Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The path less pedalled

My training schedule recently has morphed into a 10km run a few times a week and a longer run once a week. 

When I started out, I had plans to get fancy with things like Fartlek (no sniggering, it's a type of interval training), but it seems I have one pace. Slow but steady. 

A good friend who ran the Berlin marathon a few years ago suggested I might like to try cross training:  a break from running and instead either cycling or swimming for one training session a week. There are lots of good reasons for doing this, not least injury prevention, but it appealed to me for two reasons.

Firstly, cross training can make a runner more efficient. Secondly, it makes us stronger, which means faster. And although this is an endurance race, a little additional speed would be a wonderful thing. 

Today I hopped on my bike and went for a scenic ride along the Thames path. My ride is an Amsterdam style affair, complete with fat tyres and basket. A few years ago I decided that stylish and elegant was better than bent double over the handlebars, flying along. 

On yer bike

Cross training by cycling today had an unexpected bonus. Discovering a new route to revisit on this week's long run. If Thursday goes to plan, I will write about it here.

I'd like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has sponsored me recently. It's so encouraging seeing the total going up, especially on cold mornings when it would otherwise be tough getting out to train. Many thanks to you all, you are starry.

If you haven't yet sponsored me, but would like to help me raise funds for Merlin, you can do so by clicking here.

Lots of people reading this blog have already heard why I'm supporting Merlin. In short, their doctors and health workers work in some of the most difficult environments and some of their health clinics are massively under equipped (and this is one of the things money donated will go to).  Merlin works in war zones where medical staff face untold risks.  Money raised will be used to support some of the world’s most vulnerable people in Haiti, Kenya, Sudan (north and south), Mynamar, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Somali and the Central African Republic.
The main reason I chose Merlin above other medical charities is that they use a big fat 96p in every pound donated directly in the field.  

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