Sunday, 18 October 2015

Farndon 10k race report

83.21 WAVA today, I've got to go a bit quicker to get an 85 like Mr Rowlands my running buddy. I was 3rd in 33:10. Russ Bentley was first and Rob Samuels second, there was only 5 seconds between them. 31:30 ish they did. Kept with them for 2k. I was impressed with the event organisers. There was a lot of runners but it went smoothly. Last time I did the evnt it was low key, only about 50 runners. I think there was 300+ today. Pleased because it was my highest WAVA on an undulating course. Can't wait to do it next year.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

OMM Kamleika Race Smock II Jacket Review

I've spent ages looking for a decent waterproof and breathable jacket to run in and eventually bought the OMM Kamleika Race Smock II.  I received it yesterday and so far it's everything it promised to be.

The best thing is that it's stretchy and waterproof and breathable. For me the other two best bits are thumb holes and a breast pocket for my phone.

I noticed, when researching that there weren't many close up pictures so here's some for you.

The hood fits nicely. You can still look sideways because it's cut back. It's adjustable around the back too. The little peak is cool too, it'll keep some rain out of the eyes.

 Good quality zips and the all important phone holder is watertight.

The draw cords can be pulled tight with one hand, with a bit of practice. It takes me two hands to loosen the cords. 

The peak of the hat. 

This last picture is the toggle on the back of the hood. It's handy to stop the hood from coming too far down on your face.

This is what the official OMM people say about the jacket:

Top Features of the OMM Kamleika Race Smock II

4 Way stretch
Waterproof & breathable
Soft and quiet face fabric
Extra Long double ended water resistant YKK® zip for ventilation
Tab away adjustable peaked hood
Reflective detail (sleeve, back)
Elasticated cuffs & thumb loops
Draw cord hem
Laminated chest pocket
Zip garage on all zips
Fabric Kamleika®
4 Way stretch fabric
Weight: 240g

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Moel Y Gamelin Fell Race

Your running encompasses a wide range of activities. 
Verticle K; 
Fell Running; 
Cross Country; 
Sky Running;
Mountain Racing.

What type of runner are you? Surely not all of these? At yesterday’s Fell Race I felt like I couldn’t call myself a Fell Runner. I just didn’t have the skill or quad muscles to run downhill. 

The race itself was enjoyable because of the views and weather. 

My family came and watched, little Theo fell (no pun intended) himself about 10 mins before the race. He had blood coming out of his mouth. I felt sorry for him and also a bit sorry for my family who’d have to wait around whilst I indulged myself. 

The first 1/3 of the race is up and down. I got overtaken on the first steep down and decided at that point that I wasn’t a Fell Runner and to try and stay at the front would be dangerous. 
Then the 2nd third of the race was flatter. I could have taken a few people here but I decided just to keep the pace at a sub maximal effort so that I’d enjoy it. There was no point in racing because there were steep declines in the last third that I had to contend with. At the aid station was the legend Pete Norman who is world class in the Masters category; he’s so inspirational that I couldn’t resist stopping and having a quick chat. 

When I finished the race my Dad was there enjoying chating with the old guys because he used to be a runner himself. I went off to find my wife and children hoping they hadn’t died of boredom. When I found them they were surprisingly happy. I think this was because Theo had slept and maybe the view and fresh air had increased their spirits.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Weekends running, fast

So I tried my first fast from Thursday 7:30 pm to Friday 6:30 pm. I didn't feel hungry or any different. It made me realise that most of the time I eat because I'm fed up at work. I also drank a lot of coffee and herbal tea so I didn't loose any weight.  I might do it again next Friday.

The purpose of this, for me, was to help my body to recover from the week’s mini-injuries and joint pain caused by inflammation. Also it gives the digestive systems a rest.
Anyone else tried fasting recently?

I had a good weekend running. A classic five mile Tempo on Saturday on a grass field and then 15miles on Sunday.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Recovery week, NSNG, podcast fame!

This week I've been recovering from the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km. I've done about 40 miles. And 40 on the bike.

My legs are OK to run gently but no speed work, tempo runs or racing; a race would kill me at the moment. Luckily I've got no longer term injuries that can easily be picked up after an Ultra.

This week I got an email from British Athletics with the selection process for the World 100km Championships.  Since they sent it to me and I was 2 mins under the qualifying time I thought it would be rude not to apply. So I've sent them my CV. At least I might get onto the reserve list.

As some of you, as if anyone reads this, might know that in February I decided to cut grains out of my diet. I'd already cut out sugar, apart from whole fruits. It's called the No Sugar No Grain way of eating. I thought I'd give it a go for 10 days but I'm still doing it as I feel better. There are quite a few people in the world eating this way. I think it's just eating more vegetables and healthy foods that works. For me the NSNG gives me focus to eat more vegetables and fruit. For me, at the moment, it works so please don't judge me or call me a hypocrit if I decide to go back to eating grains. I doubt though that I'll ever eat foods with more than 10 percent sugar.

I listen to a few podcasts when running, one of them called Ru El s Running. He's also a NSNG runner and after doing the 100km Anglo Celtic Plate he congratulated me on Facebook so I said I'd go on his show to talk about it. So I did! He chatted / interviewed me Friday night (morning in his time zone). It'll be released soon.

That's all fokes.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Race report, Anglo Celtic Plate 100km

Well I've been building up to this race for a whilst and now here's the obligatory blog. It was an Ultra Race but I'll try to keep the blog Ultra Short as we are now living in a Twitter world (140 characters). 

First thanks to the Welsh Team Manager, Mike Robbins, he doesn't get paid and put's in a lot of work looking after everyone, on the day this mean handing out food and drink each lap for all the Welsh Team (32 laps). 

The race was 62.1 miles (Garmin recorded it longer but that's always the way). It was hard to think of the whole distance so I used as much distraction techniques as possible, the main one being counting the telegraph poles on the course (I think 57). The technique on focussing on something external is great for getting through hard times so keep it in mind the next time it's only 11:30 in work and you're working until 6!

50k to 80k was difficult because I didn't want to focus on pace, distance or anything as it was just too overwhelming. As a result I slowed my pace, if I had someone to run with they could have done the pacing but I didn't' have that luxury. Then at about 85k I started to think about the pace and stopped being reserved. I went for it and picked up the pace. I realised a sub 7:20 was on the cards and so went for it. I got 7h16m and came 5th overall. That's 7mins dead average per mile.

That's all folks, 

Told you it wouldn't be an Ultra blog. I'm happy.

Keep running.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Week commencing 20th April, <2 weeks to ACP100KM

Week commencing 20th April: 12 days to 100km Ultra: Anglo Celtic Plate including British Championships


Commute back and to keeping pace to target pace at Ultra (6m45s) to drum it into my legs.


AM Cycle 10m

PM Easy 10 mile run


RACE DAY I did the final race of the Borders League Road Race series.  I came first in the race and secured my first position overall.
4.05 miles in 21:05, it felt like I was sprinting all the way. I had to because 2nd placer, Lee Jones, wasn't giving in. Not even in the last half mile. I had to dig deep but I like that.

An easy job into work, 10.5 miles.
Cycled home.

A rare day off from running, Cycled to and from work.

I had fun watching a local race whilst pushing baby Theo in his baby jogger. 10 miles.

5 mile Tempo. 5:45 pace, undulating. With warm up and cool down.


Monday, 20 April 2015

Week commencing 13th April

Two X 10.5 miles commute to work, kept at my 100km target pace. 6:40. 
Cycle in to work, 
Run home with 10 X 50sec sprints
Run into work, 6:35m pace 
Cycle home.
Cycle in.
8 X 800 intervals. Managed to get the audio feedback to work on Strava and ran my segments I’d set up for this session. Cool tech.
Run in, cycle home
Had fun with the family. Whilst wife and daughter in the café I did Delamere Parkrun with Theo in the running buggy, 18m46 secs, 3rd place!
Out with the running buggy again. 1h30 mins. He slept most of the way.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Week commencing 6th April

10.5 miles 6:48 pace

Two buggy runs today with Theo. Had the day off work. I covered about 14 miles and did 9 x 45 sec hill repeats.

9 miles on grass to save the knees, 6:40 pace. Busy day travelling with work but still managed.

Am,  cycling in to work. Back to normal routine.
4 miles worth of intervals,  800 x 8,  5:18 pace,  tries to get Strava to give me live audio feedback on the segments but couldn't get it to work.
6.5 miles warm up / down.  Had a hard session today. Hopefully I'll recover ok for Sunday's race.

Recovery run into work: 6:45 pace 10.5 miles
Cycle Home. 

Another run pushing Theo in the Buggy, about 4.5 miles. 

Sunday's Borders League Race. 
I think I've secured 1st place. 
We'll see.  10k in 33m29s, I think. I didn't have my watch on.  It was really windy so there was no point in having a watch on anyway. 
Four miles warm up / down. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Last week's training

Family away so did two runs. 25 miles, 6:45 pace

Two runs again, 10.5 miles each at 6:45 pace. Communting to work.

Tempo run, 14 miles. It was hard to judge the pace on this run due to the wind. I think it was about 6:40 to begin with going down to 6:20. There was a head wind most of the time because I was running in one direction, from work to home.
I like running as a way to travel. It's more certain than motor vehicles as there are no traffic jams.
I put a 90 mile run on Strava and fooled a couple of people since it was April Fool's day. It's now been removed do it doesn't scew my training log.

Run in to work and cycled home.

Good Friday so had the day off.
8 miles with two friends then 2.5 with Theo in the baby jogger.

5 miles tempo at 5m50 pace. Felt fine. Went a bit slower than a normal tempo as wanted to do a long run Sunday

26.2 2h49m Wasn't sure how far I'd go when I started but ended up feeling OK and did a full marathon.
Started with Darren doing 6:25s for 15 miles. Then I was on my own for the rest. I also practiced eating about 200 calories an hour as I think that's what I'll do in the 100k.
I noticed a Garmin 310xt sold on eBay for £49. I was the highest bidder until last minute. Bargain. I didn't need a new one but for that price, with a HRM, which I do need, I had to have a go. Got to love eBay hey.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Week commencing 23rd March 2015.

Goal: 100K sub 7h15m in early May, 5 weeks 5 days to go.
Dream: 100k World Champs GB Team Date: September 12th 2015 Location: Winschoten, Netherlands (I’m allowed to dream)
Each day I also do 5 mins of strength work.  Short but sweet.

Run to work, recovery. With Strava switched on which is still new and fresh to me! 10.5 miles (6:45 pace).
Run home, recovery, 10.5 miles (6:45 pace).
I spent 40mins in the evening setting up 8 Strava segments all of which are half mile long so that I can try and do an interval session by chasing these segments next time.  The thing is, I’ll need Strava Premium to get the segment audio feedback.  I’m hoping to get a free trial version.  I have to log runs for five more days within the next 30 days to get this.

Cycled into work, foam rolling.
Run home. I ran 10.5 miles with 10 x 1 min sprints. The first one was 5:01 pace. I wanted them to be under 5mm so after the first one I put on some fast tempo music on my headphones instead of the podcast I was listening to. This did the trick. I concentrated on form: Straight back, hips forward, swing arms fast. My pace went to 4:45. Loved it.

Morning.  16 miles, 1h41m50s (6:21 pace) I ran a mid-week run this morning in the glorious sunshine.  There was no wind and so I was able to keep the pace steady at 6:21 average.  It felt easy otherwise I would have slowed it down. 
PM cycled home.

Cycled into work. Remembered to update (sorry if you don’t listen to Marathon Talk as you won’t know what is)
I got he official letter (email attachment) from Welsh Athletics at lunch time telling me I’ve been selected for the Anglo Celtic Plate 100K.  H A P P Y.  I posted it on Facebook and got 111 likes and 40 comments.  A bit sad, but I kept checking to see the count go up.  My claim to fame is Facebook likes, O dear. 
Here's a write up Gareth Hughes did for me on his Athletics North Wales blog: 

PM Intervals. 8 X 800m (1m15s rest)
Pre-blog of session, I can’t wait, even though I might be a little tied, to do this session because I’ve set up 8 half mile segments on my run home.  I know where each one starts so I’ll run fast at those points.  I’ll be lying down some times to beat.  I just hope there ain’t no dog walkers, traffic, bikers etc in my way cus I won’t be a stoppin.  Na, truth is I’ll just stop the Garmin.
Post session: I did the segments and each one was recorded correctly on Strava. The aim is to stop using my Garmin and just rely on the Strava Segments to do my intervals.
Average pace for the 800 = 5m13s pace.

AM 10.5 miles, 6m45s pace.  I had company for a change. My mate, John Davies sent me a text in the morning asking to join me.
 PM: Cycled home 

This was a strange day.  I just didn't know what to do. Either put some miles in for the Ultra Training or taper for tomorrow's 10K.  Anyway I opted for the later and headed out with Theo in the running buggy to do an easy 4 miles.  It turned out to be a really hard run because the wind picked up and it took all my strength to push it!  

Helena Tipping (it down) 10k 
Well I won in 35:07 which might be a record: Slowest win ever for the race! The wind was just too strong. I also managed to do 8 afterwards and cycle 8. I was going to do more but ran out of time. 

On to the next week... 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Last week

Firstly an apology that this isn't perfect, just more of a summary to refer back to for myself or if others might be interested. If I had time I'd smarten it up but I'd rather get it out there imperfect. Monday, Cycled in and listened to a great podcasts about a report on Ultra Runners. As a group we are 2.3% likely to have time of work due to sick. The normal rate is 3.7%! Could I use that as a tool for a pay rise! Legs still not 100% after the marathon as I haven't recovered as I would usually from yesterday's 20 miler. Ran home 10.5 miles about 6:45 pace. Nice and relaxed for recovery. Tuesday, I couldn't decide whether or not to do sprints today or tomorrow. I decided to see how I felt, still felt a bit sore so jogged into work, 10.5 miles 6:45 pace. I'll do sprints tomorrow. I felt a bit strange on the run, light headed, I think that was down to not eating enough yesterday so when I got into work I ate plenty: fruit and nuts with a bit of dark chocolate. I'm still on the No Sugar No Grain diet thing; I started on 11th March. It's working for me but I wouldn't say its for everyone. Also managed to do a short core strength workout. Cycling home: chain broke but I managed to get to the bike shop who did a quick repair job. In the evening I have a good foam roller session so massage the legs. Wednesday, Cycled in to work, usual core workout. I found out, that the IAU 100 km World Championships are going to be on 12th Sept 2015 in Winschoten, the Netherlands, I'd really like to go with a GB vest and as such I'm training hard for the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k which, I think, might be part of a qualifier for the World or if I get a good time would help my case. First though I need to be selected to run for Wales at the ACP and I'm expecting the email any day. Thursday, Thu Mar 19 5pm Bike into work 10.50miles 50:00 mins Thu Mar 19 5pm Run 10.43miles 1:12:00time 6:54 pace Friday Fri Mar 20 11am Intervals 2.85miles 15:00mins 5:16pace on grass Fri Mar 20 11am Run 2.50miles 17:00time 6:48pace Fri Mar 20 7am Buggy Run 5.30miles 43:00time 8:07 pace I've been trying out different running APPS. Here's a summary of what I've found out I hope it helps you to save time messing around with them. Runtastic App The basic version seems to let you pre-set intervals and coach you through the session through voice instructions whilst you run. This is okay when going in straight lines but when doing laps, say around a track of field, the pace seems to be out. Strava App Better social App. Can't do intervals but it looks like if you set up your own private segments then you can race these and get live voice feedback whilst running. The only thing is that you have to upgrade for the segment thing. Before I do that I'll test the accuracy of the pace against my Garmin 310 xt. Strava has a better auto pause than Runtastic because it also uses the accelerometer in the phone. Saturday Took it easy today with Theo in the running buggy. 1 hour at 7:30 mind per mile pace. Saving the legs for tomorrow's race. I took the opportunity to test the accuracy of Strava compared to my Garmin 310 xt. I even through in some pauses to make sure Strava could cope. I was pleasantly surprised; the two where in step with each other. I found out on another blog today that the Strava premium segment audio feedback tells you when your: - Approaching a segment - Pace half way through a segment and - Time at the end. This sounds perfect for intervals as I can set up segments of half mile reps to do. Sunday Came second in the Mold Borders League Road Race and felt strong. It was a gorgeous sunny day. I'm now first in the League and will have to keep fit to stay there. I've just worked out how to wirelessly link my Garmin to my mobile phone. Really pleased! End of blog

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Weeks Training and life

Week commencing 09/03/2015:

Monday, legs sore after winning the Wrexham Marathon yesterday but still managed to cycle into work. Thinking about future plans: - Next A Race: 100k champs 2nd May 15 so until then: - Late March / Early April: Longer run on Wednesday mornings and longer on Weekends when not racing - Mid April / End of April shorter runs. - Throughout: Tuesday: Speed work, Thursdays, Intervals if able. Racing.

Tuesday I bought a new phone Friday and it’s my first Smart phone so I’ve been messing around with running Apps. I think I’ve settled on Runtastic as I can do intervals with the Pro version which was only 10p. I’m hoping the phone will replace the Garmin 310XT and MP3 player. It seems like it has because the voice over works for intervals, go faster, you’re on pace, in 10 seconds next interval etc. The intervals can also be programmed. I cycled into work and ran home 10 miles. When running home that’s when I did a test interval session on the phone. I didn’t actually run really fast because my legs where hurting from the Sunday Wrexham Marathon.

Wednesday Ran into work, 10 miles, legs hurting! It was a shuffle. Cycled home. On the bike ride I overtook another cyclist who then decided to keep up with me. I felt under pressure then to remain at pace and I felt uncomfortable with him following me. I didn’t want to stop and just let him past because I wanted to get home. This really annoyed me!

Thursday. Cycled in to work. Loving my new phone and am able to listen to podcasts with a great podcast app: Pod Addict. Ran home, just a recovery pace, legs still hurt.

Friday Ran in to work, legs really hurting. My running partner in crime sent me a text with the weekend plan: 10 at marathon pace on Saturday, 21 on Sunday. I might just do half of both sessions. Legs beat up.

Busy day today so started early. Met up with to running buddies. Managed 4.25 miles at 5:55 pace then did the sensible thing and jogged home.
Afternoon went out for lunch. Multi celebration 🎉
Mum and Dads 40 wedding anniversary, Theo's birthday, Karla's birthday and Mothering Sunday.

Did 19 in the morning. Didn't mean to do so many but I was with a friend who wanted the company. I must keep the foam roller out cus my legs will be tight.

Onwards to the next week ...

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Wrexham Marathon Win

Today was the first Wrexham Marathon which I won. I had to win really because I've lived in Wrexham for 35 years, have been a member of Wrexham AC for 10 years and my Dad was also a Wrexham AC member for 20+ years. I didn't think I would be so quick (2h35mins) because of the hills, wind and turns but I think because I knew the route so well that helped. It also helped that I have been quite relaxed about it and not training hard for a marathon. Also my fitness from the Autumn marathon has carried through. With regards to the event itself I really liked seeing my wife and baby Theo on route which was 200m from my house. At that point, 20 miles, I was really cold so it was good to see them. On route I also saw my headmaster from Junior School. He cheered me on and I jokingly said "thanks Sir". I can't help wondering what I might have done on a flat course in calmer conditions. Typical runner! That's all folks. Daniel.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

No Sugar No Grain

Cutting out or dramatically reducing sugar and grain seemed like a good idea to me so I've given it a try. I've been doing it for one week. I'd like to say that I felt different the first few days and then feel wonderful now but I feel mostly the same. I've read up a bit on the benefits of not having sugar years ago and so my diet has always been low sugar so maybe that's why I don't feel much different. The biggest change in the last week is not having breakfast cereals, which I usually eat a lot of. I've been on holiday in the last week and so have eaten a large quantity of food without putting on weight so there is a small change. I think that if I'd been eating cereal I'd have put weight on. I must hold my hands up and say I have still been eating fruits. I've done a bit of research on this and people are divided on whether fructose should be cut out. I think it shouldn't so long as you're not eating high sugar fruits such as bananas and you try to eat only 4 or 5 portions a day. I eat a lot of blueberries and apples. Fruit also has fibre and vitamins in. I also eat dark 85% chocolate, about 50g a day. Here's an example of a breakfast I've just had: -coconut flour, two eggs, honey and milk in a bowl in in the microwave for three mins. My own invention. No sugar, no grain, but the honey might be sugar, my guess is that a little bit of honey is ok. Then to finish off the breakfast, Some seeds with 2 tablespoons of Greek FULL FAT yogurt. Low fat yogurt doesn't make sense to me. As you can see from my breakfast, it's good that it's NSNG but I think, if you count the calories there's a lot.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Would you have eaten it?

Yesterday, on my normal commute run to work, there was a zip locked lunch bag with a sandwich in it. You're probably thinking no way not in a million years would i eat it but... Let me say first, the bag was clean, very clean, the sandwich was intact, almost as though it was placed there. The Rural village was a posh village that i found it in. It also looked as though it had been home made by a women because it was neat, the turkey was cut straight, the tomatoes cut in small bits, a bloke wouldn't do that. So did I eat it? No, and I wish I did now. I just placed it back down on the pavement for perhaps the owner to reclaim it like a lost glove

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Podcasts for runners to listen to.

As a long distance runner I listen to podcasts when running.  Over years of running I've listened to hours worth!

It’s taken me some time to find these podcasts and I thought it would be good to provide a summary of them for other fellow runners to use.  Here's a list, each one is clickable:

Runners Academy (not been any recent ones) 

Most of these podcasts can be downloaded as an MP3 first which is a good idea because if you stream it whilst on the run you’re using your phone data allowance.  You can download it at home using the Wi-Fi connection.
If you're using an i-pod or i-phone then i-tunes is best.  
If you're using Android then stitcher or Podcast Addict are good.