Sunday, 25 January 2015

What a difference 42064.8 metres makes


What's the ultimate running distance, the ultimate word related to running,the ultimate goal, the most famous of all distances?

I would say the 'marathon'.

The biggest race with the biggest race day crowds, that brings thousands and thousands of spectators to the city streets.

Everyone can name the fastest man over 100m, but how many out there can name the worlds fastest man over the most famous distance of them all?

The world record holder for the 100m has 3.5 million followers on Twitter.

The fastest man in the world to run the famous 26.2 miles has just 2300 followers.

The wonderful world of sponsorship and celebrity!




Sunday, 18 January 2015

Running rant # 2 - The price of races

I haven't done a 'Running rant' since the ill fated 'Ultrarunning' post (which didn't go down well at all if you recall). I don't regret that piece, what with freedom of speech, having an opinion and all that malarkey!!! It's just a shame I lost a lot of longterm ultrarunning Twitter followers in the process whom I communicated with and always congratulated them on their achievements even if I didn't agree with the distances they were putting themselves through physically and mentally.

*takes a deep breath*

Anyway......

Hopefully this is a rant everyone will agree on....THE PRICES OF RACES THESE DAYS @!!?**#¥!!!!

*takes another deep breath*

I haven't competed in a race since September 2013 and the Loch Ness marathon, so I decided to look at running a half marathon in the spring/summer. 

The Surrey half, a nice local race in Woking, taking place for its second year.

It's a half marathon remember and the price for entering the London marathon this year, one of the worlds major marathons was a very reasonable £35 for 26.2 miles. 

Now I understand the pricing for street closures, police etc etc, so that's £35 for shutting down the Capital of England. Woking is a Surrey town...the price?...£41...yes 41 flipping sterling pounds for running a half bloody marathon!!!

The Hackney half marathon.......£44!!!.....$$$


Over the last few years there has been the introduction of chip timing, which I'm sure most people agree has been a positive for racing and I can understand that this has had an impact on the race fee, but there's not many races that aren't chip timed anymore, so why still so much variation between the prices of races of the same distance?

Has running become a victim of its own success? The number of people running has continued to rise year after year. More people running, more opportunities for people to make money. 

Here is a selection of races coming up, I've separated them into 'Daylight Robbery' for races around the £30 mark and above and 'Bargain Buys' for £25 and below which I think is a reasonable price.

Thank God for Parkruns.....Running for free and funded by sponsorship.....hang on a minute, don't most races make money out of sponsorship as well as charging us!!!

Daylight Robbery

Surrey Half - £41
Hackney Half £44
North London Half - £42
Brighton Half - £34
Bournemouth Half - £31.57
Robin Hood Half (Nottingham) - £29.75
Northampton Half - £29.40
Llanelli Waterside Half - £30


Bargain Buys

Fleet Half - £23
Stafford Half - £22
Yeovil Half - £22
Chippenham Half - £22
Farnham Pilgrims Half - £25
Roding Valley Half -£22

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Goals


I go into this year injury free, coming off the back of a runstreak at the end of last year, I'm in relatively good shape, a few pounds overweight but the best I've come into a new year for a while.

So what now for 2015? Well im quite enjoying the daily routine at the moment which consists of running generally about 4 miles most days. The thing I'm most enjoying though is mixing up the training, doing fartleks, throwing in some hills, running at low intensity. This has mostly come off the back of the runstreak.

If you're running everyday, you are forced to vary your running. You cant go out everyday running at full tilt, so most the time I was paying a lot of attention to my heartrate and keeping it low.

Now with taking 1 or 2 days off a week I can speed things up again and learn from my heartrate stats when I need to rest or slow down.

Im not missing marathon training, I'm quite enjoying the shorter distances I'm training at. This is the first winter I havent done my 13 mile run to work every Friday, getting up at 5am and running in what ever conditions the weather throws at you, and I've done them runs in every type of weather you can think off!!!

So back to goal setting for 2015. Marathon's are off the radar this year (but never say never!) During spring I would like to get back to half marathon fitness, getting my Friday run to work back and then throw a couple of half marathon races in late summer.

To be honest though after the last couple of years I've had with my ankle and achilles just being able to run again regulary, is goal in its self that I've achieved.


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Did you know...


Note:

1,022 runners were randomly selected, and asked a series of questions about their running habits. The survey targeted male and females (50:50 ratio) between the ages of 25-50 years old, who all run at least once a week. 


#TomTom




Saturday, 27 December 2014

Runstreak....The conclusion


I stopped the runstreak at 50 days...I know, I know, I said 100 days, but it has served it's purpose!

I've not blogged for a while but rather than bore you with regular updates of I ran 4 miles today blah blah blah and repeat blah blah blah, I've got my head down and concentrated on the running.

So, the main reason for taking on this runstreak was a mad last ditch effort of mine to solve my long term achilles problem....Incredibly it worked!

The method to my madness was that if I kept doing something, my body would adapt, running was what it had to do each day and it would heal itself to take on this new and daily workload.

In the first couple of weeks my legs were feeling heavy each day, but about half way through the streak the body adapted like I thought it would and they got stronger....the body is clever like that :-)

Over the 50 days I ran an average of 3.5 miles a day, It would have been closer to 4 miles, but a throat virus towards the end meant some days of running the minimum of 1 mile and a few 2 mile days in there too.

As well as solving my achilles injury getting an illness was the other reason for stopping. The days I ran the 1 and 2 miles would have been rest days. There was very little to be achieved by running a single mile especially in the cold only to keep the runstreak going while feeling ill. Normally resting and recovering in the warm would have been the best remedy.

In the past after a tough workout, say a 4 mile fast tempo run, the next day I would have a rest day but I've learnt that you can still run the next day but you need to just take it easy and run a recovery run, easy pace. I learnt how to vary my runs a lot better, and I used my heartrate as a big tool also, two things I hadn't done in the past. Looking back over the years most of my running was done at mid to high intensity.

That leads me on to a book I started reading towards the end of the runstreak; 80/20 running by Matt Fitzgerald. The book deals with running intensity and benefiting by doing 80% of your running at low intensity and only 20% at mid to high intensity. This logic fit well with running everyday and something that the elite runners use with running upto 120 miles weekly but it works for all levels and racing distances from 5K to marathon.


To sum up, I've learnt more in the last 50 days about my own running than I have in the last 10 years of running, its been that beneficial! 

Going forward, Im going to run a lot more consistently than I have ie. I will probably run 6 days a week but vary the intensity to allow me to do so. It maybe that some weeks I run everyday but without the pressure of a runstreak it doesnt matter if I decide to have a day off each week.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Runstreak update

So I'm at day 28 of the runstreak, I nearly gave it up yesterday a) It was a busy day b) I was feeling a little jaded all day from the 1 or 2.....OK...4 or 5 beers from the night out before.

I got out, I had to get out, It was playing on my mind that I might regret it, so for the first time I done the minimum requirement of one mile. It was hardly worth getting changed for and 8 minutes later I was back indoors. But at least I've learnt that twice around my estate is a mile!

The only trouble I'm finding is my legs permanently feel heavy and every run is coming out at 8:30 average pace except the parkrun's which I seem to get carried away with running against others and the times are quicker.

There's no rest days on a runstreak so I throw in a couple of slow 2 mile runs everyweek which act as a bit of a rest.


Its frustrating not being able to find any real pace or distance with the legs being heavy but this is not about either, this project is just about reaching my goal of 100 continuous days of running and I must keep reminding myself that the biggest benefit is that my Achilles injury that plagued me for the last year is being kept at bay and that I am blessed to be able to run everyday while many people around me cant.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Throwing away the rule book! #runstreak



So I've pretty much tried everything the last 18 months....Resting, stretching, icing, Physio, you name it I've tried it, in an attempt to get over my achilles problems.

As I said in a previous post, I was looking at people who were running every day and at the amount of days running they were accumulating and staying injury free and a seed was planted that eventually grew into me starting my own runstreak despite still suffering with my achilles.

When it comes to diet, everyone contradicts one and other. The raw foodies think they are right, the vegetarians, the Paleo's, the low carb dieters all think they are right....well one things for sure....they can't all be right!!! But when it comes to exercise everyone can agree that we should be doing something regardless of whatever shape or size we are.

It may seem like the norm to be sat on our back sides for most the day and most of us do due to our modern working lives but there is no way that this is how it was meant to be. Whether you want to harp back to the caveman days or even a lot less further back to before we had cars, one thing rings true we had to move our bodies to get around everyday.

My runstreak at the moment consists of mainly 3 or 4 mile daily runs, that's roughly half an hour of exercise each day...I work an eight hour day at a computer, so when you put it in that context even half an hour a day doesn't seem enough does it? Who needs a rest day when exercise is only taking up that amount of time each day. Sure I hope to increase the distance on some of these days but only to probably to an hour.

As well as trying out my theory that running everyday will solve my injuries, another theory I've had is that I'm going to get more benefit stretching immediately after my run when my muscles are warmed up. I stretch like a madman, pushing my calfs and hamstrings to their limits but limits that are easier to reach due to my warmed up muscles.

I'm no physio, I've gone against what a physio would tell me, I started running everyday even though my Achilles were still painful, I stretch till it hurts, all against the rule book but the most incredible thing has happened......im cured, im running pain free, well at least I am to date and I'm now on day 19 of my runstreak. I got to day 4 and that evening was still in pain, I was going to give up the next day, but I woke up the next morning expecting to get out of bed to the usual pain but nothing, and I've not looked back since!

The other nice surprise is that I've trimmed down a bit and I've not changed my eating habits, in fact I've been eating more treats than normal. I've been craving sweet things, I try to get my hit naturally by eating fruit but I've been topping up with biscuits and chocolate and still shedding the pounds!

It's early days but I'm enjoying the smaller runs and have no thoughts of stopping at the moment, in fact the goal is set to reach 100 days. There I've said it...now I've got to stick with it!