Monday, 11 February 2008

It's for charity, mate!!


Like the title of this posting suggests we are trying to raise some money for charity (as well as suffering for fun!). I am not much of a people person myself (they tend to bring out the worst in me), so I'm raising money for WSPA (World Society for Protection of Animals) as they fight causes that I'm passionate about (stopping bear farming/baiting/dancing and whale hunting). Jo on the other hand is a much more caring soul, and having known several cancer patients she knows what a great role Macmillan Cancer Support do in helping those affected by cancer, hence she's raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Our fundraising pages can be found at and

Moving on, the first official week of training is over. I say "official" because Jo and I had actually done a couple of weeks of training before the official start of the training plan. Those two weeks for me had been hell as I did not enjoy them at all...they were too hard, leaving me totally knackered. After analysing our heart rates we concluded that we were training too hard, hence we have slowed ourselves down considerably during the past week (i.e. stuck to the heart rate percentages dictated by the training plan). In the early stage of training the speed really doesn't matter, in fact the slower the better, as it's about getting miles and time under your belt/feet. In future postings I'll talk more about the three distinct phases of the training plan (in case you're interested).

As a result of this new found discipline I can report that we are enjoying the training. Sunday evenings run was a good example; we were tired from four hours of travelling, and then further drained from watching the Chelsea vs. Liverpool match (90 minutes of screaming at the TV must be good training, right!?). Anyway, I was dreading the run....and even offered Jo an opt-out ("we can run in the morning instead, blah blah blah"). Jo wasn't having any of it which was a good thing because as soon as I stepped out the door I enjoyed the run. For once (this year) there were no gusts of wind to slow us down in our tracks and the weather was milder than usual. Although we weren't going too fast (as dictated by the heart rate limits in the training plan) it was still a good workout which we found very easy. We even had stupid grins on our faces during the run.

Incidentally we have a number of running aids to help us train. We both use an iPod with a Nike+ attachment hence allowing us to record our speed and distance, although I actually find the music (and Jo's singing!!) breaks my focus! We also use Polar heart rate monitors, both of which are capable of recording speed and distance too. Mine also records cadence (number of steps per minute), but we'll get into that much later in the training. If you pay any notice to our training plan you will see that Sunday's run (10th Feb 2008) shows different distances for Jo and I, even though we ran together. This is because of errors in our Nike+ calibration (I cannot rely on my Polar Footpod for distance etc as it appears to be playing up). At some point we will try to calibrate our hardware, but we'd need to get to a running track to do it properly as treadmills cannot be relied on either!

If you are really interested/nosy then you may wish to see our runs on the Nike+ website (the iPod uploads them to the web - good eh?). Mine can be found at:,runs,754258116, whereas Jo's can be found at:,runs,888475870.
We're not sponsored by Apple or Nike, but if they read this then they're welcome to send us some merchandise for the free publicity ;)

Thanks for reading and happy running.
Sat (& Jo)


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