Saturday 29 January 2011

London Marathon Training, Bad times No More :]

From Paulo Coelho's Blog

“At every moment of our lives we all have one foot in a fairy tale and the other in the abyss.”

“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side… And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.”

“If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself.”

“If I’m looking for true love, I first have to get the mediocre love out of my systems.”

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally come to realize that nothing really belongs to them.”

“The art of sex is the art of controlled abandon.”

“Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path.”

“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”

“The great aim of every human being is to understand the meaning of total love. Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.”

Pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that brings only joy: love.

“Considering the way the world is, one happy day is almost a miracle.”

from the diary of Maria, the prostitute in ELEVEN MINUTES

Kenyan Progression session

Felt really sharp on this session; 6 X 5 min [ 1 min 6.48 pace-1 min 6.00 pace- 1 min-5.44 pace with 2 mins Rec].

Had a lot of trouble holding back my pace, felt fantastic!

Garmin Data

Friday 28 January 2011

Running Inspiration

Running Inspiration

Will Smith - Running & Reading (The Key to Life)

Lessons learned from training in Kenya from Peter Gilmore:

Wednesday 26 January 2011


I RUN to get away from modern society, to return to my WILD and natural state, to roam free.
To run, allows me to experience life in it’s most basic and purest form :]
Inspired by Barefoot Josh

3 hours easy with Tess.
Over the sand dunes and through the pinewoods.
One destination in mind to run the Virgin London Marathon faster than ever before!
Photo; Tess is the girl , I'm the Wolf.

Tuesday 25 January 2011

1/2 Marathon paced tempo run and 10 x hill efforts, plus why I put a hacksaw to my Newtons!

If only all my sessions went as well as this, I'd be a very happy man indeed:]
Conditions were pretty dam good, mild with only a slight south westerly breeze ideal for my 20 min tempo run at close to 1/2 MP.
Location Hillside loop
The first half felt quite tough as I worked against the wind and gradual uphill to Hillside, but I made the most of the return leg, pushing well under 6 min mile pace at times.
I got onto my finishing loop feeling quite fresh, covering 3.32 miles at 6.02 pace.
After a short recovery jog it was time for 10 efforts up and down Oxford Rd.
I was meant to run for 45 sec but decided to just run from the first lamp post- last.
This gave me a fastest up hill time 51 sec and a best of 47 sec downhill.
1/ 5.43 pace 2/ 5.11 pace 3/ 5.24 pace 4/5.00 pace 5/ 5.28 pace 6/ 4.59 pace 7/ 5.24 8/ 4.59 9/5.18 10/ 4.47 pace
Holly shit! Almost got up to Geb's Marathon speed on my last effort, LoL.
Felt pretty strong and controlled on these!

Total time 1 hour

ATTACK OF THE NEWTON'S [No high heels for me] !

I used my Newton Distance Racing shoes on Mondays club run, first time in ages.
I realized quite soon into the run why I've not been wearing them, they sucked!!!
I'm used to wearing zero heel - toe lift shoes and the newton wasn't letting me get full calf and tendon stretch and snap back for maximum power and bio-mechanical efficiency.
There was only one thing for it 'Hacksaw Time'!
A few minutes work and I had zero lift heels!
It was time for a test run, straight away they felt 100% better and they performed really well on the tempo run and hill efforts.
That's great, I can really make use of them now:]
But why make running shoes with heel lift? it's crazy!

Nike Heelless Prototype Running Shoe


Virgin London Marathon Training Week4

Club session
location Ainsdale, by the spar.
Start 6.30pm Mondays
Ran down and back to club session. Good turnout apart from Neil who fell on his own skis while on holiday and hurt his ribs, SILLY BOY!
We did some pretty long efforts, felt quite strong, but could still feel the weekend long run in my legs a bit!
last effort was in memory of Neil, we moaned for him as we climbed the hill back to Ainsdale :]
Total time inc 6 x smart strides = 2 hours 2 mins

Interesting video on Ryan Hall and his recovery from over-training, seems he's doing the right thing after all !

Saturday 22 January 2011

Virgin London Marathon Training Week 3

Back on track :]
Tess and me had a great long run today at Marius Bakken's level one pace, kept to about 70% max heart rate and was surprised just how fast we were moving!
Used the same route through the big sand dunes and pinewoods as I'd run with Ben and Steve McLean the other week!
This marks the end of a very good weeks training and racing, things are on the up!
I think I may shock a few people with my comeback!
total time 2 hours 33 mins.
Running form improvement
I've been following Doc Steve's advice on how to improve posture and recycle gravity!
I've felt a massive improvement in my posture and running form by following his simple tips.
If there is one thing you do today then check out his video, awesome stuff!

How To Recycle Gravity and Create Organic Posture

Marathon Talk had a great interview with running legend Liz McColgan.
Really in depth talk about her training and mindset.
This women was so strong mentally its just awe inspiring!
She talks about training for her first marathon and wanted to find out what hitting the 'wall' was, that everyone talked about!
She ran 25 miles hard and still felt good, so she carried on for another 5 miles, she still felt Ok.
So she decided that that hitting the wall did not apply to her body!
She went on to run the fastest every d├ębut marathon by a women!

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Torchlight 5K Results

Torchlight 5K Results 19/01/11

1) Steve Wilkinson 17:46

2) Steve Mclean 18:27

3) Rick Bowker 18:33

4) Steve Lewis 18:46

5) Keith Lunt 19:35

6) Andrew Hudson 19:50

7) Terry Boland 20:30

8) Paul Talbot 20:40

9) Martin Sutton 21:07

10) Howard Nuttall 21:54

11) Paul Warrington 22:07

12) Brian Gow 22:10

13) Rob Cosgrove 22:27

14) Vicky Harvey 22:41

15) Mark Wadmore 22:52

16) Andrew Dawson 22:55

17) Adrian Shandley 23:00

18) Carol Wright 25:30

19) Callum Hudson 25:44

20) Ryan Spencer 25:46

21) Des Dobbs 25:59

22) Sue Stewart 26:55

23) Donna Spencer 27:04

24) Dave Aspinal 27:19

25) Brian Grice 27:27

26) Elaine Sutton 29:20

27) Shelia Marshall 29:36

DNF Greg Walker

Some amazing times taking into account the dark, gravel paths, tight turns, short sharp hills and freezing conditions.

Great race, congrats to Andy Hudson and team for putting on a fantastic event.

steve wilko showed his true ability by blasting round for a win!

I was pleased to have my best race since last July finishing 3rd after tracking in form Steve Mclean, catching him and shearing the pace with him until the final 400m where he used his track running power to edge me out of 2nd place.

Steve Lewis had another fantastic run finished 4th setting a p.b. in the process!

In the womens race Vicky Harvey was the outstanding winner finishing almost 3 mins ahead of Carol Wright who put in a good run to finish 2nd lady with Sue Stewart 3rd and Donna Spencer 4th.


Watch this space for the next awesome event coming SOON !

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Run Faster With Correct Biomechanics And Unlock The Power Within

Good posture is vitally important if you want to run faster-smoother and with less injury.
The first video is a good starting point for improving running form.

Learning the Skill of Barefoot Running from Terra Plana on Vimeo.

The second video shows how good posture [ hips forward and running tall] lets you run with a longer stride and faster speed!

To improve your posture,increase range of motion and reduce injury check out TRIGGER POINT PERFORMANCE SELF MASSAGE


Self awareness is everything. Most people don't understand that what you tolerate you accept, but it is a reality. Think about it. The more you sit in traffic, the more you get used to the traffic. Eventually you say, "this is normal for me, the traffic isn't that bad, I barely notice it any longer." Yet, there is a non-moving mass of cars surrounding you -- this is called grid-lock. Loss of tissue tolerance and the art of ageing is similar in nature. The physical difference is basically the same, you become "locked" and consider it "normal". I really want you to think about this; what you tolerate, you accept. MOREWeight of Life

Training Week 3
Club Speed Session, ran down and back.
Quads and gluts still sore after hill race, but felt strong on the efforts.
Total time inc 6 X Special Strides = 1 hour 55 mins
Level one run at 60-70 % max heart rate with Tess on the Hillside loop = 50 mins

REMEMBER Torchlight 5K tonight 7 pm
See below for details

LIVERPOOL MARATHON 9th OCT entries now open

The Long And Winding Road Race CLICK HERE

Monday 17 January 2011


Southport Torchlight 5K returns

Wed 19th Jan 2011 at 7pm.
PRIZES; First 6 Men- 6 Women will go into a New prize draw.
After the success of the first event Andy is hoping for an even bigger entry this time around, so don't let him down!

Read about the first event HERE
great link to Runners Head Torches
Check it out HERE
<span class=
The event starts at the stone circle
Highest central point of the park Bentham's way, new woodlands park.

Are you bored? fed up? Been watching to many repeats on TV?
Want to get out and have some real FUN ?

Then get ready for a brand New exciting challenge!

Course based on The Rubbish 5K [Glow sticks will mark the route]
Runners headlights available
NOW from Andy Hudson, just £4
to reserve your headlight contact Andy on 07909980153

Only a limited Number of headlights available, so get dialing!

Check out this podcast from Marathon Talk HERE [note starts at 18 mins 20 sec into podcast]
Also check out this; Top Tips For Running In The dark

Saturday 15 January 2011

Southport Waterloo A/C Win Ashurst Beacon Team Award

The seriously challenging 5.9 miles Ashurst Beacon fell race proved good hunting ground for SWAC.

Young Ben who trained with me on Wednesday finished an impressive 2nd overall [38.53] one min behind winner Nick Leigh of P&B. Ben, Rob Ashworth [42.36] and Steve McLean [43.41] made up our winning team, nice job lads :]
As for my own race, well it was a case of only two hours in bed after another tough night shift.

Steve Lewis kindly gave me a lift to the race. Heavy rain cleared for the start leaving very mild temps but plenty of mud out on the course.
My plan was to go out hard and see what happened.
The first mile is a suicide downhill, I wanted to try and stay with the leaders but got hemmed in, drat , even so I reached 4.20 pace on the road section before we moved onto the muddy trails. After a mile we started the steep ascent up through the quarry path to the top of Parbold [500ft]. I felt OK but didn't have the energy to dig really deep. I guess I reached the top in about 20th place.
Next followed a 1/2 mile along the top road, I gained a few places as I hit 11 mph. A right turn and I was running downhill on dirt tracks through Fairy Glen, so far so good! After the long descent we climbed up steep steps, out and over a wall and onto a very muddy cow field. My trail shoes slivered and slidded, it took all my concentration to stay upright. I lost quite a few places before we rejoined the dirt paths Again.
Now a final challenge of 500ft of climbing in a mile.
My energy left my legs just like water going down a drain. I could not suffer it was just a matter of plodding on, I was now in fat burning mode [slow boat to china mode].
Steve Lewis [30th 44.54, his best race by far!] pulled past as we hit the final 500m on what felt like a stage of one of the toughest Tour De France mountain stages!
At last the final 100m up to the top of the Beacon.
I finish a spent force in 35th out of 157 [ 45.21].
Not to worry, I'm always crap this time of year, the form will come, be sure of that. Roll on Parbold hill race next month, time for revenge :]
See Garmin Map Ashurst Beacon Race HERE

Thursday 13 January 2011

Marathon Training For Masters; Q&A With Marius Bakken

How to do masters marathon training :

"Hi Marius and happy belated New Year!
I'm starting your programme again for the London Marathon.
After last year following your plan I now want to take my performance one step higher and achieve a championship qualifying time of sub 2.45 at the age of 50.

My question is should I make any changes to the 100 day plan to take into account my age.
Some very good masters coaches recommend masters runners should do short hill sprints to help maintain a long youthful stride into old age, can I incorporate these hill sprints into the 100 day programme and how often should I run them!
Cheers Rick"

Answer: Hi Rick and good to hear from you ! I look forward to following your progress leading up to London.

Now, to your question - the main reason why performance go down with age is due to the decrease of elastic ability in the legs (the elastic tendon fibres tend to increase with time, the same with the general muscular elasticity )

Hill work can work, but it is difficult to control well, especially with age. Often it goes the other way.

What I recommend is to be really good at running the SS (special strides) in the 100 day plan (and remember:ONLY after hard work, NEVER after the easy runs :) )This is the #1 thing that goes right into the challenge of age.

In addition to this, pay attention to the self-massage in the 100 day plan. It helps you recover faster plus increase the above elasticity.

Other than that, some runners feel like they need more recovery time between hard work when they are older, but this is highly individual. With a well planned out system, this does not have to be the case - especially with the variation you find in the 100 day plan.

I wish you all the best with your preparations !

kind regards,

You want to start real easy on these and end at about your 3k pace or maybe 1500 pace, no faster !

That means about 90-93 % speed ; so no sprinting at the end of those. And do them progresive, meaning you start a bit slowly and get into a good rythm but never into sprinting.

That way you bring back the elasticity in your legs which is the main aim of these - for faster recovery between sessions. Marius

Tomorrow I'm running the Ashurst Beacon fell race.
I'm replacing M.B.s hardest session of the week with the race.
Very easy level one using heart rate monitor to keep my pulse down to 95-115 bpm.
felt very relaxed and fresh as I ran along with Tess on the hillside loop, weather amazingly mild! = 32 mins

Marius Bakken Training; Running in the Zones

Today was a rest day from running, but I did do a Trigger point Performance workout as I do every day of the week.
I guess this following article may be of only interest to M.B.s growing band of you following the 100 day marathon plan.
I asked Marius for more detaled info on how to train in the different work effort zones.
"Hi Marius,
When training at the different work levels should one try and stay at the upper level of each zone; ie in the 2.45 plan Level 3 is from Marathon to 1/2 marathon pace, so I guess what I'm asking will best results be had by staying at the upper level of each zone or should you go by feel ie on a good day hold the upper level of each zone, but if say you feel a big tired stay closer to the lower level of each zone?"

Answer: Hi Rick, excellent question!

My advice is this : on most days (the "average day"), start at the lower end of the zone and work yourself up - and then from about half way through stay in the higher end stable for the remaining of the workouts. On "tired days" you can stay in the lower end the whole session and maybe only push a bit up in the last 5-10 minutes. Now, if you feel great a particular day -usually identified with running fast AND getting heart rate fast up without any effort - then stay flat at the higher end the whole session. I've tested this with lactate testing and this makes it the most accurate in terms of actual lactate on the blood tests.

I wish you all the best with your training, Marius

2:18 AM

Wednesday 12 January 2011

London Marathon Training The Long Run 2 hours 44 mins

The M.B. plan called for 2 1/2 hours at level one [60-70% of max H.R.].
The important thing with these runs is time on feet and to burn body fat, the effort is kept low to avoid long term tiredness and fatigue.
There are plenty of long progression runs later in the program to work on race specific pace!
Tess and me jogged down to the dunes fitness centre to meet Ben.
Ben's also training for London but looking for a 2.40 performance!
We headed out across the big sand dunes and through the pinewoods in fine drizzling rain.
Returning between the two golf courses with a final stretch alone the Velvet trail.
Both Tess and me were 'Dog' tired by the end, but Ben still looked like he'd just been out for a light jog!
With running to the start and back Tess and me completed 2.44 mins, Hopefully my finish time at London :]
I have to admit these Long slow runs do not bring me deep joy, but are an important part of my build up!
On a final note; Amazing how heavy your running kit gets once soaked in the rain, I guess this adds a degree of weight training to the workout!

Tuesday 11 January 2011


RUNNING THE MARATHON: Legend has it that the first was run in 490BC when Pheidippides, a messenger, ran some 26 miles to Athens to announce that the invading Persians had been beaten at the Battle of Marathon.

How long he took is not recorded - but he dropped dead after delivering the news.

When the marathon distance was resurrected for the 1896 Athens Olympics, the qualifying race was won in 3hr 18min. Today the world record is 2hr 3min 59secs and was set by Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie in 2008.

In 2245, on a perfectly designed course, a marathon will be run in 1hr 57min 58secs.

Adapted from The Perfection Point by John Brenkus (Macmillan, £12.99).


SHOCK HORROR.VICTORIA BECKHAM'S arm falls off due to NEW No Fat, Carb's or Protein Diet!!

Joking aside, posh spice who was once reported as running 9 miles a day on a treadmill [ that's more miles than Thomas!] looks like a walking scarecrow.

Not a good role model for fashion concious young girls to follow, come on girl eat some grub, you look like crap!



Easy run [ Level one] with Tess on the Hillside loop, felt OK = 40 mins

Monday 10 January 2011

Sub 2.45 London Marathon Training Week Two

Like A Pyramid

I asked Marius last year If I could replace one of his sessions each week with the club session [its quite soul destroying training on your own all the time and I feel training in a group brings the best out of you as well as being FUN :]

Is it ok to replace some of the hard
trainings each week in the 100 day plan with shorter type speed
sessions ?
I asked Marius;
"Is it possible to replace one of your hard weekly sessions
with a club speed sessions (ie 400 to 800 m efforts)each week?
Many runners find training with a group helps push them to a higher level
yet at the same time being fun! Rick"

Answer : Hi Rick and thanks for
the question. Yes, you can certainly do this but let me give you some
advice on the way to make those sessions more effective and comply
better with the rest of the 100 day marathon plan :

1. Aim for a
progressive approach to these. Meaning, you want to run each of your
400s / 800s faster and faster. Ideally you want to have about 3-4
seconds difference in time from the first to the last 400 - gradually
getting faster and faster. This makes the sessions stay less time in
the legs.

2. After each of these, always do the 5 x 20/20 runs that I
talk about in the 100 day marathon plan.

3. In the marathon specific
phase of the plan, make sure that the really long sessions (type 40 min
+ 40 min + 40 min) are placed as far away as possible from these speed
sessions. Otherwise you may risk getting injuries.

4. In the tapering
period, I suggest to stick with what is outlined there or be really,
really careful on those speed sessions. The increased rest in the
tapering period makes it possible to go much faster on the speed
sessions - and it is very easy to "over-run" these then and lose some
of the marathon specific "low" muscular tension you'll need going into
the marathon.

Wish you all the best with your marathon training and
club sessions !


I followed this in my build up to London last year with good results.
Tonight there was a good group out and we did a pyramid session starting out running a block of about 500m and increasing the distance on each effort upto about 1000m before coming back down.
At last I felt really strong, I've been through a lot of stress over the last few months which has affected my running.
Started to cut down on drinking and eat more healthy.
Total time inc running down and back from club session and 6 x smart strides = 1 hour 51 mins

Saturday 8 January 2011

Great Edinburgh International X/C

Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on BBC I Player

For those of you guys outside the UK read about the races

Training update
I replaced M.B.'s hardest workout of the week with the Merseyside X/C Championship.
Once again I got only 3 hours in bed after a tough night shift.
I'd give myself a 4 out of 10 for the way I felt.
Nice muddy roller coast course over 11K in 45 mins.
Run with Jon and Sarah sandhill 5.
total time = 1.10

Thursday 6 January 2011


Just a quick thanks to everyone who left a comment on my last post especially Scott Brown, cheers much appreciated!

I know there may be some dark days ahead, but one way or another I'm going to battle my way through into the sunshine!
Location; Hillside loop
Tess and me followed Marius's schedule and ran for just 40 mins at level one [easy pace].

Felt really good and had to hold back a bit:]
5.5 miles at 7.17 pace = 40 mins

Most self discovery happens during the toughest moments. It breaks one down and requires you to dig deeper. When I’m lying on the pavement at mile 80 and it’s 100 degrees out, what motivates me to get up and finish the race? That is the self-discovery that occurs. You get a glimpse of your soul at times and see what really makes you tick. You go deeper in finding out what’s possible and what one can achieve.”



Tuesday 4 January 2011

Marathon Training In The Spotlight!

Marius Bakken session;

8 x [ 1min-45 sec-30 sec-15 sec] with 15 sec Rec between each, at 10K pace
Me and Tess headed for the Queen's Jubilee nature trail in the dark to test out my new mega powerful Magicshine 816.MagicShine MJ-816
There is a great wooden boardwalk loop which is about 400m, ideal for some fast action.
Without my torch its pitch black out here at night, with only the moon and stars shinning dowm=n.
The fact that a murdered women's body was found under the board walk a couple of years ago didn't really enter our minds as we set off in the darkness with only the Magicshine torch for company!
The magicshine is really powerful and I was able to run at full speed with out any problem.
Both Tess and me had a great time blasting round the nature trail in the dark.
Tess soon worked out I had 15 sec recovery between each effort, so she sprinted past me every time at 12 secs to get a jump on me!
After 40 mins we were both knackered, so it was time for home!
This was very good training for the upcoming Torchlight 5K on the 19th Jan.
Missed Ben's text [sorry Ben] so headed out with just Tess for company.
We went over the big sandhills but took it real easy until the last mile back on the road, where we picked the pace up towards 6 min mile speed!
Total time 1 hour 48 mins

Monday 3 January 2011

Sub 2.45 London Marathon Training Week one

Marius Bakken 100 day marathon plan
Start of the 5k-10k phase of the training plan
13 x 2 mins at Level 4 with 3 mins rec

Oh shit! It felt a bit like when your standing at the top of a high diving board at the pool, ready to jump off!
Yes it's time to jump back into Marathon training again!
The session looked quite tough and after all that snow would I have enough speed in my legs to hit my target paces!
I opened the front door and stepped out into the dark gloom.
Conditions were quite good, cold but dry and not much wind.
Oh well here goes!
After a good warm up I sprinted into my first 2 mins at L4
Level 4 is between 1/2 marathon [6.00 pace] and 10K pace [5.44], the idea is to start at lower L4 and work your way into upper L4 towards the end of the session.
Things went OK up to 1/2 way [ 30 mins into the workout] then my legs started to get a little rubbery!
I checked my form, pushing my hips forward and ran tall, now things improved, I finished the last couple of efforts strongly!
Just 6 x 20 sec strides to go, I impressed myself with a max speed of 14.7 mph, yeah almost sub 4 min mile pace :]
Total time 1 hour 10 mins Job done :]

Sunday 2 January 2011

LONDON MARATHON 2011 A New Start A New Begining!

Hi guy's hope your new year got off to a good start?

I started my new year with the clubs new years day 14.2 mile coastal path run.
most of the route goes over the sand dunes and Formby and Ainsdale pinewoods.
24 of us set off at an easy pace along the coastal path, by 5 miles Steve McLean started pushing the pace as we went into the Formby woods with Steve Wilko pushing things on through the Ainsdale woods.
As we emerged out onto the main path by the railway line I found myself taking the lead into a nasty headwind, as the rain started I thought to hell with it and pushed even harder!
Under the Railway bridge and back into the dunes.
I lead the charge onto the winding single track following the white posts, at last we reached Pointins, just 2 1/2 miles until the comfort of the Fisherman's pub where beer and food was awaiting us!
I lead Steve and Joe off the sand dunes and onto the final 1/2 mile of tarmac cycle track.
Steve lifted the pace and we were soon doing sub 6 pace into the finish.
Total time 1.48

SAMMY WANJIRU starts 2011 with a 'BANG'!
Someone who didn't have such a great start to the new year was Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru.

Sammy's been charged in his native Kenya with death threats to his wife and the illegal possession of an AK47 rifle. READ HERE

My Marius Bakken training for the London Marathon 2011 starts tomorrow with the aim of sub 2.45 and gaining a championship place for London 2012 at the age of 50!