Tag Archives: betzwood river trail

Intervals in the USA

After a quick trip to England to visit family and bring my wife and kids back to the U.S., I’m using my usual technique to adjust to the time difference; exercise. 

The morning after I returned I got up at 4:45 and headed out to meet my friend for our regular walk/run session. 

It is the start of a month so we have upped our intervals again. Previously we were doing 2:30 run with 2:00 walk. Now, we would have changed to 2:45 run and kept the walk at 2:00 but the mapmyrun app for Android that my friend uses currently has a bug that doesn’t allow any ‘seconds’ to be set for intervals! So we had to go to 3:00 run and 2:00 walk. Nice!

Sometimes I think it is good to have your hand forced to put in a little more effort, especially once you are in a state where your base fitness can cope with the additional exertion. 

The run went well and we (of course) set a route record of 1:08 for the 6.2 miles, with a strong negative split. 

With temps in the mid-60s we couldn’t have asked for better conditions, although there were a lot of spiders webs across the trail and we were covered by the end of the run.  

Something a bit like this, or am I being dramatic? 
The second day back now and I still crash a little in the afternoons but think that getting straight back into exercise really helps to get your body back in sync with the timezone. 


Memorial Day Run/Walk

It is always nice to get out on a holiday morning as you see so many more people out enjoying the trails. 

We planned a mid-morning run/walk along the Betzwiod River Trail as it is one of the most shaded trails in the area and the temps were due to roll into the 80s. 

It was hot but we still managed to get a new fastest time for the trail. 1:15 for 6.2 miles of intervals; 2 minutes running, 2.5 recovery. Good stuff. It was tough for my friend by the end but nothing that some cold water poured over your head won’t remedy!

Many runners and riders out today and I even saw some people from my new company out with their family. 

Get Moving Again

After yesterday’s failure to deliver on a run, today was going to be a test. Thankfully it was a run/walk day and the temperatures were far lower. 

I cycled to work, then onto Betzwood this evening to meet my friend. We stuck with the same interval program of 2:00 run with 2:30 recovery and made it through the whole 6.2 mile route. 

We finished faster than any of our previous runs, so I’m happy with that. 

I did wear my heart rate monitor but it looks like my battery was dead as there’s nothing recorded despite it connecting initially. 

I’m feeling happy that everything seemed to work okay today. Hopefully Sunday was just a blip on the radar. 

The trail was surprisingly quiet tonight as I suspect that everyone else believes the weather reports about a coming thunderstorm; that didn’t stop us and it never materialised. 🙂

Building it Up: The Longest Run/Walk Yet

Another week, another run/walk with my friend. For the first time in what feels like weeks the temperature was above freezing and the river trail we chose to walk was actually a little muddy and wet, with only a few patches of ice around.

There were plenty of regulars out on the trail (bird-spotting lady, old runner dude, a few other runners out) and it was nice to not be freezing out arses off.

We went with a five minute warm up and then 1 minute efforts with 3:30 recovery. As ever, my friend is running quite hard in the efforts but was noticeably able to speak while running today which is a first. He has got to a point where he runs on trails three to four times a week and does intervals for those!

We did 5.25 miles of intervals before we switched to just walking. This was the longest distance that we’ve covered with intervals too.

Overall we completed 6.14 miles at an average pace of 14:41. All done in 1 hour 30 mins. Excellent. It is so good to see the progress he is making.

We finished our training at the same time as an older gentlemen who had just run the six mile trail. He was moving very quickly. It gives me hope for the future.

Hawk Run/Walk

Today I did a 6.2 mile walk/run with my friend. It was a beautiful day for getting out by the river and there were lots of people generally out and about. It was a busy place to be.

The trail is lovely in all seasons and looked so completely different now that there are no leaves left on the trees. This afforded us a great view of a hawk that was following us along the trail.

IMG_4071.JPGThe photo doesn’t really do it justice but it was really close to us and swooped by a couple of times.

Our average pace was 15:15 for 6.2 miles. My friend has now reached the point where he is voluntarily doing interval training on his treadmill; a sure sign that he is crossing over to the dark side and starting to enjoy the running. 🙂

Unfortunate Sweat Patterns

Wednesday’s track workout was cancelled because of the coming 4th July holiday. Plus it was also a real feel of 100F when I left the office so I chose to go to a shady riverside trail to make up some extra miles.

The Betzwood River Trail is exactly 3 miles out and runs along the side of the schuylkill river near the site of Sullivan’s bridge. It is a beautiful trail that has a lot of different surfaces as you go along; it starts out as small compressed gravel, changes to dirt, then stones, roots, divots, then turns into larger stones, and loose gravel. Plus a few bridges with hidden steps at either end. It certainly keeps you on your toes (pun intended). There are also several benches for people to rest on.

I ran at a relatively slow rate at the start while I tried to get a measure of how the temperature might affect me. As I ran there was a sudden change in the wind and I could feel a storm front moving in. Now it was a case of finishing before the rain starts because I left the roof of my Mini wide open.

My pace picked up a little but I had to watch it as I didn’t want to flake out in the heat. Overall my pace was 8:17 for the six miles. Not too bad given the conditions.

When I stopped running I noticed the ridiculous sweat patterns on my shorts; talk about making you self-conscious about how you look. I think non-runners would really wonder what you had been doing: “I ran so hard I peed myself!” And other such thoughts.

20140703-091359-33239472.jpgAll very embarrassing. 🙂