LVB Marathon Training Diary – Week 9

Distance clocked this week: 43 miles. 6 runs. A bit of a mixed bag this week. Some good runs including some speedy recovery runs but also some not so great runs (thanks Storm Doris).

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Long run: 20 miles. I know! A little early on the plan for a 20 miler but I managed it. Another route error for me. Course took me round some back roads and main roads which meant a little less picturesque route than usual. The last 4 miles were tough but I listened to some tunes and got it done. img_6658

Nutrition: I took a High5 Zero tablet and added to water after about 10 miles.  Washing my Lucozade gel down with it probably wasn’t the best decision but not sure if it was the gel or the combination that made me feel less than sprightly. Meals this week have been the usual veg and been snacking on nuts and raisins mainly. Also, highly recommend corn cakes with almond butter.

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What am I listening to?  This week’s podcast discoveries were the Ali on the Run show and the wonderful Run Selfie Repeat.

Cross Training: I added in an extra strength training session and also had a Spin class, something that I incorporated a lot of last year when I was training for my first marathon and seemed to really help my hamstring so let’s hope it has the same affect.

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Lessons Learnt : See above re. gel/electrolyte sports drink combination. Think I’ll stick to water for now.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – Week 8

img_6532Distance clocked this week: 35 miles. 5 runs. Let me tell you, even when you think you’re strong and you’re smashing out the long runs every week, short runs can be tough. 2 days after my epic almost 18 miler, I was just not feeling it. Freezing winds, muddy trails and my hat blowing off. But I did it and that’s the most important thing. Keep pushing on guys.

Long run: 17.7 miles. I had actually planned on a 15 mile run but the route that I followed was a little further than I realised so ended up at 17.7. I opened my door to snow so felt very pleased with myself for braving not my favourite conditions. I did 3 or 4 miles along a very muddy canal and then veered onto the road passing through country villages and fairly busy country lanes. Half way in, it got a bit quieter and by the 10 mile mark, my legs were starting to feel a bit tired from all the hills I’d already tackled. I plodded on, took in  a gel and that gave me a little lift to push on. I finished tired but happy to have ran for longer than planned with no hamstring niggles.

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Nutrition: I purchased the vegan SIS nutrition pack, which includes gels, pre and post recovery powders and bars. On this run, I had an electrolyte pack in my water and a gel. When I got home, I had the chocolate recovery powder. I seemed to have a speedier than usual recovery so fingers crossed this routine is working.

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What am I listening to?  Mostly old episodes of The Ginger Runner with some Little Big Town for some added motivation for the last few miles (they’re an American country pop band).

Cross Training: The now usual strength training. Would love to fit a bit more strength work in too so that’s something I’m going to work on next week.

Lessons Learnt : Switching from podcasts to music for the 3 miles or so really did give me an extra push when it got tough.

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You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s Marathon Training Diary – Week 7

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Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 4 runs. Due to next week’s long run being on a Saturday, this week is shorter so I’m happy with the amount of miles.

Long run: 14 miles. After last week’s 15.5 miles, I had on my plan to do (just the) 13 but again ended up doing a little more just due to the route that I took.  I decided to focus on my pace a little more than usual instead of my normal plod that I tend to adopt on long runs. This went well for the most part and was turning out some good times, especially to the end of my run. My route followed some main roads and then cut back onto more country lanes. But country lanes mean hills, however this time, I decided to attack them with aplomb.  I felt strong and was proud to not have to stop at all. Countryside runs also have the benefit of the locals and I saw my first lambs of the year which gave me a lift when I needed it.

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Nutrition: On my long run, I tried out a new gel (High 5 – Raspberry flavour) which was actually rather tasty and consequently gave me my fasted mile straight after I had consumed it so it must have worked. Will definitely be picking up more of these ones.

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As I have a super sweet tooth, it is fruitless to say that I will cut out all sweet treats so I made these refined sugar free flapjacks (pic above).

What am I listening to?  UltraRunner Podcast , as well as Marathon Talk. Inspiring stuff.

Cross Training: I had a great strength training session  with kettle bells and dumbbells and incorporated planks, squats and lunges. My Body Balance class was a nice opportunity to work on flexibility , core and stretching.  Loving it.

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Lessons Learnt : Hills are not the enemy. Hopefully these are helping to make me stronger and make the lovely flat course of the London marathon seem easy peasy. Cough!

After  having to change my original charity, I will now be fundraising for KidsAid, a small charity based in Northamptonshire that provides support for children and young people who have suffered abuse, bereavement, bullying and family problems. Find out more about the charity here and if you would be so kind, please donate here:  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s London Marathon Training 2017 – Week 5

Distance clocked this week: 33 miles. 5 runs. I’ve been mixing up running in the mornings with some cross training in the evening to ensure I get my miles in.

Long run: 14 miles. This week, on a particularly chilly day, I completed the Gayton 10k run then ran 8 miles home. The race was in a super pretty countryside setting  with some of those hills I love so much. The 8 mile run home was also really enjoyable as it took me through some gorgeous villages and had some great views.

Nutrition: Salads, soups and smoothies as well as tons of fruit and veggies with the odd treat thrown in there as always. Also, rediscovered my love for quinoa, which is a powerhouse of protein.

What am I listening to? Another running podcast that I’ve recently discovered is Dirt in Your Skirt. Host Margaret Schlachter talks to some amazing female athletes, runners and adventurers. Incredibly inspiring.

Cross Training: This week, as well as continuing with my strength training, I went to a Body Balance class (mix of yoga and pilates) and a Spin class.

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Lessons Learnt : Races really are fun! By including a 10k race in my long run, it helped the time go by and also made it more enjoyable to not have to worry about the route and run with others. I also got one of my best 10k times, even though I wasn’t focusing on my pace at all. Hopefully, this shows that my cross training and Run club are paying off.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s London Marathon Training 2017 – Week 4

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Distance clocked this week: 30 miles. 5 runs.  Tough run with the running club as the pace was faster than I’m used to. It felt good to push myself and see that I could keep up but my hamstring wasn’t best pleased.

Long run: 12.5 miles. Quite possibly one of the worst runs I’ve ever had. Got lost,  had to manoeuvre around multiple icy puddles, climbed over fences, clambered up steep hills  and ended up in the middle of a driving range. Throw in some rain and sleet and it was not the happiest of times. Still, looking back, it was kind of fun.

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Nutrition: I’ve done pretty well this week with my nutrition. Breakfasts have been smoothies or porridge, lunches have been mainly salads and dinners vegetable stew, lentils and a rather delicious buddha bowl.

What am I listening to? Happier Podcast based on Gretchen Ruben’s wonderful book The Happiness Project. It focuses on how to know yourself better and everyday ways of enhancing your life.

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Cross Training: Continuing with strength training at the gym, adding in some bike and rowing which I’ve really enjoyed.

Lessons Learnt : Check the route before going out on long runs. Also, I am capable of more than I think as I can push myself to a faster pace when around others. Predictable!

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You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s London Marathon Training 2017 – Week 2

 

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Distance clocked this week:  29 miles. 5 runs. My  recovery run the day after my 12 miles was only 4.5 miles but I found it a little more challenging than anticipated as my legs were pretty tired. However, I need to get used to running on tired legs so I embraced the feeling. I have also been trying to up my pace a little on my shorter runs.

Long run: 12 miles. It was incredibly rainy and muddy. The last 4 miles weren’t the best as I was thoroughly soaked by this time but still felt good and no problems with my pesky hamstring.

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Nutrition: This is the first week I have really started to focus on my nutrition again and making more healthy choices, although I’m pretty good at having a balanced diet, it’s more the reigning back of the cake that I need to work on. So, more salads and veg for me. The night before my long run I had a jacket potato, beans and salad. The morning of, I had chocolate porridge. I refuelled with a big salad for lunch and Pesto Pasta and veg for dinner.

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What am I listening to? The Ginger Runner podcast – in particular the episode interviewing Ben Gibbard (from Death Cab For Cutie, no less) about his first 100 mile race. Say what?

Cross Training: Adding in to my post run routine, some press ups, crunches, lunges and squat jumps.

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Lessons Learnt : Take water if running for more than 10 miles. I usually would but this time I couldn’t find my water belt so was rather parched by the time I got back. Not recommended.

You can find my week 1 post here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s London Marathon Training 2017 – Week 1

img_1712I got into the Ballot for the London Marathon 2017. Some of you may know that I also got into the ballot and ran the London Marathon in 2016, so why oh why have I decided to run it again, you may ask? That is a valid question. I had a tough year and was still dealing with multiple injuries so I only decided that I would definitely be running in March. Therefore, this year, I want to enjoy my training and take in the whole, dare I say it, journey. I also want to raise money for a small charity in which my funds will make a real difference.

I’ve decided to document my training up to the Marathon and here’s my first week.

img_5726Distance clocked this week: 33 miles

Long run: 10 miles – it was a bit of a chilly start (-1 I believe) but I wore enough layers to keep me toasty and even took my gloves off after about 20 minutes. I ran along the canal so the route was extremely flat and also beautiful as I’m lucky to be surrounded by fields and super cute country houses and villages as well as the local furry residents – sheep, cows and the frequent dog walker.

img_5729Nutrition: As usual with a run over 10 miles, I ate an hour before my run, choosing my normal fuel of porridge with a spoonful of nut butter and a little fruit.  Post run, I went for Tofurkey and (homemade) humous sandwich – well it was 27th December!

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What am I listening to? Tough Girl Podcast

Cross Training: Pretty much nothing apart from a few press ups and sit ups here and there.

Lessons Learnt – Charge Garmin watch before going for a run.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s Running Tips

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Now, I am no expert but I have been into fitness for approximately 12/13 years and have been into al fresco running for a couple of years now. I have just signed up for my first ever race (details below) so expect more running related blogs in the future. Here’s some of the tips I have picked up so far:

What to take – You don’t need to leave the house with all of your worldly possessions. If you are going out for less than 45 mins – 1hr, you don’t even really need to take water. (unless it’s a particularly hot day). I take a pound (for emergency water), my key, my bank card (which doubles up as London bus fare just in case) and my phone.  I’ve also just purchased a Garmin Sports watch so stay tuned for a review on this. TBC what I will be taking when I start building up my distances again.

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Playlists – so important to have music that motivates you and will keep you going when you are starting to really feel it.  I have tons of playlists on Spotify (you can take them offline).  Everything from the Best of the 90s, Rock and Country.  It’s a great idea to change up your playlists regularly so you don’t get bored and have something to look forward to listening to.

Podcasts – I’m also a huge fan of listening to Podcasts whilst running as they really do distract you from those pesky hill climbs (ok, nothing can really distract you from those!).  I love listening to The Joyful Vegan, an amazing and engaging Vegan writer as well as The Ginger Runner. I also hear Audiobooks are a great way to get through those long runs.

Reading – I find books on the subject of running and individual’s running journey’s really inspiring. Some I have enjoyed so far include: Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley, Fat Man to Green Man by Ira Rainey and The Lazy Runner by Laura Fountain.  I also really like to read Running and Fitness mags for up to date tips and exercise guides.

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Apps – I use Map my Run to record my workout and Walk Jog Run for running routes- I find that having a route will push you further and make it easier to go longer distances.

Nutrition – for me, this depends on when I go for a run.  If I am going first thing in the morning, then I will have either half a banana, half a protein bar or one of my peanut butter protein balls (find recipe here https://londonveganbird.com/2014/08/06/london-vegan-bird-food-protein-peanut-butter-bites/).  I find this is enough to keep me going until I get back but everyone is different.  You may need to fuel up with breakfast beforehand but make sure you leave at least an hour before you exercise (could be more depending on how you feel).

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Peanut Butter Protein Bites

Races – I hear these are particularly motivating and I decided that this is the year that I take part myself.  So far, I have signed up for the British 10k in July (http://www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk) and the Royal Parks Half Marathon (https://royalparkshalf.com). Eeek! Wish me luck.

Clothing – one of my favourite and most motivating factors for running.  It is vital that you find comfortable clothes that you don’t think about when you are doing your thing. I’m a big fan of the Nike Filament Leggings which work really well for me.  Stay tuned for a more detailed blog post coming soon.

Trainers – it is important to get your gait measured.   Yes, when you start running you may learn these technical words.  A gait analysis is basically looking at how you move and, in this case, run in particular. It will detect whether you under or over pronate  (whether your foot naturally moves inwards with movement) then the consultant measuring you will recommend trainers that are suited to the outcome. I have been to both Runner’s Need and Sweatshop and found both services excellent.

IMG_9822I hope you enjoyed my little detour from the usual subject matter. Let me know if you would like to see more running related posts as I am thinking about doing a series in my run up (ha!) to my Half Marathon.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

P.S. I am running the British 10k for the wonderful Mayhew Animal Home.  If you wish to sponsor me, you can find my Just Giving Page here. https://www.justgiving.com/Karen-Denton or to find out more information about the incredible work the Mayhew does, visit their website http://www.mayhewanimalhome.org

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