Sunday, 29 July 2012

London 2012 Olympic GamesMakers

Here we are, Team Global Therapies - Sports Massage Practitioners - GamesMakers - in our uniforms outside the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


This has been one hectic month.

But it's all good. There's been things I've wanted to write about but I just haven't had time. My training has been cut short and a few sessions missed. I had a great month or so, then the last 2 weeks have been a little disjointed with work events taking priority (always going to happen when you're self-employed) plus it's the run up to my stint down in London as a Games Maker - Sports Massage Practitioner to use my official title - at the 2012 Olympics. It's been frustrating not being able to write about the build up to that event, but there are restrictions (tight ones) on what we can say in social media.

Looking back at the diary I can see why things have been so hectic. On top of the normal work schedule there's been additional special events where we've been providing our sports massage services. We've had a trip to London for Olympic training, and we've had our running club (Glossopdale Harriers) 30th anniversary festivities.

I now have just a few days to put things in order before I head south. I've got an adjusted running programme working around my shifts, and tomorrow I should be getting some strength and conditioning sessions to slot in as and when I am not on Olympic duties.

I am very excited (it's hard to express this properly) about being at the Olympics, it's such a great opportunity and without chucking out loads of cliches I can't resist just one - this is going to be an experience of a lifetime. I'll write more afterwards, when freedom of speech isn't so restricted. For now, it's hard to believe that my application form was submitted in August 2010. Almost 2 years to the day I'll be commencing my first Olympic shift. It's been a long time coming!

The Alport - on my list to explore on my runs when I'm back from London

Saturday, 14 July 2012


It's a little over halfway through 2012 and a good time to review my 2012 Aspirations. Am I on track to reach my goals this year?

#1 - 24 GDH runs
I ran five times with the club in Jan/Feb/Mar. In April I did three races and no club runs. During May I ran once with the club - a great run up from Crowden and in June I joined the summer solstice run up on a very very wet Kinder. That totals 7 club runs in 6 months. Although I'm not on target at this rate to make 24 club runs this year I'm not bothered. My training has shifted focus with the new programme and the past month has meant no running above a certain heart rate - essentially lots of very steady paced running. I am going to renew my club runs in the post-Olympic months.

Typical Summer Solstice weather for the club run!!

#2 - run 3 fell races - achieved.
28th January - 28 Kinder Trial
18th March - Dark&White Mini MM in Macclesfield Forest
15th April - Dark & White Mini MM in the Hope Valley (3hr score event fell race) - here's the blog
18th April - Herod Farm Fell Race - here's the blog
22nd April - Kinder Downfall Fell Race - race route recce'd & blog posted here and the race report is here.
13th May - Dark & White Mini MM around Dovedale/White Peak -  here's the blog

Kinder Trial fell race

#3 - cover 25km in one go - achieved. On Sunday 10th June I ran from Glossop to Hope - here's a write up of the run which was delightful. I'll repeat the route later in the year and see if I can beat the time - under 3.30 should be very achievable, closer to 3hrs would be amazing. I also want to repeat my Circumnavigation route with less stopping, running round Kinder edge is lovely and I'm curious to see how I get on with trying to do it as fast as possible.

The Mam Tor-Lose Hill ridge - on the final section of my Glossop to Hope run

#4 - 10 body weight chin ups - I'm up to 7. My current strength & conditioning work has me doing 5 sets of 4 on a Monday and I'm getting these each week. It's tempting to see if I could do 10 right now but I'm holding back just a little longer.

Practicing....with a chain!

Any revisions to my goals at the halfway point? Nope. The club runs will happen as they happen so my only real aim now is to do 10 chin ups. I'm happy with my running and overall progress this year. The training is all enhanced by regular sports massages,  foam rollering, stretching and the odd bit of dry needling by Tim. I've also been doing some mobilisation exercises before heading out for a run, and have found that it really helps me feel warmed up and ready to go. The final bit of recovery that I've been doing is cold showers...just on the legs, but its definitely helping to keep my legs in good shape.

Base work

For the past month or so I've undertaken some base training for my running (short intro to it here). Essentially it's designed to build up my endurance and at some point - once unleashed from the slow and low heart rate running - I'll be able to run for longer with greater ease. What my week consists of is six runs - three pre-breakfast road runs to build economy and fat burning, two short hill sessions and one long hill run at the weekend. In addition I've done a turbo session and two strength and conditioning training sessions in the gym. Each week builds up duration for each session.

By the end of week 4 I'd built up my mileage (or kilometerage if that's a word) to 66km (42miles) with relative ease. Just getting out six times consistently has been great. On the down side I've tweaked my right knee. It's a weird one - my quads feel like they're not working properly and my knee sporadically gives way - usually when I'm pushing off on that foot so my whole body weight is on it. I won't dwell on that, I'm rehabbing it by having lots of soft tissue therapy and dry needling, plus the foam roller is getting a good bashing too. I've skipped a couple of runs this week too in favour of resting it, even though the run training is scheduled as a recovery week so intensity is less - it's just not wise to train through an injury. The last thing I want is to cause further damage to my knee and end up being unable to run at all.

I'm finding the structured training really good. Up to now my running has just been as and when I've fancied it. I've vaguely tried to get out three times a week, but it hasn't always worked. So when I was faced with six runs in a week I was a bit anxious that I'd be able to do it. There's even one day where I run twice! That was a shock to my system, if only mentally!! What I have learnt is that if someone tells me to get out there and do X on such-and-such a day I'll get out there and do it. Some of my runs have been in horrendous weather, but how good did I feel afterwards!

This is the end of week 5, tomorrow is another rest day (though I'll be renewing my first aid certificate so no laying about on the sofa). I'm then into the build phase of training which includes tempo runs and turbo spin-ups. Now those should be fun.

I'm a little impatient to see if my pace will have increased by a decent margin, or if the changes to my running are a lot more subtle. I've deliberately been ignoring the FRA race calendar - racing is out of the question for now which is fine. One slight disruption to the continuity of my training is that I'll be in London for a couple of weeks and have no idea how my shifts at the Olympics (I'm working as a Sports Massage Practitioner which is very exciting) will leave me feeling. I've got runs planned, but I'm just going to see how it is when I'm down there.

An exciting month ahead - the Olympics is going to fly by and it will be mid August before I know it. Time to review goals and my 2012 Aspirations before then to ensure I'm on track!