Thursday, 31 July 2014

Synaesthesia (Fly Away Featuring Sheryl Deane - Radio Edit) - The Thrillseekers

Lyric - 'The time has come to live your life, so come with me and do some dreamin' - Helstrip

Track Choice - It's been one of my trance favourites for years now and it does make me feel slightly melancholy if I'm being honest but it has a great rhythm and hook that gave me a real boost today.

If you read yesterday's blog you'll know I was going to make a definite pledge to change one thing in my life today and hopefully you were too. To be honest, I wasn't doing too well and procrastinated like a good 'un until finally I pulled on my trainers and went out for a run.

I'd been racking my brain all morning thinking of that one thing, that one eureka moment that I could write about tonight that would light up the world... but sadly it wasn't there. It still wasn't there after three slow miles of durgy, heavy legged, sloggy-jogging either...until that was I decided to just let it go and decide that I would just let the decision find me.

Then the above track hit my headphones and the eureka moment hit me... RHYTHM yes RHYTHM is what I need to add to my busy world as all of my world is playing the right tune and going in the right direction BUT it lacks a simple back beat to keep it all at the right tempo and in some semblance of order and cohesion.

As soon as that dawned on me my sloggy-jogging suddenly became more of a run, my head cleared and I felt back on track.

Are you lacking rhythm? Or rather is your life lacking rhythm? Time to get yourself a big drum to bang so you and everyone else hears your tune!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Narrow Way Parts I, II & III - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- 'Throw your thoughts back many years, to the time when love was life with every morning' - Sir David of Gilmour.

Track choice:- I'm just revisiting the 1969 rather odd double album offering from 'The Floyd'. This song is a premonition of great things to come from the band and I've always loved the layers of vocals and guitar work from the 'Master of the Fender' himself. Summer of '68 is also a great song on the album and I can remember that years' long summer holiday just like it was yesterday and it reminds me of the one we are experiencing right now...

So here's your challenge...tomorrow morning, when you get up... stand up tall... take in a deep breath and ask yourself, 'What am I going to do today to make a positive change on the rest of my life?' I've helped people do this for many years now but I too will be taking this notion on-board and will endeavour to make at least one life change in mine in the morning.

It sounds difficult but in reality it isn't and I'll let you know what I'm going to alter tomorrow.

How about you?

Please let me know if you can love life, every morning when you wake...You've got it cracked.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Rush - Marathon

Lyrics:- 'More than just a finish line' - Peart & Lee

Song Choice:- I've chosen a lot of Rush sings over my many blogs and this song more than most. The Canadian Trio are probably my desert island band of choice and the lyrics reflect what the 42.2k challenge is all about.

I wonder what they'd have sung about ULTRA-marathon running as I could write some good lyrics BUT mine would contain some words of warning. Yep, it's all about the experience and pushing your inner limits of endurance yet more and more I meet folk who want to run 100 milers BEFORE they've mastered breaking a four-hour marathon.

It's like trying to swim the channel or completing an Ironman with only a few lengths of the pool as experience.

I'm not saying that it's bad to have a burning ambition BUT it takes time to build the ENDURANCE needed to give you the confidence of finishing one of the above challenges yet alone completing it uninjured or at the back of the field.

In my own experience, I thought I was pretty much there after five years of hard endurance, mega-distance training. It made me pretty bomb-proof injury wise and hardened to the stresses that I regularly put on my body. 

I believe EXPERIENCE is the key to achieving mega-distance challenges and my twenty years of running can help YOU plan your journey to ANY finish line.

Believe me, it's more than just a finish line, go steady build slowly and enjoy the ride.

More tomorrow... 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Open your Heart - Madonna

Lyric:- 'It's not that hard, if you just turn the key' - Madonna, Cole & Rafelso

Track Choice:- Although it's a Boy-meets-Girl lyrical journey, I've always like the line 'it's not that hard, if you just turn the key' and it's one of the Queen of Pop's best songs of the mid-80's, I believe.

'Turning the Key' is the integral part of long distance running, the key being one's mental approach to the task in hand. Finding the key can prove to be a much harder task though and one that I believe some folk sadly never find.

It's actually more of a combination lock crossed with a magic-eye picture in my opinion. You sort of do the numbers and have the belief that you'll see the hidden image and hey-presto, you get belief. Well that's how it feels to me and hopefully those whom I'm coaching for the Marathon des Sables next April are getting in some experience of the 85% Humidity levels and are out there searching.

My client, Craig Barnshaw did just that today and will be well prepared for his MdS as he has already found his key. 

If you need to find yours, you'd better come and see me...SOON!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

99.9F - Suzanne Vega

Lyric:- You seem to me like a man on the verge of running 99.9 Fahrenheit degrees - Vega

Track Choice:- I've always enjoyed Suzanne Vegas delivery of her poetic lyrics and her songs have always painted some vivid pictures for me. Like the Talking Heads of yesterdays blog her effortless musicianship makes a great calm running partner especially when it's so bloody hot! And I know I've used this one before in my blog but I just love it...

Yep, I'm melting or that's what it feels like in this amazing Summer we are having in Cardiff. I am totally LOVING it and it's being reflected in my times and my attitude and approach to my future plans.

Never has so much squash and milkshake been consumed by one man! I have the thirst of a camel that's just crossed the Sahara...

But I'm going to enjoy it as all too soon we will be back in the dark treadmill hours of the autumn. I wonder if I'll be singing 99.9F then Suzanne?

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Seen and Not Seen - Talking Heads

Lyric:- 'That he might, by force of will, cause his face to approach those of his ideal. The change would be very subtle. It might take ten years or so'.... Byrne

Track Choice:- I bought this album when it first came out in 1980 and it still sounds amazing some 30+ years on. Lyrically it's clearly about someone changing their shape by force of will which has been the undercurrent to my approach to fitness for the past couple of decades and the basis of all of the training that I do with my clients.

Lets hope it doesn't take 10 years or so for my people to make those changes and like them I'm working darn hard at the moment to stay on the straight and narrow and keep building on my LSD Runs and general overall fitness and as I know from my own experience has shown me, it takes ages to get it and just a blink of an eye to lose it...

My training today took me 8 miles up and over Leckwith Hill out to Dinas Powis and back and after a few weeks of LSD it felt quite a bit easier running at tempo pace even though it was in the midday heat of a heady 27 degrees C.

It took me a good couple of hours to stop sweating!

Anyway, take a listen to 'The Heads' and see what you've been missing...

More tomorrow...

Monday, 21 July 2014

Hey You - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- And the worms ate into his brain - Waters 

Track Choice:- It's a great lyric that speaks volumes to me and if you haven't heard this album recently enjoy the awesome playing by Nick Mason, one of my favourite percussionists.

The lyric is a clear warning to stop negativity attacking our mindsets and retreat inside ourselves and shun society. Dark old stuff as ever from the Floyd but I do get the worms eating into your brain bit as it's too easy to let the negativity that surrounds so much of our modern world corrode your thoughts and diminish your expectations. Don't let the Energy Vampires get you!

My world was getting corroded quite nicely last week with a very tired Gluteus Minimus (Upper Butt Muscle) last week and I sensibly yielded to a weekend of rest and recovery. 

Which is when, if you are not careful,  the 'Worms start eating into your brain'... Luckily I had my twelve Carphone Warehouse Average to Awesome runners taking part in 'The Race to the Stones' to concentrate my thoughts on and gain positivity from their achievements, plus all of the 000's of other runners taking part. They were awesome too and if you do get sidelined, go to an event as it might help you to get back doing what you like doing best.

I clocked in a lovely 10 miler today and loved every second of it pain in the butt and worm free.

Watch Out as it's easy to get eaten!

More tomorrow...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Blowin' Free - Wishbone Ash

'Blowin' free like a cornfield' - Powell, Turner, Turner & Upton

It must be something about going back to Stratford-upon-Avon but it was a nostalgic day out for me on Chris Sweeney's Stratford Canal Ultra yesterday. 30 miles of memories and the route was all too familiar passing one of my haunts and my Grandparents' Cottage in the lovely village of Wilmcote along the way.

The highlight of the route was running over the Edstone Aqueduct (pictured), not once but twice! I also remembered a lot of my Canal Project I did when I was or 15 at school (which seemed totally DULL at the time) but nearly 30 years later came in rather useful on the sight-seeing front.

I did feel rather emotionally as well as physically drained at the finish line and the humidity really played a part in my not breaking five hours! Anyway who was more about the experience yesterday than the time.

More where's my hanky :-) 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

One Day Like This - Elbow

'Blinking in the morning sun, and only now I see the light' - Potter, Garvey, Jupp, Potter & Turner

Are you loving the good weather as much as I am? Cardiff is at its Summer's Best right now and it's a beautiful part of the world to go and get a few miles under your belt and experience South Wales at it's finest.

If you follow me on you will be seeing lots of longer, slower runs around the 122-130bpm heart rate which I'm using as an endurance base builder for later on in the year and I must say these are getting easier and I'm loving the mental process of being out there for around 100 minutes a time.

I'll be back on Leckwith Hill very soon with my old pal Nathan Williams for a speed awareness kick up the proverbial that I'm also in need of.

In the meantime, long may the good weather and the long slow distance running go from strength to strength.

More tomorrow... 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Time Was - Wishbone Ash

Electric Moments
'It's when you have to pick your feet up from the ground' - Powell, Turner, Turner & Upton

I was speaking to one of my client's this morning about remembering our major life moments. It got me thinking back to times from my youth especially when later on in the day I was listening to the above song which was then and still is, one of my lifetime favourites tunes.

Of course I remember the BIG life moments but this afternoon's Cardiff thunderstorm reminded me of another one way back when I was eighteen where I just laid down outside and wondered at the thunder and lightning above me and watched in awe as the wind blew the heavens around right before my eyes.

It's amazing how some things just stick in the mind. Maybe that's why we do this running lark? Luckily, I've made a million memories and hopefully I'll make a million more and I'll experience a lot more 'Thunderstorm' moments.

Will you?

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Temples - A Question isn't Answered

'Past life brings a future' - Bagshaw & Warmsley

If like me you are into your sport, it's total sport overload at the moment with the World Cup Football, Wimbledon, Tour de France and the British Grand Prix this weekend to name but a few BUT I'm heading to the Croydon ULTRA for my own sporting fix as no matter how good is it to witness the best sporting events in the world, in my opinion it's much better to take part!

OK, I know Croydon isn't the Comrades or MdS but it's still there to be conquered and unlike most sports, at 52, I'm not retired or too creaky to take part. Well not yet anyway...

That's the beauty of being an ULTRA-athlete and hopefully there's a lot more years and thousands of miles left in my old legs to enjoy. 

Unfortunately Croydon won't have the £1.7m prize money on offer of it's near neighbour Wimbledon tomorrow and I won't win the race anyway but I'd rather be running than watching and clocking up my marathon and ultra milestones is worth every penny and very enjoyable.

More tomorrow...and is the footie is getting a bit dull now? 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ordinary World - Duran Duran

'Passion or coincidence' - Le-Bon, Robbins, Rhodes, Taylor, Taylor & Cuccurullo

I did my Long Slow Distance run today at 75% of my Maximum Heart Rate, averaging 123bpm for the 108 minutes of the 10.3 mile run at a breathtaking speed of 10.5 minute miles! Not earth shatteringly quick by any stretch seeing as my best marathon race pace is just over 8 minute miles BUT it's the best training for endurance and one that is very rarely executed correctly by those who have it as a firm part of their training regime.

The first few miles felt like they would last forever but as the distance accumulated my mind gotets diverted away from the LSD and was displaced into a nice ryhthmical calm world and the whole running process became ENJOYABLE...Yep, it was FUN...

Now if you are clocking up endless 10kms in 60 minutes day after day, why not try the Coleman LSD Taste Test and try and run at 75% MHR and see how it makes you feel.

It's the real thing!