Monday, 28 December 2009

The Starting Blocks...

“...we know who you are...” was the phrase that summed up meeting my local road running group, a phrase their Road Captain confirmed would become familiar once I'd started my 10k everyday challenge. I'd been invited on a casual run with them and although I knew the name & voice of their Road Captain, Paul we'd not met - I was meeting Paul and some of this team for the first time.

Today was Monday and although I knew the challenge was getting closer, the finality of it struck me when Paul answered a start date question with, “...its this Friday.” Instantly my heart leapt at the adjustment in wording. The 1st of January 2010 seemed days away but “this Friday” was like walking into a road sign.

The road running team took me on a meandering 10k through country roads passing through delightfully frosted and frozen farm fields. Each team member taking some time to run and talk with me about my work, the challenge and how I'd planned to cope with it. The topic of the first run had been on everyone's lips and I was pleased to report it was planned to be a special start.

The first run route had gained the support of a local hotel “Ramada” with a special guest starting it – Lady Sarah McCorquodale, sister of Diana Princess of Wales who was affectionately nicknamed “The Queen of Hearts.”
Lady Sarah McCorquodale, High Sheriff of Lincolnshire and like her sister active in charitable work such as MacMillan Nurses and more.

The first run route I thought would be best to include and remind our community of the important historical land marks in Grantham (also shown on the route map under “view notes” next to distance):
Margaret Thatchers Birth Place - Margaret Thatcher is a famous Prime Minister of England.
North Parade – part of the old Great North Road from London to Edinburgh putting Grantham on the map and made it a successful town.
Original “Little Gonerby School” - one of the oldest schools in England.
Kings School – One of the oldest Grammer Schools of England & schooled Issac Newton.
Grantham House – where they designed, invented & implemented of the Bouncing Bomb used for World War 2.
St Wulfrums Church – the largest Church in England due to it originally being built as a Cathedral but during construction the Cathedral plans changed to Lincoln.
Watergate & High St – part of the Great North Road that passed through Grantham & the main transport route in England.
Angel & Royal Hotel – one of the oldest hotels in England with a carriage, stable & court yard set up as the centre piece of the hotel.
Catlins – a very old Bakery & Cafe said to be a stopping point for King George.
Issac Newton statue – famous scientist who defined, explained & calculated gravity & its laws.
Frederick Tollemache Statue – another Minister who's historical details I've struggled to find.
Grantham Train Station – part of the “Mail Line” and another transport system to support the success of Grantham; it still hosts Steam Trains from time to time.
London Road – part of the old Great North Road. The industrial estates & buildings that crowded its edges made Grantham a successful textile & engineering town.
Aveling Brafords – largest employer for Grantham for I believe about 100 years building giant trucks & excavating vehicles we now know around the world.
Marcos – spring field road homed a huge industrial estate for Marcos Gun Manufacturers who played an important part in both World Wars 1&2.

I'm excited about the first run as anyone would be starting a challenge, race or tournament. My excitement includes a sense of awe and pride having planned the route around places that have helped and shaped our town and country. Being a Brit we're generally modest, though few still identify themselves as Brits these days – this start has therefore left me wishing we were a bit more patriotic about our origins, local community and country as a whole.

That's it for now, only 3 days left. I have some radio interviews before and after the first run so I'll be listing when & where on twitter & facebook. Please take the time to click and follow, share the 10k-everyday idea and encouraging others to following is as good as donating.
You can find micro blogging of this challenge at:,,

Send a friend request with 10k-everyday in it and I'll accept.
I hope all that read this have a great New Year, that your wishes and challenges come true. Be well, Tim

Friday, 18 December 2009

...plan to make it happen...

“BEEP, BEEP BEEP...” meant the morning had arrived earlier than was reasonably acceptable; it was 6:30 am and a training run in preparation for my 10k everyday challenge. I am not a morning person, I love my pillows and snuggling in the warmth of my bed, especially when its cold and they'd predict snow Friday 18 December.

My eyes stayed closed, not wanting to accept it was time to get up or what my body was doing; which was navigating around the bedroom in the dark. It was surprising how easy I found collecting the clothes I'd need: shorts, jogging bottoms, T-shirt, sweat-shirt and socks. I could tell by the texture which of my cloths I'd chosen but had to open my eyes to get the right socks.

Once dressed and properly stretched, I ventured outside on my run. The run was part of a training plan to enable me to run 10k everyday. I've been building up consecutive days running with a few rest days, like 3 on and then 3 off, then 4 on and 2 off, now 5 on and 2 off. The distances weren't the focus or an issue but getting my body used to the repetitive exercise; though I have been running between 6 & 8km each time.

Despite all this pre-conditioning training before my challenge I knew soon after committing to it I was going have to be innovative, clever and smart about how, when and what pace I ran to complete 365 consecutive days.

This run was part of that plan, I'd figured that if I ran one day at 8pm the next day at 6am and the following day at 8pm, I'd get 38 hours rest from day 2 to day 3; and that if I did that twice a week, I'd only be getting up early twice a week, with the 7th run being when I like as it should be the weekend!

The next challenge in my running routine was the exercise style, how & what pace would I be running? During my conditioning runs I'd thought hard about exercise style, realising pace was generally the average “distance over time” and I needed to complete each run in 50 to 55 minutes; making an average pace of 5 to 6mins per km, for 10km which if executed that simply was an extremely bad idea.

Time is a critical element to this challenge as well as being able to do it again the next day; being clever about how I ran was another requirement. Warming up, therefore, would need to be brief (heavy emphasis on stretching) and build the pace in the run slowly, gradually warming the muscles further during the exercise. A reverse strategy would be needed at the other end of the exercise so I could have a brief cool down (heavy emphasis on stretching again) and in doing so burn off the lactic build up. This strategy would mean running at a faster pace in the middle so the average pace equalled 5 to 6mins per km.

Tonight marks the 3rd week since the conception of the Challenge and although a media entourage, my focus on making the challenge happen and achieving the funds for Cancer Research is absolute. This blog was about sharing what was going on behind the scenes in making 10k everyday a reality.

That's it for now, not long until the first run. Please take the time to click and follow, share the 10k-everyday idea and encouraging others to following is as good as donating.
You can find micro blogging of this challenge at:, &

Send a friend request with 10k-everyday in it and I'll accept.
Have a good day and be well, Tim

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Power in Listening...

“With the milage you're going to be doing, you'll need two pairs of running shoes...” was the advice and phrase that stuck in my mind after speaking with Paul, Captain of my local Road Runners group at Grantham Athletics Club, about being able to do my 10k-everyday challenge.

Although having a reasonably regular exercise pattern which happened to be running (cheap and easy to fit it in) I wouldn't class myself as a “runner,” in sporting terms I'd pigeon hole myself as a “cross trainer” (pardon the pun) type of person - someone who's successfully transferred skills to a variety of sports and done well. To be completely honest, I'd always viewed Running as a means of training for another sport. Having studied Physical Education at A level I know a good amount about training techniques and programmes to realise, despite being reasonably active and having had a fairly regular exercise pattern (continued since I'd trained my wife's brother to achieve his goal of running a 10k race – I added the 118 theme to it a few days before), I couldn't just start doing 10k everyday.

With 19 days remaining until I start the 10k everyday challenge, the two pairs of shoes advice was a revolutionary concept, to me, and I realised there's more to Running as a “sport” and when clocking up the miles. I'd learnt to get the best milage out of your running shoes they needed to rest too! It turns out that the foam (or EMA) in running shoes compresses during your run and takes about 24 hours to reshape. In most cases running with the same shoes, due to the distance and regularity of the running, it wouldn't really matter about the EMA reshaping. However with 10k everyday the foam would reshape after 24 to 36 hours thus not absorbing the shock of running. Like a car tyre, running shoes should last about 600 miles but using the same shoes day after day would ruin the EMA and subsequently increase the strain on my body as well as my wallet replacing the shoes; during this challenge I'll be going through about 4 or 5 pairs of shoes in this challenge.

I took my family to Lincoln yesterday to kill two birds with one stone, I'd promised to take the girls to see Lincoln at Christmas (old “Oliver Twist” streets and Christmas lights) as well as investigate something else Paul had recommended - talking to a Specialist Running shop in either Lincoln and Peterborough.

If you're like me, where you realised there were different trainers for different sports and they're designed for the directional demands of each sport, then you'd expect to hear running shoes are designed for “forward” only and light to reduce the weight you'll be carrying whilst running. I wasn't prepared, however to learn trainers can be adapted to your running technique. I was at The Lincolnshire Runner trying on different trainers when they asked me to go outside and run off! Shop lifting and entrapment sprung to mind but they really meant it, they wanted to assess my running technique to establish the right foot wear.

They were really good, friendly and informative and I watched as they added bits the trainers and asked me to run off again – watching as I did. After their fiddling there was a sudden difference in how my running felt, although I was running as usual it felt like I was really lifting my knees. The next minute I was running with another pair of trainers but this time one foot left like I was swinging it round – I could feel the air around it like when you put your arm out a car window and resist the air pushing it back. Some more adjustments took place and then they shared with what had happened. We'd spoken about the two shoes concept which they agreed but they'd gone one step further (pardon another pun), they'd given me two different trainer set ups; one would focus the pounding two-thirds to three-quarters up my shin and the other focused the pounding to one-third to halfway up my shin. They sat me down (preparing me for the bill really!) to explain their adjustments and that they'd arranged for me to have two trainers as well as two different set ups. The two different set ups was a shock to me but as I listened they demonstrated that I would need to vary the demand on my body to cope with the milage of running 10k-everyday on my body and reduce repetitive injury.

At this point as huge amount of relief unexpectedly flooded me, in the pace a few days my justifiable concerns about injury had been significantly reduced. This week was one of the most valuable weeks all year - I'd taken the time to listen, really listen, to others talk to me about a topic I thought was easy and straight forward and I'd been rewarded with solutions to solve my greatest concerns.

Thank you for your time and this week to Paul Davidson, Aaran & Keith at The Lincolnshire Runner.

In reading this blog I hope you take the time to click to follow this challenge, as well as support it by encouraging others to follow or sharing the idea either at this blogsite or:,,, &

Send a friend request with 10k-everyday in it and I'll accept.
Be well, Tim

Sunday, 6 December 2009

...definitely out the bag.

“Running Man & Marathon Man” have been the newspapers headlines for my challenge of running 10k-everyday through 2010 for Cancer Research UK.

Friday 4th Dec on my way to drop my daughter at Nursery School, I first stopped at my local newsagents to buy the our local paper, intrigued to know if The Grantham Journal had printed my challenge and story this week.
I was greeted with, “Here he is, the man on the front page, our own Running Man” by the shop keeper as I stepped into the shop; quickly followed by “What did you pay them to get that?” from a solemn man in the corner.

“Nothing” I replied handing the money to shop keeper, who smiled.
I'd never imagined to reach the front cover. Over the week the challenge had become a medium conversation point, the front page meant the Cat was most definitely out of the bag.

Friday went as expected at work with a scheduled interview at lunch time with Lincolnshire Echo, the regional newspaper. Nothing seemed to have changed until I got home, I found messages on different social media networks from missed friends, old friends and 10k-everyday friend requests everyone identifying preferred method for following; each with comments of support and sponsorship had started coming in. I'd planned to test one of the 10k runs Friday night and whilst out Penny told me I'd missed a call from the BBC Lincolnshire; but he'd catchup next week.

Saturday too seemed to start as usual, breakfast with the girls and getting them dressed so we could all go into town. Then the phone range, for those who don't have kids at this stage in the logistics of a family morning the kids might be ready but I certainly wasn't, I picked up the phone in the bedroom with one sock on to find Gravity FM was on the other end wanting a Live Radio Interview as soon as the song finished – the hyperlink to the interview is on the Media Coverage area, blog side column.

The Radio interview managed to drum up a verbal £110 for Cancer Research UK and look forward to reading the email notifications of those donations; Fridays total donations reached £70.

Saturday afternoon I received another call (this time was fully dressed!) from (they're Wedding Stationary designers) offering to design the running kit & 10k-everyday look.

It's the 9th day since the conception of the challenge, I'm really pleased with how the pre-challenge activity has gone and I'm sure more interest will develop closer to the start date.

At this stage the best idea has been to “blog” the event and set up the right story before going public. Its enabled me to control the gossip and capture the interest of corporates and community.

Please spread the word and help get people to follow this challenge either at this blogsite or:,,, &

Send a friend request with 10k-everyday in it and I'll accept.

Thanks to everyone so far.
Be well, Tim

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


“You're crazy!” was the phrase that greeted me when I opened my front door to a friend.
He's the photographer from The Grantham Journal, my local newspaper and was at my house for the interview a reporter had booked.

Since calling the papers to see if they were interested in my challenge of running 10k-everyday through 2010, Toby (the photographer) advised me there had been quite a stir about it. He'd personally asked a few Personal Trainers he knew, “Can it be done?” and shared that they said it could, though the risk of cramp & muscle tear being the main concern for injury.

The interview went well, covering all the questions you'd expect but there were a few that I welcomed and took me by surprise.
[1] Am I planning anything like a send off for the first run of the challenge?
Today marked the 5th day since the challenge conception, it was all still very new and to be honest I hadn't thought that far ahead – except I'd be running that day!
I think the reporter warmed to the honesty and suggested the paper would like to do something with me on the first run, but we'd get to that on a follow up interview later in the month.

[2] Would you be happy for a feature every now and then to report on how the challenge is going?
Again I'd hoped to spark some interest and thought I would have to chase the media for something like this, “Yes, that would be brilliant.” I blurted out in reply. “You know if 100 people sponsored you £0.10 for every 10k, would raise £3650?” stated Toby, “or if those that follow you sponsored to the value of a Pub drink in stead of buying you one, you'd achieve your target!” he added. And there it was, with out a heavy brain racking session – this simple illustration identified how a small gesture of a drink could make a big impact.

[3] We could sort out one of our guys to video you, as a feature and we'd be happy to take pictures through the year of you running if you wanted?
Awed and flattered at the generosity being expressed I managed to stumble of another reply of thanks and gratitude.

After the interview I felt energised and inspired, I've got 4 other interviews coming up over the next week – I hope they're as good, supportive and generous.

I'll be copying the media content into the blog and cross linking with them for the features and so on.

I'm using the blog as a detailed note of the challenge & challenges of 10k-everyday. Facebook will be a micro blog area of the day-to-day experience. Send a friend request with 10k-everyday in it and I'll accept.

Be well, Tim

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