Sunday, July 31, 2011

Notes to Self on Hill Running

Since joining the Berowra Bush Runners Ive noticed Ive been getting a sore lower back quite often. After some research it seems common when you take on more hills. This is what Ive gleaned from my research about what to do...

1.Dont Hunch It's very easy to lean forward while laboring up the hill. However, this will contribute to a very sore lower back later on. So as you are running up that hill, think, am I standing up straight, and then stand up a little straighter.

2. Relax The athlete should look straight ahead, as they run (not at their feet) and ensure their neck, shoulders and arms are free of tension. Many experts believe that the "bouncy" action is more important than the speed at which the athlete runs up the hills.

3. Start Gradual Hills put high stress on your body. In addition to the stress of moving your body horizontally, you are increasing the stress due to overcoming gravity to move your body vertically, and the effect on your body is like you're running much faster. Because of this higher stress, don't do heavy hill training more often than once a week. During the rest of the week when you encounter hills during your run, consider the hills as LSD training and run them at a slower pace and then continue your run.

4. Strengthening Exercises Learn to love the plank..more here

5. Stretch and Massage: Here's an easy self massage tip. Form a loose fist, and use your knuckles to dig into and knead the low back area. Pay special attention to the muscles that run up along either side of the spine (don't massage right on the spine) and also right along the top edge of your hip bones, from the spine out to your sides. It's also helpful to massage the glutes, hamstrings and quads. You can use a tennis ball as a massage tool or buy one of the many self massage tools now on the market.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Favorite Gear

Are you addicted to Wiggle or Eastbay? Know of other cheap shopping sites for running gear...I think Ive got abit of a problem....lets just say I have more coordinated running outfits than normal outfits.....bush, road, technical bush, long run, long run in the dark, rainy run, cold, hot, in between...I have a different outfit for every one....including long socks....

Here are my all time favorite fashion picks..

1. 2XU Running Socks: who cares if they work, they feel fantastic ( but my teenage daughter says i look like a 'school girl on the way to school')

2. Ronhill Running Top: the perfect fit, I could wear this all the time

3. Eastbay no-Brand Tights: About $120 cheaper than Skins, keep you warm and come in every colour under the sun

4. Nike Sleeveless Top: The ONLY top I have which has never shrunk no matter how many times i wash it

5. Craft Active Flouro Vest: You can sweat through it rather than suffocating

What about you?

Fartlek Fever

Ran a fun Fartlek-ish session with the Warriors tonite, 9kms with 1min sprint, 1 min slow, 1 min sprint, 5 mins comfortably hard repeats.......

Ive never done this before and thoroughly enjoyed it, partly due to being spurred on by my partner, Meryln, who kicks ass as far as speed goes....mine anyway...

Slight soreness in the lower back that has nothing to do with running and more to do with my untrained attempts as Kettle Bells (I increased my weights)...pretty sure this, combined with some heavy hill work over the week is what has lead to it...normally i hate to taper but i am honestly looking forward to taking it easy next week and giving my poor battered body a break....Ive been pushing it pretty hard lately and I turn bloody 46 in 5 days time too!

This Friday will be an easy run of 7kms then Ill thrash through the bush Sunday with the Bushrunners before calming right down for a week before the Jabulani Challenge...Im planning some serious chocolate eating too....mostly focused on my love for Snickers coupled with Vanilla Smoothies with extra Malt....hmmmmm

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting Closer

Two weeks to go until Jubalani Half Marathon (Bush) so this week has been a big one for me and my two training buddies....

Monday: Kettle bell and Core @ The Gym
Tuesday: 11kms road run
Wednesday: Free weights and core @ Gym
Thursday: bush run steepish and technical (and wet), 12kms
Friday: Kettle bell and core @ gym
Saturday: 11km road run
Sunday: Steep bush run 12kms

Total Run: 48kms
Total Hours Training: 7:15

Physically Im feeling pretty good, slight strain on the wrist from trying to increase kettle bell weighs abit too early, abit of a sore tendon in the ankle but the rest of my legs feeling fantastic....

This coming week will be similar, lets seem how I hold up.....

Friday, July 22, 2011

How Come No-one Told Me About These?

Im constantly amazed how you learns something new about running every week and how you keep finding missing links. This week it was a big one...maybe obvious to some....the fact that you can massage your own niggles and strains out rather than always resting. Yourself.

Yeah, i know...obvious...but for me its come as a fantastic revelation....

Massage tool No.1: Foam Roller

Ordered it online and felt like a teenage boy running 11kms this morning with no niggles and tightness...incredible....

Massage tool N0. 2: The rolling pin

Bought one this avo and its the perfect suppliment to No.1 as it allows you to get to difficult places...enough said.

Lets just say..Im in love..

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fun in the Rain

Fantastic run this morning with my too totally pouring down the whole time but that made for some fun running through puddles, across a few swollen rivers and finding detours for one river that was too dangerous to cross..we had to run back up to the cars on a track we'd never used before which had about a 20cms deep of water flowing down it...

Our times were super slow because of the technical and hilly course we picked and the river crossings...we ran 11km in 1hr 40mins but when we stopped i was well and truly knackered....I dont think we have made the transition to becoming trail runners yet as we still compare the distance travelled with road running.....

Felt some discomfort in my groin but pulled up with very little muscle pain afterwards... great fun!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


17 Days to go until Jubalani Trail Half Marathon and then Blackmore's Half will nearly be upon me. it feels like along time since my last organised run, Canberra marathon in April.

I have spent the time judiciously healing my ankle tendon problems, which thanks to my physio are pretty much gone..lots of strengthening exercises every night. I ve also joined Berowra Bush Runners, a group that causes me both exhilaration and anxiety at the same time..anxiety because of the ridiculous distances they race and the constant reminders to follow their footseteps which i am succesfully ignoring to date

Injury-wise the groin pain is subsiding but there is still a repeated tightness in my right leg which i will have to pursue with the physio before long.....

Im pretty excited about Jubalani Challenge, run on a course we are pretty familiar with, into Bobbin head and back out again...

After that this would be the ideal schedule...

Pub2Pub 13kms (August 2011)
Blackmoore's Half Marathon (Sept 2010)
SAN 10kms (Sept 2010)
Start training for Canberra (December 2010)
Canberra marathon (April 2012)
May 2012 (Hike: 6Ft track)
Great Nosh 15km Trail (June 2012)
Mt Wilson to Bilpin 34kms (August 2012)

As you can see Im in no great rush to race every week..this seems the prfect amount if Im to balance family/running/injury well and not get TOO obsessed, only a little bit obsessed..

The peak of it all hopefully will one day be The 6Ft Track 45kms marathon ...hmmmm..but im not sure yet

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cannonball Run

What a great movie! .....but sadly Im referring to the fact that Ive had to revert back to running with my Brooks beasts and have given my attempt at transition to lighter weight shoes a rest..I figure Im niggle and injury free for the first time in a year so why mess with 100kgs maybe I just need a little more tire tread than i thought?

Well, not problem as usual was i tried to do it all at once, running in lighter weight shoes ALL the time rather than making a gradual transition.....just like my other past habits of sprinting without warming up properly (never again), not stretching at all (definitely never again) and increasing my distance by 40% in one week...Im definitely getting wiser as I run more...

..anyway for a run..

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Power of One Stretch

I have been struggling with a groin strain now for about nine months and had a pretty amazing experience last week. After hitting the hills pretty hard for a couple of weeks and testing new lighter-weight shoes... had gradually worsened to the point where it hurt pretty much all the time. I began to despair, thinking i had really done myself a serious injury and had three or four days rest...the kind where you catastrophize about your ability to reach your goals and are generally down in the dumps.

Then, almost by chance i am stretching and decide to try a stretch i have never done that can best be described as twisting and contorting one leg as I twist my body crazily in the other groin strain comes loose in one go never to be felt again.....incredible!

Since then I felt like Ive had chains lifted from my stride when Im running, Im loose of both sides and finally free to enjoy the new form Ive been practicing with the aid of my physio, known in my group as Robot-running because of the straight back and arms in..

For the first time in a year i am now free of any strains, tendonitis or niggles..woohoo!