Thursday, 24 April 2014

What am I?

My low key return to running is in full swing. Since missing 3 weeks with Achilles problems, I've now had 2 weeks of low volume running with a handful of 4 mile runs. I've kept the runs nice and flat along the canal and some days have been better than others with the Achilles pain. Icing,stretching and anti inflammatory tablets have helped and hopefully the low mileage is getting me back slowly but strongly.

With my last race (The Loch Ness Marathon) way back in September a long way behind me, I definitely need a new goal to aspire to....but what? I have to confess I'm a little lost now with where I want to be with my running.

My last marathon was a bit of a disaster, it was to be expected with only 7 weeks training but the pain lives on! I definitely have unfinished business with marathons, with a 3:58:50 PB I'm sure I can get myself down to around 3:45.

The trouble is the last couple of years my attention has turned to trail running. Trail running tends to be a lot tougher than the Tarmac, the routes are generally more undulating and the altering terrains can also be testing. Because of these factors, running on the trails makes for slower times so this has brought my average pace down. The advancing years don't help with the speed either so I really want to have a go at building some pace again, which brings me onto Parkruns.

I don't always have the chance to make it to my local Parkrun on a Saturday morning, but what a great place to hammer out some tempo running with this short competitive 5K event. Maybe that's what I want to be.....the next Mo Farah!!! 

If I'm going for speed maybe road running is where I need to be at? A nice 10K road race might be in order to go along with the 5K running......but wait, what about the half marathon distance. That's a lovely distance to train for, doesn't take too much out of you like the full marathon.


Can you be both a sprinter and a long distance runner? Can you be a sprinter in your 40's? Can you get faster as you get older? ARGHHHHH!!!

I'm LOST! After the last year of limited running, maybe I should just be happy with being able to put one foot in front of the other :-)

Monday, 14 April 2014


It's been a few weeks since I last posted on the blog, which is unusual for me, but then again I've not been running for a few weeks which is unusual for me!

I decided to give my sore Achilles a proper rest. Resting now at the start of spring rather than missing out another summer of running seems the wise thing to do. As well as resting the heel, I've used the down time to rid my self of a few other general aches and pains that have accumulated through years of what's probably been poor running form.

I've shut down and have restarted, reset to default factory settings and am starting over.

Where I've not been running I've concentrated on my diet. By that I've not done nothing extreme but have reduced portion sizes cut down the treats to a minimum and eat as little processed rubbish as possible. I still enjoy good hearty dinners like lasagne, shepherds pie and chicken pie, but the difference is it's all made from scratch and I know exactly what ingredients are going into each meal. I love my food and the most important aspect to me is that its enjoyable, its such an important part of our lives and I cant think of anything more miserable than all these fad diets circulating at the moment. A good balanced diet is where its at and with no running involved I've actually lost weight the last few weeks! I've reintroduced green smoothies back in the diet, as I've really noticed the difference between having them and not, they give me so much more energy for the day.

I'm also trying to stretch more, I'm learning how important that really is as the years advance.

Watching the London marathon on Sunday really got me fired up and ready to run again, so today I decided a gentle 3.5 miles was in order to see how I was feeling. I have a couple of readers on the blog from Asheville in the United States who regularly leave valuable comments on my posts that I adhere to. My running guru's Bart and Eve from running blog Blue ridge runner replied to my last post about how one of their doctors believes in active recovery, so that's what I'm aiming to do. Limit my weeks running to a few gentle short runs while I work through this injury with plenty of stretching and icing along the way.

While I keep the running low key and slow I'm also going to concentrate on my running form another element to my running that really needs improving.

As you can see it really is back to the drawing board and getting back to basics as I rebuild my training.