A photo of Geoffrey Hayward
Geoffrey Hayward seated next to the Velopark Torbay parkrun sign, capturing a selfie. He is clad in a black sports outfit and appears content. The backdrop features a cloudy sky with other participants and volunteers visible in a park environment.

Pushing the Pace: 12 Seconds to Go

December 21, 2023

Hi there! It’s Geoffrey again. Last week, I continued chipping away at setting a new 5K personal best. As you might know from reading my blog, I have been following a relatively regimented weekly workout routine, which includes sessions like 8-Second Hill Sprints and 1K Repeats while also trying to balance recovery. Five weeks into the journey, and according to Strava, on Saturday at the Velopark Torbay Parkrun, where I met up with the Jog On Crew, I ran within 12 seconds of hitting my 5k PB. Today, I’ll look back at week 5 of my training and discuss an unexpected twist in my VO2 Max results, which gave me food for thought.

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A family photo with Geoffrey Hayward wearing a green plaid shirt, his youngest child Lizzie in a white angel costume with golden wings and a halo, and Ewa Hayward wearing a black and white patterned dress. They are standing in front of a Christmas tree, smiling at the camera, with other people and holiday decorations blurred in the background. The photo was taken after Lizzie's school nativity show.

Embracing the Wind: A Week of Racing, Resting and Learning

December 13, 2023

As I stepped into last week’s training, I focused on the City Runs Exmouth 5-Mile race on Wednesday, 6th December, a challenge I eagerly anticipated. Reflecting on the importance of listening to my body, as emphasised in my previous training, I approached this week with a relaxed view. I stepped away from the routine I had been following over the previous weeks to prepare for Wednesday fully. So here is how week four went in my journey towards a new 5K personal best and a seemingly valuable lesson learnt.

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A group of runners dressed in Santa suits with white beards and red hats participating in a festive race.

My Third Week on the Road to a 5K Personal Best

December 4, 2023

In the third week of my journey towards achieving a new 5K personal best, I found myself in a challenging dance between rest and vigorous training. The intensity of this balancing act came to a head by Thursday, serving as a stark reminder of the crucial role that listening to my body plays in training. The week’s standout moment was the Cranbrook Christmas Cracker – a festive Santa run that, while slower than anticipated, was still a moment of joy. Reflecting on this week’s experiences, I am keen to delve into what worked, what didn’t, and how I can apply these lessons to not only the coming week but also to my broader training strategy in pursuit of my goal.

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A frost-covered garden on a misty morning. The lawn is coated with a thin layer of white frost, bordered by flower beds and a variety of potted plants. A wooden bench sits at the back near a wooden fence, surrounded by the dormant, leafless branches of plants, hinting at the quiet of winter

A Runner's Second Week Towards a 5K Personal Best

November 27, 2023

In last week’s post, I revealed my strategy for chasing my next 5K personal best. In this week’s post, I will recap the strategy, and talk about how I have applied it, and reflect on the adjustments I will make for next week. From rigorous intervals to strategic recovery, this week’s effort culminated in a 5K course PB at the Cranbrook Parkrun, bringing me one week closer to the 5K personal best I am chasing.

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Geoffrey Hayward undergoing a cardio workout on a stationary bike inside a room with white walls, connected to a VO2 Max testing apparatus with a breathing mask, surrounded by exercise equipment.

VO2 Max and Reclaiming the Pace

November 23, 2023

In pursuing our passions we often find ourselves veering off track occasionally. This year’s spring and summer months were a whirlwind of family commitments and garden landscaping that took me away from the roads and trails. In this post I would like to reflect on this period discuss how VO2 Max testing served as a wake-up call and share with you the new goal I am chasing down.

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Hanna and Geoffrey making a video of the Plank Challenge.

The First 10 Days of Building Strength for a Worthy Cause

June 11, 2023

In life, we often find ourselves drawn to causes close to our hearts, seeking meaningful ways to make a difference. As an advocate for Alzheimer’s Research UK, I am wholeheartedly embracing their 30-Day Plank Challenge, and I am pushing myself to new limits while helping raise vital funds for a cause that resonates deeply with me. Join me as I recount the first ten days, where planks have become more than just exercises.

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A group photo of the Cranbrook Running Club after the 2023 Exeter Great West Run

Conquering the Exeter Great West Run

May 26, 2023

The Exeter Great West Run is a hilly, challenging half-marathon through my nearest city (Exeter). Being a local closed-road event, it’s kind of essential to participate. Well, it would be rude not to, right? Also, it seemed like anyone in our running club (Cranbrook Running Club) not running was still out cheering. So as you can imagine the atmosphere was fantastic and I enjoyed the event very much.

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A photo of myself and others running with our thumbs up and smiling.

Week 12: Running Manchester Marathon

April 20, 2023

It’s taken a few days to decompress from the Manchester Marathon, hence a late post. Before embarking on this training block, the idea of running a full marathon seemed like a doable but daunting distant dream. But I have done it, and I am proud of the achievement.

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A photo of homemade Easter biscuits.

Week 11: Training for the Manchester Marathon

April 11, 2023

Happy easter, everyone. I trust you had a good one. I am a little behind posting this week, and I am very excited now with less than a week to go until Manchester Marathon.

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Ewa and Geoffrey after a run on the Treadmill.

Week 10: Training for the Manchester Marathon

April 4, 2023

That’s week 10 of my 12-week training program for the Manchester Marathon done. And I am feeling the pressure mounting. However, despite facing some challenges, I remain determined to cross the finish line.

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My Manchester Marathon race number (with the actual number hidden) and racing shoes.

Week 9: Training for the Manchester Marathon

March 27, 2023

Welcome back to the latest update on my training for the Manchester Marathon! This week, we’re looking at my week nine of training and how it went.

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A photo of my family at Bicton Gardens by the duck pond.

Week 8: Training for the Manchester Marathon

March 20, 2023

Last week was challenging for my Manchester Marathon training journey, with a mix of highs, lows, hip pain and a cold.

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Geoffrey Hayward at the finish line of the 2023 Granite Way race.

Week 7: Training for the Manchester Marathon

March 14, 2023

Last week was a busy one for me regarding fitness and training. From cardio and tennis sessions to a 20-mile race.

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A selfie of me and my daughters on a theme park ride.

Week 6: Training for the Manchester Marathon

March 6, 2023

Training for a marathon is proving itself to be no easy feat. Week six began well for me, but I was struggling by the end of the week to keep my energy levels up.

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A photo of a beautiful sun rise over the grassy foot path.

Week 5: Training for the Manchester Marathon

February 26, 2023

Following on from last week’s blog, where I reported pain in my right knee during last Sunday’s long run, 16 km in, I have tried to think about what might have gone wrong and how to prevent it from worsening.

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Geoffrey on a long run.

Week 4: Training for the Manchester Marathon

February 16, 2023

So far, balancing training for my first marathon with family responsibilities has been challenging, and week four has been no exception. With the added challenge of the kids being off school for half term, finding time to train has been even more of a challenge than usual.

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Geoffrey Hayward at the Exeter City Half Marathon

Week 3: Training for the Manchester Marathon

February 15, 2023

In the build-up to the 2023 Exeter City Community Half Marathon, I took it a little easier this week. It was a week of varied workouts, including my regular cardio sessions.

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A photo of my birthday cake.

Week 2: Training for the Manchester Marathon

February 5, 2023

I started the week by turning 40 years old. This has at least one advantage, my race age category moves from M35 to M40.

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A photo of Geoffrey sprinting

Week 1: Training for the Manchester Marathon

January 29, 2023

I have begun training for the 2023 Manchester marathon this week, which will also be my first marathon ever. And the first week of training went well.

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