Sunday 28 March 2010


UPDATE: official time 1.18.30, chip time 1.18.22
Position 21st out of 5000 +
2nd age group 45
New 'ALL TIME' P.B. YES! :} :} :}
IMG_4779-1 by Dave Pinnington Photography.
My unofficial time on my Garmin showed 1.18.17, 5.59 pace!

I sprinted all out at the finish and missed the clock, so will have to wait a few hours for the official results.
It was a cold windy morning down at the docklands start, with a stiff sea breeze to chill the bones!
I was shaking on the start line, not with fear but with the cold!
the race started soon after 9.30 am, I got a good start and within minutes we were charging up Parliament hill, after 1/2 mile or so we moved onto nice rolling roads where I picked up speed and started averaging 10.2 mph.
Next we detoured through princess park and then Sefton park.
I was running with a good group of runners and we went through 6 miles just on 35 mins.
I was going really well and I knew it!
The Newton shoes felt great but the cold air was making my left calf tighten up a bit, I tried to relax it and it did ease off.
Next we passed through Otterpool park then turned out onto the sea front and hit a massive headwind :[
10 miles passed in 58.59 well up on target, but the wind felt incredibly strong, I was now running with one other guy in yellow and I asked him to work with me, taking turns at the front then dropping back and getting shelter.
Oh man this last section felt endless, it was cruel, it was the enemy trying to stop me from getting my p.b.
Just before 11 miles team mate Gerry came passed powering through the block headwind, I tried to hold him but could not and he slowly pulled away!
Soon i could hear the finish line commentator and I pushed as hard as my tiring legs [ sucked empty of energy from the horrible wind] would allow!
Mcmillan now says I can run a 2.45 Marathon :]
Anyway I'll post my official time as soon as the results come out, but pretty sure it's a new P.B.
not bad for someone who has been running for over 17 years and last set their 1/2 marathon P.B. 6 years ago, oh and did I tell you I'm 49 now, but better than ever!!!
Thanks go out to Marius Bakken for his great training programme, AWESOME! I hope this shows that with correct training P.B.'s are still possible into your late 40's! and maybe beyond :]
team mates Angela set a new p.b.
[great run] improving from 1.37 down to 1.32 note; please check out her website, click on her name and help her charity, thanks.
Simon and Paul did not do quite as well, Simon just missed breaking his P.B. with 1.28 and Paul did not feel good from 3 miles on and finished with 1.33

Saturday 27 March 2010


I asked Niz to take a video of me running along the sea wall near Southport pier on a dull windy afternoon. I've been working at using Steve Magness's'Hip stretch/reflex mechanism' running method for the last couple of weeks.I can see that my knees and heel are coming up nicely without effort but I can see a few faults, my head is looking down and I'm bending forward at the waist, so I've got room for improvement!
it's really useful to have a video taken of yourself so you can see and work on your faults.

What do you think of Tess's running form?
Check out Steve's website and video's on correct running mechanics

Thursday 25 March 2010


Oh Man, it's almost time for the Liverpool Half Marathon. Don't want to give you a time I'm going for, all I'll say is I'm hoping to hit 6.00 mile pace and take as much pain as my body and soul can take and believe me when I want to I can take it good!
The race has a full starting list of 5000 runners, it's been about 8 years since I did this race, back then i ran 79 mins.
My best half Marathon was back in 2004 when I ran 78.39
RESULTS for 10th place in the Swinton Half!

Newton Distance Racer First road Test
yes, I splashed a shed load of dosh out on a pair of the most ridiculously priced shoes in the world!
As a natural forefoot runner I find it very hard to find a light weight shoe that gives me enough comfort over the marathon distance, my Spira shoes are good, but the 'splatting' sound they make was getting on my nerves!
I've been thinking of the Newtons for a while but the cost was putting me off. but I do need all the help I can get to break 2.45 so in the end i gave in!!!
I did my first run in them last night, running down to the club session. First impressions are very good, the shoes seem to hold you in a good forefoot landing, they absorb the shock really well and you can feel them giving back a nice energy return, making you want to run fast:]
it's true you can get a placebo effect with new shoes so its hard to say for sure that they really make you faster, more testing is needed!
i took it easy on the session, pacing Paul round 3 x mile intervals, after the 1st one [6.40] I asked to swap shoes [ we are both size 10], running the second effort in his Nike Victory trainers felt very bad, landing in my normal forefoot landing position my balls of my feet hit the tarmac very hard, the shoes felt dead with all my energy going straight into the ground never to be seen again, YUCK :[
Why oh why can the main stream shoe manufacturers not make shoes for fore and mid foot strikers, at least 1/4 of us runners run this way so come on Nike and Co, get your act together!!!
after the second effort [6.44] I begged Paul for my Newtons back, my legs felt wrecked after running just one mile in the Nikes! One final effort at 6.33 and I made my way home, conclusion so far; LOVE THE SHOES :] = 45 mins
Tue 23rd
nice run with Niz, down to the pier and back = 40 mins
Mon 22nd
Mega session
20 miles including club fartlek session 7 x about 800m, the last effort saw Doctor Simon and me running at 5.20 pace uphill, good session:]

RunCenter: March 23, 2010

Half Marathon Madness And Shoe Reviews On This Week’s RunCenter CLICK HERE

Coverage of the new half marathon world record, surprise winners in NYC and they give you an insider look at their new shoe review!

Train Your Age click here

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Sunday 21 March 2010

Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea bettered the half-marathon world record to 58 minutes 22 seconds on Sunday.

Zersenay Tadese (ERI) celebrates with a fan after winning the Men's IAAF/EDF Energy World Half Marathon Championships 2009 on October 11, 2009 in Birmingham, England.

Tadese beats Wanjiru’s world record.

He now plans to smash the Marathon world record at London in April! READ HERE

Britain's Mara Yamauchi wins New York Half Marathon Read here

Mara Yamauchi

Expect every race to hurt like hell and you will race better.

Click here
Back in the days when I use to run my fastest short distance races, I use to chant the words 'PAIN IS GOOD, PAIN IS GOOD' before the start of every race! I use to joke about this with team mates, the point is you should look at the pain of running fast as a positive and not a negative.
Think of yourself as a machine, the more pain the closer to the Red Zone on your rev counter you are reaching, in a 5 k you should be pushing close to 'the red' from the start, in a Marathon you should be hitting the red in the last 6 miles!
Think of pain in a positive way, do not dread or think of it as bad!

Saturday 20 March 2010

Marius Bakken 2 Hour progression Run! This was Tough!!!

I had a feeling this session would be hard work, with less than a week after my 20 mile race to recover plus a 3 hour run on Wednesday, would my legs be up to it?
The Marius plan was to run 40 mins at 7.33 pace increase to 6.48 pace for another 40 min then hammer the final 40 mins at faster than 6.18 pace, total time 2 hours.
Well this is how it panned out, I headed out at 8 mph onto my 7 mile loop which goes out to Ainsdale and returns along the coast road. On my way back along the coast rd i hit a blustery head to side wind which made for hard going, so after I completed my first 40 mins at 7.25 pace [ 8 sec per mile up on target] i moved onto my Trafalgar rd-Hillside 5 k loop to get some shelter from the wind. my next 40 mins went by at 6.51 pace [3 sec per mile off target] this did not feel good, my legs did not like the damp cold wind, self doubts started to cross my mind, would i be able to up my pace for the final section?
I had now been running for one hour and 20 mins, I kicked hard and accelerated up to 10 mph.
the first couple of minutes were hard going but then my legs came around and i got into a good rhythm. Two laps of my 5k loop went by at 6.17 pace [just on target] and i finished feeling better than when I started!
Marius said this session will help me over the final 10k of the Marathon, one thing is for sure this was a lot harder than a normal sort of tempo run!
I now have a well earned easy week before the Liverpool 1/2 marathon, hopefully that will give my legs plenty of time to recover!

The Pilot Episode Of RunCenter, Featuring the lovely Kara Goucher! Click here

A Training Day With American Record Holder Josh Cox! Click here Training Day with Josh Cox

Wednesday 17 March 2010

WinCatherine: A Documentary on Catherine Ndereba (aka Catherine the Great)


The nine common foods that help you reduce stress CLICK HERE

A new study shows that it takes only very slight changes to your eating habits to dramatically improve your longterm health. Here nutritionist NICOLE BERBERIAN reveals how...
Reduce sugar in your tea or coffee from two teaspoons to one, and you could save yourself up to 30g of sugar a day (if you drink six cups daily). That saves nearly 11kg of sugar a year. At 15 calories per teaspoon, that's a cut of 32,000 calories a year.
You'd have to run 12 marathons (at 100 calories used per mile) to burn the equivalent of that amount. MORE

Tuesday 16 March 2010

30 x 1 minute progression session

Mon 15th

Legs not to bad after the 20 mile race, so ran with the club on a steady run, finished with 1 hour 23 min running at a easy pace. [Note this run was not part of the marius plan!]
Tue 16th
This week my training includes a 3 hour plus easy run and a 2 hour progression run!!!
Today's session was 30 x 1 min starting at below marathon pace and progressing up to [5.44] 10k pace, making each effort faster than the last. I misread the instructions and gave myself 1 min recoveries between efforts, oops should have been only 30 sec rec, naughty me! Should I go back and do the session again ??? Mmm bit tired for that!!! total time = 1.08
Wed 17th
Warm and sunny day for tess and me as we set off on another 3 hour plus long easy run, once again we ran over the sand dunes and through the Ainsdale and Formby pinewoods = 3.04

Sunday 14 March 2010


Back in 2004 I ran 2.05.24, pretty sure it was a short course back then [19.75 miles!], today after pushing too hard keeping up with team mate Ben [ 10 miles 6.06 pace] i started to blow and went through a bad patch for the next 3 miles, getting dropped by the group i was in.
I went through 13 miles in 1.20, shortly after I was caught by a guy and we worked together into the wind, I pulled myself around and finished quite strongly, finishing on a running track and being told we had to run 2 laps [ 800m] to finish was not good, but i manged to power round to a 2.05.25 finish, 6.15 pace average for 20.00 miles.
The wind picked up throughout the event which made for hard going in the second half of the race.
messed up with my pace a bit, should have been 2.4.50 ish with better pacing!
Ben ran a great race, at just 21 this was his longest ever run and race, he finished with 2.03
Simon set a 6 minute p.b. with 2.22 and Paul after returning from injury ran well with 2.30
my next race is the Liverpool 1/2 marathon can i beat Scott brown and do a 1.18 ?

Thursday 11 March 2010


Leaning Kenyan Running Form
In Ewen's last post he gave a link to Steve Magness's website.
I found a very interesting article he had written on 'learning how to run'. In fact Steve was basically saying everything i thought i knew about correct running form was incorrect!!!
At first I felt a bit annoyed, but I kept an open mind and the more I read and watched his video's the more what he was saying made sense.
basically in simple terms he teaches you to use the
'hip stretch/reflex mechanism' so you can run with less effort.
Think of the road like a treadmill, with the road moving under your feet.
As you land let the ground drag your foot back so your hip and leg are fully extended behind you [see photo above].
Allow a passive toe off, now the interesting bit, keep your leg relaxed as your foot lifts from the ground, now feel your knee moving forward without any conscious effort on your own part,
at the same time your knee will bend letting the heel come up towards your butt and all this happens without effort, no powerful and tiring knee drive or hamstring butt kicking needed!
And even better the faster you run the faster and stronger will be your knee drive and heel lift and I repeat this all happens without conscious effort!!!
'Hip stretch/reflex mechanism'
So how does this work ?
Simple! by letting your foot get dragged back more, which in turn extends your hip and leg, the muscles and tendon in front of the hip are stretched, as the foot leaves the ground after toe off the muscles snap back, like a elastic band, pulling your leg forward!
It took me 2 runs to get the hang of this 'new to me' way of running. It feels much easier than my normal way of running, your just using energy to hold yourself upright in a good posture instead of burning lots of energy driving the knee and kicking your heels up, very very cool :]
now as i look at photo's and video's of elite runners i notice they all have this very extended hip and knee and are using their muscles and tendons as springs!
Steve says;
-The key to running is the elastic properties of the body. The body has so many reflexes and such that energy transfer and return should be a focus of training. Many parts of the body function as a rubber band. It really astounds me that more time isn't spent on exploring this concept or trying to improve it. That is one of the reasons for optimizing running mechanics. If you do it correctly then you can maximize this elastic effect, and thus minimize energy loss. Less energy lost, means less work that needs to be done.
So please read Steve's article and video and have a go at turning your legs into powerful springs, let us know how you get on, remember to keep an open mind, it will be worth it in the end!
Oh, and a big thanks to Ewen for the link!

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Really cool tempo run!

On Tuesday [ my birthday, geees 49!!!] I did Marius Bakken's alternating pace tempo run.
40 mins of 4 mins 6.04-5.44 pace then 4 mins active recovery at 6.48-6.30 pace none stop!

It went well and I felt quite strong.
6.33 miles in 40 mins, average pace 6.19, total time inc warm up warm down = 1.00
Not quite as fast as Ryan Halls tempo runs!!! [see video below]
Note Ryan's stretched hip and leg, just been reading about how to use the 'hip
stretch/reflex mechanism' to improve running performance, READ HERE
Today Tess and me hit the sand dunes for 1 hour and 29 mins easy, then i ran 1/2 mile at 10k pace.
Monday was a club session with 12 fast short efforts, max speed 14.2 mph.
total time inc running down and back = 2 hours 22 mins.
Last week saw me reach almost 12 hours of running!

On Sunday I have a 20 mile race which will be a good test to see how i'm going!

Friday 5 March 2010



Tess and me set out on another of Marius Bakken's long easy runs. The Sky's threatening clouds cleared to leave bright sunshine as we reached the Royal birkdale golf course, we made our way along the sandhill paths, up and over the big dipper and on to the Ainsdale pinewoods.

We then carried on towards the Formby woods, the sea was right in and the sun glistened off the crashing waves, cool, very picturesque.
we made our way into the Formby woods and did a big loop round and headed for home.

I took only 4 Lucozade tablets on the whole run and was pleased to see that i felt quite strong over the last couple of miles of tarmac. = 3 hours 5 mins
Over 9 hours of running so far this week inc some real quality sessions

Thursday 4 March 2010

SPEED! Put a Spring in your step

BEST WORKOUTClick on photo
I've been on holiday from work this week, so decided to fit in an extra session.
I opted to run down to the local Rugby ground on a bright and sunny but still quite chilly early afternoon [ I guess the Spring is still fighting it's way through our long hard winter!]. After a good 15 mins warm up I set about 30 mins of 'Diagonals'.
It felt good striding out over the fresh cut grass in my modified 'Nike Free's.
I ended up with 32 stride outs in 30 mins with a max speed of 4.30 pace.
total time = 1.00

StrideUK Stretch and strengthen




Tuesday 2 March 2010

2 hour 10 min Monster tempo run
I could still feel the race in my legs on yesterdays club fartlek session, so i was not to sure how today's Marius Bakken's mega tempo run would go!

Setting out a 1pm on a sunny but still cool day I wore my shorts and a cycle thermal top.
The first 30 min were to be run at 7.33 pace, I reached 30 mins of running with an average pace of 7.30 , now without a break I had to run the next 20 mins at 6.18 pace, I speeded up but my legs did not feel right, my technique felt all wrong and the next 3.15 miles was a bit of a struggle which reflected in my 6.21 pace, just off my target.
without rest i eased back down to 7.26 pace for the next 30 mins before speeding up again for another 20 mins at marathon pace, this time i felt much better and all of a sudden I got my running form back, knee's driving forward i relaxed my legs and ankles, pulled my abs in and pushed my butt forward.
Everything started to flow along and I averaged 6.20 pace for this 20 min segment.

Without rest I had to speed up to 10k effort [ 5.44 pace] for the next 10 mins.
Marius said don't worry If you find this hard!!!
Now running on the back roads near home I pushed to 5.44 pace on the straights but was losing speed on the many tight corners, finishing on a half mile loop feeling quite good but missing my target with 6.04 pace for the 10 mins,.
I finished with 20 mins at 7.31 pace taking in Victoria park on my relaxed finishing Cruise.
Man that was tough, think I'll take it very easy now until my weekend 3 hour run, definitely need some recovery time so I can feel fresh again !
30 mins 7.30pace-20 mins 6.21 pace-30 mins 7.26 pace-20 mins 6.20 pace-10 mins 6.04 pace and 20 mins 7.31 pace, all with no rest between = 2 hours and 10 mins
Mon 1st March
club fartlek session
Ran down and back inc 6 x pyramid loops at 10k plus pace = 2.01

Podcast with Boston Marathon winner
Salina Kosgei