Thursday, 30 September 2010

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to his or her commitment to excellence, regardless of his or her chosen field of endeavor. "
– Zig Ziglar

Well should I run the race on Sunday? Due to the injury [the] answer is maybe. [My] answer is YES because I've not proven myself in a 1/2 marathon yet. The last time I did a 1/2 was 17/02/2008 in 1h16. My ability is 73/74 mins. If I did a faster time then I could increase my quality training. I don't feel as though I should increase my intensity in training until my race times reflect it (Daniels' Running Formula) Link (roll over me to see where I go)

The weather didn't look good for Sunday when I last looked (21 mph) and hard rain. But now it's settled down to 10mph

If the wind gets to 20mph I think I would go to the race but not race it for time, more for the experience.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

"I haven't seen too many American distance men on the international scene willing to take risks. I saw some U.S. women in Barcelona willing to risk, more than men. The Kenyans risk. Steve Prefontaine risked. I risked - I went through the first half of the Tokyo race just a second off my best 5000 time. - Billy Mills"

The shin is feeling a bit better today which is a relief after yesterdays hard Tempo run. I wonder what started this injury?
Lets look back.
The change in shoes from Brooks to Mizuno? It started about 13th Sept after a run. Didn't think anything about it. Thursday 16th after speed session, hurting some more. Saturday's speed session and Sunday's long run aggravated it. Since then it has been about the same until this morning (30/09/2010) when it's feeling a little better. I've been running in the new Mizuno's since 8th August so it can't be my trainers. I think it is the fact that I did a hard race on Sunday 10th Aug and then did three hard sessions the same week.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Injury update

My whole feeling in terms of racing is that you have to be very bold. You sometimes have to be aggressive and gamble. - Bill Rodgers

I've had a very rare day off. No swimming, no running, no cycling. Mentally it's killed me but physically it's necessary. As a Long Distance Runner do I have a compulsive obsessive disorder to want to exercise all the time, even when I get an injury? I think not because true OCD is quite negative with the person not receiving relief from doing it. I have a positive goal and get relief. I might be too stubborn though to break away from the daily routines. Having this day off has shown to me that I am too committed and this is something I continue to work at.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

I think people can handle 150 to 200 miles a week. But something has to give somewhere. If he's a student, how's he going to study? He may be at the age of chasing and courtship, and that's an important form of sport and recreation, too. - Bill Bowerman

Day 6 of injury

Most of my reps today were at an average of 185 which is high for me. This was about 15bpm higher. This could be due to the injury. I've been quite busy today so I've not thought about the injury much but it hurts the same. Hopefully moving into a bit of a taper next week for the NB English 1/2 on Sunday will help it heal. I've still been icing/compressing/massaging with oil and taking tablets.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Aqua running

It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse. - Ann Trason

Aqua running.
My first session this morning. I did 23 mins. It went quickly and I wanted to do more but did not have enough time.
I did about 110 steps per minute.
Donna (life gaurd) gave me some advice:
- Body 3% forward
- abs tight
- natural spine alinment
- bum tucked in
- arms:
- elbows right angle and tucked in
- thumbs on top
- drive elbow back
- can increase , extend arm forward - keep wrist in line with elbow
- legs:
Lift leg so knee come up to 70%-90% angle
- ankle in line with knee 90%
- foot flexed
- push down (like stamping grapes)
- keep foot flex and pull leg back
- extend fully - squeezing bum
- draw leg (foot) up toward bum in natural recovery
- swing through to start motion again
- keep head up
- steady breathing
- chest lifted abs tight
- try not to sit in water.

For next week I'll try to have a bit more of a session with intervals. I wonder if I could buy a water-proof MP3 player with head phones?

The swimming pool has let me keep the floatation belt in their store room. I just hope it'll be there next week.

Last nights run session was on the grass.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The marathon is like a bullfight. There are two ways to kill a bull, for instance. There is the easy way, for one. But all the great matadors end up either dead or mauled because for them killing the bull is not nearly as important as how they kill the bull. They always approach the bull at the greatest risk to themselves, and I admire that. In the marathon, likewise, there are two ways to win. There's the easy way if all you care about is winning. You hang back and risk nothing. Then kick and try to nip the leaders at the end. Or you can push, challenge the others, make it an exciting race, risking everything. Maybe you lose, but as for me, I'd rather run a gutsy race, pushing all the way and lose, then run a conservative, easy race only for a win. - Alberto Salazar, 1981

Injury update.
- I did not wear my compression trousers last night. Too tied to put them on!
- Subsituted morning run for 1 hour in the pool. My first proper swimming training session in a group, with a teacher and everything.
- I could actually hear my shin tendons creaking this morning when I lifted my foot upwards; scary.
- Physiotherapy at 1pm.
- Arnica oil massaged in (I'm loving this stuff).
- 10 hours quality sleep last night.
- Training on grass tonight.

Hopefully I should not loose anything with this injury, IF it doesn't get worse. I can keep up the base endurance with cross training and do my interval/tempo runs on grass. Pray.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

"Tough times don't last but tough people do. - A.C. Green" I didn't like yesterday's quote but this is better considering my injury. I'm being "tough" by fighting this injury. Fighting fit.

Day 3 of injury
- Wore compression trousers all night and on bike this morning. 2XU compression trousers are ace.
- Substituted morning run for a longer swim.
- Still icing and putting on Arnica oil.
- I think I could have run on it this morning but want to save myself for Thursday evening's speed session.
- I asked the staff at the pool today about storing my aqua running gear there (ordered it on the net yesterday). They said that was OK.
Hoping injury will subdue for a LSR on Sunday and a speed session again on Saturday.
- Physio tomorrow.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

"Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder. -William Sigei". I don't agree wholly with today's quote but there you go.

Injury update.
- Self diagnose: Anterior medial tibial stress.
- Hurt in the night so swapped morning run for 80 lengths in the pool of swimming.
- Booked an appointment for Thursday at the physiotherapist.
- Ordered and paid for Aqua Running gear. This will help this small injury. I'll also intergate it into my usual training so that I'll be ready for the next injury, it also has other advantages other than injury rehabilitation.
- Spoke to staff at pool to ensure Aqua Running would be OK. It is.
- Bought Arnica anti-inflammatory oil to massage into the area.
- Taking ibrobufen.

This evening's run: I had a Tempo / Threshold run planned. Decided to run on grass and just do what I could. I ended up, amazingly doing the whole session. The shin seemed to stop hurting once I ran fast and on softer ground. Bonus! My plan now is not to run for 48 hours, keep on the ice, Arnica and only swim and cycle.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. -William Faulkner

First started to feel a bruise after running about 13th Sept after a run. Didn't think anything about it. Thursday 16th after speed session, hurting some more. Saturday's speed session and Sunday's long run aggravated it. This morning (Mon 20th Sept) it was hurting but did not restrict my morning run. Tonight it is hurting more, I'll do a swim tomorrow instead of a run. I've iced it pretty much all day. I'll buy some Arnica tomorrow. In the mean time I'll have ibuprofen. Tomorrow's plan is to rest until 4pm and then do my scheduled Tempo run.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Quote and "What a week"

"The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do. -Walter Bagehot"

What a week I've had. A really hard and quality training week off the back of a fast 10k race then to finish it off I have a long run planned for tomorrow. The key sessions this week have been Tuesday, Thursday and today. I really felt as weak as a kitten at the end of Thursday's and today's sessions. They were both intervals covering about 6 - 7 miles.

I've listened to a lot of good podcasts today from Tri-talk. If you're interested in endurance sports I would recommend downloading some of the podcasts...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Stretching: Goods for you? & Quote

"A marathon is like life with its ups and downs, but once you've done it you feel that you can do anything." -unknown

Stretching. Good or bad?

Our muscles are like springs. The tighter the spring the more elastic energy is returned and therefore the more running economy. However like most things we have to find the right balance. Too little flexibility may cause injuries. Also best to use dynamic stretching before a key session or race.
Research: Int J Sports Med. 2002 Jan;23(1):40-3. Running economy is negatively related to sit-and-reach test performance in international-standard distance runners. Jones AM. Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Alsager, United Kingdom.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Quote and race report

"Once you're beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line." -Todd Williams

First I would like to thank my sponsors for supporting me through the Welsh Inter-Regional Championships.... errrm O yeah, I don't have any sponsors YET. My true support is my wife who looked after the house and Karla whilst I was away for the weekend in Cardiff; and puts up with all the training. I represented North Wales in the Welsh 10K Inter-Regional Championships at Cardiff. I'm not sure of the results yet but will update the blog when I know.

Personally the important result for me was a 10K (6.2 miles) personal best time of 33mins 22secs. I was aiming high at a sub 33 min time but I was pleased with the slower result for the following reasons:

- the hard training week I had (a tempo run and intervals back to back on Tues and Wed; then easy runs, swimming cycling etc...);
- the heat; and
- position in race compared to other good runners.

The whole weekend was great but now I'm tied after the travelling. A big thank you to Andrew Edwards from Deestriders Running Club for driving me all the way down and back.

My mile race splits were as follows: 5:17 5:18 5:24 5:22 5:21 5:29 1:12

The first 1/2 mile was quick, I got a bit carried away with the fast ellite runners (the ones who are sponsored) but luckily I noticed and slowed the pace. A team member, Jez Brown from Buckley runners, was next to me at the first mile. I told him that the pace was 5:17, which was too quick for him so he slowed down. At half way I caught up to Brendan Rothery (another North Wales team member). He looked unusually tied so I pressed on to catch the group of runners ahead. He said some words of encouragement which helped.

The rest of the race was spent fighting sore legs and playing mind games to keep up the pace; keeping an eye on the watch for pace, counting, trying to keep with the person in front of me. Then with one mile left I really felt bad. I actually thought I was going to faint. Very light headed and blurred vision. I did not want to faint because I only had a mile to go. I just kept running and then with 1/2 mile to go, just as I was thinking this is what it feels like to die, I saw the end, the end of the race, not my life. There was a lovely long straight finish so you could see the finish line, this kept me going to the end. Crossed the line knowing I'd gotten a PB but wondering why I hadn't run a sub 33 because it felt soooo hard.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him,' and I just took off. -Steve Prefontaine

I've thought that in races too but most of the time I don't take off.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Quote and run

I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid. Then I ran some more.
Tyler Durden

This is what I felt like this morning. I did 3 X 5 mins and then 3 X 800m. It was hard because my heart rate was up and my pace was a bit down. Anyway, job done and over with. Tomorrow should be a nice long run with just me and my MP3s.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

"We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love". Tom Robbins in "Still Life With Woodpecker"

I like this quote because I am often quick to judge others. When I stop and think my expectations of others can be too high. Everyone has a hard life and most, harder than me. Take running for example, I'm really quick to judge peoples running ability on their PBs for say a 10K or marathon. This is wrong because I don't know if they have a really stressful life or are handicapped in some way (phyical, mental etc).

Yesterday I went for a longish run. Intended to run about 12 - 14 but because the weather was sooo nice I ended up doing 16. I created my own love for running!

12 days to the Cardiff 10K. Can't wait.