Friday, November 26, 2010


So what is the best way to recover from a marathon, and how have I been recovering from my marathon?

For the best and fastest recovery I would go with the ice bath 10min after finishing, followed by a good sports massage. Now I don't know about you, but my balls would freeze if I ever got into an ice bath, so I picked up a piece of ice at the Coke stand and gave my quads a good ice rub. Then I headed for the VOB (my Club) tent and sat down with a couple to many beers...

I was really quite good and didn't do any exercise on the Sunday (it was raining or I would have been out on the bike.) So Monday I was back at the club for my first recovery run!!! No warm up just 11 x 100m ok I did walk to the start. I wasn't running fast, I was just stretching the legs and all I really wanted to do was break 20sec. (I might have been a little faster). Tuesday was more of the same, but only 10 of them. My legs were starting to feel like normal.
Wednesday called for something different so I popped up to VOB to help one of my athletes break 18min for the 5km TT. I could write a long story about how we went out fast and how he was toast as we climbed the hill, but I finished with 17:55 while he was 2 sec back under 18min, he was happy...

I was going to get back into things on the weekend, but on Saturday I had to go wine tasting at 08h30 so I took the dogs for a walk and ran 2.5km with them in all of 20min... While the afternoon was spent up a tree!!! (pruning) Then in the evening we had our end of year function, and after a couple of hours of cross-training on the dance floor, I took my wife home for a well earned rest.

Tomorrow is the start of a new week, and training will start again...

Sunday, November 21, 2010


03h30 is very early to get up for anything, but I was getting up at that hour in order to put my body on the line, I was running my first marathon for 2010. In years gone by I have run many marathons, but this year I have been plagued with injury. With my injuries behind me and 4 weeks of proper training I stood on the start line. It doesn't matter what you want to run, all your plans come to nothings as you stand there waiting for the gun.
At 05h30 the gun set us off and down the road we went. The 1st km felt easy, but was too fast 3:33. I let the lead pack go and joined up with another 40+ runner. The 2 of us ran together through 5km in 18:20. We started the hill at 7km together as another 40+ guy was catching us, but I powered away up the hill, although not steep, goes on and on, climbing almost 100m to 10.5km I was now running on my own and was still on pace going though 10km in just over 38min. With lots of rolling hills in the 2nd half the next 5km of down hill had to be used to make up a bit of time without taking too much out of your body. I passed through 15km in 56:26 still feeling ok, it wasn't till we turned into the wind 200m later that my hope of a good time went out the window.
I'm not one for giving up so I kept trying to keep the pace up. Lucky for us we turned off that road and that took the wind out of the equation. Now the hills started again, and I was still losing time. I went though half way in about 81min, slower than my last 3 half's, and in all of those races I felt better than I was feeling today. I was still alone on the road with only my Wife supporting me.
We turned onto the R44 for the out and back section of the race. With the wind behind me I was no longer running for a time, but I looking for the 1st 40+ who was still over a minute ahead. As the km's ticked by I wasn't feeling any better, but Owen, who had lead the 40+ since the start, was having a worse day than me and up ahead I could see him walking.
Steve was on the side of the road with a camera, supporting his wife who was leading the ladies race (Jo-Jo would go on and win in 2h55).
We turned at 28.5km for the long road home, into the wind!!! Passing 30km in 1h58 I was still hoping to get home in under 2h50, but that would require a lot of hard work and running fast on sore legs... I was catching a couple of guys who had gone out too hard, but I was also being caught. I saw Dawn on the side of the road and asked her to look out for the next 40+. Word soon came back, and he was catching me fast. Catch me he did, I tried to go with him hiding out of the wind, but could only manage 1.5km before I was dropped. With only 3.5km left I climbed the last little hill and ended with a couple of 4:30's to bring me home in 2h52:29, finishing 12th and 2nd 40+.
This is me trying to recover after the race, it didn't really help as my legs are still sore.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Yes I'm swearing at all you runners out there, but sometimes you just have to swear I mean rest!!!
So the training is done and now all I have to do is get to the start line on time. For Winelands that is easier said than done, as the start time is 05h30 and with the start out in Stellenbosch some 40min drive away I have an early morning on race day.
So how are things looking for marathon number 58, and the fist for 2010? I could tell you that I feel great and am ready to take on the world, but is that really true? The diary doesn't lie, so we had better have a look...

The year started off well and by June I was looking at running a couple of good times for the year, but an injury knocked me back. July was a write-off and as things were coming right in August, but it wasn't till September that my body let me get training again...
With not much of a base I started training in all earnest on the 4th of October with a week of 90.5km followed by a 95.5km week. After all that training I needed to rest so I took 2 days off and ran a windy 10km race in 35:39. With a long mountain run on the weekend I call it a rest week and logged only 61km.
Now with 4 weeks to race day I had to up the miles and effort. I managed 2 weeks of 100km before I cut a little of the distance only running 70km last week. So we have 4 weeks of what could be enough running, and plenty of sessions and a couple of long runs (2 x 30km 1 x 27km a hard 25km and 3 half's at sub 80 pace).
I've run a hard 10km and a hard half both of which convert to a 2h44 marathon. I don't want a 2h45 I would like a 2h39:59, so that is what I'm aiming at.
The plan is go out at a little faster than race pace 3:40's for the 1st 5k before the hill... I hope that doesn't do me in, but I'm going to need those seconds come the last couple of km. I've run this race 7 times twice helping friends to dip under 3hours and twice in 2h39. So I've looked at the splits and looked at the splits, and looked at the splits. I've converted the 2h59's to 2h39's and looked at those splits.

So what is the long and short of what my log book is telling me... 21.1km bang on time, than down the R44 to Somerset West I think I'll lose a couple of seconds, but will still be on time. Over the bridge and back. I think the road is going to get long, and that last hill at 36km will take to much out of me and I will end up short, maybe running that 2h44 that the conversion table all are telling me.

Come Saturday all that goes out the window and it's then up to the man on the road, the weather, and the competition.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Yes the land of CHOCOLATE is calling us. A couple of months ago Dawn said she wanted an overseas trip in 2011 so we looked around Holiday Time . Well yesterday she was looking at the Zermatt marathon web sight and saw that the places in the ultra had already fulled. (not that we wanted to run the ultra) So we thought we should have a look and see how the number looked in the marathon. Well he next thing I know we had entered...

So I thought I should have a look at the web sight and see what we are letting ourselves in for... Well looking at the profile it doesn't really look that bad, it only has 3 hills. The 1st from the start till about 32km then we have a short down and a short but steep up followed by about 5km of down hill before the last 3km climb. Should be a piece of cake!!!

I think I'm going to have to become a hill running machine!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010


After a hard week of training I lined up for another Half (Landmarks). Having only run 7km on Friday morning and taken Saturday off I was hoping for a faster time than last week. After a short warm up I pushed into the front of the almost 1500 runners and waited for the gun. Last week had been a controlled run and I had only really taken a little strain in the last 4km and I had put that down to the 2 hours the day before, so I was hopeful for a good run. I started with Charlies and the 2 of us settled into a good pace.
With the first 5km been mostly flat it wasn't hard work and I was happy with the time of 18:07. The next 5km is anything but flat as we cross the railway line and climb up the Rhodes Memorial through UCT. I didn't push the hills, and still found myself pulling ahead, but this is to be expected as this is home territory and we run up those hills all the time. Turning at 10km 38:46 (20:39) it was time to see if I could hold it together and maybe even pick up the pace... I did put in a 3:17 km down the hill, but the idea was to be able to run the flat km at sub 3:48 marathon pace. I reached 15km in 56:41 (17:55) and with the down hills over it was running that was needed to get me home. I was alone at this stage but I could hear the feet of the "enemy" behind me, so I had to push on. Pushing as hard as I could I was still run down and past by a Nedbank athlete. I hadn't slowed, but he was flying and my wings were cut so I just had to fight on to the end. I worked hard to the end to finish under 80 (79:29), but for that effort I would have like to have been 90sec faster...
My wife was still on the road, so still needing a couple of km for the week I headed out on the route to watch her come in. She was running like a star and leading her category!!!
one more week of hard work before I can afford to take to foot of the peddle and taper. Training for a marathon is hard work and I really nice the trails on the mountain, but road is road and I need a bit for Winelands marathon.

Monday, November 1, 2010


We ran clockwise starting with the blue - yellow - red - yellow - blue (the short course followed the yellow the whole way.)

With the Winelands marathon just 3 weeks away I had to put in one last big weekend to see how things are going. First up on Saturday I headed out to Hermanus for the Fernkloof 25km trail race. It was a small race with only one other strong runner, so if things held together I would pick up a 1st or 2nd. We started in the gentle rain and high level mist. I took the early lead and Derrick followed along the single track above the house line.
This is one of the photo's off the web sight, with me still in the lead and Derrick hiding in the bushes in 2nd. After about 5km we felt the single track for about 200m and in this time Derrick took the lead and left me for dead... OK he really just slowly pulled ahead. I just couldn't go with him. I did think to myself that if he had any chinks in his armor I'd catch him later (at the finish). At about 7km the climb started, we zig zagged up the mountain till 12.5km climbing 400m. At this point I would love to tell you the views took what was left of your breath away, but lucky for me, as I had no breath left for the view to take away, the mountain was still covered in mist and light rain. At 15km I took a split (last 5km in 31:52) then we hit a jeep track and I was able to stretch my legs running at sub 4min / km for 2.2km. I would have been able to keep the speed up on the single track, but I wear glasses and with them in my pocket (wet from rain and mist) I couldn't really see!!!

The single tracks on this mountain are very rocky and one has to watch were your feet land. I'm not saying I would have closed the gap on Derrick if I had been able to see, but I could have been a few seconds quicker. In 2h10:32 I reached the finish, 2 mins behind the winner, but happy with the solid run and ready for the half on Sunday!!!

Yes I was up early again the next day as my wife and I headed out to Durbanville for their half marathon. With a 07h30 start it was going to be hot out there and the fact that this out and back course was not flat but undulating! it was going to be hard to keep to my pace. I wasn't going to race till the last couple of km, at least that is what I told myself... The lead guys soon got away and I found myself running with Damian Will. We worked nicely together slowly dropping a 40+ who was trying to sit with us. I was in 3rd (40+) and I could see 1 and 2 ahead of me. I had done well till the turn, but then I had to make a move. I could feel Damian had spend his last penny and was running on empty. I set out to catch the 2nd placed 40+ on the first hill. I want to tell you that I was running like a man possessed and running him down was no trouble, but he was taking strain and I was really just holding my pace. 5km 18:28 10km 37:04 15km 56:47 I did have to work a bit harder in the last 5km to keep it together and Johnny (the 1st 40+) was slowing. I didn't catch him, but closed the gap to 10 sec. I was happy with the run, 79:25 was a good time after yesterdays 25km trail race, and if I had to keep it up for a couple more km, I guess I could have.

A marathon still seems like a long way, but I think the first 30km should go as to plan. What about the next twelve? Well I hope these last two weeks of training get me home...