Mo miles

Here is Mo Farah’s weekly training plan for London:

Once you get over the idea of a 10 mile ‘recovery’ run at 6:00/mile pace, what’s really interesting about this is how little of his time is spent pushing speed. Out of ~130 miles a week (let’s take the medians), only one ten mile run is at tempo pace, and one 24 miler is a bit slower than marathon pace. Ignoring the intervals, which I guess are more aimed at maintaining his track performance(?), the rest is easy running (at least, easy if you’re Mo Farah), the challenge being that there’s so much of it.

My running is going pretty well (if slower). For the past month I’ve done 3-4 times a week. Mileage is still low (11.3 this week), but that’s ok because consistency is better, and I’ll probably stick to the 10% rule now so it’s going to be low for a while yet (so much for compound interest). My foot is still wavering somewhere between “ouch” and “almost better” but it always seems to feel better AFTER running so I’m not hugely concerned. I am finding that upward dog pose loosens it off.

Also, the weather is nice.

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Cyclists – The Modern Day Menace

Whenever cycling in the UK is brought up there inevitably follows a long and tedious discussion about how cyclists are morons who disobey road laws and are a danger to everyone around them and about how they terrorize drivers and pedestrians alike.

Hey.
I’m a pedestrian.

And, no they really, really don’t.

I own neither a car nor a bike. I don’t have a horse in this race. But let me tell you about today.

I went running this morning and had a warm up walk. I was probably out about an hour in total. In one hour, I was put in danger three times by irresponsible motorists. Drivers, who in charge of 1.5 tonnes of metal fast moving metal, had decided not to bother giving any special attention to trying to not run over pedestrians.

One person went through a junction while looking down at the phone in his hand. Despite wearing bright yellow I don’t think he was ever aware of my presence
One driver went around a blind bend too quickly (on a small quiet road with no footpath, where, realistically, you should be driving about 15mph tops)
And one person in a sports car, who when I was crossing the road, inexplicably accelerated towards me from a roundabout exit into a twenty mph zone. I made a mistake here in thinking that because the exit was blocked when I started crossing that it would be safe for me to get across. On the other hand, the guy accelerated towards me into a twenty zone. WTF. I have to take responsibility for my own safety and part of that includes assuming that drivers have the mental capacity of a three year old, but if I make the assumption that they are actively trying to kill me, I will never leave my house.

And I can’t count how many times I’ve been caught out by drivers who don’t know how to indicate. The worst thing is, even when they ARE indicating, you still can’t trust them to go in the same direction. Apparently many drivers think you should indicate RIGHT to exit a roundabout.

Many accusations are levelled at cyclists. That they run red lights is a common one. I use a particular crossing twice a day, and seeing a driver run the red light is a weekly occurrence. My favourite is when there is a traffic queue and they stop ON the crossing. I have to resist the urge to scratch their paintwork as I walk around them.

Another is that cyclists endanger pedestrians by riding on the pavement. Half of that is true; I do sometimes encounter cyclists on the pavement, maybe a few times a month. The other half, not so much. I have never in my life felt threatened by a cyclist.

I might give more credence to the anti cycling brigade if I didn’t suspect that it is made up of drivers whose main problem is that they are not intelligent or responsible or skilled enough to be safely handling their own car and a cyclist presents another problem for them.

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Norwegian Leather Industry

Literary discussion.

I am sad about Sue Townsend, the author of Adrian Mole’s diaries, who has recently died.

Adrian Mole evokes so many strange memories for me. He is a work of fiction who is both simultaneously brilliant, because he’s slightly dysfunctional to comic effect, but also he is a tiny bit depressing because, at the same time, he hits a bit too close to home. He represents a completely average, marginally disappointing life while being entertaining and mostly believable. It was always wonderful how he never got over his first and only real love (Pandora), and spent the rest of his life vaguely pining after her but generally accepting that nothing more was ever going to happen. There is something special about that which just seems like an accurate comment that life in general doesn’t often end up going exactly where you want it to, and you just muddle on regardless. That is how I see it anyway.

I don’t remember much about the TV series except that whenever I see Stephen Mangan in something now, I always think “hey, that’s Adrian Mole”. Actually, forget that, I do remember something else: Nigel is driving a delivery van, gets out and Adrian blurts out “Nigel! I thought you were gay!” to which he responds curtly “it’s a sexuality, Moley, not a profession”.

I feel sad now.

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Good and honest

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26958644

David Cameron has defended the reputation of Parliament after Maria Miller’s resignation, saying it is full of “good and honest” MPs.

David Laws (cabinet MP) – Was resigned for expenses fraud
Liam Fox (cabinet MP) – Was resigned over dubious relationship with a lobbyist
Chris Huhne (cabinet MP) – Jailed for perverting the course of justice
Adam Smith (Advisor for Jeremy Hunt, cabinet MP) – Was resigned over dubious relationship with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire
Andy Coulson (communications director) – Currently on trial for phone hacking
Maria Miller (cabinet MP) – Was resigned for expenses fraud

“good and honest”

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Too much

Recently an article has been doing the rounds that “too much running will kill you!!!!” and has been picked up by various newspapers that rely on making their readers feel good by justifying their insecurities

It defines ‘too much’ as more than 20 miles a week, saying the optimum is 5-20.

Here’s a good rebuttal: http://www.runnersworld.com/health/will-running-too-much-kill-you

The tl;dr is that the study’s data is normalised to stop certain unrelated things from affecting the result. It’s good to try to remove the effects of unrelated factors like drinking and smoking (well… you could argue these should be left in since someone who cares about their ability to run is probably less inclined to intentionally poison his or her body), but the study also removes the effects of BMI, and a few other things that are clearly influenced by running (or exercise in general), which is pretty daft. If running decreases your risk of premature death by lowering your BMI, you don’t want to remove the effect of BMI from your study on running and premature death!

Also, the study fails to show an increased early mortality rate, it just looks at some things here and now and extrapolates that they will result in one later. But that’s not really so important because the process to filter people into this section is questionable anyway, as per the point above.

Remember: statistics is hard and just because the study is flawed doesn’t mean the conclusion is wrong.

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Pollution

It really is murky. I was going to run tonight but I’m not sure that’s a good idea, or rather it might actually be a bad idea.

Has anyone tried running in it? Any adverse affects?

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Where is my hour?

So, basically, the lost hour has killed me. Why does it feel like I have to get to work an hour earlier, but it doesn’t feel like I go home an hour earlier? Shenanigans. I had a poorly timed attack of insomnia on Saturday, so mixed with losing an hour anyway, I felt pretty much zombified yesterday and frankly I still feel much the same today. I am not a person who can function well on low amounts of sleep.

Enough of that.

Running update:
Last week I managed 3 runs, this week 4 (4 is always the target). Mileage is still low: Last week – 6.5ish, this week 9ish (with a long of 3.1). Speed is reasonable at about 7:55/mile on average, pretty consistently.

Things are going ok but I did have a slightly sore knee this morning. I think it’s minor and should be ok by tomorrow. In any case, that’s a sign my mileage should not increase this/next week. Adductors seem to have finally accepted their fates and have stopped aching. Very sore to touch area on my right quad. The usual stuff.

My foot is still bothering me a tiny little bit, but it seems generally unaffected by running. Icing it seems to manage it but I really want it to actually get better. I’ve ordered some nicely cushioned running shoes (Asics Cumulus) for everyday walking, which might give it enough everyday protection/support for it to finally clear up properly. But who knows.

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