Strava Update

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jersey Marathon - New PB!

The Jersey marathon was a week ago last Sunday. The conditions were perfect not too hot or cold and there were about 500 runners taking part.

I was aiming to just complete the marathon as I have another race in December which is my main focus, however as the time drew nearer to the race I was feeling like my training had gone well enough to push for a PB. I started the race at a fairly quick pace as I tend to do and then settled into a 6:50 - 7 min mile pace. At the half way point I was averaging just over 6:50 min mile which meant if I continued in this way I could be on for a sub 3 hour marathon. Alas at the magic 16 mile mark I started to fade and the trusty old legs started to slow, but I was still able to come in at 3 hours 12 mins 56 (chip time), 5 mins off my previous PB. 

Needless to say I was over the moon with this and I am making further progress which is awesome. Focus has now switched to hill 
training and getting as much elevation in as possible per week to prepare for the Dorset Ultra in December which takes in a heady 6000ft of climbing.. 

Speaking of races here in Jersey here is a video of Round The Rock ultra marathon that I put together based on footage shot my my friend Craig.
I have also recently been for a biomechanics screening session which unveiled a few deficiencies. I was given exercises to counter act some muscles that were spasming in my legs as well as a sciatic nerve stretch which is amazing... I found the session to be really interesting and it has given me alot of insight into how I am stacked up and what I need to do to develop a running style that will serve me well rather than potentially expose me to injury.

The last few weeks I have been looking at various kit options for the MDS also. It is mind blowing the number of options for kit to take, and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others so decisions have had to be made on rucksacks, sleeping bags, compression wear and heat resistant wear etc etc. I have decided to invest in some X-Bionic gear as they reputedly conserve the bodies energy by regulating the bodies temperature by diverting the sweat away to parts of the body that need cooling. I purchased the Energizer top and wore it for the marathon and found it to be excellent to wear, supportive and I found that there were no issues with being too cold or hot during the race which is excellent. I intend to purchase the more expensive Fennec shirt for the MDS as this will be invaluable if it does what it says it will in the desert! I have bought other various bits and pieces also: headtorches, water bottles and the like and the whole picture is starting to come together.I intend to test the kit over the winter to ensure it is reliable and suitable for my needs. So much to think about!

I have also been fundraising on the back of the MDS challenge, and to date have raised £4300 for Jersey Hospice care. A friend and I staged a 8 hour treadmill challenge in M&S in town and raised alot of money, and then a week or so ago with the help of a few friends we staged a film quiz which raised over £3000 on the night, which took me so close to my £5000 target. I am glad to be almost near my target as I can now focus more on training.

Friday, October 5, 2012

6 Months to go..

I found out yesterday that I am now within the 6 month mark to go til the MDS, which I cant quite believe to be honest! I remember signing up and it seemed so long ago. Time flies whilst You're having fun I guess :)

So this Sunday I take part in the Jersey marathon, the weather is meant to be atrocious at the moment, to be honest as long as it isnt too windy I wont be too upset. Last year was very hot and took everyone by surprise I think so at least I know what to deal with in the rain! My current PB after Mont St Michel in May is 3 hours 18 so I would love to knock a bit off that to be honest..

I recently had a biomechanics screening session which was extremely informative, the screener Mandy explained that it was to analyse how the body stacks up and to highlight any inconsistencies. A few things were highlighted and I have been given some exercises to release spasms at various points in my body and I will be going back in a few weeks to address more. I think this is a worthwhile investment as it will mean I should go into the MDS as strong and as physically right as I can be.

I will be meeting legendary ultra runner Rory Coleman 9 times MDS competitor in November for a training session, he lives in Cardiff which is my home town, so I am going home to see the family and coincide a gym session, and tips on how to pack the bag so it is light as possible and hopefully some other great bits of advice to be as strong and as efficient as possible lining up on the first day of that race!

I have started to buy equipment for the MDS, and as one of the keys to doing well in the MDS is carrying as little as possible the lighter more technical stuff is looking like my bank balance is going to be suffering over the next few months.. I have been researching alot about what has worked for previous competitors and trying to make decisions on things like sleeping bags, rucksacks what compression wear to wear, head torches, camping stoves.. The list goes on and on.. Secretly though its quite cool as it is all gear I need, so it feels like xmas every time a new parcel arrives at my door.

After the Jersey marathon I am taking part in the CTS Dorset Ultra which takes place in December along my old stamping ground the Jurassic coast. I have done a trail marathon along this and also a 3 day event so know what to expect as far as course profile, so it will be good to go back almost a year later to mark how far I have progresses both fitness and strength wise. Its a 33 mile course with 6000ft of elevation, and when you consider that Ben Nevis the highest mountain in the UK is 4000ft this gives it some kind of perspective. The Endurance Life events are well organised and it should give me a good idea of where I am t as far as more training needed for the MDS.

I have begun to fundraise for the MDS also, I have committed to raising £5000 for Jersey Hospice Care here, I am 25% there with the target at the moment, having done a 8 hour treadmill challenge in M&S which was amazing and also a carboot sale. I have a major event planned this evening (5th October 2012) a film quiz which will hopefully take me alot closer to the £5000 mark.

So lots going on at the moment, lots of positive things and I guess this is the business end of the training plan as far as the MDS is concerned. I look forward to meeting a few of the other competitors over the coming months and enjoying the journey as well as the destination. Happy running!