Monday 30 May 2011

Running Form Breakthrough And An Amazing HiIl Session At Close To 6 Min mile Pace!

Clieves Hill Lane
First I read about it in Earl Fee's book then I read this brilliant article the other day.
The advice was to push hips and chest forward as you run, the result is it puts you more over your C.O.G. which reduces braking forces and allows a longer stride behind you.
Using Earls advice helped me have a cracking race at Harrock Hill last week and today after reading this as well I had an amazing hill session.
3 x 5 mins up Clieves Hill
The last time I did this session was back in 2009 when being coached by Barry.
Long hill repeats at Clieves Hill 2009

Today I must have been flying, getting faster on each effort until I was close to breaking 6 min mile pace!
Comparison 2009-2011
30th 5 2011
3 x 5 mins uphill
1/ 6.19 pace, 2/ 6.11 pace, 3/ 6.04 pace
6th 8 2009
3x 5 mins uphill
1/ 6.45 pace, 2/ 6.32 pace, 3/6.20 pace

I finished off with 4 x 1 min on a super steep hill [ this was flaming HARD!] then did 6 x 20 sec downhill strides reaching a max top speed of 4.03 pace!
Job Done :0]
Time to break the limits, time to set new records and live life in the moment!
Always believe the impossible is possible!
And your dreams will become True!

Run The Edge
RunTheEdge said;

"Onwards" Just watched this video again and had to go for a second run!!

Jo and Mo lead the way!

Saturday 28 May 2011

Hutton Roof Fell Race Results

Photo P1280956.jpg copyright © 2011 Eileen Woodhead
Funny Photo or what :0]

Hi guys here's a quick update on my second race of the week!
The race was part of the clubs Fell running G.P.
After racing all out on Wednesday I decided to enjoy this one and ran a bit below the red line!
To be honest I'm not sure I could have run a whole lot faster maybe 30 sec all so?
Travelled down with Matt, Dosshead, Steve and little Trace, you know it's always good fun travelling and racing with your team mates and we always have a good laugh often at the expense of each other:0]
Most times it's Dosshead and Trace who get most of the leg pulling!
I guess most true 'FELL RUNNERS' would call this race a bit of a 'furry pussy' but to a road and trail junkie like me it's a pretty hard core experience especially the second climb which goes up near vertical all the way up the scree to the top of the mountain, where the only option is to put your hands on your knees and walk and prey!
The Race
Starting in a field we looped round to the old start [ adding over 2 mins to pre 2009 races] then quickly we were onto the first climb.
Dosshead, Steve Mclean and Rob Ashworth pulled away from me as I hopped my way up the rocky path.
Once at the top we ran along the tops, I felt pretty good and relaxed gradually working my way through the runners ahead.
Some steady climbing followed before a very fast downhill track littered with rocks to break an ankle or two.
Round a corner and the real climbing began and the running stopped, my forward progress seemed to come to an almost halt as runners all around me scrambled past.
It seems I'm pretty crap at this vertical climbing lark, maybe I need to do some high bench stepping or something to prepare for this race next year, cause I'm pretty good at runnable climbs!
Half way up this figgin monster of a rock a guy asked me what I thought of my 101 New Balance Trail Racing shoes, between big gulps of oxygen I told him they were really great, very light and flexible with pretty good grip, yeah mate I love them!
Once over the top a smile broke out across my face, I'd conquered my Everest!
More fast downhill followed including jumping down a 6 ft rock cliff drop!
Across a road and onto a narrow dirt trail that pleasantly winds its way up through trees.
I push hard now picking off the guys ahead one by one!
At last we reach the top of the final climb and I follow two guys onto the suicide downhill grass bank, I accelerate and amazingly overtake them both, only to blow it on the tight corner at the bottom.
I lose a place Dam!
I recover, pull up close to the guy in front and wait for the final 200m.
With a brazing kick I pull away and cross the line feeling as fresh as the proverbial daisy!!!
After a quick natter with fellow team mates rob, Dosshead and Steve McLean, oh they finished in that order too!
It was time for the village home-made cakes- scoff-scoff!
Next in for team SWAC was Steve Lewis,Brian, Matty, Andy Hudson and Trace- Wow! Trace had a blinder, Little Trace is pretty scared of heights and rocks and things but ran a super fast 1.09 Amazing!
Seems she went up the scree like Spider-women!

Other SWAC members of note were Carol and Clive along with Vicky and Michelle plus soon to be a club member Paul.
So great day out loved it and feeling goood :0]

Photos and results will be HERE

Crazy drunk depressed mice and how taking omega 3 oil got them normal and happy again!

Thursday 26 May 2011

Harrock Hill Race Report Flying High!

The ever popular Harrock hill race series resumed again for the 10th year.

20 SWAC members turned up in force to take on the challenging and scenic course, starting with a tough mile climb to the top of the disused quarry this race is not for the faint hearted!

Shortly after 7.30 pm we set off up the climb, sprinting away from the start with lungs bursting and quads burning we fought our way up against the unforgiving incline.

Towards the top of the first climb team mate and club chairman Steve Mclean shot past me like an exoset missile, which caught me by surprise, I regained my stride on the downhill and overtook Steve as my Garmin showed sub 5 min mile pace.

Just behind was Steve Lewis followed by Rob Johnson [farther of Ben] and Andy Hudson and Paul Tobin.

Tracey Peters was the first of our girls over the top, with Vicky Harvey followed by Rachel Thomas, Carol Wright and Sue Stewart who was being shown round the course for the first time by an obliging Carol James.

I was now running in the ‘moment’ concentrating hard to take it to the limit one more time.

Out of the farmers field and onto a flat road section hitting 5.20 pace until I turned a sharp corner and headed up the next climb.

I’d now moved up to 8th place with a big gap to the lead runners.

I shortened my stride and speeded up my cadence, leaning into the hill, a couple of guys got into formation behind me waiting for me to faulter,No Pressure!

Out on to the Parbold hill road for a second before plunging down a dark narrow dirt path with gnarly tree roots under foot to take out the unwary

Over a stream, up the bank then out onto the escalator, a never ending climb that carries on into the distant horizon!

This is where many runners suffered among them was Steve Lewis, Matt Nelson and Neil Silcock all who retelled their stories of woe back at the pub after the race.

Pushing on at last I reached the top road, still in 8th place and feeling strong, just one more short climb up to the ruins of the ancient windmill.

Next is a very technical section along a rocky path, I feel the breath on my neck of 3 guys on my shoulder lining up for the final sprint.

Down through the last cow field I’m out paced by 2 of the guys only to have the 3rd guy out sprint me to the line.

This gave me 11th place out of 179 [a record number of finishers] and my fastest time in many years!

The race was won by John Morrisey of Wigan Phoenix in 32.02.

Out of our club members there were some great performances;

Tracey Peters, Vicky Harvey and Rachel Thomas won the ladies Team prize!

Steve McLean was 21st, Steve Lewis in only his second race here set a massive P.B. with 37.17 and 23rd place.

Rob Johnson a very good fell runner over the longer distances had a big smile on his face at the end finishing with 38.01 and 28th

Next was Andy Hudson 37th Simon [flying Doctor] Tobin on the comeback trail after injury 45th 39.27

59th Matt Nelson 40.40, Paul Cain pulled off a new P.b. with 40.55

Tracey Peters was the first lady of our club finishers taking 3rd lady overall on the night with 41.09 and a new P.B.

Ex club member Ted [big boy]Maguire ran 42.54

Paul Ashby 43.31 out sprinted Neil Silocock 43.32 who enjoyed his first ever run here.

Big Ed Sherstone no stranger to climbing the high peaks finished in 101 place with 44.25

Rob Cosgrove set a shinny new P.B. with 44.48

Vicky Harvey put in a good showing with 46.32

Silver haired old fox Phil Baxendale put on his trainers one more time for 46.49

Clive James was close behind with 46.54

Next lady was Rachel Thomas pleased with her 47.32 but looking to get faster by next month.

Shy retiring Carol Wright 51.46 complained that she wanted a specially designed SWAC T-shirt to cover her hairy chest!

Super Sue Stewart running her first ever race here put in an awesome performance to win the L 60 age group with the help of pacer Carole James 52.46

All in all a great turn out from the club, just missing a few big hitters from the Formby end.

After the race we all enjoyed a few pints at the friendly Farmers Arms and recounted daring tells of epic hill climbing and descending.

Next Race Hutton Roof on Saturday.


For the last couple of years I've felt I've lost some power on the hills, my answer to this is to increase my explosive power with plyometrics and short sprint work up hill.

My best short distances races were back in 2000 and 2003, is it by any coincidence that I did a lot of plyometric work those two years, I think not!

I'm doing two leg squat jumps, with and without weights, single leg squat jumps and one and two legged bouncing from the ankles.

I've progressed slowly over many months from wearing minimal shoes down to just bare feet now!

This I think has greatly increased the strength and power of my legs and feet.

Also under the advice of super marathon runner Roberto I've started incorporating short hill sprints into my training for the last couple of weeks.

It has been shown that these short hill sprints greatly increase growth hormone in the body by up to 40% after training, this is a massive gift for us older runners as GH is responsible for increasing muscle mass, reducing body fat and speeding up recovery!

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Harrock Hill Race- Amazing Result! and F**K You!

Wow!, just had an amazing race tonight, running my fastest time for many years at the Harrock Hill Fell Race.

I put this improvement down to a couple of things I've learned in the last couple of weeks!
I will reveal all soon!
I'm really buzzing with the result!!!
Check back here for a full report sooooon!

Rick :0]
Pos'n Race No Time Name Club Category
1 79 32.02 John Morrissey Wigan Phoenix M
2 139 32.31 Andy Buttery Rossendale HarriersM
3 91 32.45 Dominic Raby Chorley Harriers M
4 21 33.31 Luke Betts Chorley AC MU18
5 98 33.37 John Sutton Blackburn HarriersM
6 150 33.59 Paul Muller Horwich M50
7 164 34.32 Alex Foster Astley & Tyldesley M
8 13 35.39 Lee Barlow Wesham M
9 154 35.42 Keith Thomas Burnden RR M50
10 22 35.44 Adam Sciacca Chorley AC MU18
11 78 35.48 Rick Bowker Southport WaterlooM50
12 100 36.36 Andy Lloyd Horwich M40

which-comes-first-cardio-or-weights CLICK HERE

Monday 23 May 2011

Step Into Minimalism - Dr. Jack Daniels and Lance Armstrong On The Edge Of Going Down!

Dr. Jack Daniels, PhD, Olympian, coach and author, speaks at the Saucony Step Into Minimalism event

60 Minutes

Is Armstrong on the edge of going down?

A former teammate of perhaps the world's greatest cyclist, Lance Armstrong, says he used banned performance-enhancing substances with Armstrong to cheat in pro races, including the Tour de France, the sport's ultimate event. Scott Pelley reports.
Lance Armstrong, DRUGS-EPO Part 1:

World records smashed at 5th Brathay Trust Windermere 10 in 10 & Marathon

Sunday 22 May 2011

The Secret To Running Fast At Any Age!

Check out Earl Fee's amazing long flowing stride length, a stark contrast to the short shuffling strides of his fellow competitors!

Earl uses Dynamic stretching, strength training, plyometrics, massage, hill sprinting and speed work to maintain his youthful running stride!
Learn more read a preview of his book

The Complete Guide To Running: How To Be A Champion From 9 To 90


This post is in response to Ewen's article on stride length and ageing

Pacing the school mile races

On Wednesday along with team-mate and club chairman Steve Mclean I helped pace the school races in the local Victoria park.
It was quite funny to think that Steve's and my age combined equalled over a hundred years!
Most of the kids running were aged from 11-16 yet we managed to keep ahead despite leading 8 races.
But it has to be said that I chickened out of running the ninth race and paced the 15-16 year olds race on my bike!
Read School Mile Race Report Here

Training For The Week
Easy run with Tess and Jon on sandhill 6
Total time 1.26
Parbold-Ashurst hill run, still felt a bit tired after pacing the school races on Wed.
= 1.51
Fri Rest
Hill sprints x 6 on gravel trail, plus 6 x 20 sec special strides = 52 mins
paced 8 school mile races, total time 45 mins
GARMIN DATA School Mile Races
Hillside loop, easy-steady = 32 mins
Club session on Greenbank school grass track.
Pyramid session 200-300-400-600-800 and down.
Very windy near gale force, hard work = 1.27
Note track training every Mon start time 6.30pm

What to do if you fall in a race! - Videos - Runnerslife - The Home for Athletes of all Calibres via @runnerslife Bristol 10k Elite Race 2011 - Videos - Runnerslife - The Home for Athletes of all Calibres via @runnerslife Simple Fitness Test Could Predict Long-Term Risk For Heart Attack, Stroke In Middle-aged People via @mnt_sportsmed

Eating Butter and Cheese is not bad for you! Hurray!

Keep up todate Follow RicksRunning on Twitter

Monday 16 May 2011

Sammy Wanjiru Olympic Marathon Champion Dead!

Very Sad News!
Read More

Maybe the guy couldn't quite handle the fame and fortune his running successes brought him!
A great, great Talent!
I leave you with this video of Sammy, one of my favourites!

Sammy Wanjiru: One Of The Best Ever CLICK HERE

Athletics: Great Manchester 10K Run - 2011
Watch Here

Saturday 14 May 2011

Training For The Harrock Hill Race Series

Welcome back to my blog!
One of my aims this summer is to do well in the Harrock Hill summer race series.
Along with team mates Andy Hudson and Mark Ashby I ran in the very first event back in 2000.
Just 40 runners turned up for this New race, straight away I loved the challenging course, the steep hills and fast descents along with running through some truly beautiful countryside!
I managed to regularly get into the top 10 and this year I really want to get back to my best!
I'm going to need to improve my power to weight ratio, cutting back on the drinking and adding some short hill sprints should help!
Andy and me I think hold the record of competing the most races 32, so far!
Harrock Hill Rankings
How to run up hills fast! Read Here
Ran on my own over the Parbold countryside, tackled 4 big climbs, Stony Lane, Hunters Hill, Ashurst Beacon and Apply Bridge.
Pleased to average over 8 mph on a very windy day that brought heavy rain in the second half, just what I need to toughen me up for the up coming race.
This video [below]was taken last year, on todays run just as I was coming through the field up to the stile a group of children on a guided walk peered at me from the other side of the fence and commented how 'brave' I was to run through a herd of cows!
They were of course correct as the COW is the killer of more humans that any other creature here in the UK! READ MORE
You can read about my encounter with a herd of stampeding cattle


Friday 13 May 2011

Inspiring running videos!

Goal: I want to get faster each race>>> CLICK HERE

These shoes are kind of weird, think the spring should be more in the forefoot and not the heel?

Monday 9 May 2011

New Running event for Southport!

Southport Pier 2 Mile Dash (with a twist)

By Andy Hudson

Throughout my running days, I have rarely come across any event in which all competitors have an equal chance of claiming the sole winning prize on merit alone.

I am at the early stages of arranging what I think will be an interesting “one off” evening run to the end and back of Southport’s famous landmark which I believe may be a first.

The pier itself is approximately three quarters of a mile long with a stainless steel obelisk situated at the extreme seaward outpost. As I write this note, Brian Grice is no doubt on his bike measuring an exact mile from the said obelisk to a start/finish point which will no doubt fall on the promenade in the vicinity of the Royal Clifton Hotel.

The plan is to have a mass start with the aim of rounding the obelisk and heading back to the finish area giving an exact two mile circuit.

Ten minutes after the last runner crosses the line, the race will be repeated though this time each runner will be handicapped by the exact amount based on their first performance.

The sole winner will be the person with the lowest combined aggregate of finishing positions, which will avoid the possible scenario of some faster runners having an easy first run to create a favourable handicap, (perish the thought!)

Many handicap races still result in a wide finishing band though if this goes to form we should have all runners entering the finishing straight together.

My discussions with the pier key-holder suggests we may have to schedule this event for a 6-30pm start and would be appreciative of any feedback regarding the above proposals.

This event continues my crusade to put a bit of light hearted fun back into running utilising the fabulous venues that Southport has to offer.

contact Andy on 07909980153

Thursday 5 May 2011

Steve Way : from a 16.5 stone unfit smoker to a 2:19 marathon runner - in just two and a half years.

To find out more about Steve visit his website:

Fantastic Parbold hill run
Paul, Stevie and myself ran some very hilly loops around the Harrock Hill race route and beyond!
We are all training for both the Harrock Hill races and a Half Marathon in June.
I think this was Stevie's longest ever run and he coped really well.
Felt quite good myself, starting to recover from London!
Paul after a long run with Rob during the week seemed to struggle some what, but sure he will return with vengeance next time.
Garmin Data
Parbold 17 miles hilly run
First real test for my New Balance MT 101 trail racing shoes, really loved them, very lightweight, quite minimal and with great traction, they work well both on the road and off road in all conditions.
Read review HERE
Short Hill Sprints
I'm going to do a session of short hill sprints once a week throughout the summer.
Main benefits are greatly increased growth hormone levels [very important for masters runners] plus increase in power and a longer stride!
on todays run Tess and me warmed up well then ran 6 fast efforts up a gradual hill with a slow jog back recovery.
=50 mins
Garmin Data

Trained with Stevie Lewis in the Kings Gardens on the one K loop.
Did one of Marius Bakken's half marathon sessions.

20 mins progression run followed by 10 x 1 min at 10k pace.
Total time 1 hour
Easy round the Hillside loop av pace 8 MPH =40 mins
Waterloo 15K

Felt tired after night shift, marathon pace felt like a 5K type effort!
Finished 22nd in a big field of runners

There are not many happy looking joggers. The stereotype of grimacing grimly through 10k because it is good for you is painful. Screwing your face up causes tension. Try letting go of the pain and smiling. You will feel better and people will smile back at you.


Social bike ride for Southport runners


Carole James has planned a social bike ride on the 14 May 2012 at 4.00pm from Dunes Leisure Centre in Southport, predominantly for the ladies, but anyone is welcome. John Taylor, Sefton's Cycling Officer, is leading the ride which will last for approx one and a half hours, to a food establishment, and then cycling back. Cyclists from Southport Cycling Club will be accompanying us. Speak to Carole for further information or just cycle up on 14th May.



First Event 15th June at 7pm [more details soon!]


Social night at The Sir Henry Segrave , Southport | Our Pubs | J D Wetherspoon

every Wed from 9pm

Tuesday 3 May 2011

Southport Waterloo 15K race Photos 2011

Race Photos Click Here

Ben wins at Waterloo 15K Read More
Read about Ben and his training HERE
And Amanda Crook of SWAC Wins the ladies race and sets new women's course record, AMAZING STUFF!

Ryan Hall finds a purplepatch
Great read!
Part I
Part 2-

CHECK OUT; Velo Club Don Logan
“Slaying the Badger”

Sunday 1 May 2011

WATERLOO 15K Epic Photos Of The Past!

Photo;Tim Marshall and Jon
The 27th running of the Waterloo 15K is tomorrow.
Here are some epic photos taken by Mark Ashby back around 1993-94?
Click Here

photos by Mark Ashby

Good Friday 2011 photos by Steve Lewis CLICK HERE
Race photos by Mark Ashby CLICK HERE