Friday, 28 March 2014

Desert Raven - Jonathan Wilson

'The rain in flowers through the desert sky is wiser then you and me. The birds now go east but still miss a sleep and the desert raven he has palm trees,' - Wilson

Desert Raven is  a brilliant song and sent to me by Mark Gatenby, one of my Carphone Warehouse Average to Awesome runners and most apt as it's now just a week until my 2014 MdS Adventure.

The whole sound of this song sums up how I feel right now, mellow and really looking forward to some desert heat and the feeling of inner calm that being in the Sahara Sands brings each year.

It's hard to explain how the MdS makes one feel but it's a mixture of pain and pleasure with a good measure of humility added to add strength. I always come away feeling revitalised and regenerated from the rather odd retreat the race offers so it must be worth the torment the race brings.

When it does get tough, I do know that I'll be listening to the above track as it will make me think of being in Cardiff on a cold Friday afternoon with freezing cold feet, before a final weekend of easy training and race preparation.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

So far away - David Gilmour

'To still this burning in me?' - Gilmour

The more you do, the more you want to in my book and in the run up to my 11th Marathon des Sables its highlighted to me just how much goes into preparing for a multi-day desert campaign not only for my hundred or so clients taking part this year but also for myself. It's been MdS madness for weeks now in Cardiff. All the excitement takes me back to 1999 and my first time in the wilderness which simply blew me must have as its had so much influence on my life and has done every year I've been since. 

Hopefully I'll be getting another fix of the 'Sahara Magic' in just a few days time.

It's a far cry from when I started out running and didn't even have a challenge to train for. Today I've been writing training tips for the staff of a Global Communications Company to encourage up to 500 of it's staff to enter a race of their choice wherever they live. Now that's a challenge...

Hopefully my experience of the desert is reflected in those tips and it will inspire them to their own greatness. I'm going to read what I wrote in those paragraphs myself next week prior to leaving for Morocco and living the dream once more. 

The fire is still burning, let's hope it fans my flames...

More tomorrow...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Beauty Secrets - Be Bop Deluxe

'I have appointments that I must keep with past' - Nelson

It's been a weekend of recovery and discovery as I've been out planning my 'STAGerthon' for Sunday June 1st down here in sunny Wales. Well let's face it, there's no point in my having a traditional 'Stag-do' as I don't drink but maybe starting at finishing at the Ty Mawr Pub will make it slightly more authentic. You never know it might be good weather just like it was yesterday and we will be able to sit and enjoy the view post 26.2 miles.

It's not for the feint hearted either as it's got some massive hills in it (what would you expect eh?) and there were view of Pen-y-Fan in one direction and over the sea to Bristol Airport and beyond in the other.

I managed to break the five hour barrier and ran the whole way including the massive climbs one of which is right at the start and immediately turns calf muscle's into walnuts.

Am I selling it? Well I'm going to have 25 places and it's not a men only do but my bride-to-be won't be there...well I'm not going to her hen-do am I? It's measured will have full results and you'll be able to enter on-line and with my insurance it will be 'allowed to count' in the 100 marathon statistics.

More tomorrow and I expect my best man to be there too!!!

Friday, 21 March 2014

99.9F - Suzanne Vega

'Like a man on the verge of burning' - Vega

The song is great but the title has always made me chuckle as 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit is actually 37.7 degrees Celsius which isn't exactly burning and if the temperature at the Marathon des Sables was it would be a lot easier. In reality we will be experiencing more like last year's 130F which is 54C which was a lot more challenging I can assure you.

Yesterday in Cardiff it was 50F and only 10C for my MdS Training Day with young Chris Connor where we endured driving, freezing rain and mild hypothermia on our 26.2 mile power walk as he is only just coming back from two stress fractures in his right foot.

It's really hard too keep a constant 15 minute mile pace in such conditions for nearly seven hours, especially when you are freezing your bits off and your feet are not used to being on your feet for so long.

In reality it's great training for the long day and Chris found out that his feet didn't like it that much and will now be taping his feet and finding the instructions for his walking poles that didn't stay at their full length when he used them which was another good learn.

He's a great young man though and if you are walking with him he's very entertaining and has some great stories to take your 'mind off the grind', just don't walk behind him as he's a bit unpredictable with the poles.

It took me a couple of hours to warm up and I'm having a well earned rest day myself today on my taper down to the race.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Night and Day (Steel String Mix) - U2

'I think of you night and day' - Bono
I'm meeting SO many people on the lead up to this year's MdS who are thinking about this race...Night and Day and it's my job to make it as easy as possible for them to get to the start line in just a few days time without having a cardiac arrest. 

In some of the cases this has proved harder than others but the interesting thing is that they will ALL BE OK.

All the ones I've coached will be as I've seen them develop over the past year into well accomplished ultra-marathon runners and more than capable of doing a few days and a couple of hundred kms in hot sand dunes.

Their biggest pre-race problem is getting their local GP to sign off their medical forms and ECG's as most Doctors don't like putting their name to a fitness than an illness form. I'm sure more high blood pressure is caused by this form than recorded on it!

I have young Chris Connor coming to see me for his final MdS run thru tomorrow and he has 'Tall R Waves' on his ECG so I rest my case!!!

Now where are my surgical gloves?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Desire - U2

'Gonna go where the bright lights and the big city meet' - Dozier, Holland, Holland, TROY, Maman & Brooks

The Starting Stats
My trip to the smoke yesterday to see my 'Carphone Warehouse, Average to Awesome 12' (#cpwa2a for short) was a real eye opener for them as well as me as we went back to basics and immediately started all of them on my banned substances diet, including Mark who even at his racing weight would benefit from a better quality diet.

Funnily enough, since our last meet on the 3rd of March, some 14 days later the group has grown 2kgs to 931kgs making my sub 900kgs group target all that bit harder.

Hopefully having the eyes of the world as well as their colleagues AND each other watching their progress, it will sharpen the DESIRE to shape up and get firmly into the first phase of getting ready to cover 100kms.

Right now I'm not sure how they'll get my mind I know they can all do it but it's down to their DESIRE and if they buy into the training process I have planned for them. I'm with it 100% - I wonder if they feel the same?

Watch on and I'll keep you posted with their progress and even though there was a 2kgs gain overall, there are a couple of people already leading the weight-loss challenge.

More tomorrow when I have more of their statistics and thoughts, yes thoughts, in place!

'Desire' - that's what you need and maybe it's our anthem right now. 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Anything she does - Genesis

'You'll still be a young girl, when I'm old and grey' - Banks, Collins & Rutherford

What a wonderful weekend of sunshine to be out running and I really enjoyed the first running of the 26.2 mile distance at the Shakespeare Spring Marathon. It lived up to my expectations and with a little bit of polish and less headwind it could well be a real winner.

The Anglo-Celtic Plate would be ideally placed at such a venue as the Long Marston Airfield supplied a perfectly FLAT course to allow for even pacing  and no nasty hill to climb every lap.

It did measure a bit long at 26.64 miles and I knew well before the last extra 2kms that we'd be running long and the final run down a dead-end turn was superfluous IMO. I did 3.57.42 on my watch for the race and 3.53.38 for the Marathon distance so I'll be very happy with that and 24 hours on my legs are virtually ache-free so my recovery is good.

I have a day of coaching my #CPWA2A disciples tomorrow in London and today has just been a great day of rest in the Salter-Coleman household where we are now planning for our second part of the 2014 season.

Happy Days and more tomorrow.

Friday, 14 March 2014

All along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience

'But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate' - Dylan

I'm going back in time again tomorrow as I head back to Stratford-upon-Avon for another marathon on my lead up to the MdS next month. It's only six days since the Barry 40 but I believe that I've recovered sufficiently enough to run a good time on a perfectly flat course on yet more loops...luckily this time on a 5km circuit. I must be going bonkers!

With just the Jurassic Coastal Challenge left next weekend it's starting to feel that I am winding down quite nicely now and I must say that I'm looking forward to testing out my 2014 level of desert fitness in Merzouga.

I'm just going to enjoy my next few weeks and it's taken me a long time to realise that life's too short and I'm having the time of my life right now and just to savour the moment!

More tomorrow... 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Sheer Heart Attack - Queen

'Well you're just seventeen and all you want to do is disappear' - Taylor

No Heart Attack for me today Mr. Taylor! More just pure attack as I was back on good form bashing in good mileage on strong legs which felt revitalised with Spring Sap. Yep, the leaves are showing on the branches down here in God's Country and the Sun even made it thru one of the deepest sea fogs I've seen so far down here.

Let's hope they feel the same as I trip around 26.2 miles of Long Marston Airfield on Saturday as I bash in my penultimate marathon before going to Morocco.

I also have  my 'Carphone Warehouse Average to Awesome Project' (#CPWA2A) prelude starting on Monday which invoves a two-week fitness challenge for my hopefuls to get their teeth into to keep me busy, so I'm looking forward to my time leading up to the MdS. 

More tomorrow

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Agent Provocateur - Red Tape

'Bend a little' - Gosling

On a day when Dustmen can't deliver replacement recycling bin-bags as it's against their health and safety policy (just one example of daftness I've encountered today) it feels like I'm drowning in a sea of Red Tape.

The 'Computer definitely said No' on far too many occasions for me today. Imagine if our Health and Safety Executives were wheeled into the middle of the Marathon des Sables... Well there wouldn't be a race would there. Or Men on the Summit of Everest, Stood at the South Pole or on the Surface of the Moon for that matter too.

Where did it all go wrong? - When did we loose our sense of adventure and things get so scary we had to wrap everything up in bubble wrap and paint it with Day-glow paint, in Full Overalls in Safety Masks, wearing goggles after a two week course in paint spraying following a full day of first-aid training. People really worry about putting their name to their opinion and it drives me nuts. People ask me for my opinion everyday and I give it without a disclaimer!

Thing is I've managed to get to 52 quite nicely without heeding too many warning signs such as recent ones I've seen such as, coffee-cup with 'caution contents hot' and peanuts with 'caution pack contains nuts' on them because I KNOW THAT ALREADY. 

Luckily I've worked this out for myself in a trial and error method perfected over many years I've picked up from EXPERIENCE. Yes a term lacking more now than ever in our busy and hectic old lives...

Thing is by now I know what the inherent dangers of most things in life are and I've managed to get this far quite nicely and if I want to go and kill myself running huge distances in sand then it's ok - I'm quite happy and I know the risks. Running in a hi-viz vest ain't gonna help me much out there!.

Life's for living and adventure comes at a price - and I'm fully aware of what that is.

Next time 'the computer says no', just do it anyway. You'll probably survive, I do.

More tomorrow and I'm off to cool down...

Monday, 10 March 2014

Forty - U2

'And made my footsteps firm' - Clayton, Evans, Hewson & Mullen

There were lots of many firm footprints for me yesterday as I circled the 400 metre track at Barry's Jenner Park Stadium some 161 times to complete the Barry 40 mile track race and put Mick McGeoch's challenge to me firmly to bed.

Funnily enough and contrary to anyone's misconceptions that I don't like laps or lakes I never had any negative thoughts about the race and I'd completely bought into the 40 some 12 weeks ago when I started my training towards it. You don't spend hours and hours and hours on treadmills, like I have, without a goal in mind and it's been my main focus of this year's winter training for me.

My 6hrs and 19mins won't go down in any record books, apart from Mick's comprehensive results sheet of course but it will reflect the fact that I ran 40 miles at a steady pace, all the way on a very warm spring day. It represents a new 6hr PB for me as well as a 40 mile PB that I set back in 1996.

The best part is that I could run again today and hopefully that's a reflection of my conditioning and not so much that I could have gone faster, which I know I could have.

Maybe it's sub 6 next time! Yikes, did I really type that?

More tomorrow from the funny farm...take me awayyyyyyyyyyyyyy...

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Pharrell Williams - Happy

Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine - Williams

I'll know this time tomorrow and I'm not quite sure how I should be feeling right now as it's a long time since I ran for six hours around a 400 metre track. Exactly how long it will take to cover the 64373.76 metres, who knows, as I'm bloody sure I don't. What I do know is that I'll be giving it all I've got as I've consumed a normal adult's yearly sugar allowance during the last 24 hours!

An evening of settee slouching will hopefully help no end and I can feel a very comfortable nights sleep coming my way.

My GPS Heart-Rate monitor, iPhone and iPod Nano are all on charge and I'm packing my P20 suncream as getting even though getting a suntan in Barry is especially rare at anytime of the year, there is rumour of a March heatwave tomorrow. I've also got a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones to blot out Mick Mcgeoch's race commentary as he's bound to give me a lot of stick in the latter stages of the race (only kidding Mick).

Let's hope I finish before the final whistle in the Wales v England game... more tomorrow as I'm off for some more energy drink and a lie down. All this carbo-loading is exhausting.

More during the #barry40.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Moment for Life - Nicki Minaj

'But to live doesn't mean you're alive'...

How many folk do you know that are living but not alive? It's amazing just how many people are on the treadmill of life and just can't get off or change the programme they are in. It's almost like they're living wearing blinkers and all that matters is getting to the end of the day, week or year in one piece only to start again back at life's square one.

Now, I'm not criticising as if that's ok with you, then that's YOUR business - it's a free old world out there and no one especially me is perfect BUT this week in particular it's ALL been about the process of change and upping ones game, especially for my 12 Carphone Warehouse Average2Awesome people who are now on board with our coaching to make positive changes to their lives...hopefully forever.

My first three calls of the day also reflected this wanting to change and for those clients, change is happening fast, attitudes are changing and new smaller waisted trousers are being bought.

I too am upping my game and my 161 laps of the track on Sunday will certainly give me time to think on about what MY goals are. They've changed a lot since I was 18 and I'm certainly not the man I used to be, so there's hope yet.

What would you like to change about yourself?

Coleman Coaching - The UK's Leaders in Inspirational Coaching.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Loner - Black Sabbath

'The secrets of his past locked deep inside his head. I wonder if he will be happy when he's dead' - Butler

I'm no doubt going to go to some dark places at Sunday's Barry 40 (161 and a bit times around the Jenner Park Stadium) and I'm busy sorting out my tunes ready for my six hour brain disengagement and Loner by the Almighty Sabbath could well make my play-list.

No doubt my prog-rock repertoire will also get a good dusting off as well as some Pendulum played VERY LOUDLY indeed.

I had a dry run (actually a very sweaty run) down the gym in the bay today and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Close to the Edge has never sounded so good. Have a listen and try the section at 15:00 mins - what a track...let's hope it moves and grooves me at the weekend eh?

It's carbo time and the last run of the week tomorrow...

Barry - Let's Rock.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Paperback Writer - The Beatles

'It's a thousand pages, give or take a few, I'll be writing more in a week or two. I can make it longer if you like the style, I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer, Paperback Writer' - Lennon & McCartney

On a day where I've seen a great new MdS book in print by one of my clients, Mark Roe (Forward by yours Truly), I've spent most of my day processing the paperwork from Monday's 'Carphone Warehouse Average to Awesome; (#CPWA2A) Campaign ahead of starting my own running tomb in the next few days.

I always say it's all about the planning and I'm planning like a good 'un on the background to my 'Average to Awesome' piece of literary genius and it's good for me to be having to be so detailed with my writing and record keeping as I am one of the world's biggest BIG picture people and find this stuff extremely difficult to process. 

At 52, I know what I'm good at and quite happy to say so too!

If it's half as well done as Mark's Book, it will be a modern day classic!

There's more book admin to do tomorrow as well so let's hope I can keep the faith and maintain the pace. 

More later eh? 

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Watercolour - Pendulum

'Throw your fists up, come on with me' - Thompson

I had a simply 'BRILLIANT' day training 12 amazing people from Carphone Warehouse in the wonderful Park Club Gym in London as part of my #CPWA2A Campaign for this year's Race to the Stones. 

To be honest I wasn't quite sure what to expect as the prospective candidates were unknown to me before we met but luckily the diversity of sex, age and ability was just what I was after.

The desire to change and complete 'The Race to the Stones'...from all of them was unquestionable.

Hearing them speak their testimony to camera really brought a lump to the throat and a tear to my eye I can tell you and my return journey to Wales gave me some quality time to consider all of their applications to be part of my #CPWA2A Group.

I'm working with them again next week and I'm really looking forward to starting the transformation process of going from 'Average to Awesome'...

The Pendulum Song - Really makes me throw my fists's my anthem of the #CPWA2A...

More later...

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Shamen - Move any mountain

MdS Training in Methyr Mawr
'I will not fail nor falter, I shall succeed, my perception is altered I do believe. Faith is so strong now nothing shall bar my way, from conviction, no fiction this is my day' - Sinnott & Angus

Well what a weekend we've had and if you are taking part in the MdS next month and you weren't with certainly missed a trick. However our bumper group experienced a real baptism of fire running in the massive sunny sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr and climbing the extremely hostile Pen-Y-Fan (886 metres) on one of the most hostile of days weather that I've experienced in the Brecons. It was simply BRUTAL. How the crew from S4C managed to keep filming up there was quite remarkable as were ALL of our people who toughed it out in the driving hail and increasing wind-chill.

The best part for me on these weekends is the bonding that takes place between EVERYONE who comes along and it's great for them to know each other before they get to Gatwick.

From the feedback, we've already had...well they loved it and we loved to too. Personally, I got home and simply crashed out cold as all that mountain air is a killer...

Tomorrow's another day and I have 26 lucky CarPhone Warehouse employees to meet and choose 12 to be part of my #CPWA2A that will see them taking on a massive challenge in July.

There's never a dull day eh? Acton here I come!