Friday, 31 May 2013

Roundabout - Yes

'One mile over we'll be there and we'll see you' - Anderson & Miller

Tomorrow's Kent Roadrunner Marathon will be a test as it's 17 laps of the Cyclopark at Gravesend - a complete contrast to last weekend's Flete Marathon on Devon's South West Coastal Path. You know how much I LOVE laps!

Anyway, it will provide a much quicker time I hope and the major difference will be Race Director, Ian J Berry's attention to detail and support offered by all of the other 400 runners who will be orbiting the same 2.4km tarmac loop.

I've got my heavy-metal selection already prepped for the race and I'm going to have to tune-in to the music and tune-out of the easy way out of taking more than 4 hours.

We'll see anyway as it's a very early start in God's Country to get there for the 9am start...

More after the race tomorrow...

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Domino - Genesis

Do you know what you've begun? - Banks, Collins & Rutherford.

It's been another day of training calls today and writing 12 week plans for clients. What really made my day was talking to three absolute beginners about their hopes and dreams of running everything from a local half-marathon to the Marathon des Sables.

The bit I really like is the innocence about what they are going to undertake and therefore how I'm able to ease their concerns and start them on their journey to fitness and challenges beyond their wildest aspirations.

It's really rewarding and I'll of course give them SUPPORT all of the way to the finishing line where and whenever they might need it.

It got me thinking back to when I took that first step in 1994 as a very unfit, very unhappy person. 20 years later, I've done amazing things, met incredible people and surpassed my limitations by a country mile, something I never imagined I would ever do when I started.

Maybe it's time for you too?

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wishing Well - Black Sabbath

'Throw me a penny and I'll make you a dream' - Ronnie James Dio

I've had a great day of MdS training with 2014 wannabe, Stefan Klincewicz. For me, it's always great to train someone who is really switched on to the task of 'running' the MdS and who is really open to the training needed to do well in the desert too.

After a couple of hours talking abuot the race, we ran in the sand dunes down at Merthyr Mawr and that's where the penny dropped for Stefan that there's a lot more to running uphill in deep sand.

I'm going to be training a lot more with Stefan over the next 300 days or so leading up to the race and I'll keep you posted with how he's getting on...

More later...

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Every day should be a holiday - The Dandy Warhols

'Anytime, Baby let's go. Everyday should be a holiday'...

It's been a one day holiday in Devon for me today at the Coastal Trail Marathon in Flete. It was a tough day out BUT I had a great run, just like I did at the Neolithic and considering that it was my fourth 26 miler in 11 days I was really pleased with my 25th place.

That there Devon is damn hilly too - I reckon this one is tougher and maybe a nicer route than Beachy Head which is one of my real favorites. The run across the River Erme tidal bay was MOST refreshing. I loved running thru the 2 feet of water!

ANYWAY, if you want a great one day holiday in Devon, then this one's for you...

I'll be going there on holiday next year too i think...

Friday, 24 May 2013

Magnum Force - Dirty Harry

'A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations' - Dirty Harry [Clint Eastwood] 1973

I always think of Dirty Harry when I'm training people in the gym, especially when they out perform their preconception of their own limitations. So really the quote should be 'A Man's Gotta Surpass His Limitations'.

This happened with James Saville in one of my running clinics today and in a matter of minutes his world went from being black and white into Full 1080HD Colour as he went thru the pain barrier and clocked an amazing 3030 metres during his 12 minute V02 test. 

I love these sessions and it was great to see him go from plodder to athlete in a matter of moments and now has a firm sub 3.30 marathon goal as his next target.

He'll do it too... and I'll keep you posted.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Chic - Good Times

'Happy days are here again' - Bernard Edwards & Nile Rodgers

Well it's nearly a week since the Cardiff ULTRA and I've only just been back out running today myself as the race planning and race day certainly takes it's toll until long after the runners have all gone home.

My outing was one of my MdS Training Days with MdS#14 hopeful, Marcus Escott. And a very good runner he is too and after a day with yours truly, he will do extremely well as he's got just what it takes to do well in next year's race - just 315 days away btw...

I'll be taking it easy until Sunday now as I have the Flete Marathon in Devon to test my newly revitalised legs on...

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Armed and Ready - MSG

Is it hard enough, is It loud enough - MSG

Well are you ready? We are and I've been bashing out the miles checking the route for tomorrow's Cardiff ULTRA and I think we are in for a great day out in the valley's of God's Country. I could witter on about all that you will see on the Taff Trail but there's not enough time and space to do so... only look at the innovation and industry of the route as the modern world really did start here in Wales.

It''s been a great couple of days out on the trail with great weather to match and I've loved getting that high mileage feeling back in my legs.

Anyway, I'll see you tomorrow at 5.30am latest for the coach up to Brecon - let the games begin.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Here is the News - ELO

'The weather's fine' - Jeff Lynne

Errm, it wasn't sadly for 'The Race to the Stones' media day that I attended in Avebury yesterday (boy we got wet). It was however a really well put together day by 'Threshold Sports' and all sorts of press came to meet Threshold's Co-Founder, James Cracknell OBE, run some of the route and interview yours truly too.

Funny thing was that all of the reporters who ran were extremely good runners and the constant uphill of the course combined with a brisk 8 minute mile pace, made the interviews 'on the run' quite a huff and a puff, well for me anyway as my answers were a lot longer than the questions. It's hard to keep that macho-image of ULTRA-runner/Performance Coach in place, when you are blowing on the hills of the Ridgeway, I can tell you!

The race will be brilliant if the organisation is as good as the media day and it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it immensely. I'll keep you posted when the features are in print...

More later...

Monday, 13 May 2013

Destiny - Zero 7

Shagga - Mark Lewis-Jones
'The Journey's Long' - Zero 7

It's long alright and I've been spreading the Coaching Gospel again today to more of my running congregation including TV&Film Actor - Mark Lewis-Jones. It's not everyday that you get someone who's been in 'The Game of Thrones' (as a character called Shagga) and who can run like the wind too...

He was awesome today in one of my MdS/Ultra-running clinics and showed great speed, strength and determination.... Something you can't act either and you've either got it or you haven't; luckily Mark's got it in spadefuls and MdS&ULTRAs will be a great next challenge for him after his recent marathon successes.

It made me think about my own marathon/ultra journey and how much I've been challenged by some of the mega-distance races I've run... positive stuff indeed and I'll be telling the press all about it at 'The Race to the Stones' media day on Wednesday.

It's all happening!

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Wishing Well - Black Sabbath

'Time is a never ending journey' - Ronnie James Dio

I've had to give it time this week too as plainly I'm knackered still after the Neolithic Marathon of last weekend. I was going to go to the Rhonnda Rollercoaster Marathon today, but with the thought of the course profile (very hilly) combined with torrential rain at 6am this morning gave me no option of turning over and sinking into a deep and extended sleep in the warmth of my bed in Caerdydd.

I didn't stir much when Jenny went to Park Run (it was still tipping it down then) and I only came round when she returned just before 10am.

I really did need that rest and am taking it easy this weekend before getting back into some mileage next week. Maybe it's a sixth sense that's kept me running uninjured for nearly 20 years but sometimes you have to listen to your body and take-a-break.

More tomorrow...

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Close to the Edge - Yes

Seasons will pass you by - I get UP I get DOWN

It's all been about the legs for the past couple of days I can tell you as from going from no Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) on Sunday, I went to walking like Frankenstein's Monster for most of Monday and Tuesday. It was only an MdS Marathon Training Day, yesterday that got my legs turning over again properly and walking downstairs without that debilitating quad pain that makes it look like you've messed your pants.

I'm not sure the best answer was running another steady 26.2 miles BUT it did the trick and I thoroughly enjoyed my day with MdS#14 hopeful Colin Harper...(this man knows EVERYTHING about GPS btw) and we both enjoyed all the possible weather conditions Cardiff could throw at us during our run out.

The only problem I have encountered from these runs is that some of the skin on my feet is staring to shed and is it's proving a little painful around the toes right now, especially when they get wet. I believe it's a bi-product of the MdS and although the skin didn't blister, it gets damaged and worn out but needs 30 days to be jettisoned by fresh skin underneath which is fresh and more sensitive.

Well that's where my thinking is right now and I'm going to have to moisturise them to help speed up this process - has anyone else had this?

More tomorrow...

Monday, 6 May 2013

Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath

The closer you get to the meaning, the sooner you'll know that you're dreaming - Ronnie James Dio.

All Heaven and No Hell yesterday as I thoroughly enjoyed the Neolithic Marathon that went from Avebury on the trail, to finish at Stonehenge. In its 25th year, it was a great day out for Jenny and myself on one of the best organised Marathons you'll find.

I must say that I have felt a good race brewing and all of the hard training I have been putting on since the MdS really paid off. Being able to run ALL of the race including ALL of the hills (where I overtook loads of people walking) proved a real kick to the downhill sections I raced down and the long undulations across Salisbury Plain.

I managed an average 6.1 mph for the 26.2 miles and even clocked a negative split thanks to some great 80's from Sabbath along the way.

The 4.16 was a lot quicker than I could have ever imagined or predicted, and Jenny's 3:38 suggests an add on of 20-25 mins on a normal marathon time in my estimate and my 3:46 of 1998 shows just how fit I was back then in my sub 3:30 days.

Best bit is that my legs feel great today and I'm ready for more speed and more hills - bring it on. - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Imagination - Belouis Some

'Imagination could make a man of you' - Belouis Some

It's all in the mind, this running lark you know and if you can only imagine yourself running well and fast it can help no-end with your performances (only 8 seconds outside my parkrun PB now). 

This follows a couple of weeks of speed and interval training, and it's starting to happen for me at last and I'm now really looking forward to tomorrow's Neolithic Marathon; which I last ran in 1998 when I'm sure the race was in black and white!

We'll see if the training pays off and I'll be humming 'Stonehenge', (by the almighty Spinal Tap), all the way.

More then...

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Steam Live - Peter Gabriel

'Real as any place you've been, get a life with the dreamer's dream' - Peter Gabriel

Well the day of rest didn't last and I felt really good last night and chalked up my second Power Hour of the week, this time lifting the speeds by 0.1kph. Not a quantum leap in the big scheme of things but psychologically it provided a big confidence boost to how my recent training is boosting my running performance.

The best part of the hour was getting into a really good rhythm after 40 minutes and I actually got a little lost in the run and I found myself 5 minutes further on in the session. Now that's a first as like EVERYONE who does this session, I'm a proper clock-watcher. Getting to the end of this hour, felt absolutely brilliant.

And that's why we run isn't it? Running doesn't have to be matter what session you are do.

More tomorrow and thanks to Peter Gabriel and STEAM for providing the music for tonight's run...(shook the Master's hand in 1978 at The Hammersmith Apollo)...

Steam - Peter Gabriel

'Give me steam and how you feel to make it real' - Peter Gabriel

It's hard to get the steam building up in your bodies boiler sometimes as it's all to easy to constantly be tapping into any reserves you can build up... when you run a LOT, recovery always makes you feel like you constantly have one of your valves open.

I'm trying hard today not to go and bash in a few miles today as I'm trying to build up a head of steam for Sunday's Neolithic Marathon from Avebury to Stonehenge. (I was last there in 1998 and clocked 3:46) Thirteen years on I'm not expecting miracles but just a good consistent first marathon after last month's Marathon des Sables.

That's what I am telling myself and hopefully the last couple of weeks of training as well as the hill session I did with MdS#14 runner, Nathan Williams, I did yesterday will start paying off.

More tomorrow... 'Give me Steam!'...