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Not a Runner – A Runners Kit List

photo: Saul by Robert Swindells

Update: 04/07/12  “After completing the Leeds half marathon I have barely been able to run, something in my right knee had started to hurt and the physio. couldn’t help, the life of a Rohan shopkeeper does not include that much opportunity for a good long sit down so it has taken ages for me to get better. But raising money for Saint Michaels Hospice is important to me and although if it starts hurting again I might have to give it up for this year I am back in training, wiser than last time and a little more cautious, I have set up a just giving page and I hope that some people will use it to give some money for a charity that really does a great job for the people of Harrogate. Off we go”….  Saul Ward
Any day that I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy

“I became a great runner because if you are a kid in Leeds and your name is Sebastian you’ve got to become a great runner.” Lord Sebastian Coe

It’s not just Rohan who’s turning 40 this year. I am too. I know it’s only a number, but these things make a difference.
I cycle every day to the shop but never really exercised aside from that. My weight slowly increased… we all know the story.
I would like to say that I am not and probably never will be a ‘runner’ however earlier this year in a moment of clarity, I signed up to do the Great North Run as a fundraiser for Saint Michael’s Hospice
I think that it was partly a lifestyle change, as well as a way to do something good for somebody else. A great many of our customers sign up for charity treks rather than holidays and I can understand why. Last year we raised money for The Yorkshire Air Ambulance through the Rohan Harrogate Lectures. This year I have teamed up with Saint Michael’s Hospice, as well as the GNR and I am hoping to host another season of lectures, so as soon as we have a list and some dates I’ll let you know more.
Next time you come in to see us bring some small change, put it into the box for the hospice. Every little helps and I know that your support means a lot.
For those of you who don’t know the GNR here are a few stats:

It is the world’s biggest and most iconic half marathon
The spectator lined course covers 13.1 miles from Newcastle to the picturesque coastal finish in South Shields
Live music from ‘bands on the run’ to keep you motivated every step of the way
Live on BBC television
£48 entry fee includes t-shirt, medal finishers pack, accurate chip timing
The Bupa Great North Run is the premier event in the Great Run series and is firmly established as the world’s most popular half-marathon.

Look at their website for details of how to join in.

In my brief and inauspicious running attempts I have so far managed to learn a few things about running:

From starting running at a very low level, not so very long ago I could only run for 5 minutes without clutching my chest and having a break, this is normal.
I have learnt a few things about barefoot running (not barefoot) and pose running after a few bad days where I could not walk as my knees were suffering, but persistance always pays off.
I should never run two days in a row. Rest days are important.
Dont wear too much when you set off, you generate a lot of heat even on a moderate run.
You cannot propel yourself forwards by patting yourself on the back.

Kit List:

The product I have most been excited about from the new range is the Windrider Jacket, I know it’s a cycling top, but it is also the perfect running shell: super light, pockets for hat and gloves, crafty ‘running lights’ reflectors and a little strap in the pack pocket to help you to not drop your jacket after you have warmed up and taken it off. Seriously cool.
Rohan tops are made of quick-drying fabrics which cleverly wick sweat away from the skin stopping that cycle of hot/cold that we all know and hate. Personally I like the Superfine Merino long sleeve top for colder days, T-Plus for temperate days and until you have tried the Ultra Silver T on a hot day, you really have no idea how good it is. Trust me.
Psychologically, covering your head and hands makes you feel warmer too so keep toasty in chilly weather with a Superfine Merino hat and Weather System Gloves Inner are great and easy to pocket after you have warmed up.
I have really enjoyed running through the winter in Rohan Essential Trousers. As a newcomer to the sport, I have not yet crossed the intellectual and physical transom in to lycra but I think that I will be running in River Shorts before that happens!
You might think about getting your gait analysed to make sure you’re wearing the right trainers for your running style. A little known fact is that the specialist running shop ‘Up and Running’ is actually based right here in Harrogate and why not combine your visit to us with a look at new pair of running shoes? We can talk about this when you pop in. If anyone from ASICS reads this I would like a new pair of gel Kayano 18s please, look at the website for the address, Thanks.
Maybe if you are already a big distance runner then you could think about the inaugural year of the Milton Keynes Marathon, it is only a few months away… Or have a look at our friend Mat from Winchester’s post about his mountain marathon later in the year for inspiration.

My feeling is that any day that I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.
 Saul –  Rohan Harrogate founder Rohan Harrogate Lectures


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The Right Track

Running music Saul Ward Rohan Windrider Jacket
Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there– Will Roger

I recently signed up to the Leeds half marathon, on the 13th of May and my training has stepped up a notch, my aim for the race is hopefully to come in before the costumed runners, I hope that with a fair wind I can run faster than a man in bear suit but secretly I have my doubts..
Here is an excerpt from Haruki Murakami’s book ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’ which has given me great inspiration. Seriously if you are at all interested in running and haven’t read this book yet, don’t step away from the computer until you have bought this on Amazon or wherever.

“No matter how much long distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel kind of lethargic and don’t want to run. Actually it happens a lot. On days like that, I try to think of all kinds of excuses to slough it off. Once I interviewed the Olympic runner Toshikio Seko, just after he retired from running and became the manager of the S&B company team. I asked him, “Does a runner at your level ever feel like you’d rather not run today, like you don’t want to run and would rather sleep in”? He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, “Of course, all the time!””

Saul Ward Running Music Rohan Windrider Jacket
If you see me running around Harrogate or the Nidd Gorge I’ll usually have on my Windrider Jacket but I will always, always have my iPod. Having a soundtrack distracts me enough to keep me going further and sometimes just having a new album to listen to is a good enough reason to look forward to a run. Oftentimes, when training or doing solo sports other people listen to music as a motivator, dance music helps you move that little bit faster or work that bit harder. I have found whilst running listening to dance music I find myself speeding up, growing more and more exhausted. I very quickly realised that if I’m to make it around the 13 mile course of The Great North Run the last thing I need is speed. As Seb Coe puts it: “I have always felt that long, slow distance produces long, slow runners”.
Murakami advocates listening to the The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Gorillaz and oldies like Credence Clearwater Revival and The Beach boys: the beat is a good accompaniment to the rhythm of running. Wise words indeed.
Here are some pieces that I have found to be good or just interesting:

De La Soul: Are You In. 45 minutes long, a variety of paces, all slowish, a masterpiece designed for running to, every time I go out early in the morning I have this on, it’s like a clarion call to get moving  
Ghostpoet’s album, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam was a real find, running at night in the rain with ghostpoet’s album on has truly been a highlight of this process so far
On several running websites Ludovico Einaudi has been offered up as good long distance running music, in a ‘head down and keep going’ sort of way, personally I prefer Philip Glass, maybe try Glassworks as a good introduction.
Scroobius Pip’s albums have provided a distraction recently, performance poetry with heady beats. Quite a lot of swearing though, not suitable for everyone.
The Bad Plus: Suspicious Activities, the version of Chariots of Fire is a dystopian masterpiece, it sums up many of my thoughts on running. If you only listen to one thing today, this is the one.

Please add your suggestions and we’ll have a listen!
Saul Ward – Rohan Harrogate Founder of Rohan Harrogate Lectures