Jigsaw pieces

My commitment to keep the blog up to date (i.e. more or less weekly) with the output of my over active synapses seem to have fallen at the first fence. It’s not from lack of content but is more a by product of having too many plates to keep spinning and as the kids story telling, dog walking and sitting at my desk looking intelligent earn me my place in society they get looked after first.

On the running front things are ticking over nicely with long runs reaching close to 2.5 hours and everything being injury free so far. The trick is to make sure none of the various pegs (fitness, mental commitment, leg strength, nutrition) gets pushed out too far from the others and that they all develop at the same rate.

To manage the fear (a risk more than a fear) of injury I’ve invested in a set of brothel creepers (Hoka One One shoes) that are know as minimax shoes in the world of running – minimal shoe, maximum cushioning. I think it might be a contradiction but I’m not going to waste too much time deciding what religion I subscribe to as long as it does the job.

More on these in a later post.

On the overall strength issue I’ve decided to address the asymmetrical nature of my training over the last 10 years. I’ve finally decided that doing nothing but running might be, like teenage self abuse, very enjoyable but eventually if you do it too much something will fall off. So I’ve set about mixing in other simple and practical strength and endurance work.

I’ve embarked on a dog walking regime that sees the dog dragged around the neighbourhood twice a day as I listen to various podcasts about history or movies. Regime is a bit of an overstatement but it is, like the dog’s bowel, regular. This exercise is low impact and with the dog as my moral concious I don’t mind getting up off the couch at 10 pm. I suspect that this is one of those activities that after 4 or 5 months you start to realise is of tremendous benefit in helping you with your “time on your feet” during the latter stages of an ultra marathon.

The other non-running element of my training is tackling the upper body strength issue. Falling twice last autumn/winter and listening you your ribs go “crunch” has left me with a funny shaped bump where the ribs didn’t heal properly and a realisation that some muscles above your hips might be useful.

Now I’m of an age where fancy gym memberships and new kit are not going to do a whole lot for me apart from empty my pocket. Wandering around the weights room in spandex wiping sweat of torture racks is of little interest to me.

Instead I’ve gone for the mid-life crisis upper body strength routine. Press-ups. You can keep your fancy pec deck and leg curl machines. My target demographics for impressing the non-running community are small boys and MILFs. What they want  is someone who can do 100 press-ups.  Non-stop.

That’s not me. Yet.

I started from a low base (collapsed on the floor after 3 press-ups) but I’m now mid-way through week 4 of a 6 week plan at the moment and I’m up to 40 press-ups. This is the test to exhaustion that comes at the end of a 140 press-up set.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to reach the pub-boasting 100 press-ups but 50 non-stop press-ups every other day would be useful to be able to achieve.

Even if it does nothing for my running and overall fitness it’ll impress my target audience of small boys and MILFs.



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