Wk30 into Wk31

Last week I did two good strength sessions, three runs, had two rest days and did a swim. Another good week of training, I was feeling good on the run on Saturday, like I could run forever … which is a good sign.

Here’s what I did:

Mon: Super Deadlift Strength B
Tue: Run Coaching 4M
Wed: Super Squat Strength A / Run Coaching 10k
Thu: Rest & Travel
Fri: 1,250m swim
Sat: 7.2 miles easy
Sun: Rest & Travel

Once again, I took a kettlebell and Wright away with me whilst visiting, but I didn’t use them. Two strength sessions are fine and I got to catch up with my Dad instead, and get some good sleeps in.

I’m still training for the Scottish half marathon and I’m still on track with my run training:

Next week here’s my plan:

Mon: Super Deadlift Strength B
Tue: 6.4M run (round up to 80 miles for July)
Wed: KB 80/20 + finisher
Thu: 45 min speedwork run / possible lunchtime 2-3 miles
Fri: Super Squat Strength A
Sat: 9-10M long run
Sun: Rest

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New gadget – Nikon KeyMission 80

At the start of this year I treated myself to a GoPro 5 action Camera. The thought was I could use it on holiday (which we did in March) and maybe I could use it on runs.

But I quickly found that I did use it when I ran (it’s a bit too bulky and heavy) and I didn’t like the interface and the way it worked. (And I didn’t end up downloading the pictures for weeks after we’d been on holiday.)

Sure it was clever – you can talk to it and say ‘Gopro – take a picture’ and it does… but I found I wasn’t using it and decided to sell it.

It cost £269 new (with a 10% discount from Halfords) and I’d bought a few bits and pieces for it, like some accessories, a case and a memory card. But it just wasn’t for me.

So I ended up selling it all (on Gumtree) for what I paid for the camera. (I love how you can do that so easily nowadays with stuff you don’t need anymore!)

I know some people run with their phones so they can track their runs, listen to their music and take photos if they want. But I’ve never fancied using my phone whilst running, in case I smash it or drop it in water – plain and simple.

I was thinking about getting a lighter smaller camera that I could take on holiday and run with… and I came across this / the Nikon Key Mission 80.


A couple of years old now (it came out in 2016), upgraded versions have come out in more GoPro type sizes & shapes (the 170 and the 360), but I really liked the shape, neatness, lightness and functionality of the KeyMission 80.

I got it earlier this week and tested it for the first time on Wednesday – it is well cool.

The key thing for me if I’m out running and wanting to snap photos of where I am is for the camera to be light, small and easy to use, as well as being durable and hardy. Also I’m keen to have a good quality photo of I can, and a good way to sync / upload the snaps / videos. The Nikon KeyMission 80 ticks all of those boxes.

Ideally I’d like to be able to easily access the photos / video / contest I take on a run and be able to use it for blogs and posts.

A few years ago I did have a very small camera that clipped on, but the quality was very poor and I ended up not bothering it. The upload process was clunky, and you never knew what you were really taking photos of. They turned out pretty crappy / unusable.

So after I stoped using it, if I saw nice things on runs, they just remained on the run / in my head, and were usually never captured in an image.

Hopefully that will change with this little magic gadget.

It’s very small – easy to fit into your hand, and can clip to a light magnetic frame, which you can then attach to your water pack or running belt. It’s just 75 grams in weight and seems very well made.

There’s a Nokia app, and when you take a photo pr video on the KeyMission 80, the photo or video then goes to the app and your photo stream seamlessly over Bluetooth. It’s very clever and works well.

Best of all it was nearly a third of the price of the GoPro (probably because it’s the third in its range of Nikon KeyMission cameras, but it still is a really good piece of kit). I got mine from Curry’s for £119 (and had a £30 voucher towards that), so got a great deal.

It has two cameras, the front one is a 12 megapixel camera, and the one on the back, you can use to take selfies – I think that one is a 4 mega pixel one. (Here’s one of me and my colleague Nadine at work, taken with the 4MP one.) It also has a light on the front which is easy to use.

The functions are simple, it’s easy to switch from taking photos or videos, and the automatic sync is genius. Another function is that you can set it up to automatically take pictures along a journey. So sat 5 minutes apart on a run. I’ve not tried this but it sounds good.

I got a 64gb micro SD card for it, a little hard case, and I might get a little wrist strap for it to prevent me dropping it. All in all it’s a great little camera and I’d highly recommend it.

To think in the early 80s my Dad used to have a massive Sony video camera, with a massive VHS tape recorder attached to it, AND he took a big SLR camera with us in holiday too. They all must have been the weight of a large child…and would have had a large case of their own!

This little camera is so dinky and high quality and just what I need it for. 👍🏻 I’m really looking forward to using it and testing it out. … ‘say cheeeeeeese’

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How your £1,300 of donations will be used

If you’ve been following me since before I did the London Marathon this year, you might know that I raised money for Turning Point Scotland, a Scotland wide charity whose head quarters are not far from where I live.

If you donated, you helped me to raise £1,300 (plus gift aid) to go directly to Turning Point Scotland and the initiatives they run. Thank you very much for your sponsorship, it really will make a if difference to a lot of peoples lives.

On Tuesday I went along to their head offices (on Govan road, not far from where I live and work) to hear from Patrick and Andy about how the money will be used.

Turning Point Scotland have been around for over 20 years – helping vulnerable and homeless people. www.turningpointscotland.com

The £1,300 you donated for me running the London marathon will be split across a few projects, including supporting the homeless in Glasgow and enabling their initiative TPS Connects to happen.

They also do work to address the reasons why people are homeless, and have a Citizenship programme which works with them to work towards giving them a new positive identity in their lives.

Their initiative Housing First gives homeless people a safe place to live and supports them as they transition into their new lives.

The money will allow Turning Point Scotland to put money towards children and families in a homeless situation. And single people who are in a homeless situation. It will go towards funding small necessities, like razors and toiletries, basics things that people need to survive.

Here’s me meeting some of the guys who work for Turning Point Scotland on Tuesday this week:

Thanks again for your donation if you sponsored me.

Here’s a bit more about some of their projects:

Music Connects – this is a music event that Turning Point Scotland are holding – you can find out more about here:

Music Connects 2018 will take place on Wednesday 19th September @The Ferry Anderston Quay, Glasgow

Doors @ 6pm / Advance tickets £10 + £1.59 b/fee / On the night price £12

You can buy tickets 01698 360085 now from the Ferry box office but they will also be on sale online in the coming weeks via https://tickets-scotland.com/

TPS Connects – http://www.turningpointscotland.com/be-involved/service-user-zone/

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Wk28 into wk29

Last week was really good training wise. 4 runs including a good and challenging long run. 3 strength sessions and a rest day after my long run.

Here’s what I did:

Mon: Super Strength B / PM 3.1M easy
Tue: 7M easy
Wed: Super 5s & Finisher
Thu: 5k easy
Fri: Super Strength A
Sat: 10M incl 2x5k tempo / long (haircut)
Sun: Rest

This week I’m travelling to Aberdeen later in the week for work, so I’ll tweak things a little, but will hopefully do something along the ones if this:

Mon: Super Strength B
Tue: Run Coaching 4M
Wed: Super Strength A / Run Coaching 10k
Thu: Rest & Travel
Fri: KB 80/20 + finisher
Sat: 7-8 miles easy
Sun: Rest & Travel

I’m going to Turning Point Scotland at lunchtime on Tuesday so I might run there.

I’ll do a shorter long run this week then I’ll build my long runs up to about 15 miles in August, around visiting family.

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10 miles with tempo efforts

On Saturday morning I had a really great run. One if those runs that remind you exactly why you love running so much and how it is so much more than just getting out and putting one foot in front of the other. It helps you be strong mentally and physically, and it helps me believe I can do anything I set my mind to do. I think it truly is magic.

My previous long runs for a few weeks had felt a bit like a chore, but for some reason everything went just right on this run and it felt great during and after it.

I’d planned 10 miles, having done around 7-8 miles three times in the last fortnight, along with some other runs and some coaching runs.

Last weekend I had planned to do 8-9 miles but couldn’t quite find the distance in the Daviot Woods. Not knowing where I could run to get the distance limited me a little. It was still a nice run, but it was missing a buzz or an edge.

On Saturday this week I took my time getting up and ready for my run. I had a hair appointment at 12, so as long as I was finished by 11 I sound make it on time.

I started my day by getting my gear on, having my usual cereal, multivitamins and a coffee. I decided to take 1 caffeine gel, a double espresso one, with 125mg if caffeine in it. I’ve not been drinking coffee much recently, so I was hoping it would help on my long run.

I’d hoped to do a 5 mile tempo run through the week, but did easy runs instead – 5k easy on Monday night, 7 miles easy Tuesday, 5k easy Thursday night. If alan done three strength sessions (Mon, Wed, Fri) but my legs felt ok for the long run. Good stuff.

I paired my iPod with my Aftershokz bone conduction headphones, and had my Garmin and Heart rate monitor on. I put the Foo Fighters two albums on, and was out the door for about 845am.

I’d done my route the night before, but straight away I tweaked it a bit to go through Festival Park then over the M8 to get to Bellahouston. Running towards Festival Park I felt strong, and decided I’d do some tempo running.

My first mile ticked off at an 8:10 min mile and I felt good. My cadence was away up higher than normal at 180… running to the beat effortlessly. My heart rate was showing strangely low at 130… but after a few miles it was up at what it felt like… 160-170 😳

I decided I’d try 3 miles tempo, 3 miles recovery, 3 miles tempo, then I mike cool down. Over the M8 flyover and down towards bellahouston Park and I still felt fine. The second mile was a bit slower, but the third mile even faster than the first (and probably down hill a bit.)

I ticked off my first 5k in 25 minutes and immediately slowed down to a recovery run. Feeling good coming out of Bellahouston I ran down corkerhill road towards Pollok Park. My heart rate recovered quickly, and after about half a mile I felt fine again.

I decided that I’d take recovery up to mile 5, then do another 5k effort / tempo. After mile 4 I took my caffeine gel, hoping it would kick in by the time I had to do my next effort, and thankfully it seemed to.

Running through the back end of Pollok Park, thankfully I was still on my recovery run going up the steep hill before the deepest darkest forest. I had pace on my watch and noticed my pace on my watch drop dramatically under the trees.

I hit 5 miles going past one of the car parks and I noticed I’d run it in 43 minutes, a bit faster than usual, even with the almost 2 miles recovery. I pushed on. I changed my planned route a bit, so that I avoided most uphills. I figured that I was working so hard my brain wasn’t getting the chance to take in the pretty woods of Pollok Park anyway. Anaerobic or tempo running does that to you.

It was warm, but overcast, so it wasn’t too warm for running. I noticed I was sweating. But I was wearing my sunglasses, shorts and tshirt and it was just right for the conditions. (Here’s me after it, feeling pretty spectacular, lol).

I was running along past the river, and I honestly felt amazing. It felt a bit like I was being pulled (or pushed?) along to run at the speed I was going. I flew up through the diversion at the stables. Nice and strong, not only in my running but in my belief in myself too.

This second tempo 5k wasn’t hard, it was great. And I only had 2 miles to go… 1.5 to go…then I could recover again. I hit 10k in 51 minutes… and these 3 miles (6,7 & 8) were to be my fastest. I did my second 5k tempo run in about 24 minutes – – minute faster than my first one!

I was running back towards Bellahouston when I finished that 5k, and hit the split in my watch. Through Bella, taking it easy again, I ran back the way I came. Over the flyover, feeling very accomplished. I hit 9 miles and hit the split on my watch again. My slowest split yet, but a good recovery.

I’d been switching my watch between me looking at getting my cadence up and checking my pace on effort splits, and to heart rate on recovery bits. My HR was around 150 on recoveries, and 165-180 in efforts (but I wasn’t looking at that). I was just trying to push and keep the faith that I could do it.

I hit 15k or 9.3 miles in 1:18, or 78 minutes. And along the way I worked out that I did my:

– First 5k in 25 minutes
– Second 5k in 26 minutes (up to 51 mins for 10k)
– Third 5k in 27 minutes (up to 15k)

How cool eh?

Then in my last mile, I decided I’d push for the last half mile. I clicked my lap button one last time and ran that half mile (or just over 1km) at 7:38 min mile pace. My fastest split yet.

I finished at 10 miles, feeling like I was on top of the world. Like everything was magic and I could do anything I set my mind to. I love it how running can make you feel like that. When you push your body to the limit, and bc clever with it. And you know your busy so well, you know just how to get the best from it.

I checked my watch, and I finished in 1:23:54… me and my numbers, I would have preferred to have finished in 1:23:45, but it wasn’t to be. It still felt like a really good effort. My heart rate zones are above.

I walked a recovery half mile back to my house, a little high and a little delirious. I’d switched my music to Adele after the fast running had finished, just to have a nice singalong / wind down to. I got home, and cooled down properly.

I was wearing my new trainers (purple & blue Mizuno Wave Inspires 14) and I almost wanted to give credit to them for making me run fast. But it was probably more likely a result of listening to the Foo Fighters, having caffeine in my system and being well rested (good sleep in the last week or so) and we’ll fuelled & hydrated before I started.

I didn’t run with water, but guzzled about 750ml before with my breakfast, and the same again after, plus a chocolate forgoodness shakes at my haircut.

It was a good run, nice and strong, and just what I needed ahead of the Scottish Half Marathon I’m entered at the end of September. Let the training continue! (But a rest day tomorrow for sure).

So in summary here’s what i did:

10 miles or 16k, as follows:

– 5k tempo in 25 mins / 8:10 min mile pace
– 3k recovery
– 5k tempo in 24 mins / 8:04 min mile pace
– 2k recovery
– 1k in just over 3:30 mins, or 7:30 min mile pace

Avg HR said it was 156, but it wasn’t reading right at the start, so it was probably more likely 165. Max HR 180. Garmin rating effect 5.0!

I was a bit tired and my legs were a little sore later in the day, but I felt really good on and after the run. It’s amazing what your body can do when train and you push it. 😃

It was probably my best week training wise – 3 good strength sessions which I recovered from, 4 runs totalling 23 miles and a rest day on Sunday.

F@&kin’ magic trainers / caffeine buzz / Foos! 😜

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I’m going to Turning Point Scotland HQ

You might remember, back in April, when I ran the London Marathon for charity… I raised money for Turning Point Scotland. You might have even sponsored me – and if you did you helped raise £1,300 plus gift aid to help homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland. Thank you very much for your donations.


I was in touch with the people at Turning Point Scotland and I was able to ask them to use the money for specific causes. I chose homelessness as I hate it when I see it on the streets and I feel like I can’t do anything about it. I’m tempted to give them money, but then it probably wouldn’t be used in the best way… to help get them off the streets and their lives straightened out. And this is where Turning Point Scotland comes in.

You can read more about what they do for homelessness here – http://www.turningpointscotland.com/what-we-do/homelessness/

The Turning Point Scotland head quarters are around a half mile away from my house…and on Tuesday I’m going in to meet them and learn about what they’ll be doing with the money you’ve helped me to raise. Thanks again… I really appreciate your donations and hopefully they’ll help some people who are in need across Scotland.

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Excusitus – Not enough time?

I was thinking the other day… when people say they don’t have enough time to exercise…

… there’s 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week… and even if you work full time / 40 hrs a week, there should still be plenty of time to exercise for your health and fitness.

My sister once asked me how I fit in exercise, but she realised that exercise is a priority for me, to keep me fit and healthy and happy. It’s a must, and it takes priority over many other things in my life.

Maybe it’s easier for me as I have a short commute and don’t have kids, but even with those demands on your time, it can still be possible to make the time to exercise for the good if your health – you just need to make it one of your priorities.

I probably exercise about 5 days a week, between 4-8 hours a week … which is about 2-5% of my hours in a week.

Now let’s break our weekly hours down…

– Work – 8 hrs a day / 40 hrs a week
– Commute – 30 mins a day / 2.5 hrs a week
(Times this by 3 as my commute is tiny! 1.5 hr a day / 7.5 hrs a week)
– Sleep – 8 hrs a day / 56 hrs a week
– Eating – 2 hrs a day / 14 hrs a week

That’s about 20 hours on a weekday or 128.5 hours in a week.

Say we add on 2 hours a day for house work or kids or other = +2hrs day, 14 hrs a week.

That’s 22 hours a weekday day / or 142.5 hours a week of our time used up… or…

… That’s around 85% of our week used up, leaving around 25 hours left to play with.

2 hours left on a weekday where we could exercise and it leaves around 15 hours left at the weekend, or 7.5 hours each weekend day to play with.

You could easy fit in 4-8 hours of exercise into the remaining 25 hours in the week.

Say 20% of the remaining hours or exercise or 2-5% of the week. (And it still leaves 17-21 hrs a week left for other stuff.)

All you need to then do then is prioritise and plan when you’ll exercise – for example:

Mon: 6am – 1 hr gym / Strength
Tue: 630am – 1 hr run
Wed: 6am – 45 mins gym / Strength
Thu: 630am – 1 hr run
Fri: Rest
Sat: 8am – 1 mins gym / Strength
Sun: 8am – 2hr Run

(Or be flexible and do it in the evening at 6pm if you miss it in the morning for any reason).

The plan above is a potential of around 6 hours exercise (out of the training 25) for exercise / training, which could easily be fitted in around work / commute / sleep / children / play. Or you could even do it on your commute, or at lunchtime in your work.

Here are some tricks to use your time to exercise more, in the best ways:

– use your commute to exercise
– exercise at lunchtime
– catch up with friends on the run
– go for a walk in the park instead of sitting catching up
– set a daily or weekly steps goal or mileage goal and compete with others
– get an early night so you can maximise your sleep time AND get up early to train
– get support from your friends / family to few you up to exercise (whilst the kids are taken care of)
– invest in yourself, join a boot camp or hire a coach

– exercise when your kids are sleeping or at school or when your partner is around

Commit to spending 2-5% of your week on exercise and you’ll reap the rewards and you’ll not regret it.

It’s about priorities and making exercise something that you want to do. Set yourself some goals, get support to achieve them from family and friends, and go get it done.

I’m away to the Garagym to do a Strength workout. 🙂

Ps: hopefully my maths above is right!

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