GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “race”

My first 10k race

Hi there!

I did it! This morning at 8:30am in Madrid I began my first ever 10km race at the Madrid Rock n Roll event. It was really different from my usual 10k runs (obviously) mainly because I set myself a target of 50 minutes. I’m so glad and proud to say not only did I not surpass this target, I was under! According to my Tom Tom Cardio GPS Watch I completed the 10k in 00:48:13, my official time (shown below) registered me at 00:49:48 with my “net time” being 00:48:21. This placed me 558/5408 overall, 48/2468 women and 4/128 category A!

Madrid Rock n Roll (4)

I’m not entirely clear on their timing method because some people with the same ‘official time’ but longer ‘net time’ were placed ahead of me in the official rankings! But it doesn’t matter! I ran a personal best for outdoor 10k (I ran 10k in just over 47 minutes on the treadmill) and I completed my first race, so I’m very pleased.

Madrid Rock n Roll (3)Madrid Rock n Roll

The atmosphere was brilliant. There was so many people cheering, great volunteers handing out water, medals, bananas, High5 taster packs and so on! Brilliant event that was well attended and everyone was in fantastic spirits despite the rain!

Madrid Rock n Roll (2) Madrid Rock n Roll (1)

I can’t recommend organised races enough! My next one is May 30th for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10k event!

Huge congratulations to all the racers today. And especially those who ran the marathon or half marathon, true inspiration!

Gym Bug

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How I drastically cut my 10km run time

Hi there!

When I started running consistently it was during my Christmas break of 2012. I had put on weight in first year (the ‘fresher’s fifteen’) and was really uncomfortable with how my clothes felt and how unfit I was generally. I started running with my dad who had been at it for a while. When I ran my first 10k it was brutal. My time was around 1 hour 15 minutes. It was a struggle the whole way and my evening was spent with me on the couch. It was here I realised just how unfit I had been.

I started running regularly and more and more I started to enjoy my Dad’s and I’s Sunday 10k sessions. By Christmas 2013 we were running 12k’s and made the mistake of doing a 16k too (no one won that one). Our 10k always hovered around the 1 hour mark. My dad is over 50, so we never pushed it.

Fast forward to Summer 2014. I went on a family holiday to Nerja (below you see the view from our villa, which indicates the length of the hill I had to run up). It was here my sister introduced me to hill sprints. Brutal, heart-pounding hill sprints. We only had to do roughly 20-30 minutes to be as worn out as a solid 45 minute run! I fell in love with the new high intensity element, something that I had generally lacked in my running. I continued to do hill sprints when I got home over the summer and I noticed my 10k runs with my Dad were becoming easier and easier (but not faster, because my Dad is over 50, I was warned).

I joined a gym within my first couple of weeks of moving to Madrid for a year abroad for University. I started off with just using the bike, doing some intervals and things. Then I went onto the treadmill and slowly started incorporating more and more intervals and HIIT into my cardio. I now combine HIIT on the treadmill and the bike for 2 cardio sessions a week, I do about 45 minutes each session.
Important; my first stint in Madrid was September-December, and I lost far too much weight. A key part of this was doing too much HIIT and not fuelling my body properly. Even with weight training I ended up being scrawny and unhealthy. If you do HIIT, ensure you’re fuelling your body correctly too. This means good carbs, protein and fats.

Now, onto Christmas 2014. I was limited to my exercise routine because I was putting on weight (because it was absolutely necessary). However, I did go out with my Dad for a 10k during my tme at home. The second we were out the car he said ‘Just you go on and run at your own pace’. I initially resisted, because I enjoyed the time we spent together running, but he refuses to accept it wasn’t my fault we ran a 16k!
It ended up being a mistake anyway, I ran so far ahead he tried to reduce the distance between us and pushed himself to far. However, I ran 11k in 57 minutes! I couldn’t believe it. I thought back to what caused my sudden incrase in speed and realised it was the HIIT. Whilst I did not fuel myself, my fitness and times improved dramatically (the lack of fuel is really bad and embarassing, I’m not endorsing my stupidity, if you do HIIT or speed work, fuel it right)!

My most recent 10k which I did on a treadmill clocked in at 47 mins 35 seconds. I altered my incline and speed throughout to achieve this and I wasn’t wiped out by the end! (I was tired, don’t get me wrong).

So, after this long (hopefully not boring) story, what’s my point? My point is if you want to cut your time and improve your fitness, logging kilometers and kilometers of steady running will not do it quite the same as using HIIT, hill sprints and lots of intervals. You need to speed train to improve your times!

Here’s an example of what you could do on a treadmill;

Warm-Up; 5 minutes at 9km/h

Sprint; 1 minute at 13-15km/h (wherever you feel you won’t come flying off the treadmill)

Rest; 1 minute at 9km/h

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Cool-Down; 5 minutes starting at 9km/h then reducing by 0.5km/h every minute.

I do this often, I also mix it up with inclines in place of a sprint. The point is to challenge your body and your speed. You also don’t need to workout for as ong when doing HIIT because your sending your heartrate into a higher zone (if done correctly. Check out my HIIT post for more information on HIIT and routines!

Gym Bug

Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2015

Hi there!

I’ve already mentioned in a post a while that I was running the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10K with my family, but I thought I’d tell you a little more about it!

There are 6 different events taking place on Saturday May 30th and Sunday May 31st. On Saturday the 10K, 5K and Junior Races take place. On the Sunday it’s the Marathon, Half-Marathon and Marathon Hairy Haggis Team Relay runs. There really is a distance for everyone!
Prices vary and can be found on their website. The price includes the run itself with all associated entertainment, a technical wicking finisher’s T-shirt, medal, accurate chip timing, training plan, online results and a race recovery pack! There is also stalls in the finisher’s area with companies marketing their products as well as delicious food and drink to be purchased! The course also has numerous water and energy stations, providing hydration and energy gels (the energy gels are for those running the Half Marathon or Marathon).

EMF 2015

The whole event is in support primarily of MacMillan Cancer Support, who you can choose to run and fundraise for when you sign up. You can of course choose to run for your own charity! It’s a great way to raise some money and get fit! My family are fundraising as a group for MacMillan because cancer has hit our family quite hard and we all know the value of support for the sufferers and their loved ones. I know it’s a big ask, but if you can spare anything please donate on our JustGiving page.

MacMillan are a brilliant chairty seeking to provide help and support. I can’t describe them any better than they have on their website;
“No one should face cancer alone. So when you need someone to turn to, we’re here. Right from the moment you’re diagnosed, through your treatment and beyond, we’re a constant source of support, giving you the energy and inspiration to help you take back control of your life.”

                                                                      Enough said.

As someone who has watched loved ones go through diagnosis, treatment and (unfortunately not everytime) recovery, I know how important a solid support system is and how valued it is by everyone involved. MacMillan deserve funding and are a key source of care for those suffering cancer and their loved ones.

So if you’re looking for some fantastic motivation, go for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2015! Get your running shoes and get going!

Gym Bug

My first 10k event!

Hi there!

Just a quick post for just now to share my excitement at having signed up for the Madrid Rock ‘n’ Roll 10k in April! I’m super excited and have signed up with a friend to do it. I’ve ran 10k before a lot but never in an event setting. This race as well gives loads of great perks icluding photos, pasta meal, a huge fitness expo, a commerative gift, T-Shirt and medal! All for £18. It’s incredible and I can’t wait to be part of a big runnig event through Madrid in the sunny month of April!

I’ve written a post already on motivation which explains how signing up to these things can be a great way to kick start a healthy change! Set yourself some realistic goals and you’ll be amazed by how great it is at helping you stick to your plans!

                                               Let’s get training!

Gym Bug

Lower Intensity Interval Training

Hi there!

I found another variation to an extremely dull treadmill session! It’s slightly lower in intensity than my 1-minute off, 1-minute on one which is good if you’re wanting to a good workout but for whatever (legit) reason can’t quite manage it. Don’t let the title fool you, this will still get your heart rate up and you nice and sweaty (if you’re inside, although an outdoor treadmill seems a bit dodgy). Lower intensity should not mean easy, it should be slightly easier than you high intensity.

It’s really straightforward and you can alternate it really easily into different workout lengths.

First thing is first warm up for 5-minutes; best to start at a brisk walk and build up to your recovery pace (run at recovery for at least 1-minute and 30 seconds).

Now the fun begins.
2- minutes at a medium-intensity incline (I use 6%)
1- minute recovery pace
2-minutes at a fast run (I use 14.5 km per hour)
1-minute recovery pace
Repeat for desired length of time.
Cool down (5-minutes)

There you have it! It’s lighter but still incorporates a bit of interval training. This is good for beginners, a slightly more relaxed workout or to try improve endurance or build up your speed (maybe you’ve got a race coming up?)
If you’re looking to improve speed then best do repeated sessions of 2-minutes at a fast run instead!

Have a great day, we are half way through the week! You’ve got this.

Gym Bug

Tough Mudder; Challenge Yourself

Hi there!

Today’s post is about Tough Mudder. I’ve already done one for Spartan Race as I have signed up to take on the challenge in 2015.
From experience I can tell you this is brutal and satisfying at the same time. You get to the first obstacle and fly through but by obstacle 5 and mile 6 fatigue is setting in. Your fellow competitors don’t run past aiming to cross the line before you, no, they stop and help. It’s not about the finish line, it’s about the race. A race you take on with your fellow runners, you help your fellow Mudder. This is not a marathon, you do not care about your time. You care about the journey.

The best, most exhilarating and challenging sporting event I have ever done. I completed it in 201 and 2014. It’s a 12-mile long obstacle course designed by the Special Forces. It challenges everything from team work to physical and mental strength.

Past participation has me convinced the worst obstacle is Arctic Enema. Literally, jump into an ice bath, go under a barrier and then back out. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Your muscles start to seize up when you hit the water and the air goes out your lungs, but it’s fantastic, because it’s all about proving that you can do it. Don’t panic though, there’s loads of people there to help you through and drag you out if it’s too much.

It’s a brilliant day and it raises money for Help For Heroes! You’ll meet loads of like-minded fitness fanatics as well as the people just “giving it a go”. I can’t express how much fun it is and the orange head band and delicious, ice-cold pint at the end is a perfect ending to a long, tough, muddy run.

The best part is, is that it gives you a goal for training! It requires cardio fitness and full body strength to do well, so get going and get motivated! Your entry fee includes a Tough Mudder headband, special t-shirt, pint at the end, fuel during the run and the post run party! Also, if you have completed more than one of these events, you start collecting “Legionnaire” headbands, different colours represent the number of times you’ve tackled a Tough Mudder. I’ve got a green one since I’ve done it twice.

Think you’ve got it? Think you can earn your headband? Sign up!

They’ve got competitions in the UK, US, Australia and numerous other countries across Europe!

You’ll be sore the next day but you’ll wake up feeling awesome because you’re officially part of Mudder Nation.

It’s time to get Muddered!

Gym Bug

Spartan Race 2015!

Hi there!

Last night my sisters and I finally signed up for our first Spartan Race! We’re running the Super Spartan in Scotland on July 19th. It’s a 13km course with 20+ obstacles and I cannot wait! I’ve completed 2 Tough Mudders in the past (I’ll write up a post about them too) and wanted to try something different so we’re going for it in 2015!

What is it though?
It’s a tough, gruelling obstacle course with 3 different choices of courses.

  • Sprint; 5 km course consisting of 15+ obstacles. I would recommend this if it’s your first time ever doing an obstacle course and you want to try it out.
  • Super; 13 km course consisting of 20+ obstacles. We’ve opted for this one because we feel we can manage it having done two Tough Mudders.
  • Beast; 20 km course consisting of 25+ obstacles. Wah-wah wee-wah!

They mix their obstacles up for every race and a few are terrain specific, so you never actually know what you’re up against! These events are held all over the world. You’ve got races in the UK, US, Spain, Italy, Greece and so many more. Check out their Find A Race section for more races!

You can run for fun or for charity. When you’re signing up (as an individual or team) then you can select whether you want to raise money for a charity or not.
The set- up of the day is that 250+ participants are released in waves every half hour. You can select which time you want to set off (earliest 9:30am latest is about 2pm). You get a tracking chip so you can see your time after the event!

Your payment includes a finisher’s medal, special event T-Shirt, tracking chip, headband with your bib number and access to the post-run party. It’s really worth the money when you think about what these races do for you!

You probably want to know what I mean by “do for you”. They’re gruelling and often very muddy but they are a great motivational tool. You want to finish once you’ve signed up and told people, right? So you’ll train and work at improving fitness and strength. You’ll see great differences. Also, finishing these types of races feels amazing, it’s a great confidence booster. If you sign up a team you really appreciate camaraderie, even as an individual you’ll find yourself being helped by complete strangers all about helping one another.  It’s a great atmosphere and you’ll get such a buzz!
One thing I will note is that whilst Spartan encourages helping your fellow racers, they do have cash prizes and rankings available, which sets it apart from Tough Mudder.

But if you’re looking for a new challenge and some post-Christmas motivation I definitely recommend taking a look at these races!

Aroo! Aroo!

Gym Bug

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