Monday, 26 August 2013

My training Calender for the Hardmoors 55

I am running the Hardmoors 55 in March and here is my training plan

Distances in the chart are in kilometres

Distances in the chart are in kilometres
Notes on the day of the race:

Notes on the day of the race:

Speyside Way! I'm now an ultramarathon runner

Saturday 24th August. Was my ultra date. 36.5 miles of running/walking over the beautiful speyside counrtyside.

I left Glasgow at 5 o' clock on Friday driving up to Buckie. My sat nav gave me directions to go via Aberdeen, but the radio before Perth said there was an accident between Montrose and Aberdeen so I relented and went via aviemore. Half way to Aviemore I heard on the radio I heard the A9 was closed at Newtonmore. I backtracked and went through ewtonmore to take the old A9 to Buckie.

I arrived at Buckie at quarter to eleven and found my campsite where I was staying. Unfortunately I couldn't find the Warden. So I pitched my tent and stayed the night for free!!!!

Next morning I woke up and dismantled my tent in case I was spotted by the warden. Had some apple creamed rice. Spoke to the guy in the tent next to me called Richie and found out he was running the race too.I said my goodbyes, jumped in my car and arrived at the school to register.

Registration took 10 minutes I left my drop bags at the designated areas and then realised I hadn't put my name and number so had to find my bag and rectify my mistake.  I got chatitng to a few people and spoke to Ray McCurdy. What a legend and what advice he gave me on the trail!!!!

Rewind to May I was bathing my son and knelt down and battered my knee, which put me out of running for at least 3 weeks until it healed. This put a spanner in my training so when I arrived in Buckie I was basically running on a wing and a prayer with my longest run being 19 miles, so now I'm attempting to nearly double my distance. Mental, Crazy and Apprehensive was an understatement.

We got picked up by bus which took us to Ballindalloch, it took a deceptively long time and the guy who I was speaking to and Richie said so.   We got off the bus, people went this way and that way and people went for pre race pee. I couldnt pee but nearly SH*T myself at the enormity of the event. Sarah did a race brief which explained no litter dropping, Sean was sweeper and feed stations etc.

We walked to the start line, I recognised some people and had a brief chat with Ian Beattie and said hello to Donnie Campbell. I introduced myself to Sean as I knew he would be my best mate for this event.

Sarah counted down and we were off at 9am. At first I could not believe the pace the leaders were going. It was unfathomable. Seriously seriously impressive stuff and something I could only dream of. The pace for the first mile was way too fast for me! I was in the middle of the pack so showed how much my fitness had been hampered by my knee injury. I had a plan of running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute and keeping my heart rate in the fat burning zone at around 120-135bpm. I had to be strict with myself as my training was nowhere it needed to be to finish a good fast race.

Very quickly I settled at the back of the pack and got chatting to Ray McCurdy who explained about ultra running the do's and the don'ts. don't go to fast, when you need to walk, you walk, if you feel like running you run. Take in the scenery and ultimately enjoy! there was more but I can't rememeber. Any way Ray ran with me for 3 miles and the miles flew by. Thanks Ray!!!!!

First water station, Sean cycled past and said I was in second last place,  the guy behind me was a race walker. didn't bother me (well it did a wee bit!) I got to the first drop bag point and devoured my chocolate milk. Tried to eat mashed tatties and peanut butter. Boak. My favourite food for training is sweet potaoes and peanut butter. I Couldn't get any sweet potatoes so had to resort to mashed tatties................never again!

I ran to the climb at ben Aigen said hello to Emily and walked up the hill. After 15minutes I heard something behind me and lo and behold my race walker had caught up with me!!!! what the fudge. I put some gas in the tank and ran on and walked only to be caught by forever walking shadow.

Ended up I stopped to walk with him but he walked that fast I had to run. Anyway the theme of the day forever more was me and Iain  walking/ running and sean cycling and generally having a phenomenal day out in amazing scenery with good friends I had made. The heat was oppressive. I only had one pee at mile 8 and forgot bout this but kept drinking. I was sweating like mad.

Down we ran to The checkpoint at the bottom of ben Aigen and I got a cheery wave and a hello from Jenni Coelho. Thanks for cheering me on. onwards we ran/walked and generally had a good time on to Fochabers. I have never ran a marathon before so this was new territory. I had heard there was a death defying drop into Fochabers then when I saw it it was just a big steep hill that does trash your quads but hey it was fun. At Fochabers I downed a bottle of coke had a rice pudding and met a guy was talking to on the bus who had to pull out due to Achilles problems. top bloke!!!

We heard there was a guy in front of us who was cramping severely so very soon we picked this guy off and at one point I thought he was binned. Anyway through the woods  in a built up area at one point he caught up with us and thats how it came about the three musketeers. Me Nick and Iain. TOP Blokes and Top Team!!!!!!

At mile 30 I honestly could have ran and broke my 8 hour goal. Ray explained to me earlier on in the day there is a point in the race you'll reach a euphoria cause you know you'll complete an event. Sean explained that he knew we would complete the event at Fochabers. My euphoric phase came mile 30, I knew there was no way I would not complete it. I got to mile 32 and fell a peach on my arse hurting my ankle and losing a toenail in the process. sore but I've done what most people in their lives will never achieve. Finishing or about to finish an ultra.

The final 2 1/2 miles dragged on forever by the sea and I could have just ran at that point but no! one thing I learnt that day and one thing I'll keep with me forever, I sacrificed my time to make sure Nick and Iain could get across the finishing line with me as one unit. We were bound together by a sense of camaraderie and comradeship that I have very rarely seen. We agreed to help each other and it was on of the best things I've ever did.

We ran across the finishing line in a time of 8hrs 41minutes. There are only two more special moments in my life, marrying my wife Wendy and the birth of my son Oliver. The next special moment in my life was crossing the finishing line after a most memorable day running/walking 36.5 miles over the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. This day will live with me forever!!!!

Things I've learnt from my ultra

1) My training took a nose dive so I had to take it very easily and the prospect of a DNF was slight but I had it in my head I would finish
2) I am a lot stronger mentally than I give myself credit for and I think every ultramarathon runner has mental fortitude by the bucketful.
3) never take mashed tatties take sweet potatoes and peanut butter instead
4) I dont intend to stop with one ultra I plan to do a couple of 50 milers next year.
5)This ultra was a learning ultra (silly as that sounds), I wanted to know what worked and what didn't.
6)Yes I was hurting and aching but I could keep going.
7)Ultramarathons are about comradeship and cammaraderie and I got that by the bucketload. I will never forget the friendship handed me to Ian when I was going through a low point and likewise when Nick joined us.
8) It was a privelidge to run in beautiful scenery
9) when legs work I am going to train for a 50 miler seriously over the winter and hopefully without injury.

A special thanks go to Sarah and all the marshalls and also Sean for helping us through a truly spectacular day.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Not blogged for a long time

Its been a while since i've blogged.

But boy have I got fitter! When I started running my pace was 13-14min miles and I was wrecked after 6 miles.  My training now consists of hill training, downhills, fartlek, long slow runs and I cycle to work every day.

This is what I have done since my last blog

The day it was very hot and sunny on tuesday two weeks ago. I ran up the cort ma law in the campsies and back. 6 miles in just over an hour.  with 1500 feet of ascent and descent. fantastic

Friday 24th May.  Drymen to Balmaha and back. It was a great run but unfortunately i took my dog who couldnt run the last three miles. 3 hours. with 25 mins stop at beech tree and 10 mins rest at the top of conic. fantastic!

Monday, 29 April 2013

Geting fitter, faster and stronger

I've not updated my blog for a wee while now.  Last weeks training included two smallish runs of 5 miles and 6 miles followed by my long slow day run of 15 miles in 2 hrs 57 mins.

6 weeks ago i would have perished at mile 6 now I'm up to doing 14-15 miles wtf!  This weeks training comprises hill sprints tomorrow.  Slow 6 mile jog the day after and 4 miles fartlek the day after that. rest day friday and long slow run sunday. Drymen to Balmaha and back. woo hoo.  Not done anything over weekend but will start again tomorrow.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Sweet Home Alabama

Woke up at 530 this morning and had a look out window.  Car frosted over.......boy did it look cold!!!!!! What was I thinking.  I looked at two training plans and plan 1 was too advanced for me so I decided to go with plan 2.  So today was an easy long slow day of 10 miles.  The furthest Ive ever ran is 9.  Baptism of Fire I think.

I had some porridge and honey, filled my bum bag with 2 energy bars, yoghurt flavoured raisins.  Two bottles of blackcurrant juice mixed with dioralyte.  Dioralyte helps replenish nutrients that you lose through vomitting and the squirts. so I have always used dioralyte when exercising as it helps replenish salts lost through sweating.

My thermometer was reading -5 C. Oh shit so i jumped into Tescos and bought a hat scarf and gloves.What a peach of a morning.  I set off from milngavie train station at 730.  Started my running app on my phone.  That is some app and free by the way, Its called endomondo. 3 weeks ago I could hardly run four miles without being red in the face and panting.  I climbed my first hill, No sorry I ran my first hill and felt warm yes.  Fucked No!  On through the trail I went I kept telling myself its a nice slow day take your time I'm not racing anyone..........yet.  Before I know it ive done 3.5 miles in 45 mins.  So what I'm slow it was my long slow day anyways but I will get faster of that Im guaranteed.

On route to Carbeth I heard a voice from behind say "Hello" well I nearly shit myself.  It was a guy called richard who was doing the fling in 3 weeks.  We chatted for a mile and half then I was going to turn back.  But wait my endomondo trainer hadnt chimed in.  I was only at 4.18 miles.  Another .82 miles then I can turn back.  My running compadre was off in the distance and there was no chance i was catching this guy.  So onwards I went to my 5 mile point then turned back.  While running back I recognised these two guys from my hellish attempt at the kirkpatrick fell race who were coming twards and boy were they going some clip.  I entered the woods back in Mugdoch Park and still I could run. Mile 7 1:32:40.  Tortoise springs to mind.  The amount of walkers and dogs i met I must have said hello 50 times.

I arrived back in car park milngavie 10 miles in 2:08.26.  If I'm honest I would have liked to be faster and I have never ran 10 miles before so 2:08 im happy with, I think!!!!  Tomorrow I'm running for 1 hour and monday is my rest day.

My times and splits are

                          LAP            Split
Mile 1                12.27           12.27
mile 2                 14.05           26.32
mile3                  14.21           40.53
mile 4                 11.12           52.05
mile 5                 13.42           1.05:47
mile 6                 14.16           120.03
mile7                  12.37           132.40
mile8                  12.40           1.45
mile 9                 11.14           1.56.34
mile 10               11.52           2.08.26

Looking at my slow laps are the ones with hills so my average was 4.1 mls/hr to 5.4 mls/hr.  According to my app I burnt 1644 kcals.  My true average was 4.66 mls/hr and my average pace was 12.53 min/mile.  When I look at the stats and actually think of the terrain I am very happy.  If I did ten mile on  the road I hope it would be a lot shorter but they always say running off road is much more harder than running roads.

After my run I devoured scrambled eggs and salmon and black olives.  Amazing!

Friday, 5 April 2013

I have found two ample training packages

Below is the training schedule that the UltraLadies have used when training for a 50K event. This schedule is designed with the "newbie" in mind and reflects the bare minimum training to “finish” your first 50K endurance run.
The 50K training builds upon a 20-week marathon program so ideally you will have completed a recent marathon followed by a 4-6 week recovery period, before starting the 50K training.
All distances are in miles.


The 50K schedule alternates between hard weeks and easy weeks to allow recovery and help prevent overuse injuries that may occur from ramping up mileage too quickly. Rest is essential. A hard week followed by a recovery week will allow the next hard week to reach more optimal performance. I also recommend not running at all on Mondays/Fridays.
You will begin running "back-to-back" long runs on the weekend. Each weekend you will do one long run followed by one semi-long run. You will also begin building a semi-long mid-week run, preferably on Wednesday. Obviously you will have higher weekly mileage as a result. You may vary your schedule as necessary but nothing substitutes for the weekend long runs. Your long runs should simulate the conditions of the race course as to running surface, degree of hills, etc. As much as possible, try to train under conditions that will best prepare you for the race you've chosen.
Do not get caught up in over-training. Take every easy week as scheduled. Although it is an effort to train for a 50K, you should gradually begin to notice that you feel stronger and recover faster than before. If you develop any recurring pains, ongoing fatigue or illness, you should consider dropping one of the mid-week runs for a while. It is entirely possible to run the 50K without the mid-week semi-long run, so it also may be dropped for a time, to allow problems to resolve. When toeing the 50K starting line, it is always better to be a little more under-trained than over-injured!

and the second one is at this link

So today a rest day and tomorrow 16 miles drymen to balamaha and back..yeha

Thursday, 4 April 2013

It isnt over til the fat man sings!

Today is 4th April 2013

Before my today my training has been in a word.....................................pish! Easter weekend of chocolate easter eggs, fry-iups and a nasty infection in my hand has resulted in me starting to resemble my dreaded pre fatman years diet consisiting of burgers, chocolate and any crap I could pile down my throat.

I have always been told that when training it is definitely quality over quantity.  So today' session involved me doing ten hill reps ( that would be ten hill reps in my head).  I started off at milngavie train station and went the first mile to the semi large hill to take you into the woods. It has taken me a wee while to realise if you slack off for a week and youve just started out your journey your fitness will be seriously diminished. 

I did 5 hill rep consisting of 2 1/2 mins to top and 1 min back down in total 17 1/2 minutes of hills.  Not good by profesional standards but good by this fatmans standards.  In total 40 min workout.

What I learnt today. It took me 12 mins to run 1 mile at the start of my run. At the end  when I was supposed to be wrecked I did 1 mile in 9 mins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have been reading a lot and I mean lots of literature about hill training, and I'm starting to become a believer.  Running hills increases speed on the flat and increases endurance.

I have joined a gym to incorporate swimming, spin, body pump, core exercises and Yoga (yes you heard right!) yoga to cross train  I have also downloaded a 16 week 50k training plan and following to the letter. I am determined to see my dream of whw race 2015 a reality.  But im goging to have a blast training along the way and looking forward to meeting lots of good people along the way.

My new saying "My Race, My Pace"