Thursday, 26 December 2013

Smoke - The Tubes

Whole world is smokin’ - Cotton, Welnick & Spooner

Yep, it's 20 years to the day that I stubbed out my last B&H and I won't wax on about it BUT I'm bloody well glad I did as I have certainly made the most of quitting the 'Evil Weed' ever since.

I'd never have thought back then that I would have run so many miles and had so many adventures with my new 'life of fitness'.

If you're a smoker and you are reading this... January 1st is looming and it's a good day to start the rest of your life 'smoke free'. Have a go as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, take a look at my #Stoptober Campaign.

I celebrated with a lung-busting 10 miler up and over Caerphilly Mountain which I couldn't have done some 20 years ago and which I thouroughly enjoyed today. 

Life's full of surprises eh? and never say NEVER!

More tomorrow...

I'd never

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Don't look back - Boston

'I don't mind where I get taken, the road is callin', Today is the day' - Scholz

Well I took myself to Rudry today, the hard way past Ty Mawr and 'over the top' of the mountain on the concrete road in horizontal rain. It was totally flooded in places. Yes, it was an adventure but if I'm due to run 23 x 40 milers in just over three months time, there's no time to waste on my new training plan to match fitness in April.

There's MdS to fit in along the way and a few ULTRAs and Marathons to keep me amused but it's time for miles and the terrain north of Cardiff is just the place to do 'em.

It also means there's more room for my Christmas Din-dins and after today's ten-miler my stomach growling like crazy. So it's a good excuse in my book to feed myself up!

Hopefully you will do the same tomorrow and I'll be bashing in some more miles in the morning, weather willing!

Happy Christmas Folks...

Monday, 23 December 2013

Perfect 10 - The Beautiful South

'You wanna see the smile on my face' - Heaton & Rotheray

Ten always feels like a good number to me and running wise is always a good gauge of fitness and commitment to the task ahead in my opinion. 

In my early years of running I remember setting myself the task of running 10 miles a day for a week just to see if I could do it and it left me pretty exhausted as I remember.

Well things have moved on quite a bit since 1995 and my ten today was physically very easy on the legs but no so on my pneumonic lungs which are only now are starting to work at a more economical rate post infection. It's good to be back running anyway...

Anyway, like most folk, I'm looking forward to a break and my only focus of attention running-wise until 6th January is er....myself, so I'm going to enjoy my festive fitness indulgence.

Enjoy your break too as if you are like me you have many mountains to climb in '14 and this Christmas Boot Camp Running Break will be the foundation block of the year ahead.

And, if we've helped you succeed this year then thanks for letting us into your world and enjoy a perfect 10/10 from both of us.

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

Sunday, 22 December 2013

These are the days of our lives - Queen

'Those were the days of our lives, the bad things in life were so few' - Mercury, May & Taylor

No doubt, I will look back at 2013 as one of 'THOSE' years of my life...I hope so as it's been one heck of a roller-coaster both for Jenny and myself. 

It didn't start off too well, as regular blog readers will remember, and it took a few months of hardship and hard training to get things back in order around June to get things rocking and rolling once again.

I don't know if I can put my finger on it but something magical happened and things just took off and 2013 felt more like 1996 and my performances reflected that I was back in the old groove again.

Looking back over my 20 years of running, maybe all those mega-day runs took more of a toll on me than I appreciated and recovery plays a far more important part of running than I gave it time for. Looking at the spectrum runners I meet and see on Facebook Pages, more than ever they say they are tired or have dropped out of races - from fatigue in my opinion both mentally and physically.

What 2014 has in store, well who knows...I hope I will be able to look back on it in future years and feel proud. I do this year and I'm trying to keep the impetus going for the next passage in my life as I want to enjoy my running for as long as possible 'cos as Freddie says, 'These are the days of our lives'...enjoy them folk, while you can.

More tomorrow and I'm on BBC 5 Live tonight at 8.30pm...

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Black and White Town - The Doves

'Whether you live alone or you're trying to find your way in this world' - Williams, Goodwin & Wiliams.

Boy oh boy! what a week in our crazy running world it's been. Overcoming Pneumonia, supporting Jenny on her 'run of a lifetime so far' in Barcelona and wrapping up a full week of training clients has really made me look forward to the Christmas Break and the opportunity of getting back out trotting out some miles in Cardiff.

Hopefully, the BBC's Jim Connolly will be out there trotting out the miles too, following his visit to see me yesterday. You'll be able to hear how he got on at 8.30pm on Sunday night on BBC5Live as he starts his training for next April's Greater Manchester Marathon.

In the meantime, I'm still catching up on the sleep deprivation from last weekend and am determined to enjoy my current running break. It will give my body a chance to recover from 76 marathons this year and refuel me both mentally and physically for my next busy year ahead.

There's never a dull moment...

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Barcelona - Queen

'Barcelona - Such a beautiful horizon, Barcelona - Like a jewel in the sun' - Moran & Mercury

What can I say about this wonderful city? 

Maybe Sir Freddie of Mercury captured it in the lyrics above best. Gaudi certainly designed it simply to BE the best...

Hmm, what I can say is that Jenny did HER best here today with the best run of her life circling 437.3 metres around lane 6 of an athletic stadium in Barcelona 497 times, to clock a top 10 placing of all time distances recorded by a British Athlete on the track.

It was simply AWESOME for me to watch, support and encourage her to another Personal Best this year.

And Barcelona - Yep, it's just 'Like a jewel in the Sun'... thanks Freddie as it will always be a VERY special place.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

David Gilmour - There's no way out of here

'There are no boundaries set' - David Gilmour

New Marathons and ULTRA-marathons are springing up all the time and it seems that some trying to be the hardest or most extreme, some have bizarre themes to get them to stand out in the ever increasing ULTRA-running market.

Most of these races will come and go and even looking back at the road-marathons during the running boom in 1983, there were approximately 140 in the UK of which only 30 or some 30 years later. My first marathon at Telford and my Pb Course, The Borders sadly didn't make the cut...on and it includes London, once the pinnacle of most runners career.

Looking back at my own career the 1995 London Marathon, MdS, Grand Union Canal Race & Desert Cup provided lifetime pivotal points and real race highlights for me BUT thinking about it running without boundaries has given me far more of a sense of satisfaction.

My mega-day solo runs such as this year's STOPTOBER will always be up there in the best things I have ever experienced.

What I'm saying to you is why not make your own challenge, lots of my MdS Clients are running 5 x 20 milers over the Christmas Holidays and yes it's good prep for the desert BUT I believe they will get a great sense of satisfaction from completing 100 miles from their front-door.

I've got another Mega-day Challenge planned in April after MdS...Have you got a challenge that's not a race?

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Rush - Cygnus X-1 Book 2

'We can run alone and free' - Peart

I'm not sure about you but I've really felt knackered this weekend and having a weekend off the marathons has meant that my systems have gone into meltdown.

It's been quite liberating and I have to admit it's made a pleasant change especially as the days are really drawing in and December's dark days aren't making getting out of the front door that alluring.

Anyway, it's an easy week ahead and one where I'm going to enjoy a bit of a rest and enjoy the run up to Chrimble... 'Cos it's all hands to the pump afterwards as people start to train their festivities off.

Enjoy December Folks :-)

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

Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Winner takes it all - Abba

The winner takes it all, the loser's standing small,
Beside the victory, that's her destiny.

Andersson & Ulvaeus

After watching the British Indoor Rowing Championships today, I can confirm the above. I didn't row myself but I did see a New World Record in the M40-44 catagory and EVERYONE who took part give their ALL including Miss Dynamo, Jenny Salter herself. Very inspirational stuff indeed...

Getting a bronze medal in an event against seasoned rowers from all over the UK, Jenny rowed a blinder in 7.57.02 in her class, just 0.2 behind the silver. Yikes it was close!

After watching the BBC Breakfast News on Friday where parents were saying that taking part in sport is more important than winning, it was funny that the kids said they wanted to win - Well, I'm there with the kids on this one and that WINNING or being GREAT at something shows courage, determination and the ability to devote time and energy to the best result.

Yes some are more gifted than others but it's not necessarily the best person that wins, it's the person that wants it most who does.

Are you a Winner?

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Verve - Weeping Willow

It wasn't this bad though - YIKES!
'I hope you see what I see, I hope you feel like I feel' - Ashcroft

Another long run along the coast today and even down here in Wales the strength and brutality of the current weather systems was clear to be seen. The barrage across Cardiff Bay made for interesting running straight into the massive headwind as did the cliff-top path along Lavernock Point and on well past Sully. It was nearly impossible to run in places.

However, it was one of those runs that makes me feel glad that I live by the sea. I just love the power and rhythm of the waves, tides and how the seasons change the beach. 

There's something very peaceful about the whole coastal experience. I just love going to the sea.

The most amazing thing, yesterday was just how far the tide was out at Penarth. It was the furthest out I'd ever seen it as the Pier was left totally high and dry by a long way at low water, whereas at nine o'clock (yes I went back) last night the waves were breaking on the sea-wall and the pier was then sitting low in the sea like an over-laden ocean liner.

It was quite alarming...but amazing too.

I hope it keeps on being amazing for a long time as Penarth is one my favourite places on earth...ever.

Running really takes you to places...Have you got somewhere special? 

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

The Rolling People - The Verve

'Don't ask why, We just know' - Ashcroft, Jones, McCabe & Salisbury

This running lark is second nature after all these years but I've been asked by BBC Five Live for a piece to add to the BBC Website about running and why the heck I do it.

Not an easy task but the words went like this:- 

'I didn't set out to run hundreds of marathons, set nine Guinness World Records and run The Marathon des Sables (the world's toughest footrace) ten times. I just went for a very short run on January 5th 1994 to help me lose weight when I gave up smoking and drinking. 

It proved to be an amazing life transformation and as I became fitter and lighter, my training runs got longer and I wondered just how far I could run. The 1995 London Marathon provided a suitable goal as it had always been something I'd been in awe of but never fit enough to contemplate running. I enjoyed it so much, I ran another marathon the following weekend and I've been running marathons most weekends, ever since. 

Long-distance running gives me an immense feeling of satisfaction and I now make my living teaching other people of all abilities how to run and achieve their dreams. It's such a positive thing to do and I've been to some amazing places and met incredible people over the years, including my partner Jen Salter during the Marathon des Sables, in the Sahara Desert along the way. 

My dream now is to complete my 1000th marathon and keep running for as long as I can.'

Sounds fair-enough to me and when you know why you run, you just know...

More tomorrow from yet another MdS Training Day

Monday, 2 December 2013

I don't like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats

Robert Frederick Zenon Geldof
'The Telex machine is kept so clean' - Geldof

34 years on and I quite like 'em Sir Bob as it's been my first 'Day off' in quite a while and it's been an opportunity to tie-up some loose ends and get my act into gear for the rest of the year. As for the Telex machine reference, I didn't really know what one was back then and I'm still none the wiser.

I was only 17 in 1979 and in a year that saw the first £million footballer (Trevor Francis), the first test pressing of the CD and 23.85m people watching 'To the Manor Born it's a far cry from our internet obsessed modern day lifestyle.

I'm still listening to 'The Wall' by the mighty Floyd (whom I saw that year at Earls Court) and I wonder what we'll be filling our lives with in another 34 years' time.

Let's hope that Sir Bob and I will still be debating whether Monday is any good or not and for the foreseeable future, it's probably going to get a thumbs up from me for some time to come.

Have you had a Good Monday?

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Augustana - Twenty Years

'Well, I've been running from something' - Layus & Flynn

More like just running for 20 years in reality and I will be celebrating especially on Boxing Day and January 5th as these are the days I quit smoking and booze all those years ago. 

I'm going to be a very proud man come the end of December!

I've been proud this last week actually and I've been amazed at just how much has been packed into the last seven days of my busy running life including a road marathon and four MdS Training Days including a trip to the dunes at Merthyr Mawr. Thanks to all of those who came including Mat Watterson this weekend.

Hold on, did I say December earlier on? Where did 2013 go? I can't believe it's just three weeks 'til Christmas and there's still a couple more marathons to squeeze in before tucking into some well earned Turkey...let's hope all of this year's running pays off and delivers even greater rewards in 2014.

First job is to get rid of my hideous cold are you suffering too?

More tomorrow...