Wednesday 30 September 2009

Pete Magill podcast on how masters runners should train to get FASTER!

Click on photo to listen

Pete Magill Stats

Born: June 19, 1961
Lives: South Pasadena, CA
Masters PRs: 1500m: 3:55.42, 3,000m: 8:31.08, 5k: 14:34.27, 10k: 31:27.30

Masters' Log

Typical two weeks of training for Magill (pace of training runs varies from 6:00 to 8:00/mile depending on how his body feels):

Sunday: Medium run (approximately 10–11 miles)

Monday: a.m. --- Short run (approximately 5–6 miles) p.m. -- Medium run
Tuesday: a.m. -- Short run p.m. --- 3-mile warm-up, 20 x 400m @ 5K effort (approximately 70 seconds) with 100m jog recoveries; 3-mile warm-down
Wednesday: Medium run
Thursday: a.m. -- Short run; p.m. -- Medium run
Friday: a.m. -- Short run; p.m. -- Technique drills; short run afterward
Saturday: Long run (approximately 14-15 miles)

Second week:

Same, except Tuesday p.m. speed work, which he exchanges for 3 x set of 1 mile at 15K pace, 1200m at 5K pace, 800m at 3K pace, 400m at mile pace; all with 400m jog recoveries; 3-mile warm-up and 2-mile warm-down. If race on Saturday, he does only one workout on Thursday (medium run) and Friday (20 minutes of jogging and stretching).

Training philosophy

"Put away your watch, stop counting miles and start listening to the body. Our bodies will tell us more accurately how fast and far to run than a watch or training log ever can. And our bodies will warn us when we're courting disaster - injury or overtraining - long before our minds are willing to accept the premise. More importantly, when we learn to listen to our bodies, we learn how to race."

Tuesday 29 September 2009

6 mile tempo run comparison test, I KICK MY OWN BUTT!

Running in the Zone!
I chose the Clieves hill circuit to do my planned tempo run, the weather was not looking to good with strong blustery winds and heavy leaden Sky's. I parked at the top of the hill and ran a lap to get warmed up, the legs felt sluggish at first but they came around before I'd finished the 3 mile lap. I'd seen a running video yesterday that reckoned that it was important to keep your head up and dropping your head down would reduce your speed, I'd noticed as I ran that my natural style was to drop my head down and if I LIFTED MY HEAD MY SPEED INCREASED, COOL I'LL WORK ON THIS! I kicked straight into the session as I set off on 2 laps which included 2 x up the 3/4 mile hill. I felt quite strong once I got going and remembered what Canute had said about concentrating on the moment and not letting your mind drift on to negative thoughts such as how I'd feel on the second lap etc, It seemed to work and despite the strong winds I went through the end of the first lap faster than last month, into the second lap I powered down the hill then worked hard to maintain pace into the strong wind, a couple more minutes and I took a left turn and got some shelter from the wind. Soon I was out on to the main road with the wind on my back with my speed reaching 10.6 mph before the gradual uphill took its toll! One more left turn and I was on my final climb up Clieves hill, pumping my knees up the hill I tried to lift my effort to the finish. I looked at the Garmin and was pleased to see I'd run 11 seconds per mile faster than a month ago!
Now, if I had a time machine I could go back in time a month and kick my own butt By a whopping minute and 6 secs!
6 miles Clieves hill circuit in 37.44, 6.17 pace, max speed 12.8 mph, plus warm up and cool down = 1.17

RYAN HALL on Mental Training;
RH: I am still learning a lot about the mental side of training and racing. What I am focusing a lot of lately is just being in the moment. I, and I think all runners, have a tendency to think too much. Whether it is worrying about Heartbreak Hill, thinking about what a competitor is doing, or get flustered because the last mile split was too slow, we all have a tendency to have our mind cluttered with a lot of junk. I am learning to clean out the trash and just be where I am and poor myself into the step I am about to take. I find that I get more out of myself when my mind isn't cluttered with so much garbage.

Sunday 27 September 2009


I met up with Paul and steady Eddie for a long run round Parbold, Eddie was full of his normal excuses [ cold, virus- cough,cough and sore calf] that Paul and me ha
ve come to take with a pinch of salt!
We set off from t
he village uphill through hilldale and then the first climb up the quarry road to the top of Hunters hill, Eddie was soon lagging behind as Paul and myself talked are way to the top of the climb.
After regrouping we headed down through the fields, Eddie's girlfriend [ the cow that was making eye contact with him, last t
ime!] was know where to be seen, much to the relief of Eddie!
Next was the 2 mile climb up to the top of Ashursts Beacon, after 3/4 the way up on the road I take them along a cobbled foot path just before the church, near t
he top the path gets really steep as we make our way between trees before coming out onto open land with the big stone Beacon just in front of us.
After a short break for Eddie to stretch out his tight calf we followed the path back onto the road and headed for Up Holland, we then turn right at the village following the main rd for a
mile before moving onto country lanes. Next destination the awesome 'Crank' climb.
This climb was a first for the other 2 Desperado's, they were in for a 'treat'!
It starts as a gentle ascent but half way up as you climb along a beautiful tree lined rd there is a hairpin bend and all of a sudden the true nature of the beast is unveiled before your eyes!
Paul tells me to go for it, so I work at pumping my knees and driving the arms, I make good progress and reach the top in good form. Paul is not far behind, but Eddie has gone missing again, so I go back to look for him, seems his 'womens' bladder is playing up again!
A nice long downhill follows before a very steep hidden climb back to Upholland, a right along the B road and a couple more miles until we turn left for the final climb, a side lane up to the top of Ashurt again, past quaint cottages, once mo
re Eddie's having a hard time and drops back as the climb steepens.
Just a fast 2 miles downhill to Parbold to go, giving us over 3 hours of very hilly running.

Eddie thought this was the hardest run he's ever done, inc Marathons!
Poor old Paul had only about an hour to get to work, HE WAS DOING A NIGHT SHIFT ON THE AMBULANCES!
Barry had told me to take it easy this week so most of my runs have been on the easyside but I still got in over 9 hours running.
Next week sees a 5 and 10k tempo run plus a fartlek sessiom, as I get ready for my 10k challenge!

More photo's from Langdale

Friday 25 September 2009

Training the Lydiard Way A podcast with Olympic marathon medalist Lorraine Moller

Training the Lydiard Way

A podcast with Olympic marathon medalist Lorraine Moller
By Scott Douglas

CLICK ON PHOTO FOR PODCAST,interesting stuff!

Wednesday 23 September 2009


2386ft of climbing in 13 miles!

Its was kind of a late decision to do the Langdale 1/2, Team mate Rob McGraph was doing the full marathon [ you can read about his amazing performance below-in his own words] and it seemed like a good excuse for a long weekend in the Lake District and meet up with some of Niz's friends. The day dawned with a perfect blue sky and light winds [ideal race conditions], Rob drove us all down, setting off at 8.30 in the morning for the 12 noon start. Once parked up in the field close to the start we got out and took in the awe-inspiring views, we were in a lush green valley with volcanic looking mountains erupting up all around, Their summits reaching high into the fluffy white clouds above. There was about 500 runners at the start [ 100 including Rob running the 2 lap marathon], my plan was to start easy then take the first mountain climb steady before pushing hard to the finish, well it didn't quite work out like that, as from the start I had heavy unresponsive legs which never seemed to let me push it to the max! The first mile was slightly downhill and I let the nutters shoot off to self-destruction and melt down. As we approached the first gruesome climb I slowly made my way through some of these fast starters. Once onto the climb proper the narrow road zigzagged madly with lots of hairpin bends into the distant horizon, I tried not to look up too far, but one could not but stare at the incredible views across the valley. Once at the top there was no time to relax and recover as the road plunged downhill at a suicidal angle, the legs took a hammering as I tried to run as smoothly as possible, it seemed to help to concentrate on picking your heels as fast as possible using the hamstrings. I went past a few more runners and slowly got onto the back of a small group of runners as we approached the next hill at 4 miles. The second main climb was not to bad and before I knew it we were into the next crazy descent, more undulations followed before the next shock, we crossed a main road then turned down a narrow lane round a corner and the road climbed up a 1 in 4, a girl I'd been running with shot off into the distance as my legs refused any more effort! Round another corner thinking I was at the top of the hill only to find another section of road climbing into the distance, more corners and more climbing through the tree lined road followed, I took a wrong turn and headed back letting a guy who was a good 30 sec behind catch my up, finally we came out on top of the mountain to be faced by even more crazy suicidal downhill running, it was At this point I was thinking of Rob having to run this lap twice 'CRAZY'! The last couple of miles were an endless series of undulations back to the finish, the guy I was running with pulled away, I concentrated hard trying to imagine that the finish line was pulling me in on a magic elastic band, finally the welcoming sight of England flags flapping in the wind, came into sight as I reached the finish line, I finished in 11th out of over 370 runners, feeling a bit pissed off that my legs had felt rubbery and heavy from the start of the race, but man that scenery was 'priceless'!
Rob came through the first lap only 3 minutes behind me looking happy and relaxed! and you can read his amazing account below. In the evening Niz and me and fri
ends Linette and Andrew went night clubbing in Kendall, dancing into the early morning [ how many 25 YEAR OLD'S let alone a 48 year old can run the hardest 1/2 in the country and still be able to dance the night away] it was a great weekend and I want to come back for the full marathon next year- shit did I just say that!

He had to endure over 4770 ft of climbing on his way to 2nd place in the Marathon, AWESOME!

Report by Rob McGrath

A very sunny Sunday morning
in September and Rick Bowker and Rob McGrath went to the Lake District to take on the challenge of the Langdale 1/2 and full marathon respectively. The marathon has been described as the hardest road marathon in the world. The weather was ideal for long distance running, and the setting just beautiful.
With a fairly flat first mile to start with before starting a v
ery tough 2nd mile which even saw some of the leading runners walking. I settled into what seemed like a very gentle pace on a downhill section as Rick ran off into the distance. The course was never flat and some of the undulations would be described as hills in other races.At 8miles we were greeted with a sign that said 1 in 4 hill ahead, and that was followed by another couple of uphill miles. 10miles down and 72mins gone, perhaps a little too quick.
The 1/2 marathon runners began to peel off to the finish,
with Rick taking 11th place, and 1st v45 in 1hr 29min. A cracking result.
For the marathoner runners it suddenly became the "loneliness of the long distance runner". I was in joint 4th place, with a man called Steve who used to live in
Southport. As we went up the first big hill for the second time he managed to walk alongside me as I ran! We could just see the 3rd place man ahead and w e gradually closed him down by mile 17. I increased my pace on the downhills and found myself running very much alone. 20 miles and 2hr 25min on the clock and a 1 in 4 hill to take on. As I approached the hill a 2nd place came into view, struggling ahead of me. Into 2nd place at 22miles and only a killer downhill section and 3 undulating miles to go. Legs aching after the downhill, I surprisingly found myself with enough energy to make the finish in 2nd place and in 3hr 11m 25s to rapturous applause from a large pub crowd.
Put this one in your diary as even the 1/2 is well worth doing.
PHOTO, ROB finishing the marathon

Great Langdale Half Marathon
Great Langdale Marathon

Thursday 17 September 2009


Rob [the funky gibbon] Ashworth contacted me a week ago asking if I knew of any mile races coming up, he'd just run 5.11 at a open track meet on a very windy day and this had set off a burning desire to break through the elusive 5 min barrier. With no mile races available I got together with Brian Grice who is a certified course measurer to put on our own little event to help Rob fulfill his dream. I decided the Kings Gardens offered the best chance of producing fast times, so Brian kindly and painstakingly set about measuring and re-measuring the course and setting out marker boards around the course. We then assembled a team of desperado's to help rob break 5 minutes, the team included Rob [The chicken scratcher] McGraph, Young Harry [very fast 400m runner] and Steve McLean, who has run 2.22 for 800m this year. So there we were on the start line with me on my bike ready to pace them round the two lap route, I counted them down 3-2-1-GO! The guys blasted off with me peddling madly behind trying to catch up. Round the first corner Rob 'The funky gibbon' accelerated hard up to 13.7 mph, I shouted for him to calm down ! They went through the 1/4 in close order in 72 seconds, I slowed them down abit, maybe to much as they reached the 1/2 mile in 2.31. Now it was time to get the party started and I encouraged the guys to quicken their pace. The Garmin was now showing well over 12 mph, into the final 1/4 and young Harry came through with a late surge which left Steve McLean falling off the back of the group, round the final bend and the two Robs took control as they thundered down the home straight in an impressive display of raw speed, I shouted out the speed on my Garmin as they kicked for home 12.5 -13.2 -13.7 and then 14 mph to the line! 4.55 showed on the clock as a very happy Rob Ashworth took the tape just a hair's breadth infront of Rob McGrath with Harry just 3 seconds behind in 4.58, Steve on tiring legs finished with 5.14. 'AWESOME', mission accomplished! This had been fun. Thanks go out to Brian for making this possible for Rob.
Robs Mile achievments over the years, Rob says;

"I broke the 6 min mile (5:54) in Dec 2004

In 2005 went down to 5:22 then 5:11 (Aug 05)

Next achieved 5:08 then 5:07 (May 06)

Pushed to 5:05 in June 07

Had a rest in 2008…"
Impressive running for a 45 year old, well done Rob!
Notice; for legal reasons this was not a race but a social meeting of like minded people! and this was in no way connected with the Southport Waterloo Running Club and no animals were harmed in the making of this epic event!

Tuesday 15 September 2009

The funky Gibbon going for the golden mile

On Wednesday 16th Rob [the funky gibbon] Ashworth will attempt to break sub 5 mins on The 2 lap Kings Gardens course, starting near the pier. Starting time 7pm [ note this is not a SWAC event].
I will be pacing him round on my bike, hopefully to a 4 min something time! I once ran 5.01 here but never broke 5 mins, maybe my best mile was after pacing 8 school 1 mile races [ running] then I ran the open race at the end of the meeting, running 5.09!
Last week I ran for 9 1/2 hours in 9 runs, Barry advised adding some extra 30 min easy runs to my Schedule, I ran one of these runs before last Wednesdays 5k setting my fastest trail 5k of the year, Sat saw me run with Steady Eddie for 2 hours over some of Parbolds and Ashursts steepest climbs for a total of 2500ft of climbing, this was in preparation for the toughest 1/2 Marathon in the country!
Tue 15th
2 mile tempo run on the 1 mile Kings Gardens course, I was really happy to average 5.37 pace for the 2 miles-going well!
2 miles at 10.7 mph, 5.37 pace, max speed 13.7mph, =11.15
total time =43 mins
Mon 14th
Club fartlek session in the pinewoods, felt like I had 'empty legs' and was hanging at the back of the group. = 58 mins

Thursday 10 September 2009

Wednesday 9 September 2009



On a Indian summers evening with the sun setting behind the hill it was time for the 'PAIN IS GOOD' RUBBISH 5K Handicap.
After the words of my coach still ringing in my ears I was out to prove that I could run a well paced race. I set off with Steve McLean and Ben Johnson some 9 mins after the first runners, Steve had read my blog and was out to test me by shouting off with a powerful surge that surprised me for sure, but I wasn't tempted to chase and got into my own steady rhythm, Ben pulled passed and so now I was 3rd in line!
Just before the first mile I overtook Ben and then just after crossing over the new bridge I latched onto Steve, I quickly passed him then set about forcing the pace going into the second lap. I was red lining now but it felt good and I was running in that beautiful RUNNERS place 'THE ZONE'. I was working on a fast and powerful knee drive [
Peter Magill calls this 'knee popping', Pete says;

Technique drills and hill reps (long and short) both focus on knee lift - and on strengthening and conditioning the muscles used in knee lift. When trained, it's an incredibly efficient motion that I like to describe as having your knees just "pop" - rise effortlessly without any "drive" on your part at all! Good knee lift leads to good stride length. And well conditioned knee lift leads to an ability to maintain that lift through the latter part of a race.

Remember that knee lift is the most important component of stride length - and also remember that the upper leg is like a hinge. It swings up and down. Good runners have always known that effective running is something that takes place in front of your torso.

It seemed to work as I was now running my fastest trail 5k of the year. with 400 m to go I turned the last bend and kicked for home up the hill, I could hear heavy breathing behind me so with 200 m to go I kicked again now reaching in excess of 12 mph. Just before the line Ben comes flying past for 14th place on the handicap time, steve comes in just behind.I finish with 18.03 my fastest time of the series!

Young Mathew Tobin was the first to cross the line knocking almost 2 mins off his best time, he will be one to look out for in the coming X/C season! Well done Mathew, the 'PAIN IS GOOD' Rubbish 5k handicap trophy with be wheeling its way to you, once I've bought it!!!

Sheila Marshall won the overall Womens series [ 4 races to count] and Steve McLean wins the Mens overall, 42 different runners have taken part in the series and the feed back I got was that you all enjoyed the event, so God willing The Rubbish 5 will be back next May and look out for a special 'Winter Warmer 'the pain is good 5k' this winter [ keep checking this blog for details].

Special thanks go out to Sarah and Rob who I volunteered for special duties! And thanks to all you guys who turned up and ran or helped out, CHEERS!

Sunday 6 September 2009


After telling Barry that I ran my first mile in 5.38, went through 2 miles in 11.26 -3 miles 17.38 - 4 miles 23.43 - 5 miles 29.47 and finish with 37.02,
Barry said;
What went wrong with your pace control button as you were WAY TOO FAST in first mile .You were on for 34.48 10k after a mile and that is too fast .
For every second or minute you are too fast in the first part you will lose double or more of that in the second --and thats how it proved .
You should be looking for Equal or Negative splits . In my last 10k race I ran 1 min faster for the second 5k than the first --to win National M65 10,000 a few years ago .
In winning World Games in Helsinki splits were 14.40 and 14.10 so 30 sec difference there . Get the idea! Any mug can fly out at the start but it is the last mile that counts .
You blew it !

I told Barry, well I'm not sure I've ever run a negative split, even in my 10k p.b. [ 34.52] I ran 5.11 in the first mile,
in my fastest 10 mile [57.36] I ran a 5.14 first mile and even my marathon p.b. had a couple of 5.59-6.00 min miles early on.
It seems I still have a lot to learn

Saturday 5 September 2009


Should you drive the thigh upward?

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 under Knee drive, Running, Running speed |

“Get those knees up” is a familiar expression heard by many runners. However, how the knee gets up is often misunderstood. All too often runners are told to merely lift the knees with no emphasis on a forward drive. However, you should not simply drive the knee upward; you should concentrate on driving the knee forward in a forceful manner.


Should you pump the arms faster?

How Do the Kenyans Run?

Can you prevent muscle fatigue?

The book 'EXPLOSIVE RUNNING' is available from AMAZON for £8.85 CLICK HERE

Thursday 3 September 2009


Yesterdays session called for 5 x 3 min uphill during a medium length run, so I headed to Parbold. On the first climb I'd only just started my hard effort when I felt a sharp burning in my thigh! Och, angry wasp attack, [ hey Dude you need anger counseling lessons] I'd forgotten how much there sting hurts!
Anyway it seemed to give me a sudden shot of adrenaline and despite the pain I completed over two hours in the rain!
In the evening it was 'Jon Boys' birthday bash, must have been a good night as I can't remember walking home!
Sunday I'm running the Rufford 10k, will it be my slowest ever !