Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Fat Runner is dead...

...but still running...

Well that's what his Garmin Forerunner 305 is saying.

Before he bought the Forerunner, he researched a bunch of running forums, including the Runner's World forum to see what other runners were saying about the Forerunner 305.

Most runners seemed to be complementary about its features - fast GPS lock-on to satellites, able to track satellites while running in the woods, virtual trainer feature etc. Many of the negatives seemed to be around two things. Firstly, one of the metal contacts seems to go black, stopping the forerunner connecting to a PC and also stopping it from charging. Secondly, some people felt that the Forerunner battery didn't get close to matching the 10 hours battery life promised in the specification.

TFR decided to take a risk on the first concern, and realised that the second concern would be unlikely to be a concern for him - 10 hours of exercise in one go? He's not The Fat Ironman!!

But TFR has a third issue with the forerunner 305 - and that is the life of the battery in the heart rate monitor chest strap. Garmin promises that it will last 3 years, used 1 hour per day - in other words around 1200 hours. TFR, however, has had to replace the battery three times in two years - and this is running on average (perhaps) a few hours per week. So he's getting at most 100 hours out of a battery.

Hence the title of this post. According the his Forerunner, TFR now has no heart rate...

Does anyone else find the same? Perhaps the strap "switches itself on" even when it's not being worn? I'll contact Garmin to see if they have any idea...

Monday, 9 June 2008

The Fat Runner does Fartlek

Fartlek - no sniggering in the back please...

As promised in his Friday night post, The Fat Runner got out into Kensington Gardens on Saturday morning for a 5k run (31:30 or so) and then again on Sunday morning for the same run (31:00 or so).

For the Sunday run, TFR decided to do some Fartlek - mainly because he didn't think he'd be able to keep running for the whole 5k. As regular readers know, he hasn't been able to train as consistently as he'd like given his Plantar Fasciitis injury.

So what is Fartlek? Well Fartlek is Swedish for "Speed play" and it is basically a relatively unstructured session with a mix of running speeds - from walk up to sprint.

TFR ran for around 15 mins before beginning his speed play session - probably roughly a quarter walking, a quarter slow jog, a quarter running, and then a quarter at around 400m pace...

And the interesting thing is, even with the amount of walking, the total time for the run was less than the day before.

Of course, this might just be part of TFR getting used to running again after his plantar fasciitis rehabilitation, or it could mean that this is the fastest way for him to run...

If nothing else, Fartlek certainly makes the training session more interesting, and they say that it increases fitness more quickly.

The summary - TFR is going to be building Fartlek into at least half of his training sessions going forward...

Friday, 6 June 2008

Kensington Gardens run tomorrow morning

Just a quick note to say that now The Fat Runner's plantar fasciitis has cleared up, he's going to be running a very gentle 5k around Kensington Gardens tomorrow at around 0830 to see whether he'll be able to start running the Wimbledon Common Time Trial the next weekend he's in London...

If you're around, then he'll be the one wearing all black... And running slowly...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Venom hyperdrive - starting again

While TFR was on holiday, he didn't take Venom Hyperdrive, the fat loss pill, for two key reasons:

1) He wanted to be able to sleep, and Venom Hyperdrive seems to disrupt sleep patterns quite badly - particularly if you take two tablets

2) He didn't want his wife finding out.

Now that he's back at work, the VH will start again and we'll see whether it works...

Plantar Fasciitis rehabilitation

TFR's plantar fasciitis is fixed! (He thinks...)

Last week he was on holiday, and took the opportunity to break back into running in the gradual way suggested by his physiotherapist.

Tuesday night - 30 mins of 1 min run, 2 min walk
Wednesday afternoon - 30 mins of 2 min run, 2 min walk (had to pull up early because of blisters)
Friday afternoon - 30 mins of 5 min run, 2 min walk

The plantar fasciitis did not come back at all. The only problem was the blisters, which could have been caused by one of two things (or both):

1) The fact that TFR hasn't been able to run for a while, so that his feet have become less hardy and therefore more susceptible to blisters

2) The thick foam packing which his podiatrist fixed onto the inside of his training shoes to provide more support.

In fact, those packings may not just have caused blisters, but were also rather painful at first, and he was tempted to remove them.

However, the very fact that he had decided that "he know's best" back in April, and that is what caused this problem in the first place made him heed the specialist's advice and persevere...

Anyway, good news for now. Now that he's back at work, there is less opportunity to run, but he'll try again tomorrow morning!