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!
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.
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!
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.
I am not going to be reviewing the iPhone 6 Plus in this post. No, Sir. There are plenty of in-depth reviews online detailing the pros and cons of Apple’s latest handsets. I simply wanted to share my own views on the iPhone 6 and initial thoughts.
So, I was not initially planning to purchase the iPhone 6 (but somewhere in the back of my mind knew I could not resist!). Being unable to get to an Apple store to personally view the phones, I pre-ordered online and reserved for in-store collection. I opted for the iPhone 6 plus; 64GB. As my iPhone 5 had 64GB of storage, which never reached capacity, decided this would be the best option.
I was slightly apprehensive about the first of four half marathons planned within the next 5 weeks. For the past 3 days I have been struggling with planter fasciitis affecting my left foot. This made me a tad nervous about this event, as it was not entirely healed and I did not want to sustain any further damage.
I arrived at Kew Gardens where the race began, just after 8am, ready for a 9am start. Just before arriving I realised that I had left my timing chip to attach to my shoe at home *slaps forehead*. Damn! I went over to the race information tent, where they kindly reissued me with a new race number with no fuss. I was asked my expected finish time, to which I replied “between 1:30 and 1:35”. With my foot not feeling 100%, this was a stretch! I was even more pleased to receive a new number “23” (replacing my current number, 636). My lowest race number, to-date!
This was my first experience of the Run to the Beat series of races, and left me with mixed feelings. Previously, this event was a half marathon in Greenwich Park, but has now shifted to Wembley in the form of a 10km road race.
I did not receive my race pack, which was disappointing and I had to arrive early to collect it on race day. It was actually not even posted to me, and I was “missed out by the system”, according to the organisers. Not a great start. The event is showcased as being outside Wembley stadium, and that is exactly what it is. Just outside the stadium, with the race village in a big car park. Hmmmm.
I put sub-40 as my finish time (my previous PB for a 10k being 41:30), so was expecting to run around this time, or if I could push myself and get a clear run, would have been happy with anything around 40-41 minutes. I was in the “pink” wave, and started pretty close to the start line.