Friday, 29 November 2013

Cold - The Pines

Another day - another HOT bath... It's the only time I ever feel warm down here in God's Country.

On yet another MdS Day, this time with the very cheerful Rose Kingscote, even a run to Penarth and back didn't really raise my temperature more than slightly above freezing. You can tell December is coming!

Does it feel like its Christmas time to you yet?

It certainly looks that way down in these parts and I'm looking forward to some warmer climbs this side of the festivities as I'm not sure what I'll be like when the really cold weather hits us.

Until then it's more coaching and a Happy 60th Birthday to Big Dave Carter MBMRITWWE tomorrow...

Coleman Coaching - The UK's Premier ULTRA-marathon Coaches -

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Get 'em out by Friday - The Almighty Genesis

Friday Eve already and another MdS Coaching day today, this time with Per Hedburg from Sweden down the sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr.

Invaluable stuff for Per and a good reminder to me also that in 126 days I will be at my 11th Marathon des Sables...

Where does the time go? Ah well another MdS Day tomorrow and another 26.2 miles - that's where it goes!

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Coleman Coaching - The UK's Premier ULTRA-marathon Coaches -

Location:Pembroke Road,Cardiff,United Kingdom

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Jet - Paul McCartney and Wings

'We'll go for a ride in the sky' - Paul and Linda McCartney

I've had a fascinating Marathon des Sables Training Day with a young RAF Fighter Pilot of just 26 today! It was just amazing how he's been trained and coached over the last eight years to become a multi-tasking pilot flying £200 million of ground-breaking flying technology.

It sounded like he was a cross between a F1 Driver/XBox Genius/Chess Player all rolled into one. What a cool job it sounded too.

Makes my training days most entertaining for me I can tell you...and our 26.2 miles just whizzed by. Quite handy when my legs are still feeling the pace of the San Sebastian Marathon.

We had a good day out though and I'm now looking forward to another one on Friday and Sunday as well as a couple of miles in the sand with Per Hedburg tomorrow.

It's all systems go right now and more tomorrow...

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Praise You - Fat Boy Slim

'We've come a long long way together, through the hard times and the good' - Cook & Yarbrough

My word Jen and I went a long, long way together this weekend and even at 3am this morning when we finally got home it still felt like we'd moved mountains and had one of the weekends of a lifetime in Santander and San Sebastian.

My legs don't feel too bad either and I have three more 26.2 milers to knock out on MdS Training days with clients to keep my wheels in motion.

Funnily enough you don't notice it when you are here but it was a very wintry looking Wales we woke up to this morning and with less than a month till the shortest daylight day, Spring and a New Year with even better return awaits us both.

Planning starts for us today and who knows what's next?

More tomorrow...

Monday, 25 November 2013

Domino - Jessie J

The San Sebastian Marathon Course
'I can taste the tension like a cloud of smoke in the air,
Now I'm breathing like I'm running cause you're taking me there'.

Cornish, Gottwald, Kelly, Martin & Walter.

This song really spoke to me as I started to 'up my pace' in the last six miles of yesterday's San Sebastian Marathon. Now if you are looking for a fast time to finish off your year of marathon running, then this one could be right up your street.

I'd been eyeing this one up for Jenny to beat the sub 3-hour marathon for some time and it came at the perfect time for her race and training schedule as well as bookending a season of personal bests for her.

For me it's all about approach and getting racing into a pattern of behaviour that takes all the pressure out of beating PBs into one of wanting to smash them with a certain amount of ease. It makes racing a more enjoyable experience and one that the athlete isn't frightened of re-engaging with to go even faster next time.

For Jenny, all the 'planets' lined up and on a 26.5 mile long marathon course she was more like 2.57 than her total 2.59.06 official time. My 3.43.54 more of a 3.41 and in line with my Wolverhampton and Abingdon times with a negative split to boot.

The whole 'San Sebastian Marathon' experience has been totally brilliant... 
- the awesome reception from the Santander Runners on Friday
the fastest flattest marathon 
- the best Stadium finish where I cried more than Jenny at the finish line
- the welcome and generosity of one Rory Gonzalez who made all of this happen 
- seeing a 'Girl from Wales' join the sub 3-hour club and achieve a life-long running dream.

Is it time you ran a dream time? If it is please drop us a line - we'd love to hear from you.

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Y Viva España - Sylvia

Well what a welcome Spain had for us in Santander and we were treated like a Royal Couple by the athletes at the Marisma Fitness Centre.

I did wonder, before my talk, how it would go as I know only a couple if words if Spanish and my audience only a few English but luckily translator Liz was there to smooth out my delivery and convey the humour. I'm now classing myself as an international speaker!

An easy job it was too as the 100 or so athletes who came were just an absorbing and friendly bunch of people... Enthusiastic and very eager for knowing more about marathons and ultras. It was amazing that after my talk and with a few drinks we didn't really need any help conveying our stories to one another. They also made sure we came to their weekly club breakfast of Champagne, cake and omelette too.

Heartwarming stuff indeed and we as a nation could learn lots from these folk I believe...

Let's hope we get the same support around San Sebastián tomorrow and thanks to Aurora Gonzalez for making this trip happen for us.

More post Siesta :-)
Coleman Coaching - The UK's Premier ULTRA-marathon Coaches -

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Journey - Don't stop believin'

Don't stop believin', hold on to the feelin' - Cain, Perry & Schon

Ain't technology just great? Back in the late 60's and early 70's we used huge computers with the equivalent memory of a standard email to send man to the moon.

40+ years on and we have all that technology and more at our fingertips and as runners on our wrists! I for one just love all the data we can stream onto the web about our latest training run or race.

I'll be most interested to see what I get off my upgraded Garmin 910XT (thanks to Run and Become in Cardiff) from the San Sebastian Marathon will show on Sunday.

I'm not expecting any seasons best BUT it will be interesting to see how far I can push myself after a mere 70 marathons so far this year.

More later..

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Welcome to the Machine - The Pink Floyd

'What did you dream? It's alright we told you what to dream' - Waters

When 'they' say all you need to go running is a pair of trainers, well 'they' are lying...judging by our standards anyway as we are off Marathon Running in sunnier climbs this weekend and I don't think Ryanair's Total Passenger Baggage allowance for the whole plane will probably be enough for Jenny and my baggage needs.

What with a couple of pairs of trainers (at least), laptop (I'm speaking on Friday to a group of Spanish athlete's), powders, gels, clothes, watches, suncream (hopefully) & compression etc. it's not such an easy task to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

For two lightweight MdS Runners, we certainly pack it in for a road marathon. 50kgs just isn't enough...

Seriously, I'm really looking forward to the marathon as it's our last gasp of catching some sun this year and it's my last chance of using up the last of my stored endurance from the 28 in 28 in October. Don't expect Pb's from me but hey who cares after my 2013.

More tomorrow...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Russell Watson - Race to the End

'Whenever the running man awakes, to challenge to glory' - Especially for Ted Jackson
I've had a great weekend of Marathon des Sables training with MdS 14 Wannabes, Sarah Morris and Ted Jackson. Two very different athletes with one common goal of getting that coveted Desert Medal, next April.

I really enjoyed both days of running 26.2 miles and it's always fascinating to get an insight into someone else's world and understand just what makes then tick and why they want to go to their limits of human endurance.

It makes me proud to know that I can teach them so much about the journey, they are undertaking. All good fun and as ever there were some priceless moments along the way ranging from three year old quad-bikers being egged on by deranged parents on Saturday to Lay-by Closet Bagpipe players trying out new reeds on Sunday (both near Barry). 

You had to be there and not at Lavernock Point either as that's another story which I won't go into...certainly raised my eyebrows!

Anyway, the interesting part is just how well these runs build baseline endurance as my HR was never above 97 bpm for the whole of yesterday's marathon.

All good news for the weekend's San Sebastian Marathon...I hope!

Coleman Coaching - The UK's Premier ULTRA-marathon Coaches -
Location:Pembroke Road,Cardiff,United Kingdom

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Dusk - Genesis

'But wait, on the horizon, a new dawn seems to be rising' - Gabriel, Banks, Phillips & Rutherford

Here's a session for you if you are one of my clients struggling with the 'Mighty Power Hour', try the 'Half K Rising'... A new tool of pain and pleasure from the Coleman Dastardly Mind of Training. It's TOUGH!!!

My heart rate from the hour on the treadmill is above and as you can easily see I was well over my 161 max for the last 22 minutes and I had to have a bit of a sit-down afterwards as my knees were slightly wobbly.

It was a bloody good session though and one I will prescribe as I'm sure it will really help with SPEED and ENDURANCE. HONEST!

If you are interested in the knitty-gritty please let me know...

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Kasmir - Zeppelin

Yes I know these are Womens legs not mine!!!
'Trying to find, trying to find where I've been' - Bonham, Patrick & Plant

Thanks to Lynn Rees, her of the best massage hands in God's Country, I'm walking pretty straight today and I haven't got that horrible hurty leg feeling one gets a couple of days after a marathon pasting.

However I feel totally know the fall asleep at 3pm feeling associated with a sugar low? Well this is a sugar crisis and it was for most of the day if I'm being honest.

Another good night's sleep and hopefully I will be feeling a bit like my old self once again.

More tomorrow, if I can keep my eyes open!

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Cage - The Almighty Genesis

Watch out for low-flying Motorbikes
And the childhood belief, brings a moment's relief - Gabriel

Now you will like this if you've never won a race or ever will as until yesterday I hadn't. Oh yes, I've done lots of running feats and yes I've been the 'Best in the World' according to Guinness, 9 times but never in 820 marathons have I ever won a trophy, including my 3rd in the Grand Union Canal Race 145 back in 1999 when it was considered a bit pansyish to get a trophy for such an ULTRA-test of endurance.

Anyway, Neil Thubron has it just right at Druid as he has a Winner's Category for the SV50 Category ..yep a trophy for the older gent, like me, and I finally found what it felt to be a winner. It must become a pest if you are always winning every race and have trophies galore but I've placed mine in pride on the mantelpiece in our lounge. 

It's looks lonely up there but who cares as eh? I've got ONE and that's good enough for me...

Actually, I felt on form all weekend and after speaking on Saturday Evening to the runners taking part at the weekend, some of my own medicine must have paid off. Running the hills and smashing it out in the endless mud makes a huge difference to your time. I managed sub 15 hrs for the three days combined so I'm well pleased.

Maybe it's time to reset my horizons...

More tomorrow...

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Shine on you Crazy Diamond Part 1

Just when it couldn't get muddier or wetter... It did! Out of all the Druids I've done this one is now officially the hardest and yet I still still 4:56:00 out there battling the elements today.

I did have a few moments of apprehension when the heavens opened and the temperature dropped like a stone but here I am alive and well looking forward to tomorrow's final leg,

It's been proving hard which is reflected in the race times - I'll be putting up race times tomorrow, and tonight is a time to relax before my talk at 7pm...

More later and it's time to relax before Tonight's Talk.

Coleman Coaching, the UKs leading marathon coaches.

Friday, 8 November 2013

No Jacket Required - Phil Collins

I thought it was a good idea to go light at today's Druid Challenge and it just about paid off as the weather was totally awful and the trail a complete bog.

Funnily enough it made things a bit more up my street and I managed a good pace (for me) all the way to do just under 30 miles in 4:59 so I'm most pleased at my performance today.

It's probably going to come back and haunt me tomorrow as I had to beast myself down the last mile to nip under the 5 hours by a massive 9 seconds.

We'll see eh?

I'm looking forward to a nice sleepsy-kipsy tonight with my 100 room mates...

More tomorrow... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Location:Pyrton Lane,Watlington,United Kingdom

Thursday, 7 November 2013

What's another year?

I can't believe its twelve months since the last Druid Challenge and looking back at the last 365 days, it's been one hell of a year.

So much so, I'm using it as the theme for my Saturday Night Talk. If your going, you'll get the highs, lows and findings from an amazing year in the life... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Location:Pembroke Road,Cardiff,United Kingdom

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Waiting Room - Genesis

Another day and another iPhone, this one lasted just over a month before it couldn't find our Wi-fi which is sitting in the corner of our lounge, technology eh...ah well the 'Disney' styled Apple Store People brightened my morning as did bumping into Welsh Rugby Player, George North who was also in there with a broken iPhone. He didn't remember me, when I said hello, but did remember me when I mentioned Jenny - funny that.

Anyway, back to the point and yep it's the wind-down to Druids now and it's Carbo-Central for me and no running till Friday as I build up some energy for the 82 miles ahead.

If you are going, I'm speaking on the Saturday Evening so it would be good to see you there.

I'm off to delete 150 emails that have now been sucked into my inbox and stick in a few more passwords.

It's so funny that Apple have us in the palm if their hands with these devices. They tried to coax £139 out of me for me new one - it was a good Try...

More tomorrow when I'm bursting with Carbo-loading Powder and less puns! - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Sonnet - The Verve

'Looking at the heavens with a tear in my eye' - Ashcroft

What a difference 24 hours makes and Cardiff morphed from the wettest, worst place ever yesterday into the sunniest, brightest day imaginable this morning; which luckily continued all day long.

It was a good job too as I had MdS14 Wannabe, Chrissie Bucklebee from Brighton with me for a day of Marathon des Sables race theory and marathon running. And a splendid day we had together too as it was hard to think that we were running on such a wonderfully sunny day in November.

On days like today, it makes you glad to be alive and makes me realise that I'm extremely lucky to do this as my job. It sure as hell beats working in an office!

Best part of the run was around Penarth, one of my favourite latter day haunts with it's renovated sea-front, which is a pure gem of route to run. Hopefully Chrissie enjoyed her day of coaching with me as much as I did and I'm sure she's going to go on and have a great MdS.

How can I follow that you ask? Well, with a bit of a day off perhaps and a few weights tomorrow pm now my arms have some feeling back in them.

More then...

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Achilles Last Stand - Zeppelin

'Oh to sail away, To sandy lands and other days' - Plant

I've got a big week of running ahead of me; so what's new about that I hear you say but it's a time now for building after my Stoptober efforts and four marathons in seven days is enough for me to get my teeth into right now especially as the weather has turned from awful to plain dreadful in God's Country.

I did have to stop myself from going to Steppingley today to run 26 more miles as I know I have to build rather than destroy my legs pre-Druids which starts on Friday.

If you are running there, I'm speaking on Saturday Night in my usual slot about all things Ultra... so there's a wide open book for you if ever there was one...and I'll be preparing for my talk over the next few days.

Anyway, back to reality and tomorrow is an MdS Training Day with Chrissie Bucklebee, whom I'm looking forward to teaching about the race and running the inevitable 26 miles with (at MdS pace of course).

With 10.5 miles yesterday and 6 today, 26 tomorrow, it will be the right wind-down for some long hills and 82 miles of running at Druids.

I'm looking forward to taper-time...

How about you? - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Friday, 1 November 2013

On the Beach - Chris Rea

Somehow we missed the rain in Wales today and we really enjoyed our trip down to the mighty Merthyr Mawr sand dunes.

Unlike the last time we were there in July, when the sand was perfectly dry and almost unrunable we quickly made steps with our footprints that made the hill reps a bit easier. They still hurt though I can tell you.

If you are running MdS in April next year, I suggest you try these babies out as it will give you a great insight into what you are in for. - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Location:Longwood Drive,,United Kingdom