Saturday 30 May 2009

17.74 miles and 5 climbs

It was a very warm sunny day as I set out on another Arthur Lydiard type long hill run, luckily there was a breeze to help cool me down, even so I still got some what dehydrated, over 2 hours running without water meant my weight had dropped down to 10 stone 12 lb by the end of the run!
Once again I ran over 5 big climbs, inc Stoney Lane, Hunters Hill, I then followed the Harrock Hill Race route [ Brian Grice informs me that I have run 27 Harrock Hill races since its inception in 2000, the most by any Southport Waterloo runner!] down through the fields then up Parbold hill over the fields, then on to Harrock Hill and back to Hunters which I climbed again, I then followed a 7 mile roller coaster road loop round to Harrock hill which I climbed on the road, the last few miles I could start to feel my energy draining away but my legs still felt better than Mondays long run!
On 2 of the climbs I did Arthur Lydiards springing exercise, I'm convinced this will help me run faster in my up coming hill races.
Shoes NIKE LUNAR, weight 10st 12 lb
1840 ft of climbing, 17.74 miles = 2.17

Sun 31st
Easy run with Jon in the pinewoods = 1.17.30
Sat 30th
Parbold hill run, 1840 ft climbing = 2.17
Fri 29th
Steady aerobic run with some 10 sec sprints = 24 mins
Thur 28th
10 x short hill sprints, av speed 12 mph, then 4 x 400 at 5.11 - 5.20 pace
= 45 mins
Wed 27th
Afternoon, easy run with Niz = 25 mins
Evening, Harrock Hill Race, 11th place = 36.48
Tue 26th
Easy run with Jon = 45 mins
Mon 25th
Arthur Lydiard long hill run = 2.15

Friday 29 May 2009

Harrock Hill Race Results, Indivdual and team win!

Richard Shearer wins for Southport Waterloo.
photo taken at Parbold race in Feb

Wednesday 27 May 2009

11 th place at harrock hill

I had one of my most enjoyable gutsy races of the year! THIS IS WHAT ITS ABOUT, full on eye ball to eye ball racing!!! YEAH I 'LOVE IT' !!!
Update to follow!
And a big Hi to the marshal that recognized me on the race route through my blog! ' THANKS FOR DOING A GREAT JOB'!

Monday 25 May 2009

ARTHUR LYDIARD LONG HILL RUN, 1840 ft of climbing!

I'm getting back into the Arthur Lydiard training in a big way and that includes getting a very famous runner associated with Mr Lydiard to coach me!!!

I headed to Parbold for a long hill run on road and over dirt paths, I set off easy but soon found I was going quite well so pushed the pace a bit over the 4 main climbs. This was my longest run since the marathon. Starting to feel a bit stronger again! 17.3 miles , 1,840 ft of climbing = 2.15

Elevation Profile

Saturday 23 May 2009

Hutton roof fell race

Today I ran the Hutton Roof fell race, Its always a great day out, the weather was kind to us again but there was quite a bit of mud around to make conditions slippy in places!
There was a bigger turnout of fast runners this year as it was a inter county championship race.
As I still don't feel fully recovered from my Marathon I decided to enjoy the race and run within myself, having said that I'm not sure I could have run much faster anyway!
The race starts in a field and it was a bit hectic as we swung round and headed through a narrow gap in a stone wall! Quickly we made our way up a very steep climb over rocks and boulders, once at the top I tried to get my breath back as we ran over the tops, I managed to pass quite a few runners over the easier sections without going into my red zone!
Next was a very fast downhill, stepping on one of the many jagged rocks or loose stones was the big hazard, a lot of concentration was required to keep upright!
The biggest challenge soon came into sight as we turned a corner and headed up the mountain, zig zagging at first then straight up the scree
this was tough, crawling on my hands and knees at a painfully slow pace, we were all lined out following one another, breathless and with quads full of lactic. I finally make it over the steepest section, I try to start running again but my legs feel like a drunken sailors!
Downhill through craggy outbreaks of rocks, I start to recover, I overtake a couple of runners, next a jump down a rock ledge before a steady downhill to the road, across the road and the start of the final section, a steady climb through trees eventfully coming out on the top of a hill, some technical downhill then very fast down a grassy bank, following a tall lad and a girl we take a sharp corner onto a single track, the girl infront gets a stitch, I shout encouragement " not far to go," a tall Scottish girl comes flying past, back through the narrow hole in the wall, a slight rise then the final 200m on tarmac, I sprint on the inside taking it out, pulling away from the group I've been running with!
Not my fastest ever time but I really enjoyed the race and scenery!
We spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing and gouging on home made cakes and watching the race presentation !
= 1.02.22
Sun 24th
Run with Jon, sandhill 6, plus run down and back inc 8 short sprints = 1.30

Thursday 21 May 2009


TUE 19th
I had not run here since 2003 when I ran 27.39, today I was hoping for sub 29 at least!

From the start I quickly got into a good group, we were moving along pretty fast but by the end of the first lap I got blown out the back as my legs gave way, 2 miles in 11 mins.
Now I was on my own and having to face the uphill section into the wind all on my own, up ahead I saw Dave Edwards of Liverpool Running club drifting off the back of the group I'd been in. This gave me something to concentrate on and I worked hard to catch him!
I got renewed confidence as I passed him , another Runner got blown out the back of the group and I now had a new challenge of catching him too, I pulled up to him and hoped he could work with me but I soon found myself moving away. 3 miles 17.03, I was feeling ok at this point and a sub 29 looked well on the cards as I started my final lap, but once I hit the headwind and uphill my wheels came off! Glancing at the Garmin showed I was crawling at 9 mph! After what seemed like a life time I reached the highest point on the course and now had a welcomed downhill towards the finish. I tried to sprint the final 100m but my post marathon legs were well shot!
I've got another 5 miler in a couple of weeks,
lets hope I can run closer to 28.30 !


Wed 20th
1 mile warm up at m.p. pace 6.18, 1 mile hard 5.32, 4 x 1/4 mile 76, 76, 76, 75 = 42 mins
Thur 21
Big sandhills with Tess, enjoyed the run, easy aerobic pace = 1.38


Monday 18 May 2009

Healthy Intelligent Training By Keith Livingston

Here is a really interesting book I came across,


Sun 17th
After a enjoyable run with Chris and Jon in the pinewoods I decided to increase my mileage by running back through the sandhills, About 3/4 of a mile before reaching the Royal Birkdale Golf Club I passed a family with a large Dobermann, the dog decided to run with me, after a 100 metres or so it shot in front of me and whip lashed round so it was side onto me and stopped dead! The out come was I ran straight into its side and bounced back, landing badly on my ankle, Maybe through shock I got straight back up and started running again! I regret now not going back and having words with the owner!
Its not the first time I've been injured by a dog I will always remember a dog owner shouting " HE WON'T BITE YOU" only to have this huge Boxer dog charge straight at me and head butt me in the shin! OOch!!! And there is of course my own dog Tess who delights in running behind me then wrapping her paw round my leg in a attempt to trip me up or her other favourite, to sprint up a sandhill in front of me then turn round and jump on me in the hope of pushing me back down the said hill, BITCH!
After a mile the pain eased and I gradually increased my pace, finishing running a half mile block near home at 5.30 pace! = 1 hour 46 mins inc 8 x short sprints

Thursday 14 May 2009


Wed 13th
I was determined not to do what I did last year, run my fastest races in may only to burn out and get progressively slower throughout summer [ due to 2 hard interval sessions plus racing each week]! Chris kindly drove me to Haigh hall the the first in a series of
4, last year I finished 3 overall. Starting off in the forest at the bottom of a long winding climb I soon found the going tough a barrage of negative thoughts went through my mind, 'YOUR TOO OLD', 'YOUR TOO HEAVY', 'YOU'VE NOT BEEN TRAINING ON THE BIG HILLS' etc, etc, I replaced one negative thought with a positive one only to get another negative taking over, a bit like someone rolling boulders down the hill at me, I push one out of the way only to find another coming straight at me! Maybe I need some mental training check out posts from Blogger Scott Brown and CANUTE'S RUNNING Once I'd got over the steepest section I started to settle in to a better rhythm, I went through one mile in 6.20, not to bad taking into account the long drag up into the heavens, the gradient eased off a bit as I approached the hall and I make it onto the back of a group as we sprint up a short steep ramp before heading downhill. I pass the group taking to the grass, using the gravity running method I take full advantage of the downhill catching a runner as we turn uphill onto our 2nd lap, I now find myself on my own as I climb towards the hall again, pass the hall and up the steep ramp again I am joined by a short stocky guy who leads on the downhill track, we pull back another runner, then my stocky friend surges as we hit the tarmac. Downhill at full speed through the forest the road twists and turns, I start to blow and have to ease to get my breath back, stocky pulls a few seconds out on me, I search for the finish through the many trees and corners, before I know it I'm hitting the finish without time to sprint! 23.44, but only 5th v45! RESULTS
Foot note; At the end of the race the heavens opened up, so we made a quick getaway, one mile back to the Rugby club house, I was really surprised my muscled didn't ache or hurt [ quite amazing after such a tough race] I think using De-flex really helped and if you want to improve your energy return and reduce impact to your body and especially your calf muscles I would recommend you give it a try!
Thur 14th
Easy run with Tess over the sandhills, enjoyed the run in light rain! = 1.34
Fri 15th
Short hill sprints, up and down the hill x 6, max speed 12.4 mph
= 32 mins
Sun 17th
Run with Jon and Chris in pinewoods, then ran home over sandhills inc 8 x sprints and last half mile at 5.30 pace!
= 1.46

Tuesday 12 May 2009

1/2 mile intervals under police surveillance

I ran down to Selworthy Rd to run a Arthur Lydiard interval session, surprisingly I found Steady Eddie at the start of the Selworthy 1/2 mile hill loop about to do the same thing!

I gave Eddie a 20 sec start then shot after him, rounding the corner and up the hill I could see the presence of a large Police van with blacked out windows outside the house where there had been a shooting incident back in March when someone had let off a round of bullets into the house.
It seems the police were 'expecting trouble' again as they had been keeping watch on the house for a few days now!
Selworthy Rd is a very posh area where houses sell for millions and famous ex footballer and manager King
'Kenny' Dalglish MBE
[ we ran passed King Kenny out walking on our second effort!]

Eddie and me ran 6 x 1/2 mile, I'm not sure what the Police thought of us as we ran past the house each time, maybe we might be on Police video and they are checking to see if we are on the 'most wanted list'!
At least they didn't stop us [ well we didn't have anywhere to hide a shot gun under our racing vests and shorts]!
My legs still felt a bit leaden and awkward but at least I was running a fair bit faster than last week.

I am now heading into the summer midweek races, so I'll be following along the lines of Lydiards continuation of racing programme so I will include 1 interval session [ 6 x 1/2, 3 x 1 mile or 12 x 400] each week, one tempo run or race, a 1 1/2 hours steady run, a leg speed session and a long hilly run of 1 1/2 - 2 hours each week.
6 x 1/2 mile hill loop
1/ 5.33 pace, 10.8 av mph, max 13.1 = 2.47
2/ 5.27 pace, 11.0 av mph, max 12.6 = 2.43
3/ 5.21 pace, 11.2 av mph, max 12.3 = 2.42
4/ 5.26 pace, 11.0 av mph, max 12.6 = 2.41[ distance 0.49]
5/ 5.22 pace, 11.2 av mph, max 12.4 = 2.42
6/ 5.31 pace, 10.9 av mph, max 12.4 = 2.42 [ distance 0.49]
7/ warm down
6.00 pace, 10 mph av, max 11.6 = 3.00
Total time 50 mins

Monday 11 May 2009


Here is a video showing you how to improve your energy return and at the same time reduce the stress on your calf muscles, I've been using this method myself for a couple of months with good results! GIVE IT A TRY AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!

Thursday 7 May 2009

Marathon Training Pushing The Limits

It is possible to get a clue to the type of training needed to maximise an athletes potential by
comparing the training regimes of the three great Australian marathon runners Derek Clayton, Robert De Castella and Steve Moneghetti because they were of similar basic speed, around 54-56 seconds for 400m, and trained almost identically in terms of annual volume. Derek Clayton differed from the other two in that he ran consistently at what has been described as ‘nerve shatteringly fast’ speeds. He rarely ran hills and did virtually no interval or repetition running. De Castella and Moneghetti however trained almost identically except for Tuesday. De Castella was more inclined to do a threshold workout involving a longer fast run or long hill repeats while Moneghetti used a shorter fast MVO2 fartlek session. So while Clayton regularly ran long and fast, De Castella added at one high quality threshold session to his week but none of Moneghetti’s fast workouts exceed 20 to 22 minutes.
These are important differences because, despite having inferior times to Moneghetti over every distance from 3k to 21.1k, De Castella was the superior marathon runner in terms of time and results. When one considers that De Castella was able to run 2:07:50 for the marathon off a 10k of 28:04 and a half marathon of around 1:02 hr it suggest that Moneghetti’s 10k of 27:48 and a 21.1k time of 1:00:06hr should have formed the basis of a sub 2:06:30 hr marathon, yet his current PR is 2:08:16. Seen in these terms Clayton’s strength was even more amazing because he managed to run 2:08:34 hr off a PR of 28:45 MORE
Thur 7th
sandhill run = 1.15
Fri 8
Run/walk with
niz on the nature trail
sandhills, atrocious weather very strong winds and heavy rain!
tried sprinting each
sandhill and cruising the flats = 1.30
The weather cleared up to leave a lovely sunny wind free evening, cycled with Carole, Clive, Brian and
Niz, went on one of Andy and Magots routes, out along the coastal path cycle route to Woodvale traffic lights, then straight across onto Rosemary lane for a mile before turning onto the Cheshire lines cycle path [ disused railway line] we then headed for the SHIP INN we had a couple of re hydrating pints before returning home along the canal tow path, FANTASTIC EVENING!
Sun 10th
sandhill 6 with Jon plus run down and back inc 8 x 120 m spints, max 14.1 mph = 1.14

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Are modern runners just soft pussies

Back in the 80's when I was cycle racing I was inspired by the epic deeds of THE TOP TOUR DE FRANCE champions, I also remember reading my brothers running magazines and being impressed by the incredible training the likes of Steve Jones and Mike Gratton were doing!
Even the top veteran's [ read master if you live in the U.S.A.] were putting the average elite 2009 runner to shame!
Something happened in the 90's and the running magazines went soft! Giving us headlines such as train less run faster, run a great marathon on 3 days a week training and the classic ; eat more lose weight!
Running is a hard sport, it takes great sacrifice, dedication, commitment and plain hard work!
There are no short cuts and that is why it is such a great sport!
Pete Phitzinger [2.11 Marathon runner and Olympic coach] says
During the 90’s there was a bit of a backlash against the more-is-better approach to training, and a preoccupation developed for avoiding “overtraining.” Unfortunately, in the running press, the normal day-to-day fatigue associated with training was often misrepresented as “over-training.” This over-reaction thankfully missed most elite runners and appears to have waned in the past few years.READ MORE


The need for speed!

Strong winds had me heading for the shelter of the trees in Hesketh park, the twisting tree lined route and short steep hills made for an interesting interval session.
I decided to try Mike Gratton's 10 k program and see how it goes!
Todays session called for 8 x 2 mins at 10k pace with 2 mins easy, I some how read it wrong and only took a minutes recovery and also counted my efforts incorrectly finish with 9 intervals!
I was hoping for 35 minute 10k pace but with the marathon still in my legs I lacked a bit of zip, but at least the last effort was the fastest, basically I just kept running different paths, uphill, downhill and any place that took my fancy!

1/ 0.35 miles, 5.51 pace, 10.2 av, max 11.4 mph = 2mins 2 secs

2/ 0.34 m 6.02 p 9.9 av max 11.7 mph = 2.01
3/ 0.35 m 5.57 p 10.1 av max 11.2 mph = 2.03
4/ 0.34 m 5.53 p 10.2 av max 11.7 mph = 2.01
5/ 0.35 m 5.43 p 10.5 av max 12.0 mph = 2.01
6/ 0.34 m 5.54 p 10.1 av max 11.9 mph = 2.02
7/ 0.35 m 5.54 p 10.2 av max 12.0 mph = 2.02
8/ 0.35 m 5.50p 10.3 av max 12.0 mph = 2.01
9/ 0.37 m 5.35 p 10.7 av max 12.7 mph = 2.02
Total time 1.07.28, 9.3 miles
Easy run with club, about 50 mins
Thur 7th
Easy run with Tess, sandhills = 1.15

Tuesday 5 May 2009


I had a really good tempo run on Wednesday and I felt so good on Saturday my big sandhill route turned into my 2 nd fastest time for this course!
But come Sunday I felt tired and flat as I did an easy run with Tess! More bad news was I had to work overnight which left me only a couple of hours of sleep before setting off for the clubs Waterloo 15k trail race. Strong wind and light rain greeted us at the start, which put a damper on my hoped for sub 6 pace. Adrenaline got the better of me as we set off on a lap of the playing fields before heading across the cow fields, 3.36 was the result at 1k, I did not feel good and I had to slow as my body rebelled at the prospect of going so hard only a week after London.
My mind was playing tricks with me, trying to slow me down, looking at my Garmin didn't help, I just felt disillusioned with my pace and how hard it felt, I felt like turning it off or throwing it away!
I pulled in behind the first and second lady as we went round the army riffle range , I seemed to get my second wind on this tarmac section [ maybe the sound of gun shots helped increased my pace!] , slowly pulling away from the group, one lad came with me and we worked together into the strong wind, next we turned onto a dirt path reaching 10k in about 37.48. We jumped over a grass mound and then ran along side a field, I started to lose it here as I bogged down on the soft ground [ thoughts of losing 11lb of upper body muscle flashed through my fatigued mind!] the lad pulled away leaving me on my own in 'no man's land' to battle the rising winds! The last few k over the dirt paths seemed endless and it was a relief to get back on the road for the final k, I picked my pace back up to over 10 mph into the cruel headwind, a final corner and I was back at the playing fields with a wind assisted 100m sprint finish to cross the line in 58.02 and 21st place [ out of 432], dam that was hard, a race to forget! I felt some what disappointed with my result, am I being to hard on myself!
Going hard on Saturday was not clever and most probably left me drained for Mondays race!

I am now planning for the summer evening races, the question is will I follow
Mike Grattons 10k training program or Arthur Lydiards continuation of racing program [ I got good results with this in 2007].

Road (Non-race week)

Monday: Repetitions 1 mile by 3 or 880 yards by 6.

Tuesday: Aerobic running 11/2 hours.

Wednesday: Time trial 3 miles.

Thursday: Aerobic running 11/2 hours.

Friday: Fast relaxed striding 100 meters by 6 to 10 times.

Saturday: Time trial 3 miles.

Sunday: Aerobic running 11/2 hours or more.

Road (Race week)

Monday: Wind-sprints 100 meters by 16 to 10 times.

Tuesday: Easy fartlek 1/2 to 1 hour.

Wednesday: Time trial 1 mile.

Thursday: Fast relaxed striding 100 meters by 4 to 6 times.

Friday: Jog 1/2 hour.

Saturday: Race.

Sunday: Aerobic running 11/2 hours or more.

9.38 miles in 58.02, 6.11 pace, 9.7 mph

Friday 1 May 2009


LONDON MARATHON 2.51 - 2.45 is it possible, mesomorph - ectomorph!

Once the dust has settled its always
worth taking a look at how one could run faster and train better, I still want to get down to 2.45 and I think with a few changes to my training and life style its more than possible! Back in December I started to run using Jack Nirenstein's Gravity Running method, it has greatly helped me improve my speed while at the same time reduced aches, pains and injury problems. Gravity running has also improved my enjoyment of running and is the keystone that has given me back my enthusiasm for training and racing. The icing on the cake was buying a pair of Spira shoes they were the final piece of the jigsaw that let me run to within only 1 min 22 sec of my London Marathon time 10 years ago! My training for London also started in Dec using my own training ideas but I soon started to train using Mike Grattons training program for Runners World. I was really pleased with my steady improvement up to the Marathon but after reading this article I believe increasing my marathon paced tempo runs from 3-12 miles up to 12 - 22 miles will help me maintain pace in the second half of the marathon.
My biggest problem is my weight, after years of heavy weight training I have gone up from 10 st 10 lb to 11 1/2 stone, I feel that at 5 ft 10 in tall this is just to heavy to be a good marathon runner, I don't really want to look like an ectomorph but it might be worth it. This chart shows that I can run a marathon 54 seconds faster for every 1 pound I lose, so with a possible 11 lb to lose 2.45 seems more and more possible! And a added bonus, less weight means less impact hence faster recovery from training! So I have a new goal and plan to get there, what do you think, is 2.45 possible!
I would really appreciate any info you might have as regards your best running weight and how gaining or losing it has affected your performance!
Cheers, RICK
Sat 2nd
Had a fantastic run over the big sandhills, running steady I finished just 40 sec down on my course record set back in 2005!
=1 hour 14 mins