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 →

If you’re following me on Strava, you’ve probably noticed that I described my North London Half race with words that I almost never use :). The reason for that was that it was both a hard and an enjoyable race, all this goodness concentrated in a wee bit over 1 hour and 24 minutes, an unexpected outcome, so I had to share this state of mind with the world. The pace My greatest weakness so far in big races, especially longer ones, was starting off too fast. Not this time. I believe that keeping myself from going too fast during the first 5-10 minutes ofRead More →

None of the two of us were heavily involved in sports activities during school. However, I believe that if our PE teachers had more interest in the future of their young students, they might have motivated us to pursue an athletic career. The turning point for our lives was the moment when we quit smoking. We were already doing some other changes in our lives (saving money for example) and we understood that by doing nothing out of the ordinary, we will achieve nothing out of the ordinary. So we had to take control of our lives and fill the void left by the missingRead More →

During typical running workouts like intervals, hill reps, tempo and threshold runs, you need to follow very specific sequences. But with the easy runs, it’s only about keeping your heart rate low and miles up. And that can lead to boredom. Here is what I’m doing to pimp up my easy runs. 5 Ways to avoid boredom on long runs that are not listening to podcasts 1. Counting steps I own a Microsoft Band which has a pedometer, but the step count per minute is not reported during runs. So I need to do it for myself. The gadget market for the running world hasRead More →

My preparation for the South of England Cross Country Championships was going smooth. I have finished my intensive training with a 24km of hard work of keeping myself at the threshold, broke my half marathon PB, and all this gave me the uplifting confidence I needed before the race. But then the unthinkable happened. I picked up a throat inflammation that peaked on Tuesday and Wednesday. I usually try to let the body do its job and not intervene with medication, but this was a case when I was desperate to run the race in my top form. So I topped up with loads ofRead More →

For us, January came with a lot more on our plates that we expected. An incident at the park left us with a suffering injured dog (and countless vet visits), I had to train for the badass cross-country race at the end of January and Andreea started a diet bet and a new job. We knew that stress and lack of sleep are the proper ingredients for overeating, getting out of shape, and feeling miserable, so we decided we’re going to optimize our spare time and not fall into that trap. Adapting training plans when life gets too busy Not everyone has a coach toRead More →

Active people tend to think of injuries after they happened or after the point when they become painful or uncomfortable. Because of some medication for alleviating pain is available over the counter, we can forget about an injury for shorter or longer periods of time. Most of these medicines also act as anti-inflammatories, so they heal. It’s natural to forget about physical issues once we “treat” them. We are in fact only treating the effect and not think about the cause. The lazy glute Andreea had a 6 months long knee pain, and she delayed seeing a physiotherapist as much as she could because sheRead More →

Due to their popularity, road races might put you in danger of limiting your running surfaces spectrum. However, many professional long distance runners launch their careers not on the tarmac or the track, but on the grass and mud. And whenever you put grass, mud and running together, you’re talking about cross-country, often abbreviated as XC. Paula Radcliffe‘s first gold medal was as a junior at the World Cross Country Championships in Boston 1992. Mo Farah‘s first junior race was English schools cross-country when he finished ninth. Derek and Callum Hawkins, Andrew Butchard, they all started competing in cross country races. The point is thatRead More →

Wow, this went by fast! Everywhere in the world, 2016 was a year to remember. Some things were awesome (the Rio Olympics), some things not that awesome (Brexit, the US presidential election and a few horrible events). For us? A lot of firsts and a lot of lifestyle changes. The first half of the year was definitely dominated by running, whereas the second half was dedicated to minimizing everything. So far, we have nothing planned for 2017, so looking forward to seeing what the year will bring. Goodbye, 2016! Races 1. 1st of January – Family Parkrun We don’t care about New Year’s, so weRead More →

As a typical recreational runner, you get into some big races, have some results, and you’re satisfied by the medal count. And then one day you get up and tell yourself: I want to do better. However, to do better, you need a reference. Can you compare your 22 minutes for last weekend’s parkrun with the 4h30 marathon you just did? And that’s where the running scores come into place. Age grading It’s a percentage of your time compared to the world record for the age category you’re in and for the same distance you’ve run. It is obtained by dividing the world record timeRead More →