Tag Archives: ultra running

Here Comes A New Season

So I have now had two weeks off since I completed the JW 30 Mile Ultra Race. That race was the end of my season. I have been running for 3 years now and that was my first successful season which I was able to complete and compete. I ran 5 races in this season and got personal records on them all! My next season starts this week and this seasons grand finale is the A Week at the Knees in March – 7 marathons in 7 days.

I have done much more research this last few months on how to correctly structure my training plans for the next coming season starting next week. This will be the first time I have followed a solid personal training schedule.

I will be having 20 weeks of foundation training. In this phase I will be running between 65-75% Max HR. This is within the aerobic zone. Running in this zone will help to build my aerobic capacity, help me become faster and also help my body to do some crucial building in preparation for the strains of both higher mileage and speed work later on.
There will be no speed work within this element of my training. I will be taking part in a few events, but I do not anticipate racing these. I shall just be using them as training.
There will of course be a weekly long run which will increase each week and on the 4th week be reduced to prevent plateauing and crashing in my training.
Once a month I intend on running calorie depleted long runs of between 2 and 3 hours without taking on any fuel apart from water and electrolytes. This also means no breakfast before the run. This will help me to better utilise the stores already in my body before the addition of more fuels to help keep me going. I will also be running some back to back long runs on weekends. Most of my training will be peaking at 70 miles in this phase.

Phase 2 will be lasting 8 weeks and will be incorporating a 2 week taper and the 3rd week will be a week of running a marathon every single day for A Week at the Knees event in Milton Keynes in March 2016. Of course the biggest challenge here is getting to the start line. Then recovering, then training lol. I will be adding some easy speed training in the this phase. I have purposefully made my speed work all fartlek sessions between 70-90% MAX HR. This is so I can just go by how I feel and not be overly strict and overdo it.

Throughout my training there’ll be a stress on body weight strength training once a week, regular flexibility exercises and post workout stretches and finally a set of different drills will be done weekly.

Advertisements

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!