Friday, January 28, 2011


Yes I'm the Coach and last night I was evil!!! So we often do Hills or 400's on a Thursday, but last night I had something else on the program.
A tempo run: So we ran as a team (7 of us) up to the old zoo parking lot were we streched and got ready for the run. I explained the route and set them off on a hard run... They were thinking that coach had gone soft, last week it was 15 x 60sec hills, 5km tempo is easy.

Boy were they wrong... OK it was 5.2km and they had all run nicely. I, having raced the night before, ran just behind the boys and ahead of the 1 lady who had joined us. I even waited to ensure she didn't take a wrong turn. Now after we were all in and rested, they though a quiet run back to the club was in order...

HA HA HA I said: Now we run back. Yes another 5.2km hard...

I ran even splits 20:46 and 20:41 as for the other some ran faster and some slower...

As Evil as I was 2 of the guys have already told be what a great session last nights was. I might have to bring out a few more surprises.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Wednesday evening saw the running of the 3rd trail race in the Summer Series, the venue was Silvermine West, 500m below the dam. After the heat of yesterday I was hoping to find the dam a good place to cool down after the race, but my first glimpse of the mountain told me I wasn't going to be in that sort of luck. The mountain was covered in cloud and it wasn't swimming weather.
This week I didn't start as slow as last week, in fact I found myself setting the pace. (I think the others started slowly.) Rupert, last weeks winner, did however soon pass with my friend Roger chasing him. Damian and myself filled the next 2 spots. I pulled a bit ahead as we reach the rocky single track climb at 1.3km and closed the gap on Roger. I didn't catch him and me gap of Damian wasn't enough to last... I had taken my glasses off and was running blind (OK not that bad) so once over the first hill I was caught and passed.
I was working hard and not going forwards, I think I wasn't hungry for a place finish. But with the the next climb I slowly caught Damian only passing him with 1km of the hills left. I push home the advantage and opened a nice lead, but I would have my work cut out for me if I was to hold on to my 3rd place.
I didn't made good time on the first bit of down, but once we hit the gravel I was moving quite nicely...
Then we left the 'road' and turned onto a very overgrown, fynbos covered, single track... That was the end of me; with tired eye straining to see the path ahead I couldn't look back or even ahead I had to watch my every step. It didn't take long for me to be passed, or for Damian to dart off down the mountain. As I jumped and weaved over the rocks I was relaying on me shoes to keep me save.I was by all mean taking a leap of faith every step!!! Just on the Monday I had noticed that the nice new tread was pulling away from the bottom of the shoe!!! This is not good for the shoe with on ever 50km on them... but listen to this service, I told the Hi-Tec boss, who was at the race, about them and a new pair was delivered this morning...
Back to the race: I was lying 4th with Rupert and Roger way ahead and Damian had just passed me and was disappearing off into the clouds... Then, like 'Gorilla's In The Mist' I saw Roger walking, he had gone over his ankle (he had done that last year at the same race) and was out of the race.
Unbeknown to me some-one was closing the gap, but I was able to stay ahead till the last little climb up to the finish and there he wasn't going to catch me.

So Rupert had won in 51:50 with Damian 2nd in 53:30 while I was 3rd (and 1st vet) in 54:30, Mr. Garnim called the race 11.3km with 395m climb...
Same position as last year, but 2:40 slower!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011


This past weekend was Red Hill Weekend, with the choice of the Classic (36.2km) or the Marathon. I'm not a Marathon junkie, so I lined up for the 36.2km. We line up every year and ran as a group of friends: Stef, Mike, Charles... a couple of other guys also joined us as we set out for a training run. I had told Dawn (my Wife) that she should cycled to route to a cycle in before the Argus, she liked the idea and we put the bike in the car. It stayed there... The wind was blowing and she decided it would be more fun driving the route and supporting us, now she was sorry she didn't have the dogs with her!

We were running to fast at the start, but with the wind behind us it was easy. 4:20 4:27 4;18 4:11 4:22 4:10 4:19 4:08 4:06, 9km down and the group was still together. Then came a little hill 4:56 4:42 and things fell apart... OK it was Stef and I who had fallen apart, as we are both a little unfit, those who were left with us at the top took off. We had been dumped and there was nothing we could do. Dawn kept stopping and tell us to speed up, Jo-Jo (the first lady) was ahead.

We were now running into the wind and km after km we were just trying to hold things together. Mark had very kindly stayed with us, pushing me from behind, but this help wasn't going to last as he was running the marathon, so wasn't going to be there up the 2nd hill with us.
dawn was waiting at the split, Mark turned right to run the little out and back to make up the 6km, while Stef started the hill. I stopped to say hi to my wife... for some sweaty reason she didn't want to kiss me, so I had to run on.

Leaving Dawn I took on the hill (3km and 160m climb), I am after all the "Mountain Goat", a hill running machine... I caught a passed Stef, and started closing in on the others who had been so kind as to drop us... Then I blow!!! After picking up the pieces I held myself together and managed to stay ahead of Stef till the water/food table where I stopped. Dawn was there eating jelly tots. I stopped, but not for my wife, for sweeties, watermelon and to wait for Stef.

After that stop it was 4.5km down to the sea and 7.5km with the wind now behind us to the finish. I ran out of drugs (GU) in the last couple of km so we walked through the feeding stations for the Life Giving Coke... and made it to the end.
Yes I was 10 minutes slower than last year, but 2h43:07 is more than fast enough for a training run.
Time Distance Split time Split distance Split pace Elev. chg.
00:04:20 1 04:20 1 04:20 -4
00:08:47 2 04:27 1 04:27 11
00:13:05 3 04:18 1 04:19 -5
00:17:17 4 04:11 1 04:12 -14
00:21:40 5 04:22 1 04:23 2
00:25:51 6 04:10 1 04:11 14
00:30:10 7 04:19 1 04:19 -7
00:34:19 8 04:08 1 04:09 -10
00:38:25 9 04:06 1 04:06 13
00:43:21 10 04:56 1 04:57 52
00:48:04 11 04:42 1 04:42 12
00:52:26 12 04:22 1 04:22 -18
00:56:39 13 04:13 1 04:14 -12
01:00:55 14 04:16 1 04:16 -20
01:05:14 15 04:18 1 04:18 -14
01:09:38 16 04:24 1 04:25 1
01:14:11 17 04:32 1 04:32 -1
01:18:41 18 04:29 1 04:30 18
01:23:21 19 04:40 1 04:41 12
01:28:10 20 04:49 1 04:49 27
01:33:06 21 04:55 1 04:55 43
01:37:55 22 04:49 1 04:49 58
01:42:52 23 04:56 1 04:57 60
01:48:18 24 05:26 1 05:26 -7
01:52:24 25 04:05 1 04:06 -40
01:56:28 26 04:04 1 04:04 -55
02:00:34 27 04:06 1 04:06 -54
02:04:44 28 04:10 1 04:10 -49
02:09:04 29 04:19 1 04:19 -25
02:13:24 30 04:19 1 04:20 0
02:17:45 31 04:20 1 04:21 -3
02:22:15 32 04:30 1 04:30 -3
02:26:51 33 04:36 1 04:36 10
02:31:28 34 04:37 1 04:37 10
02:36:11 35 04:43 1 04:43 13
02:40:40 36 04:29 1 04:29 -14
02:43:07 36.54 02:26 0.54 04:34 -6
Splits are as per Mr. Garmin...

I can go on the say that on Sunday morning I was feeling stronger than 2 weeks earlier after the 30km

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Why, the day after a big session am I lining up for a race... That I can't really tell you, but it goes a bit like this:
I have new trail shoes and what better way to test them then run a race... I wasn't racing, just running... (Like that was going to happen.)

So I lined up at the front, (I always do that, I don't like running further than I have too). Owen set us off, and a couple of the guys shot off... Last year I was one of those guys! But this year my body is fragile so I started easy. Boy were those first couple of km fun as we set off done the gravel road. I had people all round me and we were talking and joking, but then the hills started and the single track followed.And I just couldn't hold back any more, 240m climb in 2.5km on rocky single track, I had to go... I still wasn't racing, but I was running hard, and by the top I found myself in 2nd pace.
This was unplanned and as much as I tried to slow down the trail was to nice, and I wanted to see how the Hi-Tec Infinity's did over this terrain. The legs were tired and on the 'so-called' flat bits at the top I could feel my calf, but is wasn't bad and the next climb was coming. By this stage I lost my 2nd place but there is nothing like a hill to slow the race down...(and I can run slow!) So I made my move and past him taking back 2nd. I descended like a 'Mountain Goat' not missing a step the shoes were great as I took to the rocky 'stairs' with leaps and bounds.
Finishing over 2mins behind the lead was fine, I was just surprised that I ended up racing into 2nd place, why was there no-one else running fast? I didn't deserve 2nd, but I'll take it, I like week fields...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Tuesday Night I had a look at the program and thought: What was the coach thinking!!! OH heck that was me... I'm the Coach, so I have to do the session.

4 x 2km at 5km pace with 90 sec break. Lucky for me my 5km time is 90sec slower than last year, so I was going to handle these, but 4 would be pushing the limit for me at the moment.

but I talked to the Coach (yes I'm a little mad and oftern talk to myself) and he said, let us take them one at a time and see how we go.

7:19 spot on, I had 3 guys flying out front and another 3 running with me, and 2 guys at the back.
7:19 for number 2
7:19 for number 3 I use to be called a metronome
7:17 and the squad was down to 4 of us...

I don't know how I made it back to the club I was so stuffed...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Sunday Morning I decided to do a little trail run, so I looked for a pair of shoes for the run:
  • Maybe 5-fingers KSO

No not today
  • How about the 5-Finger Trek?
I was thinking about taking them out on the trails, but no.
  • Montrail Streaks
  • Montrail Streaks old
  • My old Montrails

  • I've even got a pair of Salomon Wings
But I was looking for something different something new, something exciting, in fact I had a new pair of shoes that needed a test run, and Sunday was the perfect day for it...There they are, what is Peanut doing with them?

He tried to tell me he wanted to use them for 'Tail Running' (chasing your tail) but I told him they were for 'Trail Running'. The shoe in Question is the new Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity

After getting the shoes off Peanut I headed to Silvermine... My run was a 9.5km loop up to the Dam for a swim and back to the car. It's a great little loop to put the shoe though their paces. Only problem was me, The climb up was slow and I didn't feel as if running was possible, but that was me...I guess I was feeling the effects of Saturdays race. The shoes found the path and it didn't seem to matter that I had no energy to find the best footing, the shoes enjoyed having stones under them.

The run back was a different story, as I had loosened up and with gravity on my side I took off. Leaping over rocks and swerving round the corners I felt like a real trail runner again...

I think I'm going to be doing a lot of running in these shoes...

Monday, January 17, 2011


This last weekend I lined up for another race, and this time I put it on the line, balls to the wall kind of stuff!!! Hohenhort 15km is run in the Leafy, Expensive suburb of Constantia.
After Wednesday's TT I know I knew I had a sub 60 in me, but I was going to have to pull out all the stops, So I went for it as the gun broke the morning silence...
Down the little hill I was able to get the pace up and 'take the lead'. I aways race my friends, so it was them I was ahead of, and I know I needed to be up there as they all could run the last 5km a lot faster than me. My race plan was start hard and hammer the first hill, then take it from there... By half way I was spent, but most of the climbing was over and I hadn't lost any time, it was now just a matter of holding it together on the down hills. With the legs not really wanting to go I held my pace knocking of the km. Acouple of guys came past and there was nothing I could do, I didn't mind I was going under an hour...
Then in the last km the first lady caught me and as she started to get ahead my ego kicked in, and as if running with a power from another world I powered up the hill and beat her to the finish line.
3:52 3:45 4:14 (that was up the first hill) 3:38 4:07 4:10 (next hill) 3;41 3:49 3:43 this was down and up 4:13 4:11 another hill 3:48 3:54 3:54 (down hill) 3:51 little hill to finish, but I was putting my body on the line... 58:55 finished 25th

Thursday, January 13, 2011

5km TT

So Wednesday night I took the boys down the road to run the local 5km TT. Over the next couple of weeks I have lined up a couple of great sessions based on their 5km times, so why not get a time to work with instead of guessing...

This is where we started.

Last year Ben was a bit asleep at the start and ran straight into that pole!!! This time we got off to a clean start (about 40 people). With a strong wind behind us I hobbled down the road, and found 4 guys following me. I was aiming at dipping under 20min.
The route takes us around the common, finishing just short of 2 full loops, now on that long back straight is were you have to really fight the wind. It was nice not racing, but rather just trying to hold form and pace. I didn't loss any time in the wind, but I did loss a couple of the guys who were using me. The first couple of km were really easy 3:42 3:48 3:44 then I had to start working to hold the pace 3:48. Entering that back straight for the 2nd time I slowed a bit to let Paul catch me again, but he could only hold on for a couple of 100m's. Then at 4km I caught another of my boys, I won't tell them this, but I was now working hard, I didn't throw down the challenge but encouraged him to stay with me. He made it through the wind and took back his lead on the finishing straight, only to die!!! so I past him running a 3:53 last km and finished with 18:53.
No that isn't me coming down the finish straight, this is taken form Google!!! (Clever aren't they.)
This early part of the year is full of great races, so on Saturday I will line up for a hilly 15km.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Here in Cape Town it is Summer and with the long hot days it is just perfect for training and cross training.
So to start with you might hop on the old bike and put in a couple of rides, it is Argus Cycle Tour time. Then we all know some-one who is a tri-athlete or IRONMAN so join them for a swim, not in the pool, but in the ocean or in the dam.

Yes I've been on the bike and yes I swim now and then, but my cross training dosn't stop there:

I climb the 227 stairs to the office in the mornings and down in the afternoons. I don't take the stairs at lunch, but I do leave the building and head to Town for a walk...

Walk up St George's Mall

And back past Greenmarket Square

Then I had to put petrol in the bike, so I found myself at the Waterfront, and took a walk around.
I stopped at the Clock Tower.
It was a windless day

Not even a cloud on the mountain.

Tonight is a 5km TT so let us hope the bits of training inbetween the cross training pays off.

Monday, January 10, 2011

30km IS A LONG WAY!!!

Sunday saw the running of the Bay to Bay 30km and I lined up for the 17th time! So this race and I go back a good number of years, so here is a brief history:
Lined up for the 1st time back in 1992, can only guess I was on the start line with my best friend Richard. The only thing my Diary from back then says is: easy run 1hr 57:32, 69th. Oh to be young again.
Didn't run is '93 and in '94 and '95 I ran slowly with members on my running group. Then in '96 I was thinking marathon and SA champs, so I went for it in the 30 as it was part of team selection. I had a great run finishing 4th in 1h44:34!
Over the next couple of years I only missed the race once in 1999 due to an injury. Most years we line up with the aim of just breaking 2hours, and this year would have been no different if it wasn't for the 7 weeks easy due to my calf.

1998 was the last time Dawn (Mrs Coach) ran this race, and with me going to be running slowly I planned to run with her for the first 5km.

With 2000+ people fighting to be on the front line I ended up a few places behind her as the gun went off. I saw her speed off and I started to bob and weave through the slower runners in order to catch her. I passed the 1km board in 4:32 and hadn't managed to catch her!!! Another 4:32 4:27 4:32 4:33 5km in 22:38 Then I caught her, she was flying. I stayed with her for almost 2km, but as the first hill got steeper she chased me away, tell me I can't ran that slowly!!! So I did what any man would do... I left her for another woman!!! Linda was just ahead and running faster than us, so I set about closing the gap. I passed her before the top of the hill and then stopped for a drink (Coke, would have taken beer is there was any), so it was only as we crested the top that I joined her.
We work well together and reached 15km in 70:29 before the big hills in Hout Bay started. On the 1st hill we caught Aubrey and Karl and together we made good time to Suikerbossie!!! Suikerbossie is a 2km hill that takes you out of Hout Bay. Again I got dropped as I stopped for Coke, but the hill was mine and I could see them ahead of me, so I set about chasing them down, and the next running and the next runner... By the top I had almost caught my 'squad' (they had pulled ahead while I was running with Dawn). It took me just one quick km to catch them, but instead of staying with them I blow past and joined Jenna!!! (Yes I'm one for the ladies, in my defence she use to run for our club and was now down on holiday running in the colours of RAC)
All to soon the 5km of down hill was over and I was ready to stop, I kept telling Jenna to go ahead, but she answered, if I can do this so can you... To be honest we had both slowed and my boys rolled past like a steam train almost flattening the old Coach... (note to myself: get into shape and run them all into the ground).
I was more than happy to see the finish line 2h19:09. I didn't have to wait long before I heard Dawn announced as the winner in her category 2h27:59.

My calf was fine and I'm running again, but this week is going to be an easy week with only really a TT on Wednesday, I'm going to need the days off to get ready for what lies ahead this year.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


No time to waste in 2011, so we got right into training:

Monday started with a easy run... OK I took the boys up to the Block House, a 400+m climb, that's my type of easy 10km

Tuesday: Track, 6 x 1000m in 31 degree heat, with 80sec rest (for me). The boys were all running faster than me, to start with... My friend Jacov was flying, he's down from Jo'burg and loving all the oxygen here in Cape Town, he was out front running at sub 3:10. I was at the back running 3:45. This session had the makings of another "January 5 Massacre" as I kept my pace and started to catch the boys. By the end we had both athletes and water bottles lying on the track.

Wednesday midweek long run, well I'm still on the come back trail, so I decided to go for an easy 10km in the forest, OH it was hotter than Tuesday.

Thursday and it's still in the 30's, perfect weather for a couple of hills... I sat out the warmup and started the hills. 60sec hard up, jog down. Finished 6 before the team arrived. The aim was 15-20, but 10 was the order of the day.

I'll rest Friday and Saturday, Then we have a 30km race on Sunday!!! I'm not racing, but plan to run with my wife.
If my body holds out I can enjoy the rest week next week before the next block of training starts.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Just a quick look at 2010, my first full year running as a 40+

Total Mileage for the year: 3297
Ave: 62.2km/week
Number of weeks above 100km: 4
Max: 106.5km
Number of weeks below 30km: 8
Min: 1km
Number of races: 44 (11 times 1st as a 40+, 10 trail and 1 road)

My best times for the year:

30km race Bay to Bay 1h58:08 10/01/2010
21.1km race Lion of Africa 78:30 6/02/2010
10km race Telkom 10 ran at Pentec 34:42 10/04/2010
5km Time Trail at VOB 16:48 28/04/2010
15km race Eersterivier 51:38 26/06/2010
42.2km race Winelands 2h52:29 20/11/2010

Was hoping to go a little faster in the 10km and 21.1km and Marathon, maybe this year if I can stay injury free.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

31 DECEMBER 2010

I decided to end the year off with one last trail run... I could have run from home up the green belts to the mountains, I could have headed off to the Nek. I decided that Silvermine would be a good bet at it meant that I could not only run on some really great single track, but I could get a swim in...
So after a gentle run up the river trail I ran around the Dam (needed a little distance) before stopping for a quick swim. Had planned on doing a little more, but 2 widths were enough. (only about 225m) This was my training ground for IRONMAN a couple of years ago. OK I would do hundreds of lengths in the pool at home and onces or twice a month I would run up here for a swim...

The run back to the car was going well till I was attached by a Mountain Lion!!!
OK I ran into a branch...