Saturday, 3 November 2012
Last year I came 3rd in a time of 39:15 and was only about a minute and a half behind the winner so I'm thinking with some specific training I should be able to take 3 mins off my current time. Here's the training so far.
It started about a month or so ago after I got back from Ibiza (not a lot of point starting before then!) and it was going really well. A couple of Sundays ago I did a 30 mile run with a mate which, whilst that race was ok, I didn't stretch properly afterwards and went back to speed training a bit tight. This week has been a write off with a swollen Achilles. At least I can touch it now without flinching.
I personally like running on treadmills, especially when doing speed work. I feel you have more control and can play games with yourself to make it more interesting. There is no reason running at the gym should be boring.
My training has roughly been 4-5 runs a week broken down into 2-3 different speed sessions, one easy recovery run and a longish trail run at the weekend.
My speed sessions are:
1. Tempo run. So a 1mile warm up around 8.5mph then 3-4 miles around 10-11mph then a mile cool down around 8mph.
2. My pyramids: This is normally a 0.5mile warm up at 8.5mph then 0.1 miles at 10mph, then 0.1m recovery at 8.5mph, then 0.2m at 10.3mph, recovery, then 0.3m at 10.6mph, recovery, then 0.4 at 10.9mph, recovery, then 0.5m at 11.2 then do the same back down again.
3. Go faster! I'll start this 4-5 milem run around 8.5mph then every half a mile stick it up a bit. The goal is to end up running the last mile around 11.5-12mph! That is so tough and I'm not quite at the point I can do a 5min mile.
4. Spank a 5k. So 0.5m warn up then run a 16.5- 17 min 5k. Seriously tough.
With a bit of massage, stretching and rest my Achilles will be ok, it's definitely not the first time I've had this! I'll be back next week and fully fit by the 25th.
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
How have we all been since my two years of blogging silence? Excellent, pleased to hear it. I thought it was time I get back into my blog as there is some exciting stuff coming up over the coming couple of years and, as I'm the sharing caring type, I thought you might be interested.
Since we last said hello I've done a few runs! Here's a quick overview....
- Grand Union Canal 145 single stage ultra - 36hrs
- Peru Jungle Ultra - 145 miles 6 stages (amazing, some info below)
- NDW100 - 24hrs 50mins
- Milton Keynes Marathon - 2:51 (woohoo, final got a sub 3!)
- Winner of my local 5k Parkrun - my only ever win
I'm sure it's the same with you but I often get new people asking why I run ultras. It's pretty simple to me, I get to see some of the most amazing places, I get to challenge myself and see how far I can push myself physically and mental (so far no probs!) and I meet some great people.
Take the Peru ultra, the run started in forest above the clouds! Imagine waking up for your run and being in the jungle above the clouds. Then imagine running through freshly cut paths through amazing jungle, running through rivers and gorges with overhanging jungle, parrots flying around, snakes wiggling across the path in front of you, sleeping in tribes villages and playing football with the children while the tribes cook food for you. In my opinion it is the person who would not want to all that is the crazy one, not me!
So what does the future hold. Planned races include the Barcelona Marathon which I'll run with my rediculously supportive wife Meredith. The Enduroman 100 miler which is 91 laps of a 1.1 mile course- now that's a mental challenge.
The big one next year is likely to be the rather tough Spartathlon in Greece. 255km in 36 hours in the heat, hills and tough trail between Athens and Sparta. Bring it on. Oh and I forgot the European ultra which is a week before the Spartathlon but its just a 120km run over 3 days, I'm looking at it as some good last minute training!
I hope your year is looking great too.
Until next time, enjoy.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Stage 2 – 23.85km
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Thanks for your ongoing support and thanks from Mencap also, your sponsorship money is going to very very good use. http://www.justgiving.com/johnnyultra
Saturday, 13 March 2010
My lovely niece Jessica is staying with us this weekend and has been very supportive of all my runs so I thought it would interesting to find out what she thinks about my ultra adventures!
What do you think of my ultra adventures?
I think your brave but bonkers.
Do you think i'm doing it for a good cause?
Yes because your helping people who need help. Mencap are great and help people with learning disability to have a fulfilled and enjoyable life.
What do you think the best thing about running in the desert will be?
The views will be quite nice and the feeling of success when you cross the finish line, which you hopefully will. (I know you will)
What do think will be the most challenging bit?
Going to sleep at night on your jungle marathon with all the noises of the creatures out there.
Are there any creatures you'd like to see?
Yes, i'd like to see a jaguar and also a snow leopard but you don't get them in the sahara or jungle. I like spiders can you bring one home? lol
If you were me which ultra would you like to do and why?
I would like to do the Amazon because its more risky than the others. There are loads more dangerous animals and you get to run through rivers.
And my final thought is that everyone should donate lots of money to support you and Mencap.
Thank you Jessica, that's brilliant. I'll keep an eye out for spiders and jaguars!
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
So update on the MDS. My training is going well and I'm feeling strong now on my runs. I'm not quite at the level I was last time i went out there but I have much more endurance experience and stamina in me now which plays a big part in events like this.
To help acclimatise for the heat in the desert a local gym in Maidenhead (La Roche) has very kindly allowed me to use their sauna a few times a week. So early in the morning before work I go and sit for 25 minutes and sweat, its quite attractive. I'm trying to build up to 45 minutes over the next week or so and do some squats, press-ups etc. while I'm in there to get the heart going.
My weekend runs are between 15-21 miles and i've built my pack up to 8.5kg now and need to get this to 11kg which will be approximately the weight i take out for the start of the race.
Nearly all the food, equipment, clothing and bits have been accumulated now and I need to spend an evening sorting it all and making sure I have all the essentials cos if you don't have these things ( a Venom Pump is included in this list) you get time penalties. You also need to take a minimum of 200kcal per day but I am aiming for around 3000kcals. Here's an example of a daily food allowance:
- Dried breakfast - porridge and fruit - 560kcals
- Energy bar - 130Kcal
- Peperami (my treats) x 2 - 280kcal
- Energy drink x 3 - 350kcal
- Recovery drink x 2 - 300kcal
- Freeze dried dinner (Chilli, spagbol etc) 800kcal
- Freeze dried dessert - 800kcal
All this lot weighs about 600-650g so each day you loose this weight out your pack which is great.
I can't wait to get out there. My race number is 855 and you can follow me on this site http://www.darbaroud.com/ and you can even send me messages by finding the 'write to competitors' bit and send me a message. It would be great to hear from you all.
I'll be adding more posts over the coming week as there is lots of exciting stuff happening which will be revealed soon.
Friday, 5 February 2010
What a start to the year its been. After all the excitement then frustration with the snow I left the cold behind and went on my hols to Oz. My wifes from Perth so it we went back for a couple of weeks to enjoy the sun, sea and see the rele's as they say over there.
The weather was amazing with the top temperature hitting 42.7 deg!! Absolute quality. This was perfect for me as I needed to get some hot weather training in as it is only 8 weeks until I fly out to Morocco to start the 25th edition of the world famous Marathon Des Sables.
This year as it is a special 25th anniversary the organisers have decided to add a few miles on and round the KM's upto 250 which equates to 155 miles. The addition only really means an extra 5 miles over the 7 days but its an extra 5 miles over 300ft sand dunes, rocks whilst carrying your 10kg backpack and running in upto 55deg heat. And I can not wait to get out there.
I've got a feeling that this years run is going to be harder than when I did it in 2007. Although I have more experience now at doing ultra's, and my body is probably better equiped to deal with it, I went into the run in 2007 thinking it was going to be toughest thing ever and actually really enjoyed all of it. The hardest part was the last 15 miles of the long day which was 46 miles in total (that took us 12 hours to complete).
What I love though is the challenge. Unless I get really injured my body will cope as it is the most amazing bit of kit you own and can be pushed to silly limits and recover. I kind of hope that at some time during the run it gets mentally tough, like really hard. That's when you test yourself.
And I've bought enough quality trance recently to keep me smiling while i'm out there. Imagine being in the middle of the desert with a few people around you including a good mate. Nothing to think about apart from running from A-B and you stick on some cracking tunes. What a rush.
Have a good weekend.
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
Happy New year to you all.
Well, 2010 is certainly going to be a big year for me. As most of you know I have 3 ultra's planned for this year starting with the Marathon Des Sables (150 miles in 6 days through the Sahara) in April. I can't wait for this one.
My training is going pretty well. I've signed up to get advice and training plans from an online coach called Mad Dog. He is a massively experienced ultra runner and currently I am working on training plan which includes 3 runs and about 40 miles per week.
The past few weeks have been interrupted with the snow and some days it has been impossible to go out as its is just so icy. I mean I love running in the snow but icy paths in the dark = injury!
Today I went out for a 5 mile run in 6inch fresh snow and it was so tough, I wasn't expecting it to be so tough. I was supposed to do 12 miles of hill repeats but that will have to wait.
Some great news is that I am up to £5135 of sponsorship money now which is 26% of my target. Fantastic.
Until next time have fun.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
1lb of quality mince
half a red, green and yellow pepper
3-4 large mushrooms (large pieces)
2 x birdseye chilli
1 x medium red chilli
dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons of hot chilli sauce
1/2 tin of red kidney beans
teaspoon of english mustard
glove of garlic
squirt of tomato puree
glass of red wine
teaspoon of chilli powder
Fry the onions and garlic until soft then remove them from the pan.
Fry the mince until brown and then drain any excess fat out of the pan.
Add the chilli's, chilli flakes, mustard, chilli sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mix together.
Add back in the onions and the tin of tomatoes and mix together
Add in the chopped peppers and mushrooms.
Chuck in the wine, tomato puree and gravy granules.
Mix it all together and if necessary add some water.
Bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for an hour so all the flavours mix in together.
Check the chilli and stir every now and again. Add more water if necessary
Add in the kidney beans and cook for another 30 minutes.
20 minutes before its ready cook the rice and prepare yourself for a taste explosion!!!
Have a great rest of week and weekend and i'll see you all here again soon.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Thursday, 19 November 2009
- Mon 5.1 miles - 39 mins
- Wed 8 miles - 59 mins
- Thurs 4.7 miles - 35 mins
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
- Distance: 8 miles
- Time: 59 mins 19 seconds
- Calories: 1042
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
I am back from my 100 mile run in the Himalayas and I had a great time. I finished the run and thought you might enjoy my race report.
The days before the run.
We had a great introduction to India which involved going to Delhi's No.1 nightclub!! It wasn't planned. We arrived at our hotel and it was about 1am India time so about 8pm my time so Joe and I thought we'd find the hotel bar and have a beer. We walked into the Hotel bar and it was a full on club. The music was banging, they were setting fire to the bar, there were girls dancing on the bar, it was crazy. So we stayed for a few beers!
The next day we got a flight from Delhi to Bagdogra and then took a bus to Mirik which is where we stayed for the next two nights. The journey to Mirik was interesting. We were in an old bus driving along roads with cows and goats on the side and and weaving in and out of traffic. Driving in India is unique, there doesn't seem to be too many rules. The journey got more interesting as we weaved over 6500ft up into the tea hills of the Darjeeling region. The landscape got more and more impressive.
This is the view from the swiss style chalet we stayed in... Nice
Race Day one - 24 miles.
That was not quite what I was expecting! It was really tough, possibly the hardest single day of running i have done. There was so much up hills. I would say about 20 of the 24 miles was uphill. To put it into perspective we ran/walked up 8500ft of hills today which is equivalent to running up Snowdon 3 times in one day!
The first 2 miles took 45mins!. At times we were walking up the hill and I could feel my heart beat in my chest and head. The rest was downhill which sounds fine but its down very uneven stony roads so it was hard to go fast. We reach an altitude of 12000ft which is where our hut and bed was for the night. A very tough but amazing day, loads of lovely friendly locals along the way.
The whole 24 miles took an amazing 7:20. Here are a couple of photos of the place we stayed at and the view from the top of day one's hill!
Race Day 2 - 20 miles: Day 2 was easier than day 1 although still hilly. We ran ten miles along a ridge then turned around and went back again. The view for the day was Everest and 3 of the other tallest mountains in the world, how amazing is that!
It is very rare to have such a clear day so we were very lucky. Top CD of the day was Above and Beyond Vol7 disc2. We had noodles and ginger tea at the restaurant in the tiny little place we were staying in which was very nice. Our time for the 20 mile run was 4:34. We were all in bed asleep by 8pm as it was so cold. I went to bed with 2 layers on my legs and 3 layers on top and i was in a sleeping bag and had two rugs on me!! We had to get up at 4.45am as we had a marathon to run the next day.
Heres a photo of everest - its the high peak in the middle!! This is also the ` best toilet in the world...
Race Day 3 - A marathon . Well this day turned out to be another tough day. The distances were measured all wrong and it was easily over 28miles in total but the variety in terrain made it interesting. We started off running back along the 10 miles we ran the day before. the course then took us another 6 miles along the ridge and there was a huge climb at the end of the 6 miles all the way to the halfway checkpoint.
The scenery was amazing as we started out at 12000ft with Everest and the other mountains in view. We then dropped 5500ft to were we are staying tonight. The tough uphills were matched with the tough downhills which just kept on coming. We ran through the fir trees to a more dense jungle where there were apparently red Pandas and Bengal Tigers; I didn't see either of them.
The down hill gave me an awkward pain the outside of my right knee which hurt when I took steps downhill!! Bugger. We took our time on this run and finished in 9hrs 40 mins.
Race Day 4 - Half Marathon
Today was a relatively easy one. We had a half marathon to complete which included 6 miles of down hill, 3 miles of flat and then 4 miles of uphill. Again the scenery was fantastic and different to the other days. We ran down the long downhill to a river and had a good relaxing run. This was the first day where you could actually just run and didn't have to look at every step.
We took 2:32 mins to complete the day. We headed back to the motel and had the afternoon to relax before the cultural evening!! Well, the cultural evening was entertaining. Each country had to do something that represented their country like sing a song! Like true brits we all politely refused except for one guy who got up and sang head, shoulders, knees and toes in dutch!! What?
My Po from Taiwan got my vote by doing his Michael Jackson impression, it was so funny. Shamown.....eee he!! Then it got to 8.30 and we left to have our tea. One more day to go and the last 17 miles.
Race Day 5 - 17 Miles
Well this was our final day and I was really looking forward to today's run. Todays run started at the point we finished at the day before so it was a bus ride from the place where we had been sleeping. The route today took us up hill for the first 7 miles and then gave us a lovely gentle downhill of the last 10 miles.
My calves were so tight at the start of the race and felt really heavy but as the run went on they started to loosen and by the time we had reached the top of the hill in around 1hr 25 mins they were all relaxed and I was ready to go.
Joe and I stuck our tunes on, had a power bar and half a viper and went for it. We were hammering it down the hill for quite a while and then thought that we should probably relax a bit. We weren't going to beat any records and this would be the last time we spend the day running around the himalayas.
The finish came around quickly and it was a great welcome. Children had come out to cheer us on and high-5 us as we ran past and there was a big welcome as we crossed the finish line.
Here are some photos from the end of the run.
Thursday, 15 October 2009
After a short while relaxing after my 85 mile run i'm back and I've been stepping up the training again to make sure I am ready for my next challenge
And oh, ive gone again as I fly out to the Indian himalayas next friday to run 100 miles over the worlds biggest mountains! Well not over them but on them..
I really can't wait to get out there, it is going to be amazing. I've got 1 day to acclimatise at the altitude which is only 6500 ft at that point.
Then the next day we set off. This is the schedule.
Day 1 - 24 miles - climbing 5500 ft!!
Day 2 - 20 miles
Day 3 - 26.4 miles - a marathon over Everest!!!!Wow
Day 4 - 17 miles
Day 5 - 12.6 miles - nice easy day to finish
Im going to try to keep twitter or/and facebook updated
Wish me look and I'll do my best to keep you posted.
As always here's one more request to all you kind lovely people to drop me a few quid to support the amazing work that the guys at Mencap do.http://www.justgiving.com/johnnyultra