Monthly Archives: July 2013

Run with an Idea #2 : Race Fees – Would you pay £50 for a 10km?

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This is the second topic for Run with an Idea, a bi-weekly blogging debate about health and fitness issues. The first topic about the “The Olympics one year on” certainly generated some good discussion and opinions.

This week’s debate topic is about race fees, and “Would you pay £50 for a 10km?”

My answer: “Yes, I would.”

Would I pay £50 for every 10k race? No, I wouldn’t.

£50 is a lot of money for a 10k race, but there are many races out there that cost that much and many thousands of people have run them. Including me.

How much is too much? I think it is a personal decision. It all comes down to what the individual perceives they are getting for their fees and if they think it is worth it.

Outside of the tangible items like medals, shirts, drinks, magazines, energy bars etc –what I call the ‘swag’ (cut me some slack, I’m an Aussie) – there are the intangible items like where the race is run, the scenery, the people taking part, and most importantly, that person’s relationship to the race – the reason they are running.

For me, it is these intangible benefits that inform most of my decision making about a race and the fees. If I feel I’m getting increased ‘benefits’ from a race, I’ll gladly pay more for the opportunity to run in it. If it comes with a good swag, then all the better. But I wouldn’t run a race just for the ‘swag’.

Conversely, if I think the race is too expensive for the ‘benefits’, then I have the choice not to run in it. With the growing popularity in running, and especially in racing 5k and 10k races, it is a bit of a ‘buyers market’. Race organisers need to balance what it costs them to organise, hold and administer a race, with what people are actually willing to pay for their event. Too little fees and they can’t put on a good event, or they go out of business, too much fees and they run the risk of people feeling they aren’t getting good value and subscriptions will drop.

If I see a race I am interested in, but the fees seem high, I speak to people I know who have run the same race, or read reviews of the races online to see what people are saying about their race experience to help inform my decision.

So far I’ve never run a race where I felt that the fees were too much for the whole experience and *crosses fingers* I hope my good luck continues, and I hope yours does too!

If you think £50 is too high for a 10km, or if you have an experience of a race where you thought the cost outweighed the ‘benefits’, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Happy racing!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running

Music for running : an open question

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I’m on the underground on my to my last game of the Aussie rules season in London, with my “footy pump up” mix blasting into my ears and this got me thinking – why don’t I need music to run? I’ve read many articles that show that listening to music while running improves performance (one article I read said by up to 15%!), but I’ve never seen it or felt it myself.

I’ve tried music while running, especially during the training schedule for my first marathon, with various experiments of headphones and equipment, different sizes of iPods, different carriers etc and I’ve always returned back to empty ears. Am I doing something wrong?

My running playlists have all used music that I find get me going, with tempo around 160 – 170 beats per minute (I read somewhere that was optimum tempo for runners).

I’ve tried using apps which have a ‘boost’ song – hit the button when you feel you’re lagging and you pre-selected ‘boost’ song comes on.

I’ve tried music playlists specifically made for running. I bought Drive: Nike+ Original Run by Chrystal Method, a continuous 45 minute mix perfect for a medium length tempo run.

But I still return to empty ears. Something about the music makes me feel disconnected from what my body is doing during the run. Especially on my hardest runs.

So, I don’t really have a point in this post, it’s actually a question for you.

Do you listen to music when you run or exercise? What sort of music? Do you use it for motivation, or for distraction? In what ways does music help you?

Success filled running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running

An Open Letter to the Lady in the Way Too Huge Cotton Tee

A great read for any beginner! You might not be fast, you might not run far, but if you see other runners out there, don’t cross the road! Be proud that you are working your ass off starting out. And remember that we all remember what that was like…

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

Hi,

I see you. Lately, I see you often. I am here, running behind you. Even though you never acknowledge me. I know you hear me. I know you can see me from the corner of your darting eyes. You cross the street, as far away as you can get from me, every time you feel I am too near.

You won’t look up.

You are running. Even though I am certain you don’t believe that you are. In fact, I know you don’t believe it. There you are, looking straight down at your feet, willing them to move faster. They are not being compliant. Your stride lacks confidence. You are unsure. Your legs are not as strong as you would like them to be and it is bothering you. It’s bothering you immensely. You are frustrated. I can see it. You shuffle along, huffing and puffing, in a four…

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Training tips : Hydration Rules, OK!

Sweaty-runner-female

Image credit

It would appear that most of Europe and the US are experiencing very high temperatures and humidity levels at the moment, weather which is energy sapping at best, but downright dangerous at worst. This is particularly so for runners, for whom access to fluids or respite from heat can be hard to come by, especially on a long run.

Most runners know that staying hydrated is key when exercising. The body sweats water to aid in cooling in order to maintain body temperature. If you become dehydrated, this cooling effect is minimised, or can even stop, which puts you into real danger. Taking in too little water risks the dangerous effects of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should chug pints, gallons, bathtubs of water before running on hot days. With everything, too much of a good thing is always a bad idea. Too much water and you run the risk of hyponatraemia, an extremely dangerous condition whereby excessive water intake causes an imbalance in electrolyte levels, due to dilution of the blood and corresponding lowering of sodium levels. Some common symptoms of hyponatraemia include nausea and vomiting, confusion, fatigue, muscle weakness, spasms and cramps, however extremely low sodium levels can cause seizures or coma.

In light of this, it was timely when the other week Runners World released some advice, busting 8 of the most popular ‘myths’ about hydration, which I have paraphrased below. Please do read their full article for the full information. Read the rest of this entry

Positive Running : for those thinking of starting their running journey today…

An inspirational image of a man running along the shore at dawn

It has to start somewhere

It has to start sometime

What better place than here

What better time than now

Zack de la Rocha

 

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

London 2012 : Inspiring a generation? Part 2

London 2012 logo reading 'inspired by London 2012'

I recently posted about the Olympics and if the Games had been able to meet its aim to ‘Inspire a Generation’, as a response to a topic raised in the fortnightly blogging debate series called ‘Run with an Idea‘.

Well, today saw the release of the UK government report ‘Inspired by 2012: The legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ which, even taking the facts and figures with a pinch of salt, indicates that the Olympics had a measurable positive impact and is delivering on its promise of ‘legacy’. Perhaps not to the point of inspiring an entire generation, but it is trying hard.

Read the rest of this entry

London 2012 : Inspiring a Generation?

Lord Seb Coe introducing the motto of London 2012

Lord Seb Coe introducing the motto of London 2012

Image credit

I found a brilliant blogging project online the other night. It’s called ‘Run with an Idea‘ and is a fortnightly blogging debate series about topics specifically running and health related.

This fortnight’s topic is The Olympics one year on: Did we ‘Inspire a Generation’? Before I progress, a quick disclaimer – I worked as an architect for 3 years designing and overseeing the construction of parts of the Athletes’ Village for London 2012, plus I’m a London resident who took advantage of the Games when they were on. So, there is going to be some inherent bias. I will however try to be as objective as possible.

Back on topic – did the Olympics inspire a generation? Taken at face value, I think the answer to the question at the moment has to be “no”. I would say it’s too early to tell. This is an idea, a ‘grands projet’ if you will, that is too big an aspiration to actually be deliverable in a measurable manner after only a year. The idea of inspiring an entire generation is laudable, but like a generation itself, is a long term undertaking.

Read the rest of this entry

A heatwave in London : and another similarly improbable event

british-10k-finishers-medal

I can’t really explain it.

I didn’t plan for it, I didn’t train for it, I certainly didn’t expect it, but today I ran a PB in the British 10k London run.

I’ve been saying all week long that I wasn’t going to shoot for a PB and instead would just enjoy the race and the scenery instead. Maybe it was this mindset that helped me go faster. I had some nerves before the race, but less than normal.

Instead of worrying about things – the hot and humid day, the delay in the start, if I had fuelled enough, had I been standing in the sun too long – I just ’let go’ and went with the day.

When the countdown finished I shuffled forward with everyone else, crossed the start line, started my Garmin, and just ran.

At first, I was really worried I had gone out too hard, my first 2km were way too fast (like, faster than my 5k threshold pace) and I really thought I had guaranteed a blowout later in the race. I dialled it back to where I felt comfortable. I thought this pace was still fast, but I felt comfortable, so I went with it.

The scenery passed by – Trafalgar square, Nelson’s Column, the Thames, the London Eye, with a glimpse of St Paul’s Cathedral at the turn-around point located just before the 5k mark. All was going well and I felt strong as I headed back onto the Embankment for the return leg.

british-10k-the thames

It was at the 6k mark that ‘the plan’ went out the window. Maybe it was ‘race fever’? After passing the 6k mark I checked my splits, did some maths and realised that if I kept up the same pace I was a possibility for a PB. I came into the 7k mark on the same pace, and it was ‘so long’ to ‘relax and enjoy the scenery’ and instead it was ‘race on’…

2.5 hard kilometres later – over the Westminster bridge, past Westminster and Big Ben – and I was looking at my watch, focussing on the finish and striding hard for the line, managing to sneak in 26 seconds faster than my previous PB.

Running is funny like that sometimes. Sometimes a run can surprise you and give back to you things that are unexpected. It is one if the things I love about running.

A happy finisher

A happy finisher

In other news, I ran with some colleagues raising money for our work charity, Body & Soul. One of my colleagues ran her first 10k race today, and managed a great time for a first time racer, and another got a PB as well. I also had some friends from my football club running, and 3 were also able to achieve a PB as well! Seems it was the day for it after all!

Team LDS

Team LDS after a successful run for all!

Did anyone else race today? How were your races? Any more PBs out there?

Strong running everyone.

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

Race Day : British 10k London run

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It’s Race Day!

My kit was packed last night (because I’m a bit OCD like that) leaving me this morning to enjoy a small breakfast and just a quick double check of my list before heading off into central London.

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It’s looking like a nice day for it, the sun is shining and the skies are clear, making for some fantastic scenery as I run around some of the best known landmarks of London!

Good luck for all your runs and races today everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

Marathon training : Everyone needs a rest day…

Today is a rest day and for that I am glad!!!

My work trip to Italy (I know – what a hardship!) was a sleep-deprived affair, however I did manage to get my run in as scheduled.

In the 35 degrees Celsius heat.

In humidity levels similar to Equatorial Guinea.

After a 5am wake up and a 14 hour day.

But, I was in Italy, I was in the resort town of Forte dei Marmi, and my run was along the costal path. So I’m not complaining!

forte-dei-marmi

Yep, I’ve run along worse tracks…

Tomorrow is also a rest day, as part of a ‘mini taper’ before my race on Sunday, the British 10k London run. As I said in a previous post, I’m not expecting a PB in this race due to my interrupted running earlier in the year, so instead I’m looking forward to enjoying the race and enjoying the scenery.

And if it all gets too tough, I’ll think of the people that my workplace charity support and how they all have a much tougher time than me, day-in-day-out.

My workplace supports Body & Soul, a charity whose aim is to counter the devastating effect that an HIV+ diagnosis has on children, teenagers and their families through strategies to reduce isolation and stress; improve health and well being; promote active lives and create a voice for human rights. It is a great charity and one that helps people that are often stigmatised and marginalise because of their HIV+ status, even though they are perfectly healthy and make an important contribution to society.  I’m running with a group of people in my office, 12 in total, and we are hoping to raise £2000 for Body & Soul. Hopefully we will get there so they can continue their good work!

And just for a bit of shameless tin rattling – If you think this charity is something you might want to support, our JustGiving site is:  http://www.justgiving.com/LDS10kmTeam2013

Run strong everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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