Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Bent knee calf raise

My calf issues although improving are, unfortunately continuing.  So apart from some gentle jogging my training regime presently consists of the above  mentioned 'bent knee calf raise' at a rate of 3 sets of 20 reps twice per day.

What I originally thought was a slight twinge to the calf which I would get over with a couple of easy/rest days is now, after 4 weeks, turning into a marathon and patience is wearing a little thin.  I must admit I have had 2 'try outs' to see how things are, only to receive a SHARP reminder from the calf  in question as to exactly how things are.  So I guess I will just have to force myself to be patient a little longer.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bring back the Mile

I have only ever ran two 1 Mile track races in my life, both at the age of 41 years.  That was in 1998, the first in June was at a North East Veterans meeting where I won the race in 4.36.5.  The second attempt was a few weeks later in August where I finished 3rd in 4.36.3.  My pb for the mile as a senior (4.44) came as part of a 25 x 1 mile relay, where a team of  5 runners each run 5 x 1 mile.

Despite my lack of races over the 1 mile distance and to be frank my pretty ordinary times, I have always had a special regard for the Mile.  As a youngster long before any real interest in athletics I was aware that Roger Bannister had been the first person to break the 4 minute mile barrier and in the 80's like most people, at least in Britain I was enthralled by the exploits of Coe and Ovett and a little later, Steve Cram.

Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile barrier

The mile, to me, also seems to hold a special place in athletics along with the 100m and the Marathon.  However, unlike the 100m and Marathon the actual running of the mile has been usurped and eroded by its metric cousin the 1500m.

 Mile races are now very few and far between, despite the efforts of people like The British Milers Club, and certainly no longer a championship event.   Recently, however, a campaign has started in America to raise the profile of, and bring back the 1 mile race at  Their aim is to:

"Bring back the Mile as the premier event in the sport.  Increase interest in and media coverage of the Mile for both those who love the distance as well as the general public"

I for one hope the campaign is successful and not just in the States.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday morning shuffle

The calf strain that has prevented me running over the past two weeks has also coincided this last week with a heavy cold.  The good thing here is at least I caught the cold during my enforced abstinence from running and not afterwards.
Anyhow this morning dawned bright, sunny and frosty and I decided that as the calf was feeling much improved it was time for a gentle jog.

The result - I coughed, sniffed, wheezed and shuffled my way around 2 miles but the good news is that there was no adverse reaction from the troublesom left calf. So it's onwards and hopefully upwards from here.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Fast Times

Marugame - Japan
No matter what your standard of running is, there is nothing better than when you are fit and running well, than getting into a 'fast race'.It is in fact a recipe for a pb.

So how about last Sundays Marugame 1/2 marathon in Japan for a 'fast race' where:

- 24 men finished in under 62 minutes
- 47 in sub 63 minutes
- 75 in sub 64 minutes

Also there were 28 women who ran sub 75 minutes.

For a report on the race see Japan Running News

Monday, 6 February 2012


No sooner had I posted a blog about running injuries last Thursday, than following the evening's session I pick up an injury myself.

The session was planned to be 8 miles with 4 x 4mins on 2 minutes jog recovery.  The evening was very cold and I found it very difficult to relax when running the efforts and caught myself over-striding on a number of occasions.  I managed all the efforts and it was during the 'warm down' that I felt a tweak to my left calf.

Initially I did not think it to be too serious and due to other circumstances outside of running, Friday turned into a rest day and I felt sure I would be sorted by the next day.

Saturday dawned and my calf seemed to be ok and so I set off on an easy 4 mile jog.  But unfortunately the relief I had from thinking I had avoided injury was short lived as I had to hobble back home after a mile and a half.

By way of a substitute I headed to the Gym yesterday and did a session of minutes on the exercise bike which thankfully did not aggravate things.  So no prizes for guessing what's in store for the rest of the week.  However, the Harrier League  cross country at Wrekington on Saturday is now looking doubtful.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Hope for the future?

A quick look at results from any road race over the last couple of years will almost certainly show an increase in the number of older runners when compared to 10 to 20 year ago.

Running injuries have always been around and unfortunately for some, plentiful.  But, the changing demographic of runners competing has, according to a recent study - Running Injuries : Changing trends and demographics - has resulted in a change in the type of injuries being experienced, to those that tend to be experienced by 'Master' runners.  Injuries such as achillies / calf injuries, illiotibial band injury and muscle injuries to the hamstrings and quadriceps.

As you would expect, the study suggests that running mileage and previous injury are important indicators of running injury.  Therefore, the greater the current knowledge that is acquired about the changing demographics of runners and the application of research to treat injury offers hope that the number of injuries associated with long distance running can be reduced.