Training, Coaching and Performance

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A trip to the Sports Science Lab – Marjons

Marjons Logo

Introduction

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of popping into the Marjon Sports Science Lab to do some tests. I had just taken on a new coach (Charles Miron of Solo Sport Systems) and he likes his athletes to get their Lactate Threshold checked out. He then uses this to precisely set training zones. I’m a total numbers geek, so jumped at the chance to gather some more stats. I booked myself in straight away with Ben Anniss at Marjons, on the recommendation of a friend (Fin Saunders – Team GB Sprint Triathlete, and all around nutter that just raised over £3000 for charity by doing a 24 hour non-stop indoor triathlon.)

I shall tell you a bit about lactate threshold (LT) and VO2Max testing first, but if you want to find out more about my experience then scroll down a bit.

Incidentally if you live in the Plymouth (UK) area and want to go through something similar then Ben is most approachable and you can find his contact details on the Marjons website here.

Why do I need to get my lactate threshold tested?

If you want to simply know why, as an amateur athlete you should do this then it is pretty simple. I’ll use myself as an example: My optimal heart rate for aerobic training is in a window just 7 beats per minute wide. Too hard and I am needlessly exhausting myself. Too slow and I will get sub optimal results, especially considering I will be going slower and spending even more time running! The testing is not expensive, doesn’t take long and will mean that you are getting the most out of your daily run. Personally I can’t believe I didn’t get this done sooner!

Lactate Threshold Testing

Lactate threshold graph

Lactate threshold testing is the science of testing blood lactate levels while an athlete exerts themselves at gradually increasing efforts. The level of lactate in the blood increases with exercise. Lactate is a waste product created by your muscles and the more you exercise the more of it there is in your blood. The thresholds measured in this testing (LT1 and LT2) show firstly where there is a sustained increase in lactate above resting levels (LT1) and secondly where there is a rapid rise when your body can no longer deal with the lactate as fast as you are creating it (LT2). LT1 and LT2 are then indicators of marathon and 10km pace respectively.

The key for me was identifying the heart rate at which these thresholds occur so that they could be used for training purposes. My coach has since laid out some specific training zones for me to work in to optimise my fitness gains specifically considering the discipline that I race in (ultramarathons.)

Over time these thresholds will change with fitness, which means my training zones will shift too. Ben was keen to stress that if I feel that this has happened I should return to the lab to figure out the new LT1 and LT2. My intention at the very least would be to return once or twice over the next 8 months to get a feel for how my training is progressing anyway.

In short knowing your LT1 and LT2:

  • Help you to identify your optimal training stimuli
  • Gives you an indication of endurance performance
  • Indicates training adaptation (if tested regularly)

All pretty good things if, like me, you have limited training time, enjoy racing and want to get the most out of your body.

VO2 Max testing

VO2 Max Normative Data

VO2 max used to be a number that a lot of athletes worked off. It shows your maximal level of oxygen consumption and is heavily influenced by genetics. Essentially the higher the number the more Oxygen your body can process and the faster you can go. In recent times lactate thresholds have become more important than VO2 Max for endurance athletes as the further you run/cycle/swim the less likely you are to be limited by your capability for maximal oxygen consumption.

The testing

Not for the clausterophobic

Not for the clausterophobic

 

I had a chat with my coach beforehand and he said that as an ultramarathon runner my test would need to be subtly different to that of someone that prefers shorter distances. This is due to the way ultramarathon trained bodies react to the test. Essentially I just had to warm up for a bit longer, but nothing excessive. 12-15 minutes would be enough. The test itself took the following format and was all done on a 1% incline to simulate the effort required to overtake wind resistance:

  • Warmup (12-15 mins)
  • 3 mins at X kph (my starting speed was 9 kph, yours may be different)
  • 1 min rest while Ben took blood from a fingertip to put into the lactate analyser
  • 3 mins at X+1 kph
  • 1 min rest for blood
  • Repeat, adding 1 kph each time until blood lactate values achieve a certain value
  • Cooldown

All in the test took about 40 minutes, and it is sub-maximal, which means you are pushing towards the end but not going flat out. The mask contains a small turbine so that Ben could measure how much air I was sucking and blowing as I ran. The mask is quite oppressive, but did not at all hinder my breathing. It did strike me though how much emotion it hides as I ran harder and harder while staring at my reflection in the mirror opposite the treadmill.

The process of blood taking was pretty much painless as Ben just took it from a fingertip. After the first couple of pricks, and as my blood pressure went up with the effort, it pretty much just kept on dripping.

After my lactate threshold test Ben said that if I wanted to do a VO2Max test as well then it would be best to do it on a different day. The VO2max test is a maximal test and it basically gets harder and harder until you can do no more. It holds less relevance to an ultra runner, but does give a general measure of overall genetic capability by showing how much oxygen your body can process while exercising. It is a limiting factor of performance at shorter distances. I, of course, went back a week later to give it a bash.

Before the VO2Max test I did a short steady run to warmup and arrived at the lab sweating. I grabbed a mouthful of water and was straight on the treadmill. Ben put the mask back on me and after a couple of minutes to loosen back up the test started. Ben put a crash mat behind the treadmill which was mildly disconcerting, but thoughts of it went out of my head as I started running. My pace for the test was 13kph which is about 7.5 minute miles. The treadmill started flat and the difficulty was added via incline with it increasing 2.5% every couple of minutes. I lasted a whopping 8 minutes, topping out at 183bpm with a VO2 max of 55 which is not too bad considering I’m 40 this month. VO2 max decreases with age as you can see byt he table above.

What did all this mean?

The ultimate result when the stats were returned to my coach was some very specific training zones for me to work in. I was slightly disappointed with some of my numbers until I put them into context. Based on the test results my current marathon pace would be 8.77 minute miles and my 10km pace would be 7.26 minute miles. That equates to 3 hours 49 minutes and 45 minutes respectively which is 20 minutes off my marathon PB and 2.5 minutes off my 10k PB.

Thinking about that for a second I’m actually really happy with it. I am coming out of a large rest period and I’m at the start of an 8 month training block which will take me into The Dragon’s Back race next May. I have a lot of time to make improvements, and with a new coach, access to the Marjons Sports Science Lab, and a mass of my own enthusiasm , I have a strong belief that come next year I’m going to have a good result or two. And by that I don’t mean wins, although I wouldn’t turn one down. 😉 My aim is to simply do what I can and do it to the best of my ability, with maximum enjoyment along the way 🙂

Have you emailed Ben at Marjons yet to get your numbers dialled in? It’s not just for the pro. Any of us can benefit from knowing precisely what zones we should be training in. As an example my window for optimal aerobic capacity is just 7 beats per minute wide (146bpm to 153bpm) http://www.marjon.ac.uk/marjon-sport/facilities–services/sports-science-lab/

Marjons

Ben at work

 

 

 

Review – Dryrobe Advance Short Sleeved

Dryrobe Advance in the wild

Dryrobe Advance in the wild

When you go wild swimming you will broadly find three main methods for getting changed:

  1. The fast strip and go (for the less shy amongst us)
  2. The towel wrap, fumble, stagger, flash, panic….. (For the more shy amongst us)
  3. The “I’ve bought my own portable changing room” Dryrobe users (for the “well-to-do” wild swimmer)

It turns out that each of the above have several sub categories, but you aren’t here for that. I shall focus on the Dryrobe element. For those that don’t know Dryrobe is a brand and there are a number of product options that they provide, from the basic “hands free towel” to the “Towel Dryrobe” to the “Dryrobe Advance.” The first is pretty much a towel that properly fastens around your waste, giving you privacy from the waist down, the second is effectively a long hooded poncho made from towelling with ample room to get changed underneath and the third is the top of the range waterproof on the outside, synthetic lamb’s wool and polyester lined portable changing solution (my words, not Dryrobe’s.)

I received my Dryrobe Advance a couple of weeks ago from Simply Swim and I must admit that I had not considered how big it would be. It really needs a dedicated place to hang in the house. On opening it though the first thing that struck me though was the build quality, it simply oozes it and does not feel like it was built down to a price. Here you can see it modelled by my ten year old son.

Dryrobe Advance

Dryrobe Advance

I’m 6′ and the Dryrobe Advance fits me just fine, with plenty of room inside. If I’m changing on a slope or somewhere that people can walk below I do have to be a little mindful of bending over though! It really is toasty warm and is just the ticket when exiting from the water shivering and numb, sheltering you instantly from any inclement conditions. If it was a really cold day to be honest I would be inclined to use my old towelling Dryrobe for the initial dry and change, so that I could then climb into my Dryrobe Advance after and sit there warming up and looking exceptionally smug in my black and red cocoon. For those of you that are smaller look at the sizing carefully, but generally you want something like this to be big so that you have room under it and it is long enough to give you some discretion.

On my initial wear the Dryrobe Advance did not do a great job of drying me, much like a new towel really. It gets better with use though and I would recommend it to anyone that can afford it. Personally I don’t just use my Dryrobe Advance after swimming. I have often used it in car parks both before and after events and training sessions (cycling, running, swimming and triathlon) to give me somewhere warm and sheltered to get changed without showing anyone anything that they really didn’t want to see in the first place…..

Conclusion and Summary

Pros

  • Warm and waterproof
  • Versatile (quite often you see people in them just using them to stay warm and dry!)
  • Well made
  • Durable

Cons

  • Large when storing or taking it somewhere compared to a normal towel

Unlike other websites I have not listed the price as a con. It is an expensive product, but then it’s made well and the people that own them love them. It is also the top of the range Dryrobe product, so you would not expect it to be cheap. If you cannot afford it then there are other options for the more budget conscious. Mine will certainly be used often and I know that whenever I finish an event, and I stumble back to my car, that pulling my Dryrobe Advance on will be a moment to savour.

Headline features:

  • Waterproof and Windproof Shell
  • One piece body construction with no shoulder seams
  • Really warm lining
  • Full length reversible zip
  • Fleece lined pockets (warm hands!!!)
  • Large internal pocket for keeping your spare undies in
  • Waterproof inside pocket for valuables
  • It does actually compress down really well, so consider getting a compression sack for when travelling with it

Notes:

  • I have no idea what synthetic lamb’s wool is, but it’s definitely warm
  • The Dryrobe itself is extremely nickable (attractive to thieves!), so I’m not sure what use having an internal pocket for your valuables is, but I appreciate the sentiment. I guess it can keep your phone/keys/money dry while you get changed.
  • If in doubt then make sure you have a way of carrying your valuables while you swim, or bring a willing friend/relative to watch your stuff 🙂

If you want some more information then this is the link directly to where I got mine from which includes the full specs and information: Simply Swim

Dryrobe Advance

Finding your motivation

DSC_0070Motivation is a really personal thing. Nobody else can motivate you, but what they can do is help you to figure out what your unique and individual motivation is. This can be through telling you what motivates them, so you can take a small part and see if it fits and perhaps inspire you with their stories. That is the carrot and it is by far the best way of doing things. The other way is the metaphorical stick which is, to be honest, a crap way of trying to motivate yourself. I think that most of us are born to rebel, so when you tell us to run to lose weight or cycle to drop our blood pressure then the first thing we want to do is eat a doughnut and get angry. Can you imagine if the hulk was triggered by doughnuts? They’d have to ban Bruce Banner from Krispy Kreme.

As you can gather I am not motivated by weight loss, or by my blood pressure. On the face of it I don’t really like running that much at all, so why do I do so much of it? It’s an interesting question and probably not one I could have answered a year or two ago. I would have given you some trite and nebulous answer like “to stay healthy.” That’s a load of man-vegetables really.

I am a believer that we determine our deaths by the manner in which we live our lives. It stands to reason that statistically that which you do most is the thing that is most likely to kill you. This means I’m either going to die eating a massive plate of fish and chips, or one day I’m going to fall off of or into something while I’m out leaping around the countryside. Another reason to carry some form of ID while running, so in a squillion years when archaeologists find my remains they can give my descendants closure. I like standing on the top of hills so I guess there is an outside shot that I could perish in some brilliant flash of lightning while I am admiring the view. If I do then hopefully someone will get it on film.

What I am trying to say is that if you enjoy the fish and chips without the running. If you prefer to sit on your sofa, gain weight, indulge your whims and die in situ then that is up to you. Be sure it brings you peace in your enjoyment of it though and it isn’t just some self-pitying cry for help that nobody is around to see. If it truly makes you happy to do such things then fill your boots. I am happy for you, but don’t be surprised when the doctor tells you that this behaviour will kill you. I once had a conversation with my doctor where she asked if I do enough physical activity. When I told her what I did she then suggested that perhaps I did too much. I laughed, after all I’ve already stated that I don’t do it for my health.

DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY! (As long as it isn’t eating babies, pickling your neighbours cats or generally being an evil fuckwhit.)

So, back to the question. Why do I run and could you be motivated by what motivates me? I can tell you the former, but I am afraid you will need to figure out the latter for yourself. Like all worthwhile things it takes some work and time to figure it out. Anyway, here goes.

I sat down a while ago when I realised that exercising simply to lose weight is rubbish. It doesn’t work. For me that is not motivation enough. I looked at all the sports I have been involved in and asked myself “what about these do I really enjoy?” My answer was that I really enjoy a good hilltop view. That was it, that was how I got started. I then found the nearest hill, and was lucky that it was a small peak on Dartmoor with an amazing view. I then either walked or ran up it every day for about six months. Sometimes I listened to a podcast, others to music (Dartmoor sheep really aren’t a big fan of my singing), and other times I let my ears go au naturel and listened to the streams gurgle and the birds sing. I really enjoyed it. I clawed my way out of the clinical depression that I was fighting at the time. I became fitter and healthier than I had ever been, simply as a by product of doing something that I enjoyed.

011 Ben Wyvis 1

Some days it was easy to get out of the door, other days it was hard. But not once, never ever ever did I regret stepping out of that door and going to the top of that hill. Every single time I felt far more awesome when I get home than I did when I left. I simply became addicted to that feeling and it has fuelled my running ever since. If I felt like staying home, or hiding in my office behind a pile of work, I would remember the feeling that I had the day before as I came back from the hill and I would soon be putting my coat on. It wasn’t about speed, or performance or stamina. It was about feeling better about myself and being a better person inside my head where nobody could see.

After several years running has become a part of me. I no longer have to force myself out the door. I want to run up the hills, explore the woods, watch deer in the valleys and listen (and occasionally fall in) to the streams. Sometimes it hurts, it really hurts. Physically and mentally. I smashed myself hard against the Larmer Tree marathon last weekend, and if I wanted to I could dwell on the pain and on the hard miles. Alternatively I could remember the 4 hours of banter and conversation that I had with the other runners. I met interesting people including a world championship level decathlete and an inspirational dude that was coping with his wife’s death from breast cancer last year by running 20 marathons this year in her memory, and to raise money for charity. I saw his t-shirt as I passed him and slowed to talk to him. He mentioned that running had got him through it all, and it wasn’t because running is easy. I also ran the fastest trail marathon that I have ever done. Bonus!

There are of course plenty of other benefits from having a “feel good” addiction that is fuelled by running. This is going to sound like boasting and I guess it is. I am showing you the carrot (not my carrot, it isn’t that kind of blog.) I get to eat a lot, an awful lot, and I don’t have to worry about the calories in that glass of red wine. If I am late for an appointment I can run to it and recover my breath within seconds of stopping. If I want to take in a mountain on a whim it doesn’t take too much time out of my day and I can get my “feel good” kick in without it making too much of a dent on family time. When I commute I can choose between loads of options. I can run, cycle, drive a car, ride a motorbike, take the bus, or any combination of the above! Did I mention that my blood pressure is in the “athletic” range, that my resting heart rate is in the 40s and that my BMI is excellent? That just sort of happened.

Some of you will notice something missing from my blog. I haven’t uttered two words so far that many wannabe athletes get intimidated by. Those words are “speed” and “performance.” I am not motivated by either, however some of you will be. You will want to shave a nanosecond off of your time and will get great joy out of it. I don’t, but if it makes you happy then crack on and I’ll catch you at the finish. Hopefully both of our smiles at the end will be equally massive because we are both out there having a good time 😀

Find out what motivates you and do more of that. Don’t start tomorrow. Do it now.

Enough of my self-indulgent ranting. If you’ve made it this far then it is time for you to answer the question. What makes YOU happy? Find YOUR motivation.

How do you train for Ivybridge Everest?

Stood on the top of "my" hill, Western Beacon. A few days after Ivybridge Everest.

Stood on the top of “my” hill, Western Beacon. A few days after Ivybridge Everest.

When I was on the hill last weekend for my Ivybridge Everest quite a few folk asked me how I trained for such a thing. My answer was initially quite trite. It was simply “well, I didn’t.” Obviously I didn’t wake up at the end of November one day and go from couch potato to 54 miles with 6244m of climbing in just four weeks. I was relying on what a coach would call my base fitness. I didn’t train specifically for the event because I didn’t give myself enough time to do so. It was a challenge. I wanted to see how far I could get with what I had. I got my answer and simultaneously had the best day in the hills of my life thanks to my epic supporters. You can read more about that in my previous post here.

Anyway, more about base fitness. How could my base fitness allow me to do what I did. I’ll try to summarise how I go about my training. It really is quite simple, but I will have to start at the beginning. I’m not going to tell you what to do. I am going to tell you what I did. If it helps then that is great 🙂

A few years ago I was going through a rough patch with depression, an eating disorder of sorts, and was generally a bit of a mess. Like many forms of depression my life looked good from the outside. I had (and still have :D) a wonderful wife, two great kids, an amazing job and a some good friends. Not many friends, but the kind that matter. None of that made a difference when the depression hit. I had to do something to start climbing out of the well, so I did.

Step 1: Is their a form of exercise you can tolerate? Identify it. Figure out what you like about it and structure it so that you do more of what you like which is now coincidentally more of what makes you fitter. Find the time to do it, and push yourself a little so you get fitter and can do more in the spare time you have. It is an ever rewarding cycle if you get it right. It becomes one of the corner stones of your life, and you end up living it. You aren’t doing a fad, this isn’t temporary. It becomes a part of you and you don’t have to think about it or push yourself to do it.

Hmm. I couldn’t think of a step two, although diet does matter as does your work/life/exercise balance. I guess that does give us a step two, although I don’t know quite how to phrase it to apply to someone else. Here is what I did, take from it what you can.

Step 2: Food. My eating problems turned out to be simply that my stomach couldn’t tolerate products with dairy or egg in them. Once I figured this out, and it took months because normally you only eliminate one thing at a time and I had trouble tracking it to two. When I stopped eating dairy and egg several things happened:

  1. I stopped getting mouth ulcers, a problem I had suffered with since childhood
  2. My ectopic heart beat vanished. It had been quite the cause for concern over the recent couple of years and even had me at an expensive and private cardiologist at one point
  3. Cake and junk food were suddenly removed from my diet. I lost two stone.
  4. Most importantly I no longer felt on the urge of vomiting all the time (the cause of the depression)

Stopping eating dairy and egg wasn’t easy. I had to find other sources of protein and calcium, and on occasion the junk food was hard to resist. I finally figured out that the physical problems weren’t worth the transitory joy of chowing down on that Big Mac or that slab of cake, or that pasty etc etc. I did have to learn that lesson over and over for a while though as my brain/stomach kept saying “maybe it wont be that bad this time.” It always was THAT bad though.

The plus side is that as long as I keep doing step 1, step 2 now takes care of itself. Like I said, take from that anything you can. I would focus on step 1 though.

Step 3: Family and work. Both super important. Following step 1 with the support of my wife and kids means that I am much better at both family and work. Finding the balance takes effort. If you start getting obsessed channel it positively and work it around your family and employment. Don’t do step 1 at the expense of your family and work. EVER! I first entered Ironman Wales for 2013 (I entered in Sept 2012) I withdrew my entry in January 2013 shortly after Sam (my wife) was diagnosed with Leukaemia. I re-entered again in Sept 2013 for 2014 and as soon as Sam was diagnosed with relapsed Leukaemia she turned to me and told me not to cancel my Ironman entry. She wanted me to do it. I almost withdrew anyway as I didn’t know if I could support her through Leukaemia as well as the kids, do my job and still train. With the support of my close friends and family I did it, and had one of the best days of racing in my life. You can read about that here. Sam was waiting at the finish line.

Implementing step 1

Steps 2 and 3 you will have to figure out for yourself. There is no way around that. But I can help you a little with step 1 by taking you through my thought process at the time. Bear in mind that I was two stone heavier than I am now. I was depressed and I was unfit. Here are some questions and the way that I answered them in trying to find a sustainable way to get fit and make myself feel good.

  1. What do you like doing that is outside and could help you get fit? I like standing on the top of hills and looking at beautiful views.
  2. Is there a hill with a good view near by? Yes. Western Beacon.
  3. How can you get there? I’m not fit enough to run it and it is too steep for me to cycle. It is a four mile round trip though and I’m pretty sure that I can walk it in under 90 minutes.
  4. Can you spare 90 minutes? I have to. I need to do this for my health, my life, and my family.

I walked up Western Beacon every day for months. It wasn’t long before I was jogging on the flat bits and the downhills and it wasn’t much longer after that when I could run up it too. I think I started in around October. In May the following year I was at a friend’s house and there was a half marathon nearby. I turned up in shorts, a t-shirt, some shoes and my analogue watch. It didn’t even have a second hand. I buried myself on it and finished in one hour and forty five minutes. I was chuffed with that, but still had a lot to learn. My nipples were chaffed and bleeding so badly that I looked like I had been shot twice in the chest.

Now in my quest for hilltops and good views I have seen some of the best that the UK has to offer. I’m not boasting (well, I sort of am!)  I’m trying to show you what you could achieve from mild beginnings. I’ve done Scafell Pyke and Bow Fell. I’ve done Ben Nevis via the Caern Mor Dearg arete. I’ve done Helvelyn via striding edge. I’ve done the Yorkshire Three Peaks. I’ve done much of the Devon and Cornwall coastal path. I’ve run 82 miles in 24 hours. I’ve done all the Brecon Beacons (before lunch!) I’ve stopped on a cliff top at 3am, turned off my head torch and simply stared at the stars. I’ve done the Original Mountain Marathon and the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon. I’ve had my arse handed to me by the Highland Mountain Marathon and been owned by The Plague ultramarathon. I once ran 54 miles along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast dressed as Superman.

I’m not quick. I’ll never win anything. Bit if you see me out there then I am undoubtedly having a good time. A frown is my natural expression, so don’t be put off by that 😉

Figure out what you love that is good and healthy. Then do more of it. Build on it and never look back.

In the beginning

Don’t be ashamed of going out. Never be ashamed of running, walking, cycling or doing something to improve yourself. You don’t have to make excuses. When I look at you. When I see someone over weight or unfit out and putting one foot in front of the other, dressed in lycra (hopefully multicoloured!) I am proud. I see potential. I see someone trying to improve themselves. I see future company on the hillside. If someone shouts at you, or you think they are laughing at you then that is their problem not yours. It says far more about them than it does about you. Unfortunately there are always arseholes but you don’t have to let them get in the way.

Just in case you are the cynical and judgemental sort, and you’ve somehow read through this far, I’d like to point out that this is an utterly sincere article. Do not let my occasionally flippant use of the English language put you off from getting out there, enjoying yourself and finding out what our beautiful country has to offer.

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A muppet

I almost forgot!

I almost forgot to tell you what to do if something gets in the way. The short answer is identify it understand it and learn how to beat it. Here are a couple of examples:

  1. Knee injuries. Running can damage your knees, but not if you do it right. As my mileage increased I joined a group video analysis session on a track which helped me sort out my posture and technique. I did this for a couple of years in a row. Please note that this is not the gait analysis that your shoe shop will use. it was more useful than that. When an old knee injury (from skiing) flared up I went to a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who told me to give up running and wear heel lifts. I didn’t like that so I went to see another one who told me that running wouldn’t cause any more damage, but I would need to see a physio to help me resolve the issue. I went to see one of the leading physios in the country in patellofemoral pain. It only took one session because I followed her instructions and didn’t need a follow-up. I now run longer and further than ever with no knee pain. Humans were built to run!
  2. Brain problems. Last year I dropped out of The Plague after just 18 miles. I often train longer than that, and couldn’t initially work out why I couldn’t continue. It turned out to be head issues. I spent a month studying exercise psychology at the laymans level and then competed in a race where I ran 82 miles in 24 hours.
  3. Other injuries. I have a cross trainer in my garage. If I am tired out, or have a niggle, but still want to train then I use that on an easy setting and watch something on Netflix to pass the time. It gets me through.

And finally

Unless it is what gets you out the door I can strongly recommend forgetting about being fast. That is mostly because training to be fast is hard and tedious work. It hurts. It’s dull and it requires masses of recovery time. Unless speed is your sole motivation then focus on enjoyment and let the speed come with the fun. As you get fitter some speed work will happen naturally when you are trying to beat Strava records or are running up a steep hill. Ignore the get fit quick articles in the “beginners” magazines and focus on sustainable enjoyment.

Done. Ranting over. I hope someone found it useful/interesting. 🙂

How to do a proper hamstring stretch – Kinetic Revolution

I found this video to be extremely informative, and also found out that when I thought I had been stretching my hamstring I had in fact been doing something entirely different click this over here now. Give it a try.

Hamstring strech vs sciatic tension.

You can access the full article from Kinetic Revolution here.