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Showing posts from 2015

The now infamous 70 race season

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I joined Darwen Dashers at the back end of November in 2014.  I had toyed with the idea for a few months but wanted to have a crack at playing football at a higher level than I had done previously.  My expectations of it seemed much higher than I found and my interest in playing the game was fading fast.  I just didn't have the drive or motivation to play the way I used to on a regular basis.  It wasn't anything to do with the team/manager or anything like that, just on a personal level, I felt like I didn't have the same desire anymore.  Even when I scored, I didn't feel that same buzz and I had dabbled with 2 or 3 runs per week for a couple of months, only 10 miles max in total to be honest.
When I joined the Dashers, I heard about a trophy that was given to the runner who'd done the most races over a season.  I knew about the club championships on the roads & fells, but being so fresh to the running scene (knocking on a 20 year absence), I knew I was going …

Scafell Pike fell race 2015

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The title says it all on this occasion.
We often choose to challenge ourselves and enter in to battle against the hills and mountains, after all, that's a major part of fell running, arguably that's what fell running is!
So, I thought, well if I'm going to climb England's highest mountain for the first time, why not race it?  Why not do the fell race that takes in the mountain itself and climbs all the way to the summit of England.  Well, I found the race on the FRA calendar and posted off my entry form & entry fee and there we had it, I was up on the pre-entered athletes list on the CFRA website.

My biggest amount of race ascent was on the Kentmere Horseshoe, around 3,300 feet, but Scafell Pike fell race is touching on 3,000 feet...not much difference you may think, but, Kentmere is over double the distance of the Scafell race & a lot of other factors come in to play.  Scafell gives you around 1 mile at the start which is runnable, before you hit the climb up…

The Double Half Marathon Weekend

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As most people know by now, racing is my favourite pastime.  I've done my fair share this season, clocking my 60th race after Sunday's Garstang half marathon, along with race 59 on the Saturday, after running the Great Langdale half marathon.  Saying that, another thing that most of you will now know is that I'm not a road runner either!  Now some of you might be thinking, well running is running, you use your legs & lungs while battling psychologically to push through the pain barrier, but, more seasoned runners will know that there is a difference between the fells and the roads, both in terms of terrain and the type of running you do.
Anyhow, this double had been planned for a couple of months, with all my racing I keep a good check on my race calendar and my diary is planned well in advance but my training doesn't always match up to certain races.  I'm a firm believer in training to race & not racing to train.  By that I mean I will train hard and alwa…

Asics Gel-Luminus review

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Following on from my last review, on the Gel-Indicate's, I've also been asked to do some testing of the Asics Gel-Luminus.  They are the 2nd tier of shoe in the structured cushioning section of the Asics road shoe spectrum, only slightly behind the Gel-Kayano.  Again the Gel-Luminus (as with the Gel-Glorify and Gel-Indicate), are InterSport UK exclusives (links at the bottom of the blog!!!)

There are other shoes below the Luminus too but if you are looking for a top quality shoe for long distance running, the Luminus is definitely up there and as with competition in a race, you'd settle for a place in the top 2, wouldn't you?!
With other brands taking the front in terms of advertising, I feel that Asics are wrongly overlooked by a lot of runners these days, particularly on the road circuit.  People tend to look at the price rather than the quality, which in some cases is fair enough!  But, if you genuinely have the funds to be able to afford a much better quality shoe…

Asics Gel-Indicate review

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After doing some previous product reviews in the past for The Running Bug, Asics and Intersport UK, they very kindly asked me to test out some more kit, starting with the new Gel Indicate shoes.
As most of you runners will agree, you can't beat a fresh pair of running shoes so I was excited to receive the email regarding the new kit.  My road miles have been pretty minimal over the past few months as the fell season hits it's boom over the summer with more races than even I can manage to keep up with, and I'm up to 50 for the season at the minute after running at Whittle Pike on Wednesday night.  But, saying that, what better reason to get myself on the road more than new shoes?!  I don't think there is a better reason!
Anyhow, I received my Gel Indicate's in the post a couple of weeks ago and I have got myself used to them now, doing a decent amount of miles, although not as many as I'd have liked due to a hamstring twinge I had over the past 5 or 6 days.
the …

The 40th Kentmere Horseshoe - 19th July 2015

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The time had come, it was the day of my first Lakeland fell race & I'd decided on racing the Kentmere Horseshoe.  I'd had my eye on it all season, as it was on our club fell championship fixture list, but, at the beginning of the year I didn't really anticipate that my fitness, strength and speed would improve so much that I would feel ready and would be happy to attempt to race it, after all, the Lake District is where the big boys - both mountains and runners, come out to play!!!
I was up to 46 races for this season before Sunday, so I was easily race fit, but this was to be my longest fell race and also included an amount of ascending that I hadn't experienced before.  I have recently (about 6-8 weeks ago) started to hit a minimum of 5,000 feet per week for my ascending, which seemed a decent amount without putting my legs out of action on a daily basis, but, saying that, Kentmere is around 3,300 feet on it's own so it was always going to be testing.
We arr…

The darling fells of May

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As most people are aware by now, especially my fellow Dashers, I absolutely love racing.  Last night I ran my 30th race since December 14th, this doesn't include parkrun's, cross country or any form of relay (the Viper series in my case).
Since 'removing' myself from football earlier this year, I have trained at around the 40 mile mark per week, with my race mileage usually included in that figure.  The competitiveness of football has been transferred to my running, hence the number of races I do.  I was an avid player of the beautiful game, 6 times a week and commonly 7 times a week in a lot of cases, so to me it is no surprise that I have had to replace this with another form of competition and that happens to be running!
Since my last post when I'd not long ran the Pendle Hill fell race, I've enjoyed a good few run outs on the fells - the Saddleworth Cake Race, Great Hameldon Hill, Foe Edge and last night Mearley Clough.  A great variation in terms of terra…

Digging Deep with Sockmine GripLock

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Over the past few weeks I have continued with my racing, ever since completing the Viper 369.  People suggested taking time off to recover, mainly to avoid injuring myself, but, I feel good and felt no reason to do this.
I ran the Ron Hill 10k the day after the Viper and that was tough.  I really was tired but I was determined just to get myself through it and over the finish line.  A real slog, the first time I've ran a race and just constantly thought about finishing - nothing to do with the course or anything but purely due to my fatigue from the day before.  I ran a 53 minute 10k which I haven't done since I started racing over a year ago, so naturally it was disappointing but I knew the reasons why so it was nothing to worry about.
rain sodden day in Accrington for the 2nd Ron Hill 10k, adding to the pain
One positive was that I actually beat my time from last year, which I guess on paper will show as an improvement but nowhere near my current 10k pace.  I even ran a 10k …