaks and troughs have disappeared. This is a huge achievement for me given my relative infancy when it comes to running.

I also managed to reduce my average pace by 29%.

I couldn't be happier that I have learnt to pace and because of this I can increase the distances I run. I know I bitch and moan about running but I am starting to enjoy it and in nine months I have come a bloody long way through my own hard work and determination.

One of the challenges I blogged about earlier ( has seen me turn a corner with regards to running and that is the #12runsofchristmas. During the 12 days from boxing day I ran everyday with varying distances. I set PB's for 1km, 1 mile and 2.5km. I reached a milestone by completing 2.5km in under 15 minutes.

This challenge was the brainchild of Karen Weir ( and I would like to thank Karen for a lot of help she has given me for it was Karen who told me to listen to my body and forefoot strike when I was at a low in my running (three weeks before the London Triathlon), it was because of Karen boosting my confidence that I managed to complete my first 5km constant run.

If you are struggling with your running in any respect, I could not recommend a better running coach than Karen. The only problem being she is based in London but if you're down that way, look her up.

There are a few issues with running that I have to sort such as I am getting blisters and the fact that over the next 25 weeks I have to increase the distance I can run by 550% so that I can complete the Outlaw but honestly I am over the moon tonight as I am starting to enjoy running.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Most popular posts from 2012

Just thought I'd do a quick link to my most popular blog posts from last year for those that are new to me blogging exploits. Who knows you may read something useful in these gems (and thats those as viewed by my discerning readers i.e. you)

I'll also include a brief summary of the blog post to save you reading them all unless you really want to.

And starting the countdown of at

Number 5

This blogpost detailed four days of training on the bounce and how I had reached 60 days nicotine free. I even got a comment from the Worldwide Director of Allen Carr.

Number 4

This blogpost detailed my exploits at the London Triathlon in the most horrendous weather I have had the misfortune of being stuck outside for. A total of 3 hours and 32 minuts later I crossed the finish line. This triathlon was the main aim for 2012 and I was proud to complete.

Number 3

This post detailed the gems of wisdom that were taught to me by two of my coaches at swimming and running. Things which I still use to this day

Number 2

This post was one of the first I ever wrote and I can only think it had so many views because it was mentioned by Jonny Brownlee on Twitter. Not just a RT but an actual mention.

And at Number 1

This blogpost detailed my first ever triathlon and if any future triathletes find it useful then I'm glad I was of some assistance.

Thanks for reading,


7 triathlons in 2013 - well it seemed like a good idea at the time

After I completed the London Triathlon I contemplated what to do for 2013 now that the triathlon bug seems to have taken hold.

I knew I wanted to make the jump to long distance as I feel I am definitely built for endurance rather than speed, especially given how stubborn I can be.

So I had already decided I would be completing the Outlaw Triathlon on the 7th July. Then I got to thinking about completing a minimum of one triathlon at every distance up to iron in 2013.

This would mean completing the following triathlons in 2013
  1. Supersprint (0.4k swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run)
  2. Sprint (0.75k swim, 20k bike and 5k run)
  3. Olympic (1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run)
  4. Half iron (1.9k siwm, 90k bike and 21.1k run)
  5. Iron (3.8k swim, 180k bike and 42.4k run)
So far I have managed to enter all but one of these distances
  1. Not entered
  2. Rother Valley Triathlon on 9th June
  3. London Triathlon on 28th July
  4. Mallorca Ironman70.3 on 11th May
  5. Outlaw on 7th July
I have also entered the Clitheroe Triathlon on 14th April as it is quite a hilly course and I think I will need some hill practice before the Mallorca Ironman 70.3 in May.

The course profile for Mallorca is a little extreme and sees you rise 600m over 20km which is an average gradient of approx 3% which admittedly doesn't sound a lot but it is for an unrelenting 20km and given I live in one of the flattest areas of the country, I don't get much practice at climbing.

Course profile for Ironman 70.3 Mallorca
Thankfully I am also going on a training camp to Mallorca in March which will see me complete the bike route before the triathlon in May.

I have also signed up to be part of a relay team for the Leeds Triathlon on 8th September where I will be completing the swim.

Anyway the reason for this blog is I am currently contemplating completing a supersprint triathlon in July.

Now before you all go off thinking I am mad for contemplating a third triathlon in July, which I probably am, there are valid reasons behind all three triathlons.


I realise I am never going to set the triathlon World on fire given the fact I am currently tipping the scales at 15 stone 11 (woohoo I've lost a whole 6 lbs in just under a year since I started this quest) so I purposely picked the Outlaw due to its relatively flat nature and proximity to my home for my first iron distance event. If I am bitten by the iron distance bug, there is a good chance that I will complete other iron distance events with more hills. After all I would like to get an M. tattoo at some stage. Who knows Bolton in 2014 may be on the agenda but I will delay making statements like that until after I have survived the Oultaw.


This is the one that started it all, the one that caught my eye some 11 months ago when I was starting this quest. I've been there and done it but given the horrendous weather ( I was unhappy with my time and feel we have unfinished business so I need to go back and redeem myself and I will smash my PB from 2012.

And now for the supersprint I am contemplating..........

On the 21st July 2013, 14 days after the Outlaw and 7 days before London. are holding the City of Birmingham Triathlon which includes a supersprint distance event. Now why has this triathlon in particular caught my eye. Well for two reasons.
  1. Firstly it will be good to get the legs working after a break post Outlaw given I have to swimbikerun for 51.5km 7 days later.
  2. But most importantly have chosen HelpHarryHelpOthers as their official charity partner for 2013 and given I have chosen to raise money for HHHO in 2013 it seems quite fitting. There is also the fact that Harry Moseley was born in Birmingham, his charity is based in Birmingham and the people of Birmingham cherish Harry (there have been sponsored walks, cycles and a Ball in his honour and now some idiot has decided to run triathlons for HHHO) so it all seems like a good idea at the time of writing. Who knows may even want to stock my custom design trisuit for the event. I am sending the design and a pricelist to Harry's mum this week once I recieve them off my supplier.
My HHHO custom trisuit
So do I go for my third triathlon in July or would this be considered lunacy by some?

Remember you can sponsor me by clicking on the following link

That's all from me for now.