Platypus' Beginners Guide to Running

Soldato
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Higher Walton
Thanks both,

My aim is to get my 5k down to a respectable time, I would train towards 10k but I think timewise it's a little unrealistic right now.

So it sounds like I need to schedule in a regular consistent paced 5k run, with the occasional faster one once a month or so?

If I was you I’d just get out and run slowly. If you have your HR monitor. See what apps people tend to use for your watch and just get out with that.
Ideally people suggest that you should run in HR zone 2, although personally I’m usually around zone 3.
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
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Location
Higher Walton
Has anyone found any good resources for finding routes in areas you're not familiar with?

Whenever i visit my parents in Spain i tend to go for a couple of runs around the roads down the coast. However when we've been out i often see lots of trails off up into the hills that i'd love to explore. Picture below of the fairly large expansive area.

I know i can use Strava to try and cobble something together but often when i do this locally i'll end up on poor tracks or missing some places which are recommended. It'd be great to be able to access routes that other people have done/recommend. Anyone know of websites where you could search for routes based on distance/location?

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Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
32,008
@D.P.
Bit of a different question. But when you’re booking events away from home, what do you do to deal with the fact you can’t train in similar circumstances?

Ive seen a few longer runs in Spain near my parents place. They seem to be very dry dusty mountain trails which is easy enough to replicate but my concern is the heat. Is there anything you can do to help prepare for that? Presumably just wrapping up in multiple layers isn’t a great idea.


Also how do you cope without support? I always watch a lot of YouTube runners who drag in a lot of family/friends to crew for them. I imagine that for normal people that’s just not happening. Nor would I want them to.


You do what you can to train for the specific races. In general, the better trained/fitter you are overall, the better you will cope regardless of the race specific specialization. There are some ultra runners that live in flat areas that do OK in mountain ultras for example. Some things I have heard people do is run up and down multi-story car parks at night time, or the fire-escape stair cases - works for people that live in cities. Weighted vests and lots of hill repeats on whatever is the steepest hill you can find. I am still amazed how well some people do living in flatter places cope. I raced this weekend, a wicked hard mountain race (110km, 8700m climbing) and spent a few hours with a Dutch guy. I get in plenty of vertical a week, but it is on shorter hills and not so technical and I find this limiting. There is a hill behind my house abut 250-400m, which I go up and down on as much as possible. But nothing crushes your legs like 1600m downhill, or can compare to the mental state when you are at the bottom of a 2000m climb.

For heat, you do adapt relatively quickly but not in time for a short holiday. Obviously you can try and do your training in the hottest part of the day. For races like Badwater 135 in Death Valley, people train with a treadmill inside with the heat up full blast.


For support, I never have support. It would obviously be nice but is pretty selfish thing IMO. At this weekend's race I saw support crew coming out at 4am start, and every few hours, midnight, 4am, 6am.... If you are a professional sure, but I don;t see the need as an amateur. Everything you need to finish is provided at the race so there is never a big problem, eit is for comfort. Some things I wanted would be some better food, the envy when i see someones support hand out a big pizza at 2am after 22 hours of running with basic aid station food....


Sorry, no real answers.
 
Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
32,008
Has anyone found any good resources for finding routes in areas you're not familiar with?

Whenever i visit my parents in Spain i tend to go for a couple of runs around the roads down the coast. However when we've been out i often see lots of trails off up into the hills that i'd love to explore. Picture below of the fairly large expansive area.

I know i can use Strava to try and cobble something together but often when i do this locally i'll end up on poor tracks or missing some places which are recommended. It'd be great to be able to access routes that other people have done/recommend. Anyone know of websites where you could search for routes based on distance/location?


TBH, I use the strava heatmap, something like plotaroute.com and opentopomap
when I have tried to find sources on complete routes I found many different websites with very sparse information and few routes. Doesn't seem to be a single dominating platform. Also, big differences between countries on what is popular.
The other problem is I often want my runs to be a specific distance/time, starting from the hotel. Or I want to maximize the amount of climbing, or find the steepest trails.

Sometimes the routes suck, sometimes you have to adapt mid-run, often I find it works out. But I really love this ad-hoc exploration, finding unknown trails and seeing where they go.
Last year I was in the Cinque Terre and found some great paths up into the mountains. The basic paths were opentopo, but as I ran each morning I would see other paths and would try them out. In a few weeks I will be lake Como, so I have already started to plan some potential runs
 
Associate
Joined
14 Dec 2003
Posts
2,149
Location
Malvern
Has anyone found any good resources for finding routes in areas you're not familiar with?

Whenever i visit my parents in Spain i tend to go for a couple of runs around the roads down the coast. However when we've been out i often see lots of trails off up into the hills that i'd love to explore. Picture below of the fairly large expansive area.

I know i can use Strava to try and cobble something together but often when i do this locally i'll end up on poor tracks or missing some places which are recommended. It'd be great to be able to access routes that other people have done/recommend. Anyone know of websites where you could search for routes based on distance/location?

There's komoot as well. I haven't really used it as I tend to just use strava and make my own routes but may be worth a shot.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
24 Sep 2005
Posts
34,158
I’m not a runner at all really but I just wanted to post how seriously impressed I am with my new trainers that I bought for general exercise and walking.

They are Adidas Ultraboost 20 shoes. From an initial wear, they are so much better than anything I have ever bought in the ‘sports shoe’ category. It’s hard to describe but they sort of fit like a sock? Elastic against your foot. It’s like wearing a hybrid sock/shoe. Just feels like it gives oodles of support without it being so dependant on how you tie your laces.

Really, really, really good. Amazing how something as simple as a shoe can get so dramatically better.
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Feb 2004
Posts
18,735
Location
Higher Walton
You do what you can to train for the specific races. In general, the better trained/fitter you are overall, the better you will cope regardless of the race specific specialization. There are some ultra runners that live in flat areas that do OK in mountain ultras for example. Some things I have heard people do is run up and down multi-story car parks at night time, or the fire-escape stair cases - works for people that live in cities. Weighted vests and lots of hill repeats on whatever is the steepest hill you can find. I am still amazed how well some people do living in flatter places cope. I raced this weekend, a wicked hard mountain race (110km, 8700m climbing) and spent a few hours with a Dutch guy. I get in plenty of vertical a week, but it is on shorter hills and not so technical and I find this limiting. There is a hill behind my house abut 250-400m, which I go up and down on as much as possible. But nothing crushes your legs like 1600m downhill, or can compare to the mental state when you are at the bottom of a 2000m climb.

For heat, you do adapt relatively quickly but not in time for a short holiday. Obviously you can try and do your training in the hottest part of the day. For races like Badwater 135 in Death Valley, people train with a treadmill inside with the heat up full blast.


For support, I never have support. It would obviously be nice but is pretty selfish thing IMO. At this weekend's race I saw support crew coming out at 4am start, and every few hours, midnight, 4am, 6am.... If you are a professional sure, but I don;t see the need as an amateur. Everything you need to finish is provided at the race so there is never a big problem, eit is for comfort. Some things I wanted would be some better food, the envy when i see someones support hand out a big pizza at 2am after 22 hours of running with basic aid station food....


Sorry, no real answers.

Good to know that things are still fine for unsupported runners, sometimes watching things gives the impression it's a must, although i see a few longer runs allow various bag drops which is handy.

Also good to hear people from flatter/colder places can still cope. In Spain i'd expect it to be ~30degrees and sunny so not as brutal as other places, but certainly at the point where i'd be avoiding a run if i was at home in a normal situation. It was certainly the hills that wiped me out on my marathon the other week. Mainly fitness wise, but i found that i was ok to slowly run the flats and none technical downhills even towards the end, but the hills just killed me even though they weren't anywhere like the ones you mention. I guess that's part of being a heavier runner, i certainly found them easier last year when i was ~10kg lighter. Most hills near me are only around 100ft too, it'd be great to find something where i can get around 600ft over a mile without too much distance.



I had although thought to fix my motivation that i'd sign up to one of the Garmin training plans. However annoyingly the official Garmin Coach ones only go up to half marathon level. I have seen that Greg McMillan does a 50 mile Ultra training plan for only ~£25. I know a fixed training plan isn't especially needed, but i do wonder whether having paid for it i'd be more inclined to find motivation from it.
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
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Also, for anyone ever looking at a Recovery style drink. Do NOT go for the MyProtein strawberrys and cream one. It was the only flavour available and is absolutely disgusting. I'll never stray from SIS Rego again :p
 
Soldato
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Went for a Functional Threshold test today to try and give myself an idea of where my fitness is. My aim is to try and do one each month to try and build up a bit of a trend of my fitness. Only downside was that the final section was to run between 170 and 179 BPM.
I was expecting there to be a final stage where it really tried to kill you so i help off slightly and stayed around the 171bpm range. Not sure if the Garmin can work through that or not, but it doesn't matter too much.

Apparently my threshold is 8:30min/mile at 167bpm. I believe the test is suppose to suggest that i could hold 8:30 pace for an hour. Maybe i should give that a go sometime!
 
Soldato
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Higher Walton
It was just on my watch, if i select Run and then press "up" there's an option for Training and then Threshold Test

The stages were

Warm up - 10 mins
Run at 139-148bpm - 4mins
Run at 149-158bpm - 4mins
Run at 159-168bpm - 4mins
Run at 169-179bpm - 3mins

I'm not sure how beneficial they are to do.
 
Caporegime
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
32,008
Went for a Functional Threshold test today to try and give myself an idea of where my fitness is. My aim is to try and do one each month to try and build up a bit of a trend of my fitness. Only downside was that the final section was to run between 170 and 179 BPM.
I was expecting there to be a final stage where it really tried to kill you so i help off slightly and stayed around the 171bpm range. Not sure if the Garmin can work through that or not, but it doesn't matter too much.

Apparently my threshold is 8:30min/mile at 167bpm. I believe the test is suppose to suggest that i could hold 8:30 pace for an hour. Maybe i should give that a go sometime!


You can hold Threshold pace for a max of abou 1 hour, but it is really hard. Even 20-30 minutes will feel like a race.

Depending on fitness, the pace is between 10k and a half-marathon. So it definitely isn't pleasant



But TBH, I am not really sure of the value of this kind of info.
 
Soldato
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Higher Walton
Yeah i'm not too sure either, i know some of the Garmin Training plans use it at the start to get a base level of fitness so i was just curious more than anything.

I've started a 50 mile training plan i found, although currently falling short of it due to weekend booze related activities. I'll most likely dump it though in favour of creating my own as it feels quite inflexible and isn't clever enough to shift things around.
 
Associate
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Oxfordshire
Anyone ever used a custom print shirt service they can recommend? Decided to do some fundraising with my London marathon spot and want a custom shirt with all my charity logos on.

That aside, man that’s hot again out…looking forward to the Sunday long run for sure, just gonna get out as early as possible and take the hydro vest.
 
Associate
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Congleton, Cheshire
man that’s hot again out…looking forward to the Sunday long run for sure, just gonna get out as early as possible and take the hydro vest.

It is indeed. I decided to go out after 9pm last night and it was still too hot really. Only 5k so didn't take water etc, but did have it waiting on the drive at the end. Worst thing about it though, was having a shower afterwards, because you get out and just start sweating again!
 
Soldato
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It is indeed. I decided to go out after 9pm last night and it was still too hot really. Only 5k so didn't take water etc, but did have it waiting on the drive at the end. Worst thing about it though, was having a shower afterwards, because you get out and just start sweating again!

This is pretty much a given for me whether it's warm or not!

I've not ran since last Monday. Been pretty busy with DIY which has been annoying. Hoping i can get out today so it's not a full week!
 
Associate
Joined
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720
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London
Has anyone found any good resources for finding routes in areas you're not familiar with?

Whenever i visit my parents in Spain i tend to go for a couple of runs around the roads down the coast. However when we've been out i often see lots of trails off up into the hills that i'd love to explore. Picture below of the fairly large expansive area.

I know i can use Strava to try and cobble something together but often when i do this locally i'll end up on poor tracks or missing some places which are recommended. It'd be great to be able to access routes that other people have done/recommend. Anyone know of websites where you could search for routes based on distance/location?
I use Strava to try and string together a few segments as I know these will usually be good sections for running. The heatmap is useful in places where there aren't that many segments and is generally pretty good. It's also worth checking if there are any races in that locality and then use their route, or part of it.

Failing that, I use a the courses on Garmin Connect but these tend to be more personal routes from a random person's doorstep (e.g. run to work etc.) but occasionally you can find a decent route and adapt it for your needs.
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
18,735
Location
Higher Walton
I weigh probably 20kg more than you though, so my suffering has to be worse ;-)

Haha maybe, i do seem to be piling the weight on recently though due to not running much and drinking a lot of beer in the sun. Up to 104kg this morning :(

I'm also a horrible sweaty mess generally. On the marathon the other week i had flies circling me at one point, but couldn't bring myself to run to get away from them! I've bought one of these which is brilliant for after the shower (not this exact one but similar)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wearable-Handsfree-Rechargeable-Necklance-Traveling-White/dp/B07RL9L7VD

I use Strava to try and string together a few segments as I know these will usually be good sections for running. The heatmap is useful in places where there aren't that many segments and is generally pretty good. It's also worth checking if there are any races in that locality and then use their route, or part of it.

Failing that, I use a the courses on Garmin Connect but these tend to be more personal routes from a random person's doorstep (e.g. run to work etc.) but occasionally you can find a decent route and adapt it for your needs.

Cheers, i got in touch with someone who organises running holidays in the area that i'd found. He gave me a couple of routes and then used Komoot/Viewranger to find a few others. Annoyingly i've not saved anything specifically. I'm really looking forward to get out on some of the trails though. My main concern is footwear. I usually take my On Cloudflyers (Sorry again @SPG) which look like a decent trainer for just general walking around. I don't really want to take 2 pairs of trainers so a single "do it all" is ideal. I wonder if i'd get away with it as it's likely to just be dusty paths rather than anything technical that would need specific trail shoes.
 
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