GPS Watches vs Running Apps.

As some of you already know I’ve recently won a competition hosted by The Running Bug to review the new TomTom Runner Cardio Watch. This is the first time I’ve ever had the opportunity to use a GPS watch, as I’m a huge smartphone user and heavily rely on the Nike+ app for my training. Due to being one of the winners of this competition, I thought that this would be the perfect time to blog about my personal pros and cons of both GPS watches and running apps.

Like I said before, I’m a huge smartphone user and I do heavily rely on the Nike+ app, as I love having easy access to all of my information and my phone is never really that far away from me. The Nike+ app wins me over with the incentive of trophies when you reach certain milestones in your training. Call me sad but this is something that motivates before, during and after my runs. I also like how many of the apps available on the market are free or cost very little, which is perfect for the beginner I class myself as.

As I use my smartphone for most things I find that my battery life is drained quite quickly when going out for a run, which means that I usually end up placing it on charge twice a day. I also quite like the thought of knowing what my heart rate is during my runs so I know when I’m pushing my body, something that unfortunately the free apps I’ve used so far don’t offer.

I’ve always quite liked the sound of buying myself a GPS watch, and have found myself liking the look of many that are available on the market. Unfortunately, I haven’t known which watch is right for me, and I haven’t wanted to spend out a huge amount of money just to find that it’s not for me. This is something that I feel has been the main thing stopping me from buying one, not being a hundred percent sure of what I’m buying and the cost.

There are many things that have made me think about buying myself a GPS watch such; being able to see my heart rate so that I can see how hard I’m pushing myself, not having to worry about how much charge my phone has or dropping it on a run, and also seeing how hill training will help improve my runs (not that there’s many hills nearby for me to do that).

Now that I’ve listed my pros and cons of both a GPS watch and running apps, what are yours? I’m sure there are many more out there that I haven’t thought of yet and I look forward to hearing about them. Hopefully reviewing the new TomTom Runner Cardio Watch will open my eyes to much more of the GPS watch world, and who knows, maybe this could be the GPS watch for me.

My weekly round-up, 14th – 20th July

I haven’t really got much to talk about this week, but I still thought that I would write a little something on here. 

This week I’ve tried out my new trainers, that fit perfectly. I wish that I invested in a pair of them a lot sooner – as I now feel that my feet are more supported, so hopefully I should suffer from less injuries. 

I’ve also been out for five runs this week, which Nike+ kindly awarded me a trophy for. My first ever week of going out for five runs. 

Also, since my half marathon training plan starts tomorrow, I’ve decided to stop drinking Coca Cola and other sugary drinks and donate all the money that I save to Leciester Hospitals Charity – the charity I’m raising money for as I know that everyone close to Bobby gave up a lot to help him with his recovery before and after his operation. I would like to do as much as I can to raise as much money as possible for Leicester Hospital. 

Here is a quick snap of my new trainers.

Here is a quick snap of my new trainers.

Scenes like this remind me of why I love running. Taken on my run yesterday.

Scenes like this remind me of why I love running. Taken on my run yesterday.

My Weekly Round-up, 7th July – 13th July.

So my week of running started off with me running 5k in the Race for Life Event, I done this in a nice, slow and steady 45 minutes and 29 seconds – as I had never taken part in such a big event I wasn’t used to having to weave in and out of others, which slowed me down a bit. I’m still over the moon with how well I had done, considering the weather conditions we faced running in.

Then all running was put on hold until today, as I’ve been suffering with migraine-like headaches which made it impossible for me to take a couple of steps without hearing them echoing in my head. I made the mistake of trying to go out too early for a run yesterday, as I felt guilty about not running for a few days and felt like I had recovered fully – but I was wrong. I ended up going back home, and spending the rest of the day recovering.

Today I felt fine, and went out for a slow and steady run where I completed 6.81 miles in 1 hour, 47 minutes and 9 seconds. All the way through I felt fine, and was enjoying looking at my scenery – which can only be described as beautiful. I even welcomed the rain, which helped cool me down – something that I truly appreciated.

I know now the importance of truly listening to your body, and making sure that you don’t try and push yourself too soon – as I feel like I learnt the hard way yesterday.

My Race for Life

On Tuesday (8th July) I took part in my first Race for Life event, my second event of the year and since I got into running – and I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere. I couldn’t believe that over 3,000 women all joined together for one cause; to beat cancer. 

I mainly signed up for Race to Life to get fit for this year, as I had one health scare last year and decided to do something about it. Signing up for Race for Life meant that I could raise money for a cause close to my heart, and a cause close to many of my friends and family members hearts to – as myself and many other people have lost people because of cancer or know someone fighting cancer, and I wanted to do my bit. Then I heard an ad on a local radio station, looking for people to join “Team Heart” to do the Race for Life event, which I thought was perfect for me – as otherwise I would be running the event alone, and I wanted the chance to have some fun along the way. This meant that I had a little fundraising target to reach each, that would all go towards a bigger target – which was excellent as we all had something to aim towards, to give us that little push.

So far I’ve raised £102 for Have a Heart Charity, that is working alongside Cancer Research this year. If you would like to sponsor me, or find out about Have a Heart Charity please check out my JustGiving Page at; https://www.justgiving.com/Katherine-Bridges/.

Well done to everyone that’s taken part in Race for Life this year so far, and good luck to everyone that is still to do it – you’ll smash it!

My Weekly Round-up 30th June – 6th July

It’s safe to say that this weekend I surprised myself, and that of everyone around me. I ran my furthest distance of 9.01 miles. This was a big jump for me, as the week before hand I ran 6.51 miles in one hour, twenty nine minutes and fifty four seconds. I didn’t set out to do that distance, I set out to run for 2 hours (thinking that I would do 8 miles at the most). 

When that celebrity voice on the Nike+ running app came on and told me how far I had gone, I was gobsmacked. It was one of them moments where you could dance stupidly in the street and not care who see’s you (but I didn’t, as I’m sure you’re all glad to know). 

The thing that also shocked me was how far, and what a good pace (for me anyway) that I completed the run in, as I was running during the hottest part of the day on Saturday.

Then on Sunday, it was time for a little short recovery run of 1.56 miles. Unlike Saturday, this didn’t go so well. My legs felt like cement, something that now doesn’t surprise me. I was just glad to get out and about. When I arrived back home, all I could think about was my upcoming race on Tuesday (tomorrow), which will be my second ever race. Trying to think of my goal time for completing my 5k event, and most importantly telling myself not to fall down a rabbit hole like I did on my first race. 

Sunday also marked 14 days till my training plan officially starts for my half marathon, which see’s me running 306.6 miles over 12 weeks (yikes). 

Have a lovely week of running everyone! 🙂

Chasing Personal Bests.

I’m sure every other runner will agree with me on this, nothing beats that feeling of beating a Personal Best. Whether it’s your fastest mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon or even an ultra – the feeling of pride you get afterwards is better than most other feelings.

Not only did I beat one PB at the weekend, I beat two – all in one run. I ran my fastest 5k in thirty nine minutes and forty three seconds, and my fastest 10k in one hour, twenty five minutes and thirty eight seconds. This meant that I had a couple of minutes off each distances, something that I was incredibly proud of.

No matter what sort of runner you are, whether you only run a mile or if you run twenty miles – you can’t argue with the fact that setting a new PB is the thing that drives us the most in our running whether it is a training session, for fun or even a race; we always want to improve.

Getting back into the training..

To everyone who was reading this blog, I’m sorry that I haven’t posted for a long time – but I’m back now and hitting my training again! 

I went on my first run yesterday for a little while, and I managed to burst out a 12 minute mile – which is quick for me. Before my month and a bit of silence I was lucky to be running a mile in 13/14 minutes. So I was very happy with this. 

I felt a lot stronger than I did before I had my non running spell, and I think that actually having this length of time off helped me with refinding my love of running. My run yesterday felt so easy, I didn’t feel like I had any time away – whereas before it was starting to get very hard to get into. 

I was just wondering, what does everyone else find there first run after being away for awhile? Hard or easy? Also what motivates you to get back out there?