Wednesday 14th August 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Nine Inch Nails – ‘Pretty Hate Machine’

7.35km 31:50

A tiring day at work. However, it can’t have been as tiring as yesterday as I didn’t keep dropping off to sleep on the train home! Anyway, tiring nonetheless. My legs feel fresh and strong though, even after today’s run was completed. I’ve got a little bit of lower back pain (just above my left butt cheek, slightly left of my coccyx) but from past training experience I know that this is fairly normal for me and will pass soon enough – it doesn’t hurt at all when I’m running, it’s when I stop or when I’m warming up/down that it takes effect. The old maxim rings true here though: No Pain, No Gain. I expect to have a lot more aches, pains and, I guess you could say, tribulations before I cross the line in Pisa in December. Bring it on says I.

Today was my first run with my Garmin Forerunner 110. It wasn’t too bad at all and I didn’t exactly pick an easy and flat route to run. I ran part of the way on a stony trail but the majority of the run was on road – the first half was characterised by hills. The long, slowly ascending kind of hills that feel like they’re trying to grind you down. Little do these hills know that I feel one of my strengths is attacking hills and I relish the effort that you have to put in on them! The longer the hill, the harder I tend to push it and I try not to slow the pace when I crest. The middle of the route I did is fairly flat and leads onto a nice gentle downhill before starting to slowly grind back upwards over the last 2km or so – by this point I was slowing slightly but I wasn’t feeling any pain in my sides like yesterday and I was actually running with a smile as I turned onto my street to finish with my customary 200/25om sprint.

I have to say that the run was interesting as I’ve never, ever trained with a device I can see when I want to see it. I found myself checking on my pace, distance and time fairly regularly. I made a conscious effort after about 4km to stop checking so regularly – I was finding it more distracting than anything! The one thing I really liked though was that I didn’t have to pre-plan a route as such.

I usually plan my route on MapMyRun before setting off with the kilometre markers memorised and my stop watch ready to go – old school (apart from I using MapMyRun instead of a map book). The only time I’d check the watch would be around the 3km mark  and the 5km mark if I was on a run up to about 8km, the final watch check would be just before turning onto my street to begin the sprint. Any runs above 8km and I’d check at the 3km, 6km, 8km, 10km and then every 2 to 3km thereafter until the final sprint.

It was refreshing to be able to run free with no set route in my head – I found that checking the distance on the watch dictated the route I would take (obviously I had a vague idea of where I would go but nothing set in stone). It was really nice to be able to get my running gear on, press Start on the Garmin after my warm-up and get going! Mapping my run before leaving used to take what felt like an eternity and memorising kilometre markers was an effort when putting in a real training effort!

So, I’ve now got my Garmin Connect profile up and running and it’s linked with MapMyRun so I wont’ lose any workout data from there. Unfortunately though I’ve still not figured out a way of transferring my data from my original workout program – Adidas MiCoach. Adidas seem to be extremely proprietorial over their data, so if anybody reading this knows how I can move the 87 workouts (2nd July 2012 – 23rd September 2012) I recorded when I first started recording my training digitally I’d be grateful for your assistance!

Before my digital training days I used to keep track by writing a paper journal and using my stop watch and Google Maps to calculate my distances! Whilst we’re on this subject I’ll finish by documenting my progress from paper to digital:

  1. April 2011 – July 2012: paper journal/Microsoft Excel/stop watch/Google Maps
  2. July 2012 – September 2012: Blackberry Bold 9700 (stashed in shorts)/Adidas MiCoach/Microsoft Word
  3. September 2012 – August 2013: Stop watch/MapMyRun/Microsoft Word
  4. August 2013 – the future!: Garmin Forerunner 110 & MapMyRun/Blog

I’m still going to be using my stop watch and brain for training swims and will enter these manually into MapMyRun. However, I’m already thinking about getting a Garmin Swim to ease the mental burden of having to count laps, followed by post-workout manual data entry!  Finally, my mountain bike (and eventual time trial/road) escapades will now be tracked with my Garmin and then transferred to Garmin Connect and MapMyRun digitally.

Ain’t technology great?!

(I’d say so because as well as everything mentioned above I also managed to watch the Women’s 5000m Heats live from Moscow on my phone whilst on the train to work this morning!)

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