May 13th, 2013 by Melody Vasey
This winter my running really suffered. One illness after another, and dark mornings and nights combined with busy unlit roads, made it pretty impossible to stick to any kind of consistent training plan. So, having started to run regularly again this Spring, I’m disappointed, yet not altogether surprised to find my hard won marathon fitness has pretty much all but deserted me. I’m plagued with heavy legs and the apparent lung capacity of a 90 year old smoker. I’ve gone from regularly running 15 plus milers, to struggling after 4.
So, the only thing for it has been to start again, and I’m going to have to build up gradually. I’ve got myself into a routine of running 3-4 times during the week either to or from work, with a longer run at the weekend, and I can feel things gradually coming back together. I’m still waiting for that one moment when I find myself purely enjoying running again, but I know it’s coming…..and in the meantime I’m reminding myself of the time when I couldn’t run for a single minute without collapsing into a breathless heap. But that’s the beauty of running….wherever you are, if you put in the effort and commitment, you can only improve…the only way is up!
May 10th, 2013 by Dan
The plan for this week was a slight variation to my normal workout and diet regime, I wanted to minimise unnecessary carbs and try and spread my eating times out throughout the day, eating smaller 4 times a day instead of the usual big 3 meals, this technique is said to lower cholesterol, promote weight loss, improve energy levels, boost metabolism and preserve lean muscle mass – only one way to find out!
I am a firm believer that supplements can aid weight-loss and improve various other areas of a workout, such as recovery and energy levels. I am currently using 3 new (well new to me) supplements to try and give me the best chance to meet my goal of a great athletic and toned figure by the end of June.
Let’s start with a tasty supplement shake, more specifically PhD’s Diet Whey in the nice if not slightly sickly Belgian Chocolate flavour, rather than the normal protein shakes, this ‘Diet ‘Whey’ contains a blend of different proteins,supposedly healthy carbohydrates and a mixture of CLA, L-Carnitine, Flaxseed and Green Tea extracts to assist in speeding up metabolism.
Next up, PhD’s Lean Degree Fat Burner, part of their body sculpt range which when combined with a healthy diet plan aids the burning of body fat, those hips and stomach that I want stripping back! It contains unfortunately a high amount of Caffeine, but since I don’t drink tea or coffee it’s probably the only main source of Caffeine I have. It also contains L-Tyrosine and Green Tea extracts – the only real warning is not to have it too late in the day, having once had 2 capsules at 6pm prior to a workout, safe to say not much sleeping was done that night!
Next week I will be going into more detail on my workout and rotation strategy.
Have a good weekend,
May 1st, 2013 by Dan
Wanted to introduce myself and a short summary about my blog, the reason I’m here writing this blog is to share my journey, the journey of progress and (hopefully) a visual transformation of my body and build. Out of the gym, I’m your normal everyday guy, into the normal social life, food, drink, cars and enjoying my weekends after a long week in the office! A marketing executive by day, and bubbly fitness enthusiast by night.
I hope you enjoy my blog and look forward to receiving tips and advice from you all!
Don’t forget to head over and check out my profile
November 19th, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
My training and racing activities have been seriously curtailed over the past two weeks following a succesful attempt to break the fall of a brick with my big toe…..the brick was totally unharmed – my big toe was not.
As the large heavy red object fell gracefully through the air I thought to myself ‘that’s going to land very near to my t………aaaaaarrrrgghhhhhh!’ Funny how things like that appear to happen in slow motion yet you are totally unable to affect the outcome – you become an innocent bystander watching the whole event play out to a painful conclusion.
Anyway, 2 weeks on, the toe is now a more normal colour and size and it only hurts quite a bit rather than quite a lot – I think I might be able to chance a trot on it next week.
I always try to learn from every situation and I’m happy to pass on my advice – if you’re going to run in the woods Salamon XA Pros are OK – if you’re going to dismantle a wall and throw bricks at your feet they’re rubbish.
November 5th, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
Last time I suggested that racing on 3 runs a week is not a great idea – well this weekend I raced on 3 runs a week and with a bad cold – I can officially confirm that’s an even worse idea!
The race was The Shepherds Skyline expertly run by Todmorden Harriers and it’s a real favourite of mine.
Almost 300 other loonies made the start for the 6 n a bit mile mud fest that takes in the Stoodly Pike monument that reaches for the sky above Hebden Bridge.
My lack of training and goo filled pipes made me wheeze like a stuck pig up the first climb and my performance on the second and larger climb was laughably poor. I did manage to get going again once I reached the top and the mad technical dash to the finish is a favourite of mine and I managed to pull back a few places lost on the climb.
Although my overall performance was comfortably the worst I’ve ever managed over the course there was one ray of sunshine in the form of my new and very shiny (well before the race anyway) pair of Inov8 300 fell shoes.
The bright yellow and black colour scheme does cut quite a dash on the hills but for those old enough it may bring back memories of Billy Connolly’s famous footwear….
The 300 is a brand new addition to the Inov8 range and feature the mudclaw sole on a semi-stripped down upper. They were thrown straight in at the deep end and performed flawlessly (unlike their owner). The grip is superb and the midsole gives a perfect blend of cushioning and control – perfect for those of us who are not biomechanically perfect enough to wear Inov8s ultra light fell shoes. A highley recommended shoe which I’d give a 10/10 for if it wasn’t for the hefty price tag.
For performance (after one race) I’d gladly give full marks but I must knock a couple of points off for value – fell running is supposed to be a cheap sport – enjoyed predominantly by tight Northern folk. If Inov8 carry on like this they’ll play right into the hands of their competitors…..
October 31st, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
During my self imposed ‘rest’ I’ve decided to try and learn to run again. What do I mean by this? Well, for the past few years all my training has been aimed at doing very long and very slow events – there’s not much call for sprinting in the UTMB, Fellsman or the PTL.
As a consequence, I’ve built up a high level of endurance but totally lost my ability to run fast. That’s not to say I was ever very good at running fast, in fact I’d admit to being pretty rubbish at it, but the leg speed I had has certainly slowed since focussing on going long.
So, I’m quite enjoying doing some shorter races and learning how to move at a much quicker pace than I have been doing for the past few years.
The thing is I don’t seem to be getting any quicker – I’ve been doing the parkrun in Bradford and just can’t seem to break the 19 minute barrier. Last weekend I did it in 19.05 and felt to pace it quite well and be running at my maximum for the whole 5k.
I suppose like I posted previously, I can’t expect to improve if I’m only training 3 times a week – maybe I need to get back into a more regular schedule.
Anyway, this coming weekend it’s the Shepherd’s Skyline fell race and then the week after it’s Bingley’s famous Harriers v Cyclists race – still not decided if it’s wheels or legs for me yet - I’ve done both previously and both are very hard!
October 24th, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
This coming Saturday I’m going to Lister Park in Bradford to take part in their Parkrun.
If you’ve never had a go at a Parkrun I can HIGHLEY recommend them – they are superbly orgainsed, accurately measured 5k runs that take place all across the country at 9am on a Saturday morning.
You need to register at http://www.parkrun.com/home but once you’ve done it once and got your barcode you’re all set to run as many times as you like anywhere in the country for free!
The best thing about parkruns is that all your details are stored on their brilliant website so you can view and analyse your performance. It not only tells you how well you did but it stores your PB and measures your performance against the national average – brilliant!
So, if you fancy a run on a Saturday morning why not get down to your local park and do a Parkrun – I promise you, you won’t regret it!
October 21st, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
As the sun was shining and I was at the race anyway in my capacity as Bingley Harriers’ Junior Fell Team Manager and taxi driver to my eldest son, I decided to have a run at the Withins Fell Race.
Although it’s only 11km long it’s a testing course especially in these very wet conditions and my current lack of fitness was well on truly put on display for all to see.
I’ve never been very good at these relatively short and fast races but guys I usually run with were coming past in droves and disappearing into the distance as I wheezed and puffed along like an old cart horse on his way to the glue factory.
Around a quarter way around I concluded that my current training schedule of just 3 runs a week is simply not enough to race off – or at least not enough to maintain any sort of form.
Oh well, I’m going to stick to my plan, live with some lowly results and enjoy my rest up to Christmas - then see what 2013 brings.
Despite my dire personal performance, it was really nice to catch up with a few old pals and watch some brilliant performances by both junior and senior athletes on a very sunny and even warm October day.
Next week I’m going to do the Bradford Parkrun with the junior fell team and help out with Bingley’s Autumn Handicap in the afternoon.
October 20th, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
Following my alpine exploits I’ve promised myself a good old rest until Christmas. I’ve cut right back to just running 3 times a week and I’m actually really enjoying myself.
Not feeling I have to find time to squeeze a session in each day and finding time for a 2, 3 or 4 hour run on a Sunday certainly makes life much easier.
But it can’t last forever so I’m now starting to think about 2013 and what challenge to set myself.
At the moment I’m considering the TDS which is the newest race in the UTMB mountain festival. Whilst it’s only around 100km it takes in some very tough trails and some monster climbs which appeals to my sense of adventure.
Between then and now I’ll continue to coach my ever improving bunch of Bingley Harriers’ junior fell and cross country runners who this morning performed brilliantly at the first race in the West Yorkshire League Cross Country (WYXC) series.
October 11th, 2012 by Andy Nicoll
Last weekend in the Ian Hodgson relay one of the competitors Darren (Daz) Holloway suffered a heart attack and died. Daz was a quality athlete who competed at the front of the field and was only 42 years old. The only saving grace in this very sad tale is that the doctors have suggested he would have known nothing about it when it happened.
I never knew Daz but have many friends that did and by all accounts he was a top bloke. If you have a few minutes take a look through the posts on the fellrunner forum and you’ll soon get an impression of just how popular he was and also what a close knit community us off-road runners are. When something like this happens it really feels like you’ve lost one of the gang. http://forum.fellrunner.org.uk/showthread.php?18225-Darren-Holloway-(Pennine)
I really feel for his family and friends but they must take some comfort in all the kind words that have been said about him – these people have no need to write what they have, they’ve done it because they mean it. It’s just a shame that Daz himself couldn’t read all the comments – I hope he knew how popular he was.
Reading the posts makes me conclude that Daz led a good life albeit way too short - if we could all be sure that we’d get the same response as Daz the world be a MUCH better place than it is.
I tip my Buff to you Daz – you made a positive difference to many people in the short time you were here - Run Free!