Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Is it a race or not? - of course it is

By now I think everyone is aware of the phenomena known as Park Run.  The free to enter 5km races have not only spread throughout the country but have now gone world wide.

Park Run attracts runners of all abilities from the serious runner to those who want to use the run to keep fit and for 'social' purposes.  Despite the race format and the main results appearing in Athletics Weekly, I still know of some who would not consider the Park Run as a race.

So it was with great interest that I learned today of the new initiative to be launched by Brendan Foster's 'Great Run'.  Styled upon Park Run and recently piloted in Manchester and known as Great Run Local, The organisation will be rolling out across Britain free to enter 2km and 5km races.

One of the aims of this project is to get 1 million people to take part in Great North, Great N Great Run affiliated activities in one year.

From a personal point of view, the more people who get into running and an even greater choice of races has to be a good thing.  It will be interesting though to see how these additional races affect the current running scene.

Will they affect entries into current / traditional road races?

Will they have a positive affect on running / athletic club membership?

The answer is obviously yes but hopefully it will be positive in both cases.

Roll on Great North Local.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Ice and eccentric training

Last night my optimism of the other day went up against reality and was found wanting. 

Following an almost twinge free, gentle 4 miles on Wednesday night my right Achilles gave out last night forcing me to walk/hobble 2 miles back to the changing rooms.

So its back to the ice pack supported with eccentric training (heel lowering) and some gym work to try to maintain my general fitness until I can get back running.

(please note that this is an objective description of things. I don't think I can put into print how I really feel about it)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The highs and lows of getting back

Sitting here with an ice pack strapped to my right achilles it seems quite odd that I should be pleased with my progress over the last fortnight, following the hamstring problems I had been having.

Last week saw a slight increase in mileage (up to 46 miles) and with a session of 8 x 2mins on Tuesday, a hard fartlek session on Thursday and a  series of short strides on Saturday, a re-introduction to some quality work.

This week the aim is to, once again, slightly increase the mileage (50+) and continue adding some quality sessions.  unfortunately, that is where the need for the ice pack comes in.  As I warmed up at the start of last nights session I felt a slight twinge in the right achilles, however it did ease and did not prevent me from completing the planned 6x3mins.

Today, however, it is a slightly different story as my achilles is very sore and tender.  Hopefully the ice and a couple of very gentle runs will see me getting back on track.

Changing the subject away from me, It was sad to hear the news, this week, of the death of Chris Chataway, at the age of 82.
I was fortunate enough to have met him at the start of the Great North Run in 2006 and just for the record he ran 1.38.50 that day! 

Monday, 13 January 2014

End of week report

42 mile may not seem a massive weekly mileage but it is a total I am more than happy with and provides a good starting point following on from my recent hamstring problems.  A steady 12 mile run on the Derwent Walk on a cold, frosty and bright morning yesterday rounded of the first full week of the year.

This weekend also saw me finish reading 'Haile Gebreselassie The greatest runner of all time' by Klaus Weidt.  The book starts with the auther and his German  travel running group endeavouring to meet Haile Gebrselassie in Ethiopia.  It then continues to chart Gebreselassie's life from childhood, alongside a potted history of Ethiopia, up to his premature announcement of retirement, following his dropping out of the New York Marathon in 2010.

It is an interesting read which also places a lot of emphasis on Gebreselassie's relationship with the Berlin Marathon.  The book also contains plenty of photographs and for sporting statistions lists all the main races of Gebreselassie's career.

Friday, 10 January 2014

We're up and running again

I realise it is a little while since I posted anything on this blog. But apart from moaning about being injured and loosing any fitness I may have had.  There was not much else to write about.

I managed to get some gentle runs in over the Christmas holiday period.  However, this week, despite to few twinges to the troublesome hamstring I have managed to start picking things up a bit.  Steady runs on Monday and Wednesday have been spiced up by a session of 8x1 minute with 1 minute jog recovery on Tuesday and 2 miles tempo sandwiched between a long warm up and warm down last night.

So hopefully, things are once again, moving the right direction.  I have entered the Dentdale Run, which is a little over 14 miles at the beginning of March, which will give me something to aim for. 

In the meantime it will be a question of building up towards that and identifying a couple of races or Park Runs along the way, in order to monitor progress.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Why I'm not a sprinter

It's seemingly not just the proportion of fast and slow twitch muscle, but:

My knees

Research carried out at Northumbria University by Professor John Manning found that symmetrical knees are a key to being a great sprinter.  The childhood symmetry project carried out in Jamaica found that Jamaican children have particularly symmetrical legs in comparison to Europeans and this predicted their willingness to sprint and their sprint times when they are adults.

So giving up any sprinting aspirations I may have been harbouring for 2014, I settled for a gentle 4 miles on the Derwent Walk to kick of the new year.

Happy New Year everyone, hope 2014 is a good one.