Monday, November 29, 2010

What Does The Mind Need to Know for a Marathon?

Ive been thinking alot about marathon running as the first day of a 16 week training schedule for the Canberra Marathon starts next Sunday. I feel relaxed about the fitness side of things, not because Im ready (Im definitely not), but because the training programme will take care od itself..Im more keen to learn about the mental side of things and have been reading some things which make sense..Im writing them down here as a record of what has interested me the most, but given Ive never run one am not sure if they work?

* Break the race up into achievable goals
* Learn to manage self-doubt and bad thoughts
* Use distraction or meditation, staying centred...
* Let it all wash over you and just keep going regardless
* Talk to your partner to take your mind off the pain
* Look around you and take it all in
* Go at a steady sustainable pace
* Use mantras
* Make sure you know your reasons for doing it in the first place
* Include Van Morrison on your playlist?

Shown an Excellent New Trail by 'Lungs of Steel"

A friend introduced me to a fantastic trail run yesterday in North Turramurra which as starts from the shops, up Burns Road to Golden Jubille Oval, where you feel on top of the world looking down on a twisting and turning fire trail through the bush......down hill for 3 kms, some fairly steep and then of course uphill for the same, topped off with a fantastic 2-3km sprint home on the running partner helped take the pain away by chatting away for the whole run (including the hills) proving her lungs of steel and making for a really enjoyable run....ill definitely take my running group on this varied and sometimes idyllic run...finished with a big lunch of bakes beans, power bar, gatorade and banana...feeling like i needed nourishment after a pretty full on weekend......

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hot, Tired, Solo and Hungry is Not Good Running

Went out this morning for a recovery run after Wednesdays fast short session which had left my legs very sore....I woke up ten minutes before i was supposed to run, got bad hunger pains about half way, the temperature was 22C and both my running partners were in bed (one sleeping off a hangover!)....this, in combination with my attempts to run to Bad Company, Van Halen and Bob Seger made for a pretty horrible sluggish and painful run.....8kms of grumbling to myself debating about turning back and making it up another day........

I haven't had a run like this in a few months, the last one was because of heat too...yuk! The only suitable music is the Sludge-Metal Madness of Electric Wizard!

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Come Running Bodies Know What to Eat?

I spent a bit of down time today looking on the net at what are the best foods for runners to eat and am pretty amazed that despite not really paying attention to it before my body seems to have naturally leaned in the right direction.

My top ten foods in terms of quantity and frequency would probably be

1. Oatmeal
2. Wholegrain bread
3. Fruit and veg (including frequent Banana)
4. Nuts and Peanut butter
5. Eggs
6. Fish and meat
7. Baked beans
8. Yoghurt
9. Coffee
10. Monster (Blue) and Caramello Koals daily

Ok, number 10 isnt recommended but generally the way my appetite seems to have shifted since i started running fits with what Im reading...hi on complex carbs, plus protein and lots of fruit and veg..

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday High

Great 12.63km road run this morning with the Warriors battling it out before the sun came up properly...13C when we took off, around 22C an hour later
...apart from trying to keep ahead of my regular nemesis (you know who you are), who is generally faster than me, and listening to 1990's hip hop (Black Sheep, Tribe Called Quest and Jungle Bros),I thought abit about my plan to try a month off the grog..ive been averageing around 4 bottles of wine a week and want to see if, for the first time ever, i can go a month with none..I've never done this in my entire adult life and want to prove to myself its possible, plus drop the last stubborn 1.5kg in my long term weight plan...I have started successfuly tonite...

This rest of this weeks training plan is 10 kms road, 8kms bush and cross training....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Best Trail Run Ever! The Sphinx to Bobbin Head

At lunch today me and my running partner ran a beautiful trail for the first time, the Sphinx track at Bobbin Head. It starts with a massive downhill run where we bunny hopped our way down pretty fast, then takes us to Cowan Creek

From there we squeezed past around 50 school kids on an excursion as they clapped and screamed out "go mountain men"...came to a lovely water fall..

...on for another 4 kms or so to Bobbin Head Marina and Park...

Then our plan run up Bobbin Head trail was dashed by it being closed for renovation so we ran up the road for a 3km uphill climb...elevation not to bad though

A great varied run in perfect conditions of 19C

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adventure Friday

This Friday i am planning on going on my first real trail running adventure away from far Ive explored local tracks but on Friday Ill run the Bobbin Head Warimoo/Sphinx track route. Its a 10km run so I'll be able to slot it into my lunch break working from home without too many problems...the elevation is steeper than Im used to but the route looks fantastic along the Cowan Creek

Cross Section of the Sphinx, Warrimoo and Bobbin Head tracks bushwalking track

If any Warriors or other readers are free that day let me know, it would be good to have a partner....this website, Wild Walks, seems a great way to explore new territory by the way

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bush Warriors!

Another venture of the road into the bush this morning with around 12 Westleigh Warriors...super hot at around 20C at 630am and accompanied by many leeches who loved to try and climb into the holes in our trainers, thru the sock to find our lovely blood.....we ran 2kms on the road, then after a 4kms trail we stopped to pick and flick them away before they reached skin....then onwards for a pretty consistent climb to another couple of km's home on the road...

Ive been looking around at other routes and there are heaps so close to home..Bobbin Head looks fantastic, the Great North Walk to Hornsby and back is a nice 15km run, down from Thornleigh to West Pymble also looks..Im going to try them all...

I feel re-energised in my running after discovering the bush...Ill still pound the pavement twice a week but will hit the trails as often as i can....very slow times but the heat and fact we are still getting used to the ascents and rabbit-hopping make it ok..I could feel myself getting more confident on the technical sections (alot of them)....theres really only 1km where you can let loose a little

Friday, November 12, 2010

Marathon Training Starts in 3 Weeks

Preparation for next years Canberra Marathon starts in three weeks, my first one ever and thankfully a flat course..looking at the schedule set by our trainer it actually looks do-able with a peak weeks distance at 60kms and a max long run at 32kms...

My main concern is whether or not my ankle and knee will hold out, they tweak every short run so Im not sure if they will keep flaring up as the training gets more plan is to do 2 of the 4 weekly runs on trail or grass to ease the pounding..

As far as pace goes i think it will come as abit of a relief to not have to focus on smashing 10kms all the time...this becomes superhard work and a slower jog will be a welcome change, although im sure I dont really know what Im in for as we go over the 20km mark? Lets hope we train long runs on the flat, although I doubt it after the half marathon preparation..

Im going into it pretty open minded..if my body packs in beforehand so be it...Im just happy to be running and dont want to do any major injuries...if I make it Ill be stoked but Im becoming a little less intense about achieving goals and just enjoying the ride at the moment....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too Hot

As The Undertones once said, 'Here Comes the Summer"

....tonites 10k road run felt like it was being held inside a sauna...a nice fast start up and down countless hills but then the heat set in and that horrible sluggish heavy feeling along with Garmin was showing dreadful paces of 5.45, 5.50 and even 6.00 as my morale dropped and I had to resort to survival mode....apparently it was 23C at 7pm... I was in a vicious cycle i couldnt get out of...

....also my two lovely friends (you know who you are) piked at 6kms with all sorts of excuses about swallowing flies and such........meanwhile i was thinking they were out of sight and desperately trying to catch them......

... hopefully it will be cooler this Sunday for the inaugural Warriors bush run, a fantastic 10km lop along the Great North Walk.....back to the music....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lunch Time Trail Run: Great North Walk

Sitting at home on the computer on my 'work from home day' getting really bored so I decided to take my new Montrail shoes on their christening run....(I bought them at a new shop, Footpoint Shoe Clinic, Top Ryde, they had size 14!!!)

Packed lots of water as its was pushing 28C, added some very appropriate Dub to my Shuffle and off for my lunch time adventure...

Berowra Valley National Park is just 1km from my house, the Great North Walk can take you all the way to Newcastle...

Heaven! Around 8kms...didnt bother timing it, just out for an enjoyable trot!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Auckland City Runs

Been in Auckland New Zealand this week working, trapped in a conference room from 9-5 every day but hit the CBD and waterfront most mornings to check out the city.....I arrived the day after the Auckland Marathon so ran part of the route the first morning out past the docks and along beautiful waterways....

Ran out to the Harbour Bridge another day and back up through the city, to the University and back down to Queen Street....felt great with only small ankle twinges that stopped within a few hours......ran one 10km run in 52 mins which means Im getting back to my fastest pace...

Taking the Warriors through the bush on Sunday and loving being back on my feet running again..