Still too icy out!

January 11, 2010

I had to go to the gym and run on the treadmill again today as it is still a little too icy out on the paths.  This is ok as it is still a novelty, but I will be glad when the ice clears up – I like the cold just not slipping over.  One good thing about a treadmill, you can be very sure of your pace, so I used that fact to do some intervals.

Downside of running in the gym is that I don’t get the benefit of the outside temperature to keep me cool – I was very hot by the end of this session as it involved some fast pace intervals.  At least I didn’t have to go far to get a shower!

4.125 miles 44m 33s


Nike+ Milton Keynes Half Marathon

January 10, 2010

I have just signed up to the Nike+ Milton Keynes Half Marathon in March.  Anyone following the Runners World Marathon training schedules will find that this falls on the right week for a half marathon race – genius!  If you are planning to run it, sign up and then register yourself on Daily Mile to let me know you are doing it too.

I’ve not run this race but I know Milton Keynes pretty well so I can imagine this will be a great race, all on the road and pretty flat so you will get a good time.  I am aiming to better the 1hr 59m I clocked at Silverstone in 2007 (in the most incredible weather ever – read my report of this race here) but I was faster round the track than Nigel Mansell!

Hope to see you there!

112 days to go….

January 3, 2010

….. until the 2010 London Marathon, according to the countdown on the DailyMile Race page I have set up to remind me of this fact.  If you are on DailyMile and running the London Marathon 2010 then add yourself to this page and we can motivate each other.  If  you are not on DailyMile, sign up now – it is a very easy way to share your training efforts with the world.

My first run of the year was on New Year’s Day – a brisk(ish) 3 miler to get the ball rolling.  Unfortunately it also caused my ITB to play up – I haven’t really run since the St Neots Half Marathon when I strained the ITB on my left leg due to the camber of the 13.1 miles of country roads I hauled myself around.  Since yesterday I have been stretching it out , icing it every two hours and trying to look after it in the hope that it will clear up pretty quickly.  If not, my plan of mixing alot of cross training into my marathon training will turn into alot of non-running training – I have already blown the cobwebs off the Concept2 rowing machine I have in my garage courtesy of a neighbour that emigrated last year – it may see alot more action in the next few weeks!

Keep your fingers crossed for me that it heals quickly!

24 Hour Gym (please)

October 24, 2009

I am writing this from the gym having just finished a weights workout and then 5k run. I am waiting for my car to be returned from the mechanics so I have a few minutes to kill.

Previously, when I have been training for half and full marathons, I haven’t done much weight training as it has been hard to find the time and I have not wanted to overtrain my legs. However, over the summer I did no running (I suffer badly from hayfever) but did use the gym regularly for 3 months. When I started running again at the end of August I found big improvements over what I would normally expect not having run for a few. This was all down to the core and leg strength I had developed over the previous 3 months.

Now I am keen to retain the benefit of the core strength so I am trying to get to the gym a couple of times a week. I am a member of Fitness First as there is a gym outside my office at work (just off Fleet Street – in fact there are two with 5 mins walk of each other) and also one 20 minutes drive from home. The problem I am having is that the best time to get to the gym is first thing in the morning, before work kicks off and gets in the way, but my training runs are all late in the evening to allow me to have time with my family. This means I end up with less than 8 hours between running and working out.

I would go to the gym in the evening on non-running days, but the local gyms near my house all close at 10pm, so it does not really give me enough time to get there and do a decent workout. I need 24 hour gym so I can train at whatever time I like (or at least until 11pm!).

Know Your Goal

October 21, 2009

I was having lunch today with a client and some colleagues at Vivat Bacchus on Faringdon Street. When the menu came, we all pitched in with what we wanted to eat. One my colleagues mentioned he was on a special carb diet which meant he was mainly eating brocolli and other veg as he is training. His daily routine sees him run to the gym at 6:30am, do a weights workout and then run home and go to work. In the evening he gets home, puts the kids to bed and then runs to the gym again and uses the treadmill for an hour then runs home again. Coupled with his special diet, I was impressed with his commitment, so I started to quiz him about what he was training for.

It turns out that he has already run half-marathons and marathons, and has taken part in triathalons, so he does not have a race in mind. His goal? He told us (I think only half-jokingly) that his aim is to appear on the cover of Mens Fitness magazine! With his training regime and the level of effort he is putting in, I think he might just achieve it!

I am Ideal

October 18, 2009

I was reading a forum post recently about how runners have been using the Wii Fit to help with their training.  Alot of people were saying that they tend to use the Yoga sessions to encourage them to do some good stretching sessions.  There were also alot of comments highlighting that the way the Wii Fit software measure how healthy you are is fundamentally flawed as it uses your Body Mass Index (BMI) as the main indicator of health.  Lots has been written recently about BMI and how outdated it is as a measure, but one thing that the Wii Fit does give is consistency.  If you are recording anything over a period of time (weight, mile splits or V02 max) then you need a consistent way of measuring it so that you are sure that any changes are not confused by variations in the measuring mechanisms.  So, whist the Wii Fit may not be perfect, it does give consistency and allow you to track body changes over a period of time (and it is fun!).

Our family’s Wii Fit arrived last Christmas courtesy of Santa Claus.  Probably a combination of seasonal over-indulgence and general lack of sustained exercise, my first Wii Fit assessment did not leave the little Nintendo box singing my praises and my Mii looked decidedly downcast (and a little rotund!).  I have been using the Wii Fit on and off over the last 10 months and I have seen my weight reduce a little and my graphical alter-ego has shaved a few pixels off his waist.  I got the Wii Balance Board out yesterday morning for the first time in six weeks.  In this time my training has picked up as my weekly long run have gone from 4 miles to 11 miles and my weekly mileage has increase from less than 10 miles per week to 20-25 miles per week.  In addition to telling me that I have lost 6lbs in the last 6 weeks, for the first time since it’s initial tutting and chin-rubbing assessment of my health, the Nintendo has judged me to be “Ideal” as my BMI has slipped down into the next zone.  Mini-Mii was delighted with himself and leapt with joy as trumpets sounded.  With four weeks to go to the half marathon, I let the Nintendo bully me into another target – a further 8 pounds to bring my virtual BMI into the middle of the ideal zone.  I am not sure how realistic that is as my calorie consumption does need to increase, but as each run is now burning between 800 and 1500 calories each time, something should shift if I stick to gorging myself on low GI carbs and protein delivering food.

Sometimes life gets in the way

October 15, 2009

This is my first Blog post sent by email. I hope it works!

This week has seen a big interuption in my training. Work has taken over as tomorrow (Friday) sees the delivery of a 4 month project that has involved me travelling to six european countries and assimilating a huge amount of data to provide my biggest client with a pretty big deliverable. (More on the european trips to follow as I manged to run in 4 of them). So I have now missed two training runs and not run since Sunday’s 10 miler.

Previously, this would have bothered me a lot and I would have been anxious that I am missing sessions from my training plan. Now, though, I am viewing the temporary break in running as a mini rest period, and when I run again (hopefully on Friday) my legs will be refreshed and I will be full of energy (despite doing three 20 hour days in a row!). Also, I am still over 4 weeks away from the St Neots Half Marathon, which is only a waypoint en route to the London Marathon in Pril 2010.

So instead of cursing the world for preventing me from running, I am instead viewing this as a short period of recovery before I crack out a 5 miler on Friday an 11 miler on Sunday. But I will make up for it next week!