Sunday, 31 August 2008


This morning was a strength training session followed by 6+ miles fartlek. Next week I'll only run two thirds of my usual miles [a recovery week] but this will include a long run of 31 - 32 miles on Wednesday.

Not sure of the route yet but utilising the Leeds Liverpool Canal is a distinct possibility.

Only seven weeks to go until my next 24 hour race [in case you've forgotten, it's at Tooting Bec in London - training ground of Olympic gold medalist Christine Ohuruogu].

Time to look in depth at how my training has been progressing recently. Below are some training comparisons between now and seven weeks before the Hull 24 hr race. The figures in red relate to an average week during the period 4 Aug - 31 Aug 2008 and the figures in black relate to an average week during the period 28 Apr - 25 May 2008.

running miles per week ... 52.36 ... 53.17
running time per week ... 7h 38:16 ... 7h 23:40
running sessions per week ... 4.25 ... 4.50

cycling time per week ... 1h 30:36 ... 1h 31:38
cycling sessions per week ... 2.00 ... 2.00

stretching time per week ... 1h 14:15 ... 1h 16:16
stretching sessions per week ... 5.50 ... 5.75

strength training time per week ... 1h 26:10 ... 1h 48:53
strength training sessions per week ... 2.75 ... 3.50

eccentric ankle stretches time per week ... 1h 52:50 ... 24:45
eccentric ankle stretches sessions per week ... 8.50 ... 2.25

ankle massage time per week ... 40:41 ... 36:24
ankle massage sessions per week ... 7.75 ... 7.00

wobble board time per week ... none ... 1h 11:36
wobble board sessions per week ... none ... 14.00

total training time per week ... 11h 49:17 ... 12h 00:27
total rehab time per week ... 2h 33:31 ... 2h 12:46

grand total time per week ... 14h 22:48 ... 14h 13:13
grand total sessions per week ... 25.25 ... 25.00

pulse on waking ... 47.9 ... 46.0
weight ... 60.0 kg ... 58.3 kg

  • running - more miles per week in less time means faster training
  • cycling - increased average speed not shown above
  • stretching - very slight change for the better
  • strength training - more sessions per week with bigger weights and for longer
  • eccentric ankle stretches - now down to maintenance levels after achilles tendinosis late last year and early this year
  • ankle massage - very similar
  • wobble board - began using late July for an ankle problem which began in mid May
  • total training time - increased by 1.5%
  • total rehab time - decreased by 13.5% as my injuries heal
  • grand total time - decreased but training time/rehab time gives a better picture
  • grand total sessions - very similar. A training session is often composed of more than one element, eg I often do some stretching followed immediately by ankle massage followed immediately by wobble board work.
Overall, it appears that things are improving, which I'm pleased about. Perhaps this movement could be a bit faster though.

I'll repeat this statistics exercise in four weeks time.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Wetherby & Horsforth

50 mins on the bike this morning and 6+ miles fartlek this afternoon. Stretching, massage and wobble board to do later (also used wobble board first thing this morning.)

Decided against running to and from Wetherby for their 10k on 14 September, instead I'll run to and from Woodhouse Grove School (Apperley Bridge, Bradford) on 28 September for the Horsforth 10k. It's nowhere near as far but at the end of my crash training week it'll probably be better preparation for the London 24hr race.

Now ... could anyone possible give me a lift to/from Wetherby in two weeks time ... please.

Going to a house warming party this evening - by coincidence it's at the exact same house where Fay lived from 1967 until 1978 when she moved to Burley in Wharfedale. She's often wondered what the house is like now ... and here's her chance to find out (hope she's not disappointed).

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Secretarial Stuff

Apologies for not being at Otley AC's one mile track race last night - last minute transport problems caused me to miss the race.

This afternoon I spent 90 minutes running around Otley and Menston delivering AGM notices - a useful fartlek session.

Monday, 25 August 2008

London sorted

Booked hotel in London and return travel taking advantage of the recently released cheap fares.

Thanks to Carl at The Divan Centre for that.

Today's run was another 20 miler accelerating all the while. Although it was windy I made all my targets and ran the last mile in 7:14 - uphill. Well pleased with this.

At the moment I'm going through next year's European Ultra Race calendar hoping to pick out a suitable race next spring, preferably in a school holiday.

Oh yes ... one more thing ... I agree entirely with Simon Anderson's recent post (24 Aug 2008) on his blog about the amount of litter in our countryside.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Another Week

Well ... just finished my last run for this week - 7+ miles fartlek. Later today there's some strength training and tomorrow there will be some cycling and more strength training.

Pleased with my training over the past few weeks except that it seems almost too easy!!!! I am increasing my mileage by 5-10% per week and the long runs by 1 mile per week and the cycling has increased in intensity ... and the strength training has progressed to bigger weights or more reps.

Overall I'm feeling very good but I don't want to increase my workload by too much and break down ... but then again I know I've got to push myself.

Anyway ... there's an update to this page and this one.

Still looking for help with any of my costs - either in cash or in kind - if you can help please get in touch.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

First Major Newspaper Article

This morning I found this in The Wharfedale & Airedale Observer. The first major newspaper article about me as an ultra runner ... well, I hope it leads to better things.

This morning I did a four mile tempo run. Completed the four miles in 26:24 which is OK considering I was aiming for somewhere between 26:08 and 27:18, ie 10k to half marathon pace.
Over the coming weeks I will gradually increase the distance of these tempo runs up to eight miles.

Strength training later this afternoon.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Long Run(s)

Yesterday I went for the first of this week's two long runs. Nineteen miles in the rain - character building.

Afterwards I considered postponing the second long run until Wednesday - if the weather was bad.

The weather was dry so this afternoon I ventured out for another nineteen miles. Using the route of the Otley 10 again so I could accurately run each mile quicker than the preceding mile. Hard work at the end when running the last two miles into a strong headwind.

This evening I picked up an entry form for the Harrogate Charities 10k. This appears to fit in nicely with my training as it would entail me running to the start and home again afterwards - a total of approx 26 or 27 miles.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Long run went well

Thursday's training went well. Covered the first mile in less than 8:30 and the 18th mile in less than 7:05. Although I didn't make the target at every mile, I did progressively get faster ... not easy on a course with two very large hills.

Yesterday I ran 9+ miles at an easy pace in the morning and in the afternoon I spent 45 mins on the bike before doing a strength training session. Today there's more cycling and strength training.

Apologies for not updating this for a few days ... I've been busy working on a new Microsoft Access Database for Otley AC. We need a new one because from May 2007 the membership scheme is being administered by England Athletics instead of the North of England AA and only recently have they decided what information they would like ... and, of course, it's different stuff. Also, we now have a junior section and we need different information for children such as parent's contact details.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A new idea for a competition

Training is progressing well. This morning I ran over 18 miles in under 2 hours 30 and it felt easy. Tomorrow will be 18 miles where each mile will be 5 to 10 seconds quicker than the previous mile. For this I'll use the mile points on the [notoriously hilly] Otley 10.

Found an interesting item this morning on the Planet Ultramarathon website. It is a competition that someone in America has organised and the idea is that, on 1 Nov 2008 the competitors run a minimum of one mile. On 2 Nov 2008 they run a minimum of 2 miles, 3 miles on 3 Nov, 4 miles on 4 Nov, etc, etc. All proceeds will be going to charity.

Full details can be found here. One interesting thing to note is that in the first week runners will cover at least 28 miles, with 77 being covered in the second week, 126 in the third and 175 in the fourth week. Each week increasing by 49 miles.

Are you up for the challenge ?

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Two New Pages

The first of the two new pages is possibly the most important of all except this particular page.

If you would like your company's logo and/or a link to your company's website on this site please read the new page here. Individuals, of course, are also invited to read this new page too.

The second new page shows how my World, UK and English ranking has changed from year to year, beginning in 2006 which was when I first ran an ultra race. That page can be viewed here.

I've also found an interesting ultra running article written by fellow ultra runner Adrian Stott. He writes briefly about the various training techniques used by the top Scottish runners of the past 30 years.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

New Screen Saver and Wallpaper

Fay has just changed the screen saver and wallpaper on this computer. I didn't ask her to do it but I'm happy that she did. She's changed the desktop to show various photos from Tooting Bec 2007. The screen saver is now a banner which reads ' 225km in London '.

Both of these are good sources of mental imagery and I used this technique for a few months before the Hull 24 hr race. I believe it was successful.

I love her.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday's run was very enjoyable. A good family day out followed by a long run back to Otley from Fountain's Abbey via Winksley, Kirkby Malzeard, Low Bishopside, Wilsill, Glasshouses, Heyshaw, Thornthwaite, Blubberhouses, Timble and Askwith.

Apart from the 24 hr race this was my longest run since the end of May. Approx 24 miles in a little under 3 hours 30 ... without trying. Not the flattest run, but certainly very enjoyable.

This morning was 5 to 6 miles fartlek followed by 45 mins on the bike. A session of strength exercises will follow later.

I've entered the Wetherby 10k (14 September) but I'm not sure whether to run there and back this year. In 2006 and 2007 I ran to Wetherby, took part in the 10k and then ran home again - about 40 miles in total.

The problem I have this year is that I'm not convinced it'll help my performance in London five weeks later. Any thoughts anyone ?

Monday, 4 August 2008

World Challenge & European Championship 2009

The International Association of Ultrarunners have just announced that the 24 hr championships for next year will be held at Ciserano (in Bergamo, Lombardy), Italy on the 2nd and 3rd of May.

I believe there is a very good chance that UK Athletics will be sending a team to this event so I will be keeping an eye out for any selection criteria which may (or may not) appear on the UKA website.

In some ways having these championships in early May is good for me because in theory I could use the Tooting Bec race in October to gain the necessary qualifying standard to this race and also, as planned, to the Commonwealth Championships (Keswick - September 2009).

One downside though ... and I think it's a big one ... my wedding anniversary is on the 4th May (and so is Fay's birthday).

On a different note, Keir will begin studying for his GCSE's in September and his favourite subject is History. One of the topics he'll be studying is medieval Christianity in Britain (the rise and fall of the monasteries). We thought this a good opportunity to visit Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, tomorrow. And I thought it a good opportunity for a long run in the countryside, ie run home (I'm sure I can devise a route of approx 24 miles).

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Proper training to start

My last run of the week was a simply 6.5 miles around Otley and Burley. This is now the end of my recovery phase after the Hull 24 hr race and I appear to have come through unscathed.

Except for pain in my left shoulder which is definitely getting better by the day.

On Monday begins training proper for the Tooting Bec (London) 24 hr race in October ... still being very careful with my right ankle though and doing the eccentric stretches every three days, massage daily and two lots of five minutes per day on the wobble board.

Just finished the page entitled Personal Bests.