Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fitness check

Been a while since I typed my rambles. Not that I've nothing to ramble about because I have. I just seem to have ran out of steam lately.

After completing the Marcothon for a 2nd year I took a few days off. Seized up and struggled to get going again. My few runs have been short and not of high quality.
My marathon training is 'oot the windae' but on a plus note I'm really enjoying my Hoka's. They are most definitely not for the trails (says so on the gumph) but hey ho I've not told them and they are doing just fine. My only wee issue was on the ice, I felt I had no 'feel' of the ground, can't quite explain it but it freaked me when I couldn't feel how slippy the road was. I made a very conscious effort to run on the ice to get an idea of what grip I had or didn't have and how it felt. After a wee bit I settled down and managed to relax a tad.

Anyway back to the title. For my birthday Bryan (the long suffering other half) bought me a Gold Health & Fitness Test at the above locus. I was almost lost for words (but not quite). This kind of testing is usually for the great and brilliant, not the back marker sweeper hauder upper (me). Bryan though does not conform to such views and reckons if he can afford it, my lack of ability speed and brilliance should not stop me knowing how the hell it all works. Or in my case doesn't.

Well they tested away, blood, urine, height, weight, VO2 max, lactate profiling ECG got to go back for my Echo cardiogram though (evening only) I suddenly felt on the wrong side of 40 when the fat gripping callipers came out.. oh christ.. bingo wings tested, back flab tested and worse of all my wee dough ring round my tummy. Don't worry he says, most of it's skin... hehe yeah course it is!!

After almost coming a cropper on the treadmill he shows me some of the results, very interesting. I'm 63% fitter than jo public but 19% below where I should be for running the WHW. Most of the analysing has still to be done and will be sent out to me. I'm looking forward to reading it. He gave me real good pointers for my training and a better idea of what sort of runs I should be aiming to do and also how to work with my heart rate monitor.

I was feeling at bit lost with my training, not really doing anything useful and wondering constantly what I should be doing to get my speed up for a marathon, how do I work that in with keeping the miles up for the ultras etc. I now have a clearer view of where I'm at and where I'm going. Well tomorrow that'll be that Carrick hills, think that is a good enough place to start.

Next it will be the food, I've to send in an honest weeks worth of food and drink.. I'm really not sure that will be possible. Everyone lies about that don't they? is it just me? oh I will try. Nutrition was the main reason I failed so miserably at the WHW so it is pretty important for me to find out what triggers the puking.

On that happy note I'm off to plan my food for the WHW weekend. Really looking forward to it.

Karen & Munro

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Hoka one one Bondi B

I set my target on doing a road marathon in 2012. I noticed all my newer shoes were trail of one kind or another. So Santa got a wee letter requesting a pair of the above (stupid long name for a pair of shoes).

I had never actually seen or touched a real live pair, pictures only. Was slightly wary to say the least. I noticed the colours were naff also, but I was only really interested in the cushioning. I had read a few reviews and noticed everyone was raving about the shoe. I had also noticed they claim to be very neutral with a barefoot feel and only a 4mm drop.

I have a pretty neutral gait but don't like the thought of running in shoes with no cushioning. Something to do with what I'm used to and in my case old joints that hurt. I see folk running in what appears no more than a pair of rubber socks and think no wonder they are bloody limping.

So my thinking was, plenty cushioning but in flow with the latest ideas.
Xmas morning I get my much awaited new shoes (£131 not cheap) grey and yellow (not pretty) and they appear to have a sizing issue so had to get an 8.5

My initial thoughts were they were light but felt like polystyrene. I quickly put them on, squeezing down on the outside of the heel, the sole gives way, same squeezing down on the inside of the heel, this seems to give a feeling of squidgy and soft when walking. The fit was good though, I had been a bit worried about ordering such a large shoe.

My first run was along the cycle track, flat tarmac. It did feel a bit strange, like I was bouncing but it also felt very soft and comfortable. I actually felt like I was running fast but my watch was not saying the same. I seemed to be putting more effort than normal into my run. I finished my run feeling ok but slightly wondering about the effort level and back pain.

I seemed to have developed lower back pain and noticed I was not running in my usual way but for whatever reason I was pushing my pelvis forward. After the first few runs in my lovely new shoes the back pain stayed and was joined by some annoying knee pains.

I then wore them on a run up the windfarm. Mostly soft trail with the occasional stony/ rubble area. Again I was bouncing over the trail feeling nice and comfy. My only problem was when running over the stony area, I was very aware I was running in a higher platform shoe, worried I was going to go over my ankle and when I did it bleeding well hurt, to the bouncy ouch ouch jump walk for 30 meters kind of hurt.
I was wondering about these shoes for the WHW (well the trail shoe) but now really not that sure as the heel platform is just as high and we all know about ankle turning on The Way and I don't think an ickle bit of stickier moulded rubber on the trail version will stop the twists although the upside would definitely be that you would not feel every stone under your foot and with 30, 50 or 70 odd miles in your legs that would be good.

I am going to stick with my Bondi B's for the time being and try for some longer miles. I think they will take a bit of getting used to but I'm enjoying the comfort of the cushioning. I'll be keeping a watchful eye on the back pain etc but as I had been running every day for over a month by Xmas it is possible the back pains had nothing to do with the shoes. (Here's hoping)