Tag Archives: running diet

How to Keep Running When You’re All Puffed Out.

tired-runner-cartoon

The door closes behind you and off you go on your run. All being well you start out nice and slowly and build momentum… or like most people you go out too quickly and pay for it a few miles down the road. Regardless either if you are doing a training run at home, on the Dreadmill or you are in a race, from time to time we all get a little puffed out. In this blog I’m going to talk about ways in which we can deal with being puffed out and keep running, rather than the dreaded alternative mid training…. walking!

Being puffed out is normal for us runners. Some people get it at mile 1, some at mile 2, some at mile 20 and others beyond 30 miles. Regardless it happens to the best of us. It’s that feeling when your breathing just doesn’t feel right all of a sudden. You may or may not have even been going too fast for this to happen. Sometimes it can not be explained. It’s a complete mystery. All we know is that, unless we are speed training, we would like to get back in that zone!

There are many symptoms of being puffed out on a ran and some may include:

  • heightened heart rate
  • added perceived effort even at your normal pace
  • wide open mouth breathing
  • wide open eyes
  • slouching over
  • tense shoulders
  • complete lack of focus
  • feeling as though you can’t carry on and must walk
  • wishing you had never took up running

There are a few things you can do to help with this situation. You do not need to walk 9/10 times. In fact I would suggest not walking unless absolutely necessary. Reducing to a walk can kick your self esteem and confidence and make you feel as though you are not good enough. This simply is not the case. Next time you are on a run and you are feeling all puffed out, just try and reduce your pace a little. Even if you are going at your normal pace and you are usually fine. I often find that I can be running my normal pace and I get really puffed out. I hardly ever walk. I reduce my pace so it’s very easy to run, my breath re regulates itself and I then find I can push my pace back up to normal without any of the above symptoms any more.

Another method you can use to help when you feel puffed out is to alter your focus onto something more productive. This method I am going to share with you has helped me on many occasions. Including recently on my 4:05:03 marathon. I also used this method when I fast-packed (ran and walked) 90 miles in 50 hours including sleep time. On day two my feet were so sore. I had hardly ran much and at about mile 20 I was forcing myself forward with each step lugging my 10kg bag and sulking. At mile 30 when I wasn’t sure I could go much further I came to a hill from the top. I saw a man running up that hill. He didn’t see me at first and in an instant I swore I wouldn’t allow him to see me in my Vegan Runners Club technical T-shirt walking down a hill he was running up! Regardless of whether he had maybe only done 3 or 4 miles and I’d done 30! I started counting, I used this method I’m going to share with you and it allowed me to run an entire 10 miles more non stop. So in total I covered 40 miles that day. Here is what you need to do.

Every time your right foot hits the ground count 1,2,3,4 right up to 20. Once you hit 20 start right over again. Just keep doing this over and over and over. What you are doing here is changing your focus from how hard you are finding this part of your run onto the counting. When you do this you may find that your form and posture gets better, your breathing regulates itself again, you never needed to stop and you may even be going faster than before.

Now sometimes our focus is so far gone we can’t even work on 1-20…. that’s fine. All you need to do is focus on counting each right step 1,2,3,4 and then again 1,2,3,4 over and over and over. Once your focus strengthens you can extend this to a count of 1,2,3,4 up to 10 and then up to 20.

This can also work when you have given up hope and stopped as well. Now let’s say you are on a long run or in a race. How many of us have just stopped dead in our tracks and felt like they can’t go on any more? Usually when we are miles away from anyway of getting home right? Running right away is not an option as we are struggling to barely even consider walking! But we can maybe walk a few steps can’t we? Use this same practice. Gently walk and count your steps. Because your cadence is much slower in walking you can count on each left and right step. I would recommend starting with a count of 1-10 and if you find that easy after a few times repeating go on up to 1-20. Keep going until you feel comfortable enough to just very slowly start running again. You don’t even need to go your normal pace. Just barely even running. You’ll still make a better time than walking and build endurance. Often is the case shortly after that you’ll speed up again and bag a good few more miles with ease…. how did we do this? A few moments ago we never even thought we would make it home!

It’s just simply refocussing your attention to the steps instead of how tired you are, and it really does work!

Sometimes when you do this your mind will drift off to other things and you may become tired again. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Just simply gently remind yourself to bring your attention back again to the counting. It’s the minds nature to wander off, but in practising this and refocussing you will become better at it.

I hope you get a chance to practice this in your training. I can’t describe how much it has helped me and I really hope it will help you too.

Happy running everyone
Peace and Love
-ScottyRunner


Uncompromised

Well it’s 2 days after my marathon debut. I had a rest day yesterday and just seriously took it easy. Yesterday was one of those days where you mainly watch back to back TV programs. This time it was Pretty Little Liars for me… yes yes I know how gay of me….

My joints were a little stiff when transitioning from sitting to standing etc but I stretched out a few times, and was generally feeling pretty good. No foot pain problems at all, they are my usual complaints over this last 10 months.

So I went out for a little run today. I just went out for an hour to loosen up the muscles, a recovery run. It was really pleasant. Having ran 26.2 miles only 2 days ago it was awesome doing this 6.3 mile slower run. It just felt like a walk to the convenience store. It almost felt as though I’d got back home as soon as I’d left the door.

I was completely just like zoned out while I was running. The ground was mostly dry and the route mostly flat, so I felt I didn’t need to pay much attention. I hardly looked at my watch and just went slowly so I could easily still breath through my nostrils. All I could think about on this run, was that I wanted to be out there again doing another marathon right now. My body called for another long run. I smiled and got shivvers down my spine… I knew that what I was doing was right. It felt good and I knew I’d be doing this for many years to come. This must be a true sign that I haven’t overdone it. It’s a sign that my body is in good form right now.

I’m now seriously looking forward to continuing to build up now with 7 weeks left until the JW Ultra 30 miler. This is on Saturday 12th September 2015. I know that I’m going to be more prepared for that run than any other 30 miler I have done so far to date!

I am….. uncompromised 😀

Love and peace,
-ScottyRunner

photo (1)

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!


Upcoming First Marathon

Hey guys,

I know it’s been a while since I blogged. I would say that I have been super busy and so it’s kept me away but to be fair I aint gunna lie, nothing that interesting has happened. Bare with me I know some of these posts may seem a bit boring to some of you but they are more of a record for myself. As always though if they can help anyone then it’s worth making them public.

I have been cautious over the last few weeks as I have a marathon Sunday 26th July 2015. This is my first marathon and its the Summer Around the Reservoir Marathon in Northampton. I am rather nervous about this course as it’s around a reservoir 6 times in circles. I have not really ran around in circles yet. I did at the Blythe Valley 10k in Autumn 2014 but what’s 10k? Plus it was only 4 laps.

Although it’s my first marathon I have actually ran past the 26.2 distance 10 times in the last year. So it will be nice to finally go from being a long distance runner to being a marathon runner… likewise when I do the JW Ultra I can go from being an ultra runner to being an ultra marathoner. Not that labels are that important but they do have a nice ring to them 😉

My taper has been pretty naff to be fair. I think I took the taper too far and rested up too much. On the second week before marathon date, I only ran 4.5 miles lol I don’t think I have ever been that inconsistent. I have done a few more this week (Marathon week). I ran 4 miles on Wednesday and 4.5 miles on Thursday (Today). I plan on running on Saturday for about 2-3 miles at a much slower pace of around 12 minute miles. This is just to loosen up the muscles, and put my mind at rest knowing my body is ready.

My diets been a mess lately. Having said that, I did do the 80:10:10 which was closer to a 90:5:5 in the end all vegan, raw, fruitarian pretty much for a couple of weeks. Even though I’m not doing it now it’s given me many valuable lessons about increasing fruits and veg even on a normal vegan diet…. and what really constitutes a healthy salad etc…. on top of that I have had an excellent detox from that few weeks. I have completely cleaned out my body…. then refilled it with crap :v lol. Maybe one day I will learn the lessons and take action.

So what’s my trick for the marathon then? How am I gunna do this? I was debating a “miles in the bank” approach earlier in the race, but I know from experience that doing that leaves me very tired 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the run… when I did that on other runs that I have done this at distance and beyond, I had to death march in the last few miles. I think it would be best to stay at a decent slower pace throughout, and push it in the last few miles if my feet aren’t packing in and I have the energy.

So then on to energy… I have only ever hit the wall once and it was at mile 18. This was the first time I ran 30 miles in autumn 2014. I just kept running and running and didn’t bother to drink that much water or eat that much. I had one Nakd energy bar at about mile 3 and then left it until I crashed. It was a hot autumn day too. I managed the distance and I got my mojo back and carried on. I made a few calls to my husband crying I couldn’t do it while I was still on running lol. Then just got on with it and told him I needed to go to concentrate.

Since then I haven’t crashed or hit any walls. Well not imaginary walls anyway…. though I did run into a railing blocking a road from the street a few months back. On a normal weather type of day then I will eat and drink something once every hour. Usually 2 mouthfuls of water and 5-6 dates or figs. This has worked for a while now and that’s what I plan to do on race day. If it’s a hot one then I’ll eat and drink about every 35-45 mins, and maybe 3 mouthfuls.

I’m not really going to be racing this event as such. It’s more of a training run for me for the JW Ultra in September. I will be happy with anything under 5 hours. I’ll get some snaps on the day and let you know how it goes.

Thanks for reading.
ScottyRunner

Please Click Below if you would like to sponsor ScottyRunner.

Continue reading


30 Miles and 33oC. Birmingham-Stratford Upon Avon

11707506_1674464782784507_49469210224150718_n

Yesterday (1st July 2015) was the hottest July day on record in the UK at 36oC. I certainly could tell when we were out there running 30 miles!

On the last day of June my friend Steve said he was going to go for a long run along the canal towpaths from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon. That day I was supposed to be running 5.5 miles on my usual circular route.
I asked if he would mind if I came along and he said I was welcome. Due to the distance I mentioned that I’d likely do 8 or 9 miles then run back to make 16-18 miles I didn’t think 30 miles was a good idea 3 days before a half marathon race!… in the end though I did the whole thing.

bhamsua

We had arranged to meet at 9:05am by the Wast Hills Tunnel Entrance to the Towpath on the side that heads towards Birmingham City Centre. This was so I could set off at 9am. I did set off at 9am and I don’t know how I underestimated the distance as it took me longer than I thought. I was late and my first mile was done at a 7:45 minute mile pace lol. I certainly wouldn’t be carrying on at that pace for the next 29 miles!

Our plan was to go at about a 11 minute mile average and for the first 15 miles we where at a 10:20 minute mile average.
Obviously at this point I’d decided I was going to run the whole way. We stopped at about mile 13 in Hockley Heath and topped up with liquids. I remember wanting a Lucozade Sport Orange but noticed B6 in it and wasn’t sure if it was Vegan. It was only later asking my husband to check for me online I found out it was. At the time I just opted for old style Lucozade instead. I haven’t had that for years and when I sipped some outside I remember why. That stuff is nasty. I drank just about enough to stomach and get a sugar rush and threw the rest. VOM

After mile 15 we started to slow it down a bit and just enjoy the scenery and winding trail along side the canal. Occasionally passing over the odd bridge. We were lucky as much of the path is over run with trees which kept us a little cooler than being right out open in the sun. The sun was still sweltering though. We found it easier when running than walking. When running there was a bit of a breeze to cool us off lol. I checked the temperature on my phone which said it was 33oC.

As runners we all know what it’s like when you go out on a long run and can’t wait for the journey ahead. Then something, somewhere goes wrong! It’s always something that you would not have thought would go wrong. Sure the heat may slow us down, or my legs may be really heavy from lots of training lately, perhaps I wont fuel correctly and hit a wall or 2. Those weren’t the case. Annoyingly for Steve his knee copped out about half way. I was just as surprised as he was. This is the first time I have known Steve to get a problem like this on a run. I know he’s been contemplating what the reason behind it was since then. I wont go into too much more detail on that, as I’m sure he will be wanting to write about it in his own blog and not read it all on mine haha.

Amazingly though although he was limping from time to time, Steve continued to move forward the entire rest of the distance. He ran and he walked but he didn’t stop.

Around mile 18 we stopped at this little place in Wooten Wawden. They had craft, clothing and farm shops. We went to the farm shop to get more liquids and I also bought some crisps and 2 satsumas and on we went.

As the miles became less and less we were running a bit longer each time and finished the distance off on a run.
As we arrive Stratford Upon Avon we went to get some cash and then Holland and Barrett. I let myself down by getting 3 Veg Out Steakless Bakes and a Veg Out SOS sausage roll. As many of you know I’m trying to be raw vegan high carb low fat. My mind crave them after this run because that’s what I used to do after running 30 milers…. eat crap.

It wasn’t long before I realised my body was actually craving fruit. We took the bus most of the way back and stopped by Sainsbury’s. Steve’s partner met us there, and we all topped up with fruit and a big bag of ice cubes each. She was even kind enough to drive me home so that was very nice of her. It can’t be easy sitting in a car with 2 stinking guys who just ran 30 miles in that heat. Thank you 🙂

Well done Steve. I have done this distance a few times now and it’s taken me 6 or 7 to be “comfortable” with doing it. This I think was your second time running this kind of distance. Though limping a bit at the end you came through looking much better than I did on those first times!

The time in the end was 6 hours 50 minutes. I know without a shadow of a doubt that we could thrash that next time. This route we did is actually the same route as the JW 30 Mile Ultra which we are both doing in September. We did it back to front though. That time is going to be demolished on race day. We have discussed attempting it again before then too.

When I got home I filled the bath right away with cold water and sank myself into it waste deep, then poured in the ice cubes. REALLY cold but it felt really good and I knew that it would make me feel better the next day. After my bath I put the shower on cold. This felt warm in comparison to the leg bath so I could wash myself clean, but not rewarm my legs again.
CIMG0355

The rest of the day was spent lounging about and eating a nice big bowl filled with 1kg of cherries 😀
IMG_2867

To my surprise when I woke the next day I felt fantastic. It felt like I never even ran the day before and I’m soooo ready for my half marathon in 2 days time now.

I seriously believe that my high carb low fat raw vegan diet is helping with recovery. Also I think my HOKA trail sneakers are helping a great deal. I have the roadies version and they have helped keep ongoing injuries at bay and even given them a chance to recede. All other sneaks I have owned I have had an injury in some form or another every few weeks to months, which have kept me off running.

So on and up… half marathon on Saturday 4th July 🙂 That will be a doddle in comparison 😉
Peace and Love
-ScottyRunner


Great Midland Fun Run 8.5 Miles

I did the Great Midlands Fun Run today in Sutton Coldfield, West Midland. This is by far the busiest run I have done so far. I normally sign up to smaller events with a smaller field size. I thought I’d write a blog about my experience so I can refer to it in future.

The race was at 11am. I had to be there earlier and this was a bit tricky as it was a Sunday. I couldn’t get trains there from my house to be on time. I had to take a bus to Birmingham and then get a train from Birmingham New St to Sutton Coldfield. All in all about an hour and a half travel time.

The weather was not so bad. Yes it was raining but it was only drizzly rain. I bumped into some friends at the train station and we headed over to The Parade street where the race would start and finish. We found somewhere to put up a Dr Hadwen Trust Banner facing right on to The Cancer Research Charity Shop.

I then popped off to the loo and changed into my shorts and took off my jackets. When I returned the supports in our group not running, where nice enough to look after my bag for me so I didn’t need to run with it.

I believe there’s about 6,000 people at this event. I’m used to about 500 max. I had no idea where to stand in the line. It was somewhere about 3 quarters of the way to the back. There was a little noise and then by 11:15 people at the front began running.

I never realised how long it would take to pick up the pace. At the start my first lap pace was almost 11 and a half minutes per mile. The second mile wasn’t much better, but then it broke up a bit a and I was able to speed up a bit. I kept a pace I was comfortable with and knew I could handle for many more miles. I knew I would keep myself to roughly this same exertion level until after the half way mark.

About half way I started to pick it up a bit from 8:43 minute miles to 7:55 minute miles. I only had half the distance left to go and it was time. There was a bit of slowing down on a few hills but nothing too major.

At about mile 6 we had to run up, what is locally know as, Cardiac Hill. I slowed down and reduced my stride… I was constantly waiting around each bend, anticipating a steep big hill. Then the path levelled off and I had just ran Cardiac Hill. I’m not being all snooty in saying this… the fellow other Vegans at the end agreed that it didn’t warrant it’s intimidating name.

The rest from here was awesome because it was all mainly just weaving about in and out downhill. I got my pace up nicely and tried to leg it in for the last of the race. Eventually I saw purple and black balloons arched over the road and I kicked it to them thinking it was the finish… then I saw the finish further on. I pulled it together a little longer and got myself over the finish line. The time on my Garmin was 1:13:10 Hr:min:s with an average pace of 8:33 minutes per mile.
11232229_1663205233910462_460027483253172041_n
When I do a busy run like this again in future I will start much closer to the start line. Perhaps about quarter of the way in or perhaps just a tiny bit further out. Throughout this race I felt like I was just constantly passing people all the time and not many passing me. I was kinda happy with this because I was wearing my Vegan Runners t shirt and a Dr Hadwen Trust Sticker on the back. I especially made a point to jiggle my behind in front of cancer research runners or the British heartless foundation runners as I swiftly passed them 😉

On the other hand, because I had to pass people so much I believe it pulled me back a bit and that first 11:30 minute mile was hard to recuperate later on, as the miles left became less and less.

We did some group pictures later holding banners for Dr Hadwen Trust and Birmingham Animal Action spreading our support. These were of course done in front of the Cancer Research and British Heartless Foundation Charity Shops.

After this I was kindly given a ride home by a fellow Vegan Runner and we stopped off at Cannon Hill Park for some Vegan Grindhouse Street Food Burgers 😀
1509234_1663221587242160_5289589623963290772_n
So next is Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon and then the JW Ultra 30 miler. There may also be Shirley 10k in August too depending on how I feel nearer the time.

Cheers for reading.
-ScottyRunner


Eating Healthy is Just Like Trying to Quit Smoking!

photo 1

So I have decided that eating healthy is just as hard as quitting smoking.

I smoked regularly from age 13 until age 24 (I’m 27.5 now). Up until about the age of 22 I enjoyed it all the time and never thought twice about quitting…. well, I say I enjoyed it; I was in denial about it! I guess I refused to accept that I didn’t want to quit because I knew it would be tough. Plus back then didn’t really care about my health.

When I was 22 I wanted to quit every single day. I remember waking up and telling myself “this is the day, no more, I’m never going to smoke again”. At best I would last about 5 days, at worst a few hours and on average it would have been about a day or two each time. I found the longer I stopped for the more I smoked again when I took it back up.

I am finding a similar challenge with food. It’s so easy to keep tucking into whatever you want rather than what you know you should be eating. I find it particularly easy because of my almost constant athletic frame. I may look healthy but behind closed doors I do shift some absolute crap through my body. Most crap apart from animal based crap, alcohol and drugs (these things are long gone from my body now).

All in all I find myself being very sensible about the whole thing…. most the time. I do make most meals from scratch even unhealthy ones. Compared with most of what I see in other peoples shopping trolly’s we buy very good foods. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of room for improvement though. I read labels and avoid heavily poison processed foods. Then other times I gorge myself on unhealthy meals, for everything I eat that day. After I have done this I know I wont put on weight but I feel rotten. I can feel it clinging onto my body, and mentally I feel even worse. I start to think about all the great athletes of the world and perhaps what their diet is like. I think of my role models. I feel ashamed.

Sometimes when I am told “it’s ok in moderation, it’s just a treat”. How is this even possible? Since I quit smoking completely I would never just have the odd one or two and say “it’s fine it’s just a treat”. I know how bad it is for my body. Yet when it comes to food, cakes and sweets we have this idea that it’s fine just once or twice? This doesn’t seem to sit right with me.

Me and my husband recently tried going 80:10:10 (fruitarian, raw, Vegan) which is 80% of your calories in carbs, 10% in protein and 10% in fat. We had planned to do this for a month and managed 7 days as a detox. After this we slipped into old ways again. It’s now been about a week since we finished this detox. We keep talking about how we miss it.

We are in Turkey on holiday for 3 weeks soon and we are most likely going to eat a lot of fruit in the day and maybe one cooked meal in the evening. Once we return we have been discussing gradually making the change to 80:10:10 on a more permanent basis. There may be some slight modifications throughout the colder months though with an emphasis on hot soups and stews packed with veges.

Who knows where things will go but I need to make better choices RE my diet, and I must work out a way to sustain it properly. I am now starting to find myself in a situation where I was when trying to quit smoking. Every day trying to quit bad foods and diet habits and it’s driving me bonkers 😉

I’m hoping much like quitting smoking, and quitting drinking that with continuous persistence eventually the bad foods will just slip away and the desire to eat them will too. I think a fruitarian diet is perfect and with this upcoming holiday I can’t think of any easier way to eat. Almost everywhere can provide fruit 😉

Anyway rant over
Lots of peace and love
-ScottyRunner