Archive for the ‘running’ Category

Running with Music

In podcasts.ipods.music, running on May 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Sound v Silence

One of those mildly controversial subjects that has arisen in recent times is around the use of mp3 players and IPOD’s whilst running especially during road races. There are some strongly polarised views for and against the use of IPOD’s during running and whatever your views this page aims to act as a resource for those wanting to listen to sound on the training run.

So this post considers

the case for silence

Who once said ” silence is golden” . I immeadiately think of the song by the band the Tremeloes – Silence is Golden . However obviously the origins of the saying date back a lot longer!

‘Speech is silver, silence is golden ‘ The value placed upon saying less, rather than more, as reflected in this proverb can be traced as far back as the early Egyptians, who recorded one such saying: ‘Silence is more profitable than abundance of speech.’ The current proverb was rendered for the first time in the Judaic Biblical commentaries called the ‘Midrash’ (c. 600), which gave the proverb as ‘If speech is silvern, then silence is golden.’

Then there’s William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet.” “How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night, Like softest music to attending ears!”. Perhaps more familiar in the shortened version ‘Silence is golden,’ the saying has been quoted in print frequently during the twentieth century. One witty adaptation in Brian Aldiss’s ‘The Primal Urge’ (1961) seems particularly appropriate to modern times: “Speech is silver; silence is golden; print is dynamite.’.” From “Wise Words and Wives’ Tales: The Origins, Meanings and Time-Honored Wisdom of Proverbs and Folk Sayings Olde and New” by Stuart Flexner and Doris Flexner (Avon Books, New York, 1993).

Let’s face it as runners we never really have silence when we are out on a training run. If you live in a built up area in the centre of Bury St Edmunds when you go on a training run you are going to hear traffic, building work as you pass the ARC or at times be shouted at by a passing stranger “Run Forest Run” or “Hup 2,3,4”!

Mixed with perhaps unwanted sounds, as runners we are used to stepping out of doors at all hours often in the early morning when the rest of the world appears to be sound asleep. It is often then when you can get out in to the country that you can hear the sound of wildlife which would be missed when wearing an IPOD. The sound of birdsong or deer charing through a forest.

There is also the thinking time. How often do you go for a run and manage to solve a problem by thinking it through?This is quality time where the mind disassociates itself from the run and concentrates perhaps on a creative solution to a problem, what to buy for a present. Again by wearing an IPOD you are less able to use your senses.

The use of an IPOD by blocking out all of the sounds around you can heighten your risk of an accident by not hearing traffic or other people around you. We are beginning to hear of some race events banning the use of IPOD’s during road races. A recent article in the Timesonline explains how the the sports governing body in the USA have banned the use of IPOD’s during competition.for health and safety reasons resulting from potential collisions. Stiff opposition from many runners led to some ignoring the new ruling and resulted in a logistical nightmare for race organisers needing to search and confiscate IPOD’s before the start of events.

It would appear that the USA Track & Field have now amended the ruling to allow the use at the discretion of a race director but not by athletes competing in a championship for awards,medals or prize money.

the case for sound.

If you read Runners World then you may have seen in December 2008 issue an article on how you can perform up to 20% better with music. According to Dr Costa Karageorghis at Brunel University, who has spent 20 years studting the correlation between music and athletic output that for the non elite athlete listening to the right music before and during exercise will reduce the feelings of tiredness and increase performance levels by up to 20%. However the impact on elite athletes is less as there focus is inwards on there bodies regulating their efficency whilst for the majority of us mere mortals a distraction is a big plus.

Music before a race can calm your nerves and help you focus.fast tempo music can help get you pumped up and ready for a race. There are increasingly a lot of podcasts you can download with music at a certain beat per minute. By matching the beat of the music to the tempo of the exercise you can regulate your movement and reduce your oxygen requirement by up to 6 %

What IPOD or MP3 player should I buy?

A suitable music player needs to be light and compact. A number of players are best not used for running. These tend to be those with a large hard disc with moving parts which are apt to skip and be easily damaged if and when dropped.

One option is to use an IPOD Nano or IPOD touch with a pair of NIKE shoes and an IPOD sports sensor. The sensor is placed in the insole of the shoe and sends data on your run to your IPOD including distance pace and calories.

The new IPOD Nano’s 8mb and 16mb are very light weight and not noticable when running. These can be hand held or beter still strapped to the arm with a a velcro arm band. You only then have to be careful of selecting some earphones for sport. The standad earphones provided with any MP 3 or IPOD are no good for running and will fall out. A suggestion would be to buy a pair of Sennheiser PMX 70 In-Ear Sports Headphones which come from many stockists and clip around the ears.

An alternative product is the Ultimate Sports MP 3 Player which has the advantage of no trailing wires and everything is integrated into the headphone.

There is a huge range of MP 3 players and IPOD devices and again there are fans of various make such as Sony Walkman and I River you will have a preference!

Songs for Runners

A miscellaneous top ten of songs with the word run in the title, some you will know but perhaps not all? Click on the link to see a video in youtube . Can you do better? Let me have your top ten songs for running

1 Roadrunner Jonathon Richman
2 Runaway Del Shannon
3 Run Snow Patrol
4 Where you Goona Run Peter Tosh
5 Nowhere to Run Martha & The Vandellas
6 Run New Order
7 Running on the Spot The Jam
8 Let him Run Wild Beach Boys
9 Walk Don’t Run The Ventures
10 Keep on Running Spencer Davis Group

40 songs submitted by another runner at Saint Edmund Pacers

Hit An Run -Whitesnake
The Running Man -WASP
Running Wild in the Streets – WASP
Runnin with Devil – Van Halen
Runaround – Van Halen
Night Run – UFO
No Place to Run – UFO
Running up the Highway – UFO
Amy’s On The Run – Thunder
‘Til The River Runs Dry – Thunder
Running Back – Thin Lizzy
Run Away Train – Soul Asylum
Love On The Run – Scorpions
Bad Boys Running Wild – Scorpions
Runnin – Santana
Run With The Wolf – Rainbow
On The Run – Pink Floyd
Run Like Hell – Pink Floyd
Running Out of Time – Ozzy Osbourne
Long May You Run – Neil Young
You Better Run – Motorhead
The Running Free – Coheed and Cambria
Run Riot – Def Leppard
Running Wild – Judas Priest
Who Will You Run To – Glenn Hughes
Running Free – Iron Maiden
These Colours Don’t Run – Iron Maiden
Run To The Hills – Iron Maiden
Run Silent Run Deep – Iron Maiden
The Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner – Iron Maiden
Run For Cover – Gary Moore
The Long Run – Eagles
Run Down The Devil – Alice Cooper
Runaway – Bon Jovi
She’s a Runner – Billy Squier
Duck And Run – 3 Doors Down
Fuel To Run – Love Hate
Time To Run – Phantom Blue
Runaway – Dare
Hit and Run – Vain

Podcasts for Runners

What is a podcast ? It is a series of audio or video files which are distributed over the internet by web feeds to IPOD’s or to stream and listen to on your computer. If you find a podcast you like you can then subscribe to this podcast and all future episodes can be downloaded to your computer by way of software the popular being ITUNES, though there are alternatives such as Juice, Zune and Zencast to name a few.

The internet has thousands of free podcasts many aimed at runners. The thing is to try these and see what is to your personal taste as the quality is variable. You certainly don’t have to listen to music you can listen to talk based podcasts on any subject going including a number of free audio books.

A good place to start is Running Podcasts a website with 40-50 odd podcasts for runners. These are podcasts from runners all over the world but are mainly American though a few are British and one I would particularly recommend is A Mile with Me from Steve Chopper based in the Bournemouth area. The mile with me podcast is mainly talk based with insights during 2008 on the London Marathon, the 4 minute mile and the storey behind Tommy Smith the winner of the 1968 200 metres and remembered for his human rights stand on the winners podium by the wearing of a black glove.

Another British site is Running from the Reaper .

Taking part in the London Marathon? Then why not download the many podcasts provided by the Virgin London Marathon on marathon training.

Concerned about injuries then the Running Injury Free Podcasts will be of interest to you. With podcasts on avoiding injury,low stress marathon plans and the benefits of stretching.

Training with Music

There are many training podcasts aimed at different levels of runners. Here are some examples:-

Couch to 5k this would be good for someone beginning to run or perhaps returning from injury.The aim being to get someone running 5k or for 30 minutes in 9 weeks.

Podrunner intervals by djsteveboy another 9 week programme to get you running 5k , also 10 weeks for 8k and a 10 week programme for 10k.

The Mission of the JogTunes Group is to promote the unique blend of music and exercise that involves matching the tempo of music to the pace of the workout. They call this activity music-paced exercise. Many people have independently found that working out exactly to the beat is inspiring, motivating, and fun. You will see music of all types but a lot of indie music. You can use the beats per minute calculator on the site and this will select a programme of music for you.

Racing with Music

Run to the Beat – Here is an event which far from banning IPOD’s actually encourages racing to music. With 17 live bands the Half marathon takes place on September 27th 2009 from the O2 arena in London. If you enter you will be able to pick up a training program, Run to the Beat Album and a Limited Edition T-Shirt. The music has been programmed by Dr Costa Karageorghis of Brunel University.

The first event in 2008 sold out very quickly with 12,500 runners though the price at £30 is not cheap.

Note I first included this article on the Saint Edmund Pacers Website

Now playing: Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Rankin
via FoxyTunes —————-

2006 End of Year Running Review.

In running on December 31, 2006 at 11:58 am

In December I matched my highest mileage achieved in any single month of the year which I achieved last January with a total of 146 miles.

My statistics for the year compared to 2005 show :

2005 Jan 127 miles No of Runs 19 2006 Jan 146 miles Runs 20
2005 Feb 45 miles No of Runs 7 2006 Feb 111 miles Runs 16
2005 Mar 94 miles No of Runs 14 2006 Mar 144 miles Runs 21
2005 Apr 97 miles No of Runs 15 2006 Apr 139 miles Runs 19
2005 May 84 miles No of Runs 12 2006 May 142 miles Runs 20
2005 Jun 89 miles No of Runs 13 2006 Jun 136 miles Runs 19
2005 Jul 145 miles No of Runs 21 2006 Jul 142 miles Runs 20
2005 Aug 130 miles No of Runs 18 2006 Aug 106 miles Runs 15
2005 Sep 141 miles No of Runs 20 2006 Sep 121 miles Runs 17
2005 Oct 139 miles No of Runs 20 2006 Oct 129 miles Runs 17
2005 Nov 107 miles No of Runs 17 2006 Nov 113 miles Runs 16
2005 Dec 132 miles No of Runs 17 2006 Dec 146 miles Runs 18

Total Runs for 2005 – 193 out of 365 days. Total runs 2006 208 out of 365 days

My average distance that I ran in 2005 was 6.88 miles. My average distance that I ran in 2006 was 7.56 miles.

My longest run in 2005 was 12 miles on Boxing Day 26th December. My longest run of 2006 was 13.1 miles on 11th June and 8th Oct.

I ran 9 races this year which is up on last years 3.

My racing pb’s for the year are half marathon 1hr 46.16, 10 miles 1 hr 17.17 , 7 miles 52.37 and 5 miles 37 mins.

On Dec 31st 2005 I set myself the following targets. My observations on how the year went are in blue.

1. To keep fit and enjoy my running.

That will always be my number one aim. People some times ask why do you run? Quite often they look upon you as weird when you mention that you run. Often they will say they have tried and found it boring. Quite simply I run because I can and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. I get to see the changing seasons, experience all weathers and enjoy the beautiful Suffolk countryside. I meet similar folks who enjoy running. I gave up a long time ago trying to persuade others to run you either enjoy it or you don’t.

I have had a good year and have managed to stay injury free replacing my shoes regularly. The New Balance 854’s clearly were not designed for me as they wore out on the outer heels after only 241 miles. Purchased on the 21st of April, I used them for the last time on the 15th of June. The Saucony MC5’s were dead after 356 miles which I don’t consider great value. The Saucony shoes were purchased on the 27th of June and were kaput on the 1st of October.

During the year I have used 5 different pairs of shoes. I usually spend no more than £50 on a pair so in total on shoes I have incurred costs of £250. Add on 1-2 new running tops, socks this would another £50. Race entry fees have certainly seemed to go up to reflect additional security, h&s , police arrangements etc I entered 9 races and this must have cost about £8 a race making another £75 quid. I also bought Runners Worls every month and that is £4 a month Add on some travel costs to races and I suppose I would have spent around £450 quid in total.

2. I am a signed up member of St Edmunds Pacers and look forward to continuing doing so for next year.

I re signed as a member of St Edmunds Pacers in October. Thinking about it that cost me I believe £15 and when ever I attend track it is another £1 and I must have attended about 20-25 times in the year so another £40 making £500 on running in 2006. There is definitely a sign of increased numbers of people out running. Hard to say if many of them are joining clubs. I think I made reference to it in the summer that attendance at the Run for Life events is huge and presents a potential size able untapped market of new potential club members

3. I am setting myself an overall target to run 1500 miles next year. That’s challenging for me but hopefully realistic target that is achievable barring injuries ! I managed 1328 this year so it is an additional 200 miles at an average of 29 miles a week.

Well I did it! With a total of 1573 miles I beat my target of 1500 miles with a couple of weeks to spare. In the end I averaged 30.3 miles per week partly because I avoided both injury and illness for most of the year. My worst time was at the beginning of September when I returned from Italy with a balance problem connected to motion sickness. I missed a whole weeks training then. Joining a club and having fairly regular races as targets has helped to provide motivation. Above all of this the biggest motivation for me is taking a camera with me and visiting as much of Suffolk as I can to record what I see.

4. Long Runs – I want to up my long runs so that next year I run some 2 hour or 15 mile runs .

Woops! I didn’t do it. I managed the half marathons at Norwich and Felixstowe but I failed on this.

5. Hills – these are great sessions to include in your training. I know it but I just didn’t do it this year. Can I do it next year? Probably not on my own. I remember that we used to run these as a cub session when I belonged to Stopsley Striders back in 1994. I am not going to set my target for hills anything greater than to do 1 hill session a month.

Not achieved. I certainly did better than last year and started the year well running hill sessions in January, February and March. I then slipped until July and more recently doing a couple of sessions in December.

6. Races – for me racing isn’t the be and end all of why I run but I would still like to run more races than I did this year which was only 3 . My target for 2006 is to do 6 races. At the moment I still think my limit for a race is around the half marathon distance. So I would like to include a half marathon as a race next year.

Achieved this one! I ran 9 races including2 half marathons. The venture into Norfolk to run the Norwich Half was on one of the hottest days of the year and I will never forget this race. The Felistowe Half is to be recommended- I like the whole organisation from the comical comperes to the Felixstowe TV – yes thats right Felixstowe has its own tv service and you can view a video of the race here http://www.felixstowetv.co.uk/e107_plugins/eplayer/eplayer.php?view.57.0.20

7. Track and Interval Work – If I miss the Wednesday track session at West Suffolk Athletics Track then I want to commit to doing the Monday session. To my mind track work is so beneficial.

I did ok but again want to improve on my 23 visits to track in 2006.

8. To get my weight down to 12 stone – I could still do with losing a few pounds . My BMI still shows I am overweight for my height. This means losing about 4-6 pounds. This should be possible if I keep to my new mileage targets.

Well no I didn’t achieve this. my weight has remained constant at around 12.5 stone. I just don’t believe in the BMI as a good measure.

9. To replace my watch – I don’t have a very good running watch- sometime this year I would like to get one of those Garmin 201 devices

No I have stuck with my same old watch and no plans to get a Garmin as I can’t afford it and as I run a lot across country I need convincing it will work under trees etc.

10. Lastly this one is a bit crazy but when the weather brightens up in the spring I am seriously considering an occasional run when I take with me a rucksack to pick up rubbish I spot in the hedgerows. I hate to see rubbish which has been dropped from car windows left on the side of roads. It can remain for years in some rural spots. Ok I could say it is not my rubbish but in a way we are all responsible for the upkeep of the countryside and I am willing to give it a go. I expect I will need to wear gloves and an old rucksack. My other though then is what to do with the rubbish as I don’t particularly want to fill my own dustbin with what I collect. Maybe my run will need to by pass a recycling centre.

This is one I really wish I had lifted a finger to try and achieve but I didn’t and so goes on next years list.

2006 was a good year where I achieved many of my targets I believe partly because I set them out in a very public way for all to see. 2007 can be even better!

Risby Suffolk Circular Run

In risby, running, suffolk, westley on October 1, 2006 at 7:41 pm

1.30pm 9.3 miles in 1 hour 16 mins 04 secs

Week to date mileage 37

Month to date mileage 121

Average weekly rate 30.5

Average Monthly rate 133

Year to Date 1194

Life time 9214

I set out with the sky looking a lillte ominous although there was a mixture of sunshine and heavy clouds. I thought I just might get away with it but I was mistaken. Initially I set out to run to Ickworth Park but changed my mind fancying something different. I ran along by the River Linnett to Westley Bottom before coming back up hill on to the main road heading for the Saxhams.

This is a busy road at the best of times so when an opportunity to take a bridleway on the right near Crowswood Cottages presented itself I took it. This is a very quiet path some of it underneath trees but with views of open farmland for miles.

Eventually you come to a place called Warren Lodge and the path requires you to hurdle a fence and this takes you through someones back garden. This I wasn’t comfortable with simply not knowing if at any moment a pack of dogs might descend upon me but there was little choice.

At this point the sound of thunder began to rumble and I had to consider what to do carry on in the open or hide under trees. I presumed it safer to continue. I had reached a road which took me over the A14 at Risby arriving at Deer Cottages and I then ran past the antique centre Risby Barn.

At the village green near the war memorial I took a right past the vilage hall and headed back along the road past Hyde Cottages, the crematorium and into Bury running along Newmarket Road and back home. At Newmarket Road the road had becomes torrential and I was absolutley soaked my shirt sticking to me. The roads were flooded and I had to judge the puddles and on coming cars though an extra splash at this stage made no difference.

I never mind running in rain but I was a little concerned by the lightning and thunder but 40 minutes from home I had little choice but to run.

Fornham All Saints Circular Run

In Fornham All Saints, running, suffolk, Tollgate on September 30, 2006 at 7:30 pm

8am 10 miles in 1 hour 21 mins 06 secs

Week to date mileage 28

Month to date mileage 121

Average weekly rate 30.4

Average Monthly rate 132

Year to Date 1185

Life time 9205

Wet this morning as I set out for a long run. I am hoping a few longer runs may help improve my running and give me a little more confidence which I am lacking after recent runs. I set out along the Newmarket Road and went as far as the roundabout before the A14.

I went under the flyover and took the Westley Road before immeadiately turning left and along past the crematorium. This used to be part of the old Bury 20 many years ago. Just past the Hyde Cottage I turned right and along by Hyde Wood. This road is infrequently used as you can see by the grass growing in the middle.

Eventually this lovely road emerges at Fornham All Saints. At the cross roads I took a left to cross over the River Lark and turned right to run through Fornham St Martin. Back into Bury past the Tollgate and along Beetons Way and home.

November Statistics

In running, Running Aims on December 19, 2005 at 7:28 pm
  • November was a month when my overall mileage suffered as I prepared for my second and third races of the year. The Stowmarket Scenic Seven on the 13th of November and the Hadleigh 10 on the 27th of November.

    My statistics for the year show :

    Jan 127 miles No of Runs 19
    Feb 45 miles No of Runs 7
    Mar 94 miles No of Runs 14
    Apr 97 miles No of Runs 15
    May 84 miles No of Runs 12
    Jun 89 miles No of Runs 13
    Jul 145 miles No of Runs 21
    Aug 130 miles No of Runs 18
    Sep 141 miles No of Runs 20
    Oct 139 miles No of Runs 20
    Nov 107 miles No of Runs 17

  • Total Runs for the year 176 out of 334 days.
  • My average distance that I run is 6.8 miles
  • My longest run of the year has been 11 miles back on the 12th of June.
  • I have run just three races all year. My racing pb’s for the year are 10 miles 1 hr 17.23 and for 7 miles 52.37.

I have dug out my old running diaries in an attempt to catalogue those and work out what years I ran and which I didn’t and just how far have I run.

Suffolk Races over the Winter

In race, running, suffolk on November 14, 2005 at 7:06 pm

5.30pm 5.5 miles in43 minutes 47 seconds.

Year to date mileage 1146

Month to date 57 miles

Average miles per month 110

Average weekly rate 25.2

Weather: Dry and cool.

An easy training run after yesterdays race. It has been the first cold day of the Autumn with temperatures at freezing point during the morning. Tonight it was a little milder but still cooler than we have recently experienced.

Felt very good all the way round. At the moment I am very positive about running in the Autumn and Winter. I know many runners put there feet up now until the Spring but every run now is mileage in the bank which will be of great benefit come the new year.

Forthcoming races in Suffolk are as follows

Hadleigh 10 on the 27th November 2005 – seriously considering entering this. Its a bit soon after yesterdays race but what the heck I would be training this distance otherwise.

St Peters Brewery 20k on 19th February 2006 at Bungay great race usually with a great gift of a free bottle of St Peters beer at the finish along with hot soup – A must enter race. I note the usual 10k race has been dropped this year in favour of the 20k race.

Bury 10 or 20 mile race on 26 Feb 2006 this is a must for all runners preparing for the London Marathon.

Joe Cox 10 on 26 March 2006 back to Stowmarket for a 10 mile race.

Running Diaries

In diary, running on September 5, 2005 at 7:19 pm

Today I decided to have a rest day after 4 continuous days of running. I am not sure when I last ran for more than 4 days in a row if ever. Of course it doesn’t really matter if I ever have run for 5 days in a row but then again it is another statistic that now I have asked myself the question statistically I need to know the answer.

I forget where I read on someone’s running website recently where they wondered if sometimes when they were in two minds whether to go for a run that they would run to satisfy their craving for statistics. I can understand this sentiment as I wonder sometimes if we have a metaphorical ‘Statistic Boss’ in our heads. This is the boss that requires you to go out for a run in the pouring rain because if you don’t then this month you won’t have run as far as you did last year or you will have run less miles than last week and that’s not what your training plan said.

Whilst I am sure we run for a lot more reasons than just the statistics I have always liked a few fact and figures something that I can record that I can make a comparison with.

In listening to my ‘Statistic Boss’ I have decided to computerise all my old running manual diary records. I have dug out the old records as far as I have kept them. They date back to 1st of August 1982 when me and a friend decided after a bit of a drunken bet ( 8 pints , a bit of bravado and a pair of green flash trainers ) to get up at 6am and run to Gt Barton and back a distance of 6 miles. We did it although my uncertain memory of this is one of struggling with a stitch. Obviously some kind of enjoyment was obtained from the experience as my diary shows I carried on running and I ran again the following week.

In late 1982 I entered a 10 mile road race off the back of sporadic once a week training and the more regular drinking. My memory of this race is finishing last, holding up the race ambulance as it trundled behind me picking up the stragglers but getting great applause from those who had remained to the bitter end.

After this race the green flash shoes had to go and I know I bought some New balance Shoes but what I don’t know is what model they were. I remember them being a dark blue colour but on this point wouldn’t it be great if there were somewhere on a website photos of old running shoes. So it is pity that my diaries don’t record the make and model of shoes that I used to wear, I would also like a photo of them and how many miles I ran in them before they were confined to the bin or for use in the garden.

When I didn’t have a watch my diaries show a number of gaps where I don’t have any times for the runs. At the time it didn’t matter but know I have a gap in the diary and as I begin to computerise my records a gap in the spreadsheet. The ‘Statistic Boss’ isn’t best pleased with these gaps and sometimes I have only recorded the date and time in my diaries but not where I ran to.

I need to computerise all my old running records as I have no idea how many miles I have recorded to date. Actually I don’t need to do this at all but it would satisfy my curiosity and I have a gap on my spreadsheet which shows how far I have run in comparison to the distance around the world and compared to the distance around the moon. Another meaningless statistic but now the ‘Statistic Boss’ has asked the question I need to know the answer!

No doubt when I have computerised my running diaries I will have another stat to add to my regular postings.