Friday, 29 April 2016

Do it again - Steely Dan

Lyric:- 'And you'll be on your knees tomorrow' - Becker & Fagen

Song Choice:- I'm not much of a Steely Dan fan if I'm being honest but this track has always been their stand out anthem for me, especially when it was mixed in with Billie Jean by Clubhouse in 1983.

Seems just like yesterday but 33 years on, it does feel that sometimes whatever we do and whatever path we take in life, we repeat the same old mistakes time and time again and rarely learn not to repeat the same pattern behaviour.

I wonder why that is? 

What is it that makes us creatures of such bad habits. Don't get me wrong, I'm just as bad or even worse than most as I'm so bloody minded,which on one hand is a really desirable asset if you want to cross deserts or run a old few hundred marathons but it does however mean that you can flog yourself relentlessly  carrying the largest overflowing glass of hope and positivity that could drive more than a thousand people to their goal, when in fact the best thing for me would be to give in.

On realising this in myself and seeing it in other folk, writing about it really helps. It's not a 'Oh woah is me or you' type of entry it's a wake up call for maybe for me and you to wonder why we sometimes continue heading down certain one way streets, only to find out we are going in the wrong direction.

Why do we put ourselves through it, eh?

Maybe it's just down to 'Hope' or if you are of a religious belief, 'Faith' or a bloody big pair of blinkers blocking out the 'Biggest Elephant' in the largest room you've ever been in.

Without 'Hope' any situation must be 'Hopeless'. Without 'Faith' well it's surely 'Faithless' and possibly 'Hopeless' too as the drive and conviction needed to succeed only happens if we have 'Faith' in ourselves, abilities and aspirations.

That 'Drive' certainly can be the key to success as well as our Achilles Heel. Harnessing that quality and using it wisely evades us on a regular daily basis and how often do you hear folk say 'Whenever I do X, Y always happens, yet they still do it anyway.

What is it about a repetition of a situation that we find so attractive?

It's that going to the same holiday destination year in, year out or watching endless reruns of Top Gear or Qi on Dave TV that provide a welcome 'Time Out' from our busy achievement schedule before we go and 'Do it Again'.

What are you doing again today, that you know is a complete waste of your time yet will take so much of your energy to 'make it happen'.

Rory Coleman - 976 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8150 Days' Alcohol Free.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Mr X - Ultravox

Lyric:- 'I found the perfect picture, of a perfect stranger' - Ure

Song Choice:- I'm sure we've all wanted to be a 'Mr X' at sometime in our lives and I for one would like to blend into the background and watch the world unfold before my eyes from an arms length from the blue-touch paper of life.

Sadly it doesn't always work like that and sometimes one has to take one for the team and concentrate desires and demands on giving ourselves the space to breathe rather than the sir we need to do it with..

Going forwards, one has to consider where we'll all be in 10, 20 or even 30 years time. I'm not sure if I'll even be here, but you might well be. Whether we will be perfect strangers, well I again don't know. I do know that if I've ever met you on my 54 year career curve I set off on, way back in 1962, I will remember where and when - cos, I'm like that.

Never forgetting a face but remembering those around us takes great skill and judgement, enough to make a second generation of perfect stranger matching virtually impossible to those in the know.

If you think you know the perfect stranger, I wonder if you actually do - or if one actually exists. Being perfect at anything takes a huge amount of effort as we all know (read yesterday's blog) and if that's what you are serving for - well the best of luck to you, as you are going to need it.

For me, I'm going to stick with being Mr X for a while and enjoy the sounds of 1981 with a really underrated group that I simply loved at the time.

Rory Coleman™
International & Celebrity Performance Coach
976 Marathons, 241 ULTRA-marathons, 9 Guinness World Records, 13 Marathon des Sables & 22 Years' Alcohol Free
Counting down to my 1000th Marathon at the Robin Hood Marathon - 25th September 2016 – Only 24 to go…
48 Pembroke Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QR, Wales – UK
T – 02920 255822   M – 07866 477051   Skype – ULTRArory   W –

The Tempest - Pendulum

Lyric:- 'Too late, you dropped the drawbridge, You let the vampires in, You caused this shit to happen, and now you want out? - Swire Thompson

Song Choice:- Continuing the Shakespeare theme loosely, Pendulum's 'The Tempest' has some awesome lyrics that encompass my thoughts today. Negativity you see, surrounds us all and it's only too easy to get drawn into it's deep, dark and unforgiving waters. Staying Strong, Determined and Totally One-Goal-Focussed takes a huge amount of bloody-single-mindedness and vision and it's my own 'Myopic Outlook on Life', that I want to share with you in my Blog today.

You see, it's really easy to surround yourself with folk that can deliver perfect negativity without really having to think about it. In our modern day world where everyone has an opinion on just about everything, it's amazing just how much we have to reign ourselves in to fit in with the crowd, when in reality we should just fuck the lot of them and be ourselves.

Yet it's strange that it's those that stand out from the crowd in the public eye that get our real admiration. Recent celebrity deaths have only confirmed such adulation and it makes you wonder why so few folk desire the limelight and so many want desperately to avoid it.

I've enjoyed plenty of limelight during the past 22 years of my running marathons. Making TV Shows, being featured in countless magazines and books has been most flattering but there's always been somewhere to come back to where the invasion and negativity that surrounds such exploits can't get a foothold and corrode a path to my brain.

Professional Performers and Sports Stars must have an extremely tough time dodging the negativity that surrounds them - let's face it, whom would want to be a Premier League Manager right now or even at all with up to 60,000 people in the stands every game all reckoning they know far better, questioning your very existence, private-life and professional ability on a regular daily basis. No wonder they command such a high salary!

But back in the real world, how does this affect you or me in our own domains?

Well sometimes, we have to forget those that we surround ourselves with and just get on with being the people we believe we truly are or want to be. It's very much a Dog-Eat-Dog world out there with a huge amount of knockers, comment and negativity that could kill any thought of being dynamic or ground breaking idea or concept you might have burning your brain out right now.

Let's face it, The Wright Brothers would never have flown, Neil Armstrong would never have made the moon and the Internet wouldn't exist if public opinion and comment had been listened to at the time.

These all took determination, bloody-single-mindedness and vision shielded behind some very strong armour from 'The Tempest' of the surrounding world. Take it from me that if you want something doing, do it yourself and if you want to make your mark in the world, don't let your drawbridge down as you don't know just whom you might be letting in.

Rory Coleman
International & Celebrity Performance Coach
976 Marathons, 241 ULTRA-marathons, 9 Guinness World Records, 13 Marathon des Sables & 22 Years' Alcohol Free
Counting down to my 1000th Marathon at the Robin Hood Marathon - 25th September 2016  Only 24 to go
48 Pembroke Road, Cardiff, CF5 1QR, Wales – UK
T – 02920 255822   M – 07866 477051   Skype – ULTRArory   W –

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

American Beauty (1999) - Mendes

Film Choice:- Well, I thought I'd blog using a film for a change, and as this particular film is my all-time movie favourite, it was a simple choice to use it as a theme for today's slice of 'Coleman Philosophy'.

Quote:- 'I don't think that there's anything worse than being ordinary' - Angela Hayes

Yikes it's a harsh line, delivered by the two-dimensional character, Angela Hayes with a particularly venomous tongue but I wonder where the need to be extra-ordinary comes from? 

I'm definitely wired that way and wonder if it does in fact come from being part of a 400 stong boy only school where 'The Bourne Identity's' own David Webb could have been trained, and where Jack Bauer would have thrived.

Thriving is a good way of describing the whole seven year experience or rather experiment. Being pitched from 1 - 30 in all subjects against your peers meant that be extraordinary was a far more desirable outcome on any school report and led to less ridicule and far more mutual respect if you were at least good at something rather than being a persistent 20+ kinda guy.

Don't get me wrong, I did get some low 20's in some subjects but a couple of 1's in more creative subjects meant that I had a relatively unscathed passage through the military styled educational process that churned out extraordinary performers on a regular yearly basis.

Knowing the rules, how to maximise their limits and working to one's full potential has led to a lot about how I see the world around me and act within it's constraints.

It's also perhaps why I react badly in situations where those constraints are imposed with superficial limitations. I often winder how would some of the folk I meet would have got through the impressionable years of 11-18 where you went in as a complete zero, a small, very small boy and came out a young man, ready to take on adulthood after being boot camped for seven long years.

Some wouldn't have lasted two minutes! 

I couldn't imagine going to a school where they held a non-competitive sports day. We never actually had a sports day to compete at.  Rugby, Cross Country and Cricket whether you liked them or not we're the three disciplines you were exposed to and it was Cricket, rather than Cross Country and definitely not Rugby (as that was where you got beaten up) ,where I found a niche where I could be less ordinary and stand out from the crowd.

Looking back at my 9 Guinness World Records, they obviously are part of that same philosophy. It's one I now see so often in other folk trying to make themselves a lot less ordinary in the running world. I thought I'd moved on from this island and hopped onto the next less inhabited one but I still have 25 marathons to do before I can finally leave and go to the next level of not being so ordinarily extra-ordinary.

Where does it stop? For me, who knows. For you? Well I bet you don't know either as it's just programmed into a lot of us and if you are reading my blog, you too are definitely in search-mode too.

If you find IT, please let me know so we can be far less 'Ordinary' together as there's nothing worse.

Rory Coleman - 975 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8147 Days' Alcohol Free.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

The Happiest Days of Our Lives - The Pink Floyd

Lyric:- By pouring their derision upon anything we did and exposing every weakness - Waters

Song Choice:- On a weekend that marks the Great Bards 400th Anniversary (of his death, which seems a little strange but hey ho), I'm really proud to say that he and I both went to the same school Grammar School in Stratford-upon-Avon.

There have been lots of news clips this week from the Tudor Styled 'Big School' where he studied and where I did my exams including my English Language 'O' Level way back in 1977. Sadly, Shakespeare’s English Literature passed me by, but I wonder what he would make an 'Internet Blog' and I wonder if his school days were as 'happy' as I remember mine were.

Or were they? Are my memories of what happened from 1973-1980, really what happened. They were really formative, terrorising and enjoyable all at the same time, you see the human brain is capable of an enormous amount of rose tinted retrospective thinking. I believe that I have definite 'Stockholm Syndrome' love for my teachers. Most of them were ex-army, violent bullies that beat the education in, whilst beating the crap out of us on a regular daily basis. Those really were the days eh?

Well, school like so many aspects of life have proved both a challenge and a struggle for us all I'm sure. Luckily, triumph over adversity brings reward and that’s been my major life driver.

Being continually tested, and being on permanent trial must have been the making of a young and impressionable Coleman. It still is if I'm being honest...The beauty is that I now receive lovely feedback and praise for my work. Back then, just like the Waters lyrics proclaim, the 'Derision' was over-powering and had to be ignored if you wanted to succeed at your studies. Maybe that's where I got my stubborn streak and single mindedness from.

It's the way I’ve ring fenced my 'Happiness' and I often wonder if that’s how other folk get through too?

Just what is it that brings the ‘Happiness’, that people spend a lifetime searching for I ask? 

Money? Possessions? Cars? Drugs? Sex? - I’m convinced these are all short lived emotions.

Happiness comes more from achievement I believe and can only be earned and not bought. However, keeping on a 10,000 hour learning path to success, means undertaking an apprenticeship of massive commitment and total single-bloody-minded determination.

You have to be a VERY strong person indeed, if you want to succeed.

It's certainly not easy, I can vouch for that and I’m far from perfect. There's definitely some work in progress in my world that will still slowly change me, my outlook on the world and filter down through my work to my clients. To that end I’m making doubly sure that there’s no derision being poured on my parade.

Make sure it's not poured on yours either as you are a long-time dead. 400 years in Shakespeare's Case...

Rory Coleman - 975 Marathons - 241 Ultras

13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8145 Days' Alcohol Free.

Location: Malvern

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Sign O' The Times - Prince

Lyric:- You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin' you somebody died Prince.

Song Choice:- Well I've decided to mark Prince's life with one of his finest offerings IMO which I hope you like too.

In a year where more celebrities are popping their clogs than ever, it feels very sad that such a global music artist as Prince only got to 57...maybe it's the 'Live Fast, Die Young' thing and in that case it maybe it isn't all it's cracked up to be?

I'm sure the money, the fame and the adulation would appeal to folk, me included BUT not at the cost of a premature untimely death. For those of us about circa 1000 days from that 57 year particular milestone, it's a very chilling thought. You see, another three years just isn't long enough to accomplish the things I still want to do.

Having spent some time today, planning out my next 25 marathons, to get to the magical 1,000 it really eased my mind and it's given me some structure to the months ahead and a good solution to my Marathon des Sables post traumatic race disorder...

Hopefully, if you are feeling blue there's something on your horizon to lift your spirits and get your mojo back on the road.

Life's short, shorter than ever and think on about's a Sign O' the Times...

Rory Coleman - 975 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8142 Days' Alcohol Free.


Monday, 18 April 2016

Fly on a Windshield - Genesis

Photo - Steve Deiderich
Lyric:- 'The wind is blowing harder now' - Banks, Collins, Gabriel, Hackett & Rutherford

Song Choice:- Seems only right to choose my most played track ever, mid-turbulence, mid-flight...

Anyway, the flight is packed with British Marathon des Sables competitors, all of whom have their own unique experience of 'The World's Toughest Footrace'. There's still lots of excited chatter about the race, the injuries and plenty of 'What I'd do Next Times'...

If you could bottle the 'Collective Positive Energy' amongst the passengers, well that would be a priceless commodity. This is interesting phenomenon that I see happen every year you see. It's really quite overwhelming.

The important thing for everyone on board here, is not to lose that energised feeling of well being, and head back into the daily routine of life as a much improved version of their former-selves.

The desert is good for that - it's been a good place again for me this year. A place of solace. Somewhere to bury a head full of demons and an opportunity to press life's reset button once again - Until the next time of course!

With the race being so tough this year, hopefully the lessons learned will prevail longer, both for myself and the people surrounding me. Being bear hugged by MdS Race Director, Patrick Bauer as I walked across the tarmac to the plane, I said to him how tough and how sandy it was this year. Laughing, we both said 'C'est le Marathon des Sables', at exactly the same time together.

That's the magic of the man and of the experience. If you experienced it too, make sure it isn't just a 'fly on your windshield' and use it's energy very wisely and try to live by its values and when in the future you get lost again, come back and rediscover yourself.

It works every time :-)

Rory Coleman - 975 Marathons - 241 Ultras - 13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8139 Days' Alcohol Free.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Only You Know and I Know - Phil Collins

Song Choice:- My word, it's a big choice as 257kms of Sahara Sand Slogging gives you a lot of time to listen to a lot of music that's just gathered dust. This PC track though became a daily anthem for me and I love the 'Only You Know' and 'I Know' lyric in it...

You see it's a perfect lyric for this years' running of The Marathon des Sables - billed as the World's Toughest Footrace.

Now if you've run the race previously, you'll know how tough it can be. If you are taking part next year, you'll be eagerly wanting to know what was it like...Well it was totally brutal...really brutal...really, really, fucking brutal - I can't stress that enough. Lead runners puking, back markers with coffee grinds for pee....Yep it was very tough, (you get the idea?)

Against the others? I'm always asked that and it's difficult as its in our nature to dismiss tough things and look back with rosy coloured specs at the brighter side. Hmm, I know that I will look back and remember endless sand (and I mean endless, endless sand) and a race that has entered a new dimension.

Yep, its gone Super-Tough and if you aren't Super-Tough Enough - You won't finish. Simple as...

Getting the Water and Salt management just right when the stages are this sandy is a fine art. Just staying healthy, eating all your food and keeping it down or in proved difficult for everyone. I won't even mention the state of the feet this year...the sand just ate them. Some trainers just shredded - lots needed to be wider and longer on the bad ones I saw.

I could go on but it's all about your PREPARATION. The kit? The gear? - it's obviously important, just don't take more than you have to...What you need to pack is a really focussed mind that can adapt to situations when the shit starts hitting the fan. Being able to monitor your bodies needs and core temperature is now a vital part of getting through the heat of the day.

If you took part in the race this year, you might see it differently - I thought I'd just write down my raw feelings about the race that I loved dearly but has now changed.

I'll be honest and say I didn't love it for the first couple of really was a slog. Then on Day Three the MAGIC just returned and I got the full 'Time Out' quality and enjoyed the 'Transcendence' of the Sahara.

And that's why it's so good to come back each year. I don't even know where I finished in the field as it doesn't matter. Sure it's a race for the top runners - for the rest of us, it's self sufficiency survival experience that you too will add to your 'Bucket List' if you haven't already ticked it off...

It's funny that in under a year 500 Brits will take on the race and will no doubt be even tougher still...If that's you, obviously spend as much time as you can preparing but you'll also need to do a lot of walking and hiking, as you are bound to need it.

No doubt, I'll look back fondly back at this MdS in the future wearing my rosy specs - as for tomorrow well it's a sand free day at the Berbere Palace in Ouarzazate enjoying a pretty much blister free paddle in the pool :-)

Rory Coleman - 975 Marathons - 241 Ultras
13 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8138 Days' Alcohol Free.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Allons-y (1) - The Pink Floyd

Photo - by Mark Gillett RIP, will be sadly missed at this year's race...
Song Choice:- Seemed a good fit for Marathon des Sables Eve and tomorrow morning I will flying out to Ouarzazate - So 'Let's Go'...

How well am I prepared this year you ask? Well, the answer will become evident over the next 11 days. I've certainly got the miles in the tank having already bashed out 21 marathons this year, a lot of them in sand too, so really I should be in good shape for what lies ahead.

You see, it doesn't matter how much you train for the MdS, it never feels enough - hopefully that's pre-race nerves talking as there isn't a  guaranteed finisher t-shirt no matter how many times you've  run  it.

You only get out, what you've put in.

Some have already decided not to go and there's a fair few drop-outs from the British Competitors with last minute illness/injuries, work place dramas and pure 'I'm just frightened shitless and can't see myself finishing the race realisations' taking their toll. It's probably a good job as some had done very little training and t's bloody dangerous when folks can get so ill. I worry each year that folk should be encouraged to train more and for longer, qualifying to take part with a list of races to be completed and points like they do with the UTMB would save the race logistics a lot of headaches. 

It's long overdue...and folk are crazy to blow nearly £4k by not going...or going and then getting completely destroyed for months.

Anyway, that's for the organisers to worry about and just my opinion. For the next 11 days, I'm actually on my running holiday, just like all the other people taking part. I'm going to enjoy the peacefulness of the desert, it's massive range of temperature, the fun of folk there and watch the world go past my tent in the million shapes, sizes and colours of the world's toughest footrace - The 31st Marathon des Sables.

My number is #892 and if you get a minute please drop a message out to me on - any form of encouragement, sarcasm and MTFU comments would be most welcome :-)

Rory Coleman
973 Marathons - 240 Ultras - 12 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8128 Days' Dry

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Inside Out - Phil Collins

Lyric:- 'All of my life I've been searching and hanging on' - Collins

Song Choice:- Well, I've never been a great Collins solo fan, if I'm being honest and he was and always will be that 72 degree part , one fifth of the 'Perfect Genesis Pentangle' for me. However, this song demonstrates all that is good about his songwriting abilities. The live version also has some outstanding drumming from Chester Thompson that you ought to see here well as an amazing Daryl Stuermer guitar solo.

Anyway, this song sums a lot of life's scenarios up for me. I love the hook...the big 'Inside Out' repeat and the massive drum sound that Collins developed over two decades of playing with Genesis; that's the bit bang, that initial hit that gets you hooked and made me want to hear the track over and over again - I do with a lot of tunes that I immediately love and just play them to death you see. 

That's good songwriting IMO and you know instantly when something is right...

The thing is though, you need to get right inside this tune and really listen to the heartbeat of the track to see the real Collins, the fuck off and leave me alone bit. The sad Sax in the middle eight, then euphoric lead guitar solo are so strong yet it's the protest deep within the track that's intriguing.

I like to think of the song as knowing something or someone in Collins case, 'Inside Out' only to find out you don't have a real understanding of it or them at all.

Or maybe, even yourself...

A trip to the desert will work wonders in working that one out no doubt...

More later...

Rory Coleman - 973 Marathons - 240 Ultras
12 Marathon des Sables - 9 Guinness World Records - 8127 Days' Alcohol Free.

Location: Caerdydd

Monday, 4 April 2016

Entangled - Genesis

Lyric:- 'Fields of incentive covered with green’ - Banks & Hackett.

Song Choice:- Always one of my favourite tracks from the 1976 ‘Trick of the Tail’ Album and I remember seeing this at the Stratford-upon-Avon Cinema along with 'White Rock’ - Yikes now that takes me back…

Anyway, a track about the horrors of being in a psychiatric hospital are probably most apt for a week that sees me head off the Marathon des Sables for an unprecedented thirteenth time by a GB runner. Yep, I must need my bloody head looking at!

I’m sure when I get back out in the desert, it will be business as usual and I’ll enjoy the wilderness and freedom of being deserted in the erm...desert. You see, life, work and running exploits get SO entangled it’s hard sometimes to see just where the boundaries really are – all I know is that this time next week, I’ll hopefully have some rather tired feet resting up on a tent pole, somewhere near Merzouga enjoying the sun, the sand and the crack with my tent mates.

There’s no 'Fields of Incentive' needed for my MdS this year as I’m really looking forward to getting out into some super-hot-sun and going 'Cold-Turkey-Computer-Email-Google-Free’. 

To amuse myself, I m going to play all my Genesis albums, in full, in order during my Prog-Rock version of the World’s Toughest Footrace’. Now how hard is that?

Can’t wait to get ‘Entangled’ :-)

Rory Coleman
International & Celebrity Performance Coach
973 Marathons, 240 ULTRA-marathons, 9 Guinness World Records, 12 Marathon des Sables & 22 Years' Alcohol Free
Counting down to my 1000th Marathon at the Robin Hood Marathon - 24th September 2016  Only 27 to go