Monthly Archives: February 2012

Running with sore legs

After a good week – with some nice shorter fast runs – I strained my left hamstring on Friday night during karate training (just during some fast runs in the warm-up before any kicking or anything).  Not ideal and ironic that it was running that did it.

Nothing major but it hurt enough to make me reconsider the longer run plans yesterday.  It was meant to be a faster 1/2 marathon.  I did some foam rolling before the run and set off ok but about 20 seconds slower per mile than planned.  It was ok running with the strain and after a while not painful to notice.  Pace slowed down a bit further but then after 3 miles picked up and kept picking up, right until 3 miles to go when it slowed a lot.

Had a very nice sports massage from a good friend today (after karate training) that really helped – and the left hamstring is much much better.

Need to do more stretching and foam rolling (and general strengthening work).  It’s obvious really but for whatever reason I’ve always found it difficult to get it into a habit and do it very regularly.  Rubbish – that needs to change today.  It’s so important to help keep injury free particularly as the longer runs kick in.

All sorts of advice about running with sore legs – or injuries.  Rest is needed when it’s bad and you shouldn’t run if it hurts a lot.  But as always it’s also down to knowing what you can do and how your body works and feels.  For me I had to slow the run down – rather than not run.  And just take it easier.

Longer runs again this week and the first 20+ mile one next weekend.

Whizz-Kidz – why I’m running

To help raise money for these guys and the great work they doing helping disabled children be as mobile as they can and basically just be kids.  This is where your help is needed and every penny they get in donations goes to help these children.

This is a link to Whizz-Kidz TV advert…

Funny but with a very strong point that’s easy to see why the work they do is so important for the children.  Things we all take for granted, that these guys can’t do without the help from Whizz-Kidz and these amazing wheelchairs.

Please dig deep and give as much as you can to help (my Just Giving Page).

Through the 8mph barrier

The new shoes are working…

8 miles yesterday and cracked the elusive 8mph barrier (or more accurately 3.57632 m/s).  And beat it by a whole 1 minute 25 seconds.  8 miles in 58 minutes 35 seconds – and what a nice run.  16 seconds per mile faster than back in December last year.  And my first run in the new Adizero shoes…

As well as being able to spot me running a mile away now and glowing in the dark, they do feel much lighter and pretty comfortable.

A 5km run today and 27 seconds faster than my most recent best time – just over 21 minutes.  The 20 minute goal is within site once again!

Obviously it’s back to speed work this week.  10 miles or interval training tomorrow – to be decided still – and then 1/2 marathon at the weekend.

Happy running!


London Marathon mileage count

My 22 week training programme started on 21st November officially – and I’ve been doing 3 or 4 runs per week, plus 1 or 2 karate sessions per week (my cross training).  Up until mid-September my running schedule was 8 x 3.2 mile sessions per week (my commutes) at a slow pace – all the same, nothing pushing me; not great.

As of today the marathon training total is just under 368 miles, an average of 28 miles per week.  By a complete fluke, my total for the same period back in 2009 was virtually the same – literally to within a mile or 2.  Very different plans – far more focused on quality runs this time, and less just on mileage.

Longer run breakdown so far:

  • 1 x 18 miles
  • 1 x 17 miles
  • 1 x 16 miles
  • 1 x 13.1 miles
  • 1 x 12 miles
  • 1 x 11 miles
  • 10 x 10 miles

And my favourite distance is 10 miles – by a mile!

Runners nipples – ouch…

Forget tennis elbow, runners nipple is an official long distance running injury and it hurts.  It even has it’s own Wikipedia entry – under the official title “Fissure of the nipple“.

The first time you get it, you’ve no idea until you’ve finished running and look down at your t-shirt and see the blood.  And then it hurts (and even more when you get a shower afterwards).  All being well you’re not wearing a white running top.

For men it’s even more frustrating, why should they bleed?  They seem to have no purpose or use but they still bleed and hurt – rubbish.

Once you start building up the mileage (runs an hour or longer or thereabouts) you’re into runners nipple territory and a little prep before your runs help big time.  Good old Vaseline helps and for me 90% of the time stops it happening.  Longer runs just mean more Vaseline.  And worst case it doesn’t happen as bad.

You can buy – more expensive – branded goods like “Body Glide” and they work just as well, and according to the labels are better than plain Vaseline.  Personal preference really.  Some theories about one reacting to cold and water worse but I’ve never noticed.  You can even go as far as nipple covers or guards, small plasters, though these can move and come off.  For ladies, good sports bras can really help.  Decent running tops help as well – as the materials don’t rub as much.

On the London Marathon route, the helpers – including 1st aiders – around the course, have jars of Vaseline to use as you run round.

Not a dangerous running injury as such but can be painful so a bit of prep before your run is well worthwhile.

And yes you can even get the fridge magnets…

How long is long? And the wall…

Now it’s time for the long runs – the staple of any marathon training programme.  But how long is long?  Lots of theories out there and most suggest not running the full 26.2 miles before the big day.  I’m not sure on this on yet – going from 23 to 26.2 last time was a huge huge jump (for me at least).

Back in 2009 I got up to 23 miles and felt great after.  3 runs over 20 miles in total.  This time the plan is 3 or maybe 4 over 20 miles and the longest as 24 or even 26 – TBC.  The added challenge with the long runs is where to go for that distance.  Richmond Park was a  favourite before – and is for others – but it has lots of  steep) hills.  Maybe a good thing.

Longish run tally for training so far is:

  • 1 x 15 miles
  • 2 x 16 miles
  • 1 x 17 miles

Tomorrow is the first longer one – 18 miles.  And the plan is to go at a slowish pace, up past Hampton Court.  Should be nice – that’s another great route with some top scenery.

The official word on long runs – care of Runners World – is…

“The long run is the staple of every distance runner’s diet. If you’re training for a marathon, it’s de rigeur. Novice runners use them as springboards to the finish line, and elite marathon runners do multiple long runs to improve their times.”

For more information on why, what and how – take a look at Runners’ World.

And it’s all about getting used to the distance and running for that length of time and your body adjusting to how it gets it’s energy and preparing for the dreaded “Wall”…

We might have a result…

New Brooks shoes and new in-soles tested tonight for the first time and all good.  A very nice 10 mile run along my favourite route.  Great first 5 miles but then the actual turn around – to come back along the same route – seems to slow the pace down.  Very strange.  Not a bad overall time but could have been better.

Long 18 mile run planned next this coming weekend – haven’t decided the route yet – and may give the new Adizero shoes a try.

QR codes in shoes?

Whatever next?  In the shoe at the back of the in-sole.  Only spotted them when I took the new Brooks shoes off tonight after my run…

Had to scan it as soon as I spotted it but tried to scan it with the QRReader iPhone app with no success – shadows kept getting in the way.  Genius Mrs. Noble – who was busy sorting out the gorgeous roses I’d got her for Valentine’s Day (care of good old M&S) – suggested taking the in-soles out…  kind of obvious really.

In-soles out, app ready, QR code scanned… where does it go to?  Brooks FaceBook page with a “like” button right there and a competition to win an iPad2 – not bad, a clever idea.

Sore-ish feet in the meantime after an 8 mile run in the new shoes – but new shoes so expected.  Longest run in the training so far coming this weekend – 18 miles.

Who needs new shoes?

After a month or so running with the new shoes and new in-soles, painful feet and blisters forced me to re-assess.  A quick trip back to the physio, who just said the shoes are too loose and then a few more runs with them tied up better, but still not good.  Back to good old Sweatshop in Teddington today and with their fantastic 30 day returns on shoes (after you’ve tried them as much as you want).  A long chat with one of the guys there and trying on new shoes, and back to Brooks, that just feel far far better on my feet – it’s so comfortable when you put your feet in them.  And then a chat about marathons and the guy serving me (Tim) being very modest about his own one-time marathon run of 2 hours 35 minutes!  Awesomeness right in front of me.  That’s 26.2 miles at less than 6 minutes per mile.  Unbelievable.  Now I’m listening even more to this guy – some good training tips as well from him (including doing speed running as I’ve been doing).  Then a suggestion from Tim on looking at lighter shoes – as well – to use for actually running the marathon in.  Something I’d never thought of.  Tried on a pair of bright yellow Adidas Adizero ones – and you can’t feel these shoes on your feet.  So nice.  Plan is to do the longer pace runs in these ones.

A very productive trip to Sweatshop and thanks to their 30 day guarantee and great service, I got better shoes, another pair (some more socks) and paid more money but all happy.

4 good runs this week.  8 miles to start and then 9 miles the next day (at a faster pace) and then 10 the next (slightly slower).  Really enjoying the 10 mile distance as well.  And then a 4.5 miler on Saturday with first 5km fast (not as fast as recently though – being about -5 degrees C didn’t help).  3 planned this week with an 18 miler long one.