Thursday, 27 January 2011

rehab stage 3

The last few days have gone extremely well and, beginning tomorrow, I feel able to progress from alternating running and walking to continuously running.

Starting with 35 minutes in the morning and slowly building up to 60 minutes and if all goes well I can go back to 'normal' training on 12 February.

Still cycling, stretching and using weights almost every day - and that's doing me good.  And I'm enjoying it.

A couple of things from other sites to mention:

The England Athletics website has a good photo on this page which was taken about 5 minutes before the 24 hr race at last year's Perth Ultra Fest.  The article is about the forthcoming Anglo Celtic Plate 100k which will also be held in Perth this year.  Before injury struck I was seriously considering entering the open race as part of my build up to the Commonwealth Championships later in the year.

Steve Quick recently posted a short piece about nutrition on his blog.  I know there's a lot of interest on various blogs at the moment about nutrition and he seems to be saying something along the lines of:  if one doesn't use carbohydrates to fuel long training runs then one's body won't know what to do with the carbohydrates it receives in a race.  Seems sensible to me.

Helped Fay look after 13 young scouts [beavers] yesterday evening when they all went to the pantomime in Burley.  The show itself was quite good actually but everything else proved to be a nightmare.  There was a group of cub scouts there from Otley and together we bought 31 tickets ... but they only sent us 26 and we didn't realise until ten minutes before showtime.  Frantic negotiations ensued to ensure we weren't turned away ... the children would not have been happy.

We sorted that out but as a result we would not be able to all sit together.  And I had to sit between a very old couple who refused to sit next to one another !!!  That's right, the old woman was sat on seat C1 and her husband on seat C3.  And neither of them would move.  They hadn't had a row and they weren't arguing ... just talking around me as I was in seat C2.  I couldn't believe it.

And why do old people think the youth of today are bad mannered ?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

getting better ...

Not sure what I can write about today but there is a need to write something so that I don't end up on John Kynaston's '... blogs Hall of Shame'

Rehab is going particularly well at the moment and I've ditched my old friends Ib and Ic (not sure what happened to Ia !!!).  Hope they don't mind, I'm sure they realise that we'll meet again sometime and it'll be as if we've never been apart.

My weight has also started falling, slowly at the moment but that's OK ... there's no rush.

At the moment there's quite a bit going on in the background with my other running activities - helping with the organisation of two races staged by Otley AC.  The annual Otley 10 will be on Wednesday 8 June and we have also been asked to host a race as part of the Harrogate League which will use a different course to the one we usually use.

I'm not race director for these races though.  I gave that up in May 2009 because of time constraints; I'm just helping where and when I can.  And that suits me fine because when I step up my training in a few weeks time that's all I'll be able to manage anyway.

Monday, 17 January 2011

future championships races (but not this year)

My rehab is progressing well after a so-so day on Saturday when my left knee ached for 30 minutes or so every once in a while.

Renewed my acquaintance with the 2I's* and yesterday was fine and today has been really good too.  This morning I managed alternating running and walking for 55 minutes and my knee still feels great.  I've stopped doing a couple of exercises though which may have been making the situation worse, standing quads stretch for instance.

Also, I've decided to add walking to my training schedule.  Ultra runners actually walk quite a bit during extra long races so it does make sense to include a bit of training for that side of the race.  I know a few others have done this (William Sichel for example) but for some reason I haven't ... until I began reading the biography of Arthur Newton referred to in a previous post.

Recent news from the IAU website:  venues and dates have been chosen for the following major competitions:

World 100k Championships ... Apr 2012 ... Seregno (Monza-Brianza), Italy
World 24 hr Championships ... Sep 2012 ... Katowice, Poland
World 24 hr Championships ... May 2013 ... Steenbergen, Netherlands

A couple of things to aim for then but Pam Storey may not be too pleased.

* ice and ibuprofen

Friday, 14 January 2011

all is well

Rehab is generally progressing very well indeed.  The running and walking as described previously is no problem at all and cycling, etc is continuing uninterrupted..

I'm also doing straight leg quadriceps strengthening exercises three times daily - again with no problems at all.

The one slight worry is that last night - about an hour before bedtime - my knee began aching slightly.  I applied ice immediately and, as I said before, everything is absolutely fine today.  But I am being careful about not bending the knee too much nor applying too much stress to the area.

Overall the first four days back running (sort of) have been successful.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

rehab stage 2

Today I began stage 2 of the rehab process.  Alternating walking and running for 40 minutes - went very well indeed, no problems whatsoever.  I will now gradually increase the time from 40 to 70 minutes over the course of the next 18 days or so and if all goes well (which I expect it will) I can move onto stage 3 on 28 January.

Before this morning's 'run' I weighed myself (as I do before all my runs) and found that I now weigh 133.4 lb (60.5kg).  That's at least 7 pounds (3.2kg) too much!!!

I was very surprised as I'm still doing lots of cycling, strength work and stretching to maintain fitness as much as possible.  Now I know I've got something else to work on besides running fitness.

I'd like to thank Gary B for the link on his comment to my last post.  I read the article on Peak Performance Online and found it very helpful indeed.  One thing mentioned is the need to maintain a good nutritional regime, especially post training in terms of protein (to help muscle recovery) and vitamin C & zinc to help fight off infections of the upper respiratory tract.  When this is combined with sensible training which includes hard days and easy days I personally don't think Gary need worry about "muscle tissue breakdown leading to loss of muscle mass and strength losses."

One last thing - I came across this brilliantly researched article recently which attempts to answer the question "why do men run ultras?"

Saturday, 8 January 2011

nutritional ranking !!!!

In my last post I mentioned the official IAU World Rankings and the fact that if every race was included (not just those with an IAU label) the list would be slightly different.

This German website included all those other races and shows that for 2010 my unofficial ranking rose to 37 from 44 in 2009.  Very pleased with that but I know there's still a lot more to come.

Also ... there's a very good post on Andy DuBois blog about nutrition and ultra running.  I'm not sure where my thoughts lie regarding this one.  I recognise the need to metabolise fats efficiently during a race ... but how to train the body to do that, and is it worth the effort anyway ?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

lots of stuff in this post ...

A few bits and pieces to get though in this post ...

The official world rankings have been issued on the IAU website.  The performances on their list only include those set at officially labelled races, ie those with doping control and a proven accuracy regarding course measurement.

My name appears at number 30 on the list which I'm very pleased about.  Over 80% of the performances ranked above mine were set at last year's world championships which goes to show just how high the quality of that race was.  I'm sure that a few people will have runner farther than me in an unlabelled 24 hr race though so my 'actual' world ranking will be a bit lower than 30.  Fuller details will be on the German DUV website ... I don't have time to check it out right now though (apologies for that).

At the moment I'm reading a very good biography of acclaimed ultra runner Arthur Newton.  The book is called Tea With Mr Newton and was written by Rob Hadgraft ... and published by Desert Island Books.

The book is very readable, even for someone without much interest in running, and the author obviously loves the subject of long distance running.  I look forward to reading shortly his other biographies of some of the great distance runners of yesteryear (even though their races were a bit short for me):  Deerfoot, Walter George and Alf Shrubb.

Recently I've been looking at this ultra running website and found a few great articles about training and nutrition.  I've certainly found them helpful and plan to incorporate one or two of the author's ideas into my own training and racing.

There is a great line in one of the pieces by Sunny Blende, MS, sports nutritionist:
" An ultramarathon is an eating and drinking contest, with a little exercise and scenery thrown in."

I would certainly agree with that. In a single day in Perth last September I drank over 7.4 litres (13 pints) and consumed a total of over 5800 kcal made up of 95g protein, 1211g carbohydrates and 55g fat.

Finally I feel the need to briefly report that one of Keir's friends from primary school was hit by a car on 31 December in Otley and killed.  Keir is still quite shocked by what happened but our thoughts go out to the 16 year old's parents at this sad time.  A link to the story in the local newspaper is here.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year rehab

Welcome to 2011.

After a bad December I seem to have recovered a bit of enthusiasm and professionalism this month.  Cycled every day this year and rehabilitation exercises have been performed at least three times per day.

Other strength training has continued as normal along with my usual stretching routine.  All in all I feel good and enthusiastic about the challenges for the year - mainly the Commonwealth 24 hr Championships in September.

Spent new year's day drawing up a plan to get back into running which will see me begin with alternation running and walking (5 minutes each) for 40 minutes.  Increasing that to 70 minutes before running continuously for 35 minutes.  Then slowly increasing the length of a continuous run until I can manage an hour.

Then I can begin running/training as normal ... I expect normal training to resume on Sunday 13 February with the first week being somewhere between 40 and 45 miles (64 to 72 km).