Your session – your way and RunFever February competition

Firstly we must congratulate Tony Smith who we interviewed back in November 2017 (blog post HERE) in preparation for his Australia Day Ultra (ADU).  We are pleased to report on the 20 Jan 18 Tony completed the ADU 100km in a time 8hrs 31mins taking 3rd place.  An outstanding run which means Tony paced a 8min 11sec per mile for the 62 miles.  Strava detail can be found at the link HERE.

Mary Menon who we interviewed in December 2017 (blog post HERE) is continuing to race strong in her preparation for her up and coming races – Grizzly at Seaton in March, Taunton Marathon at the beginning of April and London marathon.  This weekend Mary ran the Braunton 10 in a time of 1hr 3mins, recording a average of 6min 18 secs per mile.  Strava detail can be found at the link HERE.  To the most of us that would be enough but Mary has been back out today and completed another 10 mile run.

Your session – your way……… So a little rant!!  I don’t like negativity and am saddened to see some people airing views of the way people complete their sessions.  What do I mean?  So I will use myself as an example.  One of my favourite sessions is 5 x 1km (HERE) and at the end of the KM I stop the watch and take 2 mins rest.  Yes I said STOP the watch, not lap…..Some of you may gasp with horror but my session – my way.  I do this as I can then compare the sessions easily on Strava, I can see if my splits are quicker and Strava will record the overall moving time, where I can see if I was quicker anyway.  Plus a small part of me feels good when I see the quicker times than I am used too because of that type of session – so I will take that feeling, it’s just my way.

Yes, I shouldn’t let it bother me and everyone is entitled to their view – rightly so but how we run/log should be up to us.

But I (Iain) got a bit tired of seeing people comment about other people on social media, easy fix – social media deleted…….. Positive in so many ways, I don’t read negativity anymore and I have more time to train than catching up with social media.

Remember however you want to run – make sure you run the way you want as you are the only person that matters and do it with a smile.

We mentioned recently RunFever February.  We love seeing the miles/kms you are logging and the great pictures of where you run. We didn’t get a lot of pictures recently when we asked, hey no problem honestly as you lot are out there killing your sessions rightly so but thanks for the picture Michael Lamb. Michelle sent us this picture and in her words “I picked this because I look really happy to be a part of the ParkRun community at no matter what age or ability. ParkRun day is the day I look forward to every week”.  You do look happy Michelle and keep up the great work.  I (Iain) only started running ParkRun myself in January 2016 and love the concept and seeing everyone out there challenging themselves.

Opps I digress.  RunFever February – so if you want drop us an email HERE with a challenge you are setting yourself for the month of February.  Don’t worry about what others are doing, this is a challenge to yourself.  It could be something like – beat your Park Run time or to run once more in the week than what you currently do or a race you are doing in February and your goal time.  For example, I (Iain) have a race in February and I want to beat my time from 2017.

So send us your challenge at the Start of February and we will post (on Strava) everyones personal challenge for that month.  At the end of the month we will randomly select somebody and send you over a RunFever bandana.

Finally – Not that you will be looking for it but RunFever Twitter has been deleted……….Remember Your Session Your Way……….

Guest blog – Mary Menon

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For our second guest blog spot we will be interviewing Mary Menon from Exford, which is located in the stunning Exmoor National Park in the UK.  Mary placed 1st female at the Endurancelife Jurassic Coast marathon in an amazing time of 4hrs 1min 45secs (Results), placing 3rd overall and just missing out on an overall 2nd place by 37 secs!!.  The gap to the next female was just over 41 mins.

RF = Mary, congratulations on your 1st place at your recent race, and amazing result – how did the day go?

MM = Thank you for the congratulations, the race day all went according to plan, the weather was cold and dry and the ground was good for most of the marathon course. A friend of mine from a neighbouring running club was also racing and having run it before, he spoke to me about what to expect on the route which helped a lot, the first 3 miles of the course are super hilly and then settles into some very runnable sections before the gradients ram up again.

RF = From looking at the race splits it looks like you were running in second most of the day?

MM = A recce is always beneficial… Even if it’s a virtual one.  I ran my own race from the very start, because of the Endurancelife format, other runners racing different distances are merging in with each other at points during the route so besides squinting at each other’s numbers, you can’t always determine who you’re actually racing.  After settling in I felt good all the way round and enjoyed a fun morning in the beautiful Dorset countryside. 

RF = You didn’t really taper down for the race recording a 57.8 mile week before the race including the Coombe Crawler, a 8.5 mile race and as the race site states ‘BRINGING YOU TO YOUR KNEES OVER 8.5 HILLY MILES‘.  You’ve won that race over the past few years, 2015 – 01:12:43, 2016 – 01:04:42 and in 2017 – 01:02:11, an impressive record and you are getting quicker.  So, how did you feel going into the marathon?

MM = I didn’t feel bounding coming into the Marathon but felt strong and confident of a good performance having run the Combe Crawler in the previous week which is a fairly short race over a punchy, fun, hilly course requiring some quick ascending and descending.

RF = The week of the marathon you recorded a week of 62.4 miles and the week after you recorded a week of 85.1 miles.  Most people would take it easy the week after a marathon and the Endurancelife marathon is far from flat, so how did you feel the week after?

MM = Because I race quite frequently (generally every 2-3 weeks) as long as I feel okay and relatively unbroken I prefer to crack on with a good training week.  I think that if approached with caution there are some fitness gains in doing this and between tapering and recovering I wouldn’t otherwise have much time to train! 

RF = What event have you got next?

MM = I have several club races lined up in the next few months, including the Grizzly at Seaton in March and back to the Taunton Marathon at the beginning of April, inevitably with the beginning of a New Year looming my thoughts turn towards the London marathon where I shall be returning for my second year in the club championships category,

RF = Have you a goal for the race?

MM = Hopefully this year to sneak under the 2:50 mark (currently on a PB of 2:50:55) so I will carry on racing different distances but I will be keeping London in mind. 

RF = What does a training week look like?

MM = A training week nearly always contains one or two long runs across Exmoor, some hill work, sprints and a pacey run with my teammates from the fantastic Ilfracombe Running Club.  I spend some time on the spin bike (not just reading the paper on it)  I also do a mixture of core work, free weights and plyometrics for 50 minutes a day apart from a few days leading up to a race.  As time has gone on I tend to have a rolling rest day every 9 days.

RF = Do you train mentally as well as physically?

MM = Mentally I would say that I’m pretty tough, I try to avoid a ‘poor me’ sentiment when things aren’t going according to plan and like to play a mind game on the way home from a long run…. I’ll add in a couple of extra miles at the last minute or change my intended route to return home along a hillier way…. Properly mean on myself sometimes! 

RF = Are you injury free?

MM = I am generally injury free, I think weights, strength exercises and cross training have helped massively with this, also the majority of my training miles are at a steady and safe pace.  Two years ago I suffered with Plantar Fasciitis, I struggled with it for 6 weeks before making an appointment at Taunton Foot and Gait clinic, with the help of some bespoke orthotics I was running again the very next day and haven’t looked back since, I have run in those orthotics since. 

RF = How often do you change your trainers?

MM = My road running trainer is a Brooks Ghost 10 which I try to change every 500 miles but at this time of year tend to try to stretch some extra mileage out of, my off-road trainer of choice is a Salomon vario, most trail races have a mixture of terrain and these seem to suit that well.

RF = Do you use running nutrition, gels, blocs, chews, drinks, if so what?

MM = I use gels fairly sparingly in races of 13 miles or more and my preference is salted caramel Gu.  I also like to use real food so in a 20mile or more race I will carry a flapjack or energy bar, I don’t train with gels but take a flapjack or some sweets for a long run. 

RF = Why do you run?

MM = I have always run from childhood and represented Devon while at school in athletics and cross country.  I then stopped racing but carried on running into adulthood but didn’t start racing again until 4 years ago after having children and with baby weight to lose, I started to put some more time into the running. 

RF = Best running race experience?

MM = Winning the Red Bull Steeplechase back in June would be my best experience.  I had come 2nd in 2016 and I was determined to go one better this year… I have never been so focused in a race before, the whole day went like clockwork. 

RF = What do you think of when you are running?

MM = When running I think of anything and everything, it is the ultimate problem-solving time.  In a race I am mainly thinking of fractions… timing, pacing, having a lovely time and reminding myself to keep running! 

RF = Do you have a favourite pre and post race meal?

MM = I like to have a pasta based meal the lunchtime before a race rather than going to bed before a race feeling full and stuffy and generally like a couple of slices of pizza the night before.  Straight after a race I like a cheese roll…. Sliced cheddar with mayonnaise in a white bap, preferably a bit sweaty after a morning in the car!! 

RF = How do you stay motivated?

MM = I live on beautiful Exmoor and going for a run is never too much of a chore.  I vary my runs and rarely run the same route twice in a week and because I have been fortunate enough to do well in races it makes me hungrier for more success… There is always room for improvement. 

RF = Favourite race distance?

MM = My favourite race distance is a marathon.  I think it is the perfect test of speed and stamina either on the road or trail. I enjoy racing all distances though and after winning the Mudcrew black R.A.T. 32 mile race in August I will definitely be looking forward to adding some more ultras to my race calendar. 

RF = Any race rituals?

MM = I don’t have any race rituals but if I feel under pressure before a race I tend to annoy everyone with needless fretting and some pacing on the start line! 

RF = If you were to give your three top tips for running what would they be?

MM =

  1. You’ll always feel better after a run, it is the perfect cure for nearly all ailments.
  2. Don’t get too bogged down with the whole training thing…. Just go for a run and enjoy it, it’s meant to be fun
  3. Join a running club or keep in touch with some like-minded people, I am lucky enough to be part of a brilliant running club where there is a fantastic camaraderie and positive attitude.

Mary at the NDRR Hartland Heartbreaker 2017, this is an 18 mile tough race that she has have won for the last 3 years.  Photo taken by Michael Newcombe.

As of 16/12/17 Mary has recorded on Strava:
2,969.4 mi
427h 36m in laced up running time
368,442 ft in elevation
And all over only 299 runs!!
 RunFever is not all about us, it’s about YOU as well.  At regular intervals we will conduct a guest blog spot about athletes (of all levels) in our / your Strava club (https://www.strava.com/clubs/RunFever).  Would you like to feature on our blog? Yes, then please get in touch via the support page.  We can’t wait to hear from you.

Guest blog – Tony Smith

Guest blog – Tony Smith – Australia day ultra 2018

Don’t forget to subscribe if you want to follow our blogs.  Go to the blog page and enter your email in the subscribe box.  We have some fun stuff coming up, like celebrating all the great runs you have done and a RunFever February competition!

RunFever is not all about us, it’s about YOU as well.  At regular intervals we will conduct a guest blog spot about athletes (of all levels) in our / your Strava club (https://www.strava.com/clubs/RunFever).

The first guest spot we interviewed Tony Smith based in Perth, Australia who placed 1st place last week in the leader board with an impressive 94.3 mile training week.

Tony Smith wins the Feral Pig 50km Ultra
Tony is building up to the 100km Australia Day Ultra on 26 January 2018.  This is going to be very flat and very fast, the perfect PB course.
But leading up to this event Tony has one last race this year being the 6 Inch Trail Marathon which will be held on Sunday December 17, 2017.  The race is held on the Munda Biddi trail, on a 46km course from North Dandalup to Dwellingup in the South West of Western Australia, about 80km South of Perth.  Tony has entered this race twice before but not had the results he wanted – got lost one year (added a few bonus km on) and in his own words – blew up spectacularly the following year.  So this year he is hoping to make amends.
Questions = RF – Answers =TS 
RF = Tony how many times have you taken part in the Australia Day Ultra before?
TS = I have competed in Australia Day Ultra 3 times, I won the 50 km in the first year in a sprint finish to the line, second time 4th in 50km in 3:41 and DNF last year in the 100 at 62.5km with injury.
RF = How has your training been going?
TS = Touch wood I have been injury free for a good 6 months now and have had a few good blocks of back to back training.
RF = What does a training week look like?
TS = I try to do between 100 – 160 km (62.5 – 100 miles) a week depending on my next goal and keep the plan as simple as possible: an easy recovery on Mon, Tue and Thu speed (intervals, fartlek, tempo etc), Wed a longish run up to a half, Fri is rest day.  Sat parkrun with a long warm up and cool down and Sun is race day or a long run with a group.
RF = Over the last 3 months what has your monthly mileage been?
TS = Sep 356km (222.5 miles) 28hrs, Oct 484km (302.5 miles) 34hrs, Nov to date 583km (364.4 miles) 44hrs.
RF = Are you injury free?
TS = Injury free yes, a few niggles with tight calves but managing them.
RF = What if any injuries have you had of late?
TS = Probably had two of the worst running injuries in regards to rehabilitation and recovery.  The first being Plantar Fasciitis (PF), this is one of those injuries that unless you have had it is hard to explain, this took me out for almost 10 months! The second long-term injury was Osteitis Pubis a typical over use injury common in runners and very stubborn in rehabilitation.
RF = How often do you change your trainers?
TS = Depending on the model, I have Hoka’s with almost 1500kms (937.5 miles!!) on them but normal between 500 – 800km (312.5 – 500 miles).
RF = Favourite running shoe?
TS = Training and racing – Hoka One One Vanquish 2/Nike Pegasus for training and Nike Zoom Fly for racing.
RF = Best running race experience?
TS = Far too many to name just one.  A few would be, annual endurance training camp in France with a great bunch of like-minded people.  Representing the Army at the Tri Service Marathon Championships.  Representing my new country of citizenship in the Word Masters Athletics Championships (Australia).
RF = Do you have a favourite pre and post race meal?
TS = Pre always Spaghetti Bolognese and after as much as I can eat of anything!
RF = If you were to give your three top tips for running what would they be?
TS = 1. Train in a group.  2. Don’t worry about what others are doing in their training/racing.  3. Most importantly of all…. always smile on the outside regardless of how much it’s hurting inside.
RunFever would like to thank Tony very much for his time in the interview.  For being so kind we will be sending Tony out one of our new edition RunFever multi-functional tube bandanas, that are being made at this time – preview below.
We would like to wish Tony all the best in his up and coming races and will catch up with him post Australia Day Ultra to see how the day went.
RunFeveR Bandana
 If there is some interest we may look to get some more of these bandanas to sell on this site.  If you are interested at this stage please reach out to us via the support page.

Gosport Half Marathon

Link to the Strava details HERE

Join the RunFever Strava club HERE with like-minded passionate people who love to run.

Below is a short 2min clip from today’s race.  Well done to everyone that took part but a special thanks to the volunteers for standing around in the cold.

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New GoPro Gimbal test – Feiyu Tech G5

We have loved taking video clips of our running exploits but at times they have been really shaky.  So decided to invest in a gimbal that will hopefully reduce some of the movement.  The short video shows a 10 mile run I (Iain) did recently with the Gimbal.