Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's Your Favourite Running Song ?


Bored, bored, bored......with 250GB of music on my laptop Im still going through the same agony of feeling like Ive heard it all too many times and dont know what to pick for this weekends 18km run........can you help ?

What are your fave running tracks ?

What music do you listen to to increase your performance or get you through the last few Kms ?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cold as Ice


Ok this is not a picture of me, just some random dude from Google Images, but it might as well have been given todays run at -2C..........yes, from a field of 6 Westleigh Warriors only me and one other turned up stupidly at 6am while the others were snoozing or watching the World Cup in front of the fire.........still they missed out on a cloud-free orange sunrise, a nice easy 7km run and a self-important feeling after braving the cold..

.............song choice = obvious..

Sunday, June 27, 2010

For Pommy Readers


The lovely people at Oxfam asked me to post these links for for pommy runners who want to support a good cause......

Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Oxfam

Run in Run to the Beat for Oxfam

Run in the Great North Run for Oxfam

Winding It Up Again for the Half Marathon

The brain has some pretty amazing features, including it's capacity to forget trauma !! Hence my suprise at the effort involved in todays 16.5km long run....the first this size since our half 2 months ago........20 or so runners started off at 630 am in 7C temperature along a straight flat road that went five kms out and 5kms back......the rest Im afraid was mostly hills, not a great arrangment....I was proud to be kicking arse at the 10km mark after running very hard for 5kms but then (as usual) began to wane as 5-6 hills kept rearing their ugly heads....after the third I felt decidedly nausous, a swig of gatorade on my hand held bottle and Van Halen's "Runnin' With the Devil" didnt really help and I staggered over the last Km with the tank almost empty.....I was abit surprised by the time though 5.3mins/km over 16.5....Im very happy with it but now have that "completely knackered after waking up early and then drinking 2 glasses of red wine at night" feeling...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gothic Run ?


Down into the depths of Normanhurst Valley again today for a 7-8km hill run: through the dark, the mist, down so may hills i swear i saw Gollum and signs with cobwebs on them saying "Do Not Pass"..........with skulls laying around.........then of course the inevitable long climb back up to civilisation where three more hills wait to greet us.....this is only the 2nd time I ve done this route, third for my 3 partners but it was a little easier this time than the last........

Luckily I planned it well music-wise with a healthy combination of Goth-metal (Epica, Type O Negative, Lacuna Coil and The 69Eyes with...ahem...... Push It and Firestarter stragely thrown in at the end for the last hill)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joe Kelly's 53 Running Commandments


These are posted on alot of running sites, I like them alot, especially The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running

The 53 Runner’s Commandments
by Joe Kelly

1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
11. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
13. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
17. Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.
18. Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
19. Don’t always run alone.
20. Don’t always run with people.
21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
24. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of share, or not feeling well.
36. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.

Monday, June 21, 2010

12 Weeks Until Blackmore's Sydney Half Marathon


Here we go again ! We are already a couple of weeks in to training for our second half Marathon (or mine..some of the team are on their third) and Im getting that daunting feeling....the one where you just want to run a short 10kms rather than push it out to 16 or 18....in fact this weekend we all decided to do 14 even though we were scheduled for more.....except our trainer, who thankfully is ahead of us in terms of mental strength on this one and just sent us an email reminding us to set goals for the coming Half..........my own goals are as follows;

1. Practice and run negative splits
2. Beat a 120 minute time
3. Enjoy tapering and recovery now i know what a roller coaster of emotion is was last time
4. Hydrate without a camelback

There will be a great lead up with three races taking place between now and the half; the fast flat 7km Bay Run, the City2Surf 14km and my favourite, the Pub2Pub 13km along the Northern Beaches.................

Time to work on some longer playlists.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Negative Splits Rule !


Its been three weeks of doing negative splits and it seems to be finally bearing fruit.....Im totally converted to the idea that saving up your energy for the second half means a warmed up body goes much faster......today we did a 14km run.........I felt stronger than ever before on the second half, flying even........ although the last 2 kms had so many hills Im not sure if it was faster than the first half....either way we all had a great fast run (5.18mins/km) and this all suggests the City2Surf will yield a PB

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Wow, what a run we had this morning, taking off at 6am on a 2.5km downhill road that seemed to lead into the the bowels of the earth, way below the tree line into some of the bush properties in Normanhurst........I became increasingly concerned about what was coming.......2kms of steep uphills, broken by 250 metre sections of flat road.......and I forgot my Ipod with all the neccesary Metal i normally rely on.....we are practicing for the City2Surf, which has a long 2km hill, particularly practicing the art of trying not to slouch our way up bit run solidly to the top......once we finished that we were then faced with a twisting turning 3km finish which packed three more hills, 2 steep and one ridiculous (I hear a voice behind me as we hit the top of this one saying "run hard to the finish after this" and then feel the pre-vomit bile rise).....thanks to our trainer for coming up with such a monster run

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Metal Madness: Thrash Your Time With an Aggro Playlist


For the last three runs ive been testing wether Metal will improve my times and so long as you start with a slower series of trx (? Staind "Its Been a While, Alice in Chains "Rooster") and end with something that smashes your head in ("We Carry On" Voivod, or "Big Truck" Coal Chamber) I think it's guaranteed........

3 record times in a row, one was a very hilly 6km in 4.9mins.km !!! I think Ive found the secret and will be quitting my job and joining the Olympic coaching team next week......

Now I have ten little beauties on itunes playlists all ready to go......bring on the under 5km/minute time as a regular occurence...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Music Makes You Run 15% Better ? Here's The Evidence

I stumbled accross this press release from late 2008 that proves why running and music go perfectly together !

"Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education today reveals that, according to Dr Costas Karageorghis’s latest research, carefully selected music can significantly increase a person’s physical endurance and make the experience of cardiovascular exercise far more positive.

The study, due to be published in the prestigious US periodical Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, is the latest from a 20-year programme of work into the motivational qualities of music in sport and exercise. The findings illustrate the considerable benefits associated with exercising in time to music: something that some elite athletes, such as marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, have been doing for years.

Thirty participants exercised on a treadmill while listening to a selection of motivational rock or pop music, including tracks by Queen, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Madonna. They were asked to keep in strict time with the beat. The findings show that when carefully selected according to scientific principles, music can enhance endurance by 15% and improve the ‘feeling states’ of exercisers, helping them to derive much greater pleasure from the task. One significant new finding is that music can help exercisers to feel more positive even when they are working out at a very high intensity – close to physical exhaustion.

Dr Karageorghis’s latest research findings are particularly noteworthy for public health practitioners, given that treadmill-based exercise such as walking and running is often incorporated into the rehabilitation programmes of those in a primary care settings (e.g. cardiac patients and those suffering from obesity). Music has the power to make a considerable impact in the fight against public inactivity. Moreover, the effects of music on mood and emotions open up the possibility that it can be used to improve compliance to exercise and therefore help people achieve their long-term health and fitness goals.

Dr Karageorghis, who is a reader in sport psychology at Brunel University, explains: “The synchronous application of music resulted in much higher endurance while the motivational qualities of the music impacted significantly on the interpretation of fatigue symptoms right up to the point of voluntary exhaustion”.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cold Weather Blue Skies !

Freezing cold (5C) and not a cloud in the sky.....thats what i call perfect running weather...running in a group as the sunrise comes up and strains of CSNY come on.........hello !!!......we ran 12 kms today, nice and easy for six and a little faster for the second half but stayed aerobic for most of the time except for the last hill and final sprint......to our surprise we finished with a 5.4min/km pace.......

For those who chose to stay in bed......well...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Post-Marathon Blues ?

One of my running partners was telling me about feeling down for a few weeks after our latest half and we wondered if others get it ?

Well it is according to Julie Isphording, Former Olympian .Check out the whole article its great

Now what? You had been training for that moment for 16 weeks. Every day was carefully planned. You gave up dancing, cleaning out the garage and cheeseburgers. You drank Gatorade, ate stuff called gel and strapped frozen corn to your sore body parts after your long runs.

Many runners feel a certain kind of loss the days after a marathon. I have even named this feeling the post-marathon blues. It makes sense if you really think about it. You have been consumed with one goal. It defined a huge part of your life for quite some time. Now what do you do? Should you start planning now for something else? When should you start running again? What do you do with those sore, cranky legs?

Never hurry. Never worry. That is your motto for the next 26 days. Many runners don’t plan the few weeks AFTER the marathon and experience injuries, burn out, bad runs and bad moods. Here's what you can do to recover quicker and make you a better runner:

  • Eat more. Sleep more. Indulge yourself. Your body needs it to rejuvenate, replenish and recover faster. Besides, didn’t you promise yourself five weeks ago on your 20-miler that you couldn’t wait to sleep in, eat a chocolate sundae and read the Sunday paper?
  • Do not try to run off the soreness. Let your body heal. Try some cross-training activities like spinning, swimming, yoga, tai chi to rest your muscles, while still getting a good aerobic workout. If you’re running, run short distances on soft surfaces.
  • Throw away your plans and schedules. No shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’.
  • Frame your picture and medal. Wallow in your greatness.
  • Write in your journal about the experience. All 26 miles. Turn those miles into moments. What do you remember? What inspired you? What would you change? What is important to you?
  • How about a vacation?
  • Go buy yourself something. New running shoes? New watch? New car?
  • Start thinking about new goals. They may have nothing to do with running or marathons or Gatorade. What do you want to accomplish next? What’s important to you? Where are you going?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glamrock Running


Each week I take great pleasure in making a different playlist for my long run and this week is dedicated to one of my favourite genres, Glamrock......lets see....so far....Sweet "Ballroom Blitz", Trex "Jeepster", Mud"Dyna-mite", lots of Alice Cooper, Strutter, Status Quo "Whatever You Want"...........oh my god........I can hardly wait.......now what shall I wear ?

and of course....

Alternating Hard and Easy Running ?


As a relatively new runner I am still in the phase where i feel I should go out as hard as i can for all runs, competing with my running partners and constantly pushing times......lately, however, Ive been questioning this, especially since Ive had an injury that keeps returning and have become concerned to keep the running sustainable and enjoyable in the long term.

The more I have read the more I am understanding that I need to alternate a bit more between hard and easy....

Running Times have a great article on this;

Whatever your pattern, over the course of a week you must balance your hard, high-intensity with easy, low-intensity mileage. Anaerobic effort requires aerobic recovery. If the three secrets to selling property are location, location and location, runners know that the secrets to running well are balance, balance and balance. The challenge lies in figuring out the ratio of that balance.

Runaddicts also put this on their list of tips for injury prevention
  • Do not over train
  • Do not try to do too much too soon
  • Get habit of proper warm-up exercises prior to running
  • Gradually increase speed and distance
  • Practice the principle of mixing hard and easy training on a daily and weekly basis
  • Only 10% of distance should be added on a weekly basis
  • Keep a proper diet required for your style of running
  • Set aside a minimum of 2 days of the week that you do not run at all
  • Make sure you give your body enough time to rest and to recuperate
  • Do stretching exercises regularly, especially the calf and hamstring muscles
  • Ensure a proper level of calcium and proteins in the body to keep healthy bones and muscles
Apparently this 'hard-easy system" was developed by University of Oregon Coaches Bill Bowerman and Bill Delinger. The physiological reason for this makes common sense:

'The physiological foundation for a "hard/easy" system seems sound. In physiology, the principle of overload tells us that we must provide training stress beyond what we are used to. This stress causes depletion of energy stores and microscopic damage to muscle, connective and other tissues which, as they heal, adapt by growing stronger. This not only takes place in the working muscles, but also in all the bodies parts associated with delivering energy to the muscles. Thus, over time, the muscles can do more work, and the ability to deliver energy to the muscles is enhanced to allow the work to be more intense and to continue for longer periods.

The trick is first, to provide enough but not too much stress, and second, to allow enough recovery to replenish energy stores, heal and adapt. For runners, this recovery period has been shown to be 48 hours or more. This has led many coaches and runners to adopt a hard day/easy day training regimen.'

What do they say are the benefits of the system ?

  • At the same overall weekly mileage, their long run is nearly doubled with the resulting endurance and confidence benefits that enable them to compete in longer events.
  • They get more rest and feel fresher all the time.
  • They have fewer injuries.
  • Their mental approach to their running changes so that they look forward to and relax on their easy days and they focus on the challenge and accomplishment of the hard days.
  • They are able to do more training without fatigue, injury or mental burnout.
  • Their race times improve.

The question is does this really matter when you only run every other day, or at least put 36 hours between runs ? I guess this depends on how your body reacts to training and mind....my vote will be to chill a little and allow myself one easy relaxed run out of four every week...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Running Mantras


Ive been reading in a few places (including Runners World) about how runners use mantras when they get knackered or need an extra boost when they feel like they are running out of steam.........Ive tried lots, "stay strong"..."keep pushing"....."feel the pain"

RunnerDude even held a contest last year, some examples below from his site

Can't Stop! Won't Stop!
No regrets!
If you don't, you rust!
I'm a running machine, not going down without a fight!
"Gotta Get Thru This"

Heres some quotes I think do the trick

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
--Theodore Roosevelt

All it takes is all you got.
--Marc Davis

Once you're beat mentally, you might as well not even go to the starting line.
--Todd Williams

Run like hell and get the agony over with.
--Clarence DeMar

Got any of your own ?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Five Stages of Running ? Where Are You ?

Click here to see  a larger image of Galloway's Book on Running 2n Edition cover

Have a look at this site which provides a chapter from Galloway’s Book on Running, ©2002.it outlines five stages of running with lots of detail on the criterea for each...where are you ?

Stage One: Making the Break


Stage Two: Entering the New World


Stage Three: When Competition Is the Main Driving Force


Stage Four: Being the Best You Can Be


Stage Five: The Best of All Stages

this quote got me.........a description from stage 3....'Occasionally you’ll run alone, but often you’ll seek out small groups of better runners to train with and find you’re making every workout a race; you’ll push the pace to “victory” or make others earn theirs. In the same way, every race becomes a challenge to a new personal record. You may begin to choose races for the ease of terrain and lack of quality competition. '............I need to enjoy it abit more......

No Brain, More Pain: Maybe I'm Maturing


After four months of suffering from groin pain I have had none for the past seven days.......how did i do it....fancy stretches ? change my posture ? less running ? ..........none of the above, the key has been to listen to my body rather than my sometimes thoughless drive to do better....basically after all the stress and strain I simply stopped doing sprints and sit ups for one week and its gone...........I knew they aggravated it but kept on going like a bull in a china shop regardless........I had a fantastic run today.......calm, painless, enjoyable, my current competitor ran ahead but i resisted and stuck to my negative splits.........maybe this is the post-born-again phase of running.........the one where you mature...........feels abit like it........

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It Seems To Be Working

After a week of running negative splits but not improving my time it seems to be working, running a hilly 14kms today in my record of 73.45 mins......I felt amazingly stronger on the second half which really surprised me as I usually feel so knackered.....I now understand what Ive read about the body being properly warmed up to run faster rather than trying to leg it cold.......this is good news as I was beginning to feel that more effort was out of the question, it seems you can improve on strategy not brute force...d'uh ! Feels good

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sustainable Running II: Tips From a Trainer


I sent a link from my last Sustainable Running Post to my trainer Christine and she came up with some more...very thought provoking...

1. Core work - adding in extra strength work (with a personal trainer!) or pilates/yoga

2. Reassess your form - are you hunched over? Are your arms swinging with elbows wide? Your form and gait is critical to injury prevention and sometimes it is necessary to ease off on pace to get running technique fixed and then start to build on speed again.

3. Weights to build leg strength -weighted squats/lunges assist in building stamina and strength without you having to do the repetitive work pounding the pavements

4. De training ie after a long race and training period taking a break, mentally and physically, cross training (swimming which you mentioned, or cycling to keep aerobic fitness and muscular strength but lose the impact) and then building back up safely again - your body will benefit and you will be able to compete year after year as opposed to constantly pushing the boundaries and getting worn out physically and mentally.

5. LISTEN to your body - if you are worn out and not enjoying running and losing motivation then rest and reassess, running should be for enjoyment and fitness not be a chore so reassess and make changes if you are becoming stressed or lacking balance in your life - and then it will become a pleasure again!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Nike - My Better Is Better Than Your Better (v3)

Sustainable Running


I'm noticing that some of my running partners are coming down with injuries that stop them running for weeks at a time and this coupled with my own recurrent groin pain has made me re-evaluate my own running. I definitely want to keep doing it for many years to come so how to make it sustainable ?

Here's what Ive decided:

1. Do sprint training less often (this is where I usually get my injuries)
2. Be content with my current times (around 5.2-5.4 mins/km..dont push for
3. Have an occasional slower paced run and enjoy it
4. Extend my times if possible through better strategy not more effort (eg: negative
splits, planning race strategy, coming from behind if possible rather than
trying to be in front)
5. Less Heavy Metal playlists: this is critical as I just go "Hell Bent for Leather"
when I hear it
6. Swim once a week (my legs feel really relaxed afterwards)
7. Dont be too lazy to stretch properly after runs
8. Keep my Skins on for a few hours after long runs....

Now for some Judas Priest..........aaaah!

Negative Splits Rule !!


For the last week I have been attempting to change my running from flatout at the beginning and crawling over the finsh line to the reverse and I have to say I now fully understand why it's reccomended.

1. Last Sunday we did a 13km run and I felt pretty solid the whole way and didnt fall on the grass in a heap at the end like I usually do

2. Tuesday morning 7km is a nice and easy run which I finished with a 1.5 km dash...gee it felt good to finish strong

3. Wednesdays 8km (10 after we got lost) also ended in a very competitive sprint with another Warrior which I never thought I could do

4. Todays 6.5km was similar although i felt stronger at the end than I have ever felt

......but what about times ? Well they are pretty similar to my 'positive split' running but I feel so much better, Im hoping as I keep it up it starts to show in the times ?

PS: only poms may understand the picture.....