Wednesday, 31 March 2010

An article recently appeared in the Bradford Telegraph & Argus which can be read here.  And if you missed the official team announcement by UK Athletics - here it is.

About that race ... the official website now has started posting team lists - and there are some interesting names NOT appearing.  Two that immediately spring to mind are the top Japanese runners Ryoichi Sekiya (over 263k last year) and Mami Kudo (254.425k last December - new women's world record).  Also missing from Brive will be Martin Fryer who won the Commonwealth Championships last year for Australia.

Following my coffee policy mentioned in a post earlier this month I've been drinking Starbucks French Roast this week.  It seems to be an acquired taste - very dark roasted (burnt almost) and smoky sweet - but I seem to be enjoying it more with each passing day.  Something good from Taylor's Of Harrogate next week, more on that later.  Perhaps.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

news ...

William Sichel has almost finished the 1000 mile race in Athens - only 100k remaining and he looks set to come away with three records.  More details about those later.  Wolfgang Schwerk won the event by completing the distance in just a shade less than 12 days.

Full details of this amazingly inspiring race here.

A few days ago the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer had a piece about me being selected to represent UK in the World 24 hr Championships.  Read it on the media page as it isn't on their website yet.

Race day planning (pacing and nutrition mainly) is going very well at the moment but in some ways it still seems a very long way off.  Only six and a half weeks to go now though ... and three of those involve tapering.

Fay has developed a really bad cough.  It began about ten days ago and almost disappeared after about five days - but then came back with a vengeance and yesterday she began to develop a cold too.  She's not too happy at the moment.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


Just found details of a 24 hr race to be held in Perth on 4/5 September this year.  I had been warned a few weeks ago to keep an eye out for this one.  After reading all the details here it sounds good to me.

Especially as I already have the England Athletics A standard.  Achieved that in Keswick last year.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

various things

William Sichel in Greece is doing very well indeed in the 1000 mile race.  So far his plans for pacing, eating, sleeping, etc have held together perfectly and he's in second position ... I hope everything continues to go so well for him.  He's not even half way yet though.

My training has been going well too and this week, for the first time this year, I've been able to run without gloves.  Temperatures are above average for the first time this year too and we've had quite a lot of sunshine over the past week or so.  It is raining at the moment though.

Recently I've been drinking a nice coffee from Malawi.  I'm not a big fan of the fruity coffees from Africa but this one has been rather pleasant.  Over the past twelve months or so I've been trying lots of coffees from different parts of the world but I think that in April and May I'm going to concentrate on my favourites in the build up to the World Championships (and as a personal reward just after).  Not forgetting the decaffeinated stuff in the three weeks before the actual race.

I also feel that in the last few weeks I need to relax as much as possible between training sessions. Tim Noakes points out that "... the more time you can spend in solitude and in personal refection during the last few weeks, the better you will cope with the mental demands of the last 25 to 35 km of the ultramarathon."

Suits me fine.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

things are coming together nicely ...

Things have been a bit hectic here over the last few days.  Paperwork completed for UK Athletics - checking my passport, ordering my GB kit, officially accepting my place on the team - and emails flying backwards and forwards between various runners and team managers.   Everything seems to be going well though and it seems that, at the moment, final travel details are being sorted out.

Still over eight weeks to go though before the World Championships - and a lot of training to do.

Yesterday morning I completed an easy 23 miler ... over The Chevin to Guiseley, then through Rawdon to join the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Calverley.  On the towpath to Hirst Lock then home via Shipley and Hollins Hill.  Two big hills and lots of wind ... 3 hrs 20.  An hour on the bike in the afternoon.

This morning was another 23 miler. Fartlek. Chose a hilly route (of course ...) that extended over to Silsden and Addingham. Very good run ... 2hrs 57. Just about to head out with members of Otley AC on a run of about 10k.

Eleven miles tomorrow morning and 10k again in the evening.

Have you been following William Sichel in the 1000 mile World Cup race in Athens ?  No, why not ?  It is a fascinating (and very long event) and all the details can be found on his blog.  Shaun Brassfield-Thorpe is doing a fantastic job posting things and I've already picked up a few tips which I could use in my races.  Go William Go ...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

UK Team - ready to roll

Things have been moving apace recently.

I now have full details of who's in the team for Brive and who the management will be.  There have also been discussions about travel to and from the event and also communications from UK Athletics about anti doping, code of conduct, kit, etc

The men's team is:
John Pares - third at the Commonwealth Champs
Stephen Mason - fourth at the Commonwealth Champs
Richard Quennell - winner of the Tooting Bec 24 hr race last year
myself - fifth at the Commonwealth Champs (and second team)
Jim Rogers - sixth at the Commonwealth Champs (and second team)

The women's team is:
Sharon Gayter - winner of the Commonwealth Champs (and first team)
Marie Doke - fourth at the Commonwealth Champs (and first team)
Pauline Walker - seventh at the Commonwealth Champs (and third team)

The management will be:
Richard Brown, Eleanor Robinson and Adrian Stott.  All highly experienced but I think we could do with a few more bodies manning the refreshment tables during the race.

Training going extremely well too.  Ran 22 miles on Tuesday including a lovely stretch of the Leeds Liverpool Canal (and Hollins Hill !!!).   Yesterday I completed a hilly 22 miles fartlek style [6 mins hard, 4 mins easy, repeat].

Sunday, 7 March 2010

missed training ... and other stuff

Yesterday, for the first time in at least four months I decided to rearrange my training at short notice.

It wasn't that I was too tired or too lazy or ill ... I had a wedding to attend.   I figured that I could miss one run and one stretching session in order to go to what I hope will be the happiest day of my friend's life.   It was a wonderful occasion and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  I hope John and Donna have many happy year's together (and no sad ones).

I did manage to fit in my usual strength and conditioning exercises in the morning before I left home.

As well as a piece about William Sichel and the upcoming 1000 mile race in Athens there is, in the current issue of Athletics Weekly, an article about the death of ultra running legend Cavin Woodward.  His 100 mile world record of 11h 38:54 in 1975 at Tipton was a truly remarkable race ... en route he also broke world records for 50 miles, 100 km and 150 km.  Andy Milroy's article about the race is essential reading.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

page update

Just finished updating the page which details all my personal bests.  I know it's been a while but there have been some race results that have proved illusive to say the least.

The Commonwealth Championship times have also been added where relevant.

Click here to see the updated page.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

long run

This morning was spent running 32 miles.  The main purpose was just a confidence booster but it turned out to be much better than that.

From Otley I took the following route:  Burley in Wharfedale ... Menston ... Guiseley ... Rawdon ... Horsforth ... Kirkstall ... Headingley ... Bramhope ... Pool ... Farnley ... Askwith ... Ben Rhydding ... Burley in Wharfedale ... Otley

Those of you who live around here will appreciate that this course is far from flat.  And, without trying, I completed it 20 seconds per mile quicker than expected.

A fantastic run ahead of Brive - and my longest before then too.