hitchin hard half marathon blog title

At the beginning of this year, Andreea and I have pinned down a big dream of running a race in Hawaii. We found the perfect marathon and half-marathon combo on the Kauai Island on 2 September. Perfect, because we could make it the celebration of Andreea’s 30th birthday. Where to climb? If you don’t know already, the Kauai marathon has a particular challenge for the average runner: elevation. Even though it’s a road marathon, the course climbs to some of the island’s peaks. With over 2100 ft total climb, it takes the marathon runner to some impressive views. However, this race is “only” the finalRead More →

You finished your couch to 5k programme; you ran your first parkruns, maybe a 10k or a half marathon here and there, but you want to be faster. And of the handful of running workouts you can do to achieve that, there is one that’s at the core of speed improvement: intervals. The deal with intervals What is the role of the intervals? Let’s take a single mile as an example. You are currently running a mile in 8 minutes. You can split a single mile (~1.6km) in fairly even quarters of 400m each. When you run a whole mile, your split times for eachRead More →

I ran the Chester Marathon in 2h 56min. The race review has its own blog post, but let’s also talk about preparation. And today in particular, about having a clear mind and warmed up muscles. Sleep well It’s not only your muscles that need to be in a good form, but also your mind. A good night sleep during the last few nights before the race is essential to keep your recovery on track. Don’t let those days pass and leave it only for the night before the race, you might not be able to sleep as well because of all of the scenarios going onRead More →

I ran the Chester Marathon in 2h 56min. The race review has its own blog post, but let’s also talk about preparation. And today in particular, about nutrition. As I already mentioned, there are many things that can go wrong while running a marathon. Some of those you can’t do anything about (weather for example). But for a few, you can minimize or even eliminate the risk. Hydration I used the loo before the start at Chester, not because I needed to go, but the queue was reasonably fast, and I wanted to zero the risk of having to wee. But I could have skippedRead More →

Finish time 2h 56min 32sec Splits 10K – 41:39 20K – 41:11 30K – 41:32 40K – 42:31 I don’t know if I heard this somewhere else, or my brain became too philosophical during the marathon, but it ran in my mind continuously during the race. And it’s true. The faster you are, the more pain you will have to deal with, and your brain will try to convince you to slow down by all means possible. And in the end, performance is all about how you cope with all this. I started to train at the beginning of the summer and followed a self-designedRead More →

Remember my rules of running better races and mistakes I no longer make? Well, I made two of those in beautiful Stockholm :). Finish time: 1h 21m 42sec Elevation First, it was the course elevation profile. For some reason, my early research on Strava about the Stockholm Half Marathon only revealed about 70m of elevation overall. I still don’t understand how can the same course ran at the same time can show such different elevation results? 70m was nothing, so I viewed this race as an easy one. No longer felt easy when I read the official race leaflets which revealed no less than 370mRead More →

As a minimalist, I’m committed to only making purchases when I really need them and not when there are clearances, or the products look nice or when a new version is out for sale. But it hasn’t always been like this. A tale of two pairs Back in 2015, both myself and Andreea started to train with our buddies at the Marathon Store in Bishopsgate. They had a running club there sponsored by adidas. One of the nicest offerings was the fact that they were giving free running trainers to try during group runs. The trainers were top of line adidas Ultra Boost and IRead More →

Two years ago I discovered that I could run a lot faster. But the kick was the fact that I spent the first months of 2015 not running but training to improve my fitness. Well, if you have to know, it was also to lose my belly fat and man boobs :). So I found myself being able to run a 10k in just under 50 minutes, whereas previously, I could squeeze a 7k in 40 minutes with the cost of a couple of day’s worth of leg pain. Like any runner who went up a level, you start reading about how to train. AndRead More →

Every October, the running community follows a trend called “run every day”. Back in 2015 when I started to run again after a few months of intense weight loss and fitness activities, I ran for a mile every day of October. Last year, 2016, I found myself in a much better position, so I did a little experiment called “run 10k every day“. People asked me about going from 1 mile to 10k in just a year and “why not just 5k?”. Well, 5k is a relatively short distance for me. Even when running below the lactating threshold, the time I spend for that 5kRead More →

Everybody makes mistakes. When it comes to running, I made quite a few during my first marathon, half marathons, parkruns, club league, or whatever races I did. But the most important achievement was learning from these mistakes, as I pointed out in my Great North Run and London North Half reviews. 1. Starting off too fast Probably the most common mistake is going too fast. For me, this is caused mostly by bad or no planning. If I don’t know what pace I’m going to run at, “too fast” loses its full meaning. You know you started too fast when you’re flooded with heat, muscleRead More →