Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Wholegrain - recipie for Date Bars

Here's a healthy wholegrain recipie I've made up for some sticky flapjacks. Please experiment with it and let me know any improvements:

130g chopped dates (without the stones)
100g raisins / currants
150g Oats
1 cup boiling water
Handful of seeds or nuts to taste

Mix everything together in a pan on the heat.
Simmer for 5 mins.
Press into a container.
Put in the fridge until cold.
Cut into squares and eat.

Benefits of wholegrain:

Sunday, 31 October 2010

I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart. - Mike Fanelli, club coach

The Bangor North Wales Cross Country race report.

Travalled down with Adrian. This is the third time I've completed the race. The last two year had been really cold and really wet. This year it was just cold and wet. Although it did dry up in time for the start of the race and just a bit of drizzle when warming down.

This was a difficult race to judge how well I did. Quite a few people missing at the front, Chris (Telford), Darren Rowlands, Richard Roberts, T Davies, etc. However I was level with Peter Middleton (about 1/2 second behind at the end). Last year he was 8th in 29:16. I was a 6:29 pace last year. This year: 6:06 pace, much better.

The race was exciting:

1) Started too far behind. Should have pushed to the front. I was in the middle of talking to Matthew Rose when the whistle went. Stayed level with Lee Jones. 5:38

2) Starting on the big loops of which there were three. 6:15

3) Ahead of Lee, starting to pick off others. 6:22

4) Scared that the others I had taken might catch me up but managed to keep 4th / 5th position: 5:55

5) A fast finish at the end. Lapped Adrian who gave me a shout-out. Just couldn't take Peter Middleton but did well to keep with him and not get over taken myself.

Desi did well to come second and was very close to first.

Monday, 25 October 2010

No pressure, no diamonds.
Mary Case

In today's race I felt the pressure and got the diamond. Yes, two people did pass me near the end so I finish 5th rather than 3rd but those two were good runners. My time was 34:06 which was a good time for a tough 10K course. I was only 13 seconds behind 3rd place. My confidence has been boosted which was needed after a couple of weeks with a shin injury.

Here are the splits...

Mile 1) 5:16. This was flat and along the Caernarfon sea front. Beautiful scenery.

2) 5:27. Still along the sea front. At this point I was in about 7th position and catching up to the front runners. The wind was still on my back.

3) 5:24 The hard two miles were coming up. UP being the operative word; uphill.

4) 5:40 Now I was focussing on going a bit faster. I had reserved my energy and was now letting myself go for it. I like racing where I hang back, feeling good and not letting myself go full out until half way.

5) 5:36 I could see Steve Crowe and Lee Jones. I put in a good 800m effort by pretending that it was an interval session. Caught Lee going uphill but knew that he might catch me again near the end with his sprint finish.

6) - 1m - 5:26 Passed Steve Crowe. This was new territory for me. Didn't ever think I would be good enough to catch the legend in a race. I should have known at this point that he would take me at the end because he had enough energy to say hello to me.

7) 1:18(5:24/m) I was in third place, I could see Brendan for 2nd place and so I ran hard and fast to catch him. The problem was that everyone ran hard and fast and I actually had Steve and Lee sprint past me as if they were fresh daisies. It was close. 13 seconds between 2nd, 3rd, 4th and me.

This was one of those exciting rare races were I was being both the hunter and the hunted. I've done too many lone races so this was refreshing. If Lee or Steve read this thanks for making it a race rather than a hard run.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

"Level of success based on my level of risk" - Will Smith in his song called Da Butta

My training week has been focussed on three running quality sessions
mixed with easy days of
cycling, swimming and aqua running.
The aqua running has meant the shin has healed and hopefully my
Borders League road race next weekend will not be a repeat of the
Cross Country last week.
- Run strong; run long.

Highlights of my week:
- Tuesday nights tempo session:
+ Heart Rate being over 200 for the whole session;
+ Some random guy saying "Bloody hell, yer goin for it, AIN'T ya?" - hell yeah I was;
- Thursday's swim:
+ Daniel's running ability: Excellent.
Daniel's swimming ability: Could do better.
Such a contrast to my running. In the class I'm in the second to
slowest lane and most people are middle aged ladies. Swimming is not my strong point.
- Poisoning myself by eating R A W red kidney beans. I was sick and had to sleep for 10 hours that night.

Shakespeare Marathon 8th May 2011
I did a very rough 24 week plan.
It starts on w/c 21st November with a Base 6 - 8 week period full of peaceful long runs at easy pacing.
This is to obtain B U L L E T P R O O F legs that will be hard to injure when the real tough training starts.
Sub 2:30, maybe not the Shakespeare but hopefully in Autumn next year, caveat: injury free.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

"If you start to feel good during an ultra, don't worry you will get over it. - Gene Thibeault"

A quick fire summary of my 5.6mile Cross Country race today: Good, competent, adequate, fair to middling, sufficient, passable, acceptable.

The better news is that a couple of hours after the race, the shin has not swollen or flared up. Hopefully it'll be a thing of the past. Next time I race I should be able to go full on and let the fitness and speed get out; I was a bit hesitant today because of the injury.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

This evening I substituted my hard interval session for an easy 6 miles due to my injury and pending XC race on Saturday.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

"Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge. - Dave Bedford, English distance runner who occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training"

My First Did Not Finish (DNF) - New Balance English Half Marathon}}

Let's skip to the end. Why do I think I DNF? In order of bruteness, with the first being most brutle reason:
1) The cold rain.
The Met Office's severe weather warning for the Warrington area stated: "Be Aware".
2) Injury.
This has been an issue over the last week.

The Story}}

Travelling to the race, I felt strong, got to the race early and waited for the start in the car because it was raining heavy. Once I got out the car I got wet and cold whilst waiting for the start. The horn went to start us all off. The roads were covered in rainwater and in some places quite deep. This made the running hard. The rain also meant that I couldn't see my watch to keep pace. At about 5 miles I realised that I was slower than my target time. Then at 6 miles my injury was hurting a bit. I decided to push on but it was hard as I was running alone near the front. Once I got to 7 miles the injury was causing my quad to tighten (counteracting my shin muscles). Still I decided to press on. Then at 8 miles I couldn't stop myself from limping. There was no way I could carry on so I stopped. Maybe I might have been able to carry on if the conditions were better?

Once I stopped I got very cold. I was directed to a St John Ambulance Portakabin. They measured my oxygen intake (90mm), temperature(low 30), heart rate (33bpm) and blood pressure 110/87. This is were things started to get serious (for them). They called for their ambulance and when it came they got the wheelchair. I said "I'm OK walking".
"Not with the readings we've taken" they said.
So I was wheeled into the ambulance, clothes off, wrapped in blankets and an oxygen mask on. I wish they were around after some of my training sessions because I feel a lot worse after some of those. St John Ambulance deal with 'normal' people and not with hard-nuts like me who have a low oxygen uptake even when not running and also a low heart rate. They wanted to take me to hospital but I explained to them that I'm bradycardic all of the time due to excessive exercise. They agreed to take me back to the St J at the race HQ to be monitored. Once there I was not allowed to go until I came out of my hypothermic state. This took about an hour. They were also not pleased with my blood glucose level. Eventually I got home.

Now I'm warm and typing up this report. Thinking over this experience I have learnt that I should look after myself better. Some people before the race did not even start because of the weather. I should have done the same.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to his or her commitment to excellence, regardless of his or her chosen field of endeavor. "
– Zig Ziglar

Well should I run the race on Sunday? Due to the injury [the] answer is maybe. [My] answer is YES because I've not proven myself in a 1/2 marathon yet. The last time I did a 1/2 was 17/02/2008 in 1h16. My ability is 73/74 mins. If I did a faster time then I could increase my quality training. I don't feel as though I should increase my intensity in training until my race times reflect it (Daniels' Running Formula) Link (roll over me to see where I go)

The weather didn't look good for Sunday when I last looked (21 mph) and hard rain. But now it's settled down to 10mph

If the wind gets to 20mph I think I would go to the race but not race it for time, more for the experience.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

"I haven't seen too many American distance men on the international scene willing to take risks. I saw some U.S. women in Barcelona willing to risk, more than men. The Kenyans risk. Steve Prefontaine risked. I risked - I went through the first half of the Tokyo race just a second off my best 5000 time. - Billy Mills"

The shin is feeling a bit better today which is a relief after yesterdays hard Tempo run. I wonder what started this injury?
Lets look back.
The change in shoes from Brooks to Mizuno? It started about 13th Sept after a run. Didn't think anything about it. Thursday 16th after speed session, hurting some more. Saturday's speed session and Sunday's long run aggravated it. Since then it has been about the same until this morning (30/09/2010) when it's feeling a little better. I've been running in the new Mizuno's since 8th August so it can't be my trainers. I think it is the fact that I did a hard race on Sunday 10th Aug and then did three hard sessions the same week.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Injury update

My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold. You sometimes have to be aggressive and gamble. - Bill Rodgers

I've had a very rare day off. No swimming, no running, no cycling. Mentally it's killed me but physically it's necessary. As a Long Distance Runner do I have a compulsive obsessive disorder to want to exercise all the time, even when I get an injury? I think not because true OCD is quite negative with the person not receiving relief from doing it. I have a positive goal and get relief. I might be too stubborn though to break away from the daily routines. Having this day off has shown to me that I am too committed and this is something I continue to work at.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I think people can handle 150 to 200 miles a week. But something has to give somewhere. If he's a student, how's he going to study? He may be at the age of chasing and courtship, and that's an important form of sport and recreation, too. - Bill Bowerman

Day 6 of injury

Most of my reps today were at an average of 185 which is high for me. This was about 15bpm higher. This could be due to the injury. I've been quite busy today so I've not thought about the injury much but it hurts the same. Hopefully moving into a bit of a taper next week for the NB English 1/2 on Sunday will help it heal. I've still been icing/compressing/massaging with oil and taking tablets.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Aqua running

It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse. - Ann Trason

Aqua running.
My first session this morning. I did 23 mins. It went quickly and I wanted to do more but did not have enough time.
I did about 110 steps per minute.
Donna (life gaurd) gave me some advice:
- Body 3% forward
- abs tight
- natural spine alinment
- bum tucked in
- arms:
- elbows right angle and tucked in
- thumbs on top
- drive elbow back
- can increase , extend arm forward - keep wrist in line with elbow
- legs:
Lift leg so knee come up to 70%-90% angle
- ankle in line with knee 90%
- foot flexed
- push down (like stamping grapes)
- keep foot flex and pull leg back
- extend fully - squeezing bum
- draw leg (foot) up toward bum in natural recovery
- swing through to start motion again
- keep head up
- steady breathing
- chest lifted abs tight
- try not to sit in water.

For next week I'll try to have a bit more of a session with intervals. I wonder if I could buy a water-proof MP3 player with head phones?

The swimming pool has let me keep the floatation belt in their store room. I just hope it'll be there next week.

Last nights run session was on the grass.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The marathon is like a bullfight. There are two ways to kill a bull, for instance. There is the easy way, for one. But all the great matadors end up either dead or mauled because for them killing the bull is not nearly as important as how they kill the bull. They always approach the bull at the greatest risk to themselves, and I admire that. In the marathon, likewise, there are two ways to win. There's the easy way if all you care about is winning. You hang back and risk nothing. Then kick and try to nip the leaders at the end. Or you can push, challenge the others, make it an exciting race, risking everything. Maybe you lose, but as for me, I'd rather run a gutsy race, pushing all the way and lose, then run a conservative, easy race only for a win. - Alberto Salazar, 1981

Injury update.
- I did not wear my compression trousers last night. Too tied to put them on!
- Subsituted morning run for 1 hour in the pool. My first proper swimming training session in a group, with a teacher and everything.
- I could actually hear my shin tendons creaking this morning when I lifted my foot upwards; scary.
- Physiotherapy at 1pm.
- Arnica oil massaged in (I'm loving this stuff).
- 10 hours quality sleep last night.
- Training on grass tonight.

Hopefully I should not loose anything with this injury, IF it doesn't get worse. I can keep up the base endurance with cross training and do my interval/tempo runs on grass. Pray.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

"Tough times don't last but tough people do. - A.C. Green" I didn't like yesterday's quote but this is better considering my injury. I'm being "tough" by fighting this injury. Fighting fit.

Day 3 of injury
- Wore compression trousers all night and on bike this morning. 2XU compression trousers are ace.
- Substituted morning run for a longer swim.
- Still icing and putting on Arnica oil.
- I think I could have run on it this morning but want to save myself for Thursday evening's speed session.
- I asked the staff at the pool today about storing my aqua running gear there (ordered it on the net yesterday). They said that was OK.
Hoping injury will subdue for a LSR on Sunday and a speed session again on Saturday.
- Physio tomorrow.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

"Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder. -William Sigei". I don't agree wholly with today's quote but there you go.

Injury update.
- Self diagnose: Anterior medial tibial stress.
- Hurt in the night so swapped morning run for 80 lengths in the pool of swimming.
- Booked an appointment for Thursday at the physiotherapist.
- Ordered and paid for Aqua Running gear. This will help this small injury. I'll also intergate it into my usual training so that I'll be ready for the next injury, it also has other advantages other than injury rehabilitation.
- Spoke to staff at pool to ensure Aqua Running would be OK. It is.
- Bought Arnica anti-inflammatory oil to massage into the area.
- Taking ibrobufen.

This evening's run: I had a Tempo / Threshold run planned. Decided to run on grass and just do what I could. I ended up, amazingly doing the whole session. The shin seemed to stop hurting once I ran fast and on softer ground. Bonus! My plan now is not to run for 48 hours, keep on the ice, Arnica and only swim and cycle.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. -William Faulkner

First started to feel a bruise after running about 13th Sept after a run. Didn't think anything about it. Thursday 16th after speed session, hurting some more. Saturday's speed session and Sunday's long run aggravated it. This morning (Mon 20th Sept) it was hurting but did not restrict my morning run. Tonight it is hurting more, I'll do a swim tomorrow instead of a run. I've iced it pretty much all day. I'll buy some Arnica tomorrow. In the mean time I'll have ibuprofen. Tomorrow's plan is to rest until 4pm and then do my scheduled Tempo run.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Quote and "What a week"

"The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do. -Walter Bagehot"

What a week I've had. A really hard and quality training week off the back of a fast 10k race then to finish it off I have a long run planned for tomorrow. The key sessions this week have been Tuesday, Thursday and today. I really felt as weak as a kitten at the end of Thursday's and today's sessions. They were both intervals covering about 6 - 7 miles.

I've listened to a lot of good podcasts today from Tri-talk. If you're interested in endurance sports I would recommend downloading some of the podcasts... http://www.tri-talk.com/

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Stretching: Goods for you? & Quote

"A marathon is like life with its ups and downs, but once you've done it you feel that you can do anything." -unknown

Stretching. Good or bad?

Our muscles are like springs. The tighter the spring the more elastic energy is returned and therefore the more running economy. However like most things we have to find the right balance. Too little flexibility may cause injuries. Also best to use dynamic stretching before a key session or race.
Research: Int J Sports Med. 2002 Jan;23(1):40-3. Running economy is negatively related to sit-and-reach test performance in international-standard distance runners. Jones AM. Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager, United Kingdom.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Quote and race report

"Once you're beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line." -Todd Williams

First I would like to thank my sponsors for supporting me through the Welsh Inter-Regional Championships.... errrm O yeah, I don't have any sponsors YET. My true support is my wife who looked after the house and Karla whilst I was away for the weekend in Cardiff; and puts up with all the training. I represented North Wales in the Welsh 10K Inter-Regional Championships at Cardiff. I'm not sure of the results yet but will update the blog when I know.

Personally the important result for me was a 10K (6.2 miles) personal best time of 33mins 22secs. I was aiming high at a sub 33 min time but I was pleased with the slower result for the following reasons:

- the hard training week I had (a tempo run and intervals back to back on Tues and Wed; then easy runs, swimming cycling etc...);
- the heat; and
- position in race compared to other good runners.

The whole weekend was great but now I'm tied after the travelling. A big thank you to Andrew Edwards from Deestriders Running Club for driving me all the way down and back.

My mile race splits were as follows: 5:17 5:18 5:24 5:22 5:21 5:29 1:12

The first 1/2 mile was quick, I got a bit carried away with the fast ellite runners (the ones who are sponsored) but luckily I noticed and slowed the pace. A team member, Jez Brown from Buckley runners, was next to me at the first mile. I told him that the pace was 5:17, which was too quick for him so he slowed down. At half way I caught up to Brendan Rothery (another North Wales team member). He looked unusually tied so I pressed on to catch the group of runners ahead. He said some words of encouragement which helped.

The rest of the race was spent fighting sore legs and playing mind games to keep up the pace; keeping an eye on the watch for pace, counting, trying to keep with the person in front of me. Then with one mile left I really felt bad. I actually thought I was going to faint. Very light headed and blurred vision. I did not want to faint because I only had a mile to go. I just kept running and then with 1/2 mile to go, just as I was thinking this is what it feels like to die, I saw the end, the end of the race, not my life. There was a lovely long straight finish so you could see the finish line, this kept me going to the end. Crossed the line knowing I'd gotten a PB but wondering why I hadn't run a sub 33 because it felt soooo hard.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,' and I just took off. -Steve Prefontaine

I've thought that in races too but most of the time I don't take off.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Quote and run

I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.
Tyler Durden

This is what I felt like this morning. I did 3 X 5 mins and then 3 X 800m. It was hard because my heart rate was up and my pace was a bit down. Anyway, job done and over with. Tomorrow should be a nice long run with just me and my MP3s.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

"We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love". Tom Robbins in "Still Life With Woodpecker"

I like this quote because I am often quick to judge others. When I stop and think my expectations of others can be too high. Everyone has a hard life and most, harder than me. Take running for example, I'm really quick to judge peoples running ability on their PBs for say a 10K or marathon. This is wrong because I don't know if they have a really stressful life or are handicapped in some way (phyical, mental etc).

Yesterday I went for a longish run. Intended to run about 12 - 14 but because the weather was sooo nice I ended up doing 16. I created my own love for running!

12 days to the Cardiff 10K. Can't wait.

Monday, 30 August 2010

A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else. -Steve Prefontaine

When running my arms and wrists get really cold. Wearing a jumper keeps them warm but then my body overheats with the extra layer.
Therefore I cut the ends of my old socks off and wear them stretched over my arms and wrists. I can also keep wearing my favourite running t-shirts.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Quote and training

You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back. -Steve Prefontaine

Well I agree in part with Pre and I understand where he is coming from but he was American. Us British can be too far the other way; too conservative and polite. If we don't celebrate our successes then who is? Don't keep your successes quiet if you've worked hard for them. Tell people then let them pat you on the back.

Yesterday I went ice-skating and fell on my knee. I was worried that it might effect my running. Well I ran fine this morning so all is OK. In two week today I'll be in Cardiff representing North Wales in the Welsh Camps. It'll be a 10k run and I'm hoping to complete it in under 33 mins. Wish me luck. Daniel.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Birchwood 10K race report and quote.

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift." Steve Prefontaine.

Steve Prefontaine did a 10K in 27:43 so I've got to train a bit harder!

12th. Web results http://www.spectrumstriders.org.uk/our-races/birchwood-10k/results/2010-10k

I like to have a look at the quality of people around me. Here's a summary:
Summary of people around me:
10th 33:22 Russell Maddams recent PB: 32:53
11th 33:38 Neil Pendlebury's PB 31:33 in 2009
13th Paul Faulkner PB 34:10
14th Steve Hebblethwaite PB 33:35
So from that I can see that I was in good company.

I also like to look at the actual distance measured on my GPS watch and the pace. The distance was longer at 6.28 miles rather than 6.124. The pace was 5:21 which was a PB pace for me. A 5:20 pace, which I was aiming for would have give me a 33:00 time.

The quality of the field was high. The winner, Ben Fish has done a 2:20 marathon and a 4:01 mile, a very versitile runner.

The actual race itself was a good experience for me. Rebecca and Karla came and watch and it made me run quicker when they cheered me on, especially at about 1/4 mile towards the end. They must have given me another 15seconds. Karla ran alongside me for a couple of metres which made me run faster.

The last two miles of the race were hard because of two slight hills over motorways. Then the beginning of the race was a little hard because of eight roundabouts. But overall I think the race has about 75% PB potential. I'm not sure why I clocked it as too long. I wonder if anyone else clocked it as being long? I'll try to find out.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Quote and run

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Top notch session done: Five one mile repetitions on grass with a 14 mph wind. The times were: 5:19, 5:14, 5:18, 5:13, 5:10.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Good judgement is the result of experience, experience is the result of bad judgment. -Mark Twain

Today I ran a tempo run, 40 mins. Instead of running to a set pace I decided to run according to my Heart Rate. With having used my Heart Rate monitor for the last month or so I felt confident using this as guidance. I kept my rate at 160 which turned out to be a good tempo pace.

Not long to my next race. I feel as though I've not done enough races recently but there is plenty of them this winter.

That's all folks.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

"Effort is only effort when it begins to hurt" [José Oretega y Gasset In Search of Goethe From Within, Letter to a German]


The motto on Wrexham Athletics Clubs' badge is Ymdrech which is Welsh for Effort. Whilst running one day this caught my attention and made me think a bit more about the word Effort.

Think about the following sentence: “It is an effort to run.” How does it make you feel? Positive or negative?

It's an effort to have a running life: diet, sorting out clothes, arranging times, thinking about the right way to train, book races, travel, etc...

Often the phrase “it's too much of an effort” is engraved into our psyche and leads us to dread the activity and not bother. Effort has become a negative word. But it should be positive.

Effort is an achievement. When you run you use physical energy, effort, to achieve.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Almost every part of the mile is tactically important: you can never let down, never stop thinking, and you can be beaten at almost any point. I suppose you could say it is like life. -John Landy

Today I didn't run but I did cycle about 50 miles. Work had a conference which was 25 miles away so I decided to cycle there and back. The strange thing was that it didn't feel like any more than my usual commute which is half the distance. I think that's because once I'm out on my bike I switch my mind off and it doesn't matter how far it is. My legs also don't get tired on a bike because I don't go fast enough.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Aqua running

I'm been thinking lately of doing aqua running because I use the pool 2-3 times a week to swim but I would be better using that time to do something similar to running instead. I don't have to be injured to aqua run and it'll also prevent injury. Here's the research done so far:

Due to buoyancy heart rate is about 10 to 15 beats per minute lower.

Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

a floatation belt:
Link (roll over me to see where I go)
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

The Forerunner 310XT will not be able to receive heart rate data from the soft strap while in the water.

Cadence is a great way to monitor your workout in the pool, about 76 to 80 cycles per minute with each leg will help duplicate land running. On land the recommended cadence is about 88 to 90 cpm, but due to water resistance the equivalent in the water is about 10 cpm less.

Friday, 25 June 2010

"Nothing in the world can take the
place of persistence...Persistence and
determination alone are omnipotent."
- Calvin Coolidge

I was pleased with my time for the Warrington Road Runners 10K. It was 34:15 which matches my current 10K (loop) 10K. My 10K PB for a point to point race is 33:40 so I don't count that as a comparison.

I'm also pleased with the result because:
- I've only been doing easy running since the marathon. With more interval sessions I'll go faster;
- The course was full of sharp corners and partly on grass;
- I went the wrong way three times, did only added about 15 seconds on my time but mentally it added a bit more time because I kind of gave up a bit towards the end.

At my next 10K race I would like to pace 5m20s/m or 3m19s/km which will give me 33:08.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The coach's main job is 20 percent technical and 80 percent inspirational. -Franz Stampfl

Today I've done 4 miles barefoot, 8 strides, and ran home (11 miles). I've also done some core strength work, sit ups, curls etc. I can't believe that I managed to get all of the way home without any rain.

Tomorrow's plan is 4 mile run, 22 miles bicycle and 40 lengths in the pool.

Friday, 4 June 2010

You can actually suffer a little bit more going slowly than when you're going really fast. A faster marathon might even be easier than a slow one, in terms of what it takes out of you mentally. -Frank Shorter

When I ran my last marathon it took me 2h34m and I was tired for being out for so long. When I think about those marathon runners who take 4 hours or more it must be a different type of challenge for them. At Chester Marathon I had the opportunity to hang around and I saw runners finish in times over 4 hours. There was a runner who pushed a disabled person around in a wheelchair. I honestly think that these people have a tougher time and when they get up the next day they are in a lot more pain that me. OK they may not train as hard or have the type of pain in the race you get from speed (spikey pain I like to call it) but that it only for a short time.

My plan for the next week is to continue with the FI phase of training (Foundation and Injury Prevention). This will involve easy runs/bike-rides/swims with my heart rate staying under 150bpm.
You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming. -Frank Shorter
Recovery week. I want to run hard but my legs won't let me. This is often the case after a good marathon. You get a buzz for running after the race and want to run lots but your body doesn't let you. Tuesday and Thursday night were nice because I ran easy runs with people I wouldn't usually run with. Right now I'm feeling pretty tied due to cycling & swimming this morning. It seems to be a habit I can't drop because I feel lazy not doing it and also a cycle commute is much refreshing than going on the train. Last night on the train it was packed, hot, late and slow.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Race Report. 2h34m MBNA Chester Marathon 2010 2nd Position

Behind every great sports achiever is a lot of support from others. Thanks to my beautiful wife for all the support throughout my hard training.

A big shout out to the organisers of the race, Chris & Andy. Everything went smoothly, parking attendants, registration, start off, marshalls, lead cyclists, finish goody bags, water, toilets, showers, I was really impressed by the organisation. The lead cyclist next to me did a great job of making sure everyone kept to the right side of the cycle path (it was a there and back race).

Next onto how I felt through the race. I had prepared to do the race so well that I was enjoying putting all the hard work of the training out into the race. Every mile was bang on what I planned. Every mile was a release of energy which resulted in a deserved fantastic pace. Previously I have completed 4 marathons and I think I smiled the most in this one. I kept thinking “This Race is What I've Wanted For So Many Training Miles – Now Do It Justice”. At the end I thought what I always think “I could've done better”. I look forward to the next one. Thanks to everyone who sent me messages including birthday messages.

I also beat the World Record for the mens marathon. In 1913 on this same day, 31st May, Alexis Malkolm Ahlgren broke the World Record with a time of 2h36m!!

If your put off by numbers then stop reading now, otherwise read on.

My Previous Marathons:
London 2007: 03:01:30
Blackpool 2008: 02:35:47 (short)
Anglesey 2008: 02:47:34
London 2009: 02:37:51
Chester 2010: 02:34:59

The statistics:
Gun Time: 2:35:01
Chip Time: 2:34:59
Elevation Gain: 550ft
Avg Pace: 5:53 min/mi 10.2 mph
A Personal Best (PB) for a marathon and also a WAVA PB. WAVA = World Association of Veteran Athletes. They collate world race times and give an equitable age related percentage for comparison purposes. Age grading is a way of putting all race participants on a level playing field, regardless of age or gender. Age-graded scores let you compare your race times to those of different runners, as well as to the standard for your age and gender.

Play through my race: http://connect.garmin.com/player/35211835

5:47 5:55 5:51 5:40 5:52 5:43 5:47 5:58 6:03 5:52 5:56 5:56 5:55 5:55 5:54 5:52 5:53 5:54 6:03 5:50 5:55 5:56 5:54 5:44 6:03 5:56 1:58
Cumulative Splits
00:05:47 1
00:11:42 2
00:17:33 3
00:23:13 4
00:29:05 5
00:34:48 6
00:40:35 7
00:46:33 8
00:52:36 9
00:58:28 10
01:04:24 11
01:10:20 12
01:16:15 Half way 1:17:15
01:22:10 14
01:28:04 15
01:33:56 16
01:39:49 17
01:45:43 18
01:51:46 19
01:57:36 20
02:03:31 21
02:09:27 22
02:15:21 23
02:21:05 24
02:27:08 25
02:33:04 26
02:34:59 26.2

Thursday, 27 May 2010

4 days to Chester Marathon

"Victory belongs to the most persevering."
- Napoleon

Well I have four days left until Chester Marathon. Today I went for a gentle run with my friend Adrian and also did some strides. The carbo loading has started tonight after completing four days of no carbs. The thing about eating food with no carbs is that it doesn't fill you up and it has made me feel a bit week. But now just 1/2 hour after eating pasta and breakfast cereal I feel better.

I'm hoping to set off at a 2h35 pace on Monday which is 5:55 per mile. Once I get half way I'll see how I feel and speed up / low down as necessary.

Can't wait for bed time. zzzzz

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want Why? Because (a) you'll burn all the calories you consume, (b) you deserve it, and (c) you'll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway. -Don Kardong

Monday, 24 May 2010

"We first make our habits, and
then our habits make us."
- John Dryden

Well I'm starting to taper and carbo diet (no carbs today and the next few days then load). I'm pleased with my training, I'm not injured and hopefully I'll stay that way until the marathon.

Saturday, 22 May 2010


As a result of reading "Daniels' Running Formula", written by a USA Coach, Jack Daniels, I've started to record my training by intensity rather than miles. This is much better, for example 10 mins of intervals is worth 10 points, this equate to about 8 miles worth of easy running. I can also log my swimming and cycling with this point system. I'll aim to do about 150 - 200 points each week. If you want to see my intensity log then there is a link at the top of the page. You'll notice how the points are worked out: by multiplying the time by the intensity factor on sheet two.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

"I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."

I have had my Garmin Forerunner 310XT this morning and I’m excited to start running with another tool – Heart Rate. This will help me assess my running intensity at different zones. I know that using HR in isolation is not a fool-proof method of assessing intensity but with that and using the pace I’m running at it’ll be more accurate than usual. I was going to purchase the 410 but this seems to have had some bad reviews on the touch bezel when it gets wet. Also the 310XT has a larger screen and it is completely waterproof.

With reading Daniels’ Running Formula recently I can see that keeping to the right intensity for the session is important. Whether it’s / Interval / Threshold / Marathon / or Easy Pace, the session can be much more effective at the right pace. E.g. with completing an interval session it is important to reach a point of VO2max and sticking at this (100% - 98% max HR.) there is no point in running at a higher intensity (leave this for repetitions). Threshold running is designed to increase the body’s system to clear lactate acid. There is no point in running this higher than Lactate Threshold intensity. This is around 90% max HR.

I need to do a hard hill session soon to calculate my max HR but for now I’m using 220 minus my age. I think I’ll leave the hill session to after Chester Marathon.

Monday, 17 May 2010

It is true that speed kills. In distance running, it kills anyone who does not have it. -Brooks Johnson

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Just got home. Ran home from Chester. My legs feel really tied. I must be on the edge of an injury. I decide not to do intervals this pm and instead to run a Tempo run (30 mins at about 5:50 pace). This is because I am reading Daniels' Running Formula at the moment and it recommends these types of runs so close to a marathon. If you are looking for a good running book then I can highly recommend it.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Daniels-Running-Formula-programs-marathon/dp/0736054928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272996452&sr=1-1

Monday, 3 May 2010

Life is short... running makes it seem longer. -Baron Hansen

4 weeks to go to the Chester Marathon. I can start to taper a little. At last, I'm starting to be a little fatigued.

Run and Who Do I Believe - Lib Dem or Tory?

I was pleased with today's run: 1.5m warm up, Marathon Pace for 5m, 2.5m warm down.

This made me laugh. Have a look at the two election leaflets I received recently. The one on the right is from the Conservatives and the one on the left is from the Liberal Democrats. Who should I believe?

In fact both are correct but they are misleading. If you look at the small print the Tory (Right) statistics were taken from June 2009 and the Lib Dem 2008 local elections. Sneaky and cheeky.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Quote: "The greatest things ever done on Earth
have been done little by little."
- William Jennings Bryan

Today's 20 miler completed in 2hrs 11mins. That completes 101 miles for the week and they have been hard miles.
Here are the splits from today's run.
6:46 6:34 6:21 6:27 6:38 6:21 6:33 6:46 6:35 6:44 6:41 6:21 6:35 6:40 6:26 6:29 6:10 6:23 6:10 6:32

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

"The indispensable first step to getting
the things you want out of life is this:
decide what you want."
- Ben Stein

The problem is knowing what you want or what is right to have a desire for. In running it's easy to set goals:
- Run a certain race;
- Run a set distance in a set time;
- Raise X amount of money;
- X amount of miles in training etc.

In a sense, historically, humans have had their goals related to running. It's only in the modern world that we have more "spare" time so we get confused and fill it with junk.

Please watch this video to see what humans were like when we were normal... Running was decided for us: Run or have no food! David Attenborough - BBC - Life of mammals


Sunday, 18 April 2010

The greater danger for most of us is not
that our aim is too high and we miss it,
but that it is too low and we reach it."
- Michelangelo

Recently I've been thinking about my diet and comparing it to the Tarahumara tribe and other great Ultra-distance runners. They seem to eat more beans, lentils, seeds etc. I remember a couple of years ago I got into eating sprouted seeds and stuff. I also read Dr Gillian McKeith's book on You Are What You Eat.

So in the next couple of weeks I'm going to try and eat more sprouted stuff. I started today with breakfast (quinoa). Here's a useful link for anyone interested...


I've also been running barefooted a little and I am increasing it slowly. Yesterday I ran about 1 mile barefoot. After putting my shoes back on I was surprised to feel how heavy my shoes are. Here's another link for anyone interested in barefoot running.

Yesterday I went for a 20 mile run and I did it with 3 other running buddies, Andy, Daz and Chris. They are all great runners and it was good to run with them.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

"We can't all be heroes because someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." - Will Rogers

I went for a lovely spring 12 mile run this morning and decided the night before to try and run 2 miles on grass barefoot. I'm trying to incorporate barefoot running into my running plan in order to strengthen my feet and to improve my running form. However, I learnt that my feet can't withstand (at the moment) more than 200m on grass that it frozen. I forgot that my feet are very sensitive and can not withstand frost. I wonder if, when feet are hardened, they can run on cold ground? I'll have to do an internet search on it! Anyway I'm still on target for this week: 100miles run, 65 miles cycle and 3K swim.

I also ran on a local field in Wrexham today known as the Morgan Clwyd fields on Cefn Road and I noticed a newly painted 400m track. This is such a good idea and I will use it a lot in the future. I must remember to send a thank you email to the council.

I keep thinking I could've done more for the Marathon training but I need to remember that in Dec, Jan, Feb when training should be base training I did spend time exercising. This time was not clocking up running miles but in the swimming pool and cycling. It equates to the same time, roughly to Feb, Mar in 2009 which I spent running. The 2010 training has worked because my race times are quicker, e.g. Twin Piers, Farndon, XC and BL positions. I've also felt good this week even though I've increased the training. This shows that I'm stronger too.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Quote and run

"Victory belongs to the most persevering."
- Napoleon

"What happens if you step in dog poo?" This is what a kid playing football asked me this afternoon when I decided to try out barefoot running on grass. The barefoot running felt good and it's something I will be trying more often in the future.

This morning I ran 12 miles and saw a beautiful sun rise. This pm I ran 8 miles in total which included 8 1/2 mile reps at an average of 2:36 (5.12m/m pace). The first two reps were a couple of second quicker and which I completed barefooted. My shoes felt heavy when I put them back on. I had to put them on because my feet where hurting from the twigs in the grass etc. Hopefully my skin will harden. They feel fine now.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

"A lot of people run a race to see who's the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts." - Steve Prefontaine

Race: Borders League race number 6: Prestatyn.
I was pleased with today's race. I was 5th which is my best finishing position in the league. The distance was 5.15 miles
Here are the mile splits:
5:06 5:23 5:27 5:44 5:40 43s Total time: 28:06.
Full results: Link http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/

Photos: Link http://www.flickr.com/photos/71941728@N00/sets/72157623831947542/

I went fast for the first mile because the wind was on my back along the promenade.

Friday, 9 April 2010

It's elevating and humbling at the same time. Running along a beach at sunrise with no other footprints in the sand, you realize the vastness of creation, your own insignificant space in the plan, how tiny you really are, your own creatureliness and how much you owe to the supreme body, the God that brought all this beauty and harmony into being. - Sister Marion Irvine, 2:51 PR and 1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier

This last week I've dreaded some of my runs but whilst 3/4 of the way through most of them I've thought "this is not as bad as it seems" and "was that it". I am trying to remember this before each run. For example, I went for a 10 miler this morning. When I got up at silly o'clock my legs were hurting but I thought once I'm 2 miles down the road I should be hunky dory and guess what: I was.
I'm reading Born to Run at the moment and the chapter I'm on talks about a very experienced coach in America who knows everything there is to know about VO2 max, Lactic Threshold, Nutrient and is trying to work out why the American standard of Long Distance Runners has gone down since the 1970s. He is eluding to the conclusion that it is love for running. Nobody told the running guys of the 1970s that with running 100 plus miles each week should injury you so they did it! Nobody told them that running when fatigued or running over 90% for your max heart rate for X amount of time is wrong. They just ran because they loved it.

This next few weeks in my training I am going to add some marathon pace running to ingrain this my into my muscle memory for the Chester Marathon.

That's all folks.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Ill train like a madman, un loco. Well, not like a madman, perhaps, but as if it were my last race. - Rudolfo Gomez, prior to the Los Aneles Olympic Games

I really didn't feel like going out for todays LSR. I wanted to go to church this morning which meant I had to run alone :( Once I got going I was fine.

Today's mile splits for my 18 miler.
6:44 6:39 6:50 6:30 6:17 6:20 6:26 6:29 6:34 6:27 6:56 6:45 6:38 6:36 6:39 6:40 6:23 6:28

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Running quote

The marathon's about being in contention over the last 10K. That's when it's about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what's left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon. - Rob de Castella.

Quote and today's hard run.

A lot of people don't realize that about 98 percent of the running I put in is anything but glamorous: 2 percent joyful participation, 98 percent dedication! It's a tough formula. Getting out in the forest in the biting cold and the flattening heat, and putting in kilometer after kilometer. - Rob de Castella

This morning's 14mile run was a hard one for the following reasons:
- I did a speed session last night;
- I was running through a snow blizzard;
- I was tired; and
- I forgot to vaseline my nipples so they bled a lot.

Well, I love it really! It keeps me out of trouble. When I run the Chester Marathon this year I thought I would try and break the men's marathon world record. Not the current one. The one set in 1913 on 31 May which is the same date as the Chester Marathon and is my birthday. The record holder was Alexis Malkolm Ahlgren who broke the world record with a time of 2h36m.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart. - Mike Fanelli, club coach

Tonight I really didn't feel like doing a speed session. I think this was becauseI wasn't meeting anyone and because I have been training too much recently. Anyways I went out: 2.5 w/up/down. 400s X 8 average 72s which is about 4:48 pace.

I'm now about to tuck in to a nice pancake.

That's all fokes!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

"If you want to be happy, set a goal that
commands your thoughts, liberates your
energy, and inspires your hopes."
- Andrew Carnegie

I have just heard that Eddie Izzard's body was just not designed to run. Flat feet, injuries, not enough training. But he ran 43 marathons in 51 days! Inspirational. Another inspirational thing in my life at the moment is the Marathon Talk podcasts. If you haven't listened to them here's the link: Link (roll over me to see where I go) .

After this weeks training my body seems to have held out with a hard week and I am now confident that I should run the Chester Marathon on 31 May 2010. Typical training:

Monday Bike 20 miles, swim 1mile (Cross training). Tues: am: 35mins easy. pm speed work (e.g 8X800s 2m40s). Wed: 10 - 16 miles or bike & swim. Thur: Same as Tues. Fri: Bike 20, Swim 1m, run 4m. Sat: Tempo run (5or4m at 5:45 pace). Sun LSR.

Monday, 25 January 2010

If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. -Steve Prefontaine

For the last 4 months or so I've reduced my mileage and started swimming and cycling. This cross training has been a benefit to me because it's made things more exciting and I believe prevented injury. If you used to me like me (too many miles) then try cross training. You give your body a rest whilst still exercising.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started. -Steve Prefontaine

Today I raced in the Twin Piers 10K. I got to the start line a bit late. I had to cut my warm up to 1/2 mile and then when I got to the start line with 2 mins annonced I realised that I didn't have my number on. Nightmare! I dashed back to my bag and pinned on my number so badly that I pinned it half on my top and half on my shorts. Luckly the race organisor waited for me. Sorry everyone.

Well once the race got going I did the first mile in a respectible 5:22 and then managed a good steady pace:
5:22 5:50 5:12 5:19 5:28 5:24 1:05. The second mile had a steep hill for about 1/2 mile.

A PB with 33:40 and 4th position. The weather was perfect, no wind and a good cool temperature. If only the hill could have been ironed out.

My wife and daughter came along so this made the day much more enjoyable.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

"I long to accomplish a great and noble
task, but it is my chief duty to
accomplish small tasks as if
they were great and noble."
- Helen Keller

Today's run was difficult with the snow but to make it even more tricky I had two run ins with dogs. I like dogs but why do they have to get under your feet and trip you up? They seem to aim for legs and stop right in front of you at the last minute. Also I had to stop running on some playing fields because of all the dog poop. The poop is probably there in the same quantity but now it's highlighted in the snow.