Friday, June 26, 2015

I'M FAT !!!

Some people might say I'm a little OCD when it comes to running, and I guess they might just be right. I know (being the coach and all) what is needed to take me to the top, well as high as I can go! And while I train hard and do a whole lot of other little things to 'fine tune' my body I don't do it all.

I'm lazy... I know it's hard to believe but it's true! Morning runs and those extra km before session, the longer warm downs needed for the long races I do... what about the bits of cross training I would love to do? Well life gets in my way, and why shouldn’t it, running isn’t my jog, it’s just a passion!

Now also needed to take you there is a good diet! Don't get me wrong I eat well, but I would guess I eat to well. I like food and the odd drink! 

Wine tasting last week
So where am I going with this? Well on Sunday I ran The Table Mountain 16km for the 26th time, and while I’m not as young as I was in the ’90 nor as fast, strong or fearless, I still like to take the youngsters on…

Like most mornings before races I was up in plenty of time and pottered around the house doing the things runners do before heading out to put their bodies to the test… One of the things I do most morning, whether racing or just heading out to work is climb on the scale! Yes I weigh myself all the time…

Race day morning: 68.3kg oh sh… that isn’t good, somehow in the last 2 days I’ve picked up 1.1kg, Dawn was in the passage as I left the bathroom: Sorry Love I’m not going to have a good race today! How do you know? Well I’m fat… What? I’ve just weighed myself and I’m heavier than I’ve been all week!

So does that really make a difference? Well yes, but only a kg… It’s not that it’s 1.1kg, it that I’m heavier than last week, and that is what it’s about, maybe if I was running an ultra the extra weight, (read here nutrition/energy reserves) might help… But this is a “sprint” up a mountain and I would really like to have been at racing weight… OK maybe I can only dream of getting back to the 62kg that I weighed back in the ‘90s, but 67 or even a high 66 would have helped.

From the gun Admire and Jareyd took off with me following… In the old day I would have run them down, but that wasn’t happening the body felt heavy (and I’m not talking about the extra 1.1kg) and I was sluggish but I pushed on. Admire was strong and while I kept hoping that he was break he didn’t! Jareyd is a junior and it took me a long time to run him down, I’m guessing if he had started with me I would never have dropped him and it would have been me dropping into third. I watched Admire as he opened a nice lead and I watched the time as he reach the top. 26:40ish, me, I was 50 sec back in 27:30. Now there have been studies about weight and how it affects your times on the flat, most of the studies I've seen have used track TT to measure things. Me, well I have run a set of R/Mem hills with a pack on, and then for the last 2 (numbers 9 and 10) I took it off and without pushing was a good 10sec faster, and that was over 500m (ok the pack was about 3-4kg). So I’m guessing if I had watched my diet those couple of days before the race I could have stuck with Admire on the way up… (but we will never know)

Climbing up
Jareyd was about 45sec behind me and I would need something special if I was going to keep him there… I was running hard and pushing myself all the way, but it looks like I’m not only fat,  I’m also getting old, he caught me on the early parts of the down and while I chased hard I had no answer to his speed… 

flying down
I was lucky to hold on to my 3rd while the rest of the field was also flying down the hill.

Next year we will try again.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


With JMC (39.1km 2400m climb), Slave route Half Marathon (21.1km 200m climb), HMC (24.4km 2400m climb) and The Beast (48.7km 2100m climb) all run in May I needed some time out before tackling the next race...

With a week of easy runs I was ready to start training again!  Ok I started on the Friday morning with a light hill session... Which I followed up with a proper hill session on the Saturday! And a hill climb on Sunday (Price drive, 1.6km with 160m climb). 

I have been known to be strong on the hills, and this is why: I like hills! So I run a lot of them, if I liked to "plod" I would have ended up a good plodder!

So why all these hills? Well my next race is a little mountain race... Just up from Constantia Neck around the dams and back down. A classic 10 miler with a climb of about 500m in the first 6km! Having run this race 25 times before I know the route rather well , and with many top 5 finishes I also know what is needed to finish on the podium. 

I have plenty of hills in my legs so I should be strong going up, but that isn't enough to win the race... I am going to have to set a solid pace round the dams before racing down. over the last couple of years I have been overtaken by too many guys on the down hill, it looks like I just don't have the raw speen needed to stay ahead of them.

Back to my training:

After a weekend of hills I took the Monday easy and headed back the the hills on Tuesday! this time it was a great session of 90sec easy followed by 30sec hard before heading down. Why you might ask, well a number of my athletes often fade in the 2nd half of a race, so we need to teach there bodies the work in the 2nd half of a race...
Wednesday should have been a little longer but.... (Lazy) Thursday I took the guys down to Ronderbosh for a tempo session, and while i thought I would run easy tempo that didn't happen as the legs were working and I was running well... So it was 11min hard the a couple easy before I set off again, this time only 10min... then on the way back to the club we hammered another 2min, this was turning into a good weeks training!

After a rest (read 5km easy) on Friday I headed to the mountains on Saturday, nothing big, just some time on the legs.

Frost = Slippery
The rocks and sand were fine, and while it wasn't warm, it wasn't till I was slipping on the boardwalks that I could felt the cold!

It wasn't all cold:

and the views are worth it...
The 21.1km (ran round the car to to reach that distance!) I ran took me 2h27, so it wasn't fast, but a bit of time on the legs... Sunday I headed out on a flat run, it was also 21,1km (ran round the block to make up distance) This run was a little faster, in fact it turned out to be a tempo run... 88min!

The next next week started like the week before and it wasn't till Thursday that the program changed and we hit the track for a couple of rolling 200's... The Saturday's long run was just that long... 3h27 28.1km. Needles to say Sundays long tempo was short and not much of a tempo, but I was pushed for time as I had bags to pack for a few days off...

Wine Tasting by bike
Autumn colours
It's a good thing the roads were quiet!