Keeping On Top Of #50days50runs

If you are doing our #50days50runs or our friends at Freespeed #30days30runs you might be finding that the body is beginning to complain a bit, especially if you are not used to consecutive days or have been doing double run days.

You can help shut that voice down with a little bit of maintenance along the way so here are few recommended and resources and tools to help keep you in tip top running form.

Kelly Starrett at MobilityWOD is the mobility guru.  His books Becoming a Supple Leopard and the slightly less weighty Ready to Run are brilliant additions to your bookshelf and will help you build a great daily 20 minute mobility that will be as fun as it will be effective.

Another great person to follow is Kinetic Rev’s James Dunne. He posts regularly with great videos and articles covering strength and conditioning, rehab and recovery and mobility for runners.

You might also want to add some tools to your toolkit – lots of runner will have a foam roller but if you don’t this one from Trigger point is a great choice – hard and durable and available in several colours. You might even have a ball to get into those nooks and tight spots but you can’t beat a lacrosse ball to really make things uncomfortable and pound for pound great value for money , plus easy to carry in your work or gym bag. Slightly more unusual but very effective is a CrossFit looped band which will really help with tight hips, ankles and IT band among many other complaints.

And if it’s mental rather than physical fortitude you need, try our Spotify Playlist and discover some new music when you’re out there getting it done.

 

 

 

 

London Marathon Tips

You’ve done the hard bit (well nearly), you’re fit, healthy and raring to go so here are some London marathon tips I’ve put together from my own experience of this amazing event. Obviously stick to whatever you’re used to and only take advice on the things you might find helpful

  • Get a good night’s sleep on Friday, it’s the most important night. Stay off you your feet on Saturday (you could go for an ultra slow 15 minutes jog), drink water (don’t glug it down, it will only make you wee it all out) and relax on the couch all day!
  •  Pack your marathon bag and lay your race day outfit out, the night before. It will help you sleep as you won’t be thinking about what you need to pack/remember.
  •  Take your race number, scrunch it into a small ball and then open it up fully again. Making it crumply stops it from acting like a sail while you’re running. (Trust me, this is one of the best tips I’ve ever been given & I do it to every single race no. I get.)
  •  Smear your feet (esp. toes) in Vaseline when you put your socks and shoes on in the morning. It will feel squidgy for a few minutes but then your feet absorb it and it stops the blistering. Honest.
  •  Pack a loo roll to take with you to the start. Loos there will ALWAYS run out.
  •  Rather get there early and sit around at the start than have to jog to the start if you’re late. It’s a bit of a walk from the station. Going early also means you might get a seat on the train on the way there. Rest those legs, you’ve to 42.2km coming up.
  •  Take an old ‘throw-away’ t-shirt and a bin bag (cut 3 holes for head and arms) to wear once you’ve put your finish bag on the truck. If cold, run with them on for a few miles until you’re feeling warm and then bin them. Don’t waste energy trying to keep warm while you wait in the start pens.
  •  Take water to sip and a banana to eat before the gun goes off.
  •  Stretch a little before the start but don’t worry about doing a jog to warm-up. You’ll have plenty time to get warm.
  •  Make sure you run self-sufficient. Don’t hope to receive something from a supporter/loved one. If the trains have issues and the person isn’t where you expect them, you’ll be stressing. It’s a bonus if you do get something extra along the way but don’t rely on it.
  •  Don’t stress if the going is slow at the start. Think of it as a blessing as starting out too quickly will come back to haunt you later on. Seriously don’t worry if you feel the pace is too slow. Because you’ve trained well, the first half of the race will feel easy. It’s the second half that you’re saving it for.
  •  Run consistent. Stick to your mile splits but if you feel it’s too hard to keep reaching them, slow down a few seconds and reassess your goal time. (Better to slow down than blow up.)
  •  Take water from the end of the watering tables. It’s less busy. There’s so many watering tables, only drink when you feel you need to, not at each one. Don’t carry the water you pick up. Take one, have a few sips and throw it. Energy is wasted carrying it.
  •  Most importantly, enjoy it. Soak up the atmosphere. It’s incredible! You’ll get goose-bumps. It’s like running in a stadium for 26.2 miles. People will shout your name; raise a hand and smile (if you can). It’s so much fun, but don’t get too excited in the first half. All the adrenaline will make you want to run faster. Save it for a sprint finish.
  •  The last bit on the Mall will blow you away. Tears will flow, you’ll feel as light as air, and that’s it, you’ve done it!

Guest Blog: Jo Carritt on her #50Days50Runs

Jo Carritt Running Blog Post

Several other Black Line Londoner’s recently did a #50Days50Runs challenge.  And it seems we are in good company as Jo Carritt, Pro Triathlete and EverydayTraining coach,  also makes this an important part of her season prep.

We asked Jo if she would write a guest blog on on the topic for us so we could get the view of a pro, and we’re delighted that she said yes! Thanks Jo…….

50 runs in 50 days is a challenge that I have given to many of the athletes that I coach, and do myself most years at the beginning of my season. It is derived from a challenge that I learned about from my former coach Scott Molina: 30 runs of 30 minutes in 30 days. That has a pleasing symmetry about it and gives a month of running focus…without too much focus on the running!

Getting back into shape after Christmas, I opted to lengthen the duration of the challenge, but still kept the minimum run requirements low at either 30minutes or 6 km- my gym just happens to be 6km away, but down a hill – it’s an easy option for a run but I couldn’t see myself running around the block for 5minutes to make up the time! Of course within my 7 weekly runs I would be including my long runs and I found that I preferred to take a day off running and do a double run day each week: that’s something that I’ll often include in my regular schedule anyway, with run 1 being a “loosener” first thing in the morning, and run 2 a pace-focused run workout later in the day. Another easy way to catch up runs is to run to and back from the pool, gym or any other appointment; one of my rules is that there must be at least 30 min between runs for them to be considered as distinct runs.

I find the 50 runs in 50 days ‘challenge’ to be useful for a number of reasons:

1) Done early in your run build phase, or when resuming training after some time off with injury, and is beneficial because it removes your focus away from pace, distance, intensity, training zones etc and purely gets you to think about time on your feet and regularity. 2 medium runs, a long run and a brick run is plenty of running each week for most age-group Ironman athletes and if your running is already at a good weekly volume (30-40miles/week) then you still get to do these runs within the 30/30/30 challenge, with the addition of regular short runs to boost your overall run volume. Here’s my run volume for the first 7 weeks of 2013 thanks to the 50in 50.

week 1 76km

week 2 85km

week 3 80km

week 4 55km

week 5 72km

week 6 69km

week 7 73km

Not massive mileage, but great consistency (I somehow managed a light week in week 4 after a camp in Fuerturventura, but that’s still around 5hrs of running) and I feel that this gives me a good basis for adding more intensity into my run sessions from here on.

2) The challenge requires that you run almost everyday. To gain a day off requires a day of multiple runs. After the first week, you will probably be running on tired legs nearly all the time – not exactly the same, but close, to how your legs are likely to feel when you head out of T2 on your Ironman. Loading the legs in smaller doses is somewhat safer than getting the same effect by doing very long runs, and will build up your strength – especially if those runs are incorporated into your commutes and you’re carrying a back-pack!

3) It’s a mental challenge. As well as forcing you to be creative about time management and where you can fit a half hour run into a busy day (a very useful skill to develop for high volume training required for an Ironman), it’s also a reason to get out and run even when your sure as hell don’t feel like it.  If you take on the ‘challenge’ then its really mental fortitude that will get you through to the end. Just like doing an Ironman.

There are reasons NOT to do this – it’s pretty demanding and even the minimum amount (all runs at 30min) will give you a weekly run mileage of close to 30miles. Of course if your usual recent run mileage is much less than this, it’s probably not suitable – however you could always adjust the parameters – how about 20/20/20? Another common pitfall for even very fit athletes attempting the challenge is doing too many longer runs, and overdoing it. In 2008 I progressed from 40/40/40 to 50/50/50 – and made it to 90 days of 90 runs of 50 minutes or more. It was a close call when I got sick and had to miss several days in the middle, but by then I was sufficiently conditioned for high volume running AND had the benefit of a training camp where I could do up to 3 runs a day near the end of it. I stopped the challenge 4 days before my best ever Ironman performance, where I secured the European age-group Championship on the marathon.

If you fancy a great week of training with Jo in the mountains you can check out EverydayTraining’s next Camp in the Pyrenees  

For more about Jo, check out  www.joannacarritt.co.uk and  EverydayTraining www.everydaytraining.org.uk

You can also follow Jo on Twitter.