"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Comrades will be a very long day

Adding to my LSD post I want to emphasize how long the day can be when you run the Comrades marathon. As a back of the pack runner like me this is even more important.

The day is not just as long as your race time. Race time alone will be 10:45 to 12 hours for me. I need to prepare for this, but also remember the many hours that gets added to this before and after the race.

The day typically starts at 2:30AM. This is time to get up and eat and dress and get to the start in time. I will be at the start for more than an hour before I start running. All of this adds more time on the feet. That is why such a big part of my training is all about time on my feet.

The race starts at 5:30AM. If I get up at 2:30 I add 3 hours to my race time. That becomes 12 – 15 hours on my feet towards the end of the race when I must dig deep. Preparing for this is so much more than just running. This is without even mentioning the right shoes and socks. That will be a story on its own.

This is why I will do many LSD runs in the next few months and always take note of the total time on my feet. I have to prepare for a very long day…

Happy training everyone!

Monday, 25 February 2013

The LSD Run

This weekend I did another LSD training run on my own. I ran 35km (21.7 miles) and it was definitely Long and Slow Distance! As I'm training for the Comrades this was a road run...something I find very hard nowadays. Some people question the value of runs like these, but I certainly use them as a very important part of my training.

Beautiful open morning for a run.

It obviously depends what you are training for. I train for ultras, so the LSD run is key to my training. There is a big difference between LSD runs and long runs. LSD runs are 30km and longer and the longer I’m out there, the better. It is all about time on my feet/legs. The longer the better. It is also a good way to get in some heat training.

Very warm, open morning now...was hot this weekend!

I don’t even attempt to run them at a specific pace. Walk and other rest breaks are included and form part of the total time spent on the outing. Time on the feet is all that matters. In fact, Bruce Fordyce used to start his watch as he got out of bed on the morning of the LSD, only stopping it again once he sat down after the run and therefore measuring total time spent on his feet. I am self sufficient on runs like these and carry my own water and food. I also have a water/snack point at home and I stop here a few times during the run.

Water, drink and snack point under the trees in my garden.

The mental training I get from these runs is also invaluable. It is tough to run a hard course for 35km in the heat on your own. Well, it is for me anyway. The longest LSD I’ve done on my own like this is 51km. I try to do 35km max and do anything longer in a marathon or other race if possible.

Darth Vader was stalking me this weekend!

The good, hard LSD remains one of my favorite runs. The lessons I get out of these are fantastic and make long hours on race day so much easier.

Another good LSD in the bag!

These guys worked very hard for me!

Long live the LSD!

Do you do LSD runs? What is the longest you go alone?

Have a super week everyone!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pet Peeves While Running

We all have some pet peeves, but do you have some that haunts you while running? I have two that really irritate me.

One: Small stones that get stuck in the soles of my shoes.

Our streets here in Johannesburg have millions and millions of these little buggers.

They have the nasty habit of getting stuck in the soles of my Nike Pegasus running shoes. Unfortunately these shoes have a perfect place for them to get stuck in.

The tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…of the stone hitting the road while running drives me insane!

Two: Smokers!

I hate smokers! They are the most selfish creatures that walk our planet. I know this is more of a general pet peeve, but while running it drives me crazy even more! I don’t want to smell someone’s cigarette smoke while running. It is awful and really irritates me.

On early fresh air morning runs this pet peeve is even worse. I can tell you in which homes smokers live and when a car drives by with a smoker inside I get very irritated. I smell that smoke for the next kilometer or more. I can still handle the exhaust fumes from the cars, but cigarette smoke never!

That’s my two main pet peeves while running. What’s yours?

Happy training everyone!

Friday, 15 February 2013

My Running Dream

No, I'm not talking about the running dreams I often have at night. That will be another post...or a few posts! They are funny sometimes!

This is my running dream as in "I dream about accomplishing this one day". If I had the money I would certainly collect these medals...

Jungle Ultra, Ice Ultra, Mountain Ultra, Desert Ultra
4 Races, 4 Continents

We are allowed to dream...so dream big!

Happy running everyone!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Training Update

My training is going well at the moment and I’ve been injury free for many years now. I better keep it that way! I am now building distance for my marathon on 21 March. My weekly mileage is now 80km (50miles) and above. I will keep this up for another 3 weeks before cutting back a bit for the marathon.

Once I’m qualified for the Comrades the mileage will go up more and I will keep that up to the beginning of May. Then the taper for Comrades will start.

I'm sporting one of my older t-shirts lately... :)

The 70km per week (10km a day) challenge is still on track. I must admit it is not the easiest challenge I’ve ever done. Keeping the average above 70km per week is not a joke. At least the next few months will be high mileage months and the challenge of 3650km by 2 June should be in the bag. 

Weeks done: 36
Weeks to go: 16
Km done: 2544
Km to go: 1106
Ave per week done: 70.67
Ave per week required: 69.13

Week 1: 84                    Week 27: 81
Week 2: 80                    Week 28: 68
Week 3: 83                    Week 29: 66
Week 4: 69                    Week 30: 73
Week 5: 56                    Week 31: 51
Week 6: 54                    Week 32: 60
Week 7: 80                    Week 33: 72
Week 8: 71                    Week 34: 76
Week 9: 80                    Week 35: 76
Week 10: 86                  Week 36: 81
Week 11: 89
Week 12: 70
Week 13: 60
Week 14: 55
Week 15: 49
Week 16: 76
Week 17: 79
Week 18: 87
Week 19: 81
Week 20: 63
Week 21: 84
Week 22: 29
Week 23: 80
Week 24: 43
Week 25: 78
Week 26: 74

I'll keep you posted!

Suunto Ambit

That is the Suunto Ambit. I'm lucky enough to be test driving one of those and will do a review at some stage. I'll compare it to my Polar RS800CX and talk about the like and not-likes of both.

Keep it going everyone!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Throwback Thursday - 1982 Half Marathon

In my Alberton Half Marathon Report I mentioned that it was my 388th half marathon. That caused some reaction, but believe me, here in South Africa that is not all that many. There are many runners with double that number and even more. I will do a post about one of them soon. We have some seriously crazy runners over here.

To go with the theme I decided to post the photo below. This is me finishing my 4th half marathon in 1982.

Wally Hayward Marathon - 1982

Train well and have fun everyone!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Alberton Half Marathon Report

Yesterday’s Alberton Half Marathon was my first road race in nearly a year. The last road race I ran was this same race in 2012. Since then all my races were off-road.

There was quite a big field of runners that lined up for the 6AM start. We were there early as the venue is not even 10km from home. The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful morning.

Waiting for the start.

I was feeling good and quietly confident that I would have a good run. I’m putting in the work with 6 runs a week and also doing upper body and core exercises 4 times per week. This will be my routine for the next few months while I prepare for Comrades.

Looking back.

Everyone was in a good mood and there were many happy faces and lots of happy chatting when the race started. I saw quite a few old friends and was in a good space myself.

On our way!

Lovely morning for a race.

The route was a double lapper through the suburbs of Alberton. It was a new route and I was looking forward to see how it would be. Running in the suburbs was nice as there was hardly any traffic on the road for the duration of the race.

Quite roads through the suburbs.

I felt good but as usual I really got going after 7km. The route was quite easy with only a few minor hills to negotiate. If you are in good shape you can certainly run a very good time here.

The hills were all very manageable.

I ran well within myself as my goal was to run very relaxed and feel as if I could carry on for another 10km at the finish. I wanted to accomplish this by running a time of about 02:28. Being ready for the hard training over the next 4 weeks was more important than a good time at the finish.

The first lap went really quick and before I knew it we were at 9.5km and the 10km runners were splitting off.

10 and 21,1km split.

Most runners where I was running went on for the half marathon. I think most 10km runners were done already.

As we started the second lap and passed the 10km mark, I realized I was feeling very good. I was not tired at all and feeling strong. I kept it easy and knew I would make the 02:28 goal very easily and probably run under 02:25. Everything felt perfect!

On the second lap now…

As we progressed I became happier and happier. I didn’t tire at all and my legs were feeling very good. As I passed the 16km mark I smiled and felt as if I’ve just started. Training is paying off! I knew I could easily keep this up. I had a very positive run indeed.

18km done and feeling great!

I remained disciplined and didn’t speed up towards the end. I knew I had my goal in the bag and the training ahead is more important than running a few minutes faster. I wanted to feel as if I could carry on for 10 more kilometers at the finish and I was doing just that.

This time I could turn in as well.

To the finish with all goals achieved!

As I ran towards the finish I felt really good about myself. I kept it slow and relaxed even though I could have pushed a lot harder. I could easily have run 10 or more minutes faster, but being fresh and ready for the next week’s training was more important.

I finished in 02 :22:56 and met my goal of sub 02:30 with ease. And yes, I had more than enough left in me to do another 10km…my other goal also achieved.

Done and happy!

Half marathon number 388 in the bag with all goals achieved. My legs don’t feel as if I’ve run at all and that is exactly where I want to be right now.

First 2013 medal.

I now go into 4 weeks of build up for my Comrades qualifying marathon. I am feeling very confident indeed.

Thanks for reading! Have a super week!

Friday, 1 February 2013


Have a super weekend!