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

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What is your favorite type of race?

People often ask me this and I usually answer a trail ultra without really thinking about it. I suppose if I have to choose one race to do it would be a trail ultra, but there are other favorites on my list as well.

In order of most favorite to least favorite my list looks like this:

1 - Trail Ultra
There is nothing in running that beats the feeling of completing an ultra. As a nature lover I am in heaven if I can combine the ultra with being out there on the mountains or in the bush. This is really what I live for. Stage races over multi days also fall in this category.

2 - Trail following the coastline
I have done a few coastal trail runs now and I must admit they are easily in second place on my list. I love the ocean but it is also the thrill of rock hopping and climbing that make it so exciting for me. Obviously these runs always include some awesome scenery as well.

3 - Trail race shorter than ultra
These are next for the beauty and experience of nature and all there is to see and experience. The views, water crossings and waterfalls are just so amazing!

4 - Circuit race (lap race)
I love the mental challenge of circuit races. These are not races on athletic tracks but usually a 1km lap inside some school or club grounds. Races like these are usually 12 hours or more with 24 hours the most common. The vibe around these races combined with the physical and mental challenge put them next on my list.

5 - Road ultra
I love running and still love road running too. I train on the road at least 4 times per week. Road ultras are next because of the challenge and the unbelievable feeling of accomplishment when finishing these.

6 - Road marathon
Marathons will always be special but I’ve run so many (126) that I don’t have anything more to achieve here. I will run more for sure but there are other goals to achieve first.

7 - Other road
Last but not least is any road race shorter than the marathon. I think 32km (20 miles) is my favorite non-ultra distance on the road. I enjoy races but as with marathons there is nothing specific too still achieve here. There are some great races on my todo list and I will always run road races where possible and where it fits into my program.

There you have it…my race favorites list.

What does yours look like?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

T-shirt Throwback Thursday

I have a massive stash of race t-shirts. Last night I took a new shirt from the stash to train in. Well, it came brand new out of its packet...



Some people are smiling at my old new shirt. It was very comfy this morning. They don't make them like this anymore! I got in in February 1997, 17 years ago!

Happy training!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Time To Get Out The Reflective Gear!

My morning runs are getting darker and darker. It is time to get out the reflective gear. Good news for all my northern hemisphere friends :)

I am very safety aware and reflective gear is a standard part of my running gear. It seems so obvious and like plain old common sense to me but I am amazed at how often I see runners without reflective gear running in the dark. For some reason it is also the runners with the black and other dark colour outfits that don't wear reflective gear.

Be seen outh there!

So let's make this a two part message:

1 - Morning and evening runs are getting darker and darker in my part of the world as winter slowly approach us. Be safe and wear proper reflective gear.

2 - Summer is slowly approaching the northern part of our planet. May all my northern hemisphere friends be motivated by this awesome news!

Run strong and be safe my friends!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Staying Motivated To Get Back Into Shape

Getting back into shape is never easy and I must admit as I get older the challenge becomes harder and harder. Getting up to a specific level of fitness takes longer and dropping weight hardly happens.

I'm sure we all go through the same pains regardless of our age or ability and we all need to be disciplined in the same way to get where we want to be. We all need to stay motivated and keep going even when it feels as if there is hardly any progress.

For me, having a goal or goals to train for is one of the best forms of motivation. I always have a few goals lined up and even more long term goals. The long term goals are the ones that really keep me going. They help me when progress is slow.

Slow progress often means a short term goal might not be reached. This can be very demotivating and then the long term goals kick in and keep me going. Most often I find that I then reach the short term goal anyway.

Then there is my love for running. This is obviously a great bonus and definitely helps with consistency. Consistency is one of the building blocks to fitness. In my case this means run 6 times per week and do upper body exercises 4 times per week. There was a time when I ran 8 times per week but I don't do that anymore. Six times is enough for me. But training regularly is the other component of my motivation.

So I train regularly to reach short term and long term goals. Sounds easy enough, but it is still hard work and without discipline and commitment it can't happen. There is no shortcut.

Train well my friends! Stay motivated!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Uhm... was that a challenge...?

I was talking to someone at work about the beach and ocean at Mauritius where we went in January. We were looking at this photo...

I mentioned that it is an ideal place for open water swimming and that I did indeed see a few people swimming along the beach for exercise. Our conversation ended at triathlons and ironman.

I said that Mauritius would be a great place to train for ironman. It was then that he made the following statement to me:

"It's a pity you never did and ironman before you got old. You will never know what it's like..."

Yip, he said it just like that!

Now then...I'm not old! Only 50! Plus I'm a good swimmer and used to cycle to university every day. I've done a few triathlons. All in the late 1990's and I was not bad at all.

Was that a challenge? I know I'm a trail and ultra runner through blood and bone, but I'm certainly far from too old to still become an ironman.

Mmm...this is sticking in my head. What do you think?