Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Communication Breakdown - Led Zeppelin

Apparently 4G went live yesterday in Caerdydd giving the internet a well earned turbo in our area. Only it doesn't seem to have had much impact as the 3G we already have is still dead patchy and NTL has been down all day in some kind of internet conspiracy breakdown.

Yes, I know I need an iPhone 5 to get the maximum benefit of the new Welsh Super-Hiway but as usual with all things mobile phone it would be good to get the previous manifestations correct across the whole country before promising the next big thing and then not delivering...

The annoying thing is that the technology is already there but the support network isn't. I am uploading tonight using my T-mobile Broadband and it's pretty dammed slow even though it's boasting 3G performance when I plug it into my laptop.

Bloody Internet... anyone else feeling the pain?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

As Cold as Ice - Foreigner

People are always asking me for my favourite races and runs and I was telling one of my clients earlier tonight about a 40 miler I did in Germany in 2004. The run in question was one of Rudolf Mahlburg's special creations where everyone ran together at the same speed, with fantastic almost military like precision.

It really was a day that I will always remember and it was a magical run thru the vineyards of Baden Baden, that finished in a traditional Christmas Market.

It was pure Bavarian Magic!

And if you are looking for some pre-Christmas training - it's ideal.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Simply the Best - Tina Turner

Well our annual pilgrimage to Eastbourne and the Beachy Head Marathon was it's usual sparkling self yesterday and in my opinion is the best marathon experience in the UK. It always has been in my mind since I first did it's predecessor the Seven Sisters back in 1999. If you are looking for Marathon X-Factor then this ones for you...

It followed another grand-day-out on Friday at The Woolwich Foot Tunnel Marathon. We made our way thru the tunnel before 25.2 more miles of out and back running along the Thames Path. What it lacked in scenery, it made up for with it's entry of 100 Marathon Club runners, past and present.

The bar has definitely been raised for the next couple of marathons, let's hope it happens at Luton eh?

ULTRArace - The Home of ULTRArunning in the UK.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tunnel of Love - Dire Straits

Did you know there's a special Marathon on Friday in the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. Well the first 800 metres are in it anyway and at a brisk walk I hasten to mention. Nice idea though as back in 2000 we ran a similar race in the Greenwich Foot Tunnel to mark it's centenary too and it was a great success.

As I remember it was a very colourful night running 57 up and downs of the tunnel, which eventually made the walls sweat and made everyone go grey with oxygen deficiency. It was the talk of the 100MC for sometime afterwards.

Well here we are celebrating exactly 100 years of something we take for granted but at the time the tunnel was state of the art stuff. In fact the tunnel engineer, Maurice Fitzmaurice was knighted soon afterwards in 1912.

Maybe we'll give him and all those who dug the tunnel a thought on Friday, the 100th Anniversary of it's opening and also to 100MC member Tad Lancucki whose idea it was to run this marathon but sadly died before the 100 year anniversary came up.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

End of an Era - Midnight Juggernaut

My word Ceefax is being switched off for good... yep it's the end of another era. It was state of the art stuff back in 1972 when the transistor world was flying high with Concorde and the jet age. Isn't it funny how something that was so advanced at the time is now seen as being totally past it and redundant.

Ceefax did have it's quirks of course - can you remember just missing the page you wanted to see and then having to wait ages for it to come around again? I didn't ever book a holiday on it as it would have been murder. Did you? I did use the TV pages as I remember though oh and the quiz page, although it was so slow you were likely to get a birthday card before the answers.

The Nokia Phone and CD are already destined... I wonder what else is heading that way?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Talk Talk -Talk Talk

If you are going to The Marathon des Sables Expo on Saturday, well I'll see you there. I'm looking forward to seeing my old chum MdS Race Director, Patrick Bauer and meeting Sir Ranulph Fiennes of 7 marathons in 7 days fame...Thinking about it I could give him a few pointers with my 43 ultras in 43 days.... hmm maybe I'll have a pep talk with Sir Ran.

Anyway, I will be blasting on about training of course, especially as I had four of my Performance Coaching Clients set new PB's at the weekend and I am already seeing huge differences in my training and performance with my uplift in speed, diet and distance.

Being able to do this stuff at 50 feels very important to me still and it's a good thing it's not about the winning like it is for Paula Radcliffe (btw she'd win ANY road race in the UK by miles and they take her funding away even at nearly 39), but is for me to see if I can be MY best...

Whatever that is...

Are you running YOUR best or is there still some in 'The Tank Frank'... I bet there is...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Say it right - Nelly Furtado

Stupid pack sizes in this photo - No wonder they are struggling :-)
If you say your going to do something... then make sure you do it as it's far too easy to back out or give up. Being committed to the task brings massive rewards in the long run and more and more we are seeing people prepared to give everything they've got to make sure they get to the finish line.

It's fascinating that we see great performances from people who haven't even necessarily peaked in their training but just because they have completed EVERY session they have succeeded in doing well.

There's a huge difference between training and performance... Every run or gym session isn't a do or die. Yes they can be very hard but they are designed to strengthen and prepare. But doing the training makes all the difference - you have to put the miles in.

We see this over and over again with folk doing The Marathon des Sables. People get all fired up when they enter and love buying the kit then don't train for The Worlds Toughest Race. If you are running the MdS next year and you have been to see me... are you doing all of your plan? If you're not, please start as you will do a whole lot better in Morocco believe me.

I intend to do well next year, do you? Are you committed to the task or just talking about it... - The home of ULTRA-running in the UK.

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Voice - John Farnham

Sometimes you have to listen to the voice in your head and get your head down and get some 'Miles in the bank Frank', especially following our Nottingham ULTRA yesterday. All that bl%dy speedwork has been worth it and on Saturday when we were marking the course, I felt on fire and ran with real tempo and ease.

In fact it made me a bit cheesed off that I wasn't running in the race itself as I'm sure I would have had a great race... ah well. It's one of the problems of staging races yourself as I would have done my old favourite the amazingly, unamazing Mablethorpe Marathon. Congratulations BTW to Paul Nicholls running his first marathon there yesterday.

It did make my 10 miler easier today as well so hopefully it bodes well for a good run up to The Druids Challenge next month.

Let's hope I keep talking myself up to the task ahead...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

9 Minute Man - That's Me

I've just started to look really closely at the speed of my training runs as I am fully aware that I need to speed up a tad... And I've found that it's amazing how many of them are either at 8.37 or 8.52 pace. It seems that I have an inbuilt speed metronome, sadly one that's fixed on a too slower speed for my liking...

So it's time for stepping up the pace and bringing on the speed as I would really like to achieve some fast times before the end of the year.

It's not going to be easy but with my far speedier critics Jenny and Mick snapping passing the odd rib-jabbing comment no doubt I will make in-roads in my need for speed and this 9 minute man might become an 8 minute man once again...

Watch this space...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Granddad - Clive Dunn

Well it had to happen sooner or later I expect but yes, someone (he was 2years old for heavens sake) referred to me as Granddad when I was in the Wacky Warehouse with my daughter Pearl (7) yesterday.

I wasn't too pi55ed off as he was 2 BUT it did dent my ego and all I can say is that the poor lighting didn't help to hide my craggy old chops.

Pearl of course thought it most amusing and possibly I could quite easily be a Granddad with other children of 21 and 24... Especially in Long Eaton!

I'm going to take it as a compliment that this is the first of many future Dad/Granddad mistakes that are going to happen from now on. Then again it doesn't matter what people think... Pearl and I know who's who.

More tomorrow... Now where are my slippers?

Monday, 1 October 2012

Get ready for Christmas Day - Paul Simon

Did you know it's just 12 weeks until Christmas... yeah it doesn't sound that brilliant does it? Anyway every cloud and all that and what it does mean is that there's the perfect time span between now and the festive period to make a huge difference to your fitness and race performances.

As you know, I am right at the start of my big push towards next springs big marathons but I am wondering what YOU have in your sights for 2013 and whether you can make the rest of the year really count for you just like my clients... Andy, Aurora, Patrick and Peter have in the last couple of weeks...

Who needs the extra motivation?