Monday, 31 December 2012

Steam - Peter Gabriel

Here's a session that I get my clients to do once a week in their 12 week programmes. It's the magical POWER HOUR, you know the one four mins slow and one minute fast on a treadmill. ONLY, today I did this in the gym at The Cardiff International Pool. The only place in Wales that is well over 40 degrees today! What a sweatbox...

My knees starting to knock by 50 minutes and the last 10 just went on forever...but that's what I expecting to happen but with the air-conditioning sadly broken, it was excellent MdS training for me and my MdS Tent Buddy of two years, Chris Whistler. To say we were bu66ered at the end of the hour was an understatement.

Following the run, we went into the pool with very red faces and it took ages to cool down from Gas Mark V to something near normal.

I did feel very good for the intervals so it's more of the same next time :-) Todays intevals are here...

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Used to be - Rory Gallagher

I ran HARD today...VERY HARD or so it felt...actually it equated to 8.52 minute miles but it was as hard as I could smash the 8.4 miles out. Not quite what I would have liked and during my FAST marathon years I would have been 7.48 all the way for the whole 26.2 mile as an average but being realistic to being 16 years older and some 740 marathons worse for wear, it's not surprising that the legs have lost a little sap.

I'm trying though... the 3.52.30 I would have done on today's timings just isn't good enough. I'm better than this AND i'll prove it.

It's far to easy to blame the pneumonia and the green gunge I'm still coughing up on the run but I'd like the legs to turn over a LOT easier... maybe I'll get 'em going better tomorrow.

More then... today's effort is here...

Saturday, 29 December 2012

LIfe in the Fast Lane - The Eagles

My well earned day off any exercise at all, really helped with my recovery from all of that hill training of my past few outings. With this in mind, I decided to see what it would ten be like to run a tempo six on a course which in contrast to all of them hills was considerably a lot flatter.

I soon discovered that it felt really good... in fact, VERY good and all that humping and pumping on the mountains had really helped my speed. I think my Saucony Mirage 2 Trainers helped too as they are very lightweight and responsive when you are going up and down the pavements and dodging the general public.

I'm going to try another Tempo-Run tomorrow so we'll see how the legs shape up then.

Today's run is here... and How's your Christmas Training Going?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Extreme Ways - Moby

Caerphilly Castle
The hill theme continued today as I took on Caerphilly Mountain and did a round trip run to the Castle and back. There's a good couple of 20% hills on the way there and on the way back of course to take on and conquer. It's a tough run...

I must say that I was just about out for the count on the way up to The Traveller's Rest Pub at the top of Caerphilly Mountain but I did manage some good recovery time on the way down in to Caerphilly Town Centre. The only thought during this section of the run was that I had to go back up the massive hill! It did cross my mind to turn round well before the bottom of the hill but in my new and improved 2013 mode, I made sure I went and touched the Castle Gates, just to make sure that I didn't cheat my way out of the full hill climb back out of the town.

I needn't have worried as the way back wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I actually speeded up and maybe it's been helped along by my using the MapMyRun softwware. On it yesterday I was Male Hill Climber of the Day, so it can't be all that bad.

Today's run is here.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

River Deep Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner

Boxing Day in Wales, and yes you guessed it, a complete washout of a day for running. I still went out though and tried to attack the hills that creased me yesterday. It did the trick as I managed a lot better on the climbs out of Ty Mawr as the rain really battered it down.

I'm slowly getting used to my Saucony Peregrine 2 trainers as I'm still testing them out for a good off-road option possibly for UTMB and they work very well on the mud and on the down hills. They are a bit narrow though for my broad feet so I'll let you know after a few more try-outs.

I did manage to improve my running time over the 6 miles by nearly 12 minutes so maybe I'm getting used to managing the hills a bit better. Tomorrow will hopefully underline this further.

More then...

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Life in Technicolour - Coldplay

Well, if you were like me you were out there this morning running a few miles to make space for an average gut busting 6000+ calories of Christmas Dinner. Mine was just ace from our Christmas Lodgings, Near Llysfaen which lies between Caerdydd and Caerffili. It was meant to be just a simple six mile trip out on a very wet Christmas Morning.

It turned out to be a very hilly one too as I took on the massive hill from Ty Mawr to the top of the ridge that separates the two valleys. If you ran my Birthday Marathon with me last February, it's the one we walked up that day... It was only pride that got me to the top of it this morning, still running, not puking and with at least some lung function. My word, I have to work on my hills.

The path across the ridge, buried in mud and raging water torrents added to the fun of a great start to this part of my race preparations for 2013. And this is where I'm going to focus a lot of my strength work for next season and I'll be back out there tomorrow making a fool out of myself once again, only this time a few pounds heavier in more rain no doubt.

More then and have a Great Christmas Evening...

Monday, 24 December 2012

Yes - Coldplay

Well it's Christmas Eve and yes I've been out on the trails today as I will tomorrow as I start my preparations for 2013... following a couple of hard and rainy marathons to get me back into some distance running and a few days of recovery, as to be honest I was totally bushed it's now time to man up for one of the biggest years of my running life of recent years.

Not the normal appraoch for a man of 50 as most I meet are thinking of taking an easier life but I'm not your ordinary sort of person and I'm out there next year to add some more of 'The World's Toughest Footraces', especially the UTMB, to which I've just been accepted.
I don't think Cardiff's pancake flat roads are going to do the business for that one and so it's off to them hills for a bit of a refresher course this week as I step up the pace and the miles.

To all of you who read my blog, have a good one and more after a few thousand well earned Christmas Calories...

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Get ready to go - Republica

I'll be honest and confess right here that it's taken me a week to pluck up the courage to get back in the gym and do one of my conditioning sessions. For those of you that already do these, on my advice, I know exactly now how you feel as I can now only just walk downstairs bending both legs pain free or sit down without any sharp stabbing pains.

I can only say that if they hurt that much after all these years of running that I can't have been using them all that much... but that I am now and last night they didn't hurt too much at all even after a run to the gym for a complete body-wipeout.

It all bodes well and I'm sure that I'm not the only one that puts the training off and takes the easy option out sometimes BUT I am keeping my nose to the grindstone from here on in...

I believe it's a really important part of preparing for any race, especially The Marathon des Sables...are you in good Condition?

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Crest of a Knave - Jethro Tull

It's amazing what a week can make to how you feel and when you've been back training. In just seven days it feels like I've moved mountains and really got my running into gear once again. Hopefully it's not just one good run that's giving me this 'Crest of a Knave' feeling but I took six minutes off my six mile run of the previous Monday's snotty experience. So I'm well chuffed!

Overtaking a couple of runners out on their evening run together really got my lungs and heart working and I felt for once in a longtime like the serious runner, I ought to be. Sometimes, we forget who we are, what we've accomplished and what we are training for... I'm sure that other people feel like this about their running too and I feel that my job as a Performance Coach is to enable others to be their Personal Best.

With this in mind, I am trying to evoke the same feeling that I get from my running in my clients so they make their way towards their fitness goals... I had real fun today sending MdS14 Wannabe Jemma-Ann on her way today and although new to ULTRA-running, she's a really gutsy girl whom I'm going to enjoy working with over the next 15 months. Watch this space for her progress...

More tomorrow...

Monday, 17 December 2012

Marathon - Rush

Well it's great to be back in the saddle as it were and bashing in the miles on an MdS Training day with 2013 runner...James Saville. We actually had a great day out and the miles just seemed to slip by very easily I must say until around the 23 mile mark where I felt the lack of more recent training miles.

I'm not surprised either as although it was a 52 mile week for me, it's obvious that my bout of Pneumonia has left me lagging behind where I wanted to be right now if I'm honest. The good thing to remember here is, and it's what I tell ALL my clients, that I have to concentrate on where I am going not on where I haven't been. It's far too easy to think you haven't done enough and it's a very easy ticket to under-performing.

My goal this week is to gently increase my exercise and keep the momentum up from last weeks positive start to my new regime... and yes it;s six of the best tonight for me!

More tomorrow...

Friday, 14 December 2012

Take it Easy - The Eagles

Not quite like this in Cardiff Today...
Sometimes all we do is keep hammering in the same old runs, around the same old routes doing the same old times. No wonder this running lark all gets a bit samey... And as well as upping my mileage and lowering my waistline, I'm also taking my rest, very, very seriously.

Todays' a day off because tomorrow I have one of my MdS Training days planned and a first 26.2 miler to complete since that dreadful pneumonic day in Luton. Don't worry as I don't need to be told to take it easy, as I will be. I must say though that I am looking forward to getting back into doing a serious distance run.

Let's hope that my day of rest helps me to enjoy the run and delivering the MdS message to my 2013 MdS hopeful.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Six of the Best - Genesis

Well the training has been going better today and I am now trying to run in multiples of six miles in the aim of getting my endurance levels back up to where they were pre-Druids Challenge. In reality, running for just under and hour without a pack and just over with a 4kgs load.

With this in mind I did ran to Thornhill, which is uphill all the way, with my loaded pack on for the first time since the last MdS and it was just over 6 miles... Tick!

It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be and actually the whole experience was really enjoyable. Hopefully it will be even better tomorrow when my DOMS has completely gone and I will then go back and do some more conditioning in the gym... I must say that I am plucking up courage to bugger my quads up again BUT I know it's going to help me in the long run.

We'll see eh? More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Quadrophenia - The Who

If anyone finds my Quads, please can they return them to me asap as mine seems to have disappeared during my layoff running with Pneumonia. All I have in their place is some aching tired old twigs for legs with screaming Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. I'm sure you've been in the same situation but mine haven't felt like since my last ULTRA around Jersey in 2011.

Seriously, I'm sure it's down to a combination of getting out there running again but also due to the conditioning regime that I am now using to get me as fit as possible when I start my 10th MdS on April 7th 2013.

My other soapbox right now is weight - yes mine. I had my best placed race (#143) in 2009 at just over 78kgs and that's where I want to be again in 2013. So far I've done 5kgs and there's 3kgs to go... not easy over the Christmas period and when you haven't been running but the 'No Bread' is helping as well as cutting out a lot of the carbs in my diet.

The result so far is that the running that I am doing feels a lot better with a few kilos off...

More tomorrow and let's hope my thighs will start to return to normal.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Back in Black - ACDC

Well I hope you like the new blog and the new colour. It's part of my Performance Coaching make over for 2013 and I will be concentrating more on what training I am up to in the lead up to my 10th Marathon des Sables and how my clients are getting on with their training and how I'm helping them reach their fitness goals.

It's really interesting for me right now as I'm starting out from fresh on my own fitness regime following the bout of pneumonia that knocked me for six and right now I am just into my first couple of days of running. My first 30 minutes on Saturday was quite a marathon in it's own right and yesterdays 6.34 miles was luckily a lot easier.

What I am working hard on now is my conditioning. Weights, weights more weights and then a 60 second cardio wipeout. Talk about being destroyed! Flat out on the gym floor was a great place to take some rest I can tell you BUT it was a somewhat easier today although I might need help tomorrow morning getting my arm up high enough to get my toothbrush up to my teeth as my shoulders are rubber right now.

My 'Eat-no-Bread Challenge' is still going strong and the waistline is looking a whole lot better and I am off for another 6 miler in a moment.

Weight - 81.8kgs.

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