After running the London Marathon in 2010 I continue my pursuit for sporting greatness without the aid of running shoes. I now run 'Barefoot' full time and aim to run the London Marathon 2012 'bare'

My blog is an account of training for running, triathlon, staying fit for life and pushing my body to it's limits to become 'superfit'. I hope it will inspire others to go out and get fit for life and see how enjoyable and rewarding it can be

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Festive running

I haven't forgotten you all but as you can imagine training has still been a little slow, the ice and snow has only just completely melted today (the remaining stuff was ice rink stuff that popped up when you weren't looking) and then obviously Christmas has been a hindrance on training. Despite having in my head I'd train throughout Christmas the inevitable social events pop up, your entertaining guests or generally getting things ready for Christmas.

Since my last post I have only done 2 runs (shocking I know). The first one was an early morning long run (10km) on Monday morning when the visitors were tucked up in bed. In terms of long runs and considering the lack of training it was a very comfortable 10k and was meant to be running a 10k that day had it not been for the very rude and obnoxious race organisers. SO as it stands I am at the standard of fitness I would like to be at, at this point. The long runs will now get a mile longer each week until I reach 20 miles then I'll be tapering down again.

I Managed a 10k PB too (58 minutes 45) which assures me now that I am in the shape of my life and that is a pretty good place to be with 16 weeks to go! I have now also upped the weekday runs to 4 miles and this will go up a mile every 3 weeks or so. Did my first 4 miles today and got a fairly good time in but I was treating more as a recovery run. I managed to achieve a mile PB of 9 mins 14 seconds. I really am seeing the improvements!

Now to rant a little. I consider myself a considerate runner, when walkers are approaching I run right to the edge of the pavement (or take the road when safe to do so) and if I'm running behind I give a little cough so I don't startle them (had it done to me before). So WHY O WHY do I get tutted at and taunted at sometimes, I just don't get it? and most the time its by fat slobs with a fag hanging out there mouths! But today I heard the most ludacris taunt after in no way affecting their path of walking, I was happily running I shifted to the edge of the pavement and what do they shout 'Runners should be running on cycle paths' WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? In what way is running or runners in any way associated with cycling, yes they are both sports but for starters cyclist travel about twice as fast as runners, secondly why should I be putting myself and cyclists in danger and thirdly since when did the lazy slobs of this country rule the world? When did they get the right to taunt us runners (and I know cyclists who suffer too)for keeping fit and healthy.... GITS

Monday, 21 December 2009

Due to adverse weather conditions my training has suffered

Hello again.

Since writing my last entry I have had a disappointing week of training. Due to snow, ice, Christmas parties and god knows what else.

I didn't get a long run in yesterday as we were getting pretty heavy snow showers which was instantly turning to ice. I did finally manage to get out today despite Newark resembling an ice rink and about -2 temperatures. I have to say that despite my initial reservations of 'risking it' Craig gave me the slightly wary push I needed. Naturally he wanted to know how long I would be so he would know when to get worried, especially after sharing a story of some runner slipping and breaking there elbow.....ow!

Anyway I made it out and despite nearly slipping as soon as I stepped out of the house and being blasted with extremely cold midland air I got moving, dodging icy patches in favour of the powdery snow. The first 2 minutes were unpleasant to say the least, it was cold and I was slipping all over the place but once i started warming up and figured out what was good to run on, and what I needed to cross the road to avoid I started picking up the pace.

My heart start really racing and I realised I was actually enjoying this run, yes it would be slow but I was dodging about and with the air of danger, my heart started to race with adrenalin! It took every inch of my will power to not start racing off full pace as despite my meandering and dodging, the paths were still a death trap. OK I was running in a pretty strange manner and I was getting some particularly strange looks but it felt fabulous. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment or the cold does something to my brain but I think I found my favourite conditions to run in. Who'd have thought it!!??

On top of the mental benefits of running in those conditions I could really feel the run working my muscles harder and I was getting pains in muscles I didn't know existed! On top of that my core muscles were tested as they were basically preventing me from eating snow :) I am paying for it now but the best bit about it was that it was a big 'HAH, In your face snow' snow will no longer prevent me from doing what I love, it will encourage me to go and have some fun with the running!

On a charity, sponsorship note I have set up my Virgin Money fundraising page, I know it's still early days but I thought I'd start the pestering early :) Feel free to sponsor me to run for this very worthy cause, hey if the likes of David Beckham, Andy Murray (my sporting hero) and Denise Lewis are Leadership Council Members.... you can't argue with that. You know what to do!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Week 1...DONE

So week 1 of the training plan is done and dusted so I thought I’d update you on how I’m feeling and how the runs have been.

Since updating the blog last Monday I had 3 trips to the gym for weight training, 2 further 3 milers and a long run on Sunday. I am still playing around with clothing to find the right balance and have read that you should dress as though the temperature is 10 degrees Celsius warmer when dressing for a run. This made the average ‘run’ temperature about 14 degrees Celsius last week. Unfortunately it’s the initial blast of cold air before your body warms that means I am running with 3 layers including a long sleeved top, but I find that once I hit about 2km I’m almost too warm and having to roll up the sleeves. I’m getting there though and this week has snow, sleet, rain and ice forecast so it could be interesting.

Another thing I am working on is when I run, I had a busy weekend so I had to do my Friday run in the morning, whilst initially it was hard work (as my body was tight) I actually felt great afterwards and it was nice to have it ‘out the way’. The weekly long runs fall on a Sunday and at the moment I am trying to decide when I want to run these, Sundays are always tough because if you want to run in the mornings it is goodbye lie in but if you run in the evening there is no lunchtime drinks/steak etc (a luxury). This weekend I ran at around 6.30pm which was ok but at this stage the long runs will be less than an hour, at the peak of training I will be running for 4 hours…. Again this is something I need to focus on

My long run was relatively pain free but I need to remember to take it slow. Having felt good at mile 4 of 5 I sped up significantly and had a great finish…… unfortunately my body paid for it the next day, thankfully it was rest day and only had to undergo a gym review. Next week is 6 miles so I’ll see how that goes.

Following my gym review I now have a very focussed weights programme which I tried out this morning (ouch). It’s a tough regime but I’ll have a lot more things to mix up! It involves lunges of which always bear comical value to me, lord knows why but I cant help sniggering as I’m lunging! In the next few weeks the trainer will be adding free weights into the programme (clear the decks people, clumsy Gemma is waving weights around)! I am a firm believer in a precise weights programme as part of training for a race so to me this is just as important as going out for a run 4 times a week and thankfully my trainer agrees! All in all I have a very clean bill of health. Body fat percentage has dropped 10 % since March (when I got back to the gym and started running again) and I rate at 2 on the Visceral fat scale which is exceptional. On top of that I have lost around 2 stone and am now carrying 7 odd stone of muscle on my 10 Stone frame.

Hopefully this will all help with training and slowly will improve further. Focussing a lot on the core muscles too so I can get that ‘Runners World front cover model’ stomach…. I plan on running the marathon in as little as possible (crop top, shorts and token tutu) and I want to look like I’ve worked hard because so far…. I have!

Monday, 7 December 2009

I'm back and let the fundraising begin

I know it has been a while and for that I apologise. I had surgery to remove my wisdom teeth out and after a number of complications it took longer than expected to recover! BOO!

Hopefully now they are out i can get back to normal and whilst i'm not quite 100% the 20 week marathon training plan started today. Whilst I have been poorly I have made sure i have everything i need for training and am now sporting a Nike + ipod thing which basically turns your i pod into a garmin. I'm quite impressed so far and all my runs will now be recorded on the Nike + which is also linked to my FB page

So I haven't just been shopping.... promise! I have also been in discussion with Malaria No More UK (who I will be running the London Marathon for) to put an article on their website along with links to my justgiving page (a work in progress) and this blog. This is great news in terms of fundraising, especially considering the popularity of the charity since 'I'm a Celebrity...'. This should mean I raise loads of money and save a lot of lives by providing mosquito nets for children and families in malarial zones. This charity means a lot to me and is one that I truly believe in. It's simple, I raise money, it buys nets and in turn one net could save a family from the potentially fatal disease. The preventative way of fighting this disease make it a truly great way to save lives!

I will let you all know when something is up on their website, I'm still writing up something and trying to choose a pic. In the meantime why not check out the website and get a real feel of what this amazing charity does

Anyway onto some running, having done a few short runs last week to gauge my fitness levels, I have to say it felt great. Today I did a 3 miler, whilst the time I clocked up was a little slow for my average run a few things slowed me down (i had to figure out how to start the workout even though the clock was ticking), traffic was pretty bad on the route and generally i'm a little out of practice. The main thing is I finished the run comfortably and I am now well underway with the training. The run was a little cold and wet to say the least and I'm having to play around with layering etc in the clothing department to ensure I am sufficiently clothed. The big thumbs up goes to running tights, having always finding them mortifingly ugly I took the plunge and bought a pair and actually ran in public wearing them. They are fantastic and whilst they are not the most flattering thing on the planet they really do the job and now looking for a decent top to also keep me warm yet dry.

The Playlist is working ok, I need to work on the order and tweak it a little, a few songs are not working but I have found a power song, Final Countdown by Europe. This is probably one of my favorite songs ever and a truly great track to run to. Another potential, although it works well as a starting up song is Boom Boom Pow by Black Eyed peas...... I'm still on the hunt for more tracks so watch this space. I will update you all after my first week of training and probably talk about my aches and pains but for now, I FEEL GREAT!!