The Running Man blog (2013)

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Whilst searching for running images of myself on the Internet this morning, I had the pleasure of coming across some blog posts which I wrote in my old DJ’ing blog on “Blogger” back in 2013! I used this blog to write reviews for promotional material that I had been sent whilst on the mailing lists of Ministry of Sound, Hed Kandi and All Around The World record labels and then, having taken up running in 2012, I decided to start writing blog posts about the races that I had run.

I’m very glad that I stumbled across this as is a good record of my first steps into the World of running and the progress that I made, having only started at the end of August 2012. Here you can read about my first four individual races and also the diet that I was on back then!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013: Hildenborough 5 Mile Road Race

This was my individual debut, having taken up running at the end of August last year. Back story; The London olympics (Mo Farah in particular) inspired me to take up running and I found a local club (Tonbridge Athletic Club), that were hosting an evening for people new to the sport and I fell in love from there. I was already signed up with a local Sunday League football team and thought that the running would supplement my fitness in the sport.

I had not run this distance before (approx 8km), so did not know what time to expect, but was aiming to beat 40 minutes. The weather was hot (approx 17 degrees celsius), with a start time of 2.30pm (the race was started by Dame Kelly Holmes) and the total number of runners in the 5 mile race was 65, with many others running from my club.

I finished the race in 35 minutes and 22 seconds, which I was very pleased with and finished in a respectable 16th place (a trademark sprint finish, saw me overtake another runner before the line, finishing 1 second ahead of him).

Monday, 1 July 2013: Bupa London 10k – Monday 27th May 2013

This was my first attempt at this distance and I went into the race with the intention of beating 45 mins.

The whole event was rather overwhelming, with approximately 11,000 runners taking part, including a certain, Mo Farah. The event was very well run and organised – especially the bag drop!

The race was started in 10 different waves, with the elite runners starting first. The only downside to this system, due to the number of runners is that those in the first few waves (I was in wave 3) have a long wait (almost an hour) as all the other runners behind get into position.

However, I couldn’t have asked for better weather, it was 17 degrees, with clear blue sky and the support the entire way round was immense and it really keeps you going!

I finished the race in 44.26 and therefore very pleased! I would definitely recommend this race to both experienced runners and beginners alike. The course is relatively flat and the atmosphere is indescribable, I shall definitely be racing again next year, though I will be looking to break the 40 minute mark!

Friday, 5 July 2013: Staplehurst 10k – Sunday 16th June 2013

This was my second attempt at this distance, having previously run the Bupa London 10k on Monday 27th May and I had set myself a target to break the 44 minute mark (I finished London in 44.26).

Again, the weather was perfect for the race. Warm, but not too sunny and there was a good turnout from our club, with 8 in total (Tonbridge Athletics Club).

I completed the race in 43.37, so was again very pleased, finishing in 61st position out of 299 runners. Also, a great result for the club, with 4 of the 8 finishing in the top 10.

The next race that I have booked is the Romney Marsh 10k on Sunday 14th July 2013.

Friday, 5 July 2013: Diet

Diet is very important for all athletes, and the main components of my diet are as follows:

Breakfast
50g bowl of wholewheat muesli with semi skimmed milk
2 x slices of wholemeal toast with either honey or nutella spread
1 x glass of not from concentrate orange juice
1 x cup of tea

Snacks
A handful of almonds
A handful of pistachio nuts
40g of dry roasted peanuts
1 x Jordan’s honey and almond bar
1 x banana
1 x flapjack
2 x squares of dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)

Lunch
Turkey and salad sandwich made with wholemeal bread
1 x apple
100g of white seedless grapes

Dinner (post training)
Steamed salmon or tinned tuna
Steamed basmati wholegrain rice
Frozen mixed veg or frozen sweetcorn (80g)

At the weekends I try to have 2 fried eggs on wholemeal toast late Saturday morning and after my training run/race on a Sunday I will have a jacket potato with cheese, baked beans and salad.

Sunday, 14 July 2013: Romney Marsh 10k – Sunday 14th July 2013

A very hot day by the coast (approx 22 degrees celsius) didn’t prevent me from smashing my target of running sub 43 minutes. I finished in a respectable 20th place (out of 182 finishers) with a time of 42.07 providing me with a personal best by a minute and a half exactly from the Staplehurst 10k that I ran a month ago.

Two other runners from my club finished in a very good 2nd and 3rd place!

My next race will be the mid kent 5 miler on Sunday 11th August 2013 with another 10k to come in September after a well earned 2 week holiday in the USA!

Postscript: So, there we have it. Documented evidence of my first few races and how I progressed during that time. I love to hate the featured image (of me at the Hildenborough 5 mile), as it shows how poor my running form once was, but at the end of the day, we all have to start somewhere and it just goes to show how far I have come since these early days. For example, just 6 months after that last blog post, I volunteered to become Event Director for Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun which stated up in April 2014. Two years after that I qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness and set up my own running group, “RTW runners”. In 2017 I qualified as a Coach in Running Fitness and Personal Trainer. Now, here I am in 2020 and I have set up my own personal training and running coaching business, “Plega Fit” and I am excited to see what the future holds.

Don’t forget, if you have require help or advice on you running, exercise, fitness or nutrition goals then it would be my pleasure to help help you on your journey. You can contact me by e-mail – joewatts@plegafit.com or by phone – 07743 073788

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