Archive for Health & Wellness

Challenging 12 Hours: Burn Out or Laziness?

I ran the Challenging 12 hours on this past Sunday, 4th Nov. By the standards I set myself and by indicators before the day – I had a bad day at the office. I was well capable of doing a time under 7 hours, but I just fely short of motivation. Why? I don’t know. I could easily have posted a time well under 7 hours but ambled in at around 7 1/2.

A change of scenery for me for the next couple of weeks and a vow to run PROPER TRAILS – with a minimum of concrete – and places I have never been before.

See how that goes, an hopefully my head will get back in the right place.

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Ramp Series Race: Lung Cheung Road-Beacon Hill

I was interested to join this race – the closest thing to those European Vertical K races you see on YouTube.

It was great fun, and although I felt there was something left in the tank at the end – I had a great time, and ran a good time. But the short stuff is not really my forte.

Pics up soon.

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Lantau50: Preparation & The Mental Aspect

Part 1:  Preparation

Well, while being pretty fit – I did recognize my own level and limitations. But sometimes things hit you sideways – and even preparation goes out the window. Damn you, Murphy and Your Law!

Lot’s of little things like nutrition and hydration I had planned very well.  Actions taken at CPs were OK and swift for the most part.

I did fail badly at CP3 by erring and not having enough fluids for the long exposed section to come. Should’ve worn a cap to avoid the midday sun on my shaved head. Finally, I almost forgot completely to take my Mineral supplements. This hindered both my performance AND recovery.

These are lessons learnt, so next time I won’t make these mistakes.

Of course, more effort on fitness and diet AND…. tuning up one key area – downhill.

I will do a dedicated downhill trail running session at least once every 2 weeks from now on!

Part 2: The Mental Game

Despite having never run 50KM before, I was not daunted at all – and I think mentally I was in a great state of mind for the most of the race.  Helping some foreign friends – briefing them on what was coming up ahead, and encouraging some other competitors helped distract me from my own near-exhaustion.

Calling on the inspriation from ones near to us that we have lost helped to. It might sound strange, but it is a great time to remember those you loved that are no longer around and what they meant to you.

I also thought of those poor f**kers in Indonesia that carry the sulphur down mountains nearly everyday.  They only earn a pittance – and they don’t complain. So who am I to whine with a a mere 51.92km of trail with a lazy 2600M of vertical gain?

Be comfortable in  your own head. If you spend quite a bit of time training alone (like me) you should be fine. But if you’re a social animal – you may have trouble if you spend extended periods running by yourself.  Your really need to do a bit of it before you get into something like this.

Finally, camaraderie is a great benefit from running in such a race. Chatting with fellow runners along the way is great and we are a great encouragement to each other.

Happy Trails!

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Recovery Rantings

I thought I would post something on recovery.

Everybody talks about RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation.

So if you tried those and want more – what can you do?

Help is at hand:

1) Protein helps muscle and tissue repair. Have a steak, a burger, ham & egg sandwich, curry fishballs, siu mai, chilli beef balls, the list goes on.

2) Ice bath – if you run for an extended period and know you’re gonnna ache like you’ve been sparring with Yodsenklai – do it. Make ice from yoghurt cups and fill the freezer. Pop them in a cold water bath and hop in. Trust me – if you have a big hot tea or coffee while you’re in there – you’ll be fine.  5-10 minutes is fine, hypothermia is not your friend.

3) TENS machine – get one – zap your hurty bits while you’re Facebooking or watching TV or whatever. One electrode above and one below the hurty bit, and not right on joints.  Other instructions would depend on your TENS machine’s functions.  Zap yourself as high as you can tolerate and don’t be a whimp!  Your aching muscles will love you for it!

4) Footy socks & throw-out tray cycle shorts.  These are two cheapy ways to enjoy the benefits of compression on a budget.  Football socks are a lot cheaper than fancy pants compression calf sleeves AND your friendly local cycle shop should have orange and purple (or equally repulsive) shorts on special.  Wear them under baggy jeans and nobody need know.

5) Foot Reflexology path: I swear these are heaven-sent. If you are stiff and sore from a long run the day before – walk on one of these – do a few laps – ignore the hygiene warnings and go bare foot.  You may go “ouch ouch ouch” to start – but once you get used to it – fantastic!

6) Pharmanex Overdrive.  I take a few capsules every 1- 1 1/2 hours on long runs, with a few around an hour before and a few after.  It gives you a bunch of minerals that help supplement the gels, sports drink, water, etc. Take it once and skip it the next time – BIG DIFFERENCE. I don’t specifically endorse MLM, but I do swear by this product.

7) Big bucket of coffee, venti grande – whatever. If you’ve knocked yourself around – it may not help recovery but at least you can trick your body to not be tired for a while – so you can get home safely. Of course if you’re like me after a long run – you’re probably a little bit dehydrated so you’ll need a big drink of water as well.

And that’s it.  These things above have saved me a lot of hobbling around and sped up my recovery. And now it is shared with you and the Interwebs.  Cheers!

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