Uncover your inner athlete!

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten.. Each morning in Africa a lion awakes - it knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.

No matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up you had better be running!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The final weeks before a big event

I have a friend who I have been helping with his prep for the upcoming Canberra Marathon in 3 weeks’ time.
It has been extremely difficult trying to offer him advice as I find he is in the same mould as I was a few years ago in that he just wants to run and run some more. He is doing massive weeks of 140KM and continual runs of 40KM plus on Sunday’s. This really is counterproductive for anyone wanting a good marathon time and he would be better off just by following his plan of long runs up to 35KM and then backing off again.

Each week he has been ignoring my advice of doing 2 speed sessions on the Tuesday and Thursday, a medium long run on the Wednesday and the long run on the Sunday and instead just makes his own plan up as he goes. This is continually frustrating as I am not the kind of person who just wants to take his money without him seeing great results.

Finally I have got him to calm down for the last three weeks leading into the race and he looks on track for his goal time, but this is just a massive lesson about recognising the effects of overtraining and correcting them early on. Indeed one can’t make improvements in the last few weeks, but there is a very high probability of messing things up in that time.

Running together (while curbing overtraining), stride for stride on a life changing ride. – Sean Muller

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Running on different surfaces

Having experienced a slight niggle over the past few weeks, I have truly embraced and learned the value of training on all different surfaces.

By staying on grass and trails you are able to take the pressure off your joints and injured areas and help to manage and train through the injury while on target for a goal event.

Ordinarily total rest is the best option for any injured area, but when you are targeting an event and if things are manageable then it can be an option to rather run on surfaces that don’t irritate the injury too much.

Adopting this sort of behaviour can help to prolong your training plan and also ensure that you don’t suffer from the runner’s depression that can come on for those that love to run who are faced with suddenly not being able to do that any longer.

Running together (while helping to beat runner’s depression), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Train safe - train at the correct intensities

Ever received a training program, but not sure how to maximise it by performing your workouts at the correct intensity for your current fitness level.

Most beginners (and veterans for that matter) train at the wrong intensities and hence don’t attain the results that they long for. Overtraining is merely a waste of time.

Veteran coach Jack Daniels produced a formula over 40 years of coaching that holds fast for those wanting to improve their running. His calculator has been reconstructed in this handy web friendly format.

A word of caution though – make sure you only train at the paces based on a current race time. Training at higher intensity will only result in injury and overtraining as your body and VO2 won’t be strong enough to sustain things.

Safe training is good training.

Running together (while training only at recommended paces), stride for stride on a life changing ride! – Sean Muller

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trail adventures

Being someone who always enjoys running on the road, I haven't been keen on venturing out on to the trails mainly because one generally has to go slightly slower and because I prefer flatter ground than the undulations that come as part and parcel of things when you go off road.

This weekend I was happy to witness some legend friends complete the Six Foot Track 45km race in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Although a very difficult track, it is very achievable for runners looking for a great challenge in an extremely scenic environment. 

Trail races tend to also have generous cutoff times due to not having problems with traffic road closures and the like, hence many beginners use them as an introduction to running. 

Off road running also helps with injury prevention in terms of preventing the pounding associated with those that run primarily on the road. 

Trail running - running together while exploring the great outdoors. Stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The power of electric soda

I am loathe to give product endorsements here unlike other sites who endorse everything under the sun.

There is however a cheap and easy method of relieving pain and inflammation that I have been using for some years and that which helped me out yet again today after having some pain in me knee from a run. 

Lectric soda crystals (for all intents and purposes washing soda) tipped into a hot bath helps to take inflammation and swelling out of joints and muscles. This method was recommended to me by a physio to take down some swelling a few years back and I have found it to be an effective low cost alternative to other methods of relieving pain. 

With a kilo bag of crystals only costing $4 there really is no reason not to try it. Available at any chemist and most supermarkets.

Running together (while relieving pain with electric crystals), stride for stride on a life changing ride! -- Sean Muller