Saturday, 5 January 2013

365 in 365 in 2013

Well I've only gone and done it now haven't I!

New Year's Eve does this sort of thing to us doesn't it?! I suspect it will have caught many of you out too. I didn't even say it out-loud, but just after midnight as the new year started, I quietly set myself a couple of targets for 2013.

Firstly, having just managed to pop over the line and achieve 1000 miles in 2012, I decided I would have to up my game in 2013, going for 1200 miles.

And secondly, I have set myself the ominous target of 365 training sessions in 365 days in 2013! This is a massive jump on any training levels I have achieved before. I am going to count any running, cycling or swimming sessions and (of course) allow more than one separate session of each activity to count in the same day.

Last year I managed exactly 150 runs and probably about 30 cycling sessions. So I basically need to double the amount that I do. This is not going to be easy. Just thinking about it, if I miss any day I need to do two sessions the next day. Miss a weekend and I am really playing catch up.

I think the aim really has to be to increase the cycling to 2 or 3 sessions a week minimum. And if possible get into the habit of 4 or 5 runs a week too.

The whole point of these targets was that I was looking for a long term challenge. Something that would be a means to an end. If I manage these distance and training session targets, my "real" targets such as PBs should have a far better chance of happening.

I admit that these targets alone are focusing on quantity rather than quality, but my weekly training plan will take care of the quality aspect. These targets are just to keep me focused throughout the year.

So what (if any) challenging or interesting similar targets have you set for yourself for 2013?

Friday, 4 January 2013

parkrun registration stats this week

There is still a little time for new registrations this week, but at the time of writing and compared to the figures in my post this time last week....

Totalling up new registrations across parkrun globally, shows that parkrun has attracted a further 4,824 registrations this week, this is nearly double the rate of recent weeks. The New Year's Resolution effect!

This takes the total number of global parkrun registrations (according to my official source page on the parkrun website) up to 412,533.

I believe that there are two new parkruns starting this week at Barnstaple (UK) and Sunrise-on-Sea (South Africa).

Malahide parkrun continues to be top of the charts in the number of new registrations category, this week adding yet another 139 new registrants so far. That is now nine weeks (including before their first event) in a row that Malahide parkrun has added the most new registrations.

parkrun events showing notable growth in registrations this week are:
Event   Total   This week   
Malahide parkrun1639139
Newy parkrun219096
Bushy parkrun2120189
Wimbledon Common parkrun976775
New Farm parkrun427672
Ashton Court parkrun462770
Glasgow parkrun1244556
South Bank parkrun48856
Sheffield Hallam parkrun599055
Poole parkrun387953
Southampton parkrun155253
Tilgate parkrun151751

No great surprises in the "largest parkrun in the world" category this week, where it is still the same top 5:
Event   Total   
Bushy parkrun21201
Glasgow parkrun12445
Leeds parkrun11253
Brighton & Hove parkrun10142
Wimbledon Common parkrun9767

Wimbledon Common parkrun will become the 5th parkrun to reach 10,000 registrants within the next few weeks.

And at the other end of the spectrum, but just as worthy of a mention we have (Walthamstow parkrun a new entry this week!):
Event   Total   
Walthamstow parkrun9
Modderfontein Reserve parkrun11
Wimpole Estate parkrun41
Sunrise-on-Sea parkrun52
Upton Court parkrun62

Thursday, 3 January 2013

parkrun statistics of the week

The parkrun statistics of note for this week (29th December) are:
187 parkrun events run
17,765 runners
The average number of runners per parkrun event run was: 95.

4 events recorded a new record attendance this week, as follows:
Event  Record Attendance  

The longest standing parkrun attandance record is:
Amager Faelled  146 28/08/2010

And in the UK its:
Old Deer Park  83 15/01/2011

The highest attendance this week was 615 at Bushy Park. No surprise there. Bushy parkrun still holds the global attendance record for a single event of 1000.

The lowest attendance this week was 5 at Vejen parkrun.

6 new male course records set this week (the men winning this week!):
Athlete  Time  
Claisebrook CoveLiam FUERY16:24
CongletonOliver LANGFORD16:17
Darlington South ParkMichael BLEASBY16:29
KawanaGreg SIMPSON17:27
NorwichPiers ARNOLD15:20
TilgateNeil Robert BONIFACE16:08

5 new female course records set this week:

Event  Athlete  Time    
NorwichOlivia WALWYN17:02
Alice HoltSarah HILL19:52
Hilly FieldsClare ELMS19:13
St AndrewsShona ROBERTSON19:35
PrincesJocelyn PAYNE18:49

An impressive 57 runners ran times under 17 minutes this week.
8 of these ran under 16 minutes and 1 under 15 minutes.

The fastest parkrunner in the World this week was Rob Mullett running an incredible 14:35 at Brighton & Hove parkrun.

The top age grade performance this week was by Peter Sandery who ran 19:28 in the VM70-74 category at Torrens parkrun, recording a 91.70% Age Grade in the process. Very impressive!

60 parkrun freedom runs were recorded this week. The fastest freedom run recorded the week was 20:58 by Ian Giggs at Black Park parkrun on 26th December 2012.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Softly, softly catchy the leader!

After 144 Edinburgh’s out of the 164 runs held there I finally bit the bullet and dipped my parkrun toe into the unknown waters of a sister event.  If the truth be known there were several reasons for this.  Perhaps not the best of reasons but I found myself somewhat driven nevertheless.

For a while now I found myself surrounded by the likeminded attenders.  Some of those I have come to know very well indeed through our mutual love of parkrun.  Some have moved on and some have just had less time to attend.  Feasible in every way however, others have persisted.  I and two others mirrored a shaky start in terms of turnout but over the past couple of years have been neck and neck in our attendance, one leading with myself and another just two from him.  Others have been up there to or there around but my focus was on the leader!

We both have the great fortune to find ourselves to be in good health so attend every week.  We also both find ourselves preferring short breaks and avoid Saturdays away.  When one of us does take the odd Saturday off it’s usually then replicated by the other and so the jostling for attendance top spot continues but oddly, and this is where the intrigue and manoeuvring exists, neither of us really talk to each other about it.  Yes, but we both know it goes on.  Believe me; it’s not all as childish as I’m making it out to be rather that I’m just not a great story teller.

The leader went to Aberdeen for a bash and was due to participate in the parkrun event there next day but unfortunately found it to be cancelled due to ice on the course.  That led to me creeping up to just one away from matching his lead.  My immediate adversary succumbed to family arrangements at Christmas and so I pulled one place higher than her.  Edinburgh was not to hold a New Years Day event having already done so on Christmas day so I looked around to see where else I could go.  Local Edinburgh annual run or off toward west of Glasgow for Strathclyde parkrun.  The leader had plans to attend a local jogscotland gig and so a parkrun wasn’t for him.  Me, I attended both my gigs with a breakneck drive between both and lo, the match was affirmed.  He and I are neck and neck with two places between us and next closest.

The gain, well several as previously indicated.  A New Year Day run, well two.  Done!  Attend a different event to that which I know, thank you for having me Strathclyde.  Done!  Joint top attender, done too.  Thing is, he’ll not have noticed until this Saturday’s results are published and then it’ll be game on.  Not really, but there will be questions asked I guess and knives sharpened for the race to 250.  Sorry, run, for indeed, parkrun is not a race.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2012-2013 TARGETS

A quick review of 2012.

I had tore my Achilles tendon in September 2011 and am about 90% recovered from it now.
Still can't/won't do any speed work yet.
My first parkrun was Christmas eve 2011 and today (NYD) have completed 30 parkruns. My parkrun PB is 24.30.( 68.44% age graded.) I have also volunteered 7 times.

In January I though tendon okay and did a 5 minute speed session...mistake! It took about 6/7 weeks for tendon to calm down.In April I joined an over 65, 5 a side football team....BIG mistake! It was the end of June before I was running again and then only parkrun every other week.
September saw me running parkrun weekly but nothing in between.
In October I started to run 3x20 minute runs, very slowly!
The beginning of November was when I increased my runs to 1x25, 1x35 and 1x40 minutes, still very slowly.
I set a target of sub 24.00 before the end of 2012 and was confident of achieving it.(pride comes before a fall-ouch!!!)
The week after my PB, 24/11/2012,I pulled a thigh muscle.Still running but it is a bit of a struggle. Probably too much, too fast, too soon.
I have been running/racing for 50 years. Still don't practice what I preach... 

And so to 2013.

All my running/training will be based around parkrun, although I hope to run a 10K in the summer.
I hope to get my 50 tee shirt about May/June and will volunteer 10 times in 2013.
My P B target...Drum roll, please.....22.59 before end of year.
I will try for 24.15 end of Feb..23.50 end of March.
I think if I can get back to running 1x25, 1x35 and 1x40 minutes plus parkrun sub 23 is possible.

We  shall see!!

I will end with this quote "Only give up on PB's when you stop breathing"  Lovin it.....

Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 PB targets

My primary running target for 2013 is to improve my PB at all 4 distances that I have existing PBs - 5k, 5 miles, 10k and half marathon - and to set a PB for 10 miles. To give some context I started running some time in 2004 and first entered an event in 2006. [Read more context in my initial parkrunfans contributor post.]

I'm based in Beckenham, Kent and my home parkrun is Dulwich. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions prompted by this post I'd love to hear from you via the comments or twitter @CiceRunner.

5k current PB 19:47 | target 19:30
I have run 13 events to date, all but one of them 2012 parkruns and parkrun will continue to be at the centre of my 5k running. I will be undertaking some, relatively local, parkrun tourism to seek out fast courses and also plan to enter 5k race events partly to vary the psychological tempo and partly again in search of fast courses.

5 miles current PB 33:11 | target 32:10
I have run only 1 event to date setting my PB this year at the beginning of December. In that race my target was 32:30, but due to a watch problem I had no pace or timing information during the race. My 2013 target is heavily influenced by my 10k target since 32:10 requires 6:26 mile pace or 4:00 km pace ...

10k current PB 40:51 | target 39:59
My longest standing running target, dating back to entering my first events in 2006, is to complete a 10k in less than 40 minutes. I have run 16 events to date including 3 in 2012. At the last of these, in November, I recorded 40:54 which thoroughly restored my confidence that I can still aspire to bettering my existing PB - set in 2008 just a few days after my forty third birthday. I plan to improve my PB to approximately 40:30 in the first half of 2013 followed by a sub 40 attempt in the Autumn.

half marathon current PB 1:38:11 | target 1:29:59
My only successful half marathon run in early 2010 resulted in my current PB. Later that year I had to walk the second half of my only other event due to knee problems. My half marathon PB is the weakest of my existing PBs and as such should be easy to improve upon though to achieve my target time will be more difficult. I have entered the Bournemouth Bay Run half marathon on 7 April 2013 - the same event at which I set my current PB.

10 miles current PB <none> | target 1:08:38
My target time is influenced by my half marathon target since both require 6:52 mile pace or 4:16 km pace. I am not yet sure when my first 10 mile race will be, but I hope to find a 10 mile race a suitable interval before the Bournemouth half marathon as part of my HM preparation and to try out the pace required.

Related Factors

I am ending this year at a little over 70kg or 11 stone which is my lowest adult weight. At 5' 10" this equates to a BMI of 22.2 which is certainly healthy and has contributed to a successful running year in 2012. I have spent some time considering my racing weight in the context of the Stillman formula and currently have in mind a minimum of 66kg / 10st 5lbs / BMI 20.8. However I am not planning to primarily pursue weight loss, as I have this year, but rather monitor my weight in tandem with my running training and my diet.

As a runner I've barely varied my diet from what I ate as a non-runner. So far - and this year in particular having returned to running in February at around 80kg / 12 st 8lbs / BMI 25.2 - I have simply been avoiding excess quantity. I am one of a fairly large proportion of the running population who enjoys the side effect that you can "eat what you like" relative to a non-runner. However as I approach my peak PB potential I realise that choosing the quality of my food in terms of health and runner appropriateness will become more critical. In 2013 I will be aiming to become a strong, lean runner rather than simply avoiding being a heavy runner.

Whilst not specific to running I aim to improve my sleep habits in 2013. Neither being the primary carer to my two young daughters nor achieving my running goals are benefited by constantly being in sleep deficit!

I like to think of myself as a 15-20 miles per week runner, but my stats for 2012 make it clear that I've averaged only 10 miles a week for the 10 months I've been running. Even allowing for the initial tapering up on my return in February I know I need to increase my mileage. I aim to be running 25 to 30 miles per week by mid February 2013 in order to have a good base for my 10 mile and half marathon targets.

There are other factors which will affect my PB attempts, but I think these four are central and are certainly the ones that I have clearly defined targets for. Thanks to Ian for his [2013] PB targets and milestones post which prompted, and provided the template for, mine. Good luck Ian!

994.6 miles and counting

Having just seen a flurry of Facebook posts about annual mileage run in 2012 by various friends, I thought I should count up my own mileage. I was expecting it to be in the mid 900's.

I keep a spreadsheet of all my runs, times, distances, trainers used, type of run etc - just to make adding mileage up and various other calculations simple, should such a reason arise.

Looking back, my mileage over the last few years has been:
2009: 403.2
2010: 623.1
2011: 734.6

So the mileage has been building steadily year on year and this year is certainly no different.

After totalling up the miles for 2012, I have found that I am tantalisingly just 5.6 miles short of 1000 miles, having run 994.6 miles in 148 runs.

I haven't run for 10 days now, with various Christmas festivities being used as a good excuse. Plus the dodgy weather. I wasn't planning on running today, but a 5.6 miler sounds just the ticket to finish the year on 1000 miles. Now I just have to find the time to fit my run in.

Next year I will try and up the mileage again, aiming for 1200 miles and 200 runs. I am even toying with the idea of 365 exercise session in the 365 days of 2013. That will include runs and cycling sessions. That may well be my New Years' resolution. That would certainly be a challenge. I would say I have only done around 30 cycling sessions this year, for a total of around 180 training sessions. Trying to double that to 365 next year will be one hell of a tough challenge. Allowing for rest days, that means many days with multiple running and cycling sessions. Should be fun!