Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty

'You used to say that it was so easy but you're trying, you're trying now' - Gerry Rafferty

Well this makes interesting reading as between the two sets of hill reps there's 60 miles of running with wonderfully clean Alpine Low-Oxygen Air been going into them old lungs of mine.

The results show a marked increase in consistency and recovery as I'm over 6 minutes less coming down the 8 reps than before. I also found the climbs a lot more lung friendly and didn't get the terrible panicky feeling that I've previously experienced, and hated. 

How much the improvements are from the training effect of the 60 miles, hill climbing or placebo of knowing I should be quicker than before... well who knows. What I do know is that I felt a whole lot better at the end and blown away by the effects of having a whole lot more red blood cells to me out.

Let's hope I can keep hold of them for a few days longer eh?

More tomorrow...

Monday, 29 July 2013

Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder

'World keep on turnin' - Stevie Wonder

Back in Cardiff and with my feet firmly on ground 42ft above sea level it was back to work and back to 'The Rory Coleman Power Hour'. We might have just spent a week grinding out 60 miles at over 1800 metres but nothing matches a treadmill in Cardiff Bay with the humidity button turned up to 11.

Sweating nearly 3 litres in an hour makes for a very tough session and some very sore nipples from a sopping wet running shirt designed to wick ones sweat clean away. I felt pretty drained after this session but very glad that I'd been able to push my endurance levels up for 10 days at least.

It's a busy day of coaching tomorrow but hopefully there will be time to get some more miles in the sunshine on the clock.

More then...

Saturday, 27 July 2013

2-4-6-8 Motorway - Tom Robinson

Well it's homeward bound for us now and we even braved a morning run 250m down the valley and back to finish our running off for the week.

I can't tell you how satisfying it was to conquer Cardiac Hill for the last time!

Ten hours in the car will now provide a well earned rest before the very strange Eurotunnel experience back to blighty.

More then... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Location:L'Isle d'Abeau,France

Friday, 26 July 2013

The only way is up - Yazz and the Plastic Population

As our time in the Alps draws to an end I will take away one major impression of Altitude Running with Attitude - and that's just how much it hurts to run fast uphill.

It does...there's no escaping the fact YET it does get easier and it is remarkably rewarding when you are able to drop a gear and get some pace up on the steepest hills.

It will be fascinating just how much difference it will make to running at 14m in Caerdydd and I'll let you know how I get on...

More then... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Location:D117,Les Ménuires,France

Coldplay - Yes

If you'd only say Yes...

Yes it's all about being positive, especially in my case as I hate the first few kms of the massive climb we are running up each morning.

After that first few minutes I'm finding out that I can get into a good rhythm and work at a good rate up the 500+ metre climb.

It must be working as I knocked a good three minutes off the climb this morning...

Can't be bad eh? Just one more climb tomorrow before our long trip home on Saturday.

More then... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Location:D117,Les Ménuires,France

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Big Country - Big Country

Wow this is an awesome place to run. It's also a great place to get some life inspiration too...

Taking a cable car up to the 3200 metre peak, Cime de Caron, we really did get a view that really drove home the enormity of the landscape we've been part of this week.

Whacking in our second run of the day was a whole lot easier after that.

Let's hope its easier on our second trip up Point de la Masse tomorrow... More then. - The UK's Leadingry ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Location:La Croisette,Les Ménuires,France

River Deep, Mountain High - Ike and Tina Turner

Today's morning jaunt followed a four mile detox down the valley and back as a wind-down to yesterday's trip to the Pointe de la Masse.

My legs did get some recovery in the freezing cold river that flows thru Les Menuires but I lacked Chris's waist deep courage of full tackle immersion.

Anyway, back to today's jaunt up to La Lac...If you can imagine 250 metres of vertical climb on a boulder trail without any oxygen and you've got the picture.

Hard, yes but I believe it's getting easier and knowing we are running at 800 metres higher than Snowdon, is a real boost to the running ego and hopefully its working wonders on my red blood cell count.

Let's hope eh? More later... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Location:Torrent Le Doron de Belleville,Saint-Martin-de-Belleville,France

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

When the going gets tough - Billy Ocean

Tough just doesn't describe today’s 1000m+ climb to the 2804 metre summit of Point de la Masse. It was actually one of the toughest runs I've ever undertaken. With my trusty partner Chris Whistler in tow we set off at a remarkably slow jog up the long first climb that gets your heart beating so you can hear it in your eardrums and you breathing like a sixty-a-day smoker with emphysema.

I planned the run to be a first gear climb all the way…any faster and I’d blow out long before the summit. It’s a damned good job I had that in mind at the bottom as by half-way our normal turning point I was still running below my threshold pace, with some gas still in the tank. This was to change now as it got steeper and the trail turned to slush and then snow. The climbs were now very steep and very long indeed.

It really did go on forever and it was pure pride that got us to the top to some applause from folk who had seen us running up from the cable cars. That last few metres were quite euphoric I can tell you.

The descent was just as taxing on tired legs and the whole 14 mile trip took well over 3 hours. Not record breaking BUT totally invigorating and a real morale booster for the UTMB. I dread to think what my quads will be like tomorrow but who cares as I ran all the way to the top of that bloody mountain today!

More tomorrow…

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

On the Air - Peter Gabriel

Well on first outing at Altitude was more like an Attitude Run. Ten miles is a long way with a positive climb of 562 metres in 5km making it just under 1:9 all the way up.

My target was to run the whole way (which I did) using Leckwith Hill climbs as a base line to my rate of climb. My knees were knocking at the top and I did feel mildly bilious but I will put that down to the altitude.

Tonight's session will be a shorter outing as tomorrow, I'm running all the way up to 3000+ metres.

The present dip in an ice cold stream is doing wonders for my legs and I can feel my eyelids getting heavy - its hard work all this training.

More later... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coach.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin

We finally got to Les Meniures at lunchtime after an 826.2 mile drive from sunny Cardiff. Of course it's raining here and even if it was baking hot and dry our first run out is planned for tomorrow morning.

At 1818 metres above sea level, (that's nearly 6000ft) the resort is going to provide a great base for us to run out of.

That's if any of us can lift our heads off the settee. I had a two hour loss of consciousness earlier on which I'm going to add a good nights sleep to right now. As tomorrow we hit the trail.

More then... - The UK's leading running coach.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Watercolour - Pendulum

'Feed the fire, break your vision,

Throw your fists up, come on with me'.

After a considerably hard few months of training others, I am off to the Alps tonight for a week of decommissioning and an opportunity to take in the alpine air and chilax with some long training runs at altitude.

Well it's high altitude really as I'll be living above 1500m (5,000ft) and my daily runs will go well above 2400m and up to 3048 metres (10,000ft) which will really get my red blood cells multiplying...well that's the hope anyway!

I'll keep you posted with my progress or slowgress as it will be for the first few days as last weeks 90 miles in my legs catch up with the lack of oxygen in my legs.

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Circumstances - Rush

'Now I've gained some understanding of the only world that we see
Things that I once dreamed of have become reality' - Lee, Lifeson & Peart.

We all make choices and we are victims of our own volition it seems. Listening to people's circumstances as I do everyday of my life often makes me wonder what we are all actually after in this short time we have on this earth.

Fame and Fortune seem to be high on the list in the early years of life but changes to happiness for most as the years go by. I've spent the last couple of days being the latter enjoying a day out for Jenny's Birthday on the wonderful Welsh Gower Coastline and coaching another set of runners for MdS#14 along the coast to Penarth and Sully.

I've got another one today and then it's off to France for some chill out time in the Alps.

Maybe keeping it simple is the best way forwards in life?

More tomorrow... 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Life of Mine - Toxic Federation

'Today or tomorrow you'll finally realise, it's all in your mind' - Coleman, Emms, Graham, Stroud & Windsor. 

Full Song

It really is just in the mind as it's the mind that limits what we do and achieve both in everyday life and our running careers. I tried to break my mind's limitations this morning on our regular Wednesday Leckwith Hill session.

To say it was hard following the weekend's 100km of #racetothestones would be an understatement but none-the-less my times weren't too far off the norm with just a 10 second overall climb gain over the 8 ascents. Maybe it showed me what I can do and what I'm capable of when I put my mind, and body, to it.

I've got a nice rest day planned tomorrow as it's Jenny's Birthday and then I have a couple more marathons arriving quickly on the horizon.

Let's hope the good weather lasts as heat training is really going to help me at UTMB.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Loose Fix - Mondays

Mont Blanc - 4810m 

'Do what you're doing, say what you're saying, go where you're going, think what you thinking'...

This is a mantra for me right now as I step up the pace for UTMB. After speaking at Run and Become in Cardiff last night my own words are now ringing in my ears and it's time to 'man-up for what's in store'.

Watch this space and if you are at Leckwith Hill @0850hrs tomorrow you'll be training as hard as I am :-)

Monday, 15 July 2013

Time - The Pink Floyd

'You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today,
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun'. 

Gilmour, Mason, Waters & Wright

On a baking hot weekend in very similar to that of 13th July 1985 for the Live-Aid concert (yes 28 years ago) I found myself running my 776th and 777th Marathon at #racetothestones. If you'd have told me that back in '85, I would never have believed you, as life has changed so much for me since those dark days.

The weekend's event, a double 50km trail-run on the Ridgeway Trail was truly awesome both in adventure and in organisation  Everything you needed for support was laid on - great food, camping, showers and lots of similar minded folk. What more could you want?

On top of that, my 8th place overall was a great reward for weeks of hard training and sensible running approach in the hot and humid conditions that most of the 200 runners in my race struggled with.

It's made me realise just how much I enjoy running on the trails and that if I run at my full potential, I can get achieve good with Super Jenny is making me very competitive... Hopefully I was the first over 50 to finish.

I'm going to build on this and UTMB seems a bit nearer and clearer for me to conquer.

More tomorrow... 

Friday, 12 July 2013

It's not the same - Liam Bailey

'Where does the time go, where will it end? - Liam Bailey

I'm getting quite nervous about tomorrow's #racetothestones, I'm not sure why as they are my 776 & 777th marathon. Threshold Sports, the organiser, have done a brilliant job of getting 800 weekend warriors to come and take on 100kms of the Ridgeway Trail and have really showed the ULTRA-running market how to do it. I feel a bit on show as I'm the coach for the race so I have to perform!

The temperatures are set to hit nearly 30 degrees and I'm going to take it easy on day one of the race so I can enjoy the planned stopover with friends and clients who are also taking part before a cooler Sunday ULTRA..

If you are going too, I'll see you there.

I'm off to get my beauty sleep as it's a 3am start from Caerdydd!!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Gold Rush - Danny Byrd

I've been rushing myself today up and down Leckwith Hill yet again with my good friend, Nathan Williams. It provided a good prelude to #racetothestones at the weekend and got me really thinking about the 100kms of trail that I will be running in near 30 degree heat.

I'm really going to be thinking about my hydration and salt levels for this event as over the past two days, I've sweated buckets. During this mornings hill reps, I really needed windscreen wipers to keep the water out of my eyes.

Following this weekends race I'm off to the Alps to get some more heat and altitude training in preparation for the UTMB... so it's time to get serious.

More tomorrow... 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

More than a feeling - Boston

Wonderful Malvern
'I begin dreaming, more than a feeling' - Tom Scholz

There are places on this planet of ours that feel special… more important… that give a feeling of warmth and downright special-ness. We all have them… and we all know where they are. For some reason Penarth Pier has joined my list of special places which includes Malvern, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Old Severn Bridge and The Mirador above Puerto Pollenca as well as Ouarzazate of course.

There must be something that gives out the positive energy that I seem to thrive on. Maybe they are all on some kind of Druid Lay-line that I’m only aware of sub-consciously. What I do know is that all of them give me a mental lift whenever I see them or if I am able to go there.

Some are easier than others of course but a sit on the beach by Penarth Pier with a nice cup of tea in any weather seems to put my world into perspective and makes me feel a whole lot better about things.

Where’s your special place?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant

'We don't follow fashion, that would be a joke' - Pirroni/Ant

I spoke at an ULTRA-running Expo yesterday and I really enjoyed speaking to an audience of runners most of whom were starting out on their ULTRA-marathon running career. The theme of my talk was to highlight some of the ULTRA-myths that people get suckered into about running long distances, such as never warming up and running hard for the first half of a race and walking the rest...hopefully the delegates enjoyed my talk BUT, the interesting thing to me was what people were putting on their feet.

By now, if you read my blog regularly you will know which trainers I recommend and opinions have been gained from running 755 marathons, 43 of which were consecutive 50kms in 43 days from London to Lisbon where if I had been in Asics trainers for instance, in my opinion, I wouldn't have got out of France. This theory is underlined by runners taking on the 868 mile John o'Groats to Land's End where they suffered terrible, forefoot blisters and Anterior Compartment Syndrome. It's amazing to me that people buy them?

I know the only reason I managed to get the 1275 miles to Lisbon with my feet 100% was by wearing Saucony Shoes, some days different types to allow for the camber of the road. I know the reason I can finish MdS without blisters is because of my Brooks trainers, they are ideal for the race and my clients who wear them also enjoy their benefits. My professional daily contact with runners allows me to congregate running injuries and shoe brands into groups whereby I can help people reduce the possibilities of future problems by encouraging them not to use certain brands of shoes.

It's not popular with the Hoka wearers especially BUT there IS an increased chance of getting Prepatellar bursitis (aka Runner's Knee) if you wear them on really long runs...ask Hoka. I've met lots of runners who fit into this group. The funny thing is I have to try and persuade people who have them not to use them. You'd think with my experience and with it being my JOB people would listen.

I could comment on all of the shoe brands, I know what's good, what isn't and I recommend the best shoe to meet my clients needs. Knowing what to put on your feet is a VITAL part of running ULTRAs - I found out the hard way...if you want to know what to wear and why I think what I think about trainers, come and see me...

More tomorrow...

Friday, 5 July 2013

Change - The Lightning Seeds

'The world is full of fools, who never get it right. You don't know what to do, so you do anything you like.' - Ian Broudie.

Another day in the gym pit and another day of redirecting clients who have been drawn into believing stuff about running which just ain't true. It drives me mad but I feel marvelous to be able to help them get back on the safe and narrow path to success...

I'm speaking at The Team Hope Seminar tomorrow in Birmingham and if you want to know exactly what I think about things, please come and see me there!

More later...

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Heaven and Hell - Sabbath

Damian Hall - Feeling the Burn
Well, if it seems to be real, it's illusion, for every moment of truth, there's confusion in life - BERGE/ POWELL/ COOPER / HIGGINS/ COLER

Talk about a long day... it was hills reps followed by two ULTRA-marathon running clinics at Aspire Fitness including taking photos and being interviewed for Men's Fitness. That's enough for any coach I'd say!

I won't go on much about my hills apart from it was good to see actor Richard Harrington take on the mighty Jenny Salter up Leckwith Hill eight times. She of course was the hill-master BUT after a few weeks of following my programme Richard is looking very lean indeed. I'm sure he'll get her next time...

My afternoon was spent with Men's Fitness reporter Damian Hall who is looking to beat a three hour marathon and can do with ease if today is anything to go by...what a great runner!

I'll keep you posted with his progress.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Nobody told me - John Lennon

Everybody's runnin' and no one makes a move, Everyone's a winner and nothing left to lose - Lennon

It's been a fascinating few days as I've been preparing for the Team-Hope seminar on Saturday... during my speaking slot, I will be explaining away some of the myths and misinformation that people believe about ULTRA-marathon and Mega-distance running.

As yet, in my opinion, there isn't a good resource out there, highlighting the pit-falls and common mistakes that people make when they step up the distance and take on the world of long distance running. I'll be looking at some of those misconceptions during my talk.

Some of them have become my pet hates over the years and if you know me or read my blog, you'll know what some of them are by now... for instance I won't be speaking wearing gardening gloves! (Sorry Vibrams).

If you have some of your own, please let me know and I'll include 'em in my talk...

More tomorrow... 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Tom Sawyer - The Awesome RUSH

Tom Sawyer - 'Catch the mist, catch the myth, Catch the mystery, catch the drift' LeePeartLifeson & Dubois

Wow, it's been a busy day of coaching with a monumental hill session with Nikki Singh-Barmi on the nasty Leckwith Hill followed by 26.2 miles with an MdS Client out to Penarth Beyond and back again.

I'm not sure whether I'm over the weekend as yet but it felt pretty good really to be able to do this with comparative ease. Surprising as I did a heavy PHA session in the gym that nearly finished me off yesterday.

More tomorrow...