Monday, 28 February 2011

Feb Summary 47 days to go

I have run 108 miles this month which is 8 more than last month and unfortunately I have over trained and I am in the process of resting so that my lower leg heals. Lower leg is getting better day by day but I am not able to run yet. I just hope I am ready for Eastbourne half on Sunday. On the positive side I have nearly learnt the Kata for my next Karate belt and the break has definitely helped the energy reserves in my body.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Massage and Witch Hazel

Today I had a massage by my friend Chris Mowen. I had not had a massage for a while and he did wonders on my leg/foot and it feels a lot better. The main benefits of the massage is that it loosens all the connective tissue, muscles and ligaments allowing the blood to flow freely, increase oxygen for repair and breaks up any Lactic acid. Whilst a lot of people can do this Chris also concentrates on freeing any blocked energy (Chi) in your body.

I do not like taking any medicines  and Chris recommended putting Distilled Witch  Hazel on the bruising. My daughter who is training to be a Doctors thinks I would be a nightmare patient!

At the end of the day I am convinced that my problem is due to over training. I need to continue resting for a while. I am sure I will not loose too much fitness. I have Eastbourne half next Sunday. I will do one test run later in the week and if all OK do Eastbourne half as a very gentle training run.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Aimee Mullins: How my legs give me super powers

Thought provoking video

Highs and Lows 50 days to go - adapt to survive

My blog cannot always be about the highs I also have to write about the lows

My leg feels very slightly better, but the pain soon comes back when I start walking. On closer examination I think the leg is slightly swollen. I am not going to Tai Chi tonight instead I will lay of sofa with an ice wrap around my leg and plenty of Ibuprofen gel.

There are 50 days to go until VLM so I could easily loose a week whilst I allow my leg to recover. I am now thinking I may just end up doing VLM for the experience rather than focus on time and if all is well aim for a good time at the Marafun on sat 14th May.

If necessary I can always defer my VLM place until next year.

Long way to go and may be thinking a bit negative but need to think of options and one thing I have learnt in life is if you adapt you survive.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Oh Dear

My ankle is still not right. I decided to go out for a very easy 10k. Unfortunately my ankle did not feel right from the off. I completed my 10k, bumping into Chris Marshall twice and Chris Hudson. Chris Hudson saw me as I was running down station road. Chris said I was running very cautiously.  Here is my assessment.

Last weekend I ran 23 miles and 40miles for the week in total. This is going to put a lot of pressure on my muscles and tendons.

The foot is very complex there are lots of Muscles and Tendons.

I get the pain when I move my foot.

The pain is not a sharp pain like something is broken.

It feels like my muscles and tendons are sore. I think I am just going to have to rest, use and ice pack and some ibuprofen gel and see if it gets better.

This is really annoying things were going so well I will have to re assess my schedule.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Why is it important to manage your energy (Chi) ?

Although time is precious, there is no point in having lots of time if you do not have the energy (Chi) to use that time wisely. So many people tell me that when they get home from work they are just too tired to do anything  and end up crashing out watching telly and then wonder why do do not have a good nights sleep.

I get tired like everyone else but I have found that all this training actually has the reverse effect and physical activity gives you a great energy boost and whilst my body may feel tired through training my energy (Chi) levels are actually very good.

My Tai Chi class is on a Friday night and the mental relaxation is a massive boost to my energy. On a Friday night  I never have a good nights sleep. I lay in bed awake, not is a frustrating way, but relaxed,  almost like I can feel my Chi energy flowing through my body.

So what can we do to improve our energy (Chi) levels.

No running tonight and got some new shoes

My ankle is getting better but still not good enough to run on so I gave running a miss tonight. I have a work function on Wednesday night but I am hoping that I will be able to go for a run on Thursday, then I will assess the situation and training plan. My new running shoes have arrived it was so good to try them on. I did not realise how worm my old trainers were.

I am hoping that this little break means I will come back stronger. On the positive I have been learning the Kata for my next Karate belt.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Ice Pack

On Sunday one of the ligaments on my left leg has flared up. A ligament which connects from the lower shin to the foot. I did not notice any problems during my long run, however, I have noticed that my trainers are very worn, particularly on the left shoe. I have purchased some new trainers and used Ice and ibuprofen gel. I am going to take it easy for a couple of days.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Awesome training run

Dave and I set off for our planned 18 mile run. Dave had designed a great route from Green Street Green along A21 to roundabout, then all the way to Crittalls Corner, upto the roundabout near Sidcup, then past Chislehurst Station down and up Summer Hill towards Southborough then upto the Crown and A21 back to Green Street Green. We meet a few runners we knew along the way and it is always great to have a chat as it helps pass the time.

Dave and I were both running stronger as is evidenced by the way we ran down and then up Summer Hill.

Overall we finished 18 miles in 2.54 average pace 9.38 and second split faster than first. We were both really pleased with our performance. I was feeling a bit hungry towards the end. I had taken a pocket full of Jelly Babies. I did not use my Gel. I am just not too keen on the Gels. I think I am also going to take some dried fruit.

For me this run was on top of 5miles yesterday and a week when I have run 40 miles in total.

Top of ankle is hurting a bit but I have pushed it this week. 

Also going to but some new trainers as old ones are getting a bit worn.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Time and Energy (Chi)

Increasing my running training has meant life has got very hectic. Trying to juggle family, friends, work, running, Tai Chi, Karate and life in general is tough.

The only way I can maintain balance is planning, good time management and staying focussed.

I recall a story of two warriors who each had to cut down a tree with an axe. One started chopping straight away and one spend time sharpening the axe before he started. Needless to say to warrior who spent time sharpening his axe chopped the tree down first.

Runners in general are good at time management out of necessity.

However, I think there is a more important issue everyone needs to be aware of and that is managing ones energy (Chi) ...........................See follow on post.

Another 5

I have a 18 mile run planned for tomorrow and went out this afternoon for a steady 5 miles (average pace 9.45) in preparation for tomorrow. This will bring this weeks total mileage up to 40.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Jelly Babies

Now I am doing the long training runs I need to start thinking about energy. I was thinking that during my long runs (greater than 18 miles) I would not take on board any energy until I need too. The purpose being to train my body to run  without energy. However having spoken with my ultra runner friend Jerry Smallwood  (see his blog link below):

I decided that it is more sensible to try and stabilise my energy levels and keep them topped up during long training runs and use the same in the actual marathon. I will use a few gels and I have brought a couple of big boxes of Jelly Babies. I am not that keen on using gels but the Jelly Babies are so good. They have such a great taste and I find myself thinking when I get to a certain spot I will have a jelly baby. I never knew a Jelly Baby could be so motivational.

I see a cold Budweiser

I have been thinking about a treat after London Marathon. After New York  Marathon the one thing I really wanted was a cold Bud and a steak. Whilst I am training I drink very little alcohol and that makes the desire for a cold beer even greater. After New York we had a really great steak in a restaurant in Grand Central Station. It was an excellent meal. Strangely I have exactly the same desire after London Marathon.
  • Cold pint of bud at bar before sitting down to eat.
  • Steak - rare
  • Real chips
  • Watercress and salad
  • Bottle of quality Red wine.
In New York there were lots of good steak houses and I need to find one in London. Not a beefeater etc!!

I can see the cold beer on the bar when I am running.


I got home early tonight so that I could go out for my 6 mile run and be back home in time for dinner and sit down in the evening. I decided to run around the club 10k route easy pace second half faster than the first. Finished in about 52 minutes which was perfect. This run followed on from 11 miles on Tuesday and is part of the lead up for 18 miles on Sunday.

Another good run

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tough Run

To increase the mileage this week I ran down to and from the club meeting place, this added 3 miles onto my normal Tuesday night run. I ran with second fastest group. There were some fast runners in the group and we set off at a lively pace and up some fairly long hills. Having run 16miles on Saturday and 4miles on Sunday my legs felt a bit tired during the run. We ran 8 miles with only the occasional stop to regroup and it was fairly hilly so it pushed me. I am not sure of the pace but it was certainly 8+ a bit  minutes a mile. I ended up doing 11 miles so that is 31 miles in 4 days. Next run will be a 6 miles on Thursday. I need a massage on my legs. I have also just brought a book on using a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) during training and used my HRM during the run. More on this later.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Run Forrest Run

4 mile run today as a follow up to the 16 mile run yesterday.I have noticed that I recover a lot faster after a long run and the purpose of my 4 mile today was about the recovery time between runs and running the day after a long run.

This week I have run 30 miles and aiming to increase the mileage next week and do a 18 mile run at the weekend.

All this running  is starting to come good and energy levels also good. 

Now I am running in the 18+ mile zone I will need to give a lot of attention to fuel and energy.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Awesome Yang Form by Chen Manching

16 mile run Sat 12th Feb

Met my friend Dave at 8am for the start of out 16 mile training run. The route was Green Street Green to Chapter one, past Oprington Station up to Polhill, then off road to Shoreham village up through Lullingston golf course to Well Hill and Chelsfield.

Off road was very muddy and hilly so that slowed us down.

This was our longest training run so far and we were both really pleased at the end of this run, overall pace just over 11 minutes per mile and we finished with no problems and enough energy in us to run a few more miles. We decided to push the limits and did not take any energy gels . Next weekend we are going to do 18 mile road run aiming for 10 minute per mile pace. All good

Thursday, 10 February 2011

All Creatures are one with nature

Why I run

Since the start of this year I have been very focussed on my running in particular doing a  good time at London Marathon. I always enjoy going for a run and I must remember that the main reason I run is because I love running whatever the weather. It is not about medals and times.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

10k handicap race 8th Feb

Tuesday night was the club 10k handicap. This is always a tough race. I was hoping to run with my friend Chris who last month beat me by about 20sec but he did not turn up. I am probably the fasted in my handicap group (main group which start on zero), which meant I had no one to race against until about half way round when I started to be overtaken by some of the handicapped runners. I push my pace as much as I could and completed in 49.23 which is 35 sec better than last month but still 1.27 sec off my PB 47.55. I know with more training I could do faster and ideally it would be great if I could run with someone slightly faster than me.

Two very good things to note are I ran the second half faster than the first  and considering I did a 14 mile run on Sunday my recovery between session is good.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Zen Master and running shoes.

I eventually gave my running shoes a really good clean and they are now drying in the airing cupboard.
This makes me feel a lot better. I scrubbed them with Fairy Liquid so if it rains during my next run bubbles will be coming out of my shoes.

14 mile run Sunday 6th Feb

This morning I meet Dave at 8.00 and we set off on our 14 mile training run. We ran to Bromley, then Hayes up to Keston, Leaves Green then back to High Elms and home. This was a fairly hilly run but we managed an average pace of 10 minutes per mile but there was some variation within this. We did not stop for any rests so that was good. The run was probably 60% road and 40% off road.

This was another good training run although legs were getting a bit tired towards the end. It is great to get a 14 mile run behind us. Next weekend we are down for 16 miles.

The picture of the windmill is because Dave pointed this out as we ran through Keston. The original windmill dates back to 1716 and is the oldest windmill in Kent

Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Zen Master and running shoes

I like to keep my running shoes clean but with all this running I have not had time to clean and dry my shoes before my next run. I have another pair but they give me blisters on longer runs. I really hate putting on dirty trainers before my run it is very similar to starting Karate with a dirty gi and your belt not tied properly. It is not right. I am going to give my trainers a good clean after tomorrows run.

Ministry of silly runs

I have a 14 mile run planned for Sunday with my fellow runner and friend Dave. I wanted to go for my normal 3 mile Sat run but did not want to do anything that would use up too much energy. I decided to do a very light relaxing 3 mile run in which I incorporate as much movement as possible and I must not run in my normal style and nothing fast. The result:
I ran mainly on the balls of my feet incorporating short shuttle runs, long strides, pretending I was running along a beam, shoulder rolls, forward, backwards one arm forward one backwards, holding my breath, trying to get as much movement into my lower back as possible. I also tried to run as lightly as possible.

My friend Chris has been using a technique (used by  Kelly Holmes) of pretending someone is pushing you along by placing a hand in the small of your back. This straightens your back and changes you movement.

It was an interesting run, certainly used some different muscles  my wife thought I must have looked silly and I probably did.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Bruce Lee- Love this poem plus the picture

True mastery transcends any particular art
It transcends from mastery of oneself
The ability developed through self discipline
To be calm, fully aware and completely in tune with oneself
Then amd only then can a person know himself.
Bruce Lee The Dragon

Thursday, 3 February 2011

24.44 Personal Best

I knew I was going to run a personal best on my 3 mile run tonight. I beat my best time by 12 seconds completing the run in 24.44. Average pace of 8.15. I was a little disappointed as I pushed it as much as I could and only shaved 12 seconds off my time, however, I had done a fairly tough run on Tuesday and my legs had not fully recovered. The first part of my route is up hill and in future I will do a small warm up run so that I am fired up before I start. I have a 10k run next Tuesday and hoping to beat my previous time. I really want to get my time down below 24mins pace 8.0

Mind Rules for Running and Life

The following rules of the mind have helped me understand how my mind works and up my mental game. It is all pretty basic stuff but a good reminder not only for running but also for life.
  1. Every thought or idea causes a physical action.-Fight of flight response- releases adrenaline.
  2. What is expected tends to be realised- If you think positively it is more likely it will happen.
  3. Imagination is more powerful than knowledge when dealing with your own mind- Believe and visualise achieving your goal.
  4. Opposing ideas cannot beheld at the same time. I am going to finish my run or I will crash and burn,  your mind can only hold one idea otherwise it will be in conflict. Think I am going to do this.
  5. Once an idea has been accepted by the subconscious mind it remains until it is replaced by another idea.When you learn something new it replaces existing behaviour. I am going to achieve a good time in my run is a much more powerful thought than I am trying to achieve a good time.
  6. An emotionally induced symptom tends to cause organic change if persisted in long enough.The highs of completing a challenge  make you want to achieve more.
  7. Each suggestion acted on creates less opposition to successive suggestions. Just do it move out of your comfort zone.
  8. When dealing with the sub conscious mind and its function, the greater the conscious effort the less the subconscious response-Work to develop positive mental expectancy.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Training run 1st Feb

I meet a really good friend of mine at 17.00 on Tuesday evening for a catch up (more on this later) and only just got home in time to get changed and out for the Tuesday night run. This meant that I had not anything to eat since lunchtime apart from a Mars bar on the train on the way home.

There were 5 of us in the group tonight and we ran 10.4 miles at 9 minutes a mile pace, pretty much without stopping, which was exactly what we intended to do. This was another quality run and followed on from my. I have ran 25 good quality miles in 4 days ( 3 mile fast run on Sat, 11.4 hilly run on Sun) and I am very pleased with my recovery. I got very hungry towards the end of my run and this really was the lack of fuel before hand, just goes to show how important it is to be properly fuelled also ran in my second pair of trainers (asics) and got a blister on my foot. I used a small 100cm bootle for fluid half way but this really is a bit small so will have to sort something out.

Summary another good training run but now I need to start increasing the distance and I need to have my fuel and fluids sorted.

Age Graded % Calculation

I stumbled across an age graded % calculator on the goodrun guide website.

I am not sure how accurate it is but I found it very interesting.

80% is a National Class Runner
70% is a Regional Class Runner
60% is a Local Class Runner

To put this in context for me:

10k 70% 44mins   60% 50mins
1/2 Marathon 70% 1 hr 40  60% 1 hr 55
Marathon  70% 3 hr 25  60% 4 hr

This puts me in the category of Local Class Runner aiming for Regional Class Runner.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Water- Some additional advice- following on from previous post

One of the things I must do, is make sure that I properly hydrate myself during the day before my run. Drink enough fluid so that my body is nicely hydrated before each run. It is, however, very important to make sure that I stop drinking a couple of hours before the run so that I do not have to stop for a comfort break during the run.


I can happily run 6-10 miles without taking on board any fluids but now I am about to start the longer training runs I need to start thinking about hydration.

  • I have a hand held bottle but I find this very frustrating as it is a distraction and a think tenses my arm. 
  • I have a camelbak belt which holds a bottle, which is fine when running but not very easy to use and I do not need such a big bottle of fluid.
I do not know how much fluid I need to take on board during a run, but when I was helping at London Marathon I was talking to a Doctor with the first aid team at the finish and she said that the most common problems they had to deal with were dehydration and hyponateremia. I can understand the dehydration but the hyponateremia (which is too much fluid-water poisoning) surprised me. The Doctors did explain the reason, which I cannot remember, but the key thing was it did not actually take too much extra water to cause the hyponateremia.

So what am I going to do?

I am going to listen to my body (Tai Chi basics)  and use a couple of small 100ml bottles which I can put into my jacket pockets, filled with Orange Squash and see how it goes.