Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: running dad (page 3 of 3)

A monster in the night

The lady of the manor didn’t manage to get out with the hound today as the weather was what could be best described as damp. So being the amazing husband that I am I decided to take him out for a ‘quick’ 5 mile run along the canal when I got home.

Now it may sound a bit weird but I actually really enjoy running in the dark, it’s deadly quiet and really focuses your mind as you concentrate on what the ground is like ahead of you. The stretch along the canal is pitch black with no street lights for almost 2 miles which means that Bracken can be off the lead running around for a good period.

So there we were happily plodding along (me not him, he was flying around at 100mph) enjoying the peace and quiet when the light of my head torch picked up 2 eyes looking at me on the path ahead.

Shit, what’s that, is it a fox? Shit, Bracken come her. 

I don’t think Bracken and foxes will get on. Shit. And I’m a long way from any help.

Wait, no that’s not a fox it’s too big. Shit, it’s an Alsatian. BRACKEN COME HERE

Oh god, don’t go up to him, he’s probably not going to like a bouncer springer. Shit.

Ok, he’s going up to him, please be a nice dog, please be a nice dog.

They’re playing, ok, maybe it’s ok.

I’m not sure who was more surprised, the guy fishing with his Alsatian seeing a crazy guy running or me meeting an Alsatian in the middle of the path. But actually he was a really nice dog and I had to drag Bracken away from playing with him.

Oh and in case you’re interested here’s what the intrepid explorers looked like.

If Pilates saved your life…..

Oh have I got a treat for you today people, you see I had a flash of inspiration while at the gym the other day and have composed one of my little song/poem for you. However given that the last one was about communal showers I’m not sure you should get your hopes up just yet.

The Fun Lovin Criminals are one of my all time favourite bands and incidentally Huey Morgan is also a top class DJ when he’s on 6music, perfect to listen to on a Sunday. One of their songs pays tribute to Barry White, which if you haven’t heard it before here’s a little taster.

So in the finest tradition I have butchered this great song and created my own version to pay tribute to role that Pilates has played in getting me back running:

Pilates, saved my life
And if Pilates, saved your life
Or got you back in your running tights
Sing Pilates, Pilates, it’s alright
 
The Dr he said,
you’re kind of like a pregnant woman,
Weak in the front, weak in the back
and with dodgy hips, you’re about to crack
 
Now go don some lycra,
join the ladies at the gym,
Build up that core and try not to fall asleep
Feel the burn, don’t stop until you can touch cheek to cheek
 
Pilates, saved my life
And if Pilates, saved your life
Or got you back in your running tights
Sing Pilates, Pilates, it’s alright
 
Now you’re feeling better,
But lifting a baby needs good posture,
Do it wrong and you’ll become a cripple,
When you’d rather be out getting joggers nipple
 
Running free is in touching distance,
A few more weeks till you can take the winding road,
into the forest and away from the world
Stronger than ever if truth be told
 
Pilates, saved my life
And if Pilates, saved your life
Or got you back in your running tights
Sing Pilates, Pilates, it’s alright

Now if you do happen to still be reading and have managed to wipe the vision of me in lycra from your minds I thought I’d share my top tips for not ending up with the same medical conditions as a woman who has given birth like I did.

Never underestimate the importance of stretching and working on your core muscles if you are a runner. Make time in your week to do something about this, even if it’s just 15 minutes of stretching every day. You won’t believe the benefit to your running and also preventing you getting injured. My exercise regime used to be just running and simply mixing up endurance and speed sessions. Now I am running 1-2 times a week, doing an hour of Pilates, a gym session to work on core muscles and light weights and then 40 minutes of swimming. No doubt as I build towards a longer race I’ll do some more running but I don’t think I’ll drop the Pilates or the gym session.

P.S I’m sure you’re all disappointed not to see a photo of me in my running stuff or my now very impressive toned upper body. Maybe next time….. 🙂

The running dad – it’s all in the planning

If you’re a bit OCD like me and enjoy planning things almost as much as doing them, then this post is for you. If you don’t ever plan and do ‘what feels right’ then this post is also for you, even if you don’t know it, you do need it.

If you have a particular race (or series of races in my case) that you are training for then you need a training plan. Without one you’ll train a lot less than you need to and without the variety of training needed to really be succesful. It keeps you motivated to train as you don’t want to miss sessions and makes sure you build in some speed sessions and hills etc into your routine. The vast majority of my training is done on my own, so I like to keep a record of exactly how much I have done and when (you see I told you I was OCD). This can also help you see the progress you have made if you tend to run the same routes fairly regularly.

I recently bought some running shoes from Sweatshop (who are thoroughly recommended by the way) and with it came a voucher for a free customised training plan from Full potential so I’ve been trying to follow that. Always good to get a new approach to training, but no matter what plan you follow I think there are a couple of key things that all training plans should have;

  • Hills and speed sessions; this either involve various lengths of hill sprints for the hills session or a training session where you run at a number of different speeds. Both of these help train your body to run faster and also builds strength for any hills you may have during your race.
  • Variety; there needs to be a real mix of sessions, even in a marathon training plan where mileage is important. Also make sure for any long runs that you have a variety of routes planned. It’s also worth trying to do these longer runs at roughly the same time of day as your race wherever possible.
  • Not just running; I’d suggest getting at least one cross training session (cycling or swimming for example) into each week. Also never underestimate the importance of stretching.

This week I have been taking my own advice and I’ve managed the following:

  • Monday – 4.5 mile easy pace run – 36
  • Wednesday – 4x6mins at threshold pace with 2 mins race in between
  • Friday – 25 min trail run with Bracken
  • Saturday – 26 min trail run with Bracken

The only thing I need to do now is a few longer runs once a week and also a bit more stretching/cross training. Running with Bracken is great because it kills 2 birds with 1 stone and he NEVER runs out of energy which is useful in a training partner. Although it can make you feel very slow and unfit watching him trot by you.

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