running blog


An amazing 16 days!

and review of Mobile Solar Chargers,

16 days ago I sat and watched the Olympic opening ceremony from a field in front of a big screen at the Adidas Thunder Run before a wonderful weekend. Such a fantastic atmosphere that has continued.  Tonight I have watched the closing ceremony and wondered where have the last 2 weeks gone?  Team GB have won 65 medals, I’ve run 60 miles and just about held the fort domestically, but done little else! Why?  I’ve been glued to the TV! Have been watching and enjoying sports I’ve never watched before and have been standing up shouting at the TV!

Well done London 2012 and team GB!

What I should have done is finish my review of Mobile Solar Chargers which kept me charged up at TR24 and tweeting through the opening ceremony!

These are basically portable back up batteries which can be charged from USB, the mains or by the sun which will then re-charge iPhones, iPods, smart phones, using micro USB, Nokia phones plus anything charged by USB, ie rather usefully my Garmin!

I was sent two models, which arrived rather appropriately the morning I left for TR24….

I pre charged both as much as I could before I left home.  The slightly larger unit with LED light (about the same size as an iPhone) charged everything from iPhones to my Garmin that we tried it on, keeping my iPhone going during the opening ceremony and then recharged very well from a sunny spot in our campsite and my car dash-board the next morning to go on and boost my Garmin’s battery for my night run and keep my iPhone going.

The smaller unit I was less impressed with at the time, only charging my teammates Samsung smart phone.  However since then I have  fully charged it from the mains or my pc a few times and it now charges both my Garmin via USB and iPhone perfectly, obviously needing its full battery charge, which can only be achieved after a few full charge-discharge cycles to work on these.

I think I preferred the slightly larger model, maybe because I had success with it from the start, but also because of the clear % charge indicators on the reverse plus the very useful LED light which was useful to make sure I’d switched everything on and set the right alarms in a dark tent!

These back up batteries work, are versatile,  being able to recharge them by several means and are perfect for travelling, camping, multi day ultra running, hiking or festivals for keeping your smartphone  (and garmin if you’ve got an old one with rubbish battery life) charged while away from civilization. They are definitely worth checking out and if your phone requires a different connection (if only phone companies would standardise connections) Mobile Phone Chargers are open to feedback/requests.


Mine is now a bit of essential kit to pack for races, events (TR24 next year!) as a backup for my iPhone, iPod  and Garmin and I have even had to promise to lend mine to my brother for the End of the Road Festival!


Long Run

Having used up all valid excuses yesterday, It was long run day today. One of my running rules (along with not having more than two rest days in a row) is when not in training for a particular race, I have to continue to do at least one long run (I’ll think I’ll make it 10 miles minimum) every two weeks. My two weeks were up today! Having missed a beautiful day for running yesterday, I was pleased that this morning was still dry and not too cold and I wouldn’t be punished by a cold and rainy run.

I set off for my usual London route, running to Hyde Park, running the perimeter of the park plus once around the serpentine before heading home. Not too much tourist pavement rage today although I did have to give a little sign language feedback to a silly woman trying to run me over by driving the wrong way down a one way street when the pedestrian crossing was green! Honestly, I looked out the right way for idiots jumping the lights but coming at me from the wrong way was slightly unexpected!

A good run. Since my last race I’ve relaxed for December and am running for enjoyment. I still take my Garmin (well it doesnt count if you can’t log it) but I’m looking at it a lot less and not worrying about pace. Being relaxed and just running to my music is obviously working because todays 10 miles felt relaxed but was only 4 minutes slower than my Great South Run!

I’ve recently been sent a Jabra headset. Great stereo sound for music and good for iPhone with its microphone and controls on the cable. I decided to test it out running, once I managed to find it attached to the teenagers iPod under his pillow! I wasn’t sure about it being a serious running headset, having long since abandoned apple earphones (which fall out) for a sports neck-band. These are in-ear but came with 3 sets of ear buds so I worked out which were best for me. The sound is good, the first thing I had to do was turn down the set volume on my iPod! I was impressed that once screwed in hard to my ears they pretty much stayed put and they were a bit more discrete than my bright orange neck band and wont fight with sunglasses or wooly hats (neither required today). They do cut out more external sound than my sports ones, but once aware of this I removed one ear when running where I had to be more cautious of my surroundings. And when I got fed up with music I just had to stuff them in my pocket. The best bit was having controls on the cable to click to skip a bad track (feet dragging) or repeat a good track (I’m flying) or take a phone call. I even by mistake discovered that sliding the control gave me voice feed back of the song name and artist, not that I need it because I’m still stuck in my 80’s running loop from Juneathon.