Monday, May 31, 2010

News Article on Our Trainer

Christine Taylors amazing journey

Posted on Friday 21st May 10

Christine TaylorChristine Taylor Master Trainer

I love to inspire people and see the difference fitness can make in people’s lives. It can be truly life changing. It builds people’s self esteem, allows them the freedom to set goals they never thought possible before and can change the health of families just by getting them moving. I have always been involved in the fitness industry becoming a group exercise instructor at 18. I worked part time as an instructor before starting a family and moving to Australia where I established Newborn Fitness and chose it as a full time career.

I started my own business Newborn Fitness – New Body –New YOU !!

I have a number of areas that I specialise in. Firstly pre and post natal fitness for women that have had children and or are pregnant. Their needs are very specific and my group classes allow women to exercise appropriately with their little ones being cared for by a qualified early childhood teacher. I also personal train clients – those wishing to lose weight, elite athletes hoping to compete in world class events and clients that are referred to me for medical reasons. The Westleigh Warriors is my running club that coaches people who “can’t run” how to run and we enter local fun runs and other events in the running calendar.

Being a fitness professional is not a job it is a way of life and the positive influences are many and varied. My own health, the health of my husband and children is better because of the choices I make and demonstrate. Mentally and physically I am a happier and more fulfilled person because I do something that I love and I feel so rewarded and blessed to be able to help others along the way!

I have seen women unable to leave the house because of severe Post Natal Depression start to regain their lives through coming along to a group activity that allows them to focus on themselves for an hour. The mental and physical improvements are quick and clearly visible to sleep deprived mothers looking for something that will help deal with the challenging early months after having a newborn baby. I have seen clients lose amazing amount of weight- 20kgs plus and become fitness machines that are now inspiring others to do the same. I have coached tens of people that have not run for 15 years plus that are now regularly entering fun runs and recording faster times than they did a decade ago!

My clients support and encourage each other and provide a real positive community to exercise in and I am very proud of all of them.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Negative Splits

http://oneseasonnation.com/www/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/2009/06/collectors_splits.jpg

This is the way I normally run.....tune in the techno....try and keep up with our best runner....slow down at the 2km mark when the adrenaline runs out......start getting overtaken......then try and speed up with less gas in the tank....I made a comittment today to turn this around and keep the brakes on early in the run, speed up at the halfway mark and then try to pull out a good finish....

Runner's World has a good article on it........the essential reason is to let you body warm up fully and to coast on the endorphins when they come half way into the run...plus psychologically the benefit of passing people far outways the pain of being overtaken.....

Anyway, tried it tiday on a 13kms run littered with hills (big bastards) and it worked pretty well..music choice, of course was critical.....start out with the relaxed Floyd-esque prog of Porcupine Tree and melodic rock of Marrillion ("Kayleigh")and Asia.....then gradually shift to house music ("Good Life") and finish with ACDC Thunderstruck......I know purists say no music is best but I couldnt go this far...

First half steady, second half anaerobic for 7kms....last 2 kms certainly were'nt sprints but ACDC stopped me plodding at least....70.27mins...



Back in the Saddle



With our first Half Marathon 2 weeks behind us it's time to move on and start proper training again. Our trainer sent us this...

W/E 30.5.10 6.6.10 13.6.10 20.6.10 27.6.10 4.7.10 11.7.10 18.7.10 25.7.10 1.8.10 8.8.10
Monday 6km 6km 6km 6km 6km 6km 7km 7km 7km 7km 4km
Wednesday 7km 8km 9km 8km 9km 10km 9km 10km 10km 10km 6km
Sunday 12km 14km 15km 16km 18km 20km 18km 14km 13km BAY RUN RACE DAY
A plan to get ready for the 14km City2Surf and 7km Bay Run in August plus the Blackmores Half Marathon in September....

Im pretty happy with this...lots of my friends have set big running goals and then stopped when they have achieved them...this means its a long term activity in my book...tomorrow 12kms (in the rain)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Running in the Rain

http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=103794

We went running this morning at 545 am in the pitch black rain and i was thinking how if I'd seen people doing it a year ago I'd think they were mad. The reality is that after 200 runs since there's only been a handful in proper rain, testament to our drought conditions maybe but very different from my home country (England) I'm sure..........anyway we ran 7.6kms with one killer hill and four easier ones in 53.5mins, I was pretty happy with this and am grateful to Ronnie James Dio for his encouragment on the way........

I will be sure next time to follow About.Com's Running in the Rain Tips, including the one about chafing (sore nipples !) and drying your shoes out (still wet).......

The beautifully named ClubFatAss lists ten reasons for running in the rain

1. The shower afterwards feels really good.
2. It's good for your skin (is it really?).
3. It makes you tough.
4. Nobody else is out there.
5. I like jumping into puddles.
6. People think you are crazy.
7. The air feels purified.
8. You don't cheat and start to walk.
9. You can test how long it takes before you get hypothermia.
10.You run faster to stay warm.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Running Within: Can Running Be Spiritual ?

Ive just been reading Running Within A Guide to Mastering the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection for Ultimate Training and Racing By Jerry Lynch, Warren Scott..........

Running Within

While its not a bad book it ventures into the corny world of 'affirmations' and 'visualisations' abit too much for my liking...it does raise the question, however, about the spiritual side of running........is it hogwash or is this part of the appeal ?

The thing that interests me is the similarity between running and meditation; both involve listening to your breath, spending long periods in isolation, focussing on your body and the environment you are in and learning to let your thoughts go (in running the thoughts about how far you have left and how you want it to finish).........

Hence.....
Running the Spiritual Path: A Runner's Guide to Breathing, Meditating, and Exploring the Prayerful Dimension of the Sport
Musings of a Runner picks up this topic too

Theology Professor Warren A. Kay has pondered this too in his book "Running: The Sacred Art: Preparing to Practice."

Running - The Sacred Art: Preparing to Practice (Art of Spiritual Living Series)

"Running itself is a mode for spiritual growth that other sports may not be,running . . . doesn't need external tools or devices; you have your body, and that's all you need."

That's what the ancient Greeks believed, he writes, when they developed the concept of the Olympic Games, religious festivals in which running was the first event; or what a group of Japanese monks, known as the "Marathon Monks," see when they cover long distances in short periods of time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Lesson From the Half Marathon: Plan Ahead and Fight For Your Time

angry_baby.jpg angry baby image by dudewtfhax

After 7 days of recovery time from the half marathon and two easy gentle runs it was time to take revenge on the road for giving me a time i wasnt altogether happy with last week.......after the euphoria of actually surviving last week I have thought through what I learned and whether or not i was ok with the fact my time was around 8 minutes slower than in training. My concluson was that I was happy but that I needed to plan my races a little better, not just listen to music and see where it takes me....

We planned a 10km today defined by one or two complete bastards of a hill and some lovely long stretches......I visualised in my mind a fast start, taking it slow and steady on the hills and then running hard from the 7km mark.........it worked and i did my record time for this course at 53m55secs.........the music....RAMMSTEIN

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Psychologists Should Prescribe Running ?

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As a Clinical Psychologist and researcher i have been fascinated by the possibility than my hobby and work could meet together given the possible psychological benefits of running. I found this great piece summarizing some of the findings at Sports Are 80% Mental.

Exercise is a magic drug for many people with depression and anxiety disorders, and it should be more widely prescribed by mental health care providers, according to researchers who analyzed the results of numerous published studies.

Jasper Smits, director of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Michael Otto, psychology professor at Boston University, based their finding on an analysis of dozens of population-based studies, clinical studies and meta-analytic reviews related to exercise and mental health, including the authors' meta-analysis of exercise interventions for mental health and studies on reducing anxiety sensitivity with exercise. The researchers' review demonstrated the efficacy of exercise programs in reducing depression and anxiety.


The researchers presented their findings March 6 in Baltimore at the annual conference of the Anxiety Disorder Association of America. Their workshop was based on their therapist guide "Exercise for Mood and Anxiety Disorders," (Oxford University Press, September 2009).


"Individuals who exercise report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, and lower levels of stress and anger," Smits says. "Exercise appears to affect, like an antidepressant, particular neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and it helps patients with depression re-establish positive behaviors. For patients with anxiety disorders, exercise reduces their fears of fear and related bodily sensations such as a racing heart and rapid breathing."

Press the link for the full piece.

The Half Marathon Grimace: Stingey Photos

athlete photoathlete photoathlete photoathlete photo

Yes, after 5 days im back to normal, Monday was a day of broken legs, Tuesday of a gingerly-excecuted 5kms that surprisingly eased the pain and Wednesday a proper but slow 8km run.....normally I probably wouldnt have but I was spending the week in Canberra, well renowned as the most boring but flattest city on the planet.

I've dragged these photos accross from the Marathon Photos site but if they sting me for it (which I seriously doubt) I have bought one but wanted a hard copy version..please look closely at the "giving birth' grimace I like to hold whilst running ? It's a mainstay of every run...

Im looking for further recovery hints ? Massage ? Swimming ? Yoga ? Nothing ? Sex ?
Chocolate ? Top Gear ? Visiting Canberra ? Let me know !

At the moment the Warriors are planning which races to do in the Winter Season....the Hunter Half in June ? City2Surf 14km ? Blackmores Half ? Bay Run 7km ? We'll see what the consensus is....


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon: We Did It !

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Yes, after months of training and a rollercoaster of emotions the Half Marathon Marathon is finally over; and what a journey it's been. Five Westleigh Warriors met in the city at 615am this morning, some still nursing the last dregs of flu and chest infection, all excited and ready to hit the streets after a long taper.

The first obstacle was the spectacularly stinky toilets ("dont look down" says our trainer- but I did).....something similar to the scene from Slumdog Millionaire ! The second was the destruction of my second Camelback at the 6km mark (i think I bit through it) heralding the end of my use of them forever !

We took off at a good speed, as usual I tried to keep up with our fastest two runners but they pulled away at the first steep hill around the seven Km mark..... feeling good, only managed a few micro-surges but crossed the half way mark at a 5.5min/km pace......the elite runners lapped us at this point, the fastest grinning from ear to ear as we all cheered him accross the finish line......

Still feeling strong for the next four or five but at the 16k mark legs feel very wooden and heavy...I know my pace has dropped quite abit.....4-3-2 kms to go and Im in auto-pilot, nauseous but not disoriented, 2 cups of Gatorade, 2 Warriors speed up to carry me the last 500Metres and Im over the line...........

A great morning, beautiful view of the Harbour and Bridge......but feeling very weary now.....Thanks to all the Westleigh Warriors, Kristen ( my god...1 hour 50 minutes !!), Jody (1 hour 53, blimey !!).....the rest just a few minutes over 2 hours.....special mention to our trainer Christine for all the hard work she has put in to get us ready for a day I know we'll remember for a long time to come

Ps: check in again soon photos to come


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Taper Blues: Dont Worry It's All Normal !

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With nearly two weeks at a slower pace i have begun to feel a little wierd, missing the early wake-ups and more frenetic pace, feeling aches and pains I never thought i had, grumpy !!....something that is commonly called the 'taper blues'....

Here are the common symptoms according to Active.com

  • At the beginning of the taper, some athletes say they feel more tired than when they were putting in long training hours. For those who are tapering their volume over several weeks, this feeling leads to a temptation to resume higher volume. Resist the temptation; it'll pay off on race day.
  • When tapering for a key race, many athletes feel flat and fatigued during the final workouts, wondering how they'll ever make it through the event. This feeling can sometimes cause athletes to test themselves on the actual race course or distance to be sure they can make it. This is what I call fear-based training -- and giving into this feeling can harm your performance.
  • As the taper continues, many athletes notice (or more likely their family and friends notice first) that they're slightly grouchy -- okay, some athletes are more than just a little grumpy. Often, family and friends will urge the athlete to put in more hours, in desperate hope of extinguishing the foul mood. Take their comments and observations to heart and lighten-up. Apologize for any over-the-edge behaviors and educate your family and friends about the tapering process.
  • Roughly half athletes with begin to notice little aches and pains they never noticed before the taper period. The pains show up for no apparent reason. In fact, these pains were nonexistent during the high-volume training phase, making it tempting to resume longer training hours. If aches and pains emerge, resist the urge to increase training volume.
  • Some athletes may feel slightly blue or depressed the week before the race. Others feel they have so much energy they'll go nuts if they don't work out. Don't act on either of these feelings -- just let them pass.
  • Within one or two days of the race, most athletes feel good. They're typically ready to race and are anxious to race -- immediately! This feeling is exactly what you want, and why you've tapered your training volume. Unfortunately, the feeling comes late in the taper process and it takes a leap of faith if you've never experienced the feeling of racing with a rested body.
Here's Eric "Groanin the Blues" to make you feel better

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Men-O-Pause: Am I Part of a Larger Demographic ?


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I drove home today listening to 2BL's James Valentine's talk-back on men who turn to ultra-sports in their 40's, coined by James as the Abbott Syndrome and it dawned on me I am not alone as a man in his 40's discovering running.

According to James it's a worldwide phenomenon. I like to call Men-O-Pause......

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kitsDSGdD4k/SXOVWHZRNUI/AAAAAAAAA3g/dEvkH3rxqlw/s400/midlife+crisis.jpg

On a more serious note..... mid-life crisis has been found be a myth when you look at the science, along with others like "adolescents rebellion is a normal part of development" , "violent video games lead to violence", "happy partners never argue", "opposites attract"

Heres a link to a good book on this by Scott Lilienfeld titled 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior
http://www.entourageedge.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/8a02aedcaf38ad3a98187ab0a1dede95/1/4/1444315714_bg.jpg

Here's a quote too from
David Almeida, professor of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University specifically about the myth of the mid-life crisis

'
Many people expect that midlife brings forth inevitable crisis, but that idea is not supported by social science. In fact, only 26 percent of adults older than 40 reported having a crisis, according to a recent study. That is not to say that the middle-aged do not experience challenges and psychological distress, but these feelings tend to be brought on by stressful events, such as health problems or losing a parent—not by age alone.'

So if your male and spend more time in Rebel than Woolies, if you keep showing your wife how big your calves are or drone on about your PB's, if most of the family washing in now lycra not nappies........dont worry its not a mid-life crisis...

http://www.asklopan.com/pictures/midlife%20crisis%20(1).jpg

To Marathon or Not to Marathon (Full) ?

http://tokyo5.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/marathon1.jpg

Tonite, while doing a small tapering run for our first half the idea of doing a full marathon reared it's ugly head........we tentatviely discussed the training demands, the way to minimise impact on family (run at 4am), which races, would we do this September's Blackmore, the hot but flat December Central Coast or April's flat and cold Canberra.........a conversation that sounds very much like we may be on our way ? Ask me again at 18kms through the half this Sunday......the only consolation about the full it would seem is the pace..about the same as our tapering run today.....we'd certainly plan to do survive rather than do a specific time..........im sure we'll be thinking about it abit more before the conversation with partners ???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Are The Top Ten Runs in Sydney ?

Its CitytoSurf training time soon so how can you spice up your training ? How about runninig all of the top ten running routes according to TimeOutSydney. Here's the top three, click on the link for the rest..

1 The harbour loop - Iron Cove

Your blood will flow lucid like the mighty Parramatta River on completing the seven-kilometre Bay Run loop around Iron Cove that takes in the sights of riverside Rozelle, Lilyfield, Haberfield, Five Dock, Rodd Point and Russell Lea. The route is mostly flat, includes the Iron Cove Bridge and if you think you're competitive, an official Bay Run race happens each year. The next is Sunday 27 July.
See The Bay Run for map

2 The coastal run - Bondi to Coogee

The five-kilometre Bondi to Coogee presents you with prime seaside Sydney. Begin at Bondi Beach and head south, to Notts Avenue, then along the coastal path to MacKenzie's Bay then to Bronte via Tamarama. Wave at winter swimmers as you swing past the quieting waters of Clovelly and Gordon's Bay, followed by stark Dunningham Reserve headland, until suddenly you're on Coogee Beach. Then all you've got to do is run back. Perfect.
Bondi Beach south to Coogee Beach

3 The sea eagle run - Manly to North Head

Start from the ferry wharf in Manly and follow the mall to the beach. Turn right and move along the Esplanade until you've reached the coastal path to Shelley Beach. Double back until you're at Bower Lane - follow the lane through Bower Street to Reddall Street, opt left for Addison Road and take it until you intercept the North Head Scenic Drive. This takes you down to secluded lookouts along the cliffs. The ocean views are well worth the 4km down, while the 4km back to Manly are worthy of a good rest.
Manly to North Head and return to Manly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Four days to Go !!

It's funny how after two days of not running you can feel like you haven't run in weeks, we're tapering for our first Half marathon to be run this Sunday through the streets of Sydney.........I slept in this morning while two of my running buddies were pounding the streets, am going to the toilet less than usual and feel a strange sense of calm before the storm.........I recently saw a picture of myself running (id post it if i could get it to attach) and I look like Im having a baby ! Hunched over, teeth gritted, sweat pouring, mouth wide open........I'm going to have to try and run more asthetically as it was quite a shocking sight......................anyway, the plan for the rest of the week is short slow run tomorrow, 2km swim on Saturday morning and Marinara with extra brown spaghetti Saturday night........plus chocolate........wish us luck!

Need Some Inspiration ?

http://completerunning.com/running-blog-mark/wp-content/parisrunner.jpg

Need some inspiration, don't feel like getting up at 530 tomorrow morning or braving the cold ? Try InspiredToRun, a great sight full of stories of why people run, what it means to them, etc....you can put your own in too and get the chance to be featured in Runner's World...here's part of their blurb...

'Isn't running amazing! This site was launched to showcase your real-life stories of inspiration — and they've been a brilliant breath of fresh air. From taking up running to lose weight, to regaining long-lost self-confidence, to overcoming eating disorders and drug addiction… it's all here.

Then there are stories of brilliant, life-enhancing runs on beautiful days; tales of clawing back from devastating injury or illness (if you think you have problems getting out of bed to train, try it when you've just had both your legs broken in an attack); or overcoming running hurdles to run in memory of a loved one

They have 400 stories so far........go on....make it 401...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good on Eliza Stewart For Placing 1st AND 2nd in Parramatta

Eliza Stewart did the astounding task today of winning 1st and 2nd in two back to back races at the Mother's Day Classic, running 13.40 in the 4km, having a drink and then smashing 28.52 in the 8km.............hello !

What a feat for a runner who was off for a year due to injury but just returned triumphant in 9th place from World University Cross Country Championships (here) held in Canada..... .......all that and nearly 2 degrees from Macquarie Uni under her belt...........Im pretty sure you dont read this blog Eliza but I was glad to say hello................well done !!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day Classic Parramatta 2010 8 Kilometre Race Report


Down to lovely Parramatta Park today for the Mother's Day Classic. We were greeted by a freezing 8C morning, one of the coldest yet.... 39 Westleigh Warriors showed up all wearing their red vests!!!! Lots of kids along for the ride gearing up for the 4km plus the half marathon team all jittery for next weeks race.

The race started off pretty fast, as usual I foolishly tried to keep with our fastest runner and as usual she took off in front of me at the 2km mark.......I was too busy watching the latin dancers maybe ?! After that i was pretty happy, no groin pain thank god thanx to an early warm up and was very happy to cross the half way mark at a 4.7 km/min pace, my best race pace ever (but it's a flat course).....great to be cheered on by the Warriors and my daughter who pulled out a great pace in her 4km.....

Second half went like a blur, felt pretty strong although slower than the first half..I ALWAYS do this even though i know your not supposed to....techno blaring (...duff..duff... dufff...) crossed over the line on 39.13....under 5min.km.....16th in my age range.......woohooo

The Warriors had a massive total of ten PB's .......one 2nd, one 7th and one 9th category place, three people fun-running for the first time and two who ran WITH the flu (probably the most heroic runs of all!!)............plus one very special mention to an 8 year old who ran 4kms in 22 minutes........watch out Warriors the next generation is closing in fast !!!!

Well done to everyone!!!...........now for serious eating

Friday, May 7, 2010

Am I Taking It Too Seriously ?

Am I the only one who sleeps less before races ? Last night i woke up irrationally worrying that my groin strain/pulled muscle might prevent me from running the 8km race tomorrow and half marathon (my first) next weekend..........then that I would catch my daughter's flu and not be able to race. Three members of my five member half marathon team are down with it at the moment too !

The truth is I have run 3 long practice runs with the same strain without a problem, once it heats up it's gone ?

Some hobby ?

My Idea of Heaven: Chicago Rock and Roll Marathon

WTF ? This has got to be the perfect Half marathon, the Chicago Rock and Roll half with rock bands every mile playing delicious american classic rock ! This is part of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series of marathons and half-marathons managed by Competitor Group and held around the U.S.......let's import it Downunder!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cross Training Heaven !

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Given I'm in taper mode for my first ever half marathon in 10 days i sneaked out of work today for an hour for abit of a swim...............lo and behold I found a pretty amazing pool only 500M from my office, Victoria Park Pool (above). It's 15C, the water is 26C, there's not a cloud in the sky.....................2kms later i have to confess to feeling pretty fantastic, so much so I'm now working away in my office with gusto (aaah...oh yeah, apart from posting this).....Sydney Rules !!!!

Feeling Old ? What About This Bloke

http://breakthroughinnovation.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/growing-old-posters.jpg

If your feeling too old to run i seriously reccommend you go and have a look at RunFor YourLife
a Blog written by a runner in his late 70's, a world champion no less and still a marathon runner....he quotes.."You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running".......inspirational (..and OK if your reading mate, yes i know this isnt your real photograph)....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Art of the Running Playlist: Here's My Top Ten Trax

I dont know about you, but I probably spend as much time making up running playlists as i do actually running ! I've pretty much tried it all from Metal playlists (they help on the hills) to Dub and Reggae (seems to match an aerobic heartbeat), Melodic rock (makes you fly) to Salsa (messes with your rhythm)..............I've run Ambient on 21kms, Goa Trance on 8kms, Bebop in the evening and GothRock at night..........I totally draw the line, however, on running to Dylan or Lennon...............Imagine....... how dreadful !

Given all of this experience and my lovely collection of 410 Gigs of music i bet you can't wait to see what my Top Ten Running Playlist is..........here we go.....

1. Dreams- Van Halen
2. You Can Do It (Put Your Ass Into It)- Ice Cube
3. Sandstorm- Darude
4. Machine Messiah- Yes
5. Anesthetise- Porcupine Tree
6. Supernaut- Black Sabbath
7. Holiday- Dizzee Rascal
8. Bittersweet Symphony-The Verve
9. Dogs- Pink Floyd
10. Got to get You Into My Life- Earth Wind and Fire





Treadmill Capers: Check Out This Nutcase

Thanks to ShutUpandRun for this lead. Have you ever watched people on the treadmill at the gym as they run in wierd ways, use strange arm movements, read books (?), walk so slowly they are almost standing, wear grey work socks, drink coke (yes i saw this), crane their neck the whole time to check out their fat bottom (they thought it was small from the look on their face), wear virtually nothing (ok this one's not so bad, depending of course), sing to their Ipod, sweat like they are in the shower, burn calories they cant afford, wobble their canckles .....well none of that is as wierd as this !

Lesson 10: The Joy of Stretch


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In the year since I have been running seriously there have been some pivotal moments where i learned some piece of the puzzle that turned out to be essential.....Ill try and list them in order

1. You can run far if you slow down enough 2. run up hills slowly and then run faster at the top 3. run slower at the beginninig and faster at the end 3. do sprint training 4. use mantras to get through pain 5. drink lots of water the day before and before you go 6. try and push the whole way 7. slow down when your injured 8. cross train when your bored 9. wear a camelback on long runs

Today I learned number 10..one of the most obvious but ive totally neglected it....10. stretch properly after any run....

Westleigh Warriors spent 30 minutes stretching tonite thanks to our trainer Christine...after so many long weeks of Half marathon Training I feel like someone gave me my legs back....(and my groin).....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Damien Walters 2010

Ok, it's not runninig but this man is beyond belief / Is he human ?

Nice and Slow

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How nice it feels to taper.......after so much pushing me and a friend ran a 7km without timing, just plodding and chatting (except for one killer hill), no music, no jockying for positions..........Ive loved training for the Half Marathon but if it went on much longer it could kill the love of
running !

I have to confess to being a little afraid of the anti-climax....what will I strive for once Ive done....the idea of going the next step seems too daunting, not just physically but in terms of a time comittment..Whats the minimum you can do and train for a full marathon ?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Obesity Research ? A Note to Self

I've been crossing boundaries in my mind today, between my job as a Psychology lecturer and my current 'identity' as an ex-fatter person ex-smoker and runner.......asking myself how could i combine the two passions to help my students think through possible research projects.....heres what Ive come up with..this serves as a mental note to i dont forget...

1. How can we get people who have overcome obesity to meet up with those who havent to develop a client driven community based local action group ?

2. The Meaning Of Running: Can we find people who started running for reasons that include overcoming mental health problems and look for common plots in their life stories that might be inspirational or liberative for others ?

3. Can Psychology augment the Personal Training Industry to rescue them from getting themselves into trouble with very vulnerable people and to help psychology focus more on the 'soma' of psychosomatic problems ?

4. What about children ? Can we combine family-based treatment with family-based exercise "Big Brother' style given nothing seems to work when kids are morbidly obese ?

I havent read about these topics widely but its all food for thought......I'll keep you posted

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Too Many Hills !

Blimey the last of our long runs before the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon was a complete killer, eight major hills over 14km, we all ran times ten minutes slower than usual....I wonder who organised it...ahem.........my cheap Camelback leaked everywhere and had to be thrown in the bushes midway, then in a fit of thirst i found it again as we lapped and drank the dregs.....then i couldnt get it off (2 hours later I was in Rebel buying a real one)

Then I get home and my wife tells me we are all going on a bike ride around the beautiful Narabeen Lakes (pic)............2 hours....this may be the most tired my poor little legs have ever been...is it normal to have a massive headache and be eating everything in sight.......for some reason ive eaten too many Wasabe peas.......approximately 100....beers......2 sanwiches......dessert......more to come..


The coming week will be slow, a 7km on Tuesday and Wednesday and then an 8 Km fast Mother's Day Classic in Parammatta......leaving 7 days until the biggest race Ive ever done so far.........ok...time for that bath

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Running Fights Depression


Most runners would know that getting of your arse does more for you than making it smaller, it has an incredible effect on mood and stress.

One of my main motivators in starting was to deal with this, I was working as a Team Leader of Psychologists and Social Workers at a major Sydney Hospital and was getting bigger and lazier as I went on....the more i put into it the more it took out of me........

It seems that science also demonstrates the mental health benefits of running according to a recent article in USA Today (here)

Now, data pooled from many small studies suggest that in people diagnosed with depression or anxiety, the immediate mood boost is followed by longer-term relief, similar to that offered by medication and talk therapy, says Daniel Landers, a professor emeritus in the department of kinesiology at Arizona State University.

And exercise seems to work better than relaxation, meditation, stress education and music therapy, Landers says.

"Most physicians and therapists are aware of the effects," says Chad Rethorst, a researcher at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "But they may not be comfortable prescribing it."