Hi, my name is Kevin Richardson AKA KR RUNS.
I'm a 40 year old competitve runner based in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England.
I have found running to be a transformative journey.
I have been running now for almost 10 years and I'd like to share my journey with you!
Here is a picture of me running my first parkrun in a time of 22:59 in February 2012 -
Here's me at the Quayside 5km in August 2021 -
Overall I have been able to improve my 5km time by just over 30%. To look at it another way, I have improved from an Age Grade performance of 55.8% as a 30 year old in 2012 to 83.4% as a 40 year old in 2021.
My strong belief is that everybody taking up running, with a desire to learn and improve, can achieve this type of progress relative to their own starting point. And that's why I share my journey, in the hope to maybe inspire you!
Over the last 10 years of training to run competitively I have tried most methods including training to Pace, Heart Rate, Time and, most recently, Power.
Overall, if I was forced to choose one, I have found training to Power (using a Stryd foot pod) and Time to be the most liberating way to train. It was also the method that led to my big breakthrough in the 5km, reducing my best time from 16:44 (ran in April 2017) to 16:01 in 2021. So my training plan is simple with a simple prescription each day of x minutes ran at x watts (units of Power). If you are interested to learn more on training to power please email me direct!
When it comes to racing, however, you don't really need gadgets and I believe it is important to try to liberate yourself of technology and just try to see what your brain and body can do! I am definitely still learning on this philosophy and I'm far from there yet! Running is a continual learning process. The key takeaway I would say is this: don't use your training tools as crutches during races!
Ultimately I feel there is real value in keeping your options open when it comes to training methodology. I like the variety of running to feel, pace, heart rate and, more recently, Power. This varied approach keeps things interesting.
Overall running should be fun and enjoyable and the key thing is to get out there and enjoy movement...
If I could change anything about the way I have trained over the last 10 years it would be an earlier realisation about the importance of aerobic development.
I would admit that I was too obsessed with hitting paces in the early days. Having ran 22:39 for 5km in February 2012, I immediately set a goal to run sub 17 minutes. By training to pace I was over reaching which led to over use injuries such as shin splints. I would have to wait until May 2017 to hit my goal.
I now believe that the best approach is to run at least 80% (even consider up to 95%) of training volume aerobically (by which I mean very easy conversational pace). The remaining 5-20% can be conducted at a mix of tempo, lactate threshold and target race pace or, even better, target race effort. This is pretty much inspired by, and adapted from, the endurance method first proposed by Ernst van Aaken in 1947 and also popularised by Arthur Lydiard a little later.
Understanding the difference between race pace and race effort becomes quite critical. Using my quest for a sub 17 minute 5km as an example, I would have been better placed training at a 5km race effort in those early days and therefore allowing my body to adapt rather than consciously pushing for sub 17 pace. More recently, training with a Power meter has helped me gauge effort more effectively than Pace or Heart Rate.
As mentioned, my personal eureka(!) moment came when I read the classic running book VAN AAKEN METHOD by Ernst van Aaken. Although the book is somewhat outdated now (and very hard to get a hold of), I personally believe the basic principles hold true. They can therefore be adapted to suit your needs whether that be to simply build aerobic endurance from scratch or put in place a training plan for a goal distance from 800 metres right up to the marathon!
All of my training is logged on Strava. Let's connect there if you have a profile!
Follow me on Twitter (@kevrich1981) and YouTube (KR Runs) or click my latest video link below!
Here's a little VLOG of the Manchester Half Marathon... Written blog (for more detail) and post race thoughts to follow soon! Hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed making!https://t.co/vLObg54pcZ— Kev Richardson (KR Runs) (@kevrich1981) October 12, 2021
My WordPress blog has over 200 posts which documented my journey to a sub 17 minute 5km. I regularly update the blog to cover race reports and other running topics -
30th Oct '21: North East Harrier League XC - Lambton Castle
27th Nov '21: North East Harrier League XC - Aykley Heads
12th Feb '22: North East Harrier League XC - Thornley Hall Farm
5km: 16:01 [Aug '21]
10km: 34:49 [Nov '18]
10 miles: 55:37 [Nov '19]
HM: 1:13.34 [Oct '21]
See all of my race results on Power of 10
Overall I have been very brand loyal to Garmin and in particular the Forerunner series.
I am currently using the Garmin 645 Music which I have had for around 3 years now. At the moment I see no reason to upgrade but if I was to I would certainly be looking for the latest Garmin Forerunner watches which at the time of writing are the "745" or "945" models.
* The Garmin 745 is available here.
* The Garmin 945 is available here.
I have tried many heart rate monitors including watches with on wrist monitoring and also chest straps (Polar, Garmin and Wahoo).
I believe the Polar Verity Sense is the best HRM I have used so far.
The key things that stand out for me with the Polar Verity Sense are:
1.) The discreet ease of use (it can go on your lower or upper arm),
2.) The exceptional heart rate measurement accuracy,
3.) The smoothness in pairing to your device with Bluetooth,
4.) The rechargeability of the battery via USB.
Reading has been a huge part of my running journey and I will update this section whenever I find a new book!
Below are 3 books that I would highly recommend you read -
 To remind yourself why you run...
 To increase your knowledge of the science and history of running (plus some great Case Studies on how key legends of the sport trained)...
 To get loads of pointers to improve as a runner, and particularly for those interested in running to Power...
Note: I am not sponsored by any brands but some of the above links may be affiliate (for example, Amazon), so if you were to click a link and complete a purchase I may earn a commission which I would be extremely grateful for!
My main goal with this website is to help inspire runners of all ages and experience levels, especially those seeking to improve from their current level.
I want to help you in any way I can! To do so I offer online running mentorship. For more information on this click here.
Get in touch and I will do my best to support and help you!
I'm very open to collaborating with other runners on social media including (but not limited to) interviews and podcasts.
Any companies out there looking for product testing and reviews? Please contact me!
All enquiries to my email: