Samstag, 25. Januar 2014

Park run number 2

Last week my goal was the Dartford 10 mile which got cancelled the same morning due to "flooding" of the course. I was really gutted about it because it was the first Kent Grand Prix connected with a bit of prize money which is always useful as a student! Anyway I could use the time to finish my "cranial" essay.
This week was densely packed with visceral osteopathy. I don't mind if people prod around in my tummy as it is fairly relaxed. Back in the days when I was training regularly with my Swiss club Oerlikon I was sometimes so hungry I could eat a pizza right before the track training and hardly ever was uncomfortable. Now this time I went after the lessons on Thursday straight to the gym from where I started a run and did some exercises afterwards. When I was relaxing in the jacuzzi I started to get a headache. By the time I was home I seriously felt sick but funnily enough still had a good appetite. It cleared off eventually the day after. My exercise for that day was my regular Friday evening water Volleyball which is great fun!!
As a proud fan of the Detroit Red Wings I watched a couple of periods of their match against Montréal which compromised my sleep and preparation for Saturdays morning race.

I don't accept excuses, looking at last weeks results there was a guy faster than me the week before so I was warned. I warmed up a couple of kilometers to look at the condition of the trail which was a lot better than a couple of days ago.

I am now familiar with the procedure of the event and was ready for a bit more resistance of the combatants. And I was right, Junior James West started off his first kilometer in about 3:03 and I just let him go right from the beginning. He has a good running style and I was a bit confused if I should chase him down or not. I thought I should wait until its my turn on the bottom half of the route.
Just before we reached the halfway point he blew up and I was able to overtake him and ran it home. I knew I was close to the course record and was pushing for it but also realized that its not my time of the year just yet and sometimes you have to be patient to prevent any injury. I crossed the line when the timekeeper shouted '52 which would equal the course record - the official results showed 15:53 just 1 second shy of it. A good reason to get back and claim it once and for all!

The legs were fine for the first 3 kilometers when I had to admit they were not working as well anymore. That is exactly what I want from these events, to keep my legs going and not to relax after a couple of laps like you do on the track where you can recover between the reps.

Here is again the data on strava, a very cool tool to upload your GPS data to and compare it with whoever run/rode at the same places as you did.

Next event: Ashford 10k on 02/02/2014

Sonntag, 12. Januar 2014

My very first Park run!

There is a national program to motivate everybody to get out and run. In more than 150 parks all over the UK (and further) there is a park run every Saturday morning which is basically a 5km run out in the green. It is completely free to start and has great success.
I think it is a great opportunity for literally everybody to get out and just do it. For me I think its good to do on a regular basis a 5k "training competition" to get my speed back and to get used to my Scott Race Rockers, the name says it all!

Finally I managed to get there myself. It was the 40th time it was organized in Maidstone. The start is just around the corner of the river Medway. The course goes along the river, crossing it over a bridge to make a U-turn and head back to where you came from. This course has a few features which makes it a rather slow course. The fact that the whole area next to the river was flooded made it a rather soft underground with lots of puddles. To get over the bridge one has to slow down around all the 180° turns. Finally, the trail is not exactly wide and some runners (understandably!) like it a bit slower and more social and don't pay that much attention to what is approaching them.

Right after the start the path got considerably narrow with a following sharp left turn so it was important to get through there quick! Some youngsters use it obviously as their training and were apparently aiming for the same goal, to get through there as quick as possible. After that, I thought I should be on my own, but you never know if there are some middle distance guys in their winter training!

It turned out to be quite easy to get away right from the beginning. I set the pace high enough on the first kilometer to get some distance between me and the other competitors. While I could choose my lane on the way out, it was considerably harder on the way back, hoping between the puddles as everybody else was on the "comfy" side. 
I managed to get back in 16:04 just 12 seconds shy of the course record. I could feel that I am not ready yet to push a decent pace for very long which will hopefully change in the near future. But I have to say it was good fun, can recommend it to everybody and will be back soon!

Click for data on strava


A post on the facebook wall of the Maidstone Harriers really got my interest. It was an invitation to take part in a local night orienteering. I thought it was the perfect occasion to do a good training whilst being pushed mentally and enhance my map reading skills.

It was a cold night and I was not sure what to wear. But one thing I could not miss was the head torch my dad lent me just as I was going back to England. I tested a few eventualities and was not really sure what to expect, if it was cross country or just on roads, how cold it would actually be, if the batteries of the head torch were still alright?! Must be, it was shining bright!.. all these questions were spinning in my mind.

Once I got to the parking of the Old Orchard in Leybourne it was still pretty quite. There were a few people hiding in their cars but I was still not sure if I got to the right place but it soon turned out there were others for the same occasion. I got my chip and tried to get a bit familiar with the area as it was completely new to me and trying to match a few directions with what I have seen on google earth. I decided to stick to my Scott T2 Kinabalu shoes which are incredibly comfortable both on road and trails and are now my favourites!

The format was to find as many (or all) of the 20 posts (all on lampposts) in one hour.  You get 1 point for every post found and you lose 1 point for every minute being late.

There were a few moment between getting the map and the start signal. I immediately tried to get some posts in a good order around me so I could find the best way to get out of the neighbourhood. Before I could count to three all of the approximately 60 athletes were running in different directions. I had an idea where I wanted to go and because one guy in particular was sprinting to the same post as me, I was following him. He tried to get rid of as many competitors as quickly as possible which I thought was great for me. The first post was found easily in no time.
I knew the direction I had to go for the next post and was pushing when my mate suddenly stopped and obviously decided to go for an alternate route. I went my way finding the second post, just realizing that I forgot to start my Garmin with all that stress at the start line. I came to the third post which led onto the big road where I could take a closer look on the map. I roughly had my strategy and was pushing about 3:30min/k between the posts.

It went all really well and I was sure I could make it in time except for the fact that the light beam of the head torch got weaker every minute. Reading the map got really difficult but I was under the impression that I was in control. 
After 58 minutes I was back and thought it took me longer than I estimated it should take me. My Garmin showed me that I ran 14.6 kilometers so it must have been about 15 kilometers.The guy I followed at the start claimed to have all posts and had just 12.6 kilometers! What the hell went wrong?

When I got the results sheet I had 22 posts, so I went for two of them twice and lost at least eight minutes! I got mixed up by a post that was in the middle of the map so when i folded the map I lost track of it and went for it again on the way back.. The other I got wrong was at the very end so I had to acknowledge that my brain was tired towards the end of the race.

Thinking back of some mountain running, the mental exhaustion towards the end of a (long distance) race can be quite significant! Maybe a good point to work on for this season?

I had great fun challenging myself with the map. I hope I can do some more orienteering very soon.

Cheers for reading :)

Here is my data on strava

Mittwoch, 8. Januar 2014

Season 2014

Welcome to my brand new blog!

A lot of modifications will be made in the future as the layout is pretty much non-existent.

Anyway this is more like a first trial. In this blog I will write on a regular basis about my Sport activities and how I prepare to my big goals in Summer. At the same time I also try to blog about themes I am processing in Osteopathy that I think might be of interest to you.

By the very end of 2014 I will have to hand in my undergraduate dissertation. This will influence my year to a quite big extend as it is just an addition to everything else which does not make things any easier.

Last September I started to work at the clinic of the European School of Osteopathy. This is both challenging and fulfilling because most of the patients responded so far quite well on my treatment.Nevertheless it feels like I am taking the first step of a very long journey - the journey of my life.

I have the desire to go new paths (figuratively speaking) in 2014. My aim is to perform well at the skyrunning world series (SWS) with competitions in Spain, Italy and Switzerland. Until the season in the mountains can start I will prepare myself with local races in and around Kent. Like in recent years I will go to Giverola (Spain) for almost three weeks to get ready for the season.

I am really looking forward to these adventures. I am also very happy to count again on SCOTT which is an excellent sponsor and partner. Thank you guys!