by Tom Hayhoe
The Grand Union Half Marathon
This great little event organised by Purple Patch each November, running by the towpath on the Grand Union Canal from Uxbridge to Watford. Not the greatest event for PBs – this year’s winner did it in 1:18 – with recent rain making some of the route a little muddy and slippery, and those of us further back suffering a bit on the narrow path until the field had spread out and runners at different levels had found their pace and place in the order. But it is a wonderfully pretty route taking in rural scenery that you would not expect inside the M25, and decently supported with just short of 800 runners.
My Half Marathon Training
This was the first time that I’ve done this distance. My training runs range between 8k and 15k, and 10k is the longest distance I’ve run in an organised event. As a regular commuting cyclist, generally covering about 80 miles a week, my background fitness and stamina is ok. Despite the PB hostile conditions described above I finished the half marathon in 1:53, comfortably ahead of the 1:55 that I had indicated on my entry form and set as my target, and by all accounts a very respectable result for a 56 year old leisure runner.
The Morning After, my ithlete score
The interesting thing this morning was to see the impact of yesterday’s exertions on my HRV, which typically falls in the 67 – 75 range. My cardiovascular system felt great when I got up, but admittedly my legs felt slightly heavy with knees and thighs reminding me that they’d had a bit of a work-out. My HRV was down 10 on yesterday’s morning’s score, at 59, so it’s just as well I wasn’t planning to put in another 13 mile run today. It will be interesting to see what the recovery looks like over the next couple of days.
About the author
My first sport is sailing, and I currently race a National 12, an SB20 sports boat, and a J105 both offshore and round the cans. I have competed at world championship level and served as vice commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. I run a couple of times a week, covering around 20k in total, for fun and fitness and get around London by bike, generally doing around 80 miles a week, because it is the quickest and healthiest way to get around. My principal employment is chairing the board of an acute hospital. I am also interested in the management and prevention of musculoskeletal disease, recently becoming a trustee of Arthritis Research UK. Oh, I am also an advisor to HRV Fit, the company behind ithlete. More information is available here.