Digging Deep with Sockmine GripLock

Over the past few weeks I have continued with my racing, ever since completing the Viper 369.  People suggested taking time off to recover, mainly to avoid injuring myself, but, I feel good and felt no reason to do this.

I ran the Ron Hill 10k the day after the Viper and that was tough.  I really was tired but I was determined just to get myself through it and over the finish line.  A real slog, the first time I've ran a race and just constantly thought about finishing - nothing to do with the course or anything but purely due to my fatigue from the day before.  I ran a 53 minute 10k which I haven't done since I started racing over a year ago, so naturally it was disappointing but I knew the reasons why so it was nothing to worry about.

rain sodden day in Accrington for the 2nd Ron Hill 10k, adding to the pain

One positive was that I actually beat my time from last year, which I guess on paper will show as an improvement but nowhere near my current 10k pace.  I even ran a 10k training run on Monday (the day after the 10k) at a quicker pace, just showing my body was still in recovery mode.

I trained for the rest of the week following on from that apart from the Friday when I had a well deserved rest day, although I still went for a few miles walk to keep the legs moving.  I then ran Preston parkrun and aimed to chop some time from my 5k PB of 22:35 which I set at Ormskirk a few months back.  I ran 22:04 so was more than happy with that, the conditions were perfect and the course is relatively flat apart from one hill and with it being a 3 lap course, the 3rd time round you do feel it!  I have since ran it again and bettered my time, dropping to 21:35 and my aim was sub 22 so I was extremely happy with that, knocking 30 seconds from the week before!!

on the way to a 5k PB at Preston parkrun - April 4th 2015

That same day, me & Brian ventured to Barley to race Pendle Hill fell race.  It's 4.5 miles, which doesn't seem that long but the climb up big end is severe.  I'd be very, very impressed if anyone managed to run it all, as my Grandad tells me he only ever knew 1 person to run all the way up, a man named Harry Walker of Blackburn Harriers.  Even my Grandad himself only ever managed to get half way up he says, so I was happy with my 10 strides before scrambling the rest.  The descent from the trig point at the top of the climb is fantastic though and you really can build up some speed before hitting the cart track again and running down the tarmac back down to Barley village hall.

coming down Pendle Hill - 4th April 2015

As regular readers will know, I have tried & tested various products for companies in the past.  I did try out and review Ashmei's merino wool socks, but, unfortunately, my latest pair of those ripped through the toe area so I was disappointed as they are built for trails.

I was approached by SockMine, a UK manufacturer based in Nottinghamshire, who have come up with a new idea called GripLock.  This has been produced in order to aid in reducing blisters, something which I have worried about on my longer fell runs, especially now the weather is becoming warmer and drier.  It does this by providing minimal, if any, friction between the sock and your foot as the silicone running through the inside of the sock.

As I ran my first half marathon this weekend, I was running in to the unknown so I needed kit I could trust as it's a long way to run, especially if you're feeling uncomfortable.  I wore the GripLock socks and my seamless Runderwear that both companies had gratefully provided me with recently.  They are hard to spot, as you can imagine, but below are a couple of pictures of me in action.

a couple of action shots from my half marathon - the Valiants half - finished 36th in 1 hour 38

I have again used both products more than once to get a real feel for them but they are perfect for the job they say they will do.  Runderwear is great as the seamless factor makes a massive difference, especially on longer runs.  I used them for the Viper series and my half marathon as well as my fell races since (Pendle and Wardle Skyline) and they are spot on.

As for the SockMine socks, I am hoping to give them a real battering over the summer on my longer fell runs and with the close fit of fell shoes, along with the dry weather, they'll get a real test but it's so far, so good!!

The exact socks I got can be found here - https://thesockmine.co.uk/product/new-griplock-inner-sock-anklet/

and also the lightweight model I was given are here - https://thesockmine.co.uk/product/brand-new-griplock-neon-orange/

and the model of Runderwear I received are here - http://www.runderwear.co.uk/men-s-runderwear-brief.html

If anyone has any more questions or any feedback on my blog, just leave a comment below or contact me via social media.  Happy running! :)

Twitter - @Calferguson
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