Monday, 22 October 2012

Nailing my colours to the mast

In the interests of goal setting I'm going public.  That way it will be harder for me to back out down the line.  Next year, on the 8th June, I aim to complete the Classic Quarter - a 44 mile Ultra marathon along the Cornish coastal path from Lizard to Lands End.

I'll be posting updates about my training as I go.

This time last year I decided to run the same race as a 4 man team, each running 11 miles or so.  At the time I wasn't sure if I could complete that distance.  As it was I barely did, with cramps hitting me hard about 8 miles in.  That said we all were keen to improve on this achievement and Simon and I started to think about possibly running as a pair next year.

Since then I made a poorly prepared but ultimately much better executed completion of the 20 mile Red R.A.T, again on the coastal path; finishing in 5 hours 9 minutes and still able to laugh about it afterwards.  Having done this, 22 miles each seemed a cop out.  So it has to be the whole thing.  44 miles. Again, I'm REALLY not sure I can do this; but I have a fair bit of time on my hands so we shall see.

I have a few milestones planned, including at least one marathon between now and then.  I hope to write a bit about goal setting and training programs soon but need to get my head around it all first.

Lizard point 23rd June 2012

Mark setting off from Lizard point

Simon at Gunwalloe

Gareth heading off on the third leg

Me, in pain, approaching the finish at Lands End (c) G Hayfield

Friday, 12 October 2012

Socks make you run funny

In attempting to run more like a barefoot runner (currently up to 1.5 miles by the way - its going well) I have stopped wearing socks when I run in trainers.

Socks change the shape of your foot.  specifically they make your toes bunch up when ideally they should splay out as you touch down.  

I noticed this particularly when I bought a pack of very cheap socks from JJB sports a few weeks back - they say 9 -11 but, as a size 11, I found them very tight.  This made that feeling of not having enough room at the front of my shoe very pronounced.  So I took em off.  

Apart from a small blister the first time out I've had no problems. My shoes feel roomier and I feel like I am striking the ground (and springing off) more naturally.

I don't suppose this will do much for the wonderful bouquet my trainers give off but you can't have everything.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cross training

I had three days of climbing this weekend.  It felt good to get back to it after so little this year.  From a runner's perspective it was also good to engage in something that worked my body in a different way.  By the end of the weekend I was bruised, battered and exhausted; we'd had a great time!

As the week wore on though I noticed that the niggly aches and pains from the last few months of running were gone.  Climbing is a great exercise - it works the whole body and makes you move in every possible plane of motion.  Weekly yoga also helps maintain a bit of balance.

Jason Fitzgerald's recent post on Strength Running (my current favourite running blog) suggests there are 5 main components of fitness:

3. Endurance
4. Flexibility
5. Coordination

It doesn't have to be climbing but some "other" exercise will prevent imbalances which can lead to injury and make you a better runner in the longer term.

Now need to work out how to fit in running, climbing, family life and work!