Sunday, 28 April 2013

fitness improves

The week just gone was the one in which I began running on three consecutive days and resting on the fourth.  So far all has gone well and there are no problems at all, it's still very early stages yet though.

Cycling and strength training is also progressing exceptionally well at the moment and my aerobic fitness seems to be getting better almost daily.  One measure of this increase is heart rate when waking in the morning.  This year, on a week by week basis, that has been:

[figures are the mean of the previous 28 mornings]

6 January ..... 51.6
13 January ..... 50.5
20 January ..... 49.4
27 January ..... 49.1
3 February ..... 49.2
10 February ..... 49.9
17 February ..... 50.1
24 February ..... 49.6
3 March ..... 49.4
10 March ..... 49.4
17 March ..... 49.4
24 March ..... 49.5
31 March ..... 49.3
7 April ..... 49.0
14 April ..... 49.1
21 April ..... 48.6
28 April ..... 47.9

Shame about my weight though.  That remains about 3.5 kg above racing level.

Congratulations to Sue Harrison on her third place finish in the European 100k championships yesterday with a time of 7h 48:12.  The other runner from UK finished in thirteenth with 8h 29:03.  But where were all the other good British 100k road runners ?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

a marathon week

Well, this week has been fine for me.  Using different shoes for strength training has worked wonders and I'm back on track again.

Running on Thursday morning wasn't easy though.  Gale force winds and heavy rain meant that the 50 minutes felt like 150 minutes.  Character building, as I often tell myself.  Friday wasn't much better either.  If the runs on Sunday and Monday go well (as I expect they will) then I can begin training on three consecutive days.  Starting at a low level again and building up slowly so that the final three days will be running steadily for 50, 60 and 60 minutes.

But this week has been dominated by a couple of short races.  One in Boston, USA and the other in London, UK.

The Boston marathon will be remembered, not for being a great race, but for being the scene of a devastation rarely seen at sporting events.  Thankfully the perpetrators were identified and caught (or killed) but my thoughts go out to all those affected by the mindless violence of two brothers.

And so to tomorrow's race in London.  For the past few years, when watching the London Marathon, my attention has not so much been on the elite runners looking to win the race but on those rare souls who have taken part in every London Marathon.  The 'ever present club'.  In particular I will be watching out for Chris Finill who has run every London Marathon in less than 3 hours, a remarkable achievement.  Long may it continue Chris.

To finish today's post I thought I'd ask how many members there may be for the club of with the following rules:

 - been a runner continuously since before 1981
 - watched every single London Marathon live on TV
 - doesn't particularly want to take part in the London Marathon

Count me in ...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

injury update

Another week gone ... not too bad.  Not perfect but OK.

Everything was fine at the start of the week but in the middle my ankle began to rebel a bit.  Not much but enough for me to postpone thoughts of another race for a while.  As it happened yesterday's run was entirely pain free but I thought it better to be safe than sorry.

Today was much better and confidence has been restored again.

I think the slight relapse was caused by the shoes I have been wearing for strength training.  Wore a different pair today and it was like having new ankles ... absolutely no pain whatsoever.

Running earlier in the morning than usual is also a risk factor for ankle injuries because the achilles tendon remains relatively stiff for a while after waking up.  Taking care to warm up properly has been helping with that, and I find it more fun running at that time of day.  I've also been doing quite a bit more general flexibility work recently.

Still doing rehab exercises five times a day - eccentric achilles stretches, calf stretches and straight leg hamstring stretches.

Overall, progress is still being made and, as I've said before, I'm not interested in a quick fix.  I want a permanent solution.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

more ramblings ...

I know I haven't posted for a while but until I can start training and racing properly again I don't really have much say.

Everything is looking up though at the moment, especially in the early morning spring sunshine.  Running at the break of dawn has been a real boost for me and I feel a renewed sense of wanting to get back to running for more than a few miles at a time.

Still must stick to the schedule though.  That in itself is good training ... good mental discipline to stick so rigidly to a schedule for such a prolonged period.

The recent holiday period was good, especially as Keir finally managed to get here ... and then managed to get back to Northern Ireland without any problems despite the threat of more snow.  We didn't hang around at the airport any longer than we needed to as Leeds Bradford Airport is a very cold place even in summer.  Being situated on the top of a very large hill doesn't help.

Between training I've been helping Fay with decorating and fixing things about the house.  Note that I'm only helping, Fay is much better at decorating than me so I let her get on with it.  She enjoys it much more than I do too.  Her recent health scare is well and truly in the past now too.

Although Fiona's is still ongoing and will be for quite some time probably.

Anyway that's enough of me rambling on for now ... more later.