Latest posts by CharlieW

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Sub 3

Posted: 23/01/2015 at 18:50

CD -- you might be a bit in front of me (again), that was a great long run there.

TR/TT -- I'm happy with the formula now, and know it means I can run even-paced (hamstring twings allowing that is). It's in the back of my mind that I'll be running Borrowdale again in the summer, and that was nearly 4.5 hrs last time... so a bit of ultra-endurance would do me no harm, either.

I totally agree that some fast running early on simulates a longer run though. I've oft commented that adding miles after a race, for example, feels like a much longer run, presumably because of the extravagant glycogen burn in the actual race, even if it's not that long.

Thanks for the warning on the race entry limit CL. It's not obviously open yet, but I'll try to remember to keep an eye out for it.

Possible knee improvement: I had a really boring phone call at work, and whiled away the time by heaving around on the patella on my dodgy knee a bit, giving it a bit of a massage and such. Afterwards it did seem to be rather better, though I'm still just aware of it.

Sub 3

Posted: 23/01/2015 at 12:21

Tmoth (and TT) -- I've had some pressure/tightness in my left tibialis anterior which does indeed seem to be spookily related to tightness high up in the outer edge of my calf (but not always). Well run BTW. I think the double long run regime looks scarily tough, too. I'm happy enough to do one long run per week (some easy, some steady, some progressive/structured), and one MLR (often with some speed). Hey I'm sounding quite conventional there. Mind you, my MLR will now be followed by a 6M jog home so that's almost a LR, albeit 3-4d before my LR.

Good miles TT, CL & SL.

PP -- would be great to see you race VLM again one day, as you've had such great form this past year. But you're allowed to have Berlin/Frankfurt as your A-race. (Just 15 for the day? Bah, lightweight )

ON7 -- maybe Saturday races exist in the US or something... you'll just have to be a bit flexible in your interpretation of the schedule, as you suggest. I've always wished more races were on Sat (for indulgent recovery on Sun), but road closures are always going to be easier on Sundays. By sod's law the Snowdonia marathon is on Sat, but that would be logistically easier for me on a Sun. Can't win!

TT/TR -- yes Mr GB coach wasn't sold on full-distance training runs (but he was up for a wide variety of views from the audience, all light hearted). 7 of them last year was probably too much, and I certainly don't intend to do them every week (in fact I expect 2 weeks now without a proper LR at all). But for me I am convinced they really work, a) because of physiological adaptation to fat-burning (point taken that on top of the glyco-depletion of other training miles, a normal LR might do that anyway), and b) for psychological adaptation to making the marathon feel ordinary. I really value that, maybe just my fragile confidence, but it works.

Cycled again today (knee still a bit niggly but improving I think, do hope it doesn't flare up in the XC tomorrow). For the first time since switching to the busway path I found myself sharing slipstreaming duties with a complete stranger this morning.

Sub 3

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 18:41

Welcome back PP! I might see your heels at the XC on Sat then, knee permitting. Top tip on the masters HM champs, which is pretty local to me, and with me just V45 too this year if they have a category for that. Sounds like a must...

Sub 3

Posted: 22/01/2015 at 12:17

Padams joins TT in Marigold-esque former bloater shock! (Nice casual but good MLR BTW, similarly with you ON7.)

CD -- the ar$ephone is so small it actually came with an ear attachment to use as its own headset. But the dorky one I use commuting talks to my "real" phone in my rucksack/pannier. No headset at weekends (yet), when of course I leave that pro-forma note in my slumbering household to explain when I plan to be back instead.

SL -- ouch.

Nice to see you passing on training wisdom, TR. I went to a club marathon workshop by a GB coach last night -- quite fun, but of course I disagreed with him a fair bit too, I'm quite even-handed on that score. Discovered by chance that "diverting" via that venue actually trimmed a slither off my commute distance, which is handy to know.

I seemed to pick up a knee niggle yesterday morning, maybe in my last dash to work when a colleague who'd just got off a bus gave me a brief impromtu race (and pretty much beat me, embarrassingly, with my beaten-up legs). I was intending a day or two off anyway (and a cut-back week overall, have already done 57M) so hopefully it will just go away. (Hope yours does too Jools.) Cycling this morning was fine (new super-puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres now fitted, using a new tool to get tough tyres on without pulling my thumb flesh away from the nails).

Sub 3

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 12:25

You're quite right selbs, I can't draw any firm conclusion from a single training run. That would be at the scientific level of raving about a good run after a homeopathic remedy or great horoscope...

Dachs -- great shape there. Great shape[d washing machine] too Dan.

Well done you PnD'ers, I'm missing out on a bit of cameraderie not following it.

Tmoth -- is that physio equipment or a murder weapon?

Had a bit of time on my way home last night* so I did another 10.2M in total at about 7:20/M to make near 17M for the day. This morning I'd have done a proper MLR but a) my legs _were_ now feeling jaded and b) I want to be fresh for the Southerns XC on Saturday, so I did more like 9M with some efforts of 1-2M that were really a bit poor. 6M+ to get home tonight, stopping en route to attend a marathon training workshop, and then nothing much for Thurs & Fri to get fresh legs back. (What no antioxidants this morning? Err, no...)

*Another geeky revelation. Very occasionally my Mrs might ring me on my way home when I'm cycling or running, to coordinate supper timing or get me to divert to Tesco, and that's more important now I've got a longer commute. Stopping to rummage in my rucksack or pannier (normally missing the call by the time I got to my phone) was always a hassle. So I've got myself a Bluetooth headset (like a taxi or van driver). It looks really dorky, but means I can now check whether it's OK to run a couple of extra miles without breaking my stride...

Sub 3

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 12:27

Welcome back Yasunaga!

TT -- I'm totally sold on full-distance training runs (if not every week). I'd rather drop some of my commutes than not do them. In part it's a confidence thing, knowing the marathon distance is 'ordinary'.

6.5M steady this morning at a reasonable 7:25/M or so. But excitingly, my legs were fine, felt pretty fresh after my 3hr marathon on Sun including 10x km reps. Whereas last week I wasn't up to running again until the Weds after XC on the Sat and a super-slow marathon plod on the Sunday. This time, I had a bunch of antioxidant vitamins before my big run.

So for the public record, here is my cellular hypothesis to explain "the plods". Don't worry if you don't follow -- just remember you read it here first when the Nobel committee make their award later. During sustained intense exercise, fuel is oxidised OK in the mitochondria, but some bits and pieces escape (free radicals or ROS). They get hoovered up pretty well but not completely. Dosing with antioxidants may help stop them building up so badly (I hope). Now the ROS attack the fatty cell membranes, including the internal membranes round mitochondria ("lipid peroxidation"), making them leaky. I guess a lot of that damage actually happens after the exercise bout while the ROS are still floating around (that explains why studies have not found antioxidants to boost performance directly). And this will happen even if the exercise wasn't bad enough to cause structural damage (DOMS). Mitochondria are like little batteries -- they got that right in The Matrix -- but having their membranes attacked makes them leak some protons (electric charge) without doing useful work, just like a shorted battery. So next time you run, part of the energy released from the fuel you burn will be lost as heat instead of doing useful work, because of the partial short circuit. And that explains why I experience the plods as having very low power output (very slow pace) and yet with relatively high breathing rate -- lots of fuel is still being burnt, but it is just being wasted. After a couple of days, the membranes are restored, and my legs feel fresh again, and breathing rate goes way down even as pace goes up.

This thing with the loss of energy, fast breathing, and yet no real leg stiffness, was what I never understood previously, and which I hope this is a workable explanation for; at least one worth basing experiments on. If I can crack it, I can train better. Ta-da!

So now I plan to have a dose of antioxidants before long/tough sessions. But not otherwise -- because adjusting to the ROS load is one of the training adaptations we need. All inspired by the RW The Runner's Body book BTW, which I really enjoyed recently.

Sub 3

Posted: 19/01/2015 at 21:15

DrD -- love the New Year race report. Ace.

Well done again Dan, that was superb. I wouldn't trust the "45" number though; I made it something like ?42 miles when I did it, and normally the GPS flatters if anything. I remember you puking in Alpine races too, something I've never done (not trying hard enough?) -- what were you drinking and/or eating, if anything?

Sub 3

Posted: 19/01/2015 at 12:37

ThirskR -- nice one, and from bitter experience you were right to be cautious on the hamstring.

Wardi -- sorry yours proved tough, all good for the legs though.

DrD, Toro -- big PBs, congrats!

Nice training TT, SB, TickTock and ES. And CL, that sounds far too long/quick to describe as a trudge.

Well sprinted CC2. I've been a bit poor in sprint finishes of late.

Great race sandwich Al_P, that was a big day. I always find post-race top-ups hard, worth a longer equivalent training run.

Just a bike commute for me today as I thought my legs deserved a rest after the training marathon yesterday. BUT as an additional experiment, I took a load of antioxidants before my run yesterday to try and mitigate against Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) which give you leaky cell membranes, as I wondered if that was the mechanism behind getting 'the plods' after tough training. And in fact my legs feel remarkably good today, though I can detect I did something on them yesterday, so I didn't get off scot-free. Whether the vitamins made any difference I don't know, but I'll try it again I think; anything to help my recovery, which seems painfully slow these days, would be welcome.

Sub 3

Posted: 18/01/2015 at 13:01

Great stuff Dan, you were about half an hour quicker than me in 2010 (which got me 3rd!).

14 yesterday and LR today is an impressive block, Jools.

Welcome back Al & CL (and well done on 2nd in the parkrun).

Sorry it wasn't a good one TR -- I've done two crap races in a row now (10k when I should have done better, and an XC where I knew my legs were pre-toasted so I didn't care).

Blatant copy & paste from FB: Boffin hat on this morning. Minimising other variables, I did 10 fast laps of Parker's Piece, alternate ones with higher heel lift, which I suspect made me quicker in less controlled experiments in the week. Null result (but those should be reported too of course): normal laps laps took 237.0 +/- 1 sec at 147.6 +/- 0.6 bpm average HR, and the high-lift laps 237.5 +/- 0.9s at 148.2 +/- 0.8 bpm. So no magic bullet there. But hey, with a return trip to Waterbeach tagged on it was a 3hr03 training marathon that felt way easier than the 3:37 plod last week (on tired legs then), very pleasing this early in the campaign, and a gorgeous sunny morning for it.

Sub 3

Posted: 16/01/2015 at 12:22

Tmoth -- great miles. If it's any encouragement, I was feeling a bit run down from my long run + commutes this week, but found my legs pleasantly fresh again this morning -- renewed hope! Maybe they're adjusting already. It's going to be a 70+ mile week for me so (TT) I think my mileage is going up because of the longer commute without really meaning to, despite consciously only running one way yesterday. Not up to your volume though!

Dan -- good luck in the C2C race -- I should do it again one year. And well done in the XC.

PP -- wow that's a tough double. Thanks for the Scafell tip, I'll look it up on iPlayer. We always go up as a family and always encounter poorly-equipped tourists without maps on the way up.

CC82 -- sounds like you're in great shape, so no doubt the XC will go well when it comes.

selbs -- good going.

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