Tuesday, March 29, 2011


So we are another week closer to what ever race we are aiming at... and as the weeks tick by the sessions are getting harder and the mileage is getting more.

Last week it was 6 x 1km with 75 sec rest, this week 6 x 1km with 60sec rest. (Good thing I'm not yet looking at a marathon or I might be aiming at 8-10 x 1km.)
My mileage has climbed from 90km to 107km last week. Don't know what this week will total out at, but it should be about 110km

The good thing is it's just one more week up over 100km before I can look at cutting back. I just hope the body holds out. With my injury's of last year I have not been pushing the sessions. OK I have been pushing the sessions, but I have kept my 'speed' (or lack there off) under control.

How do you keep your speed under control you might well ask? Well you run in the morning, so when it comes to session time your legs are tired!!!

I hope all your training is still on track as most of you are approaching your big race.

QUESTION: What is your 'big' race?

I have to many, but if I must choose one I'll go with Zermatt Marathon 9th July (but African-X, 3 day trail, race is also quite big).

keep training

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Today saw the start of the ABSA Cape Epic, a little mountain bike race we has here in the Western Cape... OK they call it the 'Tour de France' of Mountain biking. 1200 rides in teams of 2 cycling 707km over 8 day and here is the biggy 14 550m of climbing!!!

I ran from home to watch the Prologue:

It was a great day for cycling and forest was full of spectators waiting to see a couple of crashes... I was got to see a front wheel blow out and a guy go down (4.5km into the race). Then I also saw a couple of guys a bit tired to 'jump' onto the pavement...

If I had the camera out then I would have had a great shot of 'grass eating'...

Since I still had to run 9km home I couldn't stay to watch the pro's fly round the course, and boy did they fly.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This weekend is the:

and the paper says:

All the venues are due to be full and rocking...
No-body here yet, but it is only Friday lunch time...
Saw all the venues going up from my office window.
No I'm not going but with the perfect weather here it's going to be amazing...

Monday, March 21, 2011


To rap up a week of hard training I needed a long run, so on Saturday morning I meet Jayde at Constantia Nek. We had chatted through the week about what to run, and had decided to run something flat and easy... (Ha, Ha, Ha).

If at all possible I like to run a little late on the weekend, so 08h00 we set off along the contour path to the Block house. Contour paths are meant to follow a contour, Right? Wrong... not this one. The 10.3km climbed over the 'Aloes' and that together with the other climbing totaled 285m. Now with a lot of this over rocky single track that 'Leg' took us all of 64min.

I took a little video of the next leg of our run, but I hit the wrong button and it didn't record, so all I can do at this stage is ask you to picture a view over Cape Town to the harbor... it looked amazing! Here the running was easy as we dropped 200m in 2.6km before "Heart Break Hill" forget about any other "Heart Break Hill", this little hill climbs 77m in only 710m. Now as if that isn't hard enough the mercury was on the rise, and had already hit 30...

We were now taking strain, me because I had loaded my pack with over 2 liters of water, a cel phone a video camera, and a few other things, while Jayde had run out of water.

Good thing this river was still running:

With just under 2h30 on the Garmin we were back at the cars. (24km)

One of the thing I always do when I get home from a run is weigh myself... 62.4kg that's my goal weight, my racing weight, I had lost over 2kg in 2h30min. OK maybe a 2h30 run on the mountain in the heat with a 3kg pack on isn't the right way to loss weight. This evening I was 64.6kg That was one real 'LAST CHANCE WORK OUT'.

Friday, March 18, 2011

WEEK 1, 14-20 March 2011

With week one of the final push for Oceans almost over I have to see how things are going. I know a lot of you are also in the final stages of training, and we are all hoping that the weeks we have under our belts are enough...

So my week has looked like this:
  • Monday , well Sunday was a rest day with only 110km cycle, so I didn't have to worry about running flat and easy, so I split the group and took to trail runners up to the Block house on the back paths up so mean hills...
  • Tuesday I started the day with a 7.5km run, it was great been out at 05h15, I need a couple more of these if I want to get back to the top of my game.
  • Tuesday evening was 6 x 1km road reps with 90sec rest. I would like to be running these a little faster but I'm still worried getting injured so I'm still 5-10sec slower than last year.
  • Wednesday evening was another fantastic run in the forest through to Kirstenbosch. I'm not cranking out the miles, so turning out the bottom gate was more then enough. We again climbed some big hills, but heading home was easy and on the road. We ran the last 7km of our 13km run at 4:25/km.
  • Thursday didn't start well as I had thought about getting up, but that didn't happen!!! So I would have to make up for it in the evenings session... HILLS I would have like to have run a couple more, but I had the movies to get too (The King's Speech). 6 x 2min would just have to do. Yes I had the guys running all the way to the bend at R/Men to build a little strength.
  • Friday Morning I had wanted to get up and run, but the body didn't feel like running after last nights hills and sitting in the movie house with Dawn's legs on mine.
A long weekend lies ahead of us so there is still lots of time to put in a couple of big runs, and how about a 10km race...

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So where does one start with a weekend so full of action?

How about Friday afternoon: Yes I walk the dogs and yes we went shopping, so does that make it a big weekend, NO, all the fun started on Saturday...

How does it go? Early rising exercising... Yes my wife and I were up early for the CV 15km race. The best thing about this race is the start, it is 2km from were we live, so we ran through to the start as a warm up.
15km = 3 x 5km so the plan was easy, don't kill yourself just aim at 3 x 19min, 57min nice and easy pace on a quick course. But as we all know plans never turn out as we want... With the 1km being a little slow I set about closing the gap on a couple of my athletes who were also looking for about 57min. No sooner had I caught them, then they picked up the pace and left me again. I let them go and settle into running with a couple of other friends. Then at about 4km a little girl caught us... Yes it was the same lady as last week, so I decided to follow her again! No we are not racing my legs are a little tired from last week... those were her words to me as I "flirted" with her... (hope my wife isn't reading this!) (ps she had ran a 5000m track race in 15:52 on Thursday evening)
By 10km we had caught all my athletes and Oloff, who was still with me said 37min, PR (as a 40+ Vet) by 5 sec...
By 11km we had caught the leading ladies and like last week I just ran past them and she came with... I wasn't going to be beaten in the last km so as we reached a hill I used hill climbing and dropped the ladies. With them behind me I looked ahead and saw a trail runner ahead so I set chase... I only caught him with 1km to go. It turned into a good thing I had set chase as I had moved up into 3rd place (40+). Then to boot my time was 55:30 was a lot quicker than I had hoped for.

My Saturday hadn't end there:
The garden awaited and I took control with one of my favorite toys, The Hedge Trimmer... (a good arm work out)

Sunday morning was Argus time and my 15th tour, the 12th with Dawn, my wife. Now cycling isn't our thing, but once a year we dust off the tandem and join 35 000 other cyclists for 110km around the Peninsula.
This is the start...
OK you need to see what I looked like:
Now the Pro's were flying around the route in near perfect conditions:
Yes we finished and and had a great time on the road. We don't aim at racing, just finishing and 5h11:49 wasn't as fast as we had thought we might do, but if I had, had my way we would have stopped a couple more times...

Friday, March 11, 2011


Just a quicky before my weekend starts with the mad rush home as I weave through the traffic on my little baby.

Then I'll have to swim a couple of lengths of our pool before taking the dogs for a walk.
Dawn was saying that she's stay at home and rest her legs for the race on Saturday. But before we get to the race we go shopping every Friday night.
Saturday is the CV 15km race, I'll run with some friend and aim at 57min...
Sunday is the big day Argus Cycle Tour 110km cycle on the tandem with Dawn, my 15th tour, if the wind plays ball it should be fun.

Next post I'll tell you about my weekend of racing...

Good luck to all of you who are racing.

Monday, March 7, 2011


As I sit here at another show house (my wife moonlights as an Estate Agent's assistant) I thought I would look back at the weekends running:
Saturday morning saw us up early and heading out to Century City for a 10km race. After a couple of km warmup I found myself on the start line and ready to go. With big prize money (for a local race) the top guys took off leaving us for dead. Within a couple of 100m's I had formed a small group with Roger, Oloff and one of the top Ladies. I was aiming at a time of 36min. So as we past the 1st km in 3:33 and the 2nd in 7:06 and things were feeling comfortable, the race around me started to unfold...
We were now catching the early leaders in the Ladies race. I couldn't see her eyes, but she had now taken control of our bus as she set about hunting down the lead. Passing 5km in 17:40 I was still looking good for a sub 36min, but both Roger and Oloff had seen better days.
By 6.5km we took the lead, in the ladies, and I went to the front as I felt the pace drop. I wasn't going for a win I was racing the clock. I was now counting the km down as we caught a couple more guys. I was now feeling the pace and had to let her take her take the front. She was running beautifully and with 250m to go I had to let her go... I hadn't slowed, she had sped up. As I reached the grass the clock was still on 35 so I was home and dry 35:30! The form is slowly coming back.

Role on Sunday, and what better way to see if this form is really coming back then to 'Climb every mountain'. So I met Jayde in Tokai at 07h10 (I like to sleep in once a week) for a simple out and back run. (or should that read: Up and down run?)I had decided I needed a little hill run, so it was up to the mast. I always break this run up into 2 sections; the first through the forest on the gravel road, and then around and up the last bit above the forest on the tar road... The forest was full of mountain bikers and those going up just had big targets on their backs as we ran them down. With the main baboon troop down at the bottom we didn't have to run though them, but there were a couple of lone males sitting on the side looking out over the suburbs. I took the split as we crossed the onto the tar 30:02 (5.45km, with +_ 350m climb) just a little slower than I had hoped for. I thought we were running fast enough to go under 30min.
I don't know why this always happens, but once we hit the tar I end up running alone!!! It was only a couple of 100m's before Jayde fell off the pace. The climb up the tar is 4.9km with +_450m climb so up I went into the clouds, I don't know why I was wearing dark glasses because the top of the mountain was in cloud when we left. I was happy with the time as I reached the gate at the top 28:28, total climb time 58:30.That isn't me, and nether of them were running on Sunday, and the weather wasn't sunny, but that is the view I was hoping for...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


OK so "sio'n the run" has tagged me in the 7 Facts Blog Awards!

The Rules:
  • Link the person who awarded you.
  • Post 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers. (maybe another day)

Do you really want to know 7 things about me... and I take it you don't really want to know that I wear my watch/Garmin on my right hand and that my hair now has silver highlights...

  1. After getting married in 1998 I didn't cut my hair for 2 hairs!!! I had a stress fracture and wasn't running, so I didn't want to cut my hair till I was running properly again.
  2. My wife and I go out for Pizza every Wednesday (and have been doing this for 15 years, to the day on Saturday!!!)
  3. I have some MAD friends and we pushed a 'pub' around 2Oceans Marathon, yes all 56km of it stopping to drink beer and play golf! Our 1st stop was at 22km and we needed it as we had past 21km in 85min...
  4. I couldn't really swim at school, but taught myself and finished and IRONMAN, OK I've now done 2 of them and the 2nd one I trained for the swim at home in our 9.5m pool!
  5. I am the middle child of 5, I have 3 brothers and one sister.
  6. I've always run, I can remember saying to my Mom 100+ years ago: "Time me I'm running around the house."
  7. My polevaul PR is 2m10... that was in a decathlon and I don't know what my score was...
So there you have 7 random facts about me, maybe someday I'll let some of my other PR's slip.


We don't all have this burning desire to take on the Worlds best and win, but if running is in your body it is hard not to want to go faster. If you run races, the clock is always ticking. OK you don't care about your time, but how can you let that "Fat Old Lady" pass you in the final 100m. (If you are the "Fat Old Lady" don't you want to beat the guy with the body of a Greek god?)

If I've caught your attention read on:

I love running sessions, testing myself against the clock, putting my body out there for just one more rep; even if I can feel the fire in my legs, the burn in my lungs and my heart pounding in my chest. If the program says once more, then one more it is...

I'm never going to be a super star athlete, but I can do the sessions of an Olympic Athlete and who knows I might run a half decent time.

So what are these sessions:
  • 10 x 1000m at 5km pace with 60-90sec rest
  • 25 x 400m at 3km pace with 60sec rest
  • 5 x 2km at 5km pace with 90-120sec rest
  • 15 x 60sec hills, fast up jog down no other rest
  • fast slow 200m's 800m pace half Marathon pace no rest till you can't make it.
Yes you can also do Miles, 800m, Ladders and just about any other distance. I once did a "Fartlek" session of 12min hard 2min easy 10min hard 2min easy right down to 2min hard 24hours dead!!!

Now it is quite important to run these sessions at the right pace, you don't want to be racing and you don't want to be jogging. We also don't want to be resting all afternoon.

I might put on the program 6 x 1000m at 3:25 (me now) rest 90sec, then over the next couple of weeks bring the rest down to 75sec and then 60 sec. Another thing I like to do is start with 6 x 1000m 90sec rest and then add 1 x 1000m over the next couple of weeks keeping the rest at 90sec. All the time I run my 1000m at 3;25 till I have run a race or TT and have a new time for 5km.

You don't need a 5km time, there are many web pages that will convert any time to a 5km time. eg: McMillan's Running Calculator but you might have your our favourite.

Sessions like those are really good for your marathon and half training, but some times you might want that 5km time to come down a bit, or you might want to try your hand at track (no it's not a swear word). In that case we could find ourselves running more 400m's and 200m's. We might still run a couple of 1000m's, but with a longer rest and faster...

Good luck as you take on your next session, just think of your coach standing on the side drinking beer! (I promise I only do that whan I'm not running)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I could have headed out to Koeberg for a 15km race, but I wasn't up to racing and I had wine sales to get too!!! I never miss them and at R 238.00 for a case of wine would you... With the doors opening at 08h30 I was on the road running before 07h00. Nothing to serious, I was only heading to Price Drive for a little hill climbing.
From home it's a 4km run to Price Drive, which serves as a nice warm up. It really isn't a good hill for hill repeats, it's to long and to steep, so it's just the way I like it. So the hill climbs for about 800m then is flat for almost 200m, before climbing another 600m. We therefore have a Mile long hill with 150m climb. 8:29 up, I then left the road and headed off on a single track, but as I ran I did a little maths and decided that I could run down and up again and still get home in time...

I turned and headed down. The clock was now ticking and I had to pull finger, and focus. So with legs pumping and arms driving I tackled the hill again. 8:18 up, 6:08 down and 4:15/km back home. Leaving just enough time to take the dogs out for a short walk before Dawn returned from her run. We were now cutting things fine, so there was no time for a shower (we did have time to dive through the pool so as not to smell to bad), before popping down the road to the wine sales.
It was a good thing both Dawn and I were there as they only had 300 cases on special and we could stand both in the cash and Credit card ques. Just how close were we to not making it, well Dawn was the last one in the Q for the special (I was in the CC Q and didn't make it). 300 Cases sold in 15min...

Sunday morning I had a little more time as Church only starts at 10h00, so with a 07h00 start I had plenty of time to spend on the mountain. So running from home I headed up the Green Belts of Constantia to Cecilia forest (that should be Cecilia ex-forest as they have been felling trees). From there I headed up to the contour path and Nursery Ravine. On a good day I try and run up in about 17min, but I wasn't having a good day, so I just walk; 21min took me to the top.

I was finished and really just wanted to head straight home, but I wasn't carrying any water, so I had to do on to the tap and get water. (I had a bit of a tummy bug and was scared of dehydrating) From there I started down the Bridle Path till the 2nd corner, where I left the concrete road and took the single tracks down. I took every short cut there was and some there weren't!!!

Wait for it; on the program of Monday was 10-15 x 60 sec hills. Don't worry I wasn't going to be running them as because of that little bug I had caught, I hadn't eaten in 2 days and was really week. I did make it out for the warm up and then stood on the hills shouting at the team.

Till next time: Legs, Arms, Focus...