Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Been a While

Well guys, sorry its been almost a week since my last post, I just havent seem to had the time to post.

However I have been running but not too much. Over the weekend I went out for a 30km road run in just under 2.5hrs which was fairly pleasing. I was in a fair bit of pain afterwards. I survived on just water + 1 nuun electrolyte tablet with zero calories in it. I am trying not to eat on my runs to enable my body to burn fat more efficiently. When training for The North Face 100 I would eat constantly so I wouldnt 'hit the wall' and also to get my body used to eating foods. I sooned realised I could eat just about anything and have no side effects unlike other runners and i used to eat all the time. Now im taking a slightly different approach. 1 pound of fat is enough to fuel a runner for 50miles. If I can get my body burning fat from the off then my muscles are going to thank me.

So after 30km over the weekend I was still full of energy, I hadnt hit the wall and I could have gone on had it not been for an achey body which I still attribute to recovering from my first ultra.

On sunday I went out for a gentle 8.5km and then I have done nothing until this evening. I had planned on a long run after work however it has been chucking down with rain all evening, so I donned my vibram 5 fingers and went to the gym for a run on the treadmill. I lasted just over an hour and ran 11.5km. Just 2 weeks ago I could only run for 15 mins before my knees were hurting so this was a great improvement.

Ive been neglecting my vibrams for quite some time now and im keen to start using them again. The only problem i have is the base of my foot blisters easily. Anyway, they are great shoes for keeping me running slowly which is what i need to do now and again.

Anyway, tonight at midnight its England v Slovenia and then at 4.30am its Australia v Serbia so no sleep for me. Im just hoping both England and Australia make it through to the next round.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Under the Weather

Well today wasnt a great day, after getting little sleep last night due to sore throat I felt totally exhausted today and the last thing I felt like doing was exercsing.

I put in a decent run of 19km in 1hr 36mins last night after work but I just didnt have it in me today. So in the end I just jogged home at an easy pace and cut my run short to 5.7km. No point overdoing it here.

I've had a few requests to blog about my diet. So i'll give you a brief snapshot of my daily routines and what i have eaten over the last week.

During the work week I always start the day with a LARGE bowl of homemade museli. This consists of rolled oats, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, wheatgerm and a few other seeds. I eat this alongside a generous helping of low fat greek yoghurt. I easily eat 1kg of greek yoghurt a week. Cannot get enough of it!

Breakfast is eatem at 7.30am and usually sees me through until 10am. At this stage I will either have a piece of fruit or a homemade snack (museli bar). Clearly i cant get enough of museli!

Lunch is at 11.30am most days, i just cant seem to hold out any longer. Today I had a bowl of mexican beans and peas and other veg, left over from last night. I also had a biscuit. Dinner was spabol. Im a huge snacker and i never deny myself so I might have some chocolate later or ice cream.

I generally have a protein shake with a scoop of milo and skimmed milk after a run to replenish my muscles. My girlfriend is vegetarian so the majority of our meals are meat free which suits me. We probably eat more courgettes in a week than most families do in a lifetime! Chickpeas and root veg also make up most of my diet. I do have a killer sweet tooth though. Just this week i ate 4 large chocolate muffins in 24hrs. I could have done them all in 10 mins but that would have been greedy.

Generally speaking if I want to eat something I will. Since i've started ultrarunning less than a year ago ive lost almost 10kg in muscle so im keen to not lose anymore. I love eating and it seems these 2 sports go hand in hand.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Real Training Plan

Today was a much shorter run than intended. I had planned on doing roughly 20km around the park close to my work when I realised I had forgotten my head torch. No way I was going to run the trails without seeing where I was going so I cut my run short and just ran home. Of course I could have run on the roads for 20km but I didnt fancy it. And that was fine.

The reason im saying this because I do not follow a set training plan, I never have. I just train by how I feel. I let my body dictate what I want to do. If I dont fancy doing something then I wont. I find this keeps me highly motivated and generally speaking injury free (bear in mind I only injured myself by racing).

I have a rough idea in my head of the mileage I would like to achieve each week, but if a social occassion comes along or I am just not in the mood then I went let that bug me, i'll just come back running more keen the next day.

Tonights run was the first time since The North Face 100 that I have run without knee and ITB supports. I ran a steady pace and I felt great all the way, no pain.

Distance: 8.33km
Time: 37.55 mins
Average pace: 4.33 min/km

Tomorrow I shall be watching The State of Origin so it will be another night where I wont be running long. Instead I can focus on speed and hills and make the most of the time I do have.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Long Runs

I haven't run since Wednesday due to extra-curricular activities, namely boozing but this weekend I had planned on doing back to back runs and I wasnt going to let a severe hang-over stop me.

I awoke Saturday morning dazed and not feeling fantastic but I had intentions of doing a 2 hr run. I staggered out of bed, put my running gear straight on, threw back some water, filled up my camelbak with a nuun tablet and more water and out the front door I went.

My planned route was from my house (Neutral Bay) to my gorgeous girlfriend's
parents house in Frenchs Forest. To leave Neutral Bay you have to run up Wycombe Road which is 900 metres of steep hill. Not fun on the best of days. I was only 100 metres up it when Phill drove past. I was very much looking forward to finishing this run!

The terrain is undulating roads for roughly 10km until I hit a national park. Only then do I forget about my hangover and begin to enjoy myself. The pains in my legs go and I forget about the run and just enjoy the scenery. The trail is pretty hard going in sections and im often reduced to a walk but its fantastic being on your own out there. The next 12kms fly by and before I know it i've made it to my destination and Im greeted by 2 mad dogs and an awesome sandwhich.

Time: 2hrs 6 mins
Distance: 21.89km
Average pace: 5.45 min/km

Feeling more refreshed today I set off on another planned 2 hr run. I fancied running somewhere new so I set off in the direction of Taronga Zoo. I discovered some nice runnable trails along the coastline and turned round for home after 55mins when the trail I was on abruptly stopped. I went home the same way and felt good and fresh. Some decent hills on the way which I tackled with relative easy today.

The run wasn't without it incidence though. As I initially set off I felt hypo and began sweating profusely. Im not sure why this was but I was feeling instantly drained and just wanted to lie down and eat. I had $5 in my pocket and considered stopping to grab something to eat, however I knew this feeling was only temporary so I slowed my pace and continued. After about 15mins I was back on form and feeling good.

Always a good experience to feel rough on a training run because if it happens in a race you will have the confidence that you'll soon feel better.

Time 1hr 47mins
Distance: 20.56km
Average pace: 5.14mins/km

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rest Days

The importance of rest days is not to be underestimated. Whilst running, the body is put under severe stress and muscle fibres are broken down. Rest allows the body to repair and come back stronger.

Im a strong believer in resting the body but there are athletes out there who insist on training every day. Each to their own. I personally would lose motivation if I ran every day and I also don't think my body would appreciate it.

A strong theme among ultrarunners is do double up your long runs on the weekend. That is, to do a long run on a saturday and then another long run on a sunday to get get your body used to running when fatigued. This is something im yet to do, but in order to successfully complete The Glasshouse 100 miler I shall have to use this approach.

Last night was just an easy jog home. 6km average 5min/km. Nothing to report, things felt good.

2 days of rest coming up for me now and then some runs over the weekend.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

On the mend?

Well today there was a break in the rain that has been hitting this country hard for the last couple of weeks, so I took my chance and decided to run outside. My plan was to do a lap of centennial park then run home. I put on my knee support for good measure and headed out straight from work with my camelbak, garmin and half a litre of water.

I set off and forced myself to go slowly from the start as I was extremely nervous to aggravate my knee. It was dark the moment I reached the park so I slipped my petzl on my head and it lit up the trail perfectly. A nice cool evening and it felt good to finally be outside running properly, albeit cautiously.

My pace varied from around 4.45min/km to 5.30min/km and all in all I managed a solid 20.5km averaging 5.12min/km overall.

My legs feel a little sore but I feel great. My slow pace meant I could enjoy the scenery and there was no strain on the lungs. The plan is to back this up with another run tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!

Running on a treadmill

Now I'm the first to admit I loathe running on a treadmill but treadmill running can have its benefits.

As an example, last night as part of my recover I decided I would jog on a treadmill as I wanted to run at a much slower speed than I would normally if I were running outside. Of course you have to put up with staring at a blank wall or if your lucky a 50inc plasma tv, however you get to run at the exact speed you wish to, which for me was 5.30min/km. I managed 30 minutes with no knee pain and then I decided I would run home which took around 10 minutes.

Treadmill running is much lower impace that running on a pavement or a road so in theory this should help aid recovery (well rest is the best option but as we all know what runner wants to ever go down that path!!). To mimic running outside the incline on the treadmill should be set to 1% which isnt all that noticeable.

Once I arrived home I got my foam roller out and applied some deep muscle massage to loosen up my ITB for good measure.

Today I plan on running round Centennial Park near my work. Its a nice decent loop with plenty of variation and trails, I just hope my ITB holds up.

As it will be dark I will be taking my trusty Petzl Tikka Plus 2 head torch. The headlamp lights the way superbly and I barely notice it on my head.

My other value peice of equipment is my Garmin Forerunner 405cx gps watch. If im outside I generally do not run anywhere without this beauty. Highly accurate with plenty of features its a great piece of kit. I love downloading my data after a long run and looking back to see how far i've run, how fast, me heart rate, how many calories ive burnt and where ive been.

The battery life is supposedly 8hrs and when I first bought this (before I had even heard of ultrarunning) I laughed and thought I would never even run close to 8hrs. How wrong I was .......

However, there are pieces of kit out there that, portable usb chargers, that enable you to charge your watch on the run but I'll talk more about that in a later post.

Happy running

First Injury Since Ultrarunning

Since I completed The North Face 100 on the 15th May 2010 I have not been able to run more than 8km without aggravating my ITB. I belive this is due to the dramatic increase in time runnning during the race (13hrs 28mins) compared to my longest training run (6.5hrs). I took a week off to recover and tried to start running again only to find my knees wouldnt allow it. So another week off and I started running but still it was painful.

Its now week 3 and I went for a 8km run on saturday and had a little ITB pain towards the end. I think im possibly running too fast (4.30min/km) and should perhaps cut down to 5.30min/km and see how my knee feels then.

Extremely keen to build up my mileage again as I signed up for The Glasshouse 100 in September. This will be my first 100 miler attempt and a dramatic increase from 100km. I certainly wont be able to bluff my way through this race so need to make sure im in top condition.

I have 3 months to prepare and get in shape and I shall detail my journey here...