Friday, 14 June 2019

Buenos Aires to Newcastle


Earlier this week I surpassed the 94,000 mile mark on the way to my long term target of running 100,000 miles before my 65th birthday.

If the last couple of year's are anything to go by, it's going to be a bit of a struggle but a
goal that is still definitely achievable.

100,000 miles, approximately 4 times around the world, with roughly the distance (air miles) equivalent to that from the Argentinian capital to Newcastle upon Tyne left to go.

So, it was during last night's 18 miler along the banks of the River Tyne. As I plodged my way through puddles and skated across stretches of mud in the rain and temperatures more akin to February than Flamin' June.  That I imagined myself heading for home. Running through the winter streets of Buenos Aires in temperatures of 16C

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

'Twas on the ninth of Joon

Sunday saw the staging of this years, largest in the country club race, The Blaydon Race.  Following a route as closely as possible to that depicted in the famous song of the same name.  Due to work going on near the finish, this year the course was slightly shorter at 5.4 miles.

First home was Graham Rush in 25.37, while Aly Dixon lifted the woman's trophy with a 28.24 clocking.  First home for Blaydon was George Rudman in 28.20 for 26th place, with Eleanor Bradley the first Blaydon lady back in 36.25.

Full results can be found here

As usual, for this race, the atmosphere was fantastic as around 4000 runners made their way from Newcastle city centre to Blaydon. 

This was only my second race of the year a I continue to build up from the problems I suffered at Christmas and am quite pleased with my 37.39 clocking.

Onwards and upwards!

Thank you to Ian Harman Photography for the pic

Friday, 7 June 2019

Logging the miles

On Twitter this morning I noticed a tweet with a quote from novelist Jack London:

'Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, slap into it every stray thought that flutters up in your brain.  Cheap paper is less perishable than grey matter, and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.'

I have never considered myself as being one for keeping a 'diary' as such (I did keep a record of my trip to Porto Rico for the World Masters and then again 6 years ago, when I went up Mount Kilimanjaro).  But, then I thought about the pile of training logs I have kept over the last 38 years and I suppose to some extent this blog and of course I now use the ubiquitous 'Strava'.  But it is the paper logs that have been a constant record of my running.

Of course, the quality of the entries has varied, sometimes no more than the date and the number of miles covered. At other times an in depth record including weather details, route, intervals carried out with times etc.  But no matter what, every mile ran has been recorded since July 1981 (I actually started running in February 1981).  As a result I can tell you as of yesterday (I haven't been out yet today) I have ran 93,961 miles since starting to keep a training log.

But why keep a log?

Well a training log is a good tool for collecting all my training data (I actually keep a separate record of all the races I have ran.  This includes position, time, who won the race, best positions by fellow club members etc.).  This can provide indicators on changes to training and show how effective these changes have been.

A training log is also a way of holding one's self accountable for our behaviours.  Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of self-monitoring and recording observations of progress towards goals.

And, following a conversation in the pub last night, where I was informed that I was at the end of my running career (thanks Anthony) I can always use them to look back and reflect on what I was once able to do.

So upon reflection, far from being someone who doesn't keep a diary.  It turns out that, certainly with regards to my running,I am quite obsessed with keeping a record.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Project Carbon X

I have posted in the past about the development of running shoes to help athletes improve their performance.  Particularly the Nike Vapourfly and Nike's Breaking 2 project. 

Well, this Saturday, 4th May, sees the Ultramarathon equivalent with Hoka's Project Carbon X. Where Hoka sponsored athletes Jim Walmsley, Patrick Reagan, Tyler Andrews, Mike Wardian, Hideaki Yamauchi and Yoshiki Takada will attempt to break the world record for 100Km.

The current world record stands at 6 hrs 9 minutes and 14 seconds and was established last year by Nao Kazami at the Lake Saroma 100km held at Kikami City.  This bettered the iconic record of 6.10.20 set by Britain's Don Richie, on the Crystal Palace track, back in October 1978.

The Carbon X attempt will take place on the roads of California, starting at Folsom and finishing in Sacramento.  According to the video on the Hoka website the athletes will be aiming for 5.47 per mile pace for the full 62 miles!

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Keep on Running

It may have been some time since I posted anything in this blog, but the running has continued.  Continued despite more injuries and further health problems.

Progress towards my target of running 100.000 miles before my 65th birthday has taken a bit of a hit, but with a fair wind, less injuries and hopefully no further health problems, can still be reached. 

Heading out on 3rd leg
My total mileage currently stands at 93,789 miles.  An average mileage of 40 miles per week for the next 3 years will see me reach the target.  40 miles per week, on paper doesn't look daunting but after this last couple of years, it's probably going to be more difficult than it looks. But, then again a challenge is not a challenge if its not challenging.

Trying to conjure up a sprint finish

Good Friday saw me actually racing, my first since last July.  Running 3rd leg for Blaydon's Vet team, I managed 14.45 for the 2.2 mile leg (37 seconds faster than last year) which I must admit to being quite pleased about.

The other results from my team were:

1st leg - Erik Lewis 14.43
2nd leg - Paul Young 14.45
4th leg - David Graham 14.26

We finished in 94th place overall.

Our team was one of 7 Blaydon men's teams running.  Our A team finishing 9th overall.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A great read - Sydney Wooderson: A Very British Hero

A couple of years back I was following a blog by Rob Hadgraft 'The diary of a clapped out runner'.  Rob was researching a book on Sydney Wooderson.  The research was carried out in conjunction with his 60th birthday challenge to visit and run at 60 places where Sydney had ran during his illustrious career.

I followed Rob's progress with his challenge avidly and looked forward to reading the book.

The book was published last year but due to general circumstances I have only gotten around to reading it now.  Sydney Wooderson: A very British Hero' is a biography of possibly Britain's most popular sportsperson of the 1930's and 40's. 

Wooderson was a small, shy man who was for years the worlds fastest miler.  It was thought by many that he would be the first to break the 4 minute barrier for the mile, if it had not been for the intervention of World War 2.

Every race from schooldays to retirement is brought to life as the book sheds light on an almost forgotten sporting hero.

This book is a great read and I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested in our sport.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Perhaps all I need is a face mask and some hair dye

I have now been running (just about every day) for nearly 38 years.  So when a headline, "Regular Exercise May Keep Your Body 30 Years Younger" caught my eye, I just had to read the article.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that the muscles of older men and women who have exercised for decades are indistinguishable from those of healthy 25 year olds.

Those who have maintained their exercise routine over the decades also had a much higher aerobic capacity than most people of their age, making them biologically about 30 years younger than their chronological age.  The study found.

Three distinct groups were recruited to the research programme, one a group of young people in their 20's, another consisting of older men and women who had been physically active for the past five decades and a third group of age-matched older people who had not exercised during adulthood.

At the outset, as you would expect,  the researchers thought that the young people would possess the most robust muscles and aerobic capacities. Followed by the lifelong exercisers, who would be slightly weaker on both accounts and then the older non-exercisers who would be weaker still.

However, as described above, this was not the case.

So it looks as though I am well on the way to maintaining a 'young' body.  Perhaps all I need going forward, then,  is a face mask and some hair dye.