Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Time to Kill - UK

'Time to kill, going nowhere' - Bruford, Wetton & Jobson

It feels like my old legs have been treading custard today and I've been waiting for the last bits of an achy Shakespeare Marathon to go so I can start preparing for the 50km Anglo-Celtic Plate on Saturday. What a gluten for punishment eh? I won't go on about the 24 laps or the gradient (promise) and I'm just going to get my arse into gear and get on with this one as I'd like to get a decent 50km time under my belt. 

There's commitment! 

Anyway, keeping my mind stimulated on days like this is always the best approach and it was great this morning coaching sub-3 hour marathon wannabe Huw Griffiths at the Aspire Gym and I secured becoming the UK Coach on a very high profile series of Global ULTRA-Distance Races (more about this in the next newsletter). Following all of that I will admit to having a close look at the inside of my eyelids this for a good forty minutes...which shows I am still a bit tired from the early starts and the MdS or that I need to be put out in the afternoon in a bathchair like lots of nursing home inmates for a nap. 

OK, I know what you are thinking and just to prove how old I am - I downloaded the UK, Night After Night Album from 1979 certainly brightened up my late afternoon and if you are in need of one of the best live prog rock albums ever made - then give it a go. 

They don't make them or ME like that anymore...thank God you say!

More tomorrow - When I will be out doing a few miles :-)

Monday, 28 April 2014

I'm Gonna Win - Foreigner

'You see it's a matter of pride, deep down inside' - Jones

There was a lot of pride at stake at yesterday's Shakespeare Marathon and it lived up to all of my expectations as well as providing me with a fabulous trip down my childhood and marathon running years.

I couldn't believe just how many people there were at the start in the centre of town and the first couple of miles were a bit of a traffic jam but thinned sufficently to get into a good tempo by the time I reached my old hunting ground in the village of Luddington. I must say that I'd been a bit nervous about running this marathon so close to the end of Marathon des Sables and following a week of indifferent training with wooden, lifeless legs.

My goal, (yes I still set them even on #839 marathon) was to get as close to 4 hours as possible and even in my last phone-call to 'Coach Salter', I said that I was 'just looking to enjoy the run'.

Now it might have been the colder conditions (just 9c) or the on and off drizzle or the 152 miles warm up in Morocco but I felt really strong and steady all the way. I'm sure the Carbo-Loading using Reflex's 'The Edge' really helped and if you look at my race stats here as I felt strong all the way and ran past lots of runners on the hills.

  5 miles - 8.49 pace - 44.04 mins
10 miles - 8.58 pace - 44.47 mins
15 miles - 8.56 pace - 44.38 mins
20 miles - 8.55 pace - 44.36 mins
25 miles - 8.50 pace - 44.13 mins
26.3 miles - 8.39 pace - 11.24 mins

As you can see my 5 mile spilts were extremely consistent and heart-rate in 'tempo' mode for 77% of the race which suggests to me that I could have run faster and harder than my 3:53, which I'm going to take on board for my next road marathon. With some more weight-loss, hill training and Coleman Power-Hours I reckon I could get close to 3:30 in the Autumn.

Do you want to beat 3:30 with me?

More tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Decade - Duran Duran

My word, it's 10 years since I did the Shakespeare Marathon and yet it will be my ninth running of my home-town 26.2 miler. I couldn't believe that it was 2004 when I last ran in this race...how time flies eh?

I'm looking forward to running around my old stomping ground and along some of the running routes where I started my whole running journey back in 1994. Let's hope the weather is as kind as it was that day and I enjoy it as much as I did back then.

The time tomorrow won't matter that much as my legs are still made of cement mixed with Sahara Sand, still lacking the freshness that 152 miles saps out of them but anyway who cares...I'm just going to go and enjoy it.

That's why we do it, isn't it?

More tomorrow. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant

'Don't drink, don't smoke, what do you do?' Pirroni, Michael & Ant

Do you know your shoes? I do and I know a bit more now following an evening at @Profeetcustom in Fulham, with lots of people undertaking this year's @racetothestones. I spoke myself about the required training and nutrition required to run the race in 1 x 100km or 2 x 50km stages.

It was interesting to see Profeet's updated Gait Analysis Software where comparisons of barefoot, current shoe plus two new shoe alternatives can be viewed at the same time through the whole running gait. It's amazing to see the level of control differ so much even with shoes from the same brand.

If you are in doubt of what running shoe to wear and if you are more injured than not, I can only suggest you get some proper shoe advice and get some stability into your running. It will make your body bomb-proof and you'll be able to keep putting in the miles in make your ULTRA-running career a whole lot more enjoyable.

I've been injury free for 20 years and I put all of this down to running in great quality support shoes from Brooks and Saucony. If you are still confused about what to wear, contact Richard Felton at Profeet on 020 7736 0046 or contact me and I'll help you through the Training Shoe Maze.

Lots of people at this year's Marathon des Sables, now wished that they had!

More tomorrow... 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Feeling Good - Muse

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me - Bricusse and Newley

I've had a lovely day in London training my Carphone Warehouse Average 2 Awesome runners who are in training for this year's Race to the Stones. They are all working really hard on their weight management and starting to get into regular daily running which can only bode well for the 2 x 50km's they are undertaking in just over 12 weeks time.

It takes me back to 1994 and my preparations for my first race at the Shakespeare Marathon. I'm not sure quite what I'd expected a race to be like back then but hopefully I can help these guys enjoy their day out on the UK's Largest ULTRAmarathon.

I'm now about to speak to 50 or so Race to the Stones runners at Profeet in Fulham on my mini-tour of London...

More tomorrow after a very late-night return to God's Country.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

On the Air - Sir Peter of Gabriel

'Oh it's not easy' - Gabriel

My word my legs feel like they are made of LEAD. And that's not an understatement I can assure you as it took nearly an hour to run just six miles this evening.

A very simple out and back recovery run with the recovery bit taken out really...it feels like there is something wrong with the atmosphere as well as there just isn't enough oxygen it seems to get my legs going quicker. Are you in the same boat?

It did get better, let's face it, it couldn't be much worse and I hope I feel better running with my Carphone Warehouse Average to Awesome guys tomorrow.

Yes... That will get the legs going and speaking at Profeet tomorrow night if you are in the vicinity at 6:45pm.

More tomorrow as it's bedtime!

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

Monday, 21 April 2014

Starting Over - Lennon

Circa - 1850 (no that's not me in the foreground!)
'It'll be just like starting over' - Lennon

Do you feel like you have weathered the winter storms...It felt like that in Cardiff today as it was lovely and sunny and the 14 miles from home to Penarth Pier and round the Cardiff Bay and back just whizzed by. 

It felt so good to get some decent mileage under my belt and I feel like a runner again post MdS...

It really is just like 'Starting Over' as it's 20 years on from my first running race at the Shakespeare Marathon in 1994 this weekend. Hopefully, I'll be in a decent enough state to run under the 3.59.59 threshold...

We'll see eh? Best bit is that it will be a good run down memory lane...shame my Parents don't live at the 17 miles point as the cup of tea was always a good reviver!

More tomorrow and I'm back in the Dunes! Oh my! 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Kick - INXS

Much better than mine...
'When the mountain moves away. All the dreams and promises that we give, we give away' - Hutchence & Farriss

Back to training with a KICK today after a week off and a restful weekend with me lovely Jenny. The weekend was a lot prettier than the first couple of miles I can tell you' as I felt rather unsteady even though I was running on the road and didn't have the pack holding me back...it took a climb up Leckwith Hill to focus my mind and get some rhythm back and at my five mile turn-a-round things felt a whole lot better.

Sunday and Monday's planned runs will hopefully reinforce my return to training and I must say the ten miles today just flew by as it took only half the time to run today than it took to run the same distance in the sand and heat of the Marathon des Sables.

If you are also recovering from the Desert, please let me know how you are getting on...as I'm sure you'll agree it takes some getting over.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

MLK - U2

'Sleep tonight and may your dreams be realised' - Calvin & Ralph

I've slept a lot this past few days...it's the best way to recharging my mental and physical batteries and I'm slowly waking up to planet Earth following my long MdS hibernation and starting to think about the dawning of a new era of running without a pack and coaching the class of 2015.

It's amazing that a five day race can blow half-a-month out of ones year to do and take a couple of months before and after to prepare and recover from. Before you know it it's a six month period each year that just gets vaporised away...I'm not complaining as I love the desert and the challenge but I'm glad to have the race behind me now and I can now concentrate on getting back some speed and a fast Autumn marathon time before my Guinness World Record in September/October.

Easter is a perfect place to start and amazingly it's sunny and everywhere is starting to look green so I'm looking forward to getting my running shoes back on...

More tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Relax - FG2H

It's been a good day of rest and recuperation following my week out in the Sahara Sandpit. I'm now feeling very tired and I'm looking forward to getting back over the Severn Bridge and back into God's Country tomorrow.

As in previous years, my legs aren't feeling achy and my feet are in great shape so I could have carried on for a few more days I'm sure but I'm quite happy we've finished and it's time to go back home and see my Jenny in our Pembroke Road, refuge.

My coaching for the class of 2015 has already started and if you are thinking of taking part, please come and see me as those that did had a much better race than some of those that didn't - As always people turn up thinking it's The London Marathon in sand...and it's NOT.

Anyway, it's a couple of weeks off now until the Shakespeare Marathon and a lot easier 26.2 miles :-)

More tomorrow...

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


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Another one bites the Dust - Queen

Another year, another Dollar?...Not quite. This little ol' trot in the Sahara is winning back it's 'World's Toughest Footrace' mantle as Patrick Bauer turned the amps up for my eleventh MdS adventure. It wasn't harder or hotter this year it was just sandier (50% against 15% usually) and CP1 & 2 were 15km apart instead of the usual 10-12km, which mean't a lot of the field were destroyed by half way and then struggled on or dropped out. I'm not sure that's a good thing for the race and I'm delighted ALL of my 12 week MdS Trainees made it to the medal, yet I do feel sad for those who parted with their hard-earned £3600+ race fee but didn't get the full value from their Sahara Adventure.

I'd come into the race tired from the Barry 40 and a busy start to my year and it took me till my favourite long day to get my tail up and start picking off people as they slowed and I marched on.

Rather than write a lengthy 'what I did report', (as there will be loads of them I can assure you) I'll tell you how it felt as it was more about searching for an inner calmness for me this year... I wanted it to feel like Stoptober. It took sometime and maybe that came during the marathon stage following a great day off with tent mates, Bertie, Mark, Rich, Little Chris, Simon & Nikki where we seemed to bond and enjoy each other's company. I chose well :-) (it was a shame Big Chris's feet stopped him on day 2 and that my Jenny wasn't there too as she'd have won the ladies race and I missed her so much.

Even this morning's rather strange 7km walk to the finish was a peaceful and enjoyable affair and just like a click of the fingers, the 29th MdS was over and bit the dust.

The results are as follows...I've a good tan, lost 5kgs and my feet are 100% so it can't be bad and finished 365/1000 so it can't be bad. I have an appointment with a sunbed and a fresh orange juice tomorrow if I don't explode at the all you can eat buffet tonight!

And after two shaves and a bath I'm now clean and look 20 years younger.

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


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Yes - Roundabout

'One mile over we'll be there' - Anderson & Howe

Well the curtain is about to go up on this year's 'MdS Pantomine' Now, I've love a good show especially when I've seen the show before and I know what's coming next. It's funny that I laugh at all the same jokes but it doesn't matter as I just love the repetition and knowledge of what's next around each corner in the 'Greatest ULTRA-Marathon Show on Earth'.

Nothing else gets near the MdS Experience and I do know that after the long-day is well and truly 'behind me', I'll be able to really relax and enjoy the show even more and lap up all of the scenes it's going to play out, no doubt this year.

Luckily I have some actors in my tent to help me out and luvvies, Richard Harrington, Mark Lewis-Jones and Bertie Portal can provide our evenings entertainment and as well we have Chris Connor (aka little Chris as he's only 26) and 3 x previous tent mate Chris Whistler (aka Big Chris as he's more than 26 but shorter than little Chris), Nikki Singh-Barmi (Britain's Top Gritter) and Simon Dimmer (of Red 32 fame) to make up the eight including little old me. 

Hopefully we will enjoy the show as it unfolds and enjoy the whole MdS Pantomime Experience.

I'm ready and waiting in the wings now at Gatwick ready to get to the check in early to get a seat right at the front, well the eye-sight isn't as good as it once was.

More on my return and please follow my progress on www.darbaroud.com where you can send me messages using my race number #550.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Armed and Ready - MSG

'Is it hard enough, is it loud enough' - Barden & Schenker

I know I've asked that question of you before but boy oh boy I found out where my limits are today with an hours good tempo treadmill run in the high heat of the gym followed by 30 minutes of further exposure in the blistering Steam Room and the Sauna that finally finished me off and got my head swimming in circles in a very hypoglycaemic coma threatening way.

Thank heavens for tin of coke that saved the day...

It's getting me prepared though and I'll be back for some more of the same tomorrow as the 130 degree heat combine with the high humidity really brought home what's in store in the desert again this year. even now I feel a bit groggy so it can only improve my performance.
Now where are my Bermuda Shorts!!! I'm off for a well-earned rest :-)

More tomorrow...