Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Start - The Jam

And what you give is what you get - Paul Weller

I've been giving it plenty today with one of my legendary 'Power Hours'... One of those sessions, I've found where you have to pluck up courage to go and do but when you hit the 60 minutes limit of the Treadmill is massively satisfying.

Anyway, the Power Hour was over-shadowed in my thoughts by an email exchange with a client returning to fitness from some time away from running. He said that he was finding it hard to get back into the regime that I had outlined for him to follow. It was like starting to run all over again for him. Luckily he's stuck at it and is now starting to see the rewards...

It was great news as I knew he'd get there but it shows you that it can be easy to try and go out running at your previous perceived levels of fitness, rather than the ones you currently possess. It's far too easy to go out too hard in those first few runs and get downhearted...and together we made it through this.

I'm sure with commitment and some coaching I could swim 50 metres, instead of my paltry 10 metres, I can splutter right now. It's still one of my goals and maybe I should take a leaf out of my clients book and stick at it and make it happen - is there anything you really want to do but are finding it hard to make any progress at?

www.RoryColeman.co.uk - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Rush - Cygnus X-I Book One

We can walk our road together, if our goals are all the same, we can run alone and free, if we pursue a different aim - Neal Peart 1978.

Mick McGeoch
I was talking to my good friend Mick McGeoch today about running and performance. Our conversations are always lively and I find it very inspiring to speak to a runner who has a marathon pb of 2:17:58 and a 40 mile pb of 3:58:40.

What I find most interesting is that the need for speed and performance has always driven Mick hard and his meticulous detailing of ALL of his runs has provided a huge amount of data to draw on to provide the belief for him to perform at ANY distance. It's a real aid to his training and running. Now that I am trying to speed myself up after ALL these years of training to be able to run a massive number of marathons or ultras on consecutive days, it makes me wonder if I EVER would have run a sub-3 marathon?

I'm not sure that the answer is 'YES' you know... even as a child, I wasn't fast. I was just different and at play times I was more interested in how many laps of the playground I could run rather than how fast I was doing them. And changing the last 40 years' notion of quantity being better than quality is not going to be an easy thing to do.

With Mick's help, banter and inspiration I might get under 7 minutes for a mile on Friday Night's Race. I'll try my hardest. However running 26 of them isn't an option - I'll leave that to the Micks of this world or coach people who have the ability to do so.

How fast are you and how fast do you think you could get?

More tomorrow...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Savages - I am here

'Don't wish it were easier. Wish you were better' - Jim Rohn

Well I'm trying to get better and it feels like it's wroking... I even bashed out a 12 mile long slow distance run today including the Leckwith Hill combination of hard climbs and the drag up to Penarth and back out again past the pier.

I felt strong and in much better shape afterwards than my previous 12 miler on the same course of some 9 days ago. Therefore I'm feeling delighted with my progress this month.

I was also delighted to get a text from Rory Gonzalez, one of my international clients who smashed her marathon PB today and clocking a brilliant 3:42 for the 42.2km course. In just 12 months of us working together she has improved her time by nearly 45 minutes which makes me very proud as a coach and also very inspired to follow her and get my act into gear and make it happen.

More tomorrow :-)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Laid so Low - Tears for Fears

'Into that void of silence, where we cry without sound' - Roland Orzabal.

Well this morning's '5Km parkrun' went a lot better than I expected and I was really comfortable all the way in 23:16, which is just 21 seconds off my Pb of last year. Considering it was two days after a tough hills session and only 14 hours after a mile time trial, it's encouraging news that I have the ability to get myself fitter and a lot speedier again.

The race used to get me feeling very panicky and asthmatic in the first Km and I seem to have conquered that, which is brilliant news.

Looking at last night's mile time on 7:09, my V02 predicted 24:22 - which means that I should have done a 6:49 mile last night if I work it backwards. Food for thought and if my quads ever get working again and my knees get at least some flexion in them I reckon I can get under the 3:45 marathon mark again, which would make me very happy indeed.

Do you have the need for speed? It really delivers results on your races - I'll keep you posted with my progress.

More tomorrow.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Park Life - Blur

And it's not about you joggers who go round and round and round - Blur

Well there you go and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be as I ran 7:07 for the mile.

Exactly the same time as I ran in last year's trial, which at the time I found totally and overwhelmingly horrible. I actually had some left in the tank on this one... I can only think that the recent hill training and hard running up Leckwith Hill is starting to pay off as well as the 137 mile warm up in the Sahara.

My time today predicts a 24:15 for tomorrow's Park Run, which I'm now looking forward to rather than the usual dread.

Now there's a thing!

I'll let you know how I get on...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Feeder - In a moment

'Feeling the moment slip away, losing direction, you're loosing faith' - Feeder

Well the hill didn't beat me. In fact it only got better as I went on. The eight reps came in at just over 5 miles in total and so I managed over 2.5 miles uphill at pace without keeling over or having a paddy attack from oxygen deficiency.

If you were reading earlier, sadly I couldn't catch Jenny as even though she's not race fit, she's still loads faster than me! We were both dreading the session if I'm being honest but it was good we had each other there for support and mutual arse kicking.

Tomorrow sees me doing a 1 mile time trial and maybe a longer run as well as a gym session.

That should do the trick!!!

Out of the Blue - ELO

'Tomorrow I'll be stronger' - Chris Young

I bloody well hope so as I'm running as hard as I can right now to get myself back like I used to in my PB days. It's proving very hard to get my knees lifting I've found as my quads are genuinely feeling fatigued but surprisingly out of the blue, my five miler last night was most enjoyable, even the massive climb up Leckwith Hill, which normally crucifies me as I near the top.

The fast run down helped too as I loved getting up to 10 mph which is very quick for me. I need to quicken the turnover of my legs and lengthen my stride so this will help too. (How people can run this fast on the flat is beyond me, as I never could for more than a mile).

Anyway, it's more hills today chasing Jenny up and down Llanedeyrn Hill...we haven't done that session for a while so it will be interesting to see if my speed training is starting to work and I can keep with her on the climbs.

Famous last words!

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Phoenix - The Cult

'Like the heat from a thousand suns that burns on' - The Cult.

On my travels today from God's Country back into England, I stopped off at The Severn View Services (a shadow of its former majesty) and ran the length and back of The Old Severn Bridge.

It was bloody marvellous! I enjoyed EVERY step of the run and it goes to show you that sometimes you need a lift to get you back feeling on top form every now and again.

The Bridge is just one of my favourite places you see and it has its own feel good factor for me. I only need to see it and I feel good...it's a magical monument to cold-war architecture IMO.

It's exactly 2 miles across too, so it was far too easy to run a swift 4 miler in the sunshine on a lovely spring day.

I might do it again tomorrow on the way back :-) Do you have special monuments or places where you go to get your mojo back?

More tomorrow from @colemancoaching

Monday, 22 April 2013

Fly on a Windshield - Genesis

'The wind is blowing harder now...blowing dust into my eyes,' - Peter Gabriel

It's a real uphill struggle right now as my legs feel like total tree trunks right now and I can't remember a time when they have felt so broken. 230kms of desert have really taken their toll out of my quads and ITBs it seems. Don't get me wrong as I ran a great and fast 12 miles on Friday and enjoyed every step of it, yet since that run I've been crippled with terrible DOMS that have made coming downstairs a very painful. My MdS recovery is going to take some time!

With that in mind, the thought of running The Virgin London Marathon yesterday wasn't a good idea and I stayed firmly planted in Caerdydd and enjoyed watching the TV coverage of the race instead.

I've decided that I won't be there next year either as it's just TOO close to the MdS to recover in time for and any road marathon I do, I would like to run as fast as I can and get good times on and train for them properly.

I'm going for an easy 5 today that will hopefully get my legs flushed out and make me slightly quicker downstairs than Dame Thora Hird on her Churchill Stairlift... I hope!!!

More tomorrow...

Friday, 19 April 2013

Firth of Fifth - Genesis

'The sands of time were eroded by the river of constant change' - Peter Gabriel

A week ago I was sweltering in the 54 degree heat of the Sahara Desert... this week it's all change and it's back to training in a very chilly Caerdydd. Even after 10 MdS, it's still been a massive down to earth BUMP for me this week and for many of the other MdS Runners I've spoken to they've been in the same boat...talk about Post Traumatic Race Disorder!

Each year we come back and run headlong into reality brick wall from the euphoria of the desert, it's a real nightmare and all you can do is to get the trainers back on get out running and get back into the gym in preparation for the next event.

So that's just what I did...I managed my first 10km run yesterday and without the pack and some 40 degrees colder it felt very good to be back out there on the street, pounding the pavements. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll keep getting the miles in and build back the endurance in my legs and get rid of the terrible jet-lagged sleepy feeling I have right now.

Couple of weeks should see me straight...

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Perfect 10 - The Beautiful South

Phew... It doesn't get any harder than that! The 28th Sultan Marathon des Sables (my 10th) lived up to its World's Toughest Footrace and then some.

I found it brutal, challenging and knee tremblingly hard along it's 230kms of endless uphill SAND. It was a good job that my feet were blister free again this year as if they were like some of the other runners' feet it truly would have been an almost impossible task.

Luckily we were all inspired by a blind runner and a one legged runner throughout the race... I thought if they can do it, so could I. Again it surprised me at how unprepared some of the Brits were. All of my clients made it... and those who underestimated the race will take note, lose weight, pack less and train more, let me train them and return to finish the race - I'd love to help them...it would make a great PR story.

Anyway...lying by the pool in Ouarzazate, the race is already starting to fade and thoughts of MdS#14 are growing. More recovery powder, more sand training at Merthyr Mawr and my best girl by my side will help my overall position no-end.

Thanks for all of the email messages out in the desert and more when I get back to Wales :-)

www.rorycoleman.co.uk - 763 Marathons :-) 10 MdS :-))))

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Final Countdown - Europe

1999 - Marathon des Sables #1
'We're leaving together but it's still farewell and maybe we'll come back, to earth, who can tell?'

Well here it is…The Final Countdown to the 28th Marathon des Sables. There’s just 2 days and 23 hours now until the start of the race. I must say that I am starting to get excited about my journey back to Ouarzazate and like the 1047 other competitors, I am sure we’re ALL of us wishing we’d trained harder and run further in our preparations for the race. However, the training's over and it’s time to RUN!!!

My own training has gone well and I’ve run 44 marathons since this time last year and 11 this year so I know that the distance is in my legs, it’s coping with the heat that’s the unknown factor that can only be dealt with when you are in the race itself. Last year I had a couple of moments on the 54 degree marathon day where I had a couple of deep breaths at a checkpoint, questioned my sanity and carried on. Let’s hope it’s a bit cooler this year eh?

Sadly this year, I’m missing my partner and trusty side kick Jenny ‘Super-desert-running-girl’ Salter to keep me company during the whole of the event (apart from the race of course!) but I will be egged on by my fellow tent mates especially my best friend and twice MdS Runner, Chris Whistler who promises disco speakers and fairy lights for this year’s tent. Well the race should be fun…

Professionally, I will be following the progress of ALL the runners that I’ve coached this year and I have high hopes for them and hope they enjoy the whole Marathon des Sables as much as I know I will.

More post 10th MdS!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Three Little Birds - Bob Marley

'Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be all right'

With just three days to go to the race I'm getting a bit nervous about the impending 233kms that I will be grinding out in the Western Sahara next week. Funny thing is I shouldn't be too worried about doing the Marathon des Sables as I have already completed it 9 times BUT I know how dangerous it can be of you underestimate ANY race, especially one known as 'The World's Toughest Footrace'.

My 'Rose Tinted Goggles', doesn't seem to remember the extreme heat or the amount of endurance both emotional and physical the race demands. All it remembers is the FINISH LINE and the joy of that MdS Medal that all of the 1048 competitors will be dreaming of receiving next week.

I'm already at Gatwick ready for the flight to Ouarzazate tomorrow and hopefully you will follow my progress in the race. During next week, if you have a moment, please email me using the www.darbaroud.com website and send me a message to my race number #643. Your encouragement is more than welcome...

I'll be back here online on 16th April hopefully with my 10th Marathon des Sables Medal.

More then...

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Armed and Ready - Michael Schenker Group

'I'm in overdrive,and I feel alive, Got everything I need, and that ain't all'

Perfect! Just as I am about to set off to the sun of the Sahara its starting to warm up in Cardiff...Ok it was only 11 degrees today BUT it felt like warm weather training out on my last three mile run before setting off to Gatwick Airport for tomorrow's overnight stop.

It's always hard to know what to do in this last week before the MdS as there is so much downtime and travel to get thru. Basically we travel Thursday to start running on Sunday so there's ample time to carbo-load and get acclimatised to the heat but with no running, it makes for a lethargic start to the race I've found.

There's no Jenny to keep me entertained or busy foot-fixing this year so I hope my tent-mates will make up for her not being there...it's going to be strange not having my best friend there by my side. Maybe Next Year...

Last few bits to pack and I'm armed and ready!!!

More tomorrow...