Thursday, 31 January 2008

Received an email this morning from Mick Jeffrey who's editing the next Otley AC newsletter. Apparently he's having trouble persuading members to contribute race reviews, articles, etc. After a suitable period of deliberation I sent him a piece written by Andy Milroy about the famous 100 mile race of 1975.

It may be a bit long but it can be edited and I'm sure Andy Milroy won't mind as long as he receives due credit. I hope it makes the newsletter as I find it very motivational and inspirational ... I hope other runners will too.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008


Just added my ultra PBs. Not very tidy over there on the left but you get the idea. Hope to revise some of those later this year.

Bought another 300g of colostrum from Neovite ... it seems to be working as I've had no achilles pain for at least a week now (or maybe it's the strengthening exercises ... or the cycling ... or the stretching ... or the massage ... or the 'no running policy' ...)

Whatever, I'm getting better at last.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Looking to the future

Began tentatively looking at the dates of future races - updated my list of upcoming events and emailed Abichal Watkins with a couple of corrections for his list on

Still keeping up with the cycling, stretching, etc but the new bike has developed a fault and it just has minimal resistance at all times now. Never buying one by this manufacturer again (ProFit/VFit).

Saturday, 26 January 2008


Achilles feels good today ... perhaps the massage is helping.

Spent a couple of hours this afternoon looking for a suitable hotel in Hull to use in July when I take part in the 24 hour track race there. Most of them seem to be charging over £75 per family room per night but one or two are cheaper and we'll probably pick one of those - after the race we'll be so tired we could sleep anywhere!

Also looking into the possibility of returning home on Monday morning very early so that Keir (Fay and Keir are my crew and also my wife and son respectively) can go straight to school.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Additions to the rehab regime

Just read in Athletics Weekly about massaging the ankle to remove any scar tissue. Apparently it only takes 5 mins a day. I did my first 5 mins this morning with Deep Heat ... I plan to massage my ankle twice a day along with icing the ankle after every cycle ride (and run ... in a few weeks).

At the moment my first run is tentatively planned for Monday 11 February. Five mins run, five mins walk, repeated for 40 mins or until the first signs of injury appear. At the moment I'm quite apprehensive/nervous about this.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Back to work

This morning I nervously went to Argos to swap my faulty exercise bike. I had already decided that I need to pay a bit extra and get a better model - one where the resistance is not provided by a belt.

After an hour assembling the thing I needed a rest ... and a large coffee (Starbuck's Sulawesi - wonderful).

Early this afternoon I had a 30 min spin. The difference between magnetic and belt is amazing - this feels much better.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

New bike no good

Today's escapade on the new exercise bike did not go well. The 'chain' keeps coming off ... it seems to last about 3 mins max.

Tomorrow I'll probably return it (again) and ask for a more expensive replacement, I'll probably have to pay a bit extra but it'll be worth it in the long run.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Good news

Managed to secure a replacement exercise bike from Argos.

My ankle feels much better today too.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

I feel bad today

Yesterday I used the exercise bike for 55 mins. What an idiot. My ankle let me know afterwards that that was a bad idea.

Today, to make matters even worse, today I find that the bike is broken!!! After dismantling the wheel and having a look, the only solution is to take it back to Argos and try for a refund/replacement. It's only been used for about 10 hours over 16 days - surely it should be able to cope with that.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Official 24 hour ranking list

Recovery not going too well over the past couple of days. Yesterday and today my ankle has been feeling tender (although not at the moment). It could be either: the 'Deep Heat' which I've started using again, or slightly too much cycling, or too fast a progression on the ankle strengthening exercises (now with weights in a ruck sack).

At the moment I feel it's a combination of the first and last so for now I'll stop using the 'Deep Heat' and neither increase number of exercises nor the weight in the ruck sack.

Just had a look on the IAU website and the 'official' 24 hour rankings for 2007. I'm at number 123 (UK number 7) with my London distance.

Apparently they disregard all races without an IAU Label ... which includes Hull (and lots of others apparently).

Monday, 14 January 2008

Thought of the day

A few things occurred to me over the weekend:

  • The IAU have announced the major competitions for 2008 but no European 24 hr Championships - obviously a blip and I can only hope it returns next year (if someone can be found to organise it). Not that UKA would send a team ...
  • According to the Planet Ultramarathon world rankings for 2007 my distance in winning the Hull race - 205.028km - comes in at number 167 (UK number 7). Taking everyone's second best performance, my distance in London - 202.685km - comes in at number 33 (UK number 2). Well pleased with this.
  • Mick Jeffrey, Otley AC, has asked for suitable articles to be sent to him for February's newsletter (it's his turn to be editor). Would something by Phil Essam or Andy Milroy be suitable?
  • Caught 'Songs Of Praise' on BBCTV last night. The program was from the Orkneys but why no mention or sight of William Sichel?

Friday, 11 January 2008


Received an email this morning about the Hardmoors 110 - a new ultra event along the entire length of the Cleveland Way. This would be superb for me but for two things: (1) in the middle of September it's a bit close to the Self Transcendence 24 hr race in London - mid October, and (2) I'll need a bit of practice navigating and running along footpaths during the night.

Also checked the Runner's World website for upcoming ultra races ... nothing I didn't already know about.

No reaction to my last bout of cycling so I'm having another go in a few minutes. Completed a fair amount of strength exercises this morning. I've never done these before but I'm pleased to report that I've managed to stick at it for six weeks or so now - hope it's doing me some good.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Back on the bike

Quite a busy 'training' day today - stretching, conditioning/core stability exercises, ankle strengthening exercises and ... and 20 mins on the exercise bike (oh joy!).

Still taking colostrum, etc but would a wobble board help?

Monday, 7 January 2008


Well, after a tough few days when my achilles has been very sore, I'm guessing that it was the cycling and not the exercises that were the problem. I'll step up the exercises again and take a few days rest from cycling. In the meantime I'm still continuing with the stretching and core/strength exercises.

I wonder if a wobble board would help.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

No recognition for ultra runners

At Thursday evening's committee meeting (I'm secretary of Otley AC, a medium sized club based in Yorkshire, England), I nominated Phil Robertson for our Runner of the Month award - in December he completed the Round Rotherham 50 in 9h 47. Considering the terrible weather and the fact that this was his first ultra I felt this was a remarkable achievement ... no one else did though.

At the meeting I was shown Athletics Weekly's (27 Dec issue) annual review. Guess what ... not a single mention of anything longer than a marathon. Another example of ultra runners getting a raw deal.

As far as my recovery goes I was doing fine until yesterday when my achilles started playing up. I guess 3 sets of 10 'step stretches' is a bit too much at the moment so I'll stick with 3 sets of 9 for a few days. Need to get up to 3 sets of 25.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Slow progress

After yesterday's trial run on the exercise bike I decided to go for a whole 30 mins today. Nowhere near as much fun as running but necessary to maintain fitness for another 5 or 6 weeks ... not a very comforting thought.

The colostrum from arrived this morning. Mixed 1g with 300ml milk to test for tolerance as suggested - hope this stuff works. Applying Deep Heat 3 times a day and still progressing religiously with achilles strengthening exercises.

Feel good at the moment as the ankle seems to be less painful than of late.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Training started

Been busy so far today. This morning I bought myself an exercise bike - not an expensive model but it's suitable for my needs - and spent an hour or so assembling the thing.

After a 20 min spin I spent some time on strength and conditioning exercises followed by some stretching. The cycling was my first real aerobic workout since 18 Dec and I feel better already (yes, I know it's all in the mind but it's a good start).

Also used some 'Deep Heat' (heat rub) for my achilles in an attempt to stimulate blood flow to the area and speed up recovery a bit.

Received a nice thoughtful email from Pam re Crawley 12 hr race - thanks Pam, see you in Hull.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

New stuff and apologies

What a way to start the New Year ... new blog, new training regime and new injury which requires a new stationary bicycle, new supplements and new strength exercises.

The injury is achilles tendinosis and I've not run now for a couple of weeks but the pain is getting better and the achilles strengthening exercises seem to be working slowly. On the advice of Sharon Gayter's website I've also purchased a product from Neovite to aid recovery.

I've also had to cancel my plans to take part in the Crawley 12 hr race at the end of March. I hope Pam isn't too angry after I had promised to enter before the new year.

Must also say thanks to Carl Walsh and The Divan Centre for his kind sponsorship ... and apologies too for having to miss the first race.