Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Sunday, 25 January 2009


No training at all today - a day devoted entirely to recovery. Once every ten or eleven days it so happens that my day includes no running, cycling or exercises of any sort.

I try very hard to work recovery into the schedule as I believe, through extensive reading and over 36 years of experience, that recovery is VITAL to all exercise training programmes.

For me, one week in every four has a reduced mileage (same intensity but less quantity) and one day in four has no running at all. Recovery is when the 'adaptations to training' take place. This works for me but everyone has to find their own balance between training and recovery.

Finally in a position to put the planned route on the Run To London page.

Friday, 23 January 2009

New Experiences

Last night, for the first time ever, I ran along an unlit road with a head torch !!! I know some of you do it all the time [run in the dark ...] but I suppose I've had no need for using a headlight strapped to my head.

Until now that is. If I'm going to Run to London then at least eight hours will be at night so I'll have to get used to it. It actually went better than expected ... I didn't venture off road and the torch was only a basic model but for the first time it went OK.

During the Run to London it's looking likely that a large chunk of the night section will be along narrow country lanes so if anyone out there has any tips regarding decent head torches or 'coping strategies' please let me know. Hopefully I'll have some company for at least part of the overnight section.

This morning, whilst out running, a cyclist stopped me and said:

"yesterday evening I was watching a video of a race and you were in it. It was the Ilkley 10k from 1994 and when I saw you running a few minutes ago I recognised your 'running style' from that video."

A few things immediately came to mind:

(1) I didn't know the race had been filmed ... would I like a copy ? [probably not]
(2) has my running style really not changed at all in fourteen years ?
(3) at first I thought he was referring to the East Hull 24 hour race of 2007 which was professionally filmed for practically the whole race and included pre- and post-race interviews of almost all the runners. I don't know anyone who's seen the finished article and I don't know what happened to it. I would like to see that one though so if anyone has any ideas ...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The importance of a good diet

Just found another very good post on Greg Crowther's blog. It's about diet - food - hunger - weight management - and the importance of all these.

A very good read which has made me think about my current food and drink intake which isn't as good as it should be. But it will get better over the next few weeks ... honest.

Greg seems to have an uncanny knack of posting very good stuff which is made better by it's relevance to the everyday trials and tribulations ultra distance runners such as you and me.

At the moment I'm finalising my racing plans for the year. Not ultra races but other stuff (5k to 10 miles) which last year I found to be very useful for speedwork. Hopefully the same will be true this year. More details in a few days.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Bad weather

This morning I carefully checked the weather forecast before deciding when to venture out for a run.  The forecast was for "rain and sleet this morning but it should pass over by lunchtime with just the odd shower this afternoon."

As this morning turned out to be dry I presumed that the rain had passed earlier than expected. At about 1.30pm I went outside and it immediately began to rain. Running up the valley towards Ilkley was quite hard work because of the strong wind too. On the way back I was greeted by snow !!!

So, the weather forecast was wrong ... quite normal for Britain really.

Still, nine miles (or more) in the rain, wind and snow wasn't wasted. These are what I call 'character building runs'.

The hot bath was good though ...

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Just finished writing a detailed training plan to take me to the end of May - and all the way to London.  More details can be found on the Run to London page.

Sainsbury's have a bargain on at the moment.  Packs of four Lucozade Sport for £1.45 ... that's about half price [and works out cheaper than a tub of powder].

Please leave some for me.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Ultra Squad Weekend

Just learned that 'the above squad weekend has been cancelled, because the England Ultra Distance budget has not been confirmed by England Athletics as the overall England Endurance budget has not been finalised between England Athletics and Sport England.'

Disappointed ... confused.

Does ultra distance running always get a raw deal ... or is it just in the UK. Although Athletics Weekly has had a few items recently (written by the athletes though, not by the journalists).

Training going well after December's injury woes. Thirteen miles on quite a hilly course. Longest run, in terms of time, since the Tooting Bec 24 hr race back in October.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Run To London

Nothing much to report on this blog but planning for my long Run To London continues apace.

At the moment I'm accurately measuring the proposed route before putting together a press release.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Very Cold

Almost reached the end of my first 'proper' week's training for the big challenge at the end of May.  It's been a very cold week (no snow - just very cold) ... on Monday and Tuesday I had to wear three pairs of gloves when out running.  Of course I also wore stuff on my legs, arms, body and head ... and feet too.

On Wednesday and Thursday I had a pair of thermal gloves on my hands as well as a pair of socks for extra warmth - not as stupid as it seems: running socks are a thick, close knit fabric and act as mittens trapping warm air - my hands were still cold for the first twenty minutes or so.

A good run with the club last night though - six or seven miles at a fairly fast pace with a couple of newer members. I felt good last night, better than expected after a 10k run in the morning and 35 minutes of strength/conditioning exercises in the afternoon.

Only wore two pairs of gloves too.

Started a new page to chronicle all things relating to my very long run in late May - see it here.

Also updated this page.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New Challenge

Charity Number 1080540

After the disappointment of December and having to withdraw from the race in Athens I've been thinking of another way to raise funds in aid of Orchid whilst using my 'ultra running talents'.

My main focus for this year is the Commonwealth Ultra Running Championships in September so anything I do has to part of my overall planning for that. I would also like the event to pander to my competitive nature ... and, for the time being, not involve huge sums of money travelling to the venue.

So ... I've decided that beginning on Saturday 24 May 2009 I'll run from my home town of Otley all the way to London. The approximate distance is about 210 miles (over the next few weeks I'll get an accurate measurement) and my proposed route can be viewed here.

For my competitive nature: in late May 1985 Mike Newton ran the following on the London to Peterborough road:
1) 300 km in 36h 26:29
2) 200 miles in 38h 22:15
3) in 48 hr he covered 363.228 km

Although these are not official British Records they are apparently the best recorded performances and it would be a good incentive to try and better one or more of them.

Also, they'll be an inaugural time for Leeds to London for other runners to aim for.

Well, that's my target for late May. Must get back to training now. There'll be regular updates regarding the route, how to donate and other relevant stuff about the run.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Good win William

Congratulations to William Sichel on his recent race win in the USA. He was taking part in the Across The Years 72 hr race and he managed 433.5 km to win by over 54 km.

A brilliant performance but I can't help feeling that he'd be slightly disappointed at not reaching 480 km.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Hello all ... time for a brief look back at what was, for me, a very successful year's running.

JANUARY TO MARCH - injured but doing lots of cross training to maintain fitness.
MARCH TO JULY - training hard for the Hull 24hr race where I ran a pb of 221 km. Training included an age graded 5k pb in May.
JULY TO OCTOBER - training for the Tooting Bec 24hr race included my best age graded 10k time for ten years. In London I ran over 228 km to break through the 140 mile barrier and record a qualifying distance for next year's Commonwealth Championships.
OCTOBER TO DECEMBER - minor knee injury in November. Planned to run in Athens 48hr race to raise funds in aid of Orchid but then lost my job and funding from a High Street retailer.

Overall then a very good year but December I could have done without.

From the d.u.v. website I've extracted the following stats for 24 hr races in 2008:

World ranking (road and track races) ... 56
World ranking (track races only) ... 14
World ranking (road and track races - M40) ... 18
World ranking (track races only - M40) ... 5

European ranking (road and track races) ... 45
European ranking (track races only) ... 11
European ranking (road and track races - M40) ... 12
European ranking (track races only - M40) ... 3

UK ranking (road and track races) ... 3
UK ranking (track races only) ... 2
UK ranking (road and track races - M40) ... 2
UK ranking (track races only - M40) ... 1

England ranking (road and track races) ... 2
England ranking (track races only) ... 2
England ranking (road and track races - M40) ... 1
England ranking (track races only - M40) ... 1

Using the same website the following stats refer to IAU labelled races. This means that my OFFICIAL 2008 rankings will be:

World (road and track races) ... 39
World (track races only) ... 5
World (road and track races - M40) ... 14
World (track races only - M40) ... 2

Europe (road and track races) ...31
Europe (track races only) ... 3
Europe (road and track races - M40) ... 10
Europe (track races only - M40) - 1

UK (road and track races) ... 2
UK (track races only) ... 2
UK (road and track races - M40) ... 1
UK (track races only - M40) ... 1

England (road and track races) ... 2
England (track races only) ... 2
England (road and track races - M40) ... 1
England (track races only - M40) ... 1

2008 was obviously a good year racing wise but 2009 may not be quite so good.

Please also find updates to the stuff on the left of this page and also to this page and this one too.