Lincolnshire Runner – Blog 1
So, here starts a regular slot for me on the Lincolnshire Runner website in my role as Triathlon/ON Running ambassador. I’ll be regularly posting updates which will include insights into training and racing I’ve recently completed, as well as information on the shoes I’ve been wearing and how I’ve been getting on with them…Firstly, though, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the shop, and ON Running UK, for their kind support over the last season – it really is greatly appreciated and I’m already looking forward to the next one!
A little about me, for those of you that don’t know me personally – I’m a triathlete, and have been for close to the last 10 years. I now focus on middle distance (70.3) racing (with the odd sprint and Olympic Distance thrown in for good measure) and am thankful to say that my 2016 season has been the most successful in my triathlon career, to date. Notable performances this year have included winning outright all four of the local sprint series races run by OSB events (something that’s not been done by the same person before!); placing 2nd overall at Outlaw Half Nottingham and within this missing out on the win by a mere 8 seconds, after being overtaken just before getting onto the finishing shute!; and placing 3rd overall in the inaugural Outlaw Half Holkham, and unfortunately throwing away a >6minute lead getting off the bike in T2! There has been a bit of a consistent theme running through both of these races, the fact that I have lost the race on the run on both occasions – I can ensure everyone here that this is in no way a reflection of the running shoes I’ve been wearing (quite the contrary, in fact!), but more the poor tactics and pacing employed on the day!
I’ve been doing all of my running in ON Running shoes since early 2015, and since then, have had the opportunity to run in a wide variety of the range offered. Being a triathlete, my weekly running mileage is not huge, with most weeks falling between 35-50 km, which usually equates to around 3-4hrs of running out of a 10-12hr training week. Most of my day-to-day regular running has been in Cloud Surfers and more recently a pair of Cloud Flyers. Both of these have been fantastic and a joy to run in, and have felt great straight out of the box with no prolonged ‘breaking-in’ period. The reason I have switched to try the Flyer more recently was due to the fact that they offer some mild support, something that was thought to be potentially needed following a gait analysis at the shop. The majority of my racing has been in a pair of Cloud Racers, this has been for anything from Sprint Distance 5k’s to half marathons at the end of a 70.3. Now these are a seriously quick shoe, and certainly don’t give as much cushioning as the aforementioned shoes, however, what is taken away in cushioning is replaced by pure speed, all in a comfortable, stable, and an extremely responsive shoe. I’ve loved racing in the racers this year, and they have taken me to tri run course PB’s in all of the races I’ve competed in this year, as well as a P.B. at the new Lincoln Half Marathon. From a triathlon perspective, they’re also fantastic for wearing without socks, as the upper is seamless and breathable, and I didn’t experience one blister or hot-spot throughout the season, which is pretty rare for me!
I’ve recently started to build some off-road running into my regular runs, firstly to give a bit of variety and secondly to lessen the load of continual tarmac based running (as I’m not getting any younger!). I’ve been lucky to get to wear some Cloud Venture’s for these runs, which are a hugely versatile shoe. I’ve had issues with off-road shoes in the past being only good to run in, in certain conditions, but I’m happy to say that the Ventures perform admirably in anything from tarmac and hard-packed trails, to thick, sticky mud! ON are certainly onto a winner, there!
So now that we’re out of the triathlon racing season, focus has been turned to winter training and building towards the 2017 season. As previously mentioned, my run has let me down a little bit in a couple of longer races this year, so it’s about time I showed some focus here and try to bring my running up to the high standard set by my swimming and biking. Don’t get me wrong, my running has been by no means terrible this year, but it could certainly do with improving so that I can have the confidence to close out longer distance races, ending up on the top step! With this in mind, I’ve started running with Mark Baddeleys group at Lincoln Wellington Athletics Club. To say that this is a strong group of runners would be an understatement – I won’t name any names as I’d hate to give anyone a big head – but under the guidance of Mark, integrating these sessions on a Tuesday night into my programme should bring back some of the stronger running form that I’ve seen in the past. In fact, I’m currently 6-weeks in, and already seeing the rewards, so hopefully this progress will continue to when it really counts in race season! I’ve been wearing the Cloud Racers for all of these sessions – anything from tempo efforts, to hills, to track repeats…this time, with socks, though!
Thanks for reading J