What do you get when you get 2,500 runners to run 4,000 miles continuously over 30 days? The I Move London Relay, a totally nutty idea that has somehow worked, uniting the city and smashing out a new Guinness World Record. It's pretty mind blowing, and testament to what happens when communities come together.
I headed down to take part in stage 600 of the relay alongside Corey and Becca on a boiling hot Friday morning right in the middle of a serious heatwave. We opted to take on a 10km stage of the relay which saw us running from Potter's Field right by Tower Bridge and City Hall along the river as the city woke up. This is one favourite routes, I love how it takes you past some of London's most iconic buildings and the river is just beautiful in the morning. It's the best way to start off your day. Especially when you're running it with good friends!
Right from the off my legs felt heavy. The evening before this run I'd been in the gym working on my strength, and I really felt it. It was like my legs were filled with concrete, which combined with the heat made this run a tough one. Especially as I forgot to take water. Rookie error. However, every tough run is an opportunity to learn more, to work out what you need to work on and understand how you react to different conditions. SO this is what I learnt...
- Water bottle aside, I know that I wasn't well hydrated before this run. I'd woken up and chucked some High5 down, but not enough. So that's something I need to work on if I'm running on a hot day.
- I know I wasn't very well rested, unfortunately our top floor flat turns into a bit of a sauna and that really affected my sleep, which in turn affected my run.
- a 10km run in the heat after strength training probably wasn't a great idea. My body is still adapting to an increase in strength training, and combined with poor sleep the night before I was more tired than I thought I was. So another lesson about rest.
- listening to your body is the best. I didn't think twice about slowing down and walking when I needed to, and I was lucky to be running with Becca who felt just the same. Support from a friend in a situation where you're finding things tough is also the best.
This run was tough, but it also taught me a lot about running in challenging conditions, lessons which will make me a better runner in the future, and who wouldn't want that?
The challenges of this run aside, being part of the I Move London Relay was an amazing experience! London's running community means so much to me, without it I don't think I'd be leading the life I am, and it was really special to be able to contribute one of my most challenging runs to something so epic!
What have you learnt from running in tough conditions? Let me know in the comments.