Monday, 30 March 2015

Out April 9th

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis will know that I frequently post my thoughts on any books about running that I have been reading.

This time it's Nell McAndrew's Guide to Running, due to be published on April 9th.  The book, co-written with Lucy Waterlow, highlights Nell's love of running.  Aimed at those who are looking to take up running as well as those looking to improve, the book is packed with practical tips.  With specific sections looking at areas such as nutrition, women's running and the marathon.

The book also describes experience's of 'real' runners.

I suppose that it is here that I should admit my bias towards this book as I was asked and gladly submitted some training schedules for beginner, intermediate and experienced runners for the half marathon and full marathon.  Although if you are looking for schedules for sub 2.45 and sub 2.20 marathons, then these are provided by someone much more qualified to talk about those sorts of times than me - Richard Nerurkar.

There is only one slight problem as far as I am concerned. When checking runners pb's someone has obviously used the Power of 10 website, as the page shown opposite list my pb at half marathon as 1.16 and marathon as 2.49.  These are times I did in 2004 as a 47 year old.  The problem is that Power of 10 only goes back as far as 2000 and like many an older runner my pb's pre-date this and were achieved in 1986/87.

Luckily further into the book where the training schedules are presented they list my correct pb's 67 minutes for the half marathon and 2.25 for the marathon.

Nevertheless, I still think that this is a great book, especially for those just starting out and those who have been running for a little while, have now got the bug, and are looking to improve.

If anyone uses the training schedules then I hope they result in you getting a pb (especially if you use one that I have written).

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Easy running

Is there really such a thing as easy running?

Following the instructions I received from the consultant following last weeks trip to hospital, to run easy with no racing or speed sessions, that's exactly what I am attempting to do.  But, I must admit I am finding it bloody hard.  It's like trying to drive your car with its top two gears missing. So, running easy still ends up feeling like a tough session.

Anyway, over the last two weeks I have managed to log 31 and 36 'easy' miles, respectively.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Hopefully this will be the jump start I need

Following the Masters Cross Country race a few weeks back I decided that the poor performance reflected the fact that my training wasn't really working.  I was running heavy and tired and struggling on any run over 6 miles.  So I decided to concentrate on running shorter distances at a quicker tempo and fit in some speed specific sessions as I went.

This seemed to work as I felt less exhausted and could see improvements in speed almost immediately.  With no runs further than 5 mile during the week and 10 mile on a Sunday.

On Saturday I decided to do the Blackhill Park Run as a measure as to how things were going.  Having ran there on the first Saturday of the year I felt confident that I would get inside the 21.58 I had posted then.

Blackhill Park Run is three laps of a course set on the side of a hill, with an uphill start. As we got underway I struggled from the start, feeling totally flat, coming almost to a standstill at every incline, no matter how short. I struggled around in 22.02 and felt totally exhausted.

Because of this and as I had been feeling some tightness in the chest and shortness of breath, I took a trip to the GP's on Monday morning.  As a result I have spent the last couple of days as a guest of the NHS at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.

The diagnoses being that I am suffering from Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and will now, to try to correct the situation, undergo electrical cardioversion in three or four weeks time.  Although I have been advised not to race or do any speed sessions I have been told that I can continue with some gentle running in the meantime.

Although there is no guarantee of success, hopefully this will get me back to where I should be.