Running Progress Update

The weather has definitely turned a lot colder this week!! The running leggings have made their way out of the wardrobe and the long sleeve tops have gone on. Have continued on my 8 mile route with time ranging from 59m to 1hr 17m. I was exercising 6 days a week and have found it too much and my legs were struggling to recover, i am now doing 5 days a week 3 running and 2 of weights, 2 full days off and more stretching. The Men’s Health run is coming up on the 17th November and am quite hopeful of bettering last years time. I am now booked up fro Bath Half marathon on 03/03/2013 and Cambridge on 10/03/2013 so i will be spending the winter months preparing for these events. I think i am capable of running faster but it seems quite hard to do this when running alone. A point on my run the other day proved this. I was at about 4.5/5 mile mark and passed another runner going in the opposite direction, said the brief hello and continued on. He seemed to me to be doing the same route as myself, carried on running. At about the 6.5/7 mile mark the same fella comes striding passed me!! He’d not only gone passed me once, got to the turning point but come back and caught up as well!! Suddenly the competitive head went on and put my toe down . I couldn’t catch and pass him but i did manage to keep up for my last mile, thus proving a point that i can run faster under the right circumstances, sometimes you just need the right motivator at the right time!

Happy running!

New Charity Idea,Raise Money And Try And Win Some Too!!



For only £3, guess the result of my Men's Health Survival of the Fittest - London for Cancer Research UK and you could pocket the prize fund in an online charity sweepstake!

Just click on the link to go straight to my page and make a guess:

How Guess2Give works:
1. Each guess is just £3 (got your debit card handy?)

2. Up to £2.50 (inc. Gift Aid) goes to Cancer Research UK while 50p from each guess goes into the prize fund.

3. If you’re closest to the result - happy days - you pocket the lot. 

Cheers for your support and good luck with the guessing.

Be one of the first to make a guess and be sure to secure the result you want.

Good luck and I'll be in touch with the result.

Barry Taylor

Last year i ran 1hr 6mins 11 secs, i will be looking for a sub 1 hour time.

The Mental Cog In The Machinery Of Human Endeavor.

In my daily working life i see thousands of people going about their daily business. I read magazines, books and websites and i wonder..”what is it that makes those people so different from me?” if it be educationally, employment or in this context their physical fitness. We see and hear all the time about the role of genetics and natural ability. While this may be true to and extent (after all someone who is 15 stone is going to be stronger than someone who is 10 stone) the divide between people of a similar stature, who eat healthily and live a healthy lifestyle is going to be minimal.

After spending some time reading and thinking i have drawn a personnel conclusion that it is their mental approach to their training and eating habits that helps them to excel. What are these attributes? How and why are theirs better than mine? Physically we know that if we live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly we will make gains in our physical health. The mental qualities needed to set out on the path to physical improvement and to stay on this path long term i think are as follows.

Will Power









Self Belief

Each of these mental attributes are key to getting out the door, undergoing strenuous physical activity and continuing to do this week in week out. There are many different reasons and catalysts that put us on the running path but these mental qualities are what helps to keep us there when we are in the thick of it. Just as we need to physically exercise our bodies to improve we also need to mentally exercise so we can be mentally fitter and stronger, which will in turn improve our physical progression.

We need regular positive mental reinforcement to strengthen our mental resolve. This can be by gaining motivation and inspiration from the writing of others or their own physical endeavors. Simply collecting quotes can be a great way of mentally inspiring and strengthening ones own self belief. When in the middle of a run, tell yourself, “don’t stop!” , “keep going”, “i still feel fresh”, “i have energy”, “i can do this!”.

When things are really tough going slow down but DO NOT STOP!  Use mental tricks such as telling yourself the quicker you move the sooner it will be over. Affirm to yourself the majority of the run is done, you’re on the home stretch. If you stop now you’ve still got x miles to get home, so keep moving!

It’s about personnel endeavor. Don’t think about others ability during a run. Don’t try and keep up or run as fast as others. Run your run, run your race. In training choose to improve time or distance, not both in the same training session. Always push the boundaries, you’ll surprise yourself! Don’t fear the discomfort, accept it! It will be uncomfortable but should never be painful, if it is, stop!

Do these mental processes often and your mental resolve will strengthen. You will go further and faster sooner than you think. When under physical stress and tension, you ache, your muscles are tired, mentally argue with yourself and beat your subconscious voice down. Lock the negative subconscious voice in a box, you can guarantee it’s the best escape artist that ever existed! but learn to beat it down and put it back in the box. In time and with some determination and persistence improvement will follow. When improvement doesn’t seem to be forthcoming , exercise your determination and persistance to keep you on the path towards your goal.

Run far, run fast but above all run fearless!


Inspirational Books

The following is a list of books i have read over the years that are inspirational and awe inspiring!! I have found them to be thoroughly absorbing and completely amazing as to the situations humans throw themselves into if for nothing more than truly living a life. Reading these books should make you want to get up and get out there and have your own adventures even if they’re not on such an epic scale.

Touching The Void – Joe Simpson and Simon Yates climb Siula Grande in the Peruvian Alps…it goes horribly wrong! Simpson breaks his leg and while being lowered by Yates (after thinking he was already dead) decides to cut the rope plunging his friend to a certain death! Yates makes it back to base camp frost bitten and fortunate not to have died himself.  In fact Simpson was alive! and spent days dragging himself inch by inch with a broken leg back to base camp and ultimately survived!

Run! 26.2 stories of blisters and bliss – Dean Karnazes recounts stories of his ultra marathon events, training and friendships.

Into Thin Air – An account of the tragedy that unfolded on Mount Everest in 1996.

People Of The Abyss – Jack London is best known for Call Of The Wild. At the turn of the century he came to England and lived in London’s East end slums and toiled in the workhouses. This book is an account of those experiences.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place – Aron Ralston hiked the Canyonlands of Utah. On one particular outing he slipped and fell and a boulder lodged his arm against the canyon wall. Through six days of hell, scarce food and water and eventually realizing no one was coming to rescue him he did the unthinkable to survive..and severed his own arm to get out!

The White Spider – Heinrich Harrer recounts climbing on the North face of the Eiger. The most astonishing and harrowing tale is that of Toni Kurz and his climbing party.

I use to source my books.

Weekly Running update

With only 1 10k left this year i have turned my attention to increasing my mileage. So my regular run has now become an 8 mile from the 6 it was. The first 8 mile run came in at 1hr 1min 54secs, Fridays 8 mile run improved to a time of 1hr 0min 24secs which is a nice little improvement. Then i had a silly idea!! i wanted to prove to myself that i could do a half marathon. The sensible approach is to build slowly with an end goal/date/event in mind. Oh no! not this fool!! i tagged my new 8 mile route onto my old 6 mile route and went out for a 14 mile run! 1 energy gel in pocket and a small bottle of water off i went. As presumed the first 8 miles was no problem at all, i had the energy gel at about mile 7 and some water (probably not really enough). Onwards towards mile 10 i was feeling quite comfortable although my pace had dropped a bit, mile 11 i started to feel more tired mile 12/13 were ok slowing even more. One problem with the end of this route is the hills involved mile 13 to 14 was an absolute killer, my legs were aching like mad but knowing the finish was not far off was enough to keep me moving to the end. 14 miles clocked in at 1hr 56min 01secs, a very nice bench mark for the future. Now back to setting out a more sensible plan and my event aim is the Bath Half Marathon in March 2013. Now to refuel with a lovely Sunday roast!!!

Why Do I Keep Running?

Most of my posts have been fairly standard ” got out the door, went this far in this amount of time.” Although it’s useful information for me and some people are happy to read my progress i felt like writing a post about why i run, what motivates me and some longer term goals.

Anyone who has read my about me page has a small outline of my background. My job as a train driver is quite sedentary so an obvious aspect of running is the health benefit. I wish to remain healthy and active into my older age so i’m trying to make it a permanent lifestyle change rather than all my previous on and off efforts. The main reason i run and like to run is because of the personal challenge, the “how far can i push myself” whether it be time or distance. So far this year i have been running 10k’s. At the start of the year i was running at an hour for a 10k. I now have that time down to 45 minutes. So the next challenge is to now improve on distance.  am now running an 8 mile route and managed 1hr 01m 54s on Wednesday 11th Oct 2012.

These colder and wetter months are making it harder to get out the door, which is why personally i have been entering regular races to keep my motivation up. I also buy three running magazines, Runners World, Running Fitness and Men’s Running. These have some great features and articles for keeping the motivation up. I am also a member of Saffron Striders running club in Saffron Walden, North essex which is also great for meeting like minded people of differing abilities.

The only time i run without my mp3 player is during races as a lot of them don’t allow it. Personally i find it really useful to run to my favorite motivational music and music that has a beat that can help with my pace. I always find the first 2-3 miles the hardest when i go for  a run. It seems to take this long to get in to a steady rhythm and pace. Usually i must admit i tend to set out a bit quick and run as i feel comfortable which at the start is about 6.30/6.45 per mile. By the 2-3 mile i settle to about 7.45 a mile. My breathing always seems to be more of an issue than having tired legs. Again this usually settles by mile 2/3. My main mental goal when on the road is to not stop moving, slow down if i need to but just don’t stop! I’ve started reading Dean Karnazes book, RUN! 26.2 stories of blisters and bliss and am totally amazed at his and others ultra endurance feats.

I hope to keep pushing my own personal boundaries, next, half marathon then marathon then may be 18 months or so time i should be in a better place to attempt my first ultra, so i hope you’re planning to follow this blog long term!! Another reason for running is to give myself and life a bit more purpose and validity. Instead of being passive in front of the T.V. or spending too much time online, actually taking a physically active part in life. When training it may be only a quick hello to fellow runners, cyclists or dog walkers but at every race i have got talking to someone involved at some point of the day. I enjoy travelling as well so entering races gives me the chance to go to new areas an places. My Men’s Health Survival Of The Fittest is at Battersea Power Station on 17th November i am in the 12,30pm time slot. Only 5 months of cold weather to get through! I’ll have to keep reading others blog entries to keep me going.

Running Music Pace/BPM

Like most people i’m always putting together playlists to run to. The thing is i usually bung a load of tracks on the mp3 player that i like but don’t pay much notice of the BPM and how this could help my pace. So i started to look around the net and listen to my own tracks to see what pace benefits i may be able to get from putting together a more selective list of tracks. It actually takes a bit of practice running to the pace of a track, some tracks can sound quite slow but you double up your steps to get the correct pace. Where as other songs have a very quick BPM and it’s easier to drop into the pace. The following is an idea of what sort of track matches the pace per mile you’re after…enjoy!!

6.48 minute per mile

7.00 minute per mile.

7.12 minute per mile

7.36 minute per mile

7.48 minute per mile

8.00 minute per mile

8.18 minute per mile