I have been running ‘properly’ for over 3 years now. By properly, I mean being regular and consistent, having never done a zero mile week. I have been procrastinating to go to a Parkrun for a long time now, but finally made my debut last Saturday (3rd June 2017). To give you an idea of how long I have been putting off a Parkrun, I registered on the Parkrun website on the 1st of November 2014! For those who may not already know, Parkruns are held every Saturday in local parks across the country. They are ‘timed 5k runs’ in a friendly and supportive environment. Anyone is welcome to run, from children to seniors. it is important to stress that they are not considered to be a race! It is simply you against the clock.
Author Archives: Andy Kumar
Vitality London 10,000 2017 race report
Finally home after a thoroughly enjoyable day. Having just run my 6th London 10,000 (the first in 2012), I can still say that this is one of the best 10km road races I have ever done. So how did things unfold today? Well, it all started with meeting Stuart ‘Stupot’ Barton (and family) at Woodford station. The plan was to take the 8:07 train, and pick-up ELR runners at stations en-route to Green Park. Quite a few familiar faces made an appearance on the carriage, and we arrived well in-time for our infamous ELR group picture. Wonder if this will make the paper!? Let’s hope our Maya Goodwin approves!
First ride with Rapha Cycling Club
I joined Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) a couple of weeks ago, and went out on my first social group ride with them. In fact, this was probably my first ever proper “group ride”, having done most of my previous cycling either with a couple of friends, solo or on Zwift. It was a 9am start and we all met at Deli on the Green in Woodford. Being only 6km from my house, it was quick and easy to get to. I met up with the other RCC cyclists, who all seemed like a very nice bunch of people.
We headed out into the Essex countryside and made our way through some familiar roads, and after 40km of cycling, ended up at The Fox and the Goose GastroPub for a cafe stop. Continuing on from my recent pescatarian diet (a blog post about this later!) nothing tickled my fancy on the menu. A few months ago a bacon butte would have gone down well, but not anymore. Anyhow, I ordered a latte and after some chit-chat, we were back on the road. The route took us back down toward Chigwell, and I broke off the ride to head home (as did a few others) before the main group made their way back to Woodford.
I covered 76.8km (~48 miles), and all-in-all, felt pretty comfortable at the end. Average speeds were around 26km/hr for the ride. Hopefully many more rides to come! I will be shifting my focus toward running for the next few weeks, so more rides to follow in June. Some eagerly anticipated Rapha kit has now also been ordered, so stay tuned for a few quality reviews! Until then, Ride On!
Joining Rapha Cycling Club (RCC)
After securing a place for the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 sportive, I knew that it was time to increase my miles in the saddle. Most of my ‘longer’ cycling rides have been on Zwift, and in all honesty, not been very long at all (the longest ride being 100km). Well, not very long compared with some of the awesome cyclists I follow on Strava who seem to effortlessly push out >300 miles week-in-week-out! I know that in order to have a great day and complete the sportive in a time I will be pleased with, I need to get more miles out on the road. Cycling alone can be somewhat lonesome, particularly on long rides. The social company, coffee stops and sense of security on outside rides is something that I know will help me get out more.
I did consider some local cycling clubs, but have always been in awe of the Rapha brand and what it stood for. I knew that they had a cycling club for a while now, but never seriously considered to join them as they were based in central London and I thought it was a little far to get to for their weekly rides. I also felt that I may need to improve my cycling fitness, as impressions of fast/elite roadies cruising along at 25mph flooded my mind. I was wrong on both accounts! Let me just take a moment to explain how Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) works.
Garmin fēnix 5 vs Forerunner 935: Which one to buy?
I did not think that I would be writing a review/blog post on another Garmin watch this year. I purchased my fēnix 3 in 2015 (2 years ago) and it has been a revolutionary device for me, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. When Garmin announced the fēnix 3 HR last year, there was no compelling reason for me to upgrade. Then earlier this year, the fēnix 5 was announced, and once again, I was not convinced and even put pen to paper on my reasons ‘not’ to upgrade. So what changed and why did I decide to bite the bullet? This is not a full review on either of these watches, but more of a comparative analysis if you are struggling to decide which watch (if any) is right for you. You will find this blog post useful if you:
-Cannot decide between buying the fēnix 5 or Forerunner 935.
-Cannot decide which fēnix 5 model to buy (standard vs sapphire).
-Are upgrading from the fēnix 3.
Before I even get to comparing the watches, my purchasing decisions have to be mentioned. This is going to be a long one, but I will try to be as brief as possible! Here we go…
Victoria Park Easter 10k (run-through.co.uk) race report
A quick summary of the Victoria Park Easter 10k. This was my first ‘race’ of 2017. Not being anywhere near PB shape, I was hesitant to sign-up for any events. However, after some contemplation, I thought that this shouldn’t keep me from doing what I enjoy. I alighted from Mile End tube station and walked to Victoria Park with Sania (around 1.5 miles). Here I met-up with Jamie Xavier.
ZWIFT Volcano climb
So ZWIFT have unveiled yet another route for the Watopia course. There is now a 4.2km (distance) climb with ~125M of climbing up the recently released Volcano. This is ideal for testing your climbing skills without the added duress of putting yourself through the torturous Watopia mountain. Well, not so much torturous as it is time consuming! I did a quick test of the Volcano climb to see what it was all about.
Riding 100km on ZWIFT: My first metric century ride
I have been wanting to break the 100km distance for some time now. Well over a year, in fact! However, for one reason or the other, it didn’t happen. I did cycle around 110km in September last year with my good friend Mark, but as that ride was broken with a few stops, I felt that it didn’t count to some extent. The build-up to this ride was very unexpected. I have only started to cycle constant miles again, and even still, mileage is pretty low. For today’s ride, I was only planning 50 miles, but ended up doing 100km instead. Here is a brief report of this ride.
Apple Watch: an (almost) 2 year update
It’s hard to believe that the Apple Watch is almost 2 years old. I preordered my Apple Watch in April 2015, finally taking delivery at the end of May. Since then, it has become an indispensable part of my lifestyle, and with the two year anniversary approaching, I wanted to share my thoughts on how I still use it.
Alternating with my fenix 3, I wear my Apple Watch everyday. I have a few different bands now, so can wear it with sport gear, as well as smart-casual attire. There was a point last year when it became little more than a simple timepiece as the initial novelty wore off, but after a few significant OS updates, there have been some marked improvements in functionality. Here are some of the most significant improvements that I have been enjoying with the Apple Watch.
neato Botvac D5 review
There is no denying that one of the defining technological breakthroughs of the past 5 years has been the implementation of home automation. Everything from lighting to your coffee machine can now be automated, so it was just a matter of time before other product categories joined the market. Smart vacuum cleaners have been available for a few years now, but only recently started to make their way into consumer homes. The price is still a little steep, which may mean that it will be a few years before they become a common household feature. Retailing for £599, the neato botvac D5 is certainly not cheap. But does it live up to the high-end price-tag?