Getting buffed up




Last week, we were making a video for the Running Channel on Christmas gifts for runners - coming soon to a certain youtube channel near you.. So if the sky is the limit, then there are GPS watches and other gear galore to splash the cash on. However,  if there's one handy gift that you could pick up for a couple of quid, it's a buff. Or a Buff. Buff is like sellotape or hoover, I think - a brand name that's turned generic. (Which always reminds me of the annual festival time email-from-lawyers we used to get at the Guardian chiding warning against using the tradename Portaloo as a generic rather than only to refer to the specific portable toilet made by Portakabin Limited..) 

Anyway, buff or Buff - they are brilliant. Plenty of us probably have a stash that were free too - races sometimes give them away in place of T-shirts or in a goody bag - but I do love my 'proper' original Buffs which tends to last a long longer, wear better (as in, not lose elasticity or disintegrate in wash) and come in all sorts of different materials, warmths and patterns. But regardless of where you get them, aren't they marvellous? Headbands, earwarmers, hood, sweatband, hair tie ... the humble buff punches well above its weight. At this time of year, I keep a stash by the front door to be grabbed on the way out. When it's really really cold, friends with asthma even tell me that breathing through one can make the different between running and not running. For myself, they've saved my fingers from the worst of Raynaud's on numerous occasions.

So today is a paen to the humble fold of material that is the buff. For all the "you don't need anything to run but trainers" purists, sometimes you do need a good bit of kit. It just doesn't need to be a pricey one.

Comments

  1. Being a person of little roof covering I am more hat than buff however I can see the attraction. This week has been a week of running in leggings (covered by shorts, obviously) and tops with thumbies - my favourite discovery of last year. A couple of cold, beautiful local Cheshire runs were followed by a visit to my hometown of Liverpool where I ran down Otterspool Promenade on Sunday morning. It's one of my favourite runs - flat as a pancake and with views of the docks and Mersey. When the wind blows it's a challenge but this weekend was fairly still and ideal for running. My Strava tells me that thousands of people run the segments down by the river - no surprise, it's fantastic. Happy running everyone and, BHP, I hope you are recovering.

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    1. We went to Liverpool for a weekend this year and I had a lovely early morning run along the riverside from Albert Dock and back again. I'm doing Liverpool half next year and I'm really looking forward to it - such a fab city.

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  2. I'm a fully paid-up member of the Buff club, me! I got into them when in Spain. My favourite is a black and white little number that offers UV protection. I wear it around my neck or around my forehead and it comes in useful to wipe away the sweat or to wipe clean my glasses if it is raining. I've also got another buff (not by Buff), which is thicker and offers insulation during cold morning runs.
    In non-Buff related business, I'm getting back up to pre-ITB issue mileage. I'm seemingly recovered and I'm gradually running further from home. I'm sick of breaking down with an issue and having to walk back home/to the nearest checkpoint. What I've been doing the past few weeks is a loop from home. It's just under three miles and involves a mile-long climb followed by a fast, traily bit followed by a bit across a farmer's field during which you can recover before starting the loop over again. I'd do several of these before getting bored. Onwards to more varied terrains and scenery!

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    1. In fact, I'm wearing my Buff in my profile pic!

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    2. Nice to hear the injury is healing. I look forward to your longer runs and resulting posts :)

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  3. I made my return from a couple of weeks off with a solid enough start. Always interesting to see the difference between theory and reality. In theory a break is useful for recovery, feeling refreshed etc, in practice I just return feeling like I'm trying to pull a car behind me. It was a week full of running deemed 'easy' when I planned it but would now more accurately be deemed 'my pace, my one and only pace.' Urrgh.

    Some 'speed' work tomorrow, again in theory - it won't even be tempo pace but will hopefully be a wee nudge in the right direction.

    Well done to everyone getting out and about, buffed up or not.

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  4. Hello.. back again and no longer a park run ginny...
    I came back to the UK after 24 years and its been a bit of a jolt to the system but not nearly as bad as I had envisaged... apart from the uk petcourier company that was encharged with my fluffs and then kept them 4 days longer than arranged while not keeping me updated. I went spare and kitties arrived distinctly pissed off. We've all recovered now though...
    I wont bore you with all the ins and outs of the move... Suffice to say, Im back on the fylde and though its bloody cold, its also bloody flat! So I've slowly started running again but keeping distance low and only aiming for a spring half ... there's the great north western or summat in blackpool in late feb.
    Anyways... Ive joined Lytham Hall park run... Lytham hall is Lancs finest Georgian house and whats left of its once vast estate is a lovely little park with fantab tea rooms in the old stables.
    I was horribly slow on Sat as only 2nd time in past 6 mths Ive run 3 miles in total. But it shoukdnt be too hard to beat my park run pb!
    Next wk end its Lytham hall park run's 3rd birthday so cake will be had... if anyone's interested its truly gorgeous.
    Can we post pics here?
    Hope everyone's tip top!

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    1. Great to have you back kiz! And the cats too - bet they're weirded out at the change in weather though.

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    2. They dont seem too keen on the cold.. they go out in the lovely back garden and run in again after 5 mins... they like haring up and down the stairs though

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  5. I have two club buffs which I alternate - it's rare that I run without my hair covered as I have a lot of it! The only time I won't wear a buff is when the weather is extreme - only a hat will do in snow and there's nothing worse than a soaking sweaty buff when it's baking hot. Otherwise though, I can't do without it.

    Strava followers will know that I had a glorious victory this weekend, when I actually won - WON- a race! (in that I was the first woman in not the first person overall, but that's mere detail). It was our club's handicap cross country which happens every year - 4ish miles around local off-road terrain where we're set off in time-staggered groups according to the year's race performances. It's masses of fun as it also involves bacon sandwiches, cake, tea, mulled wine and general merriment at the end. There's also something a bit lovely about running a course where the organisers, marshals and supporters are all people you know (and their kids, and their dogs).

    Anyway, it was quite a tough one, but I'd given myself a week off running after Broadway and was feeling pretty good. Had no expectations at all other than to go well and have fun. A woman overtook me about 1.5 miles in but I didn't recognise her - assumed she was a new member and that she'd win, so just focussed on catching people in the groups in front, and seeing how far I could get before other women started to overtake me.

    Except they didn't. Until the very last couple of metres. We'd run up the beacon in the middle of the old golf course on legs of jelly and I was pegging it down as hard as I could to the finish when one of my club mates came flying past me. She'd pipped me by a metre. Once we'd stopped thinking about puking and had recovered enough to breathe we gave one another a big hug and watched the rest of the runners flying down the hill to the finish. I was pretty pleased - third woman in was a very pleasing.

    And then they announced the final results. The woman who'd passed me early on wasn't a club member but a friend of one staying the weekend who'd joined in for fun. My clubmate had finished in front of me, but not far enough in front - on the handicap basis I had run the faster course. So I was first! Whoop whoop! Being the kind of runner who might possibly one day finish top three in an age category if I'm lucky and the stars align and the category is high enough this was a wonderful feeling. Plus the trophy is huge and I get to keep it till next year.

    There was much excitement in the house when I got home. To that sweet 'did you win mummy?' question that the kids have been asking me innocently before every race for years I could finally reply "YES!!! I won!" Am planning to soak up the congratulations for as long as I can string them out.

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    1. Glorious, absolutely fantastic, very well done!

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    2. Amazing stuff. Ride high on the glory!

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    3. Thanks all :) @squirblej oh I will. Am already working out where to put the trophy for maximum noticeability!

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    4. Good stuff Ruby and great write up. When my family ask me if I won they can't get to the end of the question before rolling around in fits of laughter.

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    5. Brilliant stuff Ruby!!

      (And reminds me of the time my youngest presented me with the much-coveted award for Best Mummy In Our House :) )

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    6. So good!! I loved reading this too. Seems you really shine on the difficult courses, Ruby. Fantastic result, congratulations!

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    7. Congratulations! And a great report - bacon sarnies and mulled wine sound like an excellent recovery strategy :)

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    8. Great running Ruby. Loved the photos, particularly the haring down the hill one, and the crossing the brook ones. It appears they made you cross it only to immediately cross back, aka: you WILL get your feet and shoes soaking wet! Have they dried out yet?

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    9. Milk it for weeks, Ruby! I know I would. It’s something to be hugely proud of. Well done.

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    10. Ah, thank you all of for your kind words. I've just got back from my Monday club run and there was much back-slapping and positivity in my direction so I'm prolonging basking in the glory. @Kate your award made me laugh out loud. @Paul, the shoes have been stuffed full of newspaper all day so should hopefully have dried out. The water was freezing!

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    11. A lovely read. Thank you for sharing and well done !

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    12. Well done Ruby! Enjoy the winning feeling!

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  7. I've had a bit of a tricky week of running. I've done something to the top of my left leg which is literally a PITA. I've avoided all speedwork and cut back a bit on mileage. I gave it a little test at parkrun this weekend, with OK-ish results. I got around in 2nd place, but could barely make forward progress on the grass/mud sections of the route in Nonsuch park - I was wearing very slick road shoes. Saturday night I had core DOMS from the morning's stability exercises. On Sunday morning I pootled around for 90 minutes on one of my favourite routes, mainly thinking about how I'll probably have to can my sub-35 attempt on Saturday morning - ugh. I'll do a little test tomorrow and see how the leg holds up before deciding.

    We had a great attendance at this morning's local 6am run - we had a turn out of 10 (plus a baby). I didn't see any buffs, just the occasional hat and gloves. I've a small collection of buffs, for particularly cold days I'll take two with me, on the worst days I will wear one over my mouth and nose. They are so versatile, I'll often end a winter long run commute with them over however many pairs of gloves I'm wearing as a final layer of insulation.

    I'm on the lookout for recommendations for trail shoes (ideally pretty lightweight) and winter gloves (last winter two pairs of gloves covered with ski gloves wasn't enough... )

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    1. I have a couple of buffs but I have to say I very rarely wear them... I think it really does need to be many degrees sub zero for me to succumb. I do occasionally wear a glove or two for the first few minutes of a run. But normally long socks are about my limit. I much prefer the cold to the heat.

      Love your description of a 90m pootle - your pootle is my trot, pace-wise.

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    2. I wear Altra trail shoes (Lone Peak and King MT) because I have such wide feet and they're a dream. Not cheap though, and hard to get discounted at the end of season as they don't produce many models. Lots of my club wear Inov8s but they're not wide enough for me. As for gloves, nothing worked last year except big fleecy non-running gloves over my usual gloves. But this year I've bought some Montanes which are windproof as well as warm, so I'm hoping they'll do the job better.

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    3. David I've just been given some very promising looked Under Armour gloves with an overlayer that's sort of a mitten. As Ruby says, double layers are the way to go - though kind of the reverse of Ruby's method, I have a very thin pair of cheap fleece ones (Decathlon do them) which then go under a thicker, more robust pair.

      Squirblej - the thing about buffs - as gloves above - is that it's not really about really freezing temperatures as the fact that my extremities (ooo errr missus) go a bit haywire in anything vaguely parky thanks to Raynauds. So I'd probably go for a track session in this current weather in shorts, T-shirt of vest, but wearing gloves and buff.

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    4. Everyone's different! I go out in a light jacket when my wife is togged up in duvet coat, scarf, gloves etc. And my Finnish au pair didn't even bring a coat for our winter. "It is not cold here". My fingers and toes seem to have good circulation, thank goodness.

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    5. That's interesting Kate - I think I'll need to hit the shops and try some out. After about 5 miles my hands just get too cold.

      RGG - you're the second person who has mentioned Inov8s to me - that is probably what I'll try out.

      Ha SB - maybe pootle isn't quite right - it was go at a pace that doesn't make your leg too sore. The route had a big lump in it so there was never any danger of me pushing on the way up. It was almost comfortable to run sub-7 on the downhill side - hoping a few more days will be enough to allow less painful running. Up until yesterday after maybe 3 or 4 miles into a run my left leg would just feel heavier - an issue around the top of the hamstring/glute area. So yesterday was really just a get-around-my-loop run, with the added benefit of some decent off-road sections - running trails covered with leaves. The good thing about buffs is that if you're lucky enough to start overheating (typically after the first mile or so) you can always wrap them around your wrists easily enough.

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    6. DavID, you are obviously a "proper" runner but if you are looking for good value trail shoes with great performance the Decathlon ones are pretty good and as mentioned above they are good for gloves too. I wanted to have a go at cross country without spending £100 on trail shoes and the £39 Decathlon ones do the job and with my orthotics in don't affect my occasional Plantar problem.

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    7. Thanks Jim, my parkrun is an awkward mix for winter: half tarmac, half parkland/mud. If it was just parkland/mud I'd run in spikes. I should have a look in - there's one fairly near to me.

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    8. On the coldest days, I have a pair of mittens that I saw recommended online to snowboarders. A couple of times I even put those hand warmers inside, but that got a bit too toasty - which is not something I've ever experienced before, being reynauds-afflicted also.

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    9. In regards to footwear, DavID, the inov-8 Park Claw is supposedly good for half-tarmac/half-parkland/mud. And I've read a lot of good things about the Hoka One One Torrent. It's meant to be good on all terrains.

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    10. I use inov8 roclite 305s - enough cusioning to run a mile or so on tarmac no bother, and decent grip in mud. I have parkclaws as well - they’re a great on/off option for harder trails or grass, but if it’s muddy i’d go for something with a deeper tread

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    11. Unless you want the extra drop and increased protection/cushioning of the 305, I would look at something lighter like the Roclite 290 and the Trailtalon 235. The lugs on all these are fairly broad so not too bad for tarmac (unlike say the X-talon). You have to give serious thought to how much of the two extremes - tarmac and soft ground/mud - you are likely to tackle and pick appropriate lugs/tread based on that. I think Saucony Peregrine 7 is excellent - lightweight, great grip, but don't think the lugs would hold up to a high proportion of tarmac use; it's also not up to a mud bath. Don't know the newer 8 version which has different tread.

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    12. Thanks for all your recommendations, you've given me a lot to consider :-)

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    13. I have the 8..good on gravel, light mud! Not so good on tarmac, quite chilly in winter

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  9. I completely failed to run anywhere last week and can't even blame the collarbone. I had to travel for work and packed indoor gym kit and outdoor running kit along with my good intentions. Unfortunately, it turned into one of those trips where you officially finish for the day and then go back to the hotel to work on other things until silly-o'clock in the morning. When the 6 am alarm you set to allow for a pre-breakfast run sounds, it is straight to cancel and another hour in bed. The weekend just seemed to consist of catching up on sleep. At least it wasn't a total exercise failure, as the hotel/office trip clocked up 5K each way. Even allowing for a lift back on the last day, that is still 45K walked.

    I have never really got buffs. Various walking companions rave about them, but I am yet to be convinced. I don't really like anything around my neck, even when in the winter mountains, but I do wear hats a lot. As a man of a certain age, I still have hair on most of my head, but the hairs per square cm have been reducing (significantly) of late. Cropped short, they just stick straight up, so offer no protection from the sun or the cold. My favourite is a very battered Tilley hat for the summer and an Icebreaker merino pocket hat (kind of beanie) for the winter. I must confess to being bit of a pocket hat fashion victim as I have 3 colours now and rather worryingly, I am eyeing up another two.

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  10. Returning after a couple of weeks' absence from commenting and 5% through the training plan for Manchester (ps crikey - that suddenly makes it seem closer than it should be...!)

    A good week with highest mileage for two months at around 45 miles. No injuries at present, touch wood, though my right heel is squeaking at me occasionally so I do worry that I haven't completely rid myself of the PF bogeyman. Does anyone have a link to some good exercises I can do - ideally while sitting at a desk - to keep this at bay?

    Other news of the week was the acquisition of a new data toy - the Human Hex (https://human.io). It's a little hexagon that straps onto your quad and measures muscle oxygen in real time. Absolutely fascinating for data junkies like myself. I tried a incremental threshold test as my first run with it and the results actually made sense, though perhaps indicated that I should be able to achieve more than I have done at the 10 mile/HM distance. Also some insight on what kinds of training I might need to do to avoid the limiters. Will continue to experiment with it over the training season to come. I just wish that there was more of an open interface to these gadgets - I would like to put together truly custom training screens and analysis on my Garmin and the technology just isn't there yet.

    At any rate, it takes the mind off the effort during an interval run!

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    1. I don't have any personal experience of plantar, but have you tried the Kinetic Revolution stuff on Youtube? There's exercises for everything you can imagine, and I've found it really helpful for various niggles.

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  11. Had a chat with the physio last week. She + colleague tried to hammer home that because of the state of my injury, I had to stay aware that things could take 2 years to recover if at all ('err, 18 months from now then', I interjected) and that I shouldnt rush things or become demoralised.

    So we reset all my PBs. No more thinking about what was, no more eyeing a certain (previously achieved) time as a target. In my new incarnation I've never run a half marathon, nevermind a full one. From now I'm a 20 minute 5k runner and if I run 19.50 then it's champagne, beer and klaxon time.

    So last week I set two new PBs. 3k in 11.30 and a new longest run of 16.5k (with a hangover). And I'm going to set a new one, at something (anything), every single week between now and the 'anniversary' of the accident. Sergey Bubka style if need be.

    As for Buffs...too warm, crap at sweat collection. Quite useful as a neck protector on a bike in the Scandi winter maybe if you're wearing the wrong coat.

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    1. May the PB klaxon sound often and loudly for you!

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    2. That's a tough adjustment Asta but sounds like the best one. Look forward to celebrating lots of PBs with you here.

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    3. Sounds like a sensible approach, well apart from the 'longest run with a hangover' - that sounds miserable ;-)

      Looking forward to your news of PBs over the coming weeks/months/years.

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  12. Funny you should mention buffs! I just ordered some this week. They're not the best way to keep my neck warm, but I do like that they can give me a bit of extra coverage there on moderately cold days, and I can pull them into a headband if it's no longer needed. I particularly like to use them to cover my ears when I'm not running.

    As for running: I had my first DNS this week. I've had pain in my knee and been attempting to rest it. It's hard to shake the feeling that I'm being lazy. Intellectually, I understand that rest is necessary for healing, and therefore my task for the day is to "not run". But it's so unfamiliar to even ask the question, "would I benefit from running today?", let alone to answer no. The race I missed was the Turkey Trot, a five miler that I was looking forward to. The fact it was stupidly cold that day (I had to laugh at Trump's tweet... it was as if he was boasting, "we will have the coldest Thanksgiving ever under my Presidency!!") actually made me feel worse about missing it. It reinforced in my mind the idea that not going = being a wuss.

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    1. You're definitely not a wuss Brussels. Knees are waaay too important to risk. Think of all the future runs you'll be able to do as a result of being sensible.

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    2. I find it helps if Instead of thinking about what you can’t do, you think about what you can. Do some core or strength work, or write a training plan, or research some new routes (i like exploring by bike or on foot).

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    3. Thanks esiotrotting, I needed that! You're right McWhirr, that's good advice. I've been doing a lot more yoga, and I'm enjoying feeling my core muscles the next day. Poor little neglected core muscles!

      The one thing I need to avoid doing is researching my potential injuries and runner injury prevention online. I'm not someone who googles my symptoms and reads webMD, but I do read more generally various blogs and websites that discuss research on running-related matters. I like to think that I'm learning about the science of the sport, but it's easy for a lay person like me to take this information out of context and assume I should apply it immediately to my own training. I find myself panicking that I'm not doing enough prevention for a multitude of potential dangers.

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    4. Not a wuss and the turkeys will still be trotting next year. I'm with McWhirr - the week after Broadway I took off running and focussed on core stuff, did some spin, lots of yoga... It's good to remind yourself that the other stuff is good for you too!

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  13. I could have used neck covering of any description this weekend. Marathon de la Rochelle delivered icy gusts of 40 mph winds every third corner or so! Despite fighting the gales, it was a great event in a really lovely city. And the basket of oysters for each finisher presented an interesting challenge to our frozen fingers and uncultured British palates.

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    1. A friend of mine did it too! It looked fab, although he didn't mention the icy blasts. The oysters were... a very French touch I suppose. He took a while to find his wife afterwards, so I'm not sure they were consumed!

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    2. Well I guess this is the point where I have to admit I’ve become a southern (France) softy. It was still hitting 20deg here a week ago so running in the wind and rain was a bit of a shock to the system!!

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  14. When I got back from the USA I said that I was going to use the rest of November just to have fun from a swim/bike/run perspective before I start to plan for a half distance triathlon next May. Huh, the fun didn't last too long though as I was out running on Tuesday, had done 5 miles was taking it nice and easy when my left hamstring went pop! I knew what it was straight away and stopped to assess the situation. It clearly wasn't as bad as a previous hamstring injury, to my right leg 3 years ago, but it meant I had to walk just under a mile and a half home. Grrr.

    I gave it day of rest and then started some very gentle stretching and by the end of the week I was getting on my turbo trainer in the garage for 30 minutes, it was a little bit niggly but not too bad. The good thing is my swimming has been unaffected.

    I'll have a look at it again with regards to running at the weekend, but am quite relaxed about it if it takes a bit longer. Truthfully, I'm enjoying the additional work of stretching and core strength exercises.

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    1. Oh rats Pete, I wondered where you'd been on Strava. Glad you're feeling relaxed about it.

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    2. Hi Pete, sorry for the spoiler in my post. I forgot I read of your woes on Strava not here! Hope the hammy is getting better!. GJ

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  15. Just some base miles, all easy paced. Kept my strava half marathon badge streak going, now at 12 in a row. Almost wish i hadn’t worked out there was a streak going on.
    My long run was very suprising, at least 20s a mile faster than it felt, was flying along (for me) with very little effort.
    I’ve been working in deadlifts at the gym, and was trying to get a bitif a lean from the hips, like in the deadlift, to get weight forwards and glutes going. Early days, but definitely felt different better and glutes were certainly getting used.
    More of the same this week, no fast running planned til the week before xmas.
    I have many buffs (also wearing one in profile. Pic). Hair control, ear warmth, face warmth, cold dry air humidifying mask - use them for all of those.

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  16. I finally ran 20 bloody miles on Sunday! I slowed down (but happily by not nearly as much as I thought I might have to), wore some sexy royal blue tights that I’d bought ages ago and never bothered with to keep my legs warm and slightly compressed, took 3 gels, the last one caffeinated as per the advice I received on Strava last week, and listened to music for the first time in ages. The music was amazing - my running track list is full of big, euphoric songs, and I was singing along in a loud voice at a couple of points, no doubt scaring a few little old Japanese ladies in the process. I also ignored red lights where I could - very naughty in Japan, where they stand patiently at red lights even if there isn’t a car for miles, but I didn’t want to break my rhythm. And it went really well.

    So that’s a confidence boost. Now I have just two weeks of tapering and a twinge behind my left knee to sort out. Don’t think it’s anything serious though.

    Is listening to music on marathon day a real faux pas? I remember one half I did where it was actually forbidden, but I saw a few people fish headphones out of their pockets just after the start line anyway. I know you’re supposed to soak up the atmosphere and all that, but it had such a great effect on Sunday that I really want to reproduce that during the race.

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    1. That’s great, keep hold of that feeling. Having cursed at people with headphones in the last race I did, i’d say no, but that had a lot of narrow paths so people not being able to hear that there was someone behind them was really annoying. But if it’s an open enough course, why not?

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    2. Brilliant work, was so pleased for you. And was nice to see you on my first foray btl on the Guardian site since the running blog defected. I knew you would share my excellent music taste!

      As for headphones, a lot of races over here actively say they're not allowed, and I see fewer of them, especially in smaller races. But lots of people wore them at London so I guess you have to do what works for you. I never run with music, and I wouldn't have wanted to at London because it would have meant missing the incredible atmosphere, but I can see why people do.

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    3. Well done on the 20-miler. I'm sure you'll feel the occasional twinge in your legs/joints over the next two weeks - that's the beginning of taper madness. You'll be checking long-range weather forecasts soon ;-)

      Music in the marathon? Cards on the table, I don't listen to music while running. As RGG mentioned in the UK it's common for headphones to be banned - do check your marathon's rules/regulations. I guess without headphones you will be more open to the atmosphere, other runners talking to you and your inner voice. If you go without music I'd recommend spending some time in the next couple of weeks working up some mantras and reasons to keep on running when it gets tough in the marathon.

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    4. It does seem to be a bit of a no-no as far as etiquette goes, but I've checked my marathon website and there's nothing specific on there about headphones, and I don't think there's going to be a great deal of support from the sidelines since a lot of the race takes place along the motorway, where spectators won't be allowed, and no one ever speaks to you in Japanese races as they're all too shy and polite, so...

      Still, though, I can see the cons in terms of blocking out everything that's going on around. I've done lots of races before and never used headphones, but I kind of wanted to this time as it helped so much on Sunday. I'll keep thinking about it!

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    5. Maybe take them along to plug in when the going gets tough?

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  17. I often wear tubular headwear (aka buff) when running in Wellington NZ where even in summer it's often cool but with strong UV. Over the winter I found long-sleeve tops designed for active-wear good for running. But now it's almost summer, and I have a 10 km race in the far north of NZ next weekend. It starts at 8:30 am, so the UV won't be too strong until later in the morning; I'll probably go for bare arms and neck.

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    1. Where are you running Frances?

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    2. I just looked it up. Looks flat and fast with stunning scenery. Good luck!

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    3. Thanks, CovKid. I'm not sure about fast on the 2 km of sand, but it will be good to be on the beach, even if slow.

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  18. Saturday morning was cold and raining in Auckland and I was making coffee for my wife and I to have in bed when I suddenly remembered I was supposed to be volunteering at parkrun! I arrived just as they'd started the run and I introduced myself to a rather relieved looking race Director. I was on token duty and discovered the pesky things like to stick together in the wet.

    Sunday I went for a 12km long run to work off the excesses of the Thanksgiving dinner we'd had the night before with our American friends. I also discovered the best alternative to electrolyte drinks. Mccoy's Raspberry, Beetroot and Pomegranate juice, diluted down like a cordial. Still enough to be sharp and refreshing when running, but not sticky like electrolyte drinks can be. That's it. It doesn't turn me into Bananaman or make me run like Asta (even with his dodgy joints).

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  19. What did we do without buffs? I don't go anywhere without at least one! I love designing them now too. Best kit ever.

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  20. I've been lurking for a bit - I used to read the guardian column and found you all really inspiring. I've been upping my running game a bit since the start of summer when I was out on fieldwork in the Turkish mountains, beautiful cool conditions at altitude! This weekend was the first in a series of 10k runs I have planned to track my progress, the longshaw 10k just outside Sheffield. I was nervous, and in road shoes which was stupid as I knew it would be slippery.

    I headed to the back to find my pace group for the start line wishing I'd brought a few more layers and was wearing better shoes. Packed at the start but a few bottlenecks on the course thinned us out and as I started a long slow climb up a stretch of moorland on the first loop Wuthering Heights came through my headphones in a moment of total perfection. By the second loop I was absolutely on my own and finished second to last. There's a weird sense of satisfaction and release from coming bottom in a race and still getting out there. Here's hoping I move up the rankings next month!

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    Replies
    1. Congrats on completing your 10k - and off road as well! Sounds as epic as the soundtrack :).

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    2. I came last in my 2nd ever parkrun. I didn't care, I was out there and doing it. And the only way was up after that! Thanks for sharing.

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    3. Well done! As Cov Kid says - the only way now is up (mostly literally when you're running in Sheffield).

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    4. Thanks guys! Onwards and upwards, as Ruby GeeGee says, in Sheffield often literally.

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  21. Long live the Buff. I'm a huge fan. But then I do love in north east Scotland (if you haven't been it's lovely, but Baltic) and like others posting here, I suffer quite badly from Raynauds. I find tha if I can keep my neck and back warm, it helps with my hands - I guess keeping the core warm allows the extremities to cope better.i actually wear a scarf pretty much all day, every day, from October to May! At work, it might be a natty silk or cashmere number, but riding and running, it's always a Buff. Amazing things.

    Anyway, enough of attire. Running? Weekend - short easy miles on Saturday with the pooch. Longer but slower on Sunday, in the dark, testing out my new head torch - my only Black Friday purchase. I'm planning just to 'tick over' till the end of the year, and then make plans for 2019. To include the Buff, of course.

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