End User fun stuff

Lincoln 10K – Race Day Preparation

In my house I’m known as Last Minute Paulie, as ‘Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?’ is a motto one could easily associate with me. Rather than get the lawn mower out this week, for instance, I’ve been happily watching the grass grow, employing the ready excuse of it being too damp while bestowing the virtues of a natural meadow look to the chap a couple of doors down who obviously doesn’t approve.

In spite of my proclivity to procrastinate, though, to ensure a good race day experience I am planning to be prepared way in advance. By that I mean sitting on my backside, browsing running websites for tips and not acting on them. As you would expect, of course, the advice to be had is entirely practical.  Pace yourself…eat the right amounts of the right foods…make sure to use the facilities before the gun goes off…etcetera and so forth. I know, though, from my limited racing experience that these mostly-helpful websites will fail to mention the following:wpid-imag0265_1.jpg

Enjoy running on the road.  In the first road race I ever took part in I was almost overwhelmed at the realization that the road was closed especially for me and my fellow racers, and with every race since I have enjoyed the same feeling. In fact, this is almost worth the entry fee alone, especially as the local residents have no doubt been moaning about it on social media for a few weeks prior.

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Lincoln 10K – The Bad Run

Thursday Morning

The radio program I present, Lincoln A to Z, is formulated by 52 randomly selected grids from the Lincoln A to Z map. We have a basic structure, but the tone and timbre of each program is guided by the contents of the grid. Out of the 30 programs we’ve made so far, its fair to say that a couple have left my producer and I scratching our heads and wondering what went wrong. By no means are these programs terrible, they just didn’t flow or turn out how we planned.

OK, one was particularly terrible, but once the program was over we retired to the office (pub) to discuss how to improve and avoid making the same mistakes again.

During a period of training, at least one run will be atrocious. It can be the simplest thing that knocks you, a stitch, traffic lights or tripping over a dog. Its frustrating at the time, feelings of failure kick in, heightened by the fact that you are out of breath. But I know that like the occasional below par radio programs (you try making an hour and a half radio program about a bungalow heavy street in suburbia), I know that its not the end of the world and that rather than it be a failure, it is in fact these hiccups that make you better in the long run.

The internet, bless it, is full of annoyingly positive statements like this:

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Lincoln 10K – Habits

I once had an idea for a radio program based on Top 10 Lists. I shared this idea with a very talented and occasionally furious radio producer, who informed me that “Lists are what people produce when they run out of ideas”.


So with that in mind here’s a list of my bad running habits.

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Lincoln 10K – Finish Line

During this or any previous bout of running, I have always had a physical finish line during training, previously it was a bridge, currently its a sign post. I decided on this after my first ever training run as you know when to stop and helps you beat ‘the wall’.

This means that I plot my route backwards, previously I used a paper map, a piece of string ,a ruler and few choice words. A truly frustrating experience, with one too many calculations for me to be comfortable with. I’ve now discovered This simple, user friendly website even lets you plot ‘off piste’. A really useful tool as I’m sure most runners like parks. The phrase ‘off piste’ , wasn’t just thrown in there as you can select cross-country skiing as the sport your taking part in too.


The finish line is just one of the ways I have tried to overcome the mind over matter of distance running. A few years ago I read the best book about running there is – What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. This is a memoir about running and writing that instils the reader with the mantra that “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. This phrase is the most useful six words anyone has written or will ever write about running.

You will be in pain, but its up to you how you react to it, your body is capable of far more than your mind thinks it is.

As well as that incredible quote, the book also digs deep into how the running is of a huge help to Murakami’s writing. I’m finding that since ditching the MP3 player that my time spent running is valuable creative time, this helps me not only with my radio and writing work but keeps my mind from acknowledging that my knees are killing me and my face has invented a new shade of red. My imaginary finish line is helping this too, one less running question my brain has to think about, helping the creative process get to work.

I only intended to be temporary jogger – up to and including the 10k I told myself. But with the positive effects on my work, as well as seeing off the last of the Christmas weight I like to add at winter time, I might just carry on past this ‘mind-created’ finish line.

Paul Tyler is the presenter of Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM – Mondays 9pm


End User fun stuff

Lincoln 10K – A Question Of Time

Its almost impossible to talk about running without talking about time. For most, simply finding time to run is not easy. Its possible to see the early morning jogger, though they are very rare as its difficult to resist the extra time snuggled up in the duvet playing the snooze game with the alarm. Then follows getting yourself ready for the day ahead, or persuading some little people with other ideas to go to school.

Some have the option of cycling to work of course, where you don’t get too puffed out and sweaty, but running seems to be a step too far. Work gets in the way of a daytime jaunt and there’s no such thing as a dinner hour any more, apart from those on flexitime and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t save up their flexitime to add to their annual leave.

Once home, its helping with homework, cooking tea, preparing packed lunches for the next day and persuading the same little people that they should  tidy up and go to bed. Once these tasks are complete, at this time of year at least, its cold and dark outside and the return to that comfy duvet is far more inviting than a cold, icy run in the dark. Weekends have more time available, but if your training for a distance run, you’ll require more frequency than this.

Time is also the main subject of conversation with regards to training and races. I have come to the assumption that once a runner says that they are doing the 10K you can put your house on the first question being “What time you aiming for?”

Time seems important for self improvement, the digits on the dial congratulate you if you get a better time, but kick you up the backside if you get a higher number. Endless GPS tracking Apps are available and information for that self improvement has never been easier or indeed, cheaper to come by. However, I’m finding myself in this bout of training wanting to shed all barriers and complications, this includes taking a watch or smart phone out whilst pounding the streets.


My only goal throughout these weeks building up to the 10K is to plot a course and complete it with out stopping, my mind is focused on the distance rather than the time. So far, so good, and its quite good to be able to shrug off the pressures of beating any previous times.

I’ve even contemplated cutting off the official timing chip from my race number, but maybe, just maybe, if I can find the time, I’ll log on to the website as soon as I get home to check the numbers.

Paul Tyler is the presenter of Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM, Mondays 9PM


End User fun stuff

Lincoln 10K – Getting Started

I’ve accidentally entered this years Lincoln 10K run. After completing this a couple of years ago I vowed never to do it again – It hurt unnecessarily, and running is no longer my exercise of choice, I much prefer to cycle these days – less strain on the knees and you get a lot further for your effort.

I present a Community Radio program on Siren FM called Lincoln A to Z, where my producer and I travel to 52 randomly selected grids on the A to Z map of Lincoln and make a radio show and podcast about each one. It was noted in many a production meeting that the course of the Lincoln 10K goes through at least two of our selected grids. I managed to steer us through the Ermine West program without even a mention of the race. Then, late last year a surprising comment came from the exercise avoiding producer – “we should both do the 10K next year, could make for some good radio’. I put my foot down, “No” came the reply and I stood fast.

I was happy in my decision, until