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

Thursday 27 March 2014

Crazy Running Streak Numbers

Runners are crazy. I've always known that and it was confirmed again this week.

After my last post about starting a running streak I did some searching and reading about the topic. Turns out most of us are puny little wimps! The numbers are staggering!

Most true streaking legends are in their 40th to 45th year of streaking! 15000 to 16000 days of streaking is not uncommon. I honestly did not know this...wow!

Look at these numbers!

1. Jon Sutherland                 16377 days  (44.84 years)
2. Jim Pearson                       16111 days  (44.11 years)
3. Stephen W. DeBoer                 15635 days  (42.81 years)
4. Jon A. Simpson                       15551 days  (42.58 years)
5. Alex T. Galbraith                  15437 days  (42.26 years)
6. David L. Hamilton                 15201 days  (41.62 years)
7. Steven Gathje                                 15159 days  (41.50 years)
8. Robert R. Kraft                  14331 days  (39.24 years)
9. James Behr                                14254 days  (39.03 years)
10. Stephen D. Reed                         13799 days  (37.78 years)

This is quite amazing! For now I'll just try to get through 30 days of running for April...

Happy running!

Monday 24 March 2014

A Running Streak

Have you ever done a running streak? If so, what is your longest streak?  I have not done a running streak yet. I'm a very consistent runner and don't easily miss a workout, but I have always run 6 days a week and rest one day.

I think it is time to change this. I think I should start a running streak.

I've been reading up on this a bit and the rules are clear and simple. Run every day and in some cases run or walk every day. I would like to make it run every day but I suppose if you do get sick or something like that, a walk option could be good. 

There should also be a minimum distance for each run/walk. Most people make this 1 mile. The shortest loop I can do at my house is 1.2km. A bit shorter than a mile, but I think this will do. If I get really sick or whatever else I will cover at least 1.2km.

The next question is obviously how long you would like to make the streak? As long as possible...? Mmm, I would love to make it a year, but I don't think it is 100% realistic for me to do that. I might break it up into smaller goals.

My streak plan:

  • Start 1 April 2014.
  • Run every day for 30 days.
  • If I make 30 I'm sure I can make 50.
  • If I make 50 I must make it to 100.
  • If I can do 100  why not do another 100 and make it 200.
  • 200 to 300 becomes close to 365...let's go for a year running streak!

My plan is to start this journey on 1 April and then follow the plan above for as long as possible. If I miss a day I will start the plan over again until I reach my 365 running streak goal. Then I can make a tick next to a running streak on my bucket list.

What is your view on a running streak?

Monday 17 March 2014

Where I Am Right Now

As the year strolls on and the weeks go by I get more and more questions about when will I run a race and what am I training for. I can't even think when last I went into March without a number of races under my belt for the year already. So where am I right now with my running?

The short answer is that training is going well but I am not race ready yet. I suppose I could have done some 10km or other short distance races if I wanted to, but I don't do many of those anymore. I am slowly building up my fitness and increasing the distance after a bad 2013 running year.

To see exactly where I am I make use of the Performance Management Graph from TrainingPeaks.com. The quick and easy way to read this is as follows: 

The pink line shows how tired I am. 
The yellow line shows how rested I am. 
The blue line shows my general level of fitness.

Love this graph!

The graph shows my running from 10 December 2012 to today. I was building up nicely to the end of March last year when this happened...

After that my running never picked up again for 2013. Every time I started building up again I got sick. At the end of November I dropped a broken piece of glass on my foot and that was the last straw. 

The blue line clearly shows how bad and low my running was at the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014. But it does show the blue line slowly climbing again right now and that is great!

If you maybe wondered...the peak tired/stress point in the middle of the graph was the Num-Num Trail Challenge I ran at the beginning of August last year. A real toughie that!

A truly awesome graph from TrainingPeaks! I use it for exactly this...to see where I am right now.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Happy Birthday Rohann!

Today I wish my son Rohann a very happy Birthday! He starts his teen years today - 13!

We got me Rohann some nice XBox goodies.

Training is going well although we've had two weeks of non-stop rain.

Have a super day!

Thursday 6 March 2014

Running With Wet Shoes

A week or two ago Mary, The Green Girl, asked some advice about running a trail race with a water crossing that will leave you with wet shoes. Her question was around how to deal with wet shoes and water crossings.

My answer was: just carry on running normally as if the water crossing wasn't there or as you would with dry shoes.

To add a bit more perspective on the question: Mary runs with custom made orthotics in her shoes. I am lucky that I don't need anything like this but the basic reasoning behind my answer stays the same.

We run with wet shoes and feet all the time. If you run a half marathon or longer I will bet my life on it that your feet and shoes are wet at the finish. It is the same for most shorter runs as well because we sweat. I have completely wet socks after every run I do. The difference is that we don't feel the moisture as much because it is the same temperature as our skin on our feet. When running through water we feel the water because it is colder than our feet are. This make us much more aware of the wet feet and shoes.

Yes, of course the shoes get totally soaked sometimes and are heavier for a while, but I believe this is no reason to run differently or change shoes or socks. I don't believe this is any different from doing a long run and running with wet feet, socks and shoes from sweating.

Most people seem to worry about blisters when they think about wet shoes and socks. If you get blisters from your socks or shoes you need to change the socks or shoes. Something causes the blisters and it is not wet feet, socks or shoes. We all have run thousands of miles without blisters and we did this while running the last parts of all our runs with wet feet, socks and shoes.

If you get blisters on your feet fairly often, you need to change something. Running races with water crossings or in the rain will then almost certainly cause some blisters. If you don't get blisters from your training you most probably won't get blisters from wet shoes or socks when running through water.

I never get blisters and I am sure it is because I learnt over many years of running which shoes and socks work for me. Even during all the races where the photos in this post was taken I never got one blister. I never took my shoes off during any of these races and have never changed socks during a race or run.

So my full answer to Mary's question is: if you run in the right shoes and wear the right socks, you don't need to do anything when you run through water. Just carry on running normally. 

How do you know if you are running in the right socks and shoes? You don't get blisters or other foot problems...ever. If you do, change your shoes or socks before doing any races with water crossings. Then again, you might run in rain any day and if that doesn't cause problems you know all is well. If rain runs end with blisters for you, change something.

Enjoy those water crossings!

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Ultra Running is Sexy!

I just had to share this :)

Have a wonderful day!