Tuesday 24 April 2012

Ben's 2.33 London Marathon Report

photo from 2011


 By Ben Johnson

After racing the London marathon last year and having a great race, I was looking forward to returning this year.  I really enjoyed the challenge of building up to one big race but after finishing Uni last summer it had been much harder to fit training in on my own whilst working long hours at a new job down in London. 

I'd done a couple of 10+ days in a row easily adding up to over 70 hours in some weeks but I'd still stuck to getting the training in I wanted.  On some days, this had to involve going to the track at 8pm after work without eating since lunchtime or fitting in a 20miler before going to work from 11am-9pm on a sunday.  this was far from Ideal but probablyhelped to make me a bit mentally stronger!

I'd had some decent training and races in November and December last year and I started the year feeling pretty strong and full of confidence.  the first few weeks of the year were going well and I was determined to stick to my training managing solid weeks of 65-70miles with some good sessions geared towards the cross country.  Unfortunately I had a setback in early february where I strained my groin when out in the snow and found myself in a lot of discomfort when running.  I'd tried the odd run along with various strengthening excersises but only managed a total of 60 miles over the course of 3 weeks which was far from what I'd have liked. 

I finally got back into running pain free by the last week in February.  This left around 8 weeks to get into shape for the marathon so I knew I couldn't afford any more setbacks.  I'd been selected to run the inter-counties Cross country in early March and had really wanted a strong performance but wasn't confident after just 2 weeks of pain free running.  I managed 2 70+mile weeks before the Intercounties and managed to improve by a handful of places on last year with a very slight improvement on my time for the same course but still at this point was doubting I could get fit enough for the marathon.

I decided to go for it with my training for the next few weeks and I went to go to a friend of mine, Charlie Sharpe for some extra advice.  Charlie is a fully qualified personal trainer who is making some amazing progress on the Ultra running scene (check out his blog here... http://charlie-sharpe.blogspot.co.uk/
I wanted someone who understood runners and would be able to give me some exercises to get stronger, reduce the chance of a relapse of my injury and also some advice on how I could lose a bit of weight safely in a short timespan.  I built in a circuit of exercises on a couple of my easy days which helped me to build strength in all of my key muscles without leaving me too tired to train and i managed the next three weeks of 82, 87 and 84miles.  Some days of training left me exhausted with the toughest days consisting of a 5mile run at 6 in the morning  before 9-10 hours at work followed by 13miles in the evening (finishing at Marathon pace).

I stuck with a typical weeks training as follows, which was quite similar to how i'd trained last year...

Monday - easy 7miles ( running home from work) + strength circuit (20-30mins)
Tuesday - 5miles am/ Track session Pm  this would be something like 8x800 at below 5kpace (75sec recovery), or a mixed session like 1mile, 12x400, 1mile  
Wednesday -  relaxed 8-9miles (running home from work)
thursday - 5milesam/ 13miles including a good section of upto 8miles around marathon pace
friday rest/ some core exercises
Sat 5mile easy run to start, Parkrun (5km), 5mile easy home
Sunday - upto 22miles with a 2 or 3 mile section at marathon pace near the end

I quickly started to gain strength and with 3 weeks to go to London I started to feel like I could give the marathon a good go.  I ran a 10k at the start of my taper where I improved my pb to 33:07.  the race was tough,I set off at 3:12/km which was a little fast considring it was just 5days after a tough 22mile training run and I was fading towards the end of the race but I felt confident that I was in better shape than last year. 

I tapered down, reducing my mileage to 75% 2weeks before, 50% 1week before then just about 25% the week upto the marathon.  Conditions on the day were just about perfect so I knew I had no excuses for not running well. 

Race Day...

I set off feeling good and had to really hold back from running too quick as the fantastic support from the crowds spurred me on.  I knew the 3rd mile was downhill so wasn't too worried that my first 5k came in a little quick at 17:43 then 35:53 at 10km (which would have been a 10km pb about 18months ago!).  I  passed through halfway in 1:16:15 feeling fairly strong then I tried to push on from there.  The quickest part of my race came between 25 and 30km where I managed a 17:41 5k split and I started to believe that sub 2:32 might be on the cards. 

Unfortunately I had to work much harder in the last 10k to keep a good pace going and felt like I had a real battle to hang on.  Despite slowing down a bit, I managed to keep passing a good number of runners towards the finish.  The noise from the crowds all along the Embankment, past Big Ben and into The Mall were incredible.  I had a good battle with 2 other guys in the last 200m but I knew I didnt have much left.  Still, I was made up that I’d managed to improve by a couple of minutes on last year’s time to finish in 2:33:43.

Johnson, Ben R (GBR) 2.33.43

 Whilst I might have run better If I'd been more conservative with my pace, I have no regrets that I didn't give it a good shot and Hopefully I'll have more time to train and I'll be back next year for a crack at taking another chunk off my time!  I'm sure that 2:30 is possible with the right preparation.  Strangely, this year I don't feel as sore as last year so either i'm getting used to it or I didn't try hard enough. 

Well done to all the other runners out on Sunday, In particular Paul who's hard work paid off to smash his 3:15 target with a 3:12 for a good for age place as well as Rob who it was great to see back in style with a 2:53 after his long road back from injury!

Editors Note; these photos are from 2011 and Ben would like it known that he is now leaner and meaner than depicted here, hopefully I can update these photos soon!   .

About Ben.

I'm from Mere Brow, near southport but living down in London now and working for 9 months at the aquatics centre for the olympics.  I started running for Southport Waterloo in July 2009 while I was working on a placement in Liverpool.  I'd done a couple of half marathons before that as more of a funrunner but I've had some great support from a load of the southport waterloo members since I joined them.
RicksRunning writes; Thanks once again for a great report Ben.
I look forward to seeing you 'BREAK-THROUGH' the 2.30 barrier in the near future! 

Monday 23 April 2012

Training with A group Makes You a Better Runner! RicksRunning Rants!


I returned to group training last week!

Mondays Brian's session in the pinewoods and Wed session with Rob at the Dunes leisure Center.
I've always had a strong belief that training in a group raises your level of fitness way above what training alone will do!

In a group your whole belief structure is changed, your perception of what is possible is changed!

You must have felt this at some time, your running alone and all of a sudden you see a runner ahead!
Your fatigue seems to vanish, your pace picks up as you chase the runner ahead.
Training alone you are trapped inside your own perception of what is possible!

The Kenyans always train in a group and for good reason!

An example of why group training is better!
Back in my cycle racing days all my best improvement came from training with friends or the club.
The best guys in the club were doing 22 mins in the local 10 mile time trials, so I found riders to help me in training, after 6 years I set a P.B. of 22.18 and won the local 10 mile event.
There was no way I could have achieved that on my own.

There was a very good article on how group training improved running biomechanics on Competitor.com.

On your own you think to much, is my leg turnover fast enough?
Is my stride long enough?
End result you tense up and lose speed!

In a group you just FLOW!

When I joined the running club here in Southport most of the runners on the regular Tue speed session could knock out a 34 min 10K.
After 6 years I achieved that, I thought is was possible because I trained with these guys!


Now I look at newer guys in the club and they are looking to break sub 40 for 10K or achieve the qualifying time for London when in the past runners would be shooting for a 34 or a sub 2.45 Marathon.
Now you can't blame the guys, their perseption is limited to what they see around them!

A final thought, THE GOLDEN AGE!

I remember Steve Jones setting the world Marathon Record with a blazing  1.01 first half!
I remember Steve Ovet, Seb Coe and Steve Cram winning gold, I remember Paula radcliffe beating all the british men at the London Marathon to set the New world record!

Guys it's time to reset you believe system, the impossible is possible!



Comming soon Ben's account of his amazing 2.33 London Marathon.

His Training!

His Race!

And how he plans to blast through the 2.30 barrier!


Sunday 22 April 2012

Ben and Paul run new P.B.s at London Marathon!

Johnson, Ben R (GBR) 02:33:43

 Mcgrath, Robert (GBR) 02:53:18

 Ashby, Mark (GBR) 02:57:38

 Cain, Paul David (GBR) 03:12:44

Well done all SWAC runners :0]

I'll try and get Ben to do a report in the near future, special well done to Paul who achieved his dream of qualifying for a 'Good For Age' place at next years London.
And Rob, well an amazing comeback after injury!

Saturday 21 April 2012

London Marathon 2012 The Runners!

Heres a quick shout for some of the guys running tomorrow

BEN 2.35 under 23 Marathon Runner

Ran an amazing race last year, you may remember his report
He tells me he's in even better shape his year!
So could 2.30 be possible?

ROB 2.52 V45 Marathon Runner on the comeback trail

After finishing a superb 2nd in the Langdale Mountain Marathon in 2009.
Only a couple of weeks later Rob had a horrific accident  when he fell and trapped his foot while working in his girl friends loft!
End result was Rob tore the cartridge in his knee as well as completely tearing one of his ligaments!.
After major surgery to rebuild the damaged knee Rob made an amazing comeback last year!
This year he has run a 1.22 half and a 36 min 10K!
It's great to see Rob back and I wish him the best at London.
Time 2.50?

Barefoot Paul 3.21 London Marathon Runner

After being coached by Steve Mclean this year Paul has set 4 P.B.s this year!
He's full of enthusiasm and his dream of qualifying for a good for age place looks on!
Time 3.10?

Guys On The Net

Steve 2.35 London Marathon Runner and Langdale Mountain Marathon winner

I've been following the progress of Cumbrian Steve for a while.
He looks in great shape this year and is aiming at 2.45.
Time 2.45?

Steve Way

Steve is famous for losing 6 stone and running sub 2.20.
Time 2.17? 

Thursday 19 April 2012

My first London Marathon

1999 London Marathon 2.49

Just thought I'd reflect to my very first marathon.
This is a story to show that even if everything goes a bit wonky the day before the big race you can still come away with a good race.
I'd been running for about 6-7 years plus another 10 cycle racing before that, I think the bike racing gave some pretty good endurance, 135 mile club runs in the hills made 26.2 miles seem a short way, in my mind at least!
Leading up to the FLM I trained with the club 3 x per week plus one speed session with super vet Steve James.
An example week in March 1999 was something like this:
Club run 6 miles, pretty much a progression run.
club run 7 x about 800m fast [5.10 pace]
Easy run over the sandhills = 1.30
fartleck pinewood session with Steve, 5 x mile and half loop with 4 efforts per lap and steady running between.
Fri Rest
1 hour sandhills with 6 x strides
Sun club run pinewoods up to 3 hours.
2 weeks before London I smashed my P.B. over 10k with a 35.14 things were looking good!
My body weight was over 12.5 stone, I use to do some very heavy weight training back then and was very strong but not really a Marathon runners build! 

Anyway back to the Friday before the race,  I'd messed up a bit and not managed to get the night off work.

End result I only got 2 hours in bed before we had to get up to catch the train on Sat.
Saturday was a busy day, catch the train to London, drop the bags off at the hotel then more trains to the Expo to race numbers etc.
Back at the hotel my then crazy girl friend had a tantrum over something really stupid and I ended sleeping on the floor of my team mates room with one thin blanket.
I had a completely sleepless night as I was too cold to get to sleep!

Race Morning

I eat my breakfast nervelessly contemplating the 26 miles ahead!
I was even more nervous on the train to the start.

The Longest Hour

Waiting for the start was torturous, negative thought kept flashing before my mind!  

At last the start!

I remembered what 2.45 Marathon  runner Tim Marshal had told me, "Hold back for the first 2 miles then get into a rhythm".
The nerves left me as I left the line, Wow I was in the London Marathon!!!

Mile One

Just on 7 min mil pace, after that my speed increased on the downhill to around 6.25.
The crowds, the live music and the whole atmosphere was just amazing.
It was like someone had injected me with a massive dose of Adrenaline!
I was buzzing!

Six Miles

I decided running at a steady 6.25 was getting a bit boring!
So for some strange reason I started running alternating fast miles (6.00 pace) with slow miles (7.00 pace).
This madness felt like fun, like a giant mile rep session!
Concentrating on one mile at a time seemed to work for me, my legs enjoyed the fast mile and the slow mile felt like jogging!


I was now going into no man,s land, I'd never raced more than a half before, but I felt great as I ran through 13.1 miles under 83 mins.
Around 17 miles I rocketed passed team mate Mark Ashby (I was on one of my fast miles) I think he took a double take at me as I flew passed, I had a massive smile on my face as wide as the Thames!


I'd been told about this but did not really fear it!
By 20 miles my quads and calves were starting to scream at my in pain, I decided  it was time to ditch the fast mile- low mile routine and run more steady!

Feeding off the crowd!

Yes my legs were hurting ( all my long runs had been on the sand and were not used to the hard pounding of the road] but I still had lots of energy left.
I started shouting at the crowds each time I went round a corner" Come on give us a hand we have just run 20 miles!"

There was an amazing ripple of clapping and cheering, wow this was like being at the center of a massive carnival!

Each mile got harder and more painful, yet I had more confidence and pride than ever before.

The Finish Line

At last I turned for Buck House and managed a final sprint to the line 2.49.53!
I was totally wired, Yes I did it!!!
I know I will never feel or experience anything so amazing again!
this was 'THE RACE'! 

Now read about someone who did even better than me in his first London Marathon by running a super fast time.

Check out Steve's  Report here

18th April 2004 London Marathon Adventures of a Cumbrian Runner

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Girls going wild in red light district

One of the most courageous things you will ever see on a running track

Steve Jones LEGEND!

Thanks to Jon for link

The Amazing Health Benefits Of distilled Water With Andrew Norton Webber

Well worth checking this out!

Alan Watt - PrisonPlanet.tv Interview

Researcher Alan Watt features in this exclusive interview for Prison Planet.tv members, in which he discusses how the same laws are enacted at the same time across different countries under the structure of global governance. Watt explains in detail how the people of the world are moved around by the elite like a domesticated herd of animals by a series of contrived crises and "revolutions," be they cultural, political, sexual or musical, so that the controllers can manipulate human behavior to the outcome they require.

Watt reveals how the population are kept in a constant state of panic and terror, so that authority figures who speak with confidence are then more willingly trusted, using psychological "shock and awe" to generate fear and helplessness by bombarding the population with a myriad of different threats that they cannot personally cope with, and so turn to the state for reassurance and leadership.

In this fascinating in-depth exploration of the human psyche, Watt discusses how this helplessness is artificially steam-valved through the use of sports, where men are given a tribal team that they can identify with and cheer on, providing them with some sense of success in their own personal lives when in the real world they're going nowhere, and sports are merely a substitute to keep them distracted from their own enslavement.

Watt explains how women were given high fashion at accessible prices as a similar form of substitute, and how drugs, sex, free love hyper promiscuity and destructive lifestyles were also encouraged through music as a means of misdirecting the natural rebellious tendencies of youth. The ultimate goal of this process is to demolish the family unit - divide and conquer so that humanity may be more easily ruled and oppressed by the state as vulnerable individuals, with no family tribe to stand up and defend them.

Alan Watt continues to divulge his fascinating in-depth insights into how culture is created from the top down and used by the elite to manipulate and pervert natural human instincts towards their own ends. Every change in culture, right down to fashion and music, points out Watt citing Plato, had to be authorized and promoted from the top. This science of mass mind control is still taught today by the insiders and mediums such as television are used as weapons of social control to prevent humanity from ever realizing its full potential.

Watt talks about how the elite technocrats plan for the long term, in 50, 100 and even 150 year cycles in which to implement the different aspects of their agenda, and how each cultural shift was deliberately timed to be implemented at a certain time. The current cultural bombardment surrounds the emergence of neo-eugenics, with big foundations and organizations like the Optimum Population Trust pushing the idea that humans are superfluous, virus-like, and therefore worthless.

Watt discusses how sperm counts across Europe and America have dropped at an alarming rate of up to 80 per cent over the past 50 years, and how the media's complete ignorance of this crisis proves that it was authorized as a deliberate program of de-population. Watt traces the program back to its origins in the 1950's, where synthetic female hormones like estrogen were put in baby foods by companies like Proctor and Gamble, as well as baby milk bottles washed with Bisphenol A, the very substance that attacks male genitalia and prevents it from developing properly. Watt also outlines how Bisphenol A in women's cosmetic products contributes to toxifying their bodies, leading to an environment for male babies that leads them to have a reduced sperm count or even become sterile.The foundation of the agenda can be discovered in the writings of people like Bertrand Russell and the Huxley brothers, who talked about the need to sterilize the masses as far back as the 1930's.

Watt also divulges how the elite's ultimate goal for every human allowed to be born is for them to serve the state and be deceived into accepting this enslavement as a natural form of existence. The elite's greatest fear is that the "inferiors" will out-breed the "superiors," which is why they continually push neo-eugenics and are obsessed with inter-breeding to keep their own genetics intellectually pure.'


Sunday 15 April 2012

Running Progress

Had a good run over the big sandhills with Tess, equaling my best average pace achieved just before I got injured.
Wednesdays 5K race went OK I was still a little hesitant to push all out so the plan was to aim at a good tempo effort.
I finished relieved that nothing broke and i can now go on with some confidence!
One problem I do have is excess weight about 10LB!
This will have to go, with a bit of luck some slightly more intensive sessions will melt the fat and added muscle away!
One annoying thing about running is that when you get really fit the average population think you look unwell and gnarly!
But when your a bit fatter people think like your looking good! 
Oh well, expect me to be looking gnarly again in the near future:]
Sandhill 6 with Sarah,Jon and Tess = 1.20
Big Sandhills with Tess = 1.40
Core training
Velvet trail and 6 x 20 sec strides on grass = 1.00
rubbish 5K (tempo effort) =19.22
core training
Mon Big sandhills and 6 x 20 sec strides = 1.30

Friday 13 April 2012

My Rubbish 5K

I returned to racing after long term injury on Wed, I'll do a full report tomorrow.

Here is Steve McLeans report and results; Read More

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Exercise For Low Back Pain, Hip Pain, and Knee Pain

 I think this is a great exercise for all runners to do.
It should help improve your stability, range of motion and power and strength.
End result run faster with less pain and injury :0]
why not give it a go and see if it can help you!

I asked Doctor Steve how many reps and sets should one start at and build up to?

As long as you hold good form and can still nail a good 360 degree core breath without your shoulders raising up and down...work up to a set of 12 reps, then 8 reps, then 4 reps each side (descending pyramid). Once you can do that...you need to add more weight or challenging variations. Start with a goal of 5 good ones and go from there.

Saturday 7 April 2012

The Most important Film YOU May Ever See!

What can a say but please watch this film.
it should be screened on every TV channel
At every school1
In every home!
It's the best education you may ever get!

Southport 5k

The Rubbish 5K returns with a special edition on 11th April at 7.00pm hosted by Steve McLean


For The 4th Year Running And All For FREE

Thanks to Steve McLean and the local council, The Forestry Commission agreed to fund the installment of new route marker posts for the Rubbish 5K route.
This will be the official-unofficial new opening of the route.
Over four years ago Storming Norman persuaded me that Southport needed a new Event.
So with the help of Jon and Brian we devised  a two lap route round the reclaimed rubbish tip.
Mostly on gravel trails with some short steep hills and tight turns it makes for a challenging event.
The event has become increasingly popular with local runners and in winter 2010 Andy Hudson introduced a winter series on the same course called the Torchlite Tip 5K 

Rubbish 5K

We bring this series to you completely FREE for your enjoyment and open to all ages and abilities.
My thanks go out to everyone who has helped me organize this event over the last 3 years.


Wednesday 16th  
Wednesday 20th 
 Wednesday 18th
Wednesday 15th

Friday 6 April 2012

Obama Is The New Hitler!

I do not say this lightly, but my father  joined the RAF at a very young age and risked his own life to help defeat Hitler and keep freedom for us all!
Yet now it is plain to see that history is repeating itself!
Please watch and contemplate!

Thursday 5 April 2012

New plans to increase government internet snooping.Sign the petition and help keep your freedom and rights!

Have a look at this:


photo of a security centre
The government has just announced its new plan to spy on us all, to be pushed through “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”. They want to see who we call, text and email, and which websites we visit - without any kind of warrant or reason.

I've just signed a petition against these plans. Can you add your name?

Please sign the petition now:



94856 signatures and counting!

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Illuminati Music Industry Exposed!

You are living in the Matrix and the wool has been firmly pulled over your eyes!

Sunday 1 April 2012

A Sweet TraiI RUN!

Yes today was a good day!
The sun shone down bright and the slight chill in the air awakened my senses and made me feel alive.
Back to wearing my New Balance 101's, my legs turned over at a fast clip and my feet hardly seemed to touch the ground.
I was only on an easy run over the Velvet Trail but it was a magical feeling of freedom that I come back to find time after time.
Now only If I could run like Kilian, that would be true ascension to a higher dimension!
Training week 3
Velvet Trail with Tess = 40 mins
Big sandhills steady with Tess plus 6 x 20 sec strides on grass = 1.37
core training
Strides plus easy run over the sand dune tops =1.34
big sand dunes with middle 4 miles at tempo pace = 1'32
Core training
Kenyan hill session = 1.00