Running With The Kenyans

 

LA

The Kenyans are the fastest people on Earth, I mean they’ve pretty much got this distance running business down. In the west, we’ve got more money, more technology and more advanced sport science yet we still get our asses handed to us on the world stage by guys who learnt to run without shoes.

Now I’m not going to get into the ‘Born to Run’ debate as it is the quickest way to start a full scale riot in a room full of perfectly polite runners, but I think there are a few other things that we could learn from these speed demons.

I just finished this book by Adharanand Finn where the author goes to train in Iten with the Kenyan running royalty. I’m not sure what the intended message was, but this is what I took from it, rather than technique, was that being Kenyan is a state of mind.

In the west we have become bogged down by our running data, we have our splits, not justgadget runner mile splits but 0.5 miles, 1 miles, 2 miles and 5 miles. Our times, elevations, wind speed are shouted in our ear, along with cheesy motivation quotes through a variety of technologies.
We look at this data on a daily basis, comparing it, analysing it, making excuses for why we think it could have been better. And every single time there’s the slightest blip (about once a week) we have a panic attack and adjust our nutrition, hydration and training plan.

Let’s face it, we’ve got our head shoved up our ass.

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Now raise your hand if you’ve waited for your phone to charge before going out running because you just COULDNT run two miles without Runkeeper. Go on raise it………..raise it………I know you’ve done it.

 

 

 

 

I could be wrong, but I’m guessing that the Kenyan’s couldn’t care less bout Runkeeper, (mostly because I’m not sure that they’ve got 4G yet). According to Finn they don’t really see the point in over analysing a weeks worth of data. They know if they’ve got faster by one thing, and one thing alone……how they race.

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Sometimes I think we all miss how far we’ve come by overloading ourselves with information. Real improvement from training takes months not weeks, and if we looked at our race results over time we could see better our own progression. Instead we compare the days, sometimes even the MILES. How insane is that? How unrealistic is that? It’s like we think it’s all happens in an eighties training montage.
Two flights of stairs lrunwebater and a freezer load of beef I ran a sub 2 hour half marathon……….

There’s no telling what this expectation does for our head, but I’m guessing it doesn’t help the runner’s endless battle to beat the ‘blerch’.  Picking apart our short term data makes most of us feel disappointed which does nothing to push us out the door on a cold morning.

We use information as a replacement for listening to our bodies, a watch to set the pace, instead of judging for ourselves when we are tired and giving our legs the chance to show their training, instead of being limited by our expectations. Or worse, pushing our bodies when they need to rest and ending up with a serious injury.

It also takes the fun out of it, we run because we love it sometimes the pressure for times, for data makes us forget all that. I’ll tell you a secret…..running is actually fun, it makes our bodies feel great and if you get your head out of your watch there is some pretty amazing scenery out there.
In Finn’s book, the Kenyans eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired, and the rest of the time they run.

Run like the Kenyans. Listen to your body, not the data. It’s more fun I promise.

 

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Sports Memorabilia – All For A Good Cause!

What has two thumbs and is entered in this year’s Great North Run?

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I figured that you can’t run such an amazing race without fundraising a little bit for charity so I’ve been asking friends, family and COMPLETE STRANGERS to help me reach my target of £300.

Don’t worry rather than going around with a paper sponsorship form and a slightly embarrassed look I’ve come up with a novel solution where if you donate you get something AMAZING in return, I mean better than my gratitude.

I’ve enlisted the help of a few sports celebrities/teams who have donated hand signed photos, teddies and banners which will be auctioned for my two charities (see below)

HOWEVER if you do feel like making a direct donation you can check out my just giving page OR GNR

So How Do I Bid?

SEPTEMBER 7th – SEPTEMBER 10th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PicsArt_1408893623965

Get yourself a twitter account. To bid enter the twitter account of the celebrity/team, the amount of your bid and the HASHTAG #HealthyHappy

The highest bid at midnight on the 10th of September 2014 will be contacted by @theimprobrunner via direct message for your postage address and payment (I accept cheque, payment via justgiving, paypal and cash)

The Charities

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Eating disorders affect 1.6 million people in the UK and 10% of those die due to the effects of the condition making it the deadliest mental disorder.

Bulimia  is estimated to affect around 1 in 100, and Anorexia  1 in 250. I couldn’t find exact figures for EDNOS (all the others) but its about the same as Anorexia and Bulimia combined.

Look at the number of Facebook friends you have.

Chances are whether you realise it or not you know someone who has been affected.

Beat provide advice and support for suffers, as well as helping them access treatment in their local area.

They work with the media and schools to help improve education on EDs and dispel the myths surrounding them, such as

-EDs only affect women  – a quarter of sufferers are male.

-You can tell if someone has an eating disorder by looking at them  – not all suffer dramatic weight loss, some will even gain weight. EDs do not discriminate and affect all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

-It’s just for attention – only 1 in 10 seek treatment and although reasons are complex, its highly likely that biological factors come into play. Many sufferers exhibit secretive behaviour and try to hide their condition, and find talking about it difficult.

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Inspire Suffolk are locally based charity and work to help children and young people reach their potential through providing opportunities in  Sport and Education.

They have amazing programmes for children and those with additional needs.

They coach children in a number of sports including football and handball as well as working with the Princes’ Trust to help get young people back into work.

Inspire Suffolk are holding a number of events over the coming year so check out their website if you are in my area!

 The Items!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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All of the items were obtained by me either directly from the celebrities or from their representatives so I am 100% certain of their authenticity.

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#HealthyHappy – Sir Steve Redgrave @SteveRedgrave1

A 10′ by 8′  of the team GB coxless four gold medal winning boat at the Sydney Olympics.  The photo is HAND SIGNED and was obtained directly from Steve Redgrave’s agent.

Steve Redgrave is one of the most successful British sportsman ever. He was the first British athlete to have won five Olympic gold medals, a feat surpassed only by Chris Hoy at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and is the third most decorated British Olympian with six medals, after the seven of Hoy and the seven of cyclist Bradley Wiggins. He has carried the British flag at the opening of the Olympic Games on two occasions. In 2011 Redgrave received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.

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#HealthyHappy – Richard Whitehead MBE @Marathonchamp

A 12′ Pride the Lion London 2012 Team GB Olympic Mascot signed on the chest by Richard Whitehead in sharpie. This is an amazing ONE OF A KIND ITEM.  This was received directly from the sports legend himself.

Richard Whitehead is one of Great Britain’s greatest Paralympians. He holds the world record for athletes with a double amputation, in both the full and half marathon. Not only is he a successful endurance athlete but is a world-class sprinter. He holds Olympic & European gold medals in the 200 meters and European Bronze in the 100m.

Richard is also a former ice sledge hockey player, and competed for the GB team at the 2006 Winter Paralympics in Turin.

20140820_180931 20140824_153335_Richtone(HDR) #HealthyHappy – Ipswich Town Football Club 2013-2013 Squad @Official_ITFC

A CD containing the song ‘Lets Go To Town’ as sung by Asa Jennings Ipswich Town Players –  Fabian Wilnis, Kevin Beatie Jason Dozzell,  Pim Balkenstein & ITFC fans. The CD is signed by 10 members of the 2012-2013 squad. The signatures I can definitely identify are Josh Carson, Cormac Burke and Carlos Edwards. I will let you try to guess the rest! I got this from Inspire Suffolk, formerly the Ipswich Town Charitable Trust, who had these signed at the Football ground.  To go with this CD there is also a LARGE Ipswich Town Banner/flag which is perfect to take to games or to decorate a wall.

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#HealthyHappy – Eddie Izzard @eddieizzard

This a 8.5′ by 5.5′ hand signed picture obtained directly from the funny man himself.

Eddie Izzard may not strictly speaking come under the sporting celebrity category. However this comedian DID complete 43 marathons in 51 days with only 5 WEEKS training and no history of running. So I think that makes him a legend.  Those of us who run have some idea how hard one is (and we trained for months) getting up and doing one a day is INSANE.

If you are not impressed by that then he is not only funny in English, but performs his act in several languages including, French and German.

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#HealthyHappy –  Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff @flintoff11

A hand signed 6′ by 4′ picture of Freddie obtained directly from his agent.

A fast bowler, batsman and slip fielder, Flintoff was consistently rated by the ICC as being among the top international allrounders in both ODI and Test cricket. Following his debut in 1998, he became an integral player for England, serving as both captain and vice-captain of the team. On his retirement from Test Cricket he took up boxing winning fights against professionals.  However not one sit back and relax on his now celebrity status he still plays T20 cricket for Lancashire, and still achieving great things with a bat and ball.

He’s also holds 12 world records, including drinking a hot chocolate in the fastest time, kissing the most people in 30 seconds  eating the most peas with a cocktail stick in 30 seconds, set the fastest time to high-five 20 people blindfolded, won the most “likes” on Facebook and most people using party poppers. He did the fastest three-point turn in 14.01 seconds and got a new record for the most number of cricket deliveries faced, with 19 balls in one minute. Pretty impressive!

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So happy bidding, and remember not only is it for a good cause, but bear in mind I’m running 13.1 miles as well.

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Liebster Award – Mark 2

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Thank you very much to Selective Indulgence for nominating me for a Liebster Award. I’d like to my lack of social life for giving me enough time on my hands to be dangerous with a laptop.

The rules of the Liebster award are as follows

-Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.Image
-Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
-Nominate up to 10 bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
-Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
-Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Since this is my second Liebster I’m gonna try and spread the love around, but my original nominations can be found here

68 and A 6 Pack –  a blog passionate about healthy living and sustainability…..oh and a dog.

Girl Runs Wild –  a girl and her love affair with running

What James Did – a rugby player turned marathon runner, my two favourite things 😉

Running Curves – proof that you don’t have to be a size zero to kick ass in trainers.

Vegan Runner –  a great vegan blog, or for those who are training on a different diet. Practical rather than 200 words of why meat is murder.

And my questions for you are as follows –

1)What’s your weirdest bad habit?

2)What’s your favourite pizza topping?

3)Are you a secret blogger, or do your friends and family drop by?

4)Do you have any fears or phobias?

5)Favourite music album?

6)When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

7)Facebook or Twitter?

8) Favourite animated movie?

9) How many pairs of trainers do you own?

10) Random fact about you that most people don’t know.

My Answers for Selective Indulgence 

1. What would you do/Where would you go if you had a time machine?

Go back to 14 year old me and have some serious words about my wardrobe.

2. What makes you laugh out loud?

3. What is the hardest thing you have ever done, or the biggest obstacle you have faced in your life?

Learning to get out of my own way

4. If you could star in a movie, which one would it be and who would be your co-star?

Clueless, but I’d see if Mike Phillips from the Welsh Rugby Squad wanted to play the lead male. Oh I’d also shove Keith Lemon in there for giggles.

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5. What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Worry less, it’s never worth it.

6. Why did you start blogging?

I’ve always written in some form or another, I used to write for the theatre when I was younger, and I had a very brief spell in writing for internet animation as well as a few non fiction articles that have gone in local press for my industry. You’d think my proof reading would be better then but NO. Besides everybody cool blogs nowadays…..

7. Favourite season?

Autumn, great weather, colours, races and my birthday.

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8. If you had a super power what would it be?

Being able to move stuff with my mind, just because it would allow me to be lazier than I already am.

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9. If you could meet anyone in the world who would it be? What would you say to them?

Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace, not sure what I’d say but I figure if I’m the same room as someone that talented I might absorb some of it.

10. What’s the story behind your blog name?

If you’d have met me at at any time in my life up until the age of 25 you’d have probably thought I was the least likely person in the world to get into running. I was overweight, asthmatic, and oh yeah I hated exercise. And I’d turned Imagegetting out of PE into art form at school.

11. Who inspires you?

SO many people, family, friends, former teachers and a few of these

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Runners – Know Your Health Professionals!

What is the freaking difference between an Osteopath and a Chiropractor????  This nurse kittylittle guide is for the runner seeking expert advise. Its always good if you can identify a quack by sight.

 

Chiropractor

What they do/DONT do

A chiropractor focuses on manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, yup these are the guys who will give your back a good crack. The idea is that if they put your bones back in the right place then the other issues will sort themselves out.

It’s all ‘dem bones dem bones them dry bones.

chiropratThe theory is that if the spine is okay then the nerves will ‘magically’ improve your general health. Okay, okay I’m being a bit sarcastic here without meaning to. A chiropractor will have a freaking amazing knowledge of the anatomy, (and they are trained to read an x-ray) but they do tend to get a bit obsessed with the spine. There’s definitely something to it, and I do like having my vertebrae in the right order. However if you have a calf strain these might not be the best people to see.

How long they’ve studied

In the UK they have at least a 3 year bachelors degree as well as being registered with the The General Chiropractic Council (and you can look for a registered chiropractor here)

 What To Look For

 Always check that your therapist is registered with the governing body for your area.

Blogger

What they do/DONT do

We pretty much don’t care what’s wrong with you. This is only for our own gratification. blogging-memeJust tell us we’re pretty.

How long they’ve studied

However long we say, halve it. Our knowledge actually comes from Men’s Health and Runners World Articles.

What To Look For

How many selfies we’ve posted today

Massage Therapist

What they do/DONT do

What massage therapists do varies considerably. Legally, there’s nothing stopping you going out and buying a massage bed and setting up shop after a one day course. If you book one the important thing to do is ask the right questions.untitledKITTYMASSAG

Some are absolutely amazing, with experience and knowledge of anatomy that rivals biology phd students, others well…..don’t.

There are also different types of massage!

Your bog standard spa massage is purely for relaxation only. Yes you might have shelled out your hard earned cash to sort out muscular problems for nothing. It’s not the therapists fault, they’re delivering the product. We should know what we’re buying.

Massage therapists may also give you an idea to what they think is wrong with you but they can NOT diagnose.

Massage (the right kind) is all about treating the MUSCLES. However, it can also improve the immune response, help headaches and help with depression and anxiety if delivered properly.

Many massage therapists also do not do feet so if it’s below the ankle check first.

How long they’ve studied

As little as one day, as long as three years.

What To Look For

If you want a massage that will improve your performance or help your recovery then you need to look for a therapist that specialises in Sports Massage, Myofascial Release or Deep Tissue.

Swedish, Hot Stone and Aromatherapy are a lovely treat but they are strictly for pampering.

Check for membership of governing bodies, in the UK, REPS or FHT.

A proper consultation and aftercare information.

Mates

What they do/DONT do

Yeah….what ever you’ve got, we’re pretty sure it’s the same thing we had, even if the symptoms are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

How long they’ve studied

We’re 10 Candy Crush Saga Levels away from our Level 2 Bro’ pert Award.

What To Look For

The best before date on the pills they’ve given you, whether they are legal in this country, and why they came in a bag that smells heavily of faeces.

Nutritionist/Dietitian

What they do/DONT do

Both these terms are protected. This means they should have studied at university, and be a registered member of The Association for Nutrition or The British Dietetic Association. These guys will KNOW their stuff when it comes to food, vitamins and your body. As I’ve stressed in a previous blog, this is important as it’s a more complicated business than it looks.

How long they’ve studied

3 year degree

What To Look For

Membership of The Association for Nutrition or The British Dietetic Association

Nutritional Consultant (variations of)

What they do/DONT do

Again, some of these are amazing people with years of experience, but because they happened not to go to university or didn’t register with the council can not use the protected terms. These nutritional consultants have practical experience of being around
clients as well as the knowledge and are a great resource.

Others worked for a week at Holland and Barrett before setting up shop on their own. Because of this there are some with some pretty crazy ones with theories with absolutely NO scientific basis out there.

Here are some of my favourites

Dr Natasha McBride and the GAPS Diet!

Chris Kresser – Saturated Fat is OK folks!!!!! Go eat some bacon!

AND MY ABSOLUTE BESTEST IN THE WORLD SPECIAL PRIZE GOES TO

Drum roll please!!!!!!!!!!

The Paleo Diet! – these bloggers pretty much sum up my feelings on this here and here

studyingHow long they’ve studied

10 minutes, no really. If you go hereand spend £50 in 3 hours you too could be a practising nutritional consultant!

What To Look For

I know I’ve said this A LOT but registration of a non Mickey Mouse governing body, as stoolthey require minimum standards and will not accept just any old internet qualification.

If they start doing any weird muscle stress tests, ask for your spit, hair or stare into your eyes then RUN!

Osteopath

What they do/DONT do

Very similar to a chiropractor (although don’t tell them I said that), apart from the fact they can’t read an x-ray. Osteopath’s slightly less into the spine than the chiropractors
cat massage(only slightly) and use stretching and pulsing to help the nerves and connective tissue in the other joints in the body. Basically a chiropractor will crack your back, these guys will give your legs a wiggle. They also like to brag about their ability to treat headaches.

How long they’ve studied

At least a three year degree.

What To Look For

Membership of the General Osteopathic Council (mandatory)

Physiotherapist

What they do/DONT do

Physiotherapists are your jack of all trades when it comes to recovery. They cover all the body’s major systems and know their £$^*%. They will most likely have a specialism such as sports, neurology, the elderly etc. Obviously make sure you’re with the right one. They do muscles, bones, respiratory, circulatory and a few other bits for luck. They can give a diagnosis.funny-lion-getting-a-foot-massage-445x299

They help through giving exercises, stretches, use of electrotherapy (TENS) and manual therapy although not necessarily massage. Your physiotherapist MIGHT be a massage therapist as well, but they also might not be.

How long they’ve studied

3 year degree minimum and registration to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

What To Look For

Check the specialism of your physiotherapist, because they are jack of all trades I find physios tend to have a blind spot below the ankle, but this is not all of them.

Podiatrist/Chiropodist

What they do/DONT do

Great for getting your pre race nail cut as well as checking your bio mechanics and sorting out your flat feet. A great addition to a runner’s care plan.

How long they’ve studied

3 year degree minimum

What To Look For

Again it’s all about the wording, a chiropodist/podiatrist will do the technical stuff podiat(especially look for one that specialises in biomechanics) but a standard pedicure at a salon is just going to make you look pretty and not sort the plantar fasciitis.

 

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telephonebox

If you watched the London Marathon this weekend your attention was probably flitting between Mo Farah, Kiplagat, and some dude running dressed as a telephone box. However if you watched closely there was a pretty extraordinary story amongst the elite runners that proves there’s hope for us all.

The smiling face above is  Emma Stepto. She finished the London Marathon in 14th place with a time of 2:36:02

And she’s 44!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay okay, it’s not her age that’s remarkable thing. Us distance runners tend to grow old
gracefully.  (If you get bored on google, look for the 101 year old runner)

However, but the important fact about Stepto is that she only took up running in

HER THIRTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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She’s only been competing in ‘proper races’ since 2007 and only the last couple of those
have been with a qualified coach. And yet she’s currently the Bristol Half Marathon Champion, and British Women’s No2.

Yes readers, like most of us, she got bogged down by work, life and Jeremy Kyle and forgot that sport existed for the entirety of her twenties.

child athleteShe played sport as a kid, but was not the golden child, was not put into a rigorous training programme at 18 months old to get her to peak fitness at 21….. after which she would be let loose on the world via a big fanfare, massive sponsorship deal and a two page spread in the Daily Mirror, involving a strategically placed Union Jack.

Nope, she’s normal, lives in a bog standard town in Cornwall and there’s a REALLY good chance she’s going to end up representing Great Britain in the Marathon at the Commonwealth Games.

She’s not a stranger to other distances and is currently the Bristol Half Marathon Champion.

messiI think it’s pretty freaking amazing that in our sport, that if you’ve got talent, dedication, and a pair of trainers then you’ve got a shot at getting to that top spot, no matter who you are.   After all, that’s the point right? Let other sports inject their kids with growth hormones,  we’ll just pick the people who work hard and want it the most.

SO GET OUT THERE AND TRAIN, NEWBIES!!!!!!!!

I might be too lazy to put in the hard work it takes to run a sub 3 hour marathon but some of you MUST be OCD enough to do it!

Ballot entry for next year’s London Marathon opens April 22nd by the way 😉

Posted on by theimprobablerunner | 2 Comments

15 Things You Need To Know When Dating A Runner

      keep calm     training

Whether you’ve got your eye on a certain special runner, or if you’ve already got one in your life, there’s a few things you should know!

hangry

15)Runners, on average need to be fed every 2 hours. Otherwise we enter a state known as H-ANGRY. This is irritable rage that possesses a runner when our blood sugar drops below 50% carb. Under no circumstances ask a runner to answer a question or perform a comphobbitfeetlex task when H-ANGRY. For example, moving our muddy compression socks from the kitchen work top. The best foods to get us out of this state are pasta, rice and cake.

14)If you’ve got a foot fetish you might wanna look for a date in other sport. Our feet are nasty.

 13)Be prepared for some gross conversations about bodily functions

12)All runners, mtrainersale or female are obsessed with shoes. Jealous partners may find this a problem as the runner is likely to have more photos of themselves with trainers on Facebook than with their loved ones. On the other hand it makes Christmas and Birthday presents extremely easy.

11)You’ve NEVER got to worry about your beau being on a diet, however they may have some strange eating habits. Your runner may prefer your romantic meal in a blender, not be eating grains this month or it might be the wrong time of day for dairy. However chances are they will be able to out                                                      eat you at every turn.

10)Whether you’ve been with your runner for one night or one year, you’re still likely to gone runningwake up and find the bed empty next to you after a night of passion. If you are REALLY lucky there might be a note. Don’t take it personally, you’ve not been ditched, just they’ve got to hit their weekly mileage!

9)I wouldn’t romantically join us in the bath on the spur of the moment. Chances are you might find the temperature not to your liking.

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8)If you’re going to date a runner, (and you FLATLY refuse to be roped into running as well) then you better get used to marshalling. This is the definition of quality time and the best chance you have of spending a major holiday with your date.

7)Consult your partner before planning a weekend away. All holiday/travel must be disneylandplanned around   the Runners World race calendar. There’s no point going abroad if you’re not going to race.

6)If a runner keeps a pair of trainers at your house then you know they’re serious about the relationship, however be warned if you’re thinking about giving them a drawer. They’ll need one for normal clothes, one for running gear, and one for race t shirts BEAR MINIMUM.

5)Guys, you’ll never have to give up your jacket to a female runner on a date. Running through snow in nothing but a bit of wicking has made us impervious to cold.

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4)Runners own a lot of tight fitting clothes, short shorts, and a rear end that looks good in them….mostly.

3)Runners are generally happy laid back social people, except when they cannot run, cannot eat or are on the run up to a race. Then they become a little bit irritable………… I dare you

2)Flowers and chocolates are okay. HOWEVER being our driver on a two hour round trip to a race, cheering us on with a cheesy sign and handing us a banana at the finish is real love and will be rewarded accordingly 😉

supporters

1) Oh and if we go missing for four hours and don’t answer our phone don’t call the police or suspect us of cheating. We’re just marathon training.

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Top Ten Things NOT to Say to An Injured Runner

 

may bite

Sorry it’s been a while between updates. I’m currently injured and my doctor has told me I could be out for as long as 12 weeks. As you can imagine dear bloggers, this has left me cranky to the point where I’ve just been cast as the lead in the new Godzilla reboot.

So for all the non runners out there; to avoid getting punched in the face by caged and vulnerable pavement pounders, here’s some stuff NOT to say.

10) You can still work out your arms and core!

cakeYeah I know, as a runner I should be taking care of my core anyway. I COULD spend my time off being productive and keeping the beer belly and bingo wings in check. But my tri’s have not seen any action since the great drunken arm wrestle of 2002, and I seriously DOUBT that is going to change any time soon. This comment is a favourite from other runners; we know what we should be doing with our rest. Let’s face I’m going to be spending my free time crying over my trainers whilst eating an entire cheesecake with my bare hands.

9) No running for 12 weeks, aren’t you worried you’ll get fat?

What will my man sized portions and fantastic culinary creations (I’m particularly propasta sandwichud of the ‘pasta sandwich’ ) do to my backside if I don’t run? Do I want to think about it?….no.

8)Have you been icing it/taking anti inflammatories/any other basic first aid?

Noooooooooo because I’m not a moron. Not only have I never seen a doctor, but I do not have access to the internet with VAST information on Runner’s World. I’d had never thought to put ice on my foot.

icing

7) Don’t Runners Get Injured A Lot?

No more than any other sport, and we have a lot less than the many medical issues that go with being overweight and sedentary. How’s your Diabetes?

6) Have You Thought About CrossFit?

If I’m not allowed to run why would I be able to do cross fit? And if I wanted to take it up I would have done so already.

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5) Does It Hurt?

DOUCHEBAGS. What do you think?

4) Ah, It’s fine, Suck It Up!

If I could run on it I would. If I tried then it would not heal, get worse and cause permanent damage,it always amazes me the people who try and then are surprised as hell when at 35 they have to quit the sport for good.

3) Well If You Will Run THAT Far/Often You’ve Got To Expect It

angry runner

Seriously……are you asking to be punched in the groin?

2) Why Don’t You Try Swimming Instead?

Now, the first time someone tells you this, you nod and agree that its probably a good idea. Despite the fact that its a bit monotonous and lets face it, it isn’t running, it’s cardio right? However the sixty millionth person that suggests this might not get the same face. Also people with no interest in exercise what so ever suddenly become injury experts and force you into the pool.

1) You Know What You Need, Some Manuka Honey, That’ll Sort That Fractured Ankle Right Out.

Yes and while you’re at it I’ll rub some goji berries into that broken leg. Don’t get me wrong, alternative therapies have their place, but none of them are miracle cures.

your killing me

 

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Runners & Resistance Training – What Muscles Should You Be Working?

laufendes skelett mit schmerzen in den knienIf you’re a female runner then like me trying to squeeze your calves into a pair of extra skinny jeans is a bit of a mission. It’s pretty much my upper body work out……..

But whether you’ve been running for 6 years, 6 months or 6 minutes you can’t afford to ignore how it affects your body.

However not just the old gastrocnemius that gets worked pounding the pavements. Muscles work in groups and have an effect on each other. They often have their ‘opposite number’ and if one muscle becomes stronger than the other it can cause an injury or defect (such as runner’s knee).

Because I’d rather put memes up than pictures of the ACTUAL muscles, if you want to see what they look like, try this website here. (Go on, knock yourself out)

How It Works

For most actions,

-one muscle does the movement (prime mover)

-one muscle does it’s opposite (antagonist)

-and a few muscles help and stabilize the movement.

For example in the bending of the knee:

-Hamstrings bend the knee

-Quadriceps straighten it

-Popliteus, gastrocnemius and the glutes help and stabilize the movements.

If one muscle in the group increases in strength faster than the others you can imagine the shenanigans this can cause. It also becomes tighter and less flexible.

muscleback

Areas To Watch

Core

The intercostals move the rib cage during breathing. The stronger they are the larger and deeper breaths we can take, and therefore increase our respiratory efficiency. And a pulled one hurts, lots. The Abs in general provide attachment points for the hip flexors and are responsible for the posture of the runner. Weak abs can lead to back issues, especially twisting injuries and the lower back. They can also increase the chance of a pulled groin lads (ouch) if the hip flexors don’t have a solid anchor to pull against.

Legs

Quads, in particular. Rectus femoris & Vastus Intermedialus (two of the quads) swing the leg forward. These babies give you our kick. Their opposite numbers are the hamstrings, if Rectus and Vastus get too beasty and they pull too much force against the Hamstrings and you are more likely to strain them. The solution is simple, stretch the quadriceps so they aren’t as brutal, and use resistance training to improve the hamstrings.

david_goliath

Popliteus is small muscle behind the knee which helps with bending the leg. It’s antagonist, one of the hamstrings – Bicep femoris is a big BEASTY powerhouse of a muscle that pulls the hell out of tiny Popliteus. As we train and our hammies become stronger and tougher, it takes more of a battering and can cause pain behind the knee.

Popliteus can be strengthened with exercises such as ball squats and leg curls, and the hamstrings stretched. Massage is also useful.

Rear

The Glutes control how much we lean forward when we run, help with leg lift and stabilizes our leg swing. There’s Maximus and Medius. Maximus is the big muscle we all know, love and if you’re Beyonce have insured. Medius extends the hip forward and out.

It’s antagonist are the adductor group. The decidedly less impressive inner thigh muscles, responsible for shutting your legs. Used more by some than others then………….

Most runners will usually take a good crack at working the Glutes without knowing much more than a tight arse looks better in running shorts. However a toned Maximus can prevent hamstring strains, lower back pain, support the psoas (one of the major hip muscles) and contribute towards tight IT bands. And that last one, a runner definitely DOES NOT need.

fatass

BUT whatever you do not ignore the adductors. Not only are sagging inner thighs not a good look, but a strong Medius and weak adductors can affect hip positioning, gait and cause some wicked pain. I will however write more on this further down as there are more reasons why you should work your inner thighs.

Solution

Stretch – Glutes

Reistance Training – Adductors, think side leg lifts, ball squeezes, or the hip adduction machine at the gym.

Hips

Sore hips in runners is pretty standard, and the two main culprits are the psoas major & the piriformis. Psoas is responsible for lifting the upper leg towards the body, and piriformis adducts the femur so we can shift our weight to the other side of the foot. This stops us falling over when we lift a leg. A bit useful during walking and running then.

Piriformis is an extremely temperamental muscle and it lies deep underneath the Glutes and near the sciatic nerve. Any inflammation or tension can put pressure on the nerve and cause more pain and suffering than a boyband breakup. To make matters worse piriformis is STUBBORN and won’t always relax on it’s own, so you need to give it a hand. If you’ve never done this before there’s a video here.

Now I realise sitting on a basketball seems like the start of a porno, but your hips will thank me.

As far as the psoas goes think: Donkey kicks, leg raises, reverse crunches, knee lifts.

Tensor Facia Latae/IT Band

These muscles abduct and flex the thigh at the hip and are used A LOT in walking and running. This is part of the reason why runners who run on a banked surface or have a bad gait are more likely to get IT band syndrome, or Runner’s Knee. Why you ask? Well as a muscle gets stronger it tightens and pulls harder (and repeatedly rolling the leg inwards will do that) In the case of IT band syndrome, it pulls so hard that it pulls the knee out of alignment.

tugofwar

The way to counter act this is to……you guessed it, strengthen the OTHER side, so the knee is pulled back into place, and yup stretching of the IT band. You can also bring in a massage therapist or a foam roller to help. However if you are too cheap (like me) to buy a roller, a ridged juice bottle filled with water and shoved in the freezer so it turns to ice will do the job!

This whole runner maintenance stuff isn’t exactly genius, resistance training, stretching and maybe a bit of massage. But with a bit of care you can save yourself a lot of trouble later on.

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Running Legends – Be Inspired

Whether you are a newbie or have been at this a while I think it’s good to take stock of some of the epic runners out there.  Other sports ram their heroes down our throats. Footballers (this statement applies to both, neither are worth the money, hell I would do DISGUSTING things for half their weekly wage) are paid thousands per second and can be taken down by a blade of grass, so lets give our lads and lasses a cheer. I’m sure that you guys can probably add to this list but if you are new to this sport, here are just a few of the greats.

Image

Emile Zatopek

Now us Brits were pretty impressed with Mo Farah when he won Gold in at London 2012 in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres. That’s pretty hench right? Well Emile Zatopek  had got the Gold and Silver in the 10,000 and 5,000 in London 1948, Golds for both in the 1950 Euros.  Two years later at Helsinki he picked up two more Golds in these events. Sitting in the changing rooms in Helsinki Emile was getting pretty bored; he thinks – why not enter the marathon as well, after all how hard can it be?

His strategy was simple, keep up with the record holder….because all of us who have made the jump from 10K to marathon know how easy that is, with NO TRAINING. And he came away with, you guessed it, an Olympic gold. The only man to get golds in all 3 distances.

Fancina ‘Fanny’ Blankers-Koen AKA The Flying Housewife

Image

Won four gold medals at the 1948 Olympics in London for Holland. Apart from her four Olympic titles, she won five European Titles and 58 Dutch championships, and set or tied 12 world records – the last, pentathlon, in 1951 aged 33. She retired from athletics in 1955, after which she became captain of the Dutch female track and field team. In 1999, she was voted “Female Athlete of the Century” by the IAAF.

Fanny gave birth to her first child six weeks before the European Championships (her first major competition after WW2) and broke through the social barriers of mothers not being able to compete at the elite level.  Rumour has it, she even competed pregnant. Despite questions over her age and commitments at home she continued to win medals and break records into her mid 30s. A retiring age that elite athletes would be proud of even today.  Sod the Spice Girls, if you want true girl power, get a poster of Fanny on your wall!

Haile Gabrselassie

ImageHaile’s strange gait apparently comes from running to school with books under his arm. This Ethiopian has broken world records in EVERY distance from the 2,000 meters to the marathon indoors and outdoors. He’s got a Gold in International Competitions in 1,500, 2,000, 3,000, 5000,10,000, and 13.2 miles and the marathon. If he doesn’t have the bling for it, then chances are the event doesn’t exist.  In 2005 he was UNDEAFEATED in all of his road races. I could sit and list his world records, but that would make this a very long blog. If you look up the world hench in the dictionary there will be a picture of this man next to it. Apart from the amazeballs-ness of his running, he is also known as a consummate sportsman and a true ambassador for the sport. His personality has been described as ‘electrifying’ and yet he is just as graceful a loser as he is winner. If you pick this guy to worship from the list, you could do a lot worse.

Roger Bannister

Back in the 1950s people still believed that eating crusts would make your hair go curly, and that it wasn’t physically possible for the Imagehuman body to run faster than a 4 min mile. Otherwise our head would explode…..okay maybe not that last part.  The myth was created by informed observers and sports writers (the equivalent of bloggers) but since Bannister was a trainee doctor he pretty much knew this was bollocks.  He took a scientific approach to his training and with the use of comparatively advanced methods and some pacers smashed through this barrier on 6th May 1954. He held his record for just 46 days when the other runners realised it was all in their heads. Bannister was by no means the most talented runner of his generation, he didn’t even train full time. He was first and foremost a doctor and has made some great contributions to sports medicine. However back in the 1950s he was the CLEVEREST runner of his generation and did not allow  myths and psychology to beat him, and therefore achieved a monumental breakthrough.

Eddie Izzard

Yes, I’m aware he’s a comedian not an elite runner. But for me he’s a testament to what the normal person can do with a bit of crazy and a lot of will power. Eddie Izzard completed 43 Marathons in 50 days for charity with only 5 WEEKS TRAINING and NO PREVIOUS HISTORY OF RUNNING.  That I think, makes him deserving of a space here. If a only vaguely funny guy with a beer belly can run 43 marathons, then you can do one at least!

Image

Abebe Bikila

This guy didn’t take up running until he was 24 and was added to the 1960 Ethiopian Olympic Team so last minute that the plane to ImageRome was literally about to leave the tarmac. The sponsor didn’t have any trainers his size so he ran barefoot  and came home with a gold medal in the marathon. When asked about his feet he said ‘I wanted the whole world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism.” Awwwww bless.

In the 1964 Olympics he broke the world record, once again in bare feet ( Apparently they didn’t have Vibrams back then) and just over a month after collapsing from appendicitis. He was the first athlete in history to win the Olympic Marathon back to back.

Ingrid Kristiansen

Image

The first women to win world titles on all three surfaces, (track, road and cross country). Actually make that FOUR surfaces as she was also an elite cross country skier. She had world records in the 5,000, 10,000 and the marathon.  As much as I hate treadmills they can’t be all that bad, as the Norweigan dominated distance racing during the 80s and reported to do most of her training on the old ‘dreadmill’.

Edwin Moses

Edwin was studying physics at University, but his campus didn’t have a track so spent 3 years hauling arse down to the local high school to train. As we all know, persistence pays dividends and the little boy from Dayton, Ohio ended up with 122 consecutive race wins, 3 world records,  three World Cup titles, a World Championship gold, and 2 Olympic Golds (and a bronze). Oh right and his degree.

He’s also revolutionised the sport, helping set up trust funds so athletes could offset training costs without making themselves Imageineligible for the Olympics by giving up their amateur status. He also participated in the development in a number of anti doping polices and procedures. Edwin is truly interested in protection of the integrity of sport and participation for all, no matter what their background or level. What a dude!

Tirunesh Dibaba

This lass has multiple golds in cross county, road and track. She was the youngest EVER athlete to win an individual gold at the World ImageChampionships at age 18 and 90 days. At the 2004 Olympics, she was third in the 5,000m, which made her at the time her country’s youngest Olympic medalist. She’s been pretty much unbeatable ever since. She’s won every medal, broken every record in the 5,000, and 10,000 and now rumour has it she’s upping her distance to the marathon. Her debut is rumoured to be the London Marathon 2014, watch out, this girl does NOT know how to lose. Oh and her sister isn’t bad either.

<NOW INSERT YOUR OWN PERSONAL HERO HERE>

My Great Uncle Ken

My Great Uncle ran an Ultra Marathon at 70. Not a easy flat canal one either. I’m talking South African foothills (The Comrades) which makes him my own personal legend. Unfortunately I didn’t find out until after he died. (I didn’t know him very well regrettably) We Imagewere sorting through his things and I found all of this amazing running memorabilia. Up until then I had thought I was the only runner in the family, the only runs the rest of my rels get are the ones that happen after a dodgy donner kebab.  Finding this out pushed me to enter my first marathon. One day I’d like to make it to South Africa to do the Comrades like he did, it might take me a while though. He was pretty hench.

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Sports Psychology and The Running Streak – Are We Addicted?

fitness drug

I appreciate that most of you have stumbled onto this blog by a freak accident of Google, but if you have managed to read more than one post you might be aware that I’ve been streaking….no not that kind, the Runner’s World Holiday Streak Kind.

It was an experiment. I was not the world’s greatest fan because as a training method they don’t really make much sense (for more info on that read here)

However I was quite interested how it would affect me mentally. So armed only with the notes section on my running app, and a half arsed understanding of psychology I set out to do a vague qualitative analysis.

Now I’m not going to claim this is in the LEAST bit scientific, after all, even I KNOW that a sample size of one isn’t exactly going to get me into the American/British Journal of Sports Medicine, (however the Daily Mail have offered me cash for the piece and a job as chief editor )

‘The Method’

I started on November 2nd and planned to run no more than 5 miles, no less than one mile everyday until New Years Day. However the deadline was extended to February 14th as I approached the end of the streak. The mileage limit was put in place to reduce my chance of injuries. My previous training regime extremely flexible but normally consisted of 3 runs a week, a 3 mile (speed), a 5-8 mile (usually trail) and a 10 mile plus.

I recorded mood in the form of a smiley face scale for each run, other feelings, any injuries as well as normal run data in a reliable running app for my mobile phone (Runtastic, it kicks Nike+’s butt)

The Theory 

My argument is that addictive behaviour can be seen in the formation and continuation of the running streak. I’ve put some actual observations at the bottom, if you can be bothered to read what I did and how I felt each month (probably not then).

I’ll shove in definition of what I mean by addiction. For example I’m addicted to cheese but its not currently an impact on anything other than my thighs so that’s NOT going to be the basis of a blog entry.

 

A repeated habit pattern that increases the risk of disease and/or associated personal and social problems. Addictive behaviours are often experienced subjectively as ‘loss of control’ – the behaviour contrives to occur despite volitional attempts to abstain or moderate use ‘ – (A.Textbook, 2013)

Now running is normally a lovely sport which decreases your risk of lots of nasties. However not taking a rest day increases your risk of injury and decreases your risk of a social life so I’d say I’m not stretching that too much.

 

The other factor according to this quote is lack of control. The original streak was supposed to run from November to Jan, but I added another month. At the time when I decided to extent the streak it was simply because I didn’t want to stop. I’m in an online running group and a few of us also encouraged each other to extend it. Social learning theorist (copying others and peer pressure) Zimbardo would have a field day with these online groups if they had been around when he was researching (if you are into psychology look up Stamford Prison Experiment, it’s messed up). His theories would no doubt stay that grouping a bunch of people together with similar interests in place where we can do what we want, enviably encourage us to encourage each other to greater extremes.

Now I LOVE my running group, I really do. They’ve been really supportive and awesome but lets just say I’m glad I’m in a they’re sports people and not gun nuts otherwise our ‘can do attitude’ might have gotten some people killed.

 

One of the main rewards is that I’m losing weight. I’m eating like a man and it’s STILL coming off!!!
But it’s a bit scary about what will happen when I go back to my normal routine. Will I gain weight? Will I go back to my normal routine or will the effort of the streak be too much and cause me to lose momentum? These are all questions which are causing me to consider extending the streak again, even though its not the best thing for my training. Even though I don’t want too.

I know that other streakers suffer these anxieties as well. For me this is the biggest sign that the run streak causes psychological dependency.

But lets look closer……..

The Six Criteria

 

Mark Griffith; some psychologist who spent a lot of time with gamblers, gamers and exercise addicts (sounds like a party) came up with six criteria, so see if you can see yourself.

 

1. Salience:

The behaviour becomes the most important thing to the person and they have it on their minds for much of the time. There’s no doubt that the run became the most prevalent thing on my mind, not only that but all the stuff that goes with it, the gear, the blog, the routine, training methods etc. The first thing in my head when I get asked to a social activity (especially during the week when I work as well) is how does this affect the daily run?

2. Mood modification

The addict gets a rush or buzz when engaged in the behaviour. The addict is also able to use their behaviour to bring about a mood change. Interestingly, the same chemical or behaviour can alter mood in different directions depending on time or setting.

Running brings about a buzz in two ways, the short term adrenaline buzz from the run itself. I can get these HARD. I mean actually bouncing off the pavement, seriously if only cool kids knew that instead of taking drugs and dying they could just take up running. It also gives a long term serotonin boost that improves mood and fights depression.

3. Tolerance

Basically the addict needs bigger and bigger hits to get the same effect as they did initially with smaller amounts. Risk-taking behaviour, for example, tends to get more extreme over time.Photos-Kylie-Minogue-Trainers-her-Handbag

As a streak runner I definitely became focused on increasing my monthly mileage. Part of this is due to the fact that a runner will plateau if they keep the effort the same, but our competitive nature doesn’t help the fact either. I’m not sure if I’d class crazy runner antics as ‘risk taking behaviour’ but I definitely got nuttier, running in pjs, normal clothes, around an airport, late at night, carrying my trainers around with me just in case.

4. Withdrawal symptoms

Changes in mood, shakes, irritability etc. as a result of cessation.  Applies to behavioural as well as chemical addiction. I know that exercise produces serotonin which produces a ‘chemical’ reward, and in truth I am a bit scared as to what will happen when I stop running everyday. Will I crave that boost? Will I slump mentally? We’ll see……

Conflict

The pursuit of short term pleasure can cause conflict with other; parents, spouse, friends and can also result in conflict within the person. I’ve had no arguments with others (probably because I’m single). But I can imagine this could hit couples with non-runners or with kids pretty hard. The sheer time commitment alone could cause tensions. I have noticed that I do talk about my streak A LOT and I sound like a bit of a pretentious twatt, to the point where I’m a bit surprised some of my friends haven’t hit me in the face with a baseball bat.

6. Relapse

A tendency to return to the behaviour, months or even years after an apparent ‘cure.’Again this is just as common with behavioural addiction as it is with chemical. Will I be able to stop or will I find some crappy excuse to return to the pattern?

Griffith reckons that you need all six of these to be classed as an addict, so we’ll see what happens on the 14th of February.

Approaches To Addiction And Streaking

 

There’s basically 4 theories to addiction

 

The Biological…………..we inherit addictive tendencies.

,The Social Learning……..we copy from those around us

The Behaviourist………develop addictions from a punishment and reward system (ie the buzz taking drugs encouraging usage, and the withdrawal systems discourage stopping)

The Cognitive……we kid ourselves that everything is okay and that we are in control (for example a gambling addict thinking they can place more bet to make back their losses)

I’ve seen patterns from their models in my observations of my behaviour over the last four months

Now when it comes to nature vs nuture I come down firmly on the side of nurture, however Sarafino (1990) found that children born of alcoholic parents were four times more likely than usual to develop drinking problems themselves. So if you’ve got an addictive personality, or if it runs in the family then a streak might be best avoided.

The Behaviourists give addiction the best go at an explanation. These are the guys that brought you Pavlov’s Dogs. Ring a bell, make a dog drool. I’d rather it fetched the remote control, but its a start.

Mowrer’s Model (A.Textbook)

Acquisition: Behaviour is acquired, usually this is through an association. This is known as classical conditioning, for example an association between a getting a pb and wearing your lucky pants. You learn to associate two unrelated things so that one does not occur without the other.
Social learning theory encourage the behaviour, such as being egged on by your running mates. This acts as vicarious reinforcement.

Maintenance:best explained by operant conditioning. An initial win or buzz acts as a powerful reward that makes the behaviour more likely in future. Also the punishment of withdrawal symptoms will also act to maintain future repetition. Such as fear of weight gain if you stop streaking, and the reward of being able to boast that you run everyday.

The Cognitive Approach states that we reason our way out of it, we create false logic to convince ourselves that it isn’t an issue. For example finding that one streaker blog who states its the best way of training and if you only keep at it, you’ll be running a sub 1.50 half marathon in no time and mentally clinging to that NO MATTER WHAT they experts say. Blaming your plantar fascitis on everything from hydration, to nutrition, but not lack of recovery time, no that would be crazy wouldn’t it. I’ll buy some inner soles instead.
OR changing your training goals to fit your streak pattern, ie going from a marathon runner to a 5K runner because that is about all its useful for.

“My Observations – Can You Spot My Crazy?

 

The First Month

 

I twisted my ankle early on (not running related) so my mileage for this month was pretty poor whilst it healed. I went from doing around 18 miles a week to around 9. However as much as I want to blame the ankle, in the first month there were simply a lot of days where I couldn’t be arsed and just did a mile to get it out of the way. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT.

 

Some quotes from the notes section of my app which I think sum up this month – These are real guys.

 

‘cut run short as wanted to get back in time for Hollyoaks’

 

‘Could have run faster but I REALLY needed a wee’

 

‘Ran in normal clothes wearing shoes and carrying a handbag, plus needed to pee. Literally had no time to run today’

 

‘Couldn’t be arsed to go any further. Need to remotivate myself. Legs felt fine’

no finish line-TP_RunnersWorld rwdaily

 

As you’ve probably gathered I wasn’t really enjoying myself. I was no longer bouncing along trails looking at squirrels, but going out just to get the miles done. The smiley faces were all at the lower end of the scale.

 

 

The Second Month.

 

As SOON as December hit something changed. My mileage increased to 15 miles per week however I was not doing any long runs because of fear of injury. I did get more concerned with times and monthly milage and I became more focused about planing run.

The crazy runner behaviour started to kick in here.

 

Things I found myself doing…………

 

-Taking my trainers and running shorts places ‘just in case’ I ended up running late at work or meeting friends and was forced to run on the way home.

-Running my mile around Stansted Airport, despite the fact I had been up 24 hours straight and felt like death.

-Getting invited on a girls night out, and my first thought was about my run.
-Planning Christmas Day…..you guessed it….around my run.

-Running at 11pm

I’m not going to bother putting the quotes up because they are pretty much all about how much hydration I’d had, carbs I’d eaten blah blah blah.

Physically I was starting to notice some GREAT changes. No matter what I ate over Christmas I was losing weight. Running more often was definitely better for my waist line, even if performance wise apart from gaining a little speed over the 5K it wasn’t doing much. However I was feeling like each run was a training montage from a 80s movie. Oh and apparently butchers don’t like it if you break in and punch meat, something about the Food Safety Act? I nearly doubled my monthly mileage on the month before, and in a quicker average miles per min. I getting some seriously major adrenaline rushes from my runs and flying high as a kite during my cool downs.rocky

 

I also found myself becoming that smug running idiot that everybody hates. ‘oh I’m doing the Runner’s World Holiday Streak, I can’t remember the last time IIIIIIII had a rest day (insert obnoxious laugher with followed by a nasally snort of derision) ‘

Nothing makes you feel like a bona fide runner like a run streak and I know talking about it makes me sound annoying, but it’s like an out of body experience, you float above yourself hearing these things, but you can’t stop them coming out of your mouth like word vomit. I think you get this a little bit the first time you run a marathon as well.

 

The Third Month

 

The Runner’s World Holiday Streak was supposed to be from U.S Thanks Giving to New Years Day , however I started a little early and when it came to an end I found myself not ready to quit. A couple of members of my online running group also were extremely into it, so we agreed to go on until Valentines Day.

For the three weeks I was still starring in my own celebrity reality running TV show…..then the bubble burst. A few little injury niggles such as a pulled intercostal (that’s a rib muscle for the newbies. Hurts like hell if someone makes you laugh, or sneeze or hey….breathe) crept in the effort I was putting in dropped substantially. By now, however the daily runs had become routine and I was going out without even thinking out it.

And yeah, I was still talking like a smug git. If you need proof of that, check the twitter account.

In week two the smiley faces began to drop again and by week 3 so had my mileage. Cumulative fatigue had set in and for the for the first time I was feeling bone tired.

Finishing month 3 was really tough. The last week I was miserable, tired and I wanted to stop. However despite this I pushed through to achieve an over all mileage greater than last month. I used my on-line running group to help me get out the door on the last couple of days of when I really wanted it to be over.

Now 

I’m 3 days into the final month, 11 days away from my proposed end date. I don’t feel as low as those last few days of month 3, but I’m ready for it to end…….and yet I’m once again considering another extension.

**UPDATE:

I didn’t make it until Valentines Day. 3 Days after this post I realised streaking when I actually wanted to stop was ridiculous. Over the last week my mileage had dropped quicker than One Direction in a rugby match.  So I’m back to normal training now. I managed 93 days of streaking and covered 182 miles.  

 

 

 

 

 

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