Monday, 25 November 2013

Cross country season off to a healthy start.......... for some

Start of 2012 NEHL at Blaydon
With 547 runners taking part in yesterdays, senior men's race and 300 in the ladies race, at the 2nd fixture of this years North East Harrier League, in Jarrow.  It would appear that Cross Country running in the North East is fit and healthy.

This is especially so, when you consider that the first fixture at Blaydon a month ago saw record numbers of 575 runners in the Senior Men's race and 300 in the ladies race.

That said, yesterday's figures in the men's race should have been at  least one higher as it had been my intention to run.  However, the untimely hamstring problems encountered last Thursday soon scuppered that plan and also look likely to prevent me turning out for the third fixture this weekend. 

Hopefully I can get sorted and back running fairly soon.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Do you remember Forrest Gump?

I am sure you all remember the 1994 film starring Tom Hanks, where the main character, Forrest Gump, runs through defining moments of America's recent history while also running across the country a couple of times.

But have you ever wondered at the feasibility of this?

Lauren Hanson, in The Week magazine describes how it could be so

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A pint of Black Sheep and a packet of crisps please

I know this may be frowned upon by some but like a lot of people I know, following training nights at the 'Harriers' on Tuesday and Thursday evening's it is customary for us to go to the local hostelry for a couple of pints and some post training socialising.

A few year back, during one of these socialising sessions I proffered the idea that drinking beer post training was actually beneficial as if you just drank water you may quench your thirst before adequately rehydrating and this could ultimately be harmful to ones kidneys.  By drinking beer, however, I suggested that the kidney's would remain active and healthy.

A doctor friend however said something to the effect, that although it was a nice idea, things didn't actually work like that.

But, perhaps I wasn't that far off the mark.

 As following his study of 16 active men who ran on a treadmill for an hour in a heated room.  Dr Manuel J. Castillo, of the University of Granada School of Medicine in Spain, presented his findings at the 2011 European Conference on Nutrition.

These were, that following the exercise described above.  Each person drank either water or 660 millilitres of beer with a 4.5 percent alcohol content.  He found that a moderate amount of beer following exercise did not adversely affect recovery.  Stating, "We found that this amount of beer is as effective as water to recovery from exercise."

Also, there are the findings from research carried out at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia and published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.  Here seven men exercised vigorously until they lost about 2% of their body mass.  Following this, they had 1 of 4 fluid replacements:

- light beer (2.3% alcohol content)
- light beer with added salt
- standard beer 4.8% alcohol content)
- standard beer with added salt.

The researchers found that drinking the light beer with added salt produced the greatest benefits and didn't put athletes at great risk of further dehydration, which could occur with the higher strength beer.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Harry swaps Quidditch for the track

There were numerous press releases last week naming Harry Potter actor, Daniel Radcliffe as the person chosen to play Sebastian Coe in a film version of Pat Butcher's book The Perfect Distance.

The book, which is an excellent read, charts the rivalry between Coe and Steve Ovett.  Filming starts in Spring 2014 ready for release later in the year.

I have not seen any news as to who will be playing Steve Ovett yet. But if the film captures only half of the interest, tension and excitement the pair created in real life, then it should be a fantastic film.

Back in those days people tended to be in either the Coe camp or the Ovett camp as the pair ruled the world of middle distance running.  I must admit to being firmly in the Ovett camp.

All this publicity has prompted me to re-read another excellent book about Steve Ovett.  Coincidently a book to which Pat Butcher gives acknowledgement at the beginning of The Perfect Distance and that is Simon Turnbull's, Steve Ovett: The Portrait of an Athlete.

Written unfortunately, at the time during which Ovett refused to communicate with the press and published in 1983 this non the less does not detract from it being an excellent read.