Ready to Race?

Selfie of Carmen and Tamsyn at parkrun

It feels like I’ve been so busy training recently that I’ve not had as much time as usual to blog. I mentioned back in January that I’ve signed up for Solent Athlete’s Ready to Race course, which includes two track sessions a week and a self-led long run at the weekend (and some strength and conditioning work at home).

Solent Athlete 20th January

Solent Athlete 24th January

What I look like when I’m running

I know that a lot of you won’t ever have seen me run. In my head, I am a gazelle, but the reality is a little different.

A friend recorded a video back in 2012 when a group of us visited a friend in Coventry – I can briefly be seen running at 1:22 and it doesn’t look good:

However, the work that I’ve put in with Coach Olly from Solent Athlete means that I now have noticeably better posture and feel lighter on my feet 🙂

Solent Athlete 3rd February

Solent Athlete 5th February

Solent Athlete 5th February Tamsyn

parkrunning in February

I did a parkrun on 6th February and was feeling fitter than the one I did at the end of January, so I was feeling confident that I could get a faster time… but I hadn’t allowed for the strong winds. I usually love the downhill sections and have learnt to keep running hard rather than recovering, but it was so windy that I struggled to maintain forward momentum!

Southampton parkrun 6th February 2016

On 13th February, I ran with my friend Teri and her son William. It’s always more challenging running with small children as long runs are always fartlek sessions with them. I find this kind of running much harder than going at a steady pace. William really wanted to do well, but it was a cold day and his hands were very cold. Luckily, the effort paid off and he got a PB!

parkrun 13 Feb 2016

Afterwards, Stu and I joined the others from SUTRI in Trago Lounge for brunch, which was a nice reward.

Solent Athlete 18th February

On 5th March, Carmen from Solent Athlete’s Ready to Race course joined me to do her first parkrun.

parkrun 5th March

She’s got more natural talent than she realises. She only took up running in January and managed negative splits throughout the run of: 6:48; 6:19; 6:17; 5:55; 5:31.

parkrun with Carmen
parkrun with Carmen

Sunday Runday

The following day I helped with another Marafun Sunday Runday in preparation for Southampton Half Marathon.

Part way around the route for Southampton Half
Part way around the route for Southampton Half © Kate Budd
The 10 minute mile group
The 10-minute mile group

On 7th March, my climbing course started. I’m absolutely terrified of heights, so it was a kill or cure option.


The following two weeks, I was unable to check my progress as I was Run Directing at Southampton parkrun.

parkrun 12 March 2016

Solent Athlete 17th March

parkrun 19 March 2016

However, I was back to running on 26th March.

parkrun 26 March 2016

Solent Athlete 14th April

Solent Athlete 14th April 2

Solent Athlete 21st April

Solent Athlete 25th April

Overall, I loved the Ready to Race course. I made some great friends and was excited to learn about new running techniques. I can see a lot of advantages to what I’ve learnt and hope that I’ll continue being able to put what I’ve learnt into practice.






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