Saturday, 31 May 2008

I Feel Fine

Apologies for not posting recently, I've been in London for a few days.

Last Monday was my first very long training run since September 2007 ... 32 to 33 miles incorporating 10 or 11 miles of the Leeds Liverpool Canal into a fierce headwind. A very enjoyable few hours which caused less problems with my ankle than expected.

The days in London were my first this year where the eccentric achilles stretches were not performed - still did the general stretching and ankle massage though.

Whilst in London I called into Run And Become to buy some full length sorbothane insoles and say 'hello' to the staff who help to make the 24hr race at Tooting in October such a good event. Didn't get a chat as they were exceptionally busy - hardly room to move in fact.

Only six weeks to go now to my first ultra since major injury struck about six months ago. Between now and then I have two Harrogate & District Summer Road Race League races in Thirsk and Hudswell (near Richmond), stage two of the Bradford Millennium Way Relay for my club (Otley AC) and also a club handicap (or two).

Training is going really well at the moment and I feel good.

Friday, 23 May 2008

National Championships Unimportant

Enjoying a training free day today ... well, except for the eccentric achilles stretches and massage which is still ongoing.

Looked in Athletics Weekly for the results and/or a report from last weekends Anglo Celtic Plate 100k race in Cardiff which, as usual, was the UK Championships.

Of course (I should've known) there was no mention at all of the event. Obviously a national championship is not important enough. Not on the AW website either.

Then checked the UK Athletics website ... no news here either. How can the national governing body not have results for the national championship?

Found the results, at last, on John Pares (my main rival in Hull) finished in 6th with 7h 50:07. I've never raced this distance but I guess I could do about 8h 20 ish (10th in this year's Anglo Celtic Plate)

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


Yesterday's long run wasn't exactly the best. After about 11 or 12 miles the soles of my feet began hurting ... and they just got worse and worse. Must remember NOT to wear Nike Air Max Bounty on long runs.

For today's long run I wore Nike Shox Saya and they caused no problems at all. I think the cushioning on the shox range is brilliant - forefoot and heel. I've worn them in three 24 hr races with no problems at all, which is exceptional for such a heavy footed runner like me. The only problem is that they're not easy to find in this country.

Today I tried something a little different (I blame the club coach, Hugh). I set off at my usual pace and every couple of miles I upped the pace by 5 to 10 seconds per mile. Over 20 miles that makes the last couple of miles a fair bit quicker than the first. Overall it was harder than anticipated towards the end, but not too daunting for next time ... a good workout.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Normal Training Resumes

No running on Thursday but plenty of ice & ibuprofen ... ankle recovered slightly.

On Friday I could almost feel things getting better hour by hour ... so I went for a short run in the evening (just 3 to 4 miles). No reaction at all.

More recovery on Saturday then back to normal training today.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional ... apparently !!!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Good News & Bad News

Monday - 19+ miles in 2h 45
Tuesday - 19+ miles in 2h 22
Wednesday - (am) 45 mins on bike ... (pm) 5k race in 19:07 then run 5 miles home
Thursday - right ankle feels sprained

Right, lets get the bad news out of the way first. Woke up this morning and struggled to get myself downstairs, my ankle felt sprained and swollen. Plenty of ice and ibuprofen later it's obvious that my ankle is slowly getting better. I had always planned to do no running today - so that's not bad then !!. Tomorrow ... decide later.

Good news. Yesterday's race provided me with an 'age graded pb' of 17:30 beating the 17:32 (17:53 actual time) I ran in Bradford in Nov 1998. It can be seen at the top of this post that I'm not exactly doing much 5k training [in fact, I hope, I'm training for the opposite end of the running spectrum].

I've noticed recently that Sharon Gayter (fantastic ultra runner, beat me in London last October) has been regularly running the Hyde Park 5k time trials in Leeds, recording 21 to 22 mins. So I'm quite pleased with my 19:07 then.

All the best to her and William Sichel in the Surgeres 48 hr race in France this weekend.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Test Results

Forgot to mention earlier that on what I referred to as my first 'proper' long run I tested a bottle of Lucozade Sport Caffeine Boost. Well, it certainly gave me the distinctive 'kick' which lasted about 30 minutes and comparing it with normal Lucozade Sport it is very similar indeed but with 80mg caffeine per bottle [and 10x the potassium].

In past 24 hr races I have used Red Bull to help keep me awake during the night and at dawn but as the caffeine content is the same and the carbs, protein, vitamins, electrolytes aren't it's almost certain that I'll switch to Lucozade Sport with caffeine.

Last week I used Powerade sports drink instead of my usual Lucozade Sport or Isostar. Not to be used again - EVER. Caused an upset stomach of immense proportions on both test runs. Not fun when at 10 miles into an 18 miler at 7:20 per mile.

This morning's long run saw me test some chocolate coated coffee beans. Easier to chew and swallow than expected ... nice taste ... no caffeine kick [not for me anyway] ... don't know the nutritional content. Will I use them again ? Not sure.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Races and Training

Training going very well at the moment - taking a day off today. No running, cycling or stretching at all.

At the moment I'm reading the books by Lemony Snicket called A Series Of Unfortunate Events. In book 5 the Boudelaire children (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) are made to run laps of a running track by the evil Count Olaf who is disguised as a gym teacher ... so many laps that in fact they are underage ultra runners! The children are made to run around the track all night for a number of consecutive nights before spending their days in lessons.

Just found out that William Sichel has changed his plans for autumn and has now decided to run in the Self Transcendence 24 hr race in London - the race I've entered. Already looking forward to our second encounter.

I've now changed the wallpaper and screen saver on my computer to help with the mental aspect of training. The wallpaper is a photo of me nearing the end of the Hull race last year (courtesy of my son with his then new camera). The screen saver is a message with my targets for the race.

Long run tomorrow - 19 miles taking in a stretch of the Leeds Liverpool Canal - going to try some chocolate coated coffee beans from Whittards of Chelsea (are they easy to chew/swallow ... can I keep them down ... do they have the same effect as coffee ?). Nineteen miles again on Tuesday using the mile marks of the Otley 10 so I can judge my pace accurately (aiming for approx 7:15 per mile). On Wednesday there's another 5k race followed by a steady run home.

Apart from training most of my spare time is now taken up with organising the Otley 10 - letter writing, finding marshals and helpers, buying signs and other supplies, etc.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

John Carr 5k (race 1) - Esholt

Last night's 5k race went very well. My kilometre splits were 3:50, 3:54, 4:04, 4:22 and 3:24. A downhill start and a downhill finish with an uphill fourth kilometre.

Pleased with my time of 19:36 in my first 5k race in almost 4 years. Ran home after the race too making a total of slightly over 9 miles including warm up.

Received an email today from the organiser of the Hull 24 hr race - basically a list of entries. It would appear that John Pares has entered. He won the London 24 hr race in 2006 and 2007 and has a best of 236k (147 miles) as opposed to my best of 205k (127 miles).

I think the best thing for me now would to just concentrate on my race and try not to be influenced by anything John does ... you never know, he may have a bad day. I'm confident of bettering my best too.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Feeling Good

Had a fantastic time walking in the Yorkshire Dales at the end of last week. Came back on Sunday, ran 18+ miles on Monday and the same today but about a minute a mile quicker ... shattered now but looking forward to tomorrow's 5k race

No ankle problems all the time I was away nor for my too long runs - well pleased.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

On Tuesday morning my heel began aching. Obviously the beginning of an injury so I began icing the area regularly and taking iboprofen.

No running for a few days but continuing with the massage, stretching and strength training. Eccentric achilles stretches continuing with a slightly reduced load.

Today my heel seems 99% perfect so I'm very pleased with the action I've taken and hope to be back running in a couple of days.