Adidas Ultra Boost review

The Adidas Ultra Boost are Adidas’s flagship running shoes. According to Adidas, they provide a new boost foam in the midsole, which will provide a cushioned and responsive feel, returning energy with every step. The shoes also include a TORSION® SYSTEM, allowing for a more natural motion, along with a stretch web outsole that will adapt to the runners foot strike.

Being a long distance runner, I was naturally intrigued. Forking out £130 for a pair of running shoes is a fair investment, considering that running shoes are a disposable product. Running experts recommend that running trainers are ready to be retired after ~700 miles. I myself currently run around 80km/50miles per week, meaning that if I used these shoes exclusively, they would last me around 4 months.

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Can running help ulcerative colitis?

I have been pondering for a while about whether or not to publish this post. I am fairly reserved when it comes to discussing personal issues, and must confess that it took a fair amount of courage to post this on my blog. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) in September 2005. After an initial period of anxiety and shock, I was prescribed a cocktail of medication, ranging from corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and anti-inflammatory agents. For those who may not know, ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, in which the large colon can become inflamed. As there is no known cause for this condition, treatment measures are usually prescribed to help control symptoms, as there is no known cure. Going through periods of active symptoms and remission, my health was never quite the same as a pre-colitis state, resulting in some degree of impairment with leading a normal lifestyle.

Being somewhat of a cliche, I have always been very active with exercise, maintaining (albeit infrequent) gym training sessions since diagnosis. In fact, it is worth mentioning that just before my initial diagnosis, I was in very good shape. However after being afflicted with colitis, no matter what I tried, could never achieve the same level of physical fitness. This post will not be questioning the various hypotheses and research surrounding the cause of ulcerative colitis, but rather focus on what palliative measures one can take to prevent a relapse of symptoms.

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London Winter Run 2015

The inaugural London Winter Run took place on the 1st of February 2015. I initially came to learn about this event through a Facebook link, and signed up for the run in August 2014. Communication into the lead-up to the event was good, with frequent newsletters and even a free beanie hat I received (as did the first few 1000 runners who signed up). The main attraction for me was yet another opportunity to run through central London on closed roads. There is just something surreal about running through the Capital with no traffic and plenty of opportunity to look at the sights.

I was allocated the first wave with a 9:30am start, but advised to enter the “warm-up zone” (aka, holding pen) 45 minutes before. I was a little nervous about this, as it was a very cold day, with temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius, with the weather stating that it actually feels like -2. They were not wrong. There was a sharp, bitter bite in the frequent winds that repeatedly blew against my bare legs. I tried to keep warm with a space blanket, alas, attempts were thwarted by the breeze. I queued up in time and managed to shuffle to the front near the start line. Although all runners near the front were perhaps assigned the first wave, it was clear that not all were planning to run to maximum effort!

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Leaving Nike+ for Strava

I have been using Nike+ to record my runs since May 2013. It has served me well and been a fantastic motivational source to record my runs, engage in challenges with fellow runners and achieve those ‘trophies’ for completing certain milestones. Why have I now decided to leave Nike+ for another piece of software called Strava?

Well, it all started last week when I was searching for an app to help record cycling. I have signed up for the London Duathlon (September 2015) and need to get some bike training underway. I came across an app called Strava, not having heard of it before. I was intrigued to learn that it can record not only biking activities, but also running! (and a number of other activities). With great curiosity, I downloaded the app and made an account. I was even more excited to see the desktop version!

Strava dashboard

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Running with the Apple Watch

For those of you who follow my blog, will know that I love running. It will be no surprise that I am also keen about overall health and fitness, too. So when Apple announced the HealthKit App and fitness capabilities of the Apple Watch, I was ecstatic! Thinking of the possibilities and igneous Apps developers can make with such a platform seem to be limitless. However, reading up a little more on Apple’s latest gadget, I am being forced to question the potential of this first generation product, and wonder how some of the health/running applications can be put to best use. Here are my initial thoughts.

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Oxford Half Marathon report

This was my first time visiting Oxford. I decided to travel here the day before the Half Marathon and spent the night at a Premier Inn, located around 3km from the start line. Arriving on Saturday afternoon, I wanted to briefly look around Oxford, so decided to walk from the railway station to my hotel, around 8km away. The City Centre seemed nice enough and there was pretty much just main roads leading up to the business area in which my hotel was located.

After checking-in, I strolled out for another look about. Nothing much was to be found, apart from a retail park with a few large stores including a Tesco, M&S, Next and Boots. Contemplating what to do for dinner, I ended up in Burger King. I asked the staff if their chicken burgers were friend, to my surprise I found out they were! So that was news to me. I reluctantly ordered whichever burger had the least fat, apparently the chicken royale with orange juice, with no mayo or fries. Not the best dinner in the world, but I had a load of fruit waiting for me back in my room, which I brought along with me!

IMG_9726

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Ealing Half Marathon report

The Ealing Half Marathon has a fantastic reputation, being awarded the trophy of the best half in the UK for atmosphere. Living only a one and a half hour train journey away, I had to check it out! This was my second marathon in four weeks. Having achieved a personal best (PB) at the Richmond Running Festival, with 1:27:32, I was not hoping to gain another PB just a week later.

At the start line, I decided to start ahead of the sub 1:30 pacer, seeing if I could dip under 1:30 again. I was still unsure if last weeks result was a fluke or an accurate representation of my improved performance.

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