Diary of an Ultra Runner – Total Inspiration!

Marathon? No Thank You!

When you’re known as a runner, the first thing most people ask is, “ever done/going to do a marathon?” My answer is always a categorical, non-hesitational, emphatic NO! The thought of running 26.2 miles fills me with dread, not to mention the hours and hours of training required… I have massive respect for anyone who has completed a marathon, regardless of what time they did it in.

Ultra Running

Ultra runners even more so. These guys run races with the kilometers ticking over into three figures and with it, do the training needed to reach such levels of endurance. A name that features regularly at the top of the results page of many races I do is that of Steve Way, a local runner who won the Stockholm Ultra Marathon (100k) in 2013.

Steve Way

Steve Way

Just reading his training diary makes you feel tired, however it definitely helps put my mileage in perspective and perhaps inspires me to do a little more that I would otherwise do.

You can see Steve’s diary/training schedule at www.steveway.co.uk – a great (if exhausting) read!

Next Training (for me)

Poole A.C. track session tonight for some speed work. Not too high intensity though as have a race on Sunday…

Best of The Best: Great Photo of Mo Farah Training

Ok so I probably mention Mo way to much on this blog but hey, he’s the greatest runner in the world right?!

Saw this photo he posted on Twitter last night which I thought was great. It really shows the hard work that even Olympic / World champions have to put in to succeed. This is a pic of Mo Farah at a training camp in Kenya, ready for his London Marathon attempt in April.

Mo Farah training

Mo Farah training

Race Day: Are You a Planner or a ‘What Will Be, Will Be’ Type of Runner?

There are two distinct cultures when it comes to preparing for a race. I hear it time and time again when speaking to different runners at different distance events. Obviously, this is not the case for professional athletes as they employ people specifically to plan and create a strategy for their races! This is amongst us mere mortals, the Sunday morning racers…

Laissez Faire Attitude

Enjoy the beautiful scenery while running!

Enjoy the beautiful scenery while running!

There are the runners who prefer to leave race day to fate. They do the training, put the miles in and certainly work hard to achieve their optimum fitness for race-day, but during the actual race they’ll have some brekkie, strap on their Casio stopwatch and head for the start line. A race is to be enjoyed, these runners say. Take in the scenery, connect with your body and adjust your effort by listening to it. Feel the buzz of the race, never mind technology and pace per mile – just don’t let that guy behind you get ahead, or try chasing down that guy in front!

Checking the pace per mile

The Planners

For this group a race is a carefully planned procedure where the enjoyment is in the knowledge that there is a race strategy and they know exactly how the race will be acted out, minute by minute. Hours will go in to checking previous results, calculating the pace per mile/km for each stage of the race and analysing the topography and course profile. Energy gels will be scheduled for miles 6 and 10 and a carefully balanced electrolyte drink will be placed carefully at the mid point of the course. During the race not a minute goes by without checking the vO2 level on the heart monitor and the current pace – exhausting in itself!

I’m probably more the first – which are you?

Training a Runner

This blog is called ‘Training a Runner’ because I am already a runner – I just need to train to be a better one.

We only get one life and one body for the journey, so I thought why not push it and see just how fast a regular Joe can run. I’ve written my goals on the about page, more for myself to be able to refer back to them. I have to admit that after seeing the Purbeck Marathon being named as the No.1 marathon in the UK by Runner’s World, i’m pretty tempted. Starting in my hometown of Swanage and taking in the amazing scenery of the Isle of Purbeck, it’s one of my secret 2014 goals. I’m not saying I’ll definitely do it, but if the opportunity arises, well…

Mo FarahLets put things in context. The world record for 5k is 12:37, set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2004, with Mo Farah doing 5000 meters in 12:53. Mo runs 10k in 26:46 and the half marathon in 1:00:10. THESE ARE SUPER-HUMAN TIMES! Not achievable without out the right genetics, talent and intense training.

But the great thing about running is that although you race with lots of other people, and there is a winner, it’s just as much about individual achievements. I feel just as knackered at running 5k in 19 minutes as Mo does running it in 13, so the sense of effort and subsequent achievement is the same.


Last night’s training was 5 a side football, in torrential rain for an hour.

Tonight’s training is rain dependent so it will either be Fartleks at running club, or some hill resistance work, both for an hour.

New Year, New Trainers, New Targets

…horrible, horrible weather!

In all my 32 years I have never known such a prolonged period of wet and windy weather. When you do your running in the evening, this makes going for a run a daunting prospect. So easy to postpone tonights run to tomorrow night and tomorrow night’s to the weekend etc etc…

However, if I want to improve my running times (see the about section) then a little more commitment than last year will be needed. Believe me, I am the worst at putting off things that I don’t want to do. But I ask myself, how many times have I regretted not going for a run and when have I ever regretted going for a run. Never. NEVER! I have never finished a run and exclaimed “Gosh I really wish I hadn’t done that!”.

Tonight’s exercise though, not running – five a side football. An hour of running around in a cage, chasing a ball! Excellent plyometric training with short bursts of acceleration a plenty. It’s good to mix it up.

Next race: Sea Rowing 10k in Swanage on Jan 26th. Three weeks to get in shape!

Tomorrow’s training: A hilly 5 miles with a few intervals thrown in for good measure. I’ve written it now so I have to do it!