Thursday, 29 April 2010

Feeling stronger and fitter all the time

It was just after Easter weekend when I last updated my blog. I've had some busy weeks at work and I kept thinking... i'll update it tomorrow and never did! I plan to update it more regularly now. I've made some great progress since Easter stepping up my training each week. Since I decided to give the running another ago 7 weeks ago my weekly mileage has progressed as follows:

8th-14th March - 45.5 miles
15th - 21st March - 53 miles
22nd - 28th March - 50 miles (+60 bike)
29th-4th April - 59 miles
5th-11th April - 66 miles (+30 bike)
12th-18th April - 57 miles (+45 bike)
19th-25th April - 64 miles (+ 70 bike)

It has been steady progress and now I am feeling stronger the plan is to up it to 70-75 miles over the next 3 weeks. I think I am now in around 30:45 10k shape and the next goal is Bristol in 10 days time where I hope to run close to 30:30. This would set me up well to have a go at 30:15 or so at the Manchester 10k the following week.

Here is a summary of last weeks training:

Monday 19th - 10 miles including 30 min tempo run at 5:08's with group at Sale. Great.
Tuesday 20th - 14 miles 1hr38 from Colne inbetween work appointments.
Wednesday 21st - 70 miles bike followed by 6 mile run. A big evenings training!
Thursday 22nd - 11 miles including 6 by 3:30 with 90 rest on grass on own.
Friday 23rd- 8 miles 56 mins.
Saturday 24th - Rest day
Sunday 25th - 15 miles 1hr42 with matt Bond.

Total - 64 miles + 70 bike

Next race - Northern League Division 3 this Saturday (usually quit a poor standard). Bristol 10km and Manchester 10km are more important the following 2 weeks.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Easter week ending with the Isle of Man Festival

The Isle of Man Easter Festival is a 3 day running festival which is organised by Manx Harriers every year. This year was the 6th time I have been to the festival and it is possibly one of my favourite weekends. In 2004 I won all 3 races and the overall title. I'm not in the sort of shape I was then but my form was good enough this year for 3rd in the 10k (32:05) and 3rd quickest leg of the 5k relay (15:27). I skipped the hill race so as not to risk injury and instead opted for a few pints whilst watching on top. For me the Isle of Man thesedays is more about having a good time. And my 5k which was my better of the 2 races came the morning after having 16 pints on the Saturday over an 11 mile pub crawl and 4 jaeger bombs in the club before swimming in the sea at 3am! Winning the beer race as part of our 4 man team (Gareth Turner, Mike Holden, Adam Gooch, myself) that recorded 15.8 seconds for the 4 pints was perhaps my highlight of the weekend!

I really wanted to enjoy the Isle of Man experience and I came through it without my foot flaring up which is a good sign. I want to knuckle down over the next month and start building up the miles a little with a view to getting back in to sub 30 minute 10k shape by the Bupa Manchester 10k in May.

Summary of this week below:

Monday - 9 miles 63 mins on own.

Tuesday - 8 miles including 4 by 1km loop on grass. Our cinder track was waterlogged tonight so we had to train around the outside on the grass slipping around in the mud! Gave the rest of the group 10 seconds head start and played catch up to get the most out of the session.

Wednesday - 9 miles 62 mins

Thursday - 8 miles 56 mins 6 of them with Adam Wareing

Friday - 9 miles including 10km race on the Isle of Man (3rd - 32:05). Didn't expect to beat James Walsh or Matt Gillespie in my current shape so was happy with this. 2 mile warm up but v. little warm down I was told I had a pint waiting for me in the pub! Trials for the beer racing team (4 rounds) + other fun and games followed later that evening.

Saturday - 8 miles. I'll call it that but its hard to say exactly what I ran. The 'Cross Island Pub Crawl' from Peel to Douglas takes in 8 pubs, 2 more beer stops (kegs hidden by us that day along the trail). Since I was watching the Hill Race that day I put 4 pints down before running a step and I didn't run the entire 11 miles. The last couple I was struggling with sciatica in my left side which has been bad this past 2 weeks. Had an interesting 3 egg race with Adam Grice, Mick Hill, Laurie Luscombe and a couple of others... Cadburys cream Egg, pickled egg, raw egg (in Vodka). Hilly proved invincible. Ran the naked maypole. Moved on to jaeger bombs in the club and wound up swimming in the sea at 3am! What part of this activity I can call training is debatable!

Sunday - 8 miles including 5km Road relay. 15:27 (3rd quickest leg). Had felt pretty horrific this morning after 16 pints and 4 jaeger bombs yesterday! Didn't wake up for breakfast but did get up to watch the start of the women's race and warm up for my leg (leg 3) of the relay. Had thought about taking this easy but felt surprisingly bouncy once I got going. Came home in 15:27 which on a windy seafront was not bad at all. I just missed second quickest leg which Matt Gillespie posted (15:26). Fastest leg James Walsh 14:58. Ran leg 4 for the C team as a warm down since we had a couple of people in a bad way this morning!

Total - 59 miles. Biggest week so far and with a heavy weekend of drinking and socialising. Always a great fun week but one you wouldn't repeat too often!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Week 22nd - 28th March in Summary

I'm sat here tonight watching '28 Weeks Later' and playing some online poker and my legs are quite destroyed. This weekend i've really put them through a lot. On Saturday I ran in an event called the Hambledon Horseplay in Oxfordshire. I was working down there promoting Ronhill products and thought I would get involved. It was very much like the tough guy / Hellrunner but started on a showground and involved a lot of horse jumps before heading out on to the hills through rivers, ponds, bushes etc. It also started at 6pm so the last 30 mins were in the dark with my headtorch. I won the event and then after helping out post event I eventually arrived back in Manchester at 2:30am. Woke up today to watch the Wilmslow half marathon with Dave Anderson and Andy Cain on the bikes (my housemate and Brother were 4th and 6th respectively) and then cycled another 3 hours in the peaks with Anderson. My legs now feel like they have been hit repeatedly with a sledge hammer! I'm running in the Isle of Man Easter Festival next weekend which involves 3 races in 3 days and ussually a lot of drinking including a 13 mile run taking in 10 pubs after the Saturday race so I need to take it fairly easy between now and friday! Here is a summary of this weeks training:

Mon: 8 miles 56 mins on own
Tue: 12 miles 1hr19 with dave and Pete Riley
Weds: 5 x 800m with 400m jog recovery 2:19, 2:17, 2:17, 2:15, 2:15 (7 miles total)
Thurs: 9 miles 62 mins
Fri: 6 miles 42 mins
Sat: 8 miles including Hambledon Horseplay event 49:53 (1st)
Sun: 6o miles cycle with Dave Anderson

Total: 50 miles running + 60 miles bike

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Stormin's Blog - Introduction

Welcome to my blog. For the past couple of years I have been posting my training logs on and many of you who know me already may have read these. For those of you that don't i'll give you a quick introduction to my history and recent activity as an elite runner.

I was first introduced to running by my dad when I was 8 years old and I have now been running for my club Altrincham & District Athletics Club for over 20 years. My dad was a succesful runner himself having competed in the Montreal Olympic Marathon and having set a world record for 50km Track run (2:48:06) on our own cinder track at Timperley, Altrincham in June 1980, a record that still stands to this day. For many years I was a very average runner but as I increased my training load I steadily improved and got my first International vest at 18 years old as a fell runner competing for England in the Junior Home International.

After a good few years of training (and excessive drinking / social life may I add!) whilst I was doing my degree at Sheffield Hallam University I accepted a scholarship at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. I attribute a lot of my improvements as a runner to the 2 years I spent at Tulsa and I wished I would have known about the possibility of US athletic scholarships 3 years earlier. When I returned from Tulsa I had a lot of success on both the Mountain Running scene and on the Track /Road setting personal bests for 10k (29:36) and half marathon (65:54).

For the past 4 years I have really struggled with injury. In July 2006 when I was competing in Europe in Mountain races I picked up an injury called Plantar Fasciitus which I have not been able to get rid of. I have seen numerous physio's over the past 4 years, spent almost £4000 on physio / podiatry, had steroid injections in my foot, and tried resting for months at a time. In 2008 I took up Triathlon and spent most of my training hours in the pool or on the bike. In 2009 I decided to try and make a comeback as a runner and despite running many 90-100 mile weeks in excrutiating pain and limping around a lot of my training I did manage to get in to better shape than ever and even ran a personal best of 14:06 on the track for 5km.

Now in 2010 I am currently making yet another comeback. In early October 2009 the pain in my foot had become so excrutiating I had to stop running. I bought a cross trainer and used this until early December when after a bout of Swine Flu I became a bit lazy. For a few months I did almost no training at all and had at one point decided to give up completely. When I did try running again I tore my calf muscle. With the help of the team at Worsley Physio Clinic (Athlete Matters) I am now running almost pain free again. Surprisingly the pain in my plantar fascii is currently very mild and only evident after and not during training. I hope this continues to improve as I work my way back to full fitness. I am currently on week 3 of comeback training and have already raced at the Northern 12 Stage Relays clocking 14:58 for a leg of just under 5km (I would have been happy with 16 mins!). On my blog I will try and post my weekly training diary starting at the end of this week. I am hoping to now do a lot of my training with my brother and our housemate Matt Bond who are both hoping for fast times (around 65 mins) at the Wilmslow Half Marathon this weekend.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog and my weekly training diary. If you have any questions please fire away!