Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tough week, stronger return?

Ughhh…

It’s been one of those weeks.

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What I posted on my facebook page earlier tonight…

Well, not a week, but the last five days have been tough. Food poisoning followed by a work trip, and then today a 13-hour work day happened. I’ve been off running, off blogging, pretty much off my game in general!

Saturday night and Sunday were largely written off due to illness, and I was still unwell when I got up at 4:30am on Monday for my trip. However, as the only person attending from my company I had no option but to zip up my mansuit, drink a mug of concrete (metaphorically and literally – Imodium is a saviour) and get on with it. It was a good trip and ultimately successful from work’s perspective, but for me it was exhausting and also run-free.

I always try to run when on trips away, both to get in the exercise but also to ‘ground’ myself and to try and see the place from a different perspective. I took my running gear but the exhaustion and dehydration that comes with an upset stomach was a definite ‘no’ to running. At least I kept up with my 30 day Hip Flexor and Glute Challenge (Monday was a rest day thankfully!).

I’ve decided to take the rest of the week off running and recover my energy. And my weight. I was happy with my weight but I lost 3kg in the last five days so I need to get it back. It’s mostly water weight, so I’m (unfortunately) not going to be able to eat like a sumo wrestler for the next few days.

Looking forwards, this weekend I’m away for a country weekend with Lovely Girlfriend and a bunch of friends and a run in the wilds of the Cotswolds is definitely on the agenda. That will make it a week between runs, which is the first time I’ve had that long between a run since January when I got plantar fasciitis. Bummer!

However, no one ever died from a week off running, but many people have come back stronger.

Certainly my glutes will be stronger. I think I need to do 120 squats when I get home…

How is everyone else’s week panning out?

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Thursday Training Tip #10 : Proper breathing technique for running

A little while ago I posted some pointers on proper breathing technique for running. Ok, it was a long while ago, however I’ve finally managed to compile the expanded info onto a single page along with some tips and instructional videos. I hope you weren’t holding your breath…

Here are the key points to ensuring you have the proper breathing technique for running:

Breathe easy: in through the nose, out through the mouth but swap to mouth breathing once it gets difficult

Breathe deep: deep into your lungs maximising intake and exhale, equals more oxygen and removal of all CO2

Breathe from the belly: use your diaphragm to breath, not your chest muscles, as this will give you the biggest, and strongest, breath

Breathe slow: Bigger breaths mean you can breathe slower, which gives the lungs the time they need to complete the oxygen/CO2 transfer

Breathe rhythmically: breath in rhythm to your footfall so your breathing muscles work with your core, not against them.

Breathe Strong: You train your legs, so train your breathing muscles too. This will have the added benefit of a stronger core as well.

Here is the link to the full article on my site. I hope you find it useful, and please feel free to leave comments!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Related articles:

A Breath of Fresh Air – Get Going, Get Running

Inspire me Wednesday #14 : Winter Vinecki

This weeks ‘Inspire me Wednesday‘ is courtesy of young athlete Winter Vinecki. Winter has recently entered the record books for being the youngest person to complete a marathon on all 7 continents, aged 14 no less!

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Image credit

Winter was 9 years old (and already doing Olympic distance triathlon) when she sadly lost her father to cancer.

5 years on she has raised nearly $1million for cancer research through her charity while undertaking her amazing feat of a marathon on all 7 continents. And she’s not stopping there…

I find it truly inspiring seeing young people taking such huge steps to develop themselves and to help others. It should be noted that her mum has done each of the marathons with her. I guess it’s no surprise that with this level of familial strength and support that Winter has been able to develop into the person she is.

Here is the link to the Runner’s World Article.

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Two for Tuesday : And a new record

Run followed by Yoga again tonight. 

I haven’t been running much lately, and tonight I was running late and wanted to get 5km in before yoga so I had to go quick. I went out reasonably slow for the first kilometre (it was 0 degrees C after all) but once my Garmin chimed at the 1km mark I opened the taps and just RAN.

I’m not sure if it was the cool weather, the chocolate bar I ate late in the day, my recent light running load or the hip flexor and glute work I’ve been doing, but I took 55 seconds off my PB for 5km, finishing in 22:52. And that was with a first kilometre 30 seconds/km slower than the others. And it wasn’t a race. I really, honestly, have no idea where that came from. When I was running I felt good and knew it would be a good time, but it was only in the last km that I twigged it could be a PB. I certainly wasn’t expecting to take almost a minute off my PB time.

Anyway, that is more than enough self adulation. After my run was yoga. Always guaranteed to bring me back down to earth. Tonight it turned out to be literal…

Even ‘yoga fail panda bear’ did a better headstand than me. Mainly because he didn’t fall over half way through his headstand like yours truly. At least I wasn’t in the front row of the class. No, wait…

yoga-panda

Actually, I’ve just realised that I could technically claim that it’s ‘Three for Tuesday’, I did my hip flexor and glutes challenge workout this morning as well.

So there you go. 3 workouts in one day, a new PB, and a new level of yoga class embarrassment. All in all a good days work.

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Being filmed while running : What?!?

I read this article ‘The Runners: why we interviewed people jogging for a film‘, about interviewing runners on their morning jog, and how they were so open to these strangers questions, and it got me thinking – Why would these runners be so open? 

Is it like the film makers say, that runners have some form of ‘extra focus’ that lets them answer the tough questions while running?

Or is it maybe that the people who are out running month in, month out, are able to answer these tough questions because they already ask tough questions of themselves on a regular basis?

Or maybe runners are more trusting of others who seem interested in what they are doing, because they know that if you meet someone else running you already share membership in a community that welcomes all comers?

Or could it be that runners tend to get into that mental state, a kind of zen, where having the answers and being able to share them comes easily?

I’m not really sure exactly. I don’t have the answers. But for some reason I’m not surprised…

Here’s the film:

Why do you think these runners could open up about the really big questions and answers in their lives?

 

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

 

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Motivate Monday #14

If you lace up and go out that door, it means you’re a runner.

It’s not about how far or fast, it’s the fact you went that counts!

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Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Beware the silent Mogwai : He’s the real troublemaker

Her: “Wow, your calf muscles are well developed.”
Me: “Thanks for noticing.”
Her: “It wasn’t a compliment.”
Me: “Oh… Yes, of course, sorry.”

It has been some time since I saw my chiropractor, and I had forgotten that she doesn’t remark on areas of my body unless there is a problem. Luckily for me I was face-down on the treatment table so she didn’t have to see my embarrassed look.

In my last post I mentioned that I had a few little Mogwais causing issues which I needed to sort out to prevent them becoming nasty little gremlins, the notable one being calf and associated shin pain.

What happens when I eat after midnight...

Well, it turns out that these little Mogwais were only the noisy ones. There were a couple of quiet ones hiding in the shadows waiting to cause havoc…a weak butt and tight hip flexors.

Unfortunately, my overdeveloped calf muscles are not the result of genetic luck, they are a symptom of requiring too much propulsion from my calves. Turns out my glutes and hamstrings are the culprits, by not providing the ‘missing’ propulsion. It’s not all their fault though. The real villain is my hip-flexors – they are very tight, which prevents my glutes/hamstrings from ‘pulling’ my leg back, meaning that I ‘drive’ my leg back through my quads and use my calf muscles to generate power at the end of my stride.

Further, the tight hip flexors ’tilt’ my pelvis forward, which has caused the muscles in my lower back to become stretched. I learned that it is these lower back muscles that assist in preventing lower back pain (which I get when standing for even a short period of time) and, crucially, weakness in these muscles can prevent the gluteus medius muscles from firing. Kind of a double whammy really.

The prescription?

  • Hip flexor stretches to open my hips
  • Lower back exercises to strengthen and shorten the muscles
  • Strength exercises focussing on my glutes and hamstrings

I’ve set myself a ’30 day challenge’ to do my stretches and exercises every day for the next 30 days, which will take me through to 17th December, which is also the date of the first run of my next marathon build-up.

I have to admit that is cutting it fine to be focussing on fixing a muscular imbalance issue at the same time as building up to a marathon training phase, but for the time being I will just have to keep the running reduced while I build up the volume of these exercises – I don’t want to overload my glutes and hamstrings and risk injury.

It’s not all bad news though. I was also complaining of some SI joint pain. I was relieved to hear from my chiropractor that my SI joint is moving freely, the pain was being referred from my lower black and gluteus medius muscle, so the treatment of my hip flexor and glutes/hamstring should resolve this issue.

Back in your box little buddy...

Back in your box little buddy…

Fingers crossed dealing with my hip flexor and glutes will resolve my calf issue and other little Mogwais, and if I’m lucky, make me a better runner.

Is anyone else battling a couple of little Mogwais at the moment?

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Motivate Monday! #13

Some wise words from Steve Prefontaine to motivate your monday.

running inspiration Steve Prefontaine: Success isnt how far you got

So don’t look to see where the road ends, just take that first step and Get Going!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Not much running, not much blogging, and some little unwanted visitors

I guess I could just leave it at the title; it sums up the last two-and-a-half weeks since the Palma de Mallorca Marathon pretty well.

Not much running” is semi-planned. I’m meant to be in a reverse taper so the number of runs and lengths are slowly increasing back up to base level. However, I’ve not been running even that much.

Niggles are the reason. Little Mogwais that are making me tell myself I shouldn’t be pushing too hard to get back to training in case they turn into full on Gremlins.

Yep. Cheeky little bugger threatening to be bad after midnight…

Which is sound advice if I do say so myself, however if I’m going to be brutally honest, I’m crying off training because I’m enjoying being lazy too much! I could be cross training, doing weights, cycling, rowing or anything, but I’m hiding behind the flimsy excuse of my little Mogwais:

Mogwai #1: Right calf pain

Mogwai #2: Left Quad tightness

Mogwai #3: Right ITB tightness

Mogwai #4: Left SI joint

I obviously have a problem in my kinetic chain. Where? No idea. It’s probably something I had going into the marathon but I was able to cope thanks to the ‘progressive load’ of my training. However, the ‘overload’ of the marathon and subsequent rest period has allowed everything to settle and these little mogwais to make themselves known.

Surprise! What, you're not happy to see me?

Surprise! What, you’re not happy to see me?

The plan is to get to my chiropractor as soon as possible, and focus on making sure my back and hips are aligned and moving correctly to eliminate that as a source of my niggles.

What that means is that running is going to have to be put on the back burner for the time being (except for my running group) so I don’t exacerbate any of these little mogwais and turn them into full blown gremlins. I do however need to get back into my cross training! Bad Bernie!

What happens when I eat after midnight...

No gremlins wanted!

Not much blogging” was less planned. I had put a lot of things into a holding pattern before the marathon and they have needed my attention, I also have my running group training and routes to plan, and also a few ‘life admin’ things to attend to.

I’m completing my permanent residency for the UK at the end of the year, so have just had to do a “Life in the UK” test as a precursor to submitting my application. Lots of study on the history and culture of the United Kingdom. All the history and political content made me feel like being back in high-school again. And I still don’t know which number wife Anne Boleyn was…

As well as that I’ve had to obtain a new safety accreditation for work so lots of cram studying was needed in the last week. I sat the test on Tuesday and passed, so that’s sorted for the next couple of years.

Now the next thing I’ve got to concentrate on is my residency application. That is going to take a bit of work over the next month, so it looks like “not much blogging” is going to be my M.O. for the next little bit. Oh well, ho hum!

Now onto other news. I seem to have a memory problem. You know that Bill Rogers saying “don’t run another marathon until you’ve forgotten the last one”?.

enjoying-memory-loss

I must have selective amnesia or something because Mallorca was only two-and-a-half weeks ago however on the weekend I registered for the Paris Marathon for April 2014.

I definitely need to rid myself of those little Mogwais!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Inspire me Wednesday #13

Ryan Hall, one of America’s premier marathoners may have missed the NYC marathon last weekend due to injury, but that doesn’t mean his talents can’t be inspiring for us all.

Especially when ASICS set up a treadmill so that us mere mortals can get a taste of what it’s like to run as fast as Hall, even if it is only for a few hundred yards. Hall of course keeps it up for 26.2 miles…

We may never be able to run as fast as Ryan Hall. We may never even want to. But geez it is inspiring to see what people can achieve with some lucky genes and lots and lots of hard work, unyielding determination and the will to be the best they can be.

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
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