Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Running Gods.

     As with anything you do in life there is always a higher power watching over you, or guiding you in the right direction. Some easy examples being teachers at school, a boss at a job. That's simple to understand, with religion it becomes more different, wars have started because of it. All because someone thinks the higher power is a fat guy sitting cross legged with a weird moustache versus a white dude with a beard in a bath robe. All and all maybe a crazy for the heavy church goers here, because of course your religion is correct. But for those of us out there on the road every day, hammering miles and what not, who should we look up to? Who are the runner gods?

     Let me try to explain some of them.

Pheidippides: Obviously a legend, runs from the battlefield of Marathon all the way to Athens without stopping to deliver the message of victory, and then dies. He surely knew what a suicide pace was.

The Ancient Greeks: For creating the Olympics games, which started as a sole footrace every four years which was enough to stop wars for the time of the games.

Skjegg: The running god of cross country and base training, from his beard comes the strength to face the coming of the cold, wet, and windy season ahead.

Arthur Newton: Not to be mistaken with Isaac Newton but maybe more important, this man is the godfather of high mileage, he won the Comrades Marathon 5 times in his career and set records in races from 60-100 miles.

The Flying Finns: The Finnish runners competed throughout the early 20th century doing impossible things lead by the great Paavo Nurmi. The inventors of the Fartlek, which happened to inspire the next name on this list.

Emil Zatopek: The only human to win the 5'000, 10'000 and Marathon at the same Olympics. The inventor of interval training. He gains special recognition on this list due to the turmoil that took places years later when he was stripped of his status of legend and forced to work in uranium mines because he was a communist, but it did not break him.

Arthur Lydiard and Percy Cerutty: From New Zealand and Australia respectively, not runners themselves but philosophers of the sport, their athletes were some of the best in the world. They coached athletes to World Records without any science to back up what they were doing. To commit to their teachings is to commit to success in running and in life.

Finally I give you Steve Prefontiane: Maybe the Jesus of the running world, he died for us and died for the sins of the heal strikers, the head bobbers, and the race walkers. He made the sport appealing and more importantly put focus on two things that we all care for: winning and drinking beer.

     An important thing to remember is this list does not include all of them, just some of the ones I believe in. The list extends to anyone who has made you believe you could accomplish something greater than yourself. I close this post with a prayer, I started praying to these guys when I was in grade 12, and most importantly when praying to these gods, its important to not only be serious, but also to let the humour in life come out as well.

     Dear runner gods,

     We thank you for the good weather you have given us, and the high mileage you have aloud me to run.  I pray to you to allow me a healthy and happy season, allow me to run fast and run strong. On a side not, I wish not to have to poop mid race again..

Thats all folks.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Don't Forget Folks, That's What You Get Folks....

     I usually am not one who cannot make up his mind, but for the last couple months, I have been quite torn. I signed up for the Ottawa Race Weekend 10km this year, moving up from the 5km which I ran last two years. Both times just ran for fun, nothing serious. This year some of the guys decided to buck up and sign up too. So I have been sitting in my room staring at my wall trying to decided whether or not to go after it or slowly build through the summer. After careful consideration, I have decided to have a crack at it. Training will be pretty simple, but hopefully it will go well. It should be a fast race and hopefully I can get a PB out of it. Now just have to decide what singlet to wear... Decisions, decisions...

     In other news, the little town I currently reside in is a big fan of winter, it seems each day we get another foot of the fluffy white stuff. The snow doesn't usually angry me to much, but running on the same 4 roads every day has taken a toll on me mentally, and the worst part is, last week we got a glimmer of hope as it was warm enough to strip down to shorts. What makes this even worse is the fact that I care enough about the damn weather to rant about it on the internet! Absolutely pathetic.

     Thanks for listening, now if you let me finish, 

... For Playing Whoopee. 


Monday, March 02, 2015

Season Ender, Season Opener

Wrapped up early after a few races because indoors. Why prolong the torture. Raced a couple of times, in a couple of cool places, faded hard from the front at least once. The season was a get-in-pb-get-out-with-the-fewest-injuries-possible situation. As soon as things began getting sore, it's time to call it.

In four short weeks I will be travelling approximately 1 hour south to an undisclosed location for a beermile classic. Given the field assembled, my goal is to place top 5 and/or sub 5:40. These are very aggressive goals I realize, but this is not an average casual beermile. With multiple worlds competitors, and numerous up and comers, it is arguably one of the deepest group of beermilers to race in Ontario within recent years. Actually kind of hoping they make heats, as the participation is looking to top out at around 50+ competitors. That's a lot of people to get around on the track, not to mention the associated difficulty of locating your brew within 200 other beers.

Following in the path of consumption athletics, the annual H2MC will precede the beermile by one week and hopefully prove to be a good prep race. The goal here is to take back my title and course record. Last year consisted of gross over training in the eating/route planning category and undertraining in the running position (read: 3 days off before the event). Things will be different this time.

As the worst of winter comes to a close, it's time to prepare for a higher mileage phase and run some road races, maybe some long track racing too.

Get sum in all things college,


Monday, February 09, 2015

With Two Feet and a Heart Beat I Can Do Anything.

     Not everything has necessarily went according to plan over the last couple years. From being burnt to a f***ing crisp, to never wanting to run again, to a 5 month injury, to seasons of mediocre results and sub par performances. Now here I am starting to build for the summer and ultimately my final university season. I am putting the past behind me and looking only towards the future. And the future looks pretty good as long as this snow melts; I'm already feeling imprisoned in February. So to get right down to it the plan is fairly simple: be consistent, be patient, learn from past mistakes, listen to the body, recover, and finally pursue excellence.

     I understand that this plan is fairly abstract, but for past 2 years I have spent days formulating a 4 month plan for the summer and although it has been successful, I don't want to feel tied down to something right now. I want to run unattached to words on paper.  When looking at a predetermined schedule I always notice that I can already tell how the week is going to feel and how I will react to the stress. Although this is a nice way to train, I want to leave my comfort zone.

     With that in mind, I have to admit I have given my brain to much power in the decision making dealing with my running career. Therefore from this point foreword I will attempt to let both my body and my heart do the decision making. Not god, sorry Ryan Hall that plan hasn't really worked out for you. In which I have one lofty goal for the next 365 days. And it is to break all of my current personal bests from the half marathon down to the 400m and also break my personal best from a 28km trail race that I like to do and the beer mile too and chase the course record at the Deep River 6x1mile relay.



p.s. if you want in on the deep river 6x1mile course record attempt contact me, free beer if we get the record.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Time to be Real with Myself

Ok, lets be straight up about realistic goals here. What am I in this for?

As I was practicing my water can chug, stalling at 8 mid or 7 high night after night, I came to realize - it's time to stop fooling around. Let's be honest. I am never going to be able to actually chug frothy carbonated, sting-the-back-of-your-throat beer in world class time.

However, from that low I find a reassuring high point. I need to focus on STRENGTHS. Sure, my chug isn't the fastest in the world. So I make up with volume and capacity handling, as well as running ability. In the future you can BET I'll be doing more training using what I call Sequentials (where the aim is to average high chug speed for a number of cans, as well as overall time for the sequence).

This usefulness of this volume-focused exercise gets reinforced when you look at the fact that a can can't really be completely poured any faster than 6.5 seconds without being altered. Therefore, the gap between the very best chugger and yourself is limited to no more than your chug time subtract 6.5 seconds (give or take). After all, how can a beermiler chug faster than the speed at which the liquid can flow from the can? This is reassuring indeed.

But back to sequences. Sequences can be anywhere from 2 to 6 or more cans. Will I ever attempt a session of sequences to failure? Who knows. The session involves chugging each can repetitively, one after another, using water, or in rare race simulation environments, actual brew. The exercise can be considered a success if each can chug time is within a second of the others. The key here is consistency. Volume handling.

When it comes down to it, if I can some day manage sub-10 second chugs and sub 13 second total transition times within race environments consistently, I will be a happy camper.

So in answer to my original question, I am in this to push the limits of my abilities that contribute to a fast beermile, whether they are naturally high-level or not. Whether the combination of these will some day qualify me for the fast heat of BMWC is yet to be seen., but make no mistake: that is the goal.