Friday, 31 December 2010

Motivational music

Tonights topic on my mind is how much things like music can have an impact on our mindset and subsequently on our training.  I am a firm believer in the power of music and what it can do to our state of mind.

Imagine for instance you are sitting there in a peaceful and yogic state and then suddenly heavy metal comes on the radio.  Do you stay in your peaceful and yogic state - I doubt that very much.  Either you will go and turn it off and maintain your state or you will leave it on and your peaceful state will disappear and at best you will be in a neutral state and at worst in an agressive state.

Choose the right selection of songs on your ipod and I am sure that can egg you on at crucial points in the race when your lactate levels are rising and the fatique is setting in.  In Switzerland they often play music along the closing miles of a race, and this really spurs me on.  It is almost as if I go into a trance like state and the pain is gone and only the music remains.

When I am getting very fat and lazy I always watch a Rocky movie - either the original where he comes from the streets and fights every step of the way or when he is fighting the russian beast in Rocky IV and uses old versus new techniques to conquer the Russian.  Running through the snow and staying in a chalet in the middle of nowehere with a burning log fire and dragging things behind me to increase my power would appeal to me anyday over a posh hotel and spending hours in the gym and injecting myself with steroids.  The movies make me want to go straight out afterwards and beginning shedding the pounds and getting back in shape.  Even if I am watching it late at night I often get my gear on and head out in the dark to pound the pavements.  The accompanying soundtracks are great and I love getting myself all pumped up to the sounds of Eye of the Tiger.

Old fashioned graft versus modern machines and steroids

I would love to know what movies and soundtracks get you all pumped up.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Getting longer and longer

No I am not being rude for those of you with impure minds.  I am talking about my running.  As some people have been fattening up, trying their best to look like Father Christmases, and drinking themselves silly, I have been observing moderation with regards to food and drink and have been fitting in regular runs.

I recognise fully the fact that I am prone to overtraining.  It is like a disease but at least if you can recognise you are prone to the disease you can do something about it.  So each time I do a long run the following day I am taking a rest day.  By rest day I don't mean cross training or taking an active rest day, but a complete rest day.  As the weeks go on I will have some days where I will be training several days consecutively, but it is too soon to do that so far.  My muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints are not tough enough yet to withstand all the pounding forces of the road and they need time to adapt.

At the moment I am up to running for one hour or more without any problems.  Tomorrow I will try to increase it ever so slightly.  But for each run I take on the road I am taking several off road.  Actually the other day I was running in the snow and that was a great work out.  Obviously you need to be careful not to slip over, but I was running across a field so at least if I fell I would get a soft landing.  And the extra resistance that the snow running gives really makes you work hard.  It isnt even necessary to go as far or for as long as you do on your normal non snow runs.  For the marathon des sables, snow running and sand running will be great preparation training.  If I am still living in Switzerland I guess snow running will be much easier to find.

I am still in the UK at the moment but when I get back I think its time for a second weigh in.  I could do it here but I want it to be on the same scales as before.  Even if I havent gained any weight over this festive period it will be a success, but I feel like I may even have lost a few pounds.  Let's see.