Monday, 26 November 2007

Back racing at the Abbey Dash 10k

Yesterday was my first race since Toronto and things went pretty well as I finished 12th in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k road race in 30mins 45 secs.

On a breezy day the first half of the race was steady and I was quite happy running in the 3rd group to get to the turn at 5k in 15.35 before putting my head down and starting to reel in the stragglers from the group in front.

It was good to get a hard run under belt and see where my fitness is. Clearly a few weeks rest after the marathon and then a few steady weeks in november has not cost me much fitness and I have a good platform to build on for the winter.

In the Inter Area match my South of England team were beaten into 2nd place by a strong Welsh team.

1. I Boneham 29.30
12. A. Marriott 30.45

Full results

Thursday, 22 November 2007

South of England selection for Inter Area match

On sunday 25th november I will be racing for the South of England team in the inter area match against the Midlands and North of England at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k road race.

While many of our top cross country specialists will be doing battle the day before at the Euro Cross trials in Liverpool there should still be a strong field on the traditionally fast Leeds course.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

England Athletics South West Region bursary award

It is always nice when your performances get recognised. My recent effort in Toronto has put me high enough up the UK rankings for 2007 to get me a small bursary from England Athletics which will help me with my physiotherapy bills in 2008.

In a future post I will write about using physio as a preventative measure rather than waiting until things go wrong. After all, you service your car regularly so why not your body !

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Product Review: Vitargo Electrolyte

Getting enough fluids on board in a marathon is a perenial problem for athletes and it seems the faster you run the more difficult it becomes. In previous races I have used either High 5 or SIS, both brands of sports drink containing a mix of electrolytes and carbohydrate designed to replenish the body's fuel supplies on the run. And like many athletes I have had problems absorbing the drink. You know that feeling when the drink is sloshing around inside your stomach. Its not much fun !

While training in St Moritz this summer my Polish friend Rafa Woijcik gave me some sachets of the Swedish product Vitargo Electrolyte . Rafa had used it with some success in recent marathons and was planning on taking it during the forthcoming Warsaw Marathon. What makes Vitargo different from most of the other drinks is the size of the carbohydrate molecules it uses. They are significantly smaller than those derived from maltodextrin in most sports drinks and as such should be absorbed faster, which reduces feelings of bloatedness and 'sloshing' in the stomach.

Experimentation with Vitargo on several of my long tempo runs looked promising so I decided to use the Pink Grape flavour in Toronto. And what a success it proved to be. I was able to get my drinks on board at all of the drinks station and had no stomach problems to worry about. Now I just need to find a supply of it in the UK !

Back in training

It is now seven weeks since I ran 2.18 in the Toronto Watefront Marathon and it has been a slow return to training. Unlike previous marathons where my legs have taken weeks to recover this time they bounced back quickly. Just 2 weeks after STWM I was racing a 6km stage for my club, Wells City Harriers, in the National Road Relays.

This time it has been the mind that has taken the time. The marathon is such an intense experience. The preparation period and race itself require total focus for several months if you are to produce a great result. Not surprisingly, after the high comes a low. Previously I made the mistake of rushing back into training before feeling fully motivated again. This time I learned from my mistakes and took it easy for a few weeks, catching up with friends and enjoying myself. Now that I am fired up again training can start in earnest with a few weeks of steady running before heading to Kenya over New Year for some hard work at altitude.