Training: Early Morning 10k & New @Tomtom GPS Watch! #GetsMyHeartRacing

It’s great being married to a runner as we love nothing better than to talk running, go to races and sit there of an evening reading Runner’s World. However, conflicts in our running diaries often mean that one or other of us has to postpone or adapt our plans. Both our speed sessions are with different clubs every Tuesday and we both like to do a long run on a Sunday – but not together as we run different paces.

All this is by way of explaining how I came to be standing on my doorstep, blinking groggily into a newly risen sun at 6am this morning! Luckily, I had some motivation in a newly delivered running watch. More on that in a minute…

The Run

This morning’s run really made me realise how much I enjoy going out early (in the summer at least). The temperature was perfect, the sky to the east was blue but to the west filled with mile high, rolling black clouds threatening to precipitate imminently. I stretched with my palms held flat against the car and headed off on my regular countryside route. This is an undulating 10k along country lanes with a killer hill at the end which I try to sprint up! I was scared absolutely shirtless when, approaching the brow of a particularly quiet hill, a flock of at least 30-40 pheasants and grouse sprung up in surprise. That took my heart rate up into a training zone I didn’t know I had! I chided myself the whole run for not taking my camera, as the light cast by the duel between sun and rain clouds not created a double rainbow, but made everything look like someone put an Instagram filter over everything.

Distance: 10k
Time: 44 minutes

New Watch – TomTom Runner Cardio!

TomTom My Sports screen

TomTom My Sports screen

Part of the reason I even like running is the gear! That’s why I have a whole page here dedicated to Equipment and why I’ve done a lot of research into trainers and then reviewed them. Gear’s important to me and I’ll use anything (legal) that helps me take even a second off my times.

So when TomTom asked me if wanted to test out their new Runner Cardio watch, I jumped at the chance. My Garmin’s unreliable freezing (seconds before races) and charging issues (sometimes ends charging with less battery than when it started) had been bugging me anyway, and I’d been doing a bit of research into training with a heart monitor. The Runner Cardio, as the name suggests comes with an in-built heart rate monitor which for starters looks AWESOME when switched on, as it emits a ghostly green glow:

I took it out for a quick go on my 10k training run earlier but haven’t had a chance to test it properly but first impressions:

TomTom Runner Cardio

TomTom Runner Cardio Heart Monitor


– Looks great!
– Connected very quickly to GPS, whilst I was still inside tying up my shoe laces. With my Garmin I always have to run to the top of the road and pretend to be stretching whilst waiting for it to find a satellite!
– Nice big screen shows you your current pace.
– The fit is very comfortable.
– It’s compatible with both Strava and Runkeeper, so you can upload to both automatically.
– The app is easy to use and connects via bluetooth to the watch to upload runs.


– I’ve gotten used to swiping the touch screen of my Garmin so the lack of a touch screen threw me.
– It doesn’t come with a plug, only a USB cable to connect to a laptop. Who owns a laptop these days?!
– My run that I recorded this morning has completely disappeared. Annoying but probably more to do with me not reading the instruction manual properly than the watch itself!

Full review in a week or two…


Next Training

Club run with Purbeck Runners tomorrow night, I’ve just checked in the club forum and it’s one kilometre repeats – nice!


Training: A Reluctant 5.5 Miles

After a really hard, fast and hilly 5k on Tues my legs were feeling unusually empty – I don’t usually feel tired the day after a training run (hill session excepted!) But as I’m not going to be able to run much over the next week I forced myself out the front door!

Having just borrowed a Garmin heart monitor I was tempted to do some zonal training but figured that’s an entirely different post/experiment! I’d maxed out my heart rate the previous night and for now all I know is my resting rate is 53bpm and my rasping for breath rate is 188bpm!

Back to last nights run… It should have been nice; a lovely spring evening, country lanes and a gentle pace. However the whole way round was agony. Thinking I must be going really fast, I glanced at my watch to see I was only doing just under 7minute miles for less than 10k! By the end the nice sunny weather was making me rue not taking a drink (note to self: take drink on hot days over 5k).

Miles in the bag though!

Next Training
Parkrun on Saturday…from a surprise location. Watch this space!

Training: The Tempo Run

What’s A Tempo Run Anyway?

I’m never quite sure exactly what each type of training run is. Some people call it a threshold run as it means really pushing yourself for the middle part of your run. This has the same reasoning behind it as speed work in that you’re essentially teaching your body how to run faster. As they say, “if you want to run faster…you need to run faster!”

Last Night’s Training

So last night I went to the course that I have lovingly named ‘The Boring Corfe Mullen Run’. This is my winter course and involves starting at the bottom of a hill and running the entire length of the town and back again, equaling 5 miles.

As the run begins on a hill I take the first 5- 10 minutes slowly anyway, as you should do in a tempo run. After 10 minutes however, I upped my pace to my 5k pace of 6 minute miles, ran this for 15 minutes and then back down to my 10 mile pace for the last 10 minutes.

The below is what the start point of this run looks like in the middle of the day in summer. When I run it, it’s dark and invariably raining and cold!

Starting point for my Boring Corfe Mullen Run

Next Training

Same again tonight! Boring Corfe Mullen run but this time at just a gentle 7 minute mile pace all the way, after all I have a half-marathon on Sunday!