Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Running in the cold dark winter

I have run almost everyday in the UK which obviously includes eight winters. Over this time I learnt a few things about running in these conditions which I thought I would share with you. They're not extraordinary and you probably know them but here it goes.

Check the weather the night before and put the clothes out you'll need for the morning. If it's going to rain make sure you know where the petroleum jelly aka vaseline, is to prevent chaffing.

I find that you don't need gloves if the temperature is 10 *c or over. 

Always expect it to be raining. Wearing a cap with a peak keeps the rain off your face and feels better. 

Listen to Running podcasts. 

Keep wrists warm with wrist bands. 

Jackets are overrated. They keep you warm for the first mile and then you'll overheat and sweat. If it's raining you don't need a jacket because rain means it's warm.  Only wear a jacket if it's cold enough to be snowing or sleeting. Sounds harsh but honesty it's true.

Wear mittens, not gloves, mittens isolate each finger and then they get cold.

Wear a buff (headband) because a hat will make your head overheat. Also a buff is excellent for keeping earbuds in for your music.

I wear yellow tinted glasses, this keeps the cold airs from your eyes and makes for slightly better night vision from car headlights.  Not a necessity.

Don't bother too much with lights etc, controversial I know but from all my experience of running mostly on A roads and pavements in the dark drivers don't see you whatever you wear. Face the traffic. Stick to routes with pavements and street lights if possible. Don't be too stubborn to stop and jump into the grass verge when you think a car hasn't seen you. On really dark lanes without pavements, in the dark, remove your ear buds, earphone etc.

Above all remember that it isn't so bad once you're out there.

Anything Else? put it in the comments.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My first Borders League win

I've been doing this road race league each year for about 3 or 4 years and today was my first win. It was also my fastest time on that course. The race started slow because I made myself not led for the first half and then after that it was a tough battle for the win. The battle for the win made victory sweeter so I was thankful to Dean Longley for the competition. I love to blog more but with a 9 month old who's poorly, and loads of housework I need to go. Bye bye.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

North Wales Cross Country

Today's meet was at Wrexham, just 1 mile away from my house so how could I not go. 

I came forth overall and was close to 2nd. I just got beat in that last mile where the three of us knew it was going to be a fight. At one time in the race I thought I was going to win. But at mile three my club member, James Roberts just went off off into the lead on his own. 

For once I started, so I thought, conservatively being being quite a few at about 6th place, but the first mile was still too quick at 5.15. It goes to show that most runners go off too fast. Miles 2 and 3 where fun, i was working hard but slowly catching the lead group i knew I'd catch them because they went off too quick. i smiled at the thought of catching them. Paul Jones was leading and when i caught up to him at mile three, as I've already said, James went off like a rocket and left about four of us to battle it out. 

A runner from Oswestry called Oli was very strong in the last half mile and i got boxed in behind a runner we were lapping which i think cost me third place but who really knows. 

Overall i was also pleased with my average pace of 5.25 for the 5.5.5mile course, my fastest pace ever on cross country. 


Saturday, 15 November 2014

My guide on the RunBritain Handicap, SSS, vSSS, Rankings

We all like to spend a bit of time after a race comparing our times to others.  The more geeky runners among us also enjoy taking into account other things like the weather on the day, the course profile, wind etc. I use guides from the Jack Daniels’ running formula book to adjust race times for ascent, wind etc so I obtain an equivalent time for a flat course on a perfect weather day.  So, you can imagine that a system such as RunBritain’s handicap is right up my street.

RunBritain takes it’s Athletes and Race data from the Power of 10 and then waves a magic wand and hey presto it creates:
-          Handicap;
-          Standard Scratch Score (SSS);
-          Versus SSS;
-           UK Ranking.

In this article/blog I write about my understanding of these RunBritain features. 

RunBritain records all UKA official races and you can also upload your own performances.


The RunBritain handicap scoring system is a unique way of measuring your progress and comparing yourself with other runners.

As in golf, handicaps go from scratch (zero, or even slightly negative for elite runners) to 36 with increments of 0.1.

To work out your handicap, from what I can gather, Run Britain uses your recent best performances and also adjusts this by the "SSS" which is their measure of the course difficulty including weather conditions on the day.

This means that you can improve your handicap at any race.  RunBritain knows if the race course was hard.

A strange thing I've noticed is that your handicap can change without you doing anything!  I'll say more on this later in the article. But first lets look at the SSS and vSSS. 


This is a score of the course difficultly on that day.  The higher the number the more difficult the course was.

So for me, one of the highest scores I have is a 5.0 which was a race called Tattenhall Tough 9.  The name gives it away, it got a high score because it was a tough off road and hilly course.
The lowest score I have is -0.2 which was a 5.5mile flat road race on a fine day.

The SSS seems to take into account:
-          Hilliness;
-          Weather;
-          Anything else which made the course difficult for that day.

What I don’t know for certain is how RunBritain assesses the course difficulty.  Does it use it’s own race data or external data.  It’s very likely that it uses it’s own data, i.e. it has a expectation of how each participant should do and if they all do worse then it creates a higher score.  This is where I think the system may be flawed because if only a small number of people take part in the race surely it can’t be as accurate.  Take for example a small race which has a high percentage of a local club attend.  The race is on a Saturday and on the day before, Friday, that club has a hard training session.  Everyone in the club therefore does the race slower than expected.  This means it’ll get a higher SSS score which could artificaly bump up your handicap.


The vSSS is a measure of how you did compared to everyone else in a particular race.  The v, stands for versus and it's You v. Everyone else.  It's quite clever!  It looks at everyone else’s handicap and, somehow, in the background, estimates everyone's expected time.  Then it looks at this expected time and rates their performance against everyone else on the day. 

If you get a negative figure it means you were better than the average person. If it's a positive figure then you did worse than the others.

Lets look at a couple of examples:

Looking at my profile on Run Britain there is a half marathon I did where I got a negative vSSS score. This means that my performance on the day was better than expected when relating it to others in the race.  The reason is quite funny, it's because in that race I ran a shorter distance than most people because most people went the wrong way!

Let's look at Nick McCormick who holds the fastest 10k time in the UK this year, 2014.
Nov 14 his handicap is -4.6 (yes negative).
On the 9th March 2014 he ran 28:56 for a 10K this resulted in a vSSS of 1.2 on a fast course, sss 0.2.
Then on 18 May 2014 he ran 29.21 which is slower but his vSSS was better at 0.5. This is because the sss for the course was 1.4, tougher. It shows that compared to Nick everyone ran slower than expected on that course.

A bit of fun

RunBritain has a competition each month for the best handicap improvement so I thought that it would be a funny experiment, which I couldn't possibly do, to ask everyone in a race to run slower apart from one person who runs as fast as they can.  This person should have a relatively high handicap.  Then their vSSS would be off the chart for that race thus improving their handicap a lot.  This person then should have a good chance of winning the best handicap improvement that month! That would be good fun. 

Handicap changing on its own

I've noticed that my handicap can change without doing anything.  I think this is due to: 

- The first few days after a race the SSS for the course takes time to settle in so this, in turn, changes the v.SSS which then can change your handicap. In a recent race I did my vSSS just kept getting better over the week.  Maybe some of the other runner's handicap changed in the week and so updated the v.SSS?  I just don't know how the calculations work and whether or not the vSSS closes at some point afterwards so that it stops being affected by other handicaps? It's a mystery. 

- Older races will stop being a influence on your handicap and drop off. 

National Ladder

The main National Ladder position at the top of the page is your ranking out of all the road runners in the UK of your gender. They are just like the rankings in other sports like golf or tennis. Further down the page on RunBritain shows where you stand in your age group and out of everybody.

Post Code

There's also a post code rating to compare how you fare against others In your post code. So if you're 85 and live on a remote island you have a chance of being first. It is based on the first part of your post code. you can't view the other people in your post code otherwise you could hunt them Down!

Last thoughts 

So if you've made it this far, well done.  You may be even more confused than when you started.  I certainly am.  This, however, is often the way with things in life, the more you study something the more questions it raises, but hopefully along the way you've learnt something. 

If you know anything else or can add anything please comment; be nice, I'm not a writer by trade so my grammar may not be it's best. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Erddig 10k

This was the second year of this event that is put on by Expedition Wise Ltd. The managing director goes to the same church as me and I've know Brian for a long time so I like to support his event. I won it last year after having a good battle with Lee Jones who is another good quality North Wales runner and he usually beats me. This year I felt stronger but I wasn't sure of the win because I didn't know who would turn up. When I got there I was looking around to see if there were any fast guys. I'd recognise anyone capable of beating me; "keep your friends close, keep your enemies even closer", but sometimes a these races someone travels from afar that surprises me. When the gun went, alright it was a hooter, I went off like a bullet, well alright like a fast runner, too fast, when I looked at my watch at 400 meters it said 4.43 pace whooops. But there were four other people with me. Then I realised they were doing the 5k and not the 10k. After 1k it was just two of us until 4.5k then at 5k he stopped and I had to carry on on my own until the end. It was wonderful to have my family there to support me and also most of the marshals and helpers were from my church so that was cool too. Although we were all missing the Sunday morning meeting. I'm sure God won't mind, he's got more things to sort Out! My time was 35.18. Last year it was 35.35. Not bad for a trail 10k with about 6 kissing gates I had to stop at.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Why do you run. The question

From listening to runners I hear them thinking of this question quite a lot. I've heard lots of different answers but mostly runners are not 100 percent sure.

When I'm asked I sometimes struggle to find an answer, not because there's no reason but because I don't think about it.

Do we need to justify ourselves? Are we allowed to do something without even thinking of a reason for doing it?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Long progression run hurt until...

I'm following the Advanced Marathoning schedule at the moment. Today's run was a killer, 24 miles progression. That means for the last third of the session I should be 10% slower than marathon pace. My left leg was really hurting from 5 miles and I decided that I wouldn't do the last 8 miles at 6m10s pace because I was tired and the leg hurt. I was on my own until 18 miles and it was tough. I just felt sorry for myself and focused on the rain, grit, cars not moving over enough, etc. BUT then at 18 miles my good training partner joined me and running became easier. yeah, still hard but an easy hard. It's surprised me how much better it is to run a with someone. I ended up doing the pace I wanted. Sweet.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Another weeks training

109 miles Monday AM: Slow job into work listening to podcasts. Also stressing a bit because I’ve been waiting for a new Garmin and new trainers. Organising delivery and replacements is not something that I like to do especially when my wife is not at home this week and there’s no-one there to take receipt. I left a note on my door saying leave parcels in porch. Mid morning I went on the UPS online tracking website, it said CUSTOMER UNAVAILABLE WILL CALL AGAIN. I called the customer services and said I left a note but they want a signature. Pulling my hair out! But then they said I could sign the card they left and leave that and they’ll put it in the porch tomorrow. 10:00am trainers delivered at work, in hind sight I should have got the Garmin delivered to work! PM: Ran home and released that I’d locked the porch door so I had to eat humble pie. The delivery guy wrote on the note: Porch Locked! I left him another note as I knew he would be trying again tomorrow “Now open”. Tuesday AM: Cycled in to work PM: Ran home recovery run as had a hard run tomorrow. Wednesday AM: 14 miles progression. I found another route to work! It cut out 2 miles along a road and along a path instead. The last five miles I was dreading as it was to be at 6:10 pace. I think the distraction of the new route took my mind off the pain because I felt OK and picked up the pace to just under 6mm. I was really impressed on this run with a dog walker. As I ran past she controlled both her dogs to sit next to her and they kept still as I passed. I was running an out and back along a trail so after five mins I was running towards the same owner and this is the impressive thing. As I was getting closer the dogs were too far away from her to grab so she pulled out a whistle and blew it. The dogs then sat where they were and stayed sat until I passed. Very impressive. PM: Cycle home. Thursday AM: Jogged in (usual route as it’s the shortest at 10.3miles). Found a place to do my daily core work (I’m doing 6 mins twice a day, planks and bicycle kicks). PM: Very slow, 7.30mm until I met Darren then the pace was 6.30mm. Friday AM: Progressive 12.3 miles into work. 6.19 pace overall with last third at 6mm. It rained most of the way but this just made me cooler. When running hard my head goes a bit strange and I think about the most bizarre things. For example, there is a regular bus service going along my run commute between Wrexham and Chester. I know all of the registration plates! I thought this morning that I’d not seen J100 ABW for a while then it passed me. This, for some reason, really cheered me up.  PM: Nice slow jog home Saturday AM: Didn’t wear a watch but I went to Halfords with my wife and ran home. I think it was about 5.5miles and I did some sprints. Sunday Race day. I went to the North Wales Half Marathon which started near Conwy. I thought I might win it, not because I’d be fast but because it was a low profile race. I was wrong! Andi Jones and some other top notch runners turned out. I came fourth and wondered why I train so hard when there are runners out there so much quicker than me. I don’t know what came over me but somehow I got one of Andi’s races mixed up with Steve Way’s and congratulated him for the wrong race. Whoops. The race was really hard, two miles on sand, up a mountain (370m) and on a windy sea front too. O well, a good training session as we say when we have a slow race

Monday, 28 July 2014

Hard weeks training

I have had a hard weeks training. 10 weeks to Chester Marathon. As well as being tough it’ll be just after weeks of 100+ miles a week.

Monday: Woke up tied, more tied than usual but no niggles or anything to stop me from running so the usual run commute was in the morning: 10.4 miles into work. Stopped at the Tesco express and bought a big bag of Doritos. Thought I deserved it, my weakness. Went as slow as possible as I knew on the way home Darren would be meeting me for the last half. PM: Darren didn’t meet me in the end so a slow commute home. Didn’t think about the run at all. Got lost in my podcast (Ben Greenfield fitness and Ultra Runner Podcast)

Tuesday: AM: Legs feeling OK. Cycled in to work. PM: General Anaerobic for 8 miles at 6:10 pace in the heat: 25oC. I was dripping in sweat at the end and felt dizzy. Darren met me at 5 miles in so I had someone with me for the last 3 miles which always helps. Still got Doritos left. Ace

Wednesday AM: 12 mile progression run. Last four miles 6:09 ;pace. Total time: 1h16m. Hot again, so hot that I just got into the shower with my clothes on to clean them! PM: Cycled home and decided to do my strength training on a grass verge rather than when I get home because it can get too hectic at home with the little baby. 3 min front plank, 2mins X two plank on each side. I’ve been doing Plank strength work everyday for the last 2 months.

Thursday: AM: A Slow jog into work listening to the latest Marathon Talk podcast. PM: Another slow jog up until 5 miles when I met Darren and then the pace was at 6:30. I was glad of the company but the heat was getting to me. When running with Darren we discussed the next couple of days training and we decided to miss tomorrows tempo run and do it Saturday morning instead. This was a good idea because the only time we could do it on Friday was in the afternoon when the temperature was sky high.

Friday: Just went for a light jog, had the day off work, gardening work as got a garden party. Got a text from a fast runner (3:46 for 1500) who wanted to run with me on Saturday. I told him of our Tempo run and he planned to come with us. I joked that it was a race!

Saturday: We went to a local 10k route to make it more of a focussed session. Blasted out a 10k (not the full 10k), 5.8 miles at 5:30 pace. It was tough but really glad of the company. In the end the other two didn’t keep up with me but I think that was because they had done tougher sessions in the week than me.

Sunday: 21 miles progression, starting at 6:40 pace and moving up to 6:10 pace for the last 6 miles. Darren joined me for the 14 miles which was great. I love to run with people it makes it seem easier. And that’s it.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

1st at Rhyl half marathon

A hard earned 1st place

I ran Rhyl half marathon today which went out along a seafront promenade and then back again. Going out was tough. There was a head wind, my effort was too hard and the first and second place guys were getting too far ahead. At one point they were about 1 min ahead of me. But at half way I decided not to reduced my effort as I might just catch them. It was tough. I had to just think of my breathing to distract me from the pain. I couldn't let myself think that there was X miles left. "Just do the next mile as fast as possible" was what I thought. It paid off. I caught them both in the last mile.

In other News, Friday night I had coats and my spare key stolen from my front porch. I had to pay for new locks and replace the coats. From now on I'm locking my front door as well as my other one. Just didn't think anyone would bother stealing coats and shoes. Right pain in the. .. because the insurance won't pay as the porch door was unlocked and the coats were worth about £175 in total. They did also go around the back of my house but the security on my shed is top notch so they didn't get anything from there. Opportunists.

Monday, 23 June 2014

My YouTube 5 min plank

Here's the YouTube video. I don't think it'll go viral but hopefully you'll see that I kept good form. Danielson's 5 min plank: http://youtu.be/nlpG0xfQits

Personally I don't think there's much to gain from going over 5 mins that you couldn'tgain from spending the time doing ssomething else. I feel like I gained more for a running benefit mentally rather than physically because it's taught me how to deal with pain a bit better.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Advanced plank challenge

For those of you who have finished the plank challenge I set: 30 days to a 5 min plank I've now done an advanced challenge.  Err it is so far just one person and I should finish my final 5 mins in a couple of days!


Just see the "advanced" tab on the spreadsheet and keep updating it.

Spread the word and lets see if we can get more than 2-3 people on the challenge this time.  Although anyone can start the 5 min challenge at any time as I've left that on there too.



Sunday, 25 May 2014

Plank: 30 days. 5 mins

Do you need some motivation to do a bit of strength work to hopefully improve your running?

We might be more motivated if we set ourselves a challenge, so here it goes...

The challenge is to be able to do a 5 minute plank by the end of 30days.

I've set up a spreadsheet to log progress.  It also has a plan in it.  Anyone can add their name to it.  Please join me. You can start at any time; just log your start date. Here's the link:


Please spread the word, share, like, copy n paste, make a poster!  The more people doing this the better.  I'm not on Facebook so please feel free to post a link or whatever it is you do.
The spreadsheet can be edited by anyone so please be careful with it.  I'll try to remember to make backup copies of it.
I am on Twitter and will try to spread the word there. Use hash tag #plank30to5 my user name is @d_weston

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Welsh International Runner at the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km

This was my first 100km and my first time running for Wales. I finished in a time of 7h43m. I FINISHED! I'm so glad to be able to say that because there were about 2 times in the race when I thought I wouldn't finish. I think the reasons I managed to finish were mental strength and support of the team managers, Mike and Arwel. Because my main aim was to finish to count for the team I couldn't risk pushing it too hard. Also since it was my first I wasn't sure if my body would hold out. And I had a slight hip niggle so overall, next time I do a 100k I should easily knock off 30 mins. Things I learnt, Counting my breaths over the miles, Eg. 400 per mile was a good technique to distract me from the pain. Never think of the whole distance. Break it down e.g. In 5 miles I'll have a banana. I need a bigger taper and no races for at least 5 weeks before. I should drink more and eat more. Nuts and bananas are good. that's it for now I'll add more later. Later: The course record was broken today and that made the race even more exciting to be part of. Steve Way (marigold on fetch) broke it in 6 hours 19 mins. To me that is the biggest achievement imaginable. Awesome stuff. Some funny stories: My team mate, Jason Dickinson (JasonD on fetch) was only two minutes behind me so we had a funny, good banter going afterwards. I told Jason I waited ages for him and took my time to let him catch up!! In reality I had to work hard at keeping in front of him. I wouldn't let myself stop running or take any corner wide! If I had to run an extra 1 meter I was cross! In hind sight this is funny because 1 meter over 100,000 meters is nothing! The only time I did stop was to go for a wee. I needed a wee at about 25 miles but I told myself that as a "treat" I would let myself stop for a wee at 35 miles. The portaloos were right next to the course so I didn't even have to stop for long. I would like to end by saying thanks to Welsh Athletics for giving me to oportunity and also a big thanks to Mike and Arwel who worked hard during the day to support the Welsh team (much better than the English support team). Bye for now. Daniel

Friday, 25 April 2014

Pre Anglo Celtic Plate 100 km

I'm not sure what to say but want to record something to look back on in the future.

Next week I'm running in the Anglo Centre Plate 100 km as part of the Welsh Team. This will be my first race running for my country.

I know that the race is also the National 100 km championships and a trial race for the GB Team for the World 100 km in Doha on 28th November later in the year. The qualifying time of under 7h02m is right at my limit and everything would need to go right.

In reality I'll probably just see how I feel on the day after doing 10 miles and then decide if a sub 7h is possible. It's a 6m45s average pace.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Manchester Marathon

Well i aimed for another sub 2h30m and got no where near again. And again I'm blaming the wind instead of myself and admit that perhaps it's outside of my grasp.

The thing is that if i decide a sub 2h30m is unachievable for me then i might give up trying and i don't want to give up trying.

Good news is that I totally smashed the first half in 1h15m but then the second half smashed me. My next challenge is 100km in May.

Baby crying, got to go. My blogs are not as long now with a newborn

BTW I did 2h37m

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Top tips for running

I often think of doing a list of top tips which I've picked up over years of running but shy away because who hasn't heard them all before? Well at least these tips I can say I've tried and tested and they've gotten me some ok results.

- Be passionate about running.

- Read training books to understand the types of training.

- Don't do the same training every week, have periods of trying in blocks of say 6 to 8 weeks.

- Sleep well. Very important to spend a bit on a good bed. A cheap mattress will stop the blood flowing to your legs.

- Don't eat cakes, puddings, sweets, biscuits, or foods which have more than 15% sugar.

- Most people eat too much refines carbs such as white pasta, bread, potato's, noodles etc. Cut down on these or replace with wholegrain.

- If you can eat mostly proteins and fats when your not training hard.

- Plan what to do if you get injured. For example, cycle, aquarunning.

- Find out what weight is best for you, this is usually what weight you are when your body fat % is sensible. Look up the Stillman height / weight guide. Or buy and read Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald.

- If you suffer from cramps due to hard training take a teaspoon full of bicarbonate of soda once a day for a couple of days.

- Get support from friends, you can't be your best on your own.

- Don't think of excuses because everyone has them. - Believe in the truth, having the right genes, born at altitude, etc are only tiny things that'll make a difference to Running compared to training correctly.

Im stopping now because I have to go out for my run ! Perhaps that should be my last tip, spend less time on screens ! Only joking. Bye for now.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Shoe review Mizuno Hitogami.

I got some new shoes which are perfect for me. They are the new Mizuno Hitogamis.

The key features are

a cool midsole delivers lightweight, resilient cushioning.

Racing flat construction for a fast, low-slung ride. midfoot wrap for lockdown support.

Flat-bottomed last combined with low toe-spring for inherent stability.

Smooth forefoot rubber for optimal smoothness at touchdown in the forefoot.

Because they are racing flats I'm almost forced to land forefoot which means a softer landing. But there is cushioning enough to feel a bit of support. The hard plate also protects against any small rocks I land on. I raced a half half marathon in them on Sunday and I didn't notice or think of them at all so that's a sign of a good shoe. If you like to run light then go out and buy them.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Wrexham Half and a bit and a bit more for others

Wrexham Half and a bit and a bit more for others 5:47pm | Village Bakery Half Marathon FEB 16 2014

I did the Wrexham Half today. It had to be diverted due to flooding but one Marshall got confused and sent most people the wrong way. He tried to send me the wrong way too and I did go the wrong way for a bit, stopped, realised it was the wrong way and then went the right way again. All this happened before the 1st mile was over. I clocked it as 13.4 miles.

Most people went on the extended version and ended up doing about 13.8 or even more. Anyway, when I got home I wrote down all my mile splits, substituted the first mile for my average and cut the distance down to 13.1 miles. The result was an equivalent time of 72m08s.

I'm pleased with that time and if I had been running with some other competitors, I ran on my own, I may have gone quicker. Who's knows. I thing for sure is that I felt strong and it was a very good training run.

I was 6th overall and 2nd North Wales but all of that has to be ignored really because others may have been in front if they had not gone the wrong way.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Mentally strong running

I hear of some people who train MAFF, which is a training style of running slower all the time, and then when they race they just nail it because, they say, they don't forget how to run fast. There are other training plans out there too that are just unconventional but the work.

Is that because the training plans are better or because the trainees believe the plans to work? Do I go at my pace because I see what other people do and copy them (physical)? I wonder what pace I would do in a race if I'd never done one before and not seen anyone, other than me, run before (mental)?

I'm doing a 100k race in May and already I've looked at others and compared to find out what pace I should go at. Will this mentally cap what I might be capable of, who knows.

I think the great Steve Prefontane aka Pre never used to let other runners dictate his pace. He was A mentally strong runner.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Selected to run for Wales - My first

I got a letter yesterday asking if I'd run for Wales in the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km.

It didn't take me long to reply


There will be a team of three of us. 3rd May 2014 in Kent.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Thames Trot 50

Just a short blog as I'm ready for bed. I did the race today and was pleased at coming third but not really pleased with the time. The pace was slower as I had to navigate a lot. The route had to be changed completely because of all of the flooding along the Thames Path. I didn't know the area well and so found it difficult. I don't think I put the map away all day. The final route decided upon was given out on the morning of the race. The organisers did a brilliant job of rerouting and adapting the course so near to the start. It would have been easy for them to cancel, I'm so glad they didn't. About 60 percent was on the roads so I decided to wear road shoes but when it was on a trail I just kept on sliding everywhere ! Iceskating skills . I fell over a couple of times too. I'm hoping some day to do an Ultra that requires no navigation so that I can run at a faster pace. Maybe just around a track or a two, three mile loop would be good. Having said that though the route today was beautiful in parts.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Cross Country Race

I ran in the North Wales Cross Country League today at Lilleshall. It was one of the muddiest races I've ever done because of all the wet weather we've been having. I just hope that my 50 mile race is not so muddy in two weeks time. I was 9th today. I enjoyed the competition in a group of about five of us. I'm usually slightly further ahead but since I've been doing so many miles lately I'd lost a bit of strength in the legs to carry me over the tough mud. I wish I could've been closer to Lee Jones but he is should a good runner, and older than me too.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Quote and run

To a runner a side stitch is like a car alarm. It signifies that some is wrong but you ignore it until it goes away. Author unknown This quote is not always true I know but it does indicate how runners drive through pain. The other day whilst out on a run the top of my foot was hurting. It hurt even more when I stopped to loosen my lace. Then at the end of the run it hurt again. I think the body has a way of shutting out pain when you're in a stressful situation. Does this mean then that we are designed to be in a stressful world and finding a stress free environment actually causes us Pain?Maybe to a certain degree. Anyways though, I'm training hard at the moment for an ultra on 1st February so the taper will start and maybe the niggles will show Themselves! Bye for now.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

High mileage

Last night whilst running with my mate he said to me; you'll be running just over 100 miles before the weekend. I replied, yeah but my quality training is not suffering (same times) and my slow running is slow. However, I don't really know how well it could be if I did less miles. My higher weekly mileage is because it's not just training but due to another, useful reason; running gets me to work. The traffic from Wrexham to Chester is dreadful and as such the 10.3 miles takes only 15 mins more than getting the bus or car in rush hour. Also I think that running a lot slower on rest days for me is OK because my once at work I'm sat down for most of the day. Another advantage I find is that once I'm home in the evening I don't have to feel that I have to do exercise to keep fit. I've already done 20+ miles of running! In fact I don't run to keep fit, I run to 1) get to work; 2) To get faster / train for races. The result of those reasons is that I'm fit. I wonder sometimes if I would still run even if I knew is was damaging me some way.