Spotting the Olympic legacy

I have to confess I’m a bit of an Olympo-sceptic. Not about the Olympic Games themselves. Every four years I watch the Games rather obsessively. I’m particularly partial to athletics. It is here that you can witness some monumental individual achievements wrought from aptitude honed by unwavering dedication. The only thing that detracts from enjoyment is the ever-present suspicion about doping, which can unjustifiably taint genuine excellence.

I’m sure my enjoyment of athletics is in part because it is the only televised sport that I’ve ever really participated in, having for many years been a club runner – albeit one who was, at his peak, distinctly mediocre.

It’s not so much the sport I’m sceptical about but the claims that the Games will transform the country for the better and have a lasting impact on economy and society. [Read more...]

Running without rhyme or reason

[Originally posted at Bristol Running Resource, 04/12/11]

How’s your running? I hope it’s going well.

I have to say that mine has been all over the place for the last few weeks. It took me much longer than usual to recover from the Bristol Half Marathon. So during September I clocked up very few miles. During October and November it’s all been a bit up and down, and I don’t mean on the hills. [Read more...]

Ready for the off?

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 29/08/11]

We’re now less than two weeks away from the Bristol Half Marathon. If you’re running then I hope your training has gone well and you’ve managed to stay injury free. As Ben mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago, the conventional wisdom is that if you can run 10 miles then you should be able to manage to get around a Half. I think that’s right, although the last mile or so may present your quads with an interesting challenge.

If your preparations have fallen a bit short of what you had hoped for then it’s a good idea not to try to catch up by cramming in a lot of extra training at the last minute. That’s a good way to get injured. And it’s not really a hugely effective way to increase your fitness – the rest periods between runs are integral to improving endurance. Even if you avoid injury, the chances are you’ll be knackered when race day arrives. [Read more...]

Doing things by halves

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 15/07/11]

It’s happened again. After last year’s experience I promised I’d get organised earlier and build up over a longer period. But, exactly like last year, I’ve only managed to enter the Bristol Half in the second week in July. So I’ve got eight weeks to get my long run from 3.5miles to 13.1miles. It can certainly be done (Well, I managed it last year!). But it’s hardly ideal. [Read more...]

Getting in the swing

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 19/05/11]

What are your arms up to when you run? You may not have given it much thought. Surely running’s all about putting one foot in front the other? If you want to run faster then the key is to move those legs quicker. Well, yes, but what you’re doing with your arms can make a big difference as well.

I’m rebuilding my running after injury at the moment. Speed and distance aren’t top of the list. So I thought I’d work a bit on my running style. [Read more...]

Back to Square 1 – or perhaps Square 1.5

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 01/05/11]

Well that didn’t go too badly. Friday evening saw me head out on my first run for three weeks. As predicted on Thursday, it wasn’t going to be quick. I managed 29m30s, for an out and back training run that I’ve done in a lifetime best under 22m. But that wasn’t the main concern. My foot problem didn’t get any worse. And today I took it a bit further and did a 34m run. Good news. But best not to push too far too soon.

These couple of runs were a bit of a struggle in other ways. [Read more...]

Off the clock

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 27/10/11]

Are you a runner who is a slave to the stopwatch? Tyrannised by the timer? I have to admit that I am. I don’t keep a proper training log to track my efforts, but I always run with a stopwatch. I’ve got a good enough memory to be able to place a run roughly in the league table of times for a particular route. And as the years pass there are rather more entries appearing in the lower reaches of the table than in the ‘getting towards a PB’ section. Be that as it may, timing’s been a key part of my whole running career.

So I was a bit put out when I went away this weekend and left my running watch on the shelf at home. I was faced with heading out for a 10k and having absolutely no idea how long I was gone for. [Read more...]