Mixing Up My Run - The Asics Way

Mixing Up My Run - The Asics Way

After a solid week of trying out the Gel-glorify shoes, I have this week moved on to the 33DFA's, in order to continue mixing up my run!  Monday night is now the hill sprint training night with a few of the clubs members and last night we completed week 3 of our 10 hill sprint reps.  One more week of 10's then we are progressing to the next step, a quite daunting, 15 reps!

Before going in to more detail around the DFA's, I will update you guys and girls on my running/racing over the weekend.  On Saturday I went over to Whitworth, just outside of Rochdale to race in Sidney & Andy's birthday 5k trail race.  The series of races, around 1 a month are set up by Andy O'Sullivan MBE, who is a really top guy!  He is one of those personalities who just captures the moment as finishers come in and he really does love running and all the organisation surrounding his races couldn't be better!

He had organised this race for Sidney, who was 80 yesterday, and Andy himself also had his birthday at the weekend too.  A small but joyful field of runners raced up the tarmac path, towards Brownhouse Wham reservoir, ran 2 laps around the perimeter of the reservoir before then flying back down towards the start/finish line.  Perfect running conditions in the North West, small patches of ice but they made it more fun, giving you a bit more to think about on the trail paths.  I was happy with running 21:38 and finishing around the top 20 and it was a good leg loosener as I had Friday as my rest day.

Crossing the finish line on Saturday afternoon

Sunday was a different kettle of fish though.  The local and sold out Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k was a big one for me, as well as many other runners.  But, as this was my first official 10k last February, I had a time to beat, club championship points to earn and a PB to chase!  My previous years time was 54:24.  I was an unattached runner back then and my training runs added up to (at most) 15 miles a week!  Now I am a club runner, my miles are 40+ per week plus hill sprints, more frequent racing and training with quicker athletes than myself, it all adds up.

By now you have probably already guessed that I beat my time from last year, tore it to pieces to be honest.  It was a really foggy morning in Blackburn yesterday but it made for perfect running temperatures and I ran a new 10k PB of 45:37!  I was more than made up.  I aimed to chase the 45 minute pacer but I lost sight of him after becoming boxed in on the 2 track laps at the beginning of the race, so the chase really was on!  The climb from the moment you leave the track is the most discussed part of this race, both pre-run and post-run, but this year I didn't really feel it at all, thanks to my hill training and increased mileage I guess!  I remember last year thinking, oh no, I've done around 2k and I'm feeling it already, where as this year I ran it hard and used this to power myself over the brow and then fly down the downhill's which quickly follow.

Top to bottom; hitting the downhill, racing through the fog, entering the back of Pleasington and checking the clock for sub 46 as I run the last 20 metres on track

I was surprised I managed the PB as people talk this course down because of the climb at the start and depending who you ask, due to this, the course is the equivalent of just under 6.7 miles, in terms of the energy and push you need to get yourself up there, but it all depends what you believe.  If I believe that, I should well be running sub 44 on a flat 10k course, but we shall see!

Next week I was planning on Parbold Hill race but that is now full and I haven't entered so it doesn't seem like I will be doing.  I shall probably opt for a Parkrun and then I'll be racing the Central Lancashire 5k on Sunday at Bolton's Leverhulme Park.

So, the Asics 33DFA's...They were spoken about as the lighter shoe and the one for your fast races/training runs.  So I thought well seen as I am doing hill sprints with a few miles either side, I'll give them a run out!  I have posted pictures in previous posts and will keep it to that as I have quite a lot of pictures on this one already.  They can be found in Intersport stores throughout the UK and online at this link - http://www.intersport.co.uk/campaign/gb-asics-mix-up-your-run

I found them unbelievably lightweight.  They were great to run in and if you are looking for a low heel, lightweight racing shoe then I would recommend them for sure.  They also come in a few different colour ways as well, so if you are a bit picky about the colour of your running shoes then there are still other options available, not just the blue/yellow combo.

As you may or may not have noticed, I did run in the Asics Cumulus socks on Sunday in the Blackburn 10k.  I wanted to race in the 33DFA's but having not trained in them yet I didn't feel comfortable going straight in to race mode in new shoes, it's just something I've never done and I don't believe in doing!  These socks are so comfortable and at £10 a pair are well worth the money, even if you just use them as racing socks!

I will be posting reviews of the Asics track top, shorts and tee that I received later this week to round off my initial thoughts on the whole range that I received.

Remember to keep on top of your miles, maximum 10% increase per week, especially if you are new to running and are just starting out.  And most of all, remember to mix up your run!

Twitter - @CalFerguson
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