Ultra Running & Reviews

Tag: Blog

Building the miles

by on Feb.18, 2012, under Blog

It’s been a busy last few weeks for me in preparation for my return to ultra-running. I’ve spent most of my time doing longish runs along the Leeds to Liverpool canal. It’s been quite eventful as I’ve been chased by dogs & near the end of one of my runs a group of young lads tried to mug me for my iPod & watch (I must have looked rougher than normal!)

I’ve been mostly injury free apart from slipping a disk in my back a couple of weeks ago after a dog chased me & grabbed hold of the back of my jacket. I twisted around to knock it off & slipped a disk. I left the owner in no doubt about the way I felt about him.  It’s still giving me some jip but hopefully it will sort itself out because I’m running 100 miles along the Thames path in a couple of weeks.

My weight has been going down fast after going on a 1,000 calories a day diet. I wouldn’t recommend this as  a healthy way to lose weight but I’d been overeating for the past year & to be honest left it too late to do it any other way. I started on January the 1st at 13st 10 lbs & am now at 12st 1 lbs so hopefully I will meet my 11st  6lbs target in two weeks ready for my race.

I don’t do much tapering & do my last long run about 3 days before the 100 miles race. I know this isn’t the accepted way but I tend not to pick up injuries & it works well for me. The most important part of my preparation is working out my food and water strategy. I always have a main plan if all goes well & a fallback plan if it doesn’t. That way barring a serious injury I can finish even if I have a bad race.

It’s been great getting back onto the moors around my home over the past few weeks as my fitness has improved, this is where I feel most at ease running. I like running the hills & it’s great strength training.

Looking forward to the Thames Path 100 which will be my first time running of this race.  I have run parts of the Thames before on the Thames Trot & Country to Capital ultras. It’s a great place to run and almost flat. The only thing I’m struggling with at the moment is my core stability, it’s been hard doing my usual sit-ups with a slipped disk so I’m looking at other core exercises to do.

Happy Running!

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A fresh start

by on Jan.22, 2012, under Blog

As of January 1st I’ve started afresh with my running having done nothing for about 6 months. I entered a race which will push me to the limits and given myself 12 weeks to train for it. I started at 13st 10lbs on the 1st of January & couldn’t run a mile. One week of training got me running 17 miles then 26 & this week 31 miles. I’ve also been doing 8+ mile runs most nights & cut out all the junk food & most of the wine! My weight is now at 12st 4lbs, I’d like to be around the 11st mark for the race so some way to go.

Most of my long runs have been along the Leeds to Liverpool canal as it’s only 4 miles from my house and a nice place to run. I hope to run the full length from Darwen to Liverpool a couple of weeks before my race as a last training run before I taper down. I’ll try to keep this diary updated as and when I get time, if only as a way of keeping a diary of my training.

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JOGLE my memory

by on Apr.24, 2011, under Blog

Myself & Ruby went for a run the other day & it was the first day of JOGLE 2011. I wore my JOGLE T-shirt for the first time since JOGLE and thought about the race & how the seven guys who would be running this year would fair? It seems hard running our 2 mile loop & hard to imagine what another 61 miles would be like. Today is Sunday and sadly only 4 of the seven are left. It’s been great watching the story unfold from this side this year and remembering when things happened last year. It’s like being in your own little bubble with pain, joy & sadness all in equal measure. The road seems to stretch out in front of you forever and your left only with your own thoughts & fears.

One thing is for sure every one of them will know the uniqe feeling you get from running JOGLE and they will remember it forever. . . .

If you’d like to watch the story unfold visit Rory’s blog here http://9barjogleultra.blogspot.com/

Pictures from the event are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/ultraracephotos/sets/72157626217520131/

happy running

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Runs with Ruby

by on Apr.22, 2011, under Blog

Every day this week myself & Ruby, my 8 year old daughter have been running a 2.25 mile loop through the woods near our home. It’s quite a hilly run with around 300 feet of climb over the 2 miles & she’s really improved over the week, I wish I could see the same improvement in myself! It’s quite disconcerting to see your 8 year old daughter skipping past you on a steep up hill section. This week has made me realize how long a road it’s going to be back to full fitness. I used to have the odd bottle of win and the odd bar of chocolate here & there when I was fit and it would make very little difference to my fitness but as the days turned into weeks then months without running the weight slowly creeps up and all the fitness you took for granted gradually ebbs away. Looking ahead though I have just started to get back into the running habit and made a commitment to myself to run every day. In the words of the song “things can only get better. . . ”

happy running

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First few runs . . . .

by on Apr.20, 2011, under Blog

I’ve been finding time for a few runs this week & also gone from 13st 7lbs to 12st 10lbs, the weight really makes a huge difference. Already up to 2 miles, got a long way to go before reaching the 100+ mile runs of last year! Just 2 miles seems to be just as hard as running 50 miles was last year, it made me realise how soon you can lose all the fitness it takes so long to build up. Not setting myself any goals yet just want to enjoy running again, it had got to be a bit of a chore & I must admit I was getting bored & tired mentally from all the running. Suppose I’d forgotten how much other things meant to me & how ultra running can take over. I’ll try to update this blog when I get time, as much to just keep a diary as anything else. It’s good to keep a record of what your doing, then if you get injured it’s possible to look back & see how it started. Thats it for now

happy running . . . .

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Run fat boy run!

by on Apr.16, 2011, under Blog

I’ve been very busy recently with my day job as a property developer; this is a great time for us to take advantage of the falling market. I’ve not done ANY running at all for at least 5 months other than a very slow 5 miles off road. This along with eating as I did when running ultras has meant my weight increasing from 11st 4lbs to 13st 7lbs! Yes the belly has got me. I look at this in a positive way though, I think not running for a few months has made me look at my fitness in a new way & also given me a rest mentally which after last year can only be a good thing.






I’m now looking for new goals with the ultimate aim of completing JOGLE in 2012. I’ve got some new ideas which I’ve had time to think about during my rest & am looking forward to putting them into practice. At the end of last year I got a Kurt Kinetic spin trainer (review soon) for my bike which should get the pounds off fast. I used a spin bike last year in my training for longer ultras & it seemed to work well. It’s a good idea to use none impact exercise when possible if you’re doing lots of road miles, gives the joints a bit of time to recover from the constant pounding.

We also moved house this year which is always fun. I’m looking forward to running some new trails from here, it’s just a few yards to the local park and up onto the moors.

That’s all for now, happy running. . . .

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Driving to Slovakia

by on Aug.05, 2010, under Blog

Just got to England after driving to Slovakia to see my son Alex get married to Vladka. It was an epic drive through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Slovakia & Austria all in a week. We drove a total of 3,500 miles which was a bit of a driving ultra! We really noticed the difference between driving in the UK and driving on the continent. Most of Europe we drove at 70-90MPH on some great roads & only got stopped by one traffic jam for 10 minutes in around 2,200 miles! Back in England the traffic crawled along at 50MPH through endless cones & roadworks with nobody working on them. 

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1 day before JOGLE 2010

by on Apr.29, 2010, under Blog

We drove to Lossiemouth beach today and collected shells with the children. It’s a fantastic beach which is popular with the local surfing community. It’s been really warm and sunny & I’m sure looking back on some of the nice things we did today will help me stay strong when things get tough over the jogle fortnight.
It’s been another very long day and it’s not over yet, I’m writing this blog post at 2:30am. Earlier on today we had a large box of goodies delivered from my sponsors Buff UK, they did a fantastic job getting the parcel delivered to my hotel room in Scotland and a day early. They sent me some shorts, t-shirt, loads of great Buff head wear, socks, tattoo’s, stickers etc. The new designs are really nice, I love the new peak Buff’s which are a lot more comfortable than a cap & pack very small. I’ll do a review on all this gear once it’s had a thorough test over 870 miles in all weathers. I’ll also be testing some gear I got from Brooks. Some of the clothing you see getting good reviews falls to bits during ultra runs, it’s a great test bed for gear as it gets the kind of wear most runners would take weeks or even months to do in a day or two. I recently tested a North Face base layer which almost wore out on a single 90 mile run, yet a well known running magazine gave this top 5 out of 5 in a review. Sometimes I think they must just run round the block in the gear they get to test & if it feels OK give it a good review!
We’ll be meeting Rory later today to join the other runners on the bus to head up to John O’Groats for the start of the race on Friday 30th at 6am.
That’s all for now my next post will be from the bus tomorrow night.

Happy running!

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