Monday, 29 August 2016

Nike+ Running App - Changed for the Worse

The Nike Running App is one of the most popular downloads for runners and general fitness enthusiasts for years. It has tens of millions of installs on Google Play and IOS. I've used it myself on occasion, I have the Nike+ sportswatch, and used the app if I forgot the watch.

Change - and nobody's happy about it!

Recently Nike decided to completely re-vamp the app saying that it was being designed "for runners, by runners" (I thought that only race directors had copyright on that phrase!). But the response hasn't been good, and they've angered their large base of users.

What's Changed?

So the main functions are still in place, it'll track your route with GPS and measure distance and pace. What they have changed is things like sharing, challenges and coaching. The first two are a bit of an annoyance for the user really, if you like sharing on social media, then it's now become really difficult. If you got involved with challenges within the community (which were very popular), then these have been replaced by hashtags, which seem pretty crappy. 

But most importantly in my opinion, if you were following one of the coaching plans, you just lost all your historic progress. For me, that's one thing that would mean a swift delete of the app, and download the Runkeeper / Strava / MapMyRun.

With Asics recently acquiring Runkeeper for $85M, have Nike just opened a door for them?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Weekend Races 19th - 21st August 2016

Races This Weekend -  22 races so far! Where are you Running?

Here's the list of running races on by county this coming weekend. If there are any that I've missed, just chat a message below and I'll update.


Saturday 20th - GaelForce West - Adventure Race

Saturday 20th - Clare River Harriers AC - 10K - Claregalway

Sunday 21st - Tintern Abbey Trail Run - 8K

Saturday 20th - Donadea Forest Run - 5K

Sunday 21st - Jog for Jockeys - 10K / 5K - The Curragh

Friday 19th - UL Hospitals Charity Run - 5K

Sunday 21st - Curragh Chase - 10K - Kilcornan

Saturday 20th - Ennis Track AC - Fleadh 5 Mile

Friday 19th - Moycarkey Coolcroo AC - 7K + 5K

Friday 19th - Ger Wyley Sports Summer Series - GSK 5Mile - Dungarvan

Friday 19th - Coachford Autumn Festival Road Race - 5Mile

Friday 19th - Inchigeela run - 5K

Friday19th - Tom Fitzpatrick Memorial Run - 10K

Saturday 20th - East Cork Harbour Marathon - Marathon / Half Marathon / 10K

Sunday 21st - Skibbereen - 10K

Friday 19th - Lecale Way - 10K - Ballyhornan

Saturday 20th - Dambusters Half Marathon / 10K

Sunday 21st - Newry and Mourne Dsypraxiadcd - 10K

Friday 19th - St Swithins Magherafelt Run - 10K / 5K

Friday 19th - Fivemiletown Run - 10K / 5K

Sunday 21st - Benburb International Road Race - 5 Mile

Sunday 21st - Children in Need - 5K

Weekend Races 12th - 14th August 2016

Races This Weekend -  19 races so far! Where are you Running?

Here's the list of running races on by county this coming weekend. If there are any that I've missed, just chat a message below and I'll update.


Sunday 14th - Knocknarea Mountain Loop - 8 Mile

Sunday 14th - Parnell AC Road Race - 4 Mile

Saturday 13th + Sunday 14th - Wild Air Run - 5K - Marlay Park

Saturday 13th - Brian Boru Festival - 5K / 10K

Sunday 14th - Celbridge AC / Crofton Motors - 5K


Sunday 14th - Duleek and District AC Road Race - 10K 

Sunday 14th - Clonmel AC / Boston Scientific - Half Marathon

Sunday 14th - IMRA Galtymore - Trail Race

Saturday 13th - Ras an Bhuailtin - 10K

Friday 12th - Killeagh - 5K

Saturday 13th - Dromahane - 5 Mile

Sunday 14th - Route to Crook - 5 Mile

Sunday 14th - John Hartnett - 10K

Friday 12th - Quadrathon - Half Marathons / Full Marathons

Sunday 14th - Monaghan Town Runners - 10 Mile / 5 Mile

Friday 12th - Chain Reaction Cycles, Mallusk - 5 Mile - Newtownabbey

Sunday 14th - Darragh Cross GAC - 10K - Downpatrick

Saturday 13th - iCare Purple Run - 10K / 5K / 3K

Sunday 14th - Tandragee Rovers FC - 10K

Sunday 14th - Dungiven Celtic - 10K / 5K

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Race Medals - can there be too many?

Let's get one thing clear from the start.....I love medals, as evident below from my medal hanger, which sits proudly inside my wardrobe so that I see them every morning when I get dressed. I don't necessarily need to display them to visitors to our house (although I do like to look at other people's medals when I visit), I'm happy that I see them and that's enough.

Getting Carried Away

However, I've noticed that more and more races nowadays are offering finishers medals for all distances, and some are offering double medals and medals for returning a second year (run twice, get 3 medals). I'm starting to wonder, is it getting too much? Are we getting carried away with ourselves?

For me, the whole attraction to getting "finishers medals" is because there is a level of difficulty in earning them. There's a story behind each medal, and it's not necessarily a nice story, for example my NYC marathon medal.....what a horrible marathon that was for me, but I'm still proud of that medal.

Race Directors under pressure

Having organised a half marathon for a few years, I feel that this trend is coming from the level of competition among races. Every race is trying to attract as many entrants as possible, offering as much a possible, but still trying to make something out of it. It started that you only got a medal for a marathon, then a lot of half marathons, then all half's and a few 10Ks. It's nearly at all 10K's and a few 5K's, and as I said before, some races if you come back a second year, you get a third medal. Does anybody value that third medal, are the two medals not enough of a reminder of the TWO times you ran? 

Personal Perspective

I do appreciate that all of this depends on where you are coming from as a runner. For some, 5K is a massive challenge, and maybe a medal is justified. For others, a marathon is nothing, and they'll only value a medal if it's a massive ultra distance, or they win the race. So to try and get some other views, I've ran a, very unscientific, poll on twitter. Here's the latest, but please post your views or feedback either here on the blog or on social media. Everyone's opinion counts:

Here are some other opinions coming in so far:

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

85 year old runs 5K in 24 minutes

Ed Whitlock, an 85 year old Canadian, ran 24.03.99 for the 5,000 metres. This broke the 'mens 85-89' world record by almost 50 seconds.

This is nothing new for Whitlock, as he owns numerous age group world records. It may be nothing new for him, but it still leaves the rest of us in awe!

Source: Canadian Running

Beer Mile World Classic

Why aren't we the world champions in this 'sport' , surely we have an innate ability here? At the very least we need to make a bid to host the "Beer World Games"

Here's the video of the first ever Intercontinental Beer Mile World Games held in England

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Weekend Races 5th - 7th August 2016

Races This Weekend -  16 races so far!

Here's the list of races on by county this coming weekend. If there are any that I've missed, just chat a message below and I'll update.

Saturday 6th - Connemara 100 - Ultra Marathon (100 miles)

Saturday 6th - Radisson Streets of Galway - 8K

Sunday 7th - Ballinameen Ladies GAA club - 10K


Saturday 6th - Rock and Roll - 5K

Sunday 7th - Rock and Roll - Half Marathon

Friday 5th - Carlingford - 5K

Friday 5th - Athboy Road Race - 5K

Saturday 6th - USAC 5mile Stride - 3 Mile / 5 Mile - New Ross 

Friday 5th - Galtee Runners Gr8 Road Race - 8K

Friday 5th - Ger Wyley Sports Series - Marine Climb - 6 Mile

Sunday 7th - Lifford Strabane AC - 10K

Friday 5th - Ards 5 mile challenge - 5 Mile - Newtownards

Saturday 6th - Delamont - 10K

Saturday 6th - Kells and Connor - Half Marathon / 5K

Sunday 7th - Sainsbury Feile - 10K - Belfast

Friday 5th - Sperrin Harriers Stanley Reid Memorial - 5 Mile - Cookstown