Latest posts by CharlieW

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Posted: Yesterday at 19:11

(Quiet here today.) Dang, I'm injured -- but nothing serious, I hope, and to be fair I've had a good streak. So last night on my run home, picking up the pace a little as I neared home, some pedestrians were blocking my favoured mini-cattle grid at the exit to the park (with some room to put my foot down), so I heroically vaulted its sibling. Unfortunately vaulting isn't my strong suit and I knew I'd twinged something at the top of my thigh as soon as I landed (clumsily enough to startle the pedestrians). Jogging to work today it started OK but then made itself felt; on the way home, I felt like I was close to doing some damage, so just shuffled back at 10 min/M. Rest tomorrow methinks. And just when I thought I might get back to some long-overdue speed training...

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Posted: 24/11/2014 at 12:19

CD -- sounds horrible, well toughed out! And well done to all those others who trained in the rain.

DrD -- tremendous win against the odds there! I wonder if for a 10k, losing a few pounds from illness actually helps more than you lose out from lack of fuel -- as you don't need that much glycogen to get you round 6M anyway. Not a prep regime I'd want to emulate though...

Well done in your hilly races running eye. Between runs, I tend to lapse into something not dissimilar from marathon training anyway out of habit, though without such really long runs (or not many), and a peppering of shorter races.

Padams -- take it easy on the dodgy calf.

Toro -- your target races do indeed look like fun. We're heading back to the Lakes for our summer holiday next year now, so I'll probably have another crack at the Borrowdale Fell Race, hopefully learning a few lessons from last time (not that I'll ever be too high up the field there).

Something else on my horizon is a workplace move, which will give a new minimum commute of 5.8M after Christmas (nearly doubled). On the one hand that might encourage me to do a few more miles, but on the other the occasions when my legs are a bit beaten up but I consider OK for a 3M jog to work now, I would be more likely to bike instead with it being further away. There is an excellent bus service to help me get back again if I don't want to do a double.

A basic 4M in to work today, not feeling so ill any more and my legs have freshened up, so 7:10/M with a 3kg rucksack.

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Posted: 23/11/2014 at 10:53

Snap TR -- I'm feeling slightly "viral", not a proper cold yet but a bit swimmy in the head, so a very low-key 8:15/M 12M plod in the rain for me too.

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Posted: 20/11/2014 at 12:24

Banksy -- imagine that each time the GPS records a point, it is randomly out by a few metres. Now go for a run in a straight line. Your true track is straight; the GPS track jigs from side to side a little due to the random error in each point. And the total length of that slightly jigging line is longer. That's why I reckon they tend to overestimate a little, in general. I've also noticed my Garmin assuming a slightly wider track round my park loop corners when I'm going faster, which could be an algorithmic thing.

Then sometimes, you get a complete freak-out, usually adding a lot of distance artificially. Can be due to high buidings etc, but sometimes for no apparent reason at all (maybe a lorry driver with a GPS jammer going past or something). Sometimes that wil result in an underestimate, e.g. if it has lost satellite lock for a while and assumes a straight line from the last known position.

Overall I think GPS watches are brilliant, as nothing else can give such good accuracy (usually within 1 or 2%) as one takes any old route you fancy. But they're not perfect, and occasionally very wrong.

As for official course measurements: obviously they're more accurate, but I remember reading something once about them ensuring that the course is long enough rather than spot on? And I've had the same problem with mile markers (including the VLM balloon arches) being a bit out for the convenience of where they can place them. (For VLM at least, more accurate marks are on the road, but not always easy to spot.)

I use the tip I learnt here of having a Garmin field of "Time -- average lap", and pressing the lap button manually at each mile marker. That field then gives you an accurate average min/M so far that doesn't depend on GPS. Have to press the button twice if you realise you've missed one though!

10M steady for me this morning. Once again my weekend race has left my legs too creaky to do any quality work in the week, though I suppose it counted as speed training in itself.

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Posted: 19/11/2014 at 20:07

FG -- welcome! Just a few criticisms of P&D that have cropped up: a) not enough rest days b) taper week too hard and c) long runs not long enough (I like to go the full distance personally). Otherwise it should see you right.

PP -- hope you're OK. Considering the extended high-performance roll you've been on, could it be overtraining rather than a lurgy? Mind you, your enthusiasm for the XC is itself a contra-indication of that!

bains -- glad things are getting more sane. Already using earplugs? (There's no point in you both being awake, better to take it in turns...)
And on the bunionette -- what Dachs says

Banksy -- sorry you had a tough one! I wouldn't make your target faster to be more 'safely' sub-3 though; I think it risks exactly the opposite, i.e. more likely to cramp/blow up if you're going too quick early on and have a disaster.

Lev -- dedicated.

Good double Wardi. I managed a mere 4 + 5M today, though my legs seem to be getting over the surprise HM last Sunday now.

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Posted: 18/11/2014 at 12:30

TR -- ah sorry, wrong end of the stick when you said "I had pretty achy legs after the 10m race two weeks ago but my legs were fine to run an easy 5m on today." -- it didn't sound right that you meant it took 2 weeks to recover!

SJ -- I've actually said to some owners to shout at the dog, not explain to me, otherwise it won't learn. Not that I know anything about dogs. I'd definitely have zero sympathy for one that had just bitten me, and the owner giving it some immediate discipline while it could remember what it had just done sounds like a good idea to dissuade it from doing it again in future. I'd also tell the police.

ES -- I like to do a session of 6x(1M at target half pace or close, 1M at brisk-steady pace e.g. 7m/M).

LS21 -- epic weekend's training! A bit of rest definitely in order.

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Posted: 17/11/2014 at 21:24

Padams, ES, CD -- thanks very much, I've shamelessly quoted you to the guy who was interested. Now you mention it, I might be interested myself...

KD -- gradient makes a surprisingly tiny difference to distance unless it's *really* steep. My Garmin normally flatters me by giving a slight distance overestimate, but occasionally it reads a little low (always in the Cambridge parkrun, which has some wiggles under trees which it might miss). Unless it throws a complete wobbly (sometimes apparent from the plot), it's usually within 1-2% though, which is pretty impressive really.

TR -- two weeks to recover from a 10M? Shurely not. You're probably right about the toughening up though, I think I'm stronger from a series of races lately (he says until something goes hideously 'twang').

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Posted: 17/11/2014 at 12:20

Great PB, Dachs. I can't believe that only earnt you 138th place!

Nice run in your 10k Electric Sheep. Someone's just asked me if I know anything about the Bedford half (no I don't) -- have you done it before?

*Padams in bird-strike shocker* -- cor I wish I could do a nonchalant 16:30 in clompy shoes after an hour's warm-up... big bike training too.

KD -- oh no, marshalling cock-ups like that just shouldn't happen.

Decided to jog the 3M to work in case my legs are even creakier tomorrow -- which was OK if pointless, just hope they can get me home again...

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Posted: 16/11/2014 at 21:52

Jools -- you continue to be on fire. Well done!

TR -- great stuff, I don't think you've been doing that many run miles lately either.

Toro -- so was the unexpected 35:xx a PB too?

TickTock -- another better-than-expeced, and in foul weather too.

Wardi -- gosh that's a long marathon build-up (but to be fair I lapse into marathon training without meaning to year round these days). Hope that XC was satisfactory!

DrD -- wow, that's massive, and would be without the shingle. Impressive stuff.

ThirskR -- still very respectable (I have to say that as I ran one in the same time recently) but you're right to be wary of overtraining, it can be a real pit.

So up until 4pm yesterday I wasn't racing today, and was booked into a once-per-decade full-on college feast (9 courses depending on how you count them, and approx 7 wines; there was a special menu just to describe the cheese course). But then I got a last-minute place at the oversubscribed local St Neots half today. So... my preparation for this half was my overkill 24M speed session last Sunday, a lot of half-wrecked plodded miles to total 60 this week, an absolute bellyful of slow-digesting food and more fine wines than Withnail demanded in the Penrith tea-rooms. Oh, and the half was hilly by local standards. And I forgot my Garmin. But for all that, it actually went well -- I played it conservatively to start with, with a dozen or more apparently heading for sub-75 early on who I let go, and had a good rally at the end, eventually coming 5th in 76:02 (only 30 sec slower than GER where I prepped so obsessively), earning some prizes. Maybe the Njord-esque approach to racing is the way to go...

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Posted: 14/11/2014 at 12:14

Lev -- hope it heals nicely.

It's TR & Electric Sheep who are avatar twins here!

Jogged a pointless couple of miles in circles so I'd make it to a 60M week after dropping the car off for its MoT (hence a rare drive to my work village), but while jogging I could tell I'd overdone it this week, just by doing that near-marathon tough session on Sunday and then commuting doubles from Tues on without giving the legs proper time to recover. Rest tomorrow I think, back to it properly on Sunday (no race this w/e but a heavy college dinner due tomorrow, so I'll have some calories/port to burn off...).

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