I love being busy at the weekends, and one of my favourite things to do at the weekend is go on a run, or maybe even two.
For the autumn I have a few races booked (in fact, I have one of each: 5k, 5 mile, 10k, 10 mile and 15k. It is annoying me by the way why they are not in order of length. 10k is further than 5 miles, but 15k is less than 10 miles. Why is that????) and what I want to do is work on speeding up a bit. Last year I had a bit of success when going to parkrun, Sweatshop, and also running with Andy a bit. I managed to finally run a sub 60 minute 10k (something I had been working on for years) and got my fastest half marathon time of 2.06. Running shorter distances faster seemed to be helping me run longer distances faster too. Over the summer I really slowed down- I don’t run well in the heat, but also I was training for a trail half and wasn’t bothered by the finish time, then I had a break on holiday and just enjoyed running. Nothing wrong with that. But now I want to spend the autumn working on getting that speed back, and parkrun is a big part of that.
For the last 3 weeks I have had my idea of a perfect weekend- parkrun on Saturday and a longer run on Sunday. I love it for so many reasons. I tend to wake up pretty early anyway, so I can potter about at home, head off to parkrun, pick up my brother if he is going, and then be home by 10am with the rest of the day ahead. I like running after work, as I find it can help with stress relief, but also it can make the evenings feel rushed, especially if I bring home work, so doing 2 runs at the weekend means I am more relaxed in the week too.
Recently on Sunday mornings I have been running through town, and it is weird but strangely satisfying to be out there before the shops have opened- it feels like I am using bonus hours or something.
Sainsbury’s kindly sent me some of their workout gear, and I have been trying it all out. Now I know it is summer, but at the moment it has been a bit breezy, so I tend to take a jacket with me to parkrun to wear on the way home- this weekend I took the new jacket with me.
It has thumb holes! An instant win in my book! (Forgot to take a picture when I was actually at parkrun….). It also has handy zipped pockets on each side- great for when I run in the cooler weather as you can never have too many pockets (key, tissues, mp3 player, gloves…).
I may have mentioned the 30 day Kinetic Revolution challenge? Well, their working legging are perfect for this. They are super super soft, seamless and stretchy, and I loved the pink along the edge too. I would not wear them for running as they don’t have a pocket for a key or anything, but they are great for being at home (or for pump too).
Everything I was sent was a size medium, and I would say that is probably good for a 10-12, if you like things fairly fitted. The vest and t-shirts were fitted, and I find that sort of thing good for stretching/ yoga as they stay in the right place when doing the plank/ laying down, but for running I prefer a looser fit. The leggings were ankle length on me, so if I wanted to run with them in the winter I could pull my socks up for no gaps. Or, hunt out my leg warmers. Yes, I do have some!
I loved all the bright colours too- the items I was sent were a mixture of black (good to hide the sweat patches), pink (for fun) and grey (to match all my other workout coloured bits). Now all I need are for them to start making sports briefs, as they are so expensive!
Back to the weekend working out! On Saturday after parkrun (the subtract-sixty-seconds-streak) and French toast I did hours of decorating with Andy, and then finished making a cake for Sunday.
I was making the Elderflower cake from the Clandestine cake club book (which I really love- it really is my favourite cake book ever). The cake was a bit of a faff, as you had to beat the egg whites and yolks seperately, but I had made that on Friday afternoon listening to the film podcast. It needed a buttercream filling, flavoured with elderflower cordial, and then a white chocolate ganache- again I had made the ganache on Friday so it just needed to be mixed up a bit before putting it on the cake.
The ganache kept slipping down the sides, so I had to keep putting it in the fridge to set, and then adding a bit more. The white colour has not photographed that well, but it did look quite pretty I think.
On Sunday morning I decided to do a 7 mile out and back route, and I wanted to manage it under 10 minute miles. I know I am capable of this, but so easily I slip back into 11+ min miles for these medium length runs. I think I sometimes worry that if I set out too fast I will suddenly collapse mid-run and struggle to get home. This has never happened to me, but I am of a very cautious nature. This week I made sure I actually looked at my Garmin each mile to check I was keeping pace- my speed dipped a bit going up hill, naturally, but overall I did just over 7 miles in 70 minutes. Check!
Whoops- I forgot to get some brioche out of the freezer, so pancakes it was. These were made with that lovely Orgran Buckwheat pancake mix, egg + almond milk. I love them. With some fruit and chocolate pb. Then we had to head to the opticians, walked around town for a few bits, and popped to B&Q for more decorating supplies, before heading to Andy’s parents for dinner and cake.
Do you like working out at the weekends? I really get a bit antsy if I don’t get any fresh air, so I like to make the most of having time at the weekends to get outside for a bit.
What do you look for in sports gear? For me, pockets are king, especially zipped pockets. Thumb holes in long tops are great, and nothing too tight around the neck.
*Sainsbury’s sent me these items as I am part of their blogger program.