Thursday, 31 December 2009


Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance - $18.95’s Matt Fitzgerald sat down for an hour with to answer questions and discuss his new book Racing Weight. Matt hits on the major points of his new book and answers some controversial questions sent in by runners.

PODCAST "you just got to listen to this"*****
Four ways to reach ideal racing weight
Read extracts from RACING WEIGHT

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Never look back !

Yes I know, everybody's doing it! no, not that!!! I mean looking back on 2009, so why not Rick's running?

I've learned a lot this year, or maybe I forgot a lot and then re-learnt it!
The Highs
My build up to London went really well , once I started to follow a plan [not till March!]
running within 10 secs of my 2004 P.b. in a 20 mile race and at 2.45 marathon pace was a real high Read report here
Running London [ my first time in 5 years] was kind of cool, looking back now I'm really happy with the result, i missed my target of beating my time of ten years ago by just 1 min 15 sec, but the whole experience was awesome! Read report here
Then after a summer of let downs due to over training I got some great advice from Peter Magill and ran my fastest 1/2 marathon in 5 years.
Read Report here
so there you have it; my fastest 1 /2, 20 miler and Marathon in the last 5 years, not bad for a 48 year old runner me thinks :]
Plans for next year, think Dr Rosa - Italian marathon training program, dramatic weight loss and things are looking exciting all ready :]
Thanks for visiting, leaving comments etc.
Have a fantastic new year and see you soon!
P.S. My wife says I run like the guy in the video, is that a good thing or not?

Monday, 28 December 2009

Hot stuff for slimmers: The chilli pill that burns off as many calories as a 25-minute jog

Hot stuff for slimmers: The chilli pill that burns off as many calories as a 25-minute jog

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 7:59 AM on 28th December 2009

A slimming pill whose creators claim can burn calories while you sit at your desk goes on sale today.

Capsiplex's makers say the capsule, which is made from hot peppers and capsicum and is used by Hollywood stars Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt and Britney Spears, can eat up as many calories as 80 minutes of walking or a 25-minute jog.

Trials at the University of Oklahoma showed adults taking Capsiplex burned off 278 more calories before, during and after a bout of exercise than those on placebos.

Jennifer Lopez Brad Pitt

Hot Stuff: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lopez are both fans of the Capsiplex pill

Experts who developed it had to overcome the fact that capsicum extract is unbearably hot and would cause irritation if eaten in large quantities.

A spokesman for Capsiplex said: 'For decades, scientists have known about the weight-loss potential of red-hot peppers. The problem has been the ability to consume such a highly concentrated amount, but we have overcome this by putting a protective coating on the ingredients which stops any gastric irritation.

'At last we have a safe and healthy supplement to help weight loss.'

A month's supply of the one-a-day capsules costs £29.99.

The production of the tablet follows years of medical research into hot peppers and capsicum and their benefits to slimmers.

Several studies have found that hot peppers and their extracts are a safe option for nutritional supplements aimed at regulating diet.

The pills are already used in the United States by personal trainers because chilli and capsicum help speed up the metabolism, meaning people can lose weight more rapidly.

Buy here

Fat Boy Slim 'FAST' "Got to lose the weight"!
I don't really think i can get much fitter than I was before this years London Marathon, the only way for me to get faster is to lose weight, this year I've not really watched what I've been eating and my weight has stayed at around 160 lb, at 5ft 10 in tall this is just way to heavy to be a good distance runner. [ Ryan Hall at 5.10 is only 10 stone!]

Read this report
and check out this weight performance calculator to see how much faster I can run for each pound of fat I lose Predicted effect of weight change
I'm looking to get down to 10 stone 10 lb, with the same fitness level as at this years London running my target 2.45 should be possible.
other benefits of losing 10 lb in weight are that there will be less pounding on my legs which should mean faster recovery between sessions!
The plan
To eat more fruit, berries, veg, oats and lean meat and cut right down on bread which is loaded with fat and sugar and seems to be the main thing that puts weight on me [ apart from drinking large amounts of beer :].
Training for the week
Mon 28th
sandhill 6, 4 mins fast - 1 min slow all the way round 37.28
plus run down and back inc 6 x 20sec [smart speed] progression strides, max 12.8 mph . Total= 1.03
Sun 27th
very easy run sandhills = 1.13
Sat 26th
Big sandhills with Tess, easy-steady, plus 'smart speed' strides at end = 1.36
Fame at last! I win younger legs award !!! :]
Check it out HERE [near end of awards list]

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Running To The Limits (50 mins) Filmmaker Alex Vero embarks on a personal journey to find out what it takes to become an international marathon runne
Running To The Limits

Can Alex Vero transform himself from a 16 stone over weight film maker into an elite Marathon runner in just 2 years, you may be surprised by the result!
Watch it now on 4 on demand here

Thanks to Simon for link

Thur 24th
Easy run with Tess over the big sand dune trails, icy and snow.
wore my spikes again for good grip = 1.31
Wed 23th
Tempo run round the sandhill 6, found it hard going in the cold and slipped about on the ice in my nike free's, should have worn the spikes . sandhill 6 = 37.24, total time inc easy run at end =1.20

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

After slipping and sliding on the ice yesterday I decided to don my X/C spikes. Setting
off with Tess pulling me on her lead I tore down the street at high speed to the amazement of old people clinging to garden walls in an attempt to stay upright, I felt like a death defying Russian ice speedway rider as car drivers slowed down to stare as we sped along.
Once we reached the sandhills it was even more fun as Tess and me
followed the snowy paths up and down the dunes. 3 laps of the velvet trail later we headed for home, I felt much better than yesterday when I felt slow and lethargic after the X/C, Happy Days :]
Easy-steady, 3 laps velvet trail = 59 mins ' I'M LOVIN IT' !
20 x 1 min fast - 1 min slow, sandhill 6 = 1.19

Sunday, 20 December 2009


The last time I ran at Burnley was back in 2004, i finished in 31st place in a very competitive field of runners, i was not happy, i really wanted to make it into the 20 something placings!
looking back on the result now i can see i finished just behind a guy who could break 27 mins for 5 miles, the truth was i was flying, but i didn't appreciate it at the time!
Once again i had a very heavy night at work, but this time managed to get 3 hours in bed before getting up, i was in for a shock as I opened the curtains to see a thick covering of snow outside. Niz was made up, she has only seen snow a couple of times in her life [ you don't get much snow in the Philippines!].
Phil drove Joanne, Tracey, Niz and me to the race, the local roads were like an ice rink, that and all the Christmas shopping traffic meant it was a slow journey to the motorway, but once there we made good progress getting to the start with just 20 mins to spare before the womens start at 2pm.
It was -3 and bloody cold, I opted for a thermal cycle top and trackster bottoms, thermal hat and gloves, 'toastie' I would be, cold is not my thing you understand!
The plan was to use the race as a good tempo run, set off steady then make my way through the field and 'ENJOY' the event, the marathon is 4 months off and racing well now is not really my priority!
setting off from the start everyone sprinted off, it took me a couple of minutes to get warmed up and then I started to accelerate through the field of runners. the course was one small lap and 3 big un's, the fresh snow was good fun to run on much better than horrible mud!
i was starting to enjoy myself, i didn't really have the legs to kill myself but i was keeping a good tempo effort going and it felt good!
getting near the end of the race i thought we had a small half loop to go, but all of a sudden i saw the finish and didn't even have time to sprint, I wondered why a guy I'd been catching suddenly surged off!
I finished in 55th place feeling fairly fresh and happy :]
10k on snow in 40.03
It's been a good week of training, with 20 miles inc the club fartlek session on Monday and one hour and forty five mins over the big sandhills inc speed drill and plyometrics on Wednesday. I have also done 3 resistance training sessions during the week.
next week i plan to take it a bit easier before i start my Marathon training program.
photo; Tracey in action in the women's race, Burnley X/C

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Great video from the ONE MILE RUNNER on correct post workout stretches, I found some of the doorway stretches very helpful with my long term sciatic problems.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Southport Waterloo A/C Grand Prix final result

This years Southport Waterloo G.P. proved to be one of the most exciting editions ever with the final race of the series determining the overall victors in both the male and female competion.

The race lead had dramatically changed hands many times throughout the race series and with one race to go Carole james and myself held the podium positions but all this was to change as both Rob Ashworth and Vicky Harvey { who both needed the final race to get there 6 qualifying races in] got max points at Longridge .Also of note was Ben Johnson’s rapid improvement through the summer and Autumn which lead to him finishing second overall and frightening the pants off Rob in the final showdown! Oh and I finished 3rd overall!

Carole James put in a fantastic effort throughout the year finishing 10 races and looking all set to take the trophy until the final race, Rachel Thomas finished in 3rd overall and challenged Carole all the way finishing just 4 points behind.

Thanks to everyone who took part, next years event once again Starts with the classic Parbold hill race which will be celebrating its 40th edition , the second race will be The Standish trail race 27th Feb, which also proved very popular with Swac member and the 3rd race [ due to popular demand] will be the Liverpool half marathon 28th March

Full 2010 G.P .race programme available soon!

On a final note, Brian Davey’s Monday night Speed session will take a well earnedChristmas break and will start again on the 4 th Jan, 6,30 pm at the Ainsdale train station .

OK that’s it from me, so all that’s left to say is Have a happy Christmas and New Year :]

Rick [road race Sec and G.P. organizer

Sunday, 13 December 2009


Working in a big supermarket is hard work at this time of year as you could probably imagine! Friday night my schedule for the pet food aisle said it would take 8 hours and 6 mins to fill , only problem was taking out break times [1 hour] and 40 + min to drag all the new stock onto the shop floor from the warehouse gave me only 6 hours 40 min to fill the shelves!
i like a challenge [ maybe it was not a smart idea to volunteer to take on the pet food aisle this summer, i mean who in their right mind wants to do weight training for 7 1/2 hours 5 nights a week without steroids!]
Anyway i got my head down and
ploughed through the endless cages of stock, one cage at a time, a bit like one mile at a time in a marathon!
I finished with 10 mins to spare at 6.20 am.
I got two hours in bed then got up for the Beacon park X/C, i felt groggy and not very energetic
. I got a lift with team captain Steve James and he then picked up Gary Kenny on the way, the weather was fantastic, sunny and only a slight chill to the air. i warmed up with an easy jog round the top half of the course, the bottom section was very muddy and wet and so I avoided it to keep my feet dry before the start. 10 mins to go and i did some strides on a slope, my legs felt empty and lifeless, maybe my 2 week head cold and heavy work load had taken its toll upon my body, I'd read somewhere than when you have a cold your muscles do not absorb carbs fully, is that right ? Anyways we lined up at the start in the field and were soon on our way, straight away I got left behind, my legs felt rubbery, dam I hate this! Over a rise then down a suicide off camber descent with a shape muddy left hand hairpin at the bottom to catch runners off guard [ quite a few go flying down into the mud] then there is a long muddy section,I find the best way to tackle this is to land in other runners foot prints! The first lap is a short lap and we soon turn to climb up a very steep grassy bank before flying down the suicide descent again, we then have two long laps which include a tough muddy climb at the far end of the park. i find myself running with Neil, a very good X/C runner, but he's only training 3 x a week at the moment and i really should be way ahead of him, but i'm not able to push hard it's just a battle to keep going, this is not a good day, so to speak! Into the final lap and I'm hanging onto Neil along the bottom muddy track, up ahead i can see team mate Chris, I pull through and close on Chris just as we hit the climb at the far end of the park, as we climb chris pulls away again and Neil comes past, my legs have now gone and as i reach the hardest steepest, muddiest section I feel like I want to stop1 I slog on on empty legs and feel like I'm at standstill at the top, I recovery abit on the downhill and pick up speed again over the grass and pull close to Chris as we go up the final grassy hill, over the top and it's all downhill to the finish , i pass Chris then have a shock as the finish is diverted off the path and we have to take a sharp right onto muddy ground for the last 10 m, what a stupid finish, i hit a tree and lose a place finishing in 41 st place, a few mins latter team mate Mike crashes straight into the tree and takes a nasty fall, taking another runner down with him! i finish disappointed, looking back on past performances makes me feel even more so! In 2004 I finished in 22nd place in 34.25, in 2007 I finished in 27th place in 35.42 and yesterday i could only manage 41st in 37.12, the only positive thing is I was 30 sec faster than last year but I know I can do far better, i know my training is going well so maybe it's just my head cold that made me feel bad! well there is another X/c next week to put things right, so see you there :]
In the evening it was the club Christmas meal and afterwards we headed into town and partied on till 3 am dancing with Niz and Tracey, at least my endurance is still good!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Gatorade to drop Tiger Woods energy drink news that Gatorade are to drop the TIGER WOODS energy drink from its range of energy products brought a smile to my face :]
Maybe they are worried people might think the drink has 'interesting' side effects, but surely the drink would hit record sales figures after recent events!

Thursday, 10 December 2009


My next race is the Ashurst beacon X/C on Saturday, this is a real classic course with 2 brutal hills each lap, check out the video.
I've stuck to Pete Magill's advice of just 1 hard session during race weeks, it's worked well so far, so I'll be hoping for a good race and be aiming to beat a few of the guy's who finished ahead of me last time!
Thur 10th
nice easy run with Tess along the white post route over the small sandhills = 58 min

plus Dr Yessis resistance training

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

16.5 mile fartlek and progression run!

set off early to meet up with the club, covering 7 miles before the clubs farlek session.
Running down it had been dry but as soon as we started the session the rain came down, but we are no wimps, no treadmill softies. We look on the wind and rain as character building, making us tougher and as hard as nails! :]

It was good to see Angela back but where was Dr Simon [ the most improved runner of 2009] and also missing was Ben.
After the fartlek session i ran back steady then ran the last mile and a half as a progression run, starting at 6.30 pace, moving up to sub 6 after 1/2 mile, then nailing 5 min [12 mph] mile pace over the last 200m. FELT STRONG. As i reach 9mph + my legs start to flow round on momentum and the effort moves away from my legs and into my heart and lungs, at slower speeds my legs seem burdened with more effort.
16.5 MILES = 2.02
Easy run with Tess = 32 mins followed by 30 min run with Niz
Total = 1.02
Big sund dunes, easy-steady plus running drills and plyometric jumping = 1.48

Monday, 7 December 2009

Ain't No Sunshine

This was the first morning when it was still dark when I took Niz to work [7.50 am] just two weeks till the shortest day and time to celebrate the return of the SUN! :]

Saturday, 5 December 2009



I got just one hours sleep after my heavy night shift then my alarm clock went off!
I awoke from a strange dream, Tiger Wood's wife was chasing me with a club, I had a big grin on my face, I'm not sure what I'd been up to, maybe I'd just got a hole in one :]
was time to get ready for my run with Tess and Eddie, a quick bowl of porrage and I was on my way with Tess to pick Eddie up, the weather was awesome for December, warm, sunny and only a slight breeze. FANTASTICO!
we headed for the little nature trail then went onto t
he velvet trail seeking out the biggest dunes, once we reached pontins we carried on over the dunes until we reached the blue posts which took us into the pinewoods,,. I showed Eddie some of the little used trails inside the woods/ It was peaceful and quite and we saw very few people on our travels, i guess everyone must have been Christmas shopping, ha, this was much more fun and cheaper too :] We looped round the woods then crossed over the coast rd and followed the white post coast path route home, as we reached the Selworthy playing fields Tess decided to test us out by putting In a Kenyan type surge of pace, I followed but Eddie could not quite match Tess's SPEED, even so Eddie impressed me with his endurance, this is one tough route, sandhill after sandhill in relentless fashion. We left eddie at his house and put in another mile to give me and Tess 2 hours and 19 mins of running.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


CLICK ON PHOTO for podcast on downhill running
Super fast masters runner Steve James recommended some years ago that I Incorporated some downhill sprints into my marathon training, the result was much less sore legs!
I also think regular long hill runs help a lot too :]
Todays run
Big sandhills 1 Hour 20 mins
Set off late, so was racing against time to get back before it went dark.
Thankfully the strong wind pushed me over the sand dunes, the rain showers soon started which added to my speed to return home. Tess seemed to enjoy the conditions and was full of energy!
Just made it off the sandhills and back onto the roads as the light faded,
ended up running 10 mins faster than normal.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Running with a head cold!

Here are two Blog sites that might be of interest to SWAC runners;
SAM DEAN follow Sam as she trains for the London Marathon
As for my own running well I've been nursing a head cold so cut down on my running abit, but did do the club run on Monday night and found i was running quite well, just about keeping up with young Ben [maybe he was tired?], today i did sandhill sprints with Tess [ well she kept sprinting off, turning around and trying to knock me back down the hill, now that's what i call resistance training!]. well that's it for now, off to see the film 'NEW MOON'.
Club run, fartleck session plus progression run home = 1.49
not well, easy 36 mins
Sandhill sprints 2x 8, plus fast run home = 59 mins