Nike + App Community.

As someone who had never ran prior to 2015, I really had no idea what kind of mobile phone apps were out there to aid runners in their training. A friend recommended we try out the nike+ app, and we haven’t been disappointed with it.

The app is great for beginners like me, who really just want to measure their distance and work out their pace. When you begin your workout, the GPS will track how far you are running, and calculate your average pace per mile, so you can keep track of whether you are improving after each workout.

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Nike + screen shot

The app will also tell you approximately how many calories you should have burned and it also gives you the option to share your progress via social media sites like twitter, instragram and facebook.

The sharing function is my favourite function, when you share your workout on instagram with the hashtag #nikeplus you suddenly become part of a worldwide running community, who all offer encouragement to one another by liking and commenting on everyones photos.

For me, I really appreciate the virtual support from other runners, as it motivates me to continue training. Its so nice to know that you are not alone in training for your goals, and that their are hundreds of thousands of other runners – whether beginner, intermediate or experienced – who are training for things just like you are!

Maybe I just like the attention, but when people ‘like’ my running activity, I feel enormously encouraged, no matter what the distance is that i’ve covered, or whether I found it easy or difficult. Through the nike+ running community (and the running community as a whole) I know that there are people cheering me on, and willing me to succeed in whatever goal I have chosen to set myself! I feel as if this type of thing is social media as its best!

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My very first run with nike+ and my very first share! It felt incredibly encouraging to see all the likes from people in the running community, even though I hadn’t gone that far or that fast! Thanks Running community!!

Do you use social media to motivate you and encourage you in your training, and are there any running apps you would recommend?? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

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Weekly training recap: 23rd-29th March 2015

We are currently training for our very first 5k race – the Bath two tunnels race in May. We are aiming to finish in around 30 minutes, and are training towards being able to run the whole 30 minutes continuously, without taking walking breaks.

Our current run’s consist of interval training, where we run for a certain amount of time and then walk for a certain amount of time and then repeat. This is often referred to as a run/walk/run method. We aim to decrease the walking interval slightly each week in order to get down to running continuously for 30 minutes without walking.

After completing the 5k we will begin training to run a 10k distance, and from then on the half marathon distance, using the same run/walk/run method and increasing the overall mileage whilst decreasing the walking intervals.

This week has not been the best in terms of training. Last week we managed 8.87 miles but this week we only managed 3. This has been down to a number of factors, but we still feel 3 miles is better than 0 miles and every mile should be celebrated because its a mile more than we were running last year!

Monday:

Rest day – after running back to back days last weekend, we rested our legs on Monday

Tuesday:

2 miles – completed using run/walk intervals of 1 minute running and 1 minute walking. Average pace: 14’13″/mile

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It was a beautiful evening for a run!

Wednesday:

Rest day

Thursday:

We were supposed to run 3 miles today, but due to illness we skipped this one. Sometimes it’s best to listen to your body!

Friday:

Rest Day

Saturday:

Walked approximately 1 mile in very windy conditions. whilst showing a friend the delights of the Gower!

Sunday:

1 mile run, using run/walk intervals of 1 minute running and 1 minute walking. Average pace: 14’05″/mile

Goal for next week:

8+ miles over the week, with intervals of 1 minute walking and 1 minute running!

The Wine and Dine Half Marathon

For our very first RunDisney race, Gideon and I have chosen to run the Wine and Dine Half Marathon! We chose this specific event for several reasons:

1) Time of year.

This years wine and dine half marathon takes place on November 7th 2015, and is the last race weekend held at the Disney World, FL resort in RunDisney’s calendar year. As we only took up running on a regular basis at the start of this year, choosing a race later in the year will give us plenty of time to train to run the half marathon distance. Without having to increase the distance we run too far each week, we can hopefully stay injury free and give ourselves the best chance of having a strong race.

Going in November will also give us a chance to experience ‘Christmas’ at Walt Disney World, as christmas celebrations tend to begin at this time.

2) Food and Wine festival

The wine and dine half marathon takes place during the annual food and wine festival at EPCOT, which is a specific event at Disney World that we are keen to experience together. The festival sees multiple booths placed around world showcase that serve food and drinks from specific countries. Portions are the perfect size for snacking on, meaning you can munch your way around world showcase experiencing a range of different foods and drinks.

Entry into the wine and dine half marathon also includes special entry to a race after party at EPCOT and a $15 gift card which can be spent at the food and wine festival stands, so this seemed like a great race for us that would enable us to tick two things off our disney lists – running a half marathon through the parks and experiencing the food and wine festival together.

3) The course

The wine and dine half marathon is currently the only half marathon at Disney World which goes through three of the theme parks (it only excludes Magic Kingdom). We really like the idea of going through three parks, as it will mean there’s plenty to keep us entertained – not that disney doesn’t provide entertainment on the rest of the course as well, because they do!

4) The Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights

The latter half of the course goes through Hollywood Studios, and as because of the time of year, entrants get to experience running through one of the most spectacular christmas decorations at any of the disney parks – the Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights!! At Christmas, the streets of America section of Hollywood Studios is covered in thousands of beautiful christmas lights! I cannot wait to experience them for myself, for the very first time, whilst running through the parks after closing… I truly think it will be spectacular!!

5) Its a night race

Most RunDisney races start VERY EARLY in the morning, and whilst Gideon can happily get up at 5am, I like my sleep! The wine and dine half marathon is a night race which starts at 10pm, so no getting up early! We are also hoping that it will be a bit cooler in temperature being at night (though this may be wishful thinking), and will be slightly more like the temperatures we are used to in the UK, rather than having the crazy Florida sun beating down on us.

So those are just some of the reasons the wine and dine half marathon is the disney race for us, and why we are super excited to run!

Have any of you ever participated in the wine and dine half marathon? Or any other disney race? We would love to hear your thoughts and tips in the comments!

Why take up running…

Before January, neither Gideon nor myself ran very much. For me, someone making me go out for a run would be equivalent to some horrible punishment. Why would I want to make my legs ache, why would I want to make it hard for myself to breathe, surely there are easier ways to exercise? Ways that burn more calories and don’t make me walk like an under-oiled robot for days afterwards!! 

So I surprised even myself when I decided at the start of the year that this year would be the year of running. What caused this crazy change in opinion might you ask? Well that would be…

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Anyone who knows us knows that we are ALL ABOUT DISNEYWORLD! Gideon has been there dozens of times in his 28 years, and though i’ve been slightly less, this year will be my 5th trip! For us, Disneyworld is the MOST fun place on the planet, and so, if anything was going to convince me to take up running, it was going to have to be something that makes running seem SUPER FUN. 

Disney run’s are full of that special pixie dust that disney are so good at creating (or so I am told – though I will have to wait till November to judge it for myself), they have run’s in Disneyworld, FL and Disneyland, CA throughout the year, and one of their latest announcements was that they will be holding their first half marathon in Disneyland Paris in September 2016! 

There are 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, half marathons and marathons, so their really does seem to be a race for every ability. You get to run through the parks, and the courses are packed full of entertainment from DJ’s to character meet and greets! I am hoping that all these amazing distractions along the 13.1 mile course will be enough to take my mind off the distance, and provide us with a really positive first half marathon experience, and even if it doesn’t…. at least we’ll be back in Disneyworld! 

If you want to learn about any of the rundisney races that are held at disneyworld each year, you can visit http://www.rundisney.com – or you can wait for our next few blog entries, where i’ll give a run down of the rundisney race we will be participating in – the Wine and Dine Half Marathon. 

Welcome!

Hi everyone and welcome to our blog!

We are Amy and Gideon Hookway, from Wales, UK and this year we have decided to take up running! This is specifically so that by November we will be fit enough to take on the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon, and raise some funds for a great charity, the Make-A-Wish foundation UK!

We hope that you will follow along with our progress via this blog, as well as via Amy’s Instagram account. We plan on posting training updates, general thoughts, race reports and helpful information for other beginner runners out there! 

Prior to 2015, neither of us did any regular running, and neither of us have participated in any running events or races, so this really is completely new for us. 

We took the plunge and managed to sign up for the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine half marathon last week when registration opened (because who can resist a half marathon in DISNEYWORLD – not us avid disney fans thats for sure), and will be jetting off to Florida on the 5th November 2015, ready for the race which takes place on the 7th November 2015.

In the meantime we have a few races lined up locally this year to help us in our half marathon training. These include:

The Bath two tunnels 5k – 10th May 2015

The Caerphilly 10k (possibly)  – 21st June 2015

The Swansea 10k – 20th September 2015

Please keep up to date with our progress via this blog, and if you feel you would like to donate to our fundraising efforts, you can do so via our just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/hookwaysrundisney/

See ya real soon folks!