Monday, 26 December 2016

Dr Phil Maffetone - MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function

I'm trying MAF for 3-4 weeks again, see how it goes. 

If you've not heard of this type of training before Google it,  it's worth considering. It's basically running to heart rate (180 minus your age) all the time apart from racing. It's enough to improve yourself but not enough to damage you.

I ran 12 miles yesterday and only just kept to maf. 141bpm and 6:17 pace, road and slightly windy. I think my maf should be 148 (I'm 37) so 5+ for fitness. Yesterday my legs were tired after a 5k race on Saturday so I was struggling to keep my heart rate up. My heart was chilled out! But my legs hurting.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Telford 10k 15 seconds too slow

I was asked to represent North Wales in this 10k which was an elite race. I am not sure what the qualification was but I think I heard someone say sub 35 min. The runners in the race were crazy fast. I’ve never experienced a race like this in my 10 years of running. Usually I’m racing in the top five but I finished 89th! My time was 33mins3second which is just a second or so over my PB. I was a bit frustrated, not with how many people were quicker than me but by my time. I was expecting 32mins45 seconds and was on for that time until about 4 miles in. I lost concentration. I had a slight stitch and started to feel sorry for myself. I even thought about dropping out. But then at 4.8miles I refocused and told myself to pick up the pace and stop being slow. I’d trained hard for this so make the most of it. Over the last mile I went for it, running with a stitch but putting up with it. But the problem was that when the stitch started I slowed a little and lost 15 seconds. It’s strange how just a small relapse in concentration can take 15 seconds. Usually 12 seconds wouldn’t make a difference but in the race it would have. I really wanted a 32:45, it sounds a lot quicker than 33:03; minutes quicker. O well, I can’t really grumble because it was a life experience and I did one of my quickest 10ks ever.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Running podcasts

Last year I did a list of top running podcasts to listen to. Here's an updated list...
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:
Rob Watson Show (dormant)
Runners Academy (not been any recent ones) 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Gobi Desert International - race report - 9bar fueled in training

I was invited, with other athletes from Great Britain, to go to the Gobi Desert 100km race. After speaking to the boss, my wife, I accepted the invite. I obtained the qualifying elite race standard so they paid for the flights, accommodation and food. 
When I arrived in Jiuquan, North West China, after four flights, it was apparent that the race organisers had spent a lot of money on the event because the Hotel was expensive, there was a posh News Conference and a filming crew. 
The days before the race I was nervous because I kept meeting the other invited international super ultra runners and felt I wouldn’t be able to compete against them but I surprised myself…
On the Race day I was up at 4:30am. It took me 20 mins to put my foot wear on! Compression socks, trainers and gaiters. There was a 45minute coach journey to start. At the start the filming crew there with big vehicles, cameras, two helicopters; I was getting nervous again. 
Then the race started with big flares. 
I was surprised at how dry everything was. I didn't feel damp with sweat because it would evaporate from my skin straight away. I followed the markers which were every 100m. The sand was easier in places to run on so I concentrated on finding the easiest sand to hit. I was in about 15th position for first 15k. I was drinking 1 litre of water every hour with an electrolyte (salts). Eating bananas, crackers, gels etc from the aid stations. The crackers were hard to swallow! At 20K there were large sand dunes to navigate. Some of then were easier to run around rather than overs. 
Miles of sand! At some points I could see the course stretch out for a long way ahead. Also, in places the sand was like ash, very powdery which puffed up when running on. I'm glad I had trainer gaiters on to keep the dust and sand out of my shoes. At about 85 k I started to cramp up and had to walk for a little bit. From 90k to the end it took every once of mental energy I had to finish. I knew I was in 7th position so that kept me going as I didn’t want to loose a place. 
At the end of the race I found out that a lot of people didn't finish because of the heat, it was hotter than forecasted. 
I finished 7th overall in a time of 9h30m. 
A documentary of the race from Chinese Company TV is linked here: 
Link (roll over me to see where I go)

A massive thank you to:
My wife for looking after the children;
Walter Hill for believing in me;
9bar for giving me loads of their bars to aid my training ;
Paul Fernandez and
Melissa Venables, for looking after me and being brilliant friends.

Results of top finishers:
1. Manuel Anguita Bayo. Spain 
2. Seiji Kobayashi. Japan 
3. Yoshihiko Ishikawa. Japan 
4. Georgio Calcaterra. Italy 
5. Ulf Patrick Verme. 
6. Zach Bitter. USA 
7. Daniel Weston. Great Britain 
8. ? 
9. Paul Fernandez. Great Britain 
10. Chinese? 
11. Valeria Sasto (women) 
12. Christopher Lux 10h14m
11. Ravis 10h 17min. 
12. Juan Garcia Spanish

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Sandstone Trail #fkt write up

In short, I didn't get the record. I couldn't count it as I went the wrong way.

Here's a link to more info

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Sandstone Trail - Record attempt bank holiday Monday 30th May

There's an old path not too far from where I live called the Sandstone Trail. It's 34 miles long and the record for running it is 4h10m.

On 30th May 2016, all things well, I'll be trying to beat it.

Over the years I've run all of the path but I'm still worried about getting lost.

I'll be setting off from Whitchurch at 7am and hopefully finishing at around 11am. Luckily a friend is meeting me at the half way point to do the second half. My wife will drop me off and my Dad will pick me up at the end. I couldn't do it without their help. If anyone else is able to help I'd be really grateful. The most helpful thing would be to hand me water at any point you're able to.


Daniel Weston

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

National Silver - British 100km Road Championships 2016

"W" for Wales, Weston and Wrexham AC.

On Easter Sunday 2016 I got silver in the British 100km Road Championships 2016 at Perth, Scotland. It was 42 laps (each 2.4km long); measured by IAAF. The race also incorporated the Anglo Celtic Plate which I was part of the Welsh team.

Here is a bit of history on the ACP if you're interested. 
Link (roll over me to see where I go) 

I was very pleased with how consistently paced I was.

One of the main things people are interested in is the nutrition. If you're one of them then here's roughly what I ate. It's not perfect or necessary right:

Evening dinner the night before: Ate early, tinned mackeral, chicken wings, chips. 

On the day
Coconut flour mixed with rice crispies and water, Cashew Nut Butter. Water. 

Whilst running
Miles 1-10
Water, 1/2 banana, savoury baby food in a pouch, 
Miles 10-30, Water with salt tablet in, dark chocolate, nuts.
Miles 30-40 Pain killers (Ibuprofen) savoury baby food pouch
Miles 40-60 Coke, jelly babies, 1/2 banana. Paracetamol 

In hind sight I should have drank more. In total it was only 1.5 litres. The problem was that it was cold and it was hurting my tummy to drink. 

The next question I'm often asked about these long races is to do with the mental aspect. 
What do you think about?
How do you switch off the desire to stop?
How do you cope with the pain? 

I've read up about this and have quite a few tricks that work for me, simple things like: 
Remember you can only change what you can control (what food, what water I've had, what pace I'm doing, etc). Since you can't change other things don think about them. 
Thinking about time and distance could only be thought about when I was in a good mood as it drained me too much. I tended to be in a better state about 10 mins after drinking or eating. Thinking about my pace was necessary to stay in the "game" but I preferred to think about things OUTSIDE of the self. Thinking inside, for me, focusses on me and my pain and what I need to do to endure; it's hard. 
The other times, when I didn't need to think about the race/times/distance was fun; in a strange way. I focussed outside of the self. For example, 
- counting the park benches on the looped course in the park for great (32 of them) and I even named some of them. 
- counting the bins (8 or 9)
- encouraging people I lapped (keep smiling, you're looking strong etc)
- how are other people doing
- any funny babies or dogs 

A good book, for those interested in Sports Mentality, is 
"Elite Minds" by Dr. Stan Beecham.

The best parts of the day were seeing my support team Mike Robbins and Arwel Lewis on each lap. These two guys were there all day recording the times and handing me my food and drink. They were really supportive and I could see the excitement on their faces when I was working up the field in the final 10 laps.

I couldn't fault the organisation of the event one bit. Many thanks to all the volunteers on the day. 

Here are my splits for the day: 

Split Name
Time From Prev Leg
L 1 00:10:18 00:10:18
L 2 00:20:31 00:10:12
L 3 00:30:42 00:10:11
L 4 00:40:51 00:10:09
L 5 00:50:51 00:09:59
L 6 01:01:08 00:10:17
L 7 01:11:01 00:09:52
L 8 01:20:58 00:09:57
L 9 01:30:59 00:10:00
L 10 01:41:02 00:10:03
L 11 01:51:25 00:10:22
L 12 02:01:42 00:10:17
L 13 02:11:46 00:10:03
L 14 02:21:55 00:10:09
L 15 02:31:55 00:09:59
L 16 02:42:12 00:10:17
L 17 02:52:34 00:10:21
L 18 03:02:54 00:10:20
L 19 03:13:09 00:10:14
L 20 03:23:30 00:10:21
L 21 03:34:04 00:10:33
L 22 03:44:14 00:10:10
L 23 03:54:15 00:10:00
L 24 04:04:14 00:09:58
L 25 04:14:13 00:09:59
L 26 04:24:31 00:10:17
L 27 04:35:04 00:10:33
L 28 04:45:43 00:10:38
L 29 04:56:25 00:10:42
L 30 05:07:01 00:10:36
L 31 05:17:15 00:10:13
L 32 05:27:38 00:10:23
L 33 05:37:59 00:10:20
L 34 05:48:38 00:10:38
L 35 05:58:57 00:10:19
L 36 06:09:24 00:10:27
L 37 06:20:02 00:10:38
L 38 06:30:36 00:10:33
L 39 06:41:09 00:10:32
L 40 06:51:28 00:10:19
L 41 07:01:38 00:10:09
L 42 07:11:47 00:10:09

Friday, 26 February 2016

Six degrees of separation in racing

Had you heard of the theory "six degrees of separation"?  Basically it states that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized by a 1990 play written by John Guare.

Well, I wondered if runners are six or less steps away from any other runner in the world where a connection is when two people have been in the same race. 

It would be interesting to get hold of all UK race data (maybe the power of 10) to see, on average, how many steps away UK runners are from each other. For two runners who have been running for 5+ years and racing about 10 races a year the average might be suprisingly low.

What do you think?